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BIRDS IN THE TREES: Sing their dayful of songs, why shouldn’t we sing along? The lyrics of this song sprang to mind as I was accompanied by fabulous birdsong this morning. Amusing as I spent the whole of panto training completely unable to remember it and therefore miming along. The days are getting longer, the evenings lighter and before we know it, spring will have sprung. Even better that very very heavy walking coat I bought years ago can have its annual outing because it is now officially cold enough. Lent, that season of reflection and preparation, is rapidly approaching and there is plenty of opportunity coming up to get creative, meet new friends, engage in lively discussion, learn more and explore. Here are a few ideas.

BYO CRAFTS: Sometimes you need a helping hand to get those creative juices flowing again. Whether you knit, embroider, quilt or crochet, whatever your skill level you will receive a warm welcome at The Smugglers Inn on Sunday from 5.30pm. Its free to attend and no reservations are necessary. So take along that craft project that has been gathering dust and meet some like minded neighbours who can help you get it sorted. It is hoped by Much Ado and The Smugglers Inn this will be a regular Sunday evening get together.

LENT, FLOODS AND ARCHAEOLOGY: 2017 is the Year of the Bible and this year’s four talks for Lent will be themed on the subject of Archaeology and the Bible. Have you ever wondered whether the Bible is historically accurate? Can the Bible tell us about life in ancient times in the place we now know as the Middle East? Does Archaeology support the Bible in any way? Each talk will start with a simple meal (eg soup, bread, cheese etc) at 7pm. Talk one is on March 8 at The Old Chapel Centre titled The Flood/Abraham and Ur/Egypt and the Exodus please contact Sherry Ward on 01323 870 478 / norman.sherry@btinternet.com Free but any donations towards the food and halls would be gratefully received.

PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION: Can be found at The Barn at Much Ado on Thursday March 9 from 7.30pm in the first of a series of workshops exploring the work of different philosophers. Led by Much Ado associate and philosophy student Paris Higgins this will focus on Walter Benjamin’s influential 1932 essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Tickets in advance only cost £10 and include a copy of Penguin Edition of the essay and light refreshments. You can pick up a copy before the evening to read in advance. Call Much Ado on 01323 871222 or pop in.

YOUR VILLAGE NEEDS YOU: To litter pick. Do you have an hour or two spare in a year between all there is to do in the village? You are invited to join your neighbours to help keep the feeder roads clean. The more volunteers the less demand on individuals and if like me you find that some weeks you haven’t left the village, it is an opportunity to explore the boundaries.

REFLECTIONS: A lovely, friendly group have been meeting regularly for a few years and are inviting you to join them. They believe that when people come together to pray silently in their own way for the well-being of the world, a powerful call is sent out from our hearts and it is heard. Non Denominational. Each month there is a theme, discussion and reflection on the theme over a cup of tea. February’s topic is Looking at Fear and the Fear in the World, letting it go. The next meeting of Prayers for the World takes place on the last Tuesday of the month, February 28, in the Old Chapel Centre at 2pm.

BELLS RINGING OUT: If your year ahead will be taken up planning a wedding following a proposal at Christmas or Valentines there are two opportunities in the village to help you organise the perfect day. The Star will hold a Wedding Open Evening on March 1, 5.30pm to 8pm and Deans Place will hold their Wedding Fayre on Sunday March 5, 11am to 3pm. Free admission to both.

TALKS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD: WI - Mrs Rukshan Master will be giving a fascinating and entertaining talk Tales From the Time of the British Raj, covering the years between 1831 and the 1900’s. The Old Chapel Centre on Tuesday at 2pm.

THE HISTORY OF LITLINGTON: Richard Hayward will explore more fascinating and surprising facts about the village including the connection between Litlington and the notorious affair between the Prince Regent and Mrs Fitzherbert. Litlington Village Hall. 7pm for 7.30pm on Friday, February 24. Tickets £5 to include a glass of wine and nibbles.

MUSICAL DATES: Guido and The Hellcats are making a welcome return to The Smugglers Inn on Friday March 3.

FINALLY: With such diverse opportunities to get creative, meet new friends, engage in lively discussion, learn more and explore ‘Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’ Howard Thurman.

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