The first week of December saw the Mhinisteir and I going for a mini break which I hope to write about next week but it also marked my second fall in my entire adult life! The first ever fall I suffered as an adult was when I was twenty one and half and in a foreign country.
My second fall happened as the Mhinisteir and I were leaving an eating establishment after enjoying a meal. By the way, I am teetotal. All I remember was seeing a man coming up the stairs in the opposite direction and thinking I needed to make way for him. The next minute I was sliding uncontrollably down the remaining stairs. I heard the Mhinisteir shouting and running down after me. I was so shocked. The Mhinisteir kept asking me if I was hurt but I didn’t know how to answer him. The good news is nothing was broken and because I landed on my bottom, my face was spared. Quite frankly that’s not how I was meant to have fallen. I should have fallen face down. Instead of being grateful, I was angry that I fell. I had to find somebody to be angry with so I chose God. I was angry with Him for a whole 24 hours. However, I was brought to my senses the following day when I looked at myself in the mirror. Despite a very sore bottom, I have absolutely no mark on my body. Can you believe that? All I can say is Praise Be!
These days all of the vicarage groceries are delivered by Ocado the online supermarket. I like the fact that they sell quality products and more importantly their shopping comes in bags – I was fedup with the other supermarkets using climate change as an excuse for not using bags. I just don’t have the physical strength to go on all fours and trying to grab the groceries out of the crate at lightning speed while the driver twiddles his thumb. For those out there who are hyper eco conscious, we return our bags every single time! Apart from the one or two awkward drivers, I am generally very happy with the others who are polite and friendly with the delivery taking less than 3 minutes thanks to the bags.
A fortnight ago a driver appeared one whole hour earlier than the allocated time without calling to check if that was ok. I knew we had a substitute – organic chicken replaced with another brand which I was not keen. The Mhinisteir who happened to be home got to the door before I did and when he had asked the driver about substitutes, he told the Mhinisteir that there was none. How dare he? Thankfully the Mhinisteir was aware of the substitute and insisted that there was one. The driver was obviously rushing and so gave an answer that suited him which was no substitute. Why would anyone who appears one hour before schedule be in a hurry?
The second incident happened last week when I got an email from Ocado to say that my payment from 4 weeks ago didn’t go through! I was to follow the instructions on my online account and pay the outstanding amount. Just that when I went to my online account I couldn’t find the messages section. I decided to phone Ocado for help. I got a nice lady who helped me with my payment. I told her about the missing messages section but she wasn’t keen to help as she kept saying “Oh its all sorted now.” Just that I would like to know how to go to the messages section in the future!
These days those in the service industry are not keen to provide a good service instead they have convinced me that their motto is to get rid of the customer ASAP!
Have you ever come across the term ego surfing? I had not until last week when it appeared in the newspaper. According to the paper, ego surfing means to search for one’s name on the internet! Have you ever searched for your name on the internet? I have not only because I dare not! I am not on social media except for this blog so I don’t think there will be anything even though I know that several years back a few photos of the Mhinisteir and I had appeared online thanks to an individual who didn’t bother to seek permission before putting them up.
Please be assured that my blog title is not referring to any human individual instead it describes the new barcoded stamps that came in the post a fortnight ago! They look hideous.
As part of Royal Mail’s swap out programme, I sent away all my beautiful stamps in different denominations worth about £130 to be replaced with barcoded stamps. When the enveloped arrived with the barcoded stamps, I was shocked by the size of the stamps. Furthermore they were all first class stamps. I never buy first class stamps because if like me you have lived in far flung places, you will know that it is not possible for letters to get delivered the next day.
By the way, it didn’t take too long for Royal Mail to send me the barcoded stamps in exchange for my old stamps so kudos to them for that. I wrote a blogpost in February 2022 explaining the reason for the swap which you will find here
I tend to operate on a need to know basis which means that getting information out of me is like pulling hen’s teeth! I have always been that way. I am a very private person. I only come out of my shell on blog posts even then I don’t “bare all”. However, I don’t operate on a need to know basis when it comes to the Mhinisteir. I share EVERYTHING as I believe that it is one of the secrets to a happy marriage.
One day last week I operated on a need to know basis when it came to the Mhinisteir because I had burnt his breakfast croissants! He had to shoot off for a difficult funeral and so he wanted something simple. I have a strict morning routine which starts like this….. Get up and put the kettle on, jump back into bed and read the bible before doing ANYTHING else, However on this fateful morning, I decided to skip the bible reading (bad mistake!) and started with the breakfast while ironing (who irons so early in the morning???). I got so carried away with the ironing that I was late in getting the croissants out of the oven which were by then well cooked. I knew the Mhinisteir had a difficult funeral and he wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. It was very unfair to expect him to eat over cooked croissant and so I threw them in the bin and put fresh ones in the oven again. He was none the wiser!
Since the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022, The good people of Japan have been in the news for all the right reasons. They have gained a reputation for cleaning up the stadium after every match that they attend even if their national team didnt play. I have always been fascinated by the Japanese and their culture so am not at all surprised by their actions.
This is very different to the Mhinisteir’s experience in church one Sunday. He was displeased with the behaviour of the baptismal party that were present in church that particular Sunday. He said that they continued talking loudly to one another even after the service had started until he had to intervene and remind them that they were in a place of worship. How sad that in the modern world so many are lacking good manners but well done to Japan for reminding us what it means.
As Christians, we marked the first Sunday of Advent this week- the beginning of the new liturgical year in the Christian Calendar. During Advent, we meditate on Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. There are no flowers in the churches except for the Advent candles and the wreath that surrounds them. How very different from what is happening “outside” where the Christmas frenzy has truly began! Most people have already brought out their Christmas decorations and lights while panicking about the turkey shortage!
I used to look forward to Christmas but these days I can’t wait for it to be over as the frenzy has overtaken the real meaning of Christmas!
It is coming to almost a month since we got our new cleaner. We are very pleased with her . The Mhinisteir is comfortable with her being around the house when he is working which actually is a deal breaker.
She just gets on with the cleaning without bothering us. I am of course very keen to know if she is happy in her job. I did ask her once and she said all is well. I hope it wasn’t the party line!
Last week, I had a missed call from her a few minutes before she was expected at the vicarage. I just assumed that she was ringing to say that she would be a few minutes late. However, when I rang back, she asked if it was okay if she didn’t come that day as she wasn’t well. Of course it was fine. Why wouldnt it be? I told her to have a good rest and that I would see her the following week.
I sincerely hope that she is happy and that she will be with us for a long time!
Being a vicar’s wife means that I am quite used to moving houses. Everytime we move to a new place, one of the first things that I do after unpacking is to go and check out the local library so that I can become a member. For the first time, after our move to our present vicarage I didn’t do it and I hadn’t realised it until about 3 weeks ago when I was reading an article about local libraries. This does not mean that I had stopped reading altogether. I couldn’t read for the first few years due to poor health but thankfully that picked up so after that for practical reasons I started buying second hand books to read.
Anyway, I looked up our local library online and found out that I could apply for membership without having to go there personally and that the cards would be posted to us. I did just that for the both of us. Thanks to the postal strikes, our library cards got stuck in the post but I was super pleased when they finally arrived on Saturday! I have already started browsing online and look forward to visiting the library very soon.
The Mhinisteir doesn’t like shortbread! I don’t think I know of anybody else who doesn’t like shortbread. I used to make them in abundance and it was only much later that I realised that he actually doesn’t like them – I ended up giving them away. These days I only make them when I want to give them away as food gifts.
Last Christmas, an elderly parishioner gifted the Mhinisteir with a box of Paterson’s Scottish Shortbread. Needless to say that it has been sitting in the cupboard until two days ago. Another parishioner had given me some cooking apples two Sundays ago and so I decided to make apple crumble with the cooking apples and the shortbread. Surprisingly, the Mhinisteir thought that it was the best apple crumble ever!