Rodmell and Southease

AUTUMN: I love the autumn, when the weather is fine, and not so hot but I’m not so keen on the evenings getting dark earlier.

HURST FESTIVAL: On Saturday September 2, I was at Danny House for part of the Hurst Festival. The weather was perfect and the crowds of people were having a wonderful time. Many people were in wonderful costumes of days gone by and a statue of Lloyd George was unveiled by one of Danny’s longest residents. It has been a retirement home for some time now. I used to go to have lunch with my friend Richard Westmacott, who used to live there, and it was always a pleasant day out. It was lovely to sit and listen to the bands, enjoy a cream tea and watch people on the lovely carousel and boat swings. There was an ice cream van selling a lovely assortment of flavours of delicious ice cream and an old-fashioned sweet shop. The occasion was set up to celebrate the centenary of WW1 Victory and Peace agreed at Danny. David Lloyd George, Prime Minister, acclaimed as The Man who Won the War, often stayed at Danny Park in the last months of the First World War and danced a hornpipe in the Great Hall at news of victory. There too, on October 13 1918, after walking up Wolstonbury Hill, he presided at a Cabinet meeting which endorsed the terms of the Armistice that ended the War. I enjoyed the music of the Alex Mendham 11-piece orchestra and the Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, which I remembered from my twenties, when they used to play in Brighton at the King and Queen Pub and other venues. Happy Days.

THE GARDEN: The weather is playing havoc with plants and trees. I put my pots of last year’s bulbs under my lilac tree, in a shaded spot to remain dormant until I could sort them out and re-pot them. I noticed this week that they were all popping up. Everything I cut down in the hot weather is now sprouting out, coming into flower and spreading around the garden.

VISIT: On Wednesday September 5, I went to Oxford with a group of friends for a tour led by expert guides of the Mini Factory at Cowley, the birthplace in 1959 of the much loved Mini. Manufactured to individual customer specifications, they are exported to more than 110 countries around the world. Nearly 1,000 cars leave the plant every day. It takes f36 hours from start to finish to make a Mini. It was an excellent day out, much enjoyed by us all, especially those who have Minis, I was not one of them, as I am a Skoda fan.

FILM CLUB: Not much to keep up with in the village at the moment. I went with friends to see The Constant Gardner at our Rodmell Village Hall Film Club last week. I had heard very good reports on this film, which is based on John le Carre’s 2001 novel. I do try to support village events, as it’s a case of ‘if you don’t use it you lose it.’