To be perfectly honest when Chris said we were going to Belgium I was not sure where we were off to. Belgium is not a country I recognise. 

The Flemish Flag

The Flemish Flag

Now if she had said Flanders then I would have had a better idea because in my day the Count of Flanders was a very important person. He ruled huge parts of what you now call France and Belgium, including Burgundy where Citeaux is.

In my day there were two Counts who were both great grandsons of the same Count, Baldwin 5. The King of France wanted William but Thierry claimed the title. Our old King Henry supported William who was his nephew. There was a war between the two but then William died so the King of France and King Henry accepted Thierry. 

I am absolutely amazed that the flag of Flanders is nearly the same as I remember. I am looking forward to seeing Flanders again but I am still not looking forward to that sea crossing.

I shall try to let you know how we get on.

Every blessing.

Abbot Aelred