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MOB rants

a place to lt off steam about all the irritating and/or stupid ideas you have come across lately

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Well done gardenf! When will companies stop treating us all as if we're 5 yrs old?

As we say up here- 'do they think we came up the Clyde in a banana boat'? 

Gardening Grandma

The whole insurance business is a jungle. If you actually claim, your premium goes up massively so you end up paying for things that actually covered by your insurance and keeping the insurance going just in case of a real disaster.


GG-that's why they treat us like monkeys...

gardeningfantic wrote (see)

palaisgalide.. the flat cap info was i.. and i never thought of using one to my advantage.. great idea as i ranted about tailgaters.. hve my dear old grandads old one in the keepsake box.. will get it out next tiem go out for a sunday drive


G/F I made extra Yorkshires today, all one size but three colours, Black lead, I had some left over from the kitchen range, gravy colour you would have to resist licking it as it is onion, also Tomato with cheese bits, I call it the pizza hat.
Of course it depends on what you drive if it is an old NATO land Rover you would look like a Pizza hut on wheels.


Gardening Grandma

On the subject of rip offs, I've just read the thread 'What does Monty think' which started off as a discussion of the use of barley straw in pots and soon became a discussion of bureaucracy. I think I'd feel a rant about bureaucracy coming on! Bureaucracy is a financial black hole into which governments pour millions of pounds instead of spending it on classrooms. hospitals and the poor. It is about jobs for the boys and ensuring that some of the boys don't take others of the boys to law for breaking the rules. In the classroom, teachers have to prepare 'departmental handbooks', supposedly for parents to read but really so that those of the boys called school inspectors can make sure all the rules are being adhered to in detail. In hospitals, various layers of administration make sure that plans are made and written down and inspected by more of the boys who get paid to prevent litigation and write reports while wards are crying out for more nurses and cleaners and, often, essential equipment. The layers of government which make rules and laws for us to obey are quite incredible, costing many millions of pounds and ensuring that those of the boys who have enough ambition and canniness can enjoy expense accounts and official dinners and other such gentlemanly occupations. That is, of course, the boys and the girls, these days, and I'm all for sexual equality. I watched the programme about Margaret Thatcher's private letters this week and was struck how utterly determined this lady was to enter the world of privilege. I'm not making a political point, actually, just illustrating how far a really determined and able person can go without actually producing anything that can be sold or used to make something else (except more money). Financed, of course, by the rest of us. Unfair of me?



Definitely not unfair GG, but absolutely to the point. This doesn't apply only to the UK either, it's rampant here too and I won't even mention the EU. And the worst of the lot are the so-called "green" boys and girls, most of whom don't practice what they preach!

Love your comments GG - my thoughts exactly,except I've always called the boys 'the Suits'. You know, the so called Leaders of Industry - the ones who,one minute are running M&S, then The Post Office, and perhaps finally, Barclays Bank. Never worked in any of the Industries, never worked at the coal face and got their hands dirty, and never dealt with the public - but always know what's best for a Company. They always save money, usually by getting rid of a few thousand employees, then when things start going wrong at the Company and profits start falling, and they have to sell parts of the whole - they up sticks, and move on to another, better paid, high profile job. That's them - welcome to the Suits! ( you will know them by their delicate, white hands, with professionally tended nails) I must stop now, or Imight just start getting cynical - can't have that!  

Have heard a rumour that the EU will soon be saying what veg we can grow in our gardens. Dont they have more important things to be worrying about????

Gardening Grandma

Apparently it is already the case that one can only grow and sell vegetables that have been aproved by the EU. Heritage varieties be blowed if they are not on the list. Everything must be controlled and freedom is eroded. The thing is, there must be something for the boys to control, because ultimately it is all about power and that means to power, money. It is just another manifestation of how the privileged create a confortable niche for themselves - the committee boys. There are ways of rising to their ranks, as Mrs T demonstrated, but only for a limited number. Honestly, I'm not being political! If anything, I'm being sociological - talking about how society works.

To be sensible, every aspect of society needs regulation and supervision, but the layers of bureaucracy that exist today mean that much of our (wo)manpower is actually unproductive, making rules and pushing paper and attending official functions. How does this country regenerate and begin creating real wealth again? Not that way! 

Sorry if I'm ranting too much. I like playing with ideas! 

My rant today is the thieving little Basket that stole my NGC voucher.  Another one of my thrifty tips was published in this month's magazine (it's one of the first things I read, as I'm gardening on next door to nothing), it's gone missing in the post (they normally post them in advance of the magazine going out), so there's a theiving little git somewhere in the post office, that's stealing MY vouchers.  I know a tenner's not very much to most people, but for me at the moment, that's a real windfall!  One of the reasons I enter so many competitions is so I can sell stuff (or give it away as birthday and Christmas presents and save money that way), as my budget really isn't very big.  All my seeds this year have either come from magazines, Aldi, or were bought with clubcard vouchers.

So I'm fuming that some light-fingered, green-fingered thieving post person has had it away on their toes with MY voucher.

There'll be an Ouch rather than voucher if I find it's one of my regular postmen that's pinched it!

The potty gardener

MMP I'd be annoyed if I were you. You never know it may have just got lost and find it's way to you soon. What tip was it you shared?

I think it was a tip about ordering items with friends & family, as sometimes you can buy x amount of plug plants for £10, but for an extra £2, you can have twice the amount - so instead of costing you £10, if you share with a gardening friend, you can both get the same amount for £6 each.  Plus you share the postage costs, so that makes it even better.  I've seen lots of catalogues and online offers recently where you can double up for only £xx amount, so if you have gardening friends nearby, you can save a small fortune.  This of course, all depends on you having gardening friends who live near enough to pop over with the plants, and have the same tastes as you - I love sweet william flowers, but someone posted recently that they weren't their cup of tea at all.

I have loads of money saving ideas, mainly because I hardly have any money to garden with, so lots of things are very much make do and mend!  Like saving packaging, some of it makes excellent seed trays, and the clear packing that things like strawberries come in can be used as a top, so basically you have a home-made propagator for free.  Most folks know about cutting squash bottles in half to make mini bell cloches.  The plastic trays that prawn toasts are packed in make excellent trays that will hold 6 square pots, ideal if you're using your windowsill to germinate plants, it protects your window ledge , and you can carry 6 at a time, plus you can water from the bottom to prevent damping off.  Buy some decent strawberry crowns and they will send out runners, so you can get a constant supply of new plants every year, so all you need to do is weed out those crowns that aren't producing as well.  Use old PC backup CD's as bird scarers (they don't like shiny things unless they're a member of the crow family!)  Cut up old milk cartons as plant markers.  Invest in some shuttle trays, they're great for carrying 20 plants at once (not really money saving but time and labour saving, which I have to watch as I have ME/CFS).  Use an old bottle brush for cleaning up plant pots when you've done with them and store out of sunlight (it deteriorates plastic and makes it brittle).  Use your clubcard tokens to buy plants or T&M vouchers, and keep checking every few months (whenever your statement comes out), as they change every so often (free toscana strawberries recently).

Not really garden related, but if you buy ANYTHING online, always go through topcashback (quidco may have a better % return, but they get to keep the first £5 every year), you can get a 5% top-up if you get your 'cash' as Amazon vouchers, Love to shop vouchers (minimum £10), or, interestingly, Tesco Clubcard points (bearing in mind you get an extra 5%, and some 'deals' are worth 4X the clubcard voucher value).

This will be the third voucher I've had for thrifty tips (if I ever get it!), I'm full of 'em!

Mummy Muddy Paws I understand your frustration, it is good to get it out in a rant although you do not need pots of money for a good garden.
Yes there has always been enough for me to spend if I wished although I did not apart from a top of the line greenhouse which more than paid its way over the last thirty years.
As to the rest more than half of the established plants and shrubs are gifts or cuttings from friends or family gardens including a couple from the old walled garden of my youth. I collect seed and buy the odd plant from the sale rack of the GC usually on their last legs I love bringing them back to life. Plenty of practice at that as Daughters bring me plants asking me to help when all life has gone from them.
I was avid DIY with a garage full of things that may come in useful and made planters raised beds benches and sand beds, I do know you could not manage some of that but obviously you do have plenty of short cut tips up your sleeve.
We avid gardeners find ways round most problems and enjoy beating the odds, this year I very nearly gave up, most were four weeks behind we in the North East nearly six, now my greenhouse is full, the tomato's ready for the large pots, sweet peas ready to nip out Asters standing tall, Beans peas and Strawberries glowing plus two boxes of good compost from last year to mulch with, does life get better I ask.
Chin up girl.


I was salivating over a red cedar victorian style greenhouse in a GC, the price tag was over £7000.  I didn't pay that for my land rover!!  One of my problems is isolation, I live in a small village and everyone knows everyone else (apart from me and one or two new comers), I hate taking my son to school and picking him up, as all the other Mums have formed cliques (just think Stepford wives and you'll be halfway there!).  Only the Dads will talk to me (wonder if thats why the Mums won't?), and they don't know a lot of the stuff that I've picked up garden-wise over the years from my Mum, like putting plants for bees near his plum tree, and using grease bands so he doesn't have to spray against codling moth.  I think, from some of the cars I see, that a lot of folk have more money than they know what to do with, and are bored, and turn to bitching instead of doing something worthwhile (One of them has a crush on the guy that comes in to do her gardening for heavens' sake).

My garden is slowly taking shape, but I'm the sort of person who likes to do it myself to make sure it's done right, then it won't have to be done twice.  I really need a shed (rotovator I saved up for is in the garage next to OH's pride & joy, so won't go in there by myself in case I scratch the blinking thing getting rotovator out.  Mind you, I've a lot of manual digging to get rid of brambles before I think about touching that.

The voucher hasn't actually been posted yet (how daft do I look?), so have that to look forward to, plus I've checked one of the survey sites I'm registered with, and have just made the £50 mark you need to get a cheque (although that will go towards paying the dentist!).  Should get another £5 Amazon voucher from the other survey site soon, so I will be able to get one or two things on my wish list.  I'm not greedy, but a small lottery win would come in very handy.    I get very wound up at times, as I didn't always have ME/CFS, and have had some very good jobs programming, which I could quite easily do from home, as I couldn't cope with the commute any more.  Trouble is, lots of companies want your bum on a seat where they can see you, it doesn't matter that you could work better from home.  Some of my best work-arounds have come when I was asleep or swimming!  I used to be very active, I was learning to ride, I used to swim a mile twice a week, and the other weekday I had spare I went to aerobics.  At the weekend I used to go mountain biking with my Husband and a group of his friends.

Just having a hissy fit at the life I used to lead, and didn't appreicate at the time.  I would happily lose an arm/leg/kidney if I could be well again.

KBO, eh?


As with us all Mummy, at 45 I could out run all the youngsters in my unit over long distance and hold my own in games and Gym, they were very unfit when they joined up and a lot smoked, were overweight, had never had a hands on job.
I did not have to do any of it as a WO1 and past 43 although my way was to do everything they did only better, now well into retirement it has all changed.
Gardening most of today with a few sit downs in the sun, little and often gets the job done and I enjoy what I do though it is a mere drop in the lake to what I once did.
The lady over the road asked me how things were after a long list of what was wrong with her, she is ten years younger, my reply, I take the pills and forget it.
I know about villagers, you are still an incomer fifty years on, I never conformed to that, new people new stories to hear new interests, it is upwards and onwards not stick in the same old mud. Being or feeling alone does make you dwell on things, "hey" you have friends on here.



Sorry you feel so frustrated, MMP, but I can't help wondering if the fuel for your crosscountry excursions in the Landrover doesn't cost you a bomb. We used to have a '75 Series II Carawagon and it guzzled, but in those days fuel was cheap.

My fuel costs 15p a litre, OH makes it from waste veg oil from a school that would otherwise go to landfill.  Otherwise I couldn't afford to run a land rover!  He's also an engineer, so if anything goes wrong, he gets to fix it.  He loves it when the sun's shining, but when it gets temperamental during winter, there's a lot of swearing.  First lot is from me when I've told him X times something's wrong, the rest of it from him as he fixes it.  I did, however, rebuild the axle on the off-roader when we needed it, under his direction - before we had children, and before I had ME.  I used to be able to swap all 4 wheels on it in 20 minutes, road-biased tyres to get where we were going, and knobbly bobbly tyres for playing in the mud.

My ME is playing up the past couple of weeks, thought I was getting better (I am MUCH better than I was), trouble is, you do too much and it comes back and bites you in the bum.  I guess I'm just feeling a bit sorry for myself, I will feel better when I can get out and potter around on my own, instead of having a grumpy 2 year old and off-colour 4 year old fighting with each other and screeching like banshees.

Gardening Grandma

Sorry to hear the ME is playing up, MMP. You have such a positive approach to life as a rule and seem to get so much done, despite your health problems. Young children get everyone down from time to time, however adorable they are when they are asleep! I have to admit that (many moons ago) I hated being at home and isolated, with a young child and living among people that I did not find particularly congenial. Strikes me that you and your OH are unconventional people, doing interesting things that most people would not think of - like making your own fuel. Sometimes, being more go-ahead than others or having different values is quite isolating. (Hope this isn't offensive!!)

I find your attitude and your posts attractive, appealing and admirable and I think other people do, too. I really hope you run across a friend in the village who shares your sense of adventure and your sense of fun!


Stick with us MMP -we'll all keep you right 

I'm off to work. Catch up later