Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chilly Reception
Sint-Idesbald, Belgium

As we walked along the beach with Dave and Ria, in the cool of the evening, verging on quite cold actually and very similar come to think of it to the cool of the rest of the day, except with wind and sand thrown in for good measure, we found it difficult to believe that it had been only a few days ago that we were visiting the Hospital at Baune in the south of the Burgundy region of France. 

It seemed like at least a month ago that in that place Roger gave us a rundown on the Flemish influence in Burgundy and how sometime a few hundred years before Australia was "discovered", the Duke of Burgundy,  who at the time was a chap with the unlikely name of Phillip the Good, had married an apparently less than handsome young lady who just happened to be the heiress to the whole of Flanders, giving him access to the ocean.  This turned out to be quite a useful asset for a chap intent on getting into the import-export business, as apparently he was.

Arriving in Flanders ourselves this afternoon, grateful to have been travelling in a heated car and oblivious to the single digit temperature outside we gained absolutely no appreciation whatsoever  as to how, all those years ago, anyone could have thought that owning a port a thousand frozen kilometres from where one produced one's product could be in the least bit helpful, but it all turned out be an immensely successful venture apparently.

Somewhere else in the history of Flanders a fellow named Charles the Bald made an appearance, and although he has no connection with the story, he sounds like exactly the sort of bloke that deserves a mention in this note. I can attest, being similarly endowed to his good self, that if Charles didn't own a sophisticated polypropylene thermal beanie that came down over his ears, he would have been very wise indeed to have never ventured out among the dunes in the cool of a spring evening.

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