2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Village · Winter

Can it get any worse?

Photo by Dids on Pexels.com

As I type this, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry as that is the type of day I had yesterday!

Regular readers will know that the vicarage boiler has been down since last Thursday and it remains so. To add to that, we had an unexpected power cut the whole of yesterday. It started just before 10am and went on and on. The Mhinisteir had back to back zoom meetings and had to cancel all of them. He rang around the neighbours and mysteriously nobody had a power cut! However, a few of them reported seeing several power network vans in the village.

Without the little electric heaters, the vicarage grew very cold very quickly. I could no longer take cover under the electric blanket! The Mhinisteir contacted the power network people and was informed that there was a planned work going on of which we should have been notified a month ago and that the power will be off until 2.30pm that day. We did not receive ANY such notification! The villagers hadn’t heard of it either! If I had known of the power cut, I would have filled our thermos flasks with hot water and soup instead we found ourselves without any hot water or hot food.

The Mhinisteir suggested going out for lunch. Hot food and a bit of warmth sounded attractive and off we went. On our way out of the village, we saw the power network people working on the cables causing us to be hopeful that power would be resumed as promised.

On our way back, the power network vans had disappeared and we could see the lights in the village; things were looking up.

The first thing I did upon entering the vicarage was to turn on the lights. Lo and behold, there was no light!!!!!!! Oh dear!!!!

By this time, the Mhinisteir’s mobile had run out of battery, after plugging in the analog phone, the Mhinisteir phoned the power network people again. According to their records, power was restored in our area some time ago and so they were puzzled. Oh dear!

They promised to send an engineer within 3 hours. With the sun going down, the vicarage was getting even colder. About half and hour later, the doorbell rang. It was the power network engineers!!! Hallejujah!!!!

From the moment the Mhinisteir opened the door till they left, they were apologising profusely. This is what happened….. because the vicarage is on a dead end, they didn’t know it existed and so didn’t bother turning on our power again. This is the same reason why we were not notified of the planned work because as far as they were concerned we didn’t exist!!!!!! As to why most of the villagers were unaffected; it’s because the vicarage is on a hill and so we share the powerlines with folk outside the village! Baffling? I know.ūüėĀ

Thankfully, power has been restored but still no sign of the boiler engineer. We really can’t go on like this for much longer as it is very disruptive and tiresomeūüôÉūüôÉ. We are both so tired with all the excitement and can’t wait for normal services to resume.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Parishioners · Postie · Rural · Spring · Vicarage · Village

Village News/Gossip*delete where appropriate!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Last week, the Mhinisteir and I went for our afternoon walk around our little village. As usual, we saw many little activities.

Our neck of the woods is currently very popular among house buyers and so houses that are up for sale get snapped up instantly. There is a little house that has gone up for sale but so far no buyers yet which is quite strange but then it is a strange looking little house with lots of plastic flowers. I am not even sure that it is occupied.

Anyway, as I was walking and thinking about this little house, the Mhinisteir exclaimed “That’s our postman”!

“Are you sure”?? I asked. He said he was quite sure. Mmmmm. The woman that he went into the house with actually lives with another man in that house so what was the postie doing there? From the looks of it, they had just come back from a big grocery shopping. Maybe our postie is her new partner!!! Mmmmm…. These kind of things make exciting village gossip news!!!

Rumour has it that there is a thief prowling about in our village. Apparently, someone walked into the home of an elderly villager and stole some cash. I am not sure if it really happened. It could be that the elderly villager had used the cash for something and had completely forgotten about it. It is easy done. Anyway, that has made me a little nervous. We don’t have a burglar alarm. I am not sure what use it is anyway. We used to have one in our previous Vicarage but I would say it was pretty pointless as it doesn’t get connected to the police. Usually only townies have burglar alarms in rural areas!!

Since last week, we have two muntjacs (small deers) visiting us daily. They look really cute. I saw them in the churchyard first thing this morning. They were busy having their breakfast. I sincerely hope that they will leave the fresh flowers on the tombstones alone and focus on the other vegetation available in abundance.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Faith · Flowers · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Spring · Tesco · Vicarage · Village

Bouquets & Brickbats

This is my first blog post since the start of Spring 2021! I continue to feel a lot more tired than usual so my poor blog has been neglected for the last fortnight.

The Mhinisteir is crazy busy (like the character’s boyfriend in The Little Bakery). I still don’t think it is fair or right to ask clergy to shoulder so much of burden disguised as multi parish benefice. It is not one or two other parishes. You almost need a third pair of hands to count the number of parishes. Everyday someone or something is kicking off so a bit like whack a mole! The Mhinisteir Is obviously very happy with his work, though tired. However, I am feeling his pressure. EVERYTHING has to revolve around his tight schedule which can be quite difficult.

Bouquets

I had a very pleasant Tesco delivery on Tuesday. Unusually, the young delivery man was very attentive. He took the effort to inform me of substitutes and even helped me with the shopping. Later on, I realised that there was an extra bunch of daffodils in the bag!!!!! What a lovely surprise!

Brickbats

I have always ordered my repeat prescription online and this week when I tried to do the same, I was unsuccessful. I was able to access my records alright but there was no option for me to choose the correct prescription which was odd. I was very reluctant to ring the surgery but I had no choice.

I rang and explained my difficulty. The receptionist insisted on transferring me to the pharmacy. I could not understand why. She said that they in the surgery don’t know anything about the online system and that she will have to transfer me to the pharmacy. I finally had to ask if the pharmacy were in charge of the online system to which she answered no. So why on earth transfer me to the pharmacy???????? I just want my online account to work. Finally she said she could change my password but I had to come to the surgery. There was nothing wrong with my password!!!! Quite frankly changing the password wasn’t going to solve the problem. By this time, I was getting slightly irritated but I had to “smile” and be polite for they ALL know that I am the Vicar’s wife!

Anyway, I just thanked her and rung off!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Condolence · Coronavirus · Death · England · Face Masks · Funeral · God · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Another day, Another funeral

The first thing that caught my eye when I woke up this morning was that of the grave digger. Together with his two assistants, he was busy digging the grave in preparation for the funeral of a villager that was due to take place later in the day. I often wonder what goes through their minds as they do their job. Do they think about death at all?

As for me, I am glad to have woken up to that view because it immediately caused me to be thankful. Thankful to be alive!

As I paid my respects through the Vicarage window, I saw for the first time ever, two female pallbearers!!!! They looked petite but must be very strong. Anyway, due to strict Covid rules, There were only a handful of mourners.

Another wet day here so the Mhinisteir came back with muddy feet and he was soaked down to his socks!!!! His cassock alb would have looked very good in a detergent advertisement (the before version)!!!

He also came back with news that Covid19 getting closer and closer to home. Several people in at least 2 of our parishes have tested positive! I most sincerely wish that the penny will finally drop for people because I cannot see anyone treating this deadly pandemic seriously.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. РPsalm 8:1

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Post Office · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Encounter at the Village Post Office

“There is no room to paste the postage label” said the man at our village post office. He shook his head while looking at the small parcel. Just that I had over 20 of the same sized parcels to be posted.!

“What do you want me to do?” I asked. The man continued shaking his head. At that point, I realised that I had to take matters into my own hands. There is no way I was going to redo everything! I asked him to sell me sufficient postage stamps so that I will be able to paste them myself.

He shook his head again! He didn’t have sufficient stamps!!! He finally concluded that he will be able to affix the computer generated postage label after all. Hooray! Battle won!

However, he won’t be able to do it right away. Fine. I was happy to pay for them first. He shook his head again! For some strange reason because he wasn’t going to process them them right away, I won’t be able to pay by credit card, it had to be debit card. Fine.

Can I please have a receipt? No… I think one can guess where this is going. He shook his head yet again!!!!!!!!!! I can’t have a receipt because he wasn’t going to process them immediately. He suggested that I come back either on Thursday or Friday for the receipt?????? Mmm… It was only Tuesday and he said that the parcels will be processed the same day so why would the receipt only be available on Thursday or Friday???!!!

Anyway, I was exhausted by then and the Mhinisteir was waiting in the cold for me so I decided to leave it at that and pray that the parcels will reach the intended recipients!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Life · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Pharmacy Foolishness

This week I had to get my prescription from the Pharmacy. As we don’t have a Doctor’s Surgery in our village, I had to register with the surgery in another village. Since we are in a multi parish benefice, that village too comes under the Mhinisteir’s patch! The Pharmacy is attached to the main surgery building.

With Covid 19, access to the Pharmacy is restricted to only one person at a time. The rest have to wait in the cold! We don’t usually get much rain but it has been raining at some point every single day for the last 6 weeks. Anyway, there were 3 men ahead of me. I waited for at least 15 minutes before someone attended to the first man in the queue. All these while, we had to wait in the cold and it was threatening rain!

Any sane person should know that those who go to the pharmacy are usually not in the pink of health. How foolish to make us wait in the cold?

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Churchyard · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Keep off the Churchyard, please!

Most of the rooms in the Vicarage look out to the Churchyard. I love looking out of the window as I like the serene view and the reminder that we are all pilgrims in this world. I even get a fabulous view of the churchyard when I am sitting up in bed!

The sight that irritates me most is when dog owners use the churchyard as a footpath and allow their dogs to run all over the Churchyard when there is a perfectly suitable footpath for all dog walkers to use.

It irritates me because it is so disrespectful! Often, there are fresh graves when only a short while earlier some family was standing there solemnly often weeping uncontrollably as their loved one was buried.

A Churchyard is just not a place for dogs. Period.

2020 · Blogging · Bully · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · Forgiveness · God · Left Handed · Midsomer Murders · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Tears · Vicarage · Village

Bullies are Cowards!

I was excited to be moving to England.  I had never been to England just to London.  All I knew about England was through Midsomer Murders!  I was disappointed that there was no John Lewis in Oxford but never mind.

I was excited about finding a job in England.  In Scotland, I was self employed. I was nervous about working in the outside world but I needed to get stuck in. 

Despite being well qualified, I wasn’t getting past the interview stages. I was frustrated. ¬†There was a firm in our village and I decided to email my CV to the owner (who was to become my boss). Just that they were not hiring!!!’ I got a reply the next day. ¬†I started work on the ¬†21st of September! I was elated. ¬†It was my dream job!

Sadly for me, I knew by day two that I was unhappy in that office. My boss was a couple of years older than me. He was hot tempered and got very angry at the drop of a hat. I was often afraid that he might throw something at me! His behaviour was erratic.  Was he a bully?  I had never met a bully before so I quickly brushed that thought aside.  How wrong I was!

I didn’t want to resign because it had been so so difficult trying to find a job.

My boss monitored my every movement including my emails, phone calls. etc. I knew I was being monitored.  Thankfully I could walk home for lunch so was able to get some respite. I felt trapped. 

I dreaded going to work.

By¬†Christmas that year, I was so stressed that I had developed ulcers all over inside my mouth. Despite all the emotional sufferings, I never missed a day’s work!

The final straw that broke the camel’s back was one Friday in February when my boss CONFISCATED my chair for about 2 hours!!!! I had to type a report standing. He found it all amusing. Was this really happening to me? Me a middle aged woman being treated like a naughty child?

I served my one months’s notice.

What was supposed to have been a very happy start to my life in England had made me homesick and miserable.

A few years later, just when I thought that I had put this very sad chapter of my life behind, ¬†I heard that this person was preparing to become a Church of England Ordinand!!!!! Don’t these things only happen in the movies???

It has been many years since this happened but it still feels very raw. I will always remember the 21st of September for all the wrong reasons!

2020 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Multi Parish Benefice · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Vicarage · Village

Goldfish Bowl

Something trivial almost tipped me over yesterday. No, I am not proud of it.

I was not feeling too well so I guess I was needing a little more privacy than usual. Living in a Vicarage can sometimes feel like being in a goldfish bowl.

Our kitchen window is just inches away from the Vicarage driveway so one gets a full view of everything that is happening in the kitchen unless you have the curtain shut. When I went to the kitchen, I saw a car parked with the driver missing but with a passenger still inside.

I got super annoyed. Annoyed that the car was parked there without permission but also didn’t quite appreciate being treated like an exhibit in a museum. Just as I was huffing and puffing, the undertakers decided that they would park their big black van blocking entry to our own driveway!

I have had enough and decided to shut the curtains!

Surely I am entitled to a little privacy in my own home.

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!