Esther for nunnery!

I have a special affection for nuns. I grew up in a house in a village just outside of Jerusalem that belonged to the neighbouring convent. We lived in a gorgeous red house that we rented from the convent and there was a path that ran between our house and the convent.

We were good friends with the nuns. The nun working in the kitchen would often bake cookies for us, the nun working with the chickens would give us eggs, one of my brothers even had piano lessons from one of the nuns and apparently loved her because she smelled nice. The nuns would let us camp in the fields they did not have in use and they would let us play soccer there or play war (we lived in Israel after all…) with sticks for guns as my parents refused to get us any toy guns. The nuns were of French origin and I learned my first French words from them (alas, my French has not improved much since).

My oldest brother died at age 7 after an accident, a year before I was born, and he is buried in the convent graveyard. The nuns had offered my parents a place to bury my brother in this most beautiful, peaceful spot. My parents had asked the abbess whether it was a good idea, whether the mother-house in France would allow a child to be buried in what was strictly a convent graveyard. The mother abbess had apparently replied, “We only have to ask permission when we are in doubt. And we are not in doubt!” So, there he is (small white grave with white cross on the right in this picture), the only child that rests there amongst nuns and a few monks.

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There are many more tales to tell of the nuns (for instance, my mom even held bra-fittings for them in our house from charity bras she had received through her charity work!) but that will take too long. Suffice it to say that when I left Israel at the age of 10, it was very difficult to say goodbye to the nuns, we loved them so! This is a picture taken just before we left, with blond little me in front of the nun who always made us cookies. 🙂

Esther&nun

I was so enamoured with nuns, I even had this idea of becoming a nun myself one day, as they are so much fun! It was only later, when I realised what becoming a nun actually meant, that I decided that such a path would really not suit me after all. However, one of my brothers continued to tease me about it for years and even made me an “Esther for nunnery” banner that I had up on the wall in my room for a long time (from my late teens to early twenties)!

Estherfornunnery1

Estherfornunnery2

By the way, that’s a real guinea pig I am holding there!

It was still up on the wall when my now-husband first visited my room… luckily he never felt threatened by it. 🙂

So, nuns always hold a special place in my heart and then two days ago Richard tweeted about watching #golfnuns on German TV while he was on his treadmill!

Oh, how I loved that tweet and for once I even responded directly to @RCArmitage (which I rarely do) about it! I mean, how could I not react when Richard Armitage speaks of nuns? My mum always watches this particular German show (called “Um Himmels Willen” – click on Me+Richard Armitage link above for more info) because they always remind her of the nuns we lived so close to for many years.

To my dismay I found that yesterday this #golfnuns tweet was deleted, along with some other ‘naughty’ tweets Richard Armitage had posted. Apparently it was too offensive for some and a “Cybersmile ambassador” is not allowed a sense of humour for fear of offending, well, anyone on the planet? For me, Richard was very much ‘cybersmiling’ in these tweets. 🙂 Anyway, I do not want to speculate on why they were deleted and without a statement from Mr. A. himself it’s useless anyhow. They could have been deleted for any number of reasons… All I really want to say is: what a huge pity that the nun tweet has gone and that other joke-tweets have disappeared as well!

I love nuns and I love Richard Armitage and I love to see the two connected! Which leads me to Strike Back

… and to a Twitter account called Sister Alex @NunsLuvArmitage. That account, set up two days ago, just has me in stitches!

I hope the fun and ‘naughty’ tweets from @RCArmitage will return… a girl can hope, right?

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20 thoughts on “Esther for nunnery!

  1. You know, there are people who just look for a reason to be offended. I think they are the saddest of all. They were funny and I didn’t find them overly naughty or offensive, but I have a pretty thick skin so…..

    Thank you for the lovely memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am screamung with laughter here. “Nunsluvarmitage” rofl! That is just wonderful. I am missing the best stuff on my Twitter fast! Why does no one spare a thought for the nuns who have been offended by Armitage deleting any reference to them?
    And thanks for the lively story of your childhood with the nun neighbours. What a touching story about your brother’s grave! No doubt, they were good nuns!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Was für eine wunderbare und berührende Geschichte. Du könntest tatsächlich ein “Book of Esther” über dein bewegtes Leben schreiben!
    Gut, dass sich dein damals zukünftiger Ehemann von dem Slogan über deinem Bett nicht hat abhalten lassen 😉
    Auch ich habe während meiner Schul- und Ausbildungszeit gute Erfahrungen mit Nonnen und auch Padres gemacht. Hinter Klostermauern leben zum Teil ganz außergewöhnliche Menschen und viele von ihnen sind keineswegs nur vergeistigt, sondern haben das Herz auf dem rechten Fleck. Ich glaube nicht, dass sich eine der Nonnen, die ich kennengelernt habe, über Richards Tweet aufgeregt hätte. Sie hätten herzlich gelacht.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What great memories of an incredible childhood! I work for and with many nuns…not only do the tolerate my rather apostate ways, but they do it with grace and no small amount of humor. I have no doubt #nunsluvarmitage!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Studying the Reformation — one of the first things one learns is about the huge significance of nuns both in European and women’s history (and of course, in the history of the church). I have little doubt that had I lived before 1517, I would have made every effort I could to be a nun, or to have some connection with a convent. Not to say that every nun was perfect or that everything they did was good — but taken as a whole they have been a pretty awesome group, both historically and in the present. I even looked briefly into becoming a nun recently, but I had passed the entry point for most orders (aside from the fact that I would have had to convert, and that as an introvert I probably would only have been suited to life in a contemplative order …).

    In my experience of them (most of the ones I know well are academics), they have a very broad sense of humor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you certainly did look into it! I never researched becoming a nun that closely. My religion was never that strong and then there was the celibacy thing…
      Broad sense of humour – yep, my experience as well with them. 🙂

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      • I couldn’t have been celibate when I was twenty, but I might be able to now. I appreciate the things that nuns accomplish and that they take care of each other. However, most orders in the US that interested me want you to be 40 or under when you start the novitiate.

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        • I wonder why there is such an age limit, do you know?
          I’d still have the celibacy issue. I think. EVen if I were single, I’d still be too interested in men.

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          • Financially, it doesn’t work out. If you enter when you’re under forty, you can be assumed to do 2-3 decades of work for the order, and a lot of orders still have some kind of dowry payment involved, so money can be invested. If you enter after that, the money that will be spent on your care once you can no longer work can be logically assumed to be greater than the benefit you will provide to the community by working and/or having your dowry communally invested.

            There may also be culture issues — it’s harder to form the spirit of a woman who’s middle aged and has had a certain number of life experiences for the purposes of community life. Or may be.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Well, I guess this does make sense. Of course, if you were rich and brought in a lot of money, you could possibly be allowed to become a nun later in life after all. Pity that economics is so involved in this but it does make sense. And also the culture issues make sense.

              Liked by 2 people

  6. […] nuns hike up to the source of the Elbe… I have a bit of a soft spot for nuns, I like seeing them around, but these nuns didn’t stay long to admire God’s miracle of […]

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  7. […] of the convent right near our old house. As kids we used to be at the convent all the time, we were good friends with the nuns there, and it was so special actually staying there with my own kids, sharing the memories. My oldest […]

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