I have started paying particular attention to the King since he became the new Monarch. For a man who it is alleged has someone to put toothpaste in his toothbrush, he often looks untidy with overgrown hair. Surely, he is not struggling to get an hair appointment like us his humble subjects??!! I sincerely hope that it is not too late for him to take a leaf out of his late parents books.
“Relatively young, not very young as you say” said the Mhinsteir while correcting me. We were talking about our trip to the cathedral when I had said something along the lines of “I am very young…..”. He is right. I am relatively young. I must have gotten carried away.
Anyway, this came about because as mentioned earlier we were talking about our trip to the cathedral a month ago. We were at the cathedral as the Mhinisteir had been invited for a special evensong.
I am not a fan of cathedral evensongs because it tends to go on and on but more importantly they like to do them by candlelight which I dislike as it is very difficult to read and follow the order of service.
Unusually, on this occasion, I did enjoy the evensong even though the choir could have looked less scruffy!
However, there was something in that service that bothered me but I didn’t know what it was. Thankfully after a day of contemplation, I knew exactly what it was – there was hardly any young person! The place was full of OAPs. At this point, I need to apologise to my fellow blogger Granny1947 for once again sounding ageist! By the way, do look her up. She writes candidly about life in South Africa.
I was quite surprised at myself for thinking that way but there really was hardly any young person. Why? English cathedrals are usually in cities where you will see many young people. We saw many on the way to the cathedral but none of them were inside! Why? I don’t really have an answer to that question but all I know is that we need to try harder.
I have noticed on the rare occasions when we dine out that some modern people no longer feel obliged to follow good table manners or dining etiquette. One of my pet peeves is salad hanging out of one’s mouth!!! I know it sounds hilarious but it is not a pretty sight on an adult human being!!!
I have also noticed that using the necessary cutlery has become optional for these people; they prefer to eat with their fingers. I know that it certain cultures, people eat with their fingers and they do it so elegantly but to try and stuff salad in one’s mouth with the use of their fingers is not a pretty sight!
With that I come to today’s post…..I read in the Sunday papers that a
lady woman from somewhere in England has become quite famous through her Tiktok video containing a hack to minimise washing up. According to the papers, before every meal time, she covers her dining table with kitchen foil and plates up her food on the table itself so that her children can eat off the table without the need for plates and cutlery!!!! Please don’t try it at home🤣🤣🤣🤣.
Here in the vicarage, we use our britbox subscription to watch comedies and sitcoms from the 70s like Rising Damp. Occasionally, we watch newer programmes like Father Brown. It was on one such occasion that we were recommended another crime drama called Murder in Provence. According to Britbox, it is a Britbox original. Very recently, ITV have started airing it.
Anyway, the Mhinisteir and I decided to take up Britbox’s recommendation and watch Murder in Provence. However, we had to abruptly abandon watching it after about 15 minutes because it felt really strange that even though the drama was set in France, they were all speaking in English!!!!!! I had foolishly assumed that it would be in French with English subtitles.
Early last week, here in the UK, we experienced a heatwave. Thankfully it only lasted two days but the hype before the “event” was quite something.
I am so glad that I ignored most of the weather warnings and packed some warm clothes as we had to be away the whole week. Yes, the temperature did shoot to 39 degree celcius but it very quickly came down to about 17 degree celcius later in the week. Now that we are back at the vicarage, I have gone back to cardigans and scarves!
The heatwave meant that while walking to my lunch destination in the city centre, I had to very reluctantly come face to face with young men in their bare bodies and young women in their bikini tops!!!!
Last Friday, the General Synod of the Church of England met in York. The meetings lasted until Tuesday this week.
Since it is usually done via Youtube, the Mhinisteir and I were able to catch up before bedtime each night.
The first thing that struck me was that very few clergy were wearing their clerical shirts. By day two, even the ABC and the ABY had ditched their clerical attire. There were scores of them in bermudas. Some ladies were in their vest tops. It appeared very disrespectful towards the dignitaries who were present. Among them were the Archbishop of Congo and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.
In recent days, the weather here in the UK has been very hot but that can’t be used as an excuse. If the dignitary from the orthodox church can turn up in his full regalia day in and day out so can the ABC in his clerical shirt.
Another observation I made is that the knitter wasn’t in focus. Instead I got to see a cute man with a full head of dark curly hair. He usually appeared on the bottom right of the screen and was often dozing off! Pity he was oblivious to the fact that he was on camera. At other times, he would be looking at his mobile phone. I just assumed that he was catching up on his favourite TV programme!
It was only on the last day that I discovered that my cute man on the screen is the ABY’s new chief of staff! I look forward to seeing more of him in future Synod meetings!
While we were on holiday, one of the news stories to catch my attention was that of a couple who were denied the opportunity to buy a property they liked because of their sexual orientation. The sellers had replied to the couple saying that due to their faith and beliefs, they would not be able to sell their house to this couple!
This story reminded me of the time when the Mhinisteir and I were invited by some friends for a long weekend at a famous hotel in Oxford. They had wanted us to meet some friends of theirs, husband and wife. Over afternoon tea, we got to know this couple a little. It just started with small talk over how their journey was etc. I was totally not expecting what came next. They apologised for being late in coming down for afternoon tea as they were busy “cleansing” and praying over the room. They must have seen the shock on my face and so started explaining that whenever they have a hotel stay, they will pray over the bed as it may have been used by adulterous couples etc!!!! Needless to say that we never kept it touch with this couple!!
*Mind your own business😁
Many many years ago, the Mhinisteir and I were on holiday in Spain round about this time of the year. It was my first visit to Spain. I was not sure what to make of it as there were Brits everywhere! If that was not enough, every other cafe served all day English breakfast! I love a good cooked breakfast but just not in Spain!😁
One of the first things that we do whenever we arrive on foreign soil is to make sure we find out if there is an English speaking church so that we can go there for Sunday worship. The Mhinisteir found out that there was a fellowship that met in a local hotel on Sunday evenings.
The Sunday evening came and we excitedly walked to the hotel. Upon entering the hotel, we saw a lady from the fellowship with a signboard in English which we found so useful. The service was held in one of the hotel’s ballroom. When we arrived there, we got a very warm welcome. There were about 30 of us mainly holidaymakers. The service was led by a husband and wife team with lots of quotes from the Daily Mail! In some ways, it felt like as if we never left the country!
After the service, just as we were planning a quick exit, the wife came up to us and asked if she could pray for us. She said that she felt that God was asking her to do it and that it had something to do with our imminent future. Before I continue the story, I must stress that this fellowship was run by Charismatic Evangelicals whereas we are high church. Anyway, the Mhinisteir gave her the go ahead and so she placed her hands on both our heads and she said a heartfelt prayer. She might have spoken in tongues for a bit but I can’t remember as I was so nervous. By the way, she didn’t know ANYTHING about us especially the Mhinisteir’s occupation as that can sometimes put people off.
Fast forward to six months later, The Mhinisteir and I had very unexpectedly moved for him to start his incumbency in a Church in a different area! Needless to say that we never forgot this experience.
If God could speak to Balaam through his donkey (Numbers 22:28-31) then this experience should not have come as a shock to me but it did.
The Church of England has released its first ever Christmas single! You can watch and listen to it here.
Sadly, it is a thumbs down from me as everything about the choir looks funereal but more importantly I prefer the traditional version. Sorry!
“So is the body in the morgue?” I quizzed the Mhinisteir. I added that I wished to attend the funeral service. The Mhinisteir looking confused asked me whose funeral I was referring to. “P’s of course.” I said. “The funeral is over.” he said. I was too shocked to reply.
According to the Mhinisteir, the funeral was over a good few weeks ago. I was of course wondering why he hadn’t told me about it. He said he too didn’t know about it as it was a direct cremation. As I am not familiar with the term “direct cremation”, I thought it was the name of the funeral directors!
He went on to explain that P had opted for direct cremation which means that nobody would have been present at the crematorium and that there was no service. I was so shocked that I struggled to get the right words out of my mouth.
The Mhinisteir went on to explain that people are increasingly opting for direct cremations. One reason is the cost but the more popular reason is that they don’t want sad farewells!
I am beginning to wonder if in this modern world, we are trying to remove the “sting of death”. Funerals help us in the grieving process. If we don’t grief properly, then it might come back to bite us!