Coldish, cloudyish and calmish at the Castle this morn, apart from a bit of minor vandalism the garden is sorted and those nice people at the Met office are even predicting a smidge of sky water.
I had beans on toast for my supper last day before eve and yesterday I went to an aboriginal art thingy, the beans did their job and as the old song goes-
I left my fart near sandy frescos...
Sir David Nicholson, the chief executive of the health service in England who told the NHS it had to find savings of £20bn over four years, is facing questions about his own ability to budget after details of his latest travel costs were published by the Department of Health.
They reveal that the NHS is spending £5,000 a month on his travel and hotel accommodation expenses. In the three months to September last year, the Department of Health spent £4,329 on his rail fares, £3,188 on hotel accommodation and £8,000 on an official car and driver.
Sir David is one of the best-paid civil servants in the country, with a basic salary of more than £200,000. But despite his job being primarily based in London, under a deal struck with the Department several years ago he is allowed to live in Birmingham and have his journeys to London paid for by the taxpayer.
The Department of Health also paid for the cost of a London flat where he stayed during the week until last year. That arrangement has now ended but, as a consequence, the Department has started paying for London hotel accommodation for its most senior civil servant and more first-class rail journeys to and from Birmingham.
In just one week in July last year, it paid £480 for what appears to be just three rail journeys to London from Birmingham described as "attending an internal meeting", and £774 on what was described as "accommodation and meals".
A number of the rail journeys between London and Birmingham appear to cost up to £240 each.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that it did all it could to ensure good value for money.
The price tag is likely to hinder all but the most affluent travellers, however. One day’s rental starts at £1,134.30, although this drops to a slightly more modest £906.30 for rentals lasting more than 28 days.
The car – designed by the same company responsible for Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 vehicle – features a 3.8-litre V8 twin-turbo engine, which produces 592bhp. It has a top speed of more than 200mph, and can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 2.8 seconds and from 0 to 124mph in 8.9 seconds. In July 2011, it registered the second-fastest lap around the Top Gear track.
However, anyone considering a trip to the German autobahns, to put the car through its paces, will be sorely disappointed. According to the terms and conditions, drivers are not permitted to take the car abroad.
Hertz is offering the car through its brand HertzSuperCars.com. According to the website, a damage waiver is not available. Should you scratch the paintwork, or worse, the excess charge is £5,000.
Michel Taride, president of Hertz International and executive vice-president of Hertz Corporation, said: “Hertz aspires to offer truly innovative rental experiences to our customers, and the spell-binding McLaren MP4-12C provides an opportunity of a lifetime to experience Formula 1 race-bred technologies on the road.”
Also available through the website is the Ferrari 458 Italia (from £826.50 per day), the Ferrari F430 Spyder (from £507.30 per day) and the Aston Martin DB9 (from £450.30 per day).
Think I may pass on that....
Three men are accused of stealing a 220-pound calf and driving off with the bovine in the back seat of a Honda Civic, New Mexico authorities said.
The Luna County Sheriff's Office said Jose Coronado, 26, Gerardo Gonzalez-Balderas, 20, and Salvador Balderas-Gonzalez, 23, were pulled over around 3 a.m. Friday for speeding and the deputy was shocked to see a 220-pound Holistein calf in the back seat of the car, The Carlsbad (N.M.) Current Argus reported Monday.
The men, who work for a Sierra County ranch, initially told the deputy they were allowed to have the animal but later allegedly admitted they had taken the calf without permission.
The men were charged with felony counts of larceny of livestock and conspiracy as well as misdemeanour counts of lack of a bill of sale and exporting livestock.
Amazing what you can fit in a Civic...
37-year-old Zhang Wuyi builds mini submarines in a makeshift workspace in the basement of a disused building. When he started off, he worked alone. Today, he has three orders under his belt and also employs ten workers. His submarine models are capable of diving up to 30 meters under sea level and travel at 20 kph for 10 hours. They can seat two people and also contain oxygen tanks and video cameras. The walls are made of wrought iron. It takes Wuyi up to a month to build a submarine, and each one sells for about $31,000.
Wuyi’s ‘small and simple’ submarines are aimed at local fishermen. The first and only sold sub so far was purchased by Cong Zhijie, a sea cucumber farmer. He says, “I was brave enough to be the first user of the submersible, but that machine helped me catch up to 50kg of sea cucumbers in 40 minutes.” The second submarine is currently under construction at Wuyi’s basement factory.
Think I’ll pass on that one as well…
A chocolate shop in Yorkshire is offering sweet-toothed travellers the opportunity to spend the night in their factory during Easter.
The “chocolate suite” – on offer from today until April 8, courtesy of the Little Chocolate Shop in Leyburn – features edible furnishings, a chocolate fountain and a fancy dress box filled with Wonka-esque accessories, aprons and toques.
Guests will be free to watch chocolate being made in the factory, before ending their stay with a chocolate breakfast.
However, they are advised to be out of bed by 10am, when the factory begins accepting visitors on regular tours. The chocolate furnishings, which include plants and ornaments, are restocked each day.
Num, nun, mind you if you live dahn in the Smoke apparently the train fare will be £240 or more.....
That’s it: I’m orf to capture some Carbon
And today’s thought: