A tattoo too far?

I'M not going to disparage Sir Bobby - I don't want hate mail and he was undoubtedly a genuine and great man - but isn't tattooing your leg slightly melodramatic way of paying tribute? .

James Marston

I'M not going to disparage Sir Bobby - I don't want hate mail and he was undoubtedly a genuine and great man - but isn't tattooing your leg slightly melodramatic way of paying tribute?

Of course, it is all part of the “outpouring of grief” which nowadays includes laying of flowers, minutes of silence, bowing of heads, standing around and wiping away tears, book of condolence signing etc etc

But is it me or is a tattoo a little strange? What do you think?


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Another weekend - another wedding - as my regular readers will know this is becoming a bit of a habit.

This time, wedding number three this year for me, it was the turn of and Julie and Paul - a couple who met up late in life after enjoying a brief friendship as teenagers.

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This time I found myself celebrating in the west Suffolk town of Newmarket - one of my favourite towns because it's the only place I know where horses have right of way - with a hog roast and salads and a lady, who professed to be a fan of mine, called Hazel who lives in Cheveley on the East Anglian ridge and enjoys the benefits of regular trips across the continent in a motor home.

Hazel also told me, rather bluntly I thought, that she wasn't bothered about my admiration for Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall but was intrigued to hear about my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant), leaving me with the lesson learnt that you can't please everyone all of the time.

Anyway, I'm not one to spread gossip - so I'll only mention this once - I found myself chatting to a fellow guest called Jane who told me she enjoys reading and conversation.

Jane told me over a glass of something sparkling as we admired the table decorations that she had been recently rewriting her will.

Naturally it got me thinking about my own testamentary dispositions - I mean who can I possibly leave my Ikea bookcase to not to mention my radio with which I have listened to The Archers since I was 17.

It's all so difficult.

So we swapped stories and when Jane told me of her dilemma - a nice antique collection and a detached bungalow with lean to - added to the fact she has no relatives.

As you can imagine I poured her another glass and gave her my undivided attention.

Oh my dear I think I've become addicted to a television programme.

Have you seen Wire In The Blood? I looked it up and it's been running since 2002 but I had never watched it.

Anyway what happens is there's a serial killer each week in this place called Bradfield which must be very dangerous and I wouldn't be surprised if the house prices are dirt cheap.

And in each episode this man called Tony who's ever so clever and a policewoman find the murderer.

It's all very cryptic and entertaining and I'm gripped.

Have you ever got caught up in a tv programme? Do drop me a line.

James' Joke:-

A termite walks into a pub and says,

“Is the bar tender here?”

IT appears we are not prepared to live without mobile phones and broadband and TV subscription.

But we can live without holidays and eating out - all according to some survey.

That might be the case but in fact we can live without all of those things if we have to.

Our ancestors managed with stone tools and animal furs so I think we can manage without an all inclusive trip to Cyprus or the ability to do a weekly shop online.

Though a paid up member of the internet generation - I write a blog and much of modern journalism appears on the web - I have recently cancelled my broadband connection to my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant).

I found, dear readers, that I simply wasn't using the web - and I haven't missed it yet.

Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs' release is an interesting source of debate.

The do-gooders released him on compassionate grounds and according to his son “we are extremely happy” - I bet they are.

Biggs had a fantastic life after taking part in a violent crime and he will now die a free man peacefully in his bed probably with his family around him.

But Biggs showed no compassion for the train driver Jack Mills who was koshed over the head so hard he never fully recovered. He escaped from prison and lived the life of Riley in the sun. He has courted publicity. And he has never said sorry.

He should have been handcuffed to a hospital bed until his dying breath.

But sometimes, and it doesn't happen often, society can act in a merciful way and Biggs' release was just that - an act of mercy.

And maybe that is a gesture that reflects on us all and is to be applauded after all.

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