Gold-plated retirement

WHEN I grow old I shall wear purple or gold lamé. I haven't yet decided which. It's a frightening thought but in 29 years or so I am likely to retire.

WHEN I grow old I shall wear purple or gold lamé. I haven't yet decided which.

It's a frightening thought but in 29 years or so I am likely to retire. That takes me up to the age of 60 and the year will be 2035.

I wonder what the world will be like?

Will the NHS still be in crisis? Will Prince Harry still be causing trouble? Will Victoria Beckham still have a pout? And will Ipswich's Mint Quarter finally be developed?

When I'm an old man I think things might be a bit different.

Global warming might mean we all need a constant supply of sun cream and Felixstowe will be a holiday destination to the stars. I might yet come across Joan Collins in front of the Spa Pavilion but God only knows how old she'll be by then.

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Whatever happens the onslaught of age is nothing any of us can halt and for a man like me with stunning good looks and a cheery disposition it is a somewhat daunting prospect. A vision of the future I can barely look at.

I happened to be chatting to Michelle, the lady at the Evening Star that supplies us reporters with essential items like notepads, when I commented: “I am so worried Michelle.”

“Why's that James?” she replied as she offered me a bright yellow highlighter and some staples, “what's troubling you today?”

I replied: “Well when I get older, losing my hair, many years from now, will you still provide me with business cards? Next year's diary? Packet of pens?”

“Well as for losing your hair, it isn't really many years from now is it?” she replied as she ruffled a few strands on my tonsure as if to emphasise the point.

Hair loss runs in families or so they say but it's strange my locks are fast disappearing as my mum isn't bald at all.

As well as swearing to never try a comb over - treacherous in high winds - I have made a few resolutions of things I plan to do in my dotage.

Avoid short mat bowls at all costs.

Vandalise a golf club.

Wear a hoodie and terrorise teenagers.

Eat junk food.

Walk around supermarkets really, really slowly and get in the way.

Smoke - I will have given up and have to start again.

Jump queues and feign deafness - we all know old people do.

Drive slowly and play Tina Turner loudly in my car.

Borrow money recklessly when I reach my late 90s.

These activities might just keep me cheerful, though I doubt there's not much I can do about my hair.

SOUTH East Suffolk Magistrates' Court isn't going to be the same without Maureen and Pat.

Ushers there of many years standing, the ladies are leaving a generation of reporters without the benefit of their experience.

Not only have they provided us all with essential tip offs, nuggets of knowledge about who's coming up in court and when and what court might be hearing something of interest - all with a friendly smile - but Maureen, I know for a fact, is also a regular reader of my column.

And if you're even half as vain as me it's always nice to have a fan.

So all the best ladies - all of us at The Evening Star today wish you well in your retirement.

ISN'T it strange this traffic thing you can get on your car radio?

Just when you're driving along comfortably listening to a nice spot of Bach someone interrupts and says something ridiculous like:

“All is clear on the A14 at the moment and the roads in Suffolk are running smoothly.”

It's hardly essential information. I tend to assume the roads are running smoothly unless I hear otherwise.

Introduced as “Evening Star Columnist James Martin” by Radio Suffolk's Rachel Sloane wasn't my highlight of the week.

As I turned up prepared to deliver a thought for the day for the listeners Rachel clearly mistook me for the handsome celebrity chef who appeared in strictly Come Dancing.

I struggle to make a batch of cheese scones without overcooking them.

I forgive her I suppose.

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