|Paddy, the Carmelites dog|
|The grill from our side of the parlour, before it was opened|
The sisters kindly gave us a run through of what their typical day is like. They wake up at 5.20am which is slightly similar to us although we have breakfast together at 6.30am. They pray the hours of the day and have a very structured timetable, similar to ours, squeezing as much as possible into the little time available. They have work time which includes making of the hosts for the surrounding parishes and is where they get their main income from, gardening, making the habits that they wear and doing the washing, cooking and cleaning. They are in total silence apart from recreation time which is twice a day and during this time they sit around in a circle and talk to each other while doing something for fun like knitting for example. They spoke about the importance of sharing as a community because otherwise you don't fully know the people that you are living with, so they thoroughly enjoy and appreciate these recreation times they get to spend together.
We were curious as to what their rooms were like and were told that they in fact were called 'cells' and were very simple rooms with a bed, a desk and some drawers but that this was sufficient and one of the sisters even called them fashionable because most of the decor in the room is wooden!
The joy that radiated from these nuns was infectious and gave us hope, because if these ladies can live together for almost 30 years and still be so joyful, then we will definitely be able to survive these next 9 months!!
(Photo of Paddy and Sister's cell from Carmelites website http://carmelitesnottinghill.org.uk/ )