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, 25 February 2017

Cycling in London: Close Pass Volkswagen Passat + Deliveroo Insanity



On Thursday I experienced two contrasting cycling incidents in London: the first involving a very close pass on the South Circular Road just by the Horniman Museum, while the second involved lunatic behaviour by a Deliveroo cyclist.

Passat close pass
Around 7.45 on Thursday morning I was walking down the South Circular to Forest Hill Station I saw two cyclists wearing high-visibility following each up the hill, which has two lanes one of them a bus lane. I was amazed to see a Passat pull across to the left into the bus lane. The driver must have seen the two cyclists but was determined to pass some of traffic to turn left into Sydenham Rise. This meant squeezing between the right hand lane traffic and the first cyclist, passing just inches away. 

An example of utterly thoughtless driving putting the cyclist into danger. I hope that the excellent West Midland Police Close Pass Initiative will be rolled out across the UK. Less to penalise drivers but to educate them that when passing cyclists they should make sure to give them plenty of space. 

Given that air pollution in London has recently shot up the political agenda, it surely makes sense to persuade people to make as many journeys on a bike or on foot as is practically possible. Close passing is a very significant factor in putting people of cycling. 

It doesn't help, of course, that some unsegregated 'cycle lanes' are ridiculously narrow and may encourage drivers to think that it is safe to pass close to cyclists.    

Deliveroo Lunacy – no back light
Later on Thursday early evening – just before 6pm returning to Forest Hill on a bus headed down the Walworth Road I watched a Deliveroo cyclist heading southwards. Dark clothes and no back light. I was unable to see whether he had a front light but it is probably safe to assume he didn't that as he had decided to dispense with a back light. 
Not only no back light but the Deliveroo rider rode straight through the red light at the junction with East Street. Just the sort of stupid behaviour that not only endangers the cyclist but equally important gives cyclists a bad name and builds antagonism that may well then encourage drivers to be thoughtless when sharing the road with cyclists. 

What I wonder are Deliveroo's policies regarding cycle lights and respecting red lights?

Friday, 24 February 2017

Vistas of London + Ring for Wine


 From Forest Hill to the centre of London. 
Contrast between the green space of South London 
and the crowded polluted City of London 


Some five-a-day candidates

Indispensable gadget for early Friday evening