I'm getting in the swim

IT'S been a hectic week in the world of this handsome, wanna-be celebrity of the Felixstowe peninsula.What with a selection of a-deux soirees, dinner parties and an all-day dancing rehearsal where I surprised myself with my co-ordination with the Ipswich my goodness isn't it Operatic and it's also Dramatic Society, I've barely had time to open a tin of spicy mulligatawny and sit down in my salon with sea views (distant) with a warm buttered roll as an accompaniment.

IT'S been a hectic week in the world of this handsome, wanna-be celebrity of the Felixstowe peninsula.

What with a selection of a-deux soirees, dinner parties and an all-day dancing rehearsal where I surprised myself with my co-ordination with the Ipswich my goodness isn't it Operatic and it's also Dramatic Society, I've barely had time to open a tin of spicy mulligatawny and sit down in my salon with sea views (distant) with a warm buttered roll as an accompaniment.

But, as I said to my aunt Ruth, who enjoys her television and married late in life, over a lingering cheeseboard on Saturday evening: "Well aunt, I'm only in my late twenties and I've got my own teeth.

"These are some of my best years. Would you like some tasty Swiss?"

"Yes, James," Aunt Ruth replied, "grasp every nettle, ford every stream, climb every mountain and if you don't mind I'll have a bit of Dutch and another glass of port."

Useful advice, I'm sure.

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So as spring springs - and as a matter of interest the vernal equinox is on March 20 this year - I've made a couple of resolutions on top of those I had failed to keep by sundown on January 1.

They are to refuse to call call centres in the Indian subcontinent, avoid supermarkets, read more novels and swim in the sea at every opportunity.

Now you may think that the radioactive waters of the North Sea might be sensible to avoid but I think there are few more intense pleasures known to man than bathing in the azure main.

It's simply marvellous and, if you're a large lad like me, wonderful as long as you are not overlooked and a long way from an easily shocked public.

Last year, I often managed a quick dip after work and this year I intend to slip back into the same routine as soon as the weather, and water, gets nice and globally warmed.

And as you can see I've already tried on my trunks.

As my old school chum Helene - always a spirited girl - said to me over a recent luncheon.

"Do you enjoy the water James? Do you have a lilo?"

"Yes I do and no I don't" I replied, somewhat taken aback over my moules mariniere,

"I've seen that film and they attract nasty sharks and I don't want to be eaten."

An unlikely scenario I know, but I don't want "Almost celebrity provides three, maybe four, meals in east coast feast" to be my final headline.

Quite an interesting picture of Her Majesty isn't it?

I wonder what she's thinking?

In the office we had a rather amusing little caption competition among ourselves. Some that we came up with were...

"Hurry up lad. I want to get back in time for Diagnosis Murder."

"How much longer is he going to be? I want a go."

And "I wonder if he can beat my personal best. He's getting orrfully close."

Have you got any ideas what she's thinking?

IT'S a little bit funny this feeling inside but I'm rather upset that Ipswich Town is now rich enough not to bother with a concert this year.

No more Elton John, no more Rod Stewart no more anyone it seems - big daddy Marcus's cash has put paid to all that.

I accept that maybe there aren't enough acts touring at the moment but I feel Ipswich has lost something by announcing no more concerts.

I remember the buzz in the town when these stars came to perform, and, to be honest, a concert for us non-footballing types was likely to be the only occasion we would step inside the great stadium.

Never mind. There's always next year.

The legion of fans who enjoy the work of the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society (IODS) will also be able to enjoy seeing me tap dance right at the front of the stage in our forthcoming production of Singin' in the Rain.

David, the choreographer, has instructed us where to be and what to do for a six-minute dance routine.

In a six-hour rehearsal which naturally necessitated me bringing along a selection of sandwiches and a packet of Scampi Fries, we worked tirelessly to get the dance right - by the end of it my feet hurt.

I only do a small shuffle before exiting stage left and along with Julian - an accountant in his day job, and Matthew - who's been in the society man and boy - we march on stage, sway, hop around, run to the front and do some interesting moves with our arms in the air.

It sounds simple but it was that difficult to learn so it better get a show-stopping applause.

Now it's never too late to download one of my downloadable calendars.

Just have a look on our website www.eveningstar.co.uk, click on columns and click on me.

It's free, simple and stunning.

It is not just me in my family who enjoys theatrical aspirations.

My sister Claire is also a bit of a thespian and is appearing with Saffron Walden Amateur Operatic Society (SWAOS) in their production of 42nd Street at Saffron Walden town hall next week.

Normally relegated to backstage, she's been drafted in to tread the boards as a man - I assume because they ran out of men - in what promises to be a memorable performance. She's even got lines and some dancing.

Naturally, I'm going along to watch.

On March 11 1845 Henry Jones invented self-raising flour. Handy for cheese scones.

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