2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Vicarage

The Lone Sock

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Our cleaner who comes weekly hasn’t been for a fortnight so I have been forced to pick up the pieces. As I was doing a bit of gentle tidying up, I came across a lone sock in the bin. By the looks of it, it has definitely seen better days and so it was in the right place but I was puzzled that its pair was NOT in the bin. Yes, I did have a poke around in the bin! I know it sounds disgusting but it was only our little bin in the bedroom.

I decided to confront ask the Mhinisteir about it. He replied: “The other sock is still wearable and so I have kept it. You never know when I might need it”!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Bishop · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Garden · Gardener · Left Handed · Rural · Safeguarding · Summer · Vicarage

Rushed off my feet!

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I like a slow start to my day but the Thursday before our holiday was nothing like my usual start to the day. The Mhinisteir was out at a church service and we were expecting the tree surgeon to chop off the conifer trees. The Mhinisteir assured me that they will not be bothering me. Excellent I thought…..

Just as I was entering the shower room, the doorbell rang! I took a quick peek at the window and it was the tree surgeon and his chum. They were young men and I most definitely wasn’t going to meet them in my dressing gown so I ignored them and went ahead with my shower! When I came out, they were still in the driveway instead of the garden. Mmmm….. I got changed and went to greet them from a distance. They said all was well. Great!

I went to the kitchen to do the dishes when I suddenly saw two faces smiling at me through the kitchen window. Just for a split second, I assumed that they were that of the tree surgeon and his chum but no it wasn’t. Instead they were from OpenReach (British Telecom). They were not due until Monday!!!! I went to the door and they introduced themselves and said they were here to do some work on our telephone line. I said that we were told to expect them on Monday. Apparently, the people coming on Monday will be dealing with a different issue but these men were going to work on the telegraphic pole. Just then I remembered the Mhinisteir had an important zoom meeting with our Bishop!!!! Oh great I thought! The meeting was really important as it had to do with the safeguarding issue that I had wrote about some time ago. The men from Openreach assured me that the internet connection will not be affected.

The tree surgeon and his chum were working away in the garden until 3pm. Just as they were leaving, our cleaner arrived!!!! By then, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t wait for her to leave…..

Anyway, the good news is that the conifer trees are gone and there is so much light coming into the Vicarage which is wonderful.

The next day we got a telephone call from the Diocesan housing department informing us that the tree surgeon’s chum’s girlfriend had tested positive for Covid19 and so he is having to self isolate! Thank God that we didn’t have any close contact with him!!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · England · Le Creuset · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

The morning after the night before….

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I quite like football but am not a fanatic. I always support the underdog. The moment the final score came through last night, I told the Mhinisteir that we will not be seeing our cleaner the next day. True enough, there was a text message on my phone first thing this morning to say that she is poorly and will not be coming in today!

Oh by the way, in case you haven’t heard, England have qualified to the final in the Euros 2020 football tournament. It is very significant because the last time England reached a major men’s final was 55 years ago, in 1966 when they won the World Cup.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · England · Garden · Gardener · Left Handed · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Summer · Vicarage · Weather

New Pastime

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Recently, I have discovered a new pastime. I never thought that I would enjoy my new hobby this much but I have surprised myself. For health reasons, I am not able to commit more than half an hour each day and even that it can only be on good days.

I have always enjoyed a tidy garden but have NEVER spent any time tending to it. It is just not my thing(neither the Mhinisteir’s). We have always paid someone to cut the grass and keep it tidy.

In any case, in a place like the Scottish highlands, you would only want to be in the garden if you want to be eaten alive by the midges!!!! For those who are not familiar with midges. You can read about them here. If it is not the midges than it is the weather. We rarely got good weather in the summer.

Until some weeks ago, I had never done weeding in my whole life.

We are having the same problem with our gardener as with our cleaner (same company!). As mentioned before, I like things to look tidy.

Our garden was beginning to look messy and that was when I decided to take matters into my own hands. We tried getting in touch with other gardeners but none was available.

At that time, I only had a pair of secateurs. I have since added a weed fork, rake, lopper and the most recent purchase is a pair of shears. It has taken me a whole month to figure out how the weed fork and rake worked! Being left handed doesn’t aid anything!

Ever since I started doing very gentle tidying up of the garden, I feel wonderful and can’t believe how much I enjoy it. Needless to say that the garden is looking wonderful too. However, I stop at tidying. I have no desire to plant or grow anything.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Rural · Summer · Vicarage

When people disappoint…

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In the real world, people do disappoint and I know that having experienced it umpteen times. However when it happened again recently, I was disappointed (again!). Haha!

Regular readers will know that since the first lockdown, our cleaner has become erratic. I would like to think that we have been kind to her like paying her even when she was not able to come due to genuine emergencies. However, I feel that she is beginning to take advantage of our kindness. Lots of empty promises and things are not getting done.

Last week, things came to a head. It wasn’t how I wanted it to be but something really had to be done because I don’t like to be lied to but then who does?? We had a good chat and I laid down the law (again!).

Hopefully things will improve but somehow I am not sure that this relationship is going to last for too long. It is such a shame because she started off so well. Finding a new cleaner is very difficult too.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Coronavirus · England · Flowers · Left Handed · Rural · Spring · Supermarket · Vicarage

Say it with flowers

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Since the start of the year, I have been unable to add flowers to my online supermarket shop. During the daffodil season, I was able to buy them from Tesco but even that has come to an abrupt end. Morrisons were the only supermarket to have flowers to purchase online but unfortunately I no longer shop with them as they often don’t have the things that I am wanting while Ocado only sells floral arrangements from Bloom and Wild which is way beyond my weekly budget! All I am looking for are just simple flower bunches like roses to add colour to the Vicarage.

I know that some people will look down their noses on people like me who buy their flowers from supermarkets but due to our rural location and my health, I don’t have easy access to florists. I have tried looking at e-florists but they too only do floral arrangements.

I know that with Covid-19 and Brexit, things have become complicated but I also feel that supermarkets spoil us by turning into one stop centres where we can buy EVERYTHING and once we have successfully become overdependent on them, they withdraw services according to their whims and fancies.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Goodhousekeeping · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Unusual Substitute for a Human Cleaner

https://methodproducts.co.uk/products/antibacterial-bathroom-cleaner/

Lockdown Number 3 has meant that I am once again left without a cleaner. Unlike the first lockdown, the government guidelines stipulate that cleaners are allowed into the house. However, our cleaner decided to halt her services. I was and still am a little annoyed that she didn’t have the courtesy to inform me of her decision. I only found out when I texted her!

At this point in my life, I can’t cope without a cleaner. I just don’t have the energy. I haven’t found one cleaner who is open for business.

Anyway, I needed a cleaning product that is easy enough and something that is not pumped with chemicals. Before my health woes, I used to be addicted to powerful cleaning products but not anymore. Bleach was my favourite!

I came across Method’s anti bac bathroom cleaner and decided to try it. It smells wonderful and the whole house smells lovely after I have used it. It works well too.

I am missing the cleaner but I guess I just have to settle for Method’s Anti bac bathroom cleaner for now!

2020 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · God · Goodhousekeeping · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage

Lockdown 2.0 Farce

Since Lockdown 2.0 began a week on Thursday, I can’t get my head around the new rules or are they called guidelines??

I have just discovered to my horror that garden centres are allowed to be open when Churches are to be shut. Where is the logic in that?

Thankfully, cleaners are allowed to operate but our cleaner has decided that she will shut shop for a month! Again where is the logic in that?????????? I remember vividly during the first lockdown that cleaners were up in arms mine included because they provide essential services and that they needed to put food on the table. Strangely for Lockdown 2.0, our cleaner has decided that cleaning services are a luxury.

During this time, I have been forced to spent most of my time in bed thus the lack of new blog posts. I like the Vicarage to be clean and sparkly at all times as it is not only our home but also a place for the public (pre-covid). Sadly with the absence of the cleaner, I wish there is a self clean button!

I was feeling a little better yesterday afternoon so decided to sensibly spend just one hour doing gentle cleaning. It was a good time as the Mhinisteir was busy in the study. I didn’t want to be caught in the act as I would get an almighty lecture about my health!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Faith · Funeral · God · Hairdresser · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Rural · Sabbath Day · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage

Lockdown 2.0

  • On Saturday just before 3pm, we heard that the Prime Minister was going to have a press conference at 5pm. Turned on the radio but no press conference. There was no news as to what time the actual press conference was going to be. I gave up and went to have an early dinner. In the Radio news at 7pm, it was reported that the Prime Minister has announced a second National Lockdown to commence on Thursday. Rumour is that one of the reasons for the confusion with the press conference timing was because of the BBC and Strictly come dancing.
  • There will be no Church services on Sundays but funeral services are permitted inside the Church. On top of that Foodbanks, AA meetings etc will be able to take place inside the Church. The people who came up with these rules obviously don’t know the primary function of the Church. Thankfully the head of the Roman Catholic church voiced his objections. Not sure why it took ABC so long to object!

  • Why is there such a demand for loo rolls? As usual, I got my Tesco delivery shortly after I started typing this. No loo rolls in sight. Don’t need them (yet!).

  • Rumour is that the lockdown will continue into the New Year. I wish people will understand how damaging this Virus can be.

  • For me, life before lockdown is not very different to life in lockdown. However, I will miss going to Church, my hairdresser and the cleaner.

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · England · Garden · Gardener · Goodhousekeeping · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Wheelie Bin

Wheelie Bin Tales

I have lived in many different parts of the United Kingdom with very contrasting wheelie bin policies that it can get confusing.

In our current location, we have one slimline black bin and 4 huge green bins! Until recently, I hadn’t realised that we needed another bin of a different colour for our garden waste. What? I didn’t know about it earlier because our former gardener took away the garden waste for £10 per bag! Usually he will fill at least 2 bags! Heaven alone knows if it was just all our garden waste!!!!!

I got in touch with the council for a garden waste bin but was told that I had to pay just under £60 for a garden waste bin. In my previous locations, I never had to pay for garden waste.

Since we have a new gardener, I decided to go ahead and order a garden waste bin.

In another news, yesterday was the first time our wheelie bins were due to get professionally cleaned. I had so much trouble finding someone to do it. In the city, we had a man who came and did all the cleaning inside his van.

Anyway, the people came to wash but it turned into a mini drama as we couldn’t find the valve to turn on the tap outside and so the cleaning didn’t happen! Ah nice! (just like how Hyacinth Bucket’s brother-in-law, Onslow would have said!!!!)