On April Fools’ Day 2019, I had the following letter published in the Daily Telegraph:
Every lawn in my road has been devastated by crows frantically digging for chafer grubs. The day they started on my lawn I ordered two hundred and fifty children’s windmills and placed them over the entire grassed area of my front garden. That was five months ago and not one crow has ventured into our garden and our grass has flourished. These colourful windmills are a great source of entertainment for families walking up and down the street – one or two have even spread into neighbouring gardens.
Having had success, I decided to harness the potential of each windmill by modifying them to become miniature wind turbines, interconnecting them and linking them to the National Grid. The power that is generated reduces the cost of my electricity bill by approximately 25%.
In these challenging Brexit times when we all have to become more self- sufficient, I offer this simple, yet effective scheme to save your readers money – and to fend off crows.
That afternoon, I had a ten minute slot on BBC Radio Solent’s afternoon show describing in technical and scientific detail how I separated the little driver(transformer) from LED GU10 bulbs and attached each driver to a windmill to make a wind turbine. I explained how I joined each windmill in sequence using co-axial cable to an efficient battery storage solution and onward to the National Grid. It was very Thomas Edison-ish and a disturbing number of people believed every word of it! – that I had the solution to creating my own electricity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The next day, there was a letter to the Telegraph from a woman in Cambridge lambasting me for denying the crows the chafer grubs which she claimed were rightfully theirs…………. There’s no pleasing some people.
We moved into Lockdown in March 2020 and my wife and I resurrected the 250 windmills in the front garden to bring a little entertainment and fun to the hundreds of people out taking exercise who stopped to admire them and take photographs and videos. Cars reversed up the street for their occupants to take a proper look. We kept the windmills in the garden for six months and decided to put them out again during the second lockdown and for the festive season.
They look special at night as we have also created a pool of golden light – a spiral of 1,000 fairy lights – and their movement creates a flickering effect which people have said is magical.
We have given away literally hundreds of windmills to little – and not so little – children, with their parents’ permission. They carry them away excitedly and we suggest they put them in their own lawn to ‘spread the love’.
Lockdown has been fun for us, as we have socialised with hundreds of people from a safe distance over the garden fence whilst shielding from the virus. People love to stop and have a good chat – what the Irish call ‘craic’. I have Irish DNA, so that helps!
We are of an age when we expect to be vaccinated within the next few weeks so we are battening down the hatches and keeping everyone at five metres distance and doing nothing to risk hospitalisation.
We wish everyone who passes by our home and smiles – and all Chandler’s Ford Today readers and contributors – a happy and healthy New Year with increasing freedoms.