Vicarage · Church of England · Rural · England · Blogging · Clergy Wife · Winter · Telegraph · Newspaper · Coronavirus · Face Masks · Anglican · Times · 2022

What’s the fuss about?

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Over the last 10 days or so, I have not enjoyed our daily newspapers at all. It has been filled with nothing but British politics. The country has been engulfed in the revelation that the British prime minister did not follow his own rules and instead held parties in 10 Downing Street when the whole country was in lockdown at different times in 2020 and 2021. It has also been revealed that there was one such party on the eve of HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral!

I for one do not understand what the fuss is all about? I am not a fan of the prime minister but he is our prime minister because the majority voted for him! It is the same people who are now grumbling. It is not Boris who has changed. He is still the same old Boris who has an aversion to the truth and fumbles along.

The public are also angry that the PM was having a party when Her Majesty the Queen was mourning the death of her husband and that because of his decision making she had to sit all by herself at the funeral. At this point, I would like to remind the public that at least she had the opportunity to be with her husband in his dying moments and that she was able to be present at his funeral, something which many many people were denied!!!!!

This of course has given a field day to the opposition. Sadly, I don’t like them very much either😁!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Newspaper · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

The newsagent and the cancelled cheque

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We are very privileged to have our newspapers delivered straight to the Vicarage door and so just like every other month our monthly newspaper bill for December arrived a few days before Christmas.

Since I am in charge of the Vicarage household, the Mhinisteir passed me the bill without even looking at it. One look and I knew the figures were incorrect. We had been charged twice.

The Mhinisteir rang Old Mrs Patel who runs the newsagents to enquire. In case you are wondering why I didn’t ring Old Mrs P; she has a soft spot for the Mhinisteir and I didn’t think she liked to hear from me😁!

Unfortunately, it was the son who answered the phone and so wasn’t very helpful. He claimed to have not received the cheque for the previous month. Strange because since the pandemic, I have been paying them by cheque and there has been no trouble until now.

Anyway, I wrote out a new cheque with the new figure. Just then, the Mhinisteir reminded me to cancel the earlier cheque. Cancel a cheque? It was then that I realised that I had never cancelled a cheque ever before! How do I do it?

Thankfully and unusually it was a very straightforward process. All I had to do was to contact the bank in my case the Royal Bank of Scotland and give them the cheque number, the amount and the intended recipient.

Who would have thought that it would be this easy to cancel a cheque?

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · Electric Blanket · England · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Day 4 without heating…

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Today is the 4th day without heating since the vicarage boiler broke down on Thursday.

It has been a massive inconvenience but we are not miserable. It is amazing how the breakdown of something like the boiler can upset our routine. I thought it was just me who feels this way but the Mhinisteir is struggling too.

We were given 4 foot heaters by the heating company for which we are thankful but it is not the same and we are still cold. I have been spending most of my time in bed with the electric blanket turned on! I am only in my study to write this blog, after that I am going back to the comfort of my bed.

Thankfully, we have got hot water which means we can have our shower and do the washing up but we almost went without it as the engineer who was sent to us was new and so was not familiar with the way our heating system works.

Rural churches have very little or no heating so it was mighty cold in both churches yesterday. On top of that, the windows and doors were kept open in compliance with Covid19 guidelines. When we came back, we were even more cold!!!! 🥶🥶🥶🥶

As always our kind parishioners have been offering us their portable heaters but I think we are quite alright for now but we can’t wait for the heating to be restored.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · Death · England · Face Masks · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

31 December 2021

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We have finally come to the end of another year. I never know what to expect when the new year begins. I know that some will say that 2021 has been the same as 2020. I beg to differ.

Yes, Coronavirus is still with us. However with vaccines, rightly or wrongly we have become bolder. Once again, we have begun to focus more on ourselves than others; offers to provide our elderly neighbours with help dwindled and is now non existent. Going on holidays has become a birth right!

Below are some of my own highs and lows of 2021:-

🔶 2 x lady babies who were born this year into the family.

🔶 2 x weddings in the family.

🔶 The Mhinisteir was made an honorary canon of the cathedral.

🔶 2 x funerals in the family including that of my grandmother’s who passed away due to Covid19.

🔶 My father landed in hospital and was not allowed any visitors due to Covid-19.

Happy Hogmanay!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Brexit · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · John Lewis · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

CHANEL N°5

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On my recent holiday, I treated myself to my first ever bottle of CHANEL N°5 eau de parfum.

Previously, I had always thought of it as an older woman’s perfume and so have tended to give it a wide berth. Thanks to Covid19 and Brexit, I am no longer able to purchase perfume from the small trusted perfumery in France and so I had to find an alternative and that is when I started to look at the famous CHANEL N°5

I am delighted with my purchase and so am going to stick with it.

However, my experience at the CHANEL counter in John Lewis wasn’t as delightful When we arrived at the counter, there were no other customer so we got the undivided attention of the salesperson who looked like as she had seen better days. Sadly, she looked unkempt and her black outfit was covered in dog hair! Unfortunately, her colleague didn’t look any better.

Maybe I was expecting them to look like Coco Chanel🤣 or am still stuck in the past where salespeople were well groomed and going into a departmental store to purchase a bottle of perfume used to be an experience in itself.

2021 · Agatha Raisin · Anglican · Blogging · Christmas · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · God · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

The Vicarage Christmas 2021

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We were late in going to bed on Christmas Eve. Actually, it was already Christmas Day when we went to bed at 2am; I was waiting up for the Mhinisteir to come back from the midnight mass. I always get very nervous when he has to drive in the dark especially during the festive period when half the drivers appear to be less than sober!

The next day, I struggled to get up for the Christmas Day service. Unlike the Mhinisteir, I wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed but at least I wasn’t grumpy after a nice warm shower. Just as I was about to enter into Church, a parishioner approached me for a hug. I had to politely decline. He was shocked and I felt bad but I had to act responsibly. I wish that he hadn’t put me in that situation in the first place but ……

While in Church, I realised that it was warmer outside than it was inside for I was frozen. After the service, folk were saying how cold it was in the church but that’s rural churches for you; poor heating and no loo😁. The service was lovely and I got to see the new baby; a young family who are regulars have had a new baby boy. They already have two other boys.

Back home, I struggled to thaw. After a bowl of warming soup, I decided to head to bed with Agatha Raisin and the electric blanket while the Mhinisteir went ahead with his home visits/communions.

A few hours later, I found the Mhinisteir reading next to me in bed! It also meant that it was time for our Christmas dinner which was pan fried turkey breast with rosemary and all the trimmings. I know that the Mhinisteir was exhausted as he also had a few deaths in the parishes in the run up to Christmas so I didn’t insist that he dressed up so we had our Christmas dinner in our old pyjamas which was a first for us!

In case you are wondering, we do have family whom we are very close to but unusually for us, both sets of our families are very busy doing good between the Christmas and New Year period so we don’t usually have a get together during the festive period. It is not something new but has been going on for generations. In fact, almost 50 years, the Mhinisteir’s uncle was returning home after distributing food and presents to the underprivileged when he was tragically killed by an errant driver.

ps: We have yet to open the Christmas presents that came from our parishioners. We hope to put that right this evening and after that I have to start writing thank you cards.

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Blogging · Bully · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

No room in the inn

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On Monday, I read a blog post from a fellow blogger who lives in another country writing about how she is not welcome in her own parish church because she is not vaccinated.

Just as I was getting over the shock, I came across a newspaper article which said that here in England, Durham Cathedral is demanding proof of vaccination from all worshippers! Shame on them! As far as I know, this is NOT the Church of England’s policy. The ABC who usually has plenty to say about things that doesn’t concern him has gone quiet!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

According to that famous verse from John’s Gospel, God gave his only begotten son for the whole world not just the vaccinated!

Today, we are discriminating people based on their decision not to vaccinate. What will it be tomorrow? The colour of their skin or gender? Once we go down this route, there is no turning back.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · Edinburgh · England · Face Masks · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

Is there such a thing as an uneventful holiday?😁

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The last week in November saw us both going away on that much awaited holiday. We have both come back much rested but with the Mhinisteir missing a tooth! More on that later….

Among other things, the Mhinisteir wanted to visit the University library so we decided to have our holiday in that famous city where his alma mater is. We also got to stay in my favourite self catering cottage which was bliss.

For the first time ever, the Mhinisteir was left to enjoy his holidays; there was no emergency. Hallelujah!

Before we left, I landed with a family issue to deal with so I started the holiday with that hanging over my head. Thankfully it was dealt with midway so I was able to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

As we are still unable to visit our own dentist in Edinburgh, the Mhinisteir has been going to a private dentist in the city and so while he was there he had an appointment with the hygienist and so off he went. About an hour later, the Mhinisteir rang me on my mobile to say that one of his tooth was broken during his time with the hygienist and that he has an emergency appointment with the dental surgeon.

Two hours later, the Mhinisteir came back to the cottage with a tooth missing. The dental surgeon had no choice but to remove the offending half tooth. Thankfully it was one of his wisdom tooth.

We were booked to go for a special lunch two days later but I was prepared to cancel our booking because the Mhinisteir looked a sorry state.

Anyway, we did go for that special meal and we had an amazing time. It was so wonderful that we went back there again on the last day of our holiday. The restaurant is called Sticks N Sushi and specialises in Danish/Japanese infusion food. They have some branches across England. I hasten to add that this place is not for the price- conscious. I had the miso soup and nigiri on both occasions and they were both exquisite. The Mhinisteir doesn’t like anything raw so he had a good selection of “sticks” that he ate with rice. He also had the Mio sparkling sake as an aperitif and thoroughly recommends it and their selection of desserts. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to try any of their desserts thanks to my allergy but I was more than happy with my jasmine tea which again was very good.

The only downside was that the staff were not wearing masks and there was very little social distancing between the tables.

Another place that I would thoroughly recommend is a Thai restaurant called Thaikhun; again they have branches across England and a few in Scotland. We have visited them before but it is always for a takeaway. The Mhinisteir loves their food and I can have their pad thai which is non spicy. On this trip, I discovered that there is another dish called street noodles that is also non spicy. In fact, I like it more than their pad thai.

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Face Masks · Health · Rural · Vicarage

Yesterday

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I took a day off blogging yesterday as I was feeling under the weather. I have been feeling that way since coming back from church on Sunday. I am still frustrated by the lack of social responsibility among the people in England especially folk in church however I do everything that I can do to protect myself and others. I am feeling very tired and have the slightest of cough.

Our clocks went back an hour on Sunday and so I am VERY grateful for the extra hour in bed. I have been bed/pillow hugging for the last two days which has been bliss.

Hoping that the week gets better!

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Rural · Vicarage

Lost Brooch

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I have had a beautiful Swarovski brooch with gold leaves. It was a wedding present from my childhood friend. I used it to church very often.

The last time I saw it was about 3 months ago. I had left it on the dressing table hoping to return it to the jewellery box in due course but that never happened. It was during this time that we were provided with a replacement cleaner as our regular one was off sick. We know the replacement cleaner as she had been before when our regular cleaner was recuperating from surgery. Unusually, the replacement cleaner started bringing along one of her colleagues. She just sprung it on me one day and I had no choice but to say yes but unfortunately it became a weekly occurance. By the way, pre Covid19, I used to discreetly supervise the cleaner but because of Covid19, the arrangement with the cleaner is that they let themselves in and do the cleaning while I remain in one of the rooms until they leave.

Anyway, by the time I discovered that the brooch was missing, the replacement cleaner had already quit her job and moved to another country! I am tempted to put two and two together but I know I must not. I do hope that one day the brooch will turn up.