2020 · Blogging · Bully · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Forgiveness · God · Left Handed · Midsomer Murders · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Tears · Vicarage · Village

Bullies are Cowards!

I was excited to be moving to England.  I had never been to England just to London.  All I knew about England was through Midsomer Murders!  I was disappointed that there was no John Lewis in Oxford but never mind.

I was excited about finding a job in England.  In Scotland, I was self employed. I was nervous about working in the outside world but I needed to get stuck in. 

Despite being well qualified, I wasn’t getting past the interview stages. I was frustrated.  There was a firm in our village and I decided to email my CV to the owner (who was to become my boss). Just that they were not hiring!!!’ I got a reply the next day.  I started work on the  21st of September! I was elated.  It was my dream job!

Sadly for me, I knew by day two that I was unhappy in that office. My boss was a couple of years older than me. He was hot tempered and got very angry at the drop of a hat. I was often afraid that he might throw something at me! His behaviour was erratic.  Was he a bully?  I had never met a bully before so I quickly brushed that thought aside.  How wrong I was!

I didn’t want to resign because it had been so so difficult trying to find a job.

My boss monitored my every movement including my emails, phone calls. etc. I knew I was being monitored.  Thankfully I could walk home for lunch so was able to get some respite. I felt trapped. 

I dreaded going to work.

By Christmas that year, I was so stressed that I had developed ulcers all over inside my mouth. Despite all the emotional sufferings, I never missed a day’s work!

The final straw that broke the camel’s back was one Friday in February when my boss CONFISCATED my chair for about 2 hours!!!! I had to type a report standing. He found it all amusing. Was this really happening to me? Me a middle aged woman being treated like a naughty child?

I served my one months’s notice.

What was supposed to have been a very happy start to my life in England had made me homesick and miserable.

A few years later, just when I thought that I had put this very sad chapter of my life behind,  I heard that this person was preparing to become a Church of England Ordinand!!!!! Don’t these things only happen in the movies???

It has been many years since this happened but it still feels very raw. I will always remember the 21st of September for all the wrong reasons!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Goldfish Bowl

Something trivial almost tipped me over yesterday. No, I am not proud of it.

I was not feeling too well so I guess I was needing a little more privacy than usual. Living in a Vicarage can sometimes feel like being in a goldfish bowl.

Our kitchen window is just inches away from the Vicarage driveway so one gets a full view of everything that is happening in the kitchen unless you have the curtain shut. When I went to the kitchen, I saw a car parked with the driver missing but with a passenger still inside.

I got super annoyed. Annoyed that the car was parked there without permission but also didn’t quite appreciate being treated like an exhibit in a museum. Just as I was huffing and puffing, the undertakers decided that they would park their big black van blocking entry to our own driveway!

I have had enough and decided to shut the curtains!

Surely I am entitled to a little privacy in my own home.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Vicarage

Unusual French Experience

At this time of the year, we are usually in the South of France on holiday.

For obvious reasons, we are unable to travel to France and so the Mhinisteir decided that we will spend a few nights in a luxury French Hotel in the UK. I was initially a little hesitant. I am such a wet blanket, I know! However, I got persuaded and off we went. It was a three hour trip to our luxury hotel. We didn’t stop at any motorway service stations as we wanted to limit the number of people we came into contact with.

By the time, we arrived at the hotel, I was starving and in desperate need of the loo! The hotel was so empty and everyone was required to wear a facemask. We got checked in very quickly. After that, we had our lunch at the lounge. However, for the next three days, we hardly left the room, only once to get the newspaper as they no longer deliver newspapers to the door.

It was very different to our usual experience because it being a luxury hotel, there was always bathrobes, slippers, toiletries etc. But on this occasion, there was none of that. Just very basic toiletries and no bone china either, just papers cups to make our hot drinks. They had removed all forms of stationery including the room service menu!

The room service in this hotel is always excellent so we decided to have room service for all our meals even though it was a reduced menu.

The Mhinisteir was disappointed that they had removed the Butter Chicken from the room service menu. The Mhinisteir mentioned this to the staff and of course it was no problem for them to present the Mhinisteir with his favourite butter chicken! He had that for 2 nights in a row!!!!! Fancy going to a French hotel for its butter chicken!

Anyway, there was no housekeeping either for the duration of our stay for which I was thankful. We just shut ourselves in, catched up on our sleep and reading. It was wonderful to have all our meals prepared.

It was a very unusual French experience but better to be safe than sorry.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Cassock · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Le Creuset · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

The Wonders of Biological Soap Powder!

I think biological soap powders are wonderful but not on clothes if you have sensitive skin like mine.

I use them in the kitchen for burnt bakeware especially glass or ceramic ovenware. They work wonders!!!

I always have some supermarket brand biological powder in the cupboard. All I do is put a quarter of a mug full of biological powder into the baked ovenware, fill with hot water and leave it overnight.

In the morning, pour away the water; give it a very gentle scrub; rinse thoroughly in hot water and it should have returned to its former glory.

You can also use the same method for tea stains in mugs etc. Just bear in mind that you will need a smaller amount since the mugs are smaller.

However, a word of caution….. if you have expensive ovenware, I would go easy on the biological powder. For example, I wouldn’t use biological powder on my Le Creuset saucepans and bakeware. I simply dare not!

I have also used biological powder which I made into a thick paste with water to rub over communion wine stains on the Mhinisteir’s Cassock Alb!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Did I break the social distancing rule?

Recently, we received “that” phone call. “That” phone call refers to a phone call usually late at night informing the Mhinisteir of an imminent death or death itself. It is one of the things that you get used to if you a married to the Vicar but you can never ever get used to death itself! It is always sad but this time it was painful because it was the sudden death of someone whose parents we knew.

A few days later, I met the parents of the deceased. What can you say to someone who have just lost their child? Absolutely nothing, so I gave them both a big hug! Was I breaking the social distancing rule? I really hope not but I was so helpless.

2020 · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Communion · England · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Rural · Sabbath Day · Scotland · Vicarage

Fashion Faux Pas (Almost!)

A week ago on Sunday, I decided to put on my long wool tartan skirt for church that morning even though it was a sunny Autumn’s morning. Rural churches tend to be cold. I don’t like to be cold because I will need the loo when I am cold and most of our churches don’t have loo facilities.

Anyway, just before leaving the Vicarage, I went to the cloakroom. The moment I stepped into the cloakroom, I heard a sound. It sounded like pins dropping on a stone floor. I took another step and I heard the sound again. I looked down to see that the cloakroom floor was semi covered in little plastic pins!!!! But where did they come from???????? I soon discovered that they came from my wool skirt. You see even though it is a vintage skirt it had been unused and so these little pins were used to hold the pleats together!!!!!!!!! I had been walking round the Vicarage for at least half and hour and these little things didn’t fall off then. Why???? I have no idea but I was just thankful that this didn’t happen in church especially when I went forward to receive communion!!!!!!!!!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Church Times · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · New Statesman · Rural · Spectator · Vicarage

Spectator Vs New Statesman

According to a recent edition of the Church Times, the Spectator is described as merely being interested in the politics of religion whereas the New Statesman is described as being more interested in religion itself.

I don’t read either but it was interesting to read what some people think of these magazines.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Flowers · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Life · Parishioners · Royal Mail · Rural · Vicarage

Flowers by Post

Scilly flowers are a flowers by post company based on the Scilly Isles. They are a family run business whose prices are reasonable. They also offer free postage within the UK. I was first introduced to them by Old Mrs Bear and have been using Scilly Flowers since then.

Life as a Vicar’s wife means I am often sending flowers to someone and yesterday was one such day. This time, it was to the wife of a reitred clergy who is poorly in hospital.

It is on days like this that I miss Old Mrs Bear.

However, I must remember that as the Evangelist Billy Graham once said, Old Mrs Bear just has a new address!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid by Scilly Flowers to promote them.