SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER: We’ve been looking after Jenson, my son’s dog. He is huge, and a big handful, [a nice handful], but he is deluded! He thinks he is Santa’s little helper. He has wandered around all week with ribbon, and baubles, and sell-o-tape hanging out of his mouth, and we’ve spent the week chasing after him retrieving soggy labels and bits of holly. I’ve been running after him, conning him into dropping a length of tinsel, and swapping it for a dog biscuit! He has no conception of the words ‘drop it’, but was clever enough to realise that if he trotted around helping himself to all things relating to Christmas, he’d get a biscuit! He thinks I live in the kitchen, and dole out food, and he hangs around me knowing that I give him Bonios at the slightest provocation. My husband, is his favourite though, because he takes him for walks, and deals with his doggy-bags etc, which I’m quite sure [in view of the amount of wrapping paper and glitter he must have consumed this week], will be reminiscent of Christmas ‘passed’!]

THE CAROL SERVICE: There will be a carol service in Iden Parish Church on Thursday 17th December at 7.30pm. It’s always a beautiful service, and it seems to iron out all the stress and hard work leading up to Christmas. As soon as we open the Church door, we experience the real meaning of Christmas. It is a feast of carols and readings, and yet so much more. We slot into pews enjoying murmured conversation, and the church is bright and welcoming, and alive with the sense of expectancy that Christmas brings.

THE TRAVELLING CRIB: Details are up in the shop regarding Iden’s travelling crib, which symbolizes Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem .Do please look at the list, and sign up to keep the crib for one night. It’s a meaningful experience being the recipient, and offering if you wish a glass of sherry or a cup of tea to whoever hands over the crib. It’s a lovely tradition, which reflects the unity which is present in Iden, especially at Christmas.

NOT JUST FOR SUMMERY DAYS: Iden Bowls Club goes on celebrating throughout the year, long after the bowling season is over. No chance of putting their feet up and waiting to don the bowling shoes once more. Last week they were at ‘The Mermaid’ for the annual Club Dinner, which was very enjoyable, and this week they had a lovely meal at the ‘Hope Anchor’, to celebrate the presentation of the club cups .Some members got on the coach afterwards with a clutch [almost a bouquet] of cups. The club’s patron , Geoffrey Chater-Robinson presented the cups , and was his usual pleasant , encouraging self . Well done to all those who received trophies, and many thanks to Vicky Britton, Pauline Harmer and Steph Stuart for arranging the Hope Anchor event.. Thank you to ‘The Mermaid’, and ‘The Hope Anchor’ for such enjoyable venues!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A TREE WARDEN?: Iden Parish Council are offering to support a tree warden. .There is a ‘National Tree Warden Scheme’ founded by the Tree Council to enable people to take an active part in conserving trees and enhancing their local woods. The Tree Wardens are volunteers, but this appointment comes with a £100 honorarium. The position involves gathering information about local trees, and getting involved in practical projects relating their well being. If you are one of those people who not only love trees, but are concerned with their welfare, please contact our Parish Clerk Mary Philo[ telephone 01797 270790], or e-mail[]

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion at Iden Parish Church this Sunday at 9.30 am.

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-In will be on Monday 7th December in Iden village hall, at 11am. Do come along for coffee/tea and a chat. Always nice to see everyone! There will be one more Pop-In, before Christmas, on 21st December.

TOMORROW’S VILLAGE LUNCH: The Christmas lunch for Iden residents will be in Iden village hall, [1pm, for 1.30] It should be a grand occasion!

BINGO: The next Bingo session will be on Thursday 10th December, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm.There will also be Bingo on Thursday 31st December [New Years Eve afternoon]

I DO LOVE A BENCH: Taking the dog for a walk this week was nice. We walked around fields, and then I sat on a bench in the park while my husband continued on, so that Jenson could splash in every puddle., and roll in [well, heaven knows what!]. I love a lone sit on a bench. People who donate benches in remembrance of loved ones are nice people in my opinion, and before we sit, we do tend to read the memorial inscription It was such a beautiful wintery day, and I watched the clouds move slowly across the sky [not ones to rush about are they?] There was a cacophony of birdsong, and a few seagulls joined in, as if reminding us [in no uncertain terms] that although we are inland, we are very close to the sea. There were still some autumn leaves clinging to trees, but most trees were as bare and twiggy as a witch’s broom. We are so lucky to live here in Iden, where a person can sit and be entirely alone in the park, allowing us to crank up our imaginations. Nature is more than happy to put on a show for an audience of just one. I’d picked some catkins in the fields [I love catkins], and I brought them home and put them in with some holly and a few artificial berries and some winter jasmine [I enjoy them however they manifest themselves, either as those dense , little perky things, or long and full of pollen, the kind that resemble dangling earrings!.]

CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]

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