Netherfield Village Residents Association: As mentioned last week in my column part of the process to finance the 'Village Fete' next month the Residents Association is holding a 'jumble sale' on 8th July between 10am and 2pm. Clothes, bric-a-brac and the possibility of some surprises will be on display at the Netherfield Village Hall. Do you want a bargain? Do you want designer clothes? It may well be there for you to browse and buy. It is all in a good cause so come along and see what we've got.

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A Musical Evening: I don’t normally spread the word about a venue which is not part of the Netherfield scene, but this time I have made an exception and with good reason. A birthday surprise was at the bottom of this trip into the world of New Orleans’ piano inspired, rhythm and blues, delivered enthusiastically and from the heart by The Ikos Trio. The venue? Well, I will come to that later, suffice to say that it matched expectations on what a piano bar should be.

The trio is fronted by Dom Pipkin, a white-hatted, extremely energetic individual, whose fingers dance majestically over and across the keys of his ancient and modern instruments as he seeks to replicate the atmospheric idiosyncrasies of Bourbon Street and its jazz and burlesque bars. His monumental efforts are ably supported by Joe Cooper on drums, tambourine and the occasional vocal assistance, together with Mao Yamada, a Japanese Chairman Mao, whose digits traversed both the double and electric base, seemingly, with inspired ease. Their show repertoire covered such titans, from the home of Mardi Gras, as Professor Longhair, Allan Toussaint, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Domino and Dr John.

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In between times “Dom” gave us an insight into his passion for this type of multicultural influenced blues and jazz, with historical anecdotes and details of his regular pilgrimages to this historic American city, soaking-up and assimilating its mythical atmosphere, which he believes is like no other. Within the two sessions, he managed to incorporate solo breaks, lasting a glorious seven or eight minutes each time, when Joe and Mao left the stage,. He clearly delighted in testing his ability in a singular role, to enthuse and delight an audience, which came from a cross-section of the population in this iconic seaside town.

It was also noticeable that applause was spontaneous and rife for the trio’s resolute instrumental breaks during a few of their more uptempo offerings. Whilst the night was fairly warm, these solos raised the temperature of the performance to unbelievable heights.

So where, do you ask, did this take place? It was held at the “Kino-Teatr” Norman Road, Hastings, Pop along. You won’t be disappointed.

Reflections on a garden: It seemed to a distant eye that a profusion of blue, hovered, like a murmuration of starlings, above a glistening pond, dotted with yellow flags, pink and white water lilies and water soldiers. The hot and humid weather had finally drawn the blue, red and yellowy brown mayflies from the life in the water. Whilst the name and its connotation with a specific month of the year may be a misnomer (sorry about the pun but I could not resist it), as they emerge all through the year, the heat does seem to provide that extra impetus. They are delicate, with lace-like wings and their time above the water is short-lived, necessitating the early pairing with a mate, to perpetuate the species. At times it has been an almost sea of blue above the clear still water, as they rest on plants and leaves during this short period of frenzied activity.

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The hot weather does seem to have affected our acers to some degree, in apparently drying out the top few leaves. Looking at them, their almost brittle-like appearance, gives the impression they would crumble to dust if held in the hand. They do give the garden an almost ethereal quality at this time of year with strikingly vivid colours and differing leaf structures, which in their early years are so delicate and refined. Reds, yellows and various shades of green, lift whatever part of the garden in which they are domiciled. They are easy to maintain as long as protected from the wind.

It is also the time when the herbs begin come into flower. The buzz and hum from hungry bees, hover-flies and other assorted insects on the wing, is an annual event which cements our view of what a garden, especially an organic one, is all about. Nature has a way of putting life into perspective, defining its meaning and for that matter, what is important.

More next week..........

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