Stranger Than Fiction PART 2
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I told him who I was and explained my predicament and asked would it be possible to use their phone to get help, he said” unfortunately we do not have a telephone.”Strange I thought, and then I asked if he had the internet so I could email John, “Internet” he said “what is that “? Wow I thought they do live a sheltered life, I said “Don’t worry I’ll sleep in the car and sort it out in the morning.”
“No” he said “you’re welcome to spend the night here and one of the brothers can cycle to Castle Bridge in the morning and use the telephone at the Post Office to call the automobile garage”.
He motioned me inside and there were flickering candles everywhere causing jumping shadows on the walls which were covered with religious paintings.
“I’ll gladly pay for any inconvenience” I told him, “No” he said “we do not expect anything from you, you are here as our guest and perhaps one day you can return the favour by doing a good deed for someone else”.
We walked down a dark corridor and he showed me to a small room and I could not help but notice how basic it was, Two candles provided the light and there was a bed , a washbasin with a towel, a small bar of soap and an enamel jug filled with water, I smiled when I noticed an enamel chamber pot under the bed.
A large picture of the last supper was above the bed, I noticed that there were no light switches or plugs either and realised that the place had no mains power.Although it wasn’t the Hilton or indeed The Old Manor, I was grateful that I was at least in from the cold.
Brother Paul said “if you need anything to let them know” and added that they were in the middle of evening prayers and that he had to go but one of the monks on night duty would help in any way he could, he then wished me goodnight.
I thanked him and looked at my watch, it was nine o’clock and all I could think of was all the delegates tucking in to a nice meal with John buying the drinks all night long, at least I’ll have a clear head come morning, I got ready for bed and slept until about seven o’clock the next morning, I was woken by the soothing sound of Gregorian chant and then there was a knock at the door, It was Brother Paul to say that I was welcome to join them for breakfast in about fifteen minutes, I thanked him and had a wash in the basin , the water from the jug was freezing and it reminded me of my army days.
I left the room and a monk at the end of the corridor told me where to go, I went into the dining room and there were about three monks having breakfast, I wished them good morning and sat down chatting briefly, one of them said that it would be a lot busier in here when the other monks finished morning prayers in the chapel, a monk brought me some porridge, brown bread and a cup of cold milk. I finished and looked at my watch, I had time to change the wheel get to the old manor and have a shower before the conference.
I stood and said goodbye to the three monks still having breakfast and I could still hear the soothing Gregorian chant it certainly was a beautiful sound
Brother Paul was at the entrance and he said that “Brother Peter had worked at an automobile garage before he joined the monastery and that he had changed my punctured wheel”, he added that the car had been unlocked and hoped that I didn’t mind them changing it.
“Not at all” I said and again offered to pay something towards the help I had received
( CONTINUES IN PART 3 )
Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018