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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

So now we’re all back to school and back to the realities of the parish after a great summer break. I’m glad that today the Vicar dragged me up into the tow-un to run some errands. On the way we passed our open air market, where you can buy cheap fruit, mobile phone accessories, underwear, overalls and all sorts of clothing. Everything on the market is pleasingly good value. We bought the Queen a gorgeous deep pink furry fleecy throw for her bed there. She adores it and sleeps under it in preference to her duvet.

The jumper stall is my absolute favourite, though. He sells a random selection of very end-of-line (but still brand new) knitwear, from shops I’d buy from anyway. Over the last couple of years I have bought (or been given) three excellently warming long cardies for Vicarage wear from the market. And today we had a great jumper day, stocking up for the Vicarage winter. The Vicar acquired three M&S v-necks (including a gorgeously toasty lambswool one) and I bought a Next jumper dress and a Monsoon angora/wool mix cardie. Total bill £17. Result. Sometimes I can be cheered up by pretty shallow things…

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Over the last few days I have been almost continually thwarted in my aim to join the masses in shopping for Christmas presents. Last week I went down with an exhausting virus which scuppered my romantic plan to insist that the Vicar joined me in the purchasing scrum on his day off.

And then yesterday I had lined up a bunch of exciting gifts online, just waiting for my dearly beloved to return from a training day to nod his approval to the final clicking of the mouse. I was supervising the Queen’s homework in the meantime and thought I would seize the day and actually clear the draining board in the kitchen for once. I was obviously feeling too enthusiastic, as I was seemingly too vigorous with my drying up and managed to inflict a torsion failure on the stem of a wine glass. The broken stem then sliced into my thumb, causing spurts of blood to decorate the kitchen floor.

It wasn’t very painful, and hasn’t been since – nothing that a couple of paracetamol won’t sort out – but it has been enormously time consuming. The upshot of this has been that I have so far failed in my Christmas shopping quest. Instead I have spent over 12 hours in two A&E departments in the last 24 hours. And I am still not fixed. I managed to damage a nerve in my thumb and will be going back to hospital later this week to have some intricate needlework performed to give the nerve the best chance of recovery.

Last night we didn’t get back until 2am. As the wife of a busy Vicar who is often out in the evenings, I often wish we had more time alone together. But Sandwell General A&E doesn’t cut it for me. I’m going to have to think of a better way of getting him to myself. Also, I think this is a sign that I should do less housework, or at least no drying up ever again.

At least I can still type, so I shall hopefully be online later, seeing if I can remember what I had in those baskets. If not, and you’re expecting a Christmas present from me this year, at least you know why it’s late…

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We had Sainsbury’s yoghurts for pudding yesterday. Too tired even to make Easy Peasy Elegants. I bought their Basics yoghurts as an experiment on my last expedition to the Savacentre. They offer 2 strawberry and 2 peach low fat yoghurts for 15p. Yes, 15p! I reasoned that I could afford to throw them out if they were inedible.

But they weren’t. Astonishing. And they can’t be made in China. It’s too far to transport them. So those will be going in the Vicarage trolley again. Just thought I’d share the frugality wisdom. So you can spend the spare change on chocolate or gin or something.

Cheap AND edible. Brilliant.

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Buy it round the corner, not at the supermarket

Buy it round the corner, not at the supermarket

Jessica Hagy has lots of clever graphs at her Indexed site. She posted this one today, but it’s not accurate for our parish.

Our milk costs between 99p and £1.20 for 4 pints at local shops. It’s £1.53 at Tesco’s. We use a lot of milk in our house.

I love living here.

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We’ve all heard the jokes about only working on Sundays, but in reality the Vicar works a 50-60 hour week (he knows that because he keeps a timesheet). So a good day off is essential if we want to keep going at this job in the long term. You need to clear your head and take a breath.

The Vicar takes Fridays off. This works well for us, cos it almost feels like the weekend. Saturdays are too close to sermon time and are often interrupted with church events.

It works for the kids – the big ones have a good evening with Dad after school and the Engineer, who’s still in nursery, gets to see Dad for even longer. The Vicar’s Wife likes having some child free time with her husband too.

We have developed a bit of a pattern for our days off, which worked very well in Wolverhampton, and we are now trying to replicate in our new parish. Long trips out are a bit of a no-no for us as we only have 2 1/2 hours in the morning until we have to fetch the Engineer from nursery.

So what we like to do is to go into the town. This may not seem very exciting to you, but let me explain how we manage to enjoy a morning out in a deprived and delapidated town centre.

First stop is usually the library to change books and pooch about in the quiet and elegant Carnegie library we have. Then we gae the messages in our local shopping centre (built in 1971 and partly funded by the National Mineworkers Pension Fund, with shopping opportunities that are cheap and cheerful rather than expensive and elegant – just what you need for vicars and their cash-strapped families).

Day Off treats...

Day Off treats...

The best bit of our day off, though, is the next bit: sitting down in a local caff for strong tea and a bacon sandwich. Sometimes we’ll chat and sometimes read our new library books or the paper. The key is not to talk about church. Last Friday we did this bit at lunch time. There were three of us (since we’d already picked the Engineer up) and we all ate at the Cosy Corner in the indoor market for less than £10.

What do you do on your days off?

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