My predictions for 2009

WELL, my dear readers, I've recently taken to swimming in Felixstowe's public baths - even though I've spied a rather unpleasant crocodile lurking over in what is best described as the pleasure pool bit.

James Marston

WELL, my dear readers, I've recently taken to swimming in Felixstowe's public baths - even though I've spied a rather unpleasant crocodile lurking over in what is best described as the pleasure pool bit.

Admittedly doing a few lengths in there is a bit like being in that film Cocoon - I am often one of the youngest in there - but I feel it might be doing me some good.

I haven't caught a verrucca and no one has recognised me with my clothes off - thankfully.

Jogging, of course, is out of the question.

If I did just five miles a day I'd be in Luton by the end of a fortnight and if you've ever been there you'll understand why I couldn't possibly entertain the idea.

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Jogging is also bad for your knees and I've only got two and they've got to last a long while.

So already a month into 2009 and there's a new president and I've managed to do some exercise - history is being made.

As I sit here in my small Felixstowe salon with sea views (distant) and ponder over a warm cheese scone what may lie ahead in the coming months, I have decided to make a few predictions.

Not that I've got a crystal ball or even the benefit of hindsight or any other qualification to predict anything about anything - but why should that stop me?

So here they are.

- An election will be called and won by Gordon - shame but there it is.

- They'll be a nice Royal wedding or at least an engagement - Will and Kate will cheer everyone up just like Charles and Diana did when things were tough back in 1981.

- I might grow some gladioli - I've been looking at bulbs you see.

- There'll be civil unrest in the UK towards the end of the year as unemployment crosses the three million mark.

- My favourite town of Felixstowe will experience a mini boom as people, quite rightly, re-discover the joys of a bucket and spade holiday without having to go to somewhere foreign.

- Things can only get better - even if they get worse.

- Council tax will go up.

- We can all use this so-called credit crunch as a wonderful excuse not to see people or go places we don't want to - always a silver lining.

- People will grow their own veg and I might do some tomatoes - when is the best time to sew some seeds?

- If push comes to shove we can all move to Poland to find work.

What are your predictions for 2009? Have you given it much thought? Or could you really not care less? Let me know, I like an epistle.

I SAW some snowdrops at the weekend, underneath my mother's willow tree.

What a relief. Such a lovely sight, spring is coming and I can't wait.

Have you seen any signs of spring in your garden?

AS you know we celebutante's often have a very glamorous lifestyle.

I found myself in the ancient village of Barnham the other evening. I'm never sure if it's Suffolk or Norfolk.

You see, I was invited by my hosts Ken and Judy to their annual "winter party" under their 15th century thatch with outbuildings and Raeburn.

This event has been a stalwart of my calendar for some years almost entirely due to their love of a good drink, a decent curry, nice puddings and a penchant for classy entertainment.

They once employed the services of a fire-eater who threw caution to the wind thatch-wise and on another occasion I remember a belly-dancer/snake charmer who did unusual things with a candle and hailed from Leytonstone where she lived with a boa constrictor and some frozen mice.

This year after three red wines and a chicken tikka I found myself almost glued to this year's entertainment - a karaoke machine - with a lady called Wendy who married an airline pilot.

We sang a number of tracks and went on to bring the house down with our rendition of Something Stupid. I eventually admitted my singing prowess comes from a long-standing hobby in amateur theatre.

During the evening I also met a gentleman from Shoreham-By-Sea who told me it was a very interesting time to be an economics teacher and a lady called Karen who offered me a job doing voiceover for, as far as I could work out, wedding videos and the occasional 21st.

It was a most entertaining evening and I do hope they invite me back next year.

I'M fed up with hearing about Jonathan Ross aren't you?

He can't seem to open his mouth without saying something unpleasant to someone.

My mum always told me if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.

Now we all like a joke but it's nothing but sex with him.

You don't get all that with people like Bruce Forsyth or Michael Parkinson do you?

Suddenly Ross seems outdated and rather vulgar.

I think it's time they had someone else don't you?

A nice interesting chat show with a pleasant and erudite host and not an opportunity for Ross to launch into a crude tirade.

What do you think? Drop me a line.

I happen to be reading a most fascinating book on Venice at the moment.

I've only been once and then for only a day so I'll have to get myself back there one day for a proper look.

In the book I came across the word rodomontades - not one you often see is it?

It means pretentious boasting or bragging/bluster.

When did you last look at the moon? It's amazing.

I was lucky enough the other evening to visit the Orwell Astronomical Society at their fascinating observatory in Nacton.

The astronomers trained the refractor there on to the moon so I had a butcher's.

It was very bright and looked dusty.

Not a single supermarket of course and certainly no daytime TV. It must be heaven.

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