Parish pump Lewes - January 23, 2015


BARCOMBE CINEMA: Tickets are now on sale for Love Punch starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson, to be screened at Barcombe Village Hall on Sunday, February 1, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 each available from Barcombe Stores, VA Turner’s, The Royal Oak or Yvonne Alce. There will be a bar and during the intermission refreshments will be available. We will also run a raffle.


THANKS to all who donated to St Peter and St James Hospice as part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge. In a matter of just a few hours over three days a magnificent £53,961 was raised by generous donations matched by pledges from supporters and the Hospice’s Charity Champion, Candis Magazine.

OPEN DAY at St Peter’s Church takes place tomorrow, Saturday, and everyone is welcome from 10am to 4pm to view the alterations to the interior of the church. A celebrity, who is a well-known comedian, who regularly appears on television and radio, will officially open the new kitchen at midday. There will be refreshments and entertainment throughout the day so do go along and see the changes for yourself. You can also find out about events planned at St Peter’s during 2015.

ST PETER’S CHURCH services, Sunday, Holy Communion at 8am, Parish Communion at 10am and a Healing Service at 7pm. Transport can be arranged by calling Peter Martin on 01825 722680.

FREE CHURCH, Sunday 10.30am with Peter Barrie and 6.30pm with Julian Rebera.

PCSO Steve Knowles will be at the Chailey Children’s Centre, in the grounds of Chailey School, on Monday from 10am to 10.30am. He will be there to answer your queries, offer community policing related information and advice or simply chat.

INFORMATION POINT session is at the Coffee Stop, Free Church on Friday January 30 from 10am to midday. The parish clerk will assist with any questions you may have.

YOUTH GROUP meet on Friday January 30 at the village hall from 7.30pm to 9pm. Anyone, aged 10 to 15 years, who would like to see what happens at Youth Group meetings (which includes activities such as table tennis, pool, air hockey, football table and a tuck shop) will be made most welcome. For more information contact Gemma Kybert on 07843410895.

JUMBLE SALE, organised by Chailey and Newick Brownies, is on Saturday January 31 at 11am at the village hall. If you are able to donate any jumble it will be much appreciated and help raise funds for their Brownie Holiday. For collection call 01825 723727 or 01825 722802, alternatively please deliver jumble to the hall that morning from 9am.

WILL WRITING SCHEME in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice runs from Monday February 2 to Friday February 20. The scheme covers Simple Wills, Mirror Wills and Codicils. The participating companies will provide their services free of charge, in lieu of a donation to the hospice. The scheme is for a limited time only, so if you would like to make an appointment you will find a list of participating companies at For further information call Kate Gibson, the Trusts and Legacies Fundraiser at the Hospice on 01444 470711.

FREE AFTERNOON TEA and speakers at the village hall on Saturday February 7 from 2.30pm to 5pm. This afternoon is being organised by the horticultural society as an opportunity for all in the village to meet members of their committee and other horticultural enthusiasts. Entry is free; so it’s a wonderful chance to learn all about the society, whilst enjoying their homemade refreshments.

FREE HELP AND ADVICE: Would you like the chance to sit down and chat about issues affecting you and get assistance. Then do contact the Information Points either in person at the Chailey Children’s Centre on Tuesdays from10am to midday (families only), at Southover House, Lewes, on Tuesdays from 9.30am to midday, by email to or phone 01273 517375 weekdays. There is no eligibility criteria; assistance will be given so as to enable you to tackle the problems. Access to free, quality assured information and advice will be co-ordinated, for a range of issues including debt, benefits, housing, access to available support services, support into employment, food banks, fuel poverty. The aim in particular is to ensure access by people in rural areas of Lewes District so do use this service if you need any assistance.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: 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.

NOTE from the Rector: The Christmas services were very well attended and all the services had a strongly joyful feeling. There was the Carols in Hamsey church (standing room only again this year). The delightful Nativity performed by 32 youngsters from our Sunday School and Toddler Tunes, the service of Nine Lessons and Carols (what a magnificent choir we have) and then the Midnight Mass and the Christmas morning Family Communion in St Peter’s Church was standing room only. A well kept festival. The Rector, who is the chairman of governors at Hamsey School, also pays tribute to the school saying: Excellent news from Hamsey School. At its recent Ofsted Inspection the school was judged to be good in every part. Congratulations on this impressive result to Helen Smith, the head teacher, and all the staff and of course, to all the pupils. The report is available to be read on the Ofsted website.

ADVANCE NOTICE: By popular demand the next skittles evening will be at 7pm on Friday, February 27 at the Chalk Pit Inn. Cost is £5 per head and basket meals (optional) are £6.25. Teams can be sorted out on the night. Judith says that it is always a fun evening. If you would like to join in, do let Judith know in plenty of time on 01273 474356.

GIVING SCHEME: Last January churchwarden Pamela Conlon described the new parish Giving Scheme (PGS) which the diocese is encouraging parishes to adopt. Since then a number of people in the parish have joined and this has both raised the level of giving and provided more certainty about the income we can expect. We would like to encourage more to join so details are as follows: The PGS is a tax efficient new way of supporting your local church. The scheme is administered by another diocese at no cost to local parishes. Regular donors who are taxpayers agree to give their donation by direct debit. The donation, together with the additional amount which can be claimed by way of Gift Aid, is then paid over to our parish treasurer at the same time each month. It is a great advantage to us to have some certainty about the income we can expect regularly as we struggle to maintain our beautiful buildings. If you think you may be interested in supporting us in this way please contact Pamela Conlon for further details on 01273 890336 or

DIARY DATE: There will be a concert by Fleurs de Paris in St Peter’s Church Hall at 7pm on Friday March 27. Tickets £10. Professional musicians Lorraine and Nigel live in Offham Village. They are much in demand all over the country. First drink free if you come in Parisian dress. Details from Judith on 01273 474356.

GREY SQUIRRELS: Under a scheme, designed to protect red squirrels and woodland, landowners will be eligible for forestry grants from the Government or European Union. They can apply for funding for five years to help them cull the squirrels, using whatever method they prefer. There will also be government funding available to help neighbouring landowners co-operate to control grey squirrel numbers. The animals are responsible for spreading the squirrel pox virus to the endangered red squirrel. They are also being blamed for causing up to £10 million in damage to British woodlands every year, acting as a disincentive to the planting and managing of trees. In October last year the Prince of Wales ordered a cull of grey squirrels on the Duchy of Cornwall estate in an attempt to protect the red variety. It is now hoped that other landowners will follow his lead once the new policy comes into force. Although I don’t like the idea of culling them, they do a lot of damage and I have watched their aggression with small birds as they steal their food. Only recently I saw one on the nut feeder and saw it grab a blue tit and kill it.


THE LADIES GROUP always meet in January to discuss their programme for the year, it is too early to say what will be on offer for the whole year, but two months are definitely settled, the first on February 10 when John Warton will be showing us a film of what it was like when he went diving off the Cocas Islands, swimming with sharks and many other species, the second month confirmed is May 12 when Peter Hill will be giving us a talk on Potions, Pills and Patience. Meetings are always in the Falmer Parish Hall beginning at 7.30 and all are welcome.

MAYBE it is a quiet time in Falmer, but not for the wild life, there is a fox who regularly visits our gardens, twice I have seen him in as many days, walking nonchalantly down steps and across the road to the field, and again through our own hedge. After the tail end of the storm called Rachel we walked through the woods the next day and caught our breaths when a branch fell just after a student had passed right under the tree, he was completely unaware of what had happened, we even called out to him, thinking he might like to see what he had just missed, but these students are permanently plugged in to their music and he heard nothing.

ANOTHER NEAR MISS was when we drove down to Cuckmere on Sunday, we took the road through Littlington and very soon after the village we could see the road was flooded, we let a 4x4 pass us and watched to see how deep the water was, and followed them through with no problem, but coming round the next corner the 4x4 had disappeared and we could see the water was even deeper, we carefully made our way through, not too fast, not too slow, and after about 25 mtrs we were safe, and reassured a young lady in another 4x4 facing the way we had come, that she would have no problem. We certainly took a different route home.

EXCITING: It was quite exciting to see the article in the Telegraph Saturday colour supplement about Lisa O’Connor and Toby Smallpiece who lived in Falmer for a few years, and then moved to build their dream at Hawthbush Farm. Their family was very much a part of Falmer when they lived here and it is lovely to read and see what they are doing with their new life, well done them.


FRIDAY MARKET: Every Friday on the Cattle Market Site, from very early to 1pm there is a stall market and boot fair.

FAMILY QUIZ: Tomorrow, Saturday, evening at Summerheath Hall there will be questions for everybody from older family members to young children mostly on music throughout the ages and films with a sprinkling of general knowledge. Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets £5 adult, £3 U16s. Refreshments in the break by donation. In aid of Environment Hailsham.

FM BIG QUIZ: Sunday afternoon 1.45pm for 2pm start at Grovelands School Hall. Doors open at 1.45pm. Tickets available from Helen Lawrence on 07812 337418 are £4 adults, £3 U16s, £12 family (two plus two). Max six per team. Individuals welcome. Raffle and refreshments and bring your own soft drinks and snacks. No alcohol. Hosted by and for Hailsham FM to fund and increase public awareness of Hailsham’s own radio station, returning to the airwaves during the town’s Arts Festival in September.

KNITTING NIGHT: The first meeting of the year allowed everyone there to project their hopes and expectations for the year. Excitement was generated when two of the group told of a course they were attending later in the spring. The course is called Mystery Cushions, and some work was to be done before the course began. Speculation was rife, but this raised the bar for setting plans. One of the group hoped to make something for themselves, as they had had a year of knitting for others, and one was the other way round. Thoughts about the charity the group will support this year followed. Initial ideas are to look locally for small items that can fit in between longer projects. Firmer ideas will be aired and a choice made at the next meeting on Tuesday at 7.30pm at the King’s Head. For information phone Su (07552 229473).

WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER: This coffee morning is at the Methodist Church between 10am and noon on Friday January 30. This year Together in Prayer is led by the women of The Bahamas who have chosen the theme, Jesus said ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’ John 13 1:17. The Women’s World Day of Prayer is on March 5. All welcome.

TWINNING ARTISTS: There is a great opportunity for our local artists to exhibit in Hailsham’s twinned town, Gournay en Bray, who are looking for work to exhibit at their exhibition from April 10 to 19. The exhibition will last for a week and Hailsham Twinning Association artist, local potter, Geoff Pittman, is travelling over with his pottery. Keith Townsend, chair of the association, says they feel privileged to be asked to join in the exhibition once again and would encourage local artists to take up this wonderful offer. Artists have the option of sending their work to France or accompanying their paintings, sculptures, photographs, quilting and craft work and staying with local host families. Please contact Pauline Townsend on 01323 846539 (secretary of Hailsham and District Twinning Association) as soon as possible.

BAD BONES, muscles and joints? A new NHS service to treat local patients with muscle, bone and joint conditions is now available in Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford. Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford and High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Groups, the GP led bodies responsible for planning local health services have procured the new NHS service from Sussex MSK Partnership, a local not-for-profit consortium of NHS, charitable and independent providers that brings together local experts from primary care, physical and mental health services. The new service will be rolled out over the coming months in phases and will begin by receiving all referrals from GPs for their patients who have conditions affecting their bones, muscles and joints and who require onward diagnostics, care and treatment.


BINGO NIGHT is back again by popular demand. This year, it will be held in Kingston Parish Hall, The Street, on Friday January 30 at 7.30pm, with the first game called at 8pm. Tickets at £10 each, which includes food and all games throughout the evening. There will be a Harvey’s cash bar and an auction with fantastic prizes to win. All proceeds will go to Kingston Pre-School. Tickets are available from Kingston Pre-School, Vicky Owen (07790903213), Sally Domingo-Jones (07932605967) or Brian Simmons (474303).


BOOT SALE: Indoor Boot Sale, Laughton Parish Hall on Sunday. Doors open 10.30am, £5 a table. Refreshments available. For information or to book a table please ring 01323 811385. Also boot sales will be held on February 22 and March 29.


BRIDGE CLUB: Tuesday December 23 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Jennifer Wilson and Peter Catermole; 2, Meic Goodyear and Jerry Emery; 3, Janet Catermole and Di Johnstone. Tuesday January 6 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Janet Cattermole and Di Johnstone; 2, Mike Keeping and Richard Burnett; 3, Rita Hartnell and Nanette Tarling. Thursday January 8 Teams: 1, Nigel Osmer and Peter Cattermole, Susan Louis and Adela Thomas. Tuesday January 13 Teams: 1, Meic Goodyear and Jerry Emery, Simon Kirkwood and Lynne Tunley. Thursday January 15 Duplicate Pairs: 1, Margaret Buddery and Peter Waters; 2, Meic Goodyear and Simon Kirkwood, Clair Nankivell and Pauline Brown. Visitors welcome, phone 01273 476757.

FOOTPATHS GROUP: Our New Year’s Lunch was held on Wednesday last at the Buxted Park Hotel. Forty four members enjoyed a delicious lunch. However, nine of us, led by Graham, our chairman, thought that a gentle constitutional before the group’s New Year Lunch would be a good idea. It was a good idea but it was not exactly gentle. At the best of times the Weald can be on the muddy side; this has not been the best of times. Many days of rain had left the ground soggy, very soggy in places, and walking was more of a plod than a brisk stroll. The good news was that a window of bright, clear weather opened up for us and the gentle pace allowed us to enjoy the scenery even more than usual. From the hotel we headed south, brushed by the outskirts of Uckfield at Hempstead Farm where they have plenty of horses and even more donkeys, before crossing the railway line twice. This involved traversing two steep set of steps down and two back up. The first set were just a little rickety, the second were new and stoutly constructed. We returned to the house by way of the lakes and the church. As a way of giving us an appetite, it worked well. The next walk is on Sunday. East Dean Circular. A hilly 5.5 mile walk. Meet at top North Street car park for a 9.30am start. New walkers always very welcome.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH: Our next Alpha course runs on Thursdays from February 26 for nine weeks. Please contact the rector Steve Daughtery on 472018. If you have any spare warm clothing, blankets and sleeping bags (new or used) which you would like to donate to homeless people in Brighton, we have a collection box in the church porch. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service, a blend of traditional and contemporary, with choir, organ and band; 11.15am informal service in the church hall; 6.30pm informal evening service with singers and band. Please join us.

COFFEE SHOP: Eastgate Baptist Church relaunches their new look Coffee Shop tomorrow, Saturday, and every Saturday, 10am to noon. Please come and enjoy amazing value fresh coffee, homemade cake and a relaxing atmosphere with friendly helpers and time to chat. The Christianity Explored Course has just started and will take place in the church lounge from 9.30am to noon every Wednesday for seven weeks. It is not too late to join. This is a chance to think about and discuss the big questions of life in a friendly setting. Starting with coffee we watch a short DVD presentation, read a bible passage and discuss the teaching presented. Everyone is welcome.


SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL held their first Music Monday this week. The idea is that a musician, a composer or a musical instrument is explored and their music is listened to and appreciated. Children who play a specific musical instrument are also invited to perform in assembly. This week it was the turn of their very talented cellists. They look forward to hearing and enjoying more music over the coming weeks. Today, Friday, at 9am parents with children in the Infant section are invited to go into school to find out how the school teaches maths so that they can then help their children at home. On Friday January 30 at 9am parents and carers of junior children are welcome to a similar event for older children.

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: The service on Sunday will begin with a breakfast at 9am. Their flexible interior makes it possible for chairs and tables to be arranged so that everyone who wishes to attend can enjoy breakfast in comfortable surroundings before a call to worship at 9.30am when the service of Morning Praise begins. The breakfasts are enjoyable and provide an opportunity for social time allowing, for example, their Priest in Charge, Revd Steve Daughtery, to come along and catch up with Malling people before speeding back to the congregation at Southover, later that morning. The service that follows the breakfast is relatively informal with music provided by a small band. You don’t have to have been to the breakfast to join the service when it begins at 9.30am. All are welcome.


JUMBLE SALE: Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society will be holding a jumble sale at Ringmer Village Hall tomorrow, Saturday. Doors open 2pm. They will be collecting jumble in your area this evening, Friday, from 6pm and would be grateful if you could leave any jumble by your front gate for us with this leaflet attached which will avoid disturbing you. Unfortunately they are unable to collect any large or electrical items such as beds, fridges etc. The next sale will be March 7. They are always looking for options to recycle leftover jumble, especially books, bric-a-brac. Annual General Meeting will be Monday, 7.45pm at St Mary’s Supporters Club.

CHRIST CHURCH: Our Tots group is meeting again from 9.30am to 11.30am. It was lovely to see 32 children there last week with their carers on a very wet and dreary Friday morning. Worship on Sunday at 10.30am will be led by Rev John Gordon and this will be a service for all ages. On Wednesday our Thinktank will be meeting between 7.30pm and 9pm and Professor Martin Yeomans will be leading a session on what determines how much we eat from myth to reality? This Thinktank is open to anyone who would like to attend.

BOROUGH BONFIRE: Tomorrow, Saturday, at St Mary’s Supporters Club the bonfire society are holding a Pool and Darts Night. Prizes and annual challenge trophies to be won. Try your hand at 501 darts straight in double to finish, best of three games, £5 entry.


THE COUNTRY MARKET will be open as usual today, Friday.

DAY OF PRAYER: St Mary’s Church will be holding a day of prayer tomorrow, Saturday, in the knowledge that this will be theway to move the church forward into an era with a new leader and find out what God wants for the Christians in Newick. Sunday Services are 8am Holy Communion (BCP) followed by the Leprosy Mission Gift Day at 10.30am.

CINEMA: On Sunday evening Newick Cinema will be open in the village hall from 7pm. The film, What We Did on Holiday, will commence at 7.30pm. Tickets £6 at the door or you can book in advance by emailing, there will be an interval for refreshments.

THE PARISH COUNCIL will be holding their first 2015 meeting in the Sports Pavilion at 7.15pm on Tuesday. The public are always welcome to attend these meetings and may ask question at the beginning of the session. This year is an election year for the parish council. Are you interested in what happens in our community? If so please email or telephone 722135.


BIG BIRD WATCH: Today (Friday) and tomorrow the RSPB will be staging its annual bird watch during which folk are asked to record visiting birds in their gardens. Details can be found at Tony Hutson (Birdman as well as Batman) also collates results and will be pleased to receive a copy of your report at Winkfield, Station Road, or on 01273 890341.

FANCY A FLUTTER? There will be racing again at Plumpton on Monday with the first racing kicking off at 1.30pm. Punters can always expect some good quality runners and riders at our local course.

TALK NOT WALK: On Wednesday, The Footpath Society will relax and enjoy a talk in the village hall relating to the renovation of Oldlands Mill, Keymer, to be given by Colin Watford at 2.30pm. Doors open at 2pm and all will be welcome.

PARISH COUNCIL: The council will be up for election in May and it is quite possible that not all current councillors will stand for re-election. Anyone interested in serving on the parish council should start thinking about it now and preliminary information is available from the parish clerk, Sarah Jeffers. Contact her via or 01444 441302.

COUNCIL TAX: At last week’s parish council meeting the budget for 2015/16 was agreed and the Parish Precept was set. This is the amount that the council receives from council tax to enable it to fulfil its duties. Until last year there had been no increases for several years and, unfortunately, council was left with no option but to impose an increase again this year. This is necessary to maintain services under its control and plan properly for the future. The Parish is also faced with having to contribute towards some highways works following cuts made by ESCC if we are to stand any chance of getting some things done. The result will be an increase of £13.68 a year for a Band D property. This also includes provision for some costs in preparing the Neighbourhood Plan and towards a new sports pavilion.

THOSE CUTS: A reminder of some of the cuts in services that ESCC is imposing that particularly hit those living in rural communities. The mobile library is now only visiting Plumpton at three weekly intervals, on Wednesdays and will make only one stop now, at the village hall for 30 minutes. There will be a considerable increase in the cost of the meals on wheels service, some highways works will not get done unless the parish/town councils pay half. Bus services through Plumpton are to be reduced to run on just two days a week at times and fares are likely to rise by 30 percent just to rub salt into the wounds. Our county councillor confirmed that no attempt is now being made to reverse the decision made by the 16-strong Cabinet in respect of bus service cuts, despite the fact that the full county council had previously voted not to impose them. Where is the democracy and the compassion in that? Well, those who can drive a car will take to the roads, increase wear and tear on them, spew noxious fumes into the air and just add to congestion. Not only that, but people who cannot drive and who live in isolated villages will be cut off from the outside world on five days a week for quite a large part of the year. Plumpton has a railway station (if you can reach it on foot) but other villages do not. All I can say is that the county councillors appear to have made cuts that will only affect the vulnerable because they are in the minority and likely to have the least adverse impact at election time. This is not a party political rant as, over a period of many years, I have worked closely with all three main political parties to help secure legislation and regulation for the common good in both professional and private capacities.

NEWS FOR RUMMAGERS: The village hall management committee will be holding a jumble sale in the village hall (where else?) on Saturday next week (January 31) at 2pm. Just think how many unwanted Chrissie pressies will be up for grabs at knockdown prices. There could also be some unused gifts from the previous year to make space for those received a few weeks ago. Naturally there will be stalls, tombola and refreshments on hand as well. If you have any jumble to donate please take it to the hall during the morning of the sale.

WIN FOR PLUMPTON: Residents may remember the Zero Heroes project to encourage people to recycle items rather than simply put them in the dustbin to be dumped in landfill sites. Well Plumpton residents, as always, responded well and the village has secured a grant of almost £4,000 to provide a simple Woodland Walk on the edge of the playing field that will create natural enjoyment for all and have an educational value for children. The parish council will now concentrate on implementing the project which should make the playing field area facilities attractive to even more residents.


HISTORY STUDY GROUP: Tonight (Friday) the group will meet in the village hall at 7.45pm. The speaker will be Debby Matthews, A Tour around Gideon Mantell’s Lewes. Debby lives in the house on Station Street (then St Mary’s Lane) that was the family home of Gideon Mantell, the Lewes surgeon and geologist who held the medical contracts for Ringmer parish and Ringmer barracks. After Mantell had left Lewes he wrote a very early guide book to introduce the town to visitors, and Debby guides tours around Lewes today.

ST MARY’S CHURCH: Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Posh Coffee Morning in aid of The Leprosy Mission. 10am to noon in the Church Room with bring and buy and a raffle. It’s the coffee that’s posh, you don’t have to dress up. Sunday morning services at 8am and 9.45am will be led by Revd David Perks and at 6pm there will be a joint service at the Baptist Church in the village hall to pray for Christian Unity.

JUMBLE SALE: Tomorrow (Saturday) Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society will be holding a Jumble Sale in the village hall. Doors open at 2pm.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday January 14, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Barrie Smith and Alan Grindley; 2, Joan Evett and Sandra Dudley-Williams; 3, Alan Disney and Roy Skan. The club next meets in the St Mary’s room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

WI: In 2015, along with 212,000 members in 6,600 WIs throughout the country, Ringmer will be marking in different ways 100 years since the first WI was formed in Britain. The January meeting marked the 48th birthday of Ringmer Evening WI with a birthday cake and bring and share buffet. The speaker was John Kayon, The life and times of John Whitfield, smuggler. This provided a fascinating insight into life in Sussex in the 1750s. The next meeting continues the theme of historic Sussex when on February 3 at 7.30pm in the village hall Ian Everest, the local historian, will talk about Old Sussex Shepherds. Visitors and new members welcome. For more details contact Jay Kendall (07845 143664) or Norma Phillips (813897).

Rodmell & Southease

LIFEBOAT: I think that the Lifeboat crews who go out in atrocious conditions to save lives need our thanks and support for the remarkable work they do putting their lives at risk to save others and without payment. These men also have families and friends who love them and are probably hoping and praying that the turbulent seas do not take their lives whilst they are attempting to save others.

THE PEOPLE working for the NHS, especially in the A&E departments must also be supported more and it would help if people did not drink so much and take drugs. I have recollections of my mother when she had cancer many years ago now, being in a ward and outside were people on mattresses, who were drunk or overdosed on drugs and the poor nursing staff did not know where to put them and how to deal with the amount of people. I was young in the 60s and knew many people who took drugs or drank too much. Sadly a lot of them died young and they were not bad people, just easily led.

GOOD THINGS happening at the moment are the signs of spring, as snowdrops push their delicate white heads up through the very green lawns, which are still growing fast as the weather has been so mild. Catkins are also dangling their curly whirly blossoms, ready to expel their dusty yellow pollen into the air. They actually have a little red flower as well.

SURPRISE: I also had a nice surprise from EDF who say from this month they are dropping my monthly payments by a very substantial amount. As these villages don’t have gas we have an assortment of heating such as a wood burner, gas bottles for the heaters, in case we get electricity cuts and oil filled radiators, so any cash back is welcome. If you live in a village you cope with the problems of lack of transport, no street lighting, no shop, bank or post office and just get on with life.

CARS: As several of my friends have recently acquired cars that are fitted with push button starters etc., I was horrified to read an article that stated modern cars being fitted with wireless networks and internet connections to allow for music streaming, restaurant booking, news updates and Google searches have a weak spot which can be exploited by hackers who can access the control of such cars. Technology may be wonderful but it can also cause many problems. Evidently these cars can also be stolen easily. Give me my comfortable, manual little old car any time.