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.
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!!
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!!!
The Mhinisteir has a stole that needs altering. In case you are wondering what a stole is, it is a vestment that is worn over the shoulders by a priest. As I am hopeless when it comes to sewing, I decided to engage the services of a seamstress. I remember seeing a local advertisement and decided to enquire.
I rang the mobile seamstress on her mobile number but there was no answer so I left a message on her phone. Some people don’t check their messages so I texted her with the details. I was so impressed when she rang back within the hour. She started by saying that because of Covid19 all items of clothing have to washed before they are brought to her and that she can only do measurements outside her front door!!! Brought to her? Being a mobile seamstress, I expected her to come to us! Can you imagine the Mhinisteir standing outside her home getting his measurements taken while the whole neighbourhood watches! In any case, the Mhinisteir’s stoles are not machine washable.
Anyway, I told her that I will be in touch, thanked her and rang off. A pity I can’t give her my custom but she made it impossible difficult. The quest continues…..
I am frustrated, frustrated because nobody seems to get anything right anymore.
Earlier in the year, the Mhinisteir and I each got ourselves a new pair of glasses. I am very big on supporting local independent businesses and so we went to our nearest independent optician. They are reputed to be expensive but we wanted to make sure that we got the best! We had to visit the optician at least thrice after we had collected our glasses because the adjustments made were never right! What is so difficult about getting it right the first time? We had to waste spend so much of our time getting there and waiting for them to sort it out. Is it any wonder that productivity level in the UK is very poor??
At the time that we made our new glasses, the optician offered a second pair for half price. We were given 6 months to decide which was very helpful. It meant we could save up too! After much consideration we both decided to go for a second pair which we picked up about four weeks ago. The Mhinisteir was pleased with his but there was something wrong with mine. I was getting very bad headaches and was feeling sick. It felt as if I was wearing someone else’s glasses. Anyway, I decided to keep it on for two straight weeks and things weren’t any better. I had no trouble when I used the older pair. The Mhinisteir made an appointment for me to go back to the optician and after a long wait despite an appointment, I got seen too. They were adamant that the prescription was correct so they tried adjusting at least 5 times even though it made NO difference. Finally, when they looked at the prescription against my first pair of glasses, they discovered that the prescription was indeed incorrect!!!! I was fuming. They have promised to sort it out.
Standards are slipping in every area including the CofE. Gone are the days when people took pride in their work!
At the weekend, my biggest nightmare became true when a dear family member passed away after contracting Covid19. As a mark of respect, I will not be posting anything for the next few days but I hope to return soon.
The Church of England including our own diocese do a lot of work in prisons. I too have always been interested in the struggles faced by inmates behind bars. I am also mindful that all over the world, there are innocent people who find themselves in prison.
How is it possible to blog when in prison??? One loses all their freedom but then again I remember reading about a man who was face timing his brother in prison!!!! I had far too many questions and the only way to get answers was to actually start reading the blog and that is exactly what I did….I must confess that I have yet to read all the posts.
I was initially disappointed to discover that this individual isn’t a prison inmate! The disappointment turned to amazement and awe the moment I realised that this individual is convalescing in a care home here in the UK after contracting Covid-19. I believe they have been there since July 2020. The blog tells me that they even had to learn how to walk!
I am full of admiration for this individual because I don’t know of anybody who blogs while in a care home! I know I won’t because I will be too busy feeling sorry for myself!!!
I love going to Church on Sundays but dread it when there is to be a baptism. I know of some people who don’t turn up when they know there is to be a baptism but that is not an option available to me. I go by the principle that if I am going to miss church on any particular Sunday then I must have an extremely good reason for doing so!
Before I go on, I would like to emphasise that I write this as an ordinary church goer and not as a Vicar’s wife!
Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, there is a backlog of baptisms in our churches that the Mhinisteir is only now able to clear. Some of the babies who were born during the first lockdown are already toddlers!!!!
There are many reasons why I dread going to church when there is be a baptism.
Ordinary church goers get sidelined. The church wardens and others get so excited by the prospect of a huge turnout that the baptismal party is assigned the choicest seats while we the ordinary folk get dumped in the back or side.
Almost always, the day of the baptism is the only time these folk darken the door of the church. That is fine by me but it is unfair to let them to take control of the church and turn it into a party venue. Despite reminders to not take photos in Church due to safeguarding rules they continue snapping away throughout the service. The Church is the house of God and we are all there to worship!
They rarely have any respect whatsoever for anything that goes on in Church. They are fidgety and distracting. The clothes they wear especially the ladies is much to be desired. I know that most of us can’t afford to dress like the Queen but one can’t turn up to church wearing almost next to nothing. It is not only disrespectful but distracting.
Strangely, the children who come with their parents to these services are immaculately behaved!!!!
Our holiday started on Monday but we didn’t leave the Vicarage until 3pm. The hairdresser was booked to come in at lunchtime so we decided to go ahead with it. The appointment with BT was meant to be on that day too but as usual they messed up. More about BT in another post.
Our holiday destination was to the famous English city where we used to live. The purpose of the holiday was so that the Mhinisteir could get a few things done like taking our trusty old car for an MOT and a service. We prefer to take our car to our old garage in Scotland but these days it is just not practical. This appointment was booked ages ago but on the day of our travel, when the Mhinisteir rang them, the garage couldn’t find it and the owner with whom the Mhinisteir usually deals with was on holiday! Thankfully, just before we left the Vicarage, the garage phoned back to say that we should bring the car in as scheduled! Hallelujah!
We arrived at our little self catering cottage around dinner time. We had stayed there a decade ago! The cottage was squeaky clean and I appreciated their Covid-19 safeguarding measures which included no physical contact. We just had to take the keys to the cottage from a key safe.
We took a slow walk into the city centre as we needed to get dinner but also wanted to reminisce. Sadly, the city has gone down quite a bit. I didn’t like being harassed by touters. I suggested a nice Thai restaurant for dinner. I am still not comfortable dining in so it was going to be a take away. Needless to say that the food was lovely. They even took 20% off from our bill which was totally unexpected but much appreciated! I had my usual spice free Pad Thai while the Mhinisteir had something fiery. The portions were super generous that the leftovers ended up as another meal! Not complaining though! 😀
I spent most of my time either inside or outside the cottage catching up on my reading. As for the Mhinisteir, on top of the car business, he had a dental appointment one day and he also got to meet his friend for lunch at The Ivy the next! The car couldn’t be serviced as they didn’t have enough workmen but the car pass did the MOT!!!!!!
We both managed to sleep well every single night which was bliss.
A strange incident happened on the afternoon after the Mhinisteir had been to The Ivy with his friend. Shortly after he arrived back at the cottage and as he was removing his socks, I noticed that one of his toe was covered in blood! The Mhinisteir hadn’t noticed it until I had pointed out to him. His sock too was covered in blood. Thankfully it was nothing serious but just a cut. How he got it is a mystery!
All in all, we had a super holiday compared to our last one!
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!!!