THE DOLL-NAMER: My mum called one of her childhood dolls '˜Bluebell Metal Polish', and the other [she insisted was Italian] she called '˜Rimo Tadini. She was full of anecdotes. 'Don't lay bricks with that butter', she would say, and she was always telling me to '˜pull down my skirt '˜as though I was some kind of harlot rather than a girl keeping up with fashion.' When you get your home ', she would say, 'I'm coming to mess it up the way you mess up mine', or a favourite was 'you turn my brain' or ' get that awful muck off your face' [I always had a penchant for eye-liner] She considered the worst crime having dead flowers in a vase, yet an even a worse crime was throwing flowers out before they were well and truly dead. She maintained that flowers have feelings. She was a widow, twice widowed as a matter of fact and when I look back I never would have had her resilience. She was amazing with money, frugal prudent, keeping every paid bill in order on a clothes peg I've always been so raggle-taggle, and it's only since I've aged that I appreciate that she had too many worries to have my daft frivolity. Do you ever feel that, that you wish you could have someone back for an hour just to tell them thankyou?

Friday, 26th October 2018, 7:00 am

MY MISTAKE MY APOLOGIES: The date for the next Iden Players extravaganza is 30th March 2019, and not the nineteenth as I gave out last week [stupid woman]. So is there an available pianist in Iden who wouldn’t mind playing for the event. Susannah Miller played for the team for so many years and she has many commitments, so any Russ Conway or Mrs Mills please step forward and ring Teresa on [01797 280143.] She would be most grateful. Also [don’t be shy] they need actors and people behind the scenes. There is a role for everyone. You don’t have to be Dame Judy Dench, just come along. Ring Teresa as above.

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: Tonight in Iden village hall. The programme of winter lectures is of very high standard. Visitors pay £3. All are welcome to have a glimpse into natural history in Iden and around the world. This week the lecture is given by Stephen Harmer, a lecturer from Hadlow College near Tonbridge and is entitled ‘Plant Hunters’.

IT’S ALL A BIT HAIR- RAISING!: Halloween is so very important to children isn’t it, a laying down of exciting memories, a chance to dress up and experiment with garish makeup [don’t they just love anything creepy and slimy] All the would- be Christopher Lee’s and Boris Karloffs’ are hoping for our sweets, so I’m off to Tesco for a variety -pack. Wednesday 31st October is officially Halloween.

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

AUNT MABEL’S JUG: This week I bought my Christmas wrapping paper at the market, and my labels which say ‘NO PEEKING’. On Christmas day my children used to tell me when they were quite tiny “mum go back to bed it’s only five am”. I couldn’t wait for them to wake. Last year my granddaughter who is thirteen still requested ‘Twas The Night before Christmas’ and I had to sit on her bed as I did when she was small. The shops are early this year with their baubles, but there is a lot to do, a need to ‘get on’, a lot of mixed spice and brandy butter to contemplate. I lived in Canada as a child in a gold-mining town [as I rehash all too often], and that little town was so Christmassy. We just walked across the road to cut down a Christmas tree. We were in the middle of a forest so what was one less tree, and though it was remote and snow- bound [like the programme ‘Ice Road Truckers] people were busy making snow candy and almond- bark, and even sixty years ago my grandmother had a lit tree outside her house and one heck of a lot of Christmas baking going on inside. Everyone was full of Christmassy- ideas and snow was guaranteed. Living in a gold-mining town required imagination as we were so far from civilisation! Christmas is all about passing family traditions down the line like a baton in a relay race, little gems of wonder, and air looms like my aunt Mabel’s berry-encrusted jug for the cranberry sauce!

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