James Marston: What to do now Downton Abbey is over?

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey - Credit: Archant

I was entertained to lunch on Sunday by friends with a lovely garden in what I call, and so does everyone else, Old Felixstowe.

We had a very tasty four-course meal with two starters and a choice of puddings. To finish I had the lemon pot with a shot of limoncello; a nice touch, I thought, before rolling home in the early evening.

As a lady I met over lunch said during the main course, the switch on a Sunday evening’s television viewing from Downton Abbey to I’m a Celebrity…. Get Me Out of Here! is a move from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I tend to agree.

I’m not keen on rats and insects and can’t see why they make interesting television, to be honest – let alone the rather bizarre people that seem to take part. Despite my fame on the confines of the Colneis peninsula and, indeed, other parts of the county – I was recognised in Red Lodge, of all places, recently, and asked if I was that large lad from the newspaper who plays the church organ ? I’ve always said I’d say no if it was offered to me, though I guess the money is good.

All I know is the post-Downton Abbey world has left me somewhat stuck on a Sunday evening ? an evening, for those of us who live alone, that can somewhat stretch ahead, especially in the winter.

Last Sunday evening I was so fed up with the evening’s television offerings I found myself rushing around my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant) plumping up scatter cushions just to keep the boredom wolf from the door.

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By the time Monday came I was glad to get back to work and visit the ancient town of Bury St Edmunds, where I chatted to the cathedral dean about the meaning of Christmas – apparently there’s more to it than the Downton Abbey Christmas special and forcing yourself to be civil to relatives while eating too much – before meeting my plain-speaking-photographer-friend Lucy for a quick snoop around her new kitchen in east Ipswich.

Women love a new kitchen, don’t they? Lucy’s had a bright red range fitted and the tiling is done; so the moment was right, you see.

On Tuesday Lucy and I got well and truly into the festive spirit as we made craft decorations in Ipswich. The last time I did anything like this was tie-dying a T-shirt while at school, a process which I never really understood and resulted in a rather unattractive garment which made me look like a 10-year-old hippy.

Anyway, the decorations we prepared earlier for the photos looked good.