Parish pump Lewes - February 7, 2014

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Barcombe

PILATES: We have spare places in our mixed Pilates class on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 10.30am. If you are interested just come along a bit early or ring Mary Duncan on 400 215. The price is about £4 per class.

BARCOMBE WI will be meeting on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall. Women’s Land Army – A Sussex Connection by speaker Ian Everest. Visitors welcome.

Chailey

EXCITING NEWS that GK’s Café, just off the A272 at Chailey Heritage Foundation, is now open from 8am to 4pm every weekday. The café is a vibrant meeting place for customers from the wider community as well as customers of the Futures Life Skills Centre. If you are passing by and fancy a coffee, breakfast (from 8am to 10am) or lunch, do call in. The drinks menu has expanded offering luxury drinks such as a Caramel Latte or Hot Vanilla Chocolate with extra toppings of your choice. The cold drink selection is also to be expanded to include a new range of juices and smoothies and frappes will shortly be introduced.

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion at 8am and Parish Communion with Holy Baptism at 10am. Free Church, 10.30am with David Muzzell, to include communion, and 6.15pm with John Goodway.

SOUTH DOWNS TR Group meet at the Horns lodge on Tuesday from 8pm. Anyone with an interest in Triumph TR sports cars will be made most welcome.

INFORMATION POINT session is on Friday February 14 when the parish clerk will be at the Coffee Stop, Free Church from 10am to midday to assist with any questions you may have.

JUMBLE SALE organised by Chailey and Newick Brownies, is on Saturday February 22 at 11am at the village hall. If you have any jumble it will be much appreciated and help this group raise funds for their Brownie Holiday. For collection call 01825 723727 alternatively deliver jumble to the hall that morning from 9am.

ASTRONOMY in the Pub is on Saturday February 22 from 6pm until midnight at the Horns Lodge. In conjunction with the BBC Stargazing Live team and the Brighton Science Festival (http://www.brightonscience.com/), the East Sussex Astronomical Society and Friends will be holding this event. There will be many telescopes set up in the back garden for you and your family to view the night sky and amateur astronomers on hand to answer all your questions, and introduce you to the natural wonders of the night sky. The event will go ahead whether the skies are clear or not. If it is cloudy, they will use state of the art computer technology to show you what is behind the clouds.

BLOFELD & BAXTER Two Man Show at the Cumnor House Theatre on Friday February 28. Henry Blofled and Peter Baxter are bringing their two man show to the Cumnor House Theatre for one night only to raise money for Chailey Heritage Foundation. Two of the titans of UK cricket will present a side-splitting show full of memories from within the Test Match Special commentary boxes all over the world. The fun spills out from the world’s most famous cricket grounds to taxis, buses, beaches, deserts and hotels. Anecdotes never before heard of the most legendary players, in every sense of the word, from the last 40 years are finally aired. For tickets visit www.justgiving.com/blofeld-and-baxter or contact the Fundraising Team at Chailey Heritage Foundation on 01825 724752.

ARE YOU INTERESTED in preserving St Peter’s Church for the future? The Friends of St Peter’s Church is a group of people, not necessarily churchgoers, who wish to ensure that the church is adequately maintained throughout this century and beyond, as it has been for the last 750 years. To raise funds the Friends are proposing to hold concerts on March 29 (Chailey Secondary School) and May 10 (Weald Chorus) and a story telling event on July 13. If you are interested in joining or helping the Friends in any way please email friendsofstpeterschailey@hotmail.co.uk or contact the church parish office on 01825 722286.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, Holy Communion 8am, Sunday School 10.15am in the hall, Parish Communion 10.30am.

REGULAR EVENTS: Toddler Tunes every Thursday in St Peter’s Church Hall from 10am to 11.30am; details from Judith 01273 474356. Babies and Toddlers at Hamsey School, Fridays 9am to 11am term time only. Hamsey School cakes sales at the school Fridays after school, term time only.

AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet again on February 10 in St Peter’s Church Hall at 2pm. The speaker will be Michael Bird and his Bees (part two). As well as learning about the fascinating hobby of bee keeping there is also a delicious tea awaiting with home made cakes. Lifts available by calling Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

HAMSEY FESTIVAL: Although we are only just into the new year, planning is already under way for this year’s festival. Moira Blake has taken over from Mike Dodd as chairman, although Mike will still continue as the link to the parish council and the Trustees of the village hall. Kirsty Curran is staying on the organising committee for a third year, while Emma Hopkins is continuing from this year, both providing valuable continuity. For 2014 they will be joined by Jane Disney, Tamsyn D’Arienzo and Anna Archer. No doubt they will be asking for lots of help nearer the time, but for now all you need to do is put Saturday July 12 in your diary and hope that the weather will be fantastic and not a wash-out.

YOGA in the village hall Mondays from 9.30am to 11am. Energising, therapeutic and safe. Qualified instructor with 14 years’ teaching experience. All levels. Free trial class. Contact Robin 07847 821923.

1939 FEBRUARY 1: As I sit writing this column and looking out at the gloomy skies and endless rain that has caused so much devastation around the countryside, I looked back in the Downland Year to see what was going on in 1939 and can only think that the weather in those days was a vast improvement as the author travelled around to record what was happening in our area: White lie the empty miles of hill and dale round the solitary farmstead, and grey looms the cloud-burdened sky overhead. League beyond league of winter whiteness and winter silence; but here, within the charmed rectangle of buildings with their roofs of driven snow, is the threshing-mill again, in full sonorous labour-song. Gold wheat-straw is heaving and gold chaff flying; a dozen men are at strenuous work, and all the sparrows and starlings of half the countryside are filling the air with a chippering, whistling hubbub as they scour the rickyard for grain. So it fares on the whole day. The light lowers and reddens at last. Still the mammoth engine gives out its gutsy melody, and the threshing-machine its deep, tranquil, strangely soothing song. Then, when the wild birds are gone and you can scarce see the labouring figures mounted on the rick-top, a whistle blows. The whole grand orchestra falls mute. Looking back as you trudge homeward you see again but a world of silent white, with a lone star as sentinel above in the blue-dark sky. After this long period of rain that seems to be going on forever I am wishing that I can do like the author and trudge homeward in the snow and once again see the stars in the sky. It is a miracle that my snowdrops are blooming and daffodils are in bud with even the alder trees in bud. The birds are starting to sing, some blackbirds are nesting outside of the kitchen window but the rain is still falling steadily. Roll on summer.

East Hoathly

TWINNING TRIP: This year’s trip to our friends in Juziers will take place from Saturday May 17 to Monday May 19. The return coach trip (including the Shuttle crossing) is £65 per adult, or £15 for anyone in full-time education. There are still seats available. Any resident in the parish qualifies as a potential Twinner. Anyone who would like to go, or would simply like more information, please contact our Hon Sec, whose details are below. The hospitality extended to all of us is immense. The time spent in Juziers revolves around a series of receptions, banquets, sing-a-longs and a few less frenetic meals with our respective host families. The Sunday is usually given over to some local sight-seeing. For further information, please contact Pat Duke on 01825 841077 or patduke49@yahoo.co.uk

NEW BUS SERVICE: From Sunday April 13, Brighton and Hove buses are running a trial bus service on Sundays and Bank Holidays. The No 28 service will call at East Hoathly at 9.19am and 12.19pm to Lewes and Brighton. Return journeys from Churchill Square, Brighton at 2.35pm and 4.35pm calling at East Hoathly en route to Uckfield. The council has worked hard to get this extension from Brighton and Hove buses. Please use it or it will be lost.

Falmer

THEFT: A Falmer resident fell victim to an opportunistic thief last week. A window was open and the thief managed to steal a purse even though someone was in the house at the time. A warning to all of us to make sure we have windows and doors shut, although it seems terrible that one should have to be so suspicious. I don’t suppose the thief realised there was someone at home or he would not have had the nerve to try.

CANDLEMAS: We celebrated the end of the Christmas season with a Candlemas service at St Laurence last Sunday followed by a very enjoyable bring and share lunch at the vicarage. People had been busy cooking and a delicious meal was put together. In between the service and the lunch we had a concert in the church. Sue Paine has sent me this report: On Sunday, February 2, young flautists, all students of Anne Hodgson, performed in a concert Flutes and Friends at St Laurence Church in aid of the Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity. Taking part were Ella Burton, Suzie Crosby, Helen Doble, Lily Halward, Lucy Hopson, Lucy Horner, Imi Kentsley, Pippa Kirby Milbrook, Pasha Milburn, Heather Owolabi, Honor Scotland, Miriam Segal and Izzie Sheeran. They all performed to a very high standard, and the programme was very varied, ranging from the humourous Banana Song by Mike Mower and Comic Song by McDowall to the beautiful, haunting melody, Call of the Angelus by Walton and Vocalise by Rachmaninov, to name just a few of the items. They raised £191.67 for the charity, which Anne Hodgson has been supporting. She has already raised £3,500. Go to her website: vannehodgson cycleindiachallenge and see what she is doing to support this charity and how you can help.

WATER, WATER: I seem to have spent most of last weekend eating as we went out on Saturday to a birthday lunch. The party was in Brede and driving over, the countryside was a demonstration of how much rain we have had. Large lakes seemed to have replaced fields and on the Pevensey Levels sheep nibbled at some very muddy looking grass with huge puddles surrounding them. As we approached the village of Brede we found we had to drive through a mini lake.

CAR PARK: Arriving in Falmer South last Sunday I was amazed to see the entire area full of cars, every space seemed to have been taken. I discovered that a run was taking place and the village hall was the centre of operations. Unfortunately people attending the church service had great difficulty parking and runners had also parked in front of the farm shop without asking permission. This was really bad organisation. The website for the run informs people that there is parking available here and asks for drivers to park courteously and not in front of the church. I’m afraid just suggesting courtesy doesn’t make it happen. Obviously once runners had arrived they decided it was easier to ignore this advice and just park as close to the village hall as possible. Curiously Falmer North was virtually unaffected. You’d think runners would have the energy to walk over the bridge.

CONCERT: Tomorrow, Saturday, we have a real treat in store for us with our concert at St Laurence. The music will be Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy songs) and the line-up of musicians will be Yvonne Patrick soprano, Jane Money mezzo-soprano, Stephen Caira tenor, Christopher Parke baritone and Stephen Ellis piano. The musicians are super talented, Jane Money is not only musical director of the Brighton chamber choir but has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, including Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink and Andrew Davis. She has also sung regularly for Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Operas. Yvonne Patrick has worked with Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera and Garsington. The concert starts slightly later than usual at 6pm. Entrance is free with a retiring collection.

Firle

IN THE GARDEN: Having watched with awe the amazing agility of the squirrel, I now know why my model blue tit is constantly on its side. A very simple exercise, Eric (we named him after the wonderfully proportioned MP) climbed the greasy pole, pushed the model blue tit over and used it as a step to reach the peanut feeder. Not only do we have Eric but I think he bought ‘er indoors’ out with him because they worked as a team and had a good nosh into the bargain, now we have to think of a name for her. The update for my Christmas tree, it looks somewhat jaundiced but I am informed that is because of overwatering. I personally haven’t had a watering can anywhere near it so who is the culprit, I blame that Carol Kirkwood myself, and she just keeps giving us rain.

THE VILLAGE: Everywhere you go there is the sign of spring, so many snowdrops looking absolutely super, the birds are full of life, and my peanuts and my fat balls. If this is the worst we can expect from this winter then I can forgive the Kirkwood girl but not whoever is responsible for the road in and out, the constant flow of water is taking its toll, about time the council put its hand in its pocket and did something about proper drainage? Many thanks to who ever did a super job of clearing the slippery leaves from the path along the street.

QUIZ NIGHT: Firle Bonfire Society are holding a Quiz Night at the village hall on February 21 at £8 per person to include food. Teams of up to six people.

CURIOSITY: During the 19th century it was reported that a dentist on the demise of his wife had her body embalmed and displayed in the front window of his practise. Not quite sure how that would improve his business but she stayed there for four years, where did all this happen you ask? It could only be in London, the Victorians were certainly a strange lot.

FINALLY: To residents and visitors alike, please take care when entering or leaving the village. The local wildlife doesn’t ask to be brought into this world and nobody teaches them the green cross code, to an animal lover like myself it is heart-breaking to see the results on the road coming into the village.

Lewes

HISTORY GROUP: Monday 7pm for 7.30pm at the King’s Church building, Brooks Road Lewes History Group talk: The History and Conservation of No 1 North Street. Lewis Orchard, the owner of this unique Georgian property on the one-way system, will talk about the history of the building and its occupants, as well as the work in conserving the structure and interiors that is nearing completion after 12 years. All welcome. Free refreshments. Small entry charge on the door. www.leweshistory.org.uk

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Eleven walkers were rather hoping that the weather forecast of heavy rain and strong winds would not materialise when they met for a six mile walk around Chailey Common on our last wet Sunday walk. There was no such luck and it turned into one of our wettest walks in recent times. As the ground was already water-logged, most paths were either muddy or swampy. We started from Pound Common car park and headed west across heathland passing Holford Manor before turning south via Wivelsfield Green to avoid the busy North Common road. The walk continued towards Grassy Wood and Lumberpits and we passed by St Peter and St James Hospice. By this time we were extremely wet but there was no way of shortening our walk which would have been appreciated given the conditions. We eventually made our way back to Pound Common along flooded footpaths and finding the path, amongst the many, criss-crossing the Common, that led us back to the car park. This stimulating walk was ably led by Wolfgang. The next walk is on Wednesday February 19, Ashdown Forest. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start. On Tuesday February 18 we have our AGM followed by a talk on The Meridian Way by Graham and Hilda Heap who created this new long distance footpath. This will be held at Cliffe Church Hall at 7.30pm.

NT LEWES CENTRE: On February 13 there will be a meeting at Priory School, Mountfield Road at 7 30pm. The speaker will be Jane Cecil whose subject is Apples, Butterflies and Cliffs - The National Trust in the South Downs. Non members welcome £4.

COFFEE MORNING: South Street Bonfire Society are holding a coffee morning at Cliffe Church Hall, 10am to noon tomorrow, Saturday. Tea, cakes, tombola and bonfire merchandise. Free admission.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: You may know that there is a proposal (referred to as the Trinity project) to create a partnership between the three churches of Southover, St John sub Castro and South Malling. The congregations of the churches are currently being consulted on this. Our next Alpha Course starts on February 20. It provides an informal and relaxed opportunity to explore the basics of the Christian faith; contact Steve Daughtery on 01273 472018 for more information. Services this Sunday are: 8am communion; 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary; 11.15am informal communion in the church hall; 6.30pm informal service led by a small group of musicians and singers. Do come along: we try to be friendly and welcoming. Once a month we are trying out different forms of more traditional services at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon. Last Sunday we enjoyed a quiet, reflective service in the Taizé style, by candlelight, with beautiful chanting and musical accompaniment. If you like singing hymns next month is for you: Sunday March 2, 3.30pm, a service featuring a selection of favourite, classic hymns that stir the soul and inform the mind. Please ring Ken Bridger on 01273 812031 to request a hymn. You can find out more about the church’s activities in the church magazine, which is available free from the back of the church.

Malling

SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL is taking part in the RSPB bird watch over the next couple of weeks. The children are making bird feeders and recording the different types of birds they see in the school grounds. The school has been very lucky to have been donated a bird nesting box with a camera in it, so everyone is looking forward to watching the birds nest in the coming months. On Wednesday the whole school enjoyed a visit from the author, Eamonn Reilly. The children were fascinated to hear extracts from his books and listen to his experiences as a writer. The school would like to thank all the parents and carers who have supported them with this term’s learning journey in which children look at different jobs. They have enjoyed talks and demonstrations from parents and learnt about how they use maths and science in their jobs. The Head says, ‘they have provided a great deal of inspiration and motivation for the children.’ On Friday February 14 they will be holding their Enterprise Fair for all parents, carers and friends. The children have been making a range of goods linked to the learning journey and will be selling them at the Fair. All proceeds will go towards a school resource of the children’s choosing.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH enjoyed their Gift Day last Sunday. Although there is still a likelihood that more gifts are yet to come, early indications are that people have given generously. The church will use much of this to put its buildings in good order. One of the highlights of the service was an opportunity to thank everyone who contributes time and voluntary work in one way or another to the building, the wider Church and the Malling community. Groups were asked to stand to identify themselves, and all but very new members and visitors stood more than once to receive the congregation’s thanks. The Vicar also had good news. The Diocesan Board of Finance has agreed a very generous sum to support the Trinity project, in which three local churches, including South Malling, are exploring the possibility of coming together to increase the service they can offer to local people, church schools and the wider community. This Sunday there is an all age family service which begins at 9.30 am. All are welcome.

ON MONDAY, there is an open meeting of Malling Tenants and Residents Association at 7pm in Reed Court, Boughey Place. All Malling residents are welcome. PCSOs and a local authority housing officer will be present.

Mobile Library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Tuesday: Berwick village hall noon to 12.30pm; opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe 2pm to 2.25pm; Laughton village school 2.45pm to 3.30pm.

Nevill

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANS: Nevill needs representatives to sit on a Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group for approximately the next two years. We need some very willing volunteers, which could involve a number of meetings to identify proposed strategies, to help resolve the issues the planning committee should address, which is now the responsibility of the South Downs National Park Authority. The Nevill Residents Association committee is too small to undertake this additional work. If you are familiar with Lewes and its unique character, and would like to take on this important role in helping to shape the future developments in our area, contact Alan Chapman on 01273 483501 or Daphne Wyatt 01273 475966 for more information. No knowledge of planning issues is necessary but enthusiasm will be a great asset.

BEWARE: A call was received from an 0809 area code. The woman said ‘Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you, get back to us quickly. I have something important to tell you.’ Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 0809. In each case, you are told to call the 0809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the UK you will apparently be charged a minimum of £1500 per-minute, and you’ll also get a long recorded message. They will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. The 0809 area code is located in the Dominican Republic. The charges can become a nightmare. That’s because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You’ll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong. Please forward this message to everyone you know to help stop this scam.

NEVILL SHARES: Next event February 9, 3pm to 5pm St Marys Church Hall, Highdown Road. Tea, cake and neighbourliness. If you want to, bring along your current craft project. Share your skills, ask for advice or find fellow enthusiasts.

CHRIST CHURCH: On Wednesday January 29 a well-attended meeting of the Thinktank heard a talk by Marguerite Laporte on Astronomy in Education. Afterwards there was lively and interesting discussion on the ways in which the subject has been introduced into schools in Sussex and elsewhere. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev John Gordon and will include Holy Communion. The Sunday Club for children will be meeting during this time. Weather permitting there will be a church walk after the service.

Newick

REMINDER: The Scouts Jumble Sale is tomorrow, Saturday, 10.30am in the Scout Hut (King George V Playing field). Please make sure all the articles you are donating are taken to the Scout Hut either today, Friday, from 5pm to 8.30pm or tomorrow, Saturday, from 8am till 10am . Scouts, have a great Jumble Sale.

RUGBY: The first XI are playing away against Shoreham at 2.30pm.

SERVICES on Sunday at St. Mary’s Church are Holy Communion (BCP) at 8am, followed by Holy Communion (CW) at 10.30am.

COFFEE MORNING: The Association of Carers hold a coffee morning at the Civic Centre, Uckfield, from 10am till noon, on Tuesday. This group needs volunteers, so why not pop along and have coffee and find out more details about them.

THE AFTERNOON CLUB’S next meeting will take place on Thursday in the Community Centre at 2.30pm. The speaker will be Simon Stevens his subject being From Ypres to The Somme. For further details telephone 01825 722154 or 722650. Everyone welcome.

HORTICULTURE: Newick Horticultural Society will be holding their meeting in the village hall at 8pm on Thursday. The speaker is Jack Dunkley, giving a talk entitled The Story So Far. You will be able to renew your membership subscription from 7.15pm. Refreshments will be available.

Plumpton

JUMBLE TIME: For some great bargains pop along to the village hall tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm when the Village Hall Management Committee will be holding a sale. There could be lots of unwanted Chrissie pressies there at give-away prices, so don’t be late. There will be a cake stall and tombola and, after the foray, why not sit back and relax whilst enjoying a cuppa and a chat with other bargain hunters? If you have jumble to donate please take it along to the hall during the morning. The next sale will not be until February 22.

POP-UP CAFÉ: A new venture for St Peter and St James Hospice local support group gets under way on Thursday in the village hall between 10am and 11.30am. Drop in for a tea or coffee and a cake plus chance to socialise. No need to be alone in Plumpton.

Ringmer

FAMILY QUIZ: Please come and support your local school at this popular event at Ringmer Primary School tomorrow (Saturday) 6.15pm to 8.15pm. Once again Bob Cairns has kindly set the questions for all ages and has agreed to be our quiz master for the evening. Teams of up to six people must include one adult and one school aged child (reception to 16 years) phone 01273 812463/813860 for all information or tickets. Team ticket £18, adult £5, child £2.50. All prices to include food. Licensed bar available. Hope to see you there. Organised by Ringmer Primary Home School Association.

ACOUSTIC MOODS: Talented local musicians will come together again for an unforgettable evening of folk, blues, rock and pop tomorrow (Saturday) in the village hall. Doors open at 6.45pm for 7.15pm start. Tickets at £7.50 are available from Esther or Mark on 01273 813 698 or e-mail ringmeracousticmoods@gmail.com, Facebook Acoustic Moods Evening Ringmer. Proceeds from this event will go the MS Society.

CHURCH SERVICES: The services on Sunday are 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Sung Eucharist with the Laying on of Hands for Healing, 6pm Evensong.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday January 29, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Dianne and Mike Preece; 2, Alan Disney and Roy Skan; 3, Frank Hibbert and George Montgomery. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

ZAFFRE DUO CONCERT: Many thanks to the very appreciative audience who turned out to support the Flute and Harp concert in St Mary’s last Sunday, despite very stormy wet weather. It was good to be joined by Paul Lewis, the composer of the beautiful Norfolk Idyll which opened the concert. There was a variety of music from Bach to Bartok, and all enjoyed tea and biscuits and a good chat afterwards. A retiring collection raised a total of £155, of which £30 was donated to St Mary’s and £125 to Great Ormond Street Hospital, taking total donations to Anne Hodgson’s India cycle charity challenge to over £3,500, a wonderful result. Huge thanks to Will Pratt and all from St Mary’s for making us so welcome once again.

SUPPER CLUB: Celebrate Valentine’s Night, Friday February 14, 7.30pm to 10.30pm in the village hall. Book a table for a three course buffet supper at £10 per person. Bring your friends, Valentines, own drink and glasses. Tickets must be bought in advance of the day and are available from: Daisy 01273 814859; Bren Bonner 01273 813303 or the Ringmer Wine Store (10 percent discount on drinks). Wine, dine and dance the night away. Proceeds to the Village Hall Appeal.

RINGMER DEBATES: The next in the series of Ringmer Debates is on Friday February 14 at 7.30pm in the village hall. The theme for this one is What Are Benefits For? Entry is free, though donations are requested for tea and coffee.

TABLE TOP SALE: Ringmer Community College is holding a Table Top Sale on Saturday March 8 between 10am and noon. Tables if booked in advance £5. To book a table or for more info please contact Ruth Whitlock on 01273 812220 ext 253 or e-mail rwhitlock@ringmeracademy.org

Rodmell & Southease

AS I DRIVE to and fro to Haywards Heath every day now, it’s surprising how the vista changes, mainly due to the weather. Catkins are well out everywhere and snowdrops and daffodils are appearing in gardens. Mine have been out for two weeks now. The fields are still well flooded but there are areas of green appearing. It must be so difficult for farmers especially as lambing time will soon be upon them. Let’s hope the rain lets up soon.

REPAIRS: As I run a B&B I have to get household repairs etc done in the quiet period, so it’s been rather cold around here lately as workmen have been fitting a new wood burner and replacing the heating system and shower, which means no heating, water turned off and doors open quite a bit.

CANDLEMAS: It was Candlemas on Sunday February 2 when traditionally snowdrops are put in churches. If out walking visit Southease Church which has a magnificent display of snowdrops.

WI: On Tuesday February 18 Rodmell and Southease WI have an interesting talk by Helen Poole on Sir John Gage and his House at Firle, 7.30pm in the village hall. All welcome.

COFFEE MORNING on Wednesday February 26 in the village hall at 11am.

RECYCLING: I have just received my WI Life Magazine and was horrified to find 11 advertising flyers in it which immediately went into the recycling drawer. I’m sick to death of junk mail and the system for cancelling it only works for a short time. I’m sure most readers feel the same as it takes time to sort it, take out the free pens, purses, beads and cards, as all these things muck up the recycling.

PANTO: On Friday January 31 I went to the first night performance of the Rodmell Panto, Mother Goose. I actually like first nights as they can be very amusing. I wasn’t disappointed. Mother Goose, David Stearman, was brilliant, David is a born actor as is Spencer Prosser, Baron Vile. Spencer loves being the evil one, and getting hold of a mike to vent his vocal talent. Richard Sellick, Squire Nicely, always surprises me, as he throws himself into the part, and to me he always comes over as a quiet man in real life. Maybe I’m wrong. Jo Wettern, Jon Goose, what is that girl on? Bounce, bounce, is it a sugar surge? Wish I had some of that energy. Prunella, The Goose, has to be admired for being encased in a hot but wonderful costume. Gina Prosser, Lucie Nicely, glam on legs as usual. Libby Mellor, Fairy Nuff, looking so like her dad, and how did she cope in those heels? Fairy Liquid/King, Scott Sherwood, a bundle of 6ft and muscle in a tutu. Queen of Goosovia, Wendy Shaw, did she take elocution lessons with the Queen? Sidney Watt, Richard Roberts, not really the village idiot, but likes playing those parts. Villagers were Jane Mitchell and Paul Mellor on the night I went, let’s face it, Paul had to appear somewhere after playing panto Dame for years. Grey Lady, Rowan Sellick made for the part, very ethereal. Black Beauty the horse, Jacob Prosser and Henry Last, who did an excellent performance in a difficult costume. Dancers included Julia Stone, Amelia Shaw, Phoebe Edwards and Izzie Edwards. Choreography was done by Rowan Sellick and Kim Mercer. Musical Maestro Uncle Andy and the costumes, Sarah Jay and Carol Ashplant. Lighting and special effects done by Martin Burnaby-Davies. A bit thank you to Jon and Lucie and their staff at The Abergavenny who provided rehearsal space, box office and refreshments. Many thanks to Celia Edmonds for help with bookings and to Northease Manor School for the hire of the stage. Thanks to all involved for giving so much pleasure.

BIRD WATCH: I did my Bird Watch last weekend. Where have all the small birds gone? I haven’t seen a wren (my favourite) for ages.