It's always gratifying to see Building's stories being picked up by the national press, especially by publications of the quality and acumen of the Daily Sport. The Sport was quick to see how our lead news story last week, "Bomb hunt at Wembley", might strike a chord with its readers. Dressed up with a "Terror timebomb" headline and a picture of "menace" Bin Laden tastefully positioned next to one of a nude woman advertising "Instant Sex", the article skillfully played off readers' worst nightmares against their ultimate fantasies. After recycling Building's quotes, the Sport's reporter broke off from thrilling plot details involving the use of radar and night-vision goggles to muse: "A terrorist attack at the home of football would be a massive blow to the English way of life." Give that man a column.
Jobs from the Beeb
Those of you who have been watching the BBC's latest building-focused programme, Restoration, may be amused to hear how the show is being used to drum up work. I noticed that prior to Friday 15 August's programme some readers were targeted with unsolicited emails from Edinburgh-based architect Simpson & Brown. The spam mails urged them to vote for Mavisbank, a neoclassical house in the Scottish Lowlands completed in 1786. How philanthropic, I thought: the practice is keen to save the first Palladian villa to be built in Scotland. But a quick trawl on the internet shattered my idealism: "Renowned conservation architects Simpson & Brown have developed exciting plans for Mavisbank's restoration". Ah.
Not many people know that
Taylor Woodrow will no doubt have emitted a satisfied burp after swallowing rival Wilson Connolly this week. And it seems that's not all it has to crow about. I hear the housebuilder has received an advance order from no less than Michael Caine. The Cockney star is believed to have snapped up one of the top apartments in Taywood's development at Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea, designed by Sir Terry Farrell. Caine clearly likes the area; he owns a penthouse in the neighbouring Chelsea Harbour tower.
We're sure you said 2005
I see a bad omen about the likelihood of Greece completing the Olympic facilities on time for next year's games. The annual report of FIEC (the Brussels-based Confederation of Construction Confederations) sets out the health of the industry in each EU member state. Unfortunately, the Greeks didn't finish their report on time, so it was covered by an addendum in a separate leaflet.
A little friendly banter
Derek Higgs has drawn the ire of the construction industry for his recommendations to clean up corporate governance, which include putting limitations on the makeup of boardrooms. When Higgs published the latest version of his report this summer, a leading construction executive exclaimed to one of my colleagues: "I sacked Higgs once – I should have bloody shot him!"
Thou shalt pick us
Afterall, implying that one is the agent of the Almighty may just give one an edge in PFI bids.