“I have met quite a few architects around the world over the years, and few appear to be dog lovers … Perhaps it’s because dogs are messy and chaotic creatures, while architects are generally tidy and ordered?
“Le Corbusier had a dog during his purist phase. It was called Pinceau, or “paintbrush” in English.
“When Pinceau died, Corbu had the creature skinned, using its pelt to cover his favourite copy of Don Quixote….”
The excellent Jonathan Glancey over at BD: The Architects’ Website reveals that Le Corbusier was, err, barking, and wonders whether modernism’s inability to live with man’s best friend is “a measure of its joylessness”.
But the two don’t have to be at odds. If you’re determined that your dog doesn’t clash with your clean-lined decor, we think Wowbow‘s designs may be preferable to more drastic measures (like taxidermy … or buying a cat).
Depending on how eco-friendly you really are, the following information could have you nodding your head in resigned agreement or furiously head-butting your swanky new flat screen.
It appears that the self-proclaimed Protectors of the Great British Bin Collection (The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail) have caught a glimpse of a top-secret report by DEFRA that threatens to charge us more (!) for collecting less rubbish, less often, and if we live in a new home – possibly not at all.
Naturally, The Mail and The Telegraph see this as an outrage, unthinkable, and surely political suicide for any party wishing to avoid being consigned to the dustbin of history themselves etc etc. And yet, unnaturally, I find myself in surprised agreement with my right-honourable newspaper pals.
So let’s look at the nitty-gritty of this, shall we?
While the enticingly titled report “Household Waste Prevention Policy” may be a hefty tome, weighing in at 412 pages, details are rather sketchy, and certainly nothing is set in stone – or some other biodegradable composite – at this stage.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to look forward to the prospect of less frequent bin collections, even if this is “the most direct way to compel householders to reduce their waste”.
Having lived in the seagull infested city that is Brighton for many waste-filled years, I can tell you how much we all look forward to the one day of the week when we can free our streets of bird-scavenged bins and generally enjoy a clear pavement for a couple hours.
Would less frequent collections really translate to less rubbish? I slyly suspect, and this is harking back to hazy memories of my student days, that rather than throwing out less rubbish we would just end up becoming engulfed by it (or is that just me?).
More alarming than fewer collections is the grim possibility of a £466 annual bin charge – apparently council tax doesn’t necessarily cover the regular emptying of your household rubbish.
But of all recommendations, it’s new home buyers that might be left with the biggest bin gag, by having a capped amount that would limit how much they can throw away.
It just all sounds too mad to be true. Which sadly means that it probably is.
Internationally famous tycoon Donald Trump and his equally famous side-parting descended upon Scotland this week for an inquiry into his plans to build the ‘world’s greatest golf course’ north of Aberdeen.
Of course, Scotland is widely regarded as being the home of golf but it turns out it’s also the ancestral home of Mr Trump, his mother having been born on the Isle of Lewis.
So maybe that’s the motivation for his proposals to open a £1-billion complex in the north east of Scotland, which, let’s face it, is a wee bit less glamorous and a whole lot colder than the locations of his other upmarket courses which include Los Angeles, Florida and The Grenadines.
But even a super-wealthy tycoon with scarily coiffured locks and a bona fide Scottish connection doesn’t automatically get his own way. Thank goodness.
Because it turns out that the proposed setting for Trump’s Caledonian scheme is slap bang in the middle of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, namely the wildly dramatic Balmedie Dunes.
And, naturally, it’s not just a low level golf course that would be being constructed on top of them.
Oh no, in true American ‘the bigger the better’ fashion, the billionaire intends to create a luxury hotel, over a thousand holiday homes and apartments, and – just because – a second golf course.
Admittedly, the project is likely to boost the area’s tourism which is not to be sniffed at; but at what cost to the surrounding environment? I suspect if Mother Trump were still here today, she’d be talking a bit of Scottish sense into her son.
Not content with heating Buckingham Palace with Geothermal energy Mrs Windsor has bought oneself a jolly big windmill, aka a 7.5 Megawatt Wind Turbine.
And not one to do things by halves she’s bought THE BIGGEST WIND TURBINE IN THE WORLD! Go Liz, go!
Appropriately enough, it’s called ‘Britannia’ and will be situated in the sea off Britain somewhere, so once again (drumroll please) Britannia will rule the waves!
The cynical amongst us may see this as just a further example of the Crown’s canny investment in future power.
Because you can’t just wake up one morning and plonk your own windfarm offshore. Oh no! You gots to talk to da Queen first.
All the offshore windfarms in the UK are there by grace of HRH, via the Crown Estate. From the Crown Estate Website:
“The Energy Act 2004 created a ‘Renewable Energy Zone’ (REZ) on the UK continental shelf out to 200nm and rights to licence the generation of renewable energy in the REZ were vested in The Crown Estate.” (My italics).
I’m guessing those licenses don’t come cheap. It’s good to be the Queen!
Not content with inspiring Woody Allen’s best film while still in my mother’s womb, it has recently been brought to my attention that there now exists a remarkable shopping trolley chair bearing my name.
The Annie Chair, as can be seen below, takes the unlikely combo of utilitarianism and kitsch to absurdly delightful new heights with its terrific reclining posture and funky floral prints.
The only thing that’s missing is the original madcap wheels, which spoils half the fun if you ask me – but obviously nobody did.
Oh, and before you join the checkout queue over at reestore bear in mind the £650 price tag – not for the faint-hearted or Asda shopper.
In fact, it’s almost enough to make you want to buy your own blowtorch and go foraging in your local canal. Almost.