Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, Sunday, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall. Hamsey Church, Sunday, 8am Holy Communion, 6pm Evensong. Usually the first Evensong at Hamsey combines Rogation Sunday for the blessing of the crops, which the Rector performs outside in the church grounds overlooking the River Ouse. If the weather is kind it is a lovely service, especially if the sun is setting overlooking the river.

ASCENSION DAY: Thursday, in St Peter’s Church, the Rector will hold a special service at noon.

POP-UP CAFÉ: Buffet lunch in St Peter’s Church Hall on Friday May 20. Details later.

JUMBLE SALE: The annual jumble sale arranged by Anita and Tom Walker was a great success once again. Anita was delighted to report that they raised £780 which goes towards supporting community events at the village hall, Cooksbridge throughout the year. This is only made possible because of the wonderful team of volunteers who help every year. Anita and Tom thank all who helped in any way.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING: For East Chiltington is on Wednesday at 7pm in the village hall, Beechwood Lane. This is followed by the parish council annual meeting at 7.30pm. Inspector Rob Lovell will attend the annual parish meeting at 7pm to discuss changes to local policing in the parish.

WINDOW ATTACKS: I shall be glad when the mating season is over. The ravens, rooks and crows are still bashing against my windows and making a dreadful mess. It is useless cleaning the windows, which really need it following the rain and gales we had during the winter. When the rook expert came out to look at the rookery he told me that he had counted 122 rooks. Thank goodness they don’t all flock together to look at their reflections in my windows.

POSTPONED: Endurance GB South East Group. The Plumpton ride this year, which was scheduled to have taken place on Sunday May 22, has had to be postponed until Sunday August 7. We always enjoy seeing them every year when they come through Courthouse and up the bridleway for their ride across the Downs.

HAMSEY PARISH COUNCIL: it will be Hamsey Parish Council’s turn to hold the parish meeting on Thursday May 19, in the village hall, Beechwood Lane at 7pm. This is a meeting for residents to go along and hear the yearly reports of their PC and meet their parish councillors. The meeting is then followed by the annual parish council meeting at 7.30pm. Inspector Rob Lovell will attend the parish meeting at 7pm to discuss changes to local policing in the parish.

CUCKOOS: Having said that I had not heard any for some time, the very next day I heard one very early in the morning. The same day the swallows arrived and so far there are many more than last year. In a couple of weeks time I will be ducking as when I pass one of the old stables in the drive, some have already claimed their old nests and they fly in and out all the time, swooping very low above my head as I pass. In the evenings it is a lovely sight when they fly all around the farm and fields catching insets. It has never happened again, but one year when we had dreadful rain during the summer, I had left the window partly open in my little office. I had a fright when I went to shut it later as perched on my computer, sheltering from the cold and wet, was a line-up of six tiny swallows who had flown in. I did not want to disturb them and left the curtains and the window open, hoping they would fly out, although I kept going to look during the night to see if they were still there. By 6am they had manged to fly out again, obviously refreshed from their night time lodgings. Getting back to cuckoos, I have just read that the BTO has satellite-tagged eight birds making their way back from Africa, of which David, from Wales, is the oldest, making his fourth recorded trip.

BUYING BRITISH: The NFU has produced an online guide to which supermarkets back UK farming. Beef and lamb at Aldi and Morrisons is 100 percent British.

STRAY CAT: Is anyone missing a very dark coloured tabby cat as we have had one roaming around the farm and my garden for at least three weeks. I do like cats but because we have sheep it is difficult because if they leave their deposits on the hay in the barn it is likely to cause ewes to abort, which did happen when I had a cat from Allington Lane here almost every day about a year ago. Fortunately the people who owned it did see my piece in the paper and came to see me, but had to keep coming up to collect it nearly every day. They have now moved, but had to take it to a cat rescue place where I believe it has since been found a new home. That year we had two ewes abort which had never happened before. I am hoping that we may be able to catch this cat, but it seems to be quite wild and I have to shoo it off from the bird feeders as soon, following nesting, there will be lots of fledglings around the dropping from their nests.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT: There has been so much in the news recently about fly-tipping and the increase around the country and how much it is costing councils to deal with. Last week a strange van was spotted in Allington Lane by someone who was working in the fields here. Being suspicious they decided to go and have a look just in time to see an elderly person about to tip a lot of junk onto the verge in the lane. They were told, in no uncertain terms, that it is an offence to fly-tip and stopped before driving off in a hurry. I am not saying who spotted it as it has been reported and hopefully the details given will make them think twice before they visit Allington Lane again with their junk.

PERFECT DAY: For Her Majesty the queen’s 90th birthday. From start to finish I thought all of the coverage of the events were brilliant. The only time I felt worried was when the Queen and the Duke were in the open topped car and prayed that the security was tight to keep them safe. It was a miracle that the rain held off for the lighting of all the bacons. As I have such a wonderful view from here, right up to Chailey Windmill on a clear day and Ashdown Forest, I could see one on the forest but not sure where it actually was.

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