Saturday, 21 March 2015

there ain’t no harm in that

The Reeperbahn, a strip in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg is sort of like that Island of the Donkey Boys where Pinocchio goes to carouse and behave badly but it looks rather cleansed and tamed on cold, bright mornings.
The neighbourhood is named for the rope-weavers, surely an important component of the shipping-business who traditionally lived in this quarter. I didn’t notice until afterwards, sorting through pictures, that the motto of the polished and modern Keese hotel and casino, visible through the middling tree is honi soit qui mal y pense, old French for shame on him who thinks ill of it and the motto of the venerable and chivalrous Order of the Garter. It’s a badge that bears repeating in heraldic contexts all over and was quite delighted to find it hidden there too.