Cambridge and the 20mph zones

I personally feel that people in charge of traffic in Cambridge don’t really drive; if they did they would surely do things differently.  This post is about the 20mph and why I feel they are not that useful.  A few years ago the council announced that some areas of Cambridge should have reduced speed limit at 20mph instead of 30.  Fair enough, the majority of the street which were object of such a policy were either:
  • Super busy, often impossible to drive faster than 10mph
  • Very narrow, crazy to go even at 20mph
  • With speed bumps, ditto as above
The silly thing I recently read on the local newspaper was that representative of the council was pleased of the results they achieved with this policy.  He stated that there was no need for checking speed in 20mph zones because Continue reading

A nice first impression from the Pint Shop

IMG_20150125_115057252_HDR[1]In a country where most bars, pubs and restaurants are part of large organisations, often controlled by multiple levels of management and bean counters, I always admire those individuals who have the guts to open an independent business.  Management, quality control and procedures, typical of large chains, enable commoditisation of cooking and food serving; these companies rely on a constant supply of people with little or no skill, they train them for a few hours or days and simply let them follow well tested procedures.  All this well proven system allow rapid expansion of these organisations and put us, the consumers, in front of fairly safe choices when it’s time to go Continue reading

Twenty years and counting

Sunday 9th February was the 20th anniversary of my arrival to the UK.  I remember it was a cold winter morning when I jumped in my car and drove for about 18 hours flat all the way to Hemel Hempstead. In that small town just North of London used to live a friend which offered his hospitality for the first couple of weeks of my British adventure, an adventure that was meant to last a year or two. At that time Italy was trying to overcome the recession of the early 90ies and work conditions were not great, availability for interesting jobs was also pretty scarce. My personal interest in living abroad for a year or two while Italy was recovering inspired the move.  As soon as I arrived on British soil I realised the amazingly different working conditions and availability of well paid interesting jobs for techies. Within 3 weeks I had 3 good offers on the table; two from financial Continue reading

Disappointing experience in a posh patisserie

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="256"]Patisserie Valerie, Cambridge, England Image courtesy of Wikipedia, Green Lane[/caption]When I walk into an upmarket establishment, being it a restaurant, designer clothes shop or a patisserie I expect an upmarket service that should match the experience that people running that establishment are trying to deliver, often associated to a premium price tag.  Marketers will tell you that the overall experience, rather than a single component Continue reading

How Aromi can be bad for business

2013-06-02 12.29.37Location is an essential feature of any thriving business; your location will have a strong influence on your business, unless you sell online, no matter what you sell.  Our streets are full of Cafès and bars; while twenty years ago some of them would get away with average coffee and badly made cappuccinos the trend set by large coffee chains has raised the standard to what I would call a decent level.  Just 10 years ago in Cambridge I could struggle to get a decent cappuccino and a eatable croissant now I can even choose where to go:-) I am sure that the owners of Bennets or Fresh Thyme spent time and effort to plan the opening of their shop in one of the most central and probably expensive buildings in Cambridge, just behind the Guild Hall.  I am not passing by there very Continue reading