A Brief Guide to Vicarage Life
It can happen to any man. One minute they're running an oil company from a mansion in Mayfair, the next they're living off a clergy stipend on a council estate. I've seen the shock on the faces of wives who married a publican and ended up ironing cassocks when the Calling came.
There's no telling at what stage of life the Church can claim them. All you can do, ladies, is to lay in some tweed and some cake tins, so that you are ready if the time should come. In the meantime, here are some pointers to recognise whether your home has become a vicarage:
Women you've never met before are liable to emerge at any time of day and evening from your husband's study.
Men you've never met before are liable to require admittance at any time of day and evening when you're alone in the house in your Marigolds.
You are gyrating to the Bee Gees with a potato-masher mike when you discover an archdeacon in the hallway.
Your children are cataloguing your maternal failings within earshot of two unannounced churchwardens behind the study door.
Your daughter replaces your virtuous flatties with a row of her faux Uggs on the hall stand so that her teacher will reckon Christianity is cool when dropping off hymn sheets.
You find white detergent bottles are shredded for use as emergency dog collars.
There is a regular rupturing of the Hoover belt when the mislaid dog collars turn up.
You discover that the breakfast honey/washing up gloves/candlesticks/your jewellery box are missing - and turn up as props the next Sunday for a sermon.
Your husband organises an intimate get-together on Valentines Day evening - just you and the other half dozen Sunday School teachers.
Don't be fazed - it's a wonderful life. But don't say I didn't warn you...