James Marston: Have you ever bought a cake at the church bake sale and passed it off as your own?

James Marston

James Marston

I thought I might rustle up some cheese scones.

As regular readers will know I’m no stranger to a spot of pastry and now the Great British Bake Off has returned to our screen – something the whole family can enjoy – I am enthused by all things tasty.

As it happens I’ve no time to go on TV and though I can make a Victoria sandwich, I tend to buy baking products at the church cake stall, thereby giving me the option to freeze, thaw, dust with icing sugar, add a doily and pass it off as my own at a later date.

It works every time and in my line of work you’d be surprised how many times you get to stroll past a groaning cake stall.

Of course I can’t eat cake as I am on a diet for the wedding of my plain speaking photographer friend, Lucy, who is getting married. She thinks I might be able to lose a few pounds between now and her big day so I’ve been trying to go swimming on a Monday evening at the leisure centre in Felixstowe where I have a flat with sea views (distant) though this week I went to the cinema instead (Mission Impossible Rogue Nation) and had an ice cream (mint choc chip).

This week, however, I found myself taking a little exercise as I walked across a jetty over what is known as The Hard in Brightlingsesa – an area in front of the town’s quay where you can launch a boat if you so require.

I was there to meet the Harbour Master, a former navy man who once commanded HMS Illustrious, and find out a little more about the Essex maritime community.

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We took to the water on a launch and had a most enjoyable half hour taking in the sights of Brightlingsea Creek. Lucy, as always, captured the moment.

In other news I have been remarkably busy socially with a soiree in my chalet with the ladies of the Felixstowe book club and a dinner party with theatrical friends.

I was asked what sort of glass I’d like my gin and tonic in. Naturally I replied, “a large one.”

This was because earlier in the day I had heard disturbing news from the Bartlet development near my small flat which threatens to turn my sea view (distant) into sea view (non existent) by the building of another apartment block.

This will destroy my vista so in the great tradition of British nimbyism, I am annoyed.

Naturally I am writing to my district councillors (of course I know who they are, I just can’t quite remember at this exact moment) to express my concerns about traffic movement, lack of amenities, loss of light, too much light, wildlife habitat destruction, great crested newts, parking problems, toads, badgers, too many retired people, too many children, noise and pollution and the smorgasbord of excuses people make when they don’t want something in their back yard.

I am assured English Heritage isn’t much impressed either – something to do with damaging the setting and significance of the building – so maybe it won’t happen after all.

I do hope not!