The first week of December saw the Mhinisteir and I going for a mini break which I hope to write about next week but it also marked my second fall in my entire adult life! The first ever fall I suffered as an adult was when I was twenty one and half and in a foreign country.
My second fall happened as the Mhinisteir and I were leaving an eating establishment after enjoying a meal. By the way, I am teetotal. All I remember was seeing a man coming up the stairs in the opposite direction and thinking I needed to make way for him. The next minute I was sliding uncontrollably down the remaining stairs. I heard the Mhinisteir shouting and running down after me. I was so shocked. The Mhinisteir kept asking me if I was hurt but I didn’t know how to answer him. The good news is nothing was broken and because I landed on my bottom, my face was spared. Quite frankly that’s not how I was meant to have fallen. I should have fallen face down. Instead of being grateful, I was angry that I fell. I had to find somebody to be angry with so I chose God. I was angry with Him for a whole 24 hours. However, I was brought to my senses the following day when I looked at myself in the mirror. Despite a very sore bottom, I have absolutely no mark on my body. Can you believe that? All I can say is Praise Be!
Have you ever come across the term ego surfing? I had not until last week when it appeared in the newspaper. According to the paper, ego surfing means to search for one’s name on the internet! Have you ever searched for your name on the internet? I have not only because I dare not! I am not on social media except for this blog so I don’t think there will be anything even though I know that several years back a few photos of the Mhinisteir and I had appeared online thanks to an individual who didn’t bother to seek permission before putting them up.
Please be assured that my blog title is not referring to any human individual instead it describes the new barcoded stamps that came in the post a fortnight ago! They look hideous.
As part of Royal Mail’s swap out programme, I sent away all my beautiful stamps in different denominations worth about £130 to be replaced with barcoded stamps. When the enveloped arrived with the barcoded stamps, I was shocked by the size of the stamps. Furthermore they were all first class stamps. I never buy first class stamps because if like me you have lived in far flung places, you will know that it is not possible for letters to get delivered the next day.
By the way, it didn’t take too long for Royal Mail to send me the barcoded stamps in exchange for my old stamps so kudos to them for that. I wrote a blogpost in February 2022 explaining the reason for the swap which you will find here
I tend to operate on a need to know basis which means that getting information out of me is like pulling hen’s teeth! I have always been that way. I am a very private person. I only come out of my shell on blog posts even then I don’t “bare all”. However, I don’t operate on a need to know basis when it comes to the Mhinisteir. I share EVERYTHING as I believe that it is one of the secrets to a happy marriage.
One day last week I operated on a need to know basis when it came to the Mhinisteir because I had burnt his breakfast croissants! He had to shoot off for a difficult funeral and so he wanted something simple. I have a strict morning routine which starts like this….. Get up and put the kettle on, jump back into bed and read the bible before doing ANYTHING else, However on this fateful morning, I decided to skip the bible reading (bad mistake!) and started with the breakfast while ironing (who irons so early in the morning???). I got so carried away with the ironing that I was late in getting the croissants out of the oven which were by then well cooked. I knew the Mhinisteir had a difficult funeral and he wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. It was very unfair to expect him to eat over cooked croissant and so I threw them in the bin and put fresh ones in the oven again. He was none the wiser!
Since the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022, The good people of Japan have been in the news for all the right reasons. They have gained a reputation for cleaning up the stadium after every match that they attend even if their national team didnt play. I have always been fascinated by the Japanese and their culture so am not at all surprised by their actions.
This is very different to the Mhinisteir’s experience in church one Sunday. He was displeased with the behaviour of the baptismal party that were present in church that particular Sunday. He said that they continued talking loudly to one another even after the service had started until he had to intervene and remind them that they were in a place of worship. How sad that in the modern world so many are lacking good manners but well done to Japan for reminding us what it means.
Ovo who is our energy provider never sends us bills. We had not requested to opt out of receiving bills so I don’t know what is happening.
We didn’t receive a single bill for the whole of last year and still have not received one. The year before last, we received a bill that told us that we had over payed for half the year!
By late last year, I was getting really impatient. I decided to create an online account with Ovo and got a shock when I saw our latest bill. It was huge!
Here in the UK, households are going to see a huge spike in energy bills from April 2022. This was announced long before the war started and now with the war on it is only going to get worse. Sadly, those who live in rural areas like us are already beginning to feel it for we are also dependent on oil for our heating and hot water. When the Mhinisteir placed an order for oil for our oil tank last week, the bill came to £480 instead of the usual £340! We have yet to receive the oil!
Two weeks ago, I read in the Sunday Times that we should all take a meter reading on 31 March 2022 so that our final bill before the price hike will show the old rates. I don’t know if this is useful information but I have asked the Mhinisteir to do me a reading on 31 March 2022. Every little helps!
If you are a Church of England clergy or know of any who may be in need of financial assistance in these difficult times, then please contact the Clergy Support Trust.
I never water the vicarage plants. Instead I give them a bath! I never remember to water them so by the time I have remembered they are gasping for water. A glug of water is never enough to revive them!
About a year and a half ago, I decided to invest in a small plastic watering can hoping that it would encourage me to water the plants more frequently. Unfortunately I never bothered using it and soon had forgotten all about it until a few weeks ago.
Since then, I have been diligently watering the vicarage plants and my, what a difference it has made! The plants are all looking so healthy and are thriving. Long may it continue!
The Mhinisteir’s library is teeming with books. They are mostly theological books but there is a small selection for light reading which is bliss.
On this occasion, I decided to go for the heavy duty stuff. The canons of the Church of England and the 39 Articles of religion as I have been a little concerned about certain things in the Church of England and have not been satisfied with the explanations offered.
The 39 Articles of the Church of England is a fairly easy read. It is very similar to the Westminster confession of faith which I grew up with.
The canons of the Church of England is a bit like a summarised version of the bible. It is very informative and helped to clear all the doubts that I had.
After having read both the canons and the 39 articles, I have been left wondering why the Church of England struggles to abide by them!😁
Since the start of the year, I have started going to ALL the services on Sundays and to the midweek services too. As you can imagine, it is a LOT of services to attend in a week. No wonder I am knackered for the rest of the week!
With umpteen parishes and me just attending two services on a Sunday, it was difficult to see most of the parishioners on a regular basis. I wanted to see more of them and I know they wanted to see a bit more of me too because some have told me so! This was the reason I gave the Mhinisteir for my decision to attend all the services. However, that is not the main reason; I have no intention of telling him the main reason either!
Regular readers will know that some time ago there was an incident in one of the parishes. Sadly, it isn’t a one off incident or exclusive to that one parish. The Mhinisteir has to deal with such behaviour on a weekly basis. Thankfully, it is not personal. The churchwardens are angry with every decision maker in the Church of England especially those in the diocese because they don’t want to belong to a multi parish benefice.
They want to function in the old way when there was a priest for EVERY parish. With just A HANDFUL of people attending church in these parishes on a Sunday, it isn’t viable.
Sitting in these churches, helplessly witnessing these horrible behaviours towards the Mhinisteir is painful. On one such occasion, I remember wishing that I wasn’t there but then I decided to put myself in the Mhinisteir’s shoes; how lonely he must feel?
I cannot and must not interfere in church matters but I can be there for him. As we said in our marriage vows… for better, for worse.
Two days after I had sent in my short story, there was an email from the organisers. Just acknowledging receipt of my story which I thought was very kind of them. I wasn’t expecting any correspondence at all!
Another two days later, I received another email from them. This I thought was strange. The email said that there was a discrepancy in my word count!!!! They wanted to know if I had missed some parts out. Oh dear! Maybe my story didn’t make sense. How could I get the word count wrong? I quickly checked and realised that my word count included spaces! I have since rectified it and resend it.