2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Garden · Left Handed · Makeup · Panama hat · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

No hugging, please…

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I can’t believe that we have already come to the end of July but boy am I thankful?

As mentioned in my earlier post, I had two social events to attend. Well, actually it was only one as the other was a visit by our young friends from the capital.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, I was not looking forward to both occasions. The visit from our young friends was before freedom day and the garden reception was immediately after that!

Let me start with the visit of our young friends. Due to Covid19, the arrangement was to meet them at a nearby pub for lunch or so I thought. On the morning of the visit, the Mhinisteir announced that they will be coming to the Vicarage. Mmmm…. I thought the whole point was to avoid meeting in an enclosed space. Anyway, they finally arrived and guess what we all hugged!!!! Earlier on, I had told the Mhinisteir that I will not be hugging anyone!!!!!

Off we went to our pub lunch and sadly it was a disappointment. Things were so chaotic and they made us sit in the hot sun with no shade whatsoever!!!! All the food arrived in takeaway boxes!!!! What is wrong with proper crockery and cutlery???? As mentioned elsewhere in my blog, the UK service industry should take a leaf out of the Americans. They know the true meaning of customer service! Despite the chaos, we all had a good time and it was so wonderful to catch up.

Now, let me move on to the garden reception…. I had already decided on my outfit the moment we received the invitation until the Mhinisteir sprung on me the “dress code”! I like dressing up and am never without lipstick but am not a hoarder so I tend to buy a few classic pieces that are going to last me for a very long time. I am pleased to say that I stuck with my decision.

On the day itself, I was very nervous as this event was taking place after freedom day! Anyway, the evening came and off we went. It was a beautiful summer’s evening. The huge garden was beautifully set up. We had a good flow of beverages and canap├ęs. I stuck to fizzy water. At one point, We ended up chatting to a couple while trying to maintain social distancing but it was so difficult as the couple kept moving towards us and by the end we couldn’t move any further as our path was blocked by a large tree!!!!

For those interested in who wore what, sadly, it was quite obvious that for most, very little thought had gone into the dress code. There was at least one person in gym wear!

All in all, it was a good occasion but I am so relieved that my social calendar is empty again!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Food · Left Handed · Rural · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen

From the Vicarage Kitchen | Samphire

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For the first time last month, I tried samphire. I have seen them in supermarkets but wasn’t brave enough to experiment with them. I used to be very adventurous with food in my younger days but these days I prefer to play it safe. Maybe it’s because the Mhinisteir doesn’t like to experiment with new dishes.

The samphire duly arrived with my other groceries from Tesco. The very young delivery driver got quite excited when he saw the samphire. He started giving me advise on how to cook them, not that I asked!!! Anyway, he told me to steam and serve it with a good piece of fillet steak. I already had other plans. I was going to steam it and incorporate it in my pasta with Scottish smoked salmon and that was what I did. It tasted heavenly. By the way, the Mhinisteir had something else to eat!

The delivery driver told me to add rock salt but I didn’t as I read somewhere that samphire is salty.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Eco · England · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Summer · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage

Where are all the refills?

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Am I the only one to notice that most UK supermarkets love getting on their moral high horses when it comes to the environment?

Supermarkets like Tesco no longer bring our orders in bags. Instead, they are scattered in a plastic crate and it is up to me to scramble like crazy while the delivery driver just stands there and watches!

The only supermarket to continue bringing our groceries in bags is Ocado and so a big well done to them. Again they appear to be the only one who happen to sell refills for Method and ECover.

I am quite sure that half the products that we buy and use can be refilled so why are the manufacturers not producing them and even if they did why are supermarkets like Tesco not stocking them???

I am not an eco warrior but I do care about the environment. When I lived in the Far East in the late 80s, they had already started selling refill packs for coffee, washing up liquid, detergent etc. Why are we in the western world so slow to move on to refill packs? Most importantly what gives us the right to lecture other countries about the environment??

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Edinburgh · England · Faith · First World Problems · God · Left Handed · Rural · Summer · Vicarage · Vicarage Library

From the Vicarage Library | In the Shadow of the Shahs

In the Shadow of the Shahs is a wonderful biography by Farifteh V. Robb. I would say that it is one of the best books that I have read in my life!

It is a book that talks about the challenges faced by the author in her country of birth, Iran. It is about her trying to survive the political revolution and about her new life in the United Kingdom. In the process, she a Persian muslim discovers Christianity and becomes an Anglican Christian.

However, I hasten to add that this book is not at all about “Praise the Lord” after every second sentence. Farifteh transported me to this beautiful country that is called Iran, educating me about how life was during the time of the Shahs and at present. Her conversion story is so beautifully intertwined that you wouldn’t even realise it!

It was also very interesting to read about the Anglican Church in Iran! I am ashamed that in the western world, we are fighting over church buildings and other trivia while for the Christians in Iran, just existing as a Christian is an everyday struggle and dangerous.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Flowers · Left Handed · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Summer · Sweet Peas · Vicarage

My week so far…

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It is only Tuesday and I am dead tired. I haven’t been sleeping properly for several days and it is beginning to affect me. Furthermore, July has been a busy month. For someone who rarely socialises, I had two social events to attend and that has taken a lot out of me. I will write more about the social events in another post.

Church on Sunday turned out to be wonderful. In the service I attended, all were wearing masks and we were socially distanced!

In the last three days, I have received two bouquets of flowers. One was a bouquet of Alstromeria while the other was a bouquet made up of beautiful smelling sweet peas. They were both from parishioners from different villages. How very kind! It definitely cheered me up!

At one point, I had so much to write but now I can’t think of any of them! It just goes to show how tired I am.

Hopefully things will improve….

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Blogging · Bully · Church of England · Church Times · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

Rebuked

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The Church of England was rebuked at a recent inquest held into the death of a former priest. It mishandled inquiry into false child abuse allegations. The priest took his own life as he could not cope with the investigation. How is one supposed to cope when they are not even told of the nature of the investigation! How cruel! He is not the first priest to have died because of the CofE’s negligence and sadly he won’t be the last!

I think I have said enough on this matter in my previous posts so I won’t say anymore.

However, I would urge all CofE clergy to join the Church of England Clergy Advocates (CECA) who are members of the Faith Workers Branch of Unite the Union. There is a monthly membership fee but I am reliably informed that it will be money worth spent.

The Mhinisteir is a member. If you are a clergy or know of a clergy, please encourage them to join. They will provide clergy with all the necessary support including legal support should (God forbid!) the clergy require it.

By joining, you will also in a small way (through the membership fee) be able to support falsely accused clergy like the Chancellor of Lincoln.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Church Warden · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Sabbath Day · Summer · Vicarage

Bundle of Nerves

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I always look forward to going to church on a Sunday but sadly not this weekend. I am nervous. Very nervous. Since freedom day, things have gone awry. Covid cases are going up and up. Among other chaos, shops and supermarkets are struggling to keep the stores open.

For myself, I am just not ready to be without a mask or have someone sit immediately next to me in Church or anywhere for that matter. I am also nervous for the Mhinisteir. He has a wedding tomorrow and I dread to think how folk will behave.

The disappointing thing is that among the folk in our umpteen parishes, I am among a very tiny minority who feels this way! The rest are clamouring for the full works including singing without masks!

I am speechless!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Observations · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

Fascination with Astrology

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I have always associated astrology with the East. In recent times, I have observed that star signs are part of every other magazine and newspaper that I come across. Sometimes, there are two separate readings in the one magazine!!!

I am somewhat taken aback by the fascination with astrology here in the West. As a Christian, I don’t read my star signs but I am interested to know why people read them especially the young.

Anyway, I think I got the answer to that question at the weekend.

“Our obsession with star signs is simply a desperation for a belief system. In the absence of organised religion, we have turned to something equally inexplicable to give us a sense of rules, order and outcome in a world of unpredictable chaos.”

Sunday Times Style Magazine,18 July 2021

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Garden · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage

Rescue Mission

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I was involved in a rescue mission at the weekend. The Mhinisteir told me that he had heard a loud thud on his study window when he was on a zoom meeting. We both immediately went outside to look for the bird. It wasn’t difficult to find it. It was a female black bird. She was lying on her back and I could tell from afar that she was breathing. I went to take a closer look but she started flapping her wings without much success. The Mhinisteir told me to back off as he thought I was frightening her!!!

Anyway, I went back inside the house and did a quick google search on bird rescue! I put on a pair of gardening gloves and went back out again, this time without the Mhinisteir as I didn’t want him to hamper my rescue mission. As I went closer to the bird, it started chirping loudly, very loudly. I gently nudged her to her side and within seconds she was off or so I thought!!! She certainly did fly away.

When we came back from Church on Sunday, I decided to water the plants. Something which I don’t tend to do on the Sabbath but it was a really hot day and the plants were withering. Just as I was watering the plants, I heard some noise. Upon closer inspection, it was the female black bird and again she was on her back. It was obvious she was badly injured and she didn’t want me near her. There was absolutely nothing I could do apart from ensuring she was in a dark place and away from the village cats!!!! I also gently sprayed some water on the bush that she was hiding under so that some water might seep through to her beak.

Sadly, she was dead the next day. It was sad but I think it is for the best because there was no point in her suffering.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Left Handed · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Freedom Day???

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England has become the first country in the world to lift Covid19 restrictions. Who in their right mind will outsource public health to the public??? We won’t be getting a gold medal for making such a foolish decision. Sometimes I wonder how on earth we ruled the Empire!!!!

I will continue to use my mask and maintain social distancing. I am nervous about how things are going to be in Church as in the past few weeks, I have seen a handful who have had their masks under their chins. I am also concerned about how these new rulings will affect the Mhinisteir in his work.

I am a little fedup with people going on about how doubly vaccinated people will only get mild covid symptoms. Have they not heard of long Covid? It is not just the feeling of breathlessness etc. There are some people who have had their lives turned upside down. About 6 months ago, I read about a young female British doctor with long Covid who lost the use of her legs and is now wheelchair bound!!!! Long Covid is serious!!!!

During the first lockdown, there was all this hoo haa about how as a nation we would put on masks so that we can protect the vulnerable in our communities. What happened to that??? The vulnerable people in our communities still exist. They are the ones who are not able to have their vaccines for various reasons.

We should stop treating those who are not vaccinated with contempt. In this country, we have freedom of choice so people should be allowed to exercise it no matter how difficult those who have been vaccinated find it.

At the moment, I will be more worried of people without masks than those who haven’t been vaccinated.