Happy to be star of the show

AS a celebrity-ish about town I try to bag all the best jobs. And this year's Suffolk Show was no exception. From the comfort of the show's press room - they always serve such a lovely luncheon - I filed copy, planned interviews and got my plain speaking photographer friend Lucy to take pictures.

AS a celebrity-ish about town I try to bag all the best jobs.

And this year's Suffolk Show was no exception.

From the comfort of the show's press room - they always serve such a lovely luncheon - I filed copy, planned interviews and got my plain speaking photographer friend Lucy to take pictures.

“Right James,” she said on the morning of the second day, “let's get this show on the road, what we going to look at?”


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“Well Lucy,” I replied. “Let's head up to the trade stands and find some friendly people.”

Walking across the showground, Lucy and I managed to find a lovely looking produce stall - called East Suffolk Country Markets.

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As we walked closer I overheard a snippet of conversation coming from behind the tables.

“That big boy there is James Marston,” I heard a lady hiss.

It wasn't until I plucked up the courage to peruse her selection of sausage rolls and buns, she addressed me.

“I read your column, you like your food don't you?” she announced.

Lucy laughed and I, hoping for a free sample, agreed.

Elsewhere in the showground it was much the same story.

I happened to be walking close to a large farm machinery stand when someone stopped me and said they had seen me in a recent production of Titanic with the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society.

I wouldn't say I was famous but I have offered my services to open next year's Suffolk Show.

Prince Edward did it this year and I reckon I could have a fair stab at it and anyway I've always fancied a motorcade with outriders.

I've even been practising my wave to the crowds.

Back at the Evening Star office I was brought back down to earth.

“Well” I said as I took off my headgear, “I might not really be famous but at least I don't believe my own publicity, I know they'd rather a duchess to me. I am, at least, self aware.”

“Yes,” said Jess the lady news editor with lips pursed, “Very.”

Isn't this Big Brother show so dreadfully common?

Young Josh, a reporting colleague who enjoys a high degree of female attention, said: “I love it” when the subject came up for discussion on the Evening Star newsdesk.

But I am not so keen.

What awful people seem to appear in it. It makes me embarrassed to be British.

There was a time when modesty, reserve, gentility and charm were highly prized.

It seems ignorance, coarseness and vulgarity that are the new bywords for sophistication, talent and civilised behaviour.

Why can't we have something more pleasant on our televisions? I always enjoyed a Miss Marple.

I enjoyed extremely quaffable champagne and nibbly nibbles in the west of the county this weekend.

I went to a 60th birthday party. So stylish were the celebrations they held them in a massive tent.

It was my first 60th party, I have now been to them all; 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, and 60.

It's strange but I get invited to less and less of the 21-year-old variety.

I'm also more than half way to 60 - a thought that is just ever so slightly disturbing.

I'm off to the dental hygienist today - Karen.

She's such a lovely lady I wonder how she can inflict pain for a living.

Last time as I sat there being scraped and messed about, she pleaded with me to return for my next appointment and informed me I had a very good pain threshold for a man.

That's perhaps the most unusual compliment I have ever received.

As regular readers will know, I spend much time in my little Ipswich sitting room here in Ipswich.

But I have news - I now have a pied-a-terre in the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe and will soon be giving up my little Ipswich sitting room in favour of my larger Felixstowe sitting room with sea views (distant).

I'm busy decorating with Radio 4 in the background and a selection of paints.

So far I've managed a ceiling, it took three hours and I was exhausted.

I'm not sure I'm built for DIY.

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