AT last the days are getting a little bit longer and a quite a bit warmer so it was good to hear children’s voices in the playground on the Ham this week. Sometimes in the winter months it seems to those of us whose children have grown up and fled the nest that the village children are hibernating.  Of course they are not, in fact, they are wonderfully active and busy.  Every Wednesday at 10.00am The Family Play Bus  arrives and the hall, that has been so silent all week, comes alive.  The building used to be the primary school so it is wonderful that now it has been refurbished it has become again a space filled with noise and laughter.  The FPB is a free outreach service to isolated communities and offers play activities to children under five and a toy library as well as a chance for mums to meet other mums over a cup of coffee. At present about twenty children from the parishes of Dittisham and Cornworthy are registered.   The project

 co-ordinator, Claire Wright, describes the FPB ‘as a big green bus full of fun’.  To find out more call her on  07793291646. About 4.00pm there is another burst of movement as  the school bus arrives bringing the primary school children back from Blackawton. Interested in their chatterings I discover that Amber Freeman, who lives at Lavenders, goes to dance classes  in Dartmouth and recently received distinction in a Royal Academy of  Dance examination.  Many people will remember that the previous inhabitant of Lavenders, Olwen Thomas, was a ballerina in her youth and danced at  Covent Garden .  In fact, Amber has a sepia photograph of  ‘Aunty Olly’ dancing pinned on the notice board in her kitchen. I hear that  Siobhan Cannon has passed her Grade 4 flute and Flyn Milton  his Grade 1.  Shane Freeman and Devon Jewsbury are mad about tag rugby and   Monty Berrrow plays football with the Plymouth Argyle Youth Development team.  Just hearing what 9 year old Charlie Blair is up to is exhausting.  He recently won the Baker Cup in a Torquay Football tournament.  In Judo he has something called a ‘first mon’ and assures me that people will know what that means.  He loves drama and has been in a number of Ditsum Player productions and will be performing again soon.  The jewel in the crown right now has to be Briony Bond who entered Dartmouth’s Got Talent and is through to the final.  The village heard her sing James Taylor’s lovely ballad ‘You’ve got a Friend’ at Party Pieces so we were thrilled to hear she had got through.  If you want to support her come along to the Grand Final at the Flavel on February 28.