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It has been brought to my attention that some people deny my existence.


Father Christmas
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It's a busy time here at my North-Pole workshops,and the last thing I expected to have to do was register with a computer magazine web-site to deal with a report that people are saying I don't exist.

As you can all see, I'm very much alive,and working hard to get everything ready for the big night when as always I'll be delivering presents to children everywhere. I'm posting a message here to reassure all those boys and girls that - contrary to what some spoilsports might try to tell you - I'm real enough,and will be there without fail on Christmas Eve. Don't forget to leave a carrot or two for my reindeer, and if you fancy adding a small nip of something warming for me it will help keep out the winter chill.

Best wishes to you all for a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New year.

Father Christmas

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"I have been very good this year as I am sure the Forum Editor will confirm!"

Hmmm... I'll have to check my naughty book, and if that confirms what you say I'll give you a good report if Santa asks me. I imagine he's inundated at the moment, but we'll see if he picks this up.

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Aitchbee

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SANTA, 'Little Joey' says thanks again for finding his mummy all those years ago.

BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM_BOOM

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Chronos the 2nd

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Forum Editor

I strongly refute your insinuation. LOL.

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spuds

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After serious consultations, I think this Father Christmas is perhaps trying to obtain information for a forthcoming Harry Potter type book, so making him even more richer and wiser :O)

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bjh.

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Dear Father Christmas,

Seeing as you dart around the skies over Christmas without fail, whatever the weather, could you give a present to Heathrow Airport of some de-icing equipment that actually works, and maybe a pair of wooly gloves & hats for the staff? (I think there are two blokes, and a wheelbarrow). My wife was due home from Milan today, but Heathrow has got a little cool, and they have all gone home and left the airport, so she's stuck out there amongst all those dreadfully boring and unattractive Italian chappies, and she'll be sooo bored and lonely. She could fly to Stockholm (minus 3), Warsaw (minus 8), Prague (minus 8) or Moscow (minus 13), but Heathrow (minus 1) is no go. The BA flights are the only ones that are cancelled (again!) it seems.

Anyway, I'm sure you could use some choice words to get them up to the speed of other International Hub airports. Alternatively, there's a delightful chappie called Boris who might like a whole new aiport, if you could fix it for him...

Yours, a little jaded and alone...

B

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Forum Editor

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bjh.

"The BA flights are the only ones that are cancelled (again!) it seems."

That's not the case - other airlines are affected,and it's not a lack of de-icing equipment that has caused the trouble; the problem has been fog.

All airports have problems with fog, but Heathrow is a special case. When fog descends on an airport the airport authorities order an in increase in the separation distance for inbound aircraft. This is to ensure that there's an increased margin of error to allow an aircraft that has touched down to clear the runway before another one comes down.

At most airports there's no problem - landing intervals can be extended without much disruption to service. At Heathrow it's different. The airport is currently operating at 99% of total capacity - an aircraft lands or takes off every 45 seconds. The aircraft separation distance for the approach is normally three miles, but in fog that is automatically increased to six miles. The effect in flight schedules is rapid and dramatic - far fewer inbound aircraft, which means fewer aircraft to turn around, which means fewer take-offs.

What Heathrow does is to try to limit the effect on passengers by deliberately cancelling flights in advance of predicted fog. It does this in order to let airlines contact and notify passengers ahead of the problem, so they can make alternative arrangements, or notify people who might be travelling to meet them.

It's all very annoying,as you've discovered, but it happens in the name of safety. Instrument landings are all very well, but the main danger with fog is when aircraft are on the ground,and moving around the airport. Increased landing intervals give the ground controllers a bit more leeway when monitoring the movements.

None of which makes you feel any less lonely, I'm sure. I've been in the same boat several times, and I know how frustrating it is.

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bjh.

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Oh, don't confuse me with the FACTS! Not on this thread, surely! Or should we discuss some other... nope... not going there... (My reference to the BA cancellations was from the Italian end... and all those colder flights that were operative. I'm sure most other Heathrow-based airlines are equally affected).

I remember a thread started by you only a few months back where you, yourself, were questioning the very same thing - why Heathrow is so drastically affected by fog, and we got some very informed answers about the distance between aircraft in fog, runway clearance time, and the like. It's a pretty intractable problem. That's why I thought the jolly old O.P. should sort things out. Double-decker runway overnight, or a shiny BorisPort (which I could probably see from my window at the moment, twinkling away beyond the offshore windfarm).

Me, I fly much less nowadays. The internet and conference calls have pretty much put paid to work-based jollys for now. I'm just worried about my poor, lonely, hungry wife, left in a tatty Milan hotel, with no food, no drink, no company, and nothing to do. I'll just have to defrost a bit of pizza and open a can of beer, with a cat for company. Lucky me!

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Forum Editor

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Talking of this thread...

Maybe we should leave it to get back on track - I for one don't want to do anything that might upset Father Christmas.

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woodchip

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I suppose You are still giving free cycles and computer etc away, Poor Parents that have to be bailed out for the det they have got into does not count!!!!!!!

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Forum Editor

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woodchip

I'm not with you - what has debt got to do with Father Christmas?

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