MORNING HAS BROKEN: Or it did on Sunday with Alfriston’s bells ringing out, sun shining and the first opportunity of the year to sit in the garden greeting neighbours and explorers as they strolled past. A cup of coffee and March’s Sussex Life was a treat with a lovely article about the author of this famous hymn, Eleanor Farjeon. The Downs healed and inspired her to write fantastic downland poems including A Sussex Alphabet and All The Way to Alfriston both of which had fallen out of print, that is until local historians June Goodfield and Peter Robinson conceived the idea of a new alphabet written by school children and members of U3A to celebrate the country’s newest National Park. The South Downs National Park Authority embraced the idea and with funding from The Heritage Lottery, 2016 saw workshops and poetry readings across the national park with hundreds of wonderful submissions. Twenty-six new poems have been chosen each a letter of the alphabet reflecting the downs of today. The South Downs Alphabet will be published in March alongside the original Sussex Alphabet and All The Way to Alfriston by local publishers Snake River Press. A launch event will be held at Deans Place Hotel on March 30 more information will be released about how to obtain the box set and/or attend the launch event.
INSPIRING ARTISTS: After reading the aforementioned article, I wandered along the high street and stood captivated by the newest Hettie Pitman in Alfriston Arts window. Her large acrylic canvases of Sussex sea and landscapes are so gorgeous I need more walls. Popping in I was surrounded by inspirational local scenes. Misty River by Alfriston Artist Susan Taylor shows the river and meadows behind Deans Place, mysterious and beautiful. The White Horse in stained glass by Ruth Fisher is just fabulous and Tom Lees black and white photographs bring this working landscape to life. If you are in need of a little inspiration or beauty in your life pop in or visit their website http://www.alfristonarts.co.uk/
IN SEARCH OF A STICK: I finally acknowledged after a weekend walk that my foot will not heal itself, it needs my help and if I am to continue striding across the downs in the style of Eleanor Farjeon or ever be able to wear those Manolos again I need a sturdy stick. Something more elegant than the shepherd’s hook please. Beautiful though that is. The wonderfully weird thing about this village is you think it and it appears. Popping into Emmett and White to chat with the owner Nick I found the most incredible collection of sticks, most of which have clearly never touched down on chalk or mud., the Manolos of the stick world. Weirdly I could be seen caressing them as I had Jimmy Choos in a past life. Maybe Robert Coates Holliday had a point when he said ‘The best the most exquisite automobile is a walking stick and one of the finest things in life is going on a journey with it.’ Now which one will be taking me across the downs?
CABARET SHOW: Tomorrow, Saturday, Magic, Music and Laughter. The Charity Cabaret Show has been raising money for cancer charities for the past eight years giving valuable support to families facing challenging times. This year for the first time their charity show will be held at Deans Place Hotel tomorrow, Saturday. Promising an evening of fun and laughter with Bella Beserk Queen of visual comedy and her celebrity friends. Doors open at 7.15pm with show starting at 8pm. Tickets £15 can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org. Supporting The Teenage Cancer Trust, Macmillan, Remember Spencer and Children With Cancer (Polegate). Please be aware Bellas show does contain both adult humour and language.
MARCH PROMISES MUCH: Villagers and groups have been inundating me with what is happening in March, there is a lot of music, laughter and fun to look forward to and I am still compiling it to update you next week.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: Friday March 3, Smugglers Inn. Guido and The Hellcats; Wednesday March 8, Old Chapel Centre, Lent Talk 1, The Flood Abraham and UR/Egypt and the Exodus; Wednesday March 15, Alciston & Selmeston Village Hall, Lent Talk 2, Jericho/David and Solomon/The Prophets; Friday March 17, St Patricks Day. The Star Inn presents Tripping Upstairs fabulous Irish Band accompanied by great food and washed down with Guiness and Jameson promotions.
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