Was this really a good idea?

VIDEO “Right,” said Fred, “Both of us together. One on each end and steady as we go.”Tried to shift it, couldn't even lift it. We was getting nowhere.And so we had a cuppa tea… and I began to panic.

“RIGHT,” said Fred, “Both of us together. One on each end and steady as we go.”

Tried to shift it, couldn't even lift it. We was getting nowhere.

And so we had a cuppa tea… and I began to panic.

Never in the field of human furniture removals, has so much been owed to so few.

And never again will I attempt to move an upright piano in to a first floor flat with sea views (distant) in the Edwardian resort town of Felixstowe.

After initial trouble in securing the services of a removal firm - one guy popped round to reconnaissance the job and announced through a sharp intake of breath that 'It's do-able mate but I don't want the job thanks very much.' - I managed to find three young men from Bury St Edmunds in the west of the county willing to give up an afternoon to shift at least 20-stone of instrument.

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And, in case you were wondering, that weighs even more than me.

Always a little bit on the highly strung side, I was anxious before it arrived.

When Matt, the man in charge of the operation arrived with it in his trailer, only to express doubt about whether we would even get it in, I became almost neurotic.

Mat said something along the lines of: “Aahhhhh, the stairs are steep and narrow and there isn't much room to swing it in to your flat. It's going to be tough but we'll give it a go.”

We took it a stage at a time, half way up the stairs, after much huffing and puffing, one of the young fellows, who had earlier risked his life by getting underneath the sodding thing as we heaved and hoed, announced in a lighter moment: “Do you know that piano's stuck on my foot?”

It was a heartstopping moment, broken only by my reply: “No, but you hum it and I'll follow.”

Once at the top of the stairs, just inches from my flat door the operation stalled.

For 15 long minutes we tried without success to get it through the front door. By now I was frantic.

“It just won't swing round mate,” declared Mat, “That banister has got to go.”

It was only thanks to the emergency removal of the fixtures and fittings that my instrument, so precious to a musician, could even get close to the front salon, recently repainted in a delightfully restful shade of pale cream.

Can you imagine Elton John having the same trouble? Let alone the same colour scheme.

Nevertheless an hour and a half later, the nightmare mission was accomplished and I even have a piano tuner booked for next week. They team had achieved what at one stage had looked impossible.

It won't be long before I can sing-a-long to a few show tunes, and practice the overture of My Fair Lady at the end of a long day.

My neighbours will love it.

For stunning video footage, with all expletives removed, of the most talked about celebrity piano removal in recent history visit www.eveningstar.co.uk

I do love an interesting diplomatic incident.

The expulsion of a few Russians from London and a bit of a spat with Putin is all very fascinating.

My Evening Star colleague Colin Adwent, who is very important and even carries a briefcase, suggested it might be rather fun if Britain has a tiny disagreement with Romania.

You see, he wants to expel the Cheeky Girls - whoever they are.

IT was a shocking story that caught the attention of Ipswich.

Last week, as emergency services were called to the unfolding drama, our team of reporters were soon at the scene as reports came in of a stabbing on Norwich Road.

In these type of fast-moving stories you never really know what is going to happen next, and it soon became clear a man was holed up in a nearby address. A dramatic standoff developed and police evacuated the area.

Our man on the ground, chief reporter Grant Sherlock said: “The police were really very professional. It developed into a very tense situation but they remained very calm.”

This stand-off lasted 45 minutes before the man walked out of the house and gave himself up.

Grant said: “It could have been so much worse. The police were excellent and thankfully the standoff was resolved. I was very impressed.”

In a world where cynicism is rarely replaced by fulsome praise, Suffolk police deserve a word of special recognition.

I know they were doing their job but it is easy to forget they risk their lives to protect ours.

They did well that day and we should thank them.

I HAVE a feeling our editor Nigel, who enjoys sitting in the coveted position next to me in the newsroom, is trying to tell me something.

“Look at this press release James, it's about being a workaholic, I think I'll leave it with you. It's food for thought.”

The press release announced: “In the modern world of e-mails, mobile phones, blackberries and wireless laptops, it is perfectly possible to be at work wherever you are. Working from home is just the tip of the iceberg, people now work from the car, from the train, even from the beach.”

Well I don't work from the beach, do you?

What on earth is a blackberry? and as far as working from home goes I have a friend in the west of the county who really enjoys a lie in, a cup of coffee and a spot of Jeremy Kyle before knuckling down to a couple of hours of graft before a lazy lunch and a kip on the sofa followed by a phone call and Midsomer Murders and a Kit Kat.

I'm tempted to ask to work from home for a week, to see if it suits me.

Food for thought isn't it?

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