WELCOME HOME: The birds are nesting once more in Iden, in the bus stop opposite ‘The Bell’. Now how do those birds know to come back to the same place year after year, or is it their babies all grown up and nesting themselves? I was asking my husband, as we munched our way through lunch [tomatoes on toast] Oh we know how to live it up in this house! Perhaps they enjoy being in the midst of Iden folk. That little bus stop can be a very friendly place. Little snippets of conversation occur, nothing world shattering, but whether or not to buy bananas at the market, and a loaf maybe [“I can’t carry much since I had my shoulder op”, or [“have you met the new people in Grove Lane”] To a small bird who has nothing to do but wait in a nest for a worm or two it must be like listening in to Radio2. They probably recognise people, [how do we know the extent of a bird’s intellect] No, I reckon they see it as a reunion [it’s a wonder they aren’t passing round some Prosecco and a few nibbles!]

IDEN’S OPEN GARDENS: It’s time once more for Iden’s bi-annual ‘Open Gardens’, and we can expect something quite wonderful as usual. ‘Open Gardens’ is on Sunday 7th June from 12 midday, until 5pm. We can wander from garden to garden [eleven gardens in all], have a cream tea, and visit a spectacular model steam railway, set in a garden. Tickets are available from Iden Stores, or may be purchased at participating gardens [ticket price £5] What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. All are welcome. . If anyone is kind enough to make cakes for Open Gardens, please ring Jackie Duffield, or bring cakes to the ‘Old Hall’ by 1.30 pm on 7th June.

AND YET ANOTHER GARDEN SPECTACLE: Iden and Playden Garden Society are having their ‘Summer Flower And Produce Show’, in Iden village hall, on Saturday 13th June, at 2.30 pm. Trophies are to be presented at 3.30pm. This is always a garden extravaganza worth visiting. Just as our Iden Fete transforms the playing field into something almost unrecognisable, so do the flowers and produce on display. They transform Iden village hall, into an almost theatrical setting. Adult admission is 50pence, and children 30 pence.

POP-IN: I always enjoy a cup of coffee, that I haven’t had to make myself don’t you? Please do pop along to Iden village hall on Monday 8th June at 11 am, and be waited on with coffee/ tea and biscuits, [as many fill-ups as you wish for £1] and the conversation itself is free and always ‘prolific ’.Everyone is welcome.

BINGO: Iden’s Bingo session will be on Thursday 11th June, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. It’s a fun afternoon, and anyone can come from Iden and the surrounding area. There is a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, as many , Bingo books as you wish, plus an afternoon tea, consisting of sandwiches, cakes, and tea/coffee[costing only £1].Do join us!

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There is a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am on Sunday7th June.

INFORMATION ON HOSPICE SERVICES: The ‘Ferry Road Health Centre’s ‘Patient Participation Group’, jointly with the P.P.G from ‘Rye Medical Centre’, are holding an event on Wednesday 10th June at 6pm for 6.30, at ‘Rye Community Primary School’. Jane Cave will be speaking about how to access Hospice services, the ‘Hospice At Home Service’, and the new scheme for ‘Hospice Ambassadors’. She will also include the ‘Sarah Lee Service. Refreshments will be available, and all are welcome [there is free parking at the Love Lane entrance.]

A CORRIDOR OF TREES: Driving from Iden to Tenterden, there is one part of the journey, where the trees form almost a tunnel of green, under which to pass. [the chlorophyll seems to have been working overtime this year] May blossom and Horse Chestnut flowers slot their way into this never-ending mural. Our whole world right now seems almost unbelievably green doesn’t it?.

THE CAT FAMILY: We seem to have had an extraordinary amount of cats during our marriage. Let me see, there was ‘ Tracy’ [she only lived 3 days—came to us with feline enteritis], Pushka, who used to hang on our leaded window panes as though she was up for sale, Polly [who literally disappeared one day], Del Boy and Rodney, Moonie, Maisie, Jemima, Charlie, and now we have Smokey [who is very old and arthritic, but still eats like a horse, and Moses, who is in fact a girl [We never bothered to change her name when I realised that all tortoise shell cats are girls] All loved, and all with unfortunately no road sense, hence we lost a few on a very busy main road. London can be lethal for cats [you can’t teach a cat to look both ways can you?] Some were born in our airing cupboard which was big and warm, and may have vaguely resembled a feline maternity unit [cats are very sensible in many ways aren’t they?] One thing is certain, they all went to heaven. [They were all in their way already angels] Moses will be an angel sooner than she thinks if she keeps following my husband to ‘Iden Stores!

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, I will gladly include it. Please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]