2021 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Britbox · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · India · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Winter

A Suitable Boy

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Many many years ago, I remember sitting in our cold Scottish manse and reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth . It transported me to a country that I had not yet visited; I have since visited India even though it was a very brief trip. I am not sure I enjoyed the book as I don’t remember the story very much. The book wasn’t an easy read; I think it had 19 parts to it! The small print on the paperback copy added to the difficulty.

Since we don’t own a television, we did not get to watch the BBC mini series of the same name when it aired in 2020. However, in the middle of September, I got an email from Britbox informing me that the mini series is now available to us Britbox subscribers!

We have since watched the whole series and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Surprisingly, I found it very relaxing. I also understand the story a little better now.

It is worth watching if you have not already watched it!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Funeral · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

The last one week….

I have been off colour since last Thursday. The doctor prescribed me with some antibiotics and since then I am feeling all funny. I am more tired than I usually am and so have struggled to keep up with my usual activities.

We finally got our cleaner back on Thursday which is bliss. We also had to go back to the Optician to get both our spectacles adjusted. Mine was pinching me so I was walking around with cotton wool around my ear while the Mhinisteir had the opposite problem in that his wasn’t fitting very well.

I spent Friday moping around feeling sorry for myself.

On Saturday, I got some news that made me really really angry. I am not sure than I have calmed down yet. I am just so disappointed thats all.

Sunday was Mothering Sunday. They were giving out wee gifts to all mothers in Church. I got one too even though I am not a mother but I did feel a bit awkward receiving it as I felt like an imposter.

On Monday morning, the Mhinisteir shouted ” We have a problem in the kitchen”. “What kind of problem???” I asked. He replied that there was a little bird in the kitchen. A bird?????/ How on earth did it get there? Anyway, the Mhinisteir managed to sent it out.

The Mhinisteir continues to be very busy with funerals. He does a minimum of 3 funerals a weeks. I gather that the funeral directors are struggling with the rise in the number of death due to Covid19 and so there is a backlog.

The Vicarage egg supply comes directly from a farm as we consume large amounts of egg. I was expecting mine on Wednesday and when it arrived, I almost had a mini cardiac!!!!!!!! It is clearly stated on the box that they are eggs and so the box should always be kept upright. The courier driver in his wisdom decided that the box should be at the door on its side instead of being upright. I had to quickly dash to the door and make sure that non of the eggs were broken. Miraculously none were broken.

It is raining again today. The weather generally doesn’t bother me but I am fedup of the grey skies and rain.

Oh another thing….. We seem to have a few ladybirds around the house which has puzzled me. I have never seen them before. Hopefully it is not an infestation.

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

Am I the only fool to have done it????

I was mortified to learn yesterday that I have completed my Census 2021 survey way too early!!!!! There was a letter in the Telegraph rebuking numpties like me who have already completed the Census online. Strangely, the Census website allowed me to complete the survey. Anyway, it is too late now to undo my wrong. I just need some reassurance that I am not the only one (just to assuage my guilty conscience!!!!)

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · England · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Do these things only happen to us?

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The Mhinisteir has quite a few watches. All of them were given to him as gifts. On Sunday, as we were getting ready for Church, I noticed that he didn’t have his watch on his wrist. On probing, I discovered that the watch that he usually wears needs a new battery. I suggested that he use one of the other watches that he owns. That was when he sheepishly told me that ALL of them are needing a new battery and that he had only realised it the day before!!!!!!! What is the point of owning so many watches???? Of course with us in lockdown, none of the watch shops are open to get a new battery!!!!!!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Dairy Free · England · Food · Gluten Free · Left Handed · Roast Chicken · Rural · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen · Winter

From the Vicarage Kitchen | Sliced Baked Potatoes (Dairy & Gluten Free)

This potato dish goes very well with roast chicken. It is fairly easy to prepare and the best thing is that the oven does most of the work.

Recipe (Serves 2 to 3)

4 medium potatoes. peeled and thinly sliced (I use organic ones)

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

Dairy free butter, enough to grease the baking dish and to dot the potatoes (I use Stork)

Rice milk, enough to cover the potatoes. (I use Alpro)

Salt

Method

  1. Rub the baking dish liberally with the dairy free butter.
  2. Arrange one layer of the sliced potatoes.
  3. Dot it with dairy free butter.
  4. Scatter a few of the thinly sliced onions and season with salt.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you run out of the sliced potatoes.
  6. Pour enough milk to cover the potatoes.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 170c for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  8. Enjoy!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Doctor · England · Iron · Left Handed · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Supermarket · Tesco · Vicarage · Winter

Mouldy Vegetables & Censors 2021 among other things.

I decided to have a lazy day yesterday so spent most of my time in the spare bedroom fully dressed. I was tired and had a few things on my mind that were weighing me down. The weather too was grey.

Anyway, my to do list is very long so couldn’t afford a lazy day today. I had to be dressed and ready for the Tesco delivery. As usual, the delivery arrived 20 minutes earlier which was absolutely fine. Unfortunately, I ended up with 2 packs of mouldy vegetables! I do get a little harassed when I deal with supermarket deliveries. It is a pity that the delivery person just stands there and does nothing. They don’t even bother telling you about the substitutes etc. I don’t know how you can put the shopping away and check for substitutes all at the same time!

I only noticed the mouldy vegetables after the deliveryman had left so I had to email Tesco but had to provide images of the mouldy vegetables. It was only then did I realise that I didn’t know how to use the camera on my MacBook! It took me 5 minutes to figure out the camera and another 5 to take the necessary photos so in total in took me half an hour to email Tesco to get a refund. I suppose this is to be expected when shopping online. The good news is I got my refund within the hour!

After lunch, I worked on Census 2021. I was expecting to receive a paper version so was disappointed when I realised that we had to do it online. Since the pandemic, the Mhinisteir is super busy with work. I really don’t know how one man can be asked to be in charge of so many parishes and on top of his usual workload, he is doing a handful of funerals every single week!!!!! The Mhinisteir tells me that he loves his job but I am not happy with his workload. I digress…..It took me about 15 minutes to complete Censors 2021 electronically. It was fairly straightforward but time consuming.

After Census 2021, I phoned the Surgery, hoping to get a telephone appointment with the doctor at some point during the week. According to the voice message, the surgery is not available to the public on Tuesday afternoons. Seriously???

I slowly worked through the mountain of ironing that needed to be done. I must have been ironing like a maniac for there is now a large hole in my new iron board cover!

All in all, it has been a productive day.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Heaven · Left Handed · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Winter

Old Mrs Bear’s Birthday

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Today would have been old Mrs Bear’s birthday. Sadly, Old Mrs Bear passed away last year.

I have just finished writing a letter to her husband, old Mr Bear. Old Mr Bear has been poorly and he is quite deaf so telephone conversations are difficult. However, I want him to know that he is not forgotten and that he will always be our favourite bear!

Now that I have finished writing the letter, I feel so sad as I will probably never get to see him in person ever again!!!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

An Afternoon at the Optician

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The Mhinisteir and I have just come back home each with a brand new pair of spectacles which we are quite pleased with. We are very pleased with the service we got too. The cost of each pair was eye watering but I won’t say anymore! I have been wearing spectacles since I was 10 so I am blind as a bat without them!!!!

We prefer independent opticians so we used one in a neighbouring town. We had actually gone to the Optician more than a month ago as the glazing in my old spectacles had completely gone and so I had to resort to an old pair which was about 7 years old! Anyway, while we were there, we were told that the new spectacles would be ready in two weeks but because of Brexit it has taken an extra two weeks.

In case you are wondering, I went for bold red frame!

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · FT Weekend · Left Handed · Newspaper · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Telegraph · Times · Vicarage · Winter

Sunday Papers

Here in the Vicarage, after all these years, we have once again started buying the Sunday Papers. For a news junkie like me, it is total bliss!

We used to buy the Sunday paper when we lived in Scotland but we had to order in advance and could only pick it up on MONDAYS. Due to strict sabbatarian laws, most shops including the newsagents weren’t open on the Sabbath.

Since moving to England, we rarely bought the Sunday papers. However since the new year, we have arranged to have the Sunday papers delivered so we get a total of three different papers on different days!

2021 · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Left Handed · Royal Bank of Scotland · Rural · Vicarage · Winter

Cheque Book

I needed to write a cheque to Old Mrs Patel and so I got my cheque book out, soon I realised that I didn’t have any new cheques left! Typical! Usually the bank in my case, the Royal Bank of Scotland will send a new cheque book out when you are left with just a few but of course these days cheques are considered obsolete so the bank doesn’t send a new cheque book out UNLESS you request for one! As I found out yesterday, it isn’t a straightforward process either!

Rural living is quite “old fashioned”. We still use cash and cheques. I am very happy to use them. Rural cash machines even give out £5 notes something which I have never encountered in cities. However, in a fast moving and ever changing world, those in the minority are left behind. Sad but true.