Gerry Moran - Sign of the Times

I read that the traders of our city have reacted angrily to the new signage scheme for our streets (see the Kilkenny People 8/03/13) They’re damn right to be angry; the scheme is, in one word, CRAP. Not a word I like.

I read that the traders of our city have reacted angrily to the new signage scheme for our streets (see the Kilkenny People 8/03/13) They’re damn right to be angry; the scheme is, in one word, CRAP. Not a word I like.

Not a word I like to use but it’s the one that comes to mind when I look at these god-awful street signs.

They look cheap to me and more suited to a ‘Pound City’ rather than a ‘Medieval City’. The city traders have every right to be unhappy with these ‘metallic-looking maroon and silver signs’. Metallic-looking!

Maybe Kilkenny should be rechristened ‘The Metallic City’ instead of ‘The Medieval City’, maybe our city fathers should be talking about a ‘Metal Mile’ as opposed to a ‘Medieval Mile’ because for certain sure we have some neck promoting ourselves as ‘medieval’ while slapping modern, metallic-looking signs on our streets.

Who in God’s name designed them?

And who in God’s name signed off, if you’ll pardon the pun, on these awful signs which are an insult to a city that dares calls itself, not just ‘medieval’, but the ‘medieval capital of Ireland’!

These signs are no more medieval than myself (though I am getting on and getting a tad, if not a lot, grumpy) But maybe we need more grumpy old men, or at least men old enough to know better than to sign off on signs that one might purchase as tourist trinkets in ‘Pound Shops’; signs more suited to decorating the bedroom walls of student bedsits in Dublin, Cork or Galway; coloured metallic-looking signs that are not compatible with a city known as ‘The Marble City’ because of its age-old, limestone lineage.

By the way I have no problem whatsoever with the actual colour of these signs, Galway colours as it happens.

My problem is with colour. What colour is our Castle? What colour is Saint Canice’s Cathedral? What colour is the Black Abbey? What colour is Rothe House? What colour is Shee Alms House? What colour is The Tholsel? What colour is The Court House? Did the designers of these street signs take any cognisance whatsoever of the ‘colour’ of these buildings? Or are they colour- blind as well as culture-blind? So, what do I propose? I propose something simple, something in keeping with the ‘colour-scheme’ of the historical buildings we are so blessed to have in Kilkenny. Perhaps our City Fathers should look no further than the plaques erected back in the late 1800s, plaques that are simple, modest and blend in a century and more later. In the meantime if I bump into any of you, literally, on the town in the coming weeks it’s because I’ll have my eyes closed when passing those god-awful, ghastly street signs.

Aussie fools! And now for something entirely different, as they say. The following questions were posted to an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials who have, and obviously need, a sense of humour. Q: Does it ever rain in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK). A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die. Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA) A: Depends on how much you’ve been drinking. Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA) A: A-Fri-ca is the big continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not….Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Sydney. Come naked. Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK) A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do. Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA) A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is .... Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in the opera house in Sydney, straight after the hippo races. Come naked. Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France) A: Only at Christmas. Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA) A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first