James Marston: Feeling sorry for myself after prawn vol au vent incident

James Marston

James Marston

I was never one for team work if I’m honest. I never got the point.

As my sister Claire, who enjoys murder mysteries, says “The sooner everyone just does as I say the happier we will all be.”

But at the 188 (Ipswich) Squadron Air Training Corps they seem to thrive on it.

I paid a visit to their Wednesday evening parade night this week only to be confronted with a load of youngsters in camouflage running around in the dark. It was part of a game called capture the flags and looked quite fun.

The youngsters were loving every minute and if they aren’t playing games they are learning more serious things like map reading and field craft.


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Last weekend I found myself at a 30th birthday party in the Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe where I have a small flat with sea views (distant).

Naturally I had a few drinks which at the time seemed a good idea but the next day I felt a little queasy and blamed the prawn vol-au-vent.

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The upshot was I caught a cold – probably because I had to walk home via the seafront at midnight and without a scarf.

This meant I spent most of Monday in bed eating soup and dosing myself up on pills and inhalers and things and feeling decidedly sorry for myself.

Tuesday I was a little better and managed to move onto solids. Obviously it was some sort of man flu.

By the end of the week I was ok but I used the excuse of feeling a bit under the weather not to dig out a pumpkin and encourage strange children to ring my doorbell.

When I was a boy you couldn’t really buy pumpkins easily – it’s unthinkable now – and trick or treating was very much an exclusively American activity like gun ownership and Dallas.

In fact I sometimes rather regret the ceaseless march of American cultural/retail activities across the Atlantic.

I don’t know about you but I used to like it when Christmas used to start in December.

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