Piddinghoe

RAIN: Has come at last and all gardeners in Piddinghoe (and probably everywhere) are mighty relieved. That was quite a storm last Saturday and it continued to pour all day Sunday. The return of green is already apparent although we are warned the refreshing showers will not last long and have probably died out by the time you read this. Many say they could get used to the warm, dry weather and it is certainly a motivation to get up early in the bright sunshine even though you might have had a restless night. It seems you actually need to rise early to get everything done before you can face the world via breakfast. The older you get the more there seems to be done and one villager has compiled a list of 23 essentials after you wake: 1 Make cuppa(s) and drink; 2 rinse used cup(s) under bathroom basin tap, ready for dishwasher; 3 dunk false teeth in ‘denture bath’ for ten minutes; 4 brush remaining real ones and floss them; 5 unmentionable (but it is a sitting-down task); 6 shave; 7 shower; 8 wash hair with shampoo and conditioner; 9 dry head and body; 10 apply after-shave lotion; 11 apply sea-water nostril-spray; 12 gargle with mouthwash: 13 apply underarm deodorant; 14 apply foot balm; 15 apply moisturiser to face, arms (and legs if planning to wear shorts); 16 collect false teeth from ‘denture-bath’ and reposition; 17 make (or change) the bed; 18 dress yourself: 19 apply eye-drops; 20 apply inhaler (anti-COPD); 21 detach mobile phone from charger and turn off electricity at point; 22 dump yesterday’s clothes in laundry basket: 23 pick up used teacups and take back downstairs. Wow, It seems such a long list before you can get going with the day but many on the list look to be unarguable. And how long does it all take to do? Anybody out there with a quicker method? Because, as they say, life is too short.

BUILDINGS: All quiet along the The Street between the two sites which are less than 100 yards apart on our only access road. Slow, slow progress. Continued rumble of engines. The lady who lives next door to the heavily-scaffolded refurbishment of Malthouse reveals she and her husband have lived there 22 years in what used to be the Royal Oak pub. They have just ‘had to get used to’ all the activity and, no doubt, noise. She cannot be happy about it though. And neither can the poor chap, ‘imprisoned’ in his car on The Street between the two sites when, with a mighty lorry double parked outside The Mauve Site after delivering a digger and blocking the road, was stunned to then see a Polish gentlemen in his van turn up ditto, to offload a portaloo on the Huge Scaffolding site. Seemingly the driver did not understand the question ‘How long are you going to be there?’ and it was 30 minutes in the end before the road cleared. Yes, we know that you cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs but these two major projects in a tiny village have gone on too long (more than two years) without any really significant results or noticeable progress.

BOOK CLUB: The next meeting of the Piddinghoe group will be on Thursday September 16 at 7.30pm at Halyards when the subject will be Parrot and Oliver in America by Peter Casey. Please contact Christine at ccbentham@gmail.com for full details about Piddinghoe Book Club. They would welcome new members and readers.

FILM NIGHT: Will return to Piddinghoe Village Hall on Friday September 28 with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in much-acclaimed Darkest Hour (2018). Three other movies are planned in the following months up to Christmas in a modern-then-retro alternate with Shirley Valentine (1976), The Greatest Showman (2017) and Bedazzled (1967). Dates to be advised.

THE VILLAGER: Magazine’s copy-deadline for the next edition is Friday August 17 and would-be contributors are advised to send their articles, letters or snippets to piercewilliam991@gmail.com quite soon. There are already some new and established columns lined up for publication.

LENDING LIBRARY: Is, of course, our converted and repainted red telephone box (purchased at £1 from the beloved BT a few years ago) and currently bulging with paper-backed and hard-backed treasures. Villagers are encouraged to help themselves. Just remember to return the books after a suitable period and maybe add a few of the annals of your own that you have already read. Oh, and don’t forget to put the doorlatch back.

PILATES: With Rebecca in the village hall most Saturday mornings. Three hourly sessions from 8.15am.

INDOOR SPORT: Fun and games available free in the village hall on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm. All you need for darts, table tennis, cards and board-games supplied. Small donation welcome.

ART AND KNITTING: In the village hall with Jill and her Ladies from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday afternoons.

YOGA: With Tim on Thursday evenings in the village hall from 6.30pm.