Kevin Cash, Money Saving Expert and King of the Grips
It’s that time of the year fan finances is tight, thanks tae holiday spending, the cost o’ yer summer wardrobe and the increased daylight hours during which it is culturally acceptable tae get steaming.
But you’ll be relieved tae hear that I have nae been idle in figuring oot wyes tae keep yer cash flowing. For example, there’s loads of sil’er in antiques, ye ken.
I have made an extensive study of the topic, fae my early days emulating Lovejoy’s mullet, through the Hugh Scully years, up to my current ritual of sitting on the sofa eating Doritos files watching “Flog It” in ma punts.
This week, archaeologists conducting an excavation near Gamrie have uncovered an auld stone wall, together wi’ bitties of charcoal and bones. Bravely ignoring fit sic a find usually signifies in that neck of the woods, they hinna called in CSI Banff, but have instead decreed it tae be an ancient Pictish hillfort. Worth a pretty penny, nae doot.
Of course, excavations can be expensive, so the smart wye tae get yer haunds on some ancient artefacts is tae get someb’dy else tae dae the digging for ye.
Noo my pal Mick the Pill bides near the Haudagain and far they’ve demolished a’ that flats in Logie Avenue the earth has been fairly churned up, creating fit is bound tae be an archaeological gold mine.
We’ve been oot his backie jist howking awa, but nae joy yet. We did think we’d found a hoard o’ Roman coins, but it turned oot tae be an auld box o’ foostie ginger nuts, nae a life changing treasure trove. Tasted fine though.
Gamrie archaeology is nae the anely news antiques-wise, as someb’dy in Edinburgh has jist selt een of “The Lewis Chessmen” figures at auction.
Apparently, they’d paid a fiver for it, and it had been lying aboot in a drawer somewye for 50 year, and they’ve jist got three quarters o’ a million quid for it!
It turns oot that there are still several ither pieces of the set still missing. So obviously I’ve jist been roon at my Grunny’s haeing a rake through her loft. Preliminary research has nae found ony chess pieces so far, though I did uncover playing cards, some Fuzzy-Felt, and an original set of Kerplunk fae 1967, so I reckon I’m close tae being quids in.
Meanwhile, Mick the Pill has assured me he can knock up anither half dizen Lewis Chessmen nae hass.
Mick’s seen the spider, squirrel and massive Gruffalo sculptures fit have been daen at Hazelheid park by a mannie wi’ a chainsaw, and according tae him, yon boy’s statues are massive, so he reckons he’ll have nae bother using his hedge trimmers tae mak some 5cm tall Chess mannies.
It’s just as weel A&E is still free.
Davinia Smythe-Barratt, ordinary mum
Preposterous! Our local council have clearly been taking tips from the Sicilian mafia again, as their latest money-making extortion racket hit our doormats this week. Thirty pounds a year for garden waste collection? What a load of biodegradable rubbish.
Well, this is one ordinary mum who won’t stand for it. I mean, I’m all for saving the planet, but £30 is £30.
That’s an oriental scalp massage at Malmaison spa, afternoon tea at the Chester or overnight parking for the Evoque at the Chapel Street car park for the times when you forget that you drove into town and take a taxi home by mistake.
So, never to be one who bows down to The Man, I’ve devised a couple of green bin workarounds which all the other ordinary mums out there can feel free to make use of.
First of all, the council will very graciously continue to collect food waste free of charge.
We Smythe-Barratts have a lot of leafy greens in our diet, and even more slowly wilting in the salad crisper of our American-style fridge (yes, it doesn’t fit and the kitchen feels like it’s got a sarcophagus in it, but the chilled water dispenser has become an absolute essential), so next time you’re pruning your rhododendron, be sure to pop the cuttings into a food waste bag first.
With all the rocket, courgette flowers and bean sprouts in there, the bin man will never know the difference.
Secondly, I’ve had our au pair, Snezana (she’s Bulgarian, but she’s marvellous – and so versatile) to start a compost heap near our alpine rockery. It won’t be long until our garden has the finest mulch in the north-east. The only snag is the pong.
The rockery is downwind of the gazebo where we entertain on warm summer days. Poor Snezana – if the wind shifts when I’ve got the girls round for al-fresco Prosecco, it’ll take her hours of back-breaking toil to move the pile to a more nose-friendly location on the other side of the garden.
I only wish that when she is sweating in the hot sun, struggling with that great steaming pile of filthy decaying muck, the council could see her, so they’d understand the effect of their policies on ordinary people. Like myself.