It’s simpler to imagine new people instead of new buildings
By making the Olympics part of Decarbonised Britain, we’ll save money through sanctimony, which is morally superior to parsimony
MONDAY. Email from a PhD student, seeking my help. Very enigmatic. She’s carrying out research into Fictional Space In The Context of Shared Geo-Political Narratives, but doesn’t know where to put an apostrophe. She’s particularly interested in secession movements, and could I tell her anything about the Tamworth League.
Certainly. The Tamworth League is a global, ‘post-Obama’ campaign to restore Tamworth to its original status as Capital of England. For nearly 1,300 years the proud peoples of ancient Mercia have been under London’s colonialist yoke. I add ‘and things have gone well beyond a yoke now!’, then on second thoughts delete it. Best not to rush things, we need all the friends we can get. I email her a summary of the League’s outreach work and invite her to the monthly meeting.
TUESDAY. Sketch out my Basra Museum of Reconciliation. The scheme will help to restore faith in democracy and tourism in that troubled part of the world, and is unaffected by the UK recession.
Designing the museum is straightforward enough. As always, it’s a blend of old and new. Mud-brick reception area, Mesopotamian arches and columns here and there, a weirdly-shaped ‘smart polymer’ roof that changes colour to indicate modernity. The real problem is acquiring exhibits. Much of Iraq’s archaeological heritage was privatised during the Blair Years and then recycled via the free market. I leave a margin of ambiguity in the drawings so the museum can become a police station if necessary.
WEDNESDAY. Meeting of the Olympic Rebadging Task Force. Our priority today is to dispel rumours that the Games will be managed on the cheap. Accordingly, we go through the interim financial report replacing all references to ‘cost-cutting’ with ‘decarbonisation’. By making the Olympics part of Decarbonised Britain, we’ll save money through sanctimony, which is morally superior to parsimony.
After lunch there’s a row about carbon capture. As a member of the liberal elite, I am against it. Locking carbon up with older, hardened types of carbon for long periods simply criminalises it. What’s the purpose of carbon capture anyway, rehabilitation or punishment? It would make much more sense to put reformed carbon to work in the community.
In the end we decide to leave the big moral questions to the scientists. We amend the phrase ‘architects will be highly valued throughout the Olympic process’, replacing ‘highly valued’ with ‘heavily audited’.
THURSDAY. Monthly meeting of the Tamworth League with Hyun-Joo, the PhD student, in attendance. Blank looks all round when I introduce her.
We all express huge disappointment over Tamworth’s failure to become one of the government’s new Healthy Towns. The bid cost a fortune and our multi-agency consortium had to cash in a cottage hospital. Then about 24 hours before the deadline we were Skyped by some dickhead in a haircut at Change4Life, the organising body. Summary: we can’t accept your bid, Access To Free Sports Facilities in Tamworth, as its title is not one long nonsensical compound word with a number in the middle.
In the end we managed to scramble together a mini-bid for something called @swim2birds, a project to get Tamworth fit for the 22nd century via a highly aerobic fusion of water sports and surrealism. The grant is negligible.
Under Any Other Business we resolve to ask Mr Obama to help us retrieve traditional rights to pasture our livestock in public parks, and to govern England. Bit of a falling-out with other League members, who insist that Hyun-Joo is entirely fictional. I’m afraid their understanding of the academic world is slight.
FRIDAY. Email from Hyun-Joo, who apologises for her absence but promises to put something about Tamworth in her ‘fantasy thesis’. Something tells me I am being, as they say on reality TV, manipulised.
SATURDAY. Five-a-side theoretical football. Electropop Revivalism 2, Transitive Parametricism 0 or possibly 5, it depends on your interpretation. Match suspended indefinitely in a computer-generated think bubble.
SUNDAY. Conceptualise some ‘slow architecture’ in the recliner. Specifically, I imagine what Tamworth’s buildings might look like today if the Mercian style had prevailed from the 9th century. I am sure the cathedral would not have been as fat and ungainly as Winchester’s. And would there now be a Tamworth Eye, or Gherkin? I email Hyun-Joo for an opinion, but there’s a DNS Hard Error and it bounces back.