Archive for February, 2020

J D Wetherspoon refuse to pay sick pay of workers who may have coronavirus

February 29, 2020

Wetherspoon are forcing into work staff who may have coronavirus.

If follow WHO advice, government advice, may have coronavirus, self isolate. If work for Wetherspoon and follow this advice will will not be paid.

Wetherspoon workers who try to do the right thing, self-isolate and try to stop the spread of coronavirus are being told, either turn up for work or you will not be paid.

This is appalling treatment by Wetherspoon of their staff who may have coronavirus, come to work or you will not be paid.

This puts their colleagues at risk, drinkers in their bars at risk, hastens the spread of coronavirus.

Do you really wish to visit a Wetherspoon pub and not be sure if the person preparing your food, serving your meal, handing you a drink has coronavirus?

The only defence we have against coronavirus is containment.

Coronavirus is twice as infectious as seasonal flu, the death rate ten times that of seasonal flu.

My recent observations:

  • Toby Carvery bar girl sneezes twice into her hands then hands over two glasses of water
  • fish n chip restaurant waitress sneezes into her hands wipes hands on tea towel then uses to wipe glasses and cutlery
  • village pub with no soap in he toilet
  • trains with no running water or soap in toilets

It takes only one infected person forced into work by Wetherspoon to infect everyone in the bar.

Tim Martin boss of J D Wetherspoon has form, low pay, zero hours, opposed increase in rate of minimum wage, crap service, food not good.

I would urge everyone to boycott J D Wetherspoon.

Government is bringing in emergency legislation. This must include forcing bad employers like J D Wetherspoon to pay sick pay, and if any employee has been forced to return to work, hit with a a heavy fine, and if Wetherspoon has forced anyone into work, close down their pubs.

The emergency legislation must also oblige insurance companies to pay for cancelled holidays, to cover the cost if stranded overseas.

Over 5 million views of photos on Google maps

February 29, 2020

A few days ago, views of photos on Google maps passed 5 million.

Last few days of February, over five millions views of photos on Google Maps.

Over 5,086,000 views on 4 March 2020.

The Truth About Takeaways

February 28, 2020

BBC are to be complimented on The Truth About Takeaways looking at how bad takeaway meals. [broadcast BBC One 2000 GMT Thursday 27 February 2020]

If not seen a must watch.

Takeaway meals bad on every measure can think of, weight gain, damage to arteries, fat levels in bloodstream, fitness, lethargy, alertness, cognitive skills, sleep deprivation.

A two week trial of half a dozen fit students. They noticeably deteriorated and looked worse for wear during the two week trial

I felt sick looking at the food they had to eat, and that was without the disgusting smell. I had a sample of the disgusting smell of junk food at the weekend from a travelling junk food circus.

One family was addicted to takeaways. They lived on junk food every day, and no, they did not look well. A professor of food psychology weaned them off the junk food. At the end of two weeks they looked healthier.

Where I would criticise is failure to differentiate the different types of fat, not lump all fat together.  [see Big Fat Surprise]

When deciding what is healthy what is not, we should ask how far has it travelled,  to what degree heavily processed, look at the list of additives.

Do not be taken in by the Big Businesses vegan scam peddling highly processed crap.

We are being fed a false argument vegan v meat. No, the issue is industrial farming v regenerative agriculture.

Grass fed herbivores, the grass mitigates temperature, absorbs carbon, improves the soil structure, which in turn absorbs carbon, soaks up water.

Similarly with chocolate and coffee, direct trade, bean-to-bar chocolate, trees grown under the shade of trees, will also always be superior to plantation grown industrial chocolate, commodity coffee.

A warning on Deliveroo, and not only that they are an exploitative company like Uber, serfs working for an app. They are setting up their own kitchens, cutting out the middle man, current takeaways and restaurants unthinkingly supplying the data to destroy their own businesses.

Deliveroo are also a contributory factor in the destruction of town centres. High Streets need footfall. Deliveroo is taking away footfall.

Costa Adeje Palace Hotel Tenerife coronavirus outbreak

February 25, 2020

I feel very sorry for the hotel guests in lock down in Costa Adeje Palace Hotel Tenerife following one guest testing positive for coronavirus.

The authorities are to be praised for acting promptly, that have taken appropriate action, the hotel has been cordoned off no one allowed in or out.

The only way we can slow if not halt the spread of coronavirus is through containment.

It is a pity we have not seen prompt actions elsewhere. Slow to act, too little to late.

All flights should be suspended to destinations with confirmed cases of coronavirus, and that should now include Tenerife.

Anyone returning from Tenerife quarantined.

At the weekend Tenerife was hit by a dust storm, flights grounded, tourists sleeping on the floor of the airport. Every single one of those returning should be quarantined.

The guests I feel most sorry for are those who are on holiday with tui. Tui has a duty of care, which they fail to discharge. Guests can expect no help from tui, tui will lie, tui will fall over backwards to not pay compensation.

Several years ago I was in Tenerife, noravirus was spreading through the island like wildfire, new arrivals would go down with it, those leaving to spread far and wide.

The hotel I was staying at everyone, guests and staff, were falling sick with noravirus.

I was one of those to fall sick. And it was not pleasant

Luckily I was warned by a fellow guest who had fallen sick, therefore I knew what to expect, to stay in my room to stop it spreading. Not that I was in any fit state to be going anywhere.

I was also given salts by my fellow guest, which helped a lot.

Tui has a duty of care, not only did they fail to warn guests of the outbreak and advise what to do, they refused to, and even  worse accused those who raised the issue of scaremongering.

At a briefing for new arrivals, no mention of noravirus. It should have been the first issue raised. Then when raised by a guest, that the hotel was badly infected with noravirus, they tried to silence the guest and accused of scaremongering. Blatantly lied, claimed there was no noravirus outbreak.

I had a meeting with the hotel manager. He was shocked by the response of tui. All hotels had been advised of the outbreak, tui had been advised, but they were not in turn advising guests and advising what to do if fell ill and to halt the spread.

We draw up a plan:

  • guests informed hotel had noravirus infection
  • guests advised of importance of personal hygiene
  • guests with infection to remain in their rooms
  • bed linen to be changed daily and washed twice separate from that of other guests
  • the same for face flannels and towels
  • public areas, entrance to hotel and restaurant, hand sanitise
  • fluffy white towels to be removed from all public washrooms

Noravirus outbreak was not the only occasion of tui failing in their duty of care.

A couple of years ago, at a hotel in Tenerife, hotel was a building site.

Tui was knowingly sending guests to a building site. To date, no compensation from tui. Attitude of tui was sue us if you wish to recover your money. They repeatedly lied, as they did during the noravirus outbreak.

The failure of local environmental health officers is a cause for concern.

I have recently observed:

  • Toby Carvery Lincoln bar girl sneezed twice into her hands then handed over two glasses of water
  • a recently opened upmarket fish n chip shop waitress sneezed into her hands wiped on tea towel then used to wipe glasses and cutlery
  • village pub no soap in the toilets
  • toilets on trains no soap or running water

Crass comments by Health Secretary Matt Hancock no need to suspend flights to China because Italy did and they have coronavirus. Italy has no idea how the area in lock down became infected, have been unable to find Patient Zero.

Italy has suspended public gatherings.

UK should suspend public gatherings. People should be encouraged wherever possible to work from home.

The only way we can slow the spread of coronavirus is by containment.

There are now more cases of coronavirus outside of China than within. The number of countries added to the list growing daily. One of the latest to be added is Greece.

The problem travellers have is the failure of FCO to issue advice not to travel to infected countries. Without they cannot cancel a trip and not incur financial penalty.

Happy Coffee Bike

February 22, 2020

Spend fours hours travelling up from Kent, pay £400 for a pitch to stand in the cold to serve LavAzza coffee at a junk food travelling circus in Lincoln.

Masochistic.

To say the least I felt very sorry for the young Romanian lady whose stall it was, her very first outing with her coffee trike.

I doubt she covered her travel costs, let alone cost of the pitch, cost of overnight stay.

Who conned her into this ridiculous venture?

She had not worked in coffee, knew nothing about coffee.

Why serve LavAzza when High Street lined with coffee shops serving bad coffee?

She was frozen. I offered to take her for a coffee to have the chance to warm up and drink a decent coffee.  But she could not leave her stall.

I advised she checked out coffee roasteries in Sussex, and to attend the Brighton Coffee Festival in August.

Junk food travelling circus

February 22, 2020

High Street Lincoln stomach-churning stench from junk food travelling circus.

Why?

Generators polluting a pedestrian street, stench pervading nearby shops, dreadful music blasting out Cornhill.

It was like a mini-version of the disastrous Lincoln Christmas Market, junk food and tat.

A coffee truck. If want bad coffee, sit in the warm in a corporate coffee shop. For those who love coffee, Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle.

Sweet stall. Locals know to visit the sweet shop in Sincil Street.

Two stalls with low quality cheese. Locals know walk to top of High Street, turn left to The Cheese Society. Or top of Steep Hill, farmers market Castle Hill third Saturday of the month.

I felt very sorry for a coffee cycle, strictly speaking a trike, Happy Coffee, four hours journey from Kent, stand in the cold serving LavAzza coffee, and pay £400 for the pitch.

Coffee by the Arch revisited

February 19, 2020

Since my last visit some time ago, Coffee by the Arch has changed owners. It had been for sale for some time. New owners took over 20 days ago.

On my last visit, service was so bad, I gave up waiting and walked out. And what I saw of coffee served not worth waiting. The coffee sourced not good.

Very little has changed, and not improved.

Service still bad, clueless on coffee.

Long wait before served with a cappuccino carpet bombed with chocolate.

I took it back. Second attempt not much better. All I can say in its favour is that I have had worse.

The coffee supplied by Limini, suppliers of catering supply coffee to the trade. Says all need to know about Limini when they supply syrups.

There is no excuse for sourcing cheap low quality coffee, or for not employing skilled baristas.

Local try Seven Districts. But would need to employ a barista to get the best out of their coffee.

I have never understood why anyone opens or buys a coffee shop when knows nothing about coffee.

Depressing, in a good location and could be an excellent little coffee shop.

Elite on the Bail revisited

February 19, 2020

I last visited Elite on the Bail an upmarket fish n chip shop last week, one week after it had opened.

In summary, poor design, poor service, excellent fish n chips.

Has anything changed?

Not a lot can be done about the poor design.

The service far from improving has deteriorated, now on a par with Burton Road Chippy.

Waitress with hair dangling over the table, wrong change on bill, bill not brought promptly to the table when offered to bring, but a few of the problems experienced.

There is a problem with the dish washing machine. Black flecks on all the crockery, a rough scum on much of the crockery.

Elite need to address the poor service  and the things that are going wrong. .

Suggestion: Deploy experienced staff from Elite Tritton Road, pay their travelling expenses and time to and from Elite on the Bail.

Fish n chips?

Haddock was excellent, even better than last week, but the chips poor quality, not up to the standard of Elite.

Poor quality of chips queried. Apparently difficulty sourcing quality potatoes suitable for frying.

Lincolnshire grows potatoes but cannot supply quality potatoes to Elite.

The Hairy Bikers’ Chocolate Challenge

February 18, 2020

I did not expect Hairy Bikers’ reality chocolate show on Channel 5 to be anything other than dire. It lived up to expectations.

Dire it was, gimmicky, dreadful presenters, dreadful contestants.

I endured five minutes then turned off in disgust. I tried again the next day. I managed ten minutes before giving up in disgust.

Set in the Nestlé factory in York, one of the worst corporations in the world. York where once upon a time Joseph Rowntree started.

Industrial chocolate.

I had hoped bean-to-bar chocolate, not fat and sugar.

The programme could have been set at York Cocoa Works. And at the very least, wander through the Shambles and look in Monk Bar Chocolatiers.

York, home of chocolate, and the viewers are insulted with corporate industrial chocolate.

Corporate chocolate makers lobbied in US to water down the definition of chocolate to include  emulsifiers and other additives.

Over the last two decades we have seen shocking reports about the use of child labor, sometimes under hazardous conditions, on cacao farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana, and of widespread destruction of forests in cacao-growing regions worldwide.

Public outcry had prompted the major chocolate companies to pledge to end the worst forms of child labour in the cacao industry. But no laws were ever passed in America to require this (those same companies lobbied against the legislation and quashed it), little has changed.

We find a similar corporate story with environmental impact. In 2017, 34 chocolate companies agreed to end deforestation by their industry. But according to a 2018 report by the environmental group Mighty Earth, cacao production was still ravaging forests, and the animals living within them, at an alarming rate.

Direct trade, traceability, transparency bean-to-bar chocolate makers source the best beans, place emphasis on the growing conditions, the terroir, the working conditions, will include details on their chocolates or on their websites.

Cacao grown under the shade of trees helps to protect the natural habitat.

Across the country we have bean-to-bar chocolate makers, viewers could have been introduced to quality chocolate, instead industrial chocolate in a Nestlé factory.

According to the Fine Chocolate Industry Association, sales of premium chocolates grew in the US 19 percent in 2018, compared with 0.6 percent for mainstream chocolate like the classic Hershey bar. Over the past decade, the number of small American bean-to-bar chocolate producers — the kind with cacao percentages and places of origin printed on those hyper-chic labels — has jumped from about five to more than 250.

We could have visited a cacao grower in the Amazon, learnt of the sacred origins of cacao, learnt how cacao is replacing coca in Colombia, that quality attracts a higher price than that paid by Nestlé, direct trade not the FairTrade scam, seen the different cacao pods, fermentation, selecting the roast profile, the processing to turn the cacao nibs into a bar of chocolate.

Maybe a visit to Casa Cacao to see what experts can then do with bean-to-bar chocolate.

But no, a Nestlé factory churning out industrial chocolate for the masses.

At the very least set within Hotel Chocolat. Each person have an expert on hand to advise. Then go through the rigorous selection process. But at a guess no one would have passed, and that would have been the end of the series.

Begs the question: Is this Channel 5 series sponsored by Nestlé?

Berlin Wall Potsdamer Platz

February 17, 2020

At Potsdamer Platz can be found a few small remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall.

One section covered in graffiti, a slightly longer section with information about the Berlin Wall.

Worth visiting, The Barn Potsdamer Platz, housed in Haus Huth, the only pre-war building remaining in Potsdamer Platz.