THE RING OF CONFIDENCE: Nothing show- cases the peace of Iden more than the sudden peal of Church bells, which cuts through the silence on a Sunday morning, or, on a Saturday afternoon, to herald a wedding at ‘All Saints Church’. A peal of bells is not only melodious, there is something stoic about it, and the sound is a cross between joyful and slightly melancholic .Hats off to bell ringers, because it takes some doing to learn to ‘ring’ with confidence. It’s not just a case of turning up and pulling willy-nilly on one of those ropes with that little striped bit half way down. I know this, because my husband is learning to be a bell ringer, He has been going for quite a while, and has conveyed to me that it is more difficult than you would imagine, and certainly not a walk in the park. Bell ringers give up their time, go from church to church, and are in fact travelling minstrels. There is a very definite structure to it all, and my husband says you have to learn a particular knot, which you tie on the end of your rope [I’m becoming a bit of an armchair expert here]. However, I know with absolute conviction that I could never do it, I’d muck it up entirely, due to nerves, [and possibly devilment], and feel compelled to give an extra ‘ding’, which would throw the whole thing. Thankfully bell-ringers approach the belfry in serious mode, and pay homage to what is an art form. It’s hard work and concentration that finally allows someone to emerge as a fully-fledged campanologist, which leaves the rest of us to sit back and marvel at the sound.

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: Tonight, the talk at the Natural History Society will be entitled ‘Galapagos’, given by Barbara Gray. The meeting, held in Iden village hall is at 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome, and pay £3.The standard of these lectures is very high, and it’s nice to learn about natural history in our own area, and further afield.

GET YOUR PANTO TICKETS: THE Iden Players are rehearsing hard now for the pantomime ‘Alibaba’, which is being performed in Iden village hall on Friday March 20th [evening performance] and March 21st[afternoon and evening performance.] I’m only the tea-lady and my knees are knocking, but the Iden players have no such qualms. [they are used to theatrical digs with a cooker on the landing], so they take it all in their stride. Last week it was the first ‘scripts down’ performance, so well betide anyone who didn’t know their lines [that Bob Hammond, the writer and director is no pushover!] Anyway, I hear it’s going to be great, so do nip along to Iden Stores and get your tickets

PLANNING THE FETE ALREADY!: I suppose most of us at some time or other during these rainy days, filled with the odd snatches of sunshine, allow our thoughts to travel to the warm ambiance of the Iden Fete. Last week there was a fete committee meeting, which our household forgot all about. However, there will be others, and we shall attend, because the fete is the highlight of the Iden summer, and I always think that it so transforms our park with it’s gaiety, that the park becomes almost unrecognisable for that one festive afternoon. I will put the date of the next fete meeting in the village voice, and it would be so lovely to have a few extra people to come along and offer their help with the fete [however small.] There is a band of people, always there helping to erect stalls, and run stalls, and they are all worth their weight in gold, but as my mother –in – law used to say “a little help is worth all the pity”, and these stalwarts would appreciate an extra hand.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion, at Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 1st March, at 9.30a.m. Lent lunches are available on Tuesdays in the Old Hall, on March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. Donations for these soup, bread and cheese lunches go to the Children’s society.

THE POP- IN: The next Pop-In, is on Monday 2nd March, in the village hall. Everyone is welcome, and you can have as many fill-ups as you want of coffee/tea, and as many biscuits as you like for £1, plus there are books and bric-a –brac, and best of all a chance to have a good chat, and put the world to rights!

BINGO: Bingo will be held on Thursday March 5th, in the village hall. It opens at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30. Tea is served [sandwiches, cake, tea/coffee] all for only £1.There is a flier, a jackpot, as well as the ordinary Bingo books, and there is a raffle. Do come along. Everyone from Iden and surrounding areas is welcome. It’s a fun and friendly way to pass an afternoon.

DRESS UP YOUR SANDBAGS!: Every time I come across those sandbags which hold down road signs, I feel like dressing them up a bit [frayed hessian is not a good look], and I’m sure that even a sandbag doesn’t always want to be useful, rather than ornamental. [have you ever noticed them just hanging there when everything else by the road side is looking so resplendent] At the very least they could be a nice green colour to match in with the grass verge, or what about making them in various floral designs [orange leaves maybe for the autumn, or a nice pink, for when the foxgloves are out] I know what!, how about making them elasticised, so that you could slip them on and off, and change their little outfits to match in with the seasons [wouldn’t that be nice!] I would even be prepared to pop these covers in a boil- wash , but only those from around our area of course.[ I’m not that silly]

Maybe I’ll write to the Highways Department, they are always open to fresh ideas. Maybe not though, they may just write and say “pack a dressing gown Madam, the men in the white coats will be with you shortly!”

CONTACT ME: It’s always nice to get a phone call asking me to include something in the village voice, so if you would like to add something, please ring Gill Griffin[telephone 01797-280-311] .

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street