DON’T TURN OUT LIKE YOUR MOTHER: This week, as a holiday job one of my granddaughters qualified as a life guard at a leisure centre. I was very proud, because in truth, I panic in a deep bath. She also pole -vaults whereas I used to get totally disorientated doing a forward roll. It always pleases me how my children and grandchildren have surpassed me in so many ways. I used to tell my children not to run with sharp objects, only to find that they were bungy-jumped off a railway viaduct in France, and that my son was parachuting. I was never taught to swim, apart from a few ropey lessons in school aged eleven, when I clung onto the side in the shallow end and prayed for the end when we were given a glass of hot orange. Even going through the footbath was torture for me, and yet my children love the water. We may look like our children, laugh like our children, and have the same shaped feet and ears running through the generations, but our offspring are vastly different entities. They develop their own attributes, and the further they get from our own expectations, the prouder we are. They do things we can only dream of, things we haven’t the stomach for. I feel ashamed that I was not an outward- bound kind of mother, but I guess I provided them with enough love, hot dinners and bedtime stories to make them feel safe enough to try just about anything.

HASTINGS: This week we went to Hastings. There is something about Hastings which nudges my soul. It was a beautiful day, and the town was buzzing with activity. Holiday-makers were enjoying walking on the beach and visiting arcades, ice cream parlours, rock shops, fish stalls and cafes. Hastings was doing what it should, showing off its wares taking pride in its proximity to the sea. Some of the arcades looked freshly-painted as though they’d had a face-lift. The tall black fishing net sheds are the colour of liquorice, and very symbolic of the past. I’m always intrigued by Hasting’s architecture. Turret-like structures slot into lower stubbier buildings. The whole of Hastings is like a jigsaw puzzle full of irregular-shaped dwellings. Tall hotels and flats reach up to scan the horizon. Each building is unique, their Stone and wood enhancements carved years ago by those with an eye for embellishment. I like to imagine Hastings as it was then. At one time people came to Hastings to take the air. Elderly people retired there to finish their days gazing out to sea and families came to bathe in the ocean before cheap flights began to whisk them off abroad. There is so much of the Hasting’s past still visible, and I’m glad that we have it as a neighbour.

IDEN CHURCH FETE: On Bank Holiday Monday 27th August, from 2pm-4pm, there will be a fete in Iden’s church yard. It will be fun for the whole family with stalls, games, a Pimms- table, a tombola, and tea, coffee and cake served in the Old Hall by the church. There will also be a flower display in the church. Everyone is welcome.

THE PUB QUIZ: The quiz at the Bell, is proving very successful. On every third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm people gather to test their brain-power, however its very light-hearted, and whoever wins or loses its fun for all. The next quiz is on 19th September.

IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: A programme of winter lectures will begin on October 12th in Iden village hall at 7.30 pm [A date for the diary]

CHURCH SERVICES: There is no service in Iden this Sunday, but there will be an 11am service of Holy Communion in Playden Church.The following week [2nd September] is family service at Iden Parish Church [9.30am]

GREEN FEET: We often laugh about the time our whole family had green feet. We had Canadian relatives coming to stay, and we couldn’t afford a new carpet. My son’s bedroom carpet was one of those rough nylon bedroom quality carpets, and I decided that if I painted it on the top it would dry quickly, no harm done, and it would match the wallpaper [well it didn’t, don’t try this at home.] We all had green feet including our Canadian relatives, and all around my son’s snooker table was a circle of the original carpet. We all looked like the Jolly Green Giant! There were some wild mad moments in our household when we skirted the edge of poverty!

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