I have had a really pleasant weekend mooching around Ghent.
On Saturday I lay in bed reading and surfing the net and then went for a wander around old Ghent and the shops, ending up at a pavement cafe for a pancake and......well, there's the thing. Most everything is in Flemish (a version of Dutch) and many words are pretty close to English: straat for street is a good example. But every once in a while you come across something odd. I just had to order my pannenkoeke (pancake) with 'slagroom' just to see what it turned out to be. And the answer was.....whipped cream, so no disaster there.
On Sunday I went for a wander round another part of the city, in search of an Italian restaurant reccomended by my surgeon. It turned out not to be open for Sunday lunch but close by was the Museum of Industry, Work and Textile Manufacturing which I found interesting but I seemed to be about the only person there on a sunny day. Then I took a tram ride to St Peter's station and walked from there to the Museum of Fine Arts. If you like large old canvases of 'the torment of Christ' and the like, then its the place for you. I'm not so sure. However, the Museum restaurant score 5 stars for a lovely lunch.
After lunch there was an amusing incident when I sought out the lavatories. The cleaner had propped the doors back for the cleaning process, so you coudn't see which were the gebts and which were the ladies. I paused, nonplussed. The cleaner, chatting away on her bluetooth headset mobile phone then appeared and muttered something about 'Fruaen, frauen' and gesticulated towards one side. Given that there were no urinals in the facilities I found myself in, I seem to have passed muster with her, even without tomorrow's surgery!
I have been reading John Le Carre's 'Our Kind of Traitor' which is just out in paperback and it has been lovely o have a couple of days of no legal paperwork to be able to read with a clear mind.
Well, time to turn in now and to set the alarm for 'unreasonably early' and 'a new life'.
See on the other side.