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I often remark that I can’t drink as much as I used to be able to, in a vain attempt to cover up my drunken high jinx and apparent memory loss. The apportionment of blame for this usually falls solely at the feet of age, if age has feet, that is. Namely, that my advancing years have reduced my drinking capacity somewhat. However, maybe when I reflect on it a bit more, it is quite possible that the seamless transition made from “normal” lager to “strong” lager could also have something to do with it. In my local, everyone asks for Stella. She’s a popular girl, if she is female. If there’s one thing that does improve with age though it’s discernible tastes. When I was younger lager was just lager. Or indeed when I was very young so was cider. But now I can actually distinguish between different brands by taste alone. It isn’t actually that difficult to distinguish Stella Artois from the rest because quite simply it is a class above. It tastes nothing like any other lager. Kronenborg 1664 and Carlsberg Export are strong, possibly even deceptively strong, they don’t have the same crisp taste as you get from a pint of Stella though. It’s not just pints either – a nice cool tinnie always goes down great too, or a bottle for that matter. If it’s warm though forget it! It’s just not cricket. Sacrilege some would call it! Most people I know don’t drink it all the time, because if it has a fault it’s that it can be difficult to handle. Go over the half dozen mark and you might start to grow another head, get into double figures and you may well start to go on one of those magical mystery tours, which strangely, no one else seems to get invited to. With time though, it becomes possible to ascertain the difference between indulgence and overindulgence. I should imagine if today has been a warm day and you have been sat in a beer garden wit h a few “Paul Wellers” and mixing with good company, then you will be feeling pretty contented at the moment. If not then I suspect I am making you wish that you had! I would also like to thank Dooyoo for addressing the right of the consumer to comment on matters such as alcoholic beverages. Anyone who regularly reads my ramblings will be aware that I spend considerable time in drinking establishments and the fact that I spend a large chunk of my disposable income on beer, means that I have less cash available to engage in other consumer purchases. It is only fair and equitable, that something which people spend so much of their (and frequently other people’s) money on should be reflected on and considered. I would also like to see a similar section introduced for that other great British innovation – crisps. Let’s face it, if we’re talking pubs, then we’re also talking crisps. Put beer and crisps together, whether they be Wheat Crunchies, Bacon Fries or good old market leader, Walker’s, and we are talking about two of the greatest inventions in life. Both play a central role in my day to day existence, and both are a source of great enjoyment. Who needs women?? Although often associated within working class life, both are in fact completely classless and can bridge all boundaries. It’s also reassuring that over the years Stella has not gone through any extensive re-launching or re-labelling process, because to be perfectly honest, it has never needed to. A simple classy design on the outer and quality amber nectar on the inner. Just to throw the old “price” argument in – yes it is too expensive, but all beer is too expensive. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s more due to extortionate taxation policies than the brewers. Put into context though, it is priced at a similar value to other premium lagers, and it is only a few pence more than standar d lagers, and it is head (definitely no pun intended – what do you think I am, a comedian or something?) and shoulders above the rest. So taking the price of a standard pint as the base – it probably costs 5% more and tastes at least 50% better. Case closed methinks! The pricing policy is determined with a view to separating Stella from the rest. It is “Reassuringly expensive” as the advertisements say. The brand owner seeks to operate a “skimming” policy where it targets the upper, wealthy end of the market, the A, B, C1 and C2 drinkers and attempts to create a niche by differentiating itself and encouraging brand loyalty. It’s been five years but at last I get a chance to use my Marketing Degree. See it wasn’t wasted after all. Just to clarify the situation – this opinion was written BEFORE the consumption of a crate of Stella, not AFTER.
But you started to charge me for it!! Having been with this "service" from the outset I'm going to fly in the face of other opinions and give it a good slagging off I am afraid. When I first signed up I got the full works, the score at kick off (always 0-0 unsurprisingly!), the goals as they went in and a final score, all for the princely sum of £0.00. Of course there were adverts, attached to the text messages, but hey - you don't get anything for free these days do you?? And of course I was right, you don't. Pretty soon, they decided that there was to be a charge for goal flashes, team news and so forth. Now I know 96p a week isn't going to break the bank, but in reality 96p a week is car salesman speak for £42 per year plus VAT. A big difference from something that was free of charge a few months earlier. So I've jumped ship! I'm usually at the game anyway, or at least near enough to a television or radio when the final score comes on so it has now been rendered useless anyway. I also know of a lot of people now who if they can't get to the game, get a friend to text them details of the game. As long as your team doesn't win 6-5 every week, this also works out cheaper than give us the score, dare I say. Maybe I'm being unfair again, everyone has got to make a living somehow and, the original service was a very reasonable one, but now I think with the charges and the attached adverts, there are probably many other better (and cheaper) ways of keeping in touch with the scorelines. I also find occasionally that the final score doesn't arrive until a good hour or so after the game has finished which further defeats the object. As a final nail in the coffin I would like to say that the concept behind this site discourages use of proper manners and grammar to younger and more impressionable users. Surely it should be called www.pleasemayIhavethescore.co.uk ?
I normally only write about things that I like for some reason - whether I just like to erase things that I don't like from my memory I don't know, the exception to this being when I like a good rant. Prepare yourself for one of the latter...... I just don't see the point of this competition and it's plain to see that most football clubs see it the same way. The way it's going now most clubs seem to prioritise in the following order: 1. Champions League 2. Premier League 3. UEFA Cup 4. FA Cup 5. Worthington Cup 99. Autowindscreens Shield (Please don't get me started on this one!!!) This evidence is backed up by the fact that Liverpool won three trophies this year and yet claimed that none of these were anything like as important as securing a spot in the Champions League by finishing in a high Premier League position. As a fan of Wigan Athletic I endured a fourteen hour journey down (Reason to abolish No.1 - it's no longer regionalised) to Selhurst Park to watch my team play at Wimbledon along with less than 2,000 others (Reason to abolish No.2 - it doesn't pull the crowds in, in fact it drives them away!) I love football but a 0-0 draw and a good soaking en route for good measure severely tested my patience!! It is turning into one of those competitions where if your team has anything to pay for on the League or European front, then your team is better off out of it. (Reason to abolish No.3 - it's a meaningless distraction) It's even filtering through to that grand old bastion of football, the FA Cup now. Later on in the season I was to comically witness, my team's then manager, Bruce "nil-nil will do me fine" Rioch play a virtual reserve team in an away cup replay at Notts County because it was deemed not as important as the League game. (Which we only got a draw in anyway!) We also saw two farcical situations versus Oldham and Walsall in the AWS Cup Shield thingy where I could swear blind that BOTH teams were trying to lose the game, but I said I wouldn't mention that. So I won't! I guess the point I am trying to get over is that money rules in this day and age, priorities have changed and the Cup(s) are becoming less and less of a fairy tale and more and more of a distraction to most clubs. The fact that so many First Division clubs make it to the final suggests that the big boys aren't taking it seriously at all. I can see the logic of having the competition seeded and played over two legs, as it gives the smaller clubs - the Rochdales, the Torquays, the Prestons, of this world a crack at the bigger clubs, and the two legs means that someone has the potential to get a decent pay day. However, if the second leg is at home and you have seen your team stuffed by Newcastle at St James or whoever in the first leg, then it devalues it somewhat. It just prolongs the agony in most cases, and gives a clear advantage to the higher ranked side, if they could only be bothered taking advantage of it! It's not even a big game if you follow a lower division side and you draw out a Premier League team anymore because the bulk of them will simply wheel out the usual motley crew of youngsters, has-beens and those exiled in the reserves due to disciplinary proceedings. The people who are really being conned are the paying fans who find themselves paying full whack for a ticket but do not end up watching a full team. Consequently many stay away and who can blame them. (Reason to abolish No.4 - paying full price to watch your club's reserve team) Personally I wouldn't be too bothered if the Worthington Cup was got shut of, but surely the very least that they can do is reduce all the games to one leg. I read somewhere someone suggesting an “Anglo-Scottish” type revamp. What a brain wave! – Inverness Caledonian or Ross Cou nty on a Tuesday Night anyone? It’s been done before, as has the Anglo-Italian Cup – it will not work!!!! Get shut of it altogether, football is expensive enough in these times I am afraid. The Worthington Cup - we don't need it and we don't want it! Footnote - if anyone from Worthington is reading this and would like to send me several crates of Worthingtons in order to reaffirm my opinion - I am sure we can come to some arrangement :-) I'm very cheap y'know!
No 2 in a series – Yes, less than a mile away from the Moon Under Water in Wigan, there is another Wetherspoons. Situated in down town Swinley is the Brocket Hotel – sadly it is now no longer a hotel now that Wetherspoons have taken it over, but they have given the old place a new lease of life nevertheless. I suppose there are probably a few people who resent the place now – you used to go in on a Wednesday night and the place would be virtually empty apart from the proverbial old boy and his dog. Now you’ll be lucky to get a seat. Once again, price is the main selling point, but it’s even cheaper again than the other Wigan pub as this one is outside of the town centre. It’s a friendly pub, maintaining the old Brocket feel about it, and there is also room to sit outside on a nice day (you might be waiting a while though for both a table and a nice day! The infamous “Curry Night” on a Thursday is a particular favourite, there aren’t many places that you can get a curry and a pint for under a fiver, so well done there!! And if that’s not incentive enough, then I have it on good authority that one of the (female) bar staff has been known to appear in erm.."magazines"!! Oh dear these reviews always seem to go down hill somewhat!
Right, as everyone says, it's quality not quantity that counts - I don't spend as much time on dooyoo as some of the others, I would love to but finding time is always an uphill and continual battle, along with the ageing process and the battle of the bulge. However, I do basically see myself as a good writer. I have read and taken in the views of seasoned crown wearers, offering useful advice, top tips and key points to writing good opinions. Well done to you all and I toast your continued success but my head is still cold! As someone who edits a magazine that sells nearly 1,000 copies a month I like to think that I am a bit of a writer, and could have maybe even made a living out of it, if I hadn't trained to be an accountant (no stop come back, I'M INTERESTING HONESTLY!!). My opinions don't go overboard on factual information or detail, but I like to think that they are a good read with a fair sprinkling of humour and anecdote. Armed with this it is with no great shame that I present my TOP 10 WAYS TO GET A CROWN: 1) Send the various community managers persistent e-mails ranging from the polite and inquisitive, the complimentary and congratulatory, or eventually, failing that, resort to downright begging. Always mention what an excellent facility dooyoo is, even if you are writing an opinion on insect repellent. Your constant and incessant occupation of their time will inevitably make them give in. 2) Send flowers, chocolates, chauffeur driven limousines or rubber gloves (I have promised to withhold the identity of the individual concerned) to the headquarters of dooyoo making sure you find the most vulnerable and emotional of the team for whom material rewards mean everything and they do not see it as “corny” (please persevere with this, it may be difficult as they strike me as a hard hearted bunch!) 3) Get a job there – then you can award yourself as many as you want, not to mention boos ting your salary. If you are the sort of person who spends time pontificating over ethical matters, Option 3) is not for you! 4) Go to your local newsagents and purchase a packet of gold, adhesive stars (you know like the ones I didn’t get at school!). Cut them in half. When browsing through the excellent dooyoo site (Note – use of point 1) here) place the “makeshift crown” at the appropriate spot in your reviews. NB This method is only of temporary effect and upon scrolling your browser the effect is lost somewhat. 5) Find out where a staff member was born or grew up, what football club they support, what their favourite drink is or their favourite band and write a glowing review of it, not forgetting to mention that anybody who appreciates it must be a very, very cool person with exquisite taste. 6) Storm into their offices, handcuff yourself to the main reception, wearing nothing but a sandwich board with the words “FREE THE CROWN-LESS ONE” emblazoned on it, and refuse to budge until the crown is safely perched atop of your bonce. It may be best if you actually write your opinion BEFORE trying this one out, and ask yourself if the crown is really worth risking a fine for public disorder. 7) Emotional blackmail – at some point in your opinion mention that you think that “Premier Awards are only given to an elite band and they don’t give them to us humble, common minions”, in much the same way as aspiring teen mag scribblers write “I bet you wouldn’t dare print this” at the end of their letter, in the hope that the editor’s desire to prove them wrong will prevail. 8) Use your artistic genius to become a pop star and pen a hit single entitled “I want my crown and I want it right now, dooyoo want it too?” Your chances will be enhanced if you have spent several years in a third rate Australian soap and you can persuade Fatboy Sli m to remix the12 inch version. (Do they still have these?) 9) Find out where all the dooyoo staff are going for their Christmas party. Turn up unannounced with a wad of notes and start offering free drinks to all and sundry until they capitulate and agree to give you a Premier Opinion award. It is probably best to get some kind of written record of this transaction as they look like an excitable bunch and on returning to work the next day, they will probably have no recollection at all of the previous nights events. 10) Write a sarcastic, tongue in cheek opinion about being a crown-less wonder continually thinking up with new and inventive ways in which to get that elusive Premier Opinion. And of course, taking the risk in the process of being refused one again and looking like even more of a plonker than before you started. There you have it. Please treat my advice with the ridicule it deserves as I am still without a Premier Award, and if you have one yourself, well done, you are doing a great job. And I'm not bitter, can't you tell? They just don't give them to people like me (Point 7) even though I love the site and think it is excellent (Point 1). Look I can go on all night here......... PS If you have any success with these tips let me know. No, seriously, do. I will be amazed!!
I love it! For ages I've heard others talk about it and not really taken them on. I've got a massive blinking stereo next to my PC (one of these days the plug socket is going to blow!) and obviously that is reasonably convenient. I even downloaded it once about a year ago but never used it purely due to ignorance, lack of time and eventually deleted it. I use my PC for a lot of different things but playing music was never a high priority. How things have changed. It's debatable whether I can add anything new to previous opinions but basically I thought it deserved a few words of praise (No I don't download hymns thank you very much!) I am, it goes without saying, a very keen music fan (you may dispute this after reading other opinions - I must be the only person in the world who likes BOTH Happy Mondays AND ABBA!) and to be honest, it's often the case that a record takes my fancy (as opposed to an album) and Napster is great for just finding and picking that tune, when in the pre-Napster days you would probably have to go out and buy the album if it wasn't in the charts. To give an example, I hate Eminem, never been a fan at all. I am usually very opinionated about most things, and I can usually either love or hate anything or anyone at any one time, but what sets me apart is my ability to be truly fickle and swing from one to the other, rather like a woman (oh stop it - you know I'm only joking!) After hearing his latest record, I must admit I thought "The man is a genius" and was converted there and then - a quick search on Napster, twenty minutes later and £0.00 spent (flat rate internet - splendid) and I am in proud possession of said tune. And the best bit, when I change my mind again about my favourite wayward white rapper - I'll just delete him and free up a bit of hard drive space. I used to be a big Old Skool House fan and I have managed to pick up a few obscure classics thanks t o Napster which I thought I would never hear again. I wish there was some way of tracing a particular kind of music - maybe there is let me know if so, please.....I know there's bound to be groups who cater for whatever your musical bill of fare is, but if there is a fault then it's that it can be difficult to find something you don't know the name of. Still that would involve me humming the tune down a mike to the World Wide Web, something that, at the moment, neither of us are quite ready for. The other issue is "Napster Etiquette" that is "to stay online or not online" when someone is downloading from you, I always try my best to observe this unwritten rule, especially if they have already received a significant part of the file, but I've probably lost a few friends because I've had to go out or I've been auto disconnected. Mind you, it's probably happened to me more times than I've done it myself. However, this review is mainly to congratulate Napster for being such a useful mechanism. From 80's house to The Piranhas to Natalie Imbruglia - I've certainly widened my collection beyond the boundaries to which I thought possible. Thanks Napster -and stop trying to sue them you nasty men!!
Well I'm now in my third year with BT Cellnet (or wasn't it just Cellnet when I started) so I can't really be too critical, because if I really did think it was that bad, then surely I would have changed by now. I used to always have bad words to say about BT Cellnet - my old Ericsson seemed to constantly come up with a "No Network" signal following the mildest of breezes or whatever. I used to blame the poor network, but now that I have upgraded to a Nokia phone it turns out that the network was fine all along and it was simply the fact that my old phone was completely useless, with one of those terrible old aerials. So I must repent and say - BT Cellnet is an excellent network. However, it's customer service leaves a lot to be desired. As my old phone went out of action, I was offered a new one on the cheap as a loyalty bonus - good you might think! WRONG! I spent long periods on the phone to umpteen different departments - one told me it had been despatched, the other said they had no record of me even asking for a new phone, and when they did eventually get me through to the department I needed to speak to, it had gone 5 o'clock and they had gone home!! In the end after spending weeks without a phone, weeks waiting for the new one to come and weeks running up big bills on my land line (not all the numbers I called were freephone) I got very angry with BT Cellnet, I pity the poor lady on the other line who got a roasting, I did apologise but told her that I wanted to speak to someone in authority, who then also got a roasting off me for good measure - The result my new phone was delivered within two days, the £35 admin fee was waived, so I got it free of charge as a result of my being inconvenienced. Great stuff - but if they hadn't been so incompetent in the first place - they could have saved me time and them money. A word about the billing - I get paid monthly, and because I get paid at the end of th e month, that is when I pay - every month when I send my payment off - a red letter crosses in the post which, by the time I have received it, the bill has been paid - this is pointless postage charges, they obviously have a standard method say of sending out a reminder two weeks after the original or something similar - surely somebody with a bit of intelligence could look at my payment history and recognise this. And then they would save even more money on postage, and their monthly charges would be lower and these savings could (in theory) be passed onto the end consumer. I actually got sent a letter the other day advising me to change my tariff, saying that if I changed to such a tariff I would save X amount per month, so they are trying. I didn't really understand it but ticked it and sent it back. Ideally I'd like to ring them up, get straight through to an operator with no silly automated service or 45 minute queue and have it all explained to me, but after last time...I don't think so!!
As a seasoned and hardened drinker I hate Christmas - why? Well it's simple - you just can't get served. For "Party Spirit" read "Dozy phoney idiots who clog up the bar with the round written on the back of a beer mat". They are drunk after three pints, are usually sick all over the place, and they think everyone is their mate. They ask you where the toilets are, so you point them to the ladies (if they're male and they usually are) and they go straight in! They are also the first to complain about queues and not being able to get served. They always put Slade on the jukebox and know all the words to it. I think I have discovered a solution though - Pubs and clubs should open a loyalty scheme, linked to attendances and amount of alcohol consumed. Similar to the token system that used to operate when you used to buy a football programme in the 70's - Every time you "attend" you receive a token, and then when there's a "big game" (i.e. Christmas Party, New Years Eve) those with the most vouchers get priority - which means a fast track to the bar and no admittance to pay to get in (yes it's normally free but the owners have started charging because it's Christmas and there's free turkey butties on) Let those Johnny come lately's queue up outside while we enjoy our festivities!! Similarly, is it me or do the doormen become all friendly and smiley at this time of year? Nothing to do with a Xmas tip I suppose? Right I'd better take my photo off :-) PS Seriously I love Christmas really, I am just better at complaining than praising! it's actually great to see old faces that I haven't seen for ages - unless they try and push in front of me at the bar, then I'll...grrrr!!
As one of life's great workers (my employer may well dispute this) I get up (late) every morning during the week and run around washing, getting dressed, washing again - very hygenic you see, trying to find the keys to my Ferrari (I’ve never found them yet) and very rarely have time to sit down. I suppose the radio would be a much better option, but for some reason I always switch the telly on, and it’s always Channel 4, and it's always the Big Breakfast. How do they do it? They must be on drugs to be that chirpy in the morning, and not just the presenters, the whole team is buzzing. I just would not get past the interview stage (Do they hold them at 5am I ask myself?) The show actually does very little to disguise the fact that it is very quickly and amateurishly put together, in fact I’d even go so far as to say it’s a selling point. Cue cards are read out, cameramen don’t just get in the way but holler abuse and those furry mike things keep plunging down from the top of the screen – it’s great. When there’s a mistake they don’t hold an inquest, they just laugh at each other, even when some half-cooked pop star lets out the odd profanity live on air, it’s quality and utmost respect to Johnny for holding it together. Denise van Outen is an excellent foil for him as she is talented and quite sharp witted for an Essex girl (oh dear here come the complaints) and strikes the viewer as being a great girl to get on. With. I’m not adverse to looking at Kelly Brook first thing in the morning – but let’s face it that was all she was there for – to look at!! As for the outside broadcasts, just where do they get the ideas from, every morning the turn up on some dicey estate, knowing full well there’s an army of schoolkids or pensioners willing to do anything to get on TV, the rest of us just slam the door in their face of course! I’m also a big f an of Donna Air, like Denise, she is blessed with good looks and comes across as really friendly and chirpy and I suppose you either love her accent or hate it. I’m just pleased all I have to do is watch as it’s way too hyperactive for me at that time in the morning, but it certainly wakes you up. Let us remember that when it first started, Breakfast TV was just News, Sport, Finance, Weather repeat ad nauseum, this is different , it breaks the mould and it’s class!!
With this one the answer is YES! I’ve had a phone or two over the years, and eventually, when given the option to upgrade I got hold of one of these. There are now some fantastic phones about, and I think it’s all a marketing ploy – now that most people have got a mobile phone, they’re now telling us we need a better one! There are far better phones than this around now, but you don’t NEED a better one, they are just making more advanced ones to make money. Personally I did need a better one, as my old Ericsson was on it’s third aerial. (Why did I always put it in my coat, which I then put in my bag, which I then put behind the goals, which I then whacked the ball at when playing five a side?) I got into the habit of slagging BT Cellnet off due to their poor network, when in fact it was my poor phone that was the cause. So I upgraded to a Nokia 3210 and I’ve got to say I’m very happy with it, features are excellent and far superior to what I had before. I have had it two months now and have NEVER ONCE had the oh-so familiar “No Network” or “112 Only” messages on the signal – it works everywhere, the messaging facility is seamless, you can pick your own ring tones, but most of all for me, it has no aerial, well not a sticky-outty one anyway which snaps following the mildest of side footed shots. It’s got everything a mobile phone should have and a few things besides. Of course someone will bring a newer one out in a few months and it’ll be old hat again……
I’ve tried other web based accounts and they just can’t cut it. Hotmail is an excellent service which very rarely goes down (but when it DOES…more of later!!) It is reliable, effective, easy to use, and popular – 40 million users can’t be wrong??? I’ve recently changed my ISP and Hotmail is working wonders in the interim period by allowing me to access mail via the POP server – I know all web based accounts probably offer this but there’s just a few little intricacies that Hotmail offer that make it different, such as the indicators which let you know which account the mail has come from. So, if you just want the basics, i.e. to be able to send and receive email, you can do that, but if you are a more sophisticated user, there are also further facilities which enable the user to get what they want from it – and best of all – it’s completely FREE Of course it’s security has been breached in the past, but I suppose this only serves to make it more protected in the future, and as a recognised brand leader in its’ field it is there to be shot at (or should that be hacked into?) Either way, I’m definitely a hotmail fan!
There really is no comparator to Lynx in my book. Once discovered there’s no going back. Whereas it doesn’t pull birds as the adverts suggest, it is thorough and lasting and has a fragrant, but mostly masculine smell and serves it’s purpose well. There’s also a roll on version now which is obviously more durable, but I find generally that it represents good value for money regardless. I’m not sure about some of the other products that they do. I’m a firm believer in sticking to what you do best, and trying to get better at it, but you can’t blame them for trying to coin in on what must be the brand leader in male hygiene. I always try out a new name when it comes out although Inca and Atlantis remain the favourites. If there’s one I don’t like it’s probably Africa – but it’s still infinitely better than one of those cheap and nasty deodorants that leaves you walking around doing aeroplane impressions for the rest of the day!! Come on let’s have some more scents out Lynx – you can’t have enough of a good thing!
I just couldn’t believe it. I’m not known for being the most technically advanced person and I still have concerns about shopping online, but Easyjet are now a well established company, who have certainly pioneered the way in online flight booking. A quick search of flights from Luton – where was I going? Rio de Janiero, Tokyo or Paris perhaps? Well no, Luton actually! And it’s thanks to the reasonable prices on offer that a humble football fan like me can afford to fly, yes FLY to an away game. Many of us did it last year, maybe it’s just showing off a bit, but any of you reading this who travel to watch any sporting event will know that, win or lose, the curious mix of emotion, early starts and of course alcohol, often make the spectator a little bit fatigued. To be able to get to the other side of the country in half an hour is a sure fire winner in my book! Aside from that, a few people I know, that actually have the money to go abroad (denote slight jealousy in tone!) and they have got some cracking deals to places like Nice and Genoa. The only outstanding thing which needs comments passing on is the standard of air hostess – as ever tremendous, but my journey will be so quick that I unfortunately not see much of them!!
I have just received an email indicating that the street is now closed, no, not due to road works, but for good, due to a take over by thestreet.com, a site that I can't say I have ever visited. I must admit that although on my PC at home the last thing on my mind is stocks and shares, the street was one site that I really did have time for. Besides there's not much point in knocking it if it's going to be shutting down - it's probably not too late to pay it a visit. Key features which make it a winner for me include graphical displays of high and lows, details of dividend payouts, and lots of other stuff too complicated for me to understand let alone explain, but nevertheless, when displayed graphically, I at least think I know what the underlying trends are. Summaries of financial news help me keep abreast of what's going on in the financial world without having to buy a big pink,boring paper every day - and I also enjoyed taking part in their fantasy share portfolio competition, although my performance suggests that I am not quite ready to give up the day job yet! So all I can say is check out thestreet.com, the new owners, and make the comparison - my guess is that it won't quite be the same. Just one gripe here - when I SAY I've changed my email address and send you the new one - I EXPECT you to stop sending mail to the old one - but they're certainly not alone on that score
As somebody who used to watch England (you know, in the flesh) on a regular basis, I was both surprised and somewhat alarmed when they made the decision to appoint a foreign manager. As others interest in the national team has heightened (mainly your new breed of “footy fans”) mine has waned. Watching England has always been a painful exercise, watching them away is great fun but the reasons for this very rarely include the game. So the story goes – we gave the world the game of football, and now they all beat us at it. Maybe a foreign coach will get rid of the little Englander ideas which may well have been prevalent in the past. There are huge expectations on the job in hand. The whole nation expects England to be the best in the world and everyone is a budding England manager. So many names have gone into the job with a glowing reputation only to come out in tatters. It will certainly be interesting to watch a new crop of youngsters come through and see how they face up to the challenges ahead. I think versus the Italians they acquitted themselves well – but there are undoubtedly bigger tasks ahead!!