Island trip turned into a family affair

IMAGINE you are in the hairdressers or at the dentist or somewhere similar and you get asked how your holidays were.It happens doesn't it? And as a man much concerned with himself I am always ready to answer and often find myself talking about myself to complete and utter strangers.

James Marston

IMAGINE you are in the hairdressers or at the dentist or somewhere similar and you get asked how your holidays were.

It happens doesn't it?

And as a man much

concerned with himself I am always ready to answer and often find myself talking about myself to complete and utter strangers.

So why should today be any different?

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You see dear readers, because I'm sure you'll be interested in where celebrities of the Felixstowe peninsula spend their precious vacation time, I am going to tell you what

happened to me on my latest trip away from the UK.

My chosen destination was almost but not quite really abroad.

The Isle of Man where they have funny money but not three legs - contrary to popular belief - is a stunning island where I, long before I caught the bug of journalism, once lived.

Back then, before I had begun to lose my hair and knew much about the world I was just a young man trying out new things.

Always of a theatrical bent I joined the local amateur theatre group - we did a production of Chess.

It was one of those friends, a fellow thespian by the name of Marie, that I went to visit last week for a few days.

Of course, eight years ago I was a single man without a care in the world, she a fellow hedonist.

Now she has four children and two dogs and a life far removed from my life as a bachelor with a small apartment with sea views (distant) in the Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe.

I have, over the years, rarely had much contact with children preferring them, if I'm honest, to be seen and not really heard. Perhaps I have been a little scared of them.

I don't know about you but family life with youngsters is not something that often crosses my path.

So, as you can imagine, I was pretty apprehensive.

Nevertheless I've learned a few things about myself over the last few days.

Children, despite me not knowing what to say to them and being bad at joining in games - especially sport, seem to like me.

I'll never like dogs.

Children change your life forever and can be quite noisy.

My friend Marie's youngest child, Daisy, responds to various stimuli, including me talking to her, when she cries.

Aren't youngsters funny? And lots of fun?

Running a house with lots of children must be totally exhausting - how do women do it?

Don't children ruin furniture?

So on this holiday, rather then lying on a beach, I discovered all sorts of things about the modern family, was well worth the effort, despite the fact that someone was sick on my hired car and the airline I with went bust the day after I arrived - but that's another story.

Have you been to the Isle of Man? If so please do drop me a line to tell me your experiences.

MY recent comments on Felixstowe pier seem to have struck a nerve.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I happened to say what a shame it isn't used and why can't it be renovated to which I have had a number, well a couple, of letters from people telling me their thoughts.

It seems there's a few in the town that would like a nice pier to promenade of an evening but due to a range of reasons

nothing has ever come - so far - of plans to develop the facility.

Well, dear readers I think it's time the pier was sorted out. Felixstowe is a lovely little town and deserves it.

I was rather secretly pleased to see Gordon Brown in trouble.

I never liked him, or the New Labour movement much.

And as regular readers will know, when I'm prime minister I shall have a few things to say.

Clearly it's one thing to swipe and criticise from the comfort of Number 11 and another thing being PM.

Indeed as a man who set himself up on one ticket - the “prudent chancellor” - in a time of global economic growth - the moment things go wrong with the economy it's little wonder he starts on the slippery slope to a failed political career.

Bad luck, Gordon.

SO the Bartlet Hospital has still not been sold.

As my devoted fans will remember I suggested it was given to me as a house.

Now I have decided that I couldn't afford to heat it so I have a different idea. Why not turn it into a lovely hotel?

It sits on a stunning spot, it's got lovely grounds and views and it's ripe for redevelopment.

What do you think it should be used for?

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