So many possible captions for this picture. The Dead Poor Clares  (they take evangelical poverty seriously in Glasgow). What the average Briton thinks nuns are like? We’re still better looking than Catherine of Siena?

Aelianus and I were talking about people seeming to be nervous about visiting enclosed nun friends. This is daft, really. After all, even if our age group was one likely to have had their hands caned by Sister Scary, enclosed nun friends cannae cane anyone’s hands through the parlour grille. It’s not really any different from arranging to meet up with a friend during work hours – you need to arrange a time, you have to meet at her work and she can’t get away for very long, but it’s always worth it.

So go and visit your friends in monasteries.

The well-preserved nuns in the piccie are Clarisse Eremite, a single monastery of Poor Clares founded in the C17 to keep a peculiar version of the rule. It was one of five monasteries founded by one woman in honour of the five wounds. Or something. Can’t remember the details, whether she was a mystic or a pious woman with money or both. In the sixties they were amalgamated with some more mainstream Poor Clares, as the monastery was in a state after the war. Some decades later the monastery was once more made autonomous, but they now keep some boring old normal version of the rule. Boring.