Latest posts

28 August – Final Digital Edition Published (while awaiting a personal travel corridor)

This is the final digital edition of the Village News.

It is our 18th edition. The Digital Village News has come of age. Its editorial parents that conceived it in March, gave birth to it on 3 April 2020 and raised it for 18 editions have done their part and waved it goodbye. It has been a labour of love for the local community. We hope both our readers enjoyed it.

Thank you, especially, to those who have willingly taken up the challenge to provide content for the digital editions, and apologies to those who have been nagged and cajoled, coaxed or otherwise persuaded to send us items for publication. The editors have truly appreciated your efforts.

We have equally appreciated the loyalty of both our readers.

Next time, we will drop through your letterbox in ink, rather than into your inbox with a link.

The old deadlines will apply once again so the deadline will be 6pm on 12 September for the October 2020 edition.

Adverts will also recommence. Recurring adverts will have end dates extended by 6 months (as the April to September print editions were either not distributed or not published). If advertisers wish to amend the text of their recurring advert they should let the editors know as soon as possible.

You can send adverts, notices, letters, articles and reports etc. to:

editors.villagenews@gmail.com

We now present our final briefing on the key performance indicators and restrictions affecting the Village News and its readers, after which your blogger will be taken for emergency surgery to remove his tongue from his cheek.

The C-number, that monitors the rate of new contributions each week, has fluctuated over the last 6 months, but the overall trend has shown a distinct downward trajectory. There has often been insufficient material to justify publication, so a small number of contributors have artificially bolstered the C-number in order to publish a worthwhile edition. We have to level with you: our Rest and Race app has not been as successful as we had initially hoped. Efforts to encourage the Rest to Race to contribute, resulted in very few new contacts being made.

During the currency of the digital editions, overseas holidays were off for months, then on for a week or two, then off for even shorter time. Then there were hopes that they may be on again, provided you are going to an island, but these were soon dashed.  Presumably that’s not good news for the Isle of Wight, despite all their app testing. Rumour has it that Easyjet (other airlines are also available) were ready to use some of their surplus planes to start a route from Southampton to Bembridge; but you should not take too much notice of rumours, especially ones that emanate from here.  “We’re all going on a Summer Holiday…No more worries for a week or two…” unless you are subject to an enforced self-isolation for that period when you arrive back, as is increasingly the case. Well, summer holidays are now nearly over, not that most of us had one. But we can all bank on a holiday on Monday 31 August, just stay away from the bank holiday covidiots.

Meanwhile, your blogger is busy packing his bags in the hope that a personal travel corridor will be opened up between the village that has been home for 30 years and the village where his new home will be, well an older home in need of renovation really.  One item he will not be taking, is his editor’s pen which after at least 23 years of faithful service has sadly run out of ink (happily other editors are available, but refills definitely are not).

However, he will be taking his supply of masks, which reminds us once again to entreat you all to:

<<WEAR >>    <<YOUR>>    <<MASK>>

<<DON’T>> <<BE>> <<COMPLACENT>>

But also, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly and socially distance to mitigate the risk. It’s up to you to keep the virus at bay.  Your community needs you and you need your community. It works both ways.

This week’s covidition, the ultimate digital Village News experience can be found in the library, along with all of the other digital editions.

See you on your doormat in October!

Stay safe, stay well, stay positive.

21 August – no edition published (revising on the hoof)

We continue to monitor the C-number, being the weekly rate of contributions for publication. As previously reported, the C-number has been at a level that will not sustain the digital editions of the Village News.

We have been maintaining suitable distance between editions. As our two regular readers will know, last week’s edition was the penultimate digital edition, and next week we are going all out for the ultimate digital Village News experience with our final one.

We would be the last to admit that we have not covered ourselves in glory. Development of the first Village News App was halted when it became apparent that it was not working on everyone’s devices, and our Rest and Race initiative did not automatically notify us of additional contacts that might contribute to the Village News. We have therefore succumbed and partnered with of some the largest global media giants to develop a new version of the app which is still a trial. And our tribulations continue…

The Village News launched its first digital edition on 3 April. Before doing so, the editors each made an objective professional assessment of its prospects with readers whose interests cover a range of subjects. These were submitted to the close and detailed examination of the Algae-rhythm.

The Algae-rhythm is something that occurs in a quagmire as single braincell organisms shuffle about wondering what to do about assessments. What they needed was a Reliable System, a Robust System, a Really Fair System.

Eventually all the Algae in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England were shuffling and swaying in the same direction, and the Algae-Rhythm was developing.

Then they had a Big Idea. They decided to rely on Big Data and a Big Computer using a Big Program to make a Big Decision that would affect a Big Number Of Lives.

The answer, as all hitch-hikers will know if they consult their galactic guide, was always going to be 42. And so it came to pass: that was the percentage of assessments that were downgraded by the Algae-rhythm.

But then, rather late in the day, they suddenly remembered that all exams require Revision. Unfortunately, having only one brain cell, the Algae did not understand that revision is best done well in advance of any examination and they left it too late for cramming everyone into university. So the Big Decision was subjected to a Big U-turn so the assessments that were made by the editors, who actually had more than one brain cell, were allowed to stand.

This was portrayed as the Right Thing To Do. It was a Responsible Decision and it gave our readers a Fair Outcome and Certainty Going Forward in to their futures. Did anyone mention our readers’ Bad Dreams, Nightmares, Dashed Hopes, Sleepless Nights, or Distress?

Back in the real world, away from that incredible parallel universe that defies belief, the future will bring our readers one more digital edition. There will be no editions in September while the editors put together a printed edition ready for October.

14 August edition published (but new app testing results will not be downgraded)

It is now three weeks since our last edition was published, which in some small way demonstrates that life is getting a little closer to how it was when the Village News last appeared in print on a monthly basis.

Today’s edition is the penultimate digital edition. As it is also the first edition for this month, I hope you agree that this is an august occasion. There will be one more on 28 August, which will surely be the ultimate digital Village News experience.

As there will be no Village News in September, be sure to send us plenty of articles for the ultimate Village News experience by noon on 25 August. It is an opportunity to let the residents know what you have arranged for September and, indeed, what is not taking place.

And there are only 4 weeks from now to send the editors any material such as adverts, articles, notices or reports, which you would like considered for publication in the printed October edition, the deadline being 6pm on 12 September.

Please send them all to editors.villagenews@gmail.com, but please tell us which edition they are for.

And now to our usual briefing…

A local team’s football has been deflated by a player and an opponent who were not satisfied with staying in the locality of their bubbles and saw fit to venture abroad without permission of their clubs. We are left wondering what game they were playing. Poker, perhaps, or Russian roulette? Some games have been postponed while the football is pumped up. The pressure is increasing.

For those of you still waiting, we are sorry to report that there is no word on the Nike repair vouchers, but another tranche will be released in due course.

We are delighted that, at last, a trial has started for a new version of our very own Race and Rest app. Without doubt, it has certainly been a trial. The Rest have not so far Raced to contribute, so the C-Number has settled down to levels that are far from ideal. The trial, however, continues and the jury is out on how well the new app will work. It has come not a moment too soon. In fact, it is a bit late in the day given that this is the penultimate digital issue; but we are where we are, which is right here in Nursling and Rownhams, in case you need a gentle reminder.

One thing we can be sure of: the test results achieved by using the app will not be downgraded. We have examined the consequences and the assessment process is robust and fair, honestly. So on your marks, get set for…

…this week’s edition which can be found in the library here.

Don’t miss our final digital edition and briefing on 28 August.

Keep safe. Keep well. Keep positive.

7 August edition not published (extended lock down)

Happily, your blogger has just made it back from his Bahamas hideout in time to avoid self isolation. This excellent timing means not only that self-isolation was avoided but arriving back during the UK heatwave also ensures a more gradual acclimatisation. A win-win outcome.

Despite its less than global reach, the Village News is in extended lockdown while we accumulate sufficient material for our penultimate digital edition next week.

If you would like to see an edition of the Village News next week and a final edition on 31 August, please send your contributions to:

editors.villagenews@gmail.com

Looking further ahead, make a note in your diaries that the 12 September will be the deadline for the October Village News. We are looking forward to being back in print and reaching a wider audience again.

All the digital editions to date can be found here.

Meanwhile please:

<<WEAR>> <<YOUR>> <<MASK>>

<<WASH>> <<YOUR>> <<HANDS>>

<<KEEP>> <<YOUR>> <<DISTANCE>>

<<DONT>> <<BE>> <<COMPLACENT>>

so we can all keep our community as safe as we can.

Stay safe, stay well, stay positive.

31 July – edition not published (volume of voucher applications overwhelming)

The C-number that monitors the rate of new contributions each week continues to track in the wrong direction, even though we have revised the figures to remove an element of double dealing which artificially inflated the statistics.

As the C-number. has seen an adverse movement the editors have no choice but to re-impose a local lockdown on the Village News.

We understand that this will be a difficult time for some residents who look forward to its content, but when there is no content there can be no Village News and nothing to look forward to.

In the event that you have something to contribute you can still send it to

editors.villagenews@gmail.com

In other news, and as part of the editors’ determination to encourage village residents to improve their fitness levels, they have introduced a limited first tranche of £50 Nike Repair Vouchers.  This is a trial release available on a first-come first-served basis and further tranches will be released over the coming weeks.  The phased introduction is intended to smooth out the demand to ensure that our authorised shoe repairs (cobblers) can cope with the anticipated demand.  As part of continuing professional development for the present teams of cobblers, and as part of a drive to upskill new recruits, they have already had some trainers in.

So, rummage around in your shoe rack and dust off that old Nike with its caked-on mud from running during the downpours and get it back into serviceable condition.  T&Cs apply, the main one being that the Repair Voucher can only be used once and can only be used to offset the cost of repairing one Nike.  Don’t forget that your partner can also apply for a Nike Repair Voucher enabling you to choose whether to have a complete pair to share between you or hobble along with one each.

STOP PRESS: Although our website can cater for at least three visitors at a time, it was swamped by interested residents keen to obtain a voucher.  We crossed our fingers hard to get it back up and running and eventually residents were able to apply.  However please be aware that the first tranche of vouchers has already run out, an early sign of their popularity with owners wishing to get back on their Nikes (other makes are widely available).

If you do go out, please remember to

<<WEAR >>    <<YOUR>>    <<MASK>>

But don’t forget also to wash your hands thoroughly and socially distance to mitigate the risk.  These are equally as important.

Stay safe, stay well, stay positive.

24 July edition published (applying new distancing rules)

You may have noticed that The Village News has trialled new distancing rules.

As a result, this edition has been separated by a distance in time of two weeks from the previous one, whereas the previous advice was for a distance of one week between digital editions.

This edition marks the end of that initial trial, so in all likelihood we will revert back to a distance of one week to publish our next edition on 31 July.

The analysis and assessment of the results of the trial are being fast tracked and we expect to be able to report on the outcome of the trial in time for that edition at the end of July. 

Our hope is to implement the 2-week distancing rule fully for the whole of August.  This would mean that in August two editions will be published, each being separated by the new distance of two weeks.  The end of August could then spell the end of our foray into the digital world, and these ridiculous posts.

Then at 6pm on 12th September the clock will strike to mark the deadline for the October PRINTED edition.

Sadly, Covid-19 will still be with us in October, 6 months after publication of your first digital Covidition of the Village News, but we have to get back to as near as normal as soon as possible.

The editors will have battled with Covid-19 for the whole 6 months monitoring the C-Number (the rate of contributions), encouraging the Rest to Race to contribute including the unsuccessful development of the Rest and Race App, applying a temporary lock down, and now trialling new distancing rules.

We are deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed so far and to those about to do so.  We also offer our thanks to the villagers who have read each edition.  The efforts of the contributors and editorial/production team are only worthwhile if people support and read the Village News in whatever ever guise it appears.

If you have something to say, an activity to report on, something you are grateful for, or a literary or photographic masterpiece to share, please send it to

editors.villagenews@gmail.com

Meanwhile we will add a further message to the normal one for the benefit of the Village News and your community, namely:

<<  PLEASE  >>     <<  SEND  >>     <<  MORE  >>

and don’t forget to

<<  WEAR  >>     << YOUR  >>     <<  MASK  >>

As always, the latest digital edition can be found here and via the Menu.

17 July – Village News not published (goes into lockdown this week)

Regrettably insufficient material was submitted this week to warrant an edition of the Village News.

The virus of creative exhaustion has taken hold in the village meaning the C-number (which, as you probably know by now, is the the number of contributions received for publication) is now at an unacceptable level.

As a result the Village News has been placed into total lockdown for one week while strenuous efforts are made to contain the virus.

Unless the local community pulls together to defeat the virus of creative exhaustion the lockdown will continue; so as ever, we repeat out central message and appeal to everyone to

<<PLEASE>> <<SEND>> <<MORE>>

Articles, pictures, memories, and reports can all be sent to editors.villagenews@gmail.com.

Past editions can be found here in case you missed any. We hope the Village News will be back next week, on 24th July.

10 July edition published (despite temporary additional measures in a limited area)

Sadly, there are signs that the C-number, our very own indicator of the rate of contributions each week, has gone into reverse. The editors re-introduced some of the measures that were in place during the earlier phases of the Village News lockdown. They are pleased to note that they have only been introduced in the Fester area, a very limited area indeed, where the C-rate has gone into reverse and where the virus of apathy has been found to..err..fester.

We are confident that people in that small geographic area of Fester will do the right thing for themselves and for the village by adhering to the more stringent guidelines that have been re-introduced, and that as result the virus of apathy can be defeated and the C-number will improve.

Our message therefore remains the same…

<<PLEASE>> <<SEND>> <<MORE>>

…so that we can defeat the virus of apathy.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the village restrictions are being eased even further than they had been already. People are getting out more and the local economy has made a tentative start on the uphill struggle of its impolite V-shaped recovery. But, despite the easing, progress is patchy so the editors look forward to returning to print editions of the Village News before long so that we can carry adverts to support local businesses.

And so to our 15th edition of the weekly Village News. As usual it can be found here with the earlier editions.

Thank you to all who have contributed this week and all who have signed up to receive it. We may not have clapped you, but your active support is very much appreciated.

3 July edition published

Another week and another edition of the Village News, packed full of interesting articles and information.  We are very grateful to our contributors for supplying such a rich mixture.

The reports from our parish and borough councillors appear this week with an update on the temporary occupation of the recreation ground.  They also include timely reminders about the need to be as rigorous as ever in practising and promoting the best hygiene standards to avoid a resurgence of Covid-19.  The risks still need to be taken seriously, but can be mitigated by good practice.

We also have some more of our more regular articles about the cubs, a reader’s letter, a recipe, and more historical insights, including an old map of the area.  These are just a few of the items you will find when you download your edition for Week 14 by going to the library on our website.

26 June edition published

Today marks our 13th edition.

For the superstitious among us, 13 may be an unlucky number.

For (home) bakers it is their own peculiar dozen.

For the mathematicians it is prime number.

For young people and their parents it is the start of teenage years and all that goes with them.

For the editors, however, it is simply cause to be grateful for and celebrate the contributions received from local residents of all ages not only for this edition but for the last three months. We really didn’t expect it to last this long!

To one and all, please stay alert to potential subjects and opportunities that might trigger a desire to contribute to the next edition(s).

So, please remember the underlying message, which is incredibly important:

<< PLEASE >> << SEND >> << MORE >>

Meanwhile, today’s edition for Week 13 can be found here. We hope you find it an enjoyable read.