O lazy August! When I should be preparing for my fall classes, or comparing microfilms of manuscripts for my research job, or even blogging out my bile towards the politics of the day, I find myself drooping in the heat and hearing the sweet siren call of the sofa, cat & nap. Yet there are things that I have yet to confess to blogdom - such as the fact that I had a surprise trip to Belgium two weeks ago. The reason why I shall leave to another day: I will just say that it involved a cat, a crisis, and a happy resolution. I took a number of photos when I was there, but today I want to share just one category -- beautiful wood and marble Baroque pulpits that seem to have been installed in every church that was around in the seventeenth century. I have no idea why there was a fancy-pulpit-carving craze in the Low Countries in this period, but I suspect it has something to do with preaching, the Counter-reformation and the fact that Belgium was right on the frontier between Protestant and Catholic Europe. Anyway, beautiful stuff and here are my photos.