Sunday, 13 November 2011

Remembering to keep calm and carry on.

How things have changed from a year ago when The Curate preached for the first time at a Remembrance Service. This time last year we didn't know we were going to move parishes and we were struggling with the separation and the difficulties of travelling. I was struggling with being a curate's wife (- not something I ever intended to be). We have been in this parish for six months now and today, The Curate took the Remembrance service as if he was an old hand at it. (Am I allowed to be proud? - Well I was!)

Six months in and I will be honest and say it has not been the easiest of moves for numerous reasons. At least The Curate and I face the ups and downs together and not during elongated telephone calls. I hate the telephone. For much of our  married life (and before), The Curate and I have had to manage with snatched phone calls. He was often away at sea and the telephone calls were so precious. It is much better now with mobile phones and the reduced risk of missing that call that means so much. At college we had a pay phone at the bottom of the stairs of the residential block. To get a phone call,  it relied on someone passing to answer it  - and then it relied on that person knowing you and knowing which room you were in. I was on the top floor so I spent much of my time hanging around the call box waiting for a pre-arranged phone call from Curate to be. Oh the angst if someone else was using the phone at our pre-arranged time! I do hate telephones.

As to settling in here .....? The moor is fantastic and, as you will see from this blog, we make the most of it (I did enjoy yesterday) but we do miss the sea. At this time of year, I leave home in the dark and arrive back in the dark and I need to be outside. I love wide open spaces, natural light and fresh air and to be physically active - perhaps it is time for a job change. I do hate being in rooms with fluorescent lights on all day.

The Curate and I both find it difficult not to look to the next move and we both want to just settle and make a home. I feel in limbo and feel as if I am only going through the mechanics of living and working, without any passion. I miss not having a rip roaring laugh with friends. I miss the cosy, open fires we have in our old, family home. I miss cups of coffee with close friends where anything said is understood. I'm tired of walking on egg shells for fear of not saying the correct thing. I'm tired of not being able to be me.  Knowing that there is another change in the not too distance future, is probably preventing me from getting involved or letting people get too close. I hate the process of leaving places.  

Well - that's three hates in one blog! I'm obviously not doing very well with the Positivity approach. 'Hate' is a strong word to use - 'dislike' is probably not strong enough. It was a good morning and there is no going back - so it's a case of 'Keep calm and carry on'.

PS. Thank you Anita, for recommending Ann Voskamp's blog 'What is Success? Life in the Upside Down Kingdom'.


  1. The first time is always the worst, Harriet, whether it's preaching at a Remembrance day service or taking a funeral. The nerves are never quite as bad again.

    I do sympathise with your list of hates and misses, all of them very understandable. It's so much easier to be the clergyperson than the partner in this kind of situation. Sending you all good wishes as you continue to feel your way into your new role and also to work out what it is that you should be doing with your life.

  2. Thank you Perpetua, I have to say blogging has been an amazingly positive experience through all our changes - and your comments, and those of others, have been very helpful. It has been so useful to have somewhere to toss around thoughts. (- and it's good looking back and seeing how things worked out)

  3. Harriet, your husband Looks like a pro in the photo; you have right to be proud.
    NOW, what do we do about you? How long do you usually stay in one curatorial placement? What are you doing as a job? or do you work with the curate?
    Myself, I would HATE, not dislike, having to walk on social eggshells all the time - I would just not be able to do it. And the shortened days are hard for everyone. I sympathize with your situation. Blogging is good therapy, and if you need to vent, do it!

  4. Hello again - permission to vent accepted gratefully! But being a trainee vicar's wife - I will do it with dignity (most unlike the real me!)I believe a few parishioners may be lurking since The Curate happened (accidentally he said) to mention this Blog to some of them ..They keep very quiet!

  5. Methinks one day you will look back on these days of "curatacy" with a smile. Hold on in there! You are justifiably proud of your Other Half ... he looked confident in his role. As the Prime Minister of Australia is very fond of saying, Going forward!
    Lol, easier said than done!!
    Be yourself, pretending to be someone else is an impossible role to play.

  6. Hi Shirley - I have to keep going forward - no options now. I find that being able to look back to last year actually helps as I know that we are on the right journey. I do smile now (sometimes!)