For some unexplainable reason, I have started going to the earlier service on Sundays.
However, this Sunday past, I unexpectedly attended the later service; very soon after I entered church, I realised that the churchwarden who was at the door was full of the cold; I was horrified. The horror soon turned to anger! I hasten to add that I am not proud of myself! I was just so annoyed that some people can be so irresponsible!!!! Needless to say that this churchwarden was coughing and spluttering throughout the service.
As I wrote previously, most people in the UK have started operating like as if Covid19 has mysteriously disappeared. I wish that is the case but it is far from the truth; Covid19 is still very much with us and continuing to consume lives on a daily basis.
Recently I came across the term estate churches and so decided to ask the Mhinisteir about it. I’ve since learned that estate churches are churches that are within the estate of the landed gentry. These churches would have been funded and built by their forefathers.
Estate Churches are not uncommon in rural places. You may have seen an example of an estate church in period dramas like Downton Abbey.
Wherever there is an estate church, the gentry has some say in the appointment of a new vicar.
Thankfully, we do not have estate churches in any of our umpteen parishes! However, we do have a handful of landed gentry. Most of them behave impeccably but there are one or two who like to throw their weight about; they like to pretend that they are in possession of estate churches!
There was an incident in church one week when we were due to be away. I was disturbed by what had happened that my packing for the trip went completely haywire with me missing out a good number of essentials including my bible! Thankfully, these days you can access the bible online but sadly it is never the same as handling the physical book itself.
I am still shocked by that incident. I wish I could write about it… After witnessing that ugly incident, my first thought after I had composed myself was, is it any wonder that many clergy in the Church of England are signed off work when they have to regularly come face to face with intimidation tactics employed by some parishioners. However, I also wonder if clergy these days especially the younger ones are equipped for the real world. The ones that I know appear to live in lala land!
In the last 12 months, the Mhinisteir has had at least 3 requests for exhumation. I will not insult your intelligence by explaining what an exhumation is. I was intrigued by these requests. I used to think that you only exhume a body in extreme circumstances like when a crime has been committed.
The Mhinisteir explained that requests such as these are rarely approved. As the Church yard is a sacred place, there should be very little disturbance. This is why we say rest in peace. Furthermore, when a person is buried, It should be their final resting place.
By the way, I have since learnt that at least one of the person requesting an exhumation is the wife of the deceased. The reason given was that the husband’s grave was vandalised but the real reason is because she is moving away!
This week is an unusual one as we are away from the Vicarage. It’s not a holiday; not for the Mhinisteir anyway! He has a full week of meetings and so I am holed up in a self catering accommodation in a city; a very good one at that I hasten to add. The Mhinisteir leaves first thing in the morning and only comes back in the evening. Lunch is provided for him so I only have to focus on dinner. It feels strange not to have lunch with him but I will survive!
I am not at all happy with the lax way in which people are dealing with Covid19 and so I have decided to remain indoors. I have brought some reading materials and have also been catching up on writing. As I type this, I am waiting for my lunch to cook; I am having ramen noodles with salmon. I hope to have half for lunch and the rest for dinner as the Mhinisteir is attending a formal dinner this evening.
We leave either on Friday or Saturday depending on when the meetings end. It’s another busy week next week. More travelling including an overnight stay!!
For the last fortnight or so, we have have been inundated with people informing us that they are putting their names forward to be elected to represent their respective dioceses in the upcoming General Synod of the CofE to be held in November 2021. It has been really strange because there have been many emails and telephone calls on this matter! The Mhinisteir has of course had people persuading him to vote for them!
I was a little unsure as to why the sudden interest until I realised that last Friday was the closing date for the votes and more importantly there are two very important subjects that will be discussed: Save the Parish and LLF(Living in love and faith). LLF is actually the big elephant in the room; I don’t wish to comment on it because it is an extremely sensitive matter. It is best left to the experts to thrash it out. As for myself, I believe that God is much much bigger than the elephant in the room; I am going to put my trust in Him.
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”!!!!
Many many years ago, I remember sitting in our cold Scottish manse and reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth . It transported me to a country that I had not yet visited; I have since visited India even though it was a very brief trip. I am not sure I enjoyed the book as I don’t remember the story very much. The book wasn’t an easy read; I think it had 19 parts to it! The small print on the paperback copy added to the difficulty.
Since we don’t own a television, we did not get to watch the BBC mini series of the same name when it aired in 2020. However, in the middle of September, I got an email from Britbox informing me that the mini series is now available to us Britbox subscribers!
We have since watched the whole series and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Surprisingly, I found it very relaxing. I also understand the story a little better now.
It is worth watching if you have not already watched it!
Tuesday became my day for paper shredding. The Mhinisteir was away for a meeting; I had the day to myself.
My designated container for documents that needed shredding was threatening to overspill. In a day or two, there was a danger that the whole thing will topple and end on the floor!
I needed to take the bull by its horn and that is exactly what I did. After my usual morning chores, I turned on the shredder which lives in my study and started shredding. Within 5 minutes, there was a paper jam; our desk paper shredder starts overheating just after 10 sheets. The overheated shredder takes about 30 minute to cool so It was going to take all day but I was determined to complete the task.
Two days later, the task is now complete. In future, I must try and shred more often.😁
On Monday evening, I was trying to pay OVO, our energy supplier and British Telecom over the Vicarage telephone. Unusually, I was successful with OVO but not so with British Telecom; there was an automated message saying that due to the global social media outage, they were unable to accept payment. I was intrigued. How can the social media outage be related to this?
Anyway, I was keen to complete my Ocado shopping online so didn’t think anymore about it until I had difficulty accessing Ocado!!!! Every time I logged in, there was an error message giving me a telephone number to call. Those living in the UK will understand my reluctance to ring any customer service number because it would have just meant that there might be nobody to answer due to Covid19 (favourite excuse).
It was only then that the penny dropped; it is the social media outage that has caused this. Oh dear! Does that mean I am going to end up with just one bottle of whisky??? You see, my shopping list is not always ready when I book the delivery slot and so I just add a Johnny Walker green label costing £40 which is the minimum amount required to the basket. Before anybody accuses me of hoarding shopping slots; please “hear” me out. I only book one slot and it is always for delivery in the next 5 days. 😁
The good news is I was eventually able to access Ocado’s website and the first thing I did was to remove the whisky bottle from the basket!!!