25 There are many words and phrases in the language of regeneration-speak that should be banned. ‘No one-size-fits-all solution’, ‘delivering’, housing ‘units’ and ‘people-centred’ (presumably to avoid confusion with all those services and strategies targeted at bunny rabbits) to name but a few.
18 News that the Japanese have invented a toy robot that can dance and kiss might come as a welcome relief to those in government who are feeling a little friendless just now.
11 This week my bank hit me with a hike in my mortgage rate, blaming ‘market conditions’. My electricity supplier bumped up my direct debit, blaming rising prices.
4 There’s a huge hole in the middle of Bradford. Watch the diggers preparing the ground for the massive Broadway shopping centre and swish new apartments, and you might imagine there had never been a credit crunch.
21 Margaret Thatcher is supposed to have said that any man over 26 who used a bus could consider himself a failure in life.
14 Some people can’t stand maps. Say ‘Ordnance Survey’ and they run screaming for the satnav. Mention grid references and they stare at you as if you’re talking quantum theory.
7 Ripples usually start with a splash in the centre and spread outwards. The way interest in community land trusts is spreading shows a reverse ripple effect, spreading from the margins and starting to make waves in Westminster.
30 Masterplanning arouses strong emotions. I’ve always found it slightly reminiscent of Albert Speer’s work as chief architect of the Third Reich.
23 In the film Goodbye Lenin!, a Communist Party stalwart wakes up after lying in a coma throughout the downfall of the former East Germany.
16 Home is a word loaded with meaning. It can be a building you have painstakingly made your own, the changing seasons in your local park, casual encounters in a street or the memory of a country to which you’ll never return.
9 Last week a canvasser knocked on my door on behalf of my local councillor. As it was the first time this had happened in nearly six years, I felt modestly privileged.