Restrictive Covenants

Allotment, Boat, Work

Everything seems to have been busy of late, both work and family life, and I’m not complaining as time flies when you’re busy.


We managed four days up in Norfolk last week, the weather wasn’t fantastic but it was great to get away. We went took Martha out an spent a bit of time visiting old haunts, and managed to run into a few old friends. It was good to get around, the boat behaved herself and is now due some maintenance for the winter. As usual Alfie thoroughly enjoyed it and we managed some good long walks ashore. That’s the beauty of having had a boat here for so long, I now know most of the public and permissive footpaths which take me and the dog off the beaten track. One of our friends is moving up here in the next couple of months and we took a drive to see her new place, I’m not sure how they are going to get on as it is a bit rural and I don’t see them living like that.


Nothing at all to report here, I have not had a contact on the radio since August as I have been drawn into other distractions of late.


The growing season is really winding down now with activity at the allotment (from others) really dwindling now. As for us we continue to grow and plan for next year. I am just pulling up my butternut squashes, in fact we started eating our squashes last night. I am also growing some winter cabbages (Durham Early) and some parsnips. I finally got my greenhouse up and it went together well, just in time for the winter and getting stuff ready for the new year.

GreenhouseThe greenhouse up and in place, minus the glass obviously.




I have also got some autumn raspberries coming along as well, these are not as sweet as the summer varieties, but nice all the same.

Autumn Gold20161021_172536

The last Carrots for this year




So Plot 8b is winding down although there will be plenty of maintenance to carry out during the winter, and I hope to be able to report some good news regarding the allotment in my next post.


I was offered a role with a very large Fleet Management company recently. Unfortunately as with all these things not is all as it seems. The post was for a Fleet Engineer covering the south of England and had 4 depots in the region. One of the depots was a problem depot, which they were keen for me to sort out, and I was up for the challenge. The first alarm bell started ringing when at my second interview I asked for a copy of the job description, this was not forthcoming and the interviewer got a little testy about it. A job offer came and few days later the job pack arrived at home. The first surprise was the pay package, which was lower than discussed, and even lower for the first 3 months. The contract also had a restrictive covenant in it which stop me working for any other fleet management companies for at least three months after leaving them, this is almost unworkable for me. There was also a clause about items not mentioned in my contract but I am still contractually obliged to conform to, I asked for details of what these items are, to be told that I would have to ask for specifics items as there were too many to list.

With all this I decided that the job was not for me so dropped it much to the disappointment of the agency. So it looks like I will be staying put, for the time being.

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I’ll be standin on the corner full of gin, when they bring your dead body in.

Alf, Allotment, Boat, Family, Work

Its been a couple of weeks since my last post, but that’s not to say nothing has been happening.


I have finally got my last courgettes from the plot, I have now dug up both plants, they were starting to suffer from leaf mould and I don’t think they would have bore much more. I have turned over the soil and put some manure in.

The onions are now coming up and Christ they are strong.

I dug my spuds up, they make it look very easy on youtube but I don’t think I had a spud that hadn’t been spiked with my fork. I got about 5lbs from the plants and considering they grew from a couple of jacket spuds we didn’t eat I think it did well.

My butternut and St Johns Squashes are growing well and the St Johns ones are already being taken home. I have planted some winter potatoes, these should be ready for the Christmas table.

I have planted some Parsnip, Cabbage and Chard seeds into the little greenhouse and these are shooting up now. And my tomato plants have been planted out and are flowering.

We still haven’t heard anything about the other half of our plot yet, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

This weekend I went to one of my cousins to pick up an unwanted 6ft x 6ft glass greenhouse. I can’t wait to get it erected, this will give me a lot more options with stuff to grow.

I had a pretty stressful week at work last week and on Friday evening I went up to the plot for a few hours. I was amazed how de-stressed I was when I went back home at sunset.


I went to the last O’s match vs Yeovil, the game was atrocious and Orient wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Hackney marshes on Sunday, in fact I think there are some better players over there. At the end the fans were shouting Becchetti out at the gallery. Becchetti is the clubs owner, what happened next beggared belief, the chairman just waved the supporters quite dismissively which made matters worse,  and then to put the tin lid on it all the fans clapped and cheered the Yeovil players off the pitch after booing the Orient players off. We are playing at home again on Tuesday evening and the fixture has almost become a side line to the inevitable protestations.

Watch this space.

Other news

I had an interview last week and the feedback from the agency was that I am now a firm favourite, time to start thinking about what I want to do. I will have a second interview in a couple of weeks so I have time to consider this, but its strange. I am now responsible for 30 staff and three business units and I am having crisis of confidence, I know this is because of my age and the time I have spent with my current employer, but its still difficult all the same.

Toni has just returned to Italy after being in New York for fashion week and a few days spent in Santa Barbara on the west coast. I envy her, to be that young and be paid to visit these places, she’s a lucky girl.


We spent last weekend at the boat and the weather was perfect, Martha behaved herself and we had a good trip visiting some of our favourite places. Alfie hurt his leg while we were up there, but it is better now. I think he may have a weak joint or muscle as this keeps happening.

I bid you a good evening and what’s left of your weekend


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Double Decker Move Along

Allotment, Buses, Work

Plot 8b

Hedgehogs, I was speaking to one of the plot holders the other day about the distinct lack of hedgehogs on the site. He was telling me there were a few pairs on the site up until about 4 years ago. The site manager at the time had a real thing about order and tidiness and got rid of all the hedges and any rough patches we had. The hedgehogs were never seen again. With this in mind I contacted an Essex rescue centre and had a chat with them about rehoming any of their hogs. The lady was really keen but after some discussion it became apparent that due to the use of pesticides and slug pellets they cannot leave any hogs at our allotment. I was gutted about this, but fully understand. I’m now wondering how much the depletion of the hedges had to do with the disappearance of the hedgehogs , more likely the use of pesticides and slug pellets. I don’t use pesticides but most of the other plot holders do.

My butternut squashes are really growing now and have gained around five inches in a week. We are going to have people queuing up for them when they are ready. One of my courgettes is still putting fruits, but I don’t know how much longer for. One has stopped now but the other is a monster. I have harvested my pippins, and they are extremely tasty. I have a blackthorn bush behind my plot and now cant wait for the sloes to ripen so that I can make some sloe gin, we’ll see how that works out.

This week I will be planting parsnips & chard. I have some red onions for when the potatoes come up and I got some daffodil and tulip bulbs for planting under the fruit trees. Daffs are Lesley’s favourite flowers so I should get some brownie points for this.

I will plant some green manure also for the winter, this is a plant that is used to condition the soil, the other guys on the plot have never heard of it but that won’t stop me.

I couldn’t get the fox video to play through the blog so I put it on youtube and you can see it here


The consultancy I am doing for the Chinese Organisation is coming to an end, I have about three days work left to do over the next couple of weeks, I will even be receiving a bonus for my efforts, which isn’t necessary considering the hourly rate they are paying me. It got me to thinking about when I started work in this industry in 1977, I was paid 40p per hour, and the Chinese are paying me more an hour than I earned a month when I first started work. It’s funny how it all works out in the end, I am eternally thankful to my old man and my brother Pat for pushing me when I was younger to get qualified. I know the old man would be proud.


I think that will do for now until the next time


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Did you see that ludicrous display last night?

Allotment, Orient, Work

Well the bank holiday weekend is here!


The O’s played Mansfield town today and bloody lost, to be fair to the team they worked like Trojans and were just unlucky. I am still pretty upbeat for the rest of the season however there are some pretty ugly rumours circulating regarding the way the club is being run by the chairman. If true, I don’t know how much longer the O’s will be about. On my way home from the game I got waylaid by a group of Mansfield supporters, we had quite a chuckle and banter and I’ve even got an invite to visit them when Orient face them away. That’s the beauty of fourth division football, none of the territorial “I want to kill anyone who doesn’t support my club” attitude that seems to be present in other leagues.


Toni has taken some time off as her boyfriend has flown over to Italy for the week. They have gone to La Spezia which is north of Florence and on the Mediterranean coast. I was going to stop off in La Spezia when I was over in December but never had the time. It was had a big naval base in WWII and the Germans stationed U Boats there for the north African conflict. She has taken some nice pictures of the place but as you can imagine will probably not send me any info back on the what’s left of the naval base.







Work on the plot continues, my butternut squashes are starting to flower and I can see some squashes on the back of the flowers, my other squashes are also fruiting now as well.



Left. 2 Butternut squashes










The courgettes have given us plenty, and still they grow. It’s been interesting just throwing stuff out there, because its all grown. One of the old boys on compound has warned me about growing anything as the “ground is crap” and “you can’t grow that” and “that’s the planting season over you may as well dig it all over and leave it till next year”. He actually came down to my plot yesterday and went away a bit sheepish when he see what we had on the go. My onions should be ready in about a week and my potato plants are starting to die off so these shouldn’t be long before I can dig them up. The potatoes are interesting as you have no idea what is growing under there until its time to dig them up, even the onions show you what you’re going to get. The cabbages are growing hearts and my second batches of carrots and beetroots are coming up. I have just planted out some runner beans and I know it will be tight, but providing we have a mild autumn I may just get away with it. I have also planted out some potatoes in the past week, in a grow sack, these will be for Christmas dinner. I now have to start planning what I’m going to put out once the onions are pulled as they take up a fair bit of space.

I have my Kale and Broccoli caged to stop the birds pulling apart, but I have noticed the cage I’ve set up is getting damaged, it is quite lightweight but all the same it’s getting damaged. I bought a bush cam, made by Swann, it is a remote camera which is infra red and triggered by motion, so I set this up to see what is happening on my plot when I’m not there, question asked and answered here CagedFox


I have been approached by a chassis manufacturer, this could get interesting. Watch this space.


Twat Watch

I was going to put a bit here called twat watch, but I really can’t be bothered. I’ve been called worse things than being an Arsehole before, and in the most case it has been warranted. And like before I will put it where I store stuff from ignorant insignificant twats. You may have a nice life now, but I remember you when you were a prick, and that’s what troubles you. This will be my last post on this subject as I think giving it oxygen is just making it worse, and it will probably post something not very cryptic on twitter again.


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You can stand me up at the gates of hell

Alf, Allotment, Boat, Work

I write this while sitting on the boat in the middle of Salhouse Broad in Norfolk.


This weekend has been long overdue, after a quick clean up and a fettle we were underway again. On our run round we bumped into a few old friends who we haven’t seen for a couple of years. It was really nice to catch up, time moves on but people generally stay the same. The dog loves the boat life, he is quite happy to sit behind me as we go along and never attempts to get off.  We will be going back home tomorrow and I have a couple of days off, this will give me time to prepare for an interview I have on Wednesday. I then have to fly to Belfast on Wednesday evening for a meeting with top brass in the factory on Thursday morning.


I had a potter around the allotment before we left for the boat. The French beans have budded. The rest of the stuff is going great guns, I also planted a tayberry bush, this will be in my raspberry run. I think I will be picking plums when I get back from Norfolk, they were looking good when I left.

Fuckwits and wasters ptII

I went to the radio club on Friday night and I managed to bump into none other than the man who sponges off his wife. He berated me last week on 2 metres for failing to give my locator while mobile, a license condition that was stopped four years ago. As luck had it he decided to visit the local radio club this week. I can be pretty intimidating when I want to and suffice it to say an apology was forthcoming and we can all move on with our lives and he also now understands the terms of his radio transmitting license.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend


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The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Cycling, Orient, Work

Well spring has put in a proper appearance at last and the evenings are getting lighter. I got out on my road bike today and put a few miles in, my legs are still a bit wobbly but after tomorrows run they’ll settle down.


I met up with a few mates at the football last week, and we had a few pints and a good natter. The result was awful but we had a good time catching up and remembering old mates, a few of which are now dead, one of the joys of getting older I guess.


I had a phone call recently from an agency, they got my details from Linkedin because of my experience with Hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles. It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue, but the upshot is they are paying me handsomely to carry out some consultancy work for a foreign company who are looking to introduce a Hydrogen network into the UK. The rate is fantastic and equates to about one days work per month. Unfortunately I cannot give any more details than that, I have had a telephone conference to scope out the work and have started already. It’s nice to have something to sink my teeth into.


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Bleedin Man Flu

Family, Work

The missus has had a bad cold for a about a week, this normally doesn’t bother me as I have the constitution of an Ox and don’t normally catch these things, and if I do I normally get the watered down version. I didn’t get away with that this week, I caught a real heavy dose.

I did manage to work a few stations on the key including a Bulgarian special event station. I didn’t get up the club however, the average age of the member must be in the 70’s, in fact the fact that I am one of the youngers ones gives you an idea. Anyway I didn’t fancy passing my germs on to the old buggers. That and the fact that Mrs H was on nights so I had a chance for a night in front of the telly and not have to watch Eastenders or Corrie or anything like that. So I sat there with the pooch and after about ten minutes I realised there is bugger all on the telly anyway.

We had a bit of snow today not much but just enough to give the ground a bit of a covering and make everything look clean..

Busy week coming up next week with a conference early in the week followed up by a trip to Northern Ireland at the end of the week, and possible a trip up to Norfolk at the weekend.

Very often I hint at issues with my extended family and I don’t think I ever really go further than that. One of my friends has suggested that I write it all down as a means of closing the door on the matter. I always feel that I have got past the issue then something crops up and I get the same old feelings of anger and frustration. I write my blog for my purpose only, the site has around 4 visitors per month and I believe 3 of those are me. I like it that way, the blog serves no purpose other than a journal and reference point for me.

So my next post will be a warts and all write up on my dysfunctional, family. Not the ones I live with, but the ones I used to live with.


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