Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

In our churches this week… there’s one service up the hill at St Andrew’s, which will be an All Age service at 10.30 am, and then one down the hill at St Peter’s, an Informal Communion service at the ‘winter evening’ time of 4 pm. Both services will be led by the Rector, Rev Richard Barron.

The Gardening Club… has a flurry of activity in the next few days. The Club hut reopens from 10 am to 12 noon tomorrow, Saturday. This will give you an excellent opportunity to purchase the new double capacity rain gauge, and other essentials for the difficult times ahead. Then, on Monday next, February 3, it will be their AGM, so do go along and have a vote and a nibble – it’s a ‘bring and share’ occasion, further enlivened by a slide show by Stephen Leadbetter. The Club’s first talk of the season is not until next month, when the Rev Richard Barron will be talking about and demonstrating sweet peas. His sweeping successes with these at last year’s annual show proves his status as an expert on the subject. A reminder will follow.

Fairlight’s branch of the Trefoil Guild… meets at St Peter’s Church on the fourth Wednesday of each month. It does not, however, meet from 10.30 to 12.30 as I erroneously stated a fortnight ago. I have been given 100 lines for this mistake, though I expect the Editor will only print one of them. ‘Trefoil runs from 10 till 12’.

The Guild’s January meeting was entitled ‘Are you Thinking Straight?’ - a very interesting talk about mental health given by Rose Beck. Two visitors from the village joined the meeting, and there was time for questions. Members discussed the President’s Challenge, and resolved to tackle a collage entitled The Sea.

In February, they will be celebrating Thinking Day, the birthday of our Founder Lady Olave Baden-Powell and also her husband Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement. This meeting will be a week earlier than usual, on the third Wednesday of the month, on March 19. The Trefoil Guild County Chairman, Mrs. Margaret Garrad, has been invited, as have members of other Trefoil Guilds. Just as an advance note, the Guild’s first AGM will be coming along in March.

On the wight woad… the Tuesday Ladies Club opened their fifth year of existence with a talk by Fairlight’s own accomplished Dr. Richard Baines. His subject was ‘The Face’ and he proceeded to cover the history of make up and the changing of one’s appearance, which goes back to at least the Ancient Egyptians and our own woad-covered ancestors. He began with Queen Elizabeth 1st who, like all the rich in those days, used lead based whitening, which made them bald and ruined their skin. She had very translucent skin of which she was obviously very proud as she had the veins on her hands, forehead and breast painted to emphasise this. In those days they scraped their teeth with cuttlefish to whiten them and succeeded in removing all the enamel. This is why they all looked so tight lipped on their portraits! Richard also told us the origins of ‘speaking with a plum in your mouth’ due to ladies a couple of centuries later putting cork in the mouths to fill out their cheeks. The ultimate horror was false eyebrows made out of mouse fur. The arrival of Queen Victoria heralded a new era of no make up and clean bodies. A great presentation!

Notes and details for next month will come nearer the date.

Any questions…? Yes, plenty of them, when Linda Eades hosts the latest in the Cove’s series of quizzes on Wednesday next, February 5. Thinking caps on for the 8 pm start.

Valentine’s Day… is possibly the ultimate time for being ‘social’, and that’s probably why the Residents Association are offering their Valentine’s Social in the village hall on Friday, February 14, at 7 for 7.30 pm. A buffet comes from the FRA, the music comes from Ken and the drinks come from your home, because you bring them with you along with your glasses. The tickets come from the Post Office, where they can readily be had in exchange for £8 each.

Sleeping Beauty… the Pantomime Group’s 35th production was, indeed, ‘all right on the night’ and, after some anxiety, was almost sold out. Reviews will appear elsewhere, but in the meantime it’s good to be able to say it ‘turned out nice again’. Like the Players, mentioned below, the Group could do with more acting members, especially in the 20 to 40 age range - both men and women. Yes, it’s can be hard work being in a show, but you never get more out of it than you’re prepared to put in, so remember that when it comes up for the auditions towards the end of the year.

The Players… have begun their progress towards their April production, Holiday Snap, a riotous eight-handed comedy from the pens of Michael Pertwee and John Chapman. Keith Pollard will be directing (What? Again?) and his cast consists of Roland Garrad, Jim Saphin, Emily Belfield, Keith Miller, Aisling Tigwell, Carol Ardley, Tom Miller and April Kitney. Emily and April were both first-timers on stage in November’s Prescription for Murder, and now move on to a second appearance each. But what was said about the Panto Group applies equally to the Players – they need more acting members, so they may be able to select plays with longer casts. After all, last April’s Happy as a Sandbag saw them put 15 people on stage. Showbiz is an unfulfilled dream for many people. Just have a look at the biographies of any number of stars and celebrities, and see how many of them began learning their craft in amateur dramatics. It could be you!

The Literary Society… has a very interesting talk coming up on Wednesday next, February 5 at 2.30 pm. Mick Barrow’s subject will be A Lifetime of Sea Fishing - A Maritime Treasure Chest Visitors are welcome on payment of a small fee, and if you’d like more details, please call the Secretary, Barbara Wright on either 814037 or 812563.

A week tomorrow… you’ll be able to find out all about the public access defibrillator and how and when to use it. Our invaluable First Responders will be there, at the village hall from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday, February 8, to de-mystify the whole business. You will be given knowledge that could help to save a life, and whoever you go with could learn how to save yours. It makes sound sense to learn this skill. Liz Brooker, on 813149, can tell you more about the subject.

The Floral Club’s demonstration…took place last week but, in the event, it was not Lynn Carter giving it. Due to a date misunderstanding, Lynn was unable to make it, and will now be doing her presentation in February. Into her shoes, with next to no notice that she would doing so, stepped Club Chairman Sheila Benson with an excellent, polished and attractive afternoon’s display. Not only that, but Sheila achieved it all with supermarket flowers! Few indeed are those who could have accomplished as much, let alone at such a short call. And they still have Lynn to look forward to!

The Fairlight Playgroup and Nursery… have been hoping to borrow accessible storage space in advance of their Jumble Sale on Saturday, March 8 in the village hall. What they’d like you to think about now is all that attractive and useful stuff that you possess, but for which you no longer really have room. It could be helping this excellent cause, so please call Sarah Gilbert on 815113, and she’ll tell you what you can do with it. In the nicest possible sense!

News from EFFAG… the East Field Fairlight Action Group, of which you will surely have heard, aims to preserve the East Field, which lies behind the houses on Pett Level Road, Waites Lane and Broadway, for the benefit of the village as part of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Group now has a presence on the web, which includes a short film and photos. It can all be found under the Local Groups and Clubs section of the Fairlight Community website, which is at fairlight.org.uk Do visit this site.

MOPPs… today, January 31, they’ll be enjoying roast lamb, potatoes and veg, plus banana & custard. The Different Strokes Singers, who had been billed to appear last week, will provide the entertainment. Next Friday, February 7, on the menu will be sausage and mash with apple crumble and custard for sweet. The entertainment will be by Annie Cryer. If you need to know more, just call Jim Saphin on 07905 981036.

Flicks in the Village (of Pett)… will be showing ‘Summer in February’ on Thursday, February 6. It’s in Pett village hall at 7 for 7.30 pm. It’s a true tale of love, liberty and scandal amongst the Edwardian artists’ colony in Cornwall, and it stars Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning and Dan Stevens.

Hello, hello, hello… Now the Police have issued a warning about calling area code 0809 (or 0284 or 0876) It was brought to your attention in our Village Voice early in December, and followed up recently after Andrew Mier had been notified about it. It was also Andrew who received the Police email this Tuesday. A quick run to About.com/urban legends will tell you this scam has been around in one form or another since 1996. The specific phone message ‘Hi, this is Karen…’ was logged on February 6, 2005. The comprehensive details on the web include Status: Overblown. 0809 is the dialling code for the Dominican Republic, 0284 for the British Virgin Islands and 0876 is Jamaica. If you get a message to call back to any of these codes, don’t do it, and delete the message. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath!

The good, the bad and the ugly… Well, the good is that someone has been round the village with a white paint aerosol (or maybe two or three of them) marking up some of the most execrable pot holes for infilling, but the bad news is that the persistent rain has removed almost all the paint work, leaving the ugly – what used to be one or two pot hole Black Spots has turned into a veritable rash of the things. If they all join up we shall surely be doomed.

And while we’re on the subject of the roads, there’s still no improvement in the A259 outside the Hastings Academy. Deterioration began with the new build of the school, many, many months ago, and continued throughout the building works, partly through scrubbing site traffic, and partly because staff cars had nowhere else to park but the main road, forcing all the heavy vehicles into the one-lane-each-way centre. And when they come to do it (!), perhaps they’ll bring some white paint for the centre of Fairlight Road, before the top dressing is worn away to expose the white lines that were there before.