On Sundays, the Mhinisteir has 2 warm croissants for breakfast instead of his usual soft boiled eggs and porridge.
Until a few weeks ago, his croissants came from Marks and Spencer via Ocado. All I had to do was to warm them up in the oven.
Unfortunately, the M&S croissants are often out of stock and so I have had to find an alternative; that is when I found Picard Frozen Croissants. At Ocado, it costs £3.99 for 8 frozen croissants. You put them in a hot oven at 180c for 18 minutes and voila! you have soft and buttery croissants to enjoy. The Mhinisteir tells me that these croissants taste much better than the M&S croissants. I can’t eat them due to my food intolerance.
As the weather gets colder, you might want to keep a bag in your freezer for that occasional treat.
Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. It also marked the start of a new liturgical year.
I have yet to buy a new diary for 2022 whereas the Mhinisteir has already bought his new Smythson diary and it is already half full!
Unusually, I am trying to delay purchasing one for as long as possible. For the first time ever, I am not looking forward to the new year. I am a little nervous as to what the new year will bring….. It is a really strange feeling as I have never felt this way before!
I already have a few dates for my prospective new diary so I better put on my skates and get a move on!
I first came across M C Beaton‘s Agatha Raisin series of books when we first moved to England. Prior to that, I had read her Hamish Macbeth series while living in Scotland and thoroughly enjoyed it because my life resembled that of the inhabitants of the fictitious village of Lochdubh.
When I first looked at the Agatha Raisin series of books in the library, they didn’t interest me. It was set in the Cotswolds and I didn’t think that it would be as exciting as the Hamish Macbeth series of books. How wrong I was! Out of curiosity, in Autumn 2019, I started buying and reading the Agatha Raisin series book by book and got hooked. I still have not finished the whole series and the pandemic meant that I got a bit side tracked.
Fast forward to Autumn 2021, I decided to re read the Agatha Raisin series of books in my bookshelf and order the remaining books from the series so that there will be a steady flow to the storyline. I started with the very first book “Agatha Raisin and Quiche of Death”; I couldn’t remember the story which is not a bad think. I have also read “Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet”. Tonight, I should finish the third book of the series “Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener”.
A little bit about Agatha Raisin herself, Agatha Raisin is a 50 something woman who retires to the Cotsworld village of Carsely after a successful career in PR in London. However, Carsely is not the quiet village that she had imagined it to be. The first murder happens very shortly after she arrives and Agatha Raisin becomes a suspect!!!! It is this experience that causes her to turn into an amateur sleuth much to the annoyance of the local police.
M C Beaton’s books are known as cosy crime books so they won’t give you a nightmare when you sleep at night!
This book is for you if you have always wanted to live in a cosy little English village.
If you have enjoyed this blog, then you will enjoy Mrs Bloxby, the vicar’s wife!!!😁
That is how my memory has been this week! Thankfully, there is nothing to worry about as it is something that happens whenever I get too tired and as mentioned in my earlier post, tiredness is a problem this week.
On Tuesday, I tackled the ironing as the clothes won’t iron themselves.🤣 I was pretty chuffed with myself until the Mhinisteir went to the laundry room and discovered that I had forgotten to turn off the iron! This was at 7pm; I had finished ironing at half three!!!!
Yesterday, I had to order a gift voucher for one of the Mhinisteir’s young colleague who is expecting her first baby in December. I toyed between Marks and Spencers and John Lewis. I finally settled for John Lewis as I had some gift vouchers myself that needed using up. Thankfully, it was a very straightforward task unlike the last time. As I was putting away my credit card, I realised that the gift vouchers that I am supposed to have used remained untouched on my desk!!!!! Honestly!
A few hours later, as the Mhinisteir and I were putting away our Ocado shopping delivery, I discovered that a regular item that we buy was missing; I assumed that there were more bags in the hallway. Sadly, there were no other bags. I had simply forgotten to order the item even though it was on my paper shopping list and I had ticked it off. 🙄
We are due a holiday soon so hopefully this tiredness will go away and I will come back refreshed!!!
Being in a multi parish benefice means that we have an army of church wardens! One of the things that I have observed is that Church wardens become too controlling and defensive of their position; they find it very difficult to involve others in the work of the church. Basically they want to do everything! Sadly they have all become a bit too long in the tooth and are no longer able to serve effectively. I find it all very comical because in a multi parish like ours we have very gifted people. They can very easily do tasks that does not require the churchwardens input.
Furthermore, there are others in the congregation who are ready to become church wardens. The pandemic has meant that there are newly retired people who have moved to our villages and are wanting to be more involved in the churches but in order for that to happen the current church wardens need to give way!!!!
It has been a funny few days. I am back to feeling extremely tired which explains my absence yesterday. However, I am determined to maintain some form of normalcy when it comes to blogging because I find that once I stop writing, it is very difficult to restart.
This week is a very important week in the vicarage hence the title! Regular readers will know about the safeguarding issue that has been hanging over the Mhinisteir’s head. Strange as it may sound but being a clergy wife means that whatever affects your husband affects you; somehow you feel the tension. Maybe it is because the vicarage is also the Mhinisteir’s place of work making boundaries almost impossible.
Being able to live in a vicarage is a privilege. Along with the privilege comes the responsibility to keep things confidential and private so I never discuss anything with anybody no matter how difficult circumstances are, not even with my family. This blog is the only place where I “pour out” my heart; quite enjoy it actually!😁
Anyway, I am pleased to say that finally there is going to be a meeting with a senior cleric concerning this safeguarding issue. The bad news is that this senior cleric is very inexperienced; hasn’t been in their post for very long! I understand from the Mhinisteir that it has taken this long partly because somebody in the diocese conveniently forgot about the matter. Humanly speaking, I don’t think this matter will be resolved this week but then with God everything is possible!
There was an article in last week’s Church Times about a £4.8 million Innovation Fund that has been launched by the Archbishops’ Council.
As I read the article, I quickly realised that rural churches will never be able to qualify for one because the projects must support the official Vision and Strategy for the 2020s; the priority of becoming a Church which is younger and more diverse.
In rural parishes like ours, We do not have young families moving into our villages. The problem is so acute that one of our village primary schools has already closed down.
As for diversity, rural areas tend to be quite traditional which is why the parish churches tend to be more middle of the road CofE than very high or very low.
What rural churches really need is priests of good calibre but sadly the Church of England is unwilling to fund that and prefers to waste her money away.
Church under fire in wake of Liverpool suicide bombing for helping asylum seekers to ‘game’ system
The above was the headlines in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph. It is of course very unfair. I am irked! Apparently, these are the sentiments of the Home Secretary too.
There would be a massive public outcry if we were to remove the word Church and replace it with the name of any another religious institution. However, because it is the Church, the Home Secretary and the likes will get away with it.
On Sunday, we had pan fried wild Scottish venison haunch for lunch. As I was preparing the meal, I got transported to Scotland as it usually happens!!!
When we lived in Scotland, we ate a lot of venison as it is my favourite red meat. I prefer it to beef; I don’t like lamb as I find the flavour a bit too strong for me.
At least one of our parishioners was a ghillie (one who attends to deer stalking expeditions) which meant that we always had venison in our freezer! In bygone days when I was fighting fit, we used to entertain quite extensively but strangely, I have never ever served venison to any of my dinner guests.
As a host, I always like to ask guests before hand their likes and dislikes together with their dietary requirements and every single time, I was told that they don’t like to eat bambi!!!!
However, they had no trouble with the Scottish Salmon that I served which has made me wonder how is it that they had no trouble eating nemo but not bambi???😂😂😂