Back in October, I arrived at church to play the organ – slightly early because I hadn’t been sent any hymns, so had to choose and practise them, which I thought would take at least ten minutes – to be met at the doorway by the churchwardens. The person who was supposed to be taking the service had gone on holiday and forgotten to tell anyone, realised it late the previous night and phoned someone who then had the job of disseminating the information. It hadn’t reached me. Not that it mattered, I live all of 200 yards from the church and the churchwardens live little further away. While we were waiting to see if any congregation arrived (it didn’t, it was a total low in church attendance), we chatted and, as a result, I found myself saying that I’d write to our local minister as soon as I got home. My sister calls it mouth overtaking brain.
What I’d said was that I thought the two of them were really overburdened…you see, almost everyone who does any of the work has beetled off – sad to say, the last Rector was a person of many qualities, but bringing people into church was not one of them, rather the opposite. I thought that it would be better if our service were earlier in the morning, so that perhaps more people might come and we all would still had much of the day before us at the end. We reckoned 10 o’clock rather than 11 might do the trick and we had a few other thoughts too – and I did indeed go straight home and write to Sue. And then wrote a second, briefer note apologising for throwing that at her only days before planning the next quarter of services. But Sue is a true friend and a dear person who understands me, and she took the suggestions on their merits. I had thought it through, to be less work for everyone and no extra burden in the planning, this is genuinely the sort of thing I’m good at.
And the only change was that the services are 9.30 instead of 10, because that simplifies the rota (there are six churches in our benefice and services are at 8, 9.30, 11 and whatever time suits for Evensong). The first 9.30 service was today and two people came who don’t usually, because they see family at lunchtime and it normally finishes too late. And I had so much of the day left! Why, I’ve turned out the drawing room.
And that’s another thing. The fact is, I clean better than any cleaner I’ve ever employed. I’ve found dust that certainly has been there for months. And I didn’t even move the bureau, though I did shift everything else. I reckon it’s normal to move everything every time I hoover, except the heaviest pieces of furniture, and to hoover the walls and ceiling, to pick every item up and dust it and dust below it, to dust picture frames and so on – but maybe it isn’t. Yet I reckon I’m a casual housewife. I dunno. Maybe I have high standards after all but can’t be bothered to reach them. I think that a balanced approach is essential, I would hate to be obsessive over something I don’t enjoy, or that’s my excuse anyway.
I have moved things about in the larder and laundry room for now. It’s clear that I can’t remove the cupboards without a lot of effort, so I thought round the problem in a different way. I haven’t done what I wanted, but it’s better. Tidier and I can get at everything. I put the trays of apples in the cupboard that I did manage to remove the door from and have just shut the doors on the rest. But at least I know where my eggcups are now. How can one mislay eggcups?