Julia Stephenson: Green Goddess


I'm having a horribly social week. Being green used to mean that people didn't ask you round as they feared you might nag them about eco-friendly light bulbs and be on a special diet, but suddenly I'm flooded with green and glitzy invites. Part of me wants to ignore them and go to the pub with my pals, but another part fears I might miss out on something, though what, exactly, I have no idea.

I'm not a peepull person, so it's quite a challenge. Worst of all, I missed David Starkey's gripping documentary about Charles II (our most eco-friendly monarch), as I haven't fully got to grips with my wind-up video recorder. I am hoping Mr Starkey alluded to this little-known quality in the illustrious monarch's character, but now I shall never know.

Anyway, last night found me and a Green Party pal Hugo at a wind-turbine presentation at the House of Commons, complete with MPs, humus sandwiches and the new innovations minister Malcolm Wicks. He, too, has put in an order for a wind turbine. Hopefully that will speed things up for the rest of us, though I'm not holding my breath. It's interesting how wind turbines have become the must-have accessory. Last year it was small handbag dogs, so I suppose it's an improvement.

While I'm all for domestic wind turbines, they're still in the early days of development and may not be effective for everyone. If you only have a few grand spare, far better to spend it insulating your house, but I suppose this isn't as exciting. But then, if you like gadgets, why not? The technology will only improve if we keep up the demand.

As usual, politicians made fine noises while lights blazed all over Westminster and Buckingham Palace. Hugo says I'm a spoilsport, but I can't see the point. I thought the Queen went round switching lights off - and now Buck House blazes all night. Has an alien entered her body? I'm sure her eco-friendly predecessor Charles II would never have permitted such a gesture.

If this wasn't enough excitement, we then had to attend a smart dinner. I hate dinner parties nearly as much as the theatre and am usually ready with an excuse. But last week, a pal cornered me when I was dazed and confused after a yoga class. I said yes, feeling I'd be more successful if I networked more. But what is success? And if you have to go to dinner parties to get it, surely it isn't worth having?

The hot subject all night was wind turbines, with the Belgravia smarties begging for advice on where to get this new accessory. Damned if I know. I've jumped through all my hoops - I have planning permission, my neighbours don't object - but I'm still waiting and my architect, currently feted as the eco-god of Notting Hill, is vague about the delays. I suspect he's too busy being photographed for Italian Vogue in between being mobbed by the Pilates-honed ladies of Notting Hill. Yesterday, I even found a picture of him looking mean and moody on the CNN website. What's going on? Are greenies becoming the new rock stars?

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