Snow looks lovely - through a window

WEEKENDING in the west of the county I remarked on Sunday morning that it was snowing outside and how lovely the garden looked. Thought it seems there was much more snow in Ipswich than where I was.

James Marston

WEEKENDING in the west of the county I remarked on Sunday morning that it was snowing outside and how lovely the garden looked.

Thought it seems there was much more snow in Ipswich than where I was.

It is still the case that I get a vicarious schoolboy thrill when it snows - don't you?

Nothing like it is there? Especially when you're warm inside.

Well my mother Sue replied to my remark that the snow wasn't “pitching”. This meant, I discovered, that the snow wasn't settling.

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What an unusual expression I thought outloud.

She said it was a phrase she used when she was growing up in Dorset and, she went on, she had never heard of “on the huh” until she moved to Suffolk.

So I thought I might ask you.

Have you ever heard pitching with regard to snow? Or any other such phrase?

A SOMEONE once advised me, never waste a hot afternoon - if only eh?

Now, dear readers, we are amid the furious winter's rages and less than a month away from the shortest day.

But if you live in Felixstowe, like me, you'll have noticed that it gets very quiet in the winter.

My plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy even went as far to say they roll up the pavements at 6pm one night in late October and leave them up until well past the New Year.

Indeed the other night I resigned myself to going to bed with Miss Marple and a Horlicks before 10pm - hardly what you'd expect from a wanna-be-almost-celebrity with a passion for things theatrical whose favourite subject is himself.

This week I've resorted to housework.

I've already Cilit-Banged the bathroom, read a compilation of poetry, played the piano, baked some cheese scones which didn't rise - they never do for me - swept the kitchen floor more than once, vacuumed through, dusted everywhere, cleaned my mirrors and wrapped presents -and it's only Tuesday.

So how am I going to entertain myself for the next few weeks, I hear you cry? Or, should I say, I hear me cry.

Well, the answer is a garden shed.

It might sound odd but I think I've got to that age where I need a little space all for me at the bottom of the garden.

My colleague Mike says, tongue-in-cheek, getting a shed is a “lifestyle statement”, what he means, of course, is I'm getting older.

It's being put up this week and, dear readers, I'm most excited.

Not only will I have room for my bicycle but also a couple of garden chairs, a kite and a tin of paint currently stored in my small flat with sea views (distant).

I might even grow some mushrooms for my eating pleasure in one of those polystyrene containers and I'm tempted to make some parsnip wine though I'm worried I might explode a demi-john.

The aforementioned Lucy suggested I could put in a gym but she later thought it might be a waste of effort and has since requested I install a bar - so we can mix mid-winter martinis - a dance floor, a disco ball and a karaoke machine so we can sing along to the musicals undisturbed - I'm seriously tempted.

WELL done, John.

As my regular readers will know I have been supporting fellow journalist John Sergeant throughout his foray into the glamorous world of Strictly Come Dancing.

He provided much entertainment. Now it's all over.

And, rather than face humiliation, John has bowed out.

What a gentleman.

THERE'S much excitement with the Ipswich most Operatic and frightfully Dramatic Society (IODS) of which I am an enthusiastic though not very talented member.

This week long-term member Stephanie-the-diva informed us of an outing to the West End to see the musical Hairspray. Naturally I put my name down.

It's a show I haven't seen. Have you? Is it good and will I like it? Do drop me a line.

YOUNG Star - the focus of this year's Evening Star Christmas appeal - has been out and about.

As regular readers will know she's getting more famous than me.

She even turned on the Christmas lights in the Tower Ramparts shopping centre the other day.

Penny, the lady who looks after the young pup, told me Star enjoyed the experience.

She said: “She took it all in her stride but that's because she's a real celebrity, James. She had a brilliant time.

“She loved the camera flashes and she's got a thing about the Evening Star's photographer Alex, she likes his shoes.”

Bless her.

I'VE heard of a Blackpool breakfast - a pot of tea and twenty fags - but have you ever heard of a Yorkshire tea?

Nor had I until a friend of mine Eve, who hails from Yorkshire, invited me to one in the fenland village of Isleham not far from the ancient Isle of Ely - quite a way from Felixstowe.

Cold meats, pickles, cheeses, pies, salads - the list goes on - all rounded off with a huge selection of puddings - trifle, pie, cake….Eve must have been baking for days.

I was stuffed - it was well worth the trip.

I wonder if there's such a thing a Suffolk tea? I think there's something called Suffolk rusks. Let me know.

James' Mailbag:-

Dear Readers,

Nothing better than putting pen to paper is there? And I do so love correspondence especially when it isn't a bill, don't you?

So thanks very much for your letters this week.

Just so you know Mr Harold I quite agree about standing for election - I'd have a few things to say I can assure you.



Dear James

I have been following your exploits with interest.

Likewise the “getting the pip” saga. I was told (at aged 10) not to sit on the back door step when wet, for the very same reason.

Some mornings after getting up my eyes would feel gritty and mum would say you've probably got some “grumbles” in them. Meaning bits or specks of dust or whatever.

Mondays and Wednesdays were often what I called “bun party” afternoons when up to three aunts would be present, often bringing home baked currant cakes etc. Gosh, I can smell them now.

Finally, I think you could also do well as one or all of these: A town crier; a local election candidate or as you are so well known from your (distant view) locality of Felixstowe and have celebrity following why don't you be the one to switch on the Christmas lights?


Risby Close,