The Rev. turned a half century last Friday, unfortunately this still makes him eligible to be my toy boy, but at least we are in the same decade at last!
We were due at a “Ministers and wives” social in the afternoon and as this was well out of our Parish we thought we’d have lunch out . The last time we had a celebration, we ate locally ,but more than a dozen people joined us at the table at various times, it was lovely to see them but took the edge off the occasion slightly.
We went to the nearest hostellery a pub with great character,and “did” lunch, which was delicious, and feeling very full went off to the pre -Christmas get together. Now as I have only held the post of Minstersmrs for two years I had no idea what this could entail, the only experience I had to base it on was a funeral tea where a few clergy sat together including the Rev.,and swapped anecdotes, and I got to counting how many crumbs there were on the table and wondering when the hotel staff had last dusted the window sills
So I went with some reluctance. I need not have worried, our hosts were interesting and lively, the atmosphere in their Manse ( oh Lord forgive me for coveting their beautiful enormous Manse) was festive and lit with fairy lights, the food (oh how I wished I hadn’t pigged out at lunch time!) was wonderful. Ministers and partners from all over the area met together, relaxed for a few hours and went away refreshed, me with a “doggie bag” for the children, which turned out to be a mini banquet. Often Manse /Vicarage families don’t get to enjoy Christmas as things get SO hectic, school performances, not just our own children, extra services, other peoples services we want to support, and the list goes on and it takes away the joy of the season. So thank you , Rev.Dr and your lovely wife, we enjoyed it so much.
I’m not sure that I’ll get a Christmas present this year. There I was singing away in the second service of the morning, a couple of weeks ago, when the lens in my glasses fell out and shot under the pews. My 81 year old friend beside whom I was standing, hung upside down over the back of the seat to see if she could find it, she’s very fit!, I crawled about underneath. Seeing the Rev. giving us stern looks, we decided to wait until later. I held the hymn book at arms length and peered at the words, thankfully he had chosen well known ones, so I knew most of the lyrics, and those I didn’t I made up. So, off I went to the Opticians, I apparently needed a new prescription anyway. But the cost…… oh my, I tried to break the news to the Rev. gently , he’s still recovering.
To cheer him up and take his mind of it, I made him a nice Birthday cake decorated as a runners race number ( as he is an amateur triathlete) with a large “50” and candles. We took it to church on Sunday to have with the coffee after the service. I was told by those who faithfully do the drinks each week , that there was no knife and was it really appropriate to light candles on Remembrance Sunday. I reminded them that the Rev. used to be an Army Chaplain, and everyone settled down. I found one of the childrens’ rulers in my handbag and cut the cake ,which was no mean feat ,as it had hard icing and was a fruit cake. A large cake disappeared in minutes. I apologised to the session clerk about the icing and fruit that folk had dropped on the floor but he didn’t mind a bit.
We got home mid afternoon, gave ” lunch” to the in -laws and after a good cup of coffee we noticed that the Birthday Boy was fast asleep on the sofa. Three days of celebrating was obviously too much…well he is 50!