FAITHFUL LITTLE FRIENDS: Here they are, the hawthorn berries, dotted hither and thither around Iden once again. Branches are loaded with them. One of our firsts hints at autumn. They have arrived on time, and are doing what it says on the tin, pleasing us with their red colouration, and their rather neat clusters. The hedge rows look as though they have all applied a touch of rouge, and the rosehips too muscle in amongst them, with their slightly more crimson hues .Such faithful little friends aren’t they ?[God love them!]

RAINING CATS AND DOGS: It certainly has rained of late hasn’t it? One day I looked out, and the raindrops on Iden’s roads were plopping down so fast, that they looked for all the world as though they were dancing [a little bit of ‘Strictly’ in Grove Lane eh?] The rain certainly inhibits us doesn’t it? It keeps us indoors twiddling our thumbs, thinking of all the outdoor jobs we could be doing, but let’s just forget about us, and just think how gleeful the plants must be. The hydrangeas, who love a drop of rain must be punching the air with joy [in horticultural terms] Next year, they will be gracing Iden with flower-heads the size of pumpkins, and the past few water-logged days will be just a vague memory!

A FANFARE FOR CRANBROOK BRASS BAND: Tomorrow night, at 7.30 in Rye College, Love Lane, Cranbrook Town Brass Band are giving a concert entitled ‘Raising Brass’. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or ring Dave Pellam [telephone 01-797 223467] Supper is included in ticket prices. Proceeds go to Rye and District Day Centre .It’s bound to be a fun-packed evening, as the band are not only great musically and get people dancing in the aisles, but are all-round entertainers, with a bit of comedy thrown in!

A GREAT DISPLAY IS EXPECTED: The Iden And Playden Garden Society are putting on an ‘Autumn Flower and Produce show, in Iden village hall, on Saturday 12th September, at 2.30 pm [tickets 50 pence adults, and 30 pence children] Prize- giving is at 4.30pm. Their shows are always such a treat, and such a tribute to the season. Refreshments are available. It’s always worth a visit, to see just how green-fingered Iden and Playden residents are!

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am, on Sunday 6th September.

THE POP-IN: There will be a Pop-In, in Iden village hall on Monday 14th September, at 11am. The last Pop-In was on August bank holiday, and so many people came [everyone talking at one, and having second and third cups of coffee].We only charge for one [what’s a spoonful of coffee, when it’s so nice to see everyone] You can have as many biscuits as you like [Jammy- Dodgers, coming out of your ears!]

BINGO: The next Bingo session is on Thursday 17th September, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. There is a raffle, a jackpot, a flier, and tea, cakes and sandwiches at half time .Anyone can come, from Iden and surrounding villages. It’s a fun afternoon!

SO MANY WORLDS: I can’t help thinking that we have the best of many worlds living in Iden. We have the sea, and the countryside inland vying for our attention. We have fields to peruse, in their many guises, and nothing changes as much as our fields. They change from snow-covered, to stretches of flat brown squares, like slices of ‘Hovis’, pecked at by crows searching for seed amongst the wheat stubble. Rabbits are so prolific, and commonplace that we hardly notice them, until we make a point of noticing them once in a while, when we have time to stop and stare. We can’t help but notice though, fields of yellow oil seed rape and proud, tall crops, then perfectly spaced .winter feed packed tightly into black, shiny PVC overcoats. [I know it’s all done by machine, but I can’t help imagining that there is a farmer somewhere, saying “come on you lot, get your coats on”]. The red, autumnal berries are the attention seekers, [okay, okay we’ve seen you, ] and lo and behold, just when we think we are going to mourn summer’s lush foliage, we are swayed by autumnal colours, followed by winter’s barren twigs [the backbone of the tree], while it’s counterpart, the evergreens step forward, after almost a year of feeling like an also-ran. Autumn leaves are as indecisive as a woman in a dress shop, and cannot decide which colour is representative of them, so why not have a hotchpotch of red, yellow, orange, brown and golden [variety being the spice of life and all that]. We have the festive gaiety of Rye, just down the hill, with it’s seam of artistry, and air of longevity, it’s flamboyance in summer, and, in winter, it’s waiting period, a time of replenishment, when locals, and late-season holiday- makers are it’s only friends. We have deep, dark nights and summer mornings that can’t wait to get started. Nature changes almost daily, but we need Iden villagers, the folk threaded amongst ever-changing environment, to stay just as they are.

GET YOUR THINKING CAPS ON!: There is a quiz night, in Iden village hall, on 18th September, at 7pm, for 7.30. Tickets include a fish and chip supper. Enquiries and tickets from Pat Buckland [telephone 01-797 280589]

A WELL-OILED HOME: I wonder how many Iden ladies are, this very minute using one hand to guide a vacuum cleaner, and the other to plump up cushions. In your honour, I’m now climbing on my soap box hoping to disperse the suggestion that the study of domestic science, home economics, food technology [call it what you will] is somehow an inferior kind of knowledge.[Do me a favour, it’s actually up there with Einstein’s theory of relativity] Anyone who has ever starched a tray cloth, or worked out the calorie requirements for a toddler, [as opposed to a geriatric, or manual labourer] under the watchful eye of the bunny-boiling kind of domestic science teacher of yesteryear is no shrinking violet. [I thought I was going to be beheaded when I accidently washed up our cookery teacher Mrs. Padfield’s pan of syrup [the day we did bottling!] Anyone can live in a house, but it takes skill to be able to orchestrate a house, so that it becomes a home. Oh, I don’t necessarily mean a showcase, but somewhere that feels like a refuge. I’m talking about the kind of person who can locate vapour rub and keep a stock of various-sized wellies in the garage, who has spare bedding and pillows in the airing cupboard for needy souls, and always has in-date Calpol, a box or toys and a Roald Dahl at hand just in case they have a sudden influx of children. It takes a certain intelligence to be au –fait with each nook and cranny, to assess whether a cry is a cry of pain, or just histrionics, to produce a Christmas dinner that ‘Nigella’ would be proud of, or feed a family of eight on a fiver . [let’s face it, we’ve all had our poverty-stricken periods!] Remembering birthdays and bereavements, having a bit of change for the tooth fairy, and tissues for the lovelorn all comes into play. It’s all ‘homely stuff [I’m not sure I’d come up to scratch, although I think I might have a bit of vapour rub knocking around.!] in this context though, I do wonder if Einstein with all his brains could have turned out a decent bread pudding, or was possessed of the particular kind of intuition required to make even the budgie feel loved!

CONTACT ME: If anyone wishes to add something to the village voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

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