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FUNNY OLD COW PARSLEY: I’m so glad to see cow parsley back in the hedgerows, but, my grandchildren think that cow parsley is ‘hilarious’. If I point it out they hoot with laughter, and this is all my fault. You see, in my anxiety to see them [particularly the girls] appreciating it’s lacy beauty, I’ve overdone it. During every car journey when cow parsley is in season, I’ve gone on expounding it’s virtues, ladling out it’s bride-like comparison. When they were babies, and could barely say anything, I would say “look at that pretty cow parsley, can you say cow parsley” [hang on a minute Granny we can’t say Dad yet!] “isn’t it the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen” Eventually they got bored with cow parsley, and as they got older, began giggling, and raising their eyes at each other whenever I started to wax lyrical. So now they laugh at the very mention of cow parsley, and it’s become a family joke, which wasn’t my intention. I suppose at least from a very early age they recognised cow parsley in the hedgerows, and when they see it they will always smile, but Granny needs to keep her opinions to herself!

WHAT A GOOD POP-IN: Last week the pop-in, in the village hall was so well attended, that it was hard to get round to saying, “hello”, to everyone. It was lovely to have so many Iden folk under one roof. We even entertained three very nice American ladies, holidaying in England, who saw the Pop-In sign and came to investigate .People just come to the Pop-In, no need to dress up. It’s you we love to see, not a posh frock. In no time at all we are pouring out our souls over a mug of instant coffee! BY THE WAY, the next Pop-In is on Monday 25th May, at 11 am in Iden village hall.

AND SOMETHING ELSE THAT WAS VERY ENJOYABLE!: On Saturday 16th May, the ‘flower-group’ from Iden Parish Church held a coffee morning in the Old Hall, the proceeds of which are to buy flowers for the next Church flower festival. There was pretty bunting outside, and pots of flowers dotted around, which lent an air of festivity, also, someone had thought to put dishes of shortbread on each coffee table [a nice touch].There was bric-a-brac, and books, dvd’s, and cd’s for sale, and also some nearly–new clothing. There was a cake- stall full of every kind of cake imaginable, so all in all it was a nice way to spend a morning, and once more Iden folk got to chat together and put the world to rights!

ANNE’S RAINFALL: Anne Banning is our rainfall expert. The rainfall for April was 0.18 inches [not very much at all], but in spite of it we seem to have a green and pleasant land .Thank you Anne.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 24th May, at 9.30am.

BINGO: There is Bingo held in Iden village hall every fortnight. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. Anyone from Iden and the surrounding area is welcome. There is a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, as many bingo books available that you can feasably keep track of, and a sandwich/cake tea provided at the cost of £1 The next Bingo will be on Thursday 28th May. Proceeds go to support Iden village hall.

CORSETED LEAFAGE: The countryside around Iden is awash with green splendour at the moment isn’t it, almost as though the leaves have all escaped from their buds and grown overnight into lush foliage. I wonder how it feels to be released from the confines of a bud .A bit like a Victorian lady stepping out of a corset I should think, [the kind of boned imprisonment that once caused ladies to faint]! More than likely leaves have no such sense of release. It’s we humans who are aware of our freedom, living in this day and age when clothing is loose, we have freedom of speech, and our lives are relatively unfettered. We can if we wish ‘tattoo’ and ‘twitter and ‘text’ [three T’s, unheard of in an era when ladies needed smelling salts after being strapped into a gown. I often wonder what it would be like for a Victorian lady to step into our world, or for us to step back into hers. Terribly frightening I would think, for all concerned. Best to just stay in our given era, and enjoy what it has to offer.

A SAD DAY FOR IDEN: Last Friday, 15th May, the funeral took place of Pam Howe, an Iden resident who will be much missed. Pam was a special lady. Fittingly, her funeral took place in Iden Parish church, where , during the service, we were privy to a display of some of her beautiful painting and embroidery .Pam’s presence in All Saints Church will always be felt , because she will go on being synonymous with the artistry of the church, which she planned so carefully, and which grew out of her obvious love and respect for our church. Pam’s name was also synonymous with the ‘Children’s Society’, because until recently, she distributed and was responsible for their collection boxes. She did the paperwork, held coffee mornings championed her cause, and in her thoughtful way helped deliver care to children less fortunate. Pam was a unique entity, because her artistic talents, didn’t stop at one or two, she was steeped in a creativity and imagination, which set her apart .She painted, she embroidered, she was a gifted dressmaker, her flower arrangements were memorable, and she had the ability and qualifications lead others into her wealth of inventiveness. Pam taught people to draw at her ‘Art Group’ in Iden, but we heard at her funeral, of the many other places in which she not only taught art but left her artistic mark behind. Pam was the inspiration behind the beautiful altar cloth, which she and ladies of All Saints Church sewed together. Her design for that spectacular cloth mirrored the diamond panes of the church window behind the altar. Pam could replicate on paper, and on cloth, aspects of life and nature which inspired her. She had a gift for recollection that few of us could aspire to. Our sympathies go to Pam’s daughter’s Ruth and Rachael, and her son Mark.

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything they would like me to add to the Village Voice, I will do so gladly. Please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]