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      06.02.2011 15:59
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      Will win a Slam

      Country - Great Britain
      Date of birth - age 23
      Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland

      Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
      Turned pro 2005
      Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)

      Career prize money US$13,967,298
      Career record - 255 wins 89 defeats (74.13%)
      Career titles - 16

      Highest ranking No. 2 (17 August 2009)
      Current ranking No. 5 (10 January 2011)

      So, three grand slam finals in three years for Andy Murray but three defeats, nine out of nine sets lost and so hardly top four in the world credentials. The gloomy Scott just can't find that extra to win the 'slam' final and some are beginning to question if he has the real metal to close it out, tennis the most mental of sports. But I'm not questioning him. He is just 23 years old and only five years into his pro career. And fear not, tennis greats Ivan Lendel and Andre Aggasi lost 3 and 4 of their first finals respectively before they won a slam, and went on to win many more, and those guys going up against the true greats of McEnroe and Sampras respectively. There is plenty of time for Murray to win a slam and I'm very confident he will. In fact it may be this year. Nadal's 'growing pains' injuries and Federers young family can only weaken the top two.

      What Andy isn't is Tim Henman, another guy I admire, a sportsman who clearly performed way above his ability, so again reason enough for Brit's to attack him too. Tennis is a middle-class sport and so why should a limited gene pool inside the M25 produce a Wimbledon champion? I don't understand why this country has a divine right to produce tennis winners. Henman senior built Tim a tennis court in the back garden he was that posh. Few British Premier League football players can string a sentence together, let alone a tennis racket, so play football, whereas most posh kids go to university and so play social sport as a break from studies, hardly the motivation to drive you on to world-wide success. Middle England are a not an apathetic bunch so don't need the route of professional sport to success. As long as tennis remains a middle-class sport then what's the problem if we don't win anything? The working-class clearly don't want to play it.

      Last months Australian Open Final was the first not to feature either Nadal or Federer, Rogers defeat to the eventual winner Jokovic meaning for the first time since 2002 the poncy Swiss legend doesn't hold a grand slam title. As I said before having a wife and kid always knocks the edge of your game and a subliminal hint you are too relaxed and no longer up for the wars to come, meaning the Federer Express is nearing his end game. Nadal is just not physically able to dominate the game like the likes of Federer and Sampras did and so the world number one spot may soon be vacant. Up until this final Murray and Jokivic seemed to be jostling for 4th in the world, but after Melbourne last month the Serb is clearly on the rostrum looking down on the sulky jock, Jokivic, perhaps, wanting it that tiny bit more in penance to escape where he came from.

      When Murray's right he glides through tournaments like the best of them, this, his second straight Australian Final, Nadal defaulting on him last year in the quarter-finals. You would have thought Murray would be even keener to perform in the final when the big two are out but he just seemed to concede to Jokivic without a fight. Jokivic had won a slam before going into the final and that seemed to make the difference. But Murray has the game that seems to work on most surfaces (the French Open perhaps his weakness with just one Q\F so far) so I just feel he will have more chances to Slam than Jokivic.

      The problem with tennis and for players like Murray is you can have a great life without winning anything major, the young female Polish world number one tennis player there without ever winning a grand slam. It's the same in golf and so your motivation becomes less about winning the biggest tournaments and more about maintaining your world ranking so to cut back on the amount of travelling and matches you have to play in what is a very long season. Maybe Murray is beginning to doubt himself and so blaming it on the various coaches and girlfriend s he is going through. Henman never won the slam for the simple reason his serve wasn't big enough, so extra energy wasted when trying to hold that weaker service. There's a huge Serb that I forget the name of that just smashes aces and nothing else and sits 27th in the world off the back of holding his serve every tournament. For me Murray needs to improve his service to hold service games in the huge matches, even though serve and volley tennis is long since gone. If you ping those aces down then your opponent soon doesn't bother about worrying about breaking service and so an easier ride for the big boomer.

      The early days for Murray were idyllic lower middle-class until that traumatic Dunblane School massacre, Andy hiding under a desk as the guy killed 17 kids. Murray doesn't want to talk about it in interviews but clearly witnessed terrible sights and was lucky to make it out alive. In his autobiography he recalls that his mum used to occasionally give Thomas Hamilton rides in their car in their rural idyll and attended a youth group with Hamilton. Anyone who has suffered a traumatic experience knows it will never fully go away.

      Growing up with his competitive brother Jamie it was certainly that will to beat his older sibling that helped to make him who he is. The brothers raced through the age groups up north and won everything in the British amateur game, their tennis coach mum Judy deciding a move to Barcelona for tougher competition was the way forward when he reached 15-years-of-age, enrolling him in the Schiller International School for general academia and then coached across the road on the clay courts of the Sánchez-Casal Academy where Ndal learnt his tricks. There was always this thing where the Murray's were supposed to have moved abroad to spite the LTA and succeed outside of a system that was producing few winners but Murray was always funded and helped by the LTA in his career and part paid for the schooling abroad. The move was more about the breakdown of Judy's marriage.

      After two years on the Futures Tour he won the Junior US Open in 2004 before joining the full ATP Tour with a wild card to Queens, winning two matches and making the last 16, before going out with an injury, also becoming the youngest ever British Davis Cup player. He then repeated two wins at the following Wimbledon before running out of puff against Nalbandian from two sets up.
      His first ATP tour win came in 2006 but he was still growing in many ways and won few games in a spell of three wins in three months, a tough learning curve, and those injuries as consistent as his tennis. But he was one of only two guys to beat the all - conquering Federer in that year and so clearly ready, from then on in Murray cruising up the rankings with regular ATP wins, 16 to date. He has definitely moved up a further notch in the last two years, making seven quarter-final performances in the last 13 Slams, including four semi-finals in the last two years, briefly reaching world number two in August 2009 for his efforts. That performance arc suggest the Slam win is very close.

      -Slam Bests-

      Australian Open Final (2010, 2011)
      French Open QF (2009)
      Wimbledon SF (2009, 2010)
      US Open Final (2008)
      Other tournaments
      Tour Finals SF (2008, 2010)
      Olympic Games 1R (2008)

      There's no doubt Murray splits opinion as a man and a tennis player, the first calls of 'bottler' on our door step after losing that third straight final to love. The Paraguay football shirt incident didn't help but lazy hacks failed to point out it was dry sense of humour from a proud and intelligent Scot teasing a two dimensional sports media that was behind that stunt. I know a lot of people who still hate him for that reason alone. I have noticed the tabloid press now call him a sulky Scott when he loses and a heroic Brit when he wins.

      As a player he can be tedious to watch, even though his game is quite clever and unique, almost like watching the ultimate park player hustling the professional courts, bought up on those uneven tarmac municipal courts and so a ability to play in tight corners and deal with variable bounce, really using the angles and varying the spin and slice, the dropping of the pace the weapon that really narks the top players. He's not a power player in any way and in some ways that irritates his fellow pros that he's not orthodox in what has become a very banal baseline game the pros feel comfortable in. But messing up the other guy's rhythm by making him stoop and run is the way to turn games and Murray is very good at it, why he will win a slam in the next year for me.

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        26.07.2009 17:05
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        A superb sport, which is really fun to play and is open to enhance your skills

        Tennis is a fantastic sport, which can be played across the world - whilst at home, on holiday, at school or university. There is just a few things you need - a court, two rackets, some tennis balls and a friend to play with! It's a non-contact sport although you may have balls flying towards you at points. It's really fun to play and keeps you fit as if you and your partner are good, you will be running around the court.

        There are loads of different rackets you can buy from makes such as Slazenger, Head and Prince. There are also loads of balls available including those from Wilson, which are my favourite to play with.

        It's quite a simple sport but there are a few rules to learn. It's not very complicated and it's very fun to play as you can smash balls across the court. You basically take turns to serve, in which you throw the ball above your head and do an over-head smash to the opposite side on your opponent's court.

        In singles matches (1 player each side), you can not hit the ball in the side tram lines or it is considered out. You can hit it anywhere else after the serve and you can volley the ball if you want to take the risk - it takes control! The ball must only bounce once on your side. If it bounces more than once, your opponent gets the point. If you don't hit it back, they get the point. Whilst serving, if the serve hits the net and lands in the opposite side, it's called a 'let' and they take that serve again. If the serve is out, they get one more try, called a '2nd service' and this is usually a slower, more careful serve.

        The game is really fun to play as you can smash the ball at times as hard as you can. The idea is to play tactically, hitting the ball where your opponent will find it hard to return. You can do forehand and backhand hits, which both take practice to perfect. With the ability to spin the ball too, the game can get a lot more advanced and exciting as you improve.

        It's a great workout as you are running around the court to get the balls and putting a lot of power into your hits. Without ball boys (or girls) like in Wimbledon, you must go and get the balls too once they hit the net or go out, which enhances the exercise. You play games until one player reaches 40 points and then wins another. If both players reach 40, it goes to 'deuce' and you play to win advantage, before playing to win the game. You can only win if you score a point whilst having advantage. You then play the first to 6 games to win a set, but you must win by at least 2 games. You can play the best of 3 or 5 sets to make up a match. It's a really great sport, easy to get the hang of and fun to play.

        Thanks for reading,

        Dan ©

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        10.07.2009 11:29
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        play it :L

        It's the tennis season again, that comes around every year. Wimbledon is costantly on, big news of rising stars. The amount of people who start to play tennis during this season is outstanding.

        Tennis, a great sport to keep you fit and active. Anyone can play it, men woman and children. Now there is tournaments ofr disabled players. You can play on your own in singles or with a partner, then it's doubles. There is also mixed doubles, men and woman playing together.

        There are a number of rules when playing tennis, the most basic one is that you have to hit the ball over and in. The whole purpose of the game. lol :L.

        Wimbledon - one of the four major tennis championships. the rule is that you have to wear all white. This years mens winner was federer and the womans was serena williams who beat her sister in the final. wibledon is in london and my sister went. she says it was fantastic, so if you really like tennis then go to wimbledon!

        It's really easy to start tennis, there are a number of different courts around varipus different places. I advise people to play tennis because its fun and keeps you fit!

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          02.07.2009 16:31
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          Great game for everyone

          Well it's that time of year again. Everywhere you look its Wimbledon this and Wimbledon that. Suddenly all the tennis courts are full of middle age men trying to bring short shorts back into fashion. Kids are playing with them giant plastic bats and yellow sponge balls. The entire nation goes tennis mad. So what's it all about?

          Well tennis is a pretty simple game, where you have two players on a court. A net in the middle, and the idea is to hit a ball over the net using your racket. That's the basic idea anyway, of course there is a lot more to the rules than that.

          Tennis is an very enjoyable game. I have been playing for years, and its a great way to keep fit. It's very cheap to play, you can get a racket for £10 although a good racket will cost you a little more. Balls tend to be a few pound each for decent ones. And to play on a court varies in price. Some places you can play for free, or if your after better facilites you may have to spend a few pounds. About £5 an hour is probably average.

          There are different surfaces you can play on, all of which alter the speed of the game. There is clay, synthetic, concrete, and even grass. Depends where you play really.

          If you are watching tennis there are all kinds of big tournaments. The quality of the play is excellent and its very easy to enjoy watching a game. As I mentioned earlier at this time of the year (july) everyone is talking about Wimbledon. This is a big tournament that takes place every year in London. The games are played on grass and the title is one of the most saught after in tennis.

          Britan has not had a top class player for many many years. Its well over 50 years since a British man won Wimbledon. But now we have the young Scot Andy Murray who is currently ranked in the top 5. So he is are best chance to win for a long long time.

          Tennis is quite an easy game to learn. You can get lessons if you want to really get into it. Children enjoy playing and its good to learn from an early age. It's easy to pick up the basic rules, you can watch a game for a while or play with someone who knows what there doing. The scoring itself is probably the most compicated thing in tennis, but it doesn't take to long to get the hang of.

          So Tennis is a really great game that anyone can try and anyone who enjoys sports I'm sure will enjoy giving this a go. Pick up a racket today.

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            27.04.2009 12:30
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            Good value coaching was a really nice surprise

            Tennis is one of the sports that I really like to watch on television. As a child and young adult I used to play a lot, in a league club. Work took over and I stopped playing, which in hindsight was a big shame.

            My new found interest is through my children. They went on a funday to introduce them to tennis. Subsequently, they joined Hythe Lawn Tennis Club. I was a little worried at first, as they already participate in club swimming, that the tennis would be expensive. To my delight, it is very reasonably priced. We pay around £60 per term, one hour lesson per week, per child. The group is of a nice size of about 8-12 children all of similar ability. The coach is superb too, very enthusiastic, encouraging, professional and spends the right amount of time with each child to see that they are taught correctly. In the group there is a second coach and a couple of helpers too, so again, they are not stretched thinly and this shows in how much progress my son and daughter have made.

            They really enjoy it and give me a run for my money too. Fresh air, exercise, sportsmanship, all rolled into a fun sport. I am glad I discovered the club and hope that they continue to progress in this exciting sport.

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              24.04.2009 18:26
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              Great game played across the world

              Tennis is a sport which I just absolutely love and have been playing it ever since I was a child. Tennis is a game which envolves fitness, lots of exercise and training. This is a sport that is played worldwide and there are many grand tennis stadiums around the world, ie: Wimbledon in the UK.

              The oblective of the game is to hit a tennis ball over a net to your opponents side of the tennis court, within the lines of which the game is meant to be played in.

              Tennis can consist of either a "singles" game or a "doubles game". A "Single" games is where 2 people play each other, and a "doubles" game is simply when you team up with another person and play against another 2 players on the opposite side of the court. Tennis is also a game which is very popular and watched alot on television. You can also get different types of tennis courts which is a different surface to how the game is usually played, ie: clay tennis courts, grass tennis courts, and many more.

              Whenever I get a chance, I love to just go out with some mates and hit a few balls on the court. This game applies strategy and skill.

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                14.03.2009 00:01

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                Great

                Tennis was a sport invented in briton and will always stay truely brittish along with the wimbeldon. I play tennis myself and i love slogging the tennis ball from one end to other and also placing the ball beore the net. I also like watching tennis on the t.v but i can also see how many people could find it slightly boring just a bal flying from one person to the other but if you actually get involved you can see the effort and skill that has to be put into winning a tennis match. The tennis rackets you can buy range from a pro standard to just an amature standard. You can probably get involved in tennis just by looking up a local place near you and either join the club itself or organize games with your friends first so that you can get used to the rules of the game and alos get better.

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                15.01.2009 11:41
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                A Great Sport To Play

                I am not here to tell you about the dimensions of a tennis court but I am here to tell you why I love the game so much,I don't play tennis but I watch it a lot.The reason why I love tennis is because of the hard fought rallies,I just love them,players give their 100% trying to reach for every ball.The least favorite surface of mine is the grass because all it is is serve and volley or one shot winners from the baseline,this is because the grass courts are very fast,my favorite are the clay courts,you can see long fought rallies,matches sometimes go upto 5 hours,I like hard courts as well because here you can see hard hitting and good fought rallies,a good combination of both.My favorite tennis player is Lleyton Hewitt because he gives his 100% in every point,I want him to become the world number 1 once again.Right now I see Andy Murray being the new world number 1 and the favorite to win the Australian Open 2009.I will surely recommend you to play the sport,it is great in terms of fitness and you will surely love it.

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                  09.01.2009 00:00
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                  Great in the summertime.

                  As a British citizen, it is hard not to love tennis. From the Wimbledon championships to tennis lessons in schools, to the vast number of public courts across the country, tennis is an integral sport to British life.

                  The great thing about tennis is it's really easy to play. You can practice against the wall of your house (outside of course), or by playing Swing Ball (the sing person equivalent of a tennis game). It's really simple, you just need to hit the ball, and make sure it's within the lines. Try and avoid hitting your opponent directly in the face as this will not win you any friends.

                  Another great thing about tennis is that the equipment is generally easy to obtain, and can be really cheap. You can get reasonable quality tennis rackets from around £10, but for the serious player a good quality Wilson racket is advisable. It is not necessary to wear the delightful white clothing, but you do look infinitely more professional if you do!

                  Finally, what other sport gives you strawberries and cream and a really bad neck ache when observing?

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                  08.01.2009 23:59
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                  the best game every created

                  Tennis. I simply do not know where to start. From the minute I started walking it was like I was meant to carry a racket around with me. Some joke that I must have been conceived on a tennis court I am just such a tennis freak!

                  There is nothing I like more than getting up early at the weekend and heading to the courts with a partner to get a real session in. No feeling compares to hitting a ball as hard as you can over a net. If anything it's a good stress reliever, and believe me, I need it after the week I usually have! You really feel that with every hit of the ball you are released pent up energy or stress.

                  Tennis combines many different skills, for a start you need to have good hand eye coordination, and being quite agile is a must. Tennis will really get your heart pumping and it's a good calorie burner.

                  If you're too tired from playing tennis or you find that you can't play for whatever reason, Wimbledon will come to save you. The summer is meant for watching sport, and Tennis is no exception, so get your strawberries, get your cream and listen to those tennis grunts!

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                    01.07.2008 16:40
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                    A serve is important in the game of tennis.

                    As I am a big fan of tennis, here is my factual information guide to one of the key types of shots in the sport, the serve. The serve is a very important part of tennis and if you ever want to get anywhere in tennis having a good, powerful and effective serve is the key to success.

                    In tennis, a serve is a shot which starts of a point in a rally where the player aims to get the ball in the diagonally opposite service box on the court. There are four service boxes on a tennis court, two on each end of the court but you only use one per point of a game. You can have two attempts to serve in one point before you get a double fault then the opponent wins that point and you have to go onto the next point and serve on the other side. A quick and effective way of scoring points with the serve is to serve aces. An ace is a serve which is usually hit with extreme power and accuracy which makes it very hard for the opponent to return the ball, if the opponent gets no contact on the serve it's called an ace. One way to score aces is to aim to get the ball on the far outside line of the service box or right in the corner with a lot of power, these tend to be the hardest type of serve because the opponent has to move wide off the court to return the ball.

                    It is a good idea to take your time when serving to get good accuracy and power because this is the only part of a rally where you have total control on when and how you hit ball. To serve well you also need a good placement of the ball before hitting it, if you thro the ball up and it goes too far away from you it will be hard to reach the ball to get a good accurate shot of ball. You also should line your feet up in the direction you want the ball to go in which tends to mean you have your back foot almost parallel to the baseline and the front foot at an angle. The most common grip used by tennis players when serving is the chopper grip, although if you are a beginner in tennis then its ok to start with the forehand grip because the chopper grip can be quite difficult to start with. The chopper grip has its name because it's known for the way you hold the racquet which is similar to when you hold an axe. This tends to be a better grip for serving than a basic forehand grip as it allows you to swing the racquet faster generating more power on your serve and creates a spin making it harder for the opponent to return the ball. To find the grip for the chopper grip, you should place your forefinger and the V part of the thumb slightly to the left and at the top of the grip.

                    There are a few key factors when serving which include balance timing, co-ordination and rhythm. When placing the ball to serve you should aim to get the ball just to the front of you and about six inches above your racquet which should be above you head. To complete the serve you swing the racquet at the ball in a throwing action once the ball has reached the top of the throw up. If you reach high as you're serving the ball this can help generate more power. Then follow through and bring the racquet across your body then once you have done this you can prepare for the return shot by getting in the ready position.

                    Sounds fairly simple doesn't it? Well, not quite because this is the basics to a serve in tennis, however there are several types of serves you can use.

                    The other common serves used in the professional tennis game are the slice serve, the top-spin serve and the power serve.

                    Once you have got the basics in serving, try hitting the ball with as much power as possible to improve the quality of your serve. To do this, you could use the power serve which is a serve which is at least 100mph. The main point in serving faster than 100mph is to transfer the power you can create in your body into the racquet head speed which then speeds up the ball. The main part of this is your balance and timing when serving, you should try to create a smooth rhythm and after that build up the speed gradually. If you try to speed up your serves to quickly you will probably keep hitting the ball into the net or miles out.

                    How do you serve using the power serve?

                    Step one - In order to hit the ball with more power you need to place the ball further in front of you in the throw up which will then help get you body weight moving forwards in the direction of the court.

                    Step two - Follow the same instructions used for a basic serve, but try to create more power by transferring more power from your legs into the serve which should also give you more height which will enable you to hit the ball with more power.

                    Step three - If you want more power on the serve, limit the amount of spin you use when you hit the ball.

                    Step four - You want to make sure the racquet face squares up to the ball when you are putting impact into the shot to create more power, it also creates more head acceleration. You've got to make sure you are using the right grip, i.e. the chopper grip or forehand grip whilst serving because this is key to the success of this type of serve.

                    Step five - Watch professional tennis players and how they serve like Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

                    Next, try using one of the spin serves, develop the slice serve first ideally as this will be simpler than the next spin serve which is more complicated and will take longer to learn. The slice serve takes place when the racquet face makes contact around the side of the ball, the spin created tends to force the ball out wide which is a hard serve to return as it takes the opponent to the far edge of the court. The key to making this serve work is your throw up.

                    So how do you hit a slice serve?

                    Step one - Again you need the throw up to place the ball in front of you and to help create more spin place the ball a bit more to the right side if you are a right hander or the left side if you're a left hander.

                    Step two - You need to edge the racquet face around the side of the ball as you hit the ball which should create a different sound to when you hit the other serves because the strings will make contact across the ball creating the spin.

                    Step three - Finally, to get more angle and swing you should try to stay relaxed when you hit the ball. You should gently glide the serve instead of biting into it because this may affect the outcome of the serve.

                    The final serve I'm going to explain is another key serve used by professional tennis players although it is by far the most complicated so I would try to develop the other serves before attempting this because the others are quicker to learn and will help you with this one. This serve is called either the top-spin serve or the 'kick' serve and it happens when the racquet face brushes up the back of the ball. This serve tends to go higher over the net but then dip down into the court making it very difficult for the opponent. It's a good serve to learn if you want to get far in tennis because it's misleading for the opponent who's trying to guess the direction of where the ball will land because the ball swings from left to right in the air, then when it bounces the spin will bite into court and it will kick out high to the right.

                    But how do you hit this serve?

                    Step one - It is essential to have the correct chopper grip for this serve to work. Although you can have the grip slightly towards a backhand grip to create a lot more spin on the ball. You want to place the ball slightly back and to the left if you are right handed and to the right if you are left handed which almost looks as if you're trying to get the ball to land on your head.

                    Step two - When you are about to hit the ball, you should arch you back more then hold your sideways turn for longer and then finally accelerate the racquet head up the back of ball. You also want your swing path to be in line with the baseline more instead of in the direction of the court ahead.

                    Step three - This serve takes time and practice so to begin with you will probably hit the ball out but don't worry about it because at first all your trying to do is to create the loop in the serve then you can develop it from there and try and aim your shots more once you have the technique.

                    These are the main types of serves used in tennis, hope this helped.

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                      29.11.2006 12:40
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                      Another rant about the Eighties era and pop.

                      The birth of this band from the wee darkest depths of Glasgow happened purely by accident in around 1980. Scruffy school mates by the strangest names of Tich, Tinny, Johnny and Caesar were struggling to get away from the school dances and town halls, getting paid peanuts to sweaty, drunken crowds of kids whose ears were just about as in tune to the music as the band were.

                      It was only when the older brother of Johnny, by the name of Gerry decided that his girlfriend at the time's little sister Clare, had a fairly pretty singing voice and that a girl fronting the band might give the guys a bit of a boost. It is these life changing moments that one only hears about in the music industry (like the timely meeting of Lennon and McCartney at a village fete) that bring fame and success all rolled into one. Fate, as we call it seems to strike at the strangest times. These split second occasions don't happen anymore, or at least, the industry doesn't allow for them to happen any more due to 'bands' and music being mass produced, like a conveyor belt. This is an album review on one of the last bands not to have been produced in this historical and fatalistic way. Some kids got together quite naturally and the rest was history.....

                      This album is not just another 'hits' album. Its extensive in the fact that we are also introduced to some newer tracks. What does happen here is that we are taken on a journey around the career of Altered Images. Since Miss Grogan has gone on to what a lot of us would call, better things on Sky Channel, VH-1, she hasn’t needed to fall back on any royalties from her songs. However, I understand that she couldn’t resist temptation and had a solo single out this year called 'Love Bomb.'

                      In the early eighties they only released three albums. 81' Happy Birthday. 82' Pinky Blue and 83' Bite. In this time they only released eight singles. The highest position and perhaps their most famous single, 'Happy Birthday.' This one reached number 2 in September of 1981. (It was kept off the top slot would you believe by 'Green Door' by Shakin Stevens.) 'Happy Birthday', and other hits are featured on this album. An album that, in my opinion is worth scrapping the rest for and just reaching for this one off the shelf instead.

                      The album starts with a short 'intro' not unlike Cyndi Lauper's album, 'A Night To Remember' when all that can be heard is a scratchy record also at the end of the album and we think that our stereo is on the blink. This intro for Altered Images is a simple glockenspiel (and yes, I did have to look that word up) with Clare repeating 'Happy Birthday' in the distinctive tune. We are immediately struck by the clearness of her voice. She is pitch perfect and her voice echoes like tiny bells. Actually, listened to it carefully, it sounds as if this has been recorded again for the release of this very album. Her voice is still spot on, yet sounds a little older. The same intro was used on their first album 'Happy Birthday' and also used again to close the album.

                      We are then lead into there first hit, and not a memorable one, but this album has been produced as a tour through the bands chart history. 'Dead Popstars' has a title that would sound at home on a Smiths album, and at only the highest position of sixty seven, spending only a fortnight in the charts, we are not holding too much hope out on this being a stormer of a track to listen to. Even so, this band did, eventually take the world by the balls and became one of the greatest British bands to find fame in less that two years. This is track 2 on our album here, and it starts with a rather dull and depressing riff in flat. Their heaviest influences at the time when they were finding their feet was Siouxie and the Banshees. Little surprising really as this is the band that we think we are actually hearing. This influence has a strong presence within this track. It also paints the picture of the time. Released in March 1981, it was towards the end of the mass punk era and the picture is clear. Clare uses her untamed voice to curl up at the end of every note like a childlike impression of Toyah Wilcox. It also has distinguishing themes of Depeche Mode. It shows all the markings of a new band trying a sound that reflects those of their contemporaries at the time. The lyrics are dull and interesting, and possibly not the best way to open album, but I guess Altered Images are well established enough to throw an awful early single in the knowledge that the listeners aren't going to turn it off immediately.

                      Track three is the very intriguing 'Insects' and we feel that Clare really has turned into one by the way she uses her voice to enhance her lyrics. We are starting to hear the Altered Images we know and love come peeping through. The band aren't creating so much noise in this track. We can distinguish instruments. We can hear the beginning riff more clearly. The band now feel that they are working together rather than competing against each other in the previous track. Its also a better stab at the chart. We are surprised to learn that this wasn't released. It appeared on their first album 'Happy Birthday' released in September 1981. This was supposed to be their finest album, but that was debatable. Their best work was yet to come. Still 'Insects' is a humorous tune especially the hissing Clare tails off the track. You can imagine her bending low down to the crowd enhancing her voice as she twists herself.

                      Track four is the better known 'Love and Kisses'. We are hearing true Altered Images. This was also featured on their first album. The drum effect throughout the track puts the listener in mind of and early Adam and the Ants track. This tribal usage of drums were popular with most bands in the early eighties. It is well rounded theme to the era of the time. We had left the punk era behind now, and with all music at the time, it reflected that. Perhaps the one track that could be the answer to the question of their immediate success was ‘Happy Birthday,’ and was here that they entered commercial stardom. The band create a pop style now by breaking away from their punk roots, to simply make money. Clare was famed for bouncing and jumping her tiny frame around the stage. For this track she simply couldn't keep still. The lyrics are catchy and its a tune that has been played over and over again for millions once a year, every year. The single stayed a massive seventeen weeks in the chart. The album, released in the same month, was only given its extensive credit simply on the strength of this record being so popular. Chosen as one of the most perfect party records of the decade with its jingling guitar riffs and rolling quick drum beats, regardless whether its anyone's birthday or not....

                      Incidentally, the album was produced by Steve Severin, also the producer of Siouxie Sioux. So we can understand the doom filled desperation sound of the forgettable ‘A Days Wait..‘ The lyrics are not of now what we see as Altered Images style, and the tune is rather tuneless. It was released in 1981, but thankfully, didn't do anything. Perhaps we were relieved with songs like 'Small Without Me.' By the sound and usage of synthesiser, we can gather that it is a recent track, although I have not record of this track at all. All I can decide is that its one of those tracks thrown into a 'hits' album to startle the listener. It starts with a tambourine fuelled riff that sounds rather like Lenny Kravitz. The mono radio effect is used on Clare's voice like and this is also used with her as she also sings backing vocals and its a taste of Altered Images could still cut the grade if they were still releasing singles today. Her voice sounds fuller, more mature and the slightly 21st century indie sound suits the whole band.

                      ‘I Could Be Happy,’ is simply a mirror of 'Happy Birthday' in its style, beat and not far away from the same melody but perhaps slightly flatter. We also hear a choir effect to wrap the track in something that doesn't sound so enclosed. One gets the feeling with some of their tracks that its rather like standing in a life with the band and Clare performing in between floors. Released in December 1981, and even uses some chime bars to make the track sound seasonal, it did reach number seven in the UK charts, hanging around for twelve weeks in total. Not surprising that in 'See Those Eyes' and we back to commercial hits making time. Now we are hearing the definite sound that was unmistakeable Altered Images. Clare's vocal is an octave lower which allows her lyrics to come over clearer. The problem with their tracks to this date is that Clare's voice had been stretched to its limit therefore understanding her lyrics was difficult. Featured on the 1982 album, 'Pinky Blue' it was also a fairly successful hit released in March of the same year and attained the position of number eleven. It wasn't of the same calibre of 'I Could Be Happy', it had something missing from the usual releases. Perhaps, it was after this single, the band came to a decision to change the format and the style of their records. A sort of, move with the times, if you like. It was hits after this time that took on a whole new sound.

                      Also with the titled track of the same album, 'Pinky Blue,‘ it does at first, sound a little too bubblegum and leg warmers to the listener and we panic at the thought of Altered Images turning into Barbie. It open with a futuristic sound of lazar guns. In all honesty, if Altered Images hadn't done this track, then Transvision Vamp would have snapped it up in quick time. Clare Grogan is certainly bubblegum but more fishnets in need of some repair rather than leg warmers. She waters down her impression of Toyah but sounds more Tracy Ullman. It didn't do much for the increasing fast repertoire for Altered Images, only achieving a poor number thirty five.

                      Track eleven is the titled 'Forgotten', and this first opening beats sound half nicked from New Order's 'Blue Monday' In fact, if they had hired a female vocal, this is what they would have come up with. Clare, like many female fronting leads of the time actually couldn't sing. It was a time when an actual voice was not required. It wasn't long before we heard 'West End Girls' completely talked through, although brilliantly by The Pet Shop Boys. Was this the style they were now toying with? No, the next track spelled a new beginning, although a short one, but also opened them up to a whole new audience, and in my mind, had finally landed them fair and square on the map of famous British pop.

                      'Don't Talk To Me About Love' threw a number seven at them, but should have done better. Within this track we hear a tune, Clare singing and good backing vocals, and a cute guitar riff that could be whistled if fast enough. Released on the 19th of March 1983, it really couldn't have got any higher. Its release was purely bad timing. Unfortunately, they were forced to remain at number seven due to 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' by Bonnie Tyler being at number one, one month, then 'Lets Dance' by David Bowie the next. The pressure to release anything better than that was far to high for the student band from Glasgow. These were old pros sitting at the top, and there was no room for Altered Images. But, on the other hand, what did the chart matter when you had best selling albums and one of your greatest fans was John Peel, who followed them overtly. He once said '...say what you like about Altered Images, they could rip the s**t, both on record and no stage, out of a lot of bands of that period.' It was true, Altered Images did and yet laid the path straight for future bands like, The Primitives, Garbage and Transvison Vamp. Grogan had made jumping around and acting girlie alright. It wasn't cool anymore to be old and mysterious all heavily made up. It was 'in' to be acting like its your twelfth birthday, wearing rolled up baggy trousers and brightly coloured beads around your neck. She, above all represented other kids walking down the street. So in the next song, ‘Love To Stay, which is slightly Human League in their latter day theme, is cured from all the bouncing and throwing oneself around the room knocking the coffee table over. Its thoroughly produced on a keyboard, and we hear no U2 guitar take offs. Clare is strangely at home with this melodic enchanting track. It sooths and irons out the creases formed by new romantic punk.

                      'Change Of Heart' is where we are introduced to pretty awful sounding synthesisers sounding like an end of pier dance organ. With lots of arrs and ooos, its a little sixties sounding, somewhat retro, not unlike the style that Diana Ross tried to produce with 'Chain Reaction'. Again, we can hear that they were prime influences to Transvision Vamp. We now start to see that pop history is just a chain of events and sounds.

                      Moving on to 'Bring Me Closer' is, and I must say, a very well worked disco track. Lots of clapping and not short of a roller disco classic. Its Sister Sledge if you like. Madonna could have pinched this for 'Confessions On A Dance floor.' It contains cool sax breaks and swaying violins, fresh off Love Boat. Its a little on the cheesy side, but as I said, works, but please, Altered Images, don't do another one! 'Las Vegas Lullaby' is a shock to the system. Its simple and sweet but not sickly with its tinkle tinkle bells and slide guitar. Its Clare being rather serious for a moment. After all, she has matured in years as well as voice. Unfortunately, this is the first we've heard it.

                      The album finishes with the statutory awful, time filler mix of some hit we've already heard on the album. This time its 'I Could Be Happy' that they've ruined by putting some funky beats to it. Its too heavy on the 'Blue Monday' feel. If I wanted to hear that, I would have reviewed 'Substance 1987'. The intro goes on for far too long, then jut when you think you actually might be hearing the track for real, it goes back into a loop of hefty intro again. So please, don't make Clare sound like Jive Bunny. I couldn't take anymore.....

                      In short, this album makes you stop and think. Should we just cast the CD to one side and perhaps play it again when there nothing else better to do? We've just cast aside someone's life there! These youngsters dedicated their lives to making music. With pop so soulless and cold today, it can make you one minute into an overnight sensation, then drop you like yesterdays fish in the morning. At least Altered Images lasted a smidge longer than that…


                      Tracks included;

                      Happy Birthday intro
                      Dead Popstars
                      Love And Kisses
                      Happy Birthday
                      A Days Wait
                      Small Without Me
                      I Could Be Happy
                      See Those Eyes
                      Pinky Blue
                      Forgotten
                      Don’t Talk To Me About Love
                      Love To Stay
                      Change Of Heart
                      Bring Me Closer
                      Las Vegas Lullaby
                      I Could Be Happy (MR mix)
                      Happy Birthday outro.





                      (R.I.P Alan Freeman who died yesterday at the age of 79.)
                      ©sam1942 2006
                      Virgin Stores, Crawley, West Sussex, 2006 £8.
                      (First on Ciao 2006, updated for dooyoo 2006)

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                        31.07.2006 12:26
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                        *Write down your heart in a song, on a peice of paper to keep*

                        I am a music lover and I thought I would publish a few of my lyric’s I have written over the years. Ever since I was twelve, I had this idea of become a song writer. Now, as things have changed throughout life, I see writing down my thoughts as poetry and occasionally songs which I will come up with a kind of tune to go with it. I have never shown anyone my song lyrics before, so I would be grateful for any constructive feedback to update and edit these lyrics. I see songs as a way of getting out what you feel, and like poetry, it’s brilliant, except you can have any tune with it you want. Will add more of them when I find them all….they are all spread around my room on bits of paper, and in a book somewhere as well….I hope you enjoy.



                        *Silent Tears*

                        These silent tears fall down my cheeks
                        You can’t hear them just like I can’t hear you speak,
                        I see the tears outside my window,
                        Enveloping the sun like an unfriendly foe,
                        The silence in the conversation is killing me,
                        Can’t you see the strangers we’ve become?
                        Is it the distance we spend apart,
                        Or because I let go; lost control of my heart.

                        (Bridge)
                        I’ve lost control as some would say,
                        In the end I’ll know I’ll pay.

                        (Chorus)
                        These silent tears fall down my cheeks,
                        You can’t hear them like I can’t hear you speak,
                        Another life of self destruction; self harm
                        Mental abuse, slashes across my arm,
                        No ‘I love you’ like normal at the end,
                        That conversation is driving me round the bend,
                        When did I loose control?
                        Over my head, my heart and my soul?

                        I rely on you too much, now I’ve lost all my friends,
                        This is pain this is torture, I don’t want you to end;
                        The relationship, started off sweet, perfect, innocent,
                        I wouldn’t if you ended it, I couldn’t; I can’t,
                        So many good times, you made me feel like me,
                        Opened me up, set my soul free,
                        Or so I thought until I realised,
                        Your heart and soul can’t just materialise,
                        In front of your eyes, so gorgeous so brown,
                        You made me smile or laugh when the world was upside down.

                        (Chorus)

                        What happened to the strong girl I once was?
                        I realise love turns to sadness turns to hatred because,
                        Love is a drug and you can’t live without it,
                        Destroying your heart bit by bit,
                        Love isn’t fun, fabulous and definitely not a game,
                        So why do we mess around; find others to blame,
                        When I really trusted, let myself go in too far,
                        Let you pickle my heart in a filthy jam jar,
                        It’s gonna end up in shreds in the end anyway,
                        You could end it today, so why wait for a rainy day,
                        When you get bored, annoyed, and angry even,
                        For me not being the perfect angel from heaven;
                        You probably thought I was in the beginning,
                        At the end of the day, I’m just a human being,
                        I’m sorry for not being what you imagined,
                        Thought about, or even what you dreamed,
                        In a few days you probably won’t even look me in the eye,
                        But you’ll tell me one word; goodbye,
                        But why can’t I talk about this to you?

                        (Background of Chorus followed by bridge followed by bridge over the top starts up)

                        (Repeat next stanza over top until end) you might not feel it although you probably do,
                        I know I’ll hate myself at the end of the day,
                        I’m the one feeling this and I don’t think it’ll go away,
                        Love means giving your heart away to be broke
                        You can’t just cure it with a vodka and coke,
                        No matter what happiness or what you say,
                        I’ll always love you, so my heart will never be okay

                        *Killing me*

                        I sat and I watched,
                        I became cold, but I still stared,
                        My eyes were red and blotchy
                        Because you my love,
                        You no longer cared,
                        I wasn’t your girl anymore,
                        You traded me in for someone new
                        Someone less hardcore,
                        My best friend.

                        (Chorus)

                        But before I take the pills,
                        I write you a note,
                        Leaving you with the debts and the bills,
                        Saying I loved you once,
                        But hey I don’t care whatever floats your boat.

                        You traded me in with someone I loved and knew,
                        Someone close, but you know what hurt the most?
                        Is that you both crept behind my back?
                        Making me drown near to the coast,
                        I’ll show you what’s whack,
                        I’m searching through my home,
                        Looking for those bottles of pills,
                        Stabbing at my head with a sharp comb,
                        Slitting my wrists, the veins in my arms,
                        Because yes my dear I’m going for the kill.

                        (Chorus)

                        You haven’t ended it with me yet,
                        You’re coming over soon,
                        What you’ll find is your fate
                        What you’ll find is your bet,
                        It isn’t my fate
                        But you’ve bought me this doom,
                        (Ooooohhhhhh)
                        I’ve taken the pills,
                        I know I’m dying inside,
                        For me to die may be against your will,
                        But do I care anymore about your will?
                        You find me I’m dead,
                        You phone an ambulance but it’s too late,
                        I’m bleeding internally on our bed,
                        You read the note, and I see your face from above,
                        Full of worry, dismay, sadness, hurt and even pleasure,
                        Suicide can be murder in so many ways,
                        But it’s never counted as murder is it?

                        (Chorus)

                        *Bricks falling down*

                        You tell me your there for me,
                        You tell me you’ll be around,
                        But you never seem to care,
                        When I’m feeling up or down.

                        If I want to tell you something,
                        You’re always too busy,
                        Too busy in your own crap,
                        Or dumping that crap on me.

                        (Feeling like a ton of bricks is falling down
                        On top of me, turning my smile to a frown)

                        (Chorus)
                        You were independent from the age of four by your own mother,
                        You said you couldn’t do that to any other,
                        But you’ve done that to me,
                        Mentally, emotionally,
                        I’ve fought for myself,
                        I’ve cried to myself,
                        I don’t ever need your hand now,
                        Deep down I love you, I hate you right now.

                        I’m left with no freedom,
                        No time for fun,
                        I look after your children,
                        I was a child once without you to hug.

                        When times were hard,
                        You’d leave us with babysitter’s,
                        So you could go out,
                        And drink your sorrows throughout,

                        (Feeling like a ton of bricks is falling down
                        On top of me, turning my smile to a frown)
                        (Chorus)

                        I’m fed up of having to help you all the time,
                        When do I get to go out, I get back and you whine,
                        The house is a shambles, and you’re breaking down,
                        I’m left with the mess you made if I leave for a day,
                        And if I could stand up to you, tell you the truth,
                        I’m fed up of my home life, but there’s nothing I can do or change

                        (Feeling like a ton of bricks is falling down
                        On top of me, turning my smile to a frown)
                        (Feeling like a ton of bricks is falling down
                        On top of me, turning my smile to a frown)
                        (Chorus til end.)

                        *Living In Sleepless Xtasy*(dedicated to my other half Luke)

                        Feeling lost in the rain,
                        Yet I feel no pain,
                        Because I see you fumble,
                        At the end of my tunnel.

                        You hold out your hand,
                        I take it and loose myself in your eyes,
                        I hope near the end,
                        They don’t become full of lies.

                        (Bridge)
                        All that love we share,
                        Like a perfect pair,
                        Entwines in each other’s lives,
                        Where each takes as the other gives

                        (Chorus)
                        Living in sleepless ecstasy,
                        Every time you come near me,
                        You send shivers up my spine,
                        When you kiss and caress me,
                        I grab you, you are mine,
                        I hope we’re not running out of time,
                        I’m hooked on your love,
                        It’s ecstasy from above.

                        Your kisses taste so sweet,
                        They make my heart skip a beat,
                        Your touch is so gentle,
                        It turns my mind insane, and mental.

                        Last night was like a heavenly dream,
                        Full of kisses, candy, strawberries and cream,
                        Being held in your strong arms,
                        And waking up to your spells and charms

                        (Bridge and chorus)

                        All I can think about,
                        Is memories of me and you,
                        You only have to call out,
                        And I’ll run to your side,
                        You only have to say I love you too,
                        I’ve melted and drowned beneath your love

                        (Bridge and chorus)

                        Hope you enjoyed reading some of the songs I have written over the years. I will add more onto either this review or on more to come in the next few months when I collect them all up together.

                        Thanks for reading.

                        Angiexxx copyright 2006

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                          04.12.2004 13:33
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                          • "**** off! lol"

                          My son Chris was born on the 5th December 1985 a healthy 8lb 2oz, he was perfectly healthy apart from inherited Asthma. Grew up a cute loving little boy with the biggest chocolate brown eyes (get away with murder eyes) I have ever seen. It was often said he was too pretty for a boy. As it's his 19th birthday tommorow I thought I'd submit my story of his life.

                          When he was 3 we noticed one day that he had started to repeat himself. He kept saying "pick that bud". Made no sense to us whatsoever. His Grandad tried to get him to explain but he just grinned mischieviously and said "pick that bud!"

                          Some years later I took him to our GP as he seemed to be constantly clearing his voice. We wondered if his inhaler was irriating his throat. The GP just said he's one of those kids who does things out of habit. He spent his school life in trouble because of it and various other things he did that annoyed the teachers. Mainly being disruptive in class. Not as you'd imagine though, this was because of his 'habit's'.

                          Between the years of 5 to 11 Chris just got worse, by now he was Ticcing all the time. We didnt know this was the phrase for it at the time. He would jerk his head sideways, roll his eyes back, grunt, and still clearing his voice constanly. We sort had a Family estate car with rear facing back seat and Chris was ticcing so violently it was distracting his Dad whilst Driving. It was I admit annoying.

                          One Sunday morning I was preparing lunch when the phone rang. My Mum. She was very hyped up and excited "Sonia I got an article in my paper today (Mail on Sunday) It's Chris.....Oh its so Chris, I'm bringing it over straight away"
                          She did was at my house within 20 minutes. When I read the 4 page spread on TOURETTE'S SYNDROME in this sunday mag I cried. Every single case discussed had a bit of Chris in them. They described Tic's and mannerisms, troubles at school.

                          The next day I went to my GP again with the Article and Chris. He said Yes it certainly looked like Chris had Tourette's. He admitted knowing nothing about it and asked if I'd come back Tuesday by then he would know. I did and he did. The Doctor said he needs to go to Great Ormond Street for diagnosis, they could help him there. Our area just didnt have the resources.

                          At Great Ormond Street Chris was indeed diagnosed with Tourettes. We went on the train and had great fun with the world and his wife giving chris dirty looks. It used to bother him but now if someone's being rude and staring constantly he simply says "Hi I'm Chris, I got Tourette's what's your excuse?" (results of which are hilarious!)

                          * About Tourettes Syndrome:

                          What Causes TS?
                          Research is ongoing, but it is believed that an abnormal metabolism of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are involved with the disorder. It is genetically transmitted; parents having a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children. Girls with the gene have a 70% chance of displaying symptoms, boys with the gene have a 99% chance of displaying symptoms.

                          What is TS?
                          Named after the French Man Gilles De La Tourette who was first diagnosed with the condition,
                          Tourette Syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by tics -- involuntary, rapid, sudden movements or vocalizations that occur repeatedly in the same way. Diagnostic criteria include:

                          Both multiple motor and one or more vocal tics present at some time, although not necessarily simultaneously;
                          The occurrence of tics many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day or intermittently throughout the span of more than one year;
                          Periodic changes in the number, frequency, type and location of the tics, and in the waxing and waning of their severity. Symptoms can sometimes disappear for weeks or months at a time;
                          Onset before the age of 18.

                          Some common tics include coughing, throat clearing, sniffing, blinking, shoulder shrugging, arm thrusts, or neck stretching. Some researchers believe that a subtype of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) may be genetically linked to TS. There’s not too much else that has been conclusively shown to be "part of" TS.

                          Doctors have tried to explain how it must feel to have TS:
                          Do not allow yourself to touch or scratch any part of your body for the next hour
                          You eventually have to, don't you?
                          This is how impossible it is thought to be for TS sufferers to control or stop their noises or twitches
                          Not easy, is it?
                          Or another is to supress the urge to blink for as long as you can. Its the same sensation,Chris gets, it just has to be done or else it builds up inside him. He once held off his hoots in class within 10 minutes he let out the most enormous hoot ever and deafened the class much to the amusement of his fellow classmates. He never tried again!


                          * Web Sites of Interest:

                          www.tourettenowwhat.tripod.com
                          www.tsa.org.uk
                          www.tourettesyndrome.co.uk

                          These sites are useful and usually provide help groups which are a godsend. As a parent of a child with Tourette's you can feel isolated. Great Ormond Street wanted us to attend their sessions, unfortunately they only did them there in London and it just wasn't practical. We managed without the help of any of these groups as we found they all wanted a fee of some sort.

                          Another brilliant source of information on TS was the television series Olivers Sachs "Mind Traveller". It was a very in depth program of the brain and all its functions. We used to lend the school our videoed copy of this program so they understood what was going on with Chris.


                          * Diagnosis

                          Chris was diagnosed simply by the fact he's had 3 or more of these Tics for the last year. He was given a full neurological examination which took an hour. With lots of lifestyle questions. We were told the condition was hereditary. This suprised us but when we were told it manifests in many forms it wasnt so suprising. Any one who is obsessive with locking the door, unplugging plugs, checking and double checking has a mild form of Tourette's. Theres a lot of people about like this who have no idea.
                          Chris was given Chlonodine in liquid form to try to supress the ticks. This didn't suit Chris although it made him sleepy it also gave him headaches. So back to GOSH, where he was prescribed Haloperidol also in Liquid form. This was brilliant, didnt work all of the time but he difference in him was unbelievable. We could go weeks when no body would know a thing was wrong with him. As he got older he was given tablet format, which dosage was progressivly increased.


                          * Copralia

                          Throughout all of this time Chris had never sworn (Copralia). We were rather proud of that fact. But then when he was 16 and at GCSE time it started. He shouted Fuck a few times. Of course he got chastised by us but then it became apparent he couldn't help it. I remembered watching the TV program in the late 70's (I think) 'The Boy Can't Help It' about a Scottish boy named John with Tourettes. His was an extreme case. Chris managed to disguise it to FUGG. It was still quite obvious what he was saying but not as offensive. Chris used to have to wear a laminated credit card sized ID with his condition and his Hospital Number and Diagnosing Hospital reference just to prove he wasn't lying to people who took exception to his often loud noises or swearing.

                          * Depression and OCD

                          Chris was to spend a lot of his teenage years depressed. It was a worrying time. He had 2 deaths of classmates to contend with at 13. He couldnt let it go this is when the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) came in. Chris obsesses about most things, its within his nature. He worries a lot that he needs to do things or things need to be right. He had to see Psychologists. Who to be honest didn't help, made him feel lower than ever. His worst point was at 17, He was out of work no college (he'd pulled out in the third week unable to handle the teasing) I was so concerned he was going to committ suicide I wouldnt let him out alone. But something in him changed after this time.......

                          ** I was just reminded of an incident which happened involving Chris....this was before the swearing days. He was on a bus with me he'd have been about 15 at the time. An elderly Lady was having a real problem with Chris' hooting noises (he was having a spell of hooting, snorting like a pig was another) She really didn't like it and kept giving him the filthiest looks. After a short while at a stop she got up, we assumed she was getting off but no she went to the driver and asked for "That unruly child to please be removed from the bus!" in a very loud voice. Unbeknown to her we knew the Driver, Keith, who calmly said;
                          "Look love its you with the problem, Why don't you get off?"
                          Chris started to applaud, the next thing we knew half the bus was applauding and yep you guessed it she DID get off. It was very embarassing but also a great comfort to know there are kind and caring people out there.**
                          Unfortunately these incidences are far to common in Chris' life. Mainly he'll ignore it but the more he's stared at the more stressed he gets. The more stressed he gets the worse the tic's get. Its a vicious circle .... one that never seems to end. Understandably Chris avoids public transport where at all possible. He pushbikes most places.


                          * Present Day:

                          Chris is 19 in December. He has his own flat. Full time College on a Caring Course. Part time worker at MacDonalds. Still Tic's away to his hearts content but once more thanks to Medication some days are better than other's. I often wonder if it hadn't been for my Mum and that article how much longer we'd have carried on in the way we were. He still has his moments only this week he's had problems with a manger at work who doesnt seem to grasp the fact Chris just can't help it. He's off work for a fortnight as he's just back at college and is findng it difficult to cope witht he hassles of part time work and college. He feels college is more important at the moment.
                          He has grown up a concientious young man, loyal friend, a good kid. I am very proud of the way he has turned his life around, determined not to let Tourette's run his life. If by his third decade he hasnt grown out of it, it will be with him for life. Some how I think my Boy can handle that.............

                          We love him as he is



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                            30.11.2004 20:18
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                            I decided to write a review about 'Life', although I could have placed this in any number of the 'Everything from A-Z' categories under another name. I often go over and over these thoughts in my mind and have tried to justify what they mean to a number of different people. Some are able to understand and can talk to me about what I have told them. I hope that you will think about what I write in this review and that you start asking yourself about life and what it means exactly.


                            Many people worship a figure that they call God, through any number of different religions. This is the person that they see as the 'creator' of the universe. They say that he was the one responsible for our world and everything within it. Christians believe that he created the world in seven days and i'm sure there are other similar variations of that philosiphy among many of the other world religions. I do not believe in any God or any creator because it is just impossible to do.


                            The question that I have I have always asked, is that if God created the universe and Earth, who or what created God? That is a question that is completely unanswerable. Even if somebody says that somebody was responsible for the creation of God, who created that person? Everybody must understand that our universe and everything around us is the result of great fortune. Everything came together at once and we ended up with a huge galaxy. The very fact that there is life on earth is also a fluke. The fact that we have an atmosphere, water and that we are exactly the right distance from the sun giving us just about the right amount of heat.


                            There is another strange question that I find myself thinking about from time to time. Please bear with me because it is rather difficult to explain and it may take you a while to get your head around it. The question is: How can I be totally sure that everyone and everything that is around me really exists? I will never know if I am living in a dreamlike state. Almost in a simulator machine. I can not get inside the mind of another person and I can only see things through my own eyes.


                            I think that only the things that I see and hear at any one time are actually happening or existing. For example, my family are only 'existing' when I am in their presence or can hear them. When I am looking in front of me, what's behind me will disappear until I turn around where it will all fall back into place. That may sound very bizarre but nobody can contradict that because they can't prove it without doubt. The odd thing is, that there are some things that you or nobody else will be able to prove. That is one of the strange, but fascinating things about our existence.


                            The final thing that I would like to say, is that I also have the feeling of deja vu on numerous occasions. I often feel that I have been in somewhere before at another time, although I have never been there before. These feelings are often linked with strong emotions and at times I get a little scared. It is a very strange feeling to have and it is difficult to understand how you experience these things. I would appreciate any comments or views on deja vu and if anybody else has had any sort of similar experiences.


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                          • Product Details

                            Originating in Europe in the late 19th century, tennis spread first throughout the English-speaking world, particularly among the upper classes. Tennis is now once again an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society, by all ages, and in many countries around the world. Except for the adoption of the tie-breaker in the 1970s, its rules have remained remarkably unchanged since the 1890s. Along with its millions of players, millions of people follow tennis as a spectator sport, especially the four Grand Slam tournaments: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open.

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