Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Have you ever considered signs? No, I don't mean those which lead you down your own path in life, but the ones which lead you around the world. If you remember when I was in Vermont, I showed you some signs I thought were really fun and interesting. Where I live now, signs are not all that interesting, but in some places they are a peek into history. Vanessa Thorpe wrote a short article talking about the need to save the vanishing pub signs in the United Kingdom. These signs are so interesting, colorful and insightful. They are not only full of humor, but they are also full of history as Thorpe describes. I like taking photos of various signs from time to time and thought I would share a few with you here.This sign gave information about a trail we hiked (through a sheep pasture) in the Pen-Y-Fan area of Wales. Go ahead and click on it to read it in the Queen's English as well as in Welsh. The Welsh language is being revived (as it was close to being lost) and a most interesting language to be sure. So this simple sign gives a lot of information about the land conservation.
This is the sign over the door of the Sally Lunn home in Bath, England. Of course Sally is best known for her delicious buns. Note how this sign really catches the eye next to this simple architecture. Also note the height of the door.
In England we lived near a town called Barton-on-Sea which sits on the Channel Coast. We would go there to walk along the sea a lot, and we came across this sign used as a simple warning to keep people safe. Here is the catch...we had just come off the path and did not see a sign on the other end before we began!
This was the sign giving the name of our cottage. We did not have a house number, but a cottage name. It was lovely and quaint. I felt very special living in a home with a name.
This last sign is clearly intended to inform people to please clean up after your pet. While this was not a huge problem, apparently this home owner had some issues to contend with. My son thought this was the greatest sign, although art was clearly not a part of the plan.

So please read the short article, because signs really can be a huge part of art, I think. If you do an image search for English Pub Signs, you will find some of the most amazing photos of some fabulous art. Oh, and if you come across "The Hare and Hound" in Sway, our little cottage was just a short distance behind that pub.

So do you have artistic signs in your area? I am sure you do if you are in Europe...even the Metro Stations Signs in Paris are amazing. And if you live in New England, US...there are some wonderful signs there, as well. Let me know of sign art which has caught your eye!

Have a Beautiful Day!


sukipoet said...

Great Post Kim. I am glad you mentioned New England as a great sign area as I believe that is true. I would love to live in a house with a name not a number. I'll keep my eyes open for a sign of some signs. I love the idea of Wales. I have of course never been there. You have so many rich experiences in the larger world. Thanks, suki

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Suki! Oh, when you say you like the post it makes my head get even bigger! Thanks you so much! You know what I think the thing is about New England? That is one area of the country that really resists and controls the huge chain stores...so we don't get used to seeing the same old boring signs everywhere. And you know what...some signs are so funny...and I love those a lot, too. I bet you will find some fantastic signs!

Wales is a really neat place to be sure....so pastoral. When we were hiking through those sheep pastures, I saw this man I wanted a photo of in the worst way. He was maybe 60-65 wearing a tweed jacket (I know it had a bit of age on it as it was rather misshaped), had on a very gentlemanly hat, tweed trousers, a tie (not a joke) and a pipe in his mouth. Now he also had a small leather backpack on. I wanted to stop him and ask for a photo, but I also knew he had other things on his mind and would have probably told me I was mad! I had a conversation with some sheep who kept bleating at me and was asked if I would like to walk with two other middle age gentleman who thought I was alone (and I think having an American accent was also appealing). Overall it was a very friendly place, indeed.

You know Silke, I am so very blessed with these experiences. There is not a doubt about it. I would go back to England in a New York minute, too! I really loved it there a lot.

Thanks for the comment...I hope you are feeling caught up a bit more now.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Kim. It's made me appreciate the interesting signs around where I live. I don't have time to take pictures of them at the moment but the 'dog's toilet' one is very similar to one at the end of my road! There's a lady who not only writes these signs but provides a cut-off plastic bottle to help people with their doggy task! I also have a man called Graeme Robbins who lives a couple of streets away who makes a living from painting pub signs, so the art is still alive thank goodness.x

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Jess,

It is so true about the signs in the UK and now I am reading where they are turning artists loose on The Tube! Isn't that cool? I wish I had of taken more photos of all of the signs when I was there!

And your neighbors are so representative of the people I knew in the UK, too...willing to help. The sign I showed was unusual in that it wasn't...just don't allow this to happen kind of sign. And Graeme sounds like a very interesting man to get to know! I do think it is important to keep a good grasp on this very important art.

Well, I will be back to visit and get those photos for myself! :) I also will have to ask my children...they may have some photos of some signs, too.

Thanks Jess!

Anonymous said...

Do your children live in the UK?x

La journée de Miss Doodle said...

Kim what a great post and great signs! I am completely charmed by the language (Welxh ?) oh my God. I mean, this has really nothing to do whatsoever with the Queen's English:):)
It looks as if you lived in a really wonderful part of England!
Just love the sign idea!
Makes me want to take my camera with me, (or draw them? but too much time needed:) great inspiration,
and I wonder if the last sign was effective...:) If I were a dog, I would feel, I don't know, attracted by this to pee on it? (I'm awful, am I)
oups I hurry away,
will be back soon

Andrea and Kim said...

No, they don't live there now. That is not to say they would not like to live there, though! My son splits his time between here and Vermont and my daughter lives in Los Angeles...they are both students.

Thanks Jess!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

I thought you would like that Welsh language. Isn't it interesting? And you are right, it has nothing to do with The Queen's English and sounds nothing at all like it...or anything you might be familiar with.

Oh, do take your camera with you...even if you don't draw signs now, you might find it an interesting project some other time. Paris has some fabulous signs...like I said, even a study of the Metro Stations would be fantastic! The font is similar, but the stations themselves are so cool. There is one station near the Louvre I think is so beautiful...do you know it where several roads come together (I think one of the roads is St Honore - would that be right?)

LOL...I think the sign was for more of the lasting kind of elimination for dogs! Although I am not positive!

Thanks Andrea!

Paula In Pinetop said...

A fun post !!!!

When I saw "signs" my thoughts immediately went to the movie.....you know about space aliens attacking earth....yikes, shows you where my brain is these days.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Paula....

That is funny, when I typed that I thought people might think it was about receiving signs to guide you through life, but never thought about space aliens attacking earth! LOL

Thanks for showing me a new meaning...

Katiejane said...

Good post, Kim. I will have to look around some more. I can't think of any clever signs right off the top of my head, but I will keep a look out. I know they have great signs in Europe. Wish we were the same.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Kate,

You know it is a shame because signs can be a great form of art, but like many things here we like the big box idea of everything being the same. When I lived in England, I felt more accepted as an artist. I think that is one reason I really enjoy this blogger community...there is a lot more acceptance here than I normally get.

Oh yes, I guess we do have a lot of signs...but not necessarily artistic ones, though...they are the political ones we see everywhere here. :) Do you think we might make a difference where they are concerned?

Thanks Kate!

marianne said...

Ha ha I like the last sign!
I always have all kind of signs in my head to hang at the fence where the deer are.
A sign to ask people not to feed the deer nasi goreng or fried fishheads............
A sign to ask the people not to steal the apples because they are for the deer.

Maybe a sign with directions to the supermarket where they can buy apples.

I have thought about signs for people who don`t clean after their pets, like a little sateh stick with a note THANK YOU to put in what their dogs left behind for my children and husband to step in.

etc etc. But I never make the signs, I think that the people for whom they are meant won´t get the point.

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog on my latest mandala and video.
I wrote a comment here yesterday, but I guess it is still lost in cyberspace..................

hug >M<

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Marianne,

Don't you hate it when you know you have left a comment and then it doesn't show up? That does happen to me from time to time, as well. I appreciate you doing it, to be sure! I hope you know that!

You know I thought leaving signs for people around would be cool, too, but I also thought it might be lost on the ones it was intended for...like I am sure the people who allow their dogs to do their business in that persons garden think that sign doesn't mean them...surely!

When I was in England, I did purchase some of the cutest little cards I left around for people. They came in a little package. I think I might have some around here somewhere...I will try to get a photo and share them. But they were really great to leave when you visited someone or when returning something you borrowed. Yes, you have reminded me this is a sign.

And I love that idea of making and placing signs along your fence about the deer! Maybe we are onto something with these signs!

Thanks Marianne...you always give me so many things to think about. And I just adored your post. I have been watching my blogs with the feature now on the blogger dashboard and that is so helpful.


Anonymous said...

The thing about Welsh house names (also Welsh place names) is that they are so descriptive. One of my particular favourite house names is Troedrhiwfallen which translates as "The foot of apple tree hill".

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello House!

This is so cool. I think one of the things I found to be so appealing about GB is the way postal addresses are so descriptive, too. I did not know this about Welsh place and house names, but it does not surprise me at all.

Now, if I could just get the idea of this beautiful ancient language...Troedrhiwfallen! I love that so much!

Thanks so much for your visit...please come again and leave a comment, too.