A RUNNING COMMENTARY: I enjoy [or rather ,try to enjoy] having lunch in our little conservatory, looking out over the garden, but my husband [Iden’s answer to Bill Oddie], sits with his binoculars and his bird book, and gives a running commentary about the bird life [it’s a bit like an ornithological version of ‘East Enders!] . “Get off, I hate those greedy beggars” he cries, “that little wren was taking that food home to it’s babies” [ wrens are so small aren’t they? I’m wondering, how they even fit in an egg] “Look, look, he’s chewed a big lump off that fat ball,”, he continues, “ see that robin trying to get a look in, devil’s, those magpies, get off, ”. “If you put out fat balls, you can’t discriminate about who eats them”, I say, but he isn’t listening. “I don’t think that collared dove will fit under the bird table, yes, look, he’s made it, no, no, no don’t both of you try and get under there, both of them trying to get on the bird table look .That robin was enjoying his lunch before those two turned up ”, he says. [I’m losing the will to live]. I remove myself, and switch on ‘Escape To The Country’, but I haven’t got as far as the ‘mystery house’, before he’s marching down the garden with a piece of stale Madeira cake, waving his arms at magpies and scattering some [past it’s sell by date] oatmeal . Thinking about it, it’s like sharing a meal with St Francis of Assisi, only a much less hallowed experience!

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: On Thursday, 21st May, the Annual General Meeting of Iden Parish Council was held in Iden village hall. Michael Miller, was voted to chair the meetings for a further year, and, Michael initially addressed some Iden news and concerns. He expressed his sadness at the recent deaths of Pam Howell, and Bob Tilley, two Iden residents we shall miss, and expressed condolences to Betty Tilley, Bob’s wife and to Pam’s daughter Ruth. Michael welcomed Sally and Chris, who are now running Iden Stores. He implied that Chris’s muffins and cheese straws, were already on the way to becoming ‘famous’! Michael also mentioned Bill Coleman, who has been unwell of late. He wished Bill a speedy recovery and looks forward to having him back where he belongs at the ‘quiz nights’! He thanked all those who had helped recently with the Churchyard fence, and gave out posters for Iden’s bi-annual ‘Open Gardens, and thanked Richard Jones for his support as vice chairman of the Parish Council, and his work with I.C.E.[Iden Community Emergency Forum].Jim Wood was elected, as the new vice chairman, and Michael welcomed Jim, and welcomed also John Hazelden as a newly-elected Parish Councillor. Mary Philo was welcomed back as Parish Clerk. The time then came for Michael to introduce once again Paul Osbourne and the newly –elected Sally-Anne Hart, from Rother district council, both of whom gave a short address.

Tony Stanton was thanked for another year auditing Parish Council accounts. Michael and Mary Philo, between them discussed a long list of Parish concerns, and finances, one of which was to put a plan in place to review the ‘play area’ in Iden playing fields, the improvement of which will be extremely costly, and requires much careful deliberation.

The minutes of the meeting can be seen in full on the Parish notice board, or on our website [].

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Tuesday 7th July at 7.30 pm in Iden village hall.

I MUST JUST SAY THANK YOU: Thank you to those Parish council members who give up their time, and combine their meetings with members of Rother District Council, to give a rounded picture of local concerns. It surprises me the meticulous way they not only balance the books, but endeavour to address Iden issues on our behalf, many of which we would otherwise be unaware of until problems occur.. Taken singly some of these issues may seem trivial , when you compare them with the heavy weight concerns of a ‘wider Britain’, but Iden’s issues are many, and both small and large require a group of ‘caretakers’ to watch over the kind of detail which make Iden not only a safe, but pleasant place to reside. It’s no mean feat, so thank you people!

SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion at Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 31st May at 9.30am.

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In will be in the Iden village hall at 11am on Monday 8th June. Do come along for coffee/biscuits, books bric-a-brac and a chat. It’s always fun.


Sound-absorbent ceiling tiles have been put up in the village hall to absorb excess noise [it’s not that we’re excessively noisy, but when we do get together, but we like to laugh, and now we can laugh even louder!]

BINGO: The next Bingo will be held in Iden village hall on Thursday 11th June. Doors open at 2pm, Eyes down at 2,30pm. There is a jackpot, a flier, a raffle, and a tea, and cake/sandwich snack at half time. Anyone is welcome, from Iden and the surrounding area.

THE IDEN OPEN GARDENS: It’s time once again to celebrate Iden’s gardens, at our bi-annual ‘Open Gardens’. Tickets for this horticultural journey, are on sale from Iden Stores from 1st June [price£5] for ticket/programme. Tickets may also be obtained at participating gardens. There are 11 gardens to visit, cream teas are available, and there is a chance to see a particularly splendid model steam-railway that is part of a garden itself. Open gardens is on Sunday June 7th, from 12noon, until 5pm.

DUSTING WITH MEMORIES: Last week I visited Hythe. It was a lovely drive [verdant England at it’s best], and while there I nearly bought some dusters that were outside a shop, [ those yellow rolls, 10 to a pack, and as cheap as chips], and they do look very nice folded in a drawer., but no I ‘ve had the same duster bag for years, with bits and bobs inside, anything that will polish brass or remove dust balls from under the TV .It’s a bit like polishing with memories. There’s an old cardigan sleeve, a baby’s bib, a woollen vest [I’ve no idea whose], felt squares and bits of material from my [keen to do patchwork] period [ which never quite materialised], odd socks [plenty of those never to meet up with their partner again], and all manner of cast offs left by people and pets, who at various times shared our home. No, those ‘actual’ dusters can stay where they are in the shop, because my duster bag has character, and it could tell a very good tale!

CONTACT ME: If anyone would like me to add anything to the Village Voice, do give me a ring [telephone 01-797 280311], and I will gladly include it.