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.
What I am about to write might shock my blogger friend Anne who blogs at Mehrling Muse but I have just had about enough with Wordle!
When I first discovered Wordle some weeks ago, I was excited. I enjoyed trying to solve the puzzle at the close of most days.
After a nice hot bath, I would jump into bed with my old ipad and try and solve the puzzle. I usually was able to solve the puzzle in under 10 minutes and will move on swiftly to read the day’s newspapers for the second time!
A few days after it was announced that Wordle had been sold to the New York Times, I discovered that I was no longer able to access Wordle on my old ipad. Fair enough I thought as my ipad is old. It just meant that I was not able play Wordle in the comfort of my bed.
Anyway, I continued playing Wordle on my laptop in my study but that was short lived. No matter how hard I tried, I just wasn’t able to solve the puzzles. The usual methods just didn’t work. Later on I read somewhere that since the take over, the New York Times has made puzzle solving harder! What a shame!
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😁!
In yesterday’s Telegraph, There was a large obituary of Lord Denham: Chief Whip in the Lords throughout Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
In his obituary, I read about a rather amusing incident that happened in Eton between him (Bertie) and John Habgood, who later went on to become the Archbishop of York.
At Eton, he sat next to John Habgood, the future Archbishop of York. When Bertie sought help in a French test, Habgood replied: “if you can’t do your own homework, you shouldn’t ask other people to do it for you.” Denham considered this a shade un-Christian.
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!
Church under fire in wake of Liverpool suicide bombing for helping asylum seekers to ‘game’ system
The above was the headlines in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph. It is of course very unfair. I am irked! Apparently, these are the sentiments of the Home Secretary too.
There would be a massive public outcry if we were to remove the word Church and replace it with the name of any another religious institution. However, because it is the Church, the Home Secretary and the likes will get away with it.
There was a photo of both the British Prime Minister and the President of the United States of America in the Telegraph last week. The photo was taken at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Coincidentally both leaders had their eyes firmly shut in that photo; they both looked like they were having their forty winks in the middle of a conference!
A commentator for the Telegraph who shall remain unnamed decided to mock the President of the USA for dosing off while heaping praises on the British Prime Minister for all his efforts towards climate change! I would say that the American President had a valid reason for dosing off: jetlag. The British Prime Minister had none!
The following day, there was a caricature of the American president dozing off under a tree! It is no surprise that a right wing paper like the Telegraph enjoys having a go at the current American president but it suddenly dawned on me that it is his age that they are making fun off which is quite frankly not funny at all.
In Wednesday’s Telegraph, there was a photo of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (known as finance minister in other countries), shamelessly posing in his expensive sandals pairing it with white socks. The photo was taken at No 11 Downing Street (this is the residence of the chancellor) in the run up to Wednesday’s budget.
This is the man who stopped the extra £20 Universal credit (benefit payment to the unemployed or low income earners) that claimants were receiving during the pandemic but has got no qualms in posing in his £95 sandals. It is just vulgar!!!
How can a man who is so well off care about the poor? I thought he would at least PRETEND that he cared but the photo has just proved otherwise!!!!
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!