EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK: We spent Easter on a narrow boat. I’d never been on one before. All the family went. It was very peaceful. I took far too much food, and things I didn’t need to take, just to be sure. My husband said, “Gill, we’re not going on the Q.E.2” , but I only feel happy, if armed with rainy day food, anti histamines, antacid tablets and a second frying pan![I could almost have performed open-heart surgery with the first aid kit], but boats are inclined to be ‘trippy’, unpredictable things, or so I imagined. I also imagined trying to do my embroidery, hampered by one of those puffy life jackets like they wore in the film ‘The Cruel Sea.’, but only the children wore them [little light things], how life has improved! Once I relaxed a bit, I had to concede that ‘Water Rat’ was so right when he informed ‘Mole’, in ‘Wind In The Willows, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”!.

A COFFEE MORNING TOMORROW: There will be a coffee morning tomorrow, Saturday 11th April, in Iden village hall, from 10.30am-12.30, in aid of Iden Bowls Club. In addition to tea/coffee and biscuits, there will be bric- a –brac, a raffle, a cake stall and a book stall . Everyone is welcome for some post- Easter enjoyment.

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In, will be on Monday, 13th April, at 11am, in the village hall. Do come along, everyone is welcome.

BINGO: The next Bingo will be on Thursday 16th April in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, Eyes down at 2.30pm. The prizes are fairly substantial, and we have a flier, and a Jackpot, as well as the normal Bingo books. A light tea is available, costing only£1, and also a raffle, so it’s a fun afternoon. Everyone from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome.

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am on Sunday 12th April. Thank you to all those who prepared lent lunches in the Old Hall, much enjoyed by all.

A NICE CLEAN CHURCH: Every week, Iden Church is cleaned by a group of dedicated ladies who follow a cleaning- rota, but on Tuesday 31st March, these ladies gathered en masse looking scarily efficient with their dusters and vacuum cleaners at the ready, for the annual Church spring clean ..Church cobwebs quaked [in an ethereal way].Thank you ladies one and all.

THE VILLAGE ASSEMBLY: The Village Assembly will be on 24th April, in Iden village hall, and is a chance for all Iden villagers to find out what is going on in Iden, and an opportunity to put forward any questions or concerns.

THEY WILL BE SORELY MISSED: Geoff and Elizabeth in Iden Village Stores have become an important part of our lives, and we are all going to miss them .Nothing has been too much trouble for them, and they have always greeted us with a smile. Under their management, the shop was both streamlined and efficient, and always impeccably clean. We have much to thank them for. We wish them God speed and happiness.

WELCOME CHRISTOPHER AND SALLY: The new shopkeeper/postmistress in Iden Stores, Christopher and Sally deserve our welcome and support, and I’m sure it will be reciprocal. They will soon come to know us all, and we them .I’m sure you would all wish to join me in wishing them good luck and happiness, as the new managers of Iden Village Stores.

SHOP NOTICES: Iden Village Stores will be closed for a half day on Monday 13th April from11am, for necessary stock taking. The Post Office section will be closed on the morning of Tuesday 14th April, but after that it will be business as usual!

THE IDEN AND PLAYDEN GARDEN SOCIETY: There will be a ‘Spring Flower and Produce Show’ provided by members of the Iden and Playden Garden Society, in Iden village hall, on Saturday 18th April at 2.30 pm. Refreshments will be available and a plant stall and raffle[for which donations would be much appreciated]. Admission 50 pence [adults] and 30 pence [children], exhibitors-free. Members always manage to make this a very colourful event, and show much ingenuity in the floral art section Everyone is welcome .Members are reminded, that their entry forms must be received by the organisers, by noon on Thursday 16th April. Trophies will be presented at 3.30 pm [approx.]

SHEEP MAY SAFELY GRAZE?: There is one thing in this area that that they know a thing or two about, and that is keeping sheep, and sheep are always a joy to behold, particularly in Spring time? They look happy and cared for, always with a seemingly exacting ratio of sheep to field, so they never look over- crowded. I noticed red bins of food supplement in the fields this year, their every need catered for .The lambs this year are beautiful as usual aren’t they? They grow like weeds, and even the odd little one with failure to thrive is well looked after by those to whom sheep-rearing is second nature .Like most things around here I’m just on the ‘enjoyment end’, excited at seeing new lambs, and enjoying lamb at the dinner table [a terrible thing to have to admit in this particular context]. The only constructive thing I do is talk to them at the end of my garden. I tell them not to worry, that I’m only going to the shed, and that I’m their friend.” Ere Edna, It’s that crazy woman again”, they are probably saying, but you can’t just not say “hello, when they’re looking straight at you with a mouthful of grass.

A COMMON OR GARDEN MOON: The daytime sky has me in it’s thrall. I’m an avid cloud-watcher, but not so the night sky, which has an eerie vastness about it that I’m not nearly as comfortable with [especially when trying to find the edge of the path without a torch, after an Iden W.I. meeting]. That dark abyss seems so far away, even when festooned with stars. Recently, the moon had a huge ring around it heralding bad weather, and even more recently we had the eclipse of the sun. Oh, for the late Patrick Moore, and the very much alive Professor Brian Cox, such manifestations would be pure joy, and for many, the eclipse was incredibly exciting, and that is as it should be [life is after all to do with whatever floats our boat,] but I’m happy enough with an ordinary round moon, with it’s quirky little face, or a crescent moon, or a sun without any trimmings at all. I’m not sure I like these paragons of the Solar System suddenly doing any kind of party trick, no matter what the scientific explanation. I rather like a plain Jane and no nonsense moon, the kind we’ve come to expect. Sometimes, even for the moon, there’s nothing wrong with being Joe Ordinary!

CONTACT ME: If you have anything you wish me to add to the Village Voice. Please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311] I’ll gladly include it.

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street