Free Unravelled by Robyn Harding

Book: Unravelled by Robyn Harding Read Free Book Online
Authors: Robyn Harding
    “Sure,” he said, smiling. Looking past me, he waved to the pretty Asian waitress who hurried over. She matched the decor perfectly—short and stylish. “I’ll have a beer. Beth?”
    “Glass of white wine, please. Anything but Chardonnay.”
    When she left, Jim said, “I’m not a Chardonnay fan, either.”
    “It’s awful, isn’t it? It’s so acidic. I get heartburn just talking about it.”
    Jim laughed. “I’m more of a red wine man, myself.”
    “Me too, actually. But . . . well, I have this white shirt on so I thought maybe red was a bit risky.” Jim laughed again. He seemed to find me kind of funny, maybe even . . . charming.
    Moments later, our drinks arrived, signalling that it was time to get down to business. “So Jim...” I began, opening my notebook on my lap. “Can you tell me, what exactly is green architecture ?”
    I jotted furiously as he expounded on his mission: to change the way buildings were designed and used to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. That was the gist of it, anyway. Jim Davidson was obviously extremely passionate about his work—and extremely knowledgeable. As I read off my list of questions, he answered each in elaborate detail, often going off on a tangent that led us into far more interesting territory. I found myself being caught up in his enthusiasm. I’d always considered myself environmentally conscious: I recycled, I turned off lights, and I didn’t even own a car (although that was more a financial issue than an environmental one). But I would never have deemed the environment a passion of mine. Of course, I cared about the Earth, but I still wore deodorant and occasionally ate farmed salmon. But Jim’s fervour was contagious. And he seemed something of an oxymoron: a well-groomed, well-dressed full-fledged environmentalist.
    Finally, when I was getting a serious cramp in my upper back from writing in such a twisted position, I asked my final question. “What about your house, Jim? Is it green ?”
    “My home on Bainbridge Island is pretty green,” he explained. “I have solar panels on the roof and use a ground source heat pump for heating. There are a lot of little things you can do to make your home more green, like use water-efficient fixtures, put in more insulation, divert rainwater runoff into your garden . . .”
    “So . . . you live on Bainbridge Island?” I asked.
    “I’m semi-retired,” he said. “I come into the city to work on certain environmental projects, but I’m at the stage in my career when I can pick the jobs I want to be involved with.”
    Gee . . . he seemed pretty young and vibrant to be semi-retired. “You seem pretty uh . . . young to be semi-retired?”
    He chuckled. “I started in this business when I was in my early twenties. I feel like I’ve been doing this kind of work for a lifetime.”
    Hmm . . . So if he started working in his early twenties, a “lifetime” in business was, what? Twenty or thirty years? So that would make him . . .
    “I’m forty-eight,” he said, reading my thoughts. “Off the record.”
    “Of course.” I smiled, closing my notebook. “Well . . . I think I’ve got all I need. Thanks so much for meeting with me.”
    “It was my pleasure,” Jim said. “I hope I didn’t ramble on too much.”
    “Oh no, you were a perfect interview. So . . . if you think of anything else you want included in the article . . .” I dug in my purse and extracted my business card.
    He handed me his. “Send me an email or call my cell if you have any other questions.”
    “Okay. And I’ll let you know when the article will run.”
    “Great.” He looked at his watch. “Gee, I’d buy you another drink but I’ve got a ferry to catch.” His hand held briefly in the air was enough to send the waitress scurrying toward us. She must have sensed a big tipper.
    “It’s on me,” I said quickly as Jim extracted his wallet from his pants pocket.
    “I’ve got it.” He tossed some

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