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!
Recently, the Mhinisteir and I managed to get away for a few nights. Due to the Mhinisteir’s work commitments we are unable to go away for a longer period so it is always a few nights here and there which is good enough.
On our last day, we decided to go to Cote for our breakfast before we headed back to the vicarage. When we entered the restaurant, there was only one other person. We were seated very quickly. The first thing I noticed was how dirty the table was. I took a quick glance at the other tables and they were the same. There were water ring stains, crumbs and other sticky bits! It was obvious the tables were not cleaned before they closed up for the night.
When our breakfast arrived, it was lukewarm. We never said anything about the table or the breakfast because we didn’t want to.
It was only after we left the restaurant that the Mhinisteir told me that we were charged separately for our hot beverages which were supposed to be part of the breakfast deal. It wasn’t a big deal but……
That experience has just reminded me that post Covid and post Brexit, things in this country are getting from bad to worse. These days, Covid gets blamed for EVERY single thing that goes wrong. The truth is things were only marginally better before that. For example, take the self catering cottage that we stay in every time we go away. For the past 3 years, we have had trouble with the shower/bath. 30 seconds into a shower, I would be up to my ankle in water. All the cleaners had to do was to clear the clogged up plug hole – a horrible looking mess.
I was initially reluctant to say anything because it is something that the cleaners couldn’t have missed! Surely it doesn’t take 3 years and more to wonder why the water gets drained at snail’s pace. We finally reported the matter.
Since the start of the year, the Mhinisteir has had the privileged to dine at one of the Ivy Brasserie’s not once but twice! He said that the service on both occasions were mediocre. He was quite shocked by the level of rudeness by staff to other diners.
Finally, another thing that I have noticed is that when we go out for lunch to different restaurants, instead of giving us both the lunch and the Ala Carte menus the waiting staff only give us the latter. The lunch menu only makes a grand appearance when asked. You can’t help but wonder if they are trying to rip you off!
It was time for our haircut this week and like the last time, our hairdresser wasn’t wearing her mask instead I wore mine. Thankfully, she was okay with me wearing a mask.
The mantra now is that we must learn to live with Covid but here in the UK, it appears that we are living like Covid no longer exists! Sadly, Covid is still very much with us and the high infection rates in our area is proof of that. Many of our parishioners are down with Covid either for the second or third time!
Another favourite party line is that we will all get Covid at some point. I for one have got no desire to catch it and will continue to take all the necessary precautions.
There was an article in the Daily Telegraph last week about new Covid etiquettes.
There were 5 questions. Each giving a Covid related scenario and a choice of three answers to choose from to assess how responsible one is in the current climate with the scrapping of free lateral flow tests and cases on the rise again.
I decided to do the test and my answers were all Bs. Under “How did you score?”, it said the following about those who answered mostly Bs:
You may have your reasons, but its possible you need to lighten up just a touch🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Friday night’s dinner didn’t go as planned. Being away from the vicarage meant that I wasn’t up to date with the news. Meanwhile, the newspapers were piling up back at the vicarage😁! I had the radio on all week but the news was all about the war and nothing else. I knew that Covid-19 rules were being further eased but I had no idea that things had gone back to pre Covid19 times until the night before.
Sadly, that news put the kibosh to our plans for dinner. We both didn’t feel comfortable going to a place full of maskless people. The Mhinisteir has a few parishioners on their death beds who need visiting and it is not fair on them or anybody else for that matter so we just got a Japanese takeaway which turned out to be very enjoyable!
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😁!
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?
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.
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.
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.