August 2017


During the last two days of July the weather had been uncertain.

Sunshine and rain alternated on Sunday,

with a sudden unexpected downpour towards evening.

I went out looking for Brunie during this heavy rainfall,

sheltering under an umbrella,

but I was nonetheless soaked to the skin.

There was no sign of cat Brunie.

Going indoors, I vested myself in a mackintosh

and  put on my garden shoes.

The rain had abated somewhat

when Brunie emerged from her hiding place.

Her fur was not very wet as the top layer of fur

serves as a barrier, rather like a raincoat.

The same could not be said of my clothes !

Most of them had to go into the tumble dryer

for an hour ... while my sandals dried close to the boiler...




Tuesday 1st August

The herring gulls are coming later for food,

so I am not awoken by their raucous cries.

One of them comes very close to me

when I scatter the broken bread,

watching me with a side-ways glance.

The moulting black-headed gulls keep their distance.

No sooner had I fed the birds than it began to rain....AGAIN !


Our apple-trees are already full of fruit,

rather earlier than usual.

I asked Dave, our gardener, to cut down

the wonderfully wild areas

around the trees, which he did.

Now we can see the fruit, and the magpies

can search for possible food amid the cut grass.

The rest of the meadow remains wild and free.


2nd August

        A shield-bug rescued from Brunie’s water bowl

 3rd August

It is now early afternoon and the rain

falls steadily on our lovely garden.

Dave worked quietly and thoughtfully this morning

among the flower-beds, weeding where necessary.

I was able to carry the shield-bug outside

before the rain began, and watched it hasten up

a flower-stalk and disappear.


5th August

The rain started falling steadily at the end of the morning.

By that time Brunie and I had come in from the garden.

On our return journey I had examined the fig tree

nearest the ramp and discovered much ripe fruit.

Some was picked, washed and eaten

by Sister Monica and I. We are the only nuns

who have lived in countries where fig trees flourish

and so we really appreciate the ripe figs !



 11th August

At our optional meetings before Vespers

we have been reading “THE MILLER’S TALE

And Other Parables” by Margaret Silf.

The Introduction begins thus:

“ The Word of God in sacred scripture

has two sisters - an older one and a younger sister.

The older sister is older than the hills.

She is the created world in which we live

and move have our being.

The younger sister is as young as this morning.

She is our own personal,

everyday experience of life as we are

living in the here and now.”


The following text comes from the back cover of the book.

“Today, no less then in Jesus’ day,

everyday incidents can show us

what the Kingdom of God is like ....

ordinary experience reveals shafts of God’s mystery,

tracing creation’s story,

from original blessing, through brokenness and restoration...”


 15th August

We celebrated the Assumption of Our Lady today.

The basic narrative comes from a vision in

The Book of Revelation, chapter 12.

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven:

a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon,

and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

She was pregnant, and in labour,

crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.

Then a second sign appeared in the sky:

there was a huge red dragon with seven heads

and ten horns , and each of the seven heads

crowned with a coronet.

Its tail swept a third of the stars

from the sky and hurled them to the ground,

and the dragon stopped in front of the woman

as she was at the point of giving birth,

so that he could eat the child as soon as it was born.

The woman was delivered of a boy ....

and the child was taken straight to God and to his throne,

while the woman escaped into the desert,

where God had prepared a place for her

to be looked after for 1200 and 60 days....”


A footnote in the New Jerusalem Bible of 1985

links this vision with the Book of Genesis.


We think that the text may have been influenced by the contemporary

situation in Rome at the time, and thus had a political slant.



 Purple Clematis - 15th August 2017


18th August

The seasons seem to have changed.

August is full of April showers,

which are accompanied by restless wind.

Autumn toadstools are emerging amid the grass.

Some apples are already edible it seems, 

while blackberries are glowing with light

in every little segment.

The damsons in an adjacent garden

are partly sweet and partly sour ....

perhaps somewhat like us !


23rd  August

The work on our cloister - that is repair and decorating -

has now been completed.

All the pictures have been put in their proper places,

and the cleaning of the floor and dusting has commenced.

We have always been fortunate with our

kind builders and painters and remember them

with gratitude.

Later today the many potted plants will be

restored there  - and watered !



Cyclamen growing in our garden


25th August

We have a had a mini-heat wave recently.

Brunie has spent the hot afternoons

in the shade of her chosen bushes -

not hiding like Adam and Eve -

but simply resting in that cooler place.

She usually ventures forth when I call her.

The above photograph comes from that area.


 I would like to conclude the Month of August

with another quotation from

‘The Miller’s Tale” by Margaret Silf

from the section called “The Song of the Wheat.”

“My waking was out of a deep sleeping,

deeper than memory, more distant than hope.

An impulse of love shocked me into life.

A shaft of warmth dissolved me into being.

There was a birth struggle.

My living energy was surrounded

by the clay of the fields, wet with winter, and cold.

No easy yielding, but a hard coming to be.

Yet the outcome of the struggle was never in doubt,

for I knew that life was on my side.

I could feel it in every fibre of my being.”