Watching Rev last week I was reminded of a retreat I took after my ordination as a deacon. The TV Rev had taken the precaution of having a bottle of the hard stuff tucked away.....I had no such forethought.
I had done two organised and directed retreats and this one was different. It was a retreat house on the Cornish coast where you can book in for a few days on your own and be still.
I did have my laptop with me but no phone and no booze.
I walked the cliff paths during the day and was quiet at night. That was the plan.
The first night I was alone in the house. I went to bed quite happily and woke up several times to hear scamperings in the room above me.
The next day a your man arrived...in his twenties...he had forgotten to bring food so I cooked us a meal and we went to bed. He was in a different part of the house from me but I still heard him scream....
The next day we had breakfast whilst he explained that mice made him very jumpy!
"Me too" I said..."I'm not keen either"
The next evening we played scrabble together before going to bed.
I had left my walking boots on the floor by the door and woken up in the night by strange sounds...I saw the boots being dragged over the floor by their laces........I sat up, turned the lamp on and saw a very large rat.
Rushing downstairs at top speed I found the young man sitting in the kitchen next to the Rayburn with his hands over his ears!
The next two days and nights we really could have done with some booze of some kind but instead we sat up all night playing scrabble and watching episodes of West Wing together.
It was not the retreat I had been expecting but it was very memorable!