Our old television came out of the cupboard for the duration of the FIFA world cup and is now back in the cupboard. The Mhinisteir hadn’t been keen for it to go back into the cupboard just yet but the decision was made for us during the semi final match between Morocco and France when during the last ten minutes of the game the television went blank and quiet!
On Monday morning mustering all my strength, I single handledly carried the television down the stairs and dumped it in the cupboard! The Mhinisteir was away conducting a funeral which gave me the perfect opportunity to get into action. I felt exhilarated as I didn’t want the television to become a permanent fixture in the bedroom!
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the FIFA World Cup so far. I am a little sad that it will come to an end this Sunday as I will no longer have anything to look forward to.
I was very impressed with the Japanese and the South Koreans. Ideally I wanted Morocco and Croatia to play each other on Sunday’s final but it wasn’t meant to be but at least they will meet in third place playoff. I am super impressed with the Moroccans for coming this far. A very big well done to them!
I wasn’t keen for Argentina to go through to the final purely based on the amateur dramatics from some of the players. They will do so well in Hollywood!
Anyway, I am just thankful that I got to enjoy good football and also got to see more of the Mhinisteir in the last three weeks. However all good things must come to an end.
These days all of the vicarage groceries are delivered by Ocado the online supermarket. I like the fact that they sell quality products and more importantly their shopping comes in bags – I was fedup with the other supermarkets using climate change as an excuse for not using bags. I just don’t have the physical strength to go on all fours and trying to grab the groceries out of the crate at lightning speed while the driver twiddles his thumb. For those out there who are hyper eco conscious, we return our bags every single time! Apart from the one or two awkward drivers, I am generally very happy with the others who are polite and friendly with the delivery taking less than 3 minutes thanks to the bags.
A fortnight ago a driver appeared one whole hour earlier than the allocated time without calling to check if that was ok. I knew we had a substitute – organic chicken replaced with another brand which I was not keen. The Mhinisteir who happened to be home got to the door before I did and when he had asked the driver about substitutes, he told the Mhinisteir that there was none. How dare he? Thankfully the Mhinisteir was aware of the substitute and insisted that there was one. The driver was obviously rushing and so gave an answer that suited him which was no substitute. Why would anyone who appears one hour before schedule be in a hurry?
The second incident happened last week when I got an email from Ocado to say that my payment from 4 weeks ago didn’t go through! I was to follow the instructions on my online account and pay the outstanding amount. Just that when I went to my online account I couldn’t find the messages section. I decided to phone Ocado for help. I got a nice lady who helped me with my payment. I told her about the missing messages section but she wasn’t keen to help as she kept saying “Oh its all sorted now.” Just that I would like to know how to go to the messages section in the future!
These days those in the service industry are not keen to provide a good service instead they have convinced me that their motto is to get rid of the customer ASAP!
The new cleaner came to the vicarage right on time. After the initial brief, she just got on with the cleaning for the next 2 hours.
Once again, the vicarage is now sparkling.
I was afraid that it would be all too much for her as she is an older person and the vicarage is quite big with lots of nooks and crannies. I am not being ageist. Apologies if I sound like one but as a much younger person, I struggle to go up and down the stairs with a large hoover! )
However, she says that she is very happy and has already promised to come again next week!
We were away for a couple of days last week as planned months ago. Despite almost everything being shut for the Royal funeral, we decided to go ahead with our holiday plans as otherwise the Mhinisteir would never get a break. We can never holiday at home which will be much easier on our pockets because some people struggle to respect the Mhinisteir’s private time. Sad but true.
After a hearty lunch at the city centre’s Wagamama which was one of very few eating places to be opened, we headed to our holiday cottage. As we both unpacked, I realised that I had forgotten to bring my electric toothbrush. On a normal day, we could have just popped to one of the shops to buy a manual one but because it was 19 September 2022, the day of the Queen’s funeral, shops were shut -including the Asian corner shop down the street. A handwritten note stuck to the door read that they were closed for three days until Tuesday!
What could I do? I had to improvise and improvise I did. I won’t go into details and put you off your breakfast! The first thing I did the next day was to buy a toothbrush from one of the many shops that were once again open.
This week, thanks to the Sunday Times, I learnt that a Miss England contestant has decided to compete without any make up!
That made me think….. I am someone for whom personal grooming and appearance is very important. When I say personal grooming, I am referring to a well brushed hair and a bit of colour on the face. Until today, I have stuck to the three items that my mother taught me to use on my face – foundation, eyeliner and a bright lipstick. I use them all the time even when I am just home which is often the case. I dress up for myself as I find that a bit of make up and dressing up gives me confidence in myself and to interact with others. It also means that I will never be caught underdressed!
The nasty bug that I recently caught meant that I wasn’t well enough to go to church for a few weeks which was really disappointing. I decided to watch online services and started watching Anglican church services in different continents! One week it was the continent of Africa – their church services start at 7am (their time)! I think it is way too early. I struggle with our own service time which is two hours later. I still prefer the Scottish time of 11am!
As I was watching the service and trying to pay attention to all that was done and said, I couldn’t help noticing that the worshippers were well dressed. They were looking bright eyed and bushy tailed even at that time of the morning! The women especially were looking very good with their hair coiffed and with a bit of colour on their faces. They were very pretty to look at and reminded me of some of my fellow bloggers who always look as if they are ready to have tea with the Queen of England! 😁
When we used to live in the Scottish Highlands, the talk about death and funerals were part of our everyday life. It was party because of the Mhinisteir’s job but also because we lived in such close knit communities, it was a subject that was very hard to avoid. Shop windows used to be plastered with death announcements and it was considered rude not to attend wakes or funerals of people in the village. Most of the people I know would attend at least one wake/funeral each week but usually more. One man’s wife even nicknamed him the chief mourner because of the number of wakes/funerals he was attending each week!
Here in England, it is the complete opposite. I rarely hear about deaths or funerals. It is usually hush hush. People don’t want to talk about it. The only time I hear about funerals is through the Mhinisteir. I remember going to a Thanksgiving service for a good friend and coming out totally confused. Usually, going to funerals gives me a closure but on this occasion I didn’t get that because without the sight of a coffin it just felt like an ordinary church service.
As a vicar, the Mhinisteir has to be deal with a lot of funerals and one of the big problems that he faces with every other funeral is the order of service. The Church of England has a set of rules that needs to be followed. Unfortunately the bereaved families struggle to abide by them because they want to follow the deceased person’s last wishes which are often not aligned with the CofE rules. As you can imagine, this makes the Mhinisteir’s job very difficult. I know that it is easier to let the family have their way because one doesn’t want to add to their grieve but if the piece of music that the family wants is something that mocks God or contains bad language then surely it can’t be allowed. What an irony!
I recently came across the word “convalescence” and an article relating to it. I know what the word means and used to be part of my vocabulary in my younger days but these days I rarely use this word.
The article was written by a GP in Edinburgh who was bemoaning the loss of convalescent hospitals in general. He was really trying to educate his readers about the importance of convalescence.
I am big on convalescence only because my mother and grandmothers were great advocates.
Sadly, in this modern world, human beings have become too busy to convalescence. I know of a young mother who went back to work a few days after giving birth! I am reliably informed that in some parts of Asia, they have something called the confinement period where the new mother is treated like royalty and is pampered with her favourite food and body massages!
Early morning phone calls to the vicarage rarely bring good news. This one that came a few weeks ago was no different; there was an unnatural death in one of the parishes. Out of respect for the deceased and their family, I will refrain from saying anymore.
However, I was irked by something I heard on my way out of church that Sunday. Those living in rural areas will know that even the tiniest piece of information spreads like wildfire so it would come as no surprise that by the time that Sunday came, almost all the parishes knew about it.
I wasn’t part of the conversation but this is how it went ” I don’t understand people these days. Life is tough. You just got to deal with it”!
I was incensed for a few reasons. This came out of the mouth of someone whom I am fond off. Someone who has known grief and pain. More importantly, this was immediately after the service when we should all have a broken spirit and a contrite heart.