Early spring

Early spring

Seasons, cyclical changes in the nature, bird singing in the spring and finally winter storms. Everything has a purpose that fascinates biologists, naturalists and geographers. Also poets will find interesting topics for poems in the annual dying and rebirth of the world. Seasons allows runners to run in different but always “beautiful circumstances of the nature”

The route around Rolle is already known to you from my previous episodes, but I found there something new and interesting recently.

It was the first day of the early spring. The south wind blew and turned the piles of snow stacked along the sidewalks into the liquid mud. Into the hair and into the mouth, into the nostrils, into the cheeks and into the ears of the children hurrying to the nurseries this dry, strange wind was blowing.
/Stefan Żeromski, Early Spring/

Just around the early spring, when the trees and bushes have not released yet new leaves, I visited my personal “Mr. Muscle” route.

Might as well jump. Jump!  Go ahead and jump  Get it in, jump. Jump!  Go ahead and jump  Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!  /Van Halen/

Might as well jump. Jump!
Go ahead and jump
Get it in, jump. Jump!
Go ahead and jump
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!
/Van Halen/

As I was running happily down from the highest point of the route (760 m), on the path above Gilly Hospital, I have seen on the right side a mysterious monolith. Usually, it is not visible from the route because it is covered by dense vegetation.

You can run on for a long time Run on for a long time Run on for a long time  /Johnny Cash/

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
/Johnny Cash/

Sooner or later God’ll cut you down Sooner or later God’ll cut you down  /Johnny Cash/

Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down
/Johnny Cash/

With some kind of shyness like the monkeys in the first scenes of “Space Odyssey”, I began to approach the obelisk. There were no special effects, just on the other side was the relief of two women. The inscription under it proclaimed:

In memory of
Dr. Charlotte Olivier
Initiator of the fight against tuberculosis
Grateful Canton of Vaud

Who was this woman doctor and why her monument was hidden in the middle of the forest? What an interesting story came to me from the bushes…

Charlotte Olivier was born in Russia in 1864, in a family of doctors of German origin. After completing her nursing school in St. Petersburg in 1894, she began to study medicine at the University of Lausanne. During her internship she met Dr. Eugène Olivier, whom she married in 1901. She led her medical practice in the Canton of Vaud. At that time, tuberculosis was gathering a tragic harvest among the people in Switzerland as well as in whole Europe.

Tuberculosis (TB) – is a widespread and potentially lethal infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis mostly affects the lungs, but it can also attack the central nervous system, lymphatic system, blood vessels, osteoarthritis, urogenital and skin. In the past, tuberculosis was called consumption because in a short time it led to severe athrepsia with hemoptysis, fever, pallor and progressive weight loss.

The notion of tuberculosis is etymologically derived from nodules, changes visible in histopathology examination in a tissue changed by tuberculosis.

World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated on March 24th, on the anniversary of the day when Robert Koch identified and described mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1882.

Dr. Charlotte Olivier, on the basis of clinical trials, but first of all all on the basis of observation of patients’ living conditions, became aware of the importance of contextual (environmental) factors in the formation and development of this disease. By checking the level of education, housing conditions, work hygiene and… alcoholism, she was able to accurately determine the health status of people infected and prognosis for their cure; often better than using traditional medical intervention.

Exhibition in Musée national suisse - Château de Prangins

Exhibition in Musée national suisse – Château de Prangins

Madame Olivier has become a symbol of a doctor who, in his thinking of health and illness, went beyond purely medical schema. She understood the need to act on different levels to improve the health of the population. She also noted that education and improved living conditions are key factors in halting the tuberculosis epidemic. She stubbornly argued that legal changes, education of healthcare professionals and patient education were necessary. She mobilized women in the canton of Vaud and started training specialist (visiting nurses) who helped to treat patients directly in households and educated the population about hygiene and adequate nutrition.

I am deeply convinced that education on the fight against tuberculosis in our country will systematically develop and appropriate legislation will be passed in order to respond better than in the past. (The work) must be split between men and women. To them belong the lawmaking, the construction of hospitals and the introduction of necessary reforms and to us (The Women’s League) the fight against ignorance and raising the funds.
/Charlotte Olivier, The Women’s League Conference, May 29, 1912/

Her actions on the political and social arena and the enormous stubbornness finally brought definitive changes in the Canton of Vaud and in the whole Confederation. The number of members of the cantonal association for the fight against tuberculosis rose from 200 in the year 1911 to 9 000 in the year 1913. This was due to the information campaign of the Women’s League in Lausanne, headed by Charlotte Olivier. Thanks to her efforts, the first federal law was enacted, specifying the scope and methods of combating tuberculosis, and in the year 1921 a million francs from federal funds were awarded for this cause.

So why the monument of such outstanding character was placed in the forest, away from the busy streets, squares and places? As it turns out, it was justified …

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the cantonal associations for the fight against tuberculosis decided to create a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. Of course, Dr. Charlotte Olivier engaged in this initiative. The association acquired the property Essert, beautifully situated between the vineyards and the forest, with a wonderful view of the Lake Geneva and the Alps.

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc

The first resident appeared in the restored manor house, which began to be called Pavillon de la Côte, on April 11, 1923. The pavilion functioned as a sanatorium for over 40 years and was transformed into a general hospital in 1965. Since 1989, there is also a rehabilitation center.

Dents du Midi

Dents du Midi

When Charlotte Olivier died in 1945, at the age of 81, her husband, Eugène Olivier, scattered her ashes near the Pavillon de la Côte and the grateful citizens of the canton set up a monument. Bas-relief was based on one of the photos of a doctor at work.

With so much knowledge about the personage from the monument, I was able to run further comfortably. However, I was not comfortable with the additional knowledge I gained during the “monument investigation”…

Despite the significant development of medicine since the days of Mr. Koch, tuberculosis is unfortunately not a disease that has been eliminated. Although tuberculosis is associated mainly with the ancient times and a few well-known characters which went to glory due to this illness, it still collects mortal harvest on our planet.

As a result of the attrition caused by the tuberculosis died Anton Czechov (aged 44), Franz Kafka (aged 40) and George Orwell (aged 47). From Polish writers Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński died of tuberculosis. According to recent reviews, Fryderyk Chopin was probably not suffering from tuberculosis, but cystic fibrosis, and that was the cause of his death. Also Charles Bukowski (you guess why I’m referring to him) did not die of tuberculosis but was sick with it. With this character involves an interesting anecdote.

When Bukowski was about 70 years old, he got seriously ill. He felt bad all year long. He visited all expensive doctors but none could help him. Bukowski was a friend with actor Sean Penn and he took him to his personal doctor, the best in Beverly Hills. After conducting blood tests and taking x-rays, the doctor also could not recognize the illness.

Bukowski was an admirer of cats and one day he took one of his pets to a vet. The vet had a cabinet in the deprived area of the city and frequent contact with the poor people. He looked at Bukowski and immediately said that he has tuberculosis. He did not need any research to recognize this. Tuberculosis is primarily a disease of the poor and probably all Beverly Hills physicians were unable to recognise it; they may have never seen tuberculosis.

Of course, “the best” Beverly Hills physician was embarrassed when he realized that the vet had made a good diagnosis. He wrote the right medicine and within a few months Bukowski felt good.

Enough with the anecdotes, only facts at end. According to WHO data:

  • Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
  • In 2015, about 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis and nearly 2 million died of it.
  • Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Six countries lead in this unhealthy list: India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa (60% of all tuberculosis cases in the world).
  • In 2015, about 1 million children were infected with tuberculosis and 170 000 died (excluding children with HIV).
  • TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people: in 2015, 35% of HIV deaths were due to TB.
  • Globally in 2015, an estimated 480 000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
  • TB incidence has fallen by an average of 1.5% per year since 2000.
  • It is estimated that between 2000 and 2015 about 49 million people have been saved through TB diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of WHO.

Neither the state with its laws, nor the doctors themselves nor the nurses themselves can achieve this. Only cooperation and coordination of all forces will ensure victory…
/Charlotte Olivier, The Women’s League Conference, May 29, 1912/

Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

In the sad dawn of dirty cities
full of merciless winds
flashes sometimes your face
as uncertain moment of spring.
Into the bus stop’s crumpled crowd
as if someone threw like a joke
white lilac bouquet or
only happiest cards.
/Jan Pietrzak, Hope/

My adventure with Mr Muscle, WC Duck and Kiwi bird (“which shoe will revive”) was as short as “uncertain moment of Spring” from the song of Jan Pietrzak. It looked completely different in the previous corporation – I worked there until seventeen moments (years).

Since I made a reference to the famous Soviet TV series from the seventies of the 20th century entitled “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, it behooves to write more about it and give you some jokes about the main character, who was Chuck Norris of that time (of course, behind the poorer side of the Iron Curtain).

Colonel Maksym Maksymowicz Isaev works in Berlin as a secret agent of Soviet intelligence Standartenfuhrer Max Otto von Stirlitz. He infiltrated the ranks of the SS and works in Reich Security Main Office. The theme of the movie is the realization of the task that Stirlitz receives from headquarter in Moscow – to find out which of the leaders of the Third Reich, is trying to establish negotiations with Western Allies in… Switzerland. He has to obtained evidence that such discussions are ongoing to prevent the conclusion of a separate peace between the Nazis and the Western powers. Isayev thanks to his incredible intelligence, calmness and good luck, of course, executes the task. This, however, has not been done without problems. He has to tackle with the head of the Reich Security Main Office – Kaltenbruner who having suspicions against him ordered his observation, and with the head of the Gestapo – Müller.

Stirlitz has walked through the streets of Berlin, but something betrayed him as a spy: maybe hat with ear flaps, maybe felt-boots or maybe a parachute pulling behind him?

Stirlitz sauntered approached the the place of contact. He knocked the agreed 127 times. No one answered. After some thought, he went out to the street and looked to the window. Yes, he was right. On the windowsill 63 irons were standing – a sign of a bummer.

Stirlitz’s house was surrounded by Gestapo.
- Open the door! – Müller shouted.
- Stirlitz is not at home! – Stirlitz said.
In this here’s clever way Stirlitz outsmarted Gestapo for the fifth time.

Gestapo guarded all the exits, but Stirlitz outsmarted them. He escaped through the entrance.

Stirlitz thought. He liked it, so he thought again.

End of kidding, I go back to the main topic.

Since the beginning of the recruitment process S.C. Johnson made it clear that this is a temporary work. They needed someone with experience, who quickly embrace the situation in the difficult period of change and restructuring, but unfortunately it will not be employed on a permanent basis. It was expected that the contract will last for 6 months. Finally, it turned out that I was needed a bit longer, and the contract was extended to 24 months. With regret I leave the company and the people, because it was… different than previously.

Calmer atmosphere and less deadllines result from company size and ownership structure, since SC Johnson is not listed on the stock exchange. I am not a psychologist and I did not conduct a research, so I can not say for sure, but with a simple observation I deduced that it has a soothing effect on the behavior of employees and their superiors.

The excerpts of the next paragraph have been censored by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, due to the critical significance of the issues I dealt with to the vital interests of this American family-owned company, founded in 1886, in Racine, Wisconsin.

In addition to the structured process of month end closing, █████████████████████, transparent deviations reporting, ███████████████████████████████████████████████████, regular costs monitoring of the implementation of the European CLP project (Classification, Labeling and Packaging), and █████████████ █████████████████████ ██████████████, I wanted to leave something else, but directly related to the atmosphere in the office (though perhaps more accurate is to write – out of the office).

***

Employees of companies located in the ZA La Pièce (ZA – artisanale zone) are very privileged. 20 meters from the most westerly building B1, beyond  the road Route de l’Etraz, farmland begins, stretching further to the west in the direction of Nyon and Geneva. According to the principles of crop rotation, local farmers plant there different plants: corn, sunflower, colza, beets, carrots and corn.

Colza-blossom

Colza-blossom

 

Colza just before harvest

Colza just before harvest

From time to time appear also fruit orchards.

Once the child carried the water jug
Old grey-haired man met her on the road,
And said to her with a polite expression:
Let me drink, little child! -
Child willingly bends the jug,
And gave to drink the water to the old man.

Once, the child walked nearby the orchard,
She looks… the tree bends full of fruits:
How nice would be to eat a few pears!
And the gray-haired old man comes out:
He has recognised this good child
And the most beautiful pears gave.
/Stanislaw Jachowicz, The child and the old man/

Through the scenic and well-maintained fields stretch concrete paths, equal as a table, through which farmers can get to their land and take care to make them even more scenic and well-maintained.

These paths are ideal also for running and I am glad to say that I was using them for this purpose on a regular basis! I didn’t do this alone. It appeared that my colleagues from SC Johnson and neighboring companies were very sporty. Importantly, higher levels of management were also running regularly and gave blessings for the disappearance of 1 – 1.5 hours during the working day. Of course, the duties and responsibilities needed to be done with the utmost care, and length of stay in the office properly extended. Although, not always… I have already mentioned that Friday afternoons in the summer were intended for cycling for volunteers; uninterested could just went back home earlier.

***

Running out from the premises of S.C. Johnson (building B3), whether via the main exit (south) or the rear one (north), I am heading west. After about 200 meters, beyond the last building B1, I run a little up on Route de l’Etraz, turn to the right and immediately left (as indicating cycling road signs) and continue by concrete path further to the West…

Go West...

Go West…

(Go West) Life is peaceful there
(Go West) In the open air
(Go West) Baby you and me
(Go West) This is our destiny
(Go West) Sun in wintertime
(Go West) We will do just fine
(Go West) Where the skies are blue
(Go West, this is what we’re gonna do)
/Pet Shop Boys/

The path runs initially parallelly to the highway Lausanne – Geneva, under the high voltage wires. After 650 meters I run slightly up to the Route de Gilly and turn right toward the nearby hills. After 100 meters turn left, again onto a concrete agricultural road Sur la Dolle. The name probably derives from the summit of La Dolle, which can be seen straight in the not too distant Jura mountains.

Sur la Dolle

Sur la Dolle

I run as the crow flies. I pass on the left side the garden store and behind a farm for horses I turn right into Chemin du Bois de Beaulieu. Those who do not agree with Biff Tannen from Back to the Future, who hated manure (“Je deteste fumier”), may take a fertilizer for their own purposes…

Manure to take

Manure to take

After 160 meters I reach the important point on the route, because here I have to decide whether to continue the training on flat or hilly ground.

Decision point

Decision point

A flat itinerary (with several variations) is well known to all the runners from ZA La Pièce. I will describe the route less used, more difficult and wild. I hope that this will encourage my running partners from the office to the new sporting challenges in mountainous terrain…

- But why uphill?! – wailed duck Disaster.
- Because we’re in the mountains and in the mountains it is not possible all the time to go downhill. Sometimes it is needed to go uphill but later going back is downhill – with one breath breathed dog Pypeć.
/Wojciech Widłak, Mr Ball – book for children/

So I leave the bike road and I turn to the right slightly uphill. I cross the main road Route de l’Etraz and continue ascent having on the right side the narrow stream bed and the bushes of the grapes on the left. Behind the corner of the vineyard I turn left and run stright untill the street Les Truits, where I turn right, then right again, uphill, in the direction of Vincy, as shown by the road sign.

Vincy direction

Vincy direction

At the end of Route Sous-Vincy, on the left side there is a church, which I pass and crossing Route de Tartegnin, I run further up the Route de Vincy. Finally, I run into Vincy. Bend of the road turns right at a stately mansion – this is Château de Vincy. Further, at the intersection I turn left and immediately right towards the hospital. I pass fountain on the right side and then another impressive building on the left. After a while, before the stream, I leave the main road and turn left, into a steep asphalt route through the forest (Chemin des Vaux).

To the left and up the hill

To the left and up the hill

Now, just me and the way up… Silence… interrupted by the sound of cowbells in the meadow on the right… Peace… (during 9 months of regular running, passed me on the way up only 5 cars of locals). Me and the way up… Steadily I climb higher and higher. On the right side murmurs the brook Gillière. Do not deviate into the paths departing from the main road to the right and left (although they are possible route options for the curious). After about 600 meters from the beginning of this road I pass on the left side the water supply station (Service des Eaux).

Fresh water good for health

Fresh water good for health

Behind the building from 1980 I continue straight ahead, up to the point at the first kilometer from the beginning of the climb (approximately 4 km from the start).

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

From here, it is possible to run further up on the asphalt (what I was doing sometimes) but today I have chosen path to the right. I cross the brook and on gravel path (gravel – finely crushed stones used, inter alia, to pour pavement), swinging by a gentle curve to the right, I climb. All the time it is needed to regularly climb higher and higher. The path winds its way through the wooded slopes once to the north, once to the south.

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Finally, after about a kilometer from crossing the stream (5 km from the start in ZA La Pièce), I reach the highest point of the route (760 m). It offers a wonderful view to the east. In the foreground seen the opposite slope and the path on which runs some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

Further seen Lake Geneva and finally alpine mountain peaks from Rochers de Naye to Dent d’Oche.

Perspective

Perspective

I run a few meters down and turn right, more down (the path straight up leading finally to some farm). Running down I approach to the wooden barrier… Sudden vortex of space-time continuum shifts me to its other side and dents to the ground. I quickly get up, swallow saliva to unclog ears after a sudden jump in pressure and move on down. I look to the right and see some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes, apperaring on the highest point of the route, on which I ran up a moment ago.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

The path this time steadily decreases towards the east-south-east. After the rain needs to be careful, because can be very slippery. After some time, at wooden benches covered by the roof, the road turns 180° to the right, toward the west-north-west.

180 degrees to the right

180 degrees to the right

Behind a wooden barrier path turns again to the east-southeast and it appears that this fragment was once asphalt. Running in the autumn and winter, below on the right seen the roof of Hôpital de Gilly. In the end, the path runs out of the woods. Running to the right I would get to the hospital. No thanks. I do not recommend either option to the left, back to the forest. I checked. Have to wade through the raspberry bushes, hurting calf, climb a steep ravine and then go through the barbed-wire fence and across a pasture finally get to Route de Châtel leading down to Tartegnin. Therefore, I run straight down alongside the vineyard to the road La Bossenaz and turn left. The path leads steeply down and therefore is carpeted with corrugated concrete slabs so that cars do not slip in the rain or in winter.

Traction control system

Traction control system

Behind the bend to the right, I pass on the left side the garbage dump (déchetterie). A dozen or so meters below, I turn right into the Route de Beauregard and after further 200 meters to the left, heading to Rolle.

Direction - Rolle

Direction – Rolle

Rue des Pressoirs leads all the way down through Tartegnin (called Pays du bon vin) and then through the vineyards to the main road Route de l’Etraz. I reach the building B3 after about 8.2 kilometers. Running this route takes me approximately 50 minutes, then yet shower and full of energy I sit at the computer again. I mean… I was sitting.

And yet I leave behind me this fateful power,
Useless while I live… it just graces my temples;
But when I die, it will, unseen, press you ever,
Till it remakes you, bread eaters – into angels.
/Juliusz Słowacki, My testament/