the land that crime forgot
A few of these might have locks through their front wheels but none were attached to any fixed objects. Many more are completely unprotected, leant against walls or resting on their stands but apparently safe from (or fully cognizant of but unconcerned about or simply aware of the futility of prevention of sufficiently-determined) cycle-thievery. I haven't leant my bike unattended outside anywhere in an inhabited area since I was a child, and long before I stopped doing a paper round I was locking my bike to the newsagents' drainpipe even for the three minutes it took to check and load my bags at six in the morning in a smallish village. I have not yet seen a forlorn wheel chained to a Sheffield rack without a bike to be attached to. I have not yet seen a single chained-up bike with Pringled wheels. It might be different out of the central area but such freedom and trust is heartening.
A bit along the canal from where we're staying are four windmills, two of which are partially operational and part of the museum network and thus covered by our multi-ticket. They weren't open when we went past even though it was well within their stated hours of being-open-ness. Might give them another chance tomorrow morning but they're not high on the list. Open-when-we-reached-it-but-about-to-shut-for-lunch was the other section of the Hospitaalmuseum, housed in the church of Our Lady of the Pottery, formerly a granny farm with attached ostentatious church prior to being a pottery and now a combined museum/chapel thing. Something somewhere said it contained some of the wooden sickness-chambers used in the hospitals but it doesn't and shortly after we arrived in the afternoon some particularly loud and rude English-speaking poshfolk came in and started droning on about a load of shite so we didn't stay long. We sat near a statue or Guido Gezelle yesterday to drink a take-away coffee and wondered who he was and why his name was written in a vaguely art-deco font on the statue's plinth. Whilst waiting for the O-L-o-t-P to re-open we went to the museum in his birth-house where it explains that he was some sort of churchy bloke, died in 1930 and was a poet. It mentioned some other stuff but the captions were very sparse and not particularly gripping.
Considering the relative importance accorded to it in the various museum-documentation we've seen the Groeninge Museum falls a little bit flat when finally visited. It's not in a building of visible-from-the-interior interest and hasn't got that much in it and was 2/11 less large than expected as a couple of rooms were being prepped for a temporary exhibition. Three of the remaining rooms were full of the standard religious scenes. We went in just before four and didn't need to hurry to be finished by the time the staff started herding people out just before five. There's nothing particularly appalling but not a great deal of particular brilliance and the caption-writer suffers from a compulsion to write as if they're writing for a guide book to attract people from far and wide rather than for a guide-card right next to the painting from which vantage point it is quite easy to tell that the caption-writer is talking out of their arse.
Tonight's food was from a place a few doors down from yesterday's eating-site. Whilst it looks large enough to be extremely full and busy during peak season we were the first people in and only after half an hour or so did anyone else appear. Appropriately-sized portions and very tasty, especially the lentil stew which had the same moreishness as refried beans but without the concomitant sense of arterial risk.