End of another wedding season

WELL that's it for this year. The wedding season is over - at least for me.

James Marston

WELL that's it for this year.

The wedding season is over - at least for me.

This time my old school chum Victoria - now a tip top lawyer - tied the knot with her fiancé-now-husband Fraser and I was there to see it.

Of course weddings are rarely where you live are they so I found myself motoring down from Suffolk to Sussex - east or west I'm not sure which, with a lady farmer friend of mine Rosemary who has a much bigger car than me and appreciates, as I found out, the not-so-often-found treat of hot milk with her morning coffee.

And as we journeyed through the pretty Sussex lanes - and both of us prefer a proper map to the modem tom tim things or whatever they are called - we were intrigued to notice signs to Canterbury, 63 miles away, which we suspected were a throwback to the ancient pilgrimage route of Southern England - of course we were right. No tim tom could tell us that.

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Anyway, the wedding was lots of fun and we celebrated in some style.

Victoria, who I've known since she played netball for Suffolk, looked stunning and was almost worryingly and nearly dramatically late - apparently her hair fell out and had to be re-fixed in a hurry.

As the sun set over the South Downs and a jazz band struck up, the champagne flowed just to get us all in the mood and I found myself in conversation about the presentation of a Welsh love spoon to the bride, an homage to Victoria's Welsh heritage and something I'd never seen.

Mother-of-the-bride Wylma, a lady who remembers me as a youngster with a thick head of hair and who served me my first gin and tonic, told me the spoon's decoration symbolises all sort of different things like how many children you'll be having and how much you like each other.

A nice touch I thought.

Do let me know if you have heard of a similar tradition.

IT'S always been a basic tenet of journalism - get yourself out and about.

So my plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy and I have always been keen to enjoy a day out of the office mooching about the Suffolk countryside finding things out.

The other day, on one of our little trips, however, we nearly came to blows.

Lucy I said, as lunchtime fast approached. “We must stop I'm a big man and I need something to eat.”

“You'll just have to wait then won't you?” she said, declining to stop for me to pick up a totally overpriced garage sandwich.

“But I might get malnutrition!” I protested.

“There no real danger of that now is there James?” Lucy plain-speakingly replied with eyebrow raised.

Eventually and only just before I would have started to feel faint, we stopped in a small establishment called The Dancing Goat - Lucy enjoys quality coffee you see and won't be palmed off by a plastic cup.

I opted for salami and mozzarella panini while Lucy enjoyed a hot buttered teacake.

Later, as I recounted our day out to colleagues, I found out a most interesting fact.

My colleague Peter, who enjoys visiting Italy at every opportunity, informed me that I didn't have a panini at all, in fact I had a panino - the singular form of the word.

And to think, I could have found that out without leaving the office after all.

AHH bless.

Star, the Evening Star puppy made a surprise visit to the office the other day.

Now I'm not keen on dogs and don't want to be licked but even I have to admit she is a bit of a cutie and her coat is velvet smooth.

Though after a damp incident near the desk of my colleague Neil, I'm not sure she's yet fully trained.

Anyway as our Christmas Appeal 2008 we want to raise £10,000 to train her as a guide dog for a visually impaired owner and we need your help.

To donate send cheques payable to Guide Dogs to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

I LEARNT a new word this week - always something exciting for us journos.

I happened to be out in the Edwardian seaside spa town of Felixstowe with my theatrical friend Susan for an orange juice and lemonade when she used the word sobersides in conversation.

Naturally I had to ask her to repeat it.

Apparently it is a Suffolk word - a description of a solemn and sedate person - but one I'd never heard of.

Do you know any other Suffolk words? Have you heard of sobersides? Do drop me a line or an e-mail.

IT'S that time of year again and all over the county the harvest is being celebrated.

To mark the occasion I found myself with my friend Helen, who enjoys gardening and is currently digging an allotment in Ipswich, over in the west of the county in my home village of Icklingham, a village similar to Ambridge of The Archers fame but without the constant milking, enjoying a jacket potato dinner with ham and a glass of New Zealand white.

We dined, surrounded by apples and pumpkins and other harvest produce, in the ancient and historic church of St James before listening to a talk by a lady called Yvonne on orchids.

Did you know there are 22 different species in Suffolk - some found in the most unusual places such as Claydon roundabout on the A14?

I didn't.

SO are you coming to see the Ipswich most Operatic and definitely Dramatic Society's latest production Sounds Familiar this week?

Of course, as regular readers will know, I'm in it treading the boards and trying to keep up with the dancing alongside IODS characters - Stephanie the Diva, Margaret the Stalwart of the society, Sue who's been performing for more than 40 years, Julian who likes Abba, and Geneva with the lovely voice.

It's been a little hectic as we've been putting the finishing touches to the numbers, the costumes and preparing for the truly terrifying moment of curtain up.

Anyway it's on at the Spa Pavilion this week and my-plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy is also singing so watch out for her.