Beach hut heaven

ENJOYING the smell of the sea, long bike rides, healthy walks, plenty of scampi and chips and the occasional Irish coffee - life is suiting me well in the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe.

ENJOYING the smell of the sea, long bike rides, healthy walks, plenty of scampi and chips and the occasional Irish coffee - life is suiting me well in the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe.

Indeed, Carolyne, a lady I have interviewed many a time for the pages of The Evening Star, remarked to me in Sainsbury's Warren Heath the other evening as I was picking up a bottle of Pimms and a couple of cucumbers: “James, you do look well, your move to the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe must be suiting you, you have a healthy glow about you” - or words to that effect.

Well, I think Carolyne is right.

At the weekend I even cycled from where I live - not far from the Spa Pavilion all the way to Felixstowe ferry - where, after catching my breath and drinking a cool and refreshing lemonade, I sampled some shellfish straight from a stall. What a hoot.

It made me feel very good about myself and the sea wall, I have discovered, is a lovely way to take some fresh air and watch the swimmers, kite flyers and holiday makers enjoying themselves. The only blot on the peaceful landscape is the rather irksome jet skis which make so much noise.

As I cycled past the rows of people relaxing outside their beach huts, I remember thinking to myself they are rather like playing golf - I'm not old enough for one yet but maybe one day.

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It was with this thought in my head I decided I might like to get a little pink or blue hut or put my name down or whatever you have to do.

But do you know dear readers how much they cost?

I fear I may well be very old before I can afford one.

It has reached my investigative ears that close to my home a beach hut has sold for significantly more than £15,000 - a whopping amount. My source, close to the Felixstowe beach hut community movers and shakers, said everyone is slightly stunned, amused and wondering how much theirs will make as a result.

I have a sneaking suspicion the premium is due to my move to the vicinity, though I can't be sure.

Perhaps the lucky purchasers are hoping a celebrity - like me - might cycle past at any moment adding to the lustre and glitz of the area. I better make sure they get their money's worth.

Of course the downside of my presence has to be I have priced myself out of my own market - a simple hack with a penchant for gin and dubbonet cannot hope to get a foot on the beach hut ladder.

Perhaps someone might leave me one, or give me one or sell me one for a couple of hundred quid?

LAST week I informed readers of my forthcoming holiday plans to the former Nazi stronghold of Bavaria.

I mentioned that I would be visiting the alpine resort of Berchtesgaden where that naughty Adolf hung around in his eagle's nest the Kehlsteinhaus which is now a restaurant. I have checked the internet and even looked at the menu deciding upon something called Schweinelendchen in Pfefferrahmsoße - of course, I had no idea what this would be until a couple of my fans put pen to paper this week and gave me a clue.

Mrs Maria Wood said: “I enjoy reading your column. Seems to me you are going to have pork loin chops in creamy pepper sauce on holiday in Germany. Enjoy! Have a good time. I will look forward to reading about your experiences over there.

And a gentleman named Graham Stolle concurred: “I have been to Bavaria. Very nice place to go to. I spent some time there around were you are going , the food is great, the word is schweinelendchen ( pig or boar meat ) pfefferrahmsobe, pepper sauce!!!”

Well thanks Maria and Graham - I quite like a bit of sauce.

IT'S not often I visit our capital but last Friday my night out with some townies was a little bit on the hectic side.

It's been a number of years since I lived in London but I'm not sure I'd fit in again - I can't keep up with the pace. The next morning, a little worse for wear I managed to cross town to Liverpool St Station with a shaking hand and an unquenchable thirst.

My discomfort was worsened by the awful realisation that yet again - and I have been caught too many times by this - there was a replacement bus service between London and Colchester. There's nothing worse than paying a full train fare, sitting on a hot and fairly uncomfortable coach with a hint of a hangover. I managed to sleep but fear the poor woman stuffed next to me had to put up with a bit of light snoring. I bet she was happy.

HAVE you seen this amazing piece of Lego?

Isn't it fantastic?

Apparently it took a staggering 2,200 hours to make and the nine-metre long Ice Dragon, one of the most detailed models at Legoland Windsor, has used almost a million Lego bricks and weighs a massive 2.7 tonnes.

If you go and see it, do tell me what it's like in the flesh.

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