Councillor Mrs Arbuthnot’s lanyard perched prominently on her ample frontage like the mayoral chain to which she clearly aspired. Brandishing the weapon of her clipboard, her gloved hand thrust a disinfected pen into mine to sign her petition.

“You will agree of course that they mustn’t put a wind farm here,” she said. “You know what a premium we have all paid for the sea view from our properties.”

Uncertain, I offered to exchange the now-contaminated pen for her explanatory flyer with its scaled drawing of the proposal for the offending articles, agreeing to think the matter over.

Already focussed on her next respondent, she shouted back to me as she took a shortcut to my neighbour’s door to the detriment of any plants unfortunate enough to lie in her path. “Your choice, but remember those developers won’t be wasting any time, so neither should we.”

I could still hear her strident tones when I rejoined the children in the back garden, leaflet in hand.

“Oh, cool, they’re like big seagulls,” said Maisie, as she careered round the garden with arms outstretched in mock flight.

“I believe they do sometimes design them in the shape of birds,” I said.

“No, they look more like flowerheads when they spin around.” Jake plucked one of the spiky-petalled echinacea flowers from the flowerbed and twirled it in the breeze.

“It would be like a garden in the sea,” he mused, “perhaps painted in bright colours.”

I nodded, unconvinced.

That evening, out on the clifftop path, I sat on a bench opposite a bank of old cow parsley plants, tall and straight, the remnants of their flowers reaching for the sky from their point of attachment. As I looked through them to the sea beyond, I imagined their umbelliferous shape mirrored by synthetic equivalents standing guard out there. Would it be so bad? Not, I supposed, if they were an improvement on the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions that my generation had allowed to form.

Signing that petition vs. cleaner air for my children and theirs? – Decision made, Mrs Arbuthnot!

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
1 year ago

Good description of Mrs. Arbuthnot. Love her “brandishing her clipboard”. Simile and personification add to the descriptions. How wonderful that the kids have the artistic vision!

Last edited 1 year ago by Voice-Team
Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Hello Susan, good story to get the discussion on this topic going. Not in my back yard (NIMBY) is such a common response to any effort to do anything these days, and it is frequently an impediment to worthwhile projects. Learned a new word – umbelliferous from this story. I… Read more »

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
1 year ago

You are so right, Alan. THe NIMBY syndrome is the kiss of death to many ideas that are not only worthwhile, but now have become essential. I would welcome a wind farm anywhere near me. It would, in fact, be a beautiful sight to behold!

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

I love this story, Susan. I’ve been doing a great deal of research about wind farms. They have wonderful pros, but the biggest con is people’s resistance. I wonder why so many people object to them? The turbines used to be loud; now they register less on the decibel meter… Read more »

Juma
Juma(@juma)
1 year ago

Susan, your story is deceptively simple, but very thought-provoking. Have any of us resisted good ideas that would help the planet, simply because we have a hard time with change, or think the new ideas will inconvenience us, or “spoil the view”? It’s a question to ask as we move… Read more »

Juma
Juma(@juma)
Reply to  Susan Dawson
1 year ago

I’ve seen the photos of St Mary’s lighthouse, Susan, and they are indeed impressive. But they are more like documentaries – here is the water, here is the lighthouse – rocks, sand, sea, tall white lighthouse, sky. Your photo is pure poetry. One thing that makes yours so special to… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hello, Susan. I have never seen a windmill in my whole life, I only saw it in my picture, and it looks good. So just like Fuji, l also wonder why so many people object to building it while it seems to add attraction to the beautiful scenery. And the… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Susan Dawson
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Susan. I see that it is offshore windmill. Does it have no ill effects on marine animals? Do they intentionally put it offshore so that they can pay less taxes?

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 year ago

Susan, I thoroughly enjoyed your story. It is a very accurate assessment of human nature, which resists change and insists on its own way regardless of the consequences. Thank heavens for the children with their fresh insights, and for the adults courageous enough to stand up for what they know… Read more »

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Susan, Mrs Arbuthnot sounds like a piece of work! I couldn’t help smiling at her antics. I think wind turbines are beautiful and fascinating. This is a great story. It is true that we often put our own selfish desires first before thinking of what is best for our planet.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Your story is, simultaneously, informative, funny, ironic and beautiful, Susan. The perspective, coming from a politician’s efforts to squeeze an attempt to fight climate change, is very creative. And, to top it off, your picture is gorgeous!

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Great story Susan. I actually think that the wind turbines are very majestic as they sweep through the air. I’d much rather see them than power stations pumping gunk out into the sky. I love watching how the colour of the turbines changes from white to grey depending on the… Read more »

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