ONCE HALLOWEEN DEPARTS: As soon as Halloween is out of the way, we begin filling the nooks and crannies with After Eights and stocking fillers. This week, I’ll be on the prowl for crackers and Christmas serviettes [both of which get the same degree of attention as choosing a three piece suite] People say “Christmas is far and away too commercialised”, but I always feel a great deal of good will and happiness [an undercurrent of joy] everywhere, and after all isn’t that what the meaning of Christmas should evoke? We send cards to people , we put a lot of thought into our gifts, the nativity plays are lovely, we all dress up, we go to a carol service, we pick holly and locate sledges, we go to Midnight Mass, festoon our houses, and we bake in nice warm kitchens that smell of ‘Christmas cake brandy and oranges. Also [and it’s a very big ‘also’] we have to remember to take a bite out of Santa’s carrot and mince pie, and polish off his milk or sherry [for the kids] before we climb the stairs ourselves, no matter how tired we are[and a raw carrot at midnight tastes awful], and if that isn’t thoughtful, I don’t know what is after stuffing a turkey and doing umpteen sprouts, and making sure that everyone has sufficient bedding .People smile more at Christmas too, and maybe that is the Christmas cake brandy, but I think it’s just Christmas itself.!

CHRISTMAS ISN’T WONDERFUL FOR EVERYONE: The ‘Link To Hope Shoebox Appeal ‘, is collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts for very poor families and the elderly living alone, in Romania, Moldova, Albania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. These people live in terrible conditions, often without running water, or electricity .Everyday items, such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo, combs, socks, crayons and colouring books, bring so much happiness to people with so little. All we need to do is locate a shoe box and fill it, and if you ring Sue Cavilla [telephone230-431], she will if necessary collect your shoebox, or it can be brought to Iden Parish Church, or Playden Church .Shoeboxes need to be ready by this coming Sunday 26th October .This year the charity is also supporting Syrian refugees living in Bulgaria. Sue Cavilla would like to Thank everyone who has already given, or is about to give to the appeal. Many thanks to ‘Rye Shoes’, for saving empty shoe boxes for the Shoebox Appeal, and thus helping the ‘Link To Hope’ charity ...

2015 CALENDARS ARE ON SALE: Rod Stuart’s lovely calendars with views of Iden, are on sale in Iden Village Stores. These are very nice to own personally, or to give as gifts.

THE MACMILLAN COFFEE MORNING: The coffee morning on 13th October made £200, which was commendable, because it was a wet, blowy old day. However, inside the village hall as usual when Iden folk get together, there was fun and hilarity. There was a cake stall and bric a brac. Thank you to everyone who supported it.

COFFEE MORNING AND BAKE SALE: There will be a coffee morning on 8th November, in Iden village hall, at 10.30 am. Cakes and bric-a-brac, will be on sale, and proceeds are to go to the village hall .So--- do come, everyone is welcome. Donations of cakes and bric a brac will be gratefully received, and the village hall will be open from 9am to receive them.

JUMBLE SALE IN AID OF IDEN CRICKET CLUB: The jumble sale is on Saturday 25th October,[tomorrow] in the village hall, at 1pm. No electrical goods, but jumble will be gratefully received .I kid you not, I am writing this, wearing a 10 pence jumble sale jumper [a beautiful thing-----well, lets not go overboard] but it’s infinitely superior to some of the things I have in my wardrobe .Jumble sales are a haven of possibility. Who knows you might just find the very knob for the end of the bathroom light switch, or a little vase for the Christmas holly. Come and have a rummage!

THE POP- IN: What exactly is a pop-in, I hear you say. Well it’s self explanatory, you just pop-in to the Iden village hall, pay a pound for tea/coffee and biscuits [and as many free top-ups as you like] and have a chat, while periodically perusing the book stall and bric a brac.It’s always nice to spend a morning with people you know, sharing a cup of coffee and a Rich Tea--Do come along, all are welcome. The next pop-in is on Monday 27th October, at 11am.

BINGO: Every fortnight, the Iden village hall Bingo, gets more illustrious. It does honestly. Last time we had egg sandwiches, ham rolls, home made oat biscuits, Swiss roll and brownies [all for a pound with a cup of tea]. Then along comes Pete with posh serviettes, and then we have a raffle, and a jackpot and a ‘flyer’, and people chat, and catch up on what’s been happening, and all the while folk are winning enough for a nice Christmas top, or a new set of outdoor lights. “YES”, they cry, and their joy is palpable. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you have an excitable disposition, Iden Bingo may not be the place for you, because it should come with a health warning! Anyway doors open at 2pm, eyes down at Anyone from Iden, or surrounding villages is welcome. The next Bingo is on Thursday 30th October

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: Writing the village voice is a constant reminder for me of the change and fluidity in Iden throughout the year. Nature’s backdrop is very apparent here. There isn’t a month that doesn’t bring something to the table, and our Natural History Society champions all those changes. So tonight, in the village hall, at 7.30pm, Sue Buckingham will be giving a talk entitled ‘Wild Flowers Of Kent’. I don’t think there’s a person in Iden who doesn’t enthuse about our wild flowers, so if you feel like going along, visitors pay £3 for the talk.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION; There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am. On Sunday 26th October.

THE QUIZ WAS GREAT!: Pat Buckland wishes me to thank all those who helped at the quiz in the village hall last Friday. Many thanks to our quizmaster John Harrison, who also compiled the quiz, which everyone enjoyed. Many thanks to Paul and Mandy Parsons, the stalwarts who organised the quiz, along with Pat herself who ordered the fish and chip suppers, and took bookings. Many thanks to Ray Griffin, who kept score, and to everyone who attended. Pat asked me to thank Michael Miller, who took home all the rubbish generated by the event.. That was a great help. The quiz made £200, for the Goat Sanctuary, and £142 for the village hall, Well done everyone.

HAS ANYONE LOST A FERRET?: There was a notice in the window of Iden Village Stores last week saying that someone had lost a ferret. Well you can rest assured it wasn’t me anyway, because if a ferret turned up in my kitchen, they’d have to scrape me off the floor.. However, some people love ferrets, and this particular ferret did just turn up in someone’s kitchen, and after a snack, was apparently asleep in their ferret house. Anyway, if someone has lost a tame ferret, please ring 01-797 270396, or 07809765865.

HIDE AND SEEK: Do you know, I cannot watch anything competitive, where people are eliminated, unless I watch it through the crack in the door. ‘Strictly’, ‘Great British Bake Off’, ‘The Great British Menu’ [watched through the crack in the door] My husband say’s “Gill, are you watching this or just creating a draught”. I don’t like to see people lose, when they have given it their all. Those cakes recently with the wonky windmills in the ‘Bake Off’ [torment] They try so hard, and some of the panel can be very sarcastic can’t they ? I remember school, and G.C.E. cookery, trying to make a roast dinner in front of an examiner. [hot, red in the face, tears, you name it.], and that only applied to my examiner! I suppose it’s all a case of nothing ventured nothing gained, but you have to admit these folk have got some pluck.

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the village voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01797-280311] and I’ll be glad to include it.

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street