Before, During and After Storm Arwen!

A tree came down during the storm blocking the lane up to the monastery main buildings.

Enough to say we have ‘weathered the storm‘ and the monastery is now back up and running with full power and internet.  The widespread damage done to the electricity grid infrastructure by the high winds and frigid temperatures, caused by Storm Arwen, had quite an impact on the functioning of the monastery. I believe there are still homes in the North East not yet connected to power and one’s heart can’t help but go out to those who rely totally on electricity.

Our internet connection joined us sometime on Monday morning as well as the electricity supply to the Myrtle Bank buildings. We were without power for about 7 days although a generator was hooked up around day 5 to keep the freezers going and provide light in the kitchen and heat in the lay common room. A welcomed warm refuge. You will be glad to know we were able to cook using LPG (gas), and to heat water for washing up, filling Thermos flasks and…hot water bottles!

Much has happened since the last post here. Just in the last ten days, I’ve driven to the Scottish Border country twice. One trip to pick up a ‘crown’ of red rhubarb ( Fulton’s Strawberry Surprise) and the other trip to pick up a car. Also Red! And there have been a number of excursions locally for supplies and to get essential laundry washed.

For the funeral, the coffin is placed on the main altar and covered with a specially made kesa.

Rev. Alexanders death on November 5th has had quite an impact on us both practically and personally. On the 25th of November, his body was returned to the monastery where we held a Vigil (a meditation period with the coffin in the middle of the room) followed by Rev. Alexander’s funeral.   Later that same day his body was driven in a hearse to the crematorium near Consett – several of us attended a short, lived streamed, cremation ceremony there. Sometime last week we were joined by quite a number of Rev. Alexander’s relatives for the Interment Ceremony for his cremated remains. Memories of last August passed before me as we processed to the monks’ cemetery for the burial.

Rev. Berwyn wrote an article that can be either downloaded as a .pdf or read online. So touching. Reverend Master Alexander – learning from a friend. 

There are very many comments attached to the Throssel blog posts linked to above. Please do add your own comment if moved to do so. Doing so helps us all to honour and remember this monk and for his family to know how much his life as a monk was appreciated.


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