Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Pro Tanto Quid Retribuamus

Honest to goodness, sometimes this seems more like a blog on languages rather than anything else.  Not Irish Gaelic this time - for a change we have a bit of Latin for you today.  Apparently this means something like 'for so much what shall we repay' and is the motto on Belfast City's Coat of Arms, the thing wot you can see attached here to the City Hall gates - well, in image form anyway, you know what I mean...

Belfast's Coat of Arms

If you look closely you'll see a ship on the shield and I'm reliably informed that that's a sea-horse on the top, both of which signify the importance of water and shipbuilding to the city.  Funny business the old heraldic language...as you can see the shield has a chained wolf and another sea-horse as supporters.  Hmm.

Around the right side of City Hall is the Cenotaph.  

Belfast Cenotaph
Now just take a look, will you, at the buildings behind the Cenotaph.  I daresay the chaps or chapettes who designed the building on the left were fairly happy with their efforts - before the horrible dormer-type windows were added, that is.  But seriously, the building to the right - I mean, what is all that about?  Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris (aka Le Corbusier) may have approved, but I reckon he's the only one...

The thing that I didn't snap up on my walk around the grounds of City Hall was a huge TV screen, which just seemed so out of keeping with the rest of the place I couldn't bear to point the camera at it in case the lens cracked or something.  Some 24-hour news channel was being broadcast to all and sundry and I wasn't paying much attention to it until some bloke walked past and said something to me.  I think he mistook me for a tourist, what with the camera and the aimless wander I was engaged in.  I asked him to repeat what he said and as he strode past he shouted, 'They never tell the truth', as he gestured with his head to the big TV behind him.  I caught the eye of the guy walking behind yer man and we both grinned in acknowledgment of the example of Belfast wit we had just witnessed.

He's right too, you know - they don't...

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