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!
Regular readers will know that here in the vicarage we have the privilege of having a cleaner who comes in weekly. By the way, we are still very happy with her.
I always find that the day that the cleaner is due ends up to be a very busy one. Why? I go around the vicarage tidying up before she arrives in the afternoon! I have got absolutely no idea why I do that. The Mhinisteir is super tidy and so am I so the cleaner doesn’t have much to do except the usual hoovering, moping, changing sheets etc.
When I recounted my behaviour to the Mhinisteir, he duly reminded me that it is a very British problem!
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!
Our new cleaner came to clean for the second time last week. It is still early days but so far I have found her to be very good. She was a little late in coming but she had already informed me before hand. Like the week before, she just got on with her work while I got on with mine.
When it was time for her to leave, she just left without a word! I heard her start the car and through my study window signalled for her to wait but she thought that I was waving to her!!!! I ran down the stairs like a maniac and shot out through the door all the while shouting Margaret….. Margaret…… Thankfully she was just turning her car round. I once again signalled for her to stop and mercifully she did this time round. Why the panic? Because I hadn’t paid her!!!
She didn’t want the money because she thought that the extra payment the week before included that day’s payment as well. Quite honestly by the time I had finished explaining, I was exhausted. Anyway, she finally accepted the payment which was a relief. I don’t know what her financial situation is but I would have hated for her to go without her payment for the bible says “Each Day You Shall Pay Him His Wages (Deuteronomy 25:15).
When I got back into the house, the Mhinisteir asked me why I kept shouting Margaret, Margaret when her name is CAROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was the reply I got from one of my prospective cleaners when arranging for her to come over for a wee meeting! The reply somewhat unsettled me a little because it sounded over familiar. Maybe she was just being friendly but….
I have not met her before but I do look forward to meeting her soon. I had arranged to meet another prospective cleaner last week but the meeting fell through at the last minute. Strangely, I wasn’t disappointed. I did ask her to get in touch to reschedule but she has yet to do so.
The Mhinisteir and I both can’t function in an untidy house so for that reason the house is looking as tidy as possible but boy will I be glad when we find a replacement cleaner!
Last Saturday was an unusual day. I was home alone from about 8am for about 12 hours. What was I do with myself? With still no word of a new cleaner, there was plenty to do in the vicarage. However I also know through previous experiences that I shouldn’t get carried away and make myself ill.
The morning was spent having a leisurely breakfast with a nice cup of tea and devouring the Saturday Times.
I spent the afternoon on the phone to the family followed by tidying up, cleaning and ironing.
By the time, night came I was afraid of my own shadow (quite literally!) I am okay on my own during the day but the moment night falls I go gaga. I turn on all the lights (what energy crisis??) and make sure that the doors are locked etc. I used to check behind the curtains but I have now stopped that – too much work!
I had just jumped into the shower when I started wondering if the back door was locked so the shower had to be cut short! By the time the Mhinisteir came back, we were both exhausted, me from all the worrying while him from all the meetings and travelling. We headed to bed quite soon after as we had Church the next day.
I got up in the middle of the night to powder my nose and decided to check the time to see how long more I had before I had to get up again? The clock said 4.10am or so I thought but having had a closer look I realised that it was only 2.20am which was wonderful.
As I walked back to the bedroom, I started thinking about a newspaper article that I had read about young people not being able to tell the time from an analog clock and so schools having to use digital clocks. Needless to say I couldn’t go back to sleep after that!
I am feeling a little overwhelmed these days which is why my blog post for Monday didn’t appear. My mind is tired. I get plenty of ideas during the day but by the time evening comes they have evaporated away. I did make notes in my notebook like I usually do but they don’t make any sense when I refer to them!
This was triggered by the grand announcement made by our cleaner several weeks ago – she was leaving without notice! She was encountering marital problems and so needed a fresh start. We’ve had her since day one. I was not surprised by her announcement as there have been tell tale signs for almost a year now.
With the vicarage being both the Mhinisteir’s workplace and our home, a cleaner is paramount. I have been reminded as to how the absence of a cleaner can affect so many things including my peace! Almost everything that happens in the vicarage revolves around the Mhinisteir’s job so we need someone who is trustworthy and can work around our schedule and not vice versa.
In the meantime, I have been trying to do the cleaning and making myself ill! I have not been able to find anyone until yesterday when someone finally replied to my email. Hallelujah! I have a preliminary meeting with them on Friday to discuss suitability.
I pray that it will work out but if not it will be back to the drawing board.
The Mhinisteir has been trying to get us into fibre broadband for several months but somehow the engineers never turned up. This happened at least thrice which resulted in us cancelling the appointment altogether. We had wasted enough of our time.
However, in the spring, we had our arms twisted when our BT (British Telecom) bill started getting bigger and bigger. I still wasn’t keen for fibre broadband but the Mhinisteir was adamant that it will reduce the bill.
The engineer was due to come on a day and time that our cleaner was due to come. I wasn’t going to cancel my cleaner as she hadn’t come to clean the vicarage for a month. We weren’t told before hand what to expect. The engineer came within the given time frame. In order for the fibre broadband to be installed, he needed an area which will also give him access to the wall outside. At that moment, the only room that we could think of was my study. I wasn’t too keen but we had no choice as we were not given time to decide or look to see if there was another suitable room. The engineer was in a mad rush.
After what seemed like a long time, he finally installed all the wires inside and out and got ready to shoot off when the Mhinisteir stopped him as we didn’t know which wire went where. He did help a bit but kept saying that his job was just to install the wires outside!
Anyway, the end result is that our landline is not working!
Last Friday, the General Synod of the Church of England met in York. The meetings lasted until Tuesday this week.
Since it is usually done via Youtube, the Mhinisteir and I were able to catch up before bedtime each night.
The first thing that struck me was that very few clergy were wearing their clerical shirts. By day two, even the ABC and the ABY had ditched their clerical attire. There were scores of them in bermudas. Some ladies were in their vest tops. It appeared very disrespectful towards the dignitaries who were present. Among them were the Archbishop of Congo and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
In recent days, the weather here in the UK has been very hot but that can’t be used as an excuse. If the dignitary from the orthodox church can turn up in his full regalia day in and day out so can the ABC in his clerical shirt.
Another observation I made is that the knitter wasn’t in focus. Instead I got to see a cute man with a full head of dark curly hair. He usually appeared on the bottom right of the screen and was often dozing off! Pity he was oblivious to the fact that he was on camera. At other times, he would be looking at his mobile phone. I just assumed that he was catching up on his favourite TV programme!
It was only on the last day that I discovered that my cute man on the screen is the ABY’s new chief of staff! I look forward to seeing more of him in future Synod meetings!
As we come to the close of the first week in January 2022, let me start with the good and finish with the funny😁.
Earlier in the week, I had written about the Mhinisteir’s sibling who was awaiting test results for a growth. On Tuesday, we got the good news that the growth is not malignant and so we rejoice. Thank you to all who contacted me and expressed concern.
My sibling who was ill with Covid19 like symptoms DOES NOT have Covid19 and has almost recovered.
My birthday wish for my family member too has been fulfilled as said family member is sounding much brighter and was able to go out for a wee while.
The vicarage boiler has broken down thus turning the vicarage into an igloo. Thankfully, the heating engineer was able to come this morning. Unfortunately, the spare part that is required to fix the boiler will not be available until next week! In the meantime, I have struggled to get any work done because of the cold and disruption but as I type this while wearing fingerless gloves, the heating engineer has arrived with some portable heaters to tide us over until next week. I am very touched and grateful because I don’t think they are obliged to do this. In case you are wondering, we do have a fire place but the chimney hasn’t been swept. Since the summer, despite many chimney sweeps advertising, we have been struggling to find one who is available; unswept chimneys are a fire hazard.
Yesterday, our cleaners went off with my shower gel by mistake!!!!!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣