Prom stroll was drive down memory lane

AS I famously said - he who is tired of Felixstowe is tired of life.

James Marston

AS I famously said - he who is tired of Felixstowe is tired of life.

And this weekend there was much to see and do on the Suffolk Riviera where I have made my home, as vehicles of all shapes and sizes, ages and makes drove on to the town's seafront as part of the historic vehicle run organised by Ipswich Transport Museum. It was much fun and there were lots of cars I could have happily driven home. For others of course, though I am far too young to remember Triumph Heralds and their ilk, it was a trip down memory lane and every other conversation I overheard as I prome-naded the promenade with my sister Claire, who enjoys jigsaws and murder mysteries, included the words “We had one of those.”

One of my favourite weekends of the year in the town, the road run is always lovely and a highlight of the calendar of the Ed-wardian seaside town.

And according to my radio in my small flat with sea views (distant) we're going to have a summer of lovely weather - a barbe-cue summer.

Judging by a quick straw poll around the office lots of you enjoyed a BBQ this bank holiday weekend.

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It must be something to do with the sunshine but suddenly the men are donning slightly risqu� aprons with witty slogans such as “Danger, men cooking” while the ladies of Suffolk prepare things inside.

Barbecues hark back to the times of the primeval hunter gatherer, don't they?

For some reason, and it always amuses me, men take command of the tongs and get all possessive over meat while the poor ladies are entrusted only with potatoes and the odd selection of salads that are only eaten with BBQ.

As a colleague said to me about her husband and the ritual of the BBQ - “It has to be done his way. Most of the time he shows no interest in anything in the cooking department, that is until it comes out of the oven.”

Sound familiar?

IT'S not often I find myself in a pub nowadays - not since they stopped putting out ashtrays - but the other night I popped in to a local hostelry for a drink (soft) with an old friend.

As I sipped my drink (soft, honestly) I noticed that I seemed to be attracting a rather inordinate amount of attention - in fact people were staring.

And I remarked as much to my friend.

“It's because I'm famous I suspect,” I said with confidence.

“No it isn't,” my companion replied “It's because you're sitting underneath the TV - they're looking at the football, not you.”

WE didn't win but we didn't do too badly either.

As regular readers will know, I like a quiz, especially when there are sandwiches.

And this week I found myself at the top of the Willis building - there's what appears to be a croquet lawn up there you know - in Ipswich, enjoying some questions as well as cheese and pickle, chicken salad, a sausage roll, cheese scone and, most interestingly, fish paste on a slice of cucumber topped with a black olive.

Thankfully the ubiquitous quiche, so often a buffet stalwart, was absent.

My team, which included my entertaining colleague Sue from the marketing department, came joint third - with several other teams.

Our team managed to answer a few questions, but the Willis team were crowned masterminds of Suffolk - I think they have specialist knowledge or something.

The event, organised by White Space Design Ltd and hosted by their MD Neil Prentice, raised �800 for St Elizabeth's Hospice as well.

I hope I get asked back next year.

A GENTLEMAN by the name of Barnaby has put me right about Dickens.

Barnaby said in a letter to me after last week's musings about the great author: “He didn't, I think, ever live in Ipswich but he did stay at the Great White Horse Hotel and used the experience as the basis for passages in The Pickwick Papers.

“It is very unlikely, though, that he ever used a typewriter as they were only just starting to appear at the time that he died!”

So now I know.

ACCORDING to Joan Collins “Camilla is looking a bit matronly of late. The Duchess needs to dress younger, but not too young.”

Bit mean isn't it? I like Camilla - mostly because no one else does - and think she's doing a good job - she seems a nice lady to me and she's met the Pope so she can't be all bad can she?

Joan went on to say “There is a fine line between mutton dressed as lamb and a chic, slightly daring older woman.”

Now with that comment I quite agree with the 78-year-old Joany.

James' Mailbag:-

Dear Readers,

It seems we all have a favourite poem and I have had rather a large mailbag this week with more letters than I can print I am afraid.

I have also included a poem just for a lady called Joan, who wrote from the coast.


Dear James,

With regard to the poem in Mr J Ward's letter published in your newspaper column, it was written by Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887 - 1916). He with Patrick Pearse and others was one of the leader of the Easter Rising which took place in Dublin. After they surrendered, he was executed on May 4, 1916.


Michael O'Donovan,

Fountains Road,


Dear James,

My favourite poem is: Our England Is A Garden

And such gardens are not made

By saying: “Oh! How beautiful”

And sitting in the shade,

While better men than we

Go out to do their morning tasks;

Like digging weeds from gravel paths

With broken dinner knives

Rudyard Kipling?


Carr Avenue,


Dear James

Re pigeons! They make a lovely casserole!

Kent girl (75) ate many during WWII from local farm in Bexley. They live on the fat of the land and make very healthy meal and fantastic gravy.

I have lived in Suffolk for 14 years and have never regretted the move.

We lived and worked in South London - Beckenham and sadly it is not a pleasant place to live anymore. Swamped by supermar-kets, high rise flats etc, do the locals realise how lucky they are!

I hear “I wish Tesco was nearer!” I loathe Tesco because of what they do to our small businesses. They are too powerful. They should only sell food.

My favourite poem was from school days but I knew I loved it but can't remember it except it was The Donkey by G K Chester-ton. I have searched in library books but no luck.


Victoria Road,


The Donkey

By G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked

And figs grew upon thorn,

Some moment when the moon was blood

Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry

And ears like errant wings,

The devil's walking parody

On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,

Of ancient crooked will;

Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,

I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;

One far fierce hour and sweet:

There was a shout about my ears,

And palms before my feet.

Click here for a video and gallery from the Historic Vehicle Run

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