UK hermit Katen Markham is distracted from her eremitic life by the possibility of losing her dwelling-place, notes the article “Modern hermit Karen Markham fights for solitude” in the Telegraph. She has been a hermit at her cottage, her Hermitage of Divine Wisdom in Shropshire, for six years but the owner now wants to sell the property. From the article:
Miss Markham, who used to teach at Radley College, has converted a piggery into a chapel and keeps chickens in the garden, where she grows her food.
Her daily regime follows the rules of solitary living laid down by St Benedict, the founder of western monasticism, and involves rising at 4am to spend three hours praying and chanting divine names, as well as spending time in contemplative silence. She is committed to a life of chastity.
She has no television, takes no holidays and has very few personal possessions. She weaves rugs on a hand loom using wool from local sheep. Her interest in the solitary life began after she spent three years as part of a Muslim Sufi community in America; that led her to study the Christian saints. “Very few people want to live on their own, but it works for me and allows me the space to try to live a holy life,” she said.
Hermitage appeal fund information: http://www.hermitageofdivinewisdom.org.uk/appeal.html