Legends from our own lunchtimes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Epinal to Vincey

On one of our first visits to France I knelt, bare legged in a patch of cool green vegetation to find a better angle from which to compose a photograph of a barge moored a little further along the bank.  The cool green vegetation turned out to be a thing called "stinging nettle" and I learned several things that day as the blood pumped through my system at a greater rate of knots than usual.

For instance, not all cool green vegetation is cool, and if one is going to kneel in the stuff one really should be wearing something other than shorts.

I also learned that there is a particular bush with spotty leaves that can always be found nearby that has properties which immediately relieve the symptoms of the nettle's dastardly work but apparently unusually it didn't seem to be around on that particular day.   On many occasions since, I have been told of this wonder plant and yet despite my constant enquiry, no one has been actually able to show me said organism.

I am convinced that the spotty plant is mere urban myth, in the category of scary escapees banging severed heads on car roofs to attract the attention of the occupants.

This evening we chose to moor against the cycle path in the shadows of the forest between Vincey and Charmes where there was a nice wall, rather than mooring amid the monster crop of nettle opposite where it could remain unsaid that there was no spotty antidote plant in evidence.  

Cycle paths are usually deathly silent once night cloaks them, completely devoid of life and scary murderers of even the most innocuous kind, let alone those of urban myth proportion.

So therefore we were somewhat taken aback when (it could only be one of them) screamed a very loud and some would say blood-curdling:


 through our cabin window at two thirty this morning!   He woke us of course, far too late for us to thrust nettles into his face even had we had the presence of mind to arm ourselves accordingly, and I suspect he could hear our hearts pumping as he cycled off into the blackness.

Eventually though, we resumed our repose,  and lived to tell the tale to boot.

1 comment

Joan Elizabeth said...

How silly of you, the look exactly like Queensland stinking nettles -- which surely you got bitten by as a kid. As for the spotty plant it is Aloe Vera and surely you know what that looks like

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