Church matters: There is just the one service this Sunday, and it’s Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, at 10.30 am.

Sickness – there’s been a lot of it about – prevented January’s Messy Church from taking place. It should be back on the rails again next Wednesday, February 3, in the village hall at the usual time.

Don’t forget that next Saturday, February 6 there will be a Men’s Breakfast in the village hall at 9 am, with guest speaker Roger Murphy who will share how God has worked in his life.

Later that day, in fact at 7.30 pm, there’s a Barn Dance with the Catsfield Steamers in the village hall. If purchased in advance, tickets, if there are any left this late in the proceedings, are £10 for adults and £5 for children aged 8 to 12 They include ploughman’s supper and soft drink, and may be available at the Post Office if you’re lucky. You could try calling 812799 or emailing admin@fairlightandpett.com if you are desperate.

On the Sunday February 7 the service will one of Family Worship at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am with Roger Murphy once again the guest speaker. The theme for the weekend is Hope.

And if spring remains in the air a little longer, make a note that there will be a Celebration of Love, a special service for Valentine’s Day, on Sunday, February 14 at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s along with Morning Praise.

MOPPs: Today, it’s Keith Osbourne with his popular Music for Health, plus a visit from Carol Lewis, and then you can enjoy fish and chips and spotted dick. No, not altogether – one course and then another. Next Friday, February 5, you can hear ‘Exploring the Garden Route’ – a talk given by Michael Hoad. Lunch will be cottage pie followed by banana custard.

An appeal has gone out for volunteers to help out each Friday. You’ll learn new skills, meet new friends, be a valuable pert of a team and be secure in the knowledge that you are helping in the running of a first rate, highly regarded local charity, rightly loved by its members.

At the same time, MOPPs are seeking a new Treasurer, as the present incumbent will be retiring in March. The Treasurer will need to have a knowledge of bookkeeping and the maintenance of accounts; knowledge of the charity sector; a commitment to the organisation; good people and communications skills, tact and diplomacy; honesty, integrity and ability to maintain confidential information and the ability to present accounts (duly certified by an independent examiner) at each AGM. The time commitment involved averages around eight hours per week made up of:

attendance at MOPPs to take in and pay out money and maintain records (approximately five hours), plus administration at home, maintenance of financial records etc. If you are interested in either volunteering or in becoming treasurer, please contact MOPP’s Chairman Jim Saphin through Facbook (https://www.facebook.com/jim.saphin or https://www.facebook.com/fairlightmopp.co.uk/?ref=bookmarks, or by email to dimarflo@aol.com

Panto: Wednesday’s Charity performance and Thursday’s Opening Night of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will be safely behind the group by the time you’re reading this. Fingers crossed and break a leg, (maybe a silly thing to say in January). And that just leaves one show tonight and two tomorrow, and if you’re tempted, be warned – tickets are likely to be either very thin on the ground, or totally non-existent! Earlier in the week, the production was showing great promise and with ‘It’ll be alright on the night’ a particular favourite axiom in Fairlight (though never stating which night), I look forward to seeing it all again. I expect you are looking forward to seeing it for the first time.

60’s and 70’s Disco: Don’t forget that you need to boogie on down to the village hall on Saturday, February 27 for the Residents Association’s 60’s and 70’s Disco, starting at 7.30 pm. There will be a bar and a raffle, and the £5 tickets are now on sale at the Post Office. You are invited to take along your own food to keep you going through all the shaking, rattling and rolling, and the organisers are aware that you may have more to shake, rattle and roll that you did when the music was new. All proceeds will be supporting Stage III of the Cliff Preservation Scheme.

Gardening Club: Our gardens have had a very up and down winter with temperatures and the wind mainly up and the rain persistently down, and then a bit of a freeze last week. Plants which should not be out until spring have already been in flower, but some of them have really suffered with the sharp frost. As February approaches, so does the start of the Gardening Club season, and it will be with us on Monday next, at 2.30 pm in the village hall for the AGM, together with a look back over the last year and the Club’s achievements, particularly around the village. This is an opportunity for members to renew their membership and enjoy an informal Bring and Share buffet. New members are always very welcome, so do go along.

And a week tomorrow, on February 6, the Club Hut re-opens at 10 am, until 12 noon, as it will every Saturday until the end of October. Stock up on compost for the coming season! They don’t stock waders, thigh boots or even wellies, I’m afraid.

Slippage: Not what you get when it’s icy under foot – remember those days? – but what happens when a carefully planned programme of works fails to keep up with the proposed time- and date-line. And slippage is what we have got from Southern Water who, you will recall, should now be at the end of the second of the forty weeks they are going to be relaying the water main down Battery Hill. Except that the programme slipped right from Week One, when they made no start at all. You can probably get good money on a bet on the job lasting until next Christmas.

Rumours of renaming: An outline plan is rumoured, in which several souls would like to have Waites Lane renamed the far more descriptive Patchwork Lane, while Battery Hill would more accurately become Battered Hill. Neither is likely to catch on. True, some remedial work has been undertaken, with the filled holes now being slightly proud, so that countless cars can complete the material compression like a multiplicity of wacker plates. None of which helps all the remainder of Waites Lane, specific deep pits in Martineau Lane, or the ghastly stretch between Hysted and Pineridge, all too rapidly eroding across the carriageway from the very edge.

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