I couldn't stop spring cleaning

IT'S been a busy week, dear readers, since I last put hand to keyboard.

James Marston

IT'S been a busy week, dear readers, since I last put hand to keyboard.

Here in Felixstowe, now the weather is improving, I have found myself entertaining as friends and relations decide that the small seaside town is only a short drive away and it's nice to see the sea isn't it?

In the winter months, I've noticed, no one comes near.

Nevertheless on Friday last I filled the cigarette box, bought a bottle of Gordon's and had a few in for a small soiree.

It was a most amusing At Home even if I do say so myself.

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But isn't entertaining a juggling act?

By the time I'd mixed drinks and organised a steady stream of hot nibbles - bought I'm afraid - I was rather exhausted.

I could never do Come Dine With Me - can you imagine the stress?

Anyway, I finally did have a moment to sit down and join my guests when I brought out a little bit of stilton and a bottle of LBV.

The next morning I woke to a beautiful spring day and decided to tidy up.

Well, dear readers, once I started I couldn't stop.

I only have a small flat but I found myself shampooing carpets, washing seat covers, vacuuming through everywhere, dusting everything, cleaning silver, polishing, pulling out bits of furniture and rearranging all sorts of things.

But isn't it funny, peculiar not ha ha, the things you find when you do a spring clean?

Here's a few of the items I discovered:

Foreign money - hidden in a plastic cocktail shaker.

�2.46 sterling in my sofa.

A pair of fishnet tights - it's not what you think - they'd been left by an over-refreshed guest who must have become hot.

Four cigarette lighters, two under my piano.

Tickets and programmes to all sorts of things.

Two very dusty remote controls to long-disappeared machines.

Photographs of a trip to Turkey I'd forgotten I was storing under my bed for some inexplicable reason.

Prints I've never got round to framing - does anyone know where in Felixstowe?

A screwdriver in my sock draw.

A copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species - remains unread - in my airing cupboard.

The fact that I need a cleaner - other almost-celebrities have them surely.

Lifting things gives me a bad back.

Anyway, six hours later when I had finished I cracked open a ginger beer and tidied up what was left of the stilton.

I also realised I'd done all those jobs you save for a rainy day on the best day of the year so far.

Was it nice?

MY sister Claire, who loves a murder mystery and lives in the west of the county, accompanied me to Trimley Memorial Hall this weekend to see Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced.

It was much fun and the hall was filled to capacity giving the opening night a real sense of occasion.

We enjoyed ourselves and there was a lot of comedy in the production considering it was about the ghastly act of murder.

In the interval the hatch went up for teas and coffees and there was a raffle.

It was all very English and rather nice.

We even started the evening with a request to be “upstanding for The Queen”.

Her Majesty didn't stroll in, she probably has other things to do in Trimley on a Saturday night, but the pianist did strike up the National Anthem. I sang along.

What a lovely touch though, something sadly so rare.

SAD news at the weekend about Jade wasn't it?

I turned on my radio to listen to the morning service when I heard she'd died.

Tributes, of course, have been paid and flowers placed.

Often, it seems to me, that death comes in the early hours, illuminated by the yellow light of a new day.

I wonder why that's the case? Perhaps it is best to slip away when things are quiet and still.

Let us hope this young woman is at peace now.

HAVE you been to Southwold recently? Well it's very smart I can tell you.

I found myself in a very nice hotel there this week enjoying a theatrical production about the writer George Orwell.

I sat next to an interesting lady, Doreen I think she said her name was, and we fell into easy conversation.

At the end of the evening, over the cheese and wine, I mentioned that the play had fired an interest in Orwell's work, she reached into her handbag and gave me a copy of The Road To Wigan she no longer required.

I haven't started it yet, I'm still struggling - as regular readers will know - with Thomas Hardy, but wasn't that kind of her?

Random acts of kindness restore your faith in human nature don't they?

Dear James

Re: Understanding Wii

You are not alone! I am totally confused these days.

I thought one would eat a blackberry, but no, you talk to them.

Up to now I believed a PC was a policeman, that a megabyte was something you got from a bad tempered Rottweiler and that a Wii was something we old codgers had to get out of bed for every night!

Is there a rescue centre for old dinosaurs? If so could you give me the address?




Dear James,

You were bewailing the decline in letter writing.

I quite agree.

It is especially noticeable among the young who have no idea how to write even simple words like "thanks" and "present"

Have a nice day,


Dear James,

Write me a letter you plead - so here goes.

I disagree with giving up pleasures for Lent.

It's about sacrifice, and that's a 365 days ethic not just a 40 days one.

So, once a month, every year, we should:

1 Deny ourselves that treat (box of chocs, beer, packet of ciggies, scratch card etc).

2 Increase our donation to a favourite charity.

3 Most noble, committed sacrifice of all - once a week we must close our eyes tightly, turn over the James Marston page, not reading a word of it.

Ah, such suffering!


Mill Rise,


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