Au revoir, for now

AT long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been possible for me to speak.

James Marston

AT long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been possible for me to speak.

A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as feature writer and reporter and terminated my employment here at the newspaper.

You all know the reasons which have impelled me to leave - I have a new job in France.


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But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the county or the newspaper, which, for the last five years I have tried to serve.

But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as I would wish to do without the benefits of a small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant).

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And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself.

I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.

This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that the newspaper will continue to flourish in my absence.

During these hard days I have been comforted by my plain speaking photographer friend Lucy, the members of the Ipswich most Operatic and highly Dramatic Society, and by my sister Claire who would like to marry a farmer if she got the chance.

Ever since I have joined the ranks of the media here in Suffolk I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all sorts of people wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the county. For that I am very grateful.

I now quit altogether Suffolk affairs and I lay down my burden.

It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of Suffolk with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service here, I shall not fail.

I wish you, the people of Suffolk, happiness and prosperity with all my heart.

God bless you all! God Bless Camilla! Vive La France! God save the Queen!

As regular readers will know I have little interest in football - I finds it tends to have a propensity to violence among fans and I don't get the point.

Nevertheless, the other day I happened to be on the train from London when I spotted what appeared to be a rather wealthy young man.

I guessed correctly - he turned out to be Alex Bruce - that he was a footballer for Ipswich town. I deduced this because he was travelling on a week day, he was well dressed, he had a flash phone, he had a fancy watch, he was accompanied by a young lady who laughed at all his jokes - I wonder if she is a wag - and he put his feet up on the seat opposite so he clearly thought he owned the train too.

According to my fellow journalist Josh, who likes football and footballers, Mr Bruce, 25, is a warrior and the son of a legendary Manchester United defender.

I wonder if he recognised me.

Bring her back!

That's what my sister Claire who enjoys murder mysteries and jigsaws is telling me word on the English street is.

Apparently Strictly Come Dancing is not the same without the presence of Arlene.

Well there's no surprise there.

Arlene had years of experience and knowledge to draw upon and Claire is among thousands who want her back.

Thanks to my stylish friend Beverley - who enjoys the occasional game of doubles - I found myself in the small but rather pleasant village of Snailwell the other evening at a barn dance held in aid of Chippenham Tennis Club.

Held in a barn, the barn dance was a most amusing way for spending the evening and Beverley and I took to the floor on a number of occasions.

In fact by the time I'd split the willow, danced the square, skipped around to Blaydon Races and jumped around to the instructions of a lady with a squeezebox I felt I had entered into the spirit of the evening.

Of course the next morning I couldn't walk.

James' Mailbag:-

Dear James,

So you are off to Toulouse, lucky fellow. It is on the Canal de Midi, which links the Bay of Biscay to the Med.

Lovely scenery nearby, near the Cerbiere and Pyranese.

The French drive on the other side of the road, so look right when crossing! Shops do not open on Sundays. It is quite a busy place I think, there is a tram system working there. The cathedral has links with St Edmunds.

D TAYLOR SMITH,

Seabrook Court,

Norwich.

Dear James,

Just finished reading your latest page and as I write it is raining heavily, something it's done on and off since the early hours of this morning!

I suspect Felixstowe has now seen this too as “we're close by a weather front”.

Certainly, depending on various conditions ranging form wind direction, humidity etc, it's often drier on/near coast sometimes in showery weather when clouds build up inland rather than near/over sea. The reverse sometimes happens when precipitation eg around storms peps up more, again much depends on upper/surface wind etc.

No doubt readers of your jovial column are going to miss you as you emigrate!

Like you, some things I wouldn't mind missing, eg the political correctness lot, rip off prices, binge drinking etc.

Could you not still e-mail your thoughts of France via the Evening Star?

Anyway, very best wishes as I'm reminded of a lovely song made famous by Eartha Kit: Under The Bridges Of Paris (from the 50's).

JOHN HAROLD,

Risby Close,

Ipswich.

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