James Marston: Everybody needs good neighbours

James Marston was recognised by his new neighbour

James Marston was recognised by his new neighbour - Credit: Archant

I didn’t pop round with an apple pie – I’m not an American and I can’t make pastry – but I did say a quick hello to my new neighbour the other day while I was putting out a bag of rubbish in one of my three dustbins so kindly provided by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

Anyway my new neighbour who lives next to my small flat with sea views (distant) is called Sue and she recognised me immediately – always something that gives me a thrill – not only as a newspaper reporter with a penchant for sausage rolls but also from my days on the stage of the now defunct Spa Pavilion.

Apparently Sue has seen me in the role of fat boy at the back slowly raising my hand in the air at the end of a song sung by somebody else. Though slightly worried my performance dressing the stage was that memorable, I have to admit I was quietly pleased with the recognition. Not that I’m vain.

So with a new neighbour, a new addiction to nicotine patches and a determination to reduce my crisp intake, I am much enthused by life and all it has to offer.

So much so I even went out in Felixstowe on Saturday night – usually by the weekend all I’m good for is a lie down in a darkened room - for a few rums and Coca Colas.

I found myself in the Cork public house enjoying a spot of music by an entertaining group called Hurricane Alley. The lead vocalist, a lady called Ali, was very energetic and jumped around so much she must have been exhausted by the end of her act – I know I was.

But despite the huge amount of noise which, thanks to my slight deafness – brought about by an unpleasant bout of whopping cough some years ago - made conversation pretty impossible, I enjoyed myself.

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As I cycled home from my night out – I’ve got lights in case you were worried – I thought to myself how much I still like living in Felixstowe. It is now nearly six years since I moved there.

The shops aren’t what they were – I blame the charity shops for much of this as I have controversial views about how they stifle growth and productivity and damage enterprise even though they are handy for the odd ceramic – and Felixstowe is no Monaco but it is still my favourite town on the Suffolk Riviera.

On Sunday I popped down to the market for a couple of classic car magazines and a hydrangea from the plant stall.

Dispensed with the usual advice I understand my new plant will bloom blue or pink depending on the soil type. Now I’ve got quite acidic light sandy soil so I’m not really sure whether it will be blue or not – I’ll just have to wait and see.

So, dear readers, now the summer is almost here – in name if not in temperature – I’m planning some gardening, I’m off the smokes and am looking forward to sausage roll free weeks on the peninsula.

I might even be thinner by the end of it.