I need new trainers, I really do; but, despite wandering around looking at walls literally shelved with trainers, I cannot find a pair that I am even willing to try on!
The trouble is, something is wrong with all of them: chiefly because today's trainers - with their iridescent colours and wacky materials - are so obviously and exclusively the territory of the YOUNG and could only look unbelievably ridiculous on a man who is heading for the exit turnstile from middle-age.
Finally (and only after a vast amount of persuasion and no little fuss) I try and buy these: a pair of Nike Air Force 1...
They look, I tell myself, innocuous and anonymous enough for a fifty-something to get away with. So, I surrender my old, beaten-up trainers and put on my gleaming new AF-1s...
I have scarcely left the shop and have just paused to adjust the laces slightly (the way you always have to do with new trainers) when I am accosted by a group of excitable teenage schoolboys...
"WOW! They're Air Force 1s aren't they?"And, do you know, all of a sudden, I begin to feel... well...
"Are they a limited edition?"
"Did you just buy them?"
"Where did you get them?"
"How much were they?"
...Y O U N G E R !