MORE FAIRY LIGHTS!: Christmas is difficult for parents who are strapped for cash, and yet want to deliver all their children’s hopes and dreams in one day. The lead up to Christmas is frenetic, and many say that it is too commercialised. However, this week, I sat in a coffee shop, in Sayer’s Lane, in Tenterden, and looked over at the display of Fairy lights outside Waitrose. They looked pretty, and ‘joyful’. People smile at Christmas time don’t they, and there is a reciprocal kindness, all generated by the happenings on the first Christmas day long ago .Even Bah Humbugs cannot escape Christmas entirely. We think of almost everyone we know. We send cards and gifts and letters to people, bringing them to the fore front of our minds. We spare a thought for so many people, because it is such a poignant time If that is being commercialised, so be it, but I’m off to buy a few more twinkle lights!

THE IDEN CHRISTMAS DINNER: Well, what a time we had! The food cooked by our chef Paul Parsons was quite wonderful, and so much of it. Three courses, and a choice of starter and sweet, followed by mince pies, After Eights and coffee, all eaten in Iden village hall on Saturday, which was awash with a purple, silver and white decor. [My fish starter was to die for].Everyone complimented the chef. There was much frivolity. After a competition involving Christmas songs and carols, each table were given three toilet rolls and access to a box of decorations, and had to dress one of their table up as a Christmas tree. The results were mad, [totally ridiculous really!] but isn’t it nice to see people letting their hair down? Thank you to Paul and Ray [who acted as MC ], and Debbie and Sue , Anne Fiona and Tracy, who all waited on tables and washed up, and made everything run like clockwork. Thank you to Janet Wood, who helped set up the tables, and sweep up the mess I made when dressing the tree. [These are not people, they are coiled springs, reaching out to brooms and dish mops with the same military precision as Santa’s elves], Thank you one and all, it was a splendid party! [ If you see a daft Christmas tree wandering around Iden covered in toilet roll, deny all knowledge!]

GET WELL SOON PAT: We all signed a card for Pat Buckland at our dinner, with get –well wishes. Pat is in hospital, and. Mandy Parsons. Paul’s wife, has been looking after Pat, and visiting every day [Mandy the place cards were lovely]. Mandy is always at the Iden Christmas dinner supporting Paul at every turn, but next year, hopefully

Pat and Mandy will both be back in the fold. enjoying the dinner. Thinking of you both.

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday in the village hall. Michael Miller chaired the meeting. Councillor Paul Osbourne spoke about parking in Rye, and said that for an extra 20 pence, we can pay for parking via mobile phone. Finances were discussed, and Michael Miller said that the council were paying village hall fees at over and above the amount to help the hall funds. Mary Philo our Parish Clerk, thanked everyone for planting all our extra bulbs. [Iden should look a picture in the spring.] Michael said that the Council would refund Beckley’s football team for the times they have been unable to use our park [due to the times it’s been water-logged.] During the audience question time, Morris Metcalf said that the Iden Footpath team will no longer receive council funding for the tools and equipment required for fixing gates and footpaths etc, and it is now up to property owners to provide the wherewithal. Councillor Jim Woods said there would be a meeting of the I.C.E Committee at ‘The Bell’ on 9th December. If anyone wishes to join as an I.C.E member, or be willing to help in any way at all, they would be welcome at any subsequent meetings. One never knows when high winds or some such will strike our rather isolated little spot. [I will try to keep you posted about the dates for the I.C.E.meetings] The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting can be seen in full on the village notice board, or on our website []

TWO NICKS AT CHRISTMAS TIME: One ‘Nick’ [St Nicholas] is the plopping down the chimney kind. The other, Iden’s Nick Etches, has a new watch [an Apple watch apparently] that does everything except clean the house and make the coffee. Why am I mentioning this? Well, he is so over the moon, so positively ecstatic with his new watch that it became the sole topic of conversation in ‘The Bell’ the other evening, [apparently he was very entertaining] and he said to my husband, “ask your Mrs to mention my new watch in the village voice” [well there you go Nick] Apparently it’s technology is second to none, and it responds to finger prints or is it his phone that responds to finger prints and then relays it to the watch, I don’t know, I’m confused Whatever, I am glad that you are happy Nick [nice to find one happy ‘seasonal bunny’------ wear short sleeves so we can all see it! ]

TONIGHT IN IDEN VILLAGE HALL: The Iden And District Natural History Society are having a lecture tonight, entitled ‘Costa Rica’, by.Susan Scriven. The lecture starts at 7.30 pm.Visitors, are most welcome, and pay £3.

THE IDEN CAROL SERVICE: Our carol service is on Thursday 17th December, at 7.30 pm, in Iden Parish Church. .

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

SANTA CAME TO IDEN W.I.: There was more frivolity on Tuesday evening at the Iden WI. Christmas party. Santa came, and gave out the secret Santa gifts. There was sherry and mince pies, and members played a few party games, and had a nice pre- Christmas meeting. Merry Christmas to all surrounding W I groups.

AND SPEAKING OF SANTA: My husband was Santa this week at my Grandson’s school fair, and I went along as his ‘elf’. Once I’d ‘rouged’ him up, and pinned him into his red suit, we were ‘North Pole’ ready. It was dark in that grotto, and I had to hand Santa the appropriate presents. My worst nightmare was giving a cupcake doll to a boy [it’s a very responsible job being an elf!] “Have you posted your list”, Santa wanted to know .It was all very sweet. A couple of the children had stickers on their jumpers which said ‘I bumped my head at school today.’ “Tell them we’ve got to go and feed Rudolph, I prompted. [he was beginning to dry up a bit] It’s actually very tiring being Santa!

“ I’m sure I can fit that on my sleigh “, he was saying to all the kids , but last year a friend of my son’s knocked on the door and said [ fortunately in jest] “tell your Dad thanks a bunch for telling Freddie that he can have that police station, because it cost £64.99, and I’ve already bought his presents.!

“Hello boy”, Santa said to my grandson, “and what would you like for Christmas”. “Hello Grandad “, said Oscar ,completely unfazed by seeing Grandad with a mop of white curls and a red suit .He is ten, and no longer believes. He has stepped out of that magical bubble that disappears all too soon, and entered the world of harsh reality. Shame really, but he is still going to have to sit through ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve, whether he likes it or not!

CONTACT ME: If you would like me to add anything to the village voice please contact Gill Griffin Telephone 01797 280311

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