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Although we have a fancy Pentax with filters and stuff, I eschew that camera for my trusty Nikon Coolpix. My reasons for preferring this camera? Well, for a start, the main family camera takes a few minutes to set up, but with the Nikon Coolpix, it takes just 15 secs to grab it, whip it out if it's case and point it at the photo opportunity subject! Easy peasy. The Nikon Coolpix has a battery that lasts for at least a year which is brilliant. And we bought a big memory card when we bought the camera from Jessops and this has served us very well. Uploading photographs from camera to pc is simple, as is deleting the photographs afterwards. The viewfinder is nice and big with clear markers so it's possible to line up your shot quickly and easily. We also bought a small tripod at the time of purchase which we used when we were on holiday a couple of times. (sometimes there is no-one passing by to take a group photo!) We also purchased insurance as we were about to board a ship and stay aboard for a couple of weeks. I don't regret the insurance purchase but it was expensive. Probably when we replace our Nikon Coolpix we will simply add it to our household insurance. We did take a photo of our Nikon Coolpix and keep a note of the model number. We attached a sticker bearing our surname, address and UK landline. We took these steps in case we ever lost the camera. If this ever happens, then we hope to have the camera / memory card returned to us. I love using this camera because it's is so quick to take out of its case and start taking photos of the children playing etc and the camera is so easy to use with instantly being able to check if a photo is good or needs to be re-taken. The quality of the photographs is excellent and the definition is superb. The camera features are easy to use and the flash works perfectly.
It was time to face it - the TV signal would soon be changed so we needed to buy new TV sets. Following some Internet research, off to town we went. We went to our favourite department store and asked lots of questions of their audio and TV advisers. The make and model that met all our criteria was the Panasonic Viera. We also bought the matching DVD player to avoid confusion in the future. We were astonished at how fantastic the picture quality was, and the colour clarity was amazing. The flat screen was a first for us and one we took to happily. We had also purchased a stand for our new equipment. The new gear was wider and flatter but so skinny! It was great and took up so much less room than our old TV. The remote control for our Panasonic Viera was very easy to use and, since our new DVD player was also a Panasonic, both the remote controls were compatible. The TV also swivels on its smart black base and can be adjusted so all can view comfortably. We are very pleased with our purchase and it has been 100% reliable.
It was time to fulfill my dream to own a Lexus. My Toyota dealer had a Lexus dealership on the same site so we went to have a look. I traded in my Subaru Impretza WRX for a beautiful dark grey metallic Lexus IS200 on 54 plate. As the model was about to undergo the usual five year revamp, my lovely new car had lots of extras. Japanese car manufacturers have always included lots of features as standard that British motor manufacturers classed as extras. My extras included leather seats; a leather gear knob; factory fitted sat nav and a six disc CD changer and air conditioning. From the very first drive the "baby" Lexus was a star. I have always loved driving and my newly acquired advanced driving skills helped me to enjoy the drive even more. It was a pleasure driving the baby Lexus. I found the vehicle controls responded very quickly. It held the road perfectly and going at the national speed limit on country lanes was joyful. I had never before owned a car with air conditioning and switched it on for every journey. However I ended up having the dealer check the engine was correctly adjusted as my fuel consumption was incredibly high. I soon learned to only use the air con when I really needed it and thus reduced the fuel consumption level to reasonable. I did however make sure I ran the air con for 20 minutes each week to keep the system in good condition. The sat nav was another first for me and was extremely useful since I had recently started a new job visiting primary schools throughout my home town. The sat nav helped me to find every location easily. I loved the other factory installed sat nav feature that showed not only the location of petrol stations nearby, but also the brand of fuel! I loved the alloy wheels as well; they were very good looking. The sat nav had a great safety feature: it would not let you program it when the wheels were turning. Six CDs in the music system was excellent as it meant no more fumbling at a red traffic light to change the CD before the light changed and plenty of chosen music to see us through long journeys. The car was a joy to drive and I had three great years owning my very first Lexus and, yes, I did replace my beautiful Lexus IS200 with another new Lexus!
My friend Sue handed me her copy if CREEP to read. I started to read it later the same day. I thought the story was quite slow to get going but probably that was me being impatient as the author, Jennifer Hillier, was merely setting the scene and describing her characters. Once I got into the story, I could not put it down. The heroine is Dr Sheila Tao who is a Professor of Psychology at Puget Sound University in Seattle. She has a team of teaching assistants who are students at the university and are undertaking work in her department to help them understand their subject better. One of Dr Sheila Tao's teaching assistants is Ethan Wolfe. He is good-looking, highly intelligent and clearly the most talented psychology student in his year. He fancies Dr Sheila but bides his time. Unknown to her, tasks Dr Sheila gives to Etham he sub-contracts to other students and then claims the work done as his own. Dr Tao is a sex addict but she hadn't mentioned this to her fiancée - Morris Gardener. Morris is a tall, large man who trusts Sheila. However kind and nice he is with Sheila, Morris is utterly ruthless in business. Morris successfully played American Football and was at the top of his game when injury ended his career. He went into a new career of finance and became a wealthy, successful banker. Ethan Wolfe saw his chance and managed to have a conversation with his university professor, Dr Sheila Tao when she was vulnerable and struggling with her sex addiction and the need to be honest with her fiancée. Sheila ended up having a sex session with Ethan. Afterwards, she bitterly regretted her folly but Ethan wanted more, so much more! Ethan Wolfe secretly researched his subject: Sheila - her family; her home; her hobbies; where she bought her clothes; what she liked to eat etc. He broke into her home and fondled her underwear. This was one if the many activities he undertook that made me squirm. He even disguised himself and attended a job interview with Morris Gardener! Morris did not realise he was interviewing one of his fiancee's teaching assistant's, but he did think he recognised the candidate's voice. Morris was unable to put a name to the voice though. Morris was estranged from one of his sons and Sheila had asked him to help with the guest list for her forthcoming wedding to Morris. Ethan decided he was not going to allow Sheila to marry Morris - she was his and his alone! He abducted Sheila and imprisoned her in the basement of his luxury home. He had his own girlfriend but she knew nothing of Ethan's huge wealth or large property. Ethan was a guy with a lot of secrets. This novel left me wondering how much any of us know another person? Yes, the story was aptly titled as Creep. It made me feel very uncomfortable many times but mostly when he tied Sheila to a bed. There was a happy ending, thank goodness and Morris rescued Sheila from Ethan and he was happily reconciled with his estranged son.