Back to “normal” summer meteorology at the Castle this morn, sky water all over the place, calm and coolish, I did a bit of fettling in the garden yesterday where the dead lilac used to be (see pic), and his Maj climbed the flowering cherry tree, climbed out on a branch about ten feet up and promptly fell orf, luckily he landed on something soft-his head.
The Voyager has a 60-metre (197ft) wingspan and is nearly 60 metres long.
It can carry almost 300 troops more than 6,000 miles and will replace the long-serving VC-10 and Tristar.
The RAF has bought 14 of the aircraft under a 27-year private finance initiative contract worth £10.5 billion with the Air Tanker consortium.
The service will provide training and maintenance, as well as new purpose-built buildings at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, the RAF's air transport hub.
Let’s hope they still have the pilots to fly them...
Senior NHS managers are being handed 'golden goodbye' redundancy packages topping £100,000 as the service struggles to cut in half the amount it spends on bureaucracy.
Some managers at primary care trusts (PCTs) are being given payouts of more than a year's salary, resulting in the six-figure handouts.
At NHS Leeds, one was handed £117,485. At NHS Blackburn with Darwen Care Plus Trust, two have been made redundant since April 2010 on average payouts of £117,284.
And in a third trust, NHS Greenwich in London, 12 employees were given redundancy packages worth on average £83,848.
The figures come from Freedom of Information requests made by the Health Services Journal to all of England's PCTs, of which just over a third (57) responded.
Under some contracts employees are eligible for up to two years' salary, if they have worked for the NHS for long enough.
That means chief executives could feasibly take home more than £250,000 if made redundant. The most senior managers could pocket just under £200,000.
A more recently introduced programme is more stringent. Under the Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS), employees can opt for redundancy and claim up to a year's salary, if they have 24 years' service.
Among the 57 authorities that responded, 641 employees have received redundancy packages under MARS and 776 outside the scheme since April 2010. The average payout under MARS was £18,196 while for all others it was £19,552.
So there won’t be any savings for a year-or two-or.....
The scale of private links between David Cameron and News International was exposed for the first time last night, with the Prime Minister shown to have met Rupert Murdoch's executives on no fewer than 26 occasions in just over a year since he entered Downing Street.
Rebekah Brooks, who resigned yesterday as chief executive of Mr Murdoch's Wapping titles over the escalating scandal, is the only person Mr Cameron has invited twice to Chequers, a privilege not extended even to the most senior members of his Cabinet. James Murdoch, News Corp's chairman in Europe and the man responsible for pushing through the BSkyB bid was a guest at the Prime Minister's official country residence eight months ago. And the former NOTW editor Andy Coulson – who was arrested this week in connection with police corruption and phone hacking – was invited by Mr Cameron to spend a private weekend at Chequers as recently as March
U-Turn Cam and Ms Brooks, who are neighbours in West Oxfordshire, met over Christmas – including a get-together on Boxing Day – just days after Vince Cable was relieved of responsibility for deciding the fate of News Corp's BSkyB bid. Downing Street has always refused to discuss what they talked about, but officials insist that the subject of the BSkyB takeover was never raised.
Methinks the smell of Pisci is in the air.
An Austrian woman looking for a short cut to a bathing lake got that sinking feeling when her satnav took her straight into the water.
Fire fighters had to be called in to pull out driver Petra Lang's van with a mobile crane at the Grundlsee Lake, near Bad Aussee, before it could pollute the water.
Ms Lang, 27, from Salzburg, managed to get out without help before the van sank.
"We managed to get the van out before the lake water was polluted. The driver was very embarrassed - drivers need to be more careful when using their satnavs and use a bit of common sense."
Luckily nobody was hurt in the accident as the lake was full with swimmers cooling off from the soaring summer temperatures in Austria. The van is a complete write off.
"She insisted that the Sat nav system was to blame - she said she typed in that she wanted to go to the lake - but got closer than she intended," said one rescuer.
Ah, the old “it wasn’t me it was the Sat nav” defence...
Apparently widespread use of internet search engines and databases such as Google and IMDb.com to find information is making people lose their memory, scientists claim.
Researchers found increasing number of users relied on their computers as a form of “external memory” as frequent use of online information libraries "wired" human brains.
The study, examining the so-called "Google effect", found people had poor recall of knowledge if they knew where answers to questions were easily found.
The scientists from Columbia University, in New York, found people were increasingly bypassing discussions with friends to use the internet as their main source of information.
Experts blamed the findings, published online in this week in the journal Science, on popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and databases such as Wikipedia and IMDb.com, the movie information site founded in Britain.
Yeah right-now what was I saying?
'Owling' is the new online picture craze that is turning heads across the world.
Owling involves perching on your haunches and staring into the middle distance, just like everyone’s favourite bird of prey.
Hundreds of people in the US, Australia and now Britain have posted pictures of themselves taking part. Extra kudos is earned by those who do it in unusual, and often fairly precarious, places.
The craze already has two Facebook groups dedicated to it, with more than 1,000 Owling mad members.
It follows the sudden rise in planking – in which people took pictures of themselves lying face-down in odd locations.
A Castle has gone on sale, for £750,000.
Thorne Island Fort off the coast of Pembrokeshire offers great views and fantastic privacy —: as it can only be reached by boat.
It comes with a master bedroom in the tower, kitchen, living room, games and dining room and even a parade ground.
The listed castle, built in 1854 to fend off French invasions, is just under a mile away from the mainland.
It used to be a hotel but has been empty for a decade.
No thanks, already got one, anyway it isn’t really a Castle-no towers....
That’s it: I’m orf to get the latest iPhone app.
And today’s thought: As you journey through life take a minute every now & then to give a thought for the other fellow . . . they could be plotting something.