James Marston: Touched by literary greatness during a day out to Cambridge

James Marston at Shotley

James Marston at Shotley

Virginia Woolf, Augustus John, Rupert Brooke and me.

I may not enjoy their intellectual prowess but we all have something in common now that I have had a cheese scone at The Orchard Tea room in Granchester, a place familiar to all of them as well.

I was, you see, dear readers, taking my parents out on a wet afternoon for a look around Cambridge when someone had the idea of refreshments and a stretch of leg.

I quite enjoyed this little sojourn out of the county before motoring on Monday with my plain speaking photographer friend Lucy Who’s Getting Married to the edge of the county at Shotley.

I was there to visit the churchyard and meet local character Norman Bugg who showed me the fascinating churchyard there. Not only is it a testament to village history but also one of Suffolk’s biggest military cemeteries with many naval personnel buried there.


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Afterwards we enjoyed a coffee, it was too early for a gin and tonic, overlooking where the Stour and Orwell meet and Lucy, as always, captured the moment (above). We had a chat about her wedding plans - she’s sending out invites soon and has bought the bridesmaid dresses, so you know.

On the no smoking front I am doing ok, though I can’t stop eating, something I could probably do without. I mentioned this, well went on a bit, to Lucy while we drove back to the office and, somewhat exasperated, she suggested I slap the nicotine patch over my mouth resulting in the triple effect of stopping me smoking, eating and talking.

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On Monday evening I cycled, health conscious as ever, to Felixstowe cinema, where they serve you a coffee and a cheeseburger in your seat. What a treat!

I was keen to see Jurassic World. I don’t think I’ll be giving much away here but a dinosaur starts eating people while a young attractive couple rush around trying to save someone else’s children. It made me grateful I, and humanity, weren’t around then as I’d never have been able to leave my small flat with sea views (distant).

In other news Icklingham, where I grew up, is gearing up for its annual St James’ Church flower festival, with the added attraction of an art show in its ongoing bid to install a kitchen and toilet. I am playing the organ and buying cakes while my sister Claire is arranging a display.

• If you’d like to come along it’s on June 27 and 28 from 11am to 5pm.

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