The season of goodwill to all men is well and truly over and it’s back to the usual name-calling, back-stabbing and top-level fist-fighting. A sigh of relief all round, then…

Half full or half empty?

Tesco has certainly made sure it has all its cost-slashing bases covered. Last week, a promotional email from the supermarket giant popped up in our inbox with the subject line “We’ve halved the price of everything here!” Good sentiment, bad timing, as it was sent out on the same day we reported that the company was to cut QSs fees in half. Those who have kissed goodbye to 50% of their fees may or may not be comforted to know they share their place in the bargain bin with hundreds of other products including fish fingers, pork and apple sausages and the Sex and the City DVD.

Give it a bash

Nerves are clearly fraying in the construction sector. Last November, a story did the rounds in the City that the chief exec of a housebuilder broke down in tears in the middle of a hedge fund meeting. Now news reaches me of a boss of a listed contractor getting into a fist-fight with one of his clients after an altercation. I’d love to name the individual concerned but I’m terrified he’d come round and take a swing at me.

Trouble in the works

We hear that a spat between developers and the Greater London Authority over a key green initiative threatened to derail a flashy event attended by mayor Boris Johnson last week. Keith Bugden, Hermes’ development director and Better Building Partnership (BBP) board member, called Peter Bishop, design chief at the London Development Agency, “discourteous and disrespectful” for failing to consult his board on the appointment of a new project manager.

He questioned how Bishop would achieve his “high aims without the support of key private sector organisations”. However, despite pondering whether or not to attend, ultimately he stood behind Bishop at the meeting, dagger sheathed.

Down with the kids

A leaked email from Taylor Wimpey boss Pete Redfern to his staff caused quite a stir in the City before Christmas. Talking up the chances of a refinancing deal by the end of February, the housebuilding boss slipped into “yoof”-friendly language to describe the company’s predicament. The 30-something boss likened the housebuilder’s press coverage to Hollywood pin-up Angelina Jolie. Believe it or not, I understand streetwise Pete went even further in his original message – before the company’s spin doctors got hold of it, that is. A source close to the company tells me that the original likened the company’s yo-yoing share price to “a kangaroo on acid”. Do you think he’s also told lenders to “take a chill pill”?

Feeling groovy

With the gloom of January upon us, you have to get your laughs where you can. This week, it was the misfortune of the IGGA to send us an email when we were in a particularly childish mood. Who, you ask? Only the International Grooving and Grinding Association. Far out, man! Alas, they weren’t interested in our Strictly Building dance competition (19 December), because of course they are an august trade body representing diamond grinders and cement concrete and asphalt groovers (est. 1972). Still, if you’re reading, IGGA, show us your moves. We need some cheering up …

All change…

And, finally, Building has spent the post-festive period playing musical chairs. Our esteemed news editor Sarah Richardson is now in charge of features and our former housing and regeneration editor, Joey Gardiner, is sitting in her old seat. More sadly, when the music stopped, we found that our longest serving member of staff, architecture editor Martin Spring, had left the magazine – Dan Stewart will now be architectural correspondent. Deputy editor Stuart Macdonald has also bowed out. Please also note the change to the email format: journalists should now be contacted at