News from the Village of Essendine – Aug 2022

MALLARD PASS ACTION GROUP: LAST CHANCE to respond to this Stage 2 statutory Public Consultation for the Mallard Pass Solar Farm. DEADLINE AU-GUST 4th. Go to and click on ‘Act now’ for full details. Have your say, there won’t be another chance to influence the proposal before they put their full application in. 

News from the Village of Essendine 

We need someone to deliver Village News to DUNLIN ROAD please as our long-serving deliverer Ian is moving house. Please let Jenny Spicer know if you could take this on ( or share it with someone else.) 

PIGGING OUT IN INDIA by Mike Sweeting 

Recently my wife and I shared about India at a funder-raiser. The challenge was to portray a beautiful country’s many problems in a positive way. So here are some funny stories about India instead! 

First of all – pigs. Pigs are regarded as deeply unclean by all except Chris-tians in India, so a quick way of getting onto ‘safe ground’ is to head for a pigsty. One time my wife and daughter were caught short at about 4am on an all-night journey. (We had left a city just before midnight to beat a curfew due to riots.) As soon as our driver spotted pigs he turned off and my lady-folk were led ceremoniously to a lightless lean-to shack. At a particularly vulnerable moment, it turned out that there was still a pig inside! 

On my second visit to Indian churches, we went to an area that was still partially under bandit control. Just as I finished speaking, a man jumped up and hustled our whole team out of the back door. Was I really that awful? The back door led into a pig sty. We were somewhat bewildered. Did inade-quate preachers really get fed to the pigs? Fortunately, within moments our jeep roared up. ‘Keep your heads down’ our local driver shouted. Five of us had to slither along the ground into the vehicle as if a sniper was present. And off we went at high speed for 20 tense minutes. It transpired that the bandits had decided to kidnap us; but had been lurking outside the front of the church. Had they never watched a cop show? Although (like me) deeply irritated by the giggling of my pals throughout this experience, our Muslim driver converted to Christianity that day – having fully expected to die, as surplus to kidnapper requirements. 

My pals from Middlesbrough had not travelled widely. They saw the whole world as funny, which was often taken to be extreme bravery by our hosts! These were the same guys who abandoned me in a desert when I was peeing by the roadside. ‘Oh yeah, I thought. They have just driven round those rocks.’ No, they hadn’t. It was the newly Christian driver who made them come back 20 minutes later. I spent most of that time on top of a large boulder as a pack of wild dogs gathered to attack. Hilarious.