THE FUNNIER THE BETTER: I always had unruly hair, and one morning in school assembly, a girl behind tapped me on the shoulder and said “Gill, you’ve still got a roller in”. And so I had [albeit a small one] We used to sleep in rollers [it was like lying on a bed of nails] Anyway, I had enough hair, and never felt the need to wear a hat in winter, but lately I do feel a bit nippy around the gills, so the other day, I put on a hat .It looked as though I was wearing the cat, but it was warm. I ventured into Rye, and it was very cold [perishing], and almost everyone wore a hat, and like me, looked pretty quirky in them. I observed them, giving marks out of ten, and not one of us would have made the cover of ‘Vogue’. Instead, we looked brave and defiant, like intrepid explorers, and there was a certain camaraderie in our disregard for aesthetics. Everyone looked slightly ‘hearthrug’, and underneath we were all either blanched with cold, or puce, like Scott of the Antarctic. There was something very endearing about it! The cold weather, does tend to bring out something ‘clannish, whether we are helping each other shovel snow off a drive, pushing a neighbour’s car with a flat battery, or buying a tin of soup for someone a trifle more likely to slip up on ice than we are. Or indeed wearing a hat that makes us look ever so slightly deranged!

CLOSING ON A HIGH NOTE: It is with regret, that the ‘Iden and Playden Garden Society’ is to close due to lack of support. During the AG.M. On Saturday 23rd January, members were given options regarding closure, but it was decided to go ahead and bring the society to it’s conclusion. There will be a further meeting to finalise distribution of funds etc. This is by no means an isolated closure of a rural garden society. In these modern, frenetic times, it is difficult to conjure up the necessary interest in rural horticulture. So much was on the side of our particular garden society. The club was solvent, and although membership had dwindled recently, the remaining members were not only keen, but prolific growers of fruit and veg, and many were gifted at floral art. Recent shows in Iden village hall have been a real spectacle, and the organisation impeccable. We have the committee to wholeheartedly thank for that. Special thanks go to Morris Metcalf [the club chairman], Morris’s wife Yvonne Metcalf, Jill Johnson, Trish Evans, Carol Worwood, Anne Banning, Alan Riley and Janet Johnson. All have given time and expertise to the society, and it really is closing on a high note. We cannot thank Morris and his team enough for giving Iden years of horticultural pleasure, and transforming our village hall each season into something so beautiful.

A PARTY WAS HELD: Following the Iden and Playden Garden Society’s A.G.M., the society held a party in Iden village hall, followed by a quiz, and much hilarity. Sad though everyone was at the club’s demise, members celebrated fond memories of a united interest in the fruits of the soil.

A SPECIAL MENTION FOR GWYNNETH PARSONS: Gwynneth Parsons has been a leading light in the ‘Iden and Playden Garden Society’ for many years, and deserves special thanks, as she does for many contributions to the village. We thank you Gwynneth, and we all send our love!

TOMORROW’S JUMBLE SALE: Tomorrow, Iden Bowls Club are holding a jumble sale in Iden village hall, at 1pm. There will be a raffle, a cake stall and refreshments. If anyone has last-minute jumble, it can be brought to the hall by 10.30am on Saturday.

A SERVICE OF HOLY C0MMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion, in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30 am on Sunday31st January.

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: ON Friday, 12th February, Melvin Smith will give a talk in Iden village hall at 7.30pm, entitled ‘Tresco and The Abbey Gardens’. Melvin is the society chairman, and will be speaking about the delightful Island of Tresco, thirty miles off the coast of Cornwall .One of the five inhabited islands that make up the Isles of Scilly, Tresco’s flora and fauna are quite different from that of the mainland. Melvin will also talk about the Abbey Gardens, where sub-tropical plants grow happily out of doors.

THE POP-IN: The weather has been a trifle miserable hasn’t it, but anyway, on Monday 8th February, a little ‘joy’ will take place in Iden village hall at 11am,when we have the Pop-In, which is coffee/tea, bric-a-brac, and lively conversation. Everyone is welcome!

BINGO: On Thursday 4th February, in Iden village hall, Bingo will take place. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30 pm. There is a raffle, a flier, a jackpot, and a light tea is served at half time. Everyone from the Rye area is welcome. It’s a fun afternoon!

DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE JUMBLE?: There will be another jumble sale on Saturday, 5th March, at 1pm in Iden village hall. Proceeds will go towards improving the washroom facilities in the hall. If anyone has jumble, please contact Carol Bourne [Telephone 01797 280464]

COMPLETELY AT HOME ON THE RANGE: There have been quite a few post- Christmas cowboy films on TV recently, and I do love ‘a cowboy’. I love the way Clint Eastwood rides into town and chews on a toothpick. I love the way he says almost nothing, but you can see the plans ticking away in his head. You just know he is going to save the town. [he always has a scar doesn’t he?] We have to wait though while he downs his whiskey in one, then asks for the bottle, shoots a few folk and has a bath in a tin bath [still smoking his cigar], before we find out what the scar is all about. I feel as though I am right there with those cowboys sharing their beans on the range, in front of the camp fire [wouldn’t that be something?] Strange though, that modern day thrillers will have me hiding behind a cushion, but in cowboy films there could be whole streets [barns –full even] of dead bodies, empty whiskey bottles everywhere, and who knows what going on upstairs in the saloon bar, and I don’t bat an eyelid. Maybe it’s because we accept the cowboy’s ‘an eye for an eye’, a ‘tooth for a tooth’ mentality, or maybe it’s because Clint Eastwood would be a handy fellow to have around if folks got stroppy in the village hall!

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

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