James Marston: How fast life changes

Carol Thatcher

Carol Thatcher - Credit: PA

Hasn’t the world changed?

Cyprus used to be a nice place for a holiday – now its bankrupt and I doubt anyone German is going to get a very good welcome.

Once upon a time having a bank account or a pension didn’t involve stressful conversations with thick accented people in foreign call centres.

There were even shops that used to serve you, the customer, instead of expecting you to become a customer service assistant and serve yourself.

It’s hard to believe but, dear readers, I can remember when children used to be well behaved instead of being allowed to scream and shout and run around with abandon.

And meat used to come from a butcher not Romania and not everything was the government’s fault.

This week David Cameron came to Ipswich. He had a bit of a trek to be honest after his train never made it to Ipswich depositing him in Manningtree instead – though he didn’t have to mess about with the bus replacement service.

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Anyway, whatever he was on about – immigration this week - one thing we all agreed on in the newsroom is the one you can’t deny about Cameron is that he has nice hair.

I mention this because I am aware that Barnet-wise I am not doing very well anymore.

So one way and another it’s been a bit of a strange week hasn’t it?

I popped across to Switzerland – a very strange country I’ve always found – with my sister Claire who enjoys murder mysteries.

She said she didn’t speak a word of Swiss but managed, I note, to order in the restaurants without too much trouble.

It was at Zurich airport that we did a little celebrity spotting while we waited for a flight back to Heathrow.

Well I say celebrity spotting I mean we spotted one celebrity, well the daughter of someone famous.

Claire was coming out of the well-appointed toilets when she started pulling strange faces at me while I was killing time looking at the unaffordable caviar and fine foods and wondering why flying suddenly makes people want to buy luxury goods.

I asked Claire what on earth was the matter with her face and did she need to see a doctor in case she had some sort of airport induced palsy?

“There’s Carol Thatcher, did you see her?” Claire hissed.

“Yes I did,” I replied. “She just walked past me.”

“I suspect she was on her way to some swanky airside lounge for a bush tucker trial,” I added.

“Well she was in the toilet with me,” Claire added triumphantly. “I saw her in there.”

And though I suspect they stretched to different cubicles it did conjure up a somewhat graphic description of a celebrity encounter.

Anyway I rather like Carol – she’s one of Britain’s characters and I bet she isn’t impressed with serve yourself checkouts either.