Stop, think before you sign… May 22, 2019

We have been losing work to some ridiculously low prices of late.

When I say ridiculously low, I mean so low …that the company cannot possibly be covering their overhead costs.

Now this may at first sound a great thing for you. You wanted a cheap price and you’ve got a cheap price.

However please do the maths.

If your chosen knotweed contractor charges you a low price…a price so low that he cannot keep trading ….who’s the bigger fool?

…the person that pays a reasonable price and when he has a problem he rings the reputable company that’s still trading ….or the person that goes cheap and when he has a problem the phone number he rings is dead.

Just saying.

Mike C

Knotweed Lies Beneath May 15, 2019

Japanese knotweed surface growth is merely the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the ground, the root system can spread up to 7 metres in all directions. As little as 0.7 of a gram of Japanese knotweed can give rise to new plants in as little as 6 days. Don’t make a costly mistake, speak to JKSL today.

Do you come across Japanese knotweed within your profession? If you would like a marketing pack to promote the awareness of Japanese knotweed, please email [email protected]

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Low low low bargain prices …. May 15, 2019

We all like a bargain, we all like a bit of discount, money off this, money off that – constantly driving prices down etc. But…. are we all being hoodwinked? I bought a new Audi a few years ago and got myself a ‘sweet deal’ – ten grand off list price.

Hmmm I thought, too good to miss and I bought it on the spot.

Trouble is – this wasn’t a ‘sweet deal’ just for Mike Clough – this was basically a reduced price.

Nobody was buying that Audi at full list price – everyone was getting ten grand off. So really the car wasn’t actually for sale for the price advertised… it should have been shown at the price they were actually selling it for.

What’s the problem you’re thinking?

Well the problem is that when you come to try and sell your car…. it’s not actually worth what you think its worth… because second hand values of these vehicles have plummeted …. because everybody got a discount.

Not only did everybody get a discount but new cars are so heavily discounted that WHY would anybody want your second hand one …when they can have a new one?

So, car dealers are actually just selling more and more new cars and forgetting the second hand market altogether.

A couple of things spring to mind.

  1. From an environmental point of view – building more and more new cars cannot be a good thing.
  2. Are people being encouraged to cars that they can’t really afford? Credit crash anybody…??

I don’t have any answers I’m afraid…. I just see trouble ahead.


Mike C

Gimme de money… May 8, 2019

As I’ve aged there have been certain points when I’ve had blinding flashes of understanding.

Starting at school – when you suddenly realise that you’re really not that special and that goddamit your mother has been lying to you ….and you are actually now going to have to fight for everything.

First girlfriend breaking up with me – love hurts

University – it’s all about who you suck up to – not the quality of your work. If you don’t get on with the right people nothing you do will impress anybody.

Life – doesn’t get any easier as you grow older

Broadband – no matter what upgrade you get the signal will remain the same.

Insurance – sucks.

Women – will always be a mystery to men.

The wealthier you are – the wealthier you will get.

Cars – no matter what car you have, there is always a faster one – (thanks Lamborghini)

Clothes – no matter how many different pairs of jeans you buy – if you’re fat – you’re fat.

Etc etc

My latest revelation is that everything …everything ….is about MONEY.

The ‘money-go-round’ game as it is sometimes referred.

At JKSL we turn over about two and a half million pounds. We invoice about 200K a month and expect to get paid in roughly 30 days. We don’t however get paid in 30 days, we don’t get paid in 60 days and sometimes we still don’t get paid after 120 days or even 180 days.

Not only do some of our customers not pay us for extended periods of time, they also often let these lengthy periods elapse …. then they start arguing about value of works.

But this is because they haven’t been paid by their clients …. who also haven’t been paid by their clients …. who gambled on the Brexit situation having been sorted by now.

This results in us carrying at times some half a million pounds worth of debt.

All it then takes is the perfect some of several big clients not paying you for months on end and you’re carrying the world on your shoulders…

then the economy goes tits up ….

then your wife wants to decorate…

and your daughter wants to move house ….

and the boiler breaks down…

and United keep playing miserable football….

and the broadband is still shit.
Happy days.

Mike C

Cars. May 1, 2019

Many of you will be aware that I am a bit of a child when it comes to cars.

I was brought up in the era of Rover and Austin Allegros with my dad developing an addiction to Vauxhall Astras that never failed to disappoint me when he arrived home in his latest model (one bought every three years no matter what the mileage was).

I remember many a journey spent ‘car spotting’ from the rear window (no seat belts) looking out for the occasional TR7 or maybe a Jaguar.

I never fully understood my dad’s passion for the Vauxhall Astra, but looking back i think it was just a practical car that did everything he wanted. Four doors, reasonable boot space, economical and it just looked like a family car should look. Of course, I wanted him to get something more glamorous. Friends dads had big V8 Rovers or maybe an Austin Princess – one even had a Triumph Stag…

Maybe my car obsession came from reading Ian Fleming novels and wanting to be James Bond for most of my teenage life?

I have been lucky enough to fulfill most of my fantasies about car ownership –

MG Midget
Fiat Panda
Fiat Panda 4×4 (numerous and still own one)
Fiat Uno
Vauxhall Astra (!)
SAAB 900
SAAB 900 turbo
SAAB 900 turbo ‘S’
SAAB 900 turbo ‘S’ Convertible
Audi Quattro (numerous)
Range Rover Vogue (numerous)
Land Rover V8 (numerous)
TVR Chimaera
Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche 911 Turbo ‘S’
Porsche Cayenne Turbo ‘S’
Tech Art Magnum
Porsche Panamera ‘GTS’
Porsche Cayman ‘S’
Audi RS4
Audi RS6
Aston Martin Vantage V12
Aston martin DB9
Aston Martin Vanquish
Audi RS6 ‘Litchfield’ (current)
Lamborghini Hurracan
Lamborghini Aventador ‘S’ (current)

I think that’s the lot – but note I have had various repeat purchases of the models listed.

My conclusion after all this excess would be that basically… they get you from A to B….sometimes quicker sometimes slower but basic transport is what it’s all about. The more important shit happens once you arrive – like spending time with family or friends.

These things do become an obsession though…. that just …HAS…. to be fulfilled – I’ve had many a sleepless night lying there thinking ….’if only I had the (fill in car name) my life would be complete’.

I can now confirm to everyone that this is…. NOT THE CASE.

The new 911 Turbo may go 0.0001 of a second faster to 60 than the previous model but this will make no difference to anything in your life. The Lamborghini Aventador was a big tick in the box for my car ambitions but in all honesty its a pain in the arse to drive. It’s way tooooo wide its wayyyy toooo fast and it eats petrol like you wouldn’t believe.

I don’t actually think I need to change the way I approach car buying though. I think what’s actually going to happen is that legislation will change the way we can actually drive. So, the whole point of having a ‘supercar’ will be lost. Black boxes and GPS speed traps – we’re all screwed.

The reality can be seen if you ever watch the ‘Grand Tour’ – if this program doesn’t show three dinosaurs coming toward the end of their lives, I don’t know what does.

If in the meantime anybody wants a run out in the Lamborghini BEFORE it becomes illegal to do so – please drop me a line.

Mike C