SIT DOWN SUMMER, AND STAY A WHILE.: August is a bitter/sweet month isn’t it, because it promises to be summer at it’s most glorious, and yet it heralds summer’s imminent decline. We feel the need to savour so many aspects of summer. Most of all, we want to hang on to that feeling of lightness, of summer voices stretched out well into the evening, enjoying the gift of extended light. So what are we to do, us mere mortals, rein it in like a steer, hide it away in the loft, or cling to it like a favourite aunt boarding a train. No, we just accept it. The British accept a chill in the air and watch the leaves preparing to don their autumn hues with wartime spirit. We ferret around and find all the things to love about autumn, just as Britain found things to love about black-out curtains and banana essence [when real bananas, or so it appeared, had fallen off the face of the earth!] and you know what, we find plenty to love about autumn, and subsequently winter .This constant change of season is good for us. No time for complacency. We’ve learnt to steel ourselves, give summer a quick peck on the cheek and a little wave good bye, stop moaning and reach for a cardigan!.

NEVER MENTIONED IN THE MARRIAGE VOWS: When I got married anyway, the vicar never said ‘wilt you take this man who rarely enters the kitchen, but will walk over your kitchen floor in his muddy gardening boots, the minute you’ve washed the floor’, and neither did he say ‘wilt thou take this woman who will stand right in front of the TV when a goal is being scored’. What else now?. He never said, ‘wilt thou take this man who leaves his clothes in a pile on the bath mat after a bath, so that it looks as though he’s died and gone through the floorboards’ or ‘wilt thou take this woman who goes into the super market for just a loaf, and comes back two hours later with half the store’. No, the vicar just smiled, and the organ played ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’!

ROD’S CALENDARS ARE ON SALE!: Rod Stuart takes beautiful photographs, and the ones he took in the vicinity of Iden for the 2016 calendar are stunning. The calendar’s are now for sale in Iden Stores, and would grace our own homes perfectly, or make lovely gifts .Rod must lie under many a hedge with his camera, and be at one with the early morning dew, because his photographs capture nature around Iden at it’s most enchanting .Proceed s from Rod’s calendars go to Iden Stores.

SPEAKING OF IDEN STORES: Sally and Chris have eased seamlessly into Iden Stores, and also into becoming ‘Idenites’ Chris ‘s cheese straws, and his baking in general are already renowned .Iden Stores is it’s usual little oasis of calm and hospitality.

THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 9th August at 9.30am.

THE POP-IN: The Pop-in is a nice relaxing way to start the week. The next Pop-In will be in Iden village hall at 11am, on Monday, 17th August. Do join us for coffee/tea, biscuits and an opportunity to meet friends.

Bingo: The next Bingo session will be on Thursday, 20th August, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. Everyone from Iden and the surrounding area is welcome to come and join us Proceeds go to Iden village hall

SO GRANDAD SAT ON THE BEECH LEAVES: Speaking of impending Autumn, my mum used to pick beech leaves before they turned colour, and steep them in glycerine [did your mother do that?], and then she would put them between newspaper, and put them under the cushions of my Grandad’s favourite chair, to flatten out [he had no idea that he was incubating a floral arrangement!] They would turn a pleasant, reddish colour, and be used to decorate our sideboard. It was one of her many gestures of frugality. She also made homemade ginger beer, from a ‘ginger beer plant’, [remember those] which was divided up many times and distributed amongst the neighbours [just as well I never considered a career in bomb disposal], because I’m a ‘fingers in the ears’ kind of person when it comes to balloons, or champagne corks popping, and these ginger beer bottles would periodically explode behind the settee. [I hadn’t the heart to tell her that I would happily settle for tap water!] “Don’t lay bricks with that butter”, she would say. Making ends meet instigated such funny old memories!

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

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