Out In The Field (June 22nd): I need to start growing older more gracefully

WE NEVER see ourselves as others see us, as my Aunty Betty always says.

So I wasn’t best pleased when I saw myself on the telly on Tuesday night looking like I’d eaten too many pies and fallen out of one too many parties.

In my mind I still have the body, mind and party-going stamina of a 19-year-old, but sadly that’s not the case and I have now resigned myself to trying to grow old a little more gracefully.

Anyway, I digress. That aside, the programme, Killers Behind Bars on Channel 5, was about the murder of Jessie Earl, the art student whose remains were found on the Downs in 1989 nine years after she vanished from her town centre flat in Eastbourne.

Criminal psychologist Professor David Wilson, who interviewed me at the Central Library as part of the programme, put forward a convincing case that serial killer Peter Tobin, who had links with Eastbourne in the 1980s, was responsible for Jessie’s untimely death.

Yet the morning after the programme aired, Sussex Police issued a statement saying that while there had been a detailed investigation by Sussex Police, there was no clear evidence to confirm her death was murder.

Right. So are Sussex Police, whose officers have already admitted their force could hardly afford the hefty cost of a murder inquiry back in 1989, saying poor Jessie used her own bra to bind her wrists together and hid herself in bushes at Beachy Head?

If that’s not murder, then God only knows what is.

APART from the Champagne and strawberries, I’m not a huge fan of tennis. But I love the buzz it creates for the week in the town with hundreds of colourful visitors spending their money locally. And this year the tennis fans have a new eatery to try out right on the doorstep of the Devonshire Park Centre – the Cafe@Barley Sugar on the corner of Cornfield Terrace.

The charismatic Lee Venables, who found fame running Tottens Restaurant and the Rock Garden club in London’s Covent Garden, is behind the cafe and adjacent shop with his wife Daisy and even though they are newcomers to Eastbourne, have bags of enthusiasm and good ideas for the town including a pop up restaurant.

It would be lovely if they could bottle that enthusiasm, along with their charisma, and then all those moaning minnies that continue to knock our lovely town, could take a big gulp of it and stop moaning and start doing something to make it a better place.

WITH my lifestyle I am not sure I will ever make old bones but longevity seems to run in my family. This week I want to say Many Happy Returns to my aforementioned Aunty Betty, who hits the big 80 this week, and my uncle Colin Tarrant, better known to hundreds of former pupils of Highfield School as Mr T, the caretaker there for more than 30 years, who celebrates his 70th birthday