Psychic power?

“IT'S going to take a lot of hard work but I can see a slimmer James, just.”That's the good news from my lady-friend-with-all-the-answers, Ipswich psychic Sue Knock.

“IT'S going to take a lot of hard work but I can see a slimmer James, just.”

That's the good news from my lady-friend-with-all-the-answers, Ipswich psychic Sue Knock.

Desperate for a little bit of a Winter cheer up, my plain-speaking-photographer-friend Lucy and I sought an audience with Sue just to put our minds at rest for 2008.

What I don't want, you see, is a year of nasty surprises.

As we gazed into the crystal ball I asked her if I'll ever give up smoking.

She said: “Well I think you'll cut down but there'll always be a bit of smoking wont' there James?”

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Sue turned her attention to Lucy.

“Does the name Walter mean anything to you? Was there an Uncle Walter?”

“Yes,” replied my intrigued friend.

What with Lucy's Uncle Walter and her Granny Ellis, a few of my relations and a spectral Alsatian dog things got a bit crowded in Sue's front room but, undaunted, she continued with the reading.

“Well Walter looks after you Lucy. You're very much like him, very independent aren't you? Well he's telling you that you drive too fast in your silver car. He's telling you to slow down especially on the bends.”

Lucy, for once stunned into an uncharacteristic silence, then had some good news.

Sue said: “I think you're going to be going to Australia and you are going to meet a policeman, he's a detective and a good catch.”

It is with that bombshell that Sue turned back to me, again with interesting news: “I can see gold shafts above your head which is a sign of success. I know you like Felixstowe but I don't think it will hold you forever James.”

Sue added mysteriously: “I keep getting London with you but don't go to West Africa, if you go I have a feeling you won't come back.”

Lucky I have no plans to visit then. Sue added: “I can see success for you James. You will do well.”

Just what I wanted to hear.

It was then Lucy got propositioned by my deceased cousin Paul. Sue said: “Paul has taken a shine to Lucy. He really likes her. He didn't know he was going to die did he? He went very quickly.”

Well as a matter of fact he did, as far as I know, as I explained to Sue.

Lucy was not so impressed. “Typical,” she said: “I've pulled a dead guy, a man who hasn't even got a pulse!”

By the end of the reading, Sue, who had her first psychic experiences as a child, was upbeat for both of us. She said: “You're both going to do well singing and dancing.”

She must mean the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society's forthcoming production of Singin' in the Rain mustn't she?

Let's hope so.

Well things are hotting up in the Ipswich ever so ever so Operatic and more often than not Dramatic Society (IODS) as rehearsals get underway for the latest production Singin' in the Rain.

Joining fellow actors Stephanie-the-diva (who plays the actress Lina Lamont) and Stephen (a former boy band member who gave it all up to work for Suffolk County Council) who plays Cosmo Brown, I have been cast as a very important role - the doorman.

The show's director Simon, the Cameron Mackintosh of the IODS, told me I shall play a pivotal role during the opening scene. I can expect maximum exposure on the stage - well apart from the show's stars of course. I might be a non-speaking doorman but it's exciting nevertheless.

The average duvet is home to 20,000 live dust mites

HOW did your New Year's Eve go?

Mine was the strangest ever.

Due to an early start the next day I decided, for the first time in my adult life, to eschew all invitations and stay alone in my Edwardian Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant) in an attempt to avoid a hangover.

I went to bed early with a biography of broadcaster Alistair Cooke and was asleep by 11pm. However as midnight approached my plans fell into disarray. I was woken to three phone calls, none of which I answered, and a barrage of textual messages to my little mobile telephone.

As if to add insult to injury, Felixstowe turned into a British Beirut with a barrage of fireworks so loud I thought the Dutch had invaded again.

After a celebratory cigarette and a mug of Horlicks with a dash of Bristol Cream - an unusual combination but loved by insomniacs - I finally got to sleep well after 1am and woke tired and irritable.

Next year I'll just go out, it's easier.

ISN'T this picture gorgeous? It was taken somewhere in Yorkshire.

I really like it when it snows don't you? Even now at the age of 32 I get a childlike excitement when the white stuff falls.

It's a shame we haven't had a white carpet this year. There's nothing better and with a fresh covering of snow the Suffolk countryside always looks stunning.

Let's hope we have some before the winter is over.

FELIXSTOWE is to get CCTV apparently.

To be honest I'm not keen on being watched as I go about my business.

Britain has the highest concentration of CCTV cameras in the western world with an estimated 4.2million of them dotted around.

We don't know where they are or who's watching and why do we need so many? I'd rather see the money spent on a policeman on the street than have someone watching me in a cosy office waiting for a crime to be committed.

For some reason everyone thinks they are a good idea, though I'm not convinced the evidence is string enough to warrant ever increasing surveillance.

Our country is still plagued by crime and anti-social behaviour and no CCTV camera has stopped that has it? Perhaps the balance between our freedoms and liberty and crime prevention needs a rethink.

Do cameras really make our streets safer or have we been sold a myth?

Congratulations to a young lady called Chetal, 24, who is now a trainee solicitor and is preparing for her wedding in August.

Her mum, a lady newsagent I know called Ila, is terribly proud and engaged me in some light chit-chat about her daughter's good news as I popped in for ten cigarettes and three Mars bars.

Ela said: “She has found her dream man James. You better put it in your newspaper or I shall tell everyone all about you.”

Threats obviously work.