ALL IS SAFELY GATHERED IN: I love harvest time don’t you? I was never quite as enamoured of Autumn before I came to live in Iden, where farming is all around us, and we wake up each morning and put the kettle on, and there outside our window, a tractor will be trundling by, and the fields are just stubble, like a man who hasn’t shaved. We go for walks, and we are treading on acorns and conkers, and those sycamore [helicopters] are hanging in clumps on the trees, ready to whizz down when the wind blows. It’s a muddy time, a time for new school uniform, a chill in the air time, a time to sing ‘We Plough The Fields and Scatter and a time when bonfires are expected and acceptable. What would Autumn be without drifts of smoke, breezing in and out of gardens? So, what do people say to each other at this time of the year? “Shall we have a nice stew”, or “what do you say we light the fire” or “these nights are really drawing in aren’t they?” or “must order some logs”, or ‘are we having a pumpkin this year, or “ It’s your turn to put the blanket on” or “Christmas cards in the shops already they’re having a laugh aren’t they?. You see though, they aren’t just having a laugh, there is a sequence to these things. As soon as Christmas day is over, Boxing day heralds the adverts for holidays in the Seychelles, and out come cream eggs in the shops. Why as early as next week, we should be able to lay our hands on a reindeer jumper [best to buy one now too, because the cute ones go very quickly!] And how many people have by now already fallen over a stack of Quality Street while doing the weekly shop. Do you know, I love it though, this treadmill of enjoyment, the constant preparation for one seasonal feast or another. “Oh, I’m up to my eyes in it”, we say, moving a hand across a furrowed brow”, but in actual fact we love being constantly challenged. Heaven forbid if I haven’t bought my Christmas cards by the beginning of October. By mid October [well don’t even think about it. By then I’m hyper-ventilating] It’s life’s rich pattern, and it truly is a rich pattern living here in the countryside where each season is such a backdrop. We watch in renewed amazement, as the whole landscape is seen to change quarterly into an entirely different garb, and changing with it is Iden’s own treadmill of seasonal fun. Question;What’s the rarest thing in England? Answer—a bored Idenite!

SHORT MAT BOWLS: This started on 1st October, and is always good fun. Every Wednesday from 2pm-4pm in the village hall, short mat bowls will be there for a little indoor exercise. The cost is £3.50, which includes hire of the hall and refreshments. Teresa Parsons runs ‘short mat’, and if you would like to join, do contact her [telephone 01797 280143] Every one from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome, whether or not you have played before.

IDEN CALENDARS ARE IN THE SHOP: Rod Stuart’s calendars for 2015 are on sale in Iden Village Stores. It’s so nice to have a different view of Iden each month. It puts us firmly on the map, and different lights, at different times of the day, each give our village a different perspective. We are not all like Rod, crawling into ditches to get a good view [I don’t know where he gets the energy!] It’s easier for us to just buy the calendar It’s the proper time to buy a calendar too. Don’t the years just fly by?

THE ‘POP IN’: The next Pop In will be on Monday 13th October, at 11am in Iden village hall This will be a Macmillan Coffee Morning, all proceeds to ‘Macmillan’ cancer support. Donations of cakes will be much appreciated.

BINGO: Bingo will be on Thursday 16th October in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. It only costs a pound for a light tea, at half time, when we break for a little ‘natter’, so all in all, it’s an enjoyable afternoon .Everyone from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome.

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There is a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am on Sunday 5th October.

THE NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: The title of this month’s lecture is ‘A Bird Fancier’s delight’, and will be on October 10th, at 7.30 pm in the village hall .Visitors pay £3, and the annual subscription for members is £14. Living in beautiful countryside like we do, it’s particularly beneficial to sit in on one of the Natural History Society lectures.

THANKYOU BOB, DOV AND LAURA: ‘The Great American Song Book’ was the name of the concert held on Saturday 27th October in Iden Parish Church. Bob Hammond, Dov Perminski, and Laura Heales, sang and entertained us with a medley of American songs by the likes of Cole Porter, Johnnie Mercer and Jerome Kern .The clarity of the message contained in these lyrics, rendered them timeless, and they still hand us romance on a plate. Well done you three, for allowing us a nostalgic trip back in time. It was great. Donated proceeds will go to Iden Parish Church and the village hall .So, ‘start spreading the news, they ain’t leaving today’, and hopefully at some stage there will be an encore!

BACK TO CHURCH THE NEXT MORNING[28TH SEPTEMBER]: It was a particularly lovely service last Sunday, a warm autumnal morning, the sun shining through the church windows onto white lilies and gypsophila. [baby’s breath.] I wonder which contemplative person thought to call gyp. by that name, because it’s so apt. Anyway, the hymns were rousing, and everyone sang up, and the theme of the sermon was ‘angels’, so it was nice, very nice.

THE HARVEST SUPPER: Have you all got your tickets for tomorrow’s harvest supper in the village hall If not, they are on sale in Iden Village Stores. It promises to be a good evening, with lovely food.


There will be a jumble sale on Saturday October 25th in aid of Iden Cricket Club, to be held in the village hall. Sue White will collect if necessary [telephone 01797 280453] No electrical goods.

“OUCH, THAT HURT”: In my autumnal blurb, I forgot to mention hawthorn berries [now who in he world forgets hips and haws] I love them. n fact I’m a pushover for all red berries. I usually buy artificial berries though, to slot in with the Christmas holly, because off times by the end of December, the birds will have had their fair share of berries, and after all, their entitlement is greater than mine. If an when we go for a country walk, my husband always pelts me with hawthorn berries. Now in those heady days when I hung on to his every word, I loved his playfulness, but now I just want to pelt him back [with something infinitely heavier than a hawthorn berry!] because on a walk I am even more than usual away with the fairies., weaving little hedgerow scenarios. Actually, I am very fortunate to have him, because he allows me to flit from subject to subject without batting an eyelid . The poor man is used to confusion. It’s such a boon to have someone well- versed in one’s foibles. Anyone else would have told me long ago to take a long walk off a short pier!

CONTACT ME: If you have anything to add to the village voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01797-280-311,] and I’ll gladly include it.

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street