THE BEST MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS: Some of the best moments of Christmas happen when we are drawn towards ethereal reflection. The true meaning of Christmas is keenly felt when we go to a carol service, or take a drive out into the country during the Christmas period, and see the bleak, vegetation. Everything looks ‘twiggy’, and the sky gives off a mysterious look, with those strips of greyish cloud [like an old man’s eyebrows] We in Iden are lucky to have the countryside right on our doorstep .We march, ever onwards, towards each new season and even as Christmas melts into a memory for another year, there is the promise of Spring in the air . I wandered out into the garden on Christmas Eve, looking for a bunch of mixed herbs, and had an ethereal moment. For one thing I love herbs [even the word ‘herbs’ makes me feel as though I’m wearing a smocked pinafore, and a poke bonnet!] It was mild, and there were buds popping up here and there, and I was looking forward to Christmas day, yet already envisaging next year’s seasons .When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate this ‘treadmill’ of seasonal pleasure. Sometimes it’s an advantage having a few years tucked under your belt isn’t it?.

THE CAROL SERVICE AT IDEN PARISH CHURCH: Our Carol Service never disappoints, and this year’s, on Thursday 18th December was no exception .Susannah Miller played the organ, and was joined in a duet by Caroline Kehoe on the oboe, playing, ‘Adagio’ by Bach, which was beautiful, as was the voice of Helen Gray, who sang two solos, entitled ‘The Little Road To Bethlehem’ by Michael Head, and ‘Sweet Was The Song The Virgin Sang’, by Sydney Northcote. The readers were all special, but none more so than Geoffrey Chater- Robinson, our village thespian, who has graced our television screens for decades in a myriad of character roles. Whenever he reads in church, the only word of criticism is that he doesn’t carry on reading all night. because his voice is able to conjure up a rich tableau , that none of us want to end.. Thank you Teresa, our vicar and to everyone who contributed, and planned the Carol service, from the flower ladies, who pushed the last piece of holly into oasis, our church wardens Michael Miller and Alan Riley, and Alison Gilbert, who arranged the readings. When the service was over there were mince pies and mulled wine to be enjoyed by all.

THE IDEN CHRISTMAS MEAL: Paul and Mandy Parsons arranged a spectacular Christmas meal for villagers, which took place on Saturday 20th December, in the village hall. Paul cooked a wonderful meal, which consisted of a choice of three starters, and three sweets, and a lovely roast turkey main course. The meal was followed by coffee/tea, and mince pies, and there was liberal amounts of mulled wine. Villagers enjoyed a Christmas raffle, a small sketch, performed by Carol Bourne and Janet Wood and an inter-table competition .The village hall itself, was decorated with a profusion of red and green and gold .Paul and Mandy, and everyone who helped serve [Anne, Fiona , Tracy and Ray] worked very hard to make the day a roaring success. Everyone looked splendid, in posh frocks, dangly earrings, and bow ties! Thank you everyone who helped with this wonderful occasion.

THE POP- IN: The first Pop-In in the New Year is on Monday 5th January, in the village hall. Do come along at 11am, because it is always fun!

BINGO: The first Bingo in the New Year will be on Thursday 8th January, at 2pm in the village hall. Eyes down at 2.30pm. A light tea is served, and we have a raffle, a flyer and a jackpot. It’s a fun afternoon.

SHORT MAT BOWLS: Short Mat starts again on Wednesday 7th January from 2pm-4pm in the village hall .Anyone wishing to join can contact Teresa Parsons [telephone 01-797 280143] Refreshments are served, and the cost is £3.50, which covers the hire of the hall.

THE IDEN NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: The first meeting of the New Year is on Friday 9th January in the village hall at 7. 30pm. The lecture will be on ‘The Spanish Pyrenees’, by Colin Page. Non –members pay £3, and are welcome.

THANK GOODNESS, A JUMBLE SALE!: There is a jumble sale on Saturday17th January, in the village hall at 1pm, in aid of Iden Bowls Club. I’m sure we all need to get rid of surplus ‘stuff’, after Christmas. Jumble can be brought to the hall from 10am, and if necessary, can be collected [if you ring Vicky Britton, telephone , 01-797 280568] No electrical goods.

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church on Sunday 4th January at 9.30 am.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK AND GOLDEN ACORNS: One of my New Year’s resolutions is to buy something decent to wear.[I can be a bit bag –lady], but actually, I’d rather buy things for the home .This year, I fell in love with some ornamental gilt acorns, while browsing in a store, and my husband bought them for me for Christmas [thanks Ray!] I’ve always loved acorns, just the way they sit perfectly in that little cup, have that stub of a stalk, and crunching them under foot in autumn, has the same sort of obsessive appeal as popping bubble wrap! Another New Year’s resolution is to make ‘bubble and squeak’ on a more regular basis. We had a big pan full on Boxing night[so fattening] but there is something a bit quaint, and parsimonious about using up sprouts and roast potatoes and bacon, and anything else you can find and frying it up, to have with the ham. I could almost imagine ‘Pip’ from; Great Expectations’ joining us! [Another New Years resolution----- curb imagination!]

I WISH YOU HAPPINESS: Have a safe, healthy and wonderful year .Lets all to continue to enjoy ourselves, and meet up at our many functions. Our carriage awaits Iden folk for much fulfilment in 2015

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

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street