News of fun and games reaches me from the photo shoot with Rob Smith, new senior partner at Davis Langdon & Everest. The arty snapper decided on the underground car park at DL&E's Mid City Place office as the venue for capturing essence of Smith. During the shoot, the building's manager stormed in and demanded to know if the two had permission to be there. Smith explained who he was and calmed the jobsworth down. Unfortunately, as he left, he undid the latch on the entrance door, locking in artist and model. Cue mobile calls pleading for rescue …
Interview with a vampire
As we know, anyone who knows a brick when they see one and can operate a pencil commands huge sums in London. A friend of mine thought so, until he went for an interview at a north London marble specialist. They were, the boss said, looking for an estimator. Could he do estimating? That, he replied, was his métier. Oh, and we need the existing contracts valued – how are you at quantity surveying? The happiest moments in his life had been spent QS-ing. And you'll need to know Microsoft Project, of course – for the project management part. No problemo; he had a masters degree in that very subject. So, the job was his. What's the money? my friend asked, expecting something north of £35,000. Twelve thousand, came the reply – take it or leave it.
I see the cliché of the badly dressed architect was dredged up in last Friday's Independent. Alasdair Farish, of Cazenove Architects, and Jonathan Dransfield, partner in Dransfield Owens de Silva, were given makeovers by self-styled style gurus Peter York and James Sherwood. The two had their jeans and T-shirts forcibly removed and replaced by flashy suits and in one case (no, don't laugh) white shoes. The results were mixed: Alasdair was described as "Ant & Dec morphed with each other", whereas Jonathan's new haircut bore some relation to a monk's.
Two bosses of R Durtnell have underlined their relationship with antiquity by driving a 1935 Morris van in the London-to-Brighton run. Site manager Geoff Edwards and director Richard Durtnell are keen drivers, which is just as well – according to Durtnell, "driving the van is noisy, extremely cramped and the vibration is terrible". The things that firm will do for tradition.
Come on, my sun
Mixed news reaches me from Wembley. The team is preparing itself for a grilling by the National Audit Office but it may be that it has some good news to tell. The dry weather has come at an ideal time for the groundworks, and, according to one excited project member, they have had hundreds of lorries taking out earth every day. "It must be some kind of world record," he gushes.