9 March 2010 (Tuesday) - Clarification and Caravans

Yesterday’s reference to “Kleeneze Pikeys” sparked a rather terse reply. A shame that whoever it was that made that comment didn’t feel brave enough to put their name to it. Mind you, “Anonymous” might have a point – there may well be hard working employees of the Kleeneze Corporation who are upright citizens and sterling members of their communities. In fact I don’t doubt that there are.

Let me apologize for any offence I might have given, but also let me relate my experiences with Kleeneze.

It’s a shame that over the last twenty years in which I’ve been plagued by the Kleeneze catalogues, they have always been brandished by exactly the same sort of person. And in considered retrospect, I stand by my description. The phrase “Kleeneze Pikey” concisely sums up all of the individuals who have touted the things at me over the last two decades (and more). My first recollection of Kleeneze was shortly after my son was born in 1987. The catalogue was in those days impatiently thrust at me by a girl who quite frankly terrified me. I was too scared not to buy from her catalogue. Her attitude was only one step from that of demanding money with menaces.

And since we moved house in the early nineties, we’ve over the years had a succession of similar individuals forcing the stuff at us. Spotty, scruffy, scary, confrontational, generally in need of a good scrub, and usually shrieking (banshee-like) at their accompanying collection of similarly unwashed and ill-behaved children.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not tarring all Kleeneze staff with the same brush, I am sure there are a lot of decent hardworking, well presented ones out there. All I am describing is *my* experience, and it is no reflection on the company itself. Or is it? Respect isn’t given to a person, or to a company. It is earned. Perhaps their marketing people might like to look at the public perception of their company. I don’t see their fine range of kitchen and household products (to be fair, their stuff is good quality) – I see a succession of aggressive grubby young mothers dragging screaming brats to my front door where they give me serious attitude.

Another company which similarly does itself no favours is a charity I sponsor – ActionAid. A bunch which do really good work in Africa, and all over the world. But the chap who used to go round Ashford town centre collecting money on their behalf… Oh dear!

In the past I actually phoned ActionAid about him. His only item of clothing not riddled with holes was his ActionAid tabard. He had never brushed his hair, he had less teeth than sense, and he stank to high heaven. I honestly thought him to be a tramp who had found/acquired/stolen the ActionAid paraphernalia to earn himself an easy buck.

Anonymous” also criticized my lack of money sense. “Anonymous” has another point there. And to prove said point, after getting home from work this evening I made an appointment to squander loads of cash on having my new tattoo finished off. I’m sure it will hurt, and I’m sure that within five minutes of lying down on the table I will regret that foolish move. But common sense has never been my strong point, as any reader of this drivel will realise.

Meanwhile my mother in law has asked my advice. She’s looking to buy a static caravan for weekends away. As father in law isn’t as well as he once was, they don’t want to travel too far. I can relate to that. I enjoyed my week in Auntie’s caravan a couple of years ago, and I am counting the days (52) until I get back there again. But Auntie’s caravan isn’t close – it’s over two hours away. I can understand the in-laws wanting somewhere nearby. I don’t know why she feels I might have inside knowledge on the world of caravans, but it’s got me thinking. Winchelsea Beach or Cooden come to mind immediately.

If any of my loyal readers know of a decent static caravan site within an hour’s drive of Hastings, please let me know.


  1. Pevensey bay has some nice spots, I used to have a van on a permanent there

  2. could "Daddies Little Angel"TM not finish it off with her new paints and a razor blade....hmmmm...