... get your CAMERA OUT MORE OFTEN.
Despite running Details December, I'm a shocker for remembering to take my camera and, if I do, actually having the grey matter warmed up enough to get me to use the damn thing.
Due to this affliction, I can't show you any pictorial evidence of:
Sapphire and I taking the number 14 tram to get her catheter changed at hospital last Friday during the Escalade Festivale. In 1602, Geneva successfully defended itself from an attack by the Duke of Savoy's army. One housewife apparently poured a cauldron of boiling hot vege soup onto a soldier, not only killing him but helping to raise the alarm. Supermarkets now sell chocolate marmites (cauldrons, not jars of the putrid pommy paste) filled with marzipan fruits and vegetables.
Anyhooo, Sapphire was too crook for us to consider venturing into the Old Town to see the races or pageantry and we had no idea that most children, high school kids and uni students wear any sort of fancy dress and have a muck up in the streets. I guess we should have twigged when we walked down our street and saw endless patches of white flour and hundreds of smashed eggs.
On the tram, as it paused to wait for the lights to change at Servette, we were accosted by several hundred people all dressed in deranged medical outfits. Dafalgin packs (think Panadol), drops of blood, creepy surgeons and even, as Sapph noticed, some walking along holding IV drips. Apart from banging on our windows and generally whooping with vodka-assisted joy, they covered the tram in shaving cream.
We enjoyed a rather heady scent of Palmolive shower-freshness before getting off at the hospital and looked back to see the tram head up to Carouge, festooned with white horizontal stripes and love hearts that were starting to drip down the sides. Accompanying us was a girl dressed up as a Rubik's cube, several cow boys, a Minecraft character, two smurfettes and a bloke who'd put so much effort into his spaceman costume that he'd forgotten to make eye holes and had to grope his way down the street. No camera, sorry.
I also can't show you the two Fat French Ladies we saw getting on a single scooter at Balexert shopping centre. It was a hot September day, and we were on the number 53 bus to Roopa's house for French lessons.
Fat Lady One had a navy blue tent dress with with hibiscus flowers on the front which she'd accessorised with hot pink Ray bans. Fat Lady Two had a similar tent dress featuring a modern art motif of oranges and lemons and was struggling to hoik her ham-hock leg over the back seat, dropping her bag of shopping in the process. Ray bans bent over to help her pick them up, making the poor little bike topple over precariously. It was quite a sight and one that had the other passengers on the bus transfixed as well.
Sadly, the Cow Queen of Gruyere also was witnessed but not photographed by yours dumbly truly. When they leave their hilly pastures and come down to the lower slopes and the barns for winter, it is a cause for celebration in many farms and small villages.
We were at the nearby Gruyeres Chateau and heard many clanking of cow bells. That was all well and good; but it was the Queen Cow; the one selected for her outstanding beauty and magnificence who stood out as she munched the sweet green grass a few hundred metres away.
Unlike her bovine budettes she didn't just have a largish bell around her neck, oh no. She wore a crown. This elaborate device held several rows of brass bells tied with many coloured ribbons with a very large and luxuriant bouquet of flowers on the top. The entire contraption was fastened around her collar and head and each time she dipped down to eat some grass she set off a jinga-jinga-jingling that was heard all over the valley.
The poor thing was probably deaf and crazed by dinner time but yes, she did look pretty.
So, sorry about that. But I do have -
Some cows that were in the Miss Congeniality and Most Punctual categories:
St Bernard souvenir kitchen towels that would be easy to pop into the post for Christmas presents:
A groovy tree trunk that still thinks that cargo camouflage trousers are fashionable:
A Meditation Service that perhaps isn't as optimistic as it should be:
And, finally, Sapphire and myself at the top of Mont Blanc in July: the height of Switzerland's summer. A blizzard had set in so we ended up seeing a lot of 'blanc' and absolutely no 'mont'.
Still, it's amazing what a good mug of hot chocolate will do.