Just when I thought things cannot get any worse….. It just did!
I had been pestering the Minister to send his Surplice to the dry cleaners to get rid of the communion wine stain. I thought it could also do with a professional iron as it was looking tired.
The Minister duly sent the surplice to the BEST dry cleaners in the city only for them to lose it!
Eventually the lost Surplice did resurface and so there was a happy ending.
No 130 is full of windows and glass doors. Getting curtains for all of them was going to be costly. I was keen to get good curtains that will keep away the draught especially during the winter months. I had red velvet curtains in mind. I started looking up online to check the prices of curtains and realised that velvet curtains were double the price of ordinary curtains. I was keen to have the curtains up ASAP to get some privacy.
Just out of the blue, the Minister received a phone call from a lady whom he had met a few weeks earlier. She was ringing to ask if we needed curtains?! A friend of hers was downsizing and she had curtains that she wanted to give away to a good home! I was over the moon when I heard that.
A few days later, the curtains were delivered to us. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that some of the curtains were red velvet!
They had been freshly laundered and looked beautiful. Amazingly they fitted perfectly. It was the same for all the other curtains. It felt like as if the curtains were specially tailor made for No.130. The windows and glass doors now all have curtains.
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? – Matthew 6:26
The following Sunday after moving into our temporary accomodation, we decided to visit our parish church. We were up very early to get ready for the 8am communion service. It was a challenge as almost all the services in Scotland only start at 11.00am. I was also apprehensive after my experience the previous week.
As we entered the church, it was met with silence. Something familiar caught my eye. The collection place was at the door! Just like our previous churches in Scotland!
At the door, We were greeted and given the BCP which I later discovered stood for Book of Common Prayer.
The service was held in the Chancel (another new term to learn). There were half a dozen people. We went and sat quietly. There was a nice fragrance in the air maybe slightly overpowering. I later learnt it was incense.
The service was conducted according to the BCP. I found it a bit confusing but coped okay as the Minister was there to lend me a hand.
There was no singing and so no musical instrument. Again something that I am familiar with and prefer. Up in the Highlands, most churches sing Exclusive Psalms with no musical instruments. Unlike the other church, the sermon or what they call the homily was very brief. I wouldn’t say it was meaty. Certainly not hellfire and brimstone as they would say in Scotland.
We had communion. Again a new experience, I observed that some dipped the wafer in the wine. This act is called tincture (Yet another new word). The service ended in 30 minutes. People said a simple hello and left. No questions asked. Later, we learnt that the Vicar was on holiday.
I am shocked to type this but I felt so comfortable in this church that it became our temporary home church. It was formal which I liked and I appreciated the quietness to meditate!
Among other things, we also had to buy a cooker for No.130.
Up in Scotland, I always used an Aga. Budget permitting, I would have easily purchased one. It was going to cost thousands of pounds and the area allocated for the cooker in No 130 was only 60cm!
Since I spend most of my time in the kitchen cooking and baking, I wanted to take my time to look for a good cooker. I suggested to the Mhinisteir that we should buy a portable induction hob and do with it until we had a bit more time to look for a cooker. He agreed.
It took a bit of adjusting to function without an oven but in no time we were ready to purchase the cooker.
We went to our local John Lewis to order the small Rangemaster that the Mhinisteir had seen online. It was exactly 60cm! The bad news was that John Lewis didn’t stock the small Rangemaster. They could order one for us but told us to take the measurements again and come in the next day. It was strange as we had already taken the measurements and we were sure that it was the Rangemaster we wanted.
Anyway, we finally ordered one and were told that we would hear from John Lewis the following week. The weeks turned into a month and still no news from John Lewis despite the Minister going into the store to enquire. Apparently they had no record of our order!
Reluctantly I used their online complaints form. Still no sign of the cooker. Just a standard apology. Finally, things were beginning to look up in week 6. I got a call from John Lewis customer service to say that the cooker will be delivered that Thursday. Phew!!!!
At last, the cooker was delivered and installed successfully.
I was so looking forward to using it. However, in the Lord’s providence it was not meant to be……….