James Marston: Living the high life in Felixstowe

Felixstowe Community Choir

Felixstowe Community Choir - Credit: Archant

WHEN I was younger, so much younger than today, I never thought I’d spend a Saturday night sitting round a television.

When I was a young man in the halcyon mid twenties I was a regular on the Cambridge club scene. My friend Lisa and I drank too many vodkas and Red Bulls and never had a hangover, I was young and thinner and had hair. I could get away with smoking. I would never be old.

But this Saturday night instead of propping up a bar and coming home with the milk, I found myself leaving my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant) and popping along to another Felixstowe sitting room with front garden views (fairly immediate) to watch a DVD.

Admittedly I had a glass of cider – that weak fizzy stuff not the blow your head off on a park bench type in a plastic bottle – as me and the ladies of the book club settled down to a screening of Othello.

Prepared for a turgid night of 500-year-old jokes and language I couldn’t grasp I chose a comfortable chair in case I nodded off.

However, Othello was rather good and from start to finish I was gripped. It was much better that Romeo and Juliet, which I once saw spoiled by a Juliet who screamed her lines the whole way through and wore a hoodie, I found it quite exciting. That Iago was a naughty fellow.

Half way through we stopped for a buffet - Deborah did a couple of flans and Val made a cake so we all sat round eating - and fellow book club member and playwright Susan gave me a run down of what had actually happened and what it was all about so I could successfully hide my ignorance when it came to the discussion bit afterwards.

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Anyway when I was walking home I realised I had had an enjoyable evening and how times have changed from my wild days with Lisa, who now enjoys cross stitch and collecting collectables and lives with her husband in a large detached house in west Suffolk, instead of a bed sit in Mill Road.

Which, in a roundabout and unclear way, brings me to the Felixstowe Community Choir I have recently joined.

We rehearse on a Monday night – the one night of the week where I am kicking my heels a bit – and we sing pop songs and songs from the shows.

Doreen – my favourite local government big wig – is also a member.

This week we are singing something by the Beach Boys which, interestingly, the gentleman I was sitting next to saw live in RAF Brize Norton in the 1960s, as well as The Rose which Doreen really likes and Bette Midler.

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