How was your bank holiday? Mine was mostly great. We spent Saturday catching up on some gardening on the one day of sunshine allotted to us, and did our best to cope with Sunday and Monday’s torrential rain. But I admit I am still fuming about one part of my bank holiday.
DJ booked us on a wild food course, particularly focusing on the use of plants in healthcare remedies, and I was hoping it would provide some useful insight for the blog. OK – so the course wasn’t free, but I was hoping it would be money well spent in the long run as it might enable me to save on expensive prescriptions and drugs and potions spent servicing my hypochondriac tendencies.
So even though the weather was truly dismal – so much so that we both packed a change of clothes as we anticipated foraging in the woods – we decided to attend it anyway. As we sloshed our way along the motorway we counted two accidents on the way – one poor guy was facing the wrong way on a slip road, presumably having driven too fast and lost control. And I should have taken this as a bad omen and a sign to turn back. But we had already paid for the course and thankfully we turned up at the venue in one piece, raring to go.
Unfortunately we were sorely disappointed. The tutor turned up late and seemed disorganised, having to ask one of the other 20 students for the course agenda. My heart began to sink when he asked in a vague sort of way what it was that we wanted to know, and then spent a lot of time arranging piles of books on a table and inviting us to read them. Many of them DJ already had at home anyway, and this wasn’t what we’d paid our money for. The tutor had bags full of plants he’d collected but said, “Oh, you don’t want to see these, do you? I’m going to cook them later and don’t want them handled.” Of course we wanted to see them, DJ pointed out! How can you learn to identify plants if you don’t see, touch and smell them!
Eventually DJ coaxed him to let us go outside and find some plants as the rain had stopped. But even then it was all very haphazard. The tutor hadn’t scouted out the area and so didn’t know what plants to look at. And when he did find some he didn’t really explain how you prepared the plants as a remedy – whether in a tea, oil or plaister etc. And what alarmed me was that he didn’t warn everyone NOT to eat ANYTHING growing wild unless you knew exactly what it was. One student picked and ate some buttercups which we were later told were poisonous. Fortunately I’d been on a course before and knew better.
Then there was the wild food lunch. Well, it was very nice – when it actually showed up – an hour and 40 minutes later than on the agenda. I thought I was going to pass out from lack of food. Eventually we made our excuses and left early to claw back what was left of our bank holiday. Both of us were fuming. What a waste of money! And to think some students had travelled from all over the country to be there. I’m seriously considering asking for our money back.
As an aspiring frugalist, nothing is more annoying than wasting my money on something that doesn’t come up to scratch. You’ve heard my rant about the course, so you tell me, what have you wasted your money on in the past? And what do you think are the single biggest wastes of money in our society today? Let me know by leaving a comment. Cheers, Piper xxx