Showing posts with label benefits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label benefits. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The benefit of being a millionaire: Noisy is La Mer: Camel balls: and food on the edge.

Positive scrapey-scrapey stuff, negative lack of cold stuff, minus atmospheric movement and just a glimpse of Dawn’s crack this non April fool’s day at the Castle this morn, spent the bank holiday doing sod all, but I did go for a 75 mile drive on the traffic free highways in the sunshine to loosen up the Honda and charge its battery.

I have been thinking of changing the motor for something a bit less old-it’s not going well, so far all I can find are vehicles that have road tax approaching the deficit and insurance that would cost more than Cyprus’s debt. 

Just returned from the stale bread, gruel and his Maj’s food run dahn Tesco, stale bread is now £1.45 per loafy thing, gruel is £0.97 per tinny thing and ten days ago Whiskas meat in gravy was £3.68 or 2 for £6.00, last Thursday it was £3.38 or 2 for £6.00and today it is £3.00 each box, roll on next week, they will be giving it away.


Otherwise known as the Irritable Bowel Twins reckons that they could live on 53 squids per week (if they had to); he said the Government’s changes to the benefits system were designed to make it “fair”. Payments would continue to rise, albeit by a below inflation at one per cent a year, when they were actually being cut in some other countries, he insisted.
But earlier on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was challenged by a man who earns less than £53 per week.
David Bennett, 51, set up a market trading business three years ago after being made redundant as a credit manager.
Despite working up to 70 hours a week, on some days he earned nothing at all.
But the £2,700 the divorced father of two made last year means he no longer qualifies for the full £75 a week housing benefit towards his privately rented flat. The subsidy has been cut to £57 a week and he also has to pay council tax of £5 a week for the first time.
Later, asked by the presenter if he could live on this amount, Mr Duncan Smith, who is married into a wealthy family, replied: “If I had to, I would.”


But it has to be for at least a month, or two or three....

 Go on sign it-I have.


Apparently complaints by cruise ship passengers include one by a woman who moaned about the sea being "too loud", it has been revealed.
And a couple accused a captain of being "rude" for sailing off when they had left a note saying they needed more sightseeing time in port, according to cruise travel agency
One woman, having seen that Take-That star Gary Barlow had been on her ship on an earlier trip, demanded an explanation as to why the singer was not on her voyage.
Then there was the man who complained about not getting "an impressive tan" and being unable to swim in the pool each day while on a trip around ... Alaska.
A woman travelling with the company called Celebrity Cruises asked for a refund as there were "no celebrities on board", while a couple wanted compensation after forking out "a lot more money than planned" on staff tips due to the excellent service.
The woman who complained about the loudness of the sea said she had not been able to sleep well on her Mediterranean cruise.
She demanded cabins be "better sound-proofed against the sounds of the sea".
Another female traveller, having booked an inside cabin, then complained about not having a view of the sea and asked for a window to be installed.


A mum got the hump after her seven-year-old daughter was sold a pack of bubblegum called Camel Balls.
The gum is not only shaped like them, but there is also a graphic picture of a camel’s backside on the packet.
Ruby McKenzie’s mum Charlene, 26, said: “I was disgusted as I think that it’s totally inappropriate.
“I am more upset with the company that makes the gum than the shops that sell it.
“It’s OK for adults and a bit of a laugh, but I can’t see the funny side when they are kept in the sweet section of shops where children like Ruby will see them,” added Charlene, of Birmingham.
Paul Southam, managing director of Fini Sweets UK, which distributes Camel Balls, said as a parent he had faced a “moral issue” before agreeing to the deal, but had received only one complaint.
He said. “I do sympathise with the parent here. But it’s supposed to be funny and a bit of a joke.”

No sense of humour some people, they could have brought one out called ‘Orses Dick or even Cows C---......

 And finally:

There’s a particular mountain in the Hubei Province, 12 km north of the city of Yichang, where you can actually experience fine-dining on the side of a cliff.
Located in the Happy Valley of Xiling Gorge, the Fangweng hanging restaurant offers a breathtaking view of its natural surroundings to adventurers brave enough to set foot in it.
The brick building that acts as an entrance to the Fangweng Restaurant leads the 30-meter-long narrow concrete bridge hanging on the side of a vertical cliff overlooking the Yangtze River.
Luckily, there’s a metal railing you can grab on to while you crawl your way to the actual restaurant. The bridge leads to a dining hall carved into the cliff-side, where most of the tables are set.
Warmly lit by traditional lamps hanging from the ceiling and decorated with Chinese furnishings, the cave itself is a sight to behold, but the main attractions of Fangwen are the two concrete platforms extending away from the cliff, from where diners can see all the wonders of Happy Valley or watch bungee jumpers as they leap off a nearby bridge.

Fuck that….


And today’s thought:

No.3 George Osborne- worth £4.3 Million+


His dad Sir Peter co-founded luxury wallpaper and fabrics company Osborne & Little. George has a trust of 15 per cent and stands to inherit a substantial share.

In 2003, when the firm delisted from the London Stock Exchange, it was valued at £12.9m.

George and wife Frances have a home in London's Notting Hill worth around £1.8m and a constituency property (£500k). Her father is life peer Howell of Guildford, a former Minister in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet.

And earns £134,565 as Chancellor - just over £15,000 short of 50p tax threshold.

After 50 years of work pensioners get around £7,500 per year (plus a few extras).



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Benefits Con: Up Your Meals: ‘Cultural’ Swiss eat Cats and Dogs: Scientology 'Alien Space Cathedral': Coney Island dippers: and The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever.

More than a touch on the lack of warm side, lots of missing skywater, even less atmospheric movement and Dawn’s crack is still a while away at the Castle his morn, spent most of the first day of twenty twelve plus one lying on the bed watching all the films and things I have recorded over the last few weeks-much more entertaining than the usual crap on the “proper” TV.

According to the top knob at the Dept of Witless Pillocks the welfare system discourages claimants from working with newly published figures from his department about how different groups have fared under the recession.
Allegedly means-tested benefits which excludes pensions and child benefit - went up by between 1.8 per cent and 6.3 per cent each year from 2007 to 2012. The overall effect was that most benefits were 20 per cent higher in April 2012 than in April 2007.
And that over the same period, the average weekly wage in the private sector rose from £386 a week to £431, an increase of just below12 per cent.

 So let’s ignore the precept that all benefit claimants are living the life of riley with the blinds drawn all day and have a look at the truth.

Under the new “universal credit” rules:

Standard allowance

This is the basic allowance: per month:

A single claimant aged under 25 - £246.81
A single claimant aged 25 or over - £311.55
Joint claimants both aged under 25 - £387.42
Joint claimants where either is aged 25 or over - £489.06

Which equates to:

 £61.70 per week for a young person
£77.88 per week for an older person
£96.85 per week for a young couple


£122.26 per week for an older couple

So over 5 years those who do not / cannot work have had an increase of £10/£20-ish each week and those lucky/well enough and in employment got £45-ish per week on average.

Numbers can be made to do whatever you want them to but you need to look at these figures in perspective. 

It really is time to stop listening to the scrounger mongers like the Irritable Bowel Twins who are trying to divide Blightyites into have/have not’s or work/work not’s so that they can garner votes in 2015 to remain in power and keep their lifestyles. 

Because no matter who you are or what you have today, tomorrow it could you be you that has to fill in the forty page benefits claim form and stand in the queue for your weekly pittance.

According to “experts” average annual food bills could go up by £240 as shoppers pay the price for one of the worst wheat harvests since the Eighties.
Economists warn consumers face rises of up to a further two per cent before prices steady in April or May.

An average basket of 10 basic foods – milk, bread, cheese, eggs, tea, sugar, potatoes, cereal, a chicken and a bag of carrots now costs £19.41 at Tesco. If prices rise as economists are forecasting it could go up nearly 40p by mid spring.

Vicky Redwood, of analysts Capital Economics, said wheat products have been affected worst.

The average family’s weekly food bill in September was £77.

Ms Redwood says that figure is now £80.85 but could rise to £81.62 by late spring, £4.62 more than in the autumn.

If this continues then the average annual bill will rise by £240 although experts are hopeful prices will start falling in the spring.

See above item.....

Allegedly a Swiss newspaper investigation has turned up an ugly side of the beautiful Alpine land: many people like to include dogs and cats in their diet.
The Tages Anzeiger said farmers in the Appenzell and St Gallen areas in particular slaughter the creatures to eat themselves or to pass on to friends. The favoured breed is a dog that is related to the beefy Rottweiler.
“There’s nothing odd about it,” a farmer told the paper. “Meat is meat. Construction workers in particular like eating it.”
Another farmer told how he raised animals and then called in a butcher friend to kill them when they were ripe for slaughter. And another described how he either shot the creatures – usually adored as pets – or bludgeoned them to death.

According to the report, people ate the meat as “mostbröckli” – more usually a form of beef or ham that is marinated. One farmer said: “No-one knows what it is when you prepare it in this fashion.”

Lovers of “cat and dog” meals are not allowed to sell the flesh commercially, even though some communities have pressed in the past for it to be sold on market days alongside the usual fare of beef, pork and lamb.

The country also has a small but thriving trade in cat pelts for coats and bedspreads.

While not on a commercial scale, the practice horrifies animal rights activists in Switzerland – but the eating of such creatures is not forbidden by law. In Switzerland, a person who wants to kill a cat or dog will only be prosecuted if the killing is itself cruel.

The Swiss parliament rejected changing the law to protect dogs and cats from human consumption in 1993.

That’s Switzerland orf the bucket list then.....

According to allegations by BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney in a new book, "Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology," reports the New York Daily News.
In the New Mexico desert lies an allegedly secret Scientology installation that includes a huge message for extraterrestrials -- a crop circle-type design that can only easily be seen from high above the ground.
 In his book, excerpted in The Sun, Sweeney writes that the two huge interlocking circles -- each of which has a large diamond shape inside -- were created as markers to guide special Scientologists "returning from space to find Mr. Hubbard's works after a nuclear Armageddon wipes out humanity."

The BBC reporter tried to find "the space alien cathedral that ex-Scientologists say was built deep underground by the church in the 1980s at the cost of millions of dollars.
"Its vault houses the lectures of Hubbard on gold discs locked in titanium caskets sealed with argon. The cathedral is H-bomb proof," Sweeney reports in his book.

Sweeney went to the supposed site of the alien cathedral accompanied by former Scientologist Marc Headley.

"Headley says he was 'audited' -- given spiritual counselling -- by Tom Cruise, Hollywood superstar and leading church member. Marc says he was also beaten up by the shadowy church's leader David Miscavige. The church denies both incidents," Sweeney alleged.

 Spiffing, maybe they could have a gathering at the cathedral of all the Scientologists in the world and then we could weld the doors up.....


People taking part in the Coney Island Polar Bear Club's annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim enter the water in New York's Coney Island January 1, 2013. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the U.S. and every New Years Day holds the winter plunge which attracts thousands of participant’s loonies.

Good luck with that….

And finally: 


Good; wrap what is left of your brain around this “logic puzzle”.

"Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language in which the words for 'yes' and 'no' are 'da' and 'ja', in some order. You do not know which word means which."

It was dreamt up—and solved—by US logician George Boolos shortly before his death in 1996.

The answer is here-sort of.

Did I solve it? Nah couldn’t be arsed....

And today’s thought:
Service delayed due to over running engineering work


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Freudian prick: Obama’s turkey: Amphibious caravan: Herne bay hoo-ha: Serbian Vampire: and Tiger, tiger, tiger and a shepherd.

Volumous amounts of Keats, vast amounts of lack of warm, vacuous amounts of atmospheric movement and very little skywater at the Castle this morn, spent most of yesterday upgrading the old desktop computer in the study, new motherboard, CPU, memory, 320gb sata hard drive and video card.

His Maj decided he would “help out” by curling up on my chair as soon as I got up to do something.


Sigmund’s great grandson who is apparently the Minister for Welfare Reform has been letting orf a bit of steam about the benefits system.
Baron David Anthony Freud-ex Financial Times journalist, ex-‘business man’, ex-Banker and now “advisor” to the Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition on “welfare reform” has allegedly said the benefits system was "dreadful" and allowed lone parents and sickness claimants to "have a lifestyle" on the state.

Poor people should be prepared to take more risks because they have the least to lose, and insisted he understood the reality of living on benefits, arguing "you don't have to be the corpse to go to a funeral"..
He added: "You know, the incapacity benefits, the lone parents, the people who are self-employed for year after year and only earn hundreds of pounds or a few thousand pounds, the people waiting for their work ability assessment then not going to it - all kinds of areas where people are able to have a lifestyle off benefits and actually off conditionality."

His “lordship” dismissed the possibility of taking part in a television documentary which filmed him living on benefits for a week, something a number of politicians have done in the past.

"I have thought of the issue," he said. "The trouble is it's a stunt when someone like me does it because you do it for a week. That's not the point."


Someone like him- Rich, over educated, arrogant, ignorant, and condescending wouldn’t last a day on benefits.


A turkey pardoned by President Barack Obama at Thanksgiving 2011 was put down three days prior to this year's holiday, Virginia's Mount Vernon Estate said.
The estate, where pardoned turkeys are taken to live out their lives, said Peace, the understudy for 2011's turkey, Liberty, was put down Monday after suffering an illness during the weekend, The Independent reported Friday.
The newspaper said news of the bird's demise has "conspiracy theorists all aflutter" but Rebbecca Aloisi, vice president for marketing at the Mount Vernon Estate, said there was no conspiracy to have the pardoned turkey end up as part of a Thanksgiving dinner.
"I know that it was done in a humane manner but I don't know the mechanics," she said. "I appreciate where you're going with this, but I assure you that these birds are extremely well cared for."


Still got the touch then Barack



Cometh the Sealander schwimmcaravan; an amphibious “mobile home” in which you can “Enjoy your free time, an innovative mobile home with amphibian characteristics. It offers utmost flexibility. Just hitch the SEALANDER to your car and go. Enjoy an unrestricted ride, for when you arrive ashore the journey hasn't ended, it has only just begun”,

“Thanks to the integrated waterproof chassis the SEALANDER can be let into water without need of a boat slip or trailer system. The width of the lower shell provides stability and a secure position on water. Because of the modest draught you can explore even shallow waters. The low-emission electric motor permits license free access to most inland waters. The rechargeable battery of the outboard engine also supplies electricity to the interior living area and can easily be recharged from the towing vehicle during the journey on land.”


Must get one for the moat; mind you it could come in handy in waterlogged Blighty.


A Kent town's Christmas display was booed by crowds when the lights were switched on.
A few hundred people gathered in Herne Bay last Friday to watch the stars of the local Sleeping Beauty panto, Gareth Gates and Toyah Wilcox, turn them on.
One person said the decorations looked like normal light bulbs, while another said he had more in his shop window.
Canterbury City Council said it was the same display as last year, but it would consult with local businesses.
Greengrocer Karen Truelove described the switch-on in the town centre as "completely flat".
"There was nothing for people to look at... within half-an-hour the town was like a ghost town."

No change there then...


Sales of garlic are booming in western Serbia after the local council issued a public health warning that a vampire was on the loose.

The warning came after an old ruined mill, said to once have been the home of notorious vampire Sava Savanovic, collapsed.

Savanovic was said to have lived in the old watermill on the Rogacica River, at Zarozje village in the municipality of Bajina Basta where he drank the blood of anybody that came to mill their grain.

The watermill was bought by the local Jagodic family, and they were too scared to use it as a mill - but discovered it was a goldmine when they started advertising it to tourists.

But the family were worried about carrying out building work on the mill because they were scared they might disturb the vampire or unleash his wrath if his home was messed around with - and now the property has collapsed through lack of repair.

But for locals it has sparked rumours that the vampire is now free once again.

Local mayor Miodrag Vujetic admitted: "People are worried; everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened."

He confirmed that the local council had advised all villagers to put garlic on their doors and windows to protect them from the vampire as it was well known they can't stand the smell.

He added: "We have also reminded them to put a Holy cross in every room in the house."

My brain hurts.....

And finally:

Three tiger cubs abandoned by their mother have found an unusual replacement - a white Swiss Shepherd dog called Tallim.
The cubs were rejected by their natural mother, a tigress called Bagira, soon after their birth in a Russian zoo on November 14.
The Oktyabrsky zoo in the Black Sea resort of Sochi immediately advertised the vacant position of a tiger mother on the internet.
Staff had been prepared for the situation because Bagira had abandoned two other newborn cubs five months previously.
They found a white Swiss Shepherd dog from Yeysk, in the Krasnodar region, to take over.
The canine is now feeding and nurturing the three cubs - two males named Olymp and Dar and one female named Talli after her adoptive mother.
Although the tiger cubs initially showed their claws and hissed, Tallim nursed them patiently and afterwards showered them with attention, nudging them playfully.
The zoo staff says the tiger cubs do not pose any threat to their adoptive mother.
I do like an optimist...



And today’s thought:
Freudian family



Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Universal Rodney’s: “Art” Dahn Unda: Dream Machine: Shotgun engagements: and the Battersea bless...

Rainy rain, windy wind, warmy warm and invisible solar stuff at the Castle this morn, finally finished the painty coloured stuff on anything that doesn’t move, that is the smallest room, bathroom, landing, stairs, lobby and the kitchen sorted, all I have to do now is put all the bits back that had to be removed and have a cleanup.



Apparently the irritable bowel twins plan to introduce “universal benefits” (new benefits system set to replace a number of key current benefits, including some Income Support; Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits) is causing a bit of a problem, according to an inquiry led by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson up to half a million disabled people and their families will be worse off.
Cuts to child disability payments and to support for the most severely disabled are likely to result in people struggling to pay for essentials such as food and heating, says the report which is backed by The Children's Society, Citizens Advice and Disability Rights UK.
Many disabled people who are already finding it difficult to make ends meet face further hardship under the new benefit system, it adds.
The report warns that up to 230,000 severely disabled people who do not have another adult to assist them will get between £28 and £58 less in support every week. It also reveals that 100,000 disabled children stand to lose up to £28 a week, while 116,000 disabled people who work risk losing up to £40 per week from payments towards additional costs of being disabled.

Universal Rodney 1


Is under fire from the other bit of the non elected Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition because son of a B........aronet George (I am looking forward to my massive pay rise) Osborne wants to freeze state benefits for the unemployed and poor from next April to compensate for what he regards as a generous 5.2 per cent increase in benefits in April this year.
What’s his name who is allegedly the deputy Prime Monster is going to “negotiate” with the Chancellor ahead of the statement on 5th December and is expected to argue for most benefits to rise in line with the CPI. 

Universal Rodney 2


The basic state pension will rise by a minimum of just under £2.69 a week or 2.5 per cent next year despite todays lower inflation figures.
The rate of consumer prices index (CPI) inflation in September is traditionally used as a measure to determine next year's benefit increases, and today's figures showed that CPI fell to 2.2% in this month, the lowest level since November 2009.
But under a Government guarantee put in place when it changed the way it calculates state pension increases, pensions must rise by at least 2.5 per cent.
This still works out, however, at around £5.20 less a year for pensioners than if the Government had used the often faster-rising retail price index (RPI) inflation measure, which was previously used to calculate pension rises.
This means an increase of £2.69 a week next year on the current basic state pension for a man or a woman of £107.45 a week.

Or 38p a day...

Which won’t even cover the cost of a second class stamp... 


There is an elephant in the room because of the cost of a new bit of “artwork” in Queensland, A statue of an elephant tipped on its head and eyeballing a water rat is the latest artwork to be condemned as an "appalling waste" of money by the Newman Government.
The five-metre high bronzed statue was commissioned for Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art by the ousted Bligh government at a cost of just over $1 million.
Former gallery director Tony Ellwood, who left the state this year, had previously praised the work as "simultaneously contemplative and humorous" and predicted it would become an "enormously popular emblem" for GOMA.

No wonder he pissed orf...


A couple of scientists have built a sleeping mask designed to allow people to have lucid dreams that they can control.
The Remee has been billed as a special REM (Rapid Eye Movement) enhancing device that is supposed to help steer the sleeper into lucid dreaming by making the brain aware that it is dreaming.
The goal of the product is to allow people to have the dreams of their choice, from driving a race car to flying to having lunch with Abraham Lincoln.
The ‘futuristic’ invention is the brainchild of Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan, both aged 30, who have started a company named Bitbanger Labs.
The two friends put up their project on the crowd funding website Kickstarter with the goal of raising $35,000. By this week, more than 6,550 people pledged $572,891 to fund Remee.
The inside of the sleeping mask features a series of six red LED lights that are too faint to wake the sleeper up, but visible enough for the brain to register them.
The lights can be programmed to produce a sequence designed by the user.
McGuigan said that he uses his Remee several times a week, but he admitted that reaching a state of lucidity can be 'hard' and does not happen every time.

Think I’ll wait for the Remee 2, or 3 or maybe 4...


A jewellery store in Iowa is offering an engaging deal — a free hunting rifle to customers who purchase a wedding engagement ring.
The official promotion rules require a customer to spend at least $1,999 on an engagement ring purchased before October 31, 2012. They will then receive a voucher for a Remington 870 hunting rifle that can be redeemed at local retailer Fin and Feather. A standard Remington 870 can typically be purchased for under $500, those there are more expensive options available, including those with accessories such as scopes. The Remington 870 is typically used for hunting and sport shooting but is also kept by some as a means of home defence. The 870 is also popular with military and police organizations around the world. In the U.S. it is employed by the Military, Secret Service, Coast Guard, Border Patrol, IRS and even the Department of Education.

Now, shotguns in the classroom I can understand....

And finally:

An abandoned kitten and puppy at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have dispelled the age old saying ‘fighting like dogs and cats’ by becoming best friends.

At just weeks old, Buttons the dog and Kitty the cat were both abandoned. Now they are now being hand-reared together at the animal home and have become very close.

In fact the inseparable pair are so close they sleep together, play together and even feed together.

Battersea Veterinary Nurse Sascha Taylor. She says: "Normally we’d hand rear puppies and kittens separately but we thought we could try putting them together as they are both so young.

Kitty looks like his Maj.

And today’s thought:
I know I put my glasses somewhere.




Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The benefits of the Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition: Le refuge: Spanish SARTRE: FORE!-door: Big Apple burger: and the Physic Ferret

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...

And finally:

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."

Fucking hell..........

And today’s thought:
Now if football teams looked like this.
I might be interested...


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Dead benefit: Proton-Con-ton: Kensington Virgin(s): Marge slips away: Toy lap dance: and Dobbey the red bus reindeer.

Cold, wet and windy at the Castle this morn, the study is still holding onto crock computers and his Maj has finally worked out how to use the cat flap.

Kept being woken up last dark thing by the army firing orf those yellow parachute flares, there must have been dozens of them-I pity the very large computer company building dahn wind which will probably look like a Crimbo tree this day.

Orf to the dentist later to see if my broken front tooth can be saved-or another week of antibiotics and painkillers....


However, under plans published yesterday, the benefits will end after one year as ministers seek to encourage more widows, widowers and civil partners to return to work.
The government believes that the current £600 million a year system is “antiquated” and derives from a time when women were not expected to work and would have needed more support from the state.
Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, said the current system offered no encouragement to the bereaved to find employment.
Lord Freud argued that the “primary aim” was “not to cut costs” but to make the benefits more effective.
Ministers are concerned that the current process can undermine people’s long-term job prospects by encouraging them to stay at home for longer.

Tough one this, is a year long enough to grieve? Not for me, and I don’t get any benefits....


Or not; Scientists say that two experiments at the LHC see hints of the Higgs at the same mass, fuelling huge excitement.
But the LHC does not yet have enough data to claim a discovery.
At a seminar at Cern (the organisation that operates the LHC) on Tuesday, the heads of Atlas and CMS said they see "spikes" in their data at roughly the same mass: 124-125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV; this is about 130 times as heavy as the protons found in atomic nuclei).
"The excess may be due to a fluctuation, but it could also be something more interesting. We cannot exclude anything at this stage," said Fabiola Gianotti, spokesperson for the Atlas experiment.

Can’t wait, but will it pay the bills......

A large number of scantily clad loonies lined up in the freezing cold outside the Virgin Holidays store in Kensington High Street in an attempt to break the world record for the world's largest swimwear queue.
The young men and women taking part were given the incentive of being allowed to pre-register for the holiday company's famous January sale.
Prices for holidays around the world start as low as £399.
Virgin Holiday's West London store, which officially opens in January, is the company's first permanent high street location not within a department store or supermarket.

I must remember to use the old “bikini world record” ploy at the Castle.

Black Hawk County sheriff's deputies are looking for a thief who slipped away with a truckload of margarine.
The spread, about $50,000 worth, was packed into a semi trailer bound for the Target Distribution Centre in Cedar Falls.
It apparently arrived early, and the truck driver left the trailer at an Elk Run facility on Plaza Drive to wait until the warehouse had space, said Capt. Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office. Another truck was slated to pick it up for the the last leg of its journey.
But sometime Saturday night, a driver hooked up the margarine trailer and drove off, according to the sheriff's office. The theft was discovered Sunday and reported to authorities.

No arrests have been made; the incident remains under investigation.

 I bet when the tealeaf opened the trailer he screamed-“I can’t believe it’s not butter”.

A Chicago strip club is offering free lap dances to customers who donate toys for poor children.
The Admiral Theatre will be running its Lap Dances for the Needy event until December 17.
Toys must be new and donors will only receive one lap dance per visit, regardless of how many toys they donate.
The Chicagoist reports that the annual campaign brought in "five car loads" of new toys last year, which were donated to local churches to donate as Christmas presents to needy children.
The theatre is staging Nude Pillow Fighting during the toy drive, in which strippers will compete for the 'Snow Bunny Queen' title.

Already got my ticket and toy......

And finally: 

Eight-year-old Dobbey the reindeer has been hand-reared from birth and is already well used to spending time with men who enjoy a festive tipple.

Animal-lover Gordon Elliott, 68, took over rearing Dobbey soon after he was born when his own mother rejected him – and now the pair go everywhere together, including trips in his van to local shops, the pub and even on and off trains and buses.

Builder Gordon keeps reindeer, camels, emu and wallabies on a field near his home in Enfield, North London.

Now father-of-two Gordon and his wife Marion, 62, treat him like a pet and every Christmas the pair set out to visit schools and nurseries in their area.

He said: “On Christmas morning I dress as Father Christmas and take Dobbey through town to see children and raise money.

“I’ve even taken him to church on Christmas morning. Everyone loves seeing him. Lots of people stop to take photos.

“Marion thinks I’m crazy.”

 She’s not the only one...


And today’s thought: