Line of Knotweed May 26, 2021

Holy Mary Mother of God…. I’m thinking we need to start using acronyms at JKSL. If there’s one thing, I can’t stand it’s bent language.

Hastings – like the battle.

Here’s my list so far;

SO 1 – survey operative number 1 (number 2/3 and 4)

OP 1 – operations (number 1 and 2)

ACC – Alex’s credit card

DCC – obviously Dave’s credit card

AFO – about to fuck off – this is when the lads leave site early

DOG – that would be the dog

AFO – another fuck off early

BO – this occurs when a spray suit has been worn during a hot day

OCG – organised crusty grain sandwich

ARV – I’ll have a half

ANPR – another un-paid road fine

CHIS – this happens when the name Chris is mis-spelled


We’ve also created a few of our own;

AIIAM – this is when Ann from accounts is in a bad mood

MOHWI – Mike’s on his way in

NPC – no petty cash

TBA – toilet blocked again.

….it just makes life more fun now that Line of Duty’s finished.

Mike C

Me too, Me too May 19, 2021

I’ve been thinking of starting a ‘movement’ for sub-contractors along the lines of the ‘me too’ campaign.

I’m just fed up with being bullied by main contractors.

When negotiating removal of Japanese knotweed from sites we make it quite clear that the material in which the Knotweed is growing must be tested for contaminants. The testing has a cost. This cost must be picked up by the client.

Any hazardous waste that is discovered must be paid for at higher rates. This is clearly stated in all contract details, pre start meetings and subsequent paperwork…. yet every time we come across this type of issue …we get a smart-arse quantity surveyor saying …. ‘it’s a fixed price lump sum fee …’

So they try and bully us into absorbing this cost in our price.

Bullied on scope of works, bullied on contract details, bullied on payment terms, bullied into aftercare packages at no costs …. then bullied by them not paying on time.

Don’t even start me on Christmas payments. Let’s be honest if you start a sub-contract in November and are due a payment in December you might as well not put it on your cashflow till February.

The downside is that this then just gets passed on to our suppliers.

We cannot be expected to pay tens of thousands of pounds to our muck away contractors up front on projects …. when we don’t get paid for 60/90/120 days after submission of invoices.

Why do we put up with this?

I’m having works done on my house at the moment and the majority of the suppliers are asking for 50% on order, then a further 25% on delivery with the balance on fitting.

Seems reasonable to me?

So why… oh why …do we put up with the payment terms forced on us by main contractors.

Just say ‘no’.

Mike C

Where do you start…. May 12, 2021

I’m embarrassed.

We have a shed in the rear of the house where I put cardboard from the various deliveries that arrive on our doorstep. The shed is full.

The shed was emptied about a month ago.

We get boxes – with boxes in them – that contain boxes of products – each that we have somehow deemed essential to our lives.

Now I’m not saying that we don’t need toothpaste and washing up liquid and bin liners etc. etc. …and we have bought in bulk due to pandemic worries …but …. the cost to the environment is just horrendous.

This huge volume of waste has triggered a wish in the Clough household to simplify our lives and to reduce our carbon footprint.

But …where do you start?

The key phrase being bandied around by Mrs. C is… ‘start with the small things…’


No more Amazon deliveries.

No more shopping on line.

Buy loose vegetables where possible.

Shop local.

Fresh food.

Locally grown food.

Anybody else got any ideas we can adopt?


Mike C

Husband Kills Wife Over Elephant’s Breath May 5, 2021

House renovations folks, just say no….it’s definitely less stressful to just bite the bullet and move.

Mrs. Clough and I decided however that we loved our house in Glossop and felt we could do a makeover that would restore the house to its former glory.

I now look back and realise that the money spent and the anguish caused were far more than could ever have been created by a much simpler change of property.

I also find myself remembering a song my father used to play for me by two blokes called ‘Flanders and Swan’ – the song in question being called ‘The Gas Man Cometh…’ . the song starts with a house owner calling the gas man to fix a repair to the boiler.

Whilst fixing the boiler he damages some pipe work and the plumber is called. The plumber then blows all the fuses and the electrician is called. The electrician damages the paintwork so a decorator is called. The decorator paints over the gas main so the gas man is called back ….and round and round it goes.

This very much sums up the work on the Glossop house.

I can safely say, it would have been cheaper to blow the house up and start a new build… than go about it the way that we have.

We started by having a new log burner installed in the dining room. This led to finding a problem with the chimney.

The chimney was re-lined and new brickwork installed.

This led to some damage in the adjacent downstairs bathroom which then needed re-plastering.

Whilst re-plastering we thought a new sink and toilet and cupboards should be installed.

This made the kitchen look shabby.

When the kitchen started to look better – it made the hall stairs and landing look shabby.

This led to the bedrooms and upstairs bathroom needing to be sorted.

And don’t even start me on paint colours.

Mrs. C decided she wanted the kitchen walls in a certain shade of white called ‘Farrow and Ball -old white’ – how many shades of white did we look at to end up with this??? I lost track (and the will to live) after about 30 shades of white were produced and my opinion requested.

Elephant’s breath, mouses testicles, chalk white, white white, perfect white, not quite white, all right white, lime white, apple white …. who knew there were so many …?

Then we moved on to the kitchen furniture itself which was originally duck egg blue. We looked at about a hundred combinations of colour before eventually end up painting it – duck egg blue.

Because we’d done the rest of the house, we decided to do the front room as well – which is now covered in leopard skin wall paper – this may have been my fault as I thought she was joking when she said…. ‘what about this one…’ and I said…. ‘yeah right’.

Also, the front and rear doors were looking tired so they both got replaced.

Blinds, shutters, curtains all binned and replaced – we have more sample colours swatches than an interior design studio.

I do suspect that I may not be allowed in the newly upgraded property without showering and going through de-contamination before entering.

It should also be noted that now the house is looking good …

…the garden needs a little work.


Mike C