This week, an expert panel gets the silent treatment, pallid architects get a roasting and Simon Thurley makes the bed he has to lie on
Any questions?
Lunch-goers at the swanky Placemakers bash at Mayfair's Four Seasons Hotel last week were decidedly underwhelmed by their "Question Time Special" event. This was billed as a chance to quiz developers Gerald Ronson, Trevor Osborne and David King on their insights into the property game. The problem was, only three of the 150-or-so construction guests had tabled an inquiry. And one of these was "Is there a new post-inflation paradigm?"

Ronson, puffing away on a cigar that was slightly bigger than he was, preferred to moan about the "grey-suited institutional consultants" that were ruining the industry, thereby offending the grey-suited consultants that made up most of the audience – although Osborne's quip "You can't fart without a regulation nowadays" did strike a chord.

We've joined the dodo club
A proud press release reaches me this week from the Black Country Housing Group. It seems that it has been awarded "construction clients' Charter status by the Confederation of Construction Clients". Great news you may think, but perhaps the housing association has not been informed of the now defunct status of the confederation, which was wound up late last year and replaced by the Construction Clients Group.

High-flying retiree
For architect Tom Jestico, life starts at 60. On reaching his 60th birthday last month, Jestico stepped down as director of Jestico + Whiles to become a consultant. But far from shuffling round an allotment in his slippers, the perennially chipper Jestico is moving into the fast lane. He plans to build a microlight aircraft from a kit of parts and then use it for a spot of travelling with his wife, interior designer Vivienne Fowler. Could it be that old architects never die, they just fly into the sunset?

Those pasty polo-necks
After Building's arraignment of architects this month on charges of sexism, there now comes a more light-hearted attack – on their tan lines. I have been sent a picture lambasting the profession for its pastiness, using a rather cruel mock-up comparing them with outdoors types such as scuba divers and tennis players. At least they're melanoma-free, I suppose.

Curse of the Beeb
Word has reached me of a prang suffered recently by esteemed architect Sir Richard MacCormac, presently engaged in redeveloping the BBC's Broadcasting House. He crunched into the back of an old Ford Fiesta at a roundabout on the A303 in Wiltshire, damaging the vehicle beyond repair. Luckily for MacCormac, his black Maserati only suffered superficial damage to the bumper. But he must be wondering whether the bad karma enveloping the BBC is starting to rub off on him.

Blunder and blunderer

English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley might consider brushing up on his diplomacy skills. Asked by The Guardian to write its “Wonders and blunders” (a good idea for a column – I wonder where they got it from?), Thurley chose the Moat House hotel in York as his blunder. “It is one of the most horrific buildings I’ve ever seen – an absolute blot on the city,” decried Thurley. The day after the piece came out, he discovered that English Heritage was holding a conference at – guess where. “I received a very frosty reception when I arrived,” said a sheepish Thurley.