Rodmell and Southease

APOLOGIES: For not having written recently, but a lot has been happening in my life.

EYE SURGERY: I can now see almost perfectly, having had more eye surgery in the Royal Sussex Eye Hospital. Having had to wear spectacles since the age of 11, I now don’t have to wear them, except when I read or write. It’s rather a strange experience for me and I keep thinking I still wear them and have to break the habits of a lifetime, like waking up in the morning and putting my hand onto the bedside table fumbling for them, then opening my eyes and realising I don’t need them any more. If any readers have to have eye surgery in the near future, please don’t be frightened. It has never hurt me, takes around 20 minutes, depending on what needs to be done and within two days, you can see clearly. In fact mine was within 24 hours. I think the thought is worse then the deed. My thanks go to all the wonderful people who gave me back my sight at RSEH.

UNFORTUNATELY: On the day I had to go in for my pre-op, Mike was taken into the Princess Royal Hospital at Haywards Heath, where he is still, until we settle on a Nursing Home for him, possibly in Seaford. I can’t tell you how this has hit me, but I’m sure a lot of you will understand, having been in the same position. I’ve been a carer for around 29 years, having had Mum and Dad and Mike. I know my caring days have come to an end, as at 75 I’m just not strong enough, no matter what the spirit says, the body says otherwise. I would like to thank my family of cousins, my wonderful friends, neighbours and villagers, who have always been there for me and also my lovely god-daughters Sharon and Ali, who help me with the piles of paperwork, which overwhelms people like me.

PRESS ARTICLES: There have been quite a lot of articles in the press lately, about older people trapped in isolated rural houses. It’s a well known fact that a growing number of retired people are stuck in isolated rural homes, which they can’t afford to heat, gardens they cannot tend and stairs they cannot climb. It’s felt that councils should fast-track small developments in rural villages, so that people would have the opportunity to downsize locally and not have to move away from family and friends in an area where many have lived all their lives. This would free up large, under-occupied houses for young families to move into (if they can afford to). We have land that is in the hands of a Land Manager and we would love for reasonable sized eco-houses to be built on some of it, for older people to downsize into and for young people who wish to stay in their village to get a foot on the housing ladder. There were people interested a few years ago, and possibly still are, who would like to build luxury expensive houses on it, but our principles are not for large amounts of money, but to help people and not make this lovely village a ghetto for very rich people to retire to. Our school may not have had to close if more young families had been able to afford to live here. I really feel eco houses, as long as they fit in, are the houses of the future but must be built really well and carefully, so as not to stand out like sore thumbs, as some do in villages around here, much to the annoyance of residents.

FRAUD: Watching one of the farming programmes on TV recently, my blood ran cold at some of the prospects of fraud to do with farm technology. How do farmers, who may not be able to cope with modern technology and hacking etc, manage to cope? No wonder there is a high number of suicides within the farming communities.

OPEN GARDENS: Rodmell has its Open Gardens on June 3. Come and see the wonderful gardens in this lovely village. Enjoy cream teas and take in the history of this lovely area. Our pub will be very busy, so don’t forget to book. You Sunday lunch, else you may not get one. Gardens are open 2pm to 5pm. Please don’t block up our narrow street, but use the car parks. Large traffic like horse boxes, farm machinery, coaches going to Monks House all need to use the roads around here and bad parking causes traffic jams, cars being damaged and general mayhem, so follow the signs to the car parks please.