Friday, 26 May 2017

In Ghent

Ghent - Gent - Gand
(the confluence of the rivers Scheldt and Leie)





We are in Ghent.  







Apparently.....







Bicycles and trams abound.....








This is the Flemish town of Hubert and Jan Van Eyck's great early 15th century polyptych Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece, which is heavily guarded (following the still unresolved theft of two panels in 1934 - though one panel was later returned - and various other adventures during wars etc) in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo:




But which appears in many guises around the town, including in this curious Street Art near the Sint-Michielsbrug:







A painting that, literally, changed the world.....  The first oil painting - so giving the middle east complete control of western art..... (just think Damien Steven Hirst)






Thanks, Jan.....






Now our virgins and madonnas only have to whisper Q8 and they are anybody's.....







Art is no longer a question of taste.

I know what I like.....








Or I like what I know....







Or, perhaps, I'm not quite sure what is going on here, but I rather think I might like it..... (it's that Mystic Lamb again.....)






And so you shift focus.  Hi Guys?








No.  No consoulation there.

Hello cat?







Not interested.

Ah.  A smurf burglar....







No it's OK.  Flavio, from Romania, is here, working.....






And all is well....






The lady will clean up.....








So, we stop in a bar.  It's a bit rough. Unfinished, shall we say?









But the people are friendly.  This is Wernerwin von Spleethoven, who plays his composition En God schlep orde in de chaos!  on his phone.....









At the very least, he thinks it's funny (though he is only drinking cola as alcohol reacts with his anti-depressants, poor chap.....)







As does lycra-clad Fagin in pink, whose hundred bicycles hang like orphans from the rafters inside.....







Across the canal, all is calm.....








Though if you look closely there is life on the steps....








Waiting, and willing, to be photographed.....







And along the canal banks, friends, pairs, couples, individuals, loners, geeks and kids push experiment with the limits of the elements....






Examining the important things in life....








While keeping an eye on what goes on around ....








Beethoven blasts from a block across the water, while a gentleman conducts with leeks in time....








He takes a bow.  The music ends.








And it's time to slip back to Dulle Griet, where La Trappe awaits.....








And where, as dusk gathers, the staff extend the warmest welcome.....








And I relax with a bottle of Brussels Champagne.....








Perhaps I am influenced by the local produce, but Ghent is sweet, and dark, and....







I don't know exactly how the good news arrived here....  Or left.....  But....



I sprang to the rollocks and Jorrocks and me,
And I galloped, you galloped, we galloped all three.

Not a word to each other: we kept changing place, 
Neck to neck, back to front, ear to ear, face to face: 
And we yelled once or twice, when we heard a clock chime, 
“Would you kindly oblige us, is that the right time?” 
As I galloped, you galloped, he galloped, we galloped, 
ye galloped, they two shall have galloped: let us trot.










I unsaddled the saddle, unbuckled the bit,
Unshackled the bridle (the thing didn’t fit)
And ungalloped, ungalloped, ungalloped, ungalloped a bit. 
Then I cast off my buff coat, let my bowler hat fall, 
Took off both my boots and my trousers and all – 
Drank off my stirrup-cup, felt a bit tight, 
And unbridled the saddle: it still wasn’t right. 












Then all I remember is, things reeling round,

As I sat with my head ‘twixt my ears on the ground – 
For imagine my shame when they asked what I meant 
And I had to confess that I’d been, gone and went 
And forgotten the news I was bringing to Ghent, 
Though I’d galloped and galloped and galloped and galloped and galloped 
And galloped and galloped and galloped. (Had I not would have been galloped?)



How I brought the good news from Aix to Ghent or Vice Versa

W C Sellar & R J Yeatman (from Horse Nonsense)



[With apologies to Robert Browning]









Yay!  Love it!















1 comment:

  1. Well caught. It's a great city - will be there next week. Must go to Aix some time...

    ReplyDelete