Following in Diana’s footsteps: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit cancer-stricken children at Royal Marsden hospital
By Maysa Rawi
It was the hospital Princess Diana chose for her first solo charity trip.
So it is rather fitting that the Duchess of Cambridge should follow suit for her second official engagement since the Royal Wedding with husband Prince William today.
Kate was all smiles in an elegant in cream Amanda Wakeley dress and her favourite L.K. Bennett nude heels at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in South London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Royal Marsden to open a new £18 million children’s cancer unit in Sutton, Surrey today
A sleep-deprived William, who flew a mercy mission just hours before opening the new £18 million children’s cancer unit, looked slightly less sprightly in a navy suit.
William and Kate, both 29, are touring the Oak Centre for Children and Young People which has been built to treat day and inpatients, where they will meet medical staff, young patients and their parents.
During the visit, William will be reunited with Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed him two years ago for the CBBC Newsround programme.
The Duchess is spending her time trying to get to know various charities and good causes so she can decide what her future role will be
Children and hospital staff wait for the couple to arrive
The sleep-deprived Duke flew a mercy mission to take a sailor to see a seriously-ill relative just hours before today’s even, left, while Kate looked as glossy as usual
The 12-year-old, who is due to fly to America to receive radiotherapy for a brain tumour, presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers when she arrived at the hospital.
A St James’s Palace spokesman told the London Evening Standard: ‘The Duke is looking forward to seeing Alice again and finding out how she has been.
‘Through his close connection with the hospital he has met many inspirational young people, like Alice, who have shown such bravery in battling their illness.
Prince William, greeting hospital staff, was also invited to unveil a plaque to officially open the centre
William and Kate, both 29, are touring the Oak Centre for Children and Young People
Kate will recieve a bouquet of flowers from Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed Prince William two years ago
‘Tomorrow, he is keen to show the Duchess the incredible work the Royal Marsden does to help Alice and others like her.’
First solo trip: Diana visited the Royal Marsden in 1982
William is president of the Royal Marsden – the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research into the causes of the disease.
He took over from his mother, who took on the role in 1989 until her death in 1997.
William went without sleep last night as he ferried the serviceman from a warship off the Isle of Man to Sandhurst in Surrey.
The royal flew back to his base at RAF Valley on Anglesey just after 9am before making the trip to open the Royal Marsden’s new £18 million children’s cancer unit in Sutton, south London, a few miles from Sandhurst.
The duke, an RAF search and rescue force helicopter co-pilot, carried out the ‘compassionate call-out’ during a normal 24-hour shift which also saw him help pick up a casualty with serious head injuries in Snowdonia.
A St James’s Palace spokesman said the duke would have got little, if any, sleep and was expected to arrive at Oak Centre for Children and Young People on a royal flight helicopter this afternoon.
His wife, who was in London, was arriving by car.
The royal couple have been enjoying married life together in North Wales since their glittering nuptials in April.
They have deliberately kept a low profile over recent months as the Duke, a flight lieutenant with the RAF Search and Rescue Force, is focusing on earning a promotion to captain.
The Royal Marsden is a cancer centre specialising in diagnosis, treatment, research and education
Air travel myths debunked
From the consequences of using your mobile during a flight to crossing the Bermuda Triangle, we straighten out some of the most common air travel myths…
MYTH 1: The recycled air in an aeroplane cabin quickly spreads germs and sickness – FALSE
Air circulates in an aeroplane cabin approximately every three to five minutes. For that reason, some concerned travellers believe that this constantly cycles germs through the air supply and fosters sickness. However, aeroplanes use sophisticated HEPA filters designed to extract 99.5 per cent of germs and viruses from the air, whilst studies have even shown that the air filters can remove SARS and bird flu germs, potentially making it cleaner than the stuff you breathe on the ground.
MYTH 2: Flights still do not cross the Bermuda Triangle – FALSE
It’s surprising how many people still believe in the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, but the truth is: planes fly over the Bermuda Triangle every single day. It’s a major flight route from Florida to Bermuda and the Bahamas. The legend started decades ago when a researcher outlined an area he was studying regarding lost vessels and aircraft. Nothing came of it until the research was again unearthed in the late 60s/early 70s. It was given the moniker "The Bermuda Triangle" and the legend became an overnight sensation. Many disappearances have been explained in purely logical terms and flights continue over the region several times a day. So you can rest assured, Bermuda is firmly on the travel agenda.
MYTH 3: The cost of fares doesn’t differ depending on which day of the week you book – FALSE
The difference in cost between flights booked at the weekend and those booked on a weekday can be quite significant, not to mention the impact of the day you choose to travel. Looking at historical data the flight experts at Fly.com suggest that booking flights on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday will usually net you a far better fare, whilst arranging to travel on a Tuesday, Thursday or a Saturday is also likely to make your flight costs more affordable.
MYTH 4: You can open the door on a commercial jet mid-flight – FALSE
There have been a number of stories in the media of late highlighting passengers’ attempts to open the emergency door at altitude; an idea that has left many nervous travellers panic stricken. This is in fact impossible. Why? Because the door is designed to open inwards before opening outwards, and the pressure differential between the cabin and the outside air at altitude prevents this required inward motion; the door is in fact sealed tighter, the higher the plane goes. So passengers can rest assured, no matter how hard you try, that door is not going to open until you’re firmly on the ground.
MYTH 5: Forget the brace position, if the plane crashes, you’re doomed – FALSE
The idea of a plane crash is enough to perturb even the most seasoned traveller, but contrary to popular belief, when the US Government’s National Transportation Safety Board studied accidents over 20 years they recorded a survival rate of over 95 per cent. What’s more, the chances of dying on your next flight are calculated to be one in 60 million, making air travel hundreds of times safer than travelling by car. In fact, on this basis you could fly every day for the next 160,000 years and enjoy the peanuts without a problem.
MYTH 6: Electronic devices interfere with a plane’s navigational system – FALSE
It is widely believed that mobile phones could adversely affect the navigational instruments in an aeroplane’s cockpit; however there is currently no credible evidence that links electronic devices with interference. Aeroplanes are specially insulated against foreign radio signals, and their communication and navigation instruments operate on different frequencies from mobile phones, meaning that phone signals are unlikely to interfere with the plane’s satnav. The ban is actually in place to prevent communication problems on the ground. If someone makes a phone call from a plane, the signal would bounce across multiple signal towers at once, which could prevent other calls from going through. It’s still a hotly debated topic with many suggesting airlines only support the ban in order to increase the use of expensive in-flight ‘air phones’. For now, relax and enjoy the in-flight peace and quiet.
MYTH 7: Cheap flights are helping less wealthy people travel – FALSE
It’s a nice idea but there’s little truth in it. It’s actually the wealthiest people who are benefiting from the growth in air travel. Of those who use budget airlines, 75 per cent are in social classes A, B and C, whilst people with second homes abroad take an average of six return flights with the airlines every year. Interestingly, despite making up over a quarter of the population, low income households took just 6 per cent of the flights recorded from London airports last year. Meanwhile, the top quarter of the population took almost half of all flights. It seems that, while air travel has been getting progressively cheaper over the last decade, there’s still a long way to go before it is accessible to all.
MYTH 8: You are likely to get drunk quicker on an aeroplane – FALSE
According to an old saying, one in the air is like three on the ground. That adage isn’t strictly true; it’s your blood alcohol level that determines levels of intoxication and this is not affected in any way by altitude. However, with less oxygen reaching the brain because of the high altitude and the pressurised cabin, it might cause passengers to feel more inebriated, but that’s about it. Either way, we wouldn’t advise drinking excessively onboard, if only out of courtesy to your neighbours.
More articles and holiday ideas on travelbite.co.uk
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British holiday jet lands in wrong place
By Paul Johnston
A Thomson Airways holiday flight landed in the wrong place at Paphos airport in Cyprus.
The Boeing 737, which was carrying 189 passengers and seven crew, had been allocated a landing spot at the airport but instead touched down on a taxiway yesterday, reports Metro.
The taxiway, which was a concrete strip next to the runway, had no other aircraft on it at the time and passengers were unharmed.
The airline said the holidaymakers ‘were calm and in good spirits’ when they disembarked.
Speaking about the incident, the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: "We are in discussion about what exactly happened with the airline.
"Our understanding is that on approach to the airport they lined up with the taxiway rather than the runway and landed on the taxiway."
A spokesperson for Thomson spokesman confirmed that the flight from Robin Hood airport in Doncaster was involved in incident.
He added: "Thomson Airways maintains its aircraft to the highest standards and has an excellent safety record. The airline would like to reassure customers that incidents of this type are extremely rare and that their safety is our first priority at all times.
"As is normal practice, the airline will be conducting a full and thorough investigation into this incident."
Cypriot authorities and the Air Accident Investigation Branch are also investigating.
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G’day darling! Talking birds that escaped from Australian owners teach wild cockatoos to speak
At first, people who heard whole flocks of birds talking to them from the trees thought they were losing their minds.
Cries of ‘Hello there!’, ‘G’day Darling!’, ‘What’s happening?’ from the tree tops from flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos left householders wondering whether they were hearing things or just going mad.
But now a naturalist at the Australian Museum has confirmed pet birds that have escaped or been released by their owners have taught other birds phrases they have learned from humans.
Bird talk: Two cockatoos living in the wild in Australian’s Northern Territory
‘These birds are very smart and very social, meaning that communication and contact is important between them,’ said naturalist Martyn Robinson.
‘We’ve had people calling us thinking they are going mad or had something put into their drink because they’ve gone out to look at the flock of birds in their back yard and all the birds have been saying something like "Who’s a pretty boy, then?",’ said Mr Robinson.
The influx of talking flocks into the city – which have been learning to chatter among themselves from individual ‘teachers’ which have flown from their human owners – started after a drought in western New South Wales drove the birds towards new food sources.
The talking flocks include cockatoos, galahs, corellas and myna birds.
‘They’ve decided to stay and even begun to breed in the city, passing on their phrases to youngsters,’ said Mr Robinson.
Bird-brained: An expert at the Australian Museum claims birds can teach each other to talk
‘I just hope a pet that’s been taught dirty words doesn’t join a flock.’
When Sydney radio host Jason Morrison referred to the story in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph today, his show was flooded with callers who said they had heard flocks of birds talking to them.
Mr Morrison was so taken with the story that he started mimicking the birds himself with a high pitch voice…’Hello there,’ he screeched to one caller.
The newspaper’s comment page has been contacted by large numbers of people who have decided to have their own type of fun with the story.
‘Be informed,’ said ‘Bluey’. ‘These aren’t wild birds…they are our present federal government politicians.’
Veritas, of Cairns, said: ‘Finally found out where politicians come from – the flock rejects. After all, we do call them Pollies.’
Another commenter said: ‘It’s true then, it makes sense now. I’ve sometimes thought I must’ve misheard wild cockatoos saying "Hello" and other babble.
‘This is so funny, but for once a story that puts a smile on your face.’
David Walliams is ill following charity Thames swim
David Walliams is famed for being one half of the hit comedy duo behind ‘Little Britain’ and he’s been using his celebrity status for good cause- to help charity.
In a bid to raise serious funds for Comic Relief, David has donned his Speedos and cap once more to swim The Thames from Gloucestershire to Big Ben in London over eight days. *EUW*
All smiles: Despite suffering with a serious stomach bug David Walliams continues to swim The Thames / Getty
The comedian knew there would be risks involved when being immersed in the filthy river but he is now paying the price of his good deed and is suffering with severe vomiting and diarrhea.
While his wife, Lara Stone hit the GQ Man of the Year Awards last night, David was resting up with a high temperature and very dodgy tummy.
As he battles the torrents and pollution of the capital’s river over several stints, you’d have thought David’s motivation would be pretty low after constantly throwing up, but that’s just not the case:
Charitable chap: David also swam the English Channel in 2006 for Comic Relief / BBC
"When I heard the total raised had jumped to more than £200,000 it gave me a real boost,as do the thousands of people who have been turning out and cheering," said David.
"There were so many last night I thought Take That were in a boat behind me.
"This is already much harder than I thought it would be – but this Thames Tummy I’ve got is making the task seem incredibly difficult and London seems a long way away."
David has contracted a stomach bug and as a result has a high temperature and is struggling to maintain a strong pace as he swims.
In cold water: David has been battling against cold temperatures and sickness / Getty
The charitable chap who’s now in his third day of the BT Sport Relief Challenge: Williams vs The Thames, is unable to fuel his body sufficiently with food as he’s constantly being sick. *HUGS TO DAVID*
Determined to keep his promise, David is drinking hydration salts and has an expert medical team monitoring him. And what omg! finds a-mazing is that he’s still carrying on! Spurred on by donations to Sport Relief and cheering supporters.
Earlier this week David’s skin turned blue while swimming and was forced to wear a wet suit – good idea!
Filthy water, throwing up, cold temperatures — we’re not sure how David does it — to make a donation to the charity see www.sportrelief.com
Tourist complains about fish in harbour
6 September 2011
By Victoria Ward
Most holiday makers taking a stroll around a working harbour might expect to see the odd fish.
But when David Copp came across a fishing trawler moored in Ilfracombe Harbour he took great offence and complained about the “disgusting” smell.
The 46-year-old was outraged that his children, aged seven and nine, had been forced to endure the sight of 12 crates of dead fish and crabs, piled up on the quayside.
He said the ordeal had left them “quite distressed” and demanded to know why the harbourmaster was not more considerate to tourists.
“There were flies flying around and the smell was awful,” he said. “The ship was just sat there not doing anything, and there were 12 crates of dead crabs and fish just lying there covered in flies.
“It’s not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, there was a real stench.
“My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers."
Mr Copp called Ilfracombe harbourmaster Rob Lawson to complain about the smell that had emanated from The Lady of Lundy trawler before calling the North Devon Journal to air his woes.
Mr Lawson tried to explain that fishermen depended on the daily catch for their livelihoods and that it was a common site on a working quayside.
“He was very upset that he had come across the boxes of fish and thought it was entirely inappropriate and not a good sight or smell,” he said.
“I explained the workings of the harbour and that it was a working quay and that while it was not ideal, sometimes this happened.
“But he didn’t calm down, he went to the local newspaper and then when they printed his complaints, he came back to me to see what I had to say.”
Mr Lawson admitted that it was quite unusual to have a working harbour with public access.
But he added: “This is generally considered an asset because visitors can get a really good feel for how the industry works, they can enjoy the whole experience.
"I told this chap that you shouldn’t take your children to a harbour if that is how they react to dead fish."
Mr Copp is understood to have been on a two-week family holiday in the popular north Devon tourist resort when he lodged his complaint, which attracted disbelief from locals.
One said: “Ridiculous. Does he think all his food comes in packets? What did he expect to see at a working harbour?”
Tony Rutherford, the managing director of Bideford Fisheries said "Seeing us in action is often considered a tourist attraction in these parts."
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Man, 101, to run London Marathon
Buster is counting down to the London Marathon on 13 April
A 101-year-old man has his sights on the London Marathon in a bid to become the world’s oldest competitive runner.
Working plumber Buster Martin ran Sunday’s Roding Valley half marathon in Essex in five hours 13 minutes, and is now focusing on London’s 26-mile event.
On finishing the run, the first words of the ex-member of rock band The Zimmers were: "Where’s my beer?"
Mr Martin, who has 17 children, started work at Pimlico Plumbers in London three years ago because he was bored.
He drank a tankard of ale before signing autographs and chatting to fans near the finish line of the Essex race.
Charlie Mullins, managing director of Pimlico Plumbers, said he was "amazed" when Mr Martin appeared at work on Monday morning after his exertions.
He said: "I was amazed and delighted, he turned up on time and set to work polishing the vans. He’s a revelation."
Mr Martin’s trainer is marathon enthusiast Harmander Singh, who helped Fauja Singh, 96, break the London marathon record for the over-90s.
Buster, who lives in London, made headlines last year when he signed up as an agony uncle for men’s magazine FHM, offering guidance to a younger generation.
He also found fame when The Zimmers, who had a combined age of more than 3,000 years, scored a hit single last year with a cover of The Who’s My Generation.