NEW YEAR: Despite the lousy weather, I’m like a school kid with a new notebook as 2016 begins. I turn the page with a feeling of excited anticipation, what does the New Year have to offer? Even January can’t depress me, after all we’re past the shortest day, so we’re now into the run up to spring, there are daffodils and primroses already out in places and snowdrops are beginning to poke their heads out of the sodden ground. As I write this, I’m saying a prayer for the rain to stop and give some respite to all those who are suffering floods elsewhere in the country. We have been lucky so far but we’re not out of the wood yet. In fact, John Chambers, who has kept a record of the rainfall here for 22 years, tells me that up to the morning of January 5 we had already had 66mm (2.5 inches) of rain this month, compared with 168mm for the whole of January 2015.

WALDRON’S WWI FILM: For all those who asked for a copy of the DVD of our performance of Behind the Front, this is an update. There is a delay in production but I am looking for someone who can make copies with some editing still needed. Will let you know when I’ve found someone.

NEW TERM: For those of us who want to get fit after the excesses of Christmas, there are two classes at the Lucas Hall which will help. Food, Fitness and Feeling Fine started on Wednesday January 6 at 10am, with nutrition expert Jackie Wood, and the Yoga term begins again on Monday, also at 10am. No excuses!

SERVICES: This Sunday is the first in Epiphany and all services will be held at St Bartholomew’s. Holy Communion will be at 8am, Parish Eucharist will be at 10am and Evening Prayer will be at 4.30pm. The Parish Prayer Group will meet on Wednesday at Lark Rise at 7pm.

WASSAIL: Tomorrow, Saturday, the 25th Anniversary Wassail to mark Twelfth Night in style and with tradition at The Star in Waldron (near Heathfield). Local sides Cock a Snook Morris and Winter Solstice Mummers organise a traditional wassailing event each January in Sussex. Wassailing is the winter custom of encouraging trees to produce a good crop in the forthcoming year (see article on Wassiling for more info) and is often held in January, in this case on the Saturday nearest to Twelfth Night. Expect plenty of noise, dancing, mumming and cider. I gather they tie toast to trees and throw beer at it, sounds festive. Details online here: http://calendarcustoms.com/articles/waldron-wassail/

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