More than a smidge cooler at the Castle this morn, decent amount of cloud cover, no windy stuff and no sign of sky water yestereve, but I did manage to fettle the lawn and the borders; supervised by his Maj of course...
The garden now has the addition of some roses in bloom.
The first one is a climbing scented “dog” rose which I bought for 50p at Wilkinsons ten years ago and now resides in the shady corner.
And the second is a beautiful deep red scented rose that I gave to “M” back in the seventies-go on have a sniff....
Plan “A” isn’t working that well, in fact hardly anyone is working anymore, calculations from the House of Commons Library show that forecast spending on Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) and Housing benefit will be £9.1 billion higher during this parliament than the Coalition first expected.
Ministers insisted that the Coalition’s Work Programme was working and that the number of welfare claimants was reducing.
In autumn 2010, the Treasury was expecting to spend £21 billion on JSA in the period from 2010-11 to 2015-16. Budget figures this year suggest that total has now risen to £25.8 billion.
Chris Grayling, the welfare minister reckons that “We’re well on the way to 100,000 job starts even in a tough labour market. This is a revolution in welfare to work that we all should want to succeed.”
Officials also pointed out that the increase in benefits spending was partly explained by the Government’s decision to increase benefits in line with inflation, meaning a 5.2 per cent increase this year.
La-la land is alive and well in the Coalition cabinet...
Apparently more French people live in London than in Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg and it is now thought to be France's sixth biggest city in terms of population.
Allegedly there are French people in every corner of London and their numbers have been growing, with the result that in next week's parliamentary election in France they - along with expats in Scandinavia - will be voting for a candidate to represent them in the National Assembly.
The French consulate in London estimates between 300,000 and 400,000 French citizens live in England's capital - many in London's cutting-edge creative hub, in the East End.
The French first came en masse to the East End in the 17th Century. The Huguenots, who had endured years of persecution in France because of their Protestant faith, were offered sanctuary here by King Charles II.
They called their flight Le Refuge - coining the word refugee.
Many settled east of the City of London, where food and housing were cheaper. There are many French street names around nearby Spitalfields Market such as Fournier Street, Fleur de Lys Street and Nantes Passage.
The Huguenots were skilled craftsmen but some feared that they were depriving Londoners of work. A protectionist priest, a certain Dr Welton, called them "the offal of the earth".
Don’t you just love the “common market”...?
Volvo has successfully completed a public test of a self-driven convoy of cars. A human driver led the convoy of three self-driven vehicles, which mimicked the lead driver's actions through a wireless link.
The four vehicles completed a 125-mile voyage across a Spanish roadway travelling at an average speed of 52 mph.
The SARTRE test was carried out as part of a European Commission research project. If offered to the public, Volvo says, the self-driving convoys could also allow commuters to "work on their laptops, read a book or sit back and enjoy a relaxed lunch" while travelling.
Oh great, a convoy of Volvo drivers who have even less control over their cars than usual...
A jet had just taken off from the Opa-Locka Executive Airport and was headed about 30 miles north to its home base at Pompano Beach Municipal Airport when it lost a door. The pilot diverted the plane to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where it landed safely.
The Canadair CL60's door landed Wednesday afternoon on the 16th fairway of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa's golf course in Hallandale Beach.
Bet that made a hole in one-of the fairways...
Following the world’s most expensive omelette, we now have the world’s most expensive burger. New York's Serendipity 3 restaurant has invented said “food stuff” featuring Japanese Waygu beef infused with 10-herb white truffle butter and seasoned with Salish Alderwood smoked Pacific sea salt. It's topped with cheddar cheese, hand-made and cave-aged for 18 months, a smidge of shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg, a blini, crème fraiche, Kaluga caviar and a white truffle-buttered Campagna roll.
To complete the masterpiece is a solid gold "Fleur de Lys" toothpick, encrusted with diamonds, designed by world-renowned jeweller Euphoria New York.
And all for the miserly price of $295.
Think I’ll pass on that one...
Euro 2012 organisers in Ukraine have introduced their answer to Germany's Paul the octopus - Fred the 'psychic' ferret.
Fred joins soothsayer hog Khryak in Kiev and Citta the elephant in Krakow, Poland - co-hosts with Ukraine of Euro 2012.
Fred will appear in Fan Zones, where he will choose from plates of food bearing the flags of competing teams - with whichever bowl he eats from being declared the favourite.
Fred the ferret will have precisely 15 minutes in the Fan Zone and will have to predict the winning team."
That’s it: I’m orf to investigate falling stout bubbles
And today’s thought:
Now if football teams looked like this.
I might be interested...