So, I’d had this great idea that during Holy Week, I’d write down my thoughts for each day to turn into a blog post.
I managed to make notes for two days, and then totally failed. I do remember that we had a very good retreat, with addresses from the then Archdeacon of Cleveland, and now Bishop elect/designate (not sure which to really use) of Whitby, Paul Ferguson. With the various extra duties because of the assorted liturgies and extras – we sing Tenebrae in Holy Week – the retreat was a much-needed space to prepare. Easter Day itself was a brilliant day, but the weather wasn’t quite so fantastic, as we had a lot of cloud and not so much sun. It was a very long day too, with getting up at 4.30 that morning and I didn’t go to bed until about half 9. The following day I was up early again (as I was the daily sacristan and so had to unlock) and I was very surprised to not be completely shattered that evening.
One thing on Easter Day was when I was in Chapel, pottering around doing some sacristy duties. I was up at the front, by the apron step, on the left hand side of Chapel, when I had this sort of warm fuzzy feeling and the sense of being absolutely, perfectly and utterly at home and in the right place for me.
Since then, life has more or less returned to normal. If there is ever such a thing, which I doubt! A more normal routine, perhaps.
Spring is starting to turn into summer now. And the pollen count is quite high, so I’m snuffling rather a lot, which is unpleasant. I’ve been doing a fair bit with the donkeys, who really do need a lot of grooming as their winter coats come out. The swallows are back nesting in the donkey shed too, which means I have to watch that I don’t upset them too much when I do go to the donkey shed (they nest inside the shed itself).
I’ve also had confirmation that I’ll be able to go to the Greenbelt Festival this summer again. Not with the same Sister as last year, as she’s got other commitments, but with another Sister who would have liked to go last year but wasn’t able to get away. I can’t wait and am currently trying to organise borrowing a suitable sized tent for the two of us to sleep in. I do have a two-man tent, but I really don’t know why they call them two-men tents, as you can’t put two people of any decent size in there with luggage. It would be more accurate to call it a two-child tent, perhaps – providing the children are no taller than 4 foot 6!
One thing I do with this blog is keep an eye on the search terms people use to find me. Some are rather obvious – like Order of the Holy Paraclete, or faith hope and chocolate blog. Others are more questioning. Two that have come up recently have been more about some of the things I’m intending this blog to be used for – “leaving religious life” and “what happens after being postulant and then novice”. I hope that those people found my posts on those subjects, and that they were useful to them.
One that popped up is “I’m a Christian can I get a henna tattoo” – and I guess they found me because I got a henna tattoo at Greenbelt last August. The way I see it, if people can wear makeup, then of course you can get a henna tattoo. It’ll wash off eventually (takes about 7-10 days, depending on how frequently you wash and how hard you scrub at it). Just be careful when you do wash, because henna can make a real mess of the towel you use to dry off with.
One of the things I do here in Whitby is sing with a local choir called The Tuesday Singers (who rehearse on a Monday evening and usually have their concerts at a weekend – the founder members came from a choir which did meet on a Tuesday, and which now no longer exists). The summer concert is approaching fast – it’s Saturday 12th July, here at the Priory. The programme is going to include the wonderful work that is John Rutter’s Magnificat. It’s a lovely piece. It also has a soprano solo part. There are five of us who sing first sop in the choir, and when the choir’s musical director asked for a volunteer for it, the other four metaphorically took two steps back, and I found myself saying “I’ll give it a go”. So I’ll apologise to Mr Rutter now, and to the rest of the world, for the screeching which will be taking place while I’m learning and practicing it. I hope to have it right by the time we get to July!
I think that’s about it for now, at least, that’s all I can think of right this minute anyway. I do have plans for other posts, but those need me to sit down and think about what I’m going to say, rather than just splurging at a keyboard.