Berthem virginBrowsing in the bookshop opposite the Centre Borschette, I came across an old guide book to the villages around Brussels. This morning, on our way to walk the dog, we visited some of the sites mentioned in the guide: the chateau at Leefdael, the chapel of St Veronica, and Berthem’s parish church, Sint-Pieter. All are well preserved. In Sint-Pieter there was, typically, an old lady bustling around. She took us out to the sacristy and showed us a photocopied document that explains the history of the church. In a niche in one aisle of the church there is an immensely touching 11th or 12th century polychrome wood carving of the virgin and child. The lady explained that the carving had been brought to the church by a man who had rescued it from an old shrine in the middle of a field, about to be¬†destroyed by road building work. The pretty church is worth a visit to see that carving alone. In my photograph is another curiosity to be found in the church. This, clearly, is a much later virgin and child but look at the ‘baby’ Jesus! His expression is almost sinister. It is certainly adult.