STEPPING STONES: The other day I asked a checkout girl in the supermarket [so obviously a student] what A levels she was doing, and what she hoped to do as a career. I was interested, because youth to an older person like me has an enviable amount of years left, and so many opportunities. Everyone's lives are like stepping stones. We too sat exams then worked, married, bought an ironing board and a three -piece suite, and then hopefully along came babies. We didn't necessarily live together, most of us tended to wed and commit to the partner we'd chosen, and we hung our terry-towelling nappies on the line, put up with towels that didn't match the bathroom and had the odd meal out, savouring it as pure decadence during those days of newly-wedded scarcity. Girls today have equal footing, the expectations of the young are higher than ours, [and our parents thought we were pretty gung ho]. I felt very much at the other side of the supermarket trolley, a little sad that I'd trodden on most of my stepping stones, while the young girl packing my frozen peas had a whole pathway to navigate. I wished her well. She looked so fresh and ready to embark on adult life. What a fabulous age!

Friday, 5th October 2018, 7:00 am

THANKS TO ALL THE FLOWER LADIES: Thank you to all the ladies who decorated Iden Parish Church for the harvest. It’s no mean feat to lug flowers up to the church, choose foliage, think of a theme, and fetch water for thirsty Gladioli. Everyone’s flowers were a reflection of themselves, and very beautiful they were too!

A SERVICE OF HARVEST PRAISE: On Sunday 30th September, Iden Parish church had the feel of an old-fashioned harvest thanks to the efforts of Susannah Miller, our Church organist, who arranged music and readings which all smacked of God’s good earth, and all that it brings forth. It was a delightful afternoon, dedicated to Food Bank distribution, and small children brought up their gifts of food, ably encouraged by our Vicar Teresa Munro who has a reassuring way with children, making them feel an important part of the service [which of course they are.] The ‘Thursday singers’ who are led by Susannah performed ‘Now The Green Blade Riseth’ followed by a solo ‘Linden Lea’ by Vaughan Williams, beautifully sung by Helen Gray. The readers included Isabelle Saye, who read with great confidence a Harvest Acrostic which was also written by Susannah Miller. We are fortunate to have living in Iden that fine actor of stage and screen Geoffrey Chater- Robinson, who read ‘The Windmill’ by Henry Longfellow. When Geoffrey reads anything at all he takes it to another level with the gift of a natural orator. His thespian skills make every word soar and everyone listens transfixed. Following the service, we all filed into the ‘Old Hall’ for a splendid tea provided by parishioners, another nod to the harvest and all we have to be thankful for.

BACON BUTTIES AND A SKIFFLE BAND!: Rye and District Dementia Action Alliance are having a fund-raising event on Friday October 19th [7.15pm for 7.30] in Tilling Green Community Centre, TN317BE. Tickets may be reserved now by ringing Daliea on 07737350896. For £7.50, you get a skiffle band, ‘The Fieldstone Boys’, and bacon butties, beans and apple pie and custard. Booking for this great night of food and music is essential.

A QUIZ NIGHT AND FISH AND CHIPS: Iden village hall are holding a quiz night with a fish and chip supper on Saturday 13th October [6pm for 6.30pm] Tickets are available at Iden Stores, priced at £11, which includes a drink. Tables of six or less. Minimum prize £50. Last day to buy tickets is 10th October. There will be a vegetarian option. For queries ring 01797 280315.

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: Friday October 12th marks the first of the winter Natural History lectures in Iden village hall, at 7.30pm. All are very welcome. Visitors pay £3, and a subscription fee is a minimum of £14.The first lecture by Brian Gallop is ‘April In Turkey’. Lectures are of high standard, and describe the wonders of Britain’s natural history and that of other countries.

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

A CHILL IN THE AIR: We haven’t yet gone down the central heating route, but the other evening I wrapped myself in a rug, put on a cardie and we lit the fire. My husband has that male frugality about putting on the heating. Not all the trees are as red and autumnal as Virginia Creeper, but they are all showing off their versions of autumnal hues. Autumn and winter both have a sense of gradualness about them. It’s as though the cold- weather slows down their circulation as well as ours. There is a quiet stillness in the air. I love hips and haws, do you? Hedgerows are full of them which I long to pick, but they are invariably protected by those cruel blackberry brambles which seem to be saying “Hey keep your thieving hands off my friend”! I’ve already done lots of Christmas shopping [I wish we had more cupboard space.] Warm summer weather may have crowded beaches and family picnics, but autumn leads us towards those wonderful celebrations Harvest, Guy Fawkes, Halloween, then onward toward Christmas and New year, bright, colourful times which bring us all together. I look forward to buying my Halloween sweets, the fireworks and the Christmas crackers. It takes me as long to choose Christmas serviettes as it took choosing our house!

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