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Diary

Drink is a no-no on construction sites, or ought to be. So on a recent visit to a very high profile site our reporter was not surprised to see a list of alcoholic beverages and their accompanying units pasted up so everyone knew exactly what they were consuming in the evening, and how much was too much. It was very useful, she thought, to know that a pint of cider is four units and a bottle of wine is seven.

Even more fascinating was that, according to the information provided, a pint of sherry is just one unit. We have all been trying to work out how this could be. Any suggestions?

Much of the civil engineering fraternity likes to think it has abandoned its abrasive management style of old and adopted a more cuddly, supportive approach. It all feels a bit false sometimes, though, so it was perhaps refreshing to hear some unreconstructed business advice this week. 'I find in business it's best to be blunt and the phrase f*** off is particularly useful, ' the Yorkshire boss of a big materials operation told us.

Architects are not changing however. A colleague met one recently who has been living without a bathroom for four years because he has yet to find the right taps with which to refurbish it.

The new fuel-cell driven buses among the 40 used on the Hackney to central London route are pleasing the environmentalists among us. You can spot the trio of new hydrogen powered units by the plumes of steam they give off as exhaust. But isn't it just typical - you wait decades for a pollution free bus and then three come along at once.

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