Mark Lamarr at The German Christmas Market

Looking out from his Murray John Building top floor apartment beyond smaller towers to rolling hills some few miles away Mark Lamarr decides it is time for a bit of fresh air. He has been sorting his record collection through the night and into what is now, he realises, the late morning. Should the excess items be put into storage or sold? Donated to charity, perhaps? Mark Lamarr isn't sure. He puts down the Prince Buster 45 he has just discovered copies of selling for about £50 on ebay and stands up to adjust his quiff. The sun is coming down bright and clear through the large windows of his apartment. He picks up his Walkman, puts the hard little earphones in and presses play on a tape he recorded years ago for a late night radio show he used to present. "Do I have a problem?" he mumbles soberly as he grabs his keys. "No, the collection is far from complete." On the street a mess of huts that are half hut and half pegged-sheet: the German Christmas Market is in town. Over the fuzzy jangling of his Walkman Mark Lamarr hears a German Christmas Man protesting to a customer, "We're refusing to pay the rent because the council never gave us the German Christmas Huts we was promised." What is it but sausages and over-priced pick'n'mix? Wonders Mark Lamarr who dreamed of rice and peas, of jerk chicken and jerk fish. "HOT IT FROM THE TOP TO THE VERY LAST DROP!" crackles suddenly in his ear. An obese Christmas Woman trundles past eyeing him suspiciously. "Are you going to buy a bloody sausage or not?" enquires the rent-defying German Christmas Man, irked by this stranger standing in front of his hut with a quiff not buying any sausages. "Oh, um..." dithers the uncertain would-be customer, realising there is little to tempt him away from his record collection. Over the incoherent warbling of an almost forgotten reggae star Mark Lamarr asks, "Do you have anything spicy?" which cheers the German Christmas Man immeasurably so that he reverently lifts a large sausage from his tidy display and sighs, "Ah - Jamaican Christmas Sausage... For you, sir, £1 only." Almostly instantly from his puffer jacket zip pocket withdrawing the correct change Mark Lamarr laughs and admits, "That's more than I paid for the Prince Buster 45!"

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