I had I had had enough. Of translation and of Church work. I needed some fresh air. So early on Saturday morning I drove forty miles north west from Brussels. This is pure Flanders, flat as a pancake. I know Flanders well and speak the language – the outcome of an affair that went badly wrong thirty years ago. Like much of Flanders, this is mixed farming and agricultural country. You feel that people have worked and still work hard. Like in the house to the right: originally the family lived to the right, the animals were kept to the left - the double garage behind is a recent addition.
They are very house-proud here, and spend an awful lot of time building. But what they actually do of interest in the houses, apart from eat, watch television and have sex, I have never really discovered. They are pious, after a way: they keep their churches (often the only historical building in the village) in good repair. And their graveyards, like their front gardens, are immaculate….