FRIEND OR FOE: The pink and white blossom we see around Iden just now looks so innocuous, that it seems friendly and bountiful, it’s blooms reminiscent of marshmallows and candy floss Even the Blackthorn [sloe] is so small and white, and seemingly childlike, the way it clings to it’s host branches, and yet these blossoms, like many a flower, have been putting the fear of God in people for generations. Our first thought may be to grasp an armful, and bring it inside to adorn our own homes, but the folk lore/plant lore superstitions which surround blossom make us think twice. Age –old tales handed down through generations, have prevented many a flower entering our domain, even in this enlightened age. Lilac, ivy, May blossom, cow parsley, and a whole host of other flowers and blossoms are said to bring bad luck to the door. It’s easy to see why such superstitions began in days gone by, when times were hard, and life, was so precarious. When persistent bad luck, occurred in some families, it must have been so difficult to comprehend .It’s little wonder that superstitions were rife. It was all too easy to blame the presence of a simple flower brought into the home, if it happened to correspond with illness or poverty. I still revere May blossom [that seems to carry much trepidation] but I do bring in cow parsley because I can’t resist it’s lacy-look. I don’t want to chance my luck entirely though, and disregard this plant- lore as so much hot air. They may be beautiful, but some believe that there is more to some particular flowers than meets the eye [and who am I to disagree!]

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 7th April, in Iden village hall. The meeting was chaired by Michael Miller, who began the meeting by congratulating everyone on the success of the Pantomime ‘Ali Baba’. Michael had a few kind words to say about Geoff and Elizabeth, who are leaving Iden Stores, everyone agreeing that they will be very much missed. Michael, who has been instrumental in planting many Iden daffodils with a good team of helpers, remarked on how splendid they were looking, and said that more would be planted later in the year. Councillor Keith Glazier from Rother District Council, talked abut the 1.95% increase in council tax. This was deemed necessary, in order to cover our vital services. It would cost, he said, 500 million pounds just to repair the roads in East Sussex. Councillor Nick Ramus informed the meeting, that he is retiring, and Michael Miller thanked him for his years of loyal service, with particular regard to the people of Iden . A new bus service was mentioned, which comes into being on 26th April Details of the new bus timetable can be found on ‘’. Mary Philo, our Parish Clerk, itemised various Parish Council expenditure, including work on the Iden War Memorial. We received a grant of £930 from the War Memorial Trust, and we are to contribute the remaining £463 for the work planned to improve our War Memorial. Michael Miller said that in spite of our relatively low precept, we have achieved much in the past year .He thanked Mary and the committee for their support.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 14th May, and will be the ‘Annual General Meeting of Iden Parish Council’, in the village hall, at 7.30pm. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting can be seen on the Parish notice board, or visited on the Iden Village Website []

SPRING FLOWER SHOW: Tomorrow[18th April], in Iden village hall , at 2.30pm, the Iden and Playden Garden Society are holding their ‘Spring Flower and Produce Show’, which will be well worth a visit, as the society always excels, and provides a colourful showing of seasonal fruit and veg., and floral arrangement. There will be refreshments and a raffle, and trophies will be presented at 3.30pm[approx,].Adult admission is 50 pence, Children 30 pence, and exhibitors have free entry.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion on Sunday 19th April at 9.30 am, in Iden Parish Church.

THE POP-IN: Do give the Pop-In a try, if you haven’t already. It’s just a get together over coffee/tea and biscuits in Iden village hall, but is always friendly and fun. Everyone is welcome. The next Pop-In is on Monday 27th April, at 11am.

BINGO: Bingo is another lively occasion in Iden village hall, and the next Bingo will be on Thursday 30th April. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. There is a flier, a Jackpot, and of course normal Bingo books. Tea [cakes, sandwiches and tea/coffee], only cost £1, during which the raffle is drawn. Everyone from Iden and surrounding villages is welcome.

A MORNING TEA PARTY: The Patient’s Participation Group of Ferry Road Health Centre, are holding a morning tea party at the clinic , on Friday 24th April, between 10am and 12 midday, in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice. All are welcome to come and support this very worthy cause.

A LITTLE FRIVOLITY: Last week, I went shopping in Tenterden with my daughter, and granddaughter, and we shopped till we dropped. [I felt as though I’d been through the mangle! ]We bought things we didn’t need, but things we just fancied, nice cheery bits and bobs, We bought between us a straw hat with a pink flower, a heart made from lavender [everyone needs a heart made from lavender, surely] earrings, a book, a jewellery stand, a dress, a DVD, some ornamental wheat, embroidery silks, a china watering can [plus geranium!] , a tin heart on a piece of string, three ornamental cactus, three bracelets, you name it [I’ve forgotten the rest] I lost all sense of reason, we all did, and we bought hot chocolate, then coffee, then lunch, then a cup of tea . We tried on perfumes we couldn’t afford., and I fell madly in love with a set of soup bowls. I finished up with nothing in my purse except a paper clip. It’s lovely on occasions, to buy with your heart rather than your head !

CONTACT ME: If you have anything you would like me to put in the Village Voice, I will gladly add it. Please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

Gill Griffin

Belfield, Main Street