IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS: It doesn’t take much to please me [I’ve lead a sheltered life]. Things like being on the receiving end of the small courtesies in restaurants pleases me no end. [a plate of after-dinner mints can send me into a tail-spin] Getting that little complimentary biscuit on the side of a coffee cup, that I haven’t asked for is always nice too. The other day I went to Hythe, and had one of those cups of coffee with the flower etched in the foam. How do they do that? It’s a nice little thought isn’t it? The flower lasted all the way through the coffee too. My husband said “it’s only a cup of coffee Gill, put the cup down”! Another thing, I love is getting one of those wrapped, warm towels in an Indian restaurant. I always want to wash my face as well as my hands, but I do wear eyeliner [and panda eyes is not a good look] I know it isn’t personal, but it feels personal [I suppose a bath in warm Indian towels would be out of the question!]

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: The Parish council met on Tuesday 6th October, at 7.30 pm in the Iden village hall Michael Miller chaired the meeting, and to begin, he introduced Greg Eldridge, a tree surgeon, and expert in tree-husbandry, who spoke about the duty of care involved in keeping Iden’s trees safe from the public’s point of view, and healthy, from an aesthetic point of view . He suggested that the council draw up an ongoing plan, to protect our trees. He spoke at length about ‘Ash dieback disease, a serious problem in Europe, which could ultimately effect 98% of ash trees. The Parish council do keep an eye on the state of the trees in the playing field, and public places

The trees at the entrance to Elsmead have been pruned, and are looking much better.

The War Memorial Trust gave a refund, as a result of their approval of work carried out on Iden’s War Memorial. Michael Miller thanked the Fete Committee for the £100, donated for more daffodil bulbs in Iden [which the council will match with a further £100]

Beckley are to use our Playing fields for Saturday morning matches, and will pay £300 annually.

Councillor Keith Glazier spoke on inevitable funding cuts in Rother, during these cash-strapped times. He keeps us abreast of elements of expenditure, and any points of interest which could affect Iden. Councillor Paul Osbourne was at the meeting, and Mary Philo, our Parish clerk, thanked both gentlemen for turning up each month to support us [They deserve this praise. Their presence contributes to a reciprocal approach [us being part of them, them being part of us is a reassurance]

Mary, also spoke about getting together a work-party, to clear brambles etc. from the ‘Quiet Garden’, in the church burial ground. The council also discussed the potholes and build-up of water in the Playing field car park.

Full details of the meeting can be seen on Iden’s website[], and minutes can be perused on the village notice board. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd November, at 7.30pm in Iden village hall

A FINGER IN EVERY PIE: Listening to the Parish Council meeting unfold, makes me realise [on a regular basis], that the council do have Iden’s well-being at heart. There are multifarious concerns, large and small, which could be left dangling, until of course they become a problem, and most will become a problem unless someone, somewhere strikes while the iron’s hot. A lot of issues are easily solved with sufficient money [but thereby hangs the usual tale!] It is difficult to balance the council budget fairly, and difficult to keep everyone happy. Health and safety issues weigh heavily. I’m always glad that I’m just participating as a member of the audience. I just put my chair away, go home and watch catch-up TV, and leave the Parish Councillors to sort out the many things in Iden that need ‘tweaking’!

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church on Sunday, 18th October at 9.30am.

SHORT-MAT BOWLS: Every Wednesday afternoon, short –mat bowls is held in Iden village hall at 2pm. It’s good exercise, and great fun. Refreshments are available. Everyone is welcome, and if you wish to ‘give it a go’, please ring Teresa Parsons [telephone 01-797 280143]

THE POP-IN: Iden’s Pop-In gives us a chance to share coffee/tea and biscuits, and by chatting to friends, catch up on all the Iden news. We have a little bric-a brac, and some books for sale, and it’s nice to see everyone. The next Pop-In, will be on Monday, 26th October at 11 am in Iden village hall. Do come along and join in!

BINGO: The next Bingo session will be on Thursday 29th October in I den village hall. This is a daytime Bingo. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30 pm. There is a tea at half time, a raffle, a flier, and a jackpot, and as many Bingo books as you can manage. Anyone in the Rye area is welcome.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: There was a Bingo night at Iden Bowls Club last Friday. The object of Bingo of course is to listen carefully, mark your card [with some decorum], and hopefully win enough for a trinket or two. Well! What happened there then? Dave and Bru of course [God bless them], who kept us entertained with a running commentary, heckling all the way through. Dave announced in a loud voice every time he crossed off a number [as a friend of mine used to say, “we don’t wish to know that, kindly leave the stage!”] Ray, the caller jumped all over the place with the four corners, and a pyramid, and a sandwich of bingo lines, all of which hardened bingo addicts took with a pinch of salt [and left some of us up the creek in a leaky punt] “Don’t put me next to Bru again”, said Vicky “I’ve had to nurse-maid him all the way through”! However, we did manage to settle these two renegades [the Morecombe and Wise of bowls club bingo!] We found Bru some reading glasses, and Dave had a cup of tea and a biscuit. There was a lot of hilarity throughout the evening. Thank you to everyone who supported the event. You see, bowls is not just for summer afternoons. It’s about get-togethers all year long, and having a laugh!

A VERY SENIOR CITIZEN: We have had many cats over the years, but Smoky is our oldest. She is 20, going on 21, and I have to say that she does look quite moth-eaten now, her poor old fur sticking out in peaks. She moves in that delicate, arthritic way, and weighs little more than a pound of butter. She doesn’t stray from the confines of our garden any more. However, like an aged Italian ‘mamma’, she is the boss. Her tired old bones, without moving an inch, convey a seniority that demands ‘deference’ and we tiptoe around her worrying about how much she’s eating and sleeping, and whether in fact she is still breathing. She moves fortnightly to a different sleeping place. This week, she migrated to my chair, which has the best light for embroidery, but that’s okay, I’ll wait until the fortnight is up and she moves to another resting place. Like many aged cats, she doesn’t like physical contact, but I do feel the need to let her know that I’m here for her, so I touch under her chin gently “ mummy loves you”, I say, and she looks up as if to say “okay, okay, enough already” .My husband is as soft as butter with this cat. “She only likes the jelly now”, he says worriedly.[He’s referring to the cat food] “Do you think she’d be better with the gravy type?”. “I’ll cook her up some chicken”, I say [more for his peace of mind than Smoky’s]. We talk about her in whispers as though we are visiting a nursing home, and indeed that is what our home has become, Smoky’s nursing home. Mind you she still eats quite well, still goes out at night, and is still continent, but like Greta Garbo, she just wants to be left alone. What a little trooper!

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, I’ll gladly include it. Please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01-797 280311]

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