Stop, Go, Stop, Go, Pause May 30, 2023

Why has the world suddenly got all jumpy?

Stop, start, stop, start, maybe, maybe not …it’s getting more and more difficult to plan my retirement.

Cards on the table – I planned to retire by 30 and live on an island – this plan has gone seriously t*ts up.

I blame the government.

Seriously though everyone seems jumpy as though nobody can rely on what’s going to happen round the corner.

In the past we did a site survey, provided some costs, negotiated round a table, shook hands and the job got started…

Nowadays we do a survey, provide some costs ….then wait ….and wait …and wait …then just when we’ve forgotten about the job we get a message saying…. ‘Can you still hold that price’…. then we wait …and wait…and wait …

Then we generally get a call on a Monday … ‘Where are you …?’

…and don’t start me on electronic contracts.

We get contract documents requesting ‘E-signatures’ that are 250 plus pages long …which I’m supposed to read – in their entirety – that then expire before you’ve read them or the computer simply says ‘No’ …

I’m sure at some stage there will be a huge litigation case where ‘E-signatures’ come under scrutiny as somebody says – that’s not my signature ….and the whole thing will collapse.

Give me a hard copy contract and a handshake any day of the week and I’ll be happy to start on Monday.


Mike C – grumpier with age.

Call a Spade a Spade May 17, 2023

I’m usually quite direct (previous readers may have noticed!). I’ve worked on countless development sites over my career and some of my former employees didn’t graduate beyond manual labour for a reason.

I call a spade a spade and I don’t sugar coat important messages. I don’t believe in a culture where everyone should win a medal just for taking part.

Now, the RHS is asking us to start calling weeds “hero plants” – this is typical of a culture where we can no longer say what we mean.

Yes, we need to re-think our relationship with plants – stop over-using herbicides, plant some trees, bring some interesting species and variety instead of sterile wall-to-wall manicured lawns…

Yes, we need to take action to increase the amount of forests and hedgerows in this country and stop covering our gardens with impermeable driveways and fake grass…

Yes, some plants that are commonly seen as weeds have real benefits for biodiversity…

No, we don’t need to start calling weeds “hero plants” as if we’re going to hurt their feelings.

The definition of a “weed” is any plant growing in the wrong place. If a plant is found where it’s going to cause a problem, call it what it is – a weed – and get rid of it.

Just have an honest conversation about the benefits that no-mow, wildflower border and specific can bring; don’t try to ban the word “weed” as if it’s somehow insensitive.

Mike C

Bank Holiday Madness May 3, 2023

I’m sorry …but I could do without all these bank holidays.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the country just beginning to haul itself back to its feet after the pandemic fiasco? Aren’t we just hanging on by our fingernails to avoid going into recession?

So, some royal smart arse thinks it’s a good idea to have an extra day off when we’re already struggling to get projects finished and invoices out of the door in the days we’ve got left.

From what I’m seeing people aren’t thinking ‘Oh great we can spend the day watching the Coronation’. They’re all thinking ‘If I plan my days right, I can go away on holiday and get two weeks off …but not use up all my holiday entitlement.’

So not only can we not get any work done but we also can’t get any decision makers to send out instructions because they’re all away on annual leave.

I read that Charles is now wealthier than his mother. An article last week suggested that Charles had been squirreling away some money from his Duchy of Cornwall project and that he hasn’t made huge amounts of money, just a few ‘Tens of millions’. How insulting is this to hard working people all over the country struggling to pay the gas bill?

Why not pay for everyone to have the day off then Charles? Why are you putting your hand in my pocket and getting me to fund your royal nonsense?

I am sick to death with all of it.

Sorry if I upset any royal lovers but what a load of crap.

Let’s just get to work and stop encouraging this elitist rubbish.


Mike C