We canvass opinion on the Twitter, check in on a certain PPE-loving politician turned hack, and snazz up our home with Lego and sparkly wallpaper. Plus, the wilds of Canada come to Chelsea Flower Show
We have the technology
I was watching a programme about building Crossrail on BBC2 recently. It was compelling stuff - given it was basically a programme about digging giant tunnels - and the response from that monitor of taste, Twitter, was positive as well. I feel compelled to repeat what one Tweeter said about the programme. “I love stuff like this, interesting, informative … What ‘reality television’ should consist of, instead of celebrating the stupid.” I would have retweeted this but I don’t know how to.
Feel my ‘vibe’
It’s good to see that while the size of one’s monthly pay packet remains the main driver for many building professionals, workplace culture plays an important part in determining where one chooses to pitch up every day, and indeed for how long. Such were among the findings from the latest Hays Construction and Property “What Workers Want” survey (see page 30), which found that culture, career progression and benefits made up 51% of the decision-making process. One always marvels at the positive atmosphere in one’s own working environment - I believe it is nowadays called a “vibe” - and it’s good to see that money still isn’t the only driving force in shaping people’s opinion of where they wish to earn a crust.
Get a hard hat on
My hacks bring shock news that chancellor-turned-newspaper-editor George Osborne may possess a sense of humour. A recent story in Osborne’s new organ, the London Evening Standard, featured a photo of a makeup-and- protective-clothing-wearing Grayson Perry promoting the Royal Academy’s redevelopment programme. In an obvious reference to Osborne’s own fetish-like keenness to don hard-hat and luridly coloured jacket for photo opportunities, the story noted “this paper loves
a bit of hi-vis”. What has unleashed this lighter side to the former King of Austerity is unclear. Could it be the laughter induced by multiple trips to the bank to deposit the spoils of his post-government jobs bonanza?
I realise that home decoration has moved on from the sombre tones and aspidistra foliage of my day, but talk of Lego as a new interior trend has left me perplexed. A website called Plentific, which calls itself a “home services marketplace’ (whatever that is) claims: “With hundreds of different colours and shapes, carrying out decoration work using Lego bricks provides unlimited options and ensures each design is customised to the homeowner’s taste.” If you say so. Anyway, the site offers suggestions for how to Lego up your home - how about a staircase banister, or a dividing wall? Perhaps a lamp stand and a set of (nearly) matching coasters? Presumably for any of this to work one also needs buckets of superglue.
Pimping my pad
Construction people are known for taking their profession home and for being DIY nuts. So we were interested to note what home improvement trends are gripping the UK, according to DIY website ManoMano. The company mined its database of more than 80,000 users to discover that silver sparkle wallpaper is popular in Liverpool and Manchester, while silver glitter furniture paint is sought after in Bradford and Sheffield. In Southampton, luxury chrome toilet roll holders are a top seller. In cramped London, it’s artsy room dividers that are popular - perhaps due to rows between flatmates.
Into the woods
A show garden designed with the help of Feix&Merlin Architects won a coveted gold medal at last week’s Chelsea Flower Show. The garden and pavilion were designed by garden designer Charlotte Harris and inspired by the Boreal Forest in Canada. The pavilion features aged, patinated copper and burnt larch timber, which is designed to mimic the wooden shelters created by hunters and travellers exploring the riverside in Canada. Actress Joanna Lumley was interviewed about her love of gardens in the BBC’s coverage of the event. Wisely, she steered clear of using her appearance to plug the Garden Bridge, which as we all know seems to be falling down.
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