I thank the stars for wonderful Suffolk

EACH year at about this time of year, dear readers, I am reminded of the great poet-Latinist AE Housman.

James Marston

EACH year at about this time of year, dear readers, I am reminded of the great poet-Latinist AE Housman.

And for us journalists, the words of wordsmiths of repute are always of great interest.

Indeed, the great masters of the language - Alistair Cooke, Winston Churchill, Peter Ustinov, Stephen Fry - leave me in awe.


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Now I'm no poet, I lack the creative juices, but today I'd like to celebrate the glories of Suffolk I noticed this weekend.

Felixstowe - where, as regular readers will know, I have a small flat with sea views (distant) - is always lovely as far as I am concerned but inland too spring has truly sprung.

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Driving through the county along the A14 to my home village of Icklingham, a village much like The Archers but much closer to the racing epicentre of Newmarket, I was struck at just how lucky we all are to live in such splendour.

The trees are stunning; the sun is bright and warm; the fields - the bread bowl of England - are green; the views picture postcard - we are lucky indeed.

And of course the cherry blossom is so lovely we could rival Japan.

Which brings me back to my favourite poet Housman.

He was a man who was often bittersweet in his writings but, to my way of thinking, always got things just right.

It is his poem that today I, in perhaps a rather reflective mood, wanted to share with you this week.

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow”

It is a poem that never fails to remind me to lick the lid of life at every opportunity.

But what do you think? Do you have a favourite poet or poem? Let me know.

IT'S been a sad week for my family.

My grandmother Lucy, a lady, as regular readers will know, I had occasionally mentioned in my weekly musings, departed this earth for a better place.

She was 94 - so no complaints - and was a woman always quick with an apposite remark.

Indeed, she had said not so long ago that she was “right ready to go” and I think she probably meant it.

TODAY dear readers I have a plea for help.

What do you do about pigeons you don't want?

Unfortunately where I live we have a little local difficulty with them - they have decided to roost in some eves.

I don't much like pigeons to be honest - they make a mess and they don't look very nice.

So how do you get rid of them? Any advice would be welcome.

ARE you a knitter?

My friend Tamsin, who divides her time between a very glamorous life in London and a slightly less glamorous Suffolk-based existence, much enjoys the occasional pearl one and drop one, or however the phrase goes.

Over a mid to late April gin and tonic the other evening in a country pub she informed me that she's, rather intriguingly I thought, knitting a laptop cover - an artefact of which I have never really heard.

When I pressed her on the subject she informed me, a little curtly, that it started out as a blanket and I wasn't to laugh.

Naturally I changed the subject.

DON'T you love seasonal produce?

Strawberries, asparagus, and all the other veg things - there's nothing like it is there? This time of year, of course, its cr�me eggs everywhere you go.

Of course I'm indulging myself taking the view it might make up one of my five a day of whatever it is your meant to have and it's a long time 'til next year.

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