BROADBAND: We received a gnomic email from Richard Farhall the other day that advised: “The BT Open Reach status for the John’s Cross cabinet has changed to ‘accepting orders’; however, BT is not accepting orders, saying that the cabinet is not ready! I have been advised to try again over the next 1-2 weeks. Getting closer!”

We think Richard’s email ought to have finished not with an exclamation mark but a question mark. And we note that the grand name that BT chose for their high speed broadband roll-out was… BT Infinity. Says it all really.

DATES AND REMINDERS: Just the one this week. Next Friday is the Mountfield Family Bonfire next Friday, October 31st, at the Bonfire Field. Gates open 6.00 pm. The weather forecast is for a mild, clear, starlit night. (Okay, we made the last bit up but it’s certain to be true…)

WELCOME: We were on the lane last weekend when a shifty-looking bunch of people came up the hill. When challenged, it turned out that two of them have recently moved into Mountfield. So a warm welcome to Steve and Alison who moved into the Matthews’ old house, Bartram Towers, and are fixing everything there that is fawlty. They were previously in Borough Green, which is in Kent so they have moved up in the world. And no, of course they didn’t look — and aren’t — in the slightest bit shifty. (Mind you, their friends, well…)

HARVEST FESTIVAL: (Part 2) Last week, we mentioned the lovely decorations of flowers, foliage and hedgerow fruits in the porch but had visited before the church was unlocked. We did manage to go back a few days later and the whole place looked glorious. So congratulations to Barbara Downing’s team of Eileen Spray, Wendy Mayers, May Johnson and, this year, Hannah Taylor. Our German guests, staying in Butters Cottage at the time, visited the church and were deeply impressed. Well done and thank you.

SUPPORT NEEDED: We received the following from the Battle Waste and Recycling Group: “Did you know there’s fantastic scheme called the Bra Bank which supports women in Africa by giving them more personal dignity and which raises money for Breast Cancer research. You can drop off your unwanted bras (clean and bagged) at the Battle Post Office, using the pink container in the foyer. Have a sort through your knicker drawer and keep the scheme going and tell your friends too. We will take any bra, washed please, but any condition. Please support this fantastic scheme. Thank you.”

FINALLY: At the time of writing, we are still waiting for the stubble to be broken in the local fields but we have had our first winter flock of small birds in the Gold Field and Niplands behind us for a couple of weeks now, wheeling round and occasionally settling like musical notes on the power cables — settling scores, you might say.

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Peter and Valerie Miles