The guv'nor at the Housing Corporation may be hard as nails, but the firemen at the Gherkin are running scared and we're now terrified of public toilets
Just call me guv, Uncle Simon
If Jon Rouse changes his mind about his impending move from CABE to the Housing Corporation, I'm sure he could pick up some work as a TV copper. After all, Rouse's uncle Simon plays one of The Bill's longest-running characters, CID officer DCI Jack Meadows. And apparently Uncle Si was very entertained by our feature on Rouse and boss Sir Stuart Lipton last year (9 May, page 38). The accompanying photo spread had the pair looking so grizzled, unwashed and unimpressed that they could easily have been architecture's answer to The Sweeney. Indeed, it was with this in mind that we titled the piece "The Guv'nors". "Simon said I looked more like a copper than he does," Rouse told me.

All the dun of the fair
I was more than a little disturbed by the images conjured up while idly flicking through a press release from toilet king Danfo. The offending material was promoting a public toilet that has been built on a fairground theme. Revolving cubicles, those weird distorting mirrors, hot dog sellers … all sorts of arresting images sprung to mind. With a sense of trepidation, I read on.

The press release explained that public toilets in the area concerned had previously suffered something of an image problem, but this was all set to change by giving them a fairground feel. Apparently, this entails building the block in the shape of a carousel and fitting rotating coloured lights. I wasn't sure whether to be relieved (pardon the pun) or even more disturbed.

Stanhope springs eternal
A colleague was at the offices of developer Stanhope recently when he was intrigued to be offered a bottle of Stanhope's own-brand water. Unaware of any springs in St James' Square, my associate wondered as to the source of the Stanhope elixir. Could it be that hidden deep within the firm's huge 1980s development in the City, there lies a Broadgate Spring?

Shaking and slowly moving
Peter Stanton-Ife, the man overseeing the government's £5bn school-building programme, put in a creditable performance at last week's Movers & Shakers' breakfast event, despite clearly suffering from a late spring cold. Perhaps he was buoyed by the electric speed of things in Whitehall these days. Conceived barely two years ago, the programme will see the first school up and running in … er, 2006. "In terms of government that is grease lightning," he quipped.

We don’t do cats up trees

It is perhaps an obvious observation, but working on tall buildings requires a head for heights. However, it is a point that has clearly passed some people by. On a guided tour of the spanking new, and mighty tall, Foster-designed Swiss Re tower, one of the team members recalled a slightly worrying incident. Apparently a bunch of beefy firemen turned up recently to assess the fireworthiness of the tower, only for two of their number to have to be escorted back to ground level when they realised that perhaps heights were not their forte. Not desperately reassuring, is it?