5. Urban Interiors exhibition – London Commonwealth Institute.

Poncey furniture ahoy! K and I took the day off work to surround ourselves with three floors of Ligne Roset sofas, Seventies retro bedroom storage solutions, innovative glassware, simply sumptuous sideboards, and various sundry gorgeous little bits and pieces for the home, spread out over maybe a couple of hundred exhibition stands. In an adjacent lecture theatre, Kevin McCloud from Channel 4’s “Grand Designs” programme, accompanied by the show’s executive producer, talked for nearly an hour about the making of the show. By the end of the talk, we wanted to be his friend even more badly than before (as, I think, did the majority of the largely thirty- and forty-something female audience around us). With his relaxed, smiling, twinkly-eyed charm, off-the-cuff wit (he had us rolling in the aisles), razor-sharp mental agility (the entire talk was improvised on the spot) and his infectiously self-evident enthusiasm and passion for the subjects of his programme (both the building projects themselves, and the people behind them), we were completely won over by the man, and left the lecture wanting to be his friend even more badly than before.

Incidentally: if you remember the recent programme featuring the increasingly red-faced and hopelessly accident-prone guy with the house that stubbornly refused to be built (the one with the huge butterfly-wing roof that got ruined in the rain), then you’ll be pleased to know that a sequel programme will be airing next year. All that Kevin McCloud would reveal is that in the second programme, the building graduates from stubborn refusal to an active aggression against being built. We can’t wait.

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