Saying hello to my new home

TODAY dear readers, I have some sad, sad news. My little Ipswich sitting room - the scene of many a self-induced drama and the occasional exclusive soiree - is fast fading into memory.

TODAY dear readers, I have some sad, sad news.

My little Ipswich sitting room - the scene of many a self-induced drama and the occasional exclusive soiree - is fast fading into memory.

This week will be the last time I head home from work, pour myself a stiff one, switch on a spot of Classic FM and relax in the comfort of my small Ipswich home. 'Working nine to five,' then a gin on the sofa' weren't the original lyrics penned by songstress Dolly Parton but they are near enough.

By the end of this week I shall be moving to the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe - a destination that is fast becoming the new Brighton according to headlines this week.

So by the end of this week I shall have a larger Felixstowe drawing room with sea views (distant) instead.

It's the end of an era.

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Hello! magazine has asked repeatedly - well they would if they weren't so busy with the Beckhams - for a look inside my little Ipswich sitting room but instead, as you can see from the picture, The Evening Star and my plain speaking photographer friend Lucy got this exclusive first.

For years the great Ipswich public have clambered for a sneak shot of me relaxing in style, off guard.

Today the rest of you, who just pretend to be interested, can spot my corpulent form in repose.

There is a downside to this move is, of course - the DIY.

You'd think I was painting the Sistine Chapel by the number of coats it's taken to remove a ghastly blue from my Felixstowe bedroom with garden views.

But I bet Michelangelo never had the indignity of having to walk round Homebase, B&Q and those sort of places. Awful arent they? and I nearly had 40 fits and a haircut when I realised the price of everything.

Rather like a large supermarket, I find myself serving myself, with things I've never had to buy before like sandpaper and sugar soap.

And each time I ask a question from the helpful attendants, I get a reply which mentions words I have yet to fully assimilate into my vocabulary.

No one told me but DIY has a whole language of its own:

Cutting in - something to do with painting.

Coving - the bit round the join between the ceiling and the wall.

Grippers - found underneath a carpet and cost extra if you haven't got them.

Putting up shelves - putting up shelves and juggling a spirit level.

It's so very complicated and the words 'lick of paint' are so much easier said than done.

I've ruined a perfectly adequate t-shirt which is covered in cream paint, and made so much mess that, what is supposed to be my boudoir now resembles a busy building site.

It should be nice when it's done though but right now I'm looking forward to the inactive comfort of my sofa, I really am.

For those that don't know, Judy is friend to the felines at Ipswich Cats Protection.

For nearly 20 years she has worked tirelessly to help the cats that need our help in our town.

Neglected, homeless or stray, she feels passionately about their treatment, she feels for their plight and she works hard to ensure all cats are re-homed where possible.

She works quietly and without reward, she deserves recognition and a pat on the back.

Well done Judy.

I pity the youngsters of today.

Not only do children grow up with an unfortunate belief commonly held by parents that screaming and whining is perfectly normal, tolerated and accepted form of behaviour and everyone likes it, but now they can be put in a box when they play.

The so-called 'fun pod', which to my mind is more akin to the old fashioned swaddling clothes that kept 16th century youngsters in check, is now being promoted as part of national child safety week.

Apparently is advisable as a practical news safety product costing £119.99

I fancy a bit of that pineapple though.

A soupcon of excitement is today developing at my family home in the west of the county, as my younger sister Claire - who still lives with Ma and Pa - is now approaching 30.

But what to get her?

I've lied and told her a sumptuous gift is all in hand, but I haven't a clue what to present.

A girl who likes handbags, Miss Marple films and jigsaws, in that order, is not among the easiest to buy for.

If you have any ideas let me know.

Of course to mark such a milestone she's having a little soiree and we've all got to go as something beginning with C. Never keen on fancy dress, I suggested I went as 'Claire's brother James'.

I was met with stony silence and have since bought fatigues and a splash of make up, and will be going in camouflage.

You couldn't make it up could you?

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