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Archive for July, 2014

Because I lose this number every year I thought I’d put it on the blog. And I thought you might need it too. If you are doing a Child Tax Credit return and you are an Anglican clergy family (or, I’m told, a spy or other sort of strange profession, but I’m also told it only applies to Anglican clergy – a perk of the established church, perhaps), you don’t call the number they have on the Child Tax Credit form. That would be too obvious.

You have to call their special secret number: 0345 302 1493. And unlike the main number, it is only open Monday-Friday from 8.30-5pm. Today it is experiencing ‘high call volumes’. And you only have until 31st July to call them. But at least you won’t spend hours on hold to the wrong number first….

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Our plaster disaster is taking a while to sort out. I think we’re at 5 weeks meeting in the church hall on Sundays now. The builders have been busy removing great chunks of plaster and replacing it, and have been putting protective epoxy on some of the woodwork (I think, I wasn’t taking in the detail very well). They’ve had a lot to do – it all needs painting to match the existing decoration too. A much loved saint from our congregation went on to glory a couple of weeks ago and it would be lovely if the church could be ready for her funeral next week. I spoke to the builders as they finished yesterday and I think we’re going to be on track for finishing in time.

In the meantime, there is an enormous scaffolding structure occupying the whole of the front of the church. Our building is a great space, and pretty flexible as Victorian churches go. But getting scaffolding and builders sorted out is a lot more complicated than when there’s a bit of plaster coming down in the bathroom at home. Various brilliant members of the church have been involved in finding, contacting and appointing the contractor and organising diocesan architects and what not. The Vicar has had a hand on it all – including a trip to the top of the scaffolding. And I’ve been letting the contractors in and out for the last few days. There’s been a fair few people involved.

Next week could be a bit tight and is sure to require all hands on deck with the mops and dusters once the workers have left. We love our building, but it can be quite a lot of work. The photos are pretty rubbish, I’m afraid – but you can get an idea of the scaffolding size at least. The work is going on at the junction between the main roof (painted a shade of orange) and the wall between the nave and the chancel (a version of magnolia). Damp and ants were our problems. Hopefully the epoxy should stop the damp and the lack of damp will discourage the ants and we’ll not have anything more fall from the heights for a few years. I’m staying optimistic on this.

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This is a fabulously fresh, easy and tasty recipe. It uses ingredients I nearly always have in, so is great if extra mouths need feeding, or if I’m not feeling up to fancy cuisine. A perennial Vicarage favourite, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes – 2-3 medium per fairly hungry person, peeled (if not new) and chopped into large chunks
  • Greens – cabbage (white, sweetheart or Savoy) or Spring greens are fine – finely sliced – a good handful per person
  • Bacon (2-3 rashers per person – I normally use smoked streaky), or leftover gammon, chopped
  • 1 lemon (for up to 4 people)
  • Olive oil

Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes, then add the shredded greens for 3-4 minutes in with the potatoes. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon in its own fat or gammon in some olive oil.

Once the potatoes and cabbage are cooked, drain & place in a serving dish and pour over bacon or gammon in its oil. Add the finely grated rind & juice of your lemon and perhaps some extra-virgin olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Serve immediately. Help yourself to seconds.

Lemony Greens

 

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