More zany fun with Britain’s most surreal industry, which this week tries to sell a chief executive while carting around a 12m mechanical plant and coaxing John Prescott out of that broom cupboard

The one, the only …

I hear that John Prescott’s disengagement from the political scene hasn’t been going as smoothly as he would have liked. At a recent planning inspectors conference, Prezza swept past senior officials on a staircase before confidently walking into a broom cupboard. And then, as if things weren’t bad enough, I’m told that after dinner the same evening he and his entourage tried to leave in such a hurry that they walked straight into the kitchen. Go on, admit it: you’re going to miss him, aren’t you?

The young lions

No matter how disapproving some readers have been about the, er, uninhibited behaviour of those young surveyors at the Matrics dinner in Mayfair, the youngsters themselves have caught the eye of a potential employer. A comment posted on Building’s websites invites all the “protagonists” who are QSs with conceptual claims experience to pop their CVs in the post and consider moving on to pastures new. “I will try and find them something more constructive to release their pent up energies on,” promises Daniel Alcon, chairman of RICS UAE Group. That means he’s based in Dubai – plenty of top-notch hotels out there I hear, so make sure you pack your party hats …

Credit: Scott Garrett

The hole truth

Ever had to dance with death on your way to the office thanks to giant holes in the streets during “essential road maintenance”? Well, now the issue of semi-permanent temporary works has hit the courts. Civil engineer CLC Construction is suing groundworks contractor McNicholas Construction in a row over fines for keeping streets dug up for too long. CLC has faced a series of fines for occupying sites for too long, and is trying to pass the pain to its subbie. I just hope all that time in court doesn’t mean the holes are left for any longer …

Anyone for Pidgley?

Such is the consolidation in the housebuilding sector that it’s only a matter of time before a firm as prestigious as Tony Pidgley’s Berkeley group gets snapped up by one of the new race of giants, isn’t it? Well apparently not. I hear that Pidgley has been a bit put out by the absence of firms knocking at his door. Not that he’s looking to sell up or anything …

Stef Stefanou: incurable romantic

Congratulations to Stef Stefanou of John Doyle Construction who has finally tied the knot with his partner of 18 years. Apparently Stef surprised his girlfriend Debbie with a wedding ceremony while they were on holiday in the Bahamas.

Chelsea triumphant

Well done to architect Chetwood Associates for swiping a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. The winning display was based around its “urban oasis”, a large structure that responds to its environment rather like a plant. It consists of a central shaft to which metal branches are attached. These incorporate PV panels, which open and close the branches, and also supply electricity to pump water around the garden. Many people will be familiar with the structure – it spent some time in Clerkenwell in north London, Birmingham and even made an appearance at Mipim. The trouble is, Chetwood doesn’t know what to do with it next. It has booked it for a spell at Canary Wharf but after that it’s going spare. Are there any takers for an award-winning 12m high mechanical plant?