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Could European Airspace open after British Airways Volcano Test Flights

The British Airways test flight which was conducted yesterday seems to have landed without any evidence of damage from volcanic ash. The BA Boeing 747 jumbo landed at the British Airways maintenance facility in Cardiff with BA chief executive Willie Walsh on board. The aircraft flew for more than two hours, up to an altitude of about 40,000 feet which would be approximately the standard cruising altitude of this aircraft. No damage has been found in the engines due to the ash cloud and a more detailed technical analysis is being undertaken to confirm the initial findings of the BA Test Flight. However NATO say that F-16 jets which flew through the ash cloud had suffered engine damage.

Commercial airlines around Europe are now looking at the British Airways test flight to see if this may see flights resuming again in European Airspace which is costing about €150m per day and some airlines might have to close as a result of this major issue, combined with the recent recessionary problems faced by the European airlines.

This is now longer than the 9/11 closure of airspace and it is really unusual to look into the sky and not see any contrails.

The decision to close airspace was made in the interest of customer safety, but could the aircraft have flown below 20,000ft or could there have been reduced altitude short haul flights from Dublin to lets say Manchester or Liverpool, London to Paris in order to to ease the burden.

There are probably many people wondering “When can I fly again?” but with the weather set to change on Friday hopefully this will push the ash to the East and clear some airspace around the UK and Ireland. But with the possibility of the volcano continuing for months or even years this air dissruption will be just another thing to get used to.

Lorry Shunt Video. Police Probe Lorry Shunt in UK

This is amazing Lorry Shunt Video footage of a lorry shunting a car down the A1 Motorway in the UK. The car joined the motorway but clipped the truck which flipped the car sideways in front of the truck. The driver of the truck did not see or feel anything but continued driving at over 100kph down the motorway. The Lorry Shunt Video footage was filmed by a passenger in car traveling down the motorway. So far this video has been seen by over 600,000 people on YouTube. Have a look, its amazing and I’m sure was frightening for the driver of the Clio.

The Renault Clio became trapped in front of the trucks bumper on the A1 near Wetherby, West Yorkshire in the UK. There were sparks flying off the car yet the driver of the truck continued down the busy motorway for over a mile. Thankfully the driver was uninjured.

Zaika Indian Restaurant, London : Restaurant Review

Zaika Indian Restaurant, London : Restaurant Review

Zaika Indian Restaurant is located on Kensington High Street in London, just opposite Hyde Park. I stopped off here last September when in London on business and was very impressed with the restaurant which offers Indian cuisine incorporating both traditional classic favourites as well as a few original recipes (I’m only now getting around to posting my restaurant review for Zaika nearly 6 months later).Inside Zaika Restaurant - London

Inside you are welcomed to a very highly decorated and sumptuous interior with carved high ceilings and double height windows.

The menu is vast, and even for a lunch menu it was quite varied. I chose a Butter Chicken dish for my main. While I was waiting I got a pre-starter which was very tasty. I also ordered a Corriander Naan, and although it was not on the menu, they made one up for me. The main course of Butter Chicken was not what I expected; I was expecting more of a korma style sauce, instead it was a fusion style tomato based sauce and was like an Indian style pasta sauce … Don’t get me wrong, it was still very enjoyable and was served with a light pilau rice. As expected, in a UK Indian Restaurant, the dishes are a bit spicier than in Ireland. The portions are of a decent size, not too large but enough to fill adequately (as you can see below).

Butter Chicken at Zaika, London

The dinner experience here is apparently a very refined affair with low lighting, good music and a more extensive menu.

The one thing which was obvious was the service. At all times attentive and attention to detail and service is very personal – there was a French waiter the day I was there and he was chatty but not intrusive, leaving you to enjoy your meal.

I really enjoyed the food and the ambiance here, £20 for lunch and a drink is a bit much, but worth enjoying a great restaurant experience such as this. Definitely 5 stars for food and ambiance but 3 stars for value as I’m sure you can get an Indian Lunch menu for half the price but you may have to compromise on the end result.


No1 Kensington High Street, London W8 5NP, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7795 6533

ISS & Shuttle Sightings for Ireland & UK

There are only a few more days that you can see the shuttle and ISS together, as the shuttle will soon depart the ISS and return home. The times of the next few sightings of the ISS and Shuttle are listed below. Interestingly the times that you can see the ISS are not much different in the UK than they are in Ireland. – Anyway, the dates and times for sightings listed below are for Waterford but should be valid for most of the south of Ireland. The way the weather has been recently I haven’t even caught 1 glimpse of the ISS. The next few sightings are in the early morning starting again in December.

ISSTue Nov 24/06:23 PM21919 above SW10 above SSE
ISSWed Nov 25/05:11 PM33635 above SW10 above SE
ISSThu Nov 26/05:34 PM21919 above SSW10 above SSE
ISSMon Dec 07/07:27 AM< 11311 above S13 above SSE
ISSTue Dec 08/07:48 AM22710 above SSW27 above SSE
ISSWed Dec 09/06:37 AM11311 above S13 above SSE

Note – the ISS goes usually from South West to South South East and you will need a decent line of sight to the horizon.

There are only a few more Shuttle launches left before the Shuttle fleet retires … I think in 2010.

Cross-border Shopping – Why Irish people shop in Northern Ireland

Why should people in Ireland continue to shop here when cheaper prices exist in the UK and Northern Ireland?

I have a few examples of products which have huge differences in price:

Canon D450 DSLR Camera plus lens kit and 2Gb memory card

Dublin €720
Northern Ireland €569 (£499)
Saving €151 (Difference of about 21%)

Fuji S7000 lens adapter ring

Dublin €70
Online €17 including shipping

Try explain this? As long as this continues people are going to continue to cross into Northern Ireland and do their shopping there.

Over the past few years prices in Ireland have over inflated the cost if everything. The recession seems to be bringing down the cost of certain items but it will be interesting to see if prices between UK and Ireland level out even more in next few months. Especially with a good Euro – Sterling exchange rate.

The Irish Government say that €430m has been lost to Ireland as a result of people not shopping in Ireland. Yet the government are the ones that raised VAT by 1% to 22% yet the UK dropped theirs to 15% and are almost out of recession.

Lenihan doesn’t seem to have what it takes … The December budget will be a last ditch attempt to salvage the sinking Irish economy. The way this new budget will be calculated is as follows … “Einey meeny miney mo , How do I budget, I don’t know”!