MICHAEL ISITT: On March 21, it was the funeral of Rodmell resident Michael Isitt at Rodmell Church at 2.30pm. I arrived at 2pm and found the church packed to bursting and standing room only, if you could find a space. There must have been at least 200 people there, which goes to show just how much Michael was loved and respected by all who had known him in his very varied life. It was amazing to hear from the family about all the places they had lived and travelled to. Michael will be much missed riding his bike to and from Lewes and around the area. I have a vision of ‘Mike the Bike’ as we called him, like ET riding the sky in the moonlight. I think he would be amused to hear that. We are all thinking of his devoted wife Christine and family at this time.
SAD NEWS: Oh dear, Rodmell is having a bad time of it at the moment, with long time Rodmellians departing from this world. Sadly Bernadette Fraser went her way on Thursday March 28, having put up a very brave fight against cancer for some years. It was only a few weeks ago we were at her 80th birthday party, where she looked radiant and was full of happiness and joy. Bernadette was the first Rodmellian to become my friend when I moved into the village about 50 years ago. We were great friends, and Deep Thatch and Barn House, the two houses lived in by the Frasers, were like second homes to me. Bernadette later moved up the village to Badgers Dean and then into Brighton opposite Preston Park. We had some marvellous times together in France and venues nearer home, and she was a great fun to be with. She was generous, kind, sassy and fun, and a little hard to keep up with at times. She was also glamorous until the end. I shall miss her very much. Her boys and their partners were incredibly kind and loving to her and she took great joy in being a grandmother at a late age to Frankie. Condolences to them all, she was a great lady.
SPRING SHOW: March 30 was the day of Rodmell Spring Show and it was a lovely sunny spring day. When I walked into the village hall a smell of the perfume of all the assorted flowers hit me and my eyes were subjected to a sea of glorious colour. There were a good number of entries and fabulous tea and cakes for sale. In all Rodmell Spring Show lived up to all expectations. Well done organisers, helpers etc.
CYCLISTS: It sounds as if the IVF pioneer Lord Winston has lost his patience with cyclists after he was attacked by a woman he challenged for riding on the pavement in Bloomsbury, central London. I know many people, not all are motorists, are losing patient with the behaviour of some cyclists. I avoid driving along the Plumpton road to Ditchling at weekends, because it is a nightmare, as so many cyclists use it at weekends. Some, not all, I have to say, don’t seem to realise it’s a narrow road and cyclists riding two abreast make it dangerous to overtake. Many times I have been driving along Friars Walk in Lewes only to find a cyclist coming towards me on this one-way system. It’s a pretty horrifying situation. Only this week when I was driving into Lewes a lone cyclist was holding up a line of traffic, between the rugby ground and the farm, as he was not using the cycle path right next to him. People probably think I’m against cyclists, I’m not. But I do feel that perhaps Lord Winston has a point when he called for the law to be changed and that cyclists should have number plates to stop them blatantly breaking the law. After all, us motorists have to, and also pay a lot to use our vehicles which for many of us in villages is our only transport. To those careful, considerate cyclists may you enjoy your cycling. It’s a wonderful thing to do and helps the environment. Lord Winston is considering introducing a private members’ bill to force cyclists to have licence plates. Requiring cyclists to take out third–party insurance should also be considered he feels.
SPEEDING: I was surprised to read in the media that in a few years time cars will be made that automatically read road speed levels and keep to them. I wrote about this many years ago in my PP column. I’m not nicknamed Predicting Pauline for nothing. Petrol heads will no doubt be tearing their hair out at the prospect of having to keep to the speed limit.