I spent the 24 hours that ended at 11.00 last night in total silence. Though it was a challenging experience, it was less horribly difficult than I'd imagined.
When I arrived in school during Assembly, the Head described the day as an experience of resisting temptation for me - and in many ways he was right.
The first crunch came with my early tea, when I picked up the book I'd been saving for day-off reading, one of Susan Hill's Simon Serailler detective series, I was reduced to hysteria by its title, which I had quite forgotten. It was, really and truly, "The Vows of Silence" so I reached for my phone, anxious to share the delicious irony by twittering at once - but stopped in time!
Other times of trial included the moment when the Head launched us into the Lord's Prayer..."using the words Jesus taught us, we pray...".Instinct almost overwhelmed me - but not quite. I hated not being able to sing with the children, specially as they were making a really good job of "Colours of Day", but there were some really comic moments when I tried to help Y3 readers disentangle complicated words by sign language alone - though they were so pleased with themselves when they did work it out that this was as much joy as tribulation.
All in all, it wasn't as hard as I expected, though I found I didn't do as much as I'd normally have attempted on a day off. The prospect of negotiating Sainsbury's was way beyond me, and as for a foray to the picture framers with my Stations of the Cross, that will clearly have to wait til next week now...
Still, I've been hugely encouraged by the positive response both on-line and face to face and am looking forward to totting up the grand total in due course.
Thank you so much, all who've supported me financially, prayerfully or simply by NOT expecting me to answer the phone yesterday.