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Absently mindful of the past

Ian Martin builds up his psychogeographically-retrieved sustainable heritage consultancy

MONDAY ‘Psychogeographically-retrieved sustainable heritage’. That’s the name of the game.

As names go it’s a bit of a mouthful, but in this grim and uncertain world people need a historical continuum. Also, psychogeographically-retrieved sustainable heritage adds approximately 15 per cent to house prices, so there’s that.

It’s simple once you know how. Today, for instance, a developer asked me to work my magic on a bleak corner site in Walthamstow. Currently there’s a collapsing carpet shop, a kebab place, seven bedsits in multiple occupation, a phototropic cannabis farm, a clandestine pop-up retail hub for harvested phototropic cannabis, and a cab firm with four As at the front of its name.

I feed the postcode into my online psychogeographical satnav and hey presto. ‘It was almost certainly all fields round here once. Then the Industrial Revolution came and cities expanded, so expect there to have been some changes in this area between 1750 and the present day, thank you for using Psychogeographical Detective!’ Plenty there to think about, I’m sure you’ll agree. I deduce that in the 13th century or thereabouts wild stags, boars and whatever must have nobly passed by this very spot, where now the AAAAutstanding Minicabs logo pulses half-heartedly in dusty red LEDs from a greasy window saddened with old circus posters and scrawled notes offering massage.

If there’s one thing I know from psychogeography, it’s that where there are stags there are hunters. Royal ones, usually. Look at all the pub names. Let’s assume then that these harts and boars (and bears and bloody dinosaurs for all I care) were chased at some point round that corner, past the collapsing carpet shop, up past the bus stop and off in the general direction of the big shopping centre in Stratford. Let us then call this area Royal Hartfield Village. Give it a bourgeois hashtag eg #Harters. Dazzle planners and investors alike with our plans for contemporary luxury urban apartment living, designed by twats in six hundred quid trainers. Then let’s cop one last bag of weed, one last kebab and one last massage, cab it out of here and remotely turn this shitheap into a goldmine.

TUESDAY Absolutely the very best thing about building up my psychogeographically-retrieved sustainable heritage consultancy is that it’s taking business away from my arch-nemesis, Tim Hedgespam OBE.

His whole career has been built on the ‘pork pie hat principle’. He discovered early on that investors took his proposals to gentrify bits of the North much more seriously if he was wearing a pork pie hat. He then cleverly extended this to the developments themselves, popping jaunty little pork pie tags on his schemes - ‘regeneration’, ‘reboot’, ‘renaissance’. Selling the sizzle of excavated olde worlde conceits. ‘Community’ and whatnot. Now, with the help of a shadowy network of friends, incuding epic space correspondent Darcy Farquear’say and his architectural dachshund Bauhau, I am having my intellectual copyright revenge. If he can nick my clients, I can nick his.

WEDNESDAY Poach Sir Bruce Forsyth: new conservatory.

THURSDAY Yes! Prince George gig. Play-palace ‘cf one in Frozen’.

FRIDAY Hillary Clinton’s Moorish ‘Galhambra’ feminist ranch: commissioned.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Collaborative Accelerationism 0, Reciprocal Data Capture 1, after reciprocal data capture.

SUNDAY Wow. Darcy’s done a proper hatchet job on Hedgespam in the Creative on Sunday, with additional reporting by Bauhau. I say additional reporting, it’s just a series of reaction shots, Bauhau in a miniature pork pie hat looking scared. As usual.

Apparently Hedgo’s been plying an international version of psychogeographically-retrieved sustainable heritage to some very dodgy clients. Astonished to learn he’s been shilling development sites in eastern Ukraine at Moscow property fairs as ‘exciting opportunities in Old Russia’s “jolly pirate” region’.

He’s also given the West Bank more of a heritagey future by denying that Palestine ever existed, talking up the diversion of all land and natural resources to the occupying power, proposing ‘regeneration and the decanting of problem families to outside the region’ and calling it by the equity-enhancing name of Judea and Samaria.

Also on his client portfolio: ‘a rapidly-expanding land acquisition consortium, passionate about pushing back the frontiers of what is possible in today’s fast-moving world, blending traditional values and contemporary logistics delivery’. Yeah, demented Sunni insurgents ISIS.

Hedgespam was ‘not available for comment’. Perhaps he’s … hold up, knock on the door.

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