Rodmell and Southease

THE C7: As everyone knows, who lives in this area, the C7 road through the valley has its fair share of accidents and fast driving, despite the many speed limit signs. It was with some surprise I recently saw a young lady pulling her suitcase on wheels along this road. Admittedly she was facing the oncoming traffic but no way could she get onto the verge if some large lorry etc came along. On the same day I saw a young man on what I think is called a trick cycle (just one wheel and pedals) he seemed unconcerned at all the traffic backing up behind him. On Sunday I passed a cyclist in one of those laid back bikes, he looked quite comfortable but must have nerves of steel to ride it on this road. It always amazes me as to how the drivers of the very large vehicles delivering farm machinery or road works machinery, manage to negotiate these lanes, bends and blind entrances onto the road around here. One has to admire them, especially in this village where roads are very narrow and parking is not very well thought about by selfish drivers who will not use the appropriate car parks in the pub, Monks House and by the village hall. Some people seem to forget that they have legs for walking from the car to the venue.

COACHES: When we have weddings at our church, quite often people hire coaches to get here. Very sensible of them, but not sensible when the coach drivers take no heed of the No Coaches/Unsuitable for Coaches sign and get stuck in the village. There are two bus lay-bys, one for each direction and when I work on the garden at weekends I’m always having to tell drivers of very large coaches that they need to use them and not drive down the village and get stuck. So many times I hear, ‘But we don’t want to walk and why can’t we be dropped outside Monks House or the church’?

FLYING ANTS: Flying ants have been a big problem this weekend and our lawns have been a shimmering carpet of them as the sun catches their wings. They came in via a hole in my small kitchen window and I hate them, so sprayed them with lavender oil and disinfectant, which they dislike. The birds were having an absolute ball, it was like McDonalds to them and they were stuffing themselves in a frenzy. There are plenty of butterflies around at the moment as the Buddleia’s are out in full bloom.

FRUIT AND VEG: I spent a good bit of time picking beans, tomatoes and blackcurrants this weekend and also helped my friend Terry pick apples for her pigs. We have a glut of apples. I also had to quickly pick plums before they went rotten.

LIFE IN SQUARES: So, Life in Squares, the new TV series about the Bloomsbury Set, has resulted in visitor numbers to Charleston and Monks House rapidly increasing. It’s amazing isn’t it, how we get so interested in other people’s lives. We watched the programme for about 30 minutes, but I’m afraid it didn’t click with us, and I’ve heard the same comment from others. People in the village who were around when Virginia and Leonard Woolf were here seem to be of the opinion that Virginia was not liked but Leonard was. It’s always puzzling to the people of Rodmell how much of an obsession the Bloomsbury Group are to certain people. I had a lovely French lady staying last week. She is one of my regulars, and was over the moon when a villager gave her photos and a book about Virginia Woolf, you’d think she had won the Lottery. I went as a guest of my French lady to a lecture at our village hall on Friday night, by Karim Fernald an actress, who gave a most interesting account on Art and Life in Bloomsbury times. I admit I thought I might be bored to death but surprisingly I was not as it was so well done. I think I was the only villager there. Evidently it was part of a series of lectures and I think there is one more to go.

VILLAGE HALL: Our village hall is having a new kitchen installed so will be out of action for a while. It will be worth it in the end and is a credit to our village hall committee’s work. Thanks to you all.

CALAIS: The desperation of the whole situation in Calais and Dover is affecting so many, let’s hope a remedy is found seen. I often wonder if the boot was on the other foot how we would cope and how we would be treated.

FESTIVAL: Congratulations to the organisers of the Bimble Bandada Festival which took place along the valley this weekend. It has been happening for some years now and has become very popular as a family event. The organisers have a noise monitoring team who observe the event and report to the local council. They notify people in the area by giving each a letter explaining what is happening. They are always polite and helpful. People who hold noisy parties going on into the early hours could learn a thing or two from this group. Fortunately my near neighbours are always thoughtful about such things and let us know when a party is to take place. Much appreciated.

GOOD WISHES: I’m sure the village would like to send good wishes to Victoria (Tory) who had to be flown by helicopter to hospital after a riding accident. She is very well liked and we look forward to seeing her ‘back in the saddle’.

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