2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · First World Problems · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

A Little Decorum, Please

Tuesday, 28th of February 2023

Today I am going to write about an observation or two that I made during our recent visit to the city.

When we were there, the plan was to have lunch. I suggested Giggling Squid to the Mhinisteir as he loves Thai food. Anyway, half way through our most enjoyable lunch, the Mhinisteir told me to adjust my siting position so that he could avoid seeing the woman who was sitting behind me who while wearing a dress was sitting in an “unglamourous” fashion (I don’t wish to elaborate any further or else I will blush) and he was getting a full view of it! By the way, this is the first time this has happened in our married life!

Another thing that we witnessed while we were at the Thai restaurant was a tiff between a couple. The woman was very angry. She appeared to calm down just a little once the food started arriving at their table. However, I observed that even though we were quite a few tables away from this couple, we could hear her angrily munching her spicy prawn crackers!

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Le Creuset · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen · Winter

The Humble Thermos Flask

Monday, 27th February 2023

Last Autumn, I bought two Thermos flasks from the Thermos website. It cost me just under £55 pounds and it has been a good investment.

When we lived in Scotland, we were often subjected to power cuts due to bad weather and so listening to the weather forecast became a daily chore. If the forecast was bad, the first thing I would do is to fill our Thermos flasks with hot water.

Now that we live in England, we are not prone to as many power cuts so I hadn’t replaced the Thermos Flasks that got lost in transit from Scotland to England.

The rise in energy bills got me thinking of the time when my maternal grandmother used to fill her Thermos flasks with hot water to save having to boil the kettle mulitple times. That practice died after the discovery of electric kettles!

Here in the vicarage, we don’t have an electric kettle; just a Le Creuset hob kettle. Since the purchase of the Thermos flasks, I have been doing what my grandmother did and have discovered that they save so much of time. I am not sure if we save on energy but I am going to continue with this practice.

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Sweaty & Dirty

Friday, 24th February 2023

In case you are puzzled by my subject heading, please continue reading…

According to Tuesday’s newspaper, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has urged all its news presenters (journalists included) to look sweaty and dirty in order to appear trustworthy!

I will say no more on this subject matter!

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Silver & Polish

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Thursday, 23rd February 2023

At the start of the month, the Mhinisteir invited me on an impromptu visit to the city. I was really pleased about it and we both had a lovely time together.

Since we were in the city, there were a few things that we needed to purchase. One of them was a cloth to polish silver. The Mhinisteir has a couple of silver cufflinks and the old cloth that he now uses is very old!

We went to ALL the jewellers as well as to Lakeland. They either didn’t have it in stock or like most of them they longer sold it!

Maybe silvers don’t get polished anymore or they go into this little machines that some sales assistants were keen on selling to us.

2023 · Anglican · Ash Wednesday · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · England · Vicarage · Winter

Scaredy Cat

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Ash Wednesday, 22nd February 2023

I might have touched (very slightly) on this on my last post. Last week was rotten for many reasons but one of the reasons was because I haven’t been able to get an appointment to speak to my GP.

Since the pandemic, my GP surgery offers telephone consultation and since mine was a non urgent matter, last Wednesday, I phoned after the morning rush hour as instructed on the surgery’s website to ask for a telephone consultation. I did tell the receptionist on the outset that it was a non urgent matter. She told me to phone the next day after 8am to join the urgent queue! I duly obliged as I needed to speak to someone only to be told by another receptionist to phone again on Monday! This was on the Thursday. When I slightly protested, she told me that they were only dealing with emergencies as they only had the one GP on duty due to staff sickness.

Can you imagine phoning the surgery on a Monday morning for a non urgent matter? I didn’t phone them. I am now scared to phone the surgery because they will probably ask me to phone back and if I keep calling them, I am afraid they might blacklist me!

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Ruined Saturday

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Tuesday, 21st February 2023

Last week was a rubbish week for me. There were things that were needing attending to and every time I tried to deal with them I was only faced with obstacles. To add to that I received some not very good news about my young cousin and so by the time the weekend came, I was slightly dejected. I was mentally exhausted.

I like to keep my Saturdays quiet so that I can get into the “zone” for church the next day. We usually have our Sunday lunch on Saturday evening as I don’t usually have the energy after church to prepare an elaborate lunch. We just have the leftovers from the night before for lunch on Sunday.

Anyway, after a leisurely breakfast on Saturday, I looked at my mobile phone to see that there was a text message and a missed call from someone who had done some work in the vicarage. I decided to see what was the matter. It was a panicked text message about the cheque that I had given them. Upon reading the message further, I discovered that when they went to deposit the cheque in the machine, instead of showing that the cheque was for £xx amount it showed £xxx amount so basically according to them their bank account was credited with a lot more than the intended amount. Until today I still don’t understand what happened because the story doesn’t add up.

Since it was the weekend, I told them not to panic and that I would phone our bank in the new week and in the meantime to enjoy their weekend. I also told them not to do anything about it until I get back to them. Did they follow my instructions? No and they also managed to ruin my Saturday because after that they sent me umpteen text messages. I even got one on Sunday. I was and still am super annoyed with them because I rarely got a moment of peace that day.

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

A Wonderful Alternative

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Monday, 20th February 2023

Last week, I placed an order for my usual supply of tea leaves from an online tea merchant when I came across the option to pay by phone after placing an order. All I had to do was to phone them with my order number. I was delighted. My credit card has been compromised so many times that I no longer feel very comfortable buying things online. I still do my supermarket shop but other than that I have drastically reduced my online purchases.

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Observations · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Was It A Reply From A Chatbot?

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Friday, 17th of February 2023

I got the following second reply from Swan from whom I had purchased the Teasmade. I had to read the reply a few times just to understand the contents. It made me a little suspicious because the first reply from the same person was in perfect English. It suddenly dawned on me that this reply could have come from a chatbot! What a strange world we live in!

Thank you for your replay.

I can confirm this information is missing from the manual as we had to find out yourself’s and does work.

The manufacture who made the very earliest teasmades have closed down and we use a different manufacture.

Please not if the item still doesn’t work you are more then welcome to return the goods

Kind regards,

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Tea Not Made!

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Thursday, 16th of February 2023

Some readers may recall me boasting waxing lyricals about our new Teasmade in this blog. Unfortunately, it was shortlived as the Teasmade started malfunctioning on the fifth day! I still think that it is a clever invention but what is the point of a clever invention when it doesn’t work properly? I kept the manual by my bedside and must have read it at least 25 times before I decided to get in touch with the manufacturer which was two weeks later. We are covered by a two year warranty so what could go wrong?

I discovered that we were not covered unless we registered on their website. I only found this bit out when I went to their website to get in touch with them regarding the problematic Teasmade.

I also found out that it would take them SEVEN days to reply to my email. Welcome to post pandemic Britain!

I did get a reply seven days later which left me fuming. The person who got in touch said that I needed to set the alarm 12 hours before for example if I needed the alarm for 6am the next day, the alarm needed to be set at 6pm the night before!!!! How ridiculous! What if I am not home to set the alarm for 6pm?????

I won’t bore you with the details but there were other instructions on that email. I was infuriated because NONE of these things were mentioned in the manual.

Finally, the person who got in touch asked me to send him a video of the machine malfunctioning. Do I really want to whip out my mobile phone first thing in the morning to do a short video clip? And what am I supposed to record if that thing isn’t working???

Anyway, the good news is the Teasmade is now working. Long may it last!

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Britbox · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Fawlty Towers & Happy Valley

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Wednesday, 15th of February 2023

I was reading in the papers last week that Fawlty Towers, the popular British sitcom has been voted as the “greatest ever British sitcom”. I have tried watching Fawlty Towers; in fact some years back, I forced myself to watch some episodes but I just couldn’t get it! I didn’t find the sitcom funny either! Huge apologies to all loyal fans.

For the last couple of weeks, another TV programme that was getting all the publicity possible was a drama called Happy Valley. I have never watched it so for those who haven’t watched it yet, please be assured that there will be no spoilers here. Again, I don’t get what the fuss is all about. It’s just a drama. I am sure most of you will be horrified by this statement just like my former colleague was when I told her that I didn’t know who Benedict Cumberbatch was! For three weeks in a row, they have been discussing Happy Valley on the Today programme! All I know about the drama is that James Norton, the actor who plays a vicar in the TV drama Grantchester is in it. I tried watching Grantchester when we were still subscribing to Britbox but couldn’t carry on for what may seem like a silly reason. I just couldn’t cope with Norton doing all the naughty things while wearing his clerical shirt !!!! It felt like sacriledge!