It is coming to almost a month since we got our new cleaner. We are very pleased with her . The Mhinisteir is comfortable with her being around the house when he is working which actually is a deal breaker.
She just gets on with the cleaning without bothering us. I am of course very keen to know if she is happy in her job. I did ask her once and she said all is well. I hope it wasn’t the party line!
Last week, I had a missed call from her a few minutes before she was expected at the vicarage. I just assumed that she was ringing to say that she would be a few minutes late. However, when I rang back, she asked if it was okay if she didn’t come that day as she wasn’t well. Of course it was fine. Why wouldnt it be? I told her to have a good rest and that I would see her the following week.
I sincerely hope that she is happy and that she will be with us for a long time!
Being a vicar’s wife means that I am quite used to moving houses. Everytime we move to a new place, one of the first things that I do after unpacking is to go and check out the local library so that I can become a member. For the first time, after our move to our present vicarage I didn’t do it and I hadn’t realised it until about 3 weeks ago when I was reading an article about local libraries. This does not mean that I had stopped reading altogether. I couldn’t read for the first few years due to poor health but thankfully that picked up so after that for practical reasons I started buying second hand books to read.
Anyway, I looked up our local library online and found out that I could apply for membership without having to go there personally and that the cards would be posted to us. I did just that for the both of us. Thanks to the postal strikes, our library cards got stuck in the post but I was super pleased when they finally arrived on Saturday! I have already started browsing online and look forward to visiting the library very soon.
The Mhinisteir doesn’t like shortbread! I don’t think I know of anybody else who doesn’t like shortbread. I used to make them in abundance and it was only much later that I realised that he actually doesn’t like them – I ended up giving them away. These days I only make them when I want to give them away as food gifts.
Last Christmas, an elderly parishioner gifted the Mhinisteir with a box of Paterson’s Scottish Shortbread. Needless to say that it has been sitting in the cupboard until two days ago. Another parishioner had given me some cooking apples two Sundays ago and so I decided to make apple crumble with the cooking apples and the shortbread. Surprisingly, the Mhinisteir thought that it was the best apple crumble ever!
I am an introvert and by that I mean an introvert in the traditional sense not the modern version where people call themselves introverts but are also the loudest in a room!
Today I would like to give you a little glimpse into life as an introverted vicar’s wife living in a vicarage.
It is common knowledge that the vicarage is both the place of work and the family home of the vicar. In theory, the vicar is expected to conduct all his business in his study but this is almost impossible given the smallness of the study so the meetings always spill into the living room on the ground floor. I assume multi parish benefice is a new thing as the vicarage studies are not suitable for more than 3! There is only one problem – I do not have private access to any other rooms without the people seeing me or worst still bumping into me! Furthermore the vicarage is built in such a way that wherever I am in the vicarage, the people in the living room can hear me especially if I am on the phone. The Mhinisteir doesn’t see a problem with this but I do! For this reason, whenever there is a meeting on which is often, I shut myself in my study and work on my blog!
People also have the tendency to arrive half an hour before the meeting which means that I can’t saunter about in the kitchen having a leisurely breakfast. Either they will see me in my jimjams through the kitchen window or bump into me with my bed hair in the hallway!
If you are an introvert reading this, I am very sure you can understand my predicament.
The Mhinisteir had a very different day off this week. He stopped work completely and spent the day watching the World Cup football matches. He actually relaxed. This rarely happens. I wish this would be how every day off will be like.
There was someone at the door but he totally ignored them! I couldn’t believe my eyes! EVERYONE knows when his day off is and in case of emergency there are measures in place – I feel that I need to clarify this in case you think that it was very uncaring of the Mhinisteir to ignore whoever was at the door.
We were camping out in the bedroom as that is where the television has been stationed. It is a very good idea because if we hang around downstairs someone is bound to see us through the windows even if we have the curtains shut – they must have a bionic eye!
As the Mhinisteir came out of the shower, he asked if I had cooked some bacon. I had not. I was lying in bed waiting for the porridge to cook and for the kettle to boil. I was in bed because I haven’t been feeling terribly well since the start of the weekend. Just then the kettle started whistling and so I went down to the kitchen only to be engulfed in smoke! I had burnt my porridge!!!! Unlike Goldilocks’s perfect porridge, mine looked all black! The smell of burnt porridge was terrible; this was what the Mhinisteir had been smelling!
I always cook my porridge in my Le Creuset pan and needless to say the bottom was now charcoal black. I spent the rest of the day trying to get rid of the burnt smell and to scrub the burnt bits from my cast iron pan; something which I have only been half successful so far!
Regular readers will by now know that here in the vicarage, we don’t watch television and thus our old television collects dust in an old cupboard. However, all that changed on Monday! Why? The Mhinisteir and I wanted to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022! We are not football mad but enjoy a good game of football especially the World Cup. We had waited for four long years for this and so were not going to allow the controversies to mar our enjoyment.
The big question was…. will the television work because for the last 5 years it had been sitting in the cupboard gathering dust. It was given to us by someone so we felt that it would be disrespectful to give it away! When the Mhinisteir finally took the television out of the cupboard, it was covered in thick dust. After wiping it clean, he tried to set it up. Unfortunately it was unsuccessful. With technology constantly changing, we assumed that our television was just too old to cope with modern technology. However, the Mhinisteir discovered online that it probably just needed retuning which did solve the problem! Just to put the record straight, we first bought the required TV licence before setting up the television.
The good news is we will get to enjoy good football for the next one month. The other good news is the television will go back into the cupboard after the World Cup Final on 18 December 2022!!
The Mhinisteir goes off like a light bulb when it comes to sleep whereas it takes me an awful long time to get to sleep. However one night last week, I too went off like a light bulb only to be semi woken by a nightmare.
The Mhinisteir and I were in a church somewhere because the Mhinsteir was wearing his full robes. Someone from somewhere mysteriously appears on the scene and hits the Mhinisteir on the face. Having witnessed that horrific scene, I march to the door to complain to another cleric who turns out to be Father Mac. By the way, Father Mac was a Catholic priest in the Irish drama Ballykissangel that was popular in the 90s. What a ridiculous nightmare!
Sunday was Remembrance Sunday – a day where we remember the war dead. There is usually an act of remembrance at the local war memorial after the Sunday service. There is also an act of remembrance on Armistice day (11th November) in our villages. The Mhinisteir is often very busy on these two days as he has to rush between villages and church services. Every year, I participate in the act of remembrance and every year I have the same question. Where are the younger generation? The images that people see on their television screens and newspapers are very different to what I see in our villages. There is hardly anybody below the age of 60 and every year the number of people attending these acts of remembrance is getting smaller and smaller. It is not that there are no young families or young couples in our villages but we don’t see them at these events. What is going to happen when these older folk pass away?