I’ve just discovered a great social networking site called Pinterest. My daughter’s friend Martha, an illustrator, put us onto it and it’s completely addictive. It’s like an online scrapbook. You compose boards of things you like, either from the site itself or from the Internet. You just ‘pin’ items and post them. I don’t buy magazines any more cos I can never find any titles that are worth the cover price. This site is like an online magazine. I have half a dozen good ideas already, related to various interests. What a great idea! I must stop it now as I’m starting to become afraid of daylight!
I’ve become a trend-setter! I see Mark Owen from Take That is photographed wearing the same design of jumper as I knitted for Ross for his 24th birthday this month. I wonder how he knew about it. It’s Dennis the Menace reinvented, red and black horizontal stripes. Bet Mark Owen paid a fortune for his.
Visited Mount St Bernard Abbey this weekend. It’s a Pugin designed church and abbey run by Cistercians, they of the black and white habits. Also known as ‘Trappists’. They have a 200 acre site, prime Leicestershire land, including a farm. I went with young friends this weekend and we were lucky enough to be present when the monks were singing. You can’t get very close but we could see that there were a couple of young members. So it won’t be transformed into a luxury hotel, just yet.
The monks live by the rule of St Benedict and the principles they live by include Prayer, Work and Hospitality. They certainly live up to the latter in the shop where the ones who serve are unfailingly polite and friendly. One of them is from Lancashire. He once asked me if I worked in a mill! Mustn’t get out much; or else I had fluff in my hair. Once I visited with two nuns, normally dressed ie not in habits. We bought stuff and paid by cheque. He took their proof of identity but not mine. On sale there is homemade pottery, their own stationery and cards, dairy products (they run a farm), as well as books and the usual religious artefacts. They also sell ‘glow in the dark Marys’ and other Blackpool-like souvenirs. I suppose they have to keep those huge buildings going through their various enterprises.
They have a guest house where you can stay. My husband went on retreat once with a friend. There is no charge but they ask for a donation. Women can stay too but they side in a separate lodge. You do have to get up and pray with them though. The buildings are really beautiful. Grand as you would expect. Windows, doors and arches all resemble praying hands. There is a feeling of great calm, as is always the case with monasteries.