Piddinghoe

TICKS: Have become a slightly frightening issue in the village where reports are circulating about both humans and dogs being targeted by these little winged buzzards who deliver a sharp arrow into any available flesh, usually from the launchpad of the long grass which we have in abundance. If one of them gets into you or your four-legged friend you must act quickly and remove it whole from the infected area because any bits left in will possibly inflict the curse of Lyme’s Disease on the sufferer a nasty, debilitating ailment that can take many weeks and a great deal of expensive treatment to cure. It has been suggested that covering the wound with Vaseline also helps but, whatever the case, get to your doctor or vet as soon as possible.

CUTS: Talk of the above subject brings to mind once again the hugely overgrown state of the long grass at both ends as well as in the middle of the village which is due to East Sussex Highways having to make £400,000 worth of ‘cuts’ (a savagely ironic word in this case) to their services this year. We learn that last year the grass was cut six times (really?) but this year it will be cut only twice. Information from ESH is that the first cut will happen towards the end of June, probably the 25th unless the machinery breaks down, which has happened once apparently, or if it pours with rain the weekend before. On Monday, though, there was a one-off action after an inspector was dispatched to the triangle ‘jungle’ where cars can get lost at the south end of the village and he ruled that this was a traffic hazard for drivers trying to slip onto the C7 (see last week’s Piddinghoe column). Two lads with strimmers were put to work, much to our relief.

SITES: No amount of grass-cutting will improve the appearance of the two building sites in the village, sadly. At least one of them is properly covered up now and the owners of the new property to be built there one day (Mr and Mrs Spence) have kindly allowed a glimpse of what is behind those fences. Nearly two years ago when the area (behind and adjacent to the village hall) was first reduced to rubble with trees hacked down and lovely cobbled walls wrecked by a previous builder, Piddinghoe’s The Villager magazine nicknamed it The Hole. Now it really is one. A vast, deep cavern is there where, presumably, foundations will be placed to support the new residence, once archaeological types who have been studying its progress, giving the postbox the go-ahead. It means, of course, more delay and more expense and, be assured, the Spences are so frustrated by that. They just want to get here and get on with village life. Meanwhile a new roof is going on Malthouse, near the mailbox, with all the attendant scaffolding in place. Many feel sorry for Gill, one of the village’s most popular figures as she is looking out from her new quarters at the back of the house onto a scene of constant bricks, mortar and rumbling activity where one day, hopefully, there will be a peaceful garden. We all feel her pain, especially when trying to negotiate a way past all the lorries and parked vans on both sites in The Street.

GOODBYES: Were said to Peter Bailey on Monday when friends and relatives gathered to pay respect to one of Piddinghoe’s established elders whose funeral took place at Eastbourne Crematorium. They also celebrated his life in the village hall afterwards. Peter suffered a fatal heart-attack while travelling to his native Lancashire where he and wife Val had decided to return after finally selling their house here. With the deal done for their new place up north, Val will settle back there near her family while we await the arrival of the newcomers to Court Farm Close.

MUSIC NIGHT: Is in St John’s Church on Saturday June 23 (7.30pm) when the Ouse Valley Singers will be among several local acts providing the entertainment at a concert in aid of the Newhaven Food Bank. Tickets £5 adults (children free) available from Vanessa at Halyards or Christine (Elderberry House) or on the night.

BOOK CLUB: Members gather next at Elderberry House on Thursday June 28 at 7.30pm when author Pat Barker’s Life Class will be under discussion.

THE BIG TEA: Is on Saturday June 30 at 3.30pm on The Hoe (if dry) or in the village hall (if wet) and Sheila (Old School House) and Mel (Jasmine Cottage) are seeking extra cake-makers and kitchen staff to help the scone-jam-and-cream festival go with a swing. There will Pimms and Harvey’s too.

CHURCH SERVICES: Every second Sunday in the month (8am) and fourth Sunday (9.30am) at St John’s.

PILATES: Tomorrow and most Saturdays with Rebecca in the village hall, three sessions from 8.15am.

INDOOR SPORT: Just turn up on Wednesday evenings (7.30pm) at the village hall for free table tennis, darts and board games.

ART AND KNITTING: Ladies gather at 2pm-ish in the village hall on Thursdays.

YOGA: Tim’s weekly class begins 7.30pm in the village hall on Wednesdays.