OH HELP IT’S CHRISTMAS!: Most of the year we manage to get by each day with a few potatoes, a lamb chop or two, maybe some frozen peas, a loaf and a piece of cheese [and give or take maybe a couple of carrots that have seen better days, and, perhaps a yoghurt], but as Christmas approaches, we lose all sense of reason.. Our homes look as though we are preparing for an invasion. The shops are shut on Christmas day, and on Boxing day, the odd shop does open [in case of famine], but we all carry on [well I do anyway, like a mad woman]. The rest of the year we rarely see a chocolate, and suddenly, if we haven’t got every kind of chocolate known to man, we become desperate .We must have Turkish delight, and dates, and dried figs [though no one seems to eat them] Then of course, we have to have enough antacids, antihistamines, analgesics, plasters, crepe bandages, you name it. My larder shelf looks like an A and E department. I think that women have this need to take care of every eventuality, particularly when hosting Christmas, just in case a great aunt has a liking for sugar mice, or someone should trip on a set of twinkle lights, but, the three wise men brought only a small gift each, and nowhere are they depicted carrying any of our over the top trappings of Christmas. The first Christmas was simple and humble, and deep down, I’m sure we would prefer some of that simplicity. My husband just piped up, and said that he would like to see me doing simplicity, and he’s right, I need to practice what I preach. It’s such a beautiful time though isn’t it?

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church at 9.30 am on Sunday 14th December. The Church continues to celebrate Advent, leading us into Christmas

THE CAROL SERVICE IS ALWAYS WONDERFUL: The Carol service at Iden Parish Church, is on Thursday 18th December at 7.30 pm. There will be mulled wine and mince pies after the service.

THE NEXT POP-IN: The next Pop-In will be on Monday 5th January in the village hall at 11 am.

BINGO: The next Bingo will be on 8th January at 2pm in the village hall. Eyes down at 2.30pm

THE IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: Tonight, in the village hall at 7.30 pm, the subject of the Iden and District Natural History Society is ‘Wayside Plants And Their Folklore’, presented by Susan Scriven. Visitors pay £3 to hear the lecture. All are welcome.

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: The Iden Parish Council meeting was on Tuesday 2nd December in the village hall. Michael Miller chaired the meeting. There was a visit from PCSO Dan Bevan, our local policeman, who keeps a good eye on our Iden community. Dan suggested that we are vigilant over cold callers , who may or may not be legitimate. He suggested that we keep an eye on our properties, including our out -buildings and our oil tanks. He gave out leaflets, which highlighted the need for due care when protecting our homes and assets One point was to take care when ordering on line, particularly when giving out bank details .Patrols and speed checks in the village continue. The literature included a five year plan from the Surrey Police Force. The Rother District Councillors, present at the meeting, briefly outlined the possible financial cutbacks, which may be necessary in these cash-strapped times .Any possible change to our local bus service is still under discussion. The Parish Council, out of necessity, use their finances wisely. There is always something needing repair, or replenishing, and expenditure is under scrutiny at the Parish Council Meetings, as are planning decisions. The finger-post nearest Iden Village Stores, is about to be repaired, and these things are costly, but necessary .The minutes of the meeting will be posted on the village notice board, or may be read on line at []

A HALLOWED SILENCE: There is always a hushed, hallowed silence in Iden on Christmas day and Boxing day .A feeling of ‘snugness’ prevails ,and we know that although everyone is tucked up in their homes with family and friends, outside you could almost hear a pin drop. It’s an ethereal feeling, especially as we have no street lights, and the stars are clearly visible, and particularly special at Christmas time, as though they too are in awe of the silence below. .Sometimes the sound of silence is more apparent than the loudest noise. The two minute silence for the soldiers this year was particularly deafening. Hallowed things don’t need a lot of noise and razz matazz do they, but they carry a world of impact.

CONTACT ME: If you have anything to add to the village voice, I’d be pleased to include it. Please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street