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Archive for July, 2010

Friday 23 July 2010

We got home from Spain yesterday evening and have rushed around to catch up on things since then.  Going away is lovely, but coming home is a real pain because everything is waiting to be done.  Many thanks to my friends though for letting us stay with them in their lovely house.

The courgettes?  Well, take a look:

I’m out all day tomorrow so I suppose I’ll be making chutney on Sunday.  For those of you who’ve asked, I’ll post the recipe then.

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Off to Spain (Again)

Monday 12 July 2010

Early on Wednesday morning Gordon and I are off to Spain to stay with friends like we did last year.  Typical!  Gordon took his first holiday in twenty years last year and already he wants another one – he must be getting old (aren’t we all?).   This will be my second absence of the year as I went to New York in May, but not my last as I’m off to Portugal in September (like I did last year).

The garden has perversely decided this week to grow everything and have it ready NOW.  Of course by the time we get back it’ll either be gone to seed, eaten by caterpillars or grown to enormous proportions, especially the courgettes which are a fairly impressive vegetable to grow it has to be said.  Last year they were gigantic and they look like going the same way again, so there’ll be more courgette chutney-making when we get back.  After all the sniggering and sly comments last year about how we’d never eat that much courgette chutney we have a few precious jars left and we’re saving them for a special occasion.  In total I made about fifty pounds of the stuff, but it was delicious and became far more than an accompaniment to a meal and more like another vegetable.  I did explain to Gordon that chutney doesn’t count as one of his five-a-day, but he’s delighted at the prospect of more.

If I don’t have a chance to write again before I leave (I have yet to pack and you know how traumatic that can be, especially for me), I’ll be back after the 22nd.

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Turbine

Thursday 8 July 2010

Several years ago when we were first approached by EDF to see if we were willing to put wind turbines on our land we were flown to Newcastle to look around various sites which were either completed or under construction.  I’d never been that close to a turbine and as a result of everything I’d heard I was surprised to hear how quiet they actually are ‘in the flesh’.

Since then, several protest meetings and a lot of hostility down the line I was beginning to doubt.  Perhaps they were as noisy as people say?  Perhaps the ground does vibrate for miles around and I’d just not noticed it?  Gordon was beginning to have similar doubts so contacted another farmer who has a single Ecotricity turbine on his land to ask whether we could walk up to it just to double-check.  The farmer was agreeable so today we drove to Chewton Mendip to see for ourselves (again).  The land it stands on is private, as is ours with no public footpaths or rights of way so the route is gated with a sign saying as much.  We had permission from the farmer to go beyond this point.

The photo was taken halfway up the track.  I also took some video but stupidly held the camera sideways and haven’t been able to work out how to rotate it so I can put it here.  The loudest noise on the video was the wind whipping across the front of the camera and even when Gordon and dad (who came for the expedition) were almost at the turbine I could still hear them chatting away as well as the sheep baa-ing.  The ground here didn’t vibrate, nor did it vibrate at the base of the tower when I stood on the concrete plinth so that was reassuring – I had remembered correctly.

Another argument used by protestors is how frightened animals are of the noise.  It was a hot day – I got sunburned just walking up there – but the sheep were fine!

They had a bit of shade!

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