We had been officially invited for the first time, accepted, yet felt trepidation. The village’s post Christmas Pensioners Dinner on Tuesday night. This annual gesture is paid for by fundraisers who organise events during the year like the prize scarecrow competition. (see past notes). Here’s year before last’s winner. The young wife at North Farm created this small wonder, reflecting she and her husband’s great passion for horses. I kept meaning to create something but never quite managed it. Guilt feelings abound. Kim likewise. Yet we qualify and in the end, for social reasons as much as any other decided to be positive and show up. 6.30 says the invite. We get there then and we’re surprised to see they’re already sat down, some ninety odd happy souls, either side of white dressed rows of trestle tables and all curious eyes on us as we saunter in. The last two unoccupied seats on the far corner end by the kitchen are ours, an acquaintance signals. We introduce ourselves to two of the couples on our table we’ve never met before, who turn out to be relatively recent retirees to new houses in the village. The remaining diner is a smartly dressed 87 year old widow who Kim knew and had not seen in ages. This lady and her husband kept the farm in the corner of the green where folk could buy the unpasteurised milk from their own herd. The business closed along with the 20th Century. The local country house pub business has made the food and a small team of villagers are busy serving, doing a fabulous job and the three courses (+ coffee and wine) are wonderful. When the Vicar calls for appreciation at the end the applause is long and heartfelt. Finally its time to call the raffle and there’s another 10 minutes of read outs and donated varieties of alcoholic beverages and chocolate to be dispensed. We all depart in a fug of well being and tipsy laughter. One lady in passing opines Kim doesn’t look old enough to qualify which in the circumstances is a double edged comment for us sensitive souls to absorb. At least, during the course of conversation this night no one mentions Brexit and despite the wall of background noise we can both make out enough words to sustain social inter-connectivity. Strolling out into the cold sobering night I feel the need to give something back and will think on what form that reciprocal gesture should take…

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