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PLEASE! SWITCH THAT THING OFF!: Occasionally, our television switches itself on at about 3am. No! we haven’t got a poltergeist, but my son in law says that we have something programmed somewhere, that needs switching off . Anyway, it woke me a few mornings ago with a start, and when I went downstairs to switch it off, I lingered a little, looking out over the few lights dotted around Iden [little beacons in the darkness] and decided to take tea and biscuits up to my husband as a little treat. “Isn’t this fun, “ I said, “oh great”, he grumbled over a chocolate digestive. There’s something furtive about having a picnic in the middle of the night isn’t there, I said, but he doesn’t buy into my romantic scenarios. He looked a bit fed up to be honest. [He believes that night times are strictly for sleep, and would snore his way through an earthquake]. Once I’m awake and at one with the night, I always feel that the night itself is waiting silently, and in limbo, for dawn to break. It must be a bit of a lonely old vigil really, having to be such a watchful custodian. It’s probably glad to hear someone somewhere brewing up and opening the digestives!

IT’S A BIT TOO REMOTE: Speaking of televisions, we seem to have a glut of remote- controls [zappers] in our house, lined up like big, black plastic beatles. Go to sit down, and I’m bound to sit on one, but when I need one, to switch on say, ‘The Great British Bake Off’, it will be out in the kitchen by the kettle, or by the phone. I even found one in my handbag recently, [what was that all about!]. They are definitely useful, rather than ornamental, and they don’t blend in with any kind of décor [unless you happen to live in a space ship]. I swear they are reproducing behind a cushion on the settee. Mind you, they are necessary evil, because lose one completely and I’m in bits .I do love a bit of tele!

THANK YOU PEASMARSH: Last week, I went to watch my husband play bowls against Peasmarsh, and even as spectators we were made very welcome. We were given padded cushions for our seats and offered tea, which was very pleasant. The bowlers sat down to sandwiches and cakes Iden too, always reciprocates with a jolly good tea.. Bowls is a nice, genteel game isn’t it, and looks so typically English. There is friendly banter no matter who wins, and the hospitality from the various clubs proves that the age of chivalry is not dead!

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A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church, at 9.30am , on Sunday16th August.

THE POP-IN: There will be a Pop-In, on Monday 17th August, at 11am in Iden village hall. Everyone is welcome, and it’s always nice to see friends for a chat over coffee and biscuits.

BINGO: The next Bingo session will be on Thursday 20th August, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. This is a fun afternoon, and is open to anyone from Iden and the surrounding villages. Tea, is available [sandwiches and cakes costing only £1], at half time. Do come along and give it a try. The winter afternoons will soon be upon us, so instead of staying home wrapped in a rug, think about coming to bingo, having a laugh, and possibly winning a substantial prize.

DON’T FORGET THE CALENDARS: Iden folk always have a full itinerary. I’ve never witnessed such a hive of activity in a little corner of England. Subsequently, we need to need to write everything down, otherwise we’ll have people turning up on our doorstep for a dinner party expecting to be served something on a par with ‘Come Dine With Me, and we’ll be in our pyjamas, filling the hot water bottle [the shame of it!] So, we need a calendar, [possibly one by every phone.] Rod Stuart’s beautiful calendars, depicting views in and around our village have become an Iden tradition, and are already on sale in Iden Stores.

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I REMEMBER WHERE I WAS: I remember years ago my Canadian Grandmother showing me a scrapbook of the Royal family who were way across the ocean.. “Here is a picture of Princess Margaret Rose”, she would say, and I was fascinated by this ‘hallowed’, scrapbook .So, last week I showed my granddaughter a lovely book I have about Princess Diana , showing her in dresses, worn at various functions , and I explained to her a little about Diana’s life. I thought about the few iconic people who have died, like Kennedy and John Lennon, and how most of us remember exactly where we were when we heard of their demise.[ I was at the bottom of a hill in a car waiting for the ‘AA’, when Elvis died.] When Diana died, I was on my way to work as a nurse, and when I got to work the nurses were sitting down stunned watching TV, and the ambulant patients seemed to be ‘holding the fort’[which in itself was surreal] We never expect iconic people to die do we, because they are the unusual, possessed of some inner glow, the people who enrich our lives in some way., even if it’s only through one song that plays away in our heads. I was sad to hear last week about Cilla Black, a down to earth, Liverpudlian, described as the country’s ‘auntie’ She’s probably up there now calling the angels ‘Chuck’. Sadly she is our loss, but she is their gain.

CONTACT ME: If anyone would like to add anything to the Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin telephone[01-797 280311]

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