Windpower, relationships and sausages
Updated: Sep 27
Over the past month I have been dreaming of my ex boyfriends, which is disturbing, but apparently you can sort this out by writing them letters. I have exorcised all but one, who appeared to me on Friday dressed as Afghan Girl (1984) telling me repeatedly that it was time to go.
I'm still here and Saturday I went for a hike, during which I composed this blog. It is a stream of consciousness brain dump about relationships, wind power and the Spanish Minister for Consumption. On Monday we will debate with the Spanish Minister for Consumption, Alberto Garzón.
Being in Galician nature is like being on shrooms; it is gnarly, and the greens are elvish. The logs look like crocodiles.
Everything is covered in lichen which, as I read in the Gentlewoman's magazine, grows in communities but wages civil wars. Here there are 2 types: old man's beard (I think) which is winning very slowly against hammered shield lichen - used to dye wool brown.
In Galicia they dress up as vikings and play the bagpipe.
I did the walk backwards by accident, but I recommend this because the big hills come first with a forestry of windmills. The correct collective noun for wind turbines is "sleuth". Bears also come in sleuths.
In Spain wind turbines are called Eólici, which I like because it reminds me of how Virgil describes Aeolus king of the winds who treats them like his mastiffs.
Here in his vast cave, King Aeolus,
keeps the writhing winds, and the roaring tempests,
under control, curbs them with chains and imprisonment.
They moan angrily at the doors, with a mountain’s vast murmurs. [Aen. 1.50-56]
To capture the winds Jupiter piled a mountain on top of them, which is the exact opposite of what happens now.
Wind turbines look like sinister eyelash implants, something out of the Clockwork Orange, or rotating nail clippings.
In Galicia a live debate rages about this 'avalanche of windfarm megaparks' because they are ecologically destructive, loud, unsightly, affect birds, and cause land speculation because these areas become real estate for turbines (energy companies can easily outbid farmers).
These are critical factors neutralised now that everyone can list them like the pros/ cons of a GCSE question.
Others would argue that turbines offer 'limitless renewable energy', are efficient, and 'sustainable and respectful of the environment'.
I can only confirm that they are very loud for the reason that I could not hear myself pee.
It is true that someday we will require windmill graveyards because the blades are monumental and made of fibreglass. It crossed my mind that Galicia actually has an excellent existing infrastructure for blade disposal called the "horreo". (Previously for grain storage). Alternatively they could be taken to London Aquarium and circled by sharks, or become modern pyramids with efficient tourist distribution.
The statistics of this hike were falsified because they worked out the +/- elevation by subtracting the highest point above sea level from the lowest point, forgetting how many times you have to go between them. I am thinking that this is not a problem for me because I have sturdy legs and too much food.
If you were in a relationship with a turbine and met for dinner "on neutral ground" they would probably tell you that it's not working because of the "situation".
WT: "It's the situation."
You: "Could you summarise for me the situation"
WT: "Capitalism is the root cause of ecological degradation".
Conveniently, here the WT takes no responsibility at all for the situation.
I am imagining how this dinner date might go with the minister for consumption.
The minister is a Marxist and a member of the Communist party.
Dinner date with Alberto Garzón
To set the scene here is an illustration of an exploding tree in which I am pointing out that the root cause of ecological degradation is Capitalism. This is an Ecomarxist critique. Therefore there is one leaf left on the tree, like Hope in Pandora's box. (It is a red hand, which is the symbol of Communism.)
Dinner date question #1.
"How can you deal with a difficult situation"
AG (pseudo): "Situations" are created by actions.
WT: I feel attacked.
AG(pseudo): You cannot make a relationship work in a difficult situation if you do actively do very little. Difficult situations require both parties to make a commitment to planning and to go above and beyond: to accept inconvenient solutions.
WT: Like what.
AG(p): Revolution. Stop working. Limit consumption.
Dinner date question #2
"What food would you eat for the rest of your life if you could only eat one food?"
One of my ex boyfriends once told me that his one food would be sandwiches because there are infinite variations. I though this was ridiculous at the time, but now I agree every time I eat sandwiches.
I have made four large sandwiches with four different flavour profiles.
The best present I have been given by an ex was a tarte tatin set accompanied by two different flavours of home made madeleines. The same man turned up in the pouring rain at the Sapienza where I was giving a conference paper (enormous security gates built by the Fascists), pretended to be from the 'Embassy of Cambridge', and drove to the door of the conference to pick me up. Then he took me and my parents to dinner.
Dinner Date Question #3
"What is your greatest contradiction?"
The minister has been pulled apart because he advocates for reduced meat consumption but was photographed eating a slice of ham at a party.
Perhaps this was his weekly slice of ham.
Me: I arrived at this walk in my diesel car, which gets used every couple of weeks for a long trip. Between trips the battery goes flat. My relationship with my car is never dull. It has been at the mechanic for 3 weeks only to find that there is nothing wrong with it. It has miraculously started working again.
On the way here it told me loudly it was tired and completely out of engine oil. Then it told me it was totally full of oil and ready to go. We are one.
My car is a contradiction.
That doesn't make what I'm saying any less important or 'true', unless your judgment about truth depends upon the consistency of its speaker.
Neither truth nor virtue require consistency let alone absurd consistency.
Let them eat sausages for one meal for the rest of their lives and prove their virtue thus.
My relationship with meat: respectful inconsistency. One of a long list of ideals, alongside sustainable development.
Dinner Date Question #4/5
"What is your relationship like with your mother?"
The reason I'm doing this walk is highly related to my mother who essentially taught me how to mountain. I always think this when I am walking. Also all the things I have stolen from AJ whose rucksack is taped very tidily.
I'm extremely efficient at packing and congratulate myself on this several times.
The last time I slept out alone on a hike was during the month I wrote my thesis up a mountain at the Rifugio Giaf, which is run by my friends in the Dolomites. This was the best experience of my life. Someone left a recorder in the halfway hut and the sound bounced off the walls of the mountains. All I could remember was how to play god save the queen. I improvised. You could hear the goats knocking rocks off the sides. In the morning I climbed up one of the walls and saw the sun rise like a blob, and I did a drawing, which is one of my favourite ones.
Day 2, Galicia
It got light at 0750 and the sun came up at 0827 which is exactly the time it said on the internet. My sun is in Aries and my moon is in Gemini. This means I'm 'competitive and fiercely independent' but also 'easily bored'. I agree with these suggestions.
Mostly because I've been watching Lord of the Rings sleeping in the car alone felt spooky. I used park4night and found this freshwater pool which was misty because it was 4 degrees.
The car would not drive in any gear other than first which I deduced was due to the engine oil. So I went to the nearest petrol station, bought some oil, and filled the car to the bit between the two lines like in driving theory 101. The car is now driving better than ever. It was €7.50. I congratulated myself again on being a very independent woman.
One of my ex's told me when we broke up that he felt like 'the handbrake had been taken off'. I found this funny because he couldn't drive, and that was, tangentially, part of the problem.
When I have breakfast I always think of my aunt and grandma because we used to have breakfast on the balcony together everyday in summer.
Yesterday the hike was 25k, +/- 1100, and it took 6.5 hours.
Day 2 (Sunday) was 10k, 145m+/- which I ran with a small backpack. I am a mountain woman.
Dinner Date Question #5/5
I have eaten three of the snack cakes which taste like chemicals and are strangely squidgy.
"Does necessity make an action less virtuous?"
This was my interview question at undergrad, for Cambridge. I remember it because unfortunately my memory can replay conversations word by word, and it is a philosophical question and I talked about washing.
Does necessity make an action less virtuous is a question which relates to consumption today because the actions deemed virtuous by some are imposed upon others. It came up in one of the graffiti I saw by Romanian artist DAN PERJOVSCHI @ Documenta, Kassel.
One person's virtue might be another person's need.
In debates about degrowth (which argues in favour of limiting consumption and material throughput) this criticism is often framed as follows.
Some: You can't degrow a country that doesn't meet the basic needs of its population
100%. But as I learnt at the Ecological Economics conference in Pisa,
Others: Meeting the basic needs of a population by building housing, for example, will be ecologically disastrous and if we do it we will not meet our targets for preventing climate change.
This is a toxic relationship between basic human needs and needs of the planet.
If we go for wind farms then we also need to chain the wind.