Yes, I'm still here. We've been really busy around the house: we installed a new shower head and hose last week (well, clever hubby did), and painting. We have now completed the front of the house (south side) - yay, it's changed colour! - and have both coats on the windowframes and one coat on the house itself on the west side. We're planning to complete both coats hopefully this week, and then will assess whether or not we try and get the east side (the last one) prepped and painted before the weather packs up at the end of autumn. We got the north-facing back of the house done about a month ago and have been trying to get the rest done as and when the weather allows it.
University has also officially started and I'm trying to keep working on it, although am finding it easier to focus on the last assignment rather than the first one! The final assignment is around researching a major disaster and I'm trying to do the sinking of the Wahine in Wellington Harbour in 1968. We have to write an ergonomics assessment of the disaster looking at both systems (macro) and micro-ergonomics perspectives, as if we were writing the government investigation report. I'm currently reading the summary of the court of inquiry into the sinking and trying to get my hands on a lot of papers from the National Library.
Apart from that, Lent continues. We're more than halfway through now. I feel that it hasn't been my "best Lent ever" in terms of observance, but at the same time I am trying to bring some stability to my general practice. Not too sure if that's working either - one part of me thought that "now you've transferred into the Community of Solitude it will be easier to keep a good Lent" but maybe it's more about me living good monastic practice, reinforced by the Lenten observance.
Speaking of Community news, it was a big shock to hear of the death of our Brother Robert, one of the Community novices, and it was the first time I've had to pray the Office of the Dead in the Community. It felt a bit weird: Br Robert and I had become good friends and emailed each other quite a lot, and it was both like losing a friend and a true brother, but not quite the same as a blood brother. It was also quite strange as we've never met in person but we were in Community together. I guess that's the interesting thing about being in a community of hermits.... May he rest in peace and rise in glory.