Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Origin of the Species ...

Image of white cocoons in the trees in the English Garden on the banks of Lake Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.Dear Gentle Reader,

Your humble scribe flew to Europe the other day.

Your humble scribe flew into Switzerland; into Geneva in particular.

I know that the pilots amongst you would rather that I had said that I "landed in" rather than "flew into".

But, trust me, you were not on this particular flight, or, more importantly, on this particular "landing".

We flew into Switzerland.


I am not sure how Switzerland is doing now; not so well, I think.

I think its a wonder the plane stayed in Switzerland; I was expecting us to skid or skip into France.

Skipping into France, from Geneva's airport, is actually easy because the airport (GVA) straddles France and Switzerland.

It is fairly hard to stay in Switzerland when you are in Geneva. Walk in a straight line, for a couple of kilometers, and end up in France.

If you walk a few kilometres in any of 270 directions from a total possibility of 360 directions (360° returns you to your starting direction), then, voila, you enter France.

Walking in most of the remaining 90° of directions will see you walking into the lake... Canton Geneva extends, like an amoeba's pseudopod, into the side of France, and most of the Swiss portion backs onto Lake Geneva.

The friend who was picking me up at the airport was a bit late, so I headed into town on the train to confuse him and to do some banking and stuff.

(Doing stuff means buying and consuming chocolate and cheese. Voraciously. My belt takes a beating every time I enter Canton Genève... Paradoxically, when I leave, I find myself having to tighten my belt...)

Happily perched on a bench by the lake, sipping hot chocolate and munching on some other chocolates, imagine my surprise at looking up and seeing the white blobs in the trees above my head that I showed at the start of today's post.

Not sure what those blobs are?

Let me give you a closer look...

Close-up image of an egg sac of a Spider of the Apocalypse, found in the English Garden on the banks of Lake Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland.
See those legs in their formative state, coiled springily in those protective cocoons... ...Does that not look like the egg sac of a Spider of the Apocalypse?

It sure does to your scribe.

Imagine my horror.

If you are a newcomer to e-cuneiform scratchings, look up related posts via the keyword "Spiders" to learn more about these beasts that beset me in various lands and the revenge I have recently had on these blighters of the apocalypse...

Upon gathering my wits, both of them, I quickly called my friend who by now was at the airport, looking vainly for me...

"Emyr!" I panicked, "I am not at the airport anymore! Stop searching for me there and come and get me in town! We need to leave soon!"

Sensing my fear, Emyr arrived with alacrity and conducted us both to the safety of his farmhouse in France.

Pillowy blankets of snow covered the ground on top of the mountain where he and his partner live. Snow is good because Spiders of the Apocalypse are not warm-blooded. The cold slows them down.

I, however, spotted the breach in Emyr's defences; the entirely too large chimney...

Never fear, Gentle Reader. Your humble scribe quickly lit a fire and found himself a bottle of wine to empty and have at his side, as a weapon, should a Spider of the Apocalypse attempt to enter though the chimney.

As you can tell, we made it safely through that night. The bottles of wine did not.

Back in Geneva, today and tomorrow, I am on my guard. I will soon be heading out to find more bottles of wine to deaden my fears and any baby Spiders of the Apocalypse who attempt to burst out of their cocoons...

Hopefully I will stay one step ahead of the spiders. I suppose it is better that I now know where the origin of the species, the Spiders of the Apocalypse, is.

Who knew I was this close to destruction when I lived here?

For those of you who live here still, do not be fooled by the sign saying "Festival of Lights" in the trees. Obviously all of the other installations are in fact man-made.

But these egg sacs in the English Garden by Lac Leman (Lake Geneva in English)... ...obviously they are spider made. Obviously this is the Origin of the Species of the Spiders of the Apocalypse... Do not go gentle into that good night, nor into that good wood...

Consider yourself warned...

Chris, Regina, and Pommes who informs me by SMS that he is now happy that he stayed behind in Hong Kong...


Cloudia said...

To me they say: "Cristo Was Here."
There, there, scribe . . . just have some more chocolate & cheese!
Aloha my weird friend! ;-)

lyzzydee said...

They are very odd looking!!!

Sepiru Chris said...

Cheers Cloudia and lyzzydee,

Geneva has a great festival of lights every year in December.

Of course, Geneva ought to have a great festival of lights when the Canton's motto is "Post tenebras lux". Post tenebras lux means "After the darkness, light", although in reality this refers to the rise of the Protestant Reform movement in Geneva, under the leadership of the French theologian John Calvin (1509-1564), after the 'tyranny' of indulgences and corruption of the Roman Catholic church of the time period. (As viewed through a historical and Protestant lens.)

Geneva has a thriving modern art scene. Numerous artistic light shows blanket the city this month. ...But these are definitely spider cocoons...

Tschuess, Chris

Heidelweiss said...

I'd like to say I could find some beauty in everything. Not so. Those are terrifying and must be destroyed immediately. I have seen edelweiss before in nature before. I have a crush on it. Supposedly it will grow in Utah but I forgot to plant mine last year. Must try again. I am v v jealous of your alpine adventures. I haven't been to Europe in nearly 10 years :(. Poor me.

Barbara Martin said...

Nice entertaining post while traffic in Toronto snarls in drifting snow.

I don't mind the daddy-longlegs, but fuzzy spiders...yuck.

Dark swiss chocolate, cheese and red wine from Switzerland is good for you. Important from each of the food groups.

Sepiru Chris said...

Dear Heidelweiss,

I am intensifying my search whilst fleeing from the S. of the A. ... As we speak I am heading off to the French Alps with the aforementioned in Emyr. There will only be 2 metres of snow, but with the right landing, at the right speed, I might be able to peer into the surface layer and look for Eidelweiss pods to send to you. In Switzerland I could not do this as Edelweiss is protected. In France, no. Wish me luck, and I will keep my eyes doubly open to compensate for your ten year hiatus... I will e-see for an e-friend.

Dear Barbara,

Sound advice is always followed... It is always good to meet Canadians with a proper understanding of the true foundations of the food pyramid, not the faux pyramide alimentaire pedalled by Health/Santé Canada.

Sorry to hear that the 401-427 are snarled with snow. Thank goodness you are a writer, no?

debra said...

I will be back, Chris. My MTM post is up :-)

Barbara Martin said...

I'm doing an MTM post later this evening and will let you know when it's up.