Awards and citations:


1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for investdrinks.org

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award




Saturday, 10 December 2016

Finally potentially good news on EU – a chance to remain European






‘EU negotiators will offer British people the chance to individually opt-in and remain EU citizens as a proposal in Brexit negotiations, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator has confirmed.

The plan, first revealed in its early stages by The Independent last month, was being considered as a long-term aim by the European Parliament – but has now been fast-tracked to the negotiating table by Guy Verhofstadt, who is in charge of thrashing out a post-Brexit deal.’

The Independent 9.12.16 – read the rest here

Obviously need to see the details of what is proposed for 'associate citizenship' of the EU. If adopted would this just be for UK citizens living in one of the remaining 27 states or would it be an option for those living in the UK, assuming it remains one country, or its constituent parts. 

Noticeable that Guy Verhofstadt appears to have a much clearer vision than anyone in our government that continues to scrabble around to find a Brexit policy that makes any sense and stands up to reality. 

'Associate citizenship' would presumably have the great advantage of not appealing to people Davis, Farage, Gove, Johnson, Rees-Mogg and the like.   

Friday, 9 December 2016

Tom Kearney: Politico's fine profile of Tom and his TFL bus campaign


The opening of Politico's profile of Tom Kearney.

Tom Kearney, a US executive living in London, was hit by a bus on London's Oxford Street in 2009 and left in a coma. Fortunately he survived and has subsequently waged a persistent campaign to improve the safety record of London's buses. Politico has recently published a fine profile of Kearney and his campaign.


On October 15th 2015 The Evening Standard reported on official figures that showed that one person is killed by a London bus every three weeks.

'Between April 2007 and March this year (2015), bus collisions killed 128 people on the capital’s roads. A further 14 died following “slips, trips and falls” while on board.' 


From my own experience either while riding on London buses as well as out on my bike is that some London bus drivers drive recklessly often exceeding the speed limit, especially when out of the centre of London or when traffic is light.  This is particularly noticeable late in the evening when traveling back from the centre to Forest Hill

For instance it would be interesting to know how many 363 buses travel along Sydenham Hill at 20 mph – the speed limit. 

Doubtless there is a temptation to make up time lost in heavy traffic in the centre of London on quieter roads in the suburbs. Bus operators and Transport for London (Tfl) should be insisting that safety rather than timetables are paramount. 

The difference between the amount of media and official interest in bus accidents and the horrific Croydon tram accident on 9th November 2016 is stark. May be this is because tram accidents are very rare, while those involving buses are more frequent. 

Follow Tom's campaign on Twitter and also his blog.   




Thursday, 8 December 2016

Excellent visit to Praia da Adraga + Restaurante d'Adraga


 The beach @ Praia da Adraga – some hardy souls braving 
the sea on 8th December 2016


Always a dramatic sea
 

Today we headed out to Praia da Adraga – our favourite beach in the Lisbon area. It is close to being the most westerly point of mainland Europe. The beach constantly changes shape sculpted by the elements. 

After a stroll on the beach it was time for lunch at the Restaurante d'Adraga – great seafood and one of the best restaurant views in the world, especially if you are lucky enough, as we were, to get a table by the window. The food is simple but excellent.  

All in all a sensible version of Brexit!

 Shot into the bright sunlight – the white building 
at the end of the beach is the Restaurante d'Adraga


What a restaurant view!


A delicious white 2015 Vinhas Velhas (old vines)
from Luis Pato 
Bical (50%), Cerceal (25%) and Sercialinho (25%) 
Very reasonably priced at 15€ a bottle


 Our first course: a wonderfully fresh crab 
Below ready to start work!

 
 Before: a garoupa for three (above)

After: a garoupa perfectly grilled (below) 


 A plain salad


A wickedly good strawberry pavlova