Being a celeb is a full-time job Dolly

I WAS meant to go and see Dolly Parton. Unfortunately a friend, who has requested to remain nameless because he's so ashamed, hadn't bought tickets. So much to my chagrin, I never got to see Dolly perform Harper Valley High - one of my favourite songs - or even Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene.

I WAS meant to go and see Dolly Parton.

Unfortunately a friend, who has requested to remain nameless because he's so ashamed, hadn't bought tickets.

So much to my chagrin, I never got to see Dolly perform Harper Valley High - one of my favourite songs - or even Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene.

But despite this setback, I have been out and about in Ipswich, fulfilling a number of engagements which have left me completely unable to start my diet until tomorrow.

The Mayor's quiz, always an enjoyable evening, started my latest social whirl. The lady behind the well-stocked bar recognized me, always a boost to my confidence.

“You're the lad from the paper aren't you?” she said as she fixed me an alcopop, and a red wine for my friend Lynne who is very well known in Ipswich's theatrical circles.

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“How kind of her,” I thought as I was hoping for an extra portion of obligatory buffet quiche. Why is it, just as an aside, that every buffet in the world has quiche? That is one of life's great mysteries I suppose.

Anyway, the quiz was a resounding success, enabled, if the truth be known, by my colleague Grant Sherlock's surprisingly accurate knowledge of the hits of Michael Bolton - a fact he expressly asked me not to share - and the encyclopedic knowledge of Paul Geater who just knows everything.

We took back some silverware to the office, and we would have had the cakes I bought to celebrate - if only I hadn't eaten them on the way into work.

My second engagement (gosh I sometimes wish I worked nine to five like Dolly) was at the tenth anniversary Lion's Club swimming gala at Crown Pools, where I was called upon to encourage youngsters to swim and generally be seen being seen.

I enjoyed myself and it was a fun event, as reported in yesterday's Evening Star.

Of course, having a tendency to swim rather like the Queen Mary with a load on, I didn't dare venture in. I had the feeling that the lifeguard assigned to heave me out of the pool if I took on water, lacked the necessary Geoff Capes physique. He was only young and I couldn't risk his back.

It was event where everyone was a winner - and the cheering never stopped.

Organiser Bill Murton said the event, held for disabled youngsters from across east Suffolk, was arranged in order to give everyone the chance to take part in competitive swimming in a fun atmosphere.

He said: “The idea is for the Lions club to give something back to the community and hopefully enable people with disabilities to enjoy the thrill of swimming and taking part in a gala.”

As the races got under way, cheered on by spectators, the delight and determination on the faces of those taking part was clear to see.

Among those encouraging the competitors was ten-year-old Terri Calvesbert, who handed out some of the prizes. She was given a present by the Lions club for her support.

Dad Paul Calvesbert said: “Terri loves an event like this and enjoys cheering on those in the water. She is delighted to be here.”

So perhaps it was just as well I didn't go to see Dolly in her coat of many colours.

I've been that busy and the clocks went forward which didn't help as I woke up, forgot the time had changed, and tuned in to The Archers omnibus an hour late. Whereby, I suspect, I missed a particularly tense scene in the milking shed.

How's your week been? What did I miss in the Archers? Is Dolly good in the flesh?

Send me an email at james.marston@eveningstar.co.uk .

Do you organise an event you would like us to report on? Contact the evening star newsroom on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

I'M normally a fairly cheerful lad but just recently I have become irked.

Have you noticed how music is now everywhere? God it's truly awful and its really getting my goat.

Some stores in Ipswich have even taken to putting loudspeakers outside their doors inflicting us all with some more unpleasant noise.

I happened to be walking along Carr Street the other afternoon, when I heard music so loud I thought I'd unwittingly stumbled into a cheap and nasty night club - admittedly a fairly easy thing to do in this town - when in fact all I was doing was walking past a shop. Instead of enticing me in I've vowed never to go back.

Even my bank, the last bastion of blissful silence, can't resist intolerable tunes to make people queue to. It's all so utterly ghastly don't you think?

As if there isn't enough noise with that awful police helicopter up every night, drunk people everywhere, people shouting at each other across the street without shame, crying babies and uncontrolled children - why are people so completely unable to bring up well behaved youngsters nowadays? - we have to hear tuneless trash every time we go and spend our over-taxed income on things we don't really need.

Britain should be a land of decent behaviour and decorum. Now it's just an uncivilised and noisy rabble.

OUT with a friend in a trendy (only because I go there and they like celebrities) Ipswich nightspot, I asked to be surprised with a drink I don't normally have.

“What about water?” he replied “you never drink that.”

Cheek. Innit?

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