Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review of 'Law and Disorder' at DefrostingColdCases.Com

Nice review of Law and Disorder at DefrostingColdCases.Com. He says in particular:

"British humour, subtle power play, plots and intrigue…Vidocq was sold! I cannot wait to read more about this barrister."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Exmoor, The Country Magazine

For anyone who has never read it, a big heads up for Exmoor The Country Magazine. It's got an excellent new editor in Naomi Cudmore and a brand-spanking new website here.

Buyer beware! The Quay Restaurant, Ilfracombe

I've ummed and ahhed about whether to write anything about The Quay Restaurant in Ilfracombe since in general I tend towards subscribing to my mother's philosophy that unless you've got something nice to say then it's better not to say it at all. But despite that I had such a bad experience there that I feel something really has to be said. All the more so as I am local and am usually extolling the virtues of pretty much most things down here.

It was terrible from the start. I'd specifically booked a window seat so that we'd be able to look over the sea. No such luck since the lighting was so glaringly bright that not only was it killing any possible mood but what you would actually have been able to see if you tried staring outside was the reflection of the two young waitresses who were failing to serve us. Not that I'm usually fussy but when you order wine with your food you do tend to expect it to be brought a little before the first course arrives. No such luck here. Instead, after telling them that we'd have a look around at the Damian Hirst artworks, we were quickly summoned back to our tables having been told that our food was already done. We dutifully rushed back and indeed found our food already sitting there. Quite the romantics these girls. But wait, not a drop of alcohol to accompany it. After much waving at the waitress she waved back and eventually acknowledged that we still needed our wine delivering. But no, she then proceeded to ignore us whilst we sat there like a couple of lemons  starting to wonder exactly what parallel universe we had entered.

In the meantime, we'd ordered some lobster and another waitress had taken great pleasure in explaining to my guest how she loves watching diners making fools of themselves as they send bits of lobster flying all around the restaurant. Not exactly comforting as we set about that particular task. Given that there appeared to be only about four couples in the whole place on that particular Friday night they can't exactly claim to have been overbusy. Of those guests, you could pretty much tune into whatever conversation you liked since not only were the lights up bright but also there was no background music whatsoever and the acoustics were such that the complaint being made on another table could be heard by all. Particularly when they packed all the guests close together. Though actually even if the waitresses had had radio one blaring out at full volume, it still wouldn't have masked the response from one of them to the complaint which clearly embarrassed the person who'd made it in front of the other few of us unlucky enough to be eating there that night. Public humiliation was obviously her thing.

The food, for what it's worth, was passable but nothing special and most certainly didn't justify the bill of over £80 for two courses and a bit of alcohol. I think everyone must have felt the same since even though we were just keen to get out of there as soon as possible, the other three couples had by then already made sharp exits. Which meant that it took another long while to even find a waitress to take payment. In the end I made my way downstairs to find a bar which seemed to be dominated by screaming kids and again a waitress determined to ignore my by now keen desire to get out of there. Honestly, the good/bad dial had been turned so far to the extreme towards atrocious that it had almost started hitting good again just for the comedy value. That is, if I hadn't been stung for such a hefty bill which made it a very big laugh at my own expense.

But hey, if owner Damian Hirst one day decides to do a modern art installation to see quite how much the restaurant-going public can take without complaining this might be a good place to start. I have no idea how much he has to do with this place but for my part, I'd have rather eaten his formaldehyde-soaked sharks than visited this restaurant.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Legal Week reviews the Law Blogs

Nice article by Alex Aldridge in Legal Week in which he reviews the UK's law blogs. You can read the full text here. He says the following about the BabyBarista Blog:

"Individual blogs like BabyBarista, Charon QC, Head of Legal and Geeklawyer led the way...
BabyBarista - Fictional insider account of life at the Bar, running since 2006 and made into a book, Law and Disorder, last year. In adapting a Bridget Jones-style comical account to the law, author Tim Kevan arguably invented a new sub-genre that has sparked a number of imitators. The blog is now hosted by The Guardian website."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alex Aldridge starts writing for The Guardian's Law Section

Great to see that Alex Aldridge, the contributing editor of Legal Week, has also started writing for The Guardian's Law Section. You can read his excellent first article on financial regulation here. Alex is one of the stars of his generation of legal journalists and it's another coup for The Guardian to get such a great writer on board.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Profile on

I've answered a few questions for the website You can read it here.

Minehead man designs a card game app for the Apple iPhone

Heads up for Minehead-born Jason Wright's latest computer game which he has specifically designed for Apple's iPhone and which has now been approved as an office App. It's is called ThreePlay (3Play). It’s a simple, yet addictive card game and cab be purchased on iTunes here. As Jason says:

"I got bored of all the same blackjack, poker, solitaire etc apps in the app store and decided to make a card game that was a little faster paced and more fun. The object is simple, make sets of three. Either a run of cards, for example 3,4,5 or Jack, Queen, King or three of a kind, 4,4,4, Ace, Ace, Ace. A same suit run gets you the most points at 1000 with a simple mixed run getting the least at 100. Three of a kind is 500. You get a bonus for Picture card runs on top. It sounds simple, and the basic concept is but once you get playing you realise it takes a little thinking and planning to get a good score. There are 4 card banks at the bottom for making the sets of three and 3 storage slots for one card each at the top. It’s a dual iPad/iPhone app and I am working in improvements already. I hope you like it!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review of BabyBarista by Charles Courtley

Nice review of Law and Disorder by Charles Courtley, the pen-name for the author of the excellent Wig Begone. You can read the article here or below.


I’m delighted to state that my book now appears on the 
Lovereading website and so I  join a pantheon of other legal humorists – a bunch of writers all dedicated to treating the Law as a bit of a joke.
So, if you’re tired of serious coutroom novels, lighten up a little with a toddle through our pretend world.
Henry Cecil’s ” Brothers in Law” series will take you right back to the career of a rather prim barrister of the 1950s, whilst John Mortimer’s immortal “Rumpole of the Bailey” books examine the legal scene from the other side of the age spectrum.
Tim Kevan will bring you bang up to date with his witty book “Law and Disorder”  – a  brilliant parody of the modern profession and I trust that my own, more traditional tale, “Wig Begone by Charles Courtley” , the nostalgic story of a young barrister’s shenanigans in the 1970s will raise a laugh too!

Monday, October 11, 2010

'Law and Disorder' book-signing at Hammicks Legal Bookshop on 25 October

I will be doing a book signing for my book Law and Disorder from 6-8.30pm on 25 October at Hammicks Legal Bookshop at 191-192 Fleet Street (corner of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street). It is open to anyone although so that they can get a good idea of numbers, please RSVP if you or your friends can attend to

Plea for help for Everest's Lama Geshe

I have just received this email from top Everest mountaineer Dr Rob Casserley. It is a very worthy cause.

Dear all,
So sorry to write a group email, but time is short and the reason is very important. Sorry to any of you that I should have written to before but have not managed to do. Please don't hold this against me when considering the topic matter!
A couple of weeks ago, Lama Geshs very nearly died. You are being written to, because almost certainly you have had the pleasure/honour of meeting him and will know what a wonderful person he is and probably appreciate, in some way, that he may well have done something very positive for you. He lost the ability to move his Right Hand Side, couldn't talk or swallow and deteriorated very badly. Everyone thought that he had had a stroke. It was felt that he would die.
Thankfully Jigme, Lama Geshe's son, from whom the forwarded message is below, managed to organise enough funds to get him a helicopter to Kathmandu. It was found on CT scan of his brain, that he had in fact had a subdural haematoma and required neurosurgery. He underwent this immediately and thankfully, he is now making a good recovery. He is still bedbound (when I saw him 10 days ago in Kathmandu), but he is talking, eating, moving his right hand side etc.
Bottom line, the care for him in hospital and the helicopter ride was extremely expensive - in total I would guess that it will exceed $5000US. I think that the family need help in trying to cover this bill and hopefully you will join me in donating. I am in Pheriche at the moment, but will be donating $200 as a start point. Please join me in whatever you can manage, to help this amazing man.
As a matter of interest, having examined him in hospital, I sincerely believe that he can make a good recovery, perhaps almost full. But that depends on after care such as physiotherapy and good nursing care. He is suffering from a bedsore at the moment which may hold him back, but he is in good spirits and I believe ge is over the worst. Your money will be used for very positive reasons.
Jigme sent me an email with a link to a paypal account. Please get behind this. I will be doing so on my return to Kathmandu in 10days. I will check in n him again and give you all a progress report.
Thanks for all of your help, and PLEASE forward on this email to anyone that you may think I have left out and has an interest in Lama Geshe's recovery,
Cheers for now,
Rob Casserley, Pheriche
--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: jigme sherpa <>
Date: Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 6:22 AM
Subject: Thank you and Link for fund

Hello Rob,

It was really nice to see you today. Thank you so much for your continued support and care for my father. It means a lot to my family and Pangboche villagers. He is getting better day by day and things are looking much better compared to past week. I am sure Ang Nuru have told you about it. 

Below is a link for the donation. I am sure you will write to everyone you know in a respectable and dignified way, but just to reiterate please write with great care and stress that the fund only be only used for my father's health. And please add something about your visit today to the hospital.

Below are links to articles about my father, I like how it is written in IMG website.

Could you also send an email to Dave Morton. I am sure that he will have lots of friends and he can get the article on Alpine Ascents website.

Once again thank you so much,

Lama Geshe Family

Friend's VW Caravelle Transporter for sale for £7,850 o.n.o. (click to enlarge ad)

A good friend of mine, Amy Krazizsky who runs the Tiki surf shop in Braunton is about to move to Canada and so is being forced to sell her van. The details are in the picture opposite which you can enlarge by clicking on the picture and they are also below:

£7,850 o.n.o.
Manual 5 Speed, MPV. Diese, 107,000 miles, Blue
2.5tdi Turbo Diesel, 8 Seats, Opening Rear Windows, Power Steering, Full service history.
Very Good Condition, Recent New Cambelt & Service,
Full set of brakes and discs 1 month ago
Long MOT, Roof Bars
Mobile: 07787 241 414, £7,850 o.n.o.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fire and Knives - a new breed of food magazine

Heads up for a relatively new food magazine called Fire and Knives which is run by award-winning food writer Tim Hayward. It strikes a punch against the celebrity-obsessed world of food PR and offers instead interesting and intelligently written articles along the highways and byways of food culture. With no advertisements, no celebrities and no recipes, it's a rare treat and I will be looking forward to the new issue each quarter. It's a brave and exciting thing to have launched and I wish Tim all the very best with it. You can subscribe here.

Sponsored blog post: Claiming compensation after an accident in a public place

Picture the scene; you’re visiting an office or business premises.  As you go to enter the building, you trip and fall.  When you get up, you notice that one of the steps up to the front door of the office gave way as you stood on it, causing you to trip up.
Whilst it may not be a situation that many of us have experienced, similar accidents can and do happen to dozens of people around the country every day.  Whether you have tripped up on a poorly maintained footpath or pavement, slipped on liquids spilt on a stairway, been hit by a falling object (such as a ceiling tile) or suffered any other injury in a public place or on a commercial premises through no fault of your own, it is your right to pursue a claim for compensation against those responsible.
Making a successful accident claim
In order to make a successful accident claim after suffering an injury in an accident on commercial premises or in a public place, you will need to prove that another person was responsible for your accident.  In the case of most compensation claims, this would be the owner of the premises, but it could also be the responsibility of the business that is renting the premises, or an external company that might be contracted to maintain the building and its surroundings. 
Finding out who was ultimately responsible for making sure that the area where your accident occurred was safe and well maintained can be a confusing and time consuming process.  This is just the kind of situation where a specialist accident claims solicitor could make all the difference as to whether your claim is a success or not.
As well as undertaking investigations to pinpoint the precise reasons for your accident, a personal injury solicitor can take the strain out making a claim in other ways.  As part of your claim, it is necessary to get medical evidence of your injuries from an independent medical expert.  Your solicitor will arrange for you to receive a consultation with a GP or a consultant specializing in the treatment of your particular injuries.  This ensures that any compensation settlement you are awarded is based on an accurate assessment of your injuries, their impact on your life and the length of time you are likely to need before you are fully recovered.
For advice concerning all aspects of non-fault personal injury claims, including claims for injuries suffered in a public place or at work, contact Camps Solicitors, the personal injury specialists.
Author: Neil Worrall

Monday, October 4, 2010

Book recommendation: Where Earwigs Dare

I highly recommend a book of poetry by fellow Devon resident Matt Harvey called Where Earwigs Dare. It is a collection of his latest poems, horticultural, whimsical, ecological, political and just plain funny. The book includes a poem about my Dad Robin Kevan in his guise as Rob the Rubbish which was broadcast on Fi Glover's programme on Radio 4. You can order the book at amazon. With Matt's kind permission, the poem about my Dad is also printed here. You can also watch a clip of Matt talking about transition towns here.