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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 10:48pm on 10/03/2019 under ,
The first of these I had a while back, but didn't get to writing up; the other was this evening's accompaniment to some GoT...

  1. Kavalan Single Malt £54. I think the first whisky from Taiwan I've ever had. The tasting notes talk about mango and tropical fruits, which I didn't get at all, but there is a gentle sweetness here.
  2. The Glendronach 12yo £39. I wouldn't have said "very heavily sherried", but there are some sherry hints.
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 09:38am on 25/01/2019 under ,
A couple of people have asked me who the garage were we got a Country Court judgement against this week. It was Huntingdon Autos Limited (who have a spot on AutoTrader here). If you didn't read about the court case (parts 1, 2, and 3)the executive summary:

We bought a car from Huntingdon Autos Limited, subject to service, and a 3-month warranty. They didn't service it as they had promised, and when faults came to light refused to fix any of them. The Court found that they had sold us a dangerous vehicle contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (section 9(3)(d)) and then behaved unreasonably during the resulting litigation.
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This is the story of my first County Court hearing. We bought a car in November 2017, subject to service and 3 months' warranty. At the end of part one, it was late March 2018, we were £1.3k out of pocket, and Cross. By the end of part two, we'd spent £195 in court fees, and killed a lot of trees. Yesterday was the day of the hearing; [personal profile] atreic and I had taken half a day off work, and [personal profile] diziet was coming along for moral support (and to whisper hints). I'd had a rubbish night's sleep and was Quite Anxious.

You can't bring that in here )Nationwide's Lawyer )The hearing )A very long 10 minutes )Judgement )

So we have an order for the 1.3k of repairs, 195 of court fees, and 1/2 days' wages for myself and [personal profile] atreic to be paid in 21 days. I'm very pleased, and very relieved (and also happy that the judge thought I'd done the paperwork well!). It was a very stressful morning at the end of quite a drawn-out process, though...
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This is the story of my first County Court hearing. We bought a car in November 2017, subject to service and 3 months' warranty. At the end of part one, it was late March 2018, we were £1.3k out of pocket, and Cross. It was, sadly, time to contemplate legal action.

The first question was who to (threaten to) take legal action against - dodgy companies wind themselves up all the time, so while it was unlikely a small action would cause them to do so by itself, if they're consistently ripping people off, there was a distinct risk that we could go to all the bother (and expense) of suing the garage only to have them conveniently go bust (and a very similar company open on the same premises a day or so later) leaving us out of pocket. We'd bought the card on a credit card, which means that legally the credit card company are jointly and severally liable. So we could sue Nationwide as well as the garage - they're definitely good for the money, but are likely to be much more competent opponents. We concluded (having talked to [personal profile] diziet who has done this sort of thing before) that it was better to go after both parties.

LBAs )Nationwide are stoats )FCC are a pain )Nationwide wake up )A nerdy aside )Proceedings are issued )Defences and Indemnities )More paperwork )The bundle )The garage try and cheat )

So, there were were, ready for the hearing. I was quite nervous, but reasonably sure we had a good case, and hopefully I'd done all the paperwork correctly. It was very useful having [personal profile] diziet to advise (and also to read my paperwork), as well as moral support and proof-reading from [personal profile] atreic
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In November 2017, [personal profile] atreic and I bought a car from a local garage, subject to service and a 3 month warranty. Yesterday, at a County Court hearing, we obtained judgement in full against the garage (and Nationwide Building Society). I don't think I've ever been in a court building before, and certainly have never represented myself before a judge (against a Real Lawyer). I thought you might be interested in what went on. This is a bit of a lengthy tale, so I've split it into parts. This sequence of posts are public, so I've filed enough serial numbers of the names of people involved (hopefully). Please bear this in mind if you link to these posts.

The purchase )The cruise control )The wild-goose chase )The MOT )The stupid runaround )The first letters )

So by this point, it's late March, and we're about £1.3k out of pocket. We are Unimpressed.
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 10:41pm on 12/01/2019 under ,
...is Cardhu Gold Reserve £39. It's a slightly sweet, warming comfortable dram. It's not the most complex whisky, but I enjoyed it :)
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 09:58pm on 08/01/2019 under , , , ,
Inspired by recommendations on [community profile] disobey_gravity, I went to see Free Solo[0], which is about Alex Honnold's free solo ascent of El Capitan in June 2017. The climb itself was big news at the time, at least among climbers - climbing over 3000ft of steep granite with some technically hard parts, with no protection is an amazing achievement. And also very dangerous. There's a section in the middle where the film remembers a whole series of notable free solo climbers, all of whom have died while climbing.

It's not just a film about the climb, though - there's quite a bit exploring the character of Alex, how and why he does what he does, and so on. We hear from a number of Alex's climbing partners as well as his girlfriend Sanni. I have to admit, I ended up with the impression of someone who is a brilliant and fearless climbing but a rather inadequate human being. He's so focused on his climbs that he often seems blind to his impact on other people. During filming, they learn that Ueli Steck has died free soloing on Nuptse. Sanni relates how when she was talking to Alex about this and wondering how Steck's wife Nicole must feel, he remarked "Oh, she must have known it was coming". He seems unable to grasp the idea that if he dies soloing it will have a significant impact on other people.

Another interesting issue explored by the film is the ethics of filming someone free soloing: does filming Alex make him take risks he wouldn't otherwise take? How would the crew feel if they filmed their friend falling to his death? At a number of points it's clear that the crew (all of whom are professional climbers) find watching Alex solo really pretty stressful.

The final ascent was pretty tense to watch, even knowing that he's going to succeed. While Alex looks so assured on the route, some of the moves he does are ones that would look pretty hairy on lead, never mind soloing 2000ft off the ground!

Free Solo is by turns fascinating, infuriating, funny, sad, and impressive. And it's gorgeously filmed.

[0] a note on terminology. Free climbing is climbing without "aid", i.e. you only pull on the rock; ropes gear and suchlike are just for safety. Free solo climbing is like that but you do it by yourself without a rope i.e. there is nothing to protect you if you fall.
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 10:58pm on 22/12/2018 under ,
Time for a couple of drams this evening...

  1. Cotswolds Single Malt £47. The first expression from the Cotswolds distillery; some pleasant sweet notes to this, although I couldn't detect any hints of the red wine casks its spent time in.
  2. Kilchoman Machir Bay Whisky £43. I do like a good Islay, and haven't had this one before. Plenty of smoke, but it's not overpowering nor one-dimensional. A winner :)
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 09:52pm on 16/12/2018 under ,
...is Kirkwall Bay £36, from a distillery on Orkney. It's quite gentle for a single malt from one of the islands.
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posted by [personal profile] emperor at 05:26pm on 16/12/2018 under ,
I'm still quite far behind on these; but this gets me up-to-date with the ones I've actually tasted (a few evenings this week):

  1. Hudson Baby Bourbon £50. This is made from corn spirit, and did have an unusual smell to it; interesting, but perhaps not my thing.
  2. Monkey Shoulder Smokey Monkey £30. A gently smoked whisky; nice but not doing anything very complicated.
  3. The Glenrothes 12 Year Old £41. A nice, slightly sweet Speyside.
  4. Nikka Whisky From The Barrel £33. 51.4% abv, so needs a fair bit of water to make it more drinkable. Even then, I was not really impressed (which is strange, as we have a bottle of this, so I was obviously keener on it at some point!)


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