What Roger Madelin calls King’s Cross protesters, why Constructing Excellence would like to learn Japanese swear words – and what is that terrifying noise coming from the bathroom?

Roger battles the Bananas

Roger Madelin, the chief executive of Argent, gave an update on his war with protesters at the King’s Cross redevelopment to the New London Architecture conference last week. “They’re not so much Nimbys as Bananas,” he said. The second acronym, as is fairly well established, stands for Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. Madelin, however, said he had his own name for them. Can anybody tell me what “time-wasting wankers” might stand for?

Horny devils

I was enjoying a tipple in a local hostelry last Friday night when the place was descended upon by curiously attired gentlemen apparently engaging in some kind of treasure hunt. Imagine my surprise when I saw my old mucker Peter Stocks, a partner at engineer Cundall, wearing a halterneck top bearing the legend “horny” and accompanied by an unidentified gentleman wearing very badly applied eyeliner. It turns out that the pub crawl is a monthly event for Stocks – but the costumes were definitely only for Halloween.

Dark deeds at the Guardian

Something devilish was clearly also at work at the Guardian last Friday. How else do you explain the fact that Building’s lead news item on the Isle of Wight becoming the world’s first “eco island” appeared on page three of their esteemed publication? Unless, of course, they just ripped it off …

Credit: Scott Garrett

Trapped in the closet

The older I get, the more scary Halloween parties seem to become. Take, for example, the bash held last week by engineer Connisbee. All of the usual trappings were there: cotton-wool spider webs and ladies sporting hairdos that took me back to my own younger days. Nothing however quite prepared me for the horror in the bathroom. There appeared to be a wailing ghost trapped in the toilet. His agonised clanking of chains was in danger of putting me off my stride until I noticed that the effect was coming from a cunningly concealed CD player. One touch of the pause button, and a swift exorcism was completed.

Drunken promises

On a wholly unrelated theme, the organisers of this year’s Little Britain regatta tell me that they are seeking bids for some items that were returned unsold from the charity auction. Apparently some bidders for the auction – which was conducted anonymously using electronic bidding – made fake offers using other people’s details. A Little Britain spokeswoman tells me that a week for two on board a Caribbean yacht and an Ellen MacArthur Trust wristband remain unsold. The spokeswoman explained: “Some people obviously had too much to drink.” Quite. If you want to submit a real bid, email info@littlebritain.co.uk. Otherwise, stick to getting the beers in …

Lost in translation

Negotiations in the construction industry are hard enough at the best of times, but try conducting them with a delegation of Japanese contractors after your translator has walked out. This was the situation facing staff from Constructing Excellence last week when they hosted some of Japan’s biggest firms as part of a relations-building exercise and the translator from the Japanese embassy decided to knock off at 5pm. Luckily, one of the Japanese visitors spoke reasonable English and so, with the aid of sign language, the meeting was able to proceed. I’m sure there are one or two well chosen words they’d like to direct at the translator, though.