I’m beaten down by life, ground into the pavement by its dirty heel, until all that’s left are innards and skin. Perhaps I protest too much, but you’d think that the acquisition of a new pair of swimming trunks wouldn’t be such a fucker.

As we know, it is almost the season of hot, lazy days, spent frolicking by Hampstead ponds, or perhaps even in the sea. Never a keen swimmer in my youth, I have, throughout my older years, begun to enjoy it more – especially now that I’ve resumed my disastrous smoking habit, and shed a few pounds.

However, an investigation of my swimwear showed it to be well past its best, very near its dangerous worst in fact. I had no idea that swimwear loses its elasticity over time, or becomes transparent. Thank god I tried them on in the modesty of my own home, before strutting across the heath, and straight into Highbury Magistrates court.

I hoped at first, that with some simple seamstressing, my lovely old Hugo Boss’s could be salvaged – pretty sure when I was at school, boys wore trunks their mothers had re-elasticated. We gave this a go, but they looked like balloons – or a swimming nappy – hardly the debonair image I was going for. Giving up on the salvage job, I decided to see what was available online – surely there would be a fine selection? Wrong – unless you want a mankini, a thong, or stars and stripes shorts that reach your knees – the choice was woeful.

At last, the idea of vintage retro trunks hit me, and I found a pair on ebay, proper dad trunks from the Co-op. Without reading too much about them – such as they had already been worn – I placed the order. Had they been advertised on a specialist site they may have fetched a good deal more than twelve pounds. The urine soaked rags that arrived, were an affront to human decency…and they were too small. Reader, I sent them back.

The contingency plan involved a new stripy number from Turkey, with indecipherable sizing – they could be budgie smugglers, or the entire aviary. I hoped for the best, and bought with one click. The bastards arrived today, and have now been passed on to the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP to use as a hammock. Fortunately, the weather is not yet up to outdoor swimming, so there is still time, but at this rate, Highbury Magistrates court seems a distinct possibility.

Oh yeah, and please buy my records and pledge for my book.

John Moore 05.05.15