Piddinghoe news
Piddinghoe news

WEATHER: Keats has a lot to answer for. ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is fine in November, but why are we having it now, in what began as a warm and blue-skied, sunny April? Yesterday, out came the shorts for the first time this year, and alas today, back we go to jeans and a fleece, and my computer is telling me that it is only 8 degrees, currently, in East Sussex. In Piddinghoe, we seem to live in a micro climate. So often the BBC Weather Forecast for Sussex seems to have no bearing with what is happening here. Sunday was forecasted as showers and we were showered only with beautiful sunshine all day. Whatever forecast the experts give, rarely comes true for here. The best thing to do is look at the clouds or the sunrise and sunset and make your own forecast.

LAMBING: Last day of March our first lamb arrived. Unlike commercially bred lambs which bring on lambs early in cold January, these are allowed to give birth at the natural time of late March when the weather is warmer and survival more likely. Our sheep are all Rare Breeds and as such rarely, if ever, have any birthing problems. Most of them are breeds which originated in the Scottish Islands. In such harsh environments, they have to fend for themselves, many living on the seashore and feeding on seaweed. This is the bonus of keeping such sheep. The lambs are small and the only problem is when the ewe has triplets, then one of the lambs will have to be either, fostered by another ewe, or hand reared, as the mother can only efficiently feed two.

COMPANIES: Smiles, cheery words and basic common sense. Why don’t companies, in their staff training, teach the benefit of smiling at or passing a cheery word with customers in the course of their working day? Take supermarkets as an example. One person on the check-out will be cheery, smile and make some friendly remark to which one will respond in kind. Another will look miserable and barely respond to the smile or remark given to them. Surely, even they would feel better if they smiled. The same applies to those one encounters at the end of a telephone in utility companies. Surely it would be so much better for the company’s reputation if the voice at the other end had good interpersonal skills. I have a degree in Computer Science which I mention only to show that I have no problems with technology or the Internet. In desperation with something on the East Sussex County Council website, which refused to respond after my many attempts to obtain a particular form I had requested, I telephoned that department and explained the problem I was having. The employee stated that this particular item was run by the Government and nothing to do with them. I then enquired what should I do? At first, I continued to receive further negative responses. I persisted, and eventually the employee said, ‘I could send you the form’. Why one asks, could this not have been the response in the first place? Why in training, is common sense not taught? Other times, alas only too rarely, one is taken by surprise when the voice at the other end offers a solution to one’s problem that even you had not thought of. Praise be to them and may there be many more of them. Going on recent experiences, however, I am not holding my breath.

SMILE FOR THE DAY: Question: Which unfortunate knight failed to win any of his fights? Answer: Sir Render

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