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SUFFICIENTLY INLAND: Here in I den, we are so near, and yet so far from the sea aren’t we? We are so lucky to be able to have the best of both worlds, lovely countryside, and the sea, just a whisper away, waiting for us to pay it a visit. One of my favourite things is to go to Dymchurch, and park up at St. Mary’s bay, with some takeaway tea, and just read. Now and again, I look up from my book and out to sea, and think, for the umpteenth time that the horizon looks as though it’s been drawn in with a pencil. Give or take the price of the petrol, and a couple of polystyrene cups of England’s favourite nectar of the Gods, the best things in life really are free aren’t they?

FILMING IN RYE!: My eleven year old grandson likes making short films, with family members as the actors, and as they all visited last week, he decided to make a film called ‘Assassin, 2’, [about espionage], and film it in the Strand Quays “You are in it Grannie”, he said, but I declined [well someone has to feed the troops, and anyway I would have needed to lose at least four stone and get a pedicure!] Well you can go on the credits as catering director then”, he said seriously [as it happens I was at that moment clutching a pan full of savoy-cabbage, so you could say I was half way there] My Son-in–law was strutting up and down the lounge. His role apparently was a suspicious-looking passer- by [He didn’t need to act---six foot four, with a bushy beard and wearing a beany hat].They went off to Rye and had a grand time, and I stayed home in charge of the chuck wagon . They are such a noisy lot these ‘theatricals’ .When they left, I quite thought I’d gone deaf!

WITH THIS RING I THEE WED: Iden W.I, met on Tuesday 10th February, and the talk given by Kate Tym, was all about the registrars, who deal with births, deaths and marriages. Kate came along with her fellow registrar Jenny, and their description of the humour involved, together with the stringent attention to detail required for documents which are so legally binding, made for a lively, informative talk. The accounts of some of the marriages, involved having dogs as ring- bearers, weird additions to the regulatory marriage vows, bridesmaids absconding, and the wedding guests having to sing along with all manner of songs chosen by the besotted couple. It made for good listening. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. Next month marks 97 years of Iden W.I. We are as usual having a birthday party to celebrate. New member are always welcome [we meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the village hall, at 7.30pm.]

MOTHER’S DAY FLOWERS: The 15th of March is Mother’s Day, and there will be, as usual, a display of flowers in Iden Parish Church, dedicated to all the mothers in Iden, and the mothers in our hearts, wherever they may be. The cost of flowers for such a display is phenomenal, and the flower group thought that they would put a collection box in Iden stores for donations towards this special display. It would be nice if we could donate something however small, to celebrate our mums. The flowers will be taken, after the mother’s Day Service, to the ‘Rye And Winchelsea District Memorial Hospital’, so that patients and their visitors can enjoy them. Flowers are not kept in Church for the period of Lent.

A COFFEE MORNING PENDING: There is to be a coffee morning in the Old Hall on May 16th, to raise money for subsequent Church flower displays. It is very costly for the flower ladies, who provide many of their own flowers. Oasis is expensive, and some do not have vast gardens .Running the church is very expensive in general, so helping raise money for Church floral displays is a kindness much appreciated!

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-in, is on Monday 2nd March, at 11 am in the village hall. Do come along, it’s lovely to see everyone.

BINGO: Bingo is on Thursday 5th March, in the village hall. Everyone from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome. Doors open at 2pm, Eyes down at 2.30. A light tea costs £1, and the prizes are substantial.

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion at Iden Parish Church on Sunday 22nd February, at 9.30 a.m. There will be a Lent lunch in the Old Hall on Tuesday 24th February at 12.30am. [also on Tuesday March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th] Soup and bread will be served [donations to the ‘Children’s Society’]

SHORT-MAT BOWLS: Short mat bowls is on Wednesday afternoons in the village hall, from 2pm-4pm. The cost of the afternoon is £3.50, and includes refreshments, and the hire of the hall. If you would like to give short-mat a try, please contact Teresa Parsons [telephone 01-797-280143]

“NIGHT JOHN BOY”: Do you remember “night Mary Ellen, night John Boy”? Of course we can all remember ‘The Waltons’ . They were poor but loyal, and if one cried they all cried, and Grandma and mama both wrung their hands in their aprons, and Daddy went out into the barn and tried to figure it all out. They epitomised a family. Well so do we in Iden. We are nothing if not an oasis of concern. Go to London, and there is this obligatory stance. People sit on the tube like zombies, without making eye contact don’t they? They hang onto those safety straps and stare at their shoes. In Iden we want to know how everyone is faring, whether anyone needs a jam sponge or a few daffodils, or a thank you card. We want to know how well people are recovering from operations. , slipped discs, cataracts, bunions, [ all are of equal significance] everyone asks “how are you” . Prayers are said in Church, and the sick and the downcast are inquired after over a tin of sweet corn in Iden Stores, or a drink in ‘The Bell.’ No man is an island around here [even if they wanted to be!] You must admit there are worse places to hang your hat!

CONTACT ME: If anyone wishes to add anything of interest to the village voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street