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review 2020-03-13 22:29
A twisted mystery and an homage to the classics of the genre
The Hunting Party - Lucy Foley

I thank Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for providing me an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.

Lucy Foley is a new author to me but I was intrigued by the premise of the book, which promised to be a look back at the classics but with a modern touch. The format is easily recognisable (a group of people isolated in a somewhat strange setting, a crime, and the suspicions that fall on all those present). I had recently read The Glass Hotel and although they are set in very different locations (the hotel here is in the Scottish Highlands), there were some similarities in the isolation of the place, and in the motivations of some of the employees to seek such isolation, but this is a more conventional caper, where everybody hides secrets, dislikes and even hatreds, and there is a lot of emphasis placed on the relationship between the university friends who go on holiday together even though they no longer have much in common, and whom we get to know pretty well during the book.

There are plenty of lies, obscure motivations, relationships that are not what they seem to be, infidelity, popularity contests, friction between the so-called friends, and the book is told in two separate timeframes, one after the crime (although a bit like in Big Little Lies, we hear about the aftermath of the crime, but who the victim is doesn’t get revealed until almost the very end), and another that follows chronologically from the time when the friends set off towards their holiday destination. Eventually, both narratives catch up, and we get a full understanding of what has gone on.  It’s a great strategy to keep readers guessing, and although I did have my suspicions of at least some of the things that were to come, I admit that there are some interesting red herring thrown into the works . Readers need to remain attentive to the changes in time frame to avoid getting confused as to when things have taken place, although this is clearly stated in the novel.

One of the problems some readers seem to have with the novel is that the characters are not terribly likeable. The story is narrated mostly from the point of view of several of the women: three of the female friends (Emma, the newest one to arrive in the group; Miranda, the Queen Bee who never quite lived up to everybody’s expectations; and Katie, Miranda’s best friend, the only single one, who seems to have outgrown the group in many ways ), and also Heather, the manager of the hotel, who has secrets of her own (and is one of the nicest characters)— all of them told in the first person—, and one man’s point of view, Doug, another employee of the hotel, although in his case we get a third-person account, and one marred by many of his personal difficulties (let’s say that he is not a very reliable narrator). Reading the events from several points of view helps us gain perspective and heightens our suspicions as to what might really be going on. I must agree that the characters, probably because we are privy to their internal thoughts rather than to others’ opinions of them, are difficult to like. Self-obsessed or obsessed with others, with random likes and dislikes, cruel, or unable to face the truth… none of them are people most of us would choose as friends. Considering this is a book about a group of friends, it does offer a particularly grim view of old friendships, emphasising the lack of sincerity and honesty and the dark undertones to most of the relationships between them. On the other hand, I must admit that dark —or at least grey— characters make for a much more interesting reading experience than goody two-shoes.  

The writing style is straight forward and manages to create a clear image of the characters in the reader’s mind. There are some rather memorable scenes as well, but the book takes its time building up the background and the relationships, rather than moving at a fast pace, but still manages to keep readers intrigued and interested.

As I said, I had my suspicions about who the guilty party might be and what was behind the murder from early on (the clues are all there), but nonetheless I found the ending satisfying, and I think most readers will feel the same.

In sum, a solid thriller, that brings back memories of old style mystery novels, with more emphasis on the psychological aspect, and which also has much in common with the domestic noir style (although here transposed to the Highlands). An interesting novel for lovers of the genre, and one that I’m sure in the right hands could be turned into a successful movie. 

 

 

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review 2020-03-09 20:40
Do I have to replace my Outlet?

If you think about it, it’s probably a yes.

Here are a few telling tales that your outlet has served its time.

Sockets are often used continuously for years without maintenance, they are usually very robust, but are all susceptible to damage that can be overlooked. If damage or other signs are not addressed, the outlet is not at its best; it can lead to a power failure and possibly be dangerous.

Cracks in Front of the Socket

An obvious but often overlooked. Cracks may appear, although years of wear or damage from an external source. Excessive heat caused by a malfunction at the back of a power outlet can also cause the front of the outlet to burst. Cracks not only expose live wires, but can also pose a serious fire risk due to the dust that accumulates therein. If you notice a crack, stop using that outlet until it is replaced.

Heat Scorching Marks

The accumulation of dust, overload and poor wiring can all cause electrical outlets to generate excessive heat that causes heat burns.

These types of markings are usually dark brown in color and are located on the outlet or plug, so both must be checked regularly. If you notice scorching spots or the plugs feel warm, disconnect the plug from the socket before disconnecting devices. The socket may only be used again after it has been correctly inspected. I have seen cases where so much heat has been generated that the shape of the socket and the plug are distorted and even fused.

Electricity Switches off Temporarily

If a device connected to your electrical outlet is switched off and then on again, you must first check that the device itself is not defective by connecting it to another electrical outlet. If the device works properly, this is a sign that there is a problem with your outlet. This can be caused by a number of problems, including loose connections at the back of the socket. Always ask a competent person to check the connection.

Blow fuses

Fuses that constantly blow can be very frustrating and can have various causes. If you have a fuse that continues to blow, try plugging the device into a different outlet. If the fuse does not blow into the new connection, there is probably a problem with the other one and this should be checked as soon as possible.

Green ‘goo’

If you have very old wiring from the 60s and early 70s, you can have green goo appear around the socket. This sticky goo is broken down “di-isotyl” a chemical reaction between copper and insulation in old cables and can still be found in some properties. If you notice this goo, you should contact a qualified electrician as soon as possible. Depending on the extent of the problem, this may mean that a new thread is needed.

Arcing Sounds

A crackling, buzzing or popping sound coming from your outlet indicates that something is wrong. This is called sparking. This is a small spark that jumps over the back of your outlet and is usually caused by damaged or loose wires. If you hear these noises, have the plug checked as soon as possible. Failure to repair the device may cause a small explosion or electrical fire in the back of an electrical outlet.

How do I prevent damage to my sockets?

It is advisable to visually check a power outlet every time you use it. Those who are always in use, such as the TV or the plug and the socket of the kettle, must be checked regularly.

Top tips to prevent damage to your sockets:

  • Avoid overloading sockets with extension cables. Never connect one extension cable to the other, as this can cause overheating. Try the socket overload calculator.
  • Do not purchase generic or inexpensive devices and only use recommended accessories for electrical equipment. For example, it is known that inexpensive replacement telephone chargers damage electrical outlets and cause electrical fires.
  • Only use plugs with the British standard safety mark.
  • Always carefully remove the plugs, do not pull on the cable.
  • Make sure there is enough space around the socket to allow airflow.

Do not leave furniture behind a plug that can bump into the socket or be pressed against it, which will put pressure on the socket.

 

Source: www.goodshipltd.co.uk
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review 2020-03-09 20:40
Why do my bulbs keep blowing?

Do I have to switch to LED lamps?

First, electricians call them lamps, but we know that most people call them light bulbs, so that’s what we’ll call them in this article.

Some of you may have a small supply of traditional lamps, but do you have to dump them for LED? We don’t waste here, so although they are very inefficient (80% of the energy that is converted into a traditional incandescent lamp is converted into heat, not light), you shouldn’t dump them yet. If you have purchased bulk to keep track of the number of bulbs that continue to blow, consider why they continue to blow and do something about it.

When a lamp blows, why does it blow the wick?

When a lamp blows, chances are that your fuse or circuit breaker will also burn out or trip, making the problem seem a lot worse than it is. The reason that a blowing lamp can cause a breaker to stumble is because just before the lamp fails, the element overheats and melts, the resulting resistance causes a surge of current that shuts off the breaker or blows the wick, which is not necessarily a problem, it is the Wick or the circuit breaker is doing its thing.

So why do my bulbs keep blowing?

There can be many reasons why your lamps keep blowing – here are some of the most common ones.

Cheap Bulbs

Unbranded lamps of lesser quality, which are often transported halfway around the world, burn out faster with normal use. These cheaper lamps are made of thinner materials, making them more susceptible to malfunctions and often have little or no quality control.

Cheap Lighting Fixtures

Unbranded luminaries of poorer quality are also often transported over large distances, which increases the risk of transport damage. These luminaries may be poorly designed, with poor airflow around the lamp fitting which then overheats the lamp causing it to malfunction more quickly.

Electricity Sparks

When a light bulb does not fit correctly in a fixture, it can lead to current (a very small spark) between the fitting and the light bulb. This arc can generate excess heat, causing the blub to blow prematurely.

This problem is more common with old or cheap fixtures, but can also occur with expensive new fixtures. When replacing a burned-out lamp, always check the old lamp and the fitting for dark or discolored and / or pitted areas that indicate sparks. If you notice discoloration or pits, ask for advice, as this may be the beginning of something that gets worse.

High Voltage

Only a small amount of excessive voltage is needed to drastically reduce the life of an ordinary light bulb. Just like electric sparks, high voltages can cause excessive heat.

Vibrations

Light bulbs are often very delicate, especially if they are made cheaply. Vibrations can come from a variety of sources, eg nearby devices, sound waves, slamming doors, footsteps from the floor above, ceiling fans, etc. If vibrations are the cause of light bulbs blowing, the switch to an LED light will remedy it.

Will the use of LED lamps reduce the risk of blowing lamps?

We recommend the use of LED luminaries and lamps that last at least 10 times as long as traditional light bulbs and are highly efficient in creating light, so no heat, so save money and reduce the risk of significantly blowing lamps. The reason for this is that LED lamps are generally not made of vulnerable components and they operate at a much lower wattage.

Did this help?

If this article has been relevant to you, you can call us. We can do a little research to see if there are any signs of underlying issues, and we recommend all the steps you need to take to prevent a minor inconvenience from becoming a much more expensive issue.

Contact us for more information.

 

Source: www.goodshipltd.co.uk
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review 2020-03-09 20:40
Devices for Surge Protection

Protection of Your Electrical Equipment

From 1 January 2019 The IET wiring regulations BS 7671: 2018 – Requires adequate protection for both people and equipment against temporary over voltages of atmospheric origin that are transferred via the power distribution system and against switching over voltages.

What does this mean?

Simply put, this means that we now have to protect our electrical systems against the effects of lightning and electrical peaks or power peaks from the electricity supplier. This is done through the use of a surge protector (SPD).

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Why now?

In the last 20 years, the risk of death or injury has increased considerably, as have the financial costs for replacing goods, equipment and data that have been destroyed after a light attack or a power surge.

Why has the risk grown?

The use of computers and electronics has increased exponentially in the last two decades. There are more systems and these systems have become smaller, which means that less energy is needed to damage components and cause fire or explosion.

What effect does this have on you?

The regulations prescribe mandatory use of SPDs for most new installations. An exception to this is some houses – your house. Goodship Electrical Services offers you the possibility to mount an SPD as another layer for electrical safety.

What is an SPD?

An SPD is a small device that fits into your new consumer unit and protects your entire electrical system from damage caused by lightning and power surges from the electrical supply.

Why should I choose to have one SPD?

Our houses are full of electronic equipment, from TVs, washing machines and computers to Sky boxes, kettles and telephone chargers, our daily activities apply to this. Almost everything you plug into a power outlet would be destroyed by a lightning strike or a surge without an SPD. If you work from home, you can lose valuable and irreparable data from computers and backup disks.

Your electrician will determine if an SPD is needed during the system design.

 

Source: www.goodshipltd.co.uk
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review 2020-03-09 20:40
Why changes to the electrical regulations cost you money?

Since January 1, 2019, qualified and regulated electricians working at your home have been working on the 18th edition of the IET wiring codes BS 7671: 2018. Most electricians have updated their qualifications in recent months to reflect this change.

So how does this affect you?

The main reasons for the updated rules are to improve safety and to take into account the latest technological developments. The changes have been extensive and there are some fundamental changes in BS 7671: 2018 that, as a result, have to pay the customer for additional equipment for even the most basic electrical installations.

The most important changes that influence the costs of a new electrical installation.

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1) Requirements for Metal Cable Supports:

When new wiring is installed, it must be supported in a certain way to prevent premature fire collapse. This is to ensure that in the event of a fire, escaping people or fire service personnel entering a property do not get entangled in the dark with loose cables. The days of applying trunking with sticky back or a few plastic cable clips are over. Cables must now be supported by metal clips and holders. Plastic trunking can still be used, but a sufficient amount of additional metal restrictions must be used.

Pros:

This will save lives.

Cons:

Small extra material costs.

2) Requirements for RCD Protection:

In fact, these changes mean that all circuits in a home require RCD protection, while previous requirements omitted some circuits, e.g. lighting.

Pros:

This prevents electrical shock.

Cons:

Extra material costs.

3) Requirement to Prevent Unwanted Circuit Breakers:

RCDs are very fast-running devices that disconnect the current in the event of a fault, resulting in large amounts of “RCD,” thus avoiding the risk of an electric shock. During normal operation, modern electrical equipment can also generate a very small amount of the same ‘earth leakage current’. In some cases, if there are multiple items of electrical equipment on the same circuit, the cumulative amount of “earth leakage current” may also activate an earth leakage circuit breaker. The new regulation provides a number of solutions to prevent these unwanted journeys, the most practical being to use a single RCD (RCBO) on each individual circuit. This is likely to double the cost of equipment for a new fuse board.

Pros:

This prevents electrical shocks and avoidable unwanted trips

Cons:

The costs of the equipment have risen enormously

4) Requirement for Adequate Protection against Temporary Spans of Atmospheric Origin:

To meet this in certain circumstances, your electrician must install an ‘Overvoltage protection (SPD)’. An SPD is a small device that fits into your new consumer unit and protects your entire electrical system from damage caused by lightning and power surges from the electrical supply.

Our houses are full of electronic equipment on which we rely on our daily activities. Almost everything you connect to a power outlet is destroyed by a lightning strike or a surge without SPD and this can cause a fire. If you work from home, you can lose valuable and irreparable data from computers and backup disks.

For most buildings with the exception of individual homes (your home) an SPD must be mounted on new work. In most individual homes, the risk is considered to be low enough that you do not need to have SPD installed, although you can choose to do this. If an SPD is mounted on a new fuse board, this can add £ 100 – £ 200 to the costs.

Pros:

SPDs save lives and property.

Cons:

The costs of the equipment have risen enormously.

While electricians and the electrical industry are getting used to the new regulations and how they are interpreted, it is important that the customer makes sure that his electrician is aware of the latest IET wiring regulations BS 7671: 2018 when requesting quotes for household electrical work.

Do not worry….

The regulatory change does not mean that your current electrical system is now unsafe or that an electrical test conducted after January 1, 2019 will not pass, but these must be applied to new installations. If in doubt, consult a registered electrician.

 
Source: www.goodshipltd.co.uk
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