I so loved this cow, standing on a viewing platform high above Interlaken in the Swiss Alps, looking down at the town and the lakes. And once you know it’s there, you can see it from down below, a tiny speck in the distance. The sign affixed to it also made me laugh – in English but not quite the right translation. ‘Do not go up the cow!’
I recently re-visited a hotel I worked at in Switzerland many years ago. Having worked as a waitress back then, I’d always wanted to go back as a paying guest. This is the view from the window of my room. It rained quite a lot and I sat there with the window open, listening to and smelling the rain. There were goats grazing on the hillside, you could hear their bells clanging. A very special atmosphere and a special place for me.
All my life in England I’ve seen dandelions as a weed. Most people do. Like they’re not ‘proper’ flowers, just something to be uprooted from a lawn or between the cracks of a patio, and dumped. Daisies and buttercups enjoy a slightly better status – but only slightly.
Well look what I found growing in the mountain pastures above Interlaken in June. Masses and masses, swathes and swathes, of flowering dandelions. Talk about context! Here, in presumably their rightful place, they look wonderful. Glorious wild flowers, nothing weed-like about them.
So I have a newfound respect for dandelions.
(Moral: a weed is in the eye of the beholder.)