Well folks, it’s D day for ‘the Big Hairy Green Book’. It’s available for purchase now from Amazon.
I’m going to be bold and simply ask for the sale. Please buy it. You might even enjoy it. It’s as much about the adventures of an Irish landscaper as a technical manual.
Better still please give me an honest review. I know the haters gonna hate. The book will, in due course, get zero stars and five star ratings with feck all in the middle. And that’s okay. Just hopefully some of you guys will be kind enough to be in the latter category of reviewers.
Here’s another couple of snippets not in the book—
Theres a TV show fronted by a genial celebrity architect where he transforms the homes, and therefore lives, of his clients. Rather like us with gardens come to think of it. Only annoyingly gardens for him are merely an afterthought. When the TV company’s producers called us I quickly overcame my annoyance. They wanted an oval shaped lawn installed the following Saturday, the last day of the shoot. The weather forecast was horrendous but we promised to show up. What should have cost €3,800 we discounted to €2,500 inc VAT hoping that the resulting publicity and exposure for our new fangled ‘plastic grass’ would make it more than worthwhile.
The familiar story arc of filming documented the hopes, the busted budgets, the inevitable dramas of delays, mistakes and rows culminating in a triumphant reveal at the end where clients, builders and architect are all friends again
drinking champagne and admiring the work.
We played our part, going above and beyond our brief, adding copious amounts of bark mulch to hide the mess the builders had made. I remember getting very wet but we got finished.
Our work made the final cut and featured prominently as the backdrop to a fabulous wrap around home extension. As the champagne was being drunk ‘sanctuary synthetics’ appeared fleetingly in the credits. So far so good.
We were to be paid by the builders. Months went by with no sign of a cheque. Eventually they admitted that they in turn had not been paid. In fact they were being sued, along with the architect and the TV production company. It turned out that the homeowner had form in this regard. The bogus list of flaws in the building included such crimes as a chip in the paintwork behind a radiator. I don’t think it included the new lawn. In this writers humble opinion the work was top notch. The home owner, who it turns out had a close personal relationship with a
legal professional, possibly had no intention of ever paying. To make matters worse, they demanded a big settlement to boot.
The production company correctly fought it but to make a long story short, a few years later, they lost. The builders and other parties involved were sympathetic to us but it was out of their hands. If the person had had any semblance of honour they could have paid us directly. No chance.
A total sickener for all involved. If this story is truncated it’s because of legal advice. It can be dangerous to tell the truth. As John Wayne said ‘forgive your enemies, but remember the bastard’s name’.
I myself can often be seen wearing a rain proof cowboy hat. I consider it a practical if a touch flamboyant item of clothing suitable for our outdoor work. When not on my head it resides on the dashboard of the jeep. It’s become
something of a recognised calling card. But there’s method in my madness.
It’s simple reverse psychology. My thinking being that if people see me deliberately trying to look like a cowboy well then surely they will conclude I’m not actually a cowboy.