THANK YOU TO THOSE GARDENERS ONE AND ALL: When I look out on my own few garden flowers clinging to life [like a drowning man to a life raft], I am in awe of all those people who opened their gardens to the public for ‘Iden Open Gardens’ last week. There were 11 gardens to visit. The work involved must be monumental [toiling with a trowel doesn’t begin to cover it] It’s an art form, and takes a tremendous amount of dedication. However what an enjoyable day it created for the people visiting. So, have a rest now. Sit on your hands and leave the clematis to it’s own devices for a couple of days. Pour a glass of wine, and put the kneeling mat back in the shed, because by all accounts Iden’s Open Gardens was a resounding success. Thank you also to everyone who made cakes for the tea afterwards!

IN MY MIND’S EYE: I imagine sometimes that ‘Open Gardens’ might be held at my house. This is a total fallacy of course, because we have very few flowers to speak of, and we are the worst gardeners in living history .Still!, I can see myself in my mind’s eye greeting everyone in a floral pinafore, wearing rubber gardening mules [to make it look authentic] I would have to put bollards out for health and safety reasons, because we have a huge hole in our patio[which shouldn’t even be there] I would have to deck my husband out in some kind of smock, and have him muttering something like “Lord only knows what I’m going to do about that leaf curl on the plum tree”. The grandchildren would have to come down from London in order to pass around canapés , all immaculately turned out, and ready to recite something, in order to cover up the fact that we have no flowers [and no vegetables either unless you count the ones purchased at the supermarket during my ‘big shop’] Actually, we do have a patch of rhubarb [there may just be light at the end of the tunnel] Oh, if only. No, it would never happen, not in a month of Sundays, but I can dream. Anyway, I’m quite happy to borrow the beauty of other people’s gardens, which help to make Iden so special.

IT’S RATHER NICE: We are reading ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’, in our ‘Iden book group’.I haven’t read it for years, but there is something about a ‘classic’ that makes it live up to it’s name. It has a certain integrity that sets it apart, and though we can be quite happy with a good ‘beach read’, stumbling once more upon a classic that we are obliged to read , is like raking over some bye- gone era and finding all it’s gems.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am, on Sunday14th June.

THE POP-IN: There will be a Pop-In on Monday 22nd June at 11am, in Iden village hall. Everyone is welcome. Meeting up with fellow Iden folk is a cheerful way to start the week, so do come along!

BINGO; The next Bingo session will be held in Iden village hall on Thursday 25th June. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30 pm. People tend to get there early, so as to buy their ordinary Bingo books, a flier, a jackpot and their raffle tickets. At half time there is a tea [sandwiches and cake] and time for a chat, and the raffle draw .It’s a fun afternoon. Do come along, everyone from Iden and the surrounding area is welcome.

DO VISIT IDEN VILLAGE HALL TOMORROW [13TH JUNE]: Why ? Well, the Iden And Playden Garden Society is holding it’s ‘Summer Flower And Produce Show, at 2.30 pm. Their shows never disappoint, and gardeners from Iden and Playden produce a spectacle that is something to behold. We can have a cup of tea, and sit amongst flowers, vegetables and floral arrangements. Everyone puts a lot of effort into what they grow, and how they display it, and it’s always nice for keen gardeners to compare notes on plants. All are welcome admission is 50 pence for adults, and 30 pence children. The trophies will be presented at 3.3o pm.

THAT BUSY OLD HORSE CHESTNUT: We have some nice horse chestnut trees around Iden, and the surrounding area, don’t we? Their leaves alone are shaped like a giant’s hand [yet, though massive, they somehow manage to be elegant] Apparently they are so called because the Turks used to feed their leaves to ailing horses. The trees present us with their flowers, which have that sturdy white bloom with the pink centre, and then [as if that wasn’t enough], we get the conkers, clothed in that spiky burr. [They don’t hang about do they?], and who can resist picking up a conker. It used to be such a playground stalwart [ but don’t children almost have to don a suit of armour now to play conkers because of ‘health and safety’ reasons?] Conkers are such beautiful things. They look as though someone’s mother has been up all night polishing them with wax and a soft duster, ready for all the children to find next morning beneath the leaves. It’s disappointing the way they eventually dry up and lose their shine .[but hey, you can’t have everything!].

THINGS NEVER CHANGE: If my family ring at an unaccustomed time, I always think the worst [they are lying under a bus in rush hour, and ambulances can’t get through] You wouldn’t believe the thoughts that pass through my head [I can almost hear ambulance sirens on days when my imagination is working overtime] “What’s wrong” I say [breathless and blanching!].It really annoys my daughter “Why do you always assume something is wrong”, she says [honestly, excuse me for breathing].Anyway, the other day she allowed her two children to go shopping on their own for the first time, and one rang up. “Oh my God,” she said, “ what’s happened, are you okay”. “Of course mum”, was the reply “I only want to know if you want Granny Smith’s, or Gala apples.” Mother-love can be so counter productive can’t it!

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

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