My day off.

The Rev. is away at a Conference this weekend,so I am womanning the office. I woke up to a lovely sunny Saturday morning,which is rare in Mid-Argyll. If those suffering a water shortage lived here, they would never moan about dry sunny days again.

Anyway, as it was quite early  I walked the dogs,fed them,cleaned out the hens, fed them and hung out the school washing. I had breakfast in peace and quiet and all was right with the world.

A couple had booked an appointment for 11.30a.m to look over the village church,as they are getting married there in May. I went over and unlocked it and wandered around in the churchyard which has glorious views over the surrounding countryside.The grass is covered in pale lilac Ladysmocks,growing between the gravestones ,some of which are so old that they only have crossed swords and a skull on them.  New born lambs and their mothers were grazing in the Glebe to a backdrop of budding trees and  bright orangey yellow gorse bushes .

While I’m standing there, most of the village school cycle by on a sponsored fundraising event. Their are tiny tots with balance wheels, a few on scooters and older girls with fluorescent socks to match their helmets. The headmaster led them off down the Glen followed by a few parents.

I’m still there when they return, so I stand in for the Rev. who is their chaplain, and congratulate  the cyclists and make small talk with the parents. I am invited to join them for soup, but decline, deciding that as it is now 12.30,and  the engaged couple are not going to turn up and I promised to make some profiteroles for my daughter.

I get to the crucial part where I begin to beat the eggs into the mixture ,when the Wedding party turn up with a florist in tow. I down tools and go over to the church. I try to concentrate while they tell me about pedestal sprays and posies on the window sills but I notice that the heavens have opened and can only think about my washing getting soaked . I reassure the extremely anxious bride, that everything will be fine on the day and that the Rev. has done this kind of thing quite a few times before and he will make sure that she walks down the right side of the aisle, and I will make sure he goes through everything before the rehearsal. I say this  as genuinely as possible, as I know it’s on the last day of The General Assembly in Edinburgh, and I hope he is back in time, or it will be me doing it!

As we leave the church she tells me that she is worried that her Father may not have the confidence to give a speech. I can’t do much about this one ,so suggest that she gives him a stiff drink before he does it. The florist raises her eyebrows, perhaps Ministers’ wives aren’t supposed to say that?

I get back to the Manse and beat the eggs into the mixture,I can’t reheat it as it’ll turn to scrambled egg. Unfortunately the profiteroles turn out to be as soggy as the washing. However, we have a leftover egg from Easter that no one liked, so I melt it over the top and it stops them looking like something the dog threw up.

A Church Elder arrives with admin stuff , the parents leave the school in droves,cycles strapped to various places on their cars, not enthusiastic cyclists then, and the phone rings. I hope it’s nothing complicated to deal with, it isn’t, it

is my son phoning from his bedroom  to see if he could get a cup of tea and pancakes, he’s lucky that today I have my head on with a sense of humour. He comes into the kitchen grinning!

Time to check that I have everything ready for tomorrow as the Meet at the Manse Group are taking the services. One part includes a sketch which requires my friend to play some incidental music on her recorder. We practiced during the week but everytime she played a tune, our Border Terrier raised his eyes heavenward and howled with gusto. This rendered us all incapable as we fell about in hysterics. Thankfully he won’t be included in the service.

Saturday is usually my day off,it doesn’t look as if I get one this week, Monday shopping for Messy Church and attend a lunch , Tuesday 10 people for lunch, Wednesday a Mission Group finger buffet to cook for and attend, Thursday Messy Church…………………… oh so you don’t work….they say…don’t you get bored at home?

Flying Free

The Rev. and I took a couple of days off, we didn’t go far, but in a place convenient enough to drop the children,( sorry , young adults), off at their brothers’ and the dogs at the kennels. Our Archaeologist neighbour minded the hens,and we were away.

Someone at Church the previous Sunday had joked about us walking in snow. He was right!, as we set out on our first walk ,large snowflakes fell, big enough to get in your eyes and settle on the ground. Did we care? , no way, it was as if we’d been let out of a cage, or as we see in the Glen just now, animals being let out into the fields after a winter indoors!

We walked our legs off, looking at wildlife, countryside,even Peregrines. At night we ate in the bar, where Paul, our lovely waiter, attended to our dietary needs, even finding things from a different menu, as I’m dairy intolerant, I don’t mean I hate cows , just can’t eat what they produce. We usually hostel, but this time as a birthday pressy, I got a swanky Hotel room, with the biggest most comfy bed you could imagine. I  did ask the Rev. if it would fit in the car, but he thought the Hotel might miss it.

We visited every part of the historic site we were staying in and went home with a different kind of exhaustion. Within hours, it felt as if we hadn’t been away, but great memories.

It’s so easy in this job not to notice the pressures until you stand outside the box for a while. I think more regular breaks are necessary, but it will be back to hostelling!