KITCHENALIA: I can’t resist buying handy paring knives. Just when I want to peel a turnip, the best ones are in the dishwasher. Thank goodness I’m never searched by the police because I often buy one at a flea market and pop it into my handbag. It’s the whole ‘kitchen drawer syndrome isn’t it [a love of natty utensils] I got a garlic press for Christmas which pleased me no end, but we need such things don’t we, it’s amazing what a conglomeration of things become suddenly necessary when we’ve watched an episode of Master Chef. I feel a sense of completion when I look in my kitchen drawer, fifty years- worth of items, some I may only need once in a while, but they are there at least, waiting patiently for a chance to be used. I have more spatulas than I have posh frocks, but there is something endearing about utensils, something which says we are in a proper home, rather than just living quarters [I find I can trust a person who owns an egg-slice] I tried doing a Jamie Oliver, smashing a garlic clove with my hand, it was agony. How does he do it without needing a crepe bandage? How on earth I’ve lived to be a pensioner without a garlic press I’ll never know!
A FUN MORNING OF FUN FOR THE LITTLE ONES: From 10.30 am-12 midday on Wednesdays in the Old Hall by the church, there is a session of playtime and fun for the pre-school age group, and their mothers and carers. Everyone is welcome, and there is light refreshment available.
THE IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: At long last I attended a meeting of the above last week, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have to say that out of all the Iden meets, it seemed the most well-attended and for good reason. Melvin Smith, the chairman gave very interesting lecture entitled ‘Spring’s Arrival’, with beautiful slides showing our area’s nod to Spring. I was pleased to see that one of my favourites, the Milkmaid, hadn’t been given some highfalutin name, and I found myself determined to seek out a thirteen-spot ladybird before I shuffle off this mortal coil. They were flat, spread out creatures, and their thirteen spots intrigued me, as did much of the lecture. The next lecture on Friday 25th January is entitled ‘Mallydams, the last 20 years.’ The meeting at Iden Village Hall starts at 7.30pm. Visitors pay £3
THE VILLAGE QUIZ: There is a quiz advertised outside ‘the Bell’ pub occurring on every third Wednesday of the month. All are welcome. I’m hopeless at quizzes, but I love it all the same, as its great fun and gets the brain cells buzzing. It’s from 7.30pm. Winners stand to win a monetary prize.
PLEASE DONATE YOUR JUMBLE: There is an Iden Bowls club jumble sale on Saturday 2nd February at 12 midday. In the village hall. If anyone would be kind enough to donate articles, books, bric-a-brac, clothes, toys, furniture etc, please ring Vicki Britton [telephone 01797 280568] and she will either collect goods or advise where to deposit jumble[no electrical goods].
CAN ANYONE HELP?: Here to Help [H2H] is a local volunteer service for people who live in the Rother parishes of Iden, Playden, Rye Foreign, Peasmarsh, Udimore, Icklesham, Camber, East Guildford and Rye. Volunteers are being recruited, and details can be seen on www.ryehospital.org.uk [see the volunteer’s section.] If you would like to help with this most valuable service, and require an application form, please leave a message on answer phone 01797 224044. All volunteers are DBS checked, and expenses are paid.
A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There is a Service of Holy Communion on Sunday at Iden Parish Church, at 9.30am.
THE REAL McCoy: My new year projects are lining up like people waiting at a bus stop. Reading, sewing , writing, doing the flowers, and a good old spring clean is on the cards. I gave all my artificial flowers a little bath this week, a swish in Fairy Liquid [not too hot mind,] otherwise they go limp which we all do in a hot bath] My first introduction to artificial flowers was a plastic daffodil given away with ‘Daz’. My mother, a devout flower-lover was horrified, but actually artificial flowers have become very beautiful and life-like haven’t they? I do always have at least one real vase of flowers on the window sill though, singing out to their counter parts, my artificial peonies, just how great it is to be the genuine article. It’s probably best [though I don’t always bother] to keep false-flowers in their correct seasons. Snowdrops in July for instance would only accentuate that they are not the real McCoy, and let’s face it, even a false peony doesn’t want to be caught cheating!
STILL, QUIET HOURS: I remember during my lifetime a sense of stillness which is absent in these frenetic days of being clamped to mobile phones, the TV blaring , Spotify, and electronic cylinders telling us when to record films, get up, go to bed and remember to ring the vet. As an only child, evenings were quiet, and we could hear the silence in our living room, just the two of us there, me and my mum. I was taught to embroider, and I cleaned my mum’s brass, arranged catkins and went for walks, collected kindling and wild flowers, and picked punnets of wild blackberries, all in relative silence. Even our radio was always on the blink, we practically had to sit on top of it to hear ‘Life with the Lyons ‘. I’m not condemning life today though, TV must be a particular boon to those living alone, an almost tangible presence, and we are all constantly taught and entertained by the square, learned box in our living rooms. Understanding all new technology must be amazing, I only wish I was clever enough to be at one with it, but silence was a friend when I was young, as was anonymity. The stories I wove as a child in a blackberry patch kept me amused for hours with nothing but the buzz of a bee or the swish of wild Scabious to interrupt. In those days Life belonged to us as individuals. There wasn’t the constant need to share every part of our soul with strangers. It was all rather lovely!
CONTACT ME: If anyone has anything to add to the Village Voice, please contact Gill Griffin [telephone [01797 280311]