This week, we lift the lid on the sleazy side of construction: a world of bizarre fetishes, secret poker evenings, moneymaking scams and nice sausage rolls
We have lift-off
I hear that the launch party for the McCarthy brothers' rebranded housebuilder turned into a rather surreal experience for those present. The bash was held to draw the world's attention to the fact that Emlor Homes was now Churchill Retirement Living. The guests were plied with homemade sausage rolls, deafened by the theme music from 2001: A Space Odyssey and then entertained by a magician-cum-motivator who informed them that "We've had the industrial revolution – now we have the people revolution – embodied by Churchill Retirement Living." And all the barricades will be fitted with stairlifts.

Three of a kind
There has been a rumour circulating that big beasts Stef Stefanou, Peter Rogers and Bob White meet for regular poker evenings and secret talks about industry issues. Well, I'm told that there is a poker school, but it consists of Stef, his brother Stelio and Stef's neighbour, one Paris Moayedi. The three get together on the last Friday of every month, and have done since the middle of the 1980s. Apparently, big bucks do not change hands, which is probably for the best because, while Stelio usually starts strongly, it is Paris who normally cleans up. Who'd have thought he had a lucky streak?

Our industry is sexy
I'd like to thank Operational Resources, the distributor of mechanical and electrical consumable items, for its latest press release. It seems that the company has won an order to supply 200 padlocks for Lovelocks, the noted supplier of fine erotic accessories. Apparently, they will be used to secure chastity belts for customers who prefer the "chunky" look. Operational Resources' slogan is "fixings and support solutions", which began an involuntary process of association in my mind – and quite possibly, yours as well …

Come to papa
The RIBA is well on the way to establishing a gallery for its priceless collection of historic architectural drawings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. There is, however, the small matter of raising another £6.7m to pay for it, on top of the £3.3m donated by the lottery's heritage fund. So, the ever-resourceful RIBA has come up with a wheeze it calls "Adopt a drawing". For £5000, donors – sorry, adopters – will have their name placed next to the drawing. Quite a crafty piece of fund-raising, I think – considering most of the drawings were donated.

The sincerest form of flattery
I was intrigued by the name of a new industry body launched on Monday as Rethinking FM.

The name sounds very similar to that of another industry body, methinks. Apparently Rethinking FM does have the backing of our very own strategic forum. So can we expect an FM forum in the future?

Do we get a medal for this?

Speaking of press releases, Roger Bullivant, installer of fine foundations to the gentry, is keen to crow about its latest success. The company, which graced these pages earlier this month for its work on a trendy house in the Chilterns, has now installed a record 36,590 m of piling in one week. A statistic so interesting, the company feels it warrants an entry in The Guinness Book of World Records. Let’s hope this doesn’t start a trend for record-breaking construction statistics – most screws used to support a shelf, longest fascia on a roof …