DON’T YOU JUST LOVE A WOOL SHOP?: I den folk have many hidden talents. Many are accomplished artists, or musicians. They may be knitters, or adept at patchwork, dressmaking, flower arrangement, or wood- work. The very words art, or craft, conjure up a certain peace and contentment, because once focused on any artistic work in progress, people tend to forget about the world around them, and focus their thoughts on doing ‘their thing’, and nothing is better for the soul. Many have seen Neville Payne’s wonderful wood-turning [it really is something to behold] ..Neville made the beautiful font-cover seen in Iden church [ I’ve just had a look at it in detail on the church website, and it is very special] Now that is a talent. Well!,this week I heard on the radio, that knitting and crafts are very much back in vogue [possibly due to the recession], and that new wool shops are popping up in the high streets. Good news indeed, because to go into a wool shop is to enter an Aladdin’s cave, chock-a block with threads, buttons, ribbons and hooks and eyes. There is the wherewithal to practice, whatever handicraft we choose, and the lady behind the counter invariably puts down her own knitting to serve us. She is wise when it comes to matters of tailor’s- chalk, pulled thread work and the many constituents of haberdashery. There are those little bundles of material squares called fat-quarters [I’m not quite sure why they are called that--- perhaps someone could enlighten me]The smell of new material hits us as we enter, and the wools create a wall of vibrant colour [just squeezing a ball of wool is therapeutic] I make a dash for the embroidery silks, because knitting is not my forte[every girl though, probably remembers where she learnt to knit] I remember learning in Canada in a Presbyterian Church basement.[but don’t ring me if you need a cardigan!] I do enjoy Embroidery though. I love a French- knot, or some satin stitch , but isn’t that the beauty of any kind of craft, it’s so personal, and to really excel at something means that a person can be defined by it. . “That’s the lady who makes lace, or that’s the man who paints horses” . A nice way to be described!

A RING AROUND THE MOON: The other night [2nd February], my husband said “Gill, come and look at the moon”. I thought “hello, he’s getting romantic”, but the moon had a huge grey ring around it [did you see it?] In truth it gave me the creeps, and I came inside, thinking that my back door would protect me from whatever it was. [I am not that partial to phenomenons!], so I looked it up on the computer, and it said that it was something to do with ice crystals, and can in fact precede bad weather. It is apparently not that common, but occurs occasionally in England, but more so in America. I’m sure that Iden farmers who rely on good weather, could have told me what it was. I was just wondering if you had seen it too.!

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In, is on 16th February at 11 am , in the village hall .It’s always nice to see everyone. The men tend to migrate to their own table, and talk about whatever it is that men talk about, and the women tend to stick together on one big table, for more emotional [delving] conversations, but the atmosphere is always homely and welcoming.

BINGO: The next Bingo is on Thursday 19th February, .in Iden village hall. Everyone from Iden and the surrounding area is welcome. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30. The prizes are good, and there is a raffle, and a light tea, [sandwiches and cakes] costing only £1.

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 3rd February in the village hall. The meeting was chaired by Michael Miller .Councillor Keith Glazier, from Rother District Council explained that there will be a small increase in council tax, .to meet the financial needs of necessary services .Council budgets have been curbed due to the recession, and we need to pay for imperative services, rather than cut them, to keep within the realms of public safety and requirement. . Our local bus service to Rye/Tenterden will be 2 hourly from April. Councillor Richard Jones has done much for our village, as chairman of I.C.E.[Iden Community Emergency Forum] Together with his committee, he is trying to carve out safety measures for various possible eventualities. Councillor Jones said that after some deliberation, it has been decided to purchase a second defibrillator, which will be housed on the wall of the Old Hall. . There are plans to possibly provide some extra training sessions in C. P. R., and use of defibrillator, when funds allow .It is very much appreciated that money has been donated to I.C.E. for this second defibrillator, and it’s closeness to our church and playing field seems appropriate. Michael Miller spoke about the recent concern over ash-tree disease, and asked for vigilance, and necessary reporting, should there be signs of the disease in our area.

Landscape Services are to carry out ‘spraying sessions’ with bramble and weed-killer, on the Iden Playing Field, and this was discussed.

The ‘Village Assembly’, will be on Tuesday 24th April .The minutes of the council meeting can be seen in full on the village notice board, and on the ‘ Iden Village Website []

EVEN TURNING OUT IN THE COLD: I find myself quite enjoying the Parish Council Meetings, even turning out in the cold, because there is an attention to detail which emerges during these meetings which demonstrates that the Parish Council are doing what they can to hold our little village together. I find myself thinking, “ So we are having our finger post mended, our brambles sprayed, our waste bins replaced” .Well! thank goodness someone is paying some heed to these things while the likes of me are blissfully unaware that certain things in Iden need fixing or replacing, and that fairness, and adherence to the law need to prevail, in order to keep everyone happy. . I admit, that if the meeting drags on a bit, I find myself thinking “I could really do with a new pair of winter boots”, but I quickly listen-up again, because what it does do is give us a kind of virtual tour of Iden, and a feeling that everyone there, both the council and the spectators are at the very least united in wanting the best for Iden. The Parish Council does try to fight our corner , and I think it’s fair to say, when it comes to their representation that it’s ‘worse where there’s none’..We get an opportunity to ask questions, and a chance to be in the know, and with representatives of both councils present, there is a chance to learn first hand the changes in Rother District Council which affect us... Sometimes it gets a bit heated[ oh yes!] Some topics are a source of amusement, some instigate controversy, but it is strangely invigorating, and an hour and a half well-spent.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 15th February , at 9.30 am. Lent begins on Wednesday 18th February, [Ash Wednesday] and there will be morning prayer at 9.30am, and evening prayer at 3.30pm on that day, in Iden. Parish Church. There will also be 7pm Eucharist, and Imposition of ashes at Iden .

Lent lunches will be in the Old Hall on Tuesdays, at 12.30pm, on February 24th, and March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. Donations go to the Children’s Society.

A STROLL ALONG AN ENGLISH COUNTRY LANE: Tonight, the Iden And District Natural History Society will be having a talk entitled ‘A Stroll Along An English Country Lane’, given by Roy Hale, NOT the lecture on Swifts, which I incorrectly advertised last week, which comes at a later date [apologies!] Sounds an idyllic topic, doesn’t it? Visitors pay £3, and are welcome. The meeting, in Iden village hall starts at 7.30pm.

MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLE HILLS: I must say that when mole- hills on the Iden playing field were discussed at Iden Parish Council meetings, and we heard that someone was being paid to keep the moles under control, I thought, “moles have been around forever, so surely to goodness they can’t be that bad.” However, I was wrong, because there are so many of them, and in safety terms they can render the ground unstable. This week, walking in the park, I saw piles of earth where the little monkeys have been digging, all over the place. I was amazed at the damage they do, but to be honest, by our standards, they don’t appear to have much of a life. Goodness me![where to start,] They have such poor eyesight, and those little snouts , and they rarely come above ground, unless food is scarce. I guess they are happy enough [before we start getting out our hankies], but they are like little coal miners, holed up under ground, without the ability to come home and have a nice bath , something warm to eat and a sit by the fire. All they eat is worms and grubs [God love them], and the odd mouse [don’t even go there]. Do you know it’s not half bad being a human being is it? Imagine if they suffered from claustrophobia!

CONTACT ME: If anyone wishes me to include any news or important facts regarding Iden, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311].

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street