I have a loving, supportive partner, family and friends.
I’ve had excellent medical care (well, there was that South African doctor who wanted to give me ECT, but that’s another story [which believe it or not is quite a funny one]).
Thanks to a very generous pay off, I can afford to work part-time.
Get enough sleep
Not get too stressed
Not get too tired
Not to drink too much alcohol
Not to think it’ll go away
HOWEVER…none of this makes me a weak person…it’s not that I’m in some way lesser. In fact, to have survived what I’ve survived, means that I’m strong, very strong. I’m done with being secret. It’s just how it is.
Who do you work for?
I work at Blackfriars, Oxford, part of The English Province of the Order of Preachers (which also covers Scotland, Grenada and Barbados).
Dominican friars (the word friar is derived from the Latin word frater, which simply means brother), a religious order in the Roman Catholic church. In the UK they’re also known as Blackfriars, as they wear a black cloak over their white habit.
No, monks are tied to a particular monastery, and although Dominicans live in communities, they can be called to serve anywhere they’re needed. That’s why I’ve had three managers in three years, not because I’m difficult to work with (honest).
So what’s Blackfriars, Oxford?
Blackfriars is three institutions:
- The Hall, a PPH, a Permanent Private Hall, an Oxford college (sorta, I told you it’s complicated) with males and female students, a mix of all religions, and none, studying a variety of subjects.
- The Studium, a Roman Catholic study centre, training male members of religious orders to be ordained, with a few female members of religious orders and lay students studying philosophy and theology.
- The Priory, the convent or friary where the brothers live. Services in the community chapel are open to the public, so although the brothers don’t run a parish, there is a large congregation associated with the Priory.
- It’s a unique environment certainly, and I love it.
- They’re not monks (see above), not that it really matters that much.
- I’ve yet to meet a friar that doesn’t like women. Maybe it’s because they don’t have to live with them…:-).
- I love working at Blackfriars.
Adam and I sponsor a child in Sri Lanka via the charity Plan UK. You are in encourage to write to the child, and they, or in our case, his Mother, writes back. However, given the expense of translating your letter and transporting to ‘your’ child, it’s best to send a letter every six months or so.
Last week I realised that I had written for over a year. The Plan website allows you to send a letter online, so I logged on and set to. I then went blank. How to sum up the last year. It would be hard enough when writing to a friend. I wrote about our kitchen extension; our holiday in SanDiego; and uploaded a photograph of Adam (above).
In the end, it’s the contact that’s important, but I feel a bit dissatisfied.
In an ideal world, my mojo would come back. It all seemed to go wrong when I kept taking bad photos with my digital SLR. Something which was fun, has become something to be scared about.
My husband gave me a Kindle for my 40th birthday. As I anticipated it’s made not having anything to read when I’m travelling, a thing of the past. It’s changed my reading habits in two ways that I hadn’t anticipated i) I’m reading lots of ‘classics’ (because they’re often free to download) and ii) I’m reading a daily paper again.
“To try to explain this event is not the way; this is not the time for trying to explain something of this order.” Understanding might emerge; but the way to understanding in this case is to hold the pain with those who have suffered so much. The function of compassion is the holding of the pain. It is that faculty or dimension within ourselves that is able to hold pain without judgement, even without being able to explain anything at all”.
Thoughts of a Buddhist monk called Munindo, who is based in Northumberland.
Now I realise that I’m starting to sound like a real little Englander…but why do the Italians have such a thing about Nutella? See this link for details.