The huge, transparent and as yet deflated floaty ring hadn’t looked quite so much of a respiratory challenge when the kid screamed for it in the Majorcan Spar. It stood next to a regiment of humorously shaped alternatives – an ice cream, a slice of watermelon and the obligatory selection of ocean-going mammals. the kid’s selection seemed conservative.

Fortunately a great deal of, in this case, grand-parental, embarrassment and awkward explanation had been saved by the kid not spotting the more adult-themed pool toys obscured  by the mainstream front row,  voluminous bikinied breasts, a pair of comedy arse cheeks and, for reasons which couldn’t be explained, by even the calmest of grand parents, a metre wide, bulbous glans. It was the sort of explaining a grand parent would leave to their own offspring, mainly for their own amusement.

Anyhow, once safely returned to the poolside of the most affordable of all inclusives, the kid’s Dad feigned the usual interest in things purchased. Relieved that the emotional and financial challenge had been taken by his Dad as a grand-parental obligation.

The floaty was unpacked and unrolled. There seemed much more of it that there was in the Spar. A lot more of it.

The kid’s Dad looked down at the wrinkled transparent plastic

When grandad began exhaling into the floaty, all seemed to go well. Gaps between breaths, steady pushes of Woodbine breath, each expanding the floaty by imperceptible amounts.

About a dozen blows in, Grandad faltered – a brief catching of breath a badly timed exhalation and unannounced, several slugs of blancmangey yellow hock had propelled themselves into free orbit within the floaty. They would never escape. The result of many decades’ enthusiastic sucking on a range of unfiltered, now discontinued, cigarettes – think Senior Service and Woodbine – meant that pristine evidence of Grandad’s emphysema was now preserved within has grandchild’s pool floaty.

It may not come as a surprise that whilst his own Dad was 30 or so seconds into a seismic coughing fit, the kid’s Dad was reluctant to assume responsibility for the remaining inflation requirement.

Grandad’s work here was done. And he went for a cig’.