Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Guru Josh Development Project 2008

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Property Ladder with me, Sarah Beeny.

This week we follow first-time developer Ditzy McGee as she attempts to renovate an end of terrace townhouse in Archway.

With no budget, no property developing expertise and no trousers, Ditzy was never going to find this an easy task. But instead of drawing up a schedule and calling in the builders, Ditzy has decided to take a handful of benzodiazepines and get on with the job herself.

You have to admire her pluck. This house is in a pretty poor state. It needs new windows and a new roof, and the garden is an overgrown mess. In my opinion it's going to need twenty thousand pounds just to make it habitable, but Ditzy has made the classic error of thinking she can save money by doing all the work herself. In four-inch heels. With no trousers on.

Three days later, I'm back on site to see how Ditzy is getting on. And oh dear - she's made the classic error of focusing on the styling, rather than getting the basic structural work done. The neutral Ikea Klippan sofa and shabby-chic pallet should appeal to the young professional market, but the television isn't nearly contemporary enough, and the saxophone is a bizarre touch that could alienate family buyers.

What's really worrying me, though, is that Ditzy hasn't put any windows in. Windows are a crucial feature of any property. Put windows in, and you're on the right path to making a profit. But leave them as gaping holes and you're limiting your market to squatters, cavemen and bats - none of whom can afford North London's sky-high property prices.

I think it's time I had a word.

I try to tell Ditzy where she's going wrong, but I'm not sure she's listening. She's too busy watching The Hitman and Her and mooning about in her bra. Sometimes I wonder if she's really committed to this project at all.

It's now four weeks into the development, and Ditzy has at last realised that she needs to get some serious building work done. Against all my advice, though, she's decided that what the house needs is another window, right next to one of the existing windows. Ditzy is making the classic mistake of doing the first thing that comes into her head while hopped up on psychotropics, and failing to concentrate on what her target market really needs.

Before you make any major alterations, you should always put on protective clothing and seek the advice of a structural engineer. I'm afraid to say that Ditzy has done neither. Taking a sledgehammer to a load-bearing wall while in the grip of a mind-altering substance is not something I would ever advise, but from the start, Ditzy has been determined to do this development her own way. I admire her single-mindedness, but I'm not sure it's going to pay off.

Sadly we will never find out, as three weeks after my last visit, Ditzy smashed up the television and ran away with the fairies. Property developing may look easy, but in reality it's anything but. If you're the kind of person who finds wearing trousers a difficult feat, property development is probably not the career for you.

Next week: Kevin McCloud watches the Pussycat Dolls build an underground eco-house in the Mendip hills.


Anonymous said...

Tune! I like the saxophone...

It's not as bad as the total mess ensued when the Aphex Twin tried to get a group of kids together to clean up dog mess in a high-rise estate.

link here

Tim Footman said...

(Does some quick sums and works out that in historical terms, to the kids of today this is the chronological equivalent of Phil Collins's cover of 'You Can't Hurry Love' by the Supremes. Sobs.)

Nice bra, though.

FirstNations said...

*nods knowingly* oh of course. I get it.

*does not*

*not even remotely*

Henry Dandelion said...

Couldn't hear the tune, no headphones plugged in. Didn't matter...PANTS!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, may de-lurk again one day.

(Word verification is "sugge", which is a bit like the noise I made when she took her skirt off.)

Dave said...

You're watching too much daytime television.

realdoc said...

Now that is funny. Cheered me up no end. You could be a captain of comedy writing!

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

Oh, brilliant. There must be a wider market for this, surely?

chuffy! said...

Girls like that do not live in Archway, unfortunately.

patroclus said...

For the enlightenment of those visiting from abroad, what I've done here is narrate Guru Josh Project's 'Infinity 2008' video as if it were an episode of the popular property development programme Property Ladder. Dave correctly surmises that I've been watching too much daytime TV recently.

Next up: Florence and the Machine's 'Dog Days' video, as narrated by Bill Oddie. Possibly.

Henry Dandelion: And a very merry Christmas to you and yours as well. It's always nice to see you de-lurk.

Boz said...

The semiotics of popular music video clips! I love it.

Frankly, if Sarah Beeny herself launched a pop career, I'd be right there at the front of the queue at Woolies... oh.

Simes said...

First I lamented that the best source material they could find for a cover was Guru Josh.

Then I was saddened by what they'd done to it.

I don't think I was ever in tune with "the kids".

John Cowan said...

Sigh. I kept wondering just which of the various products shown in the video were being sold -- but then it faded to black before giving me the product name or even the corporate name. Just another blind ad.

One Fine Weasel said...

I really object to her sledgehammer action. Absolute rubbish, she would never get through the wall doing it like that. Also, at 1:34 she clearly sniffs her armpit. Kids these days, I dunno.

Karen's Mouth said...

Spot on. I could literally hear The Beeny through your words! Brilliant!

What girl wouldn't get a bit over excited by a saxaphone and a sofa in an abandoned house? It's a marvellous concept for a video.

clodhopper said...

Don't worry: she'll get gazzumped. I'm sure of it.

patroclus said...

Wait a second, so this isn't the actual Guru Josh? I'm now as confused as I was when I realised that the Sugababes' 'Here Come The Girls' isn't a cover of Ernie K. Doe's 'Girls', but just has bits of it in it. I've had enough of this 'post-modernism' lark. I predict a welcome return to pre-modernism for 2009. Ooh, I might write a post about that next.

Betty said...

The Guru Josh Project are a sinister and shady cult group who locked up the REAL Guru Josh in the cellar of an abandoned farm in Oxfordshire in 1992. They took his clarion call "1990's - time for the Guru!" very seriously indeed, and thought he intended to take over the minds of decent Christian folk throughout the world. He was Satan in the form of a guru, and, in their opinion, he would bring about the apocalypse. So - he had to be stopped at all costs.

The remix of the classic single is just a smokescreen for the extremist views of this group. Please - don't give them your money.

Just so that you know.

patroclus said...

Betty, I think you must have stumbled upon a draft script from the tragically-never-to-be-aired Bonekickers Series 2.

Simes said...

Blimey, apparently it really is him. So I'm disappointed at what he did to his own song.

Also I'm disappointed at his attempt to relive past glories rather than create anything new.

I wouldn't want to re-release stuff I made ten years ago, especially if I made it worse in the process. If I did that they'd just not pay me. But then I'm not a member of a modern beat combo.

Vicus Scurra said...

Loathe as I am to disagree with you, I find the novel approach to house renovation as demonstrated by this delightful young lady to be very refreshing. Indeed, should she choose to channel her sledgehammering activities to a selection of home improvement presenters (not Mr Knowles, I like him) I would give her the encouragement that you have so bitterly withheld. In fact, there are one or two tasks she could undertake around my house. Sadly, I missed the armpit sniffing episode described by another correspondent. I will have to learn to pay more attention, or to find vari-focals that automatically demist.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Sorry, meant to say ages ago, this was brilliant. Spot on :)