When the bell from the cloister clock chimed, Sister Bede rose from her bed, picked up her towel, soap and flannel and walked on tiptoe along the dark passage to the showers at the other side of the abbey. Once there, she showered in the semidarkness to wash away the sweat, grime and dirt from the previous day. That done, she dried herself in the chilly shower room, listening for any sounds that might be around her, but all was quiet. On her way back to her room or cell as it was called, the bell from the cloister clock struck two am. She couldn't believe she had risen from bed at that hour; she thought the clock had chimed four. She sighed, made her way back into bed, sniffed her clean skin and hoped God had witnessed her early rising with a sense of humour.