Goodness! Chris is up early – I had bearly finished reciting the Office. She says we are going to something called the Kent Show to help in the ‘Church Tent’.

We head off on the road we take to Dover but then turn off to a place called Detling. Chris is surprised that there is so much traffic at this time but is relieved to see that most of it is turning down a little lane. We carry on up the hill and soon join a line of cars which are moving slowly. Soon we turn down a small road into a huge field. We eventually stop in the middle of another field and Chris takes everything we need. She leaves the car but does not leave any food or water. This worries me but there is plenty of grass so it may graze when we are away. I always had to find good pasture, or a good stable for my horse.

Chris has damaged her knee so find walking difficult at the moment. Fortunately she seems to know where we are going, partly because there are a lot of other people heading in the same direction. We go through a gate and into an area which has lots of tents and huge constructions around. I would love to explore but our tent is quite close.

There we meet Canon Jean and her husband whom I recognise from Rochester. Chris also knows some other people including Canon Caroline from Canterbury. I am pleased to hear that Chris will be doing hand massage. She did that in Rochester and it does mean she can sit down. Can you see me in the image below?

    Our team for the day

Our team for the day

One of the team heard Jean and Chris talking about her knee and later asked if she could pray for Chris. Chris said that she felt a warm glow in her leg during the prayer, so let’s hope. I was praying too.

I was able to explore a bit when Chris needed to find the necessarium (Can you guess what that is?) I was interested to see lots of different tents, animals and competitions just like the fairs in my day. Chris found a friend in one of the tents so we chatted then stopped to listen to a choir. Chris said she knew some of those people.

At lunchtime a huge, noisy bird began flying around over the field. I had never seen anything like it before but Chris said it was called a ‘Spitfire’. Everyone seemed very excited to see it. It flew around for quite a while before disappearing.

After lunch Canon Caroline said that she had volunteered for an omelette cooking competition against Canon Jean! I was told an omelette is an egg dish. They both dashed off and Chris and I walked behind. Chris has found walking easier since the prayer this morning. Praise the Lord!

We found the place where the kitchen was and saw a man making things. When he had finished he called Canon Jean & Canon Caroline up to the front for the contest. Chris saw someone else watching and we went over to chat. Chris said that this lady was the wife of the Bishop of Dover. I didn’t know Dover had a Bishop but Chris knows him, too. Canon Jean finished first but I am not sure who ‘won’. A lady brought the finished omelettes around for us to try. I was pleased to see that no one was hurt in this competition – some of the contest in my day were quite violent.

   The race is on!

The race is on!

By the time the competition was over I was quite exhausted. When things began to quieten, as people began to go home, we decided to leave. Before going we had another wander in a different direction. We found some deer, which Chris said were Reindeer and one had a baby. I had never seen them before. We often had deer wandering around Rievaulx and when I was a boy, in Scotland, we sometimes went hunting deer but those were Red Deer or Roe Deer. King William brought Fallow Deer to England but these were only found in the Royal Forests in my day.

I was relieved to see the car so that I could rest my paws but I was surprised to see that we turned in the opposite direction to home. Chris said that we are not allowed to turn the way we had come but it was alright because she knew the way home. I am glad to say it did not take long to get home.

I am absolutely exhausted so I am going to Compline then off to my bed!

Every Blessing!

Abbot Aelred.




 Hello! I am Aelred and I have been asked to tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Northumberland in 1109, the son of a priest. Dad sent me to school at the Scottish Court where I grew up with Prince Henry, son of King David. The King gave me a job when […]

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Hello Again

Hello again, I told you I am a Cistercian Monk living in Rievaulx in Yorkshire. We are sometimes called White Monks because of our white habit. I wear a black Scapular over my habit to keep it clean. The monks in your Cathedral Monastery in Rochester are Benedictine and wear black habits. We all follow the Rule of […]

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Hello, I am told that you do not use Latin in church anymore and very few people understand it so you may not understand the little table of our day which I wrote last time. let me try to explain. Vigils is from the Latin to mean watchfulness as we watch for the new day. […]

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Hello All, I have been asked why we are called Cistercians. Well our first monastery was founded in a place called Citeaux in France and the name developed from that. There is a drawing of the monastery in the 16 Century. Our very first monastery in England, Waverley Abbey,  was founded in 1128 near Farnham […]

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Hello, I have just come back from Rochester. There is a festival called the Sweeps Festival When everyone needed their chimneys swept the festival, at the beginning of May, was the Sweeps’ Holiday. They had a 7 foot character called ‘Jack in the Green’ and had a ceremony at dawn on Blue Bell Hill near […]

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Travel Plans

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. […]

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Hello! 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.  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 […]

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Hello, We drove to Dover to find a boat to a place called Dunkirk. Chris says there is a place called Dunkirk near Canterbury so I hope we don’t get confused! We loaded the baggage and climbed into the car, then we were off down a big road which Chris called a motor way. The roads are so much […]

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Friday Market

Hello! The people we are staying with, Marc and Frieda, are friends and they have a shop which sells cakes and chocolates. I am looking forward to getting my whiskers around some of those! Chris has a problem which means she cannot eat the cakes but Frieda is making some special ones for her. When we have […]

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Saturday morning

Hello! Chris has had to go to the big house for a meeting so I can stay here and meditate. Sometimes I use Lectio Divina to help understand the scriptures. I read a passage slowly, then re read it. If a word or phrase jumps at me I think about that during my prayers and ask […]

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Saturday Afternoon

Hello! Chris was away a long time and when she got back she told me she had been to lunch with some friends who were at the meeting. She has to go back to the house to see Shirley so I go with her. This house was built in 1742 and was owned by a […]

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Sunday Morning

Hello, Chris’s friend, John is a priest and so we had a service in the Chapel. There is a family staying with John and Shirley. They are Irish but they now live in Brussels and they  asked if they could join us. Some of the children have been confirmed so they took mass with us. It feels a really […]

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Going Home

Hello! We are packing to go home. Oh dear I am still not sure about the sea! I am pleased to see that Chris has some of Marc’s chocolates. Frieda gave us some soon after we arrived so I have been tasting them through out the week-end. My habit is feeling a bit tight!! We […]

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Oh my word! I have been invited out to lunch to a place called Bromley College. Guess where that is? Its proper name is Bromley and Sheppard’s College and it is has nothing to do with learning. This College was founded in 1666 by the Bishop of Rochester for widows whose husbands had been priests, and […]

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26 May

Hello! Today is the feast of St Augustine. There are two St Augustines which can be confusing! One is Augustine of Hippo but I am talking about Augustine of Canterbury. This St Augustine came to this country in 597 and became Archbishop of Canterbury. Seven years later, in 604, Augustine made St Justus the first Bishop […]

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Hello! I keep forgetting that your church is not part of Rome. When I was in Belgium recently Rev. John used something called the Book of Common Prayer and the words were so familiar I was able to recite most of it. Of course in my day all the services were in Latin and many […]

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Hello! When I was coming back from Flanders I said that I grabbed my Rosary. Because I keep forgetting that your Church does not look to the Pope as head,  I am told you may not know what a Rosary is! Well the rosary is a form of combined prayer and meditation that has been […]

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June 9

Hello! Today is St Columba’s day. Columba was the first Abbot of an important monastery on the Island of Iona in Scotland. He was Abbot from 563 until he died on this day in 597. Now 597 was the year Augustine landed in Kent so it makes me so cross the history books often say […]

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Old Books

Hello! O my word! Chris was down in Canterbury recently at the University called Christ Church. She tells me there are two Universities in the City- goodness me! Christ Church was founded by the Church, jusy like Universities in my day. Anyway the room she was in had some really old books in which were […]

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Belgium Again.

Hello! It has been some time since I was able to write to you. I hope you are all having fun in the summer! I had my second trip to Belgium. We got to Dover without problems but then we had to wait for the boat, just like in my day. We did leave on […]

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Chris got up early. I had been up ages ready for the office but Chris was going across to the House. I was amazed to see that she was wearing a robe rather than the leggings she usually wears. ( I think you call them a dress and trousers.) She also had her church robes. She explained […]

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Goodness! Chris has slept in very late; I have been up and about for hours! I am sure it will be better to have a lazy day after yesterday. Most of the English friends have gone back so we spent some time sorting out and packing ready to leave tomorrow. We did walk down to the Square […]

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We are to travel back to England. All this travel is so fast. It would have taken me weeks to do this journey and Chris says we should be home for tea! Chris managed to park the car near Marc’s house and packed everything, including some of the special roses. I checked that we had […]

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Hello! Chris is off to play something called croquet in a place called Chartwell. Apparently this was the home of a very famous man called Winston Churchill who was once Prime Minister. I am intrigued so I thought I would go along. We have a picnic and something to sit on plus a very nasty looking […]

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Kent Show

Goodness! Chris is up early – I had barely finished reciting the Office. She says we are going to something called the Kent Show to help in the ‘Church Tent’. We head off on the road we take to Dover but then turn off to a place called Detling. Chris is surprised that there is […]

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July 2016

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene II). William Shakespeare certainly had a way with words. And he introduced many words and expressions into our language. Some claim that over 1700 words in use were formed initially by […]

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