Just got back from four exhausting days at the Homebuilding & Renovating national show at Birmingham’s NEC. There is always a buzz about this show but this year was particularly good. The visitors are generally very well informed and the number of really basic (for which read gormless) questions I was asked was almost nil. And we had a few new faces helping to deliver the seminars — Hugo Tugman, Marianne Suhr, Tim Pullen — who were all good and together made a welcome change, especially for David Snell and me, who have been fixtures at these events for longer than we care to admit.
The range of exhibitors hasn’t changed a lot over the last few years but there is an increasing emphasis on smart homes gear and, of course, green building. The abiding image of this particular show will be Aidan Quinn’s EcoPod (pictured), which he hastily assembled the day before the show began.
What the hell is it? Well that was the question I was hearing from the passers-by. And well they might ask. Even after going inside and seeing the tiny kitchen, loo and upstairs bedroom, you are none the wiser. It looked like nothing so much as an discarded prop from the Lord of the Rings. Might make a nice play house for your kids but it is hard to see just what other purpose it serves? A snip at £45,000? I think not.
Still, it got the publicity and it got me to write about it so Aidan must be doing something right.