All sense of time: There is little enough going on in general in the village at the moment, and given the brief re-visit of the Beast from the East (who coins these ridiculous phrases?), perhaps we should feel glad. Now we can concentrate on putting the clocks forward an hour (technically at 2 am on Sunday morning, but nobody will mind if you cheat). Then, tummy rumbling at 6 o'clock because it thinks it's five and about time to eat, you'll have had an extra hour in which to press your nose on the window pane and watch the Pest from the West continue its winter job of super-saturating your already boggy grass, beds and borders with persistent rain.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 6:00 am

Pews News: There is one service in the parish this Sunday, March 25, and it is Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am. The theme of the service will be Christ Crucified, in preparation for Easter. And in the final preparation for Good Friday, there will be one service on Maundy Thursday, March 29, and this will take place at St Peter’s, commencing at 7.30 pm. Transport is available.

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, March 23, entertaining the members will be Pete Prescott, singer and guitarist, known both for his performing skills and as founder of the renowned Hastings Beatles Day. (The nineteenth Beatles Day will be along on Sunday, April 8 at the White Rock Theatre from 12 noon to 10.30 pm. All proceeds, with all the performers giving their time and talents, go to Macmillan Cancer Support.) Nicola will be doing some toenail cutting today as well.

Lunch today is pasta Bolognaise, followed by cheesecake. Next Friday, March 30, is Good Friday, and there is to be an Easter Party. The actual entertainment content will be announced later.. Lunch will be salmon and new potatoes, with lemon tart to come.

Bowling along: Following its weather-induced postponement, the Bowls Club’s Coffee Morning will be taking place in the village hall from 10 am to 12 noon. There will be all the usual stalls, raffle, refreshments, and a good chance, if you could be interested in having a go at bowling, in chatting it through with one of the helpful members who will be present. And, of course, the morning concludes with a few cards of bingo, always a popular item. Many will be there because they enjoy the ambience and the company on this friendly occasion. See you there?

Mother’s Day – an apology: Last week’s note about the ‘borrowing’ of a few, well, perhaps as many as fifty of the daffodils, quietly blooming and swaying in the fierce, cold winds under the village sign at the bottom of Battery Hill, pointed the finger at Mr Ratbag. In turn, Graeme Gambrell has pointed out the error in my logic, as the larcenist was in fact a purloiness, on the distaff side. So it is Mrs Ratbag’s mum who we hope enjoyed her flowers… P.S. There are several daffs remaining and flourishing. And Easter is coming up…

Hastings Old Town: Richard Pollard, former Fairlight Parish Councillor and author of a fascinating book about the earlier Hastings Borough Engineer Sidney Little, has published another book, this time about Hastings Old Town – Torn Apart, 1850 – 1963, and he spoke on this subject at last week’s Speakers Corner. Richard has an affectionate and infectious regard for his subject, which he said at the outset was wordy. Indeed it was, and bitty, too, as he was telling of demolition activities over 113 years, in a total of 45 streets and lanes, under a number of Borough Engineers, prior to Sidney Little, none of whom seems to have had a plan, or any money. With his words supported by a wealth of evocative photos, it was very evident how much the area had changed, though pictures of northern back-to-backs would seem like luxury estates in comparison with the way dwellings were jammed in in the Old Town. The community spirit, a forerunner perhaps of the spirit on the Home Front in WW2, was very strong in such a close knit lifestyle. All gone. Inevitable, maybe, but has it all been for the better? Elf, safety and hygiene would certainly say yes! Richard’s book is normally available in Waterstones. Next Wednesday’s speaker will be Alan Haines with ‘A kick up the 60’s’.

Parish Council: The Council meets at 7 pm on Tuesday next, April 27. As we go to press, no details are available, but with the Market Garden site planning application for 16 dwellings finally approved, something about this item will certainly be raised, if only as an examination of the multifarious conditions attached, which have not been disclosed to the public as yet. East Field should also get a mention, though possibly not an honourable one. Other matters, many of them ongoing, will be on the agenda when it appears. This coming meeting is the third and last in the trial of Item 3 public involvement vis-à-vis an Open Forum, after which the views of all nine councillors will be canvassed for their opinions. Thus will happen at the April meeting, and one hopes they will avoid any Leveson effect.