We aim to bring you the best bits of the week’s drinks parties, Olympic gossip and satellite TV at a knock-down price. And if you’re lucky we’ll throw in a 10ft wind turbine, no questions asked …

Gone with the wind

News reaches us that Will Alsop’s Palestra building, which coincidentally neighbours Building HQ, is to regain its wind turbines. The building’s Swift turbines were found to have faulty components and were removed in January last year, just six weeks after their installation. Now the occupant of the building – mayor Ken Livingstone’s London Development Agency – is planning to try again. The decision to replace the turbines with the more swanky Swift II model lends credence to persistent rumours that the originals were pinched by some local entrepreneurs. We do, however, wonder who in the Southwark area would find a buyer for 14 10ft turbines with faulty components.

A positive (wheel) spin

Every few weeks the Olympic Delivery Authority takes a minibus tour around the London 2012 site. For the most recent trip the host was none other than ODA supremo David Higgins. Things were going swimmingly until the driver tried to clean the bus’ wheels after driving through a dirty area. The bus became stuck on the washing ramp and oily water sprayed everywhere. As a fine mist hung in the air, Higgins proved his credentials as an arch-optimist by pointing out that “at least the front wheels were clean”.

In the limelight

Speaking of looking spick and span, I was pleased to see Balfour Beatty boss Ian Tyler looking impressively made-up on Bloomberg TV talking about his company’s trading update. Is this part of a new year’s resolution by the reclusive Tyler to become more media-friendly? Or could it be that Balfour has finally signed to build the Olympics aquatics centre? Tyler did once say that if he won more Olympic work he would have to accept a higher profile.

Credit: Scott Garrett

Send in the UN

Politics at the Olympic village is becoming a problem before a single brick has been laid, I’m told. The developers are apparently having a difficult time working out how to design the athletes’ rooms. One insider tells me: “You wouldn’t believe the politics. Some countries want to house as many athletes in each room as they can, while the Americans each have to have their own room. One country says they want a view of the stadium, another says they need to be on the ground floor … plus you can’t put India next to Pakistan, and you have to be careful about Israel … it’s a political nightmare.” It’s almost heartening to see how sport can reduce international conflict to a fight over who gets the top bunk.

Cheque’s in the post …

Industry grandee Roger Knowles surprised me this week. Over a couple of glasses of wine he recounted the tale of how he made his millions selling dispute resolution practice JR Knowles to US consulting giant Hill International. Knowles revealed that the princely sum was sent to him in a manner that struck even me as old fashioned – by cheque. In the post. And not even registered post, at that.

… or should that be in the past?

Another organisation that is committed to the good old snail mail is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Apparently the body, which is currently the subject of an inquiry by a committee of MPs, continues to send its safety guidance out by post. This, it seems, is no longer good enough for the Federation of Master Builders, which has used its submission to the inquiry to demand that all guidance be online by the end of this year. At the moment you have to pay to get any guidance and it takes about two weeks to arrive. Which is at least quicker than the HSE’s entry into the digital age.