"Wavell had a shrewd, penetrating mind and an immunity to cant and conventional wisdom. [He] first labelled the Versailles Treaty ... "the peace to end all peace". He understood that politicians invariably found ways to create disasters, which soldiers, like himself, had to clean up."
Arthur Herman. Gandhi and Churchill, (Bantam, 2008)
"I wanted to prove to my friends that I was still fit."
... after being banned from running up the escalators the wrong way in a Farnham, Surrey store. Hildreth was 80 at the time, and represented Britain in the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games.
"All this adds up to is a philosophy which can be succinctly expressed as 'love the assets, not sweat the assets' and 'just in case, not just in time".
... on Japanese railway practice.
"It's a no-win situation, a competition, except that, obviously, somebody does"
after presentation to Bankside architectural competition (quoted in K. Sabbagh "Power into Art")
"We have got to stop the corporate sector driving us into conditions which they claim we want."
... awarded damages for being forced to use an airline seat with 29 inches (73 cm) of legroom (the judge recommended at least 34 inches (86cm) of "pitch" (the distance from the back rest of a seat and the back of the seat in front of it).
"I’d rather have 5% less productivity and a world to pass on to the next generation"
"Nanotriumph: The length of time it takes before a new set of Venetian blinds don't quite work properly."
"If God is in the detail, Ikea is on the atheistical side of agnostic."
Independent headline Independent
"Meanwhile it's a relief to know that the people who might be to blame are not in fact to blame."
Independent leader Independent
Independent leader on architects' reluctance to take blame for Millennium Bridge and Millennium Dome problems.
"Multi-functional bio-diverse green space network." Planning jargon for 'field'. Hugh James.
Japanese bookshop's translation of Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
"I think it's impossible to live in a room which isn't at least 13 feet tall. Don't you?"
Kenneth Jay Lane
"We tend to report rather than predict. You won’t see us out there saying what the PC is going to look like in 2016. We quietly go try to invent the PC for 2016."
"The paradox of public transport is the better it does its job the less 'efficient' it may be."
"[In the 20th century] ... we built a really inefficient environment with the greatest efficiency ever known to man"
"Answering machines and old people. That's not a good combination, I find."
"Shyness is egotism out of its depth"
"Alas nothing is more subject to losing value by going out-of-date than something that is valued solely for being up-to-date."
James Howard Kunzstler
"The necessities were going by default to save the luxuries until I hardly knew which were necessities and which luxuries."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"Regulation is always at least one major blunder behind the cutting edge of worst practice."
"The UK has spent two decades Eganising the wrong things."
"The best way to understand old buildings is to talk to old people. Unfortunately the old people we need to talk to are so old they have been dead for a long time. Hence, we have to use a new tool unknown in the Internet age—books—and really old ones that are typically written in some language other than English by some long dead European." 2014
"If someone is taking a picture, you say, 'Lamps at 10 o'clock', then everyone looks lovely."
"What does less swearing and funnier mean? "
"Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own eyes?"
"Modern life is rubbish".
"The first time I saw the Rietveld Schroder House I keeled over and broke my ankle in excitement."
"In 1939 there wasn't just concern for the future of the country it was also a troubling time for Queen of the South."
"The house builders' biggest mistake is making their houses too big. Very few are small and compact. Most people tend to build 15 to 25 per cent bigger than they need. It's a sort of disease".
"Architecture in Britain is becoming a culturally reductive retrovirus."
(Translates as too many 'iconic' buildings).
"I learned French the hard way: from a Spaniard. "
"It is better to be on the ground wishing to God you were in the air, than in the air wishing to God you were on the ground."
The Microlight Pilot's Handbook
Silence of the Lambs mistranslation.
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.”
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
"A management technique is something which can be used instead of a brain."
"If academic endeavour had always been vetted in advance for practicality, we wouldn't have had the aeroplane or the iPhone, just a better mammoth trap."
"The life I lead is very autobiographical."
"I don't mind the outside. The inside could give us trouble. It's an inflexible design."
on the MIT Stata Center
"There are few things more likely to annoy busy people than a computer that thinks it is really helpful."
"Fink dslow drink drive"
... Motorway matrix sign, M6 near Carlisle
"Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to"
H. Mumford Jones
"All I really want is seamless integration between devices and the death of cables"