If anyone is interested in taking part in a book club in Ambridge, please contact Usha Franks at the Vicarage, who is thinking of setting one up.
If you aren't familiar with these wonderful institutions, the idea is very simple. A group of like-minded people meet, usually once a month, to discuss a book which they have all recently read. Not just one at random, of course - that would be carrying serendipity rather far! No, the idea is that each month one person will be asked to choose the book which everyone will read for the next meeting.
In these times when libraries are under threat, and time for reading is assailed by the demands of modern living - including online activties such as this very website, of course - anything that encourages this precious pursuit should be encouraged.
As a published author myself, with two novels and a co-authored work of local history to my credit (now all sadly out of print, although possibly available through secondhand booksellers - and I still have one or two copies which I'd be happy to lend to anyone who was interested), I do urge anyone who loves litererature to support this admirable initiative.
(Silly me - apologies if you read an earlier version of this article, in which I inadvertently used Usha's maiden name. It should of course be Franks)
We asked for your messages on this most romantic of days. Is there a message here for you, perhaps?
Roses are red, violets are blue
I loves me ferretts, but I loves you.
Than me ferretts.
Thought there might have been a spark, but seems I was mistaken...
To: Senior in rank but never in age
I’ll always be your handy man.
When out delivering pints of milk
Or cutting down a tree
I hope that you will spare some time
And that you will think of me
I love you when I’m in the shop
I love you in the dairy
I love you in the surgery
How much do I love you? Very.
Missing you on Valentine’s day, and always.
Can’t wait for our new arival. Love you loads.
From: The other E
To: All the wee lassies in Ambridge
If you want an early morning delivry, try my double cream.
In all the girls of Borsetshire
There only is one leader
No other even comes quite near
To my beloved Freda
From: Bert of course
Sorry I’ve not been around as much as I should. You know how it is.
To: Forge God
Hope you won’t ‘shoe’ me away!
From: Vegas Vamp
For the second time in living memory our little village is to receive the honour of a visit from a member of the Royal Family! On Wednesday 16th February Her Royal Highness Camilla The Duchess Of Cornwall will be attending a special tea at Grey Gables Hotel, in her role as Patron of the Osteoporosis Society.
And in case you thought it was all made up, here's proof - on the official website of the Prince of Wales himself!
Wouldn't we all like to be one of the lucky few dozen people taking tea with the Duchess herself? But for those of us not fortunate enough to be able to chat to Her Royal Highness over the finger sandwiches and fancy cakes (I hear that Ian Craig may be making some of his shortbread which I can assure you is meltingly delicious) there will still be an opportunity to greet our Royal visitor as her car arrives at the main entrance of Grey Gables at about 3.30pm.
I hope to see you there - flags at the ready!
(Oh, yes, for newcomers to the village who may not be aware, Grey Gables played host to Princess Margaret back the early 80's. The Royal Garden Suite at the hotel was named in her honour.)