James Marston: What do you buy your sister for Christmas when what she really wants is a rich farmer?

James Marston
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James Marston Column london - Credit: Lucy taylor

Life is so confusing, isn’t it?

I try to watch the news – it helps if you know what’s going on in my trade – but one minute it’s riots over buying new televisions; the next, no-one can afford to eat and everyone is up in arms about food banks.

I read this week that an MP was playing something called Candy Crush during a committee hearing.

What is that? Is it something for children?

I like a game of Cluedo as much as the next man but am I right in thinking he was playing a game while participating in the legislative process?

I give up.

In the meantime I’ve turned my attention to other things and I’ve been busy with my seaside chalet with sea views (panoramic to the right) in the Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe, where I have a small flat with sea views (distant).

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This week I received a letter from Suffolk Coastal District Council, telling me that we’re having new doors and windows – apparently I’ve got to take out anything of value, which in my case is a bottle of gin and a six-pack of ready salted – while work gets under way.

Over in Icklingham in the west of the county, where I play the church organ, we managed to raise more than £800 for the new toilet and kitchen during the Festival of Lights.

During the proceedings I met a fellow organist – well, he’s a properly-trained one, whereas I busk – who told me he has no less than 22 carol services between now and the big day.

I guess he must be wholeheartedly fed up with Silent Night by the end of that lot.

Talking of Christmas, I’ve done most of my shopping this year – bottles of port and boxes of biscuits are my usual fare and I’ve seen no reason to change the habits of a lifetime.

I’m still deliberating on what to buy for my sister Claire, however.

As regular readers will recall, Claire is still searching for a farmer with 4,000 acres and a weak pulse, so if you can think of anything she might like then please let me know.

Tricky, though, isn’t it, when someone buys you a gift when you had no intention of reciprocating?

I don’t like to name names but I’m afraid my plain-speaking photographer friend, Lucy, tells me she has bought me a gift and already wrapped it up, leaving me somewhat stuck.

I tentatively suggested we just give each other a £20 note, which would be a perfectly acceptable gift and save me a lot of trouble, but she was having none of it.

Oh well.

For more from James, see his previous columns here.