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Archive for August, 2009

Grammar pedants unite

I am a grammar pedant. Spelling mistakes and misused punctuation shouts at me from miles away. That is why God gave me a dyslexic husband – he knew that I needed to increase in grace. But also that someone needed to correct the Vicar’s spelling before his communications are let loose on the world.

I came across this excellent site the other day. It’s a grammar pedant’s delight. And I shall be wielding my camera next time I see a suitable “candidate” for inclusion.

[HT India Knight]

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I'm definitely not this glamorous at the school gate

I'm definitely not this glamorous at the school gate

I’d like to tell you about the first time I talked to my friend Diamond. We’d just moved into the Vicarage and the kids had started at the new school. I was on a new school gate.

The old one was where I met my friends, chatted and hung about till I was thrown out by teachers wanting to get on with the lessons. Here I just had to hang onto the kids for comfort.

The new school gate was the one where I didn’t know anyone, but some of them already knew me. Diamond came up to me on one of those first days and said:

You’re the Vicar’s Wife, aren’t you?

We went to see some strippers last night. But I was so drunk I fell asleep and missed it.

I wasn’t sure what she was expecting me to say, but I commented

Sounds like a bit of an expensive way to take a nap.

And then she wandered back to her ‘gang’.

She must have liked my response, cos now she’s my friend. But, boy, was that a scary way to begin.

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A friend of ours had a debate with the Vicar recently. Our friend was not convinced that Christians could be funny. So the Vicar went surfing to find some Christian comedians.

Here’s one of the results which we enjoyed – it’s Michael Jr (who I’ve discovered has a blog himself):

We’re looking forward to seeing some more of his material.

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I thought I’d share with you this morning’s post bag of seven items. I quite enjoy opening post, so this lot has fallen to me since we’ve moved in. Today’s haul fell into two categories (neither of them involving cheques, lovenotes or cards for the family):

Real church business

Junk mail

  • An invoice from the vestry photocopier supplier for £6.96

Unsolicited church mail

  • Advert for Oberammergau passion plays trips from Inter-Church Travel
  • Publicity for Oberammergau passion plays trips (costing over £1,000) and some other holiday expeditions from the local First Choice Travel shop
  • Appeal from Build Africa
  • Retail essentials magazine
  • Marketing from a local supplier of mobility equipment
  • Mailing from Agape, looking for professionals to serve in their operations and human resources department.

I am trying to cut back on the straight to bin filing method by cutting mailings off at source. Just opening these things takes time and I reckon I must have recycled at least one tree of junk mail by now. No-one at all in our church would have the money or the inclination to go to Oberammergau, so I am returning these to the sender, with a note on the front asking them to remove us from their mailing list.

I am doing the same with the Build Africa mailing. Worthy though they no doubt are, our small church cannot support them as well as the other fourteen charities we give to on a regular basis. Retail essentials is getting the same treatment. I think they started sending it when the church hall kitchen was refurbished.

I think I will put the Agape brochure in the back of church, but I am not sure what to do with the mailing from the mobility shop. I’m tempted to return it to sender too. It’s tricky to handle these things with grace. A church is not a marketing agency, but we obviously want to be compassionate towards those trying make a living during this tricky economic time.

When the Vicar and I moved in here, we registered with the Mailing Preference Service, but this sadly doesn’t seem to work for items addressed to the church. I guess the church must count as a business. If you’re a Vicar or Vicar’s wife, how much church junk mail do you get and what do you do with it? How do you avoid drowning in the stuff?

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The Queen has learnt a story off by heart at school this term (just like her brother). Her Year 3 class had been studying Australia and the oral story-telling tradition of the Aborigine people. And so they learnt to tell a story, with actions. I’m not sure this story is Australian, though.

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