...how useless conventional bollard designs are?

Neither had we to be honest, until our eyes were opened by a press release on this beauty. The Flex-Lux automatically rises from the ground, flexes and even glows in the dark – everything you could possibly want from a bollard in one compact unit. ‘The demand for an automatic rising bollard, rather than a static one, that can not only bend, but also be programmed to glow in the dark, was overwhelming,’ said Chris Rowlands, managing director of APT Security Systems. ‘It fills an enormous void that has been seriously lacking in recent years.’ Say no more.

...entering our Teifoc building competition?

If plastic Lego just isn’t realistic enough for you, why not try Teifoc, a Spanish toy building kit which uses real bricks and mortar? The kits include oven-baked clay bricks, roofing tiles, plastic doors and windows and a special soluble cement. When you’re bored with your creation, you can immerse it in water for two hours until the cement dissolves and re-use the bricks and other components in the next project. In fact, the concept’s so good, why limit it to children? We’re officially launching a CM competition to find the best Teifoc builders out there. Send us your photos and we’ll print the best and announce a winner.


…doing your job whilst fending off a swarm of insects?

That was the situation facing green roof specialist Blackdown Horticultural Consultants when its production site was invaded by millions of hungry ladybirds this summer. The insects visit the Somerset production site every year to feast on greenflies and other aphids which are attracted to sedum matting grown by Blackdown for its green roof systems. But this year the numbers of ladybirds were unexpectedly high – in one field there were around two to three million, or 118 per m2 – and field operatives found themselves covered from head to toe. Blackdown is perhaps now regretting its ladybird-friendly policy of banning pesticides.

...specifying rolls of branded roofing felt for no apparent reason?

If so, perhaps you’ve been affected by subliminal advertising in the latest TV ad for Strongbow cider. The campaign, designed to celebrate the country’s ‘grafters’ and the contribution they make to our daily lives, features a huge crowd of roofers, gas fitters and satellite dish erectors in battle formation, who are reminded of the importance of their labours by the main character. The intended message is that Strongbow’s refreshment is the reward for hard graft. But look a bit closer and you’ll see that the roofers are carrying a roll of Marley Waterproofing roofing felt. Does this explain anything?

...abandoning work to open a restaurant?

Kier staff working on the refurbishment of Whitmore High School in Harrow have discovered the key ingredient to keeping close ties with their business partners. The staff served up an enticing spread of Indian dishes to client representatives and other professionals working on the project, with haggis balls in a spiced curry sauce the signature dish. Construction director Norman Elliot certainly appears to have found the perfect recipe to curry favour with the team. ‘The curry went down a treat with all the guests. It was a great way to celebrate our partnership and the site team is to be congratulated for bringing so many people together,’ he said.