GOOD OLD FISH AND CHIPS!: Where better to enjoy fish and chips than sitting by the sea where not so long ago that fish was swimming with a sense of gay abandon. On Saturday night we went to Dymchurch and had fish and chips, sitting at St Mary’s Bay. The seagulls hovered, and it was all a bit poetic. What I miss is those bits of batter they used to give away as an option. Why don’t they do that any more I wonder? The whole Fish and chip scenario is a very specific affair isn’t it? Whether or not to have a gherkin or a pickled egg, a tin of Tango or a take away tea, curry sauce or cheesy chips, and perhaps a portion of lemon. A bag of chips is wasted on me, because I only like the crispy dreg-ends, so my husband saves me those and we do a swap. British fish and chip preferences are almost a religion, and what better than saving a few chips for a chip butty. Sometimes I miss the feeling of warm newspaper. Polystyrene seems a little too contemporary. Standing in a fish and chip shop is a bit like standing in a voting booth, only instead of Labour or Conservative we have to choose between vinegar or tomato sauce. It’s not easy!

THE QUIZ AT ‘THE BELL’: Last night we went to the quiz, held at ‘The Bell’ in Iden, on every third Wednesday, at 7.30pm. It’s a fun evening. I’m hopeless at quizzes, but I love the challenge. Everyone is welcome, so whether or not you are a bit of an ‘Egghead’ give it a try! [Well done Richard Curd and Co who won the quiz!

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

MANY THANKS: Teresa Cooper, who produced the Iden Players Variety show, ‘Whatever the Weather’, on 14th April, would like to thank all those who donated raffle prizes. The prizes were so welcome and prolific that £115 was donated to ‘The Friends of Iden Church’, and £115 to St Michael’s Hospice, two worthy causes.

IDEN BOWLS CLUB: On May 4th, there is an Open Evening at the Bowls Club [opposite ‘The Bell’ pub], at 6pm, so that anyone who would like to join, or just give bowls a try can come along and meet members. New members would be most welcome.

BOWLS CLUB BINGO: On Friday 11th May, there is bingo in the bowls club [6.30pm for 7pm] Everyone is welcome. There will be light refreshments, and a raffle. Something to do on a warm Spring evening

ALL TOO MUCH: Supermarkets this week were sold out of lettuce and Burger buns, and there was a shortage of barbecue fuel. Rye market was full of people in sandals and summer dresses. People come alive in sunlight don’t they and seeing them all coming out of the woodwork after a long arduous winter is quite heartening. At the weekend, out came the bats and the balls, the shuttlecocks, the paddling pools, and the cold beer. The oil seed rape is a pest if you happen to be allergic, but it is a glorious sight, and it’s a wonder that the magnolias don’t collapse under the weight of so much blossom. Violets find a crack in the pavement and settle in like homesteaders, and dandelions are actually quite special. They lend our countryside so much of their yellow vibrancy yet they are very much underestimated. In damp wooded areas bluebells are flourishing. Wood anemones bow their heads to the earth like silent nuns, and the primroses relax in clumps on grassy banks. As for the trees [don’t even go there]. Those soft, flimsy young beech leaves, the dainty white blackthorn, the oak, ash, elm and the horse chestnut, are still finding their feet, but as green and vibrant as it’s possible to be. It’s almost too much, too sudden, too overwhelming. Like all things a little too wonderful we need time to catch our breath.

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