Learning to listen: Sarah Sands goes in search of spirituality

It was the 13th-century wall of a ruined Cistercian nunnery at the far end of her garden in Norfolk that turned Sarah Sands’s thoughts to exploring monasticism in her final year as the editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. She already had a soft spot for the ‘Thought for the Day’ slot — ‘an oasis of reflection’. But she was finding it increasingly hard to set aside any time for reflection in her busy, noisy, anxiety-filled ‘5G life’ — office meetings from pre-dawn to dusk and evenings of emailing with the phone beeping every few seconds. In this charming and quirky homage to A Time to Keep Silence by