Bah Humbug Shopping

IPSWICH'S very own wanna-be celebrity James Marston is today having a spot of seasonal bother. IS summer really over was it something that I said? No sooner was I basking in sunnny glory with a golden tan and a spring in my step than its winter and I'm miserable.

IPSWICH'S very own wanna-be celebrity James Marston is today having a spot of seasonal bother.

IS summer really over was it something that I said?

No sooner was I basking in sunnny glory with a golden tan and a spring in my step than its winter and I'm miserable.

Well I say miserable, I normally disport a sunny disposition but the onslaught of Christmas has put paid to that.

I braved, very briefly, the shops of Ipswich in a bid to get started this weekend but after ten minutes of having no idea and no real will to barge my way through the ever-growing throng, that perfidious Albion, that descend on the town centre on a Saturday afternoon I gave up after about seven minutes.

And as you can see the photographer caught my moment of frustration.

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But that hasn't solved the problem really.

I still have to purchase something for my younger sister Claire who enjoys a jigsaw and a couple of glasses of Crème de menthe during the festive season.

So what do you buy a young lady who has a verging-on-the-obsessional interest in handbags and an addiction to shoes? Indeed what do you buy anybody?

Well I have no idea and I don't like shopping.

For those already wondering what to buy your relations I have come up with a few ideas I've thought of.

A chocolate fountain-it's always handy to have something unused in a box under the stairs for when your children have to clear out your house when you die.

A bottle of ginger wine or cherry brandy or any other strange drink-it'll last for years and years

A make your own will kit for those older relations you have to put up with at Christmas. Nothing wrong with a quick reminder that you deserve something when the grim reaper had reaped.

Shop vouchers-limit your friends to shopping in one shop. No point in handing over a lovely crisp twenty you can spend anywhere. Is there?

One of those deodorant/perfume set things that you can get in a four for five for three deal, or whatever. Someone must buy them or where do they all go?

Socks. A gift you can't possibly get yourself during your weekly shop.

A Beano Annual, or any other annual or year book, an insult to whoever receives it.

I won't leave it to the last minute though, I'll have a serious think about it and hope the shops are open on Christmas Eve.

MY editor - known in the office as Nigel - has today promised not to publish his photograph in the newspaper.

“James,” he said as he adjusted his editor's visor during a high-level meeting, “I'm over-exposed and I'm banning my image from the pages of the Evening Star.”

Perish the thought the same thing should happen to me.

JOINING the glitterati of East Anglian journalism, a club of which I am an aspiring member, I crossed the Waveney and visited Norwich.

A guest of EDF Energy I was wined and dined at the annual Norfolk Press Ball in aid of charity on Friday evening.

My glamorous Evening Star colleague Helen and I had some trouble finding the venue, mostly as she was unprepared to listen and heed my map reading skills. She was driving and thought she knew best you see.

Eventually after two hours of singing a long to show tunes, arguing about the merits and which direction we were travelling on Norwich ring road and a frightening panic-stricken moment when Helen thought she had forgotten a shoe, we arrived at the golf club hotel.

Changing into black tie and a frock, I had a moment's struggle in front of the mirror with a tie-your-own when my arm went numb, we made our entrance.

Despite high winds that threatened once or twice to whisk the marquee off to the land of Oz, we had a lovely time. I was recognised by a lady from Colchester and Helen's outfit engendered significant attention.

This glitterati thing is easier than I thought.

REHEARSALS are underway for Titanic the musical in which I, and about 30 others, are due to perform at the Regent Theatre in April.

Lucy, my plain-speaking-photographer-friend and stalwart of the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society, is in fine voice and even I have a little line to sing about the number of oranges and other vegetables ordered for the ill-fated ship of dreams.

Anyway I've been reading up on the subject.

Did you know that Titanic look out Frederick Fleet-the character with the best line in the show “Oh my God in heaven. Iceberg dead ahead.” became a newspaper seller in Southampton in old age?

He died in 1965. Out of 1,662 men on board Titanic, he was one of only 315 who survived.

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