Men and barbeques: Are Iden men the same as men the world over when it comes to barbecues? I expect so, though I have to say that there is something wonderful about sitting down with a glass of wine when the barbecue is beginning to materialize, and the smell of wood smoke pervades the air, knowing that I’m having no part in the cooking.. No one operates a barbecue like a man, but don’t they just know it! Suddenly we have a gaggle of Jamie Olivers, all with their own idea about how to get the most out of a burger! Women do not count in this competitive arena, in spite of the fact that we’ve done the shopping, pondered over the right serviettes, laid the table, made a green salad, a homemade coleslaw, a barbeque sauce, a rice salad, flavoured butters for the baked potatoes, umpteen puddings, located the tea lights and hung the wired jam jars [in places of maximum safety], arranged an array of special meat- free sausages and burgers for vegetarian relatives, thought about high chairs and booster seats and rustled up some of the brightest, nicest, most appetite- inducing picnic table ware ever. (phew!). Still, I have to say it’s lovely at the end of all this preparation to be able to hand over the oven mitts to a fella!. I hope you have all enjoyed at least one nice barbecue or picnic this summer. Whatever summer activity we have taken part in this year, in this lovely part of the world, we have one of nature’s finest back drops don’t we?

Iden remembers: We were pleased and proud that the service around the war memorial to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, was so well attended. Iden villagers dressed appropriately, and looked particularly smart for this dignified occasion, many sporting black suits and ties. Our vicar Teresa took the service, and Bill Coleman and Valerie Walker both gave an address. The words ‘Age Shall Not Weary Them’, rang out over the village. Bill Coleman read out a list of Iden residents who lost their lives in both World Wars, and have been remembered by having their names etched in the memorial stone. After the service, there was a wonderful show of attendance from Iden residents in the village hall, who joined in with the ‘Pop- In’. A buffet lunch was served, comprising the usual high standard of Iden fare, donated by so many of the villagers. The service, a period of deep respect was followed by a show of friendship, when villagers sat together, enjoying each other’s company, ending the morning on a joyous note. Let’s hope that those soldiers knew somehow that they were responsible for our enjoyment that day, in a peaceful, happier Britain. The names of the Iden victims of both World Wars have been posted on our notice board.

A show of solidarity: One of the nice things about living in a village that consists in the great scheme of things, as nothing more than a scattering of houses, a shop and a pub a church and a playing field, is that we mostly all know each other, or know of each other and at special times, such as the First World War Centenary, or at particularly sad or happy times when emotions run high, we take comfort from each other., and I have a feeling in my bones that it’s always going to be that way.

Iden Parish Church: is remembering the First World War. On 22nd August at 6.30pm [not 7.30 as I mentioned in error last week] when there will be an informative talk in the church on the historical events and extreme hardships surrounding the war, followed by refreshments in the Old Hall. This talk is followed by ‘A Tribute In Flowers’ in the church on 23rd, 24th and 25th August, when arrangements by the church flower group can be seen to depict the First World War. Refreshments will be served in the ‘Old Hall, by the church throughout those days .If anyone is willing to donate a cake for this three day event, it will be much appreciated, and cakes can be brought to the ‘Old Hall from 10 am, on any of those days

Unsung heroes: The ‘Rights Of Way Group’, are a team of men in Iden who repair and maintain gates, stiles and dog gates on public footpaths. If a footpath goes from Iden to Playden , or Peasmarsh, then they will follow it through, so the responsibility of care continues to it’s destination. The group, which comes under the jurisdiction of East Sussex County Council, comprises Bill Coleman, Morris Metcalfe, John Wilson, Clive Gilbert and Del Richards, all of whom have received specific training. Materials are supplied, but sundries and tools are mostly the men’s own. Like everything else in life today, health and safety is sacrosanct, so these men do a grand job, on a purely voluntary basis, keeping our gates and stiles in order. Gloria Wilson from the ladies walking group ‘The Iden Trotters’, informed me that when doing a rekey [a test run of a particular walk], they will cut down foliage obstructing a footpath, where possible. We should spare a thought for all these conscientious folk when we stroll out to walk off the Sunday roast. Stiles and gates take a bashing , so need a fairly constant overhaul. So thank you all those who give up your time.

The ‘Pop-In’: The ‘Pop- In’ will be in the village hall on Monday 18th August at 11 am. Do come along, all are welcome.

Bingo: Bingo will be held in the village hall on Thursday, 21st August. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30 pm. Anyone from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome.

Service Of Holy Communion: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church at 9.30 am on Sunday 17th August

Poor old sheep: Yesterday, the sheep at the bottom of our garden were separated from their mothers for the first time, and began a constant bleating, which continued into the night. My husband (who is as soft as butter) felt sorry for them, and kept up a running commentary on the various bleats (they do actually sound different, who knows, some may have slightly splayed larynx!) I knew it would pass, but, it was bothering him. “poor little beggars”, he kept saying[ we would never have made farmers) Owen, (“oh yes” , we named one Owen) seemed to be fretting the most. Anyway thank goodness for small mercies, we managed to pass the night without having a sheep next to us, wrapped in a rug!

Contact me: If anyone has anything they wish to add to the Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin (telephone 01797 280311)

Jill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street