Posts Tagged ‘housework’

The Vicarage often seems to be heading for this state

Before the Vicar started at theological college, we spent time with some wise friends, Muso and Holy, who were already living on campus there. Theological college can be a funny old place where relationships are often very intense – with people studying, worshipping and living with one another, you get to see each other in very sharp focus. Our friends explained how college was a community of saints – and also a community of sinners.

Holy knew me pretty well and she warned me that I should be careful how I came across because (she said)

Some people might find you a bit intimidating…

Can’t think what gave her that idea. Apart from me being very loud, self confident and bossy, that is. And quite tall. So I arrived at college fully determined to restrain myself as much as possible. The Lord clearly thought I’d be unable to do this unaided, so actually what happened when we started was that I contracted a horrible virus and was laid up in bed for about a month. No chance of being too scary then. Or so I hoped.

Later, when we’d settled in, I thought I’d check up on how I’d done with the not-being-frightening thing, so I asked a new friend about it. Did she think I was intimidating when she first met me? I’d not done as well as I thought because she replied:

I did at first….  But then I saw your house…

I give you this story as an example of why housework may not be that important. And why it’s good to share our failings. And why sitting on the computer writing a blogpost is *far* more important than doing that washing up. Or any dusting. Ever. Just think of it as ministry.

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Just read this in an interview in the Guardian with Jeremy Vine. I’m rather surprised that I agree with Tony Blair! But being faithful to the Lord is hardest in the small, everyday things, not in the grand visions. So I should get off the internet and put the shopping away…

You worked as a Westminster correspondent for a long time. And you were on the Blair battle-bus in 1997, weren’t you?

I interviewed Tony Blair five or six times, but it’s off-air conversations that matter. Once, on the bus, he said: “I like tea” and I said: “I like tea, too” and then he said something like: “I hear you’re a Christian, Jeremy” and I said: “I’m just struggling, you know” and he said: “It’s the most important thing in my life.” And then I said: “Don’t you feel that actually the big stuff like what you’re going to do when you get into power is much less important than the small stuff, which is how you treat your next-door neighbour?” I realised that was a bad analogy because his neighbour was Gordon Brown. But he said: “I completely agree.”

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It’s been a while since I posted a Vicar’s wife job description and yesterday was particularly manic, so I thought I’d give you yet another glimpse of life in our Vicarage from my perspective.

Yesterday I cooked:

  • Meringues (using up leftovers) for Thursday’s coffee morning.
  • Bread for lunch for mini mission team (7 adults expected, tho’ only 5 ate in the end).
  • Soup for ditto.
  • Lasagne for Diamond, a school gate mum friend who’s just moved house, and her family.
  • Roast chicken, mashed potatoes & parsnip and steamed cabbage for the family, including Happy.
  • Chicken stock from the chicken bones (see above).
  • Yesterday I hoovered:

  • The hall
  • The family room. This took longer than you’d think, due to wood burning stove dust getting into every crevice and me not having deep hoovered for er-hum weeks now.

Yesterday I organised:

  • Our 5 year college reunion, including individually emailing everyone who’d not yet got back to me.
  • My pantry. I would not have chosen to do this, you understand, but a shelf was on the point of collapse, so I had to empty it and the Vicar had to do some manly stuff with a drill. Result: lots of dust followed by safe, clean and reorganised shelf.
  • Piano practice by three children.
  • Quiz papers to be carried out by three children.
  • Myself and two other women to start a new ministry in our church – we’re thinking of calling it ‘The Brunch Bunch’.
  • The vast pile of odd socks and pants to prevent morning underwear crises, of which there are far too many in the Vicarage.

Yesterday I did not:

  • Hoover the stairs and upper landing. Again.
  • Pick up the form from school about applying to be a parent governor.
  • Nobble the teacher who’s meant to be organising the volunteers so that I can start making use of my CRB form by going into school to help out.
  • Remember to give the reply about the party to the Engineer’s friend’s mother.

Today I am going to:

  • Hoover the stairs and landings. I am.
  • Attend a prayer meeting.
  • Help with preparation of lunch club vegetables and the deep cleaning of the church hall kitchen.
  • Get those governor forms and nobble that teacher. And the mother.
  • Take the kids to swimming lessons.
  • Cook a curry so that everyone can eat – at different times due to the Vicar having Governors and a baptism meeting.
  • Make a list of all the work that needs doing to the house – we have our Quinquennial tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

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Last night the kids were having fun in the living room. There was much screaming, a few tears and, when I went through to chase them all to bed, a scattering of polystyrene balls that had escaped from our very cheap fluffy Netto beanbag. I like the beanbag. If I sit on it I can cuddle up close to the fire and keep my back supported. And the Joker likes to stroke the fluffy material and suck his thumb when he’s tired. But the escaping balls are a total pain. The first escape occurred after some vigorous jumping by the tribe, and since then the bag has leaked regularly. Those little balls cling to everything and travel round the house, cheekily pointing out my lack of attention to housework.

When I twittered my distress this evening one tweetpal suggested ‘vigorously brushing your hair and then gently sweeping floor with head & the static will attract balls like magnet’. Since I did not have a plan for transferring the balls from my hair to an appropriate receptacle, I instead went and fetched Henry, who sorted everything out. Henry is my wonderful Numatic vacuum cleaner. Now, I know it’s a bit sad to enthuse about a hoover, but I hate housework. And Henry has made vacuuming almost a pleasure.


Mine is a lot dustier than this

There is a good deal of surface area that needs regular hoovering here in the Vicarage. I find that mess and dirt always expand to fill the space available and we’re certainly blessed with space and have risen to the challenge of expanding our mess and dirt. At the moment leaves blow into the hallway every time we open the front door. And we have inherited dark carpets in the hall, stairs and landing, which don’t show mud too much but do highlight every piece of fluff that the kids drop from their pockets.

But Henry is light so I can lift him around, he’s quiet so I can still listen to Radio 4 or the new Sovereign Grace cd as I trundle him about, and he has a cord and hose so long that I can clean the whole of the downstairs of the house and all the way up the stairs without having to unplug him from the socket in the hall. His eyes and smile are a bit cheesy, but looks aren’t everything you know.

He’s not a cheap vacuum cleaner – he cost about £100, but he’s made it possible for me to keep the Vicarage looking almost respectable. So I love him and will continue to recommend him as the perfect Vicarage vacuum to anyone who’ll listen.

In the meantime, does anyone know where to source replacement inner liners for beanbags?

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Sofa debris

Things I found down the back of the sofa when we decided to hoover it before putting the new vicarage covers on:

  1. A plastic stick from Tumbling Monkeys (or possibly the Kerplunk)
  2. A plastic 2p coin
  3. A green tattoo pen
  4. A ‘what am I?’ game card
  5. A charm bracelet
  6. A piece of a jigsaw
  7. A marble (also possibly from the Kerplunk)

This does not include the ample feasting opportunities for mice which we hoovered up. And there are two armchairs and another sofa to go yet.

Apologies for lack of recent posting. The Vicar gets handed the church keys in a service this evening so the unpacking has been getting a bit frantic. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

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