Piddinghoe

OPEN HOUSE: The mauve gates are open and the progress is there for all to see. Finally the Hole in the Ground next door to the village hall is taking shape and finally looks like the beginnings of a recognisable house, after more than two years as just a crater. Owners, Mr and Mrs Spence are praying for a soft winter so that the builders can do their thing after being tied up in so much red tape and all residents of the village will say amen to that. By late summer maybe there will be a completed dwelling. And what a house-warming party to savour. Busy, busy as well at the village’s other building site, The Malthouse where there is strenuous activity in the grounds along with the final touches to the front-of-house. How lovely the prospect of a much smarter village when the better weather comes back (and also dries up all the mud on the roads).

HOUSE OF CARDS: Did you know it is nearly Christmas? If you didn’t, a mere glance in the direction of our village mailbox would confirm it as residents almost trip over one another carrying armfuls of greeting cards to our tiny postal facility. It is one of the last vestiges of amenity here where not that long ago we had a shop, a pub, a post office, a school etc. Surely they won’t take this little red receptacle away as well? Right now, young Postman ‘Sparky’ as he is known to all, does a great job turning up every weekday to unlock the box at bang on 4pm and gather the envelopes into his red van, with much the same cheerful humour he displayed when a so-useful and friendly shop-assistant at Dees Newsagents in Newhaven High for many years. I suppose he always longed for the open road and we are very glad he has had the chance to take it.

CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE: We are still proudly defending our church as well as the post-box and lovely St John’s will, of course, be the venue for the annual Carol Service as usual, this year on Sunday December 23 at 6.30pm. Always one of the highlights in the village programme of events, the church will be packed to the brim, unlike on Sundays when congregation is still desperately low. Some of us, who are going away for the festive period, will miss it this time unfortunately but we wish Rev Mary and Rev Tim all strength in their efforts to present this much-anticipated service.

FILM NIGHT: In Piddinghoe Village Hall this month is on Friday December 21 showing the 1967 comedy classic Bedazzled, starring the late Peter Cook and Dudley Moore duo, at 7.30pm. This movie has gathered something of a cult following over time but many people may not know it at all even though it was subjected to a Hollywood remake just a few years ago. Refreshments and the chance to donate to hall funds for a glass (or two) of wine are included in the £3 to pay at the box office. There is a rumour there may also be a few mince pies.

THE VILLAGER: By the time you read this, villagers should also be reading the latest edition of our own bi-monthly magazine which is reckoned to be one of the best ever issues of it. In the packed pages there are moving tributes to the late Donald Burdett, articles on how to keep your pets safe over the holiday period, Julia’s descriptive essay on beautiful birds of the village, a compelling Art column and the minutes of the latest parish council meeting where some big topics came under discussion. The magazine is free and delivered to every household. For outsiders, it is worth begging any Piddinghoe resident to let you have a borrow.

PILATES: Rebecca’s Saturday morning classes (one hour each) begin at 8.15am.

INDOOR GAMES: Free equipment for hire every Wednesday evening in the village hall where you can play darts, table tennis and board games. From 7.30pm

ART AND KNITTING: With Jill and her ladies every Thursday afternoon from 2.30pm.

YOGA: Tim Blair’s Thursday night class in the village hall begins at 6.30pm.