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Everything posted by ckn

  1. Our patio and front garden has finally given up and can't hold out for a few weeks without ending up looking like it hasn't been touched in years. Weeds between paving stones grow a foot in a couple of weeks and it's just far too much work to keep looking decent. Both the wife and I hate gardening as well... I fully did the garden at the last bank holiday, cleared it right back, power blasted the weeds out of every paving gap, weed killed and salted the entire thing then packed the gaps properly with 40kg of kiln dried sand. It's now looking like it hasn't been done in a year. So, we had a good company round to quote us at "mate's rates" for redoing the entire front, side and back with a basic brickwork redo. We don't have huge gardens, it's no more than 20m2 front, 50m2 back and the side-path to be relaid with a new weed-killing membrane. The quote came in as £12k for the cheap version and £14k for the higher quality material version. That shocked me silly as it was around twice what my naive brain thought it'd be. I've another guy coming to quote from a recommended company but I'd expect that to be higher as it isn't mate's rates. So, to the good folk of TRL: Was I being naive, are those prices reasonable and I'm just being unrealistic? I'm tempted to go the very cheap way of just getting the garden cleared and weed killer nuked into barren earth.
  2. It's one of these things that it's cheap enough that I think if you're digging down anyway then why wouldn't you use it? Proper belt & braces approach.
  3. As there’s been grumblings about my misuse of the Uninteresting Trivial Facts thread, I thought why not a thread for the little observations in our life. So, my starter. I hate funerals, going to my third funeral of 2018 already today (Monday).
  4. That's the first one I've seen in a long time where it's outside the margin of error either way. Most use 5% as the margin, this is 6%. Can we stay in now please?
  5. That's the option I think we'll probably go for but I'm reluctant because I've seen the state of a neighbour's version and it looks terrible after a year down.
  6. Thanks for that. Reading the things on there convinces me that the "mates rates" were more "mug's rates" when I look at the spec provided and unnecessary work.
  7. ckn

    Dear Diary

    Dear Diary... it's now the 22nd of June and not one single person has commented about how the nights are fairly drawing in these days. I despair for the forum.
  8. Unfortunately, I can only approve of that post once. My view is that we're getting closer by the day to a "no deal" now. The UK can't back down as the government would rather see the country burn than them risk losing their jobs as ministers. The EU won't back down on Ireland and they can't give us a deal that's better than we get now because what would be the point of the EU if no-one had to pay membership fees. The sole backstop we had was that the MPs could throw out a "no deal", that can't happen now unless the Speaker openly picks a side for the first time in the history of the Speaker role. Either that or Grieve and co launch a no-confidence vote in the Commons, and that's about as likely as Boris physically lying down in front of moving bulldozers.
  9. Belts?! Belts?! Eeee, in my day the machines just churned the potatoes out of the ground and I had to dump them in a basket I dragged behind me.
  10. The yard-stick for "badly" has to come from the point that we haven't even agreed the basic pre-conditions for the EU making ANY deal with us yet, never mind actually publicly agreeing the heads of agreement of a trade deal that allow the professional negotiators to bottom out the individual trading areas. We're two years into our Brexit planning post referendum and we're still unable to publicly say the sort of deal we'd like because the government refuses to deal with its own pro-/anti-Brexit troublemakers. I'm convinced many people believe the trade deal is as simple as going to Tesco and choosing between different brands of soup cans. There's a very good reason that the typical trade deals take 6-10 years from the time the negotiators are let loose on it.
  11. I did it when I was at school to earn more money for the summer and it was the most back-breaking work I've ever done. Not even the most intensive army courses I've done have come close to the stamina-sapping, back-breaking and morale destroying work that is picking potatoes. The last day I worked on the potato field, it drizzled with rain all day. I lasted a week on potatoes before I gave up and did fruit instead, that was still hard work but it was payment by weight picked so I could go at my own pace. The worst part is knowing that the same job awaits tomorrow. Anyone who thinks picking potatoes or fruit as a day job is "fun" deserves to have a week on those potato fields struggling to keep up with the digging machine slowly driving in front. I grew up with the sort of people who do this work as their full-time job and I openly acknowledge I couldn't do it; at my peak army fitness I could have done it probably relatively easily once I adjusted but it'd never be "fun", back bent and face down in a churned field of potatoes.
  12. Anyone care anymore? It's in the quiet news day dross you get on the news media, no-one's surprised, no-one cares, no-one will do anything. Third chemical weapon attack THIS WEEK.
  13. That Remainer rag again with its Project Fear.
  14. Boris will officially miss the Heathrow vote on Monday, he's off doing something, no-one knows what but it's something very important. The previous excuse that he was at an EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Luxembourg isn't flying because Alan Duncan, Boris's deputy, is representing the UK at that meeting.
  15. ckn

    The TV Thread

    I thought it was one of those modern not really funny spoof things at first.
  16. By issues around Brexit I mean things like that the whole concept could be thrown out if we go "no deal". The UK government would have to commit to keeping EU folk here without formal status between end March 2019 and whenever they can get the last EU citizen through the "settled" status process.
  17. Well, good luck in getting it! It'll be impressive if they do manage it in time, unfortunately I think it'll be held hostage by all of the issues around Brexit.
  18. Good thing: The government have finally published their plan for giving EU nationals "settled" status in the UK and it seems fairly OK given they're working on 2½ years to get it all done Bad things: - It costs £65 per adult and £32.50 per child. - It assumes we'll have a transition period when if get get "no deal" then we're out on our backsides at the end of March. - It assumes government competence in doing big new things right first time. The Brexiteer MPs will be spluttering and harrumphing over their Telegraphs at the news that it's EEA-wide, not just EU wide. I suppose it's not a problem for them though as the other four countries are white and relatively wealthy.
  19. See if you can guess... The government have commissioned one of our favourite outsourcing companies to take over and run the UK's military fire and rescue services despite the government's own report showing them as a "10 out of 10" risk. Do they have naughty pictures of Theresa May doing unmentionable things to Boris? Another Major/Currie moment? I can think of no other reason why we'd keep giving them more and more money when they fail time and time again.
  20. Seeing this from the inside I don't think it's unbelievable at all. There are stories after stories of what happens to clinicians who speak up against other clinicians committing criminal breaches of clinical malpractice. Regardless of how bad the malpractice is, the whistleblower often gets treated worse to make it clear that they should have stayed quiet. It's easier for people to just google NHS whistleblower sacked to get hundreds of examples than for me to state some. If I did, I'd be at risk of understating the problem. The NHS is notorious for having employment tribunal decisions go against them for sacking people for whistleblowing then still refusing to amend records or re-employ sacked people. The managers who indulge in the whistleblower mistreatment are openly outed in case after case yet the NHS never removes them, they may get sent on a one-day "staff empathy" course or similar but their careers never suffer. As a rule, NHS simply don't care. All of the waffling that is going on about the NHS having improved since this case is just that, waffle. To this day, you don't speak up about your mistreatment or seeing clinical negligence or poor practice, YOUR career will end, not that of those doing the bullying or clinical negligence. I'll give an example, at my last place the annual NHS Staff Survey showed we had 3% of staff reporting staff-on-staff VIOLENCE, never mind bullying or non-physical abuse. The answer was "they're making it up" and nothing was done, not even a quick check to verify some of the findings. The one shining example that it MIGHT be getting better was announced today where the Wirral Hospital Trust have appointed the whistleblower who outed poor practice there as their new Chief Exec.
  21. Gosport Hospital I really have no words for this sort of criminal conduct.
  22. In 2014, the government removed the "comfort letter" immunity to suspected terrorists, telling them clearly that if the police could mount a criminal case then they'd be prosecuted. That, for me, should work both ways, if there is a British Army criminal act that was treated as "immune" under some sort of reciprocity then that should also now be fair game for prosecution. There are a number of people who were delighted at the 2014 removal of "comfort letter" immunities who are now unhappy that they've discovered it worked both ways. I'd be quite happy to draw a line under the whole thing but it really would have to be a whole-package deal covering all activities before the GFA by the republicans, loyalists and the tiny minority of British Army folk who stepped over the line into criminality.
  23. ckn

    FIFA World Cup 2018

    Can we ask that nice Mr Putin if he has a dark little hole to put them in and leave them?