5/16/13

Arfons and the Miracle of Renewable Energy






I love windmills. Good thing I do because there is a big project in our area - one huge offshore wind farm ‘not very far’ from Les Tertres (even if distance at sea becomes very relative).



Two years ago during our unforgettable trip to Arfons, my beloved childhood village, we couldn’t help but notice several windmills on the ridge above the Lampy.

Kind of strange to see them looming over a place that used to be so rustic and bucolic.

But like I said, I love windmills. Those strange and huge birds. Why do I always think about birds when I watch a windmill revolving in the wind? It is a propeller on top of a huge pole, isn’t it? But somehow windmills are part of a very private and personal bestiary from my hyperactive imaginative world. Oh dear...




After our walk through Arfons I already described in minute detail in my blog, Popeye drove me to the place he knew would really make me happy. I was feeling so depressed about “the slow death of my village”, remember?

We found them quite easily of course. You can’t miss windmills! I was totally ecstatic. I was! They are noisy birds all right but so beautiful! Please just humor me for a few more seconds.






While I was truly distressed because of the decay of my village and family memories, I needed to calm down and the windmills did just that.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister called me. “Did you hear what’s going on in Arfons? It was on TV yesterday. Twice.”

I didn’t even have time to remind her that we do not have a TV set... She was totally tripping, blabbering on and on and on. I finally managed to understand that somehow Arfons had hit the jackpot. And it was something about windmills and millions of euros and on and on and on.

When she finally hung up, I turned quietly to my very best friends in life for help... my computer and the web! I do not own a TV but I am a computer nerd.

Well, it was easy. Very easy. Arfons was creating a real buzz on the web. At a time when the world economy is reeling (at best), a small deserted and forsa
ken village finds out it is fabulously rich. Not because it came into an inheritance nor because of a subsoil that abounds in crude oil or whatever...

The birds... The birds... My huge gigantic birds... The windmills!

A few years ago, the village council and its members lead by the mayor proved themselves extremely visionary. They got the approval of the village residents (minus one so I read) to invest in renewable energy hence the windmills.

The winds of chance and good prospects blew a very positive gale. And Arfons is slowly awakening in a golden downpour! I told you that my birds were benevolent deities, didn’t I?

So now there is a new problem. (Who said that money can’t buy happiness?) Well, the villagers are very happy but the money has to be spent very wisely. And they came up with the most interesting ideas when asked what to do with 2.5 million euros (over 3 million US dollars and 2 million pounds, every year for the next 20 years.

I love the way people reacted. Such a simple life. Getting rid of hornets for one thing and cleaning up the public phone booth for another thing... This is not an exhaustive list, of course.

I love it so much that people remain quite unfazed by such a manna.

They probably do not realize yet that the windmills will change their life and their children’s lives and their  children’s children’s lives and other people’s lives as well. And maybe this is the way it should be for a while. Some latency period. I used to dread changes too.

Maybe you should listen to the mayor... Alain Couzinié, my childhood friend I told you about in a post. He sounds quite flabbergasted and so serene all the same.
video

(If you don’t understand what he says, please drop me a note, I’ll be happy to send you a transcription. I know he was interviewed by the BBC too but I couldn’t find the link... at least in English. I found it in Portuguese and Spanish though! Very funny indeed!)

Of course, ever since my sister called, I have been pestering Popeye to find a house in Arfons for good since I sometimes feel so rootless. Well actually I have been longing to go back ever since Popeye drove me there in 2011.

Oh, I know, I know - Les Tertres are where we put down our roots as a family.

Yes but even so... It would be so exciting to be part of the reawakening of Arfons... Listen to me -- the girl who run away at a time when the village was slowly dying... But I am not totally inexcusable though! Am I?

Oh well, one of these days, my dream will come true. (Besides overcoming cancer once and for all that is!) Maybe? Maybe. Or maybe not!







*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

Nancy said...

That is very exciting news! Perhaps other places will follow their example and embrace renewable energy!