Driveways June 26, 2019

Watching the news at the moment you would believe that cars were the work of the devil.

Not only do they clog roads and cause congestion but the dirty nasty things are causing us breathing problems as well.

We are told that living next to a road will shorten our lives and cause us to get bronchial problems and asthma. We are told that children’s development is being compromised by lost brain cells caused by breathing dirty air.

Yet dear reader we see houses getting rid of their front gardens and replacing them with hard standing for their cars. We see hedges ripped out, trees removed, lawns paved over with concrete …all so that the car can be closer to them…?

Why would you do that? Park on the road, park away from your house and children – the exercise will do you good and you’ll get a few more steps on your daily target.

Surely somebody should be pointing out that front gardens are a natural barrier to pollution and a filter to all the crap that comes off the roads? A decent hedge will act as a sound barrier and is a great way to cut off dust and exhaust fumes.

Not only do front gardens improve air quality they also aid in reducing flooding by allowing rain water to filter slowly through grass – rather than gushing across a hard standing straight into the road drains and causing flooding.

Goddamn it – why does nobody seem to think these situations through…!

Just say NO….


Mike C

Acronyms June 19, 2019

This week I received an e-mail from my office telling me that Ann (our Head of Accounts) was … ‘on Al’…

Who is ‘Al’ I thought?….and what is Ann doing ‘on’ him…?

Images circulated in my head, pictures that had no right to be there were formed in my imagination and I was thoroughly confused..?

Ann isn’t even in work I thought ? …hold on hold on.. ‘AL’ – ANNUAL LEAVE. Mystery solved.

The recent television series of ‘In the Line of Duty ..’ – OCG, ARO, DCI – aaaarrrggghhh wtf ….(sorry) I mean ‘what the fuck’

 Can we please go back to plain English?

 I’m getting old, I can’t keep up.


 Mike C


Don’t blame the car… June 12, 2019

I feel that a lot of our current problems are being blamed on…the car.

Whether it be environmental concerns or speed awareness campaigners …everyone seems to point their fingers at CARS. Isn’t this a little like blaming guns for people getting shot – when really its people that kill people not guns.

Now I know that you can argue that if people didn’t have access to guns then they wouldn’t be able to shoot people – but if someone wants to kill someone then they will just use a knife or some other method if they can’t get their hands on a gun – it’s not the gun actually doing the killing it’s just making it easier.

I suspect that much of the bad press around petrol vehicles comes from people with their own agenda? Maybe it’s the electric vehicle manufacturers…? Maybe it’s the alternate energy providers…??

Or …maybe it’s just that the government have worked out that the roads are so fucking busy that the country is heading for gridlock – so some smart arse thinks… ‘I know …let’s make driving a car a criminal offence – let’s tell everyone cars are killing us …’ – then hey presto fewer cars on the road – problem solved.

With cars… SURELY …don’t we just need better cars? Less emissions and more economical? Maybe cars that last a little bit longer?

Maybe the car manufacturers should be made to focus less on knocking out the latest model which makes the last model obsolete…maybe they should be focusing on making a car that lasts for just that little bit longer and is much more efficient??

Maybe creating new models all the time simply encourages that disposable attitude that much of society have…? The people who want the ‘latest’ car… (phone/tv/music system/computer) – which just results in landfill sites being full of perfectly useable technology rendered obsolete by progress.

Again, and again I keep concluding in these blogs – that it’s all about MONEY.

Car manufacturers DON’T want you to have a car that lasts for twenty years and can be upgraded on line. They want you buying new stuff and spending your hard-earned dosh.

So maybe don’t blame your car for the ills of the world – go out to the car park give it a hug. This weekend, give it a clean and a polish, maybe top up the oil…. look after it a bit more. Stop blaming it for everything and just tell it that you love it….

Mike C

Don’t…. it’s not worth it. June 5, 2019

I know I prattle on about the same things – so apologies for those of you that are frequent readers. But whilst we continue to lose work to companies not qualified to deal with invasive species, I’m going to keep going on about it.

Many companies being asked to provide for removal of Japanese knotweed just don’t understand what it is they’re dealing with – yet they’re happy to give a price for works that they feel ‘a …little bit qualified to do…’.

Yes, I’m getting at you haulage contractors, and you ‘muck away’ companies …and yes you plant hire operators.

Just because you know about digging holes and moving muck – doesn’t qualify you to deal with invasive plants. I wouldn’t dream of doing the works that you are qualified to do – so why would you feel capable of doing what my teams have been trained to do… and are experienced with??

It’s that same old bug bear of mine – money money money – you think you can make a few extra quid so you say… ‘yes – we can deal with your knotweed problem..’ NB this is said with fingers crossed and a sly look whilst whistling the theme from Pinocchio.

Please be aware – these guys are cheap ONLY because they don’t know what they’re doing. They can dig big holes but are they removing knotweed root and rhizome or are they digging out clean soil.

Who knows?? – they certainly don’t. They read an article that says JK goes down 2 to 3 metres and seven metres in all directions …so that’s what’s being dug out whether it contains knotweed or (k)not….and you’re going to be charged for it…. even if it’s clean soil.

What happens when you want a warranty for your newly built houses…?? They can’t provide it.

What happens when the knotweed re-grows …?? They have no experience with chemical treatment or even identifying new growth.

Just say no.

Get an expert.

Mike C