CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.
DIARY DATES: Sunday October 2 will be Harvest Festival at St Peter’s Church, Offham Monday October 3, Hamsey Primary School Harvest Festival. Friday October 7, harvest Supper in Offham Church Hall at 7pm. Details for the above dates later.
CONFIRMATION: On Tuesday October 18, at St Peter’s Church, Offham at 7pm the Bishop of Lewes will be coming to confirm the candidates. The Rector says that Offham are extremely lucky that the Bishop is willing to come out to a small country church. Confirmations usually happen at a central point with several churches joining together, so do please make every effort to be there to support the candidates and to meet the Bishop.
MORE SAD NEWS: Marion Fuller, a long term resident and well-known figure around the parish has died.
CHERRY PLUMS: I have for years written about what I used to call cherry plum fever, as people used to come from miles around to collect them, risking life and limb by gathering the ones that had fallen onto the very busy B2116 road. They would arrive with several buckets or baskets and some would crash through our fences regardless of the livestock, worse still we used to catch people with saws crashing through the hedges to saw off the branches. One year my son caught two people with five buckets full of our little plums who were actually trespassing in our field. When they said they needed quite a lot of jam, he politely told that that I also made jam and would prefer that the tree were not stripped bare and would like some left. They felt guilty and handed over two buckets. I can report that there are hardly any plums this year so hopefully it will save us having to repair fencing and hedge. With the tremendous increase in traffic on the B2116 it is very unwise for anyone to even think of stopping in the middle of the road if they spot some fallen plums. I should point out that the plum trees were planted by my late father-in-law in the early 1930’s as a windbreak for his Arab horses. I don’t have horses any more, but we still have livestock which need to be kept secure.
APPLE TREE: The apple tree in the drive has been laden with lovely apples this year. For years the apples have been very tiny and not much use for eating or cooking so this is the first time in 33 years that I have not only enjoyed eating them, but also making apple crumble. Derek’s father always told me they were apples for the birds and he had planted the tree in the early 1930’s which makes it about 84 years old. I never ate one until a couple of years ago I was asked by my garden helper why I did not eat them and I told him they were for the birds to which he replied, ‘try one they may be small but they are lovely’ and he was right. With this year’s bumper crop and the size of the apples I don’t believe that they were only meant for birds.
BUG’S LIFE: Over the past months there have been some very interesting articles in one of my magazines about bugs and the latest one is the flea beetle which shows a picture of a rather gruesome creepy-crawly. Apparently the beetle is the generic name for the family of jumping leaf beetles that are often very colourful, but rarely seen because they are so tiny and quickly ping away when disturbed. They are described as bouncing vegetable bandits who wreak havoc in gardens and fields alike. The first sign of their presence is pinholes in establishing leaves; but if left the entire plant will disappear. The picture is magnified but shows the black body with an orange stripe, red circle and orange spots on the head and the creepiest legs I have ever seen. It has long orange feelers sticking out in front of its head. If you were looking for one you would probably need a microscope as they are only one-tenth of an inch long. It is amazing what lurks in gardens and fields which we never see.
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