Our new gardener cum handyman came again last week. That was his second visit. He has been good so far but I tend to be cautious of tradespeople. He even has a card machine!!!! I have never come across a tradesperson with a card machine! I think it is very clever of him but with every visit we are £45 poorer.
Our garden is in such a mess despite extensive work done in the Winter. I am quite sure that the garden is in such a state thanks to the previous occupant.
Just looking at the garden, I imagine the previous occupant (another vicar) to be an amateur, overzealous and untidy gardener. The garden has got plants not weeds growing from EVERY space that is available. It is actually quite painful to the eyes. It is a small garden with at least two large trees. I am not a gardener but can’t stand untidiness. The trees have grown so tall that they need to be chopped down before they fall over our neighbours fence!!!!
I think dioceses should have strict guidelines as to what clergy should and shouldn’t do with the vicarage garden! I am very grateful to have a garden and accept that the Vicarage garden is our responsibility but I prefer one that is manageable and feel that it is unfair to be tidying up someone elses mess! End of rant 🙂
Sometime in January, I decided that I was going to take a month long hiatus. From what you may ask….. Well I decided to make my blog private. It was almost a year ago that I made my blog public and I have enjoyed the publicity. However, I was beginning to wonder if I was really blogging for my own satisfaction or was I getting my satisfaction from the number of views and likes. I wanted to know if I would continue to blog as usual if my blog was made private.
Anyway, I am pleased to say that I have been successful in continuing to blog except for the time when I was on holiday. The good news is the blog is public once again!!!!
The Mhinisteir and I were each gifted a pair of knitted fingerless gloves for Christmas. It was from one of our many parishioners. It was so very kind and thoughtful of her. We have never owned a pair of fingerless gloves so we are really looking forward to using them. They will come in so useful in the winter months as all our churches are freezing cold. Wearing a traditional pair of gloves make turning hymn book pages very difficult!
In early December, I got a letter from our bank which is the Royal Bank of Scotland to say that they owe me a few hundred pounds in PPI Claim on a loan that we took almost 20 years ago.
Just this past week, I got another letter from the same bank saying that they owe me more money in another PPI claim. Really?? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the letter. Another reminder that God is not only generous but that He knows our every needs!
Rural living is expensive as you have to have your oil tank topped up in addition to paying for electricity. It is for this reason that I think that the Church of England should give Rural Living Allowance to clergy who minister in Rural areas. I know for a fact that the Church of Scotland used to give out Island living allowance for clergy who ministered on Scottish Islands. I don’t know if they still do but I hope they do.
Anyway, we hope to use the PPI claim towards our Winter fuel expense as we need more oil top ups in the Winter months in order to keep warm. Oil is expensive and It doesn’t help that the minimum order for oil is 500 litres!!!!
We moved into our new Parish and my health was beginning to look up. However, a few months into the new year, we had a few sudden deaths in our family/friendship circle acutely reminding us of our own fragility.
The Mhinisteir found his new parish very challenging. There were a lot of unresolved problems that he had inherited. My own health was beginning to go downhill very quickly. It was discouraging. Serious illnesses were beginning to plaque older family members. Fair weather friends were exposed. Even though I am used to this, it still hurts when people break your trust!!!
Fast forward to December 2019, things were very different. Life is more settled. Health is still like a yoyo but I am contented. God was with us and constantly reminded us that we are never on our own like for example when we got this huge bill just before Christmas. In a miraculous way, it was all sorted within a week for it is He who owns the cattles in a thousand hills.
As I step into 2020, I do not have any resolutions but am going to cling on to His promise as it is found in Isaiah 52
For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward. – Isaiah 52:12
Happy New Year to all who faithfully read my blog!!
I bought some books to read during the holidays and I am pleased to say that I am not disappointed.
The books I bought were from M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin’s series.
I started off with the very first one in the series called Agatha Raisin and the quiche of death. It was so wonderful that I have now also finished the next one in line Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet. I have just literally placed an order for more books from the same series.
If like me, you like light hearted murder mysteries then Agatha Raisin is your woman!!!!
Spoiler Alert: The Vicar’s Wife, Mrs Bloxby is portrayed as a very sweet lady!!!
Christmas Day 2019 was the best as it was quiet and calm. In the afternoon, I even managed to write sympathy cards for grieving parishioners. The rest of the day was spent packing and getting ready for our getaway.
Our celebration started on Christmas Eve! With the Mhinisteir running around to various services, I prepared the Christmas meal which we had before going to the Midnight service.
Sadly, The Midnight service was a let down. The CWs unwisely decided to try new things for the first time and it was an epic fail. Sadly EVERYTHING malfunctioned. The people in the pew were getting restless and frustrated as they were not able to sing the carols due to technical faults. A clear result of trying new things without practice or rehearsals.
Some of the people in the pew were looking at me in horror. I don’t know if they knew my relation to the Mhinisteir but all I could give out was a weak smile. I felt very sorry for the Mhinisteir. The CWs thought it was all amusing but I can assure you that the Mhinisteir was not amused!!!
Christmas at the Vicarage is getting simpler by the year!
As expected, December is a very busy month for the Mhinisteir. I will be glad to have him home once he finishes his final service on Christmas Day.
I usually tend to the presents and the Christmas meal. Over the past few years, I have been forced to keep everything to the bare minimum due to health reasons. I will be going to the midnight service.
The presents have been mostly distributed. Lunch will be a simple roast chicken. The Mhinisteir has said that he wants to catch up on his sleep after lunch so his wish will be granted.
Holidaying at home is not an option if you live in a Vicarage so we will get away at some point for a good few days of peace and quiet.
I never post pictures on my blog but since it is the festive season, I will bend the rules and post some pictures.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us – Matthew 1:23
As I was going through the piles of Christmas cards that we have received this year, I couldn’t help noticing that most of the cards that we received at the Vicarage were bought from Tesco, Sainsbury or Morrisons. Only a handful were from independent card shops.
Many years ago, we would only buy our Christmas cards from card shops especially Christian ones. I used to buy mine from the Church of Scotland bookshop in 121 George Street when I used to live in Edinburgh. However gone are those shops. I then started making my own when we lived in the highlands.
This year, I bought my cards from Mothers Union as I like my cards to have a bible verse.
I really don’t know what is happening to me…. Yesterday after lunch, I went to give my teeth a good brush as I had eaten some lovely Scottish smoked mackerel.
As I started brushing, I was horrified when I saw that all that was coming from my mouth was black froth. I began to panic. I stopped brushing and looked at my toothbrush. There was nothing black in it. I looked at my tongue and it was all black too. All I had was the smoked mackerel. Could it be my Calligraphy ink that magically made its way to my mouth???
I decided to stop panicking and continued my brushing. Without saying anything, I showed my tongue to the Mhinisteir who was just heading back to his study to which he remarked Oh, it must be the blueberries!!!!! Yes, he was right because I had popped a few in my mouth before I went to brush my teeth!!!!!