THIS TIME OF YEAR: Apart from being depressing, seems to be paying out time. I think since October I’ve had to pay for car insurance, car tax and MOT, Green Flag Breakdown Service, higher electricity bills, car maintenance, property maintenance, gas containers (in case we have electricity cuts, the village does not have gas) and isn’t it always the case that household goods go wrong and have to be replaced. My tumble dryer gave out recently, which is not good when you run a B&B and have a disabled person to look after. Its replacement doesn’t come up to the same standard as my original, which lasted about 12 years with no trouble, so I had my money’s worth out of it. Several of my friends have voiced the same opinions on this time of the year, also saying that about three or four home appliances seem to give out at the same time. However, we have had a few glorious days when people were enjoying the sun and higher temperatures and we know things will get better, we hope. Watching TV and reading the newspapers can be depressing at the moment.
Having had water bills and council tax increases this week in the past, you wonder will price rises ever end, and I’m so thankful that we can at least pay them. It must be awful for those on a strict budget.
PARKING CHARGES: There has been much publicity on the rise in parking charges around the county, which has given places like Surrenden Road in Brighton a big problem, as people are parking there and busing into Brighton or getting the train from Preston Park Station to London. I know the area well, having spent my childhood there, and loved its lovely houses, avenues of trees and grassy areas. It was always known as an upmarket area, but when I drove there recently, I was shocked to see how downhill it had gone. The whole area was a car park of trailers, cars, mobile homes, lorries and broken down vehicles that used to be parked in Preston Park. No wonder people that live there are complaining. Brighton is pricing itself out of the market with its parking fees. I hardly ever go there now and just hope places like Lewes and Seaford don’t follow suit. They have reasonable parking charges and pay by cash or card, not with those awful phone systems which people hate and avoid using. You do have to watch supermarket parking, as in some cases they are cutting the time you can park. I’m very surprised the council has not latched on to a system that used to be (and perhaps still is I don’t know) whereupon if you didn’t use your garage for your car but made it into a spare room or office, you were charged higher rates. According to my dictionary, garage is a building for housing a motor vehicle. Strange world we live in, when our cars have their own homes, whilst people live on the streets and are homeless. Also why do we have driveways but never use them, but keep cars parked on streets making it very difficult for services like fire fighters and paramedics and ambulances to reach people in dire need? If people were made to use their driveways, it would make for clearer streets and roads.
FILM NIGHTS: I am always interested to see how many villages in the area have film nights. When you live in a village, it’s good to have entertainment on site as many people don’t drive and buses don’t run at night, and are few and far between. I notice that Piddinghoe has some good films coming up. I just wish Rodmell had a film night occasionally.
HEARING THE TV: Various people have said to me recently that they think they are going deaf, because they can’t hear what people are saying on the TV. I too have a slight hearing problem, but I find when I go back to the old programmes on TV, I hear them perfectly with no problems. I watched the old Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles and heard every word, which is more than I can say for the new version. I know many people have stopped watching some of the series such as Troy and others because they say it’s too much mumbling and background noise. So before you take up wearing a hearing aid test the programmes, because it may not be you.
EYE TESTS: Specavers are doing a promotion on glaucoma at the moment and I urge anyone who has not had a recent eye test to have one. Specsavers found out I had glaucoma around seven years ago and saved my sight. Had I been able to have tests earlier, my eyes would not be giving me the problems I have now. Glaucoma follows through families, so if any of your families have had it or do have it make sure you have a test. You do not want to go blind, do you?
ILLNESS: Several people in Rodmell are having a hard time with illness and other problems at the moment as well as some who have moved away. Our thoughts are with them and we wish them well.
RODMELL DIARY: Wednesday, coffee and chat in our pub in the morning, now a popular event. Come and enjoy a bit of socialising. Sunday April 1, Easter Sunday service in Rodmell at 11am. Saturday April 14, Jumble Sale in the village hall.