Before leaving the marble works had a hurried glance at the blocks of stone lying about cut in slabs, in some of which the “colouring” and grain was wonderful. The people told us that this was the most important marble works in the world; no doubt, local pride. Encountered more picturesque country, more hilly; rushing streams in deep gullies; interesting buildings among leafless woods. Under the dull winter’s sky with a red-tinted opening towards the horizon, the medieval aspect of this little country found its proper tones of dull purples and greys and coppers.
The old world town of Lobbes, in a suburb of which we are billeted, is picturesquely situated amongst hills and surrounded by a high loop-holed wall. Billeted in an upstairs room of an occupied house – we actually have to cut across the corner of M. And Madame’s bedroom to get into it, but in this country people don’t seem to mind that sort of thing. En route, the Belgian flag has been much in evidence, and the people seem really pleased to see us. Everywhere are placards in honour of Notre Roi Albert, and welcome to “The Brave British Soldiers”. Communal kitchens and food distributing centres are also noticeable in each town and village, showing how the people have been kept fed.