The Mhinisteir and I live in rural England where 99.9% of our parishioners are “Brexiteers”. The wonderful thing about democracy is that we have freedom to choose so we have no problem with “Brexiteers”. Actually, we co-exist very well.
When we first moved here, we started buying a right wing broadsheet newspaper to better understand our parishioners and stuck with it until a month ago. We of course read the Private Eye, FT Weekend and the Sunday Times so that we will have different view points.
However, I gave myself a rude shock when I started dismissing “partygate”. I couldn’t believe that the newspaper was beginning to shape my thinking. I was disappointed with myself. I had a wee chat with the Mhinisteir about it and to my great relief he told me that he had been feeling the same way for a wee while so that is when we decided to cancel our subscription and change our newspaper subscription.
Here in the vicarage, we are very privileged to have our newspapers delivered every single day rain or shine. I love reading the newspapers but love the smell of ink too!
Imagine our shock and disappointment when we saw a note attached to our newspaper saying that newspaper delivery will cease at the end of the month as it is no longer viable for the newsagent, old Mrs Patel.
We have since discovered that the only other newsagent in the area who used to deliver has shut for good.
It is such a shame that here in rural England, we are slowly losing more and more of the essential services.
When we got back home from our holiday, the first thing to greet us was a huge stack of newspapers! In case you are wondering if we had forgotten to stop the papers during our holidays? No. We knew full well that this will be the sight that would greet us on our return!
The Mhinisteir still lives in the dark ages where he doesn’t like reading newspapers online even though our newspaper subscription allows us online access. Unfortunately I too have joined him in the dark ages. I just love holding the physical paper.
We now have a selection of the Telegraph, FT Weekend and The Sunday Times to peruse. There is also our weekly local paper, the Church Times and the Private Eye plus the daily papers that continue to get delivered!
I had to laugh out loud when I read the following:
“Personally, I’m quite happy for space tourism to remain a rich person’s sport. Brits in Magaluf are bad enough. Do we really want them in space, banging on the rocket door and singing “Two world wars and one World Cup” to all the passing meteors? Also, at that price, the last thing you want is to get into orbit and find other people have put their towels on all the loungers.”
Robert Shrimsley, FT Weekend Magazine, June 12/13 2021
One of the advantages of not having a television is that one gets more time to do other things, in my case it is to read.
Here in the Vicarage, we get the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Church Times, Sunday Times, Private Eye and Le Monde Diplomatique. The one most common theme in these newspapers/magazines is burnout particularly here in the United Kingdom.
The lockdown especially the first one brought some relief to some but the problem that is burnout is raising its head again. Working from home during the pandemic has exacerbated things for most people. There are no boundaries. Bosses expect their employees to be at their beck and call at ALL times since they are working from home. Recently when the Mhinisteir was visiting a bank, the teller told him that because they have done away with call centres in India, she has to do the job of a call centre worker on top of her usual duties!
We no longer have rest days like the olden days when Sunday was a day of rest. They still do in certain parts of Scotland especially the Highlands and in some countries that I have visited like Germany and France where shops are shut. Did you know that even shops like Tesco, Boots etc close on Sundays in certain parts of Scotland?? I for one firmly believe that we need to reclaim our day of rest. Sunday trading laws have been most unhelpful.
I am not at all suggesting that we all start going to church. As a Christian, It will be great if we did but I also believe that God gives us the freedom to choose our way of life.
By the way, if you plan to go to church on a Sunday, I would personally recommend a BCP service! It will be a great start to your Sunday!
I am not even suggesting that we shouldn’t watch television, wash our dishes etc like some strict Sabbatarians do. All I am suggesting is that we try and do things that we don’t do the other six days of the week. Make Sundays special like meeting up with family, cooking a nice Sunday lunch, going for walks or just catching up on sleep/reading. Initially it will be a bit strange but maybe not too strange because that is what we were doing during our first lockdown! Once you have reclaimed your day of rest, you would not want to look back again.
Could this be the answer to the problem that is burnout?
Imagine my shock/horror (delete where appropriate) when I saw the ABC on the front cover of the FT Weekend Magazine on Saturday! What was he doing there? Surely not another interview… While their clergy are working their socks off, both the ABC and ABY appear to be sauntering from one interview to another!
I HAD to read what he had to say. It was very obvious that the interviewer was awestruck. I wasn’t at all surprised by all that the ABC had to say but I was shocked that he felt the need to have an adviser present at the interview. As a man of the cloth, does he not think that he has the best adviser in God?
Here in the Vicarage, after all these years, we have once again started buying the Sunday Papers. For a news junkie like me, it is total bliss!
We used to buy the Sunday paper when we lived in Scotland but we had to order in advance and could only pick it up on MONDAYS. Due to strict sabbatarian laws, most shops including the newsagents weren’t open on the Sabbath.
Since moving to England, we rarely bought the Sunday papers. However since the new year, we have arranged to have the Sunday papers delivered so we get a total of three different papers on different days!
Every Saturday, I religiously flip through the Financial Times to read Lunch with FT. It is one of the highlights of my week. I love to read about people but also what and where they eat. It is amazing how much you can gather about a person based on their choice of food.
Anyway, this Saturday wasn’t any different. This week, the interview was with a boxing promoter who shall remain nameless. I was livid that the whole interview was peppered with bad language!!!!
The interviewee using bad language is one thing but surely the FT can refrain from printing them in full!
Sadly these days, bad language has become the norm! It is one of the reasons why we don’t have a television. Parents post videos on the internet of their 3 year olds swearing and think it is hilarious! I used to enjoy listening to book at bedtime on Radio four but have stopped because I just can’t cope with the amount of bad language!
Surely, the English language is rich enough without one having to use bad language to compensate.