… for Turner & Townsend

“Britney? Waste of space,” says Danny. “I don’t care about her failed marriage. Jeremy Clarkson, on the other hand – I like him. Clarkson – what a legend.”

It’s the quickest subject change in the history of Building buys a pint. Before we know it,the conversation turns to cars and why women are like them.

“It’s a timing thing,” says Dean. “You may have a great girl or car, but how do you know she’s the best one out there?”

“Then,” chips in Danny, “You end up with a car with all the right credentials – a reliable, loyal family car you can trust, but sometimes you just want to whack on some alloys, put a spoiler on the back and take the roof down.”

His comments are met with laughter from the unmarrieds and eye rolling from the two ex-bachelors.

“I like being married,” says Anooj. “Knowing you have partner for life is a great feeling.” We’re back on track. The conversation turns to whirlwind marriages. “It can happen like that,” says Anooj. “It doesn’t mean it won’t work.”

“Well it obviously didn’t work for Britney,” says Paul. “Particularly not the first time. Annulments are tricky – 54 of the hours she was married must have been a nightmare of paperwork.”

“I disagree,” says Dean. “I reckon they had 54 amazing hours of, you know, enjoying themselves and one hour of panicking.”

“Is Clarkson married?” shouts Danny across the table, quashing all other conversation. The chat is back to fast cars and women.

“Men compare women to cars – so what do women use?” asks Dean. “Shoes,” replies Tracy. “Or maybe animals.” Error.

“What animal? Why? What animals are we like? What do you look for in an animal?”

“Stop asking me what animal I would want a man to be like,” Bronwyn says firmly. “I honestly haven’t given it much thought.”

“I reckon a koala,” says Dean under his breath – very odd.

As the afternoon slips into the evening, we discuss our celebrity lookie-likies – Tom Cruise, Craig Doyle and Rick Astley are popular choices – using company databases as dating sites and karaoke.

At the mention of karaoke Danny and Dean grab their beer glass mikes and belt out “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” in Top Gun style.

Through hysterical laughter, the Building reporter realises a pint of milk has leaked over her shopping. Dean has the answer. Taking the pint of organic semi-skimmed, he downs it in one, before partnering up with Danny again to serenade the table with their version of Unchained Melody.

We’re eventually kicked off our table and move on to the next bar, and the rest is all off the record.

  • Venue: The Lowlander pub, Covent Garden
  • Ambience: Chilled out, Belgian beer bar. Sleek padded bench chairs and an extensive beer menu
  • Topic: Britney and Kevin's divorce and whirlwind marriages
  • Drinks: Brace yourselves … 21 beers, two vodka cokes and a pint of milk

Those present …

  • Paul Connolly director
  • Anooj Oodit associate director
  • Bronwyn Sutton senior consultant
  • Danny Granger principal consultant
  • Dean Miller project manager
  • Tracy Simpson PR Manager
  • Emily Wright Building magazine