James Marston: All this social media means I never get the chance to do anything social

With social media to tend to our columnist James Marston says he struggles to get a minute to himsel

With social media to tend to our columnist James Marston says he struggles to get a minute to himself (Picture: Chris Radburn/PA) - Credit: PA

I was going to go for one of those full body massages until my sister Claire, who wants to marry an octogenarian farmer with 4,000 acres and a weak pulse, said, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that it might take a while.

I'm stressed, you see dear readers, and I can't possibly afford the time to relax. Not with all these time-saving devices that need attention.

If it's not the dishwasher needing emptying, the Hoover needs a push. And the mobile phone means I can't ever have a minute to myself what with all this social media that means I never get the chance to do anything social.

Life has been a bit too much this week, I know I'm overwhelmed because I got emotional when watching Sherlock on Sunday night and it's not that sort of show really.

Of course I have no idea what's overwhelmed me, though I suspect a recent trip to a supermarket where I noticed all sorts of odd food – kangaroo – was available but I couldn't find anything I actually wanted, finally sent me over the edge. What with that, and all that unnecessary fuss about non-existent snow, I'm already a bit fed up with 2017.


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Anyway I think I need a lie down in one of the limited number of rooms in my small flat with sea views (distant) in the Edwardian spa town of Felixstowe.

I thought life must have been easier back in the 1960s but apparently not.

As regular readers will know I recently suggested you drop me a line about life back in 1969 and Maureen Bateman from Beccles rose to the challenge.

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After some flattering comments about me – something which my sister Claire says gives me a big head – Maureen, now 82, explained how she was a young wife back in 1969.

She wrote: 'We had no central heating other than a coal-fired Rayburn which heated the water and a radiator in the hall. Upstairs we discovered duvets to keep us warm.

'So what did we not have - a fridge or freezer, just a cold shelf in the pantry, washing machine, but we did have a 10 inch black and white TV.

'After four months of waiting the phone was connected, black Bakelite with a cord - in the hall, near the radiator. Dinner out once a week was tomato soup, scampi/steak and chips and black forest gateau, plus Blue Nun, of course. Before we moved on to our present home in 1977 we acquired – we saved up, no credit cards - a fridge and a washing machine, plus a 12 colour TV.

'We both worked, Saturday mornings included and we were the 1960s JAMS - just about managing. With the Beatles an others pop music was still something to listen and dance to and not a thumping great noise with repetitive, bawled lyrics which nobody can make out.'

Things haven't changed that much though, I often choose a scampi and chips.

If you would like to email James and tell him how to relax he would be delighted to hear for you at james.marston@archant.co.uk MORE: James Marston talks Peter Sarstedt, entertaining intimates and the downfalls of lighting a log fire

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