Wind and the Great Great Great Great Great etc Grandma

From the land of the Prince Bishops, where no-one watched yesterday's wedding, but everybody talks about nothing else in remarkable detail.

Above the village two modern windmills spin their blades into an eternal future, and debate centers on where and how many more will go up. A local commentator complains that to meet the need the island must be girdled with a belt of such windmills more than a km deep. Which is a silly thing to say, but points out how hysterical opposition to each of the many alternatives that must be melded together to get us out of this mess can do nothing but get us into more trouble.

Peak oil gets seems to get almost no mention over here. The island is moving into a General Election, and with Britain moving to be a nett importer of oil at the end of the year, it does not seem to be one of those things that people mention "in polite conversation."

Speaking of politess today was the day to visit the Ducal Castle - hey if Harry Potter learned to fly there how could I give it a miss - but it was a trip that was directed to take me on to what are probably the last three remaining coal tips in Northumberland. It was (cynical note here) amusing to read the screed on the local church about moving more into a green economy when such "monsters of the industrial age" lay above that village. Ah, but, you see times change, and I am almost sure the vicar doesn't know that they are there.

About 300 years ago my ol' great (etc) Gran'pa made it up the long hill from the Tankersley Arms in Eglingham one night to meet a flying plate from great (etc) Grand,'ma. The houses now are long gone, but I was drawn to the site because the old tip and ash pits are now small hills and strips of green across the brown moorland. I only recognized the tips because I had seen many bigger ones in my youth (and they are long gone and the fields green again). Apart from the shape you could not tell it was a tip (I had to see the runway to be sure) since it was part of a green and verdant belt across the moor, And the china - well I found a fragment of a plate in the debris that a rabbit had brought back to the surface at one of the entries to the warren that now covers part of the site. Though it may now be a better site for a windmill than a mine it is now, again, a land of natural beauty probably with little help from man (apart from their walking off with most of the building stones).

It would be one of those ironies of man, if a land that once hosted a series of mines across the fields and moors is now considered too beautiful for the more environmentally friendly windmills. I will remain dutifully silence about the other message.

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