WHAT A WRAP: Things happen to us in life, particularly in childhood that stay with us forever. Its as though someone has pushed the equivalent of a nasturtium seed into our brains with an index finger, so we never forget. Often, it’s small things we will emulate for the rest of our lives. I remember my mum working in a chemist [drugstore] in Canada, and the boss’s wife always wrapped a Christmas present for me so beautifully that the actual present became less important than the wrapping. She etched Christmas trees onto deep green cellophane paper and decorated each one with glued on Smarties. Now, I can’t wrap anything, even a pack of wine gums without fluting the paper and making them into a cracker, and it’s all down to the chemist’s wife .My husband’s cousin Tracey came this week with a whole line of beautifully wrapped family parcels, all in silver, with a lovely bauble on each depicting Santa’s coat. They filled me with joy. They are much too nice to open, and the amount of thought behind them is what Christmas is all about.

IDEN PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: The meeting on Tuesday 4th December, in Iden village hall was fairly well attended. Ray Griffin chaired the meeting and mentioned the recent Senior’s Christmas meal in Iden Village Hall, and the children’s Christmas party held in the Old Hall. Both were a great success. Keith Glazier, Chairman of East Sussex Council spoke about how difficult it is to balance Council expenditure, in order to meet the cost of Adult Social care and road improvement, potholes being a constant concern. Cutbacks have failed to reach the required monetary goals, and talks are constantly in progress nationwide to bridge funding gaps. The Chancellor has provided some monies, but relief is still required. Councillor Sally Anne Hart from Rother District Council was pleased to announce a further 200 police officers in the county, within the next four years. Sally Anne emphasised, that for those that need Council Tax relief, it is important to respond to the opportunity to claim help, as there is money set aside for people who reach the required criteria. Sally Anne is very much in favour of the new Rye Harbour Visitor Centre, as she feels it will encourage jobs, tourism, education and conservation. Councillor Paul Osbourne from Rother District Council urged vigilance, as there have been recent thefts of four-wheeled drive vehicles, lawn mowers, chain saws and garden tools in the area. The finger post on the corner of Main Street and Grove Lane is being repaired and should be re-instated soon. A new copper Beech hedge is to be planted on one side of Iden’s War Memorial. The chairman wished everyone a happy Christmas and gave out the date of the next meeting on Wednesday 2nd January 2019, at 7.30pm, in Iden village hall, to which all are welcome.

THE IDEN AND DISTRICT NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY: The next meeting of the above is on Friday, 11th January, at 7.30pm, in Iden village hall, and the lecture by Melvin Smith is called Spring’s Arrival. 2019 marks the beginning of the society’s 100th anniversary. Melvin has written a short synopsis of the society’s history which I will include nearer the time. Visitors to the monthly meetings pay £3, but members pay £14 per annum.

CHURCH SERVICES OVER CHRISTMAS: This Sunday, at 9.30am, in Iden Parish Church, Rev. David Frost will take the Service of Holy Communion.

IDEN’S CAROL SERVICE: :The Carol Service in Iden Parish Church is on Thursday 20th December, at 7pm. The service will be followed by refreshments at the back of the church, giving us a chance to wish each other a happy Christmas.

MIDNIGHT SERVICE ON CHRISTMAS EVE: This will be at St Michael’s Playden

CHRISTMAS MORNING SERVICE: This family service will be at 9.30am, in Iden Parish Church.

JOINT SERVICE WITH PLAYDEN AND IDEN: 30 December This service will be held at Iden Parish Church between Playden and Iden parishioners.

NEWS FROM IDEN PLAYERS: Iden Players had a meeting on Sunday 9th December, and it has been decided not to do a show next year, instead they will be back in action on 28th March 2020. Until then Iden Players will put on a murder mystery in the Village Hall on 30th March 2019, and another one later in the year, so watch this space.

PLACATING GRANDAD: I went to a huge Tesco in Purley this week and got lovely crackers, and a red Christmas gravy jug with Santa’s black belt etched in it. I’m going to give it to a friend with a fancy Oxo tin, gravy granules and some Brussel sprout serviettes .Personally, I would be entranced if someone bought me Oxo cubes because I use so many of the little monkeys. It’s too early to buy the veg and satsumas isn’t it, but once I’ve got my satsumas, I feel Christmas has arrived. I told my husband that for our Christmas Eve meal we are having shredded sprouts with cream and bacon as a side dish. [Of course he went into one, in his eyes no one messes with a sprout] I haven’t told him yet about Jamie Oliver’s mash, daubed with red Leicester cheese [I’ll save that for another day] Part of the fun of Christmas is placating Grandad! It said in the paper this week that the dog gets more presents than Grandad’s do. Not in our house. This year grandad will be sitting in his pyjamas laying down the law as usual eating Maltesers for breakfast.

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