Hello,

Chris tells me we are going to Belgium at the week-end. I am not looking forward to crossing the Channel to France. I am told it will only be two hours but I don’t understand how Chris knows the tides and winds will be so favourable; I have never done a crossing so fast. I do hope it is not raining because my fur will get wet, although I do have a lovely warm cloak. I also hope there are not too many horses as they can be smelly and it can be quite dangerous when it is rough because the horses get worried. Some boats are smaller than the image below, this one is big enough to take horses.

A Cross Channel Boat

A Cross Channel Boat

Life these days is so much quicker than in my day. When we went to Rochester recently we went in a horseless carriage, which you call a car. These car things are so fast but the roads are so much better than the muddy tracks we had in my day!

Chris told me that the road we took to Rochester is called Pilgrims’ Way because it is a road from my time, which goes from Winchester to Canterbury. It certainly did not feel like it when we were in the carriage as the journey was quite smooth. Then, when we got to Rochester, Chris left the carriage at the side of the road. I did not see her tether it to anything, nor leave it any food or water. I must ask Chris about that.

Chris went to a funeral in Canterbury the other day and got there and back in the afternoon. In my day getting to Canterbury from Maidstone would have been a full morning with a good horse, or two days on foot so I would have stayed overnight after the funeral. Travelling to Belgium would have taken days and we are going for the week-end! Chris tells me if we leave home at 10:00 we should be there by 3:00 but in Belgium it will be 4:00 as their clock is ahead of ours.

Maybe the boat will have cars instead of horses but I hope there are not too many to make the boat sink. Oh dear, so much to worry about!

Anyway, if we have a good crossing I may recover enough to tell you about Belgium. Until then I am going to Chapel to pray for a safe crossing and to try to leave my worries in the hands of God.

With every blessing.

Abbot Aelred