I'd like to welcome this week's pilgrims to the "Get It before the Kids break saver 3-day Mini-Retreat"
Hnaef will be running the course from now on. This will mean I can concentrate on the more strategic issues of the Beaker Community - such as Burton's threat to leave. It will also explain why I may not mention the Retreat for the rest of its course. It's not that I'm ignoring them - I'll just have forgotten they exist.
10am - 10.30 - This introduction
10.30 - 11.41 - Coffee and settling into your rooms.
11.42 - 12.17 - The Ice Breaker. We throw Oscar the Soft-Play Anteater at each pilgrim in turn, and they have to explain why they paid no attention to what the previous people said, because they were making up their own speech in their head.
12.17 - 13.06.- Pilgrim's Lunch (Granary bread and wholemeal water)
13.17 - 15.45 - Hedging and Ditching. A chance to get in contact with Mother Earth and the World of Nature. With the bad weather we've had, we've had real trouble doing routine maintenance. Some of the ditches are particularly dangerous, but Pilgrims are generally more expendable than our resident Beaker Folk.
15.46 - 17.00 - Mother Julian - She had a boy's name, so what?
17.15 - 18.99 - Burton addresses us on Why Decimal Time Would be Better. This is really part of our "Time Management for Train Spotters" mini-retreat, but we needed some padding.
19.40 - Discovering we're forty minutes for Dinner (Wholemeal Bread and Granary Water).
20.00 - We split the Retreat Group into its three component parts - according to how they refer to the meal we just bolted down: "Tea Folk", the "Dinner People" and the "Supper-eaters". If, as I suspect, the Tea Folk is just that bloke from Hersham called Alf, he is declared "Retreat Scapegoat" and accused of being a benefits scrounger. Having an identified common enemy is important to the self-conception of all groups - and sooner Alf than me.
21.00 - Compline. The reflection "How scared I am of the dark - the monsters of my mind stir and walk abroad" by Mausoline Basset.
22.00 - Quick Trip to the White Horse
23.00 - Terrified walk back, thinking of Mausoline's evocative imagery of the spirit-world of Ancient England.
Midnight - Battening-down the Hatches.