Last week, a tear appeared in the seat of my shorts.

This was a bit surprising, for several reasons; the most obvious being that I only wear them for a couple of months once a year, and certainly not every year since I bought them. I’ve worn them more the last seven years because this flat gets quite warm in summer.

The annoying thing is that I kept thinking I should buy a pair from Debenhams before they closed… then they did. So I ordered a pair from Next, online, picked them up this morning and I am wearing them as I write. They’re blue and in stretchy nylon, which will take some getting used to, but at least my arse isn’t hanging out now.

The other reason I was surprised was when I checked the label of the old pair. I bought them from C&A, so I’ve had them at least 20 years, probably longer.

The charcoal-grey wool and cashmere blend jacket I used to wear to work until mid-2019? Also C&A. It’s very frayed around the pocket edges, the lining looks rough and you can’t put small things into the pockets but it’s still wearable. I’ve replaced it though with the jacket from my Austin Reed suit (bought January 2004, only worn ‘for good’), as the trousers for the suit wore through in 2016 and finally ripped in March 2020. While I was on a visit to the House of Lords.

Apart from a couple of one-off special shirts – bought because Charmaine got me some vouchers for a couple of Christmases from an online store – I haven’t bought any new work shirts for at least five years. My favourite shirts I bought when on holiday in Canada in 2007 (they fit very well). They’re all a bit frayed around the collar now. Lucky I only need to wear them for the occasional in-person interview at the moment.

I shudder to think how old the tank top is.

It’s not a question on being resistant to change; just that when I get comfortable I don’t need to. And as I’ve mentioned before I tend to hang on to my technology as well, even when I want to change it; the TV is from 2006, the printer was about the same age before it fell apart. I made one mobile phone last nine years (helped that the cover could be replaced, as could the battery).

I even have an occasional night-out jacket for occasional nights out which I bought in December 2000. Wonder how old my spring/autumn daily wear moleskin jacket with the frayed sleeves is? I suppose I could always look at old photos and take a guess…