A BIG THANK YOU FROM PAT: I got a phone call from Pat Buckland this week, asking me to thank everyone in Iden and beyond, who sent cards and get well messages to her, following a recent spell in hospital. Pat has had quite a rough time of late, and she was much cheered by all the well-wishes. She is recovering slowly, and she attributed much of her recovery to her daughter Mandy, and son in law Paul. [She was very grateful for their kindness]. With perhaps a good dose of Spring weather, with it’s nice yellow flowers [which always mirror the sun], I’m sure that Pat will feel more like herself. Usually Pat is well-known for helping others, and has given much of her time to assisting people at Magdala House [Day Centre] in Ferry Road Rye. At quizzes and functions where money is being raised for good causes, Pat will be at the centre of things, and an awful lot of conversations in Iden recently have included “do you know how Pat Buckland is”? She may not feel at her best right now, but knowing Pat, she soon will be, and we all send her our love.

THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Michael Miller chaired the meeting on Tuesday, and began, as he always does by saying a few words that accentuate the familial core of Iden. He mentioned the £550 raised at our Carol Service for ‘Blood Works’ [the leukaemia and lymphoma charity], and thanked everyone for their generosity. He thanked all those involved in the Iden Christmas meal in the village hall. He mentioned the rainy weather, and the garden plants that are blooming in the village, earlier than usual, especially the daffodils. Michael said that he was very impressed with the way I.C.E [Iden Community Emergency Forum] informed Iden villagers about the possible length of the Christmas day power cut. He said that he rang E.D.F.Energy, who were very helpful, before and after the power cut, considering that it was Christmas Day, and he sent an e-mail thanking them on our behalf. Councillor Keith Glazier spoke about how difficult it is to balance the books in these cash-strapped times, without depriving the most vulnerable in East Sussex. He always makes it quite clear that a lot of thought and anguish goes into trying to get a quart out of a pint pot . He said that the county’s pot-holes were of continuing concern [especially after all the rain we have experienced,] and that we should continue to report worrying pot-holes. Councillor Paul Osbourne, said that refuge collection, although slightly out of synch due to the Christmas holidays, should return to normal now. Councillor Sally Anne Hart said that TV, and film productions are looking for homes in and around Rye to use for T.V. productions. [If anyone is interested, they can contact www. creative], and if they choose your home they will pay for the privilege. Michael Miller, and our Parish Clerk Mary Philo, discussed the precept, which will stay the same for this year. They mentioned a few of the myriad of Iden responsibilities that have to come out of this fund. Hornet’s nests, mole infestation, obstructive brambles, weed killer, grass-mowing, to mention only a few. It was a short meeting, but as usual, good to know that Rother and East Sussex and Iden are united in their concerns. The next Parish Council meeting will be on Tuesday February 2nd, at 7.30pm, in Iden village hall.

BINGO: The next Bingo will be in Iden village hall on Thursday 21st January .Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. Anyone from the Rye area is most welcome, for a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, and a light tea.

THE POP-IN: The next Pop-in is on Monday 25th January, in Iden village hall, at 11 am. Do join us for tea/coffee, biscuits, and a get together.

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

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: On Friday, January 22nd, there will be a talk in Iden village hall entitled ‘My Favourite Images’, by David Fletcher. There is a raffle, and refreshments are provided. Visitors pay £3, and are very welcome

KNITTER-NATTER: The first Knitter –Natter group will be on Tuesday 26th January in Iden village hall. Do come along. Bring, knitting, sewing or a favourite hobby, and enjoy some company, from 2pm-4pm. Proceeds go to Iden village hall. It should be nice ladies!

JUMBLE IS NEEDED: On January 30th, Iden Bowls Club are having a jumble sale, at 1pm, in Iden village hall. If anyone has any post- Christmas jumble, it would be gratefully received. Please contact Vicky Britton [telephone 01797 280568 ], and she will tell you where to leave jumble, or Vicky or her team will collect it. [No electrical goods]

THE LITTLE BLUE BLANKET: Our cat Smokey is almost 21, and looks a real old lady. She looks as though the moths have been at her fur, she weighs hardly anything, and she has a couple of times during the wet weather been a ‘sooner’- cat [sooner spend a penny indoors than out] unless you keep a close eye on her. Today I washed this soft blue blanket that she loves, and hurried to dry it while she was out [in case she felt insecure]. It’s become her sanctuary, and as long as she has that blanket, and is left alone, she is quite happy. She eats well, and as long as she eats well I feel she is coping My husband and I talk about her in whispers, as though we are visiting an elderly care home. Her wants and needs have been whittled down to a little blue blanket by the fire. She is as arthritic as they come, but she’s family, and I’m not quite ready to take her to the vet, so she can meet that big blue blanket in the sky. Not while there is still hope and disinfectant!

GOD BLESS MY NEW DOUGH HOOK: I have a new mixer, with a dough hook, and now, I make bread, because it’s got easier [no wonder we are getting so enormous!] Anyway, the day after Boxing Day, I suddenly realised that we had run out of those partly baked loaves, to go with the stilton and those unpronounceable Christmas cheeses, so while everyone played Pictionary, I knocked up a loaf, and put it to prove on the living room stove. “Gill, is this really necessary with a houseful of people”, my husband said, It was, to me it was. It was a bit Dickensian, and there is something about Dickens that still lurks at Christmas time isn’t there? I never cook my Christmas ham, without thinking about ‘Great Expectations’, and Pip giving away their Christmas ham to the ravenous Magwitch. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as out with the old and in with the new, because my state of the art food mixer ultimately reminded me of days of old!

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

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