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Tales from an airport- No 2 The Pelican



One of the hazards to aircraft landing and taking off are flocks of birds, indeed birds have caused many aircraft accidents over the years so bird control is a vital part of any airport operations. Most airports now have dedicated bird control units but in my time at Manchester  the Fire Service provided this service. We would go out at regular intervals and using a mixture of sound and a flare gun which fired a fare which explode in the air (we didn’t harm the birds just scared them) scare the birds away,the main culprits were Gulls and Lapwings.

 One day we got a call that there was a Pelican on the runway and could we clear it away. A fire tender was duly dispatched and confronted the Pelican and much waving of arms and shouting took place all of which the bird completely ignored and sat unmoved on the runway. We were then informed by Air traffic control (ATC) that there was an aircraft on final approach and could we get a move on!! So it was decided to use the Fire Tender and this was driven towards the Pelican which took off and then landed behind the vehicle.

A  couple more tries were carried out but with the same result, by this time the aircraft was almost about to land so we had to clear the runway leaving the bird to it’s own devices. The aircraft landed safely over the top of the Pelican which was rolled over by the  backwash of the aircraft’s engine. Someone had contacted Chester Zoo and they suggested a bucket of fish, this was obtained and the Pelican was led off the runway gobbling up fish as it went. It was later found out the Pelican was from a zoo in North Wales who came to collect it.  No wonder he hadn’t been worried by humans in the slightest!

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Nutella is the most popular spread in the world



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Nutella is marketed in 160 Countries in all continents, which means 770 millions of jars for the joy of more than 110 millions of families.

The success of the Ferrero product seems to know no boundaries and according to the Cash workshop, the 80% of the countries analyzed in the report prefer it to the three commercial creams. In Italy, as can be easily foreseen, but also in countries like France and Brazil.

The only brand names that succeed in part to stem the success of Ferrero are Marmite and Vegemite : in the first case the 11% of the countries studied in the report prefer the yeast spread made in the UK at the expense of the Australian Vegemite. In Australia and New Zealand Vegemite is the most popular spread.

Nutella is a hazelnut-based spread, most commonly used as a breakfast food and dessert topping. It was invented in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, who intended to create a nutritious breakfast food for children that was also tasty and easy to eat. It was made with hazelnuts because in those days of rationing it was hard to find cocoa. There is still cocoa in the recipe but in smaller quantities than in traditional chocolate spreads.

The recipe for Nutella is mostly ground hazelnuts mixed with skim milk and cocoa powder, then spread into an even layer and roasted until it reaches a temperature of 190 °F (88 °C). The chocolate provides some sweetness, while the hazelnuts contribute the bulk of the flavour.

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Peterborough Cathedral, a Gothic marvel



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Peterborough Cathedral is considered among the most beautiful cathedrals in England, it will surely impress you starting with the magnificent Gothic facade. Architecturally it is considered a unique and never repeated example of English Gothic.

Peterborough Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew is a cathedral of the Church of England, seat of the Bishop of Peterborough. The cathedral is the third cathedral to be built on this site. The first cathedral was founded in 655, with the second successive building in 793 The cathedral has a long and complicated history. It is also one of the few English cathedrals to have been designed since its construction.

The cathedral is built in the Norman style with a cruciform shape. It consists of a nave and a presbytery, side chapels and a tower at the western end. The tower is in two phases, the lower one is square and the upper one octagonal.

The cathedral dates back to 1118, as expected it took years to complete.


Peterborough Cathedral ceiling

The painted wooden ceiling, even this almost unique in fact there are only 4 similar ones in the world, was completed in 1250 It has a very interesting and complex style, with many details. The cathedral ceiling is known for its vaulted wooden roof, originally built by Anglo-Norman masons in the 1100 and renewed in 1800 The roof consists of two semicircular domes, with an octagonal lantern among them. The structure is supported by a central pillar with eight stone pillars on each side. The ceiling is finely decorated with carved oak panels, painted and gilded plaster and stained glass windows.

The ceiling is divided into two parts: the upper part shows scenes from the Old Testament and the lower part shows scenes from the New Testament. The series of paintings at the bottom of the ceiling are painted in a grisaille style, while those at the top of the ceiling are painted in a more colorful style. The ceiling is decorated with a series of paintings depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

The Peterborough Cathedral ceiling, completed in 1879 followed the original style it had the triangles in three overlapping layers, but the ending version consists of only two layers. The Peterborough Cathedral ceiling was created by British architect George Frederick Bodley. The project is based on a similar one for the windows of the nave, which he had seen in a cathedral in France.

The ceiling certainly helps an attempt that sense of lightness you find inside of the cathedral, which manages to be majestic and humble in one fell swoop.

The Cathedral Towers

The main tower of the Peterborough Cathedral was completed in 1350 – 1380 and is in a Gothic style with traces of Romanesque and was rebuilt piece by piece in the 1800 The tower is a Norman project. The tower of the cathedral is a landmark for the city and a popular tourist destination.

The tower is built mainly of limestone, with some brick and ashlar in the bathroom. It has a square plan with a protruding entrance veranda and is surmounted by an octagonal spire with weather vane. The tower is the tallest in the city and, a 64 meters high, it is one of the tallest of British cathedrals.


The tomb of Catherine of Aragon

The cathedral is also known as a resting place of Catherine of Aragon, who lived since 1350 to the 1536 and was the first wife of Henry VIII, King of England. Catherine of Aragon was buried in Peterborough Cathedral on November 2 1380

You cannot lose it, many still leave us the flowers even though it has been dead for centuries. For a time, even Maria Stuarda was buried here. Later her son who became King James I moved her to Westminster Abbey.

One peace Peterborough Cathedral housed the relics of several saints including St Thomas Becket. Disadvantage the dissolution of the monasteries of Henry VIII all these relics were destroyed or were lost.

The cathedral is asymmetrical, in fact one of the two towers located just behind the great facade never completed. The asymmetry is only noticeable for a certain distance.

How to get to Peterborough Cathedral

You can much enter the Peterborough Cathedral visit on a day trip from London. It is about an hour by train and about 2 hours by bus on the National Express which often offers very discounted prices.

Peterborough Cathedral is located on the south bank of the River Nene. It is within walking distance of the train station. The cathedral is open to visitors and has a café and keepsake shop.


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“Sufficient for the Day is its own trouble” Matthew 6:4. Do you agree?



“Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” This is the English Standard Version of the aphorism, more poetically contained in seventeenth century English in the St James Bible. ” Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
 It is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree!   In addition to the Sermon on the Mount, there is a Rabbinic Jewish saying  that “the suffering of the present hour is enough for it” Prior to this, Epicurean Philosophers such as Horace stated ” quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere” – avoid asking what the future may bring. (I do like a bit of Latin)
Matthew 6:27 also speaks of the pointlessness of worry ” Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ” Worry is often addressed to circumstances that may arise in the future.  While there is a case for a certain amount of prudent planning, in the absence of a crystal ball, it is impossible to have control over future problems. Hence deal with what you know is happening in the present time. This is the basis of Mindfulness, living in the moment. Despite the  power of memory it is not possible to live in the past, and the future is unknown.
Anxiety and Depression are major mental health problems, which can add to the actual problems, which are causing them, and even make these problems impossible to deal with. In some cases, if you are well fed and have a roof over your head, worrying about the future may be almost a luxury. If you are without food and searching for a foodbank, it is unlikely that you are worrying about what may happen next year! In this instance the phrase “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” was never more true. As in biblical times, physical needs must be met, before spiritual or mental needs can be addressed.

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