SUNSHINE: It was so good to see the sunshine last week it makes people smile. I had the chance to walk through the woods it always surprises me how quickly everything grows. There is blossom everywhere and I am so lucky to look out of the upstairs window at the most wonderful cherry tree in flower in someone else’s garden.

PARKING: I have had a letter of receipt from the East Sussex County acknowledging my protest letter about their proposed parking scheme for Falmer village, which included parking meters and a 6 day/12 months of the year restriction. The closure date for objections was March 29. I am just hoping that there are enough objections to be noted for the proposal to be rejected. The council have said that they will write again if formal consultations are taken forward and expect to be able to let us know around June.

UNIVERSITY EVENT: Living close to the University of Sussex’s tennis courts it was interesting to see just how many people attended the special event on Saturday, organised by the Universal Tennis Rating system. I spoke to the young coach in charge (Jack Palmer) who explained that the UTR scheme aims to make tennis more accessible to everybody without regard to age or gender and to encourage them to achieve higher levels in their play. On Saturday there were 23 players competing, playing against people of their own level and then given ratings on the results. The ages ranged from 11 years to 50 years. I was also interested to hear from Jack that there is an ‘outreach’ scheme run by the local councils who look for interested and talented pupils in local schools. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the players.

HAPPY NEWS: Last week we were happy to hear of the birth of Albert George Gapper the second son for Georgie and Martin Gapper of the Swan Inn. Lovely news.

RECITAL: Tomorrow, Saturday, at 5.30pm in St Laurence Church there will be a recital by Yvonne Patrick, soprano and Stuart Hutchinson on piano entitled Reflection in Song. There will be songs by Mozart, Handel, Faure ending with Giblert and Sullivan. Another good concert to attend.

SAD NEWS: It was sad news to hear of the death of Alf Mason who was born in Falmer and lived in the village for many years. It was only in the last few years he moved into a care home. Alf was the sister of Doris Williams who wrote the Parish Pump for many years. Our condolences go to his son Michael and daughter Diane.

FA CUP: Another exciting event tomorrow, Saturday, will be the semi-final of the FA Cup with Brighton and Hove Albion playing Manchester City, we hope Brighton will triumph.
FLOWER FESTIVAL: I have been trying to raise some seeds, vegetables and flowers, in readiness to sell at our Flower Festival. They are coming up well and I hope they will be at their peak when June arrives.
MILL STREET: Every time I walk up the road past the empty cottages in Mill Street, I feel really angry. These houses have been unoccupied for over two years and they will soon start deteriorating. I cannot understand why they have not been looked after and rented out or, even better, sold. If they were sold the new owners would, hopefully, bring them back to good condition and we could welcome some new Falmer residents.