The Swiss Hedge Police Strike Again!

Well, the way things are going, I may well be writing my next blog from a jail cell. Actually, that is a grotesquely optimistic exaggeration, as in prison you only are given a tiny little stub of a pencil to write with, so if all goes badly there will be no more messages to the outside world.

I have just received an official letter from the head of the Geneva Cantonal Road Maintenance Department. Again. These are the same people who have come up with the startlingly original policy to NOT maintain road verges in order to let Mother Nature expand and explode. (See last summer’s rant: https://blogs.letemps.ch/joy-kundig/2016/08/08/warning-geneva-government-sponsored-aliens-could-be-hiding-in-plain-sight/.)

Anyway, the thick 7-page document included the usual rude covering letter, two official forms, and four colour photographs. Again.

One of the photos is a helicopter shot of my house and garden and the road out front. Studied under a magnifying glass, in it there is not one single criminal hedge branch outside the property line.

The other three photos show a few little hedge twigs outside an arbitrary artificial orange vertical slash. I once spotted the cameramen who take these pictures lurking in the village. They travel in pairs—one has a clipboard and the other a tripod camera. They look a bit like Mormons and spend time fluffing leaves and giggling before they take their incriminating shots.

They obviously target certain locations as they childishly know they will achieve instant gratification. As May went past without a nasty government letter I thought the new roadside vegetation freedom rules were giving us all a break. But no: the photographers obviously come back and back and back again until they catch the twig out of line.

On my specific photo-shot day (July 18th) perhaps it was windy? Or, even more probably, a car on its way home to France has sucked some branches behind it in its slip stream and they were energetically bouncing back.

I know that the way forward in these tricky legal situations is NOT a good idea to act as your own legal counsel, (a colourful family member did this a few years back and this is how I come to know about the prison pencil stub rules) but my defence is straightforward:

  • My name is incorrectly spelled.
  • I am addressed as Monsieur.
  • The street cited does not exist in my village.
  • The official property line is far out in the road, as the old cantonal road has been widened to accommodate speeding rush-hour traffic and my land has been stolen.
  • I agree with the greeny policy to let road verges completely take care of themselves.
  • There is no sidewalk involved, and so no pedestrians are disturbed by caterpillars in their hair.
  • The speed limit is 30 kph.

How can I possibly lose?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy Kundig

Joy Kundig

Joy Kündig-Manning est née en Angleterre et a vécu au Canada. Spécialisée dans la littérature anglaise du XVIIIe siècle, elle a travaillé comme traductrice, enseignante, et écrivaine. Mariée à un Suisse, elle est venue à Genève en 1977. Elle est très contente de tenir le premier blog du Temps en anglais!

One thought on “The Swiss Hedge Police Strike Again!

  1. Madam, Your colorfoul report on hedge twigs under control (or not) made my day. Thank you… (and yes, we want to see pictures!). Swiss regulations do not usually make me laugh…

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