Ian Martin welcomes a new Chinese-Mercian empire
MONDAY Banging out conceptual schematics for a new railway museum. I’m blending a nostalgic take on British Railways (dangerous door openings, poor catering) with a contemporary ‘Virgin Pendolino’ experience (overcrowded, pervasive smell of shit).
TUESDAY I applaud Red Mercia, a joint initiative involving the emerging city-state of New Tamworth and a Chinese developer, the quaintly-named Mrs McGregor’s Anglophile Rabbit Pie.
The partnership was finalised today with traditional Mercian hospitality at The Reliant Sow, Tamworth’s premier inn. A joint statement of investment commitment was solemnly ratified in the Function Room, after which signatories enjoyed a fish supper plus Sounds of the 60s and 70s with Tommy Pirate and The Parrots, followed by a cocaine and bunga-bunga disco.
Let London metrophisticates sneer. Aye, as Romans once sneered at uncouth provinces before their own imperial bloody racket went ubera sursum. Our Chinese friends find us most congenial. More importantly, they are backing the widely-anticipated transfer of capital city status from London to Tamworth with billions and billions of lovely investment pounds.
We’ll see some serious urban upgrading when Tamworth reclaims the glam and dazzle it had when King Offa was Rex Anglorum in the 8th century and the world beat a path to Tamworth Palace, sexy Versailles of the Dark Ages. Aye, ’til treacherous Winchester stole and kept the crown. Aye, ’til dastardly London-Normans snatched it from THEM like the fat thieving bastards they are…
Enough! History once again stirs in our blood. As London’s fairweather financial friends all scuttle off, Red Mercia will be free to rejoin Europe as a Singular Kingdom and take as many migrants as it bloody well likes. Let the Tory shires stew in their infantile racism, MERCIA IS THE FUTURE.
WEDNESDAY Meanwhile, to London on urgent business. My dear old friend Ernie Wise, the mayor, has asked me to join his Whose City Is It Anyway Task Force. He wants to know if too many buildings are in foreign ownership and whether ‘dirty money’ is being converted into property.
I can never tell if Ern’s taking the piss. He has a very good ‘straight face’. To be on the safe side I decline the invitation, citing a conflict of interest. Let’s be honest. As Walter Gropius wisely said, architecture begins where engineering ends. But what begins where architecture ends? Dirty money of course, the most imaginative of all the plastic arts. Only recently, I alchemised £85m of brute drug cash into a ‘statement flat’ near Richmond for a certain enlightened patron in the import-export business.
I promise Ern one of my Three-Point Plans. They’re always good value as I do them for cash, no questions asked.
THURSDAY Oh God. A blameless, charming woman in Eastbourne wants to transform her old-fashioned ice cream parlour into a modern ‘gelato café’. I’ve sketched a family vibe, airy and open.
At the same time I’m working up plans for a Russian entrepreneur who wants to create a ‘fellatio café’ for the worst type of ‘sexualpolitan’ customers imaginable. He’s after a dark, tense vibe. Lots of discreet booths and nookery.
Calamity strikes. Have a complete mindslip. Email them the wrong renderings. Dodgy ‘Comrade Sukhitov’ is mystified to see cub scouts laughing in his blowjobberie and a Labrador under the table. Poor Mrs Beswick is appalled to see her bleak café populated by grim-faced men who look like chartered surveyors on a stag, being fellated by sex robots.
Memo To Self: rethink project indexing system; see if anything in a ‘gellatio café’.
FRIDAY Present my Three-Point Dirty Money Action Plan to Ernie.
1. Ask all agents, investors and developers to keep an eye out for any unsavoury types who may not subscribe to their rigorous code of ethics.
2. Build wholesome pop-up residential ‘honesty boxes’ to filter out money pollution.
3. Acknowledge that laundered equity can go down as well as up by rebadging the property ladder the Property Trampoline.
SATURDAY Collect money from dry cleaning.
SUNDAY Space Harvest Festival service. Always moving to see a congregation shuffling forward with gifts of harvested air for the church’s space bank.
The widow’s mite, a notional cubic metre from some dark, forgotten airing cupboard. Children’s little pockets of air scrimped from the backs of cupboards. The poorest who, unable to donate air for the spatially unprivileged, simply offer their hollowed-out marrows. Humbling.