James Marston: A new year, and I’m already angsty

James Marston

James Marston - Credit: Lucy taylor

Good news, dear readers. Yesterday afternoon I found a little bud on a sapling I am trying to grow. I’m not quite sure what sort of tree it is ? possibly a beech ? but I definitely have got a bud. And I might be a bit previous but I think spring must be on its way. Rather like Narnia, January always seems to be never-ending winter, but now there is hope in sight.

The Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe ? where, as regular readers will know, I have a small flat with sea views (distant) ? is where I managed to retreat after Christmas.

I’m not saying the festive season wasn’t fun. Indeed, there were some memorable moments ? my sister’s enthusiastic and somewhat graphic charade of Octopussy springs to mind. But now New Year’s Eve is out of the way – I found some Chinese lanterns, so I am hoping for a “UFO spotted over almost-celebrity Suffolk home” story to emerge in the next few days ? I do feel I can begin to get back to some level of normality and look forward to the months to come.

The Christmas tree has come down – I was keen to get my sitting room sorted – and I’ve packed away my resin Holy Family statue bought some years ago from Chester cathedral while on a coach trip to the city’s medieval delights. And so, bit by bit, life is slipping back into its usual routine; and, if we’re honest, we’re all grateful that it does, aren’t we? Anyway, no more turkey for another year is always something to be thankful for.

In the meantime I have been thinking about what 2015 might have in store.


You may also want to watch:


So far, all that’s in my diary is a church coffee morning. But among my cornucopia of festive gifts was, I kid you not, four multi-purpose cloths (smear- and lint-free) and membership of the National Trust – gifts that confirmed my suspicions I am getting on a bit and ought to be careful about the dangers of dust. In fact, I fear I only narrowly escaped a set of antimacassars and one of those trays with a soft bit underneath for dining in front of the Antiques Roadshow.

September, 2015, will mark my 40th birthday, an event I am somewhat amazed by – I’m sure last year I was only 26. I am seriously considering a gift list at a suitable departmental store in order to “guilt” into generous giving everyone whose weddings I have attended over the past 20 years.

Most Read

This milestone, I am assured despite my concerns, is something to celebrate, so I’m already thinking of a sophisticated evening of sparkling conversation with selected intimates. If that doesn’t appeal I shall get on a plane and wake up 40 where no-one knows my name and I can pretend to be 38 a bit longer.

Until then I shall celebrate the bud I found in my garden and wish you all a Happy New Year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter