What! I hear you cry. But yesterday was a Sunday, what kind of optician is open at 10am on a Sunday morning. 10am on a Sunday morning when it is a bank holiday weekend! What is wrong with the world!
Please let me get on with the story.
As Denise was going to be in the opticians for about half an hour I brought a book along with me. This one...
'This Mists of Avalon' is a big book. 1009 pages of intrigue and enchantment. It won't fit into a pocket and you can't carry it in a half-hearted way. You have to devote the whole resources of one hand to it. You couldn't drink a glass of red wine and wield a pencil in the same hand that you were holding 'The Mists of Avalon', for example.
So, as we walked, I clutched Denise's hand with my left hand, and I clutched 'The Mists of Avalon' with the right hand. And as we walked my pants fell down.
Now, I know I've been into this before, but bear in mind that pants are underpants and trousers are trousers. No other definition terms is going to pass muster around here.
So yes, inside my trousers, my pants were heading south and I had to do a certain amount of regular hoicking to raise them back up to an appropriate level.
But then to compound matters further my trousers decided they wanted a bit of this rollercoaster-like action.
Walk, walk, walk, hoick. Walk, walk, walk, hoick. Walk, walk, walk, hoick.
Eventually I gave in, rammed 'The Mists of Avalon' as securely as possible into my armpit and stuck my hand in my pocket to hold the trousers and pants up in an ongoing way. Sorry, 'Mists', but I'm never going to let go of Denise and when I last tried to fit her into my armpit she didn't like it.
'Maybe I need a new belt,' I said. 'I'll get one while you are in Specsavers.'
'Good idea,' said Denise, probably tired of the abnormal gait I had been adopting on our walk into town.
Of course, this plan was scuppered by the opticians being the only establishment in town that was open at 10am. So I sat around and read 'The Mists of Avalon.' I sat on a marble bench in Maidstone High Street.
I suppose I could have gone in with Denise. Should have, really.
Yes, I should have gone to Specsavers.
After Denise had finished we went shopping for belts and, because I was going to need them sooner or later, trousers.
And so, my friends, it came to pass that for the first time in twenty years. I bought a pair of trousers with a 38 inch waist, and I moved down a belt size from 42-46 inches to 38-42 inches!
And I fit into them.
They are 'stretch' jeans so there is a fair bit of give. But I fit into them and there was no straining to get into them.
And this morning I threw away the pants that were giving me grief. Turns out the elastic had gone.
I'm not that thin, not yet.