EVERLASTING JOY: I’ve always had a thing about statues and monuments, because of their perpetual quality. This week I got yet another statuette from Rye Auction Gallery, and I lugged it around the lounge to find the right spot for it. Statues are what they are. They have an ethereal quality, whether a shocking whiteness or a dull grey, or that lovely coppery bronze, and whoever conjures up their likeness is clever beyond words. I can’t resist the way they remain exactly the same. Everything else in life changes. Children grow up, the price of butter goes up, politicians swap around, fashions change and yet statues are going nowhere. The funny thing is that no matter how mute and lifeless they are, we admire them, whether they are in a park, Piccadilly Circus or in our own home. We are drawn by their endurance, their steadfastness and their sense of peace. I have a statue of a lady in a bonnet on the window sill here where I cobble together the Village Voice. She takes up half the window, and she looks as though she is pondering over something [probably how dusty it is] There is a monkey reading Darwin etched in bronze right here on the desk too. I often say as I sit down “Hello sweetie pie”, but he’s far too busy reading ‘The Theory of Evolution’. He sits there not even knowing I exist. Unfortunately being in love with a statue is very unrequited!

IDEN STORES ASSOCIATION A.G.M.: The A.G.M. OF Iden Stores Association is in Iden village hall, at 6pm, on Thursday 14th June. All staff, customers and suppliers of this local institution and Post Office are welcome.

‘AVAILABLE AT IDEN’, AT THE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY: ‘ Available At Iden’ is the name given to the myriad of clubs and events held in Iden which will be exhibited at their respective stalls for villagers to question and peruse at the ‘Annual Parish Assembly’, TOMORROW, in Iden village hall, from 10am-12midday. A representative from ‘The Bell’, ‘The Iden Fete’, ‘The Angling Club’ , ‘The Footpath Committee’, ‘W.I’, ‘ The Golden Years Lunch Club ‘’The Natural History Society’ ‘The Pop-In’ ‘Friends of All Saints Church’ ‘ The Iden Trotters’, ‘ The Air-Gun Club’ ‘Iden Bowls Club’, and ‘ Tom Pockley’s wood- turning Club, will all be there to hopefully drum up new members . Refreshments are free, and all are welcome.

CREAM TEAS FOR ALL [A DATE FOR THE DIARY]: There will be cream teas in Iden village hall on Saturday 9th June from 2.30pm-5.30pm. Do come along for an afternoon of good company and some wonderful cakes and scones.

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There is a service of Holy Communion, in Iden Parish Church on Sunday at 9 30 am.

A PRECIOUS EDUCATION: Looking back on our lives, it’s probably not logarithms, or inverted commas, or learning about the amoeba that we remember most, but the simple tasks passed down from father to son, mother to daughter that we easily recall. It’s probably because there was emotion involved. Parents teach us our basic practicalities. They are the things like hunting, fishing carpentry and everyday electrics, for the boys, and knitting, sewing and homemaking for the girls, all of which are becoming more and more gender-neutral. I remember learning to knit in a church basement, but my mum was the one who dealt with the endless dropped stitches. I learnt to darn. I never darn now do you? There is no need is there, but there was something quaint about those darning mushrooms, and I could still darn if I happened to end up on a desert island. I learnt to embroider, to put a pin through the neck of a tulip and make ginger beer from one of those ginger beer plants which caused bottles to explode behind the settee. My mum taught me funny things like putting talc in my hair to act as a dry shampoo, cleaning stained cutlery with a cork and a little Ajax and the art of making a Yorkshire pudding rise. All these things are becoming redundant now that we have the likes of ‘ Aunt Bessie’, but it was the familial sharing of a skill that I remember. I’m not the greatest at sewing, but I’m indebted to a plain old needle and thread. I do a little sewing almost every night and it makes me feel homespun and content, so thank you mum!

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