From chess-boxing to civilised calm

By Derek Davis

20th Apr 2020 | Local News

Even though living in Felixstowe, or its beautiful surrounds, lockdown can mean missing out on the calmness of the countryside.

That is where Marc's Almanac comes in, offering five minutes of his tranquil tones every weekday morning, to start your day with some interesting historical facts and a poem.

A freelance writer, with experience of working for national newspapers in London, and all the hustle and bustle that entails, Marc Sidwell appreciates the gentile Suffolk life.

Encapsulating that bit of peace and quiet in a podcast started as a hobby when the lockdown was brought in, and a way of entertaining his mum who lives in the city.

"I wanted reach out to her and so she could hear the peace of the countryside of where I am in Suffolk," said the 43-year-old writer. "It made me think there must be many other people in lockdown that would enjoy it too."

Although his audience is small, it is wide spread with dad listening in Canada, and medics in America logging in too.

Marc said: "They wrote to me saying thy listened and found it claiming before doing surgery.

"I only have small number of listeners but it is fascinating when they get in touch and stories they tell."

Marc got to know Felixstowe and Suffolk, when visiting fiends who live in the area and even had a large, framed photo of the Orwell Bridge on the wall of his London home, given to him by the friend who is an amateur photographer.

He is now happily ensconced in the Suffolk countryside where he broadcasts his morning podcast, five days a week.

"I moved up as I enjoyed the peace and being able to escape from London, I love it so much I don't want to go back.

Reading poetry in such a gentle manner is a far cry from Marc's relatively unusual hobby of chess-boxing.

This is where the competitors take part in alternating rounds of chess and boxing and the winner is decided when one is victorious in one or the other.

Once more showing the importance of a piece of calm among a maelstrom of furious activity.


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