Saturday was the ancient feast of St Michael-in-the-Precinct when all good Norfolk men repair to the hallowed site of St Marticus and St Sparticus to invest in short trousers, an act of primeval faith that the snow and hail is about to give way to warmer days.
Weak spindly white saplings are slowly frost hardened until they grow tanned and hairy by October when they will be once again wrapped away in denim or corduroy.
By no means a regular purchaser of new clothes ("understatement of decade" : ed) I was rather smug to find that I still comfortably fitted into a size 36 waist and appeared to have avoided becoming morbidly obese over the Winter. This self-satisfied smirk quickly slipped away when I got home and I noticed the label declaring these shorts had an "active waist".
I'd bought a pair of elastic sided shorts.