Sweet and Sour

Today’s big news was that I was a big winner of one of the week’s most prestigious awards: The Sour Service Award of the Week on the notoriously bitchy controversial Whale Cottage Portfolio Blog. In receiving this honour, I join other luminaries such a Sea Point parking marshall [sic], Coco’s in Hermanus (is that a strip club?), the entire V&A Waterfront, ADT and, in at least one instance, The City of Cape Town.

To be singled out for the difference I have made to Chris’ life has made me very proud.

However, apparently the blog post that I wrote (because I “had nothing better to do”) was “most unprofessional” and displayed “a libelous [sic] ‘journalistic standard'”. It was “riddled with errors”, although apparently the spelling was pretty good, which must have upset her a bit.

Being a proud Yorkshireman and having a devastatingly concise scientific mind, I don’t like making errors. And it is for that reason (and not because “I have nothing better to do”) that I write this post this evening. I want to right the wrongs. I want the truth. I can handle the truth.

Things Chris says I got wrong:

I said that she rents out self-catering accommodation, when actually, they’re B&Bs.
Fair play, Chris – I’ll give you that one. Huge difference between the two, as breakfast is something you can stick another mark-up on and also, you don’t have to buy those annoying mini ovens for the rooms. Well done.

I quoted an eyewitness (in a “maliciously false fabricated  report”, nogal!), but she says that there was no-one close to them.
Well, yes Chris, I did quote “an eyewitness”, but I had the choice of at least 4 eyewitnesses to quote.  One of them took a photo of your car, clamped. Either they were very close to the scene or they have a hell of a zoom lens on their phone.
How do you know that I wasn’t quoting the parking attendant, Chris? After all, he was very close to you, wasn’t he?
Or perhaps there really was no-one there and you were you talking to yourself.
You might want to seek some psychiatric assistance about that, Chris. It’s not normal.

Chris says that I was not at the Convention Centre, and that I admit that I wrote the blog post purely on hearsay.
In alleging this, Chris undermines the entire journalistic profession. Indeed, if we are to use the von Ulmenstein method of reporting, then it means that only those actually present at any given event can mention it.

A great example would have been the news yesterday.
But when asked if  Muammar Gadaffi was dead, the boss at Al-Jazeera didn’t turn round and tell us:

Well, actually, we can’t say, because there were no reporters actually on the scene.
All we have is eyewitness reports. And photos. Pfft – that’s just “hearsay”.
To report that would be irresponsible, and damaging to the reputation of newsrooms generally.

…now did he? No, he didn’t.

That minor issue aside of course, Chris would never stoop so low as to report on an event at which she wasn’t present, now would she?
N… oh wait… yes – yes, it appears from this typically scathing post on the WDC judges’ visit to Cape Town that she would. Because – and I’m revealing this in an effort to continue the spirit of openness and honesty which has characterised our brief yet fulfilling relationship thus far, Chris – you wrote about a million words (give or take) and expressed some pretty strong opinions about the visit, for which you comprehensively failed make the guest list.

No. I had enough sources, enough evidence. I think that one belongs to me. And that makes it 2-1.

So – now I have reviewed and researched those three alleged errors that “riddled” my “libelous [sic]” blog post and I feel that my conscience is a little clearer, let’s quickly fill you in on the things that Chris didn’t highlight as being falsehoods and which I believe I’m therefore entitled to consider – given her meticulous eye for detail (if not spelling) – that she accepts are correct.

Things Chris accepts are correct:

That she parked illegally at the CTICC. If not in a disabled bay, then blocking a fire exit. Well done for not inconveniencing one person and merely potentially endangering everyone in the car park. Top marks.

That she is one of the more unpopular online figures in this city.

That she was singled out in Mandy de Waal’s scathing review of Cape Town food blogs (wherein the description of her included the word “libellous”, but spelled correctly).

That someone set up this site, which alleges all sorts of nasty things about her properties.

That there’s a video showing how “disgustingly dirty” her Franschhoek self-catering B&B is.

That her Franschhoek property is ranked 48th out of 49 in the area, based on 30 reviews.

Don’t you just love blog posts “riddled” with facts?

I always wonder in these situations if our online paths will ever cross again. Part of me feels that Chris will, in some way, attempt to even things up. Part of me wonders if she’ll want to risk bothering.

Either way – I’ll be here, hanging around 6000 miles from civilisation…

Whale Clamped

Word has reached us here at Chez 6000 that there was much amusement after the Cape Town Tourism AGM and the launch of the new marketing campaign for the city last night, as delegates emerged from the meeting to find that the car of Whale Cottage supremo Chris von Ulmenstein had been wheel-clamped in the CTICC car park because it had been parked in a disabled parking bay.

I don’t think it would be unreasonable for me to suggest that Ms von Ulmenstein is one of the more unpopular online figures in this city. Some would say that she rarely has a good word to say about anyone, a view perhaps supported by reading her weekly Sweet and Sour service awards, the former of which is usually a single line, while the latter is generally several paragraphs of ranting and moaning. Indeed, many believe (and for “many believe”, many believe that perhaps you should read “everyone knows”) that she was singled out in Mandy de Waal’s scathing review of Cape Town food blogs earlier this year:

There is also a notorious blogger on the Cape scene who has been barred from some restaurants and thrown out of others and whose allegedly libellous crusade is said to have caused significant damage to the luxury leisure industry.

Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you, although quite how it still feeds her is a bit of a mystery to me. That’s because it would seem that Ms von Ulmenstein’s Whale Cottage business, renting out self-catering accommodation to tourists, is equally disliked.
After all, no-one has bothered to set up a website called Don’t Read 6000 Miles…, now have they? (have they?) Yet search for “Whale Cottage” on Google and you may come across this site, which alleges all sorts of nasty things about her properties. There’s even a video.
Of course, that could just be the work of a single mischievous guest who had a bad stay – these things do happen. But then when you look deeper, you find that her Franschhoek property is ranked 48th out of 49 in the area, based on 30 reviews. Hmm.

Anyway- all this immaterial and potentially subjective background is merely for my myriad of overseas readers.

The fact is that parking in a disabled space in a car park, when your only “disability” is being rather unpleasant is an entirely repulsive act. And it fully deserves this:

Probably the best thing to do in this situation would be to admit your guilt, laziness, stupidity and selfishness, pay the fine and drive away.
Not to have a pop at the car park attendants, as one eyewitness noted:

It took hours to get out because she verbally attacked the security staff who were doing their jobs:
“But you are not disabled lady. Why park in a disabled parking bay?”

Why indeed? It’s a very reasonable question.

Surprisingly, the Whale Cottage blog account of last night’s meeting – in which Ms von Ulmenstein is surprisingly critical of the new CTT strategy – fails to mention that any of this happened. It could so easily have gone unpublicised and that would have been a crying shame as I feel that we should name and shame those who illegally park in disabled parking bays; much like we should with those who throw litter or cigarette butts out of their car windows or those who fail to adequately restrain their children in the car when driving.

Not that Chris von Ulmenstein did any of these other things, of course.

No, Chris von Ulmenstein parked illegally in a disabled parking bay at the CTICC last night.

Thanks to all those who got in touch about this. 

Please note that comment moderation has been temporarily re-enabled on the blog. Usual rules apply.