A discussion about schoolboy socks in the days of socks and short trousers. You used to hold them up with knicker-elastic. They made nasty marks round the top of your calves which itched. Which is why so many schoolboys in those days used to run round with socks round their ankles.
Whenever I meet Nick the fishmonger, usually queueing in the checkout at Sainsbury's he gives me his latest netsuke news. He is an enthusiastic collector of the little Japanese carvings originally worn to suspend articles from a girdle." I 've got a new one," he tells me, "commissioned in Japan." Before I have time to ask about what it's made of or what it represents, he disappears into the maw of the supermarket.