Smoking hot name has my name on it

AS I enjoyed a white wine sprizter the other evening with my friend Lucia, who's tall and glamorous, I looked out to sea and was hit by a wave of depression.

James Marston

AS I enjoyed a white wine sprizter the other evening with my friend Lucia, who's tall and glamorous, I looked out to sea and was hit by a wave of depression.

I shared it with her, saying: “Gosh, haven't you had enough of all this credit crunch and food crisis and global warming? Is there nothing nice in the world?”

She agreed.

The thing is, dear readers, and I don't know about you, but I've had enough of a number of these on-going stories that seem to be filling our TV screens and newspapers.

- The credit crunch and buy-to-let disasters - no one to blame but us.

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- Gordon Brown - he's so dull - not an inch of glamour.

- Zimbabwe - it's all so unpleasant and so far away.

- Hillary Clinton - and it's not even the election yet.

- Madeleine McCann - still missing - again.

- Fuel prices - if we don't like it we should stop driving everywhere.

Anyway, in response to this general malaise in the world of the media, I've been trawling around for something cheerful to think about and, if I'm honest, it's not proved easy.

However, a lady I know called Judy, who enjoys the opera, has managed to put a smile on my face this week.

Through the post she sent me details of what can only be described as an “aspirational property” - a house in Ipswich that she thought might suit me.

Judy, in a missive to me that landed on my somewhat untidy desk on Monday morning, said: “I thought you may be interested in the attached property even though I know you're not the property correspondent. I can imagine you in there wearing your very Edwardian smoking jacket.”

What on earth does she mean? She's obviously got a rather fertile imagination as I don't have a smoking jacket - well only an old one - and have given up smoking - well almost.

Nonetheless, the place is called Marston House, a fact which shed some light as to why Judy thought I might be interested in parting with £465,000 of someone else's money.

According to the estate agent Abbots, the house has “charming and mature” gardens and four bedrooms and a sitting room with a cornice around the room - whatever that is.


IT'S been all go at the Ipswich mightily Operatic and indeed ever so Dramatic Society just recently.

We are currently rehearsing for a production of Sounds Familiar - a variety show of sketches and

selections from the musicals - and I'm in the chorus alongside regular am drammers with Lucy my plain speaking photographer friend, Stephanie-the-diva and my friend Julian who once hurt himself on a helter skelter and enjoys things theatrical.

Standing at the back - my usual place - Margaret, the stalwart of the society, informed us we were all doing ever so well in the Frank Sinatra section.

She said: “Well done, but you do need to watch your Suffolk accents.”

I'm sure Frank never had this trouble with Strangers in the Noight.


NOT only have I managed several little trips this year - Paris being my most recent excursion - I am on a little holiday next week cruising the Adriatic.

It's been an ambition for a while to visit Venice. It looks a rather amazing place. I do hope it's not flooded or there are rats.

So have you been to Venice? What should I look out for? Do drop me a line.


THE other evening, as I tuned into the Six O'clock News and a lime juice and gin, I found myself drifting through my little Felixstowe salon with sea views (distant) and out on to my small balcony to admire the stillness of the Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe, when a lovely thought struck me.

I began thinking to myself as I poured a refill and opened a packet of pre-dinner cashews (salted), I do so look forward to Friday afternoons don't you?

That sense of relief as the week draws to a close, the anticipation of the weekend, the large glass of white chenin (South African) waiting for me at home.

As one colleague said to me recently “So James, are you entertaining at the weekend?”

Shocked by this question, I replied affronted: “I'm entertaining all the time, thank you very much.”


HAVE you seen this latest Indiana Jones film?

I went along this weekend.

While it was all very exciting, if a little odd watching a pensioner have so many fights and scrapes, but not only did we watch the film we also sat through a rather large number of trailers for some other up and coming films.

So comprehensive, in fact, were these extracts that I whispered to my companion that I may not bother seeing these films as I had already seen the best bits in the preview.