Monday 10 August 2009

Vanessa cardui and corporate greenitude

Not another touring teacher, breathlessly described in a torrent of meaningless adjectives and instantly consigned to the recycle bin*, but a butterfly, a Painted Lady, otherwise known as Vanessa cardui. Look at the white tips of the antennae; I love my camera.

I don't know what this is. It's about 4 or 5 millimetres across, if that, and it grows in the thin layer of scrubby grass over builders' rubble that serves as a communal garden outside my flat. [Update: the Comments come up with the goods again: Lorna says it is Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris.]

* Internal communications at the company I work for usually include, in the boilerplate at the bottom, some message to the effect of "please consider the environment before printing this email". It's in tiny text, and sometimes written in green, and of course nobody ever reads that bit anyway, even in the unlikely event that they read the rest of the email. I can't think why anyone would ever want to print this stuff, so there seems to be a bit of wishful thinking going on. But there are employees who imitate it. Then there are others who see the opportunities for self-expression in a corporate enviroment that are offered by text no-one reads, especially when it is not in the native or preferred language of 90% of the possible readers. I have a (German) colleague who writes, in English, under the company address section required by his local law, in the usual greenitude spot, well below the radar of any sane human, and therefore presumably intended as a private message to the kindred spirit who reads emails backwards out of sheer bloody-mindedness:

This email was written using 100% recycled electrons.

I have been known to replace my rather contentless official job title with the more descriptive "Village Witch". But only to trusted colleagues.


Anonymous said...

Ms H,
I love your first sentence. You are so deliciously wicked. ;)

Lorna M. Campbell said...

Your unidentified purple flower is Self Heal or Prunella Vulgaris. A friend for Vanessa perhaps!

maya said...

You had me wondering who was Vanessa.... Remember hide and seek corners under plain view always make the best hiding places.

msHedgehog said...

@londontango ;) DeleteDeleteDelete
@Lorna ooooh! How wonderful! I'll do an update.
@maya so true. Ever seen the gorilla trick?

milan said...


Just thought since you are a tango enthusiast you would like to know that on August 21 on amazon they are selling a CD called "50 essential Tangos" for only 99 cents for the whole CD. you should definitely check it out if you are interested in tango music!