We got mangoes and bananas

Ipswich's own wanna-be-celeb-cum-would-be-jetset-playboy James Marston today reports on his latest exploits. I HATE shopping don't you? There's nothing worse than going to shops, looking at things and buying stuff.

Ipswich's own wanna-be-celeb-cum-would-be-jetset-playboy James Marston today reports on his latest exploits.

I HATE shopping don't you?

There's nothing worse than going to shops, looking at things and buying stuff.

Not only do you have to force your way through slow moving crowds you also have to hand over hard earned cash at the end of it for something you very often didn't really want.

That's why I don't go. It's simply vulgar.

Despite living in a town centre location within moment from Ipswich's main shopping drag I avoid retail outlets unless absolutely necessary.

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And another thing I refuse to shop in any store that plays music or in-store radio.

There's enough noise in the world without being subjected to unpleasant pop music at every opportunity. Unfortunately, I've yet to find a shop which plays Radio 4.

Even my bank-a place which is nigh on impossible to get any form of service whatsoever unless you do it yourself at a machine-plays lounge music as you queue for most of your lunch break to do a simple thing like pay the rent.

I would do it all over the phone if it didn't involve pressing so many buttons only to get through to someone who I can barely understand.

As I relayed my concerns and anxieties about the state of the British retail and financial sector to my sister Claire, who likes cats and enjoys television and crisps and dip, she laid down the gauntlet.

“I could live on my wits and good looks alone,” I announced as we settled down to a Sunday evening repeat of Monarch of the Glen and a packet of ready salted.

“Hmmm,” she said as she eyed me up and down. “Those won't get you far. I reckon you'll be out of pocket by Wednesday.”

So last week, as I mooched around Ipswich market-the only place where shopping is tolerable-soaking up the atmos, I decided to prove my sister wrong with a spot of market trading.

I'm not sure my attempts to engage the customers really worked though.

“Roll up, roll up- a cornucopia of melon madam?”

“One pound a punnet. Delish.”

“What about a lovely plum Mrs?”

“Can I tempt you to an aubergine?”

“Spuds glorious Spuds, carrots, peas and lemons.”

Well I enjoyed myself any way. By the end of my little stint as a celebrity market trader I had so much change it looked like I'd mugged a milkman.

And there wasn't a hint of pop music in earshot.

BY mistake my radio in my trusty rusty Rover decided to tune itself out of its usual Radio 4 and I found myself listening to some dreadful rap type music as I progressed along the A14 this weekend.

One minute I was enjoying From Our Own Correspondent, the next listening to some unpleasant lyrics which included the words “getting jiggy with it.”

I can't tell you what the rest of the lyrics were, I'm afraid as they were almost exclusively offensive, unrepeatable and unprintable.

I know that rap music is awfully tuneless and seems to involve people talking amongst themselves rather than making any form of music but what on earth is 'getting jiggy'?

Can someone enlighten me?

JUST so you know, I've decided not to take part in Through the Keyhole.

Though fans often ask what the inside of my little Ipswich sitting room actually looks like - one even asked if it indeed existed - I have made the decision to keep my private sanctuary a secret.

Not that Sir David's people have even approached me - yet. I don't want someone going through my collection of early twentieth century poetry, my small collection of regional British ceramics and my other personal effects in the name of mid-afternoon light entertainment.

Nor indeed do I fancy a triumvirate - a panel of three people in power, for those who don't know what that means - of celebrities discussing my small-but-functional-kitchen, or my luxuriant-maroon-boudoir-with-bedspread-of-barbaric-design while I sit in a back room away from the cameras and the bright limelight.

So next time you tune in, you'll know it won't be me who's living in a house like this.

OH I'm so excited.

I'm off to Paris at the end of the month.

I haven't been for years and I can't wait.

After a summer which has included whopping cough, two months off the booze, constant uphill struggle with the evil cigarettes as well as a distinct lack of summer bbq's and exclusive soirees, I am ready for a few days away.

Though a bit worried by the French-will I be expected to drink Pernod all day and play bowls?

I was tempted to go to Nuremberg but thought getting there might be a bit of a trial, so I decided Paris was where I'd like to go when I realised I don't have to fly.

Its not that I'm scared, I just lack the patience and airports have become unfortunate places full of people in tracksuits drinking lager at 9am and eating in ghastly over-priced cafeterias.

Riding so high with some guy in the sky is my idea of nothing to do so I am booked into the Eurostar. How glamorous.

I'll let you know how I get on.

It's on this week.

My plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy and I will take to the stage tomorrow night for our latest attempt at entertaining the public.

She's singing and I'm dancing so that should be good for a few laughs at least. I'm even wearing a gold satin shirt, which to be honest does nothing for me, in the name of this business we call show.

Performed at the Spa Pavilion in the Edwardian resort town of Felixstowe, the latest production of the Ipswich thankfully not too Operatic and now very dramatic Dramatic Society (IODS) should be a giggle.

I'm already hysterical at the thought.

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