On Wednesday, I learnt from the Times of London that the ABC is due to go off galivanting (again!). This time to South Sudan. It wasn’t very long ago that he was in Australia hugging cute Koala bears. Upon learning of his impending trip, I commented to the Mhinisteir that I have never heard of the ABC touring dioceses around the country – We certainly haven’t seen him this way! He appears to spend more time abroad than at home!
On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a rude shock. Just as I turned on the radio at 5.20am, I heard the news that the Church of England had made an important decision on marriage. Really? I had only read in the newspapers the day before that the Bishops were meeting this week to make that decision and that a statement would be made today. I did wonder if I had misheard but no I hadn’t. Mmmm….
During the course of the day I discovered that somebody had leaked this information to the press! Who could it be? It had to be one of the Bishops because they were the only ones attending the meeting. Needless to say that since then there have been chaos around clergy and laity around the country.
I am worried about going for my routine dental check up. Why? I have absolutely no idea! I know it sounds so ridiculous but the concern is a genuine one. I have yet to fix an appointment but this is the state of play.
In my younger days, I had absolutely no problem. I would happily go to my school dentist and even in adulthood it was never a problem until a few years ago when absolutely NOTHING happened but fear seems to have taken over.
It is amazing how silly things like this can keep one awake at night.
The lead up to Christmas was a bit of a blur as the Mhinisteir was down with a bad cold and within a day or two I got it too. Despite being poorly, he still had to conduct funerals and carol services to lead while I tried to give him copious amounts of hot toddy and encourage him to eat a little.
I only brought out our Christmas decorations on the evening of Christmas eve and started decorating while the Mhinisteir readied himself for the midnight mass. I didn’t go with him. Instead I stuck to the yearly ritual of ringing my parents at midnight to wish them a Merry Christmas. By the way, it is only my mother who is awake at that time! We do that on New Year’s Eve too!
On Christmas day, I went to the early morning service. I was feeling rather woozy as I had stayed up waiting for the Mhinisteir! After church, I made a quick dash next door to drop off a small present for the neighbours. Thankfully I managed to leave it at their door without having to bump into them because every year they get a little embarrassed to receive a present from us! We have always done it wherever in the world we have lived.
Since Christmas day was a Sunday, I prepared our usual roast chicken with all the trimmings which we enjoyed very much. The Mhinisteir caught up on his sleep while I read.
Apart from going out for a short drive for my birthday which falls between Christmas and New Year and the Mhinisteir conducting a couple of funerals, we spent the rest of the time simply relaxing at home which was absolute bliss!
For the last few weeks the media have had a field day concerning Christianity. “Christianity has become the minority religion in the UK” screamed newspaper headlines. Really? I could feel a sense of glee in the voices of the radio presenters when they went on and on about this specific subject matter!
My understand of Christianity is that the Church will never be in decline because there is the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. The Church Militant refers to the Christians on earth while the Church Triumphant refers to the Christians who have been translated like the late Queen.
Sunday was unusual. The Mhinisteir having had spent all week in cold churches in freezing temperatures has finally succumbed to the cold. He is not well. However, the church services (Sunday services, end of school services, funerals etc) have to go on – that is the state of the Church of England as there are no other clergy available to deputise! He came back home from the second service refrozen. I didn’t like the colour on his face. After a very tiny lunch, he went straight to bed with the heating in full blast together with an electric blanket and a hot water bottle. He just couldn’t warm up. He only woke up at 8.30am the next morning and even then he only woke up because I woke him up as he had a funeral to conduct that morning!
On Sunday afternoon, I watched the FIFA world cup final all by myself while propped up in bed next to the Mhinisteir. I was a little sad to be watching it all by myself as I was so looking forward to watching it with the Mhinisteir. I watched a muted version of the football as I didn’t want to disturb the Mhinisteir but I also didn’t want to be away from him in case he needed me.
I had to give up the football halfway through the penalty shootout as it was time for Evensong. After that I made myself some supper and locked up before coming up to bed. It was only 8pm. As it was way too early for bed, I decided to watch the penalty shootout and the medal presentation on BBC Iplayer. Guess what? BBC Iplayer wouldn’t allow me to fast forward to those precise moments. There was no way I was going to watch the BBC bigmouth gassing away! I switched to ITV. I had to endure the commercials but at least I had the choice.
Soon it was time for bed. I did one final check on the Mhinisteir before lying in bed wondering where we would be and what we would be doing at the next FIFA World Cup.
As global citizens, most of us would have by now seen or read about the mischief caused by certain members of the royal family. Here in the vicarage we don’t subscribe to Netflix. In fact we have even cancelled our Britbox subscription which is a topic for another day.
If you live in the UK, there is no escaping from reading or hearing about the mischief caused by these two individuals even if you don’t subscribe to Netflix. I won’t lie and say that I was totally uninterested.
Most of it was old news but there was one that I thought was totally out of order; the female in question mocking the late Queen! It was very distasteful and disrespectful. I am neither a royalist nor one who thinks that the royal family cannot be criticised. However, one does not mock the late Monarch! The Queen was very faithful to her calling until her translation to glory.
Oh by the way, I don’t like the press addressing the Queen Consort as the Queen. I prefer the title that the late Queen bestowed upon her daughter in law!
Here in the United Kingdom, we are going through a very cold snap with heavy snow in many parts of the country. Unfortunately cold snaps bring with them inconveniences like power cuts. Thankfully, we haven’t had any snow or power cuts(yet!). It is very frosty and icy everywhere. Our driveway resembles a mini skating ring!
The temperature as I write this is -2c. I am so cold. One reason for the delayed posting. Here in the vicarage we have brought out our spare heaters because we are struggling to keep warm. We will worry about the energy bill later. On Sunday, it was -5c in church! This was with the heating on!
You may have noticed that I have dated my blogpost today. This has come about because the Mhinisteir was reading me a review of Matt Hancock’s pandemic diaries. By the way, he (Matt Hancock not the Mhinisteir!) is known as Tarzan in my blog! The reviewer had commented that there were no dates in his diary even though diaries are supposed to have dates on them. Having heard that, I have decided to put right the wrong starting from today. However, I won’t go all Adrian Moleish and start every day with Dear Diary!
As mentioned last week, the Mhinisteir and I were able to sneak away for a mini break. It was meant to be a belated wedding anniversary treat. However if you have been following this blog for a while you will know that things rarely go according to plan. Thankfully the start to the break was a good one. We were able to get away immediately after the Mhinisteir’s meeting and were super organised unlike the last time where I was fretting if I had remembered to turn off the iron!
We arrived at our usual destination and cottage without any trouble. We got to enjoy some World Cup football before heading for an early dinner. When we came back, we got to enjoy another round of football until the smoke alarm started beeping just like the last time. Oh my goodness! I freaked out. Could it be the same problem as the last time – carbon monoxide leak??? The Mhinisteir rang the out of hours duty manager but there was no answer. He rang security and they reassured him that if it was anything serious they would be notified too.
Personally I was very discouraged. I know it sounds silly but trips away like this are special as we don’t get to do it often. Anyway, the good news was it wasnt the carbon monoxide alarm that was beeping instead it was the smoke alarm – it couldn’t cope with the steam from the hot shower!
I tend to operate on a need to know basis which means that getting information out of me is like pulling hen’s teeth! I have always been that way. I am a very private person. I only come out of my shell on blog posts even then I don’t “bare all”. However, I don’t operate on a need to know basis when it comes to the Mhinisteir. I share EVERYTHING as I believe that it is one of the secrets to a happy marriage.
One day last week I operated on a need to know basis when it came to the Mhinisteir because I had burnt his breakfast croissants! He had to shoot off for a difficult funeral and so he wanted something simple. I have a strict morning routine which starts like this….. Get up and put the kettle on, jump back into bed and read the bible before doing ANYTHING else, However on this fateful morning, I decided to skip the bible reading (bad mistake!) and started with the breakfast while ironing (who irons so early in the morning???). I got so carried away with the ironing that I was late in getting the croissants out of the oven which were by then well cooked. I knew the Mhinisteir had a difficult funeral and he wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. It was very unfair to expect him to eat over cooked croissant and so I threw them in the bin and put fresh ones in the oven again. He was none the wiser!