It's a strange feeling sitting in a seat in a committiee room usually occupied by MPs. Fifty or so people came to see Mr Strawbridge talk about his life and his programme It's Not Easy Being Green, which was quite a bad turn out considering about 100 people were emailed a reminder that morning. I'm guessing some people had work to do, what ever that is.
Strawbridge is a likeable man, warm and engaging and exactly the same as he is on TV. He has a rather nice rambling manner which is very plesant to listen to but rather irritating if you want some detailed facts because as soon as he gets into something in detail, he moves onto something completly different.
He started talking about how he met Brigit, then talked about his children (Charlotte is a lot moodier than she appears), showed us a fairy Brigit made at the Big Green Gathering near Glastonbury and wizzed onto composting toilets. Here, Dick went into too much information (seriously, I don't want to hear about bowel movements), but I do love the idea of one. They have two tanks, one fills up for a year, while the other one breaks down the previous months poo with added worms and sawdust. They don't use that compost for food, just fruit trees and the like. The best thing about it is that it's outside with a view of the countryside. How awesome is that? It reminds me of my favourite loo at Glastonbury festival, it's one that has a drop-hole at the bottom, it's not got a roof but it's amongst trees along the railway line and manages to be very quiet, and when there's a light drizzle, it's rather refreshing. And it doesn't smell that bad either.
Bio desiel was touched upon and a jolly good product called Soapods was shown to us. These are nuts found in India and Nepal and you use them to wash your clothes. They're cheaper and nicer to the enviroment than normal washing powders and sound rather genius.
Strawbridge is not a gardening man. Which is a shame because I would have liked a lot more on the subject. But never mind. He showed us a trowel that's used on his garden that's made from copper. It's supposed to keep the slugs away, but at £50 I think it's cheaper to lay out beer traps.
Dick was about to mention allotments, but then he got distracted by his own thoughts.
There was one message running through the whole talk. Reduce, reuse and recycle. And buy organic stuff as it's nicer. He's a nice chap is Dick and his talking style is more suited to down the pub where you can really pick his brains rather than a slighty dull committee room in Portcullis House. I'm still going to be slighty snotty about his programme, but that's only because I'm really, really jealous.
I tried to take a picture of him, but as you know, my phone's rubbish and camera's arn't really allowed in the rooms either. It's gurrilla photography!