February 11th, 2010


London, Modern Day: Cheap Wine and Driving Time Across SW1*

Time: 2007-2009
Place: London, UK

Two questions for a couple of different stories set in the same fandom. I've tried to research them to the extent one can online, but I think these really call for personal opinion/experience:

1. Say you are a middle-class middle-income English male in your late-20s going to someones house and you want to take them a bottle of cheap, and hopefully, bad wine because you are not a very nice person. What is the best wine (grown-up wine, red or white doesn't matter) you could buy to make this point? The quality of the wine isn't an issue at all -- in fact the more horrible it is the better -- but the price is, as my guy refuses to pay more than a certain amount for a bottle meant for someone else. Related to that, do wine bottles (say from Oddbins or the like) have price labels on them?

I've looked up the websites for Oddbins and the Tesco wine page and I'm not sure to what extent the prices online reflect what might be on special in the physical stores or what the quality of the wine is based on the price. From what I can tell, £3.50 seems to be about the cheapest on the websites, but would he know that in the store he could be sure to find *something* for closer to £2.50 (or whatever)? Also, is there any country or region or brand that would, when spied on the label, particularly strike horror into the heart of an oenophile? I'm not a wine drinker at all, so personal experiences or tastes of people who are is more than welcome.

Looked up: websites for Oddbins, and the Tesco wine page

2. This specifically relates to January 2007. After spending all night in his office, my other guy is driving home from Whitehall (SW1A2) to his house in Barnes (SW13) at about 7:30 in the morning. (I know about the congestion charge, and he probably wouldn't normally have his car, but for plot reasons he needs to have driven it to work the day before.) I think I have the right route thanks to Google maps, but how long would it actually take? Google says about 21 minutes, but is that factoring in traffic or should I allow more time for the horribly awkward conversation with his uninvited passenger?

Adoption in 1940s/1950s Germany

Okay, here's the scenario: modern fantasy-ish setting, slightly alt-history, but mostly resembles the real world. Set in an unnamed largish town in Germany, immediately after WW2 and into the 50s. The immediate subject is a gay couple.

What I'd like to know if it was possible in Germany for single persons to adopt a child. I know that it was possible in Italy, but I'm not so sure about the rest of Europe. If one of the pair wanted to adopt, would that be even possible?

As an addendum to this, how would two men living together be perceived by the neighbours, in that era? Would they just assume one of them is a lodger/friend or would there be suspicion?

Research I've done about this: Wikipedia, mostly, but the article on adoption talks more about attitudes and the practice of adoption rather than specific laws. Further, it's rather America-centric.

On the addendum, I've read Isherwood, but that's a whole two decades off. :P

EDIT: Whoops, corrected a rather embarrassing typo. Italy did not allow gay couples to adopt but was indeed willing to let single persons adopt, which created a convenient loophole.
I am the Monarch of the Sea.

Multiple Family Members Admitted to Hospital

I'm trying to find out what the standard proceedure is when multiple family members are all injured in an accident, like a fire or a car-crash. Would a hospital make an effort to keep the family together in the same ward?

The era is modern. The country doesn't actually matter since I can have the accident happen while they're on vacation.

I'm assuming that naturally anyone in intensive care would be treated seperately from relatives with less serious injuries but what about parents and children? Do the children automatically have to go to the children's ward or can they stay with their parents if they're also hospitalised? Would there be any sort of gender seperation going on? The children in question would be pre-adolescent.

I've tried googling things like "multiple family members admitted to hospital", "parents and children admitted hospital", "can families stay together in hospitals", "proceedure for admitting families after emergencies" but I'm mostly getting results on family therapy or a child being admitted on their own.