A sideways glance at Soham life with GEOFF GRIGGS

PUBLISHED: 09:51 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:27 04 May 2010

We ve been peering into the mystic Soham crystal pint pot and have seen some predictions for 2006. JANUARY. East Cambs District Council buy most of the land between Ely and Witchford for a park-and-ride site. Cambs police try to merge with Norfolk. Norfol

We've been peering into the mystic Soham crystal pint pot and have seen some predictions for 2006.

JANUARY. East Cambs District Council buy most of the land between Ely and Witchford for a park-and-ride site. Cambs police try to merge with Norfolk. Norfolk looks at the Cambs police record and decline the offer.

FEBRUARY. Biggest freeze in living memory, blamed on global warming. Fireworks in shops.

MARCH. Whole council votes against parking charges in Ely. Torrential rain throughout month.

APRIL. Parking charges introduced. Suffolk police reject proposal to join with Cambs. Rain continues. Christmas cards in Shops.

MAY. Last shop in Ely closes. Rain stops for one day - record numbers at carnival.

JUNE. Council official admits that car parking charges losing money but not a problem - Council Tax will rise for whole district to cover the loss. Rain continues, drains and dykes at record levels, hosepipe ban introduced.

NOT SO MISERABLE

Rather than boost the profits of the card makers, the card sellers, the Post Office, and the makers of Blu Tak, I decided to cut back on the number of Christmas cards sent this year. It is very nice to get pictures of robins and stagecoaches and the rest, but come new year all you want to do is find somewhere to recycle them. So instead of writing to people I see every day I made a donation to the Chernobyl Children Life Line so that the volunteers can continue to bring the youngsters affected by radiation over to England and make their life expectancy longer. So, to anyone who was expecting a card, sorry if you are disappointed, but I'm sure you'll agree that the kids will probably appreciate the effort more.

TRUE SPIRIT?

Our front door has a little window in it at about eye level. On the inside of the window we have hung a red strip of fabric with some sleigh-bells attached. It looks a treat from the inside, but from the outside, through the window is the label on the back of the fabric. This just about sums up the modern spirit of Christmas. The first thing that you notice on the label is '70% Polyester'.

GENEROUS SOHAM

December is always a busy time for the members of Soham Staploe Rotary Club. Each Saturday, during the month they stand under their tree (kindly donated by the Chippenham Estate) in front of the Blue Donkey office (who kindly donate the power for lights and sound system) and collect money for the MAGPAS first responder scheme. This winter's effort, including the simultaneous collections at Budgens, has raised just under £2,200. Let's be fair, all the old blokes of the Rotary Club do is stand about, the real work is done by the people of Soham who delve into their pockets and purses week after week to support the charity. Well done the lot of you!

The other big event for the Rotarians in December was the annual carol concert in Ely Cathedral. This year club president Brian Wiggins decided that the children's charity Barnardos should benefit. The concert on December 22 was magical with the cathedral choir and some of the wind section of the Ely Sinfonia doing what they do best. There was even Diana Moran, the green goddess, to talk to us at half time. (This particular green goddess is a keep-fit instructor, not a fire engine.) The whole evening, overseen brilliantly by Paul Trepte, is online to raise £10,000 for the main charity and another £2,500 for the cathedral/King's School music appeal.

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