Julia Stephenson: The Green Goddess
'Time to start building the turbines - before my neighbours object'
Thursday 01 June 2006
I'm just back from the Mayr clinic. Despite being uplifted by the wonderful eco-improvements, I left feeling quite debilitated and emaciated, despite my intensive boiled potato diet.
Everybody else was in blooming health, so I felt a bit of a failure. What had gone wrong? Was I detoxed out?
The trouble is that I suffer from low blood-pressure and topple over without regular sustenance. In France doctors prescribe champagne at 6pm every evening to cure this debilitating complaint - an effective solution to which the Mayr clinic do not subscribe, but which I follow to the letter when home.
Fortunately I made it to Munich railway station before I keeled over. There I rebooted myself with a glass of fizz and a hot meal.
I arrived home to discover to my joy that all my neighbours are well behind my radical eco-improvements, including the installation of three wind turbines, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting plus raising the roof to create an extra room made of hemp bricks.
So it's all systems go to get started during the summer and before anyone changes their minds.
But who is to do the building work? Vince, my usual wonderful builder, or my squeeze, who is a great builder, too? I have been wary of employing him - as I worry our volatile relationship may not survive. Besides, every time I ask him to do something handy, it ends in a major breakage.
Only yesterday he changed the eco-friendly bulbs in the kitchen - a horrible job that means balancing precariously on the kitchen top (a marble-like surface created from melted-down recycled mobile phones).
Steadying himself to reach the floor, he grabbed a cupboard door which fell off its hinges. This cupboard contains all my recycled glasses made from reconstituted Perrier bottles, which are gradually being picked off every time I forget the cupboard is out of bounds and open it.
For Christmas he installed a smoke alarm which involved climbing on to an antique Biedermeier chair which collapsed. There have been other disasters, too.
Anyway, when Vince came round to do a quote for the windmill installation, he kindly offered to take the chair away and mend it. But that was months ago, and how am I going to tell him I've given this massive building project to my squeeze? More worryingly, will I ever get the chair back?Anyway, my squeeze and I have just had a frightful row about it and I've stormed off to Oman to attend a family wedding. Don't tell my eco coach but I'm not going there by train. The Man in Seat 61 (aka Mark Smith, eco-travel guru) informs me it would take around six days to reach by train, which isn't feasible. Forests will be planted on my return, I promise.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Python eats croc: when two (or more) species go to war - the 12 most amazing animal battles ever recorded
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...