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Magic man

Astragal felt he had died and gone to heaven last week, as he became entangled in a tale of two parties.

The death occurred at the Building Centre where global heavyweight SOM was throwing its annual bash. Not so much a party as a wake, the dark suits of SOM muttered in hushed voices like they were paying their last respects. A quick trip through purgatory on the Tube, and Astragal arrived in his heaven – the Grimshaw soiree. There was gambling, magic shows, and Nintendo Wii. Astragal must mention master magician Phil Jay. Like all magicians Astragal, Phil looked like he had spent a long time indoors perfecting his trade. But still, the man himself was a ray of sunshine and had the punters mesmerised. His best trick – which Astragal saw when he wasn't remotely drunk – was an act in which he rubbed his little hands together and made a bloody big metal coin appear from them, followed by coin after coin after coin. And he had no sleeves. What a guy. Astragal reckons that all architecture practices should have a Phil Jay – it would certainly keep the bothersome cost police at bay.

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