PLEASE ALLOW ME TO STAY IN THE DREAM: We seldom remember dreams do we, but this one I had recently seemed particularly vivid. We’d moved into a new house next to a farm. The walls were rustic stone, and all the floors were covered in beautiful tiles [I remember thinking in my dream how easy it would be to just run over them with a damp mop] Before unpacking, I thought about dragging my husband out to buy Mexican rugs, and a statue for the living room. Anyway, a neighbour told me that the farmer next door had always been allowed to come and go in our house as he pleased [entering through a cat flap, large enough for his purposes], and he duly did so, rolling in sideways in an dirty old coat, bringing with him two sheep. This man was almost as hairy and unkempt as the sheep .Still in my dream, I was wondering how I could explain that we couldn’t have this constant intrusion [without hurting his feelings]. Then I woke up, and disappointment flooded over me, because I didn’t get to buy the statue and the Mexican rugs. [We do have farmers and a lot of sheep in Iden, but thankfully we don’t have a cat flap, so it was only a dream!]. My husband handed me a cup of tea and a slice of toast, and still in a bit of a ‘post- dream’ state, I almost held it against the poor man that we’d never made it to the shops or sorted out the hairy farmer!!.

I HEARD IT ON THE GRAPE VINE: At the last Pop-In, people were still talking about the Iden Open Gardens, and how lovely they all were. I have to confess that I’ve never actually been to the Open Gardens [an awful confession] I think it’s a leftover, childhood thing, my mum always harping on about never going anywhere unless you’ve been invited, and even though there were signs up everywhere, the idea of turning up at someone’s garden without being personally asked has always made me a bit shy about it. [stupid I know] In two years time, I will go, and have the cream tea [maybe even two!]

ANOTHER GREAT SHOW!: The Iden And Playden Garden Society Summer Flower And Produce Show, on 13th June, in Iden village hall, was stunning as usual. It’s so pleasing to think that behind garden walls, and hedges in our area, flowers and produce are grown, by people who really understand horticulture. The trophies awarded were as follows, Mrs Carol Worwood won the Morrison cup, the John Roberts cup, the Osbourne Trophy and the Ramus Challenge Cup, Mrs Janet Johnson won the Fullerton Bowl and the Peggy Spence Bowl, Mrs Trish Evans won the Ivy Say Cup, and the Rother Cup, Mr Richard Tobitt won the Garden Trophy, and Mrs Yvonne Metcalf won the Best Vase. Many congratulations to all those who won first, second or third prizes in the various categories, and for everyone who entered, and helped to transform our village hall into something so picturesque.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: on Sunday 21st June, at 9.30a.m., in Iden Parish Church.

THE POP-IN: There will be a pop-in, in Iden village hall, at 11am, on Monday 22nd June. Do come along, because it’s such a friendly way to start the week!

BINGO: The next Bingo session is on Thursday 25th June. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. At half time there is a raffle, and a light tea is served, and besides the normal bingo books, there is a flier, and a jackpot. Anyone from Iden and the surrounding area is very welcome.

TALK ABOUT MULTI-TASKING!: I’ve actually acquired quite a decent herb garden [more by luck than judgement], and thinking about it, herbs are so much more versatile than I ever gave them credit for .For a start isn’t it nice to be able to say, “I’ll just pop out into the garden and get some fresh sage. It’s culinary name-dropping at it’s best. [You might as well say “my best friend is Mary Berry!] Herbs allow us to become Italian cooks, and Asian cooks, and even better English cooks. Besides being a contradiction in terms, parsley sauce and mint jelly would be boringly bland without parsley or mint wouldn’t they? The medicinal properties of herbs are prolific too. Parsley is said to be a good diuretic, and sage oil is said to be anti-inflammatory [the list is endless, we could be here all day] Put rosemary, in a vase, or mint in with flowers, and we create an almost hedgerow- innocence on our window sill. Anyone who steps out into the garden in the early morning, and walks through their own patch of mint, experiences a certain old world charm, as does pinching a sprig of rosemary between thumb and forefinger, as we pass by someone’s hedge. It asks for it [There is something about rosemary’s, grey-green colouration that is very pinch-worthy]. Tucking a piece of rosemary into a serviette at a dinner party, or sticking a sprig of it inside the ribbon on a parcel, demonstrates thoughtfulness.

Last week, I picked chive flowers and sage flowers, and put them in a vase, and both lasted well, and looked pretty for days. It seems to me that herbs unlike humans are at their loveliest when they flower, and have almost gone to seed. No need for Botox there then! My goodness, is there anything these herbs can’t aspire to!

IF ONLY I COULD SPEAK MAGPIE!: My husband is still bird –watching on a daily basis. I have managed to wean him off the fact that is not only the tiny birds that need feeding, and that having a mixture of birds chomping at the fat balls in our garden is a good thing [variety being the spice of life and all that], but he still feels that magpies are ‘greedy beggars’. Having said that, he has now decided that the magpies disappear in the morning, and come back in the afternoon [surely we haven’t got rival a bird table! Don’t tell him that for heavens sake], and he wants to know where they go. “The thing is I don’t speak Magpie”, he said today and for that I thank my lucky stars, because things could get very heated around that bird table] Mind you, I gave all the birds some left over roast potatoes this morning I have to say that it was heart warming sharing those ‘Maris Pipers’ with things that stir such emotion in this household!]

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

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