Ann J Sec
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Working from home has its benefits and its drawbacks. The benefits are getting up late when I want to, not having to leave my dog alone, always being on top of the housework and sometimes watching morning television before starting my working day. The drawbacks..............some of the television programmes.......and most especially TRISHA. Just what sort of people feel the need to express their most intimate thoughts, feelings and desires on National Television? I find it absolutely amazing that they can be so impressed by television personalities and the lure of having l5 minutes of fame that they will discuss their love lives, sex lives, perversions or handicaps, either emotional or physical before hundreds of thousands of people. It is also extremely sad as the majority of the people interviewed are very obviously of limited intelligence and totally incapable of arguing their case with the televised audience which almost always contains at least half a dozen professionals (usually the same ones over and over again). The victims therefore are often belittled, demeaned and embarrassed in front of the cameras. Worse, after being egged on to say much more than I'm sure they really wanted to on television, they are left to go home and face the music with family and friends. In the meantime Trisha puts her hand to her face and gives her most concerned expression whilst passing judgement and giving (very limited) advice to the very people who are providing her with an enormous salary. Before anyone comments that she is a qualified counsellor.......yes I have read that and I also know she feels she has suffered in life, having had a nervous breakdown following her husband's adulterous affair,. Personally, however, I feel that having gone through so much herself, she should know that allowing her "guests" to make complete fools of themselves is hardly going to boost their morale. I also doubt that she loses any sleep t
hinking of the chaos she may have caused for these people once they leave the televison studios. Having said that, some of the guests do seem to have huge egos......and voices.... and feel no shame in airing the family's dirty laundry in public. To my mind this leads to cringe making, not enjoyable television viewing. The show follows the usual Jerry Springer, Rikki Lake formula and not surprisingly clashes with the patronising silver haired Kilroy on BBC. Amazingly, each day, the subject on both channels is almost identical and the viewer could be forgiven for switching channels and not realising he had done so. "I love my dog more than you" on Kilroy will have Trisha's guests dealing with "Either the dog goes or I do". etc., With Esther, Rikki, Oprah, Jerry, etc., etc., isn't it about time the programme selectors realised we've now had overkill! ! ! Perhaps they just don't do any work, but spend their days having coffee while the viewer is left watching second rate programmes that they cannot allocate to evening schedules. Unfortunately both Kilroy and Trisha clash with my morning coffee, so just as I'm about to have a well earned rest having seen everyone else off to work, I turn on the t.v. only to be bored to death by miserable, sad and often downright morbid subjects which depress me for the remainder of the day. NO MORE I SAY. ..... I'M TURNING TRISHA AND CO. OFF and if the programme makers have any sense so will they and they need to be quick about it too.
With friends (or rather an employee) like Patrick Jephson, who needs enemies. That's my opinion having read his longwinded self-opinionated exercise in pomposity. Perhaps I am being unfair as I have to say I find even his photograph offensive, but I'll try to explain why I have reached this decision anyway. Patrick Jephson, to those of you who don't know, was Princess Diana's one and only private secretary. He resigned supposedly as a result of her interview on Panarama which she had the audacity to do WITHOUT REFERENCE to him. It seems however that had he not resigned he would have been sacked anyway as apparently Diana sent him abusive messages on his pager - if we are to believe him. His book he tells us is an attempt to throw the light on Diana's complex character and he of course feels he is just the fellow to be able to do this. What amazes me is the fact that before the book came out I distinctly remember Jephson stating that he felt the Palace and indeed the Princes Harry and William would find nothing distasteful in his writing. One page into the book however and we find that Diana enjoyed crude and disgusting jokes, watched pornography, poked fun at her subjects behind their backs and was wilful and self obsessed. We later learn she possessed a pink vibrator, although we are assured it was never used (how does he know this) - surely the Princes wouldn't find that upsetting! ! ! Patrick Jephson(P.J.as he calls himself)tells the reader nothing that any normal intelligent person wouldn't have surmised by themselves. Of course most people knew Diana was human, and not many of us really believed she was saintly. Her popularity (in my own view) lay in her normality - and that included her not being very nice at times. We are informed that Diana was a manipulative and unkind employer (he should try working for the NHS), her demands were excessive in that she called him on his mobile morning n
oon and night (doesn't that go with the nature of the job) and he seems to have been particularly rankled when she called him when he was drinking with his many cronies. To add insult the injury, this book is so badly written. It is boring and pointless. One word is never used when at least three or four will do and sentences are so long they often have to be read at least twice to understand the point the writer is trying to make. To my mind Diana quite rightly did not trust her Private Secretary. He appears to have been privvy to very little in the way of her private romantic life, merely telling his readers that Will Carling used to irritate him as he would flirt with the tyists in Kensington Palace (this is the K.P.part). He didn't have a lot to do with James Hewitt and his inside view of the royal marriage is so limited he is unable to tell the reader anything that couldn't be gleaned from newspaper coverage. Patrick Jephson seems to view himself as some kind of amateur psychologist - weighing up people and personalities in the most pompous and unkind way. He obviously has no scruples and freely admits to watching his colleagues (Ken Wharfe the detective in particular) being axed without having the strength of character to mutter even the slightest dissention at their treatment. I avidly read any books on the Royals although I am not a royalist by nature. I just feel it is important to know as much as possible about the history of our times. Patrick Jephson however sheds no light on his subject. As stated, his writing is mediocre to crassly poor, and he is boring and egotistical. He also takes great pains to tell the reader of the many Diana speeches he wrote which she apparently took the credit for. We hear about the Tiggy legover debacle.......what a childish load of nonsense and Diana's churlishness over Charles many overtures of kindness - obviously Jephson needs to keep well in with the
living........they may well sue. Read it if you must - it will certainly add pennies to his nasty little back pocket, but if you want to conserve your energy just give this book a miss. 500 pages of drivel Published by Harper Collins and costing now in the region of £12.99 Do yourself a favour and spend your money on something else. As in my title P.J. at K.P is F.A. (I'll leave that to your imagination).
Summer is almost over and what little sun we have had played havoc with my already drastic hair. Having used a brush on streaking tint some months earlier, the sun then bleached my hair to a never before attained bright orange. Viewing holiday snaps was the last straw - the streaks had to go,but no expensive hairdressing parlours for me, oh no, I could do it myself......or so I thought. A £4.99 bottle of Clairol Lasting Colour should do the trick I thought, and medium golden brown sounded relatively safe and rather refined. Armed with the product I secluded myself in my bathroom, candles lit, aromatherapy oils at the ready with talc, perfume and bubbles galore I relaxed in the bath with the Lasting Care evenly (so I thought) plastered over my luxuriant (well o.k. brittle and damaged) tresses. After the relevant time I washed the product out and glanced excitedly into the window expecting to see a subdued and quietly classy result......but NO CHANCE. The vision staring back at me in the mirror recoiled in horror.......was that Morticia from the Adams Family I saw there - surely not, the package had clearly stated medium golden brown. Medium Golden Brown my hair definitely was not. Pitch black would have been an apt description with not a golden hair in sight, nor indeed a brown one either. The relaxing effects of my luxurious soak had now completely disappeared as I frantically rewashed my hair, after all the product was not permanent.......or was it? Ten washes and two hours later there I was still looking like the Wicked Witch from the West with long black hair and a whitewashed face(because of the shock I expect)as well. Two weeks have now passed and guess what.......yep I still have blackish hair. The morale of this story is.......Do not believe everything you read on packaging. For Medium Golden Brown read black. Always, but always use a hair colour slightly lighter than the result you want. N
othing is more ageing and demoralising than jet black hair. To make matters even worse, despite putting the Lasting Care on evenly (as I thought) I was actually left with one jet black horizontal stripe! ! ! In a nutshell. Clairol Lasting Care is one of the new so called demi haircolours, ie., it is not permanent, but neither does it wash out very easily. The product contains no amonia and I have to say my hair has been shiney since using it, but I would have preferred a medium brown shine to the one I'm stuck with. The colourant is relatively easy to use you merely mix the actual colour to another (presumably chemical) agent in a separate bottle. This is non messy and takes place in seconds. You add the colour to dry hair - leave it for l0 - 20 minutes and then wash out. Finally you add the conditioner which comes with the product. Gloves are supplied but no plastic hat, so have some old towels at hand. I've tried to find the ingredients on the internet, but to no avail and in my shock I threw out the bottle....swearing never to use the stuff again, however I do remember it did not contain Peroxide. I've used Loving Care in the past as it's supposed to cover grey hair. I found this somewhat more gentle, but again the colours are very flat. Some good advice I have since read is that a quarter of a cup full of baking soda mixed with shampoo lifts out colour quickly and I may certainly try this in the next day or so, but if you are considering colouring your hair, take my advice......go to the hairdressers it saves a lot of tears, embarrassment and frustration. £4.99 from all leading chemists and supermarkets if you really are a fan of Morticia of the Adams Family.
Let's Get together and compare the two films.....Parent Trap l998 and the Original 1961 version which I saw as a child. Hayley Mills starred in the 1961 version playing her part charismatically, albeit whilst wearing a horrendous wig throughout most of the film. The parents here are Maureen O'Hara as mum Maggie living with twin one in Boston New England and Brian Keith playing Mitch the father who lives with twin two on a magnificent ranch in California. Sharon and Susan as the l4 year olds are named in l961 meet up in summer camp where after a series of scrapes and fall outs they discover their hitherto unknown relationship and embark on a plan to swap places and reunite their separated parents. Their efforts are thwarted however with the realisation that Mitch is about to remarry the local golddigger Vicki. The twins do all they can to sabotage the relationship and without spoiling the plot too much......I can tell you that all's well that ends well. The l998 version follows much along the same lines except that in this case the father owns a Californian Vineyard and the mother lives in London, England. The girls here are ll and are played by redhaired, freckle face Lindsay Lothan and the mother and father Liz and Nick are played by Natasha Richardson and Dennsi Quaid. In this version however, the mother and father have a more loving, rather than volatile relationship and to my mind some of the comedy scenes from the l96l version are therefore lost. On the good side however, the l998 version spares us the embarrassment of seeing poor Hayley gyrating and trying to look cool whilst singing "Lets get together"......funny I thought it was marvellous when I was a child. Additionally the digital technology in the later film means that Lindsay Logan convincingly plays two parts, whereas the earlier film has split screen effects and back of head shots to convince the moviegoer that Hayley is two people.
Both films are based on the book by Eich Eisner and the later one is directed by Nancy Mayers. They can and will be enjoyed by children (and adults) for years to come. To my mind the naffness of the original is in some strange way a bonus and Lindsay unfortunately lacks the charisma that Hayley certainly had as a child star. Look out for Miss Inch in the l961 version. If she looks familiar, you may remember her as Mr.Drysdale's secretary Miss Jane in the Beverley Hillbillies. Older readers may also be interested to look out for some of the posters on the camp walls....Bobby Rydell, Elvis, etc., ......should take you back a bit. Apparently Bobby Rydell sings some of the tunes from the earlier film along with someone with the name of Annette Funiculello.....or something like that anyway. Hayley had quite a hit,believe it or not, with Let's get together in the l960s.... (my, how tastes change). Pure escapism, no violence, no sex .....just pure innocence....Available on VHS at £10.99. Hire both out for your children and let them compare the two. It will keep them quiet for hours and they will enjoy both films,of that I'm sure.
Thought I'd change my image...most of the female population will know and understand the feeling. I'm going to be sleek, tidy, expensive looking and sophisticated......some hope ! ! ! The clothes are right, the perfume is exclusive and the make up is immaculate so where am I going wrong? It's got to be the hair.....it just won't do what I want it to. Sleek and expensive goes with shiny, straight and well cut and that certainly isn't the description I'd give to my bonnet which is wavy, dry, flyaway and impossible. So what's the solution? I've spent hours straightening, purchased expensive scissors, paid top prices for shampoos, all to no effect, but at long last I have found a product which does help slightly........certainly slightly more than others. What is this fantastic product I hear you ask with bated breath..... JOHN FREIDA Sheer Magic Ready to Wear perfecting serum is the reply. There's one problem, this product is rather hard to find in the usual shops, although John Frieda's products are usually readily available in all the leading supermarkets. For some reason this particular product seems to be quite hard to come by although gels, shampoos etc., are always in stock. I eventually was able to purchase it in Home and Bargain if anyone is sufficiently interested to try it out. The blurb states Sheer Magic invisibly shields hair with a translucent layer of crystal clear shine. That's possibly pushing it somewhat. It certainly is invisible and is not cloying or greasy to the touch, I can't say however that it added any great shine to my hair, although it certainly did help to straighten and smooth it out. The fact that this product contains a sun shield is an added bonus, especially if you're holidaying in hot and sunny climates. Applied to wet or dry hair after washing, it is extremely easy to use and it comes in a small plastic container that c
an be slipped into your handbag so there's no excuse for frizzy hair if you're caught out in the rain. Other ingredients are: (just going for my specs)........ Propylene Glycol Cyclo methicone Phenyl trimethicone......oh good grief the list is endless..... Hexylene Glycol Dimethiconicol Aqua ....(water to you and me) etc., etc., etc.......... A complete concoction of chemicals obviously which is somewhat off-putting. How can such a small container hold so much danger I ask myself! ! ! Seriously though, I have found this product satisfactory, even if it doesn't quite live up to all my expectations. It has calmed my flyaway unkempt hair and given it a slightly more sophisticated look which has to be an advantage. At £3.95 it's reasonably priced. I've tried to research it on the internet to give some further background details, but without success which goes to prove just how difficult it seems to be to get hold of and I wonder if this is because John Frieda's Frizz Ease has now taken over where this product left off. Look out for it if you have wavy and uncontrollable hair, but if you already have a super shiny bob.......just count your blessings and think of poor souls like me who couldn't look expensive to save their lives.
Time to write a new opinion methinks....but about what....I haven't finished my latest book. I've not watched T.V. because I'm always on the computer and I don't go to the cinema....boring person that I am...I wait until the latest films are on video or television....so what can I write about? The answer is in front of me...a product I use daily....Vaseline Petroleum jelly. In fact I used it last night to remove my eye make up and protect my lips which have dried in the summer sunshine ! ! (we did have some last week). Some research was necessary therefore before boring you all with mundane details and I came up with some relatively interesting facts. Did you know for instance that Vaseline was discovered by a young New York chemist, Robert Chesebrough. He found a thick sticky substance blocking oil rigs which stopped drilling and was considered to be a nuisance. This substance did however have magical effects on cuts and bruises the oil riggers commented, so off Robert went with pots of the stuff to analyse it further. His method of testing it was to inflict wounds on himself and then use the jelly to see what the effects were. The rest is history........ Americans used the jelly for a variety of uses, as indeed do we all. They used it for treating wood, removing stains from furniture, restoring leather, preventing rust as well as for medicinal treatments. The blurb on modern jars of Vaseline reads: "An emollient for topical application for chapped skin and lips, minor burns, helps prevent nappy rash". A warning however, whilst researching this product I came across an article which stated findings of an increase in yeast infections in babies whose mothers had used this product to prevent nappy rash. Apparently the toxins in the petroleum base were entering the skin. If in doubt I would suggest phoning the helpline 0800 591720 to discuss further. So what do I personally use it for
? Well as previously stated I use it as a makeup remover. It is also ideal to use as a lipgloss over ordinary lipstick. Mix it with an old lipstick and it makes an ideal blusher.......by the way I'm talking to the girls here, but if you're that way inclined and male...so be it. Bushy, wild eyebrows can be made to look sleek, neat and tidy in an instance and Vaseline does wonders for rough heels, elbows and knees. One enterprising writer has also said she uses it as an exfoliant by mixing it with salt ....certainly seems a good idea to me. Vaseline is also a good, but rather sticky moisturiser. For gardeners......put Vaseline around the rim of your pots whilst growing young seedlings.......works wonders at stopping the snails climbing up and eating them all before they've even had a chance to start growing. Leather bags are kept supple and crack free and although I personally don't own a leather suite, I'm sure it could be used similarly here too. I'm also informed it can be used for oiling bits and pieces in the car engine, although I'm not actually sure which bits and pieces they are....not being very mechanically minded myself. It can of course also be used as a sexual aid (I'm not writing this with personal experience in mind). Having worked in a G.P. surgery, I can say beware.......apparently the jelly can rot condoms so should not be used in conjunction with them. No point listing the ingredients as the name says it all ...pure Petroleum Jelly. Cheseborough apparently ate the stuff and he lived until he was 96, think I'll give that a miss though. At 99p for a small tin and available at any pharmacy, this product is certainly a bargain buy. Well, I've done my best and tried to make a boring write up on a routine product a little more interesting......happy reading for the day.
Carol Vorderman complete with spiky hairdo appears on our screens yet again in another DIY show....well not DIY actually more DDIY - Don't Do It Yourself (get in the designers). Rather more upmarket than Changing Rooms, thank goodness......no MDF, but plenty of expensive products as 2 families compete to see which of their home improvements adds most value to their homes. Initially the homes are valued by Carol's trusty Estate Agent friend prior to the makeovers and then while the families are packed off to a hotel for a week (or thereabouts) the designers set to work. Each week brings two different designers, together with their labourforce to make light work of all the dirty jobs. The designers include John Amabile and Sue Pitman amongst others and the workforce is made up of a surley, bad tempered electrician and two of the most gormless twins I personally have ever seen in my life, although Carol assures the viewers that they are hunks really! ! ! To be fair most of the makeovers are extremely well done. Tonight for example a tiny, badly designed kitchen was transformed into an expensive luxury creation, complete with dining room, whilst the other home had a garage converted into a dining area (the kitchen conversion won by the way with an increase in house value of £10,000). What I want to know however, is whether the contestants pay up front to have this work done or whether the programme pays for the improvements. Certainly the designers often seem to go way over their brief and occasionally include garden, patio, roof space and conservatory makeovers in their transformations even though they may only have been called in to make over the living room. Granite worksurfaces, beech units, top range conservatories......all these things feature on this programme. It certainly makes me feel extremely envious when I see the fantastic changes made to the most mundane rooms. Carol flounces around enthus
iastically as usual........I do wish she'd do something with that haircut and why the families have to run excitedly up their driveways to see the finished results is beyond me There are kisses galore as wives cry and husbands give huge sighs of relief knowing that there'll be no more nagging to get the offending rooms finished. Add a few brattish children who exclaim excitedly "Oh my Gawd" in their most grown up voices and you have the format of the programme in a nutshell. At the end of the programme the Estate Agent returns to re-price the property. Strangely the increase is usually about £5,000/10,000 whereas the renovation has obviously cost at least double that. The winning family wins a holiday or a cash prize which they almost inevitably share with the losing family so nobody loses out. 8.30 - ITV on Mondays if you've nothing better to do. Oh my Gawd.........it's l0.30 pm - time I was in bed. There's a thought .....perhaps I can get Carol and her team to transform my bedroom.....and the bathroom and the loo and the......... Goodnight all.
One of the most irritating, patronising garden programmes ever has to be Garden Invaders. Now quite why this programme irritates me so much I don't know, except that perhaps it's because all the gardening seems to take place in pouring rain which merely serves to make me feel wet cold and soggy (a description which also aptly portrays the presenter, Mark Evans). The idea I grudgingly suppose is quite good. Mark and his team of garden designer and labourers head off to a typically surburban home whose owners have applied to be part of the programme. With a budget of £350 and only a day in which to work, they begin renovating what is usually a barren wasteland. The catch is that the owners have to earn the renovation by answering a series of increasingly difficult questions. Every time they are correct they earn something more to add to the garden by way of plants, statues, paving, water features etc., The questions are along the lines of....What is coir made of? or What is the correct name for Spurge? The contestants are given three answers from which to choose. Generally, as I've said, the idea is good as viewers learn the names of various plants, or answers to gardening problems as the programme goes along, however most of the questions are those that even a small child would know the answers to which to my mind makes the programme somewhat patronising. especially coupled with Mark Evans' childish and over zealous enthusiasm. Kim Wilde was the garden designer of the day when I saw this programme and certainly the garden did look somewhat better at the end of the programme. However, like other gardening programmes, huge established plants were purchased to make it look good and having a team of labourers to do all the hardwork certainly makes it all look far too easy. I am sure many a householder has, as a result of programmes of this type, begun laying a patio etc., expecting it to be completed in hours if not min
utes. It is possible to gain some ideas from Garden Invaders. For example on one programme huge tractor tyres were painted yellow and used as a sandpit for children and smaller tyres were used to create a Loch Ness monster through which children could scramble. It seems farmers are just aching to get rid of their tyres and are willing to hand them over free to anyone who wants them, Unfortunately, the presenter and the questions somewhat spoil the show for me. He does of course have to be enthusiastic, but is just a tad bit too enthusiastic for my liking .......at one point pulling back Kim Wilde's collar to let the pouring cold rain run down......yuk! It was however,somewhat amusing watching the cold and wet owners plod slowly back to their home after answering one question correctly, obviously fed up to the teeth, only to be shoved along by Mark Evans in his eagerness to look happy in his work. At the end of the show there is a star prize for the owners if they can answer the most difficult question of the day. The prize is usually a patio set or other structural object - today it was a rather dreadful looking thin orange wood set that I personally would have put on the bonfire. I think I shall have to watch this programme again to see if I feel any better about it if filmed in warmer sunnier weather when gardens look at their best and gardeners and grafters don't look so soaked and mud splattered. Personally, I prefer the rather sedate Gardeners' World with its old fashioned ideas, plants, flowers and good old Alan Titchmarsh any day......but then again he is my pin-up......sad old world , isn't it!!! If, however you would like to watch this programme, it is on BBC 1 daily at ll.00 a.m. at the time of writing.
Exciting news! ! ! Well moderately exciting news anyway, especially if, like me, you hate housework. Any new product which promises to cut down on the hours I spend dusting, cleaning and polishing will get a try out from me, however,nine out of ten times I am totally disappointed. Not so with Cif glass and window wipes however, like Cif bathroom mousse, this is a product which has a multiplicity of purposes - one of the reasons I've given these wipes a thumbs up. Each impregnated wipe is thick, large and absorbent meaning it doesn't totally disintegrate the minute it touches the surface it is intended for. I began obviously by cleaning windows and it made easy work of making all 24 panels in my dividing glass door sparkling clean, although admittedly I did have to polish over the glass after using the wipes (this only took a second or two to do however). I moved on to polishing mirrors, bathroom tiles, toilet top, window cills and bathroom taps, all of which came up clean after a quick follow up polish with a soft rag, although admittedly I needed several wipes for all these work surfaces. The wipes can even be used on television screens and car windscreens, but not on laptop screens for some reason. One of my concerns was that once the packet was opened the wipes would dry out, but on looking closely at the instructions in order to help other readers, I've just noticed there is a special way of opening the packet and resealing it so that this doesn't happen....ah well you learn something new every day! ! The one complaint I would make though is that the wipes do in fact seem to dry out very quickly when in use. Apart from containing alcohol (not very much it would appear and what there is soon evaporates) there is no list of ingredients which is rather strange, but there is a warning not to swallow them! ! ! so anyone with such peculiar tendencies needs to beware. Just use and then dispose of.
....no more spraying, sponging and putting tops back on containers - how lazy can you get I hear you ask! ! ! Quite expensive at £1.58 for 20 wipes I suppose, but well worth it to an idlebones like me. I purchased mine from Asda, but I have seen them for sale in other top name supermarkets. Happy shining.
Yet another Diana book and yet again I've had to read it. This one looks at her life from a slightly different angle and instead of reading that the love of her life was Charles, James Hewitt or Dodi Fayed, we are now informed it was (if the author is to be believed) Hasnat Khan, a distinguished Pakistani heart surgeon working at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Diana met Khan whilst visiting the husband of a friend Oonagh Toffolo who was suddenly taken ill with a serious heart condition. Khan worked with the leading heart specialist, Professor Yacoub with whom Diana was photographed during a complicated heart operation when she was greatly criticised and lampooned for wearing full make up. Like all the other numerous books on Diana's life, this one relies on the accounts of so called "close friends". In this case the "friends" are therapists and beauticians and the author seems to have based her acceptance of the truth of their tales on snippets of messages which Diana left on various answerphones. The only possibly credible witness as far as I could make out would appear to have been Imran Khan who maintained he was a go between for Diana and Hasnat during standoffs at the end of their so called affair, however, I have to admit to even viewing his accounts somewhat cynically and wonder whether he is using his once close relationship with Diana to gain political points - she was after all a very popular figure all over the world. The book glosses over Diana's previous obsession with Oliver Hoare and seems to almost totally ignore her well publicised affair with James Hewitt. If the so called close friends are to be believed, Diana was in the process of trying to win back Hasnat and gain approval of his family when she died in the company of Dodi Fayed. Hasnat Khan's family have been interviewed for the book, although understandably and admirably he has declined to commen
t. Copies of Diana's letters have been photographed and recounted in order to support the suggestion of a passionate love affair between the two. Poignantly, Hasnat was photographed at her funeral looking extremely forlorn, but bearing in mind the mood of the world on the day, that is hardly proof of an enduring love affair between the two. Whereas I find it easy to believe that Diana's affair with Dodi was a passing summer romance, I have great difficulty accepting that she was seriously contemplating giving up everything to live in the shadow of her would be Muslim husband, particularly bearing in mind his comments in the newspapers when it was revealed she had unexpectedly visited his parents whilst visiting Lahore in the final months of her life. Diana, I am sure did come to loathe the paparazzi, but at the same time, I feel she did desperately need the adulation from the public and would have found it very difficult to live without it. The book does give some fascinating insights into Diana's life and the loneliness she endured, but frankly the thing I found most disturbing was the unpleasant company she often kept. The people recounting their stories would I imagine have been thrilled to receive phone calls from the Princess at any time of the day or night (it must have been a great boost to their egos....and their so called professions), but they appear to have little conscience about betraying her confidences now she has gone. Kate Snell, the author, has presumably made a nice little packet out of writing the book, despite the fact that previously she was a television director and producer of documentaries with little knowledge or interest in Diana. Personally I wouldn't recommend buying Diana - Her last Love, but if like myself you want to know as much as possible about our historical times, it is worth borrowing this book from the library if only to look at the events from a slightly different angle. I
'm waiting to read Patrick Jephson's nice little money earner next so will be writing on this subject again in the very near future........with friends like that ....who needs enemies?
I always admire people who are experts in their hobbies and are able to offer advice to others. Me, I learn from my mistakes and it suddenly occurred to me yesterday that although I can't really offer expert advice on gardening, I can tell others of some of the things which I have learned........usually the hard way! If, therefore, I am teaching grandma's or grandpa's to suck eggs, I hope they will bear with me. <SLUGS AND SNAILS> Horrible little beasties and my own particular hate. They devour your new seedlings without a care in the world, but what can you do to get rid of them? I expect most people will have read the usual tips of laying down eggshells (messy looking), using gravel (slightly more attractive), using blue slug pellets (my particular hate as not only do they look unsightly, they harm wildlife also) or sinking jars of beer into the ground. Indeed my aunt uses the last method regularly, but informed me only a day or so ago that the hedgehogs also drink the beer and they screech afterwards. I found this rather alarming as I am concerned that they may be screeching in terror rather than in a drunken enjoyment. I can't say I have found an ideal remedy, but what I have found is that the later I plant out my seedlings, the less attractive they are to the slugs who only seem to like the new tiny seedlings. Failing that, try going out after a rainstorm, or late at night with a torch and merely collect them and dispose of them as you will. <SOWING SEEDS> Why oh why haven't my seeds taken - I thought a day or so ago. I've sown so many, but not a seedling is in sight. I remembered when I first moved into my current house 5/6 years ago sowing seeds and having the most beautiful borders ever - what was I doing wrong now? Then it dawned on me, I moved into my home in June and therefore hadn't sown the seeds until at least early/middle of that month. Following the instruct
ions on the seed packets clearly wasn't working because of the cold weather we have in the North West. If like me therefore you live in the colder regions, wait a while and scatter your seeds a little later in the year. Annuals soon germinate and are fast growing. I now intend to sow some on my return from holiday in a week or so. Well, I may not have any hardy annuals, but another mistake I've made is to sow far too many half hardy annuals. The packets the seeds come in look so small and it is hard to imagine getting hundreds of plants from so tiny a product, but hundreds of plants is what I've got.....in fact thousands. Basically I have sown far too many for my small garden and despite giving away trays and trays of seedlings, I still have hundreds left. The answer here is to sow these tiny seeds very very sparingly. It is so hard to transplant thousands of them and I'm sure most readers will, like me, not have the room to grow them on. <WEEDS> Initially my lawn was completely smothered in daisies which I know some people consider to be attractive, however I don't I'm afraid - I just think they look untidy and detract attention from the plants in the borders. I tried all sorts of weed killers, but merely ended up with a bare brown lawn on one occasion and huge brown blotches on another. The way to deal with daisies I have found is to weaken them by regular mowing and criss-crossing the heart of the plants with a sharp garden tool such as an edging knife. Another trick is to dig under the daisy with a pair of scissors and cut the whole plant out. If you only do a few plants at a time, the effect is hardly noticeable and in time your lawn will be ALMOST daisy free. But what of the dreaded Ground Elder or Bindweed I hear you ask. Well I unfortunately inherited these too and despite using all the advertised weedkillers, I have never completely eliminated them from my garden. The best answer
I have discovered is merely to hoe the tops off them as they grow, which again eventually weakens the plant. If you try to dig the whole plant up you will invariably leave some root and hey presto...another damn weed is on it's way. <BARE PATCHES IN THE BORDER> Sometimes as one plant dies off the gardener is left with a barren unsightly patch. The answer here is to cheat. Put in pots of plants to fill the spaces, but bear in mind where the gaps are so that you can start something up to fill it in the following year. <ARCHES> I have the usual supermarket cheap aluminium/thin iron arch at the rear of my garden which is completely covered by roses and clematis. Imagine my horror therefore when I woke up one morning to find it lying prone on my lawn. If using an arch of this kind, my advice is to reinforce it at the base before your plants become large. Luckily my plants escaped unscathed, but I would have been heartbroken if they had been ripped up along with the arch. <SECURITY> Having been burgled on one occasion, I was determined to do all I could to prevent further intrusion. A deterrent I now use is carpet gripper along the top of my fence. Yes....I know.....the burglar could sue me if he cut his hand, but I would risk this just for the satisfaction of seeing his blood pouring down my fence as he escaped with my prize possessions. <SHRUBS> Don't be afraid to move shrubs around if they are not doing well in a particular location, but bear in mind it is best to do this in the dormant season when the plant isn't growing. Unfortunately I learned the hard way when I tried to move a beautiful rose in its flowering season with disastrous results. Always try taking cuttings of shrubs from friends. Some will admittedly just die off but you will be surprised at how many established plants you can grow from small cuttings. I have the most beautiful huge hydra
ngea which only a year or two ago was a tiny little thing. Admittedly it is a lovely shade of pale blue, whereas the mother plant was a gorgeous bright pink......because of the different soil in my garden, but nevertheless it is a beauty and would have cost me at least £10 or so to buy. Equally, don't be afraid of changing a shrub's shape if you find you have planted it in the wrong place only to find you have a huge monster blocking out the view in the rest of your garden. I did this with a Ceonothus which I purchased as a tiny new shrub. It grew and it grew and it grew. I didn't want to dig it up and kill it, but it was certainly spoiling my garden. The answer was to shape it into a tree rather than a bush. This hasn't harmed the Ceonothus in the slightest and I can now grow plants behind it and beneath it and see through to the rest of my border ( I was ticked off about this when writing about it on one occasion by another member). <COMPOST> If your budget doesn't stretch to buying huge expensive bags of compost and if you really can't make your own, try buying one or two grow bags and scatter the contents around your prized plants. You will find it works equally as well ......I hope I don't get told off by any expert gardeners about this. If you can face it, alway have a bucket with a lid in the car and a trowel. Any horse manure can be collected and thrown on your compost heap if you have one, but again don't do as I did when I first started gardening and place it straight into the soil. Not only does it reek, but it kills the plants too as it is too strong until it has rotted. <WILDLIFE> Do take care if you purchase goldfish. Unfortunately we lost two (Pinky and Perky) when the local park Heron decided it was hungry one morning. I know most of you will laugh, but I was heartbroken. I hadn't realised that fish can actually have personalities and I used to
enjoy watching them playing and they certainly knew when they were about to be fed.......unfortunately they weren't intelligent enough to know to hide when the Heron was about. The same scoundrel also had a breakfast of frogs not long ago. We have learned to cover the pond now with a solid net at the beginning of Spring until the pond is hidden slightly in summer by the trees and shrubs around it. <PLANT FOOD> I have spent a small fortune in the past on different types of plant food only to find that tomato feed works equally well on plants as well as vegetables. Bear in mind that hardy annuals don't take kindly to plant food of any type. I found this out to my cost when I ended up one year with lots of green leaves, but no flowers. Finally, one thing which I always do to keep the garden looking tidy is keep the edges of the lawn trimmed. It is amazing what an affect this has on the appearance of your garden which immediately looks tended to. Best tip of all.......just enjoy your garden whether working or sitting in it.
Come Fly with Me ..Let's Fly, Let's Fly Away....so the signature tune goes, but it is rather misleading if Easyjet's staff are anything to go by. They certainly seem to be saying.....Sod off and go Fly with Someone Else. Seriously though this programme makes compulsive viewing as not only do we get to see the inside goings on at two large airports, Luton and Liverpool, but we also get to know something of the private lives of some of the staff who work there. Jane Bolton - Supervisor at Luton. Jane is outgoing, very very confident and efficient and just a little bit intimidating. She has a dry sense of humour and part of her role involves troubleshooting which she does with aplomb. Jane is attractive and amusing and changes her hairstyle for each new series, going from blonde, to redhead and on to brunette. Very little seems to perturb Jane workwise and she is a match for any of the many rude and aggresive passengers she encounters. She also has a softer side though and we see her looking after lost and bemused elderly ladies and sometimes small wimpering (or even screaming) children. Katrina Leader - Checkout Assistant and Jane's close friend and colleague. Katrina has a heartrendering personal background having been diagnosed with cancer which hopefully she has now overcome. Past series have shown Katrina's fight with the illness, the loss of her long blonde hair and the viewer has shared her joy at knowing the cancer is currently being held at bay. Full of personality, Katrina charms the passengers, staff and the viewers, so much so she was selected as a catwalk model and indeed last night's programme saw her leaving Easyjet to try to forge a career as a t.v. presenter ......she has actually been offered work in a pantomine next Christmas. We have watched Katrina get married, play practical jokes and shared her despair when she related how some ...so called human beings...were nasty to her over
her cancer and her subsequent hair loss. Leo - Check out Assistant - would be Director (if he has his way). Leo is a babyfaced highflyer. He admittedly does his job well, but is a little too arrogant I feel. We have watched Leo since being selected at interview and put through his paces when he applied for promotion (only a month or so after joining the company ......there's confidence for you). Unfortunately for him he didn't get the job and we last saw him waving Katrina off after hiring a male stripogramme for her leaving do. We also followed the fortunes of poor Natalya Byrne, the promising trainee who failed to undertake her tasks so dismally that she was sacked a few weeks later. I'll move over to my home town now of Liverpool. Oh dear....hear we go again. Why oh why do we always have to see Liverpudlians at their worse. Leanne Chong is the Supervisor here and most certainly she could do with some lessons from Jane Bolton at Luton. Unfortunately Leanne is sullen, bordering on being morose. In fact she is downright miserable, rude and unpleasant - Stalios take note please.....we are not all like that from this region and some of us can even talk properly without the normal nasal twang. Leanne seems to delight in upsetting people and avoids being helpful at all cost as perhaps this would do her street cred no end of harm. Prior to Leanne, in the last series, we had a Liverpudlian air traffic controller whose name unfortunately I forget. It would appear he has been sacked as he has now thankfully disappeared off our screens. He too was rude, argumentative and the series followed his disagreements with his bosses, pilots, passengers and other staff employed by the airline. Then we come to the passengers.....and what a weird lot they are too. How on earth can anyone hope to fly abroad without their passport.....it totally amazes me that so many people turn up with the one most important thing not
in their possession. Last night was no exception when a young chap turns up at Luton minus his passport. He telephones his girlfriend in Edinburgh and.....wait for it......she actually rushes out, catches the next plane, brings him his passport and then has to wait 7 hours before she is able to fly back to Edinburgh. All this and she is in the middle of her exams as well.I have to say you males out there.....I was furious. I'm not a feminist by any means, but what happened to Womens Lib? Obviously this poor woman is besotted, but this cheeky bloke then had the nerve to fly off to Spain for a week cavorting with his mates! Last week we saw one arrogant passenger asking a checkout girl to get the M.A.N.A.G.E.R......"Do you know what that spells" He asked. Unfortunately she failed to spell out "P......S O.F.F." in retort as I wanted her to. Another passenger referred to one of the checkout girls as a slapper. Very unkind, but given her sullen, unhelpful manner I thought he was rather kind to her. And if the ordinary passengers bore you to death, you can even watch the stars fly out, well Beverly Callard and Jane Powell anyway. Bucks Fizz even sang a song during one programme.....does anyone remember them? Hope I've given you all a taster of things to come....I'm sure there will be more series. Currently Airline is on ITV at 8.30 and it is being watched I understand by no less than l0 million viewers (including myself). By the way, if there are any gold-diggers out there, we actually see Stalios himself at times on the programme, checking out his planes, flying as a passenger and even selling off his shares.........and he's got a penthouse in Monte Carlo, a house and boat in Athens and loadsamoney! ! .......I'm looking for a new job Stalios...so keep me in mind - I can be incredibly rude and overbearing if those are the necessary credentials for the job.
It's quarter past eleven....I logged on at 9.00 p.m.with the intention of reading one or two opinions and what happens..... I'm engrossed that's what....I've read about a Little Noddy Site, I've taken a nostalgic journey back to "Happy Days" and I've even read tales of wild sex with bubble wrap and l2 men (well Mates anyway). So why am I telling you this? Because I want to write my own opinion that's why, but it's now probably too late and I may not get this finished and what's more, this happens to me on an almost daily basis, I get so engrossed reading that I never end up with time for writing. Well here goes........ So what enthralling thing shall I write about ......shampoo......that's right - you heard...SHAMPOO! ! O.K. so it's not sex, it's not nostalgia and it's not even madly exciting, but this shampoo is good and I mean really good, so I'll give it my best try. Like many others I received my little free blue bottle of Circ shampoo through the post a week or so ago. It stated it was for men so I didn't pay much attention to it, but last week I ran out of my usual Asda's own brand and with lank,dirty and rather grim hair I raided the cupboard and came across my (or rather my hubby's) free sample. What the heck I thought - I'm not going baldy and I'm not a man, but I do have dirty hair that desperately needs washing and what's that old saying...What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve for...or something like that. The bottle was tiny and I expected to have to use it all as I have rather a lot of rather wayward hair, but was I surprised.... one small dollop had such a luxurious feel. This shampoo was seriously different from any other brands I personally have ever used before. It was extremely thick and that small amount went a long way indeed, in fact I still have half my small bottle left. As s
oon as the shampoo touches the hair you can feel the difference and you can actually feel the conditioning properties doing their work. I was extremely impressed. Having hair that travels in the directions of East and West while my spindly little body faces North and South (very South these days I'm afraid) it takes a great deal to impress me so far as hair products are concerned and I've certainly tried many in an effort to obtain the sleek sophisticated image that I desire, but can never quite achieve.Why, I want to know though is it being marketed only for men - can this deemed to be sexist? And talking about sexist. It is also impossible for women to obtain a free sample from the website www.circmen.com. I tried using my own name, but with no success, only to try two minutes later using hubby's name to find the free sample is now winging its way to me...all you women be warned! Well down to the basics. Circ shampoo contains ....so the blurb goes... polymer supplements to add thickness. Personally I can't say it made my hair feel any thicker, but certainly it made it immediately feel a lot healthier. Now wait for it....Circ contains TWENTY FIVE ingredients. I'm sorry, but I really can't list them....but some of the ones I have never heard of before include Tallowamidoethyl, Hydroxypropyltrimonium and Methylchloroisothiazolinone - NOW DO YOU SEE WHY I CAN'T LIST THEM ..there are twenty five names like that. The Manufacturers are Proctor and Gamble of Weybridge in Surrey. Circ is being marketed as I've said previously for the male population, and the more elderly male population at that. The shampoo is said to be an aid for baldness, although if you believe that you'll believe anything. Along with the shampoo, there is a spray on conditioner for fullness, a styling and cooling gel (well I suppose bald heads do get a little hot at times) and there is a scalp moisturiser. And if
my recommendation and the ingredients aren't enough to impress you, take a look at the bright blue website com and perhaps enter the male model competition! ! ! but only if you are over 25. There is a £1,000 prize and the offer of a modelling contract to be had....I thought of entering the hubby, but he wouldn't put his false teeth in! Blast...it's almost midnight now. I've finished my op.but there won't be anyone around to read it ....everyone else will be in bed. Ah well...I'll log on tomorrow and read some more.
Well I've finally resigned from my full time job and I will therefore have more time to write my opinions......so look out I will be writing about all the daytime t.v. programmes as the weeks go on....yesterday I started with Garden Invaders and today my grand presentation is about House Invaders. House Invaders is a spin off from Changing Rooms, so don't expect to see any tasteful makeovers.....again MDF is the main ingredient of the show. The presenters are the beautiful but strangely voiced (with an even more strange laugh) Linda Barker...the blonde one and Anna Ryder-irritating Rychardson....she with the long straight hair and freckles. The idea of the show is that the presenter and her team of burley helpers set of to a selected contestant's home and make over one or two selected rooms using left overs of paint and material and anything else available and of course...the trusty designer's bag. What I find extremely puzzling is the amount of things carried in the designer's bag, which can include anything from transfers to huge pieces of material. It strikes me as being rather strange that these objects mysteriously appear out of nowhere. Similarly, the home-owners always seem to have huge ....and I mean huge.....samples of materials lying around in either the garages or the spare bedrooms. I can understand people having odd bits of paint in the garage, but how many of us buy yards and yards of material. Perhaps I am just being cynical and all you readers do have such items in your home just on the offchance that Linda or Anna will choose your home to make over. The team have a day in which to transform the rooms and the effects are usually obtained by painting over wallpaper (I dread to look at the effect close up) painting floorboards or stencilling onto walls. Today's example included a youngster's bedroom and as he was interested in the jungle (strange child! !) Linda gave his bedr
oom a wild animal type look by tearing strips of newspaper ....glueing them to the wall and then painting the wall before removing the strips to reveal a zebra type effect. Actually this was one of her better examples, the kitchen makeover in the same house was, to my mind, a disaster. Turning to the kitchen, this was changed from a normal clean beige colour into the most ghastly shade of shocking pink! ! ! ugh......yuk....it would certainly put me off my food. How Linda could justify using such a vile hot colour in what is the hottest place in any house is beyond me. The contestants have to help the designers by sewing, painting or taking part in other tasks but all is not revealed until the end of the show when they are allowed 30 minutes to have a teabreak while Linda or Anna (whoever is presenting the day's show) attend to the finishing touches. The viewer is treated to Anna pulling what she considers to be cute funny faces or Linda chortling at some funny comment she thinks she has made to the labourers during the programme which is mildly irritating. The MDF is almost always to hand as are of course the necessary tools for cutting this dreadful wood effect into peculiar shapes which are in turn made into mirrors or corner units or the like. The programme is supposed to give viewers ideas on how to use leftover materials, but personally I think I shall just resort to taking my leftovers to the local rubbish tip. Possibly the best edition of this programme I saw was when the householder genuinely hated everything Anna Ryder-Richardson suggested. The icy atmosphere was tangible and this did I have to admit make the programme somewhat more interesting. The whole thing ends when supposedly the viewer gets an inside peek into what the contestant actually thinks about the change, although very few have the nerve to say they can't stand what has been done. On BBC 1 at ll.30 .....straight af
ter Garden Invaders.....it passes a boring half hour with your elevenses, although personally I think I'd rather read a good book. Mind you....looking at my living room ...perhaps it does need a makeover.....hmm....now what did I do with those old curtains I used to have?
I've always been a history addict and I am of course riveted by books on the subject. The story of our present day history particularly intrigues me and future generations will, I am sure, be hungry for accounts of the love triangle between Charles, Diana, and Camilla with its tragic outcome. Anthony Holden's account certainly, to my mind, is one of the best and most truthful. From page one onwards he holds the reader's attention with his easy to read style and colourful descriptions. Having been close to both Charles and Diana at one point or another in their lives, Holden gives an impartial account of both sides of the marital discord between the two and indeed he was able to forecast that the marriage was in trouble long before the book Diana her True Story was ever written - thus incurring the wrath of the Royal Household thereafter and being snubbed from future press events by Prince Charles (Holden is or was a columnist for the Daily Express). Anthony Holden has written two previous books on Charles, the first one detailing his life up to the age of 30 and the second going on to cover his marriage and his changing lifestyle until the age of 40. This third book therefore merely outlines Charles childhood and school years and his early loves (including Camilla) and goes into more detail of his life after his 40th birthday. The book is a unique insight into the events leading up to Diana's death, including Charles ever declining popularity and the resulting fears for the future of the monarchy at the time, but it also goes on to show how sympathy for the two young princes has "washed off" onto Charles himself with the result that opinion polls now put him at near the top of the list in popularity within the Royal family. Having read most of the popular books about the period, including Diana Her True Story and the Anna Pasternack drivel covering the love affair with James Hewitt, I have to
say Charles - A Biography is one of the best I have come across. It is extremely well written and researched and gives an insight into the dramatic events of that period. Holden criticises Charles cold unemotional upbringing which he blames on his loveless marriage, but also points out Diana's manipulative and often theatrical ways. Charles is portrayed as wellmeaning, but selfish and petulant - nothing new here then!! whilst again, Diana comes across as being nothing like the Fairytale princess we all loved so well, although I am sure most of us knew deep down that nobody could be so saintly.This theme appears to be constant throughout the many books I have read on the subject,although I have to say I feel Holden is slightly biased towards Diana in his writing. The overall story will, of course, never change, however, this particular book contains material which I personally haven't come across before.....did you know for example that Lady Dale Tyron (nicknamed Kanga) was a former lover of Charles and there are apparently old love letters somewhere which may surface in the near future! Similarly, if this book is to be believed, the whole Charles/Diana press war began when Charles leaked Diana's refusal for him to host a 30th birthday party for her. If like me, you want to read everything you can about today's Royal history, this is a book not to be missed and I most certainly would recommend it. Published by Bantem Press - Price £17.99 which is a bit steep, although I am sure it could be purchased for less through the internet. Why not do as I did though and order it from your local library.