We finally got Ruadhri back to school today after a week off with some awful virus or another. He still looks peaky but he was keen to go. So at last Chris and I could  get back on the bikes again and go for a good blast. We’ve been going on walks with Rors while he was under the weather. Both Chris and I had mothers who insisted on wrapping us up and bundling us out of the house whenever we were poorly  to get some fresh air. That’s rubbed off on us so we took our youngest on a gentle frogmarch every day to get some colour back in his cheeks!

Anyway, the first reward of our ride was the sight of sunflower blooming on the first of December. Normally they’re under several feet of snow by now!

Can you spot it?

We decided to do some industrial espionage. Well, that’s what it felt like as we did a tour of the nearest wind turbine sites and I took photos. I’m becoming slightly obsessed with our eoliennes I know, but let’s face it, they’re the most exciting thing to happen around Boussac for a long time! And there’s lot of activity at the moment. The nacelle has arrived for eolienne 8.

We thought that was an impressive sight, but changed our minds when we turned off a side road and happened across eoliennes 6 and 7. We hadn’t realised exactly where they were until now. We got a great view of eoliennes 4 and 5 too.

Eoliennes 4 and 5 - and cows

Here is eolienne 6. You’ll remember I’ve mentioned the useful looking piles of straw bales at each wind turbine site before. Well, here they are in use, supporting the rotors.

And you may also remember the photo of Rors standing by the nose cone. Actually, I’ll put it in here again to remind you. That will give the scale for the size of the nacelles.

A close up of the straw bales hard at work!

Finally we passed eolienne 7 which is partially erected. A passing motorist waggled his finger at me as I took this photo. I don’t know whether that meant I shouldn’t be taking photos or I shouldn’t be interested in the wind turbines or he didn’t approve of women being let out of the house or what, but I just smiled cheerily back at him!

So, that’s how Creuse’s latest eoliennes are currently shaping up.

Now for something Christmassy. I’ve just finished reading a book called The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton so here’s a review of it. Definitely one to read, and it’s currently free at Smashwords here.

There’s a tendency for Christmas novels to dwell on its joyful, glittery aspect, but here is one with a difference. It deals with the darker side of Christmas – the side experienced by lonely, deprived and ill people, the homeless and the bereaved, who find this time of good cheer and happiness hard to bear.

Our hero is Skip who lost his family in a Christmas Eve fire. He was at a boring office party and so escaped the same fate. However, he’s consumed by guilt and falls apart, ending up on the streets. He makes up his mind to commit suicide on the anniversary of the deaths of Tabitha his wife and Derek his son, but bumps into an assortment of warm-hearted, selfless people who start to test his resolve. It takes a visit to The Santa Shop in Gray, Vermont, to point Skip towards making the right decision.

This is a sad book but it’s also joyful. You see the depths of human despair and people at their worst, but also people at their caring, generous best. Skip’s journey is tough physically and mentally but it’s as enlightening for the reader as it is for him.

A really amazing, thought-provoking book. You have to read it. 

And you can get my Oh Santa! for free today too from Smashwords here if you use this coupon code: HD66G. Only valid on 1st December though, so hurry!