Saturday, 30 April 2011

Tesco riots: Another slice out of the NHS: Barcelona Bikini Ban: Labrador Ice Island: Smile-you are going to be exhumed: and a show jumping Rabbit.

Sunny, nippy and a touch windy at the Castle this morn, the Honda is shiny red again (for a while) and apparently there was some sort of a do in the smoke yesterday.

On a personal note-“happy birthday” to my lovely “M” who would have been 60 today, my turn in few months, doesn’t time fly………

Forgot to put this in earlier.

The first Roses are out in the garden, this is a scented dog rose which I bought from Wilkinsons ten years ago, it was a four inch "stick" and cost 50p, and smells like Turkish Delight-go on,. have a sniff, you know you want to....

Police launched an eviction raid on a Bristol squat yesterday after riots raged for a second time in a suburb that has become a focal point for anger against heavy-handed policing.

More than 30 people were arrested after another night of violence in Stokes Croft, a bohemian suburb of Bristol that is vehemently opposed to the opening of a Tesco store.

Last week's protests centered on the opening of the new Tesco store, but many local residents of Stokes Croft yesterday voiced concerns that their demonstrations had been hijacked by outsiders keen to fight with the police.

Bloody Tesco.

And: John Healey, the shadow health secretary, raised questions over the timing of an official announcement that hospitals may need to make savings far greater than those already planned.

He said the statement by Monitor, that leading hospitals must make savings of up to 7 per cent a year, proved that the re-organisation of the NHS and cost-cutting plans are putting the system under “huge strain”.

Mr Healey said: “With all eyes on the Royal Wedding, the Government is trying to bury bad news on the NHS.

“This confirms the combination of broken promises on NHS funding and re-organisation is putting a huge strain on hospitals. David Cameron must halt his high-risk, high cost overhaul of the NHS.

“The Prime Minister promised to protect the NHS but his health policies are piling extra pressure on health services, and patients are starting to see the NHS going backwards again under the Tories.”

In plans established under Labour, the NHS must make efficiency savings of 4 per cent of its budget by 2015, totaling £20billion.

Many trusts have already announced job cuts and service reductions, although ministers want them to concentrate on reducing waste.

But Monitor, which oversees the 137 leading hospitals known as Foundation Trusts, has warned them that they may need to make savings of at least 50 per cent more than initially thought.

In a letter published on Thursday, the day before the royal wedding, the regulator said it had revised its figures on the basis of last year’s spending review, current inflation expectations and new NHS operating rules.

The Department of Health insisted the NHS is in a “strong financial position” and that the higher savings estimates represented Monitor’s worst-case scenario.

“We are investing an extra £11.5 billion into the NHS by 2014/15. But higher costs and an ageing population mean that the NHS must meet the highest possible financial standards and find savings to reinvest into patient care.

“Monitor's assessment of 6 per cent to 7 per cent is its 'downside case', meaning it is more pessimistic. But it is right that Monitor's assessments are challenging - we want all hospitals to be able to meet Monitor's standards and show that they can provide sustainable, high quality and efficient services for their patients.”

Well, excuse me for getting “old” and paying all that money to the Gov for all those years……

Tourists in Barcelona who wander off the beach onto the streets in just their swimming costumes -- or even less -- will now face stiff fines.

The city hall voted on Friday to ban "nudity or virtual nudity in public places" and limit swimming costumes to swimming pools, beaches, adjacent roads and beach walks.

Nudists who stray off their designated areas of the beach will be subject to fines of 300 to 500 euros ($450 to 750).

Those who wander into the streets in bikinis, swimming trunks or swimsuits face fines of 120 to 300 euros.

Authorities in the city, where the port and the beach areas are adjacent to the historic old town, earlier this year put up posters discouraging such behaviour.

They showed a couple in swimming costumes with a red line across it next to another couple dressed normally but without the red line.

With the new regulations, city authorities hope to "ensure coexistence between citizens in public areas," but denied that they are "telling people how they should dress," said the city councillor in charge of security, Assumpta Escarp.

You have been warned….don’t hang out in Barcelona

A massive chunk of ice that broke off a glacier in Greenland is drifting towards Labrador, the Canadian Coast Guard has warned.

Currently, the so-called ice island is moving through icy portions of the Labrador Sea where there is little human activity, but it's making its way south towards areas with lots of shipping activity, said Dan Frampton, superintendent of ice operations with the coast guard's Newfoundland and Labrador division.

But by the time it reaches an area where it could pose a risk, it will likely be broken into less dangerous ice chunks, said Frampton.

So what’s all the bleedin fuss about then? Unless your ship is named Titanic……..

Researchers have now begun their hunt for the remains of the woman who might have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, hoping to unravel a mystery that has baffled art historians for over five centuries.

A team of experts armed with a special radar device descended this week on a dilapidated convent in Florence where they believe the body of the woman who modelled for da Vinci back in the 16th century is buried.

The real Mona Lisa, Italian art historians say, was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo who is thought to have commissioned the portrait -- although there is no definitive proof of this.

The researchers say that if they can find her skull, they will be able to reconstruct her face and compare it with the painting.

Grave robbing in the name of “art”.

And finally:

The very hoppy bunny, Snoopy from Jena, Germany, earns his carrots by trying to jump as high as he can around specially designed rabbit race courses.

The sport sees little Snoopy leaping over a number of dressage style fences arranged at different heights as well as taking part in long-jump and high-jump challenges.

Snoopy's owner Claudia Fehlen says that the black and white rabbit can reach up to 60 centimetres high (about 2 feet).  

23-year-old Miss Fehlen is very proud of Snoopy saying: 'He has done well in tournaments. He came in second once, and third another time.'

Miss Fehlen found out about the sport five years ago on the internet and has been training her rabbits since 2009.

Rabbit jumping is said to have been invented in the early eighties in Sweden and is now taking parts of Europe, America Canada and Japan by storm.

Japan and storm aren't really two words you want to see in the same sentence.

And today’s thought: Can we please have news other than the “Royal Wedding” on the TV today…



Bernard said...

Good morning Angus the 'Earth sign'.
Your 'blogger profile' puts you in the same group as 'yours truly'.
A pair of Virgos it seems! (Late August-early September).
Bus pass and free prescriptions old boy. Exciting isn't it?

Just popped in to see if things still work. This font has gone all wee and spindly, and I notice I no longer come from Marlow, but from Calne in Wiltshire? (on FEEDJIT).
Oh, well, such is life.
Thanks for your help.

Angus said...

Morning Bernard the spindly, us virgos have to stick together-rarer than hens teeth apparently (or is that virgins?).

Did you try right clicking on the desktop, then personalization-left pane-adjust font size?

Glad things are working-ish.



CherryPie said...

Happy Birthday to M, that is such a lovely photo.

My thoughts are with you.

Angus said...

Many thanks CherryPie, funny old life.....

Anonymous said...

Felicito, la respuesta admirable...