Hot Bank Holidays and Rip-Off Merchants

Hot Bank Holidays and Rip-Off Merchants

What a fantastic Easter weekend it’s been. Today’s blog is hot bank holidays and rip off merchants, after what we heard about someone getting fleeced nearby in the neighbourhood.

What a surprise the weather’s been too, as Bank Holidays are usually cold and raining, although it’s saving the rain for Wednesday, just when we are off for the first time in months. Ah well, that’s life. I dread to think what it must have been like on the motorways and in Blackpool, I bet they were heaving. It’s been so busy out here, but can you blame people. I wouldn’t like to think I had trailed abroad for the weekend, especially to Spain where they’ve had thunderstorms and rain, yuk, especially when it’s so lovely here.

The idiots come out with the sunshine

It was like the M1 here in Cleveleys, with all the cars zooming up and down all the time. Of the course the usual idiots are out, speeding away, oblivious to the fact that there are pedestrians everywhere. The heat seems to go to these young lads heads because I can guarantee that the minute it’s warm, off they go.

Some of them are deafening and don’t get me started on the teens who zoom up and down in three’s or four’s on their little scooters that are so loud it’s untrue. They are like buzzing mosquitoes multiplied by a million! I’m not really an old grouch, it just amazes me that idiots risk theirs and other people’s lives for an adrenaline rush!

Hot Bank Holidays and Rip Off Merchants

So to the rip off merchants while I’m moaning, which is hard to do when the sun is shining its head off. We were having lunch when a man we know called at our house to tell us what had been going off in the Thornton Gate area. A couple of, in his words, ‘dodgy looking scruffy characters’, driving a white van had been knocking on people’s doors to see if they wanted any work doing.

They had knocked on one of his neighbours door, a defenceless 80+ year old living on his own, who was conned into paying them £2,000 pounds to fill a few cracks in his drive! Trying not to be discriminatory which I’m not, they sound like gypsies, so whether they are or not remains to be seen. The man who called on us said what they had done would have cost about £200 with a decent builder. They even said that if he paid cash they would knock the VAT off. As if that sort would pay VAT, I bet it’s all cash in hand, with no trace and no taxes paid.

Preying on elderly people

The unscrupulousness of these people is awful. Preying on elderly people who live honestly and trusting. They take money off them for nothing and it’s nothing less than shameful. Highway robbery, Dick Turpin style is what I call it. If any of you happen to see this van with scruffy looking men in it or see them knocking on doors, take their registration number and forward it to the police. These people want stopping and now.


We shared this piece of information on the local crimewatch Facebook group. By the end of the day the registration number of the van was known and the dodgy dealings were reported to the police. A day later, the messenger called on us again to say that unfortunately the old man had paid the ‘builders’. Not the £2000 which we were originally told, but a whopping £4000 in cash. He didn’t know who they were and had no receipt.

The man’s son was apparently coming to see his dad, to see what he could do about it. But the moral of the story is, keep an eye on the vulnerable people who live around you – you never know what’s going off.

Hot Bank Holidays at Home

Now I’ll get off my high horse and talk about our family. We decided to stay at home over Easter weekend as everywhere would be crowded if our prom was anything to go by. The thoughts of trying to park anywhere is enough to put you off, never mind the crowds. So, She Who Must be Obeyed, aka Jane, went into the garden with Kevin. He carried on chopping our hawthorn hedge back, and again, the poor lad ended up covered in scratches all over his arms. He looks like he’s had a fight with a lion and lost.

There he was up his latest invention, a ladder with wooden arms on and bolts and all sorts, to make a stable ladder to lean against the fence while he did the deed. Well you should have seen him before. He used to balance on top of the fence, in spite of us all covering our eyes with our hands while he got down in one piece. Well, they are quite high so he had to do another of his inventions to make it a safer job. Well, he is getting on in years now (sorry Kevin, titter, titter) and you have to be careful of broken bones!!

Cat deterrents

Jane was busy chopping the lumps of very thorny hawthorns down to stick in the soil in all the places where the cat goes. It’s adopted our garden to use as a toilet and kill the plants, and lie in wait in our borders to catch the birds.

Hawthorne trimmings to use in the borders to stop the cat from using our garden as a toilet!
Hawthorne trimmings to use in the borders to stop the cat from using our garden as a toilet!

Kevin also made a baffle where it shimmies up our cordyline tree, which is now quite a size after many years. It’s in that mucky, dark corner that everyone has in their garden, tucked away where we can’t see what the cat is up to. Kevin’s hung lengths of black tubing between the shed and trees, again to stop it from climbing where it wants to, so touch wood it’ll get the message.

Cat baffle in the corner of our garden
Cat baffle in the corner of our garden

Oh and he’s also installed the ultrasonic cat repeller gadget that Jane bought a week or two ago. So far so good, we’ve not seen it since, so hopefully it’s taken one look and thought I’m not going in there!

It looks a bit like Mousetrap, but we can’t see it from the top of the garden and if it stops our furry friend from doing what it does, maybe it’ll pick on someone else. We’ve had a very pleasant couple of days in the garden, and it very much needs it. We haven’t had time for anything this year so we’ve been on a gentle relaxation programme to try and get our energy back in the lovely sunshine!

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