Ian Martin dabbles in animal cruelty and faces the consequences
Monday. Telephone call from Darcy Farquear’say, epic space correspondent of the Creative on Sunday. Very awkward.
Friends for years, we had a major falling out. Months ago now. It seemed important at the time. Since then there have been several attempts at rapprochement (his) and several declarations of implacable enmity (mine). Now suddenly there’s a strange tone in his voice.
‘It’s Bauhau. He’s not well. He’s… he’s very ill, actually…’ After 10 seconds or so I realise I’m supposed to jump into the pause. OK then, what’s the matter with him? ‘Terrible fever. He’s delirious…’ Wait. He’s a DOG. How can he be ‘delirious’? Is he, what, rambling in dog language? Apparently I don’t understand. Bauhau keeps nuzzling a photograph of me. ‘It’s as if he wants. To say. Goodbye. Bloo hoo hoo…’
Just to stop the blubbering I agree to go over tomorrow night. I start to fantasise about a mercy killing for at least two of us.
Tuesday. In the morning, persuade the Prince of Wales on to Twitter as @LobbySeagoon. By lunchtime, he’s assassinated the character of every UK architect born after 1947.
Spend the afternoon inhabiting an interstitial space between reality and madness. I consider the following, real, sentence: Staffordshire-based creative network Blurb has coined the term ‘regenerationism’.
A creative network? Called Blurb? Decide to edge a little further into madness, where it’s safer.
In the evening I trudge with heavy heart to Darcy’s new nanopad, a sliver of ‘refurbished Huguenot wefting house’ at the BBC4 end of Spitalfields. I dodge his manhug at the door and move briskly through to what he calls ‘the bavardoiserie’. As his flat’s the size of one of those single private NHS wards I assume ‘bavardoiserie’ is French for ‘only available space’.
The preposterous dachshund Bauhau is stretched upon a little Quaker tapestry, listlessly wagging his tail. He’s wearing miniature blue-striped pyjamas modelled on Don Draper’s in Mad Men. They’re from a specialist outfitters called Mad Dogs. I notice little suits with thin lapels on hangers, and a four-sleeved tuxedo. To be honest, Bauhau looks more sedated than ill. ‘Cosmo?’ offers Darcy. ‘I made a huge jugful…’ He moves to the fridge. Allow me, I say. Just as I thought. There, tucked away behind the quart of Cosmopolitan is a little bottle of Canine Flunitrazepam. No wonder Bauhau’s listless, he’s tranked out on doghypnol.
Typical. Pathetic. I remonstrate at some volume with an extravagantly innocent-looking Darcy. Bauhau’s woozy loyalty kicks in and he waddles over for a languid bite of my ankle. Fuck off, Sausage! I shout, and the room falls silent. Yeah, Sausage the Tibetan terrier! I bark into Bauhau’s startled face. The one before you! The only dog he ever truly loved!
I make eye contact with Darcy on my way out. It’s all over now.
Wednesday. Charles not returning my calls. Terse email from him condemning ‘animal mental cruelty’. Later, a Twitter pogrom, #IanMartinisabastard, gets underway. God, it’s not like I BIT anyone.
Thursday. To a seminar: ‘The Neurology of Architecture, the Architecture of Neurology’. The principle is simple. Two theoretically cognate disciplines are synthesised to form an intellectual matrix of reciprocally charged meaning.
Thus, in purely actual terms, a neurological panic feedback loop may be manifested as a Museum of the Restless Spirit – in Finland, say. Likewise a contemporary architectural model of the human mind may, in a partially abstract sense, encourage a person to believe their imagination to be as intricate, as massive and as compelling as a Gaudí cathedral.
We all put our heads together in the plenary session. Summary: architecture is petrified thinking. The brain is still under construction but behind the scaffolding it looks like it could be another block of luxury flats.
Friday. Shunned at the Institute of Plasmic Arts. Try to explain that words can’t wound a dog. Especially a drugged one. ‘But even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked,’ says glamorous Auto-Modernist Leila Swoosh. Brilliant. That’s it then. They’re all going with the dachshund.
Saturday. The entire world of epic space prevails upon me to take The Bauhau Problem to arbitration. I sulkily agree.
Sunday. Charles rings. He has summoned me, Darcy and ‘Dog Draper’ to Highgrove to sort things out. Headache. Retire to the recliner for some neurological refurb.