Sometimes there are moments in life, an hour or so perhaps, that seem so unaccountably special, that you could almost put them in a match box, and keep them forever. Last week I had one such hour. I sat down in a nice comfy chair to read our latest book club choice, and looked out over the garden, and there were wisps of grey smoke from an afternoon bonfire trailing through the air. The cat was asleep on the grass, and the evening was perfect. There was not a sound to be heard, and one little blackbird hopped across the grass all on his own, looking lost .There was something so gentle about that brief hour .You see, that’s the nice thing about living in Iden, the countryside and the stillness can give rise to some hallowed moments, when it seems as though the whole world is taking a breather.

I have heard many Iden ladies say recently that they have made elderflower cordial, or better still, elderflower champagne .Honestly, what goes on in Iden kitchens is amazing. You won’t find Iden ladies stretched out on the settee with ‘Hello’ magazine, because it’s jam making time too, and Iden ladies know a thing or two about making jam. The preserving pans are out, the jars are being sterilized, and these people don’t need to consult a ‘Jams and Preserves’ book to know roughly how much pectin there is in a punnet of raspberries. There is something special about using the fruits our own gardens and hedgerows, instead of using goods shipped from half way around the world isn’t there? Iden ladies have recipes at their finger tips and I’m sure there is nothing nicer than a row of jam, still warm on a larder shelf, knowing that it’s been created within the four walls of home. Years ago I first read Flora Thompson’s book ‘Lark Rise To Candleford’ at school, and what I liked about it was it’s semi-documentary format, each chapter dealing with customs and aspects of survival in an Oxfordshire hamlet in the 1880’s. However, peeking through it’s pages are residual country traits still seen in Iden today. May they never disappear.

Well now, what has Iden in store for us? Firstly, I need to say that the Iden and Playden Garden Society ‘Summer flower and produce show last Saturday was beautiful as usual. The village hall was transformed by gardening and artistic ‘know-how’. It was a delight. All the arrangements were spectacular, and exuded the feeling of summer. The judges were particularly impressed with the roses and sweet peas. Carol Worwood was responsible for wonderful cream teas, enjoyed by all. Prizes were won by Anne Banning [most points in floral art, best arrangement with roses and most points in show classes1-53.] Trish Evans [Best in flower classes exhibit,27-50, best pot plant exhibit classes, 47-49 and best exhibit in show classes,1-53] Paddy Coulman [most points for roses classes27-33] Richard Tobitt [most points for sweet peas, classes34-36, and best in vegetable class] Noreen Winter[for most points domestic] and Carol Worwood [best vase, class 37] Well done everyone who entered.

There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church on Sunday the 6th July at 9. 30 am.

On Monday 7th July is the ‘Pop’ In’ in the village hall at 11am. Everyone is welcome, for a chat, book sale, bric a brac and tea/coffee and biscuits.

Bingo is on Thursday 10th July in the village hall. Doors open at 2 .pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. There is a jackpot, and a flier, as well as the usual Bingo books, and a light tea is served at the cost of one pound. It’s a nice way to pass an afternoon. Plenty of fun, chat and a chance to win a cash prize. Everyone from Iden and the surrounding district is welcome.

Now! Important news. Look out for a leaflet pushed through your door about the collection of books and bric a brac for ‘Bargains Galore’ and tombola prizes for the Iden Village Fete .BOOT FAIR PITCHES are available for fete day . These must be pre- booked [telephone 01797-280-416] The fete, as we all know is 26th July, so get those BOOT FAIR STALLS BOOKED. I can’t wait to get to the boot fair as early as possible, so much so that I’m practically throwing toast at the family [Morecombe and Wise fashion], and telling them that if they want eggs to get their own! It’s nice to wander around the boot fair early in the morning, and watch preparations for the fete unfold .People rush to and fro in their red ‘Iden Fete Committee’ tee-shirts and the smell of bacon cooking, wafts through the park. The fete opens at 1pm, but from 7am, or thereabouts, there is a veritable hive of activity, and the air is ELECTRIC! Help is needed to work on a rota system parking cars at the fete. Any one from the Iden district willing to help would be such an asset. If anyone is willing to work a short shift parking cars, please contact Debbie Hammond [telephone 01797-280-122]

On 22nd July and 31st July, there is a first aid session on ‘Basic Life Support’ in the village hall, at 7.30 pm. This will be most useful, in view of the impending Iden defibrillator .All are welcome to attend.

I had a nice letter this week, praising a gentleman called Graham Cloute [nicknamed Chloe]. Graham was born and bred in Iden, attended Playden School, and now lives in Peasmarsh. Graham started playing cricket for Iden many years ago, aged about ten, and now spends 7-8 hours a week keeping our playing field, Iden Park looking at it’s best. Graham mows the cricket pitch and outfields. He is an unsung hero, and I’m sure that everyone would like to join me in thanking Graham [Chloe] for his loyalty service and hard work. The park always looks lovely Graham, and we do appreciate it..

Now!, Continuing on from what I said earlier, about hallowed moments. There are times when I love noise too [a regular tumult]. “oh my yes” I love to play “Rocking All Over The World” full blast, or ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ .May be, I’ll be dusting, and I’ll suddenly feel the need to ‘bop’ around the living room.[I’m a terrible dancer, no sense of rhythm at all], but it doesn’t matter if I’m only dancing with a tin of spray polish, with only the cat to observe.[and cats are so wonderfully indifferent aren’t they?] Sometimes I put on ‘Queen’ [I love a bit of ‘Freddie] How I wish he hadn’t died so young.

Anyway, whether we are enjoying perfect stillness, or jiving with a can of ‘Pledge’. It’s so nice to be able to give in to the moment isn’t it?

Anyone who has anything to add to the village voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]

Gill Griffin

Bellfield, Main Street