Happy Easter, Leonie’s Ladies!

This being a joyful season, we’ve decided to kick off with a light-hearted post, along the lines of the “Ten Things Only 90s Children Will Understand” lists that you see on Buzzfeed. Except that this is a list of Life Hacks that Only Someone Who Has Been in the Convent Will Understand – and please feel free to add your own! (It would be great to be able to post a list of them on forums for people who are discerning religious life.) Here are a few to kick off with…

Problem: you’ve been given a shirt or t-shirt from the community’s storeroom that is (at least) one size too big, creating an unsightly bulge of cloth under your postulant vest/habit.

Solution: you will need one ribbon, long enough to fit around your waist several times, and two safety pins. Put on the out-sized shirt, then lay one end of the ribbon over your stomach and wrap the longer part once around your body. Overlap the ribbon and pin in place. Then wrap several more times above and below the original level, not too tightly, and pin. This will keep the shirt from bulking up. Use your postulant vest or sweater to conceal this arrangement.

Problem: your hair is in need of a good clean, but you won’t be able to wash it until the time allocated for showers that night.

Solution: dust some talcum powder into your hands, and pat lightly onto the hair on your scalp. Massage in until the powder disappears. This isn’t as effective as washing, but it softens and brightens the hair enough to get you by! (NB: my hair is light brown. I don’t know whether this would work on red or black hair.)

Problem: there’s a crease in your shirt/skirt/habit, and ironing day is days away! Argh!

Solution: get some water in a cup (assuming you’re doing this in your cell), and pour a small amount onto the crease. Gently massage it with your fingers until the crease flattens out, and then allow the damp patch to dry. Best to leave it overnight if you can, but it can be done with something you’re wearing at the time.

Any more?