Netherfield

Netherfield Village Post Office: What an amazing evening the 31st extravaganza turned out to be. The Cafe was packed with people, young and young at heart. A cross section of the community turned out to eat chilli and listen to the sounds of Hazel and her electrified acoustic guitar. In addition, people arrived who just wanted a drink and to be entertained for the evening. The songs were both big sellers and less well known numbers but Hazel managed the intricate chord changes with dexterity and aplomb with a voice that was gentle and responsive to the heady atmosphere. Janette and her team showed what it is to make the evening an all-round success and we can all look forward to the next night of music and food. Brilliant.

Netherfield Village Hall Library Service: The doors opened for the first time on Wednesday 29 August at 2 o’clock. There was no rush, but that was expected. We utilised this easy time to sort and grade and examine our stock. Our range, whilst limited at this early stage does include fiction, non-fiction, cookery, gardening, poetry, ballet and children’s books. Also, a range of DVDs, CDs and for those with a cassette player, talking books. Of course, your original library ticket will be valid, but just arriving without anything is ok too. There was tea and coffee to make the browsing experience that little bit more pleasurable. Then, about halfway through the session a family arrived with two friends. Our first customers. They took two books after browsing through the section of their choice and then it really started to snowball. Our third customer of the afternoon arrived asking all about this free service to the community. The lady took her choice and made us feel that all had been worthwhile. We are still looking for more bookcases and books and would welcome any offers which we are happy to collect. We hope to offer a larger range of topics and genres as we progress and get more offers, so please bear with us. Details at the end of the column as to how to get in touch if you have some donations. Please take two minutes to inform us.

Natherfield Jumble Sale: Bargains, bargains, bargains. It was a day of bargains on Saturday 1st September at the Netherfield Village Hall. We opened the doors at 2.00 pm and in came our customers. A good rummage secured that designer dress, a gilded pot or a perfect toy. Yes lots left over, but the generosity of our community means we have more for future sales. We collected well in excess of 100 smackers so a good day was had by all. Enquiries Jo 07888 657323.

Reflections on a garden: Push, pull, grasp, splutter and finally breathe. Nothing. Pull, grasp and success. These are the words that define the actions needed to fire up our Honda motor mower, which for 21 years has provided regular, unfaultering service in our garden. It might look tired and worn, but like me, that picture can be deceiving. No matter what one does to it, it still produces the goods when requested. The blade may need a quick hone to sharpen its edges from time to time, but as with both of us, once the engine is running, the fuel is racing around the pipework and the exhaust is not giving too much of a problem, it is all systems go.

Mind you, the mower needed to be on its full mettle, as it is amazing how much the grass grows in a short period of time after the extended dry spell, when green turned to brown and colours in the garden faded to an insipid yellow. A bit of the wet stuff and vibrancy and growth seemed to double or even treble at the normal rate. I had ignored our grass verge, bordering the road, for some weeks now and when I looked it was like a jungle, five feet high and rising as Johnny Cash would say.

When it is like that it hides a multitude of sins. Weeds, weeds and more weeds. Whilst I appreciate the need for diversity and an ecological balance, weeds seem to have developed mechanisms which allow them to thrive even when everything else is giving up the ghost. Dandelions, black horehound, autumn hawkbit and common knotgrass are just a few of the species that seem to give up two leaves to us all and a kiss my root ball attitude to our attempts at getting rid of them. Mind you, anything over an inch high along the verge was soon removed, by our mechanical scythe, to gradually fill our compost bags.

It is coming to the end of the season for salads and greens. Some are bolting and some can’t run fast enough so always get caught. Sorry, just another amusing interlude in this, a serious horticultural discussion. Whilst the salad leaves look vibrant they can be bitter so may not suit everybody’s taste. My good lady and I are not adverse to this just that we would not serve to guests unless we did not want to see them again. Just joking again. Perhaps I should write for a comic or maybe a comedian, or at that level probably Basil Brush. Anyway, they must be removed.

This really just leaves us with potatoes to be harvested. We dug out our first batch from this year’s crop. They looked healthy, a nice green colour. Another little joke I am afraid. I am writing this at 7.30 in the morning so I need to cheer myself up. They are a vibrant purple, a good size and make terrific roast potatoes. My good lady dug them up, carefully, so no speared or punctured produce. None of the wham bam approach I usually employ.

More next week........

Contact: If you have any stories or articles of interest that will give our readership a reason to buy the paper please contact me on email at u4netherfield@outlook.com. Call 01424838410 and ask for Maurice or text 07957588172