2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Milkandmore · Rural · Summer · Telegraph · Vicarage

Overreliance on AI or Incompetence?

Photo by Free Creative Stuff on Pexels.com

I think I am not the only one to spend a lot of precious time when it comes to customer service.

I am beginning to think that Covid has become a very convenient excuse for organisations to underperform. Every time I go to a customer service page on a website or make a phone call to the bank etc, the first thing that I read and hear is that due to current pandemic, normal services are not possible. Why not?  It Is increasingly becoming difficult to speak to an actual human being!!!!!  There was a reader’s letter in the Telegraph the other day.  The reader was lamenting the fact that at his local bank, he was asked for his driving licence among other legal documents to DEPOSIT the grand sum of £250!!!  

Dorothy who had to sit for an English Test in order to enrol in a course at the University of Cambridge has had the same problem.  She has been trying to get in touch with the University by email and all she got was the same semi -automated reply!  Admitting defeat, she tried to book in for her English test and according to her it took three whole weeks for someone to reply to her email.  All the while, time was ticking for the cut-off date for the test.  According to her all emails to the University takes that long even for an acknowledgement!   

Regular readers will know that we have a milkman who delivers our milk. I also get organic potatoes that are delivered every Saturday. Unfortunately, there were no potatoes on the doorstep on Saturday. We were almost left without tatties for Sunday lunch but thankfully we still had a few left from the following Saturday’s order.

Conveniently , Milkandmore the company that the milkman works for don’t keep a record of items that ARE NOT delivered! The onus is on the customer to contact them for a refund. How inconvenient! I am sure that they are many customers who just don’t have the time to contact them for a refund. It has happened to me at least once during the lockdown because it was just impossible to get through to someone. If you are a working person, you just don’t have the time to sit around and wait for someone to answer the phone.

This time,  I wasn’t going to let them keep my £2.50. I went to their website hoping to send an email but there was a notice to say that they have stopped replying to emails due to the high volume of emails that they are receiving! They don’t deliver the goods and they don’t have the decency to refund me. I am not sure what kind of customer service this is when I the customer have to do all the running around!

This is the same with our energy company OVO.  They actually reward customers for not getting in touch with them.  We didn’t choose OVO as our energy provider, they were already providing energy for the Vicarage when we moved so we decided to stick with them.  I prefer to pay our bills by telephone while they prefer their customers  to set up a direct debit which I refuse to.   Until recently, they were very reluctant to print a telephone number on their bills!  

Sadly, we the customers have no choice but to either put up or shut up!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Milkandmore · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Spring · Vicarage


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

That is the time that our milkman came yesterday. I know it because I was just returning to my bed from the loo!

Pre Covid19, he used to come at about 5am but since the pandemic the deliveries are much earlier.

I for one am very grateful to have our milk delivered. We didn’t have such privileges when we lived in remote Scotland.

As I headed to bed, my mind began to wonder… Sadly very few in our village have their milk delivered. During the first lockdown, more people in the village like our young neighbours were using the milkman but sadly it has mostly died down.

When we first moved to the village, nobody knew anything about milk deliveries. I could not get in touch with our local milkman and so had to order via milkandmore but to be delivered by our local milkman.

People say that it is expensive to have one’s milk delivered. They are probably right. We pay about £0.95 for a pint of organic full fat milk. We get three deliveries per week. It saves us precious time and effort but most importantly our milkman has a job!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · FT Weekend · God · Left Handed · Manse · milk · Milkandmore · Multi Parish Benefice · Newspaper · Parish Life · Rural · Sabbath Day · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Telegraph · Vicarage · Village

Late Newspaper Delivery

On Saturday, very unusually, our weekend newspaper arrived only at midday. Earlier, the Mhinisteir had to phone old Mrs Patel to enquire only to be told that the delay was caused by Extinction Rebellion’s protests at printing presses.

As I waited for the papers, my mind began to wonder to Scotland. I realised that since moving to England especially now in rural England that I am living the good life! We get almost everything delivered to the Vicarage. Back in rural and remote Scotland, nothing was delivered to the Manse. Simply because there was no such service. We had to travel for 30 minutes just for our daily papers. In some areas where strict sabbatarian rules are in place, we bought the Sunday papers on the Monday as newsagents weren’t open on the Sabbath.

I love to read the weekend FT especially their magazine supplement. It is always very colourful and interesting with articles on wine, food etc. In Scotland, those supplements were often missing or you make the 30 minute drive only to be told that the FT didn’t arrive that day!!!!!!

Here, we get our eggs, milk, meat and fish delivered right to our door. The only thing piece missing in the perfect jigsaw is a good vegetable box delivery. At the start of lockdown, we started getting a local fruit and vegetable box delivered but soon realised that it wasn’t for us because we were not able to choose the vegetables that we required and ended up with wastage which is not right. I have still got bags of chopped butternut squash in the freezer!!!!

On a day like this, I am extra thankful for all these wonderful delivery services that we enjoy! Long may it continue!

2020 · Archbishop of Canterbury · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Forgiveness · God · John Lewis · Left Handed · Mattress · milk · Milkandmore · Rural · Safeguarding · Vicarage

Monday Blues

Like Garfield, I had Monday Blues.

I was furious ( over reaction on my part!!!) with the Milkman this morning.   In order to prevent the milk from turning bad in the summer heat,  I invested in a MilkandMore cool bag.  I have been leaving it out for the milkman to put the milk bottle in it to keep the milk cool. I don’t know what came over the milkman this morning but he did not do it! The milk bottle was left on the doorstep to sun itself!!! Maybe he had the Monday Blues too!

Then I read in the papers that a certain clergy person has confessed to an inappropriate relationship with the wife of a former Archbishop of Canterbury.  Not another Church of England scandal!!!

Things got back to normal when our new mattress topper from John Lewis arrived. We have an old mattress that is uncomfortable.  We can feel the springs.  We were struggling to find a suitable mattress.  It was during this time that I read somewhere that there is an inexpensive option.  To purchase a mattress topper at a fraction of the price of a good mattress.  I did more research and found one suitable on the John Lewis website.  Unfortunately it was out of stock.  I decided to wait until it was back in stock but that day never arrived.  In the meantime, we continued struggling with our mattress.

Last week, when we got some John Lewis vouchers in the post, I decided to go ahead and finally order a mattress topper.

Here’s to a good night’s sleep!!!!





2020 · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · milk · Milkandmore · Rural · Vicarage

Milk Bottle Tops For Traditional Milk Bottles

Here at the Vicarage, we have been getting our milk delivered in traditional glasss  bottles for a good number of years now. It is such a delight to receive these glass bottles but the downside is they don’t come with reusable lids.  When we first started getting milk delivered, I was afraid that the milk will go off and so decided to look for milk bottle tops online.  It wasn’t very easy but I managed to find a supplier on Ebay UK.

These plastic tops are reusable and come with a ring which sits nicely on the bottle neck which gives them an edge over Moopops milk tops.  They are reasonably priced and comes with free postage.   The added bonus is that these tops are dishwasher friendly.   I have had mine for years and after having gone through the dishwasher umpteen times they are still in tip top condition.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to promote this product and do not represent the sellers.  






2020 · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · Edinburgh · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Milkandmore · Multi Parish Benefice · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage

It’s not fair!

I have been using online supermarket delivery service for a very long time. It started in Edinburgh when online delivery services were first introduced and I continued with it even in the Scottish Highlands.

Nowadays online shopping has become essential thanks to my health condition.

However, since the coronavirus outbreak, I have been unable to get my weekly delivery slots. I continue to pay for my delivery slots under the saver scheme but just that I have been unable to get A delivery slot. As regular customers, I can’t see how we can get bunked off in favour of new customers. I am all in favour of the elderly and the vulnerable getting my slots but the question is are they really getting these slots or are the hoarders getting them? How do supermarkets know who is who? Why do the supermarkets continue to take money from me when they can’t provide me with a slot????

The same with Milkandmore. We are not getting any of the preordered items except for milk. Again, I feel that we the regular customers have been sidelined in favour of new customers not necessarily needy ones!

2020 · Blogging · Church of England · Cleaner · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · First World Problems · God · Goodhousekeeping · Lewis Chessmen · Milkandmore · Parish Life · Prayer · Rural · Vicarage

Give us this day our daily bread

This morning, I used up the last drop of bleach available to disinfect my kitchen sink and work area. Pre cleaner, I used to have at least 5 bottles of bleach at any one time. However, now that we have a regular cleaner, I have stopped stocking up on cleaning products as my cleaner brings all the cleaning materials.

The supermarkets have run out of bleach among other things. Just as I was about to kick myself for not stocking up….. I got reminded of the Lord’s Prayer where it says give us this day our daily bread and was rebuked! I do not have to worry about tomorrow even though I am already beginning to run out of essentials and humanly speaking, the list can only get longer.

And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. Exodus 16:19-20

Blogging · Clergy Wife · First World Problems · Milkandmore · Rural · Vicarage

Milkman – No show😖

The milkman didn’t turn up on Wednesday.  Together with my usual pint, I had  ordered a dozen free range eggs.  The fact that the milkman didn’t turn up didn’t bother me but what really annoyed me was the response from MilkandMore – the company that provides the milk etc.

I phoned them to request a refund. According  to MilkandMore, their system was down. I was told to do a web chat in order to get a refund, so I started a webchat and guess what? I got the same answer. It was quite amusing when the operator asked if there was anything else she could help with!!!! How can she when she doesn’t have access to basic information????

Anyway, when I opened the door this morning, there were a dozen eggs on the doorstep minus the milk!!!