So, I have a crush on Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs, and yesterday I met him. I actually met him, shook his hand, had a quick chat and a quick appreciation of each other’s values. All in a book signing that was probably less than a minute, but he has had a profound impact on me.
Not the kind you’re thinking either! Yes, whilst I had to resist going in for one of his famous double kiss on both cheeks, the main impact the handsome Englishman has one me has been on my mind.
This man makes me think.
The affair started when I realised how much he takes the piss out of his Grand Designs subjects with their incredible over the top, often wasteful monstrosities. Yes, a lot of the Grand Designs are sustainable and truly are grand designs, but you can always see Kevin evaluating it on the basis of the 43 principles he wrote about in his book 43 Principles of Home which I bought a couple of years ago.
It is this book I took to Grand Designs in Melbourne, all coffee stained and well loved and stood in a queue for almost two hours. I was also berated by the Dymocks woman for not buying a book from the store because people who bought the new book at the show got priority.
Thankfully for me she handed over my “Possibility” number on a post-it to stick to my contraband book.
When Kevin saw my book he commented on how ‘well used’ it was. I think he appreciated the patina! After we finished a quick chat about the principle of authentic buying, he actually patted the book, looked me straight in they eye and said, “I’m really glad you brought this in today, thank you”.
I may have melted.
He is a lovely, lovely man.
I told him I wanted to challenge my readers (that’s you!) to think about his principles related to the things we buy and bring into our home. He said it’s one of the hardest things to do when you have kids – to stop the invasion of ‘plastic crap’ (my words not his!). I can’t believe I said crap to Kevin.
Anyway, it’s something I’ve been thinking of since last Christmas. We were inundated by plastic crap – some of which we panic bought ourselves because we were unorganised and uninspired. We got caught up in the frenetic commercialism of Christmas, carried away with the busyness and last minute panic, seduced by the convenience of the big stores with their cheap prices.
Not this year. This year I want to do a number of things:
- Focus on the meaning of Christmas for our family and working on creating traditions. For us, that’s about being together. Thinking of others rather than ourselves, and having fun.
- Make presents or buy hand-made presents from authentic sources.
- Encourage others to do the same.
You can expect some posts from me before Christmas on my progress towards this goal. I’d love if you joined me or shared with me your thoughts about the topic.