Church matters: There are two services in the Parish today – Holy Communion at St Peter’s at 8 am, and Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. During the coming week, there will be the well-liked Informal Carols at St Peter’s on Wednesday next, December 14 fro 7 to 9 pm. The wine will be mulled and the pies will be minced!
A mental note for now, until you open - surprise, surprise – your unexpected 2017 diary under the Christmas tree. The church will be going ahead, as intimated in earlier Voices, with a Flower Festival at St Andrew’s from June 30 to July 2, 2017. It will be entitled ‘Seasons of Life’, and we will bring you more details as and when they become available.
MOPPs today and to come: Today, Friday, December 9, the ever-popular Celia King will be along with her chair-based exercises. Also available next week is Nicola’s Age UK toenail cutting service. Luncheon will consist of fish pie and then fruit flan. Next Friday, December 16, it’ll be MOPP’s Christmas Party with Val Gibbs, who is a Rev and a Cllr, plus Village Voices, the local choir with the imaginative and evocative name! Lunch will be a full Christmas Lunch of Roast Turkey, together with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding or Black Forest gateau.
Christmas Fair: The village hall Fair on Saturday last seemed busier than ever, with everyone you might expect to see doing the rounds, and a lot more besides. Just how successful the event had been is not known to me as yet – still counting? – but we’ll let you know soon.
Tomorrow (1): Firstly, the local branch of the RSPCA (which deals mainly with cats and dogs) will be holding their annual Fayre in the village hall from 10 am to 1 pm. They can usually boast a number of very attractive items on sale, and a lot more as well. Worth a 50p look, and you’ll get a cuppa in with the admission.
Tomorrow (2): It’s the Wine and Social Club’s Christmas Party, from 7 to 11 pm, which is for members only. The evening starts with mulled wine from Bill Sapsford and on to the main event, a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, delivered by a hard-working group of Sue Norris and the Committee. The excellent Mick Rose, coming all the way down from Norwich, will be the musical highlight of the evening. A rattling good evening looks to be awaiting the club.
The Gardening Club: The club has, justifiably and with considerable good sense, revised its thoughts on the opening times of the Garden Club hut, down by Fairlight Garden site. Usually, Christmas would signal that we were two thirds of the way through the shutdown, but they have realised that, by re-opening early in February, the only thing that was being picked up with any regularity was the chance of the volunteers catching pneumonia. Now we’re only half way to the re-opening, thus will give nature an opportunity of being a tad lighter and warmer than would have been the case in February.
Lighting in perspective: The Parish Council’s initiative, which will see them award £50 to the owner of the best exterior Christmas lighting, for that owner to present to the charity of his or her choice, may not seem over generous on the face of it. But think again. Fairlight is a cul-de-sac, with a minimum of light shows to look out for each year, while Westfield, the absolute epitome of village celebratory lighting, is on a main road and has an established reputation for its annual showing. There simply aren’t as many Joneses in Fairlight for neighbours to keep up with! One might hazard a guess that Westfield’s displays are some 200 times bigger, brighter and better than ours. Well, last year Westfield’s lights gathered donations for St Michael’s Hospice of over 200 times our £50. Yes, they collected remarkable sum in excess of £10,000. We may not be there yet, but we’re on our way. Watch, not this space, but your neighbours as they climb precarious ladders, untwist the well-knitted cables and wires, and try to find the dud lamp that has taken half their lights out.
Red Riding Hood: Not, I’m afraid, the latest offering from raunchy novelist Jilly Cooper, but the 2017 production from the Pantomime Group. Our note is here to remind you that, traditionally, tickets for the show, which runs from Thursday to Saturday, January 26 to 28 next year, will be on sale, with a price range of £3 to £7, at the Post Office before Christmas. This means you will be able to know where and when you’ll be seeing the show almost before the cast has learned all the lines! Never fear, new director Luci Mantel will have them ready and willing when the time comes. She already knows how ‘able’ they all are…
A new branch opens up: A new road-watch group has been formed, to be known as ‘Bad Roads, East Sussex/Kent: It’s Terrible’, or Breskit for short. The opening of a new branch has been spotted in Martineau Lane. Well, not so much an opening as a falling. Off a tree. Like branches often do. It’s three weeks now since a fairly large branch and all its accoutrements landed in what is laughingly called the carriageway, towards the south, or sea, end of the lane. After a while some thoughtful souls – it must have been more than one – moved the whole shooting match to the east side of the road, where it remains, unfortunately wide enough to present a danger to any motorist caught by surprise in this narrow bit by an oncoming large and heavy vehicle which has already been warned that the Lane is unsuitable for them. Why can’t the authorities react speedily when an emergency like this demands it?
The bellwether among potholes: The handy indicator of lousy road surfaces to come – the south side of Fairlight Road between Pineridge and Hysted – is all set to destroy your near-side suspension in the near future. If those responsible think that the roadway ascending Battery Hill does not yet warrant attention, or that Waites Lane is unworthy of any comment at all, they are hardly likely to bother about an incipient vehicle wrecker worsening day by day.
Improbable but true: I hope you’re not having your breakfast but, twelve days gao after completing last weeks column, I took my dogs out for a ‘walk’. It was not until one of them did what dogs are inclined to do that I realised that, for only the second time ever, I had put on the wrong dog-walking coat, without poo bags in the pocket. I hurried on, and later the second dog performed, too. I got home reported the incidents and went back, in the car, armed with bags. Both poos – one in Lower Waites Lane, and the other in Waites Lane – had been removed, disappeared. If someone had spotted what happened, or come across them and cleared them away, I thank you and apologise. If not, there may be a peculiar animal loose in the village with unusual dietary habits.
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