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February 10 2013.

January was a quiet month, with few Mayoral duties and so the Mayoress and I decided to head for the sun to the beautiful village of Mijas in Andalucía, Spain. It did give me time to recharge the batteries and attend meetings of other organisations which I am fortunate to Chair.

On the 6th of January we held our normal first Sunday in the month session at Castle Hill Nature Reserve. Some of you will have noticed smoke coming from the reserve as we cut and burn to clear a glade to improve the bio-diversity of the area. If anyone is interested in joining the group, we meet at 10.00am in the top car park at the Fort on the first Sunday of the month.

It was great to get back to the Searchlight Charity shop to meet and greet customers and wish them a happy New Year. Thanks to our customers generosity the Friends of Searchlight have now given the home on Mount Pleasant nearly £40,000 towards items such as bathrooms, shower rooms, craft goods, Christmas and birthday presents for the residents etc. We have a further £20,000 which will provide a purpose built kitchen for the residents to cook meals for themselves after hours.

Wearing my South Downs Badger Protection Group hat, I was called out by ESCC to a salt pipe that supposedly had been damaged by badgers. It turned out to be rabbits, as the piles of "currents" showed.

Three Council meetings and three NCDA meetings later and our first duty of the month saw us attend the marvellous pantomime, The Wizard of Oz, performed by the Meeching Amateur Dramatic group (MAD). The pantomime was excellent, enhanced by several small children yelling at the cast and putting us embarrassed grownups to shame.

On the 27th my wife and I joined the Sea Cadets and other uniformed groups for a service to remember the tragedy of HMS Brazen, the ship that sank off of Newhaven with only a single survivor.

A meeting with the Friends of Newhaven group and a meeting of the Tourism group saw January come to an end.

A quieter month than usual and with snow and rain, no chance to get out and sort the garden.
Was it really only four weeks ago that I was lapping up the Spanish sunshine?

Graham Amy
Mayor of Newhaven