Ian Martin rallies support for the capital to be moved to the heart of Mercia
MONDAY. Jaded already, and January’s barely underway. Like everyone else these days, I’m suffering from generic innovation fatigue. Symptoms: lethargy and a vague hangover. I blame Apple.
Everything’s so BORING now. I’m trying to get excited about this demo of an immersive program that allows you to create three-dimensional ‘neo-Modulor’ environments by walking around in an Oculus Rift headset and holding one arm up, but seriously. Yawn of the Dead.
It’s as interesting as watching a house print.
TUESDAY. In the morning, design a groundscraper near Hyde Park in the style of a 19th-century Parisian mansion block. In the afternoon, design a barrelscraper near London Bridge in the style of a 22nd-century Qatari barracks.
WEDNESDAY. Meeting of the Tamworth League. Spirits are high and for once this is not entirely due to the Refreshments following Prayers and Apologies For Absence.
Members of the executive committee may be a little drunk but who can blame us? It’s clear that 2015 marks the endgame of our epic 1,200-year battle to restore capital city status to Tamworth. We’re now competing with what in a couple of years will be a ghost town: ‘Londone’ – its famous ‘world-class architecture’ no longer frozen music but petrified money.
Soon, Londone will have completed its transformation from living city to prestige film set. Oh, there’ll probably be a few top-end restaurants still going, but all the roads will be kept permanently clear for high-speed car chases and charity fun runs.
Meanwhile the exodus to ancient Mercia, where house prices don’t take the piss and you can still eat chips without wearing a ‘meta’ flat cap, has already begun. Now it is just a matter of time before Tamworth rises again. Jewel of England. Brasilia of the Midlands. We’ll build our own M25, a new Offa’s Wall enclosing Wales if they fancy it, plus bits of the Southern North that aren’t already sentimentally attached to the idea of a Greater Scotland.
All will be welcome, though the Not Racist But brigade might be happier in New Anglia, where they’re planning a separate time zone and the first ever gated county.
THURSDAY. I have been a close friend of the Prince of Wales for decades, one of very few associates who still call him by his boyhood nickname, ‘Neddy Seagoon’. Lately though he has been noticeably less Goonish and a lot more foppish.
I blame our mutual acquaintance Darcy Farquear’say, epic space correspondent for the Creative on Sunday. He’s convinced Charles that as the son and the heir of nothing in particular he’s essentially a royal version of Morrissey. Indeed, Darcy’s wristy hauteur may be detected in the whimsical prose of Neddy’s latest guide for commoners, Architecture Is A Language, Can’t You Read?
Once again it seems his words and intentions have been wilfully misinterpreted by his enemies. Even though, as I gently point out, the material was publicly available on the Architectural Purview website. I mean, he did actually say: ‘It seems to me that buildings should command respect wherever in the environment they are being created, as a person of substance might command respect at the various stations of an official visit…’
And I don’t know how many times I’ve warned him about reading the comments; he never listens. It’s almost as if he WANTS to be upset by some chippy parametricist calling him ‘a disconnected, lugubrious tit who has spent his entire life being flattered into imbecility by sycophants’ or whatever, I can’t remember exactly.
This is not about architectural prescription, apparently. It’s about the victimisation of HRH by a hard-faced philistine world that cruelly refuses to understand him. Best to leave him to it, in my experience. It’ll be something else next month. For now, it’s all melancholy walks, tea and crumpets and The Queen Is Dead.
FRIDAY. Redesign North Korea as a plausible part of the global mindscape, with the demilitarised zone turned into allotments, and a new state residence for Kim Jong-un. Clusters of geometric nodules in glass and concrete form a giant paranoidal complex looming uncertainly over Pyongyang, with a non-retractable top.
SATURDAY. Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Industrial Intimation 2, Civil Buccaneering 2. Match abandoned for tax purposes.
SUNDAY. Review my Ten Rules for Aesthetic Recovery, starting with number 1 (‘We must expand our horizontality’), in the recliner.