It's time to come clean...

I'VE been told to come clean by my editor.You see, dear readers, I have the tiniest of confessions to make. As regular Marston column aficionados know, I have given up smoking.

I'VE been told to come clean by my editor.

You see, dear readers, I have the tiniest of confessions to make.

As regular Marston column aficionados know, I have given up smoking. And until the weekend I was ticking off a wall chart each day marking off my days off the weed. Day 21, day 22, day 23……

But on Friday, while out and about in an Ipswich watering hole, I had four glasses of red wine too many.

Sitting on a bar stool enjoying the scenery I demanded of a complete stranger a “spare cigarette,” lit it up and smoke a few puffs.

Now in the normal course of events, after more than three weeks of abstinence, this wouldn't have happened. I have squarely put the blame on the booze.

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My mum Sue, who lives in the west of the county and enjoys singing in a Ladies Barbershop group, was philosophical and not unduly worried.

“Perhaps it's just a blip,” showing a mother's unstinting confidence in her first born son.

My news editor Jess, who understands, has shown sympathy.

“Well it's hardly a major lapse. You haven't bought any or really started again.”

My friend Anthony, who keeps rats and enjoys the occasional menthol, wasn't impressed.

I haven't even dare tell my friend Helen, who works at The Evening Star and is well known in theatrical circles - she won't be happy.

And I can guess the reaction of Lucy my plain speaking photographer friend. “Idoit,” she will say.

But it is the Evening Star editor, Nigel, himself a reformed smoker, who has shown the most disappointment. “Well, you're a smoker again aren't you? I knew you'd fall off the nicotine wagon. You'd better come clean in your column.”

So I have.

If I cannot trust myself not to smoke when I've had a few drinks I must not drink so much.

My New Year's resolution to give up the fags has now developed into giving up the booze - at least for a time.

As if February isn't depressing enough, I shall have to get through the next few weeks without an evening gin and elderflower pressé - my latest refreshing tipple enjoyed in my little Ipswich sitting room while a sumptuous chicken based dish is browning in the oven - or the occasional Champagne luncheon. What a ghastly thought.

I'm on to day four….

MY friend Kerry who enjoys opal fruits and alcopops -and whose wheelie bin ended up in her fishpond in the recent high winds - told me a joke I thought I might share with you.

“What's the best way to catch a fish?” she said as she swallowed a strange blue drink.

“I don't know,” I replied. “Have someone throw it at you,” she said.

WELL things are hotting up at the Ipswich frightfully Operatic and terrifically Dramatic Society (IODS).

Our musical production of Titanic is gaining pace and I, ever the versatile actor, have now become a German third class passenger, as well as a member of the ship's crew in an earlier scene.

This means a quick costume change in the first act though I still die in the end.

James the affable director sidled up to me during the setting of a scene where Lucy the plain speaking photographer friend belts out a number.

“James,” he said.

“Yes” I said.

“Would you be able to sing out in your sonorous tenor voice, those few words in German on page 42 of the score?” he asked politely.

Naturally, I acquiesced.

Fellow cast member Stephanie-the-diva, who is, I have now discovered, a notable linguist as well as a sequin wearing songstress, told me my words mean “I will have a happy life.”

Seeing as I die about an hour and a half later I only hope I do.

SO who heard me on the radio this week?

BBC Radio Suffolk invited Evening Star reporter and columnist James Marston to deliver my thought for the day.

Naturally I was brilliant. In fact, I thought I sounded a little like James Alexander Gordon.

Ipswich Town five Norwich nil.