VIRAL VIDEO… What to do when you’re a prolific property developer taking festive time out with baby number four to look after and you’ve nothing to occupy you other than stack the dishwasher 50,000 times? The answer for gadget-loving family man Tim Heatley, of Capital & Centric, was clear: seat baby Lucy atop robotic vacuum cleaner, capture on film, upload to social media, and let your friends enjoy – best enjoyed with the sound up to hear Tim laughing to himself in the background. Two and a half million views on Facebook later Lucy is still going strong around the kitchen floor and parents the world over are seeking reassurance in the comments that she was attached securely and wouldn’t fall off. Thanks @mrtimheatley for his kind permission to reproduce the magic domestic scene here.
ETIQUETTE… Meeting rules are not just the stuff of US management books, sometimes people actually try to put them into practice. The sensible folk at Kier have come up with the perfect antidote to those annoying phone-checkers in meetings, people who we Brits might find it socially awkward to challenge. Answer: laminated poster on the meeting table that politely requests: No Checking Social Media. No Texting or Phone Calls. No Checking Any Emails. Not just that, but ‘All mobile phones to be placed in the basket provided!’ In case you missed the gist, the etiquette guide continues: ‘Do NOT use your phone during a meeting!’ And signs off with the threat of a £5 fine to be donated to charity if you do use your device. Restaurants, libraries, concert halls, please take note.
SITE VISIT…To Liverpool for a tour, courtesy of Constructing Excellence, around the £300m Royal Liverpool University Hospital, set to complete at the end of this year. Now, Place is used to hearing a lot of hype around construction projects, but the new hospital is everything and more than we expected. An impressive and technically challenging design from architects NBBJ, delivered with nimble juggling by main contractor Carillion, overseeing 1,000 workers on site. Each patient will have his or her own room, each room has huge windows and a beautiful outlook across the cityscape. The view from the top on a crisp winter’s day wasn’t bad this week either. All in all a significant step up from the neighbouring 1960s brutalist hospital, which has bits falling off and serves up notoriously unpleasant memories for anyone who has had to use it as a patient.
EACH WAY BET… Staying in sunny Liverpool, Uncle Joe seems determined to go ahead with his lottery for Liverpool, trailed in his New Year message, issuing an invitation to tender to the market for a private operator, the deadline for expressions of interest closing this week. An odd route to go down for the habitual supporter of anti-gambling measures during his mayoralty to date, supporting a charity’s new telephone help line in 2014 for gambling addicts, speaking out against the dangers of fixed odds fruit machines and banning bookies from entering last year’s Shops for a Pound initiative, trumpeted by his deputy mayor Cllr Ann O’Byrne and cabinet member for enterprise Cllr Gary Millar, where retailers could rent vacant shops in Smithdown Road for £1 a week. Could flagging up such a contradiction trigger a U-turn? Don’t bet on it.
EXHIBITION… January to April is busy enough for property people’s diaries, but for those of an artistic bent it’s well worth making time for a trip to Whitworth Art Gallery, to see an exhibition of works by pen-and-ink artist Deanna Petherbridge (and you can even catch the Andy Warhol exhibition at the same time if you’re that way inclined). Petherbridge’s work is a mix of fine art, technical drawing and architectural references, a perfect synergy if you like your culture built. See more here.
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