Earlier this week Mrs FB found Fantasy Bob sitting with a look of worried concentration on his face. That attracted her attention in that it was a noticeable change from the look of amiable vacantness which normally describes FB's demeanour.
'What are you doing, dear heart?' she inquired.
'Nothing,' he replied.
'You did that yesterday.'
'Yes, but I didn't finish.'
There was a pause while Mrs FB returned to the start of her run up. This time she put a bit of pace on her delivery.
'What are you thinking?'
'I can't help wondering. Another season might just be too much.'
Mrs FB sighed: she had heard the same moan at this time of year for as long as she could remember.
'It could be the end,' FB felt a lump in his throat.
'You say that every year.'
'It's been one season too many.' His lip trembled.
'They're gassed.' A tear started in his eye.
'What is it this time? Shoulders? Ankles? Knees?'
FB looked askance. Not that he really knew what askance meant, but he gave it his best shot. He was not sure that his life partner had the full measure of the seriousness of the situation.
'No,' he said as the emotion swept over him. 'It's my boots, they'll never last another season.'