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What’s the fuss about?

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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😁!

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of York · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Newspaper · Rural · Telegraph · Vicarage

The Archbishop and the Chief Whip

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.

The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 9 December 2021
2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · FT Weekend · Holiday · Newspaper · Rural · Telegraph · Times · Vicarage

10 days worth of newspapers

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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!

2021 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Autumn · Blogging · Cathedral · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Telegraph · Vicarage

Unfair Headlines

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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.

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Telegraph · Vicarage

Ageism

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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.

2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Telegraph · Vicarage

Despicable Display

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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!!!!

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

Overreliance on AI or Incompetence?

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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 · Bishop · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Rural · Spring · Telegraph · Vicarage

RE

There was an article in yesterday’s Telegraph reporting that religious education teachers have been told in new guidance that primary school pupils should be taught about ‘white privilege’.

One of the people who questioned whether the guide was appropriate is the former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali.

The situation in the educational institutions is that white working-class boys are at the bottom of the pile. So what does it mean to teach them that they are privileged?

Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, The Bishop of Rochester 1994 – 2009, Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 16 June 2021

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · FT Weekend · God · Left Handed · Mental Health · Private Eye · Rural · Sabbath Day · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Spring · Telegraph · Times · Vicarage

Sundays!

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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?

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Telegraph · Vicarage

Monkey Business

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I am still not feeling great. I am so tired that I have been sleeping a lot more than usual. This feeling of tiredness has contributed to my writer’s block. Thankfully I am feeling a wee bit perkier today and thus the renewed enthusiasm to blog!

In yesterday’s newspaper, there was a report that a missing monkey believed to be a marmoset was found at a railway station in Glasgow! I of course was very interested to know which zoo this cheeky monkey had escaped from. I was shocked to learn that it is actually someone’s pet!!!!!! Who would have thought that you can have a monkey as a pet????!!!

Apparently, it is legal to keep some small primates without a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

One learns new things everyday!!!