Now I promise you I don't make this up. The tales within these pages are true. But this one takes some believing, but trust me, it happened..
The helicopter landing pad, aka "patio" is well under way, the grounds cleared and whats needed is tons, literally tons of building materials for the walls and floor. The floor needs eight tons of gravel as a base for the stonework. Right. We live next door to a quarry. How hard can getting eight tons of gravel be?
Telephone quarry. How much for gravel? Twelve pounds a ton plus VAT. Brilliant. Cheap as chips. Do you want to pay for it now? No, pay on delivery. Have to pay before delivery. OK Hour before. Fine no problem, Friday morning. How much by the way. £279 plus VAT.
A day passes. £279 plus VAT? The cogs turn in the grey matter. How?
Tracey my beautiful and oh so very patient wife makes a call to another quarry, why does eight tons cost so much? Probably being charged for a half load. Ah!
Forewarned is forearmed,and as part of my forearm is bionic, lookout!
Call to quarry Friday morning, expecting my eight tons. Yes its ready. Right, why is it costing so much?
Gravel 12 pounds a ton plus VAT.
That's £96 plus VAT for gravel.
Its a 20 ton lorry, you have to pay for the space.
Yes, that's £9 a ton plus vat, making it £108 plus VAT
Wait, I'm being charged more for air in the lorry than the stone its delivering.
Mate we are neighbours, I bet if we both stood at windows and look across the fields we could see each other, surely delivery can be free
Its half a mile
No, sorry. And you have to have a lorry load, its 20 ton, otherwise you pay for the capacity of the lorry.
How much is 20 ton?
£305 plus VAT
Sorry mate, you are way over priced, Ennestone will do it for £200 plus VAT.
You have another quote?
We'll match it.
Wait, I get 20 ton for £200 plus VAT, that's £235, that's less than the cost of 8 but over twice as much.
OK send it over.
Amazed at the turnaround of events I get on with the jobs that need doing. Phone rings an hour later.
Hello its the Quarry
You ordered 20 ton of gravel
Yes, at £200 quid plus VAT
Yes that's OK, its just that we don't have lorries that big here. Can we send it over in two ten ton lorries.
Yes, no bother.
And so dear reader 20 ton of gravel was delivered by a driver named Rebel, who dutifully dropped off all the stone a lorry load at a time at the allotted points in the yard and on the lane. I was left wondering how the quarry would have coped if I had stuck to the original order of only eight ton, would they have sent a second lorry up with ten ton of air in it?
British Industry, best in the world!