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!!!!
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???😂😂😂
The Church of England’s General Synod 2021 began on Monday with an inauguration service in Westminster Abbey yesterday. Today is the final day of the Synod. For those interested, you can follow the proceedings here.
I watched a catch up of yesterday’s proceedings before bed last night. I found it to be very interesting but I was constantly distracted by a woman who was knitting!!!! Every time she was in focus which was very often because she was seated facing the camera, she was knitting; if she wasn’t knitting she was fiddling with her mobile phone!!!! By the way, She is there again today still busy knitting!!!!
Personally, I am quite shocked by the audacity of this individual. Will she be doing that if it was Her Majesty the Queen addressing the conference??? Is the person addressing the conference unworthy of this individual’s undivided attention?? It is very sad that in this present day and age, we no longer know right from wrong. There is no longer a place for rules and regulations. We only want to do what suits us! In other words, we have become very selfish.
The Vicarage cleaner is off sick again! Thankfully, she has very kindly arranged for cover which is fantastic.
On the day that the temporary cleaner arrived, unusually, both the Mhinisteir and I were not home. The cleaner knows to let herself in and out again when she is done.
When I came back, the cleaner and her mates were just leaving. Hang on a moment, why were her mates with her and what were they doing in the Vicarage??? They were all wearing tennis skirts with full makeup and large hoop earrings. Mmmmm…. When I questioned them, they threatened me!!!! I was so shocked that I just went inside the house and locked myself in. The house didn’t look cleaned and all the rooms were in a state. The beds looked jumped on while there were papers strewn all over the floor in both our studies.
I was still quite shocked but managed to ring my usual cleaner to terminate her services with immediate effect!!!! It was just at this point that I woke up!!!!!! Phew! How thankful I am that it was just all a dream!!!!!
The only truth in this story is that the Vicarage cleaner is indeed off sick and has kindly arranged temporary cover.
One of the websites that I often dip in and out off is called Thinking Anglicans. It is a good place to get sensational Church of England news.
On Friday, as I was looking through their website, I discovered that they have appointed a new Bishop of Loughborough. At the tender age of 42, he will be the youngest Bishop in the Church of England.
It was on the same website that I saw that the Bishop of Ely is to become the Acting Bishop of Lincoln. I understand from the press release that the Bishop of Ely is to split his time betweeen Ely and Lincoln. The current Bishop of Lincoln is due to retire at the end of the year; it is this Bishop who was suspended for 20 months following a safeguarding scandal.
Just out of curiosity, I had a look at the Diocese of Lincoln’s website. There I found out that they have 2 Suffragan Bishops plus an Assistant Bishop. By the way, I don’t know what an Assistant Bishop does. With three senior clerics, why do they need the Bishop of Ely? The Bishop of Ely is widely known in the Church of England as a very able and God fearing man. Aren’t the rest of the Bishops meant to be like that too?
Maybe its about time that the Church of England as part of their box ticking exercise, stop appointing inexperienced 42 year olds as Bishops and start appointing people who are genuinely suited for the job!!!!
We live in a world of over sharing and quite frankly over everything including over remembering.
As an introvert, I observe more than I talk, much to the annoyance of those around me. I have tried to talk more but it just does not suit me. Anyway, it is this observation. that has made me think about over remembering.
Every year during this time of remembrance, this subject matter comes to my mind. However, I have always deemed it insensitive and so have refrained from comment. This year, a local restaurant’s advertisement that I saw online has encouraged me to embark on this subject matter. I would like to reiterate that the content of this blog post is solely based on my observation and is not in anyway a criticism.
I always remember Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday as a day with a quiet but a poignant act of remembrance. However in recent years, there seems to be more and more being said and done to mark these days but they often lose their poignancy.
Coming back to the advertisement that I saw…. it said that on Armistice Day, they would be marking a 2 minute silence starting at 11am. Is it right to impose this on their customers? Maybe they came to the restaurant to avoid it!!!! Imagine being in the middle of your breakfast/brunch with your mouth full of food when it is time to mark the 2 minutes silence????