OH, DON’T WORRY, I HAVE A ‘SPARE’!: The word ‘spare’ is a very comforting word isn’t it, because although having an extra is hardly an abundance, it tells us that we have a similar [if not a cloned-version] waiting in the wings. I always have a spare kettle, which I keep in the airing cupboard. Without it I would be teetering on the edge of a breakdown. [Tea made with water boiled in a saucepan is never the same is it, and life without a brew doesn’t bear thinking about?] The thing is, if I have a spare of anything, I very often give my spare away to someone who not only hasn’t a spare, but hasn’t even got one in the first place, and then I don’t have a spare [it does get very complicated ]. Also, I find myself buying oodles of things which are ridiculously cheap, and then giving most of them away [because there is something about the sheer joy of finding a bargain that needs to be shared], but then of course, I realise that my bargain is not a bargain at all, and has in fact turned out to be more expensive than just buying one at full price! For certain things like peanut butter and hand -soap dispensers, mustard and all condiments, I have spares of spares, and as for loo rolls [don’t even go there] Open a cupboard and you could be killed in the landslide! They say that men are the hunter-gatherers, but mostly it’s the women who ‘gather’ [provided of course that the man has coughed up the money] in order to keep a household flowing with commodities. This allows everyone to munch their way through their favourite snacks, wash with their favourite shower gel, and pour their favourite sauces over a meal which you’ve slaved over [considering the amount they consume, I sometimes think why not just give my grandchildren a plateful of tomato sauce!] In truth, we are afraid of running out of things, because it’s a black mark against us [a please see me after school] statement of incompetence .Keeping a family ‘dangling without a sliced loaf is a mortal sin. The thing to do is to keep a spare of absolutely everything. [but then, God forbid, it would probably mean moving to a house twice the size!]

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, on Sunday 13th September , at 9.30 am.

BINGO: The next Bingo session is on Thursday- 17th September, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. Everyone from Iden and the surrounding area is welcome. There is a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, and tea, sandwiches, and cakes, half way through. It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

QUIZ NIGHT: Friday night [18th September], there will be a Quiz night in Iden village hall [7pm for 7.30] Tickets are available from Pat Buckland [telephone 01-797 280589]. There is a fish and chip supper included in the price. Do bring your own drinks, a glass and knife and fork, plus whatever you want to sprinkle on your fish and chips [vinegar, sauces etc.] What else? Maybe salt and pepper and a few nibbles [push the boat out!] Iden quiz nights are always fun!

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In, is on Monday 14th September, in Iden village hall, at 11am. On August Bank Holiday, we had a good turn-out, and initially men and women sat together around, what is normally a ladies –only table, and it was rather nice. However, the men soon migrated to their own table. Now why is this? It’s true they have more biscuits on their table, but I’m always so intrigued to know what men talk about. My husband will go to play snooker for hours, and come back without a smidgeon of gossip [I mean come on, something must happen besides potting a black] “How is Sally”, I will say. “fine” he will say [well I know she isn’t, because she is now minus her appendix], but I want to know how she’s managing, how she feels, and who brought in grapes. I can never work out whether women are too nosey, or men are not nosey enough. Anyway how about you men, as a whole, become more informative, open up a little, talk for talking’s sake. .Allow your thoughts to become a little more higgledy- piggledy, and we’ll even up the ginger nuts!

IN AWE OF ACORNS: Soon the acorns will be dry and shrivelled enough to be crunched under foot. There is nothing nicer than walking under oak trees is there, when the air has that damp feeling and the morning dew seems to be all-day dew. If you never believed in anything, you would have to wonder at the sheer perfection of an acorn cup [nature’s cup and saucer] Stepping on acorns is akin to popping bubble wrap, that tiny pop of satisfaction, but with bubble –wrap, the feeling is much less hallowed

I’M LEAVING IT ALL UP TO RICK!: Rick Stein, has kindly taken me on a trip from Venice, to Istanbul, and I haven’t even had to get out o my armchair. No injections required, no luggage to weigh, I haven’t had to take my shoes off, [or dear knows what else], in front of an airport official I don’t know from a hole in the wall, just because I’ve peeped a couple of times while preparing to board a plane. I can have as much aerosol perfume in my handbag as I want [no one prises me away from my full quota of Impulse !] Oh, I know, that my TV tour is not the same. I will not be experiencing the ambiance which travel allows, the aroma of exotic markets, the blistering heat rising from the pavements, the jostling crowds and azure seas [but Rick loves it doesn’t he, sweating through all those garlicky meals, swimming with octopus [I get panicky in a deep bath, so I’m very much in awe], but his enthusiasm is so infectious, and the filming so wondrous, that I have to blink my way back to the fact that I’m still in Iden. plus of course. I’ll have been eating my way through a bag of Bombay mix, and I know full well that there is one of those plastic pots of taramasalata in the fridge. [Rick would be so impressed at how cosmopolitan we are in this house!]

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

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