With the glamour of Cannes but a distant memory, we return to humbler distractions, such as staring blankly at Facebook, grumbling about students, and nursing our sore saddles

Young, gifted and lax

Students at the Architectural Association may be proudly admiring their handiwork on their newly completed pavilion in Bedford Square, London (see news). However, a QS based nearby says that some of the students were a little too eager to finish the projects. “A number of times I’ve seen people working on the top without safety protection,” sniffs my source. “I’ve warned them but they never seem to take any notice.” Good to see the spirit of student rebellion is alive and kicking.

All feet on deck

A late missive from Mipim, where the ultra-exclusive Candy & Candy party took place last Thursday. Guests were worrying all week about what to wear, not so much on their bodies, but on their feet. As the event was being held on the Candys’ yacht, guests were asked to discard their shoes. As any seasoned Mipim reveller knows, one’s feet can be a rare old state after a day wandering around town. Alas, nobody handed round nose pegs with the tastefully prepared hors d’oeuvres.

Credit: Scott Garrett


My colleague Alex Smith was one of about 140 people who rode to Mipim in the Berkeley Group Cycle2Cannes, but the 100-odd miles he managed each day were nothing compared with Barry Hughes and James Lewis who rode every inch of the way. That’s 1,500km in six days or around 12 hours in the saddle each day. And although Hughes is a semi-pro who used to train with US cycling legend Lance Armstrong, Lewis is a rookie, who didn’t even regularly ride a bike until recently. His boss at Jones Lang LaSalle wagered that he wouldn’t be able to ride all the way. Luckily for his boss it was a sportsman’s bet, but the Cycle2Cannes riders still raised about £300,000 on the ride.

Collaborative working

The Queen used the royal “we” when she opened Heathrow’s Terminal 5 last Friday and I hear the poor electricians on site are using the word frequently, too. Continuing site work means many workers have been given temporary passes and have to be accompanied by someone with a proper pass at all times – even when they go to the toilet. Let’s just hope all the facilities are large enough.

How to deal with flashers

Sticking with T5, it has been rumoured that “flashmobbers” – large groups of people who secretly arrange to turn up at a certain place at the same time and perform an unusual act like silent dancing en masse – are planning a stunt at the Heathrow terminal. I can reveal that the target date is 27 March – the day when T5 tenant British Airways welcomes its first passengers. These are serious times at Heathrow and require suitably serious officials. An appropriately ominous spokesperson for British Airways said: “There is a contingency plan if this occurs. We are used to dealing with these people at Heathrow and if they turn up we will be prepared.”

In poll position

If you are a Facebook fiend you’ll know all about poking, tagging and superwalling, but what about polling? The latest craze on the social networking site is posting polls on users’ pages to find out what they think about certain issues. A recent one was entitled: “What’s your favourite building in London?” The Houses of Parliament, the Tate Modern, the BT Tower and Battersea Power station are among the contenders and, so far, the Houses of Parliament is in the lead, with more than 20% of the votes. As I always say, the old ones are the best.