LOOKING IN ON LONDON: Last week, I ventured up to London, up to the smoke, and I was excited, because although I love Iden, I still feel the need to check London out now and again. For me, it’s charm has always been it’s anonymity. People in London can choose whether to hide away, or step forward and present themselves. It’s such a sea of contradictions isn’t it? I saw a smartly –dressed business type sharing the pavement with another in garish garb, pierced and tattooed with impunity wherever there was a vacant patch of skin [It always makes me wonder if these folk ever wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and want their skin back just the way it was!] A man in a long, frayed overcoat hunted for cigarette butts, and called out gibberish to people he was not even acquainted with. . Whether in company, or alone, all of us become part of the ‘mural’ that is London. Tourists, taxi drivers theatre –goers, and people strolling hand in hand in Hyde Park merge seamlessly into it’s canvas. Blending into the grey structure of London’s walls allows us to view it without feeling accountable, because London is so open to any kind of idiosyncrasy.. London hides people. It’s capable of swallowing us whole, releasing us only when we say the word. It captures and surrenders in equal measure. The very word ‘London’ conjures up a cornucopia of entirety. Every turn is a different tableau. It’s a hotchpotch of extremes that dares us to define it in any way shape or form. It’s gloriously cultured, yet seedy, shocking, quirky and oh- so cosmopolitan .Smoky nooks and crannies are packed full of people spilling out onto pavements .Open doorways release the smell of beer and pizza and a good time. Fun, and laughter are rife, but the city reeks of loneliness too .London takes everyone on board, accommodating the lonely as readily as it accepts the gregarious. It takes the sad and the uncertain under it’s wing like an unpaid carer. I came back to Iden, and stepped out into a quiet night, no streetlamps, just the sound of silence. I’d had my ‘Fix’ for a while, but like visiting an old friend, it was so good to see London again. Like all old friends, I was thankful to see that it hadn’t changed.

AN AUTUMN WELL-CELEBRATED: Firstly, the Iden Arts and Crafts Exhibition, in aid of the ‘Iden Parish Church Restoration Fund’ was held for two days, on Saturday, 3rd October, and Sunday, 4th October, in the Old Hall’. The exhibition was beautiful [tastefully displayed, and the artwork, superb] Artwork was on sale, and it was particularly appreciated, because it was the work of artists living in and around Iden. A wealth of talent exists in this area, and it’s quite heart -warming to observe how proud everyone is on behalf of our local artists. Works of painting and embroidery done be Pam Howell, an Iden resident, [recently deceased,] took pride of place, and will survive for posterity. All entrants are to be congratulated. How gifted indeed are the artists, able to capture on canvas the things which have intrigued them, things we as spectators, appreciated in their paintings. Art rekindles recollection of personal memories, and the exhibition’s eclectic nature had something for every taste

AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH!: The harvest supper held in Iden village hall, last Saturday evening [3rd October], was a treat. Lovely food [cottage pie, veg, an assortment of sweets, and a glass of free wine], followed by amazing conjuring tricks performed by Dan Tyrell. [none of us had a clue how he did any of it!] Thank you to ‘Friends Of Iden Church’, and all those who helped to make the evening such a success.

AND THEN A PACKED CHURCH: The Harvest Service [followed by coffee in the Old Hall,] was a lovely service. The sunlight filtered through autumn leaves as we approached the church, and Teresa, our Vicar, reminded us how fortunate we are to have all that we need, in the form of food, shelter and warmth. The church looked lovely. It was a mass of flowers [there is something about all those red, yellow and orange autumn hues isn’t there? We all tied thought-provoking messages on a special Harvest box. [Sunday ceremonies to give us food for thought ]

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: The next service of Holy Communion will be on Sunday 11th October, at 9.30 am, in Iden Parish Church.

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In, will be on Monday 12th October, at 11 am, in Iden village hall. Do come along, everyone is most welcome.

BINGO: The next Bingo session is on Thursday 15th October, in Iden village hall. This is an afternoon Bingo session, and everyone in the Rye area is welcome. There is a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, afternoon tea, and as many Bingo books as you can manage.

TONIGHT IN IDEN VILLAGE HALL: The Iden And District Natural History Society is holding it’s first lecture of the winter season, at 7.30pm., in Iden village hall. Membership is a minimum of £14, and visitors pay £3. Tonight’s lecture is [part one Teilhard de Chardin. ], and [part two, A Local Geology Update], by Ken Brooks. There are refreshments and a raffle .Lectures are of a high standard, so do come along.

IDEN FETE OPEN-MEETING: Members of Iden Fete Committee held an open –meeting in Iden village hall on Tuesday 29th September. The proceeds of the fete help a variety of village causes. Without this money, we would not have as many village attributes at our disposal. The fete itself is quite renowned, and the committee do so much to make it the popular summer, extravaganza that it is. However, help is needed for next year, and details will follow in due course. Special thanks went to Jed Say [chairman], Debbie Hammond, and John Bridge [treasurer]. Profits were up from last year, and the committee wished to thank all stall-holders, and anyone that participated in the running of the fete.

TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE TO THANK: Chris Slater who has overseen the ‘Boot Fair’ accommodation for the Iden Fete is stepping down after 21 years [although she will still help as usual with ‘Bargains Galore’] Many thanks to Chris for what has been a stoic contribution to our fete for so long. After 21 years Chris deserve a break. We can now ring Bob Hammond for ‘Boot Fair space [More details later]

THANK YOU TO JOHN BRIDGE: John Bridge has for the past eight years acted as treasurer for Iden Fete, and is now stepping down. He has done a grand job, and helped us all by carrying out what is not an enviable task. Bob Hammond is taking over as treasurer, so thank you Bob! John will continue as a committee member.

PHEW! I’VE BOUGHT MY CHRISTMAS CARDS: I Walked into a Charity shop, and there they were, this year’s Christmas cards. A bit daft, a bit quirky, and on the small –side, but I bought them at once. Too early! [you’re joking] it’s a wonder I haven’t been up in the loft for the tinsel. Christmas for me needs to be a long, slow burn, something to be savoured. I love it, every reindeer, the crowds, the carol service, the turkey, the goose fat for the potatoes, the usual bottle of Grand Marnier, nine sprouts each [heaven preserve us!] “Was it crowded”, my husband will say when I’ve been Christmas shopping.[in truth it could be the Charge Of The Light Brigade, and I wouldn’t even notice while I’m buying baubles] . People talk to each other at Christmas time “Aren’t these lovely”, I say to anyone that will listen, and before you know it I am hearing what they are buying their mother, how they miss their auntie, and how many are coming to Christmas dinner. I am truly interested too in who is having a butterball turkey or a capon, and who is opting for Aunt Bessie’ Stuffing balls [Christmas is so gloriously communal isn’t it?]

CONTACT ME: If anyone would like to add anything to Iden Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

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