James Marston: Kylie Minogue and I took on Newmarket

Kylie Minogue @ Newmarket

Kylie Minogue @ Newmarket - Credit: Archant

Kylie wasn’t the only famous person in Suffolk last weekend.

I too was at Newmarket on Friday night hoping to back a winner and though I didn’t quite get the cheers Miss Minogue commanded I did meet a lady who reads my column and said how nice it was to see me in the flesh. Never one to eschew fame and recognition, I was naturally duly flattered.

In the event, I won only £3.20 on the tote in the 8.05 so though I didn’t go home rich all was not lost.

After the racing I watched a bit of the pop princess but left early in order to avoid getting caught in the traffic.

Apparently Kylie is now 47, a shocking thought as I remember her as a schoolgirl.

Anyway the big event of the weekend was not so much Kylie as Martin, the new bishop and I went along to his enthronement, an event during which he gets to sit in a chair solemnly – a somewhat interesting way to take one’s ease – and wear a pointy hat.

In fact, I oughtn’t to be flippant; the service at the cathedral was magnificent with all sorts of interesting customs, symbolism, costumes and characters taking their place.

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With rural deans and lay chairs, a chancellor and a high sheriff, canons residentiary, archdeacons from all over the place, an archbishop’s mandate and an oath of allegiance to the Queen, the service was imbued with legal formalities, plenty of theatre and some lovely music. An event which was both serious yet celebratory in tone.

At one point the new bishop even had to knock on the door of the great cathedral church – thankfully someone let him in.

Afterwards, and no Church of England event would be complete without it, we had cups of tea and slices of cake. It was then that another lady mentioned how much she enjoyed reading my weekly outpourings and did I really have a flat with sea views (distant) in Felixstowe? I assured her I had.

I managed a quick chat with the new bishop whose arrival has caused so much excitement (see our full interview on pages 18-19 of this week’s paper.) I managed to resist the temptation to suggest that one of his first engagements might be the flower festival at the church of St James in Icklingham this weekend where I am playing the organ, my sister is decorating the porch and my mother is baking a ginger cake, as I thought he’s probably got a lot on.

But if you, dear readers would like to pop along, we’d be delighted to see you from 11am to 5pm today and tomorrow.

In other news my plain-speaking-photographer friend Lucy, who is getting married, threw a soiree with a few intimates at her new house where I admired her kitchen complete with built in wine cooler.

I am also, somehow, still off the cigarettes.

See more from James Marston here