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KathrynMackinnon

KathrynMackinnon
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Member since: 08.11.2000

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    • Moulin Rouge! (DVD) / DVD / 2 Readings / 20 Ratings
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      03.08.2002 23:57
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      A tale of passion, debauchery, jealousy, hate and beauty set amidst the wonderful surroundings of Montmartre. Heavily based on the painting research of Toulouse Lautrec around this time, Moulin Rouge is a spectacular snapshot of the indulgent lives of Paris's true bohemians. The tale is a love story - nothing new there and is not the strength of the film. The distinctive style of the film, directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo and Juliet & Strictly Ballroom) is energetic, colourful and visually rich. Were it not for Baz's sense of humour, then I would be very upset by Ewan Macgregors' terrible singing and foppish puppy-dog manner, however - it is carried off and held up by the other leading performances by Jim Broadbent as Harry Ziddler (owner of the moulin Rouge) and Satine, its star. Basically. the plot is crap - but it looks so amazing that you forget! Watching this DVD has inspired me to buy a DVD player just so that I can have a copy to myself! If you love Moulin Rouge as much as I do, then you need to see the extras available on this format. Cast and director profiles are available as well as fantastic interactive dance scenes - where you can edit the camera angles yourself and footage from the original dance rehearsals which are just full of energy. Only seeing what amazing effort went into pre-production on this film can help one to understand the enormity of this project and the passion that pushed it forwards. Obviously the feature itself is fantastic, being that it is on DVD you can obviously select scene by scene and never have to bother with the hassle of rewinding and fast-forwarding. I might add that taking a look at the Moulin Rouge website is well worth a try for fans of the movie. http://www.clubmoulinrouge.com It has some great press info and screen savers . Oh while you are perusing the special features be sure to look out for the Green Fairy - she might just hold a secret or two...

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      • Trek America / Travel Agent / 6 Readings / 28 Ratings
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        13.10.2001 19:56
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        Great experience - make the most of it

        Trek Rocks.
        The people you are travelling with have chosen exactly the same adventure from a huge list of options and are there for pretty much the same reasons as you.
        This means that you WILL get on very well with them. Most of my people were camp counsellors too - so were very much up for everything, being that they were so exhausted after 2 months trapped with American kids!
        The staff are outstanding.
        The trek leaders have chosen a very tiring job which gives them the perks of meeting new people al of the time and travelling around America for a whole summer - they too, are there because they want to be and love travelling.
        It was much more than I could ever have hoped for.

        The trek that I chose to go on was named 'The Atlantic Dream'. This took us, in 14 days, to New York, Washington DC, Tennessee, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, Panama City Beach, Orlando, Key Largo and Miami. I payed five hundred pounds-ish for it including my discount as a Camp America participant.
        Beware of the extra costs though, such as the $70 food kitty each and the optional activities such as snorkelling, rafting and jet-skiing.
        The group is only 14 people strong, including the leader and you all fit into a well equiped van with all of your baggage and food strapped to the top under a tarp.
        Most nights you will sleep in a tent with another person, but some nights will be spent in cabins or hotels too. Hotels will cost you an additional $35 each but they are beautiful.

        Our group comprised entirely of British people, an unusual occurrance - which put me off when I was first told this, I had expected a more international affair.
        We met at a hotel in New York City and left for the Staten Island Ferry at 9am, within 1/2 hour we were slagging each other off and falling asleep on each others shoulders! Our little family had formed.

        From New York we drove for hours to Was hington Dc and stayed in a lovely camp ground with a heated swimming pool and internet access, that night we drove around the illuminated monuments in Washington DC and spent the following day in the blistering heat getting lost and visiting the FBI building. We didn't want to stay another day - so we left! That's what trek's like, impulsive and flexible.
        Tenessee is a beautiful state and we spent three days there visiting Graceland, line dancing, tubing and white water rafting! lots of fun.
        New Orleans was our halfway point, and a monumental one at that (see op to discover the bad things we did!) much drunkenness, combined with Gay Decadence Mardi Gras weekend! We stayed in a beautiful suite with four poster beds, T.V and a kitchen - luxury!
        Especially having spent three hours sweatily canoeing ourelves around on a swamp during an amazing ecological tour on the outskirts of the city - we badly needed the hot showers and cleaning facilities!
        Ooh!, got to try moonshine - the ecological guy Mr Denny buys it by putting a jar in a log in the swamp with $30 and comes back the next day to find it full! The stuff is nasty and evaporates as you drink it, making your throat feel raw for two whole days, and your head feel light straight away!

        On to Panama city beach to soak up some rays.
        Beach stuff isn't my thing so I wandered around the quiet and boring resort for a day and caught up on some reading, swimming and sleep for a day. Next morning we went jet-skiing and I swam with some dolphins which passed by us!
        A long drive of about 9 hours took us to Orlando where we came upon our candy pink coloured accommodation in the form of very well equipped 'Wendy Huts' at a camping cround. Each fitted 6 people and we made sure that the boys were reminded at every possible opportunity that they were Barbie Girls too!

        Universal Studios was not a particu larly thrilling experience, very tacky and quite sad really. It was fun, but you certainly don't need a whole day there, as the rides run out quickly - bring your own food!

        Let's drive to Key Largo!...a beautiful camp ground on the beach, serving key lime pie!
        Within an hour of being there we had seen a huge ray in the water and a manatee had drifted by - they hadn't seen one there for years, I felt very special!
        We watched the most beautiful sunI had ever seen go down and I spent the night curled up in a hammock further down the beach, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I didn't care!
        The next day we went snorkelling at John Pennecamp coral reef and saw lots of lovely things, including a not so lovely barracuda which swam straight for me and I thought that I was going to die!

        That was our last day together and we arrived in Miami late in the day to retire to our rooms in various hotels.
        We ate in a beautiful restaurant down near the beach and sang karaoke with an old italian papa on the electric keyboard. After our meal we walked back to our hotel along the beach in the dark, it was a strange atmosphere and everyone was a bit sad.

        Being the first to leave was very hard for me, nobody was up for a party so people began to drift back to their rooms. It suddenly hit me that I might never see there lovely people again. Trek was over.

        I left at 4 in the morning the next day to fly to Atlanta, and then to New York. I spent the night alone in an airport hotel, my first night alone for 3 months, I was so sad and sat and cried.
        The following day I mad it to the airport and was delighted to see another girl from trek there, we spent 7 hours hanging about before our planes had to leave.
        I take off was delayed by four and a half hours and everyone was very irritated by the time we left. Landing in Edinburgh I walked past the electrical shop in the Airport
        . Everyone was crowded around the T.Vs with their hands covering their mouths and some were crying. I was told that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Centre twin towers, followed by another. Some people were convinced that it was some kind of a joke, others were hysterical because they had family in Manhattan.

        I don't know what to think of my summer now. It has changed me and I feel priveliged to have enjoyed America in its relative innocence before all of these terrible things happened.

        Check out the website www.trekamerica.com and also try www.americanadventures.com, run by the same company, same leaders and same tours.

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          29.09.2001 23:50
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          The view from the roof of this place is magnificent! If you can sneak up and be quiet enough not to get caught out then you can spend an evening up there with a few friends overlooking the whole of Manhattan and Central Park, lit up and looking gorgeous. Our room held 8 people, although doubles are available, and was comfortable, a little stuffy and cramped, but cheap. The hostel itself is relatively clean and will certainly do at only $20 a night. The decor is bright and vibrant and adds to the great, friendly atmosphere in the foyer and red basement. While we were there for a week in August they held several music nights and comedy events in the basement for $5 and free beer. We also took a trip to the Ricki Lake show with the hostel and managed to get on screen for only $3! Downstairs there is a laundry room, cafe, internet service and T.V, and a great deli/grocery store right next door. With regards to being able to get around the city from the hostel - it's so easy. There are several bus stops nearby and the 110th St Subway station is only a few metres away. Although it's situated in Harlem on 110th St (you know the song? 'Across 110th St'?) it's well manned with plain clothed security and of course the police are always around! Gunshots at night are a frightening sound - you will be safe there though - don't go wandering around at night or on your own - in fact just don't go wandering at all. The only bad things I would say about the Hostel are that it's difficult to get into the bathrooms as there are really only 1 per 50ish people and that they really didn't seem to care that someone had stolen my sleeping bag from my locked room. But hey, it's a cheap hostel, within 15 mins of Manhattan and it's great fun there if you're up for it.

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          • Desserts / Recipe / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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            29.09.2001 19:59
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            On my recent visit to Graceland in Memphis, I picked up a tacky postcard, which gave Elvis's favourite pudding recipe. Now, it's really bad for you - so don't sue me if you die of a heart attack, but it tastes really yummy and I think thet you should try it - just once. So, you need:-4 bananas 8 eggs (!) 2 1/2 cups of sugar (you see what I mean?) 6 cups of milk (ha!) 2 tablespoons vanilla flavouring 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 large box of vanilla wafers Anyway...here goes - Separate eggs. Mix milk, corn starch, egg yolks, sugar and butter, cook on low heat until thick. Add vanilla and cool. Line a 9x3 inch pan with wafers. Put sliced bananas on top. Pour on the cooled pudding. Topping - beat egg whites with 1 tablespoon of sugar until thick. Pour over pudding and bake in moderate oven for 10 mins. I bought the vanilla wafers in America, so I don't know what I'd use here. It sounds quite bogging but I think that stale bread might work a la' bread and butter pudding, because you're making it the same way with a custard at the beginning. I'd also recommend using vanilla pods in the milk and removing them afterwards. If you're using bread then don't top it with the meringue stuff, but more soaked bread and sprinkle muscovado sugar and cinnamon on top , placing it under the grill for a wee while. Well, you'll probably puke, but enjoy!

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              29.09.2001 19:22
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              • "Drinking age limit!"

              Memphis was my sixth stop, just after Nashville, on a two week trek around the Eastern Side of America. I had expected to be confronted with a town full of 'hicks' and wannabes singing in doorways. Instead I was greeted by a crowd of totally mental and lovely people who certainly knew how to party. The centre of it all is Beale Street. Lined with bars, souvenir shops and horse-drawn carriages, you'd expect it to be very tacky - but it was very atmospheric, music streams from every bar and restaurant and very drunk people carry plastic cups of liquor through the streetswhilst singing along. As our trek van drove in the pouring rain into Lonely Street, which was of course next to Heartbreak Hotel (couldn't believe it!), I became sure that I was going to find the place incredibly tacky and decided that I didn't like it. Graceland did leave me with a strange insecure feeling, it was a spooky place where you walked around zombie-like, attached to a pair of headphones as depressed looking guides pushed you in the direction of the next room - it also smelled like pee. If I thought that the house smelled like pee, I wasn't ready for the private jet-planes yet, yucky. Graceland is worth seeing and isn't as grand as you would imagine, which makes it even sadder. The walls are lined with carpet, running water features, t.v's and mirrors and the place is strewn with really bad portraits, scary figurines and moth-eaten soft animals. It is a tacky, kitsch heaven at a price of $19. Try not to laugh out loud if you're ever there, because you will not be made welcome by the obsessive fans who line the corridors and gravesides, just remember to have a little respect and cover your face when you snort. My evening out there was great though and totally changed my mind about the city. We rode the 40 minute tram around town for about $1.50 each and managed to see quite a bit. I just wanted to g
              o and see an Elvis impersonator - and I did, great photos with him, I had a bit too much Jack Daniels and coke though and got a bit red in the face. Those of us who were 21 had no problems getting into bars, but most of the trek members were underage so I stayed with them. The other oldies went to see a great band and brought back a really cool C.D which proved it. So I regretted not going into the grown-up bars to hear some proper music. I really wished I'd taken a ride around town on a horse drawn carriage as they were decorated with tinsel and fairy lights, as were the little doggies that sat in the front of each one guarding it. I suppose it would have been about $20 for 20 mins, but i think it would have been worth it...maybe next time.

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                26.09.2001 08:25
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                'Oh god, what have I done?', I lifted my mascara streaked head from the pillow to gaze upon a floor strewn with clothes, plastic beads and drinks cups. The party city had struck. I was innocently exploring the cultural diversity of Americas Southern states with a group of like-minded young individuals on a TrekAmerica trip this summer. Sure, we'd had a few beers around the campfire every so often, but nothing had prepered us for the Pat'O'Brien 'Hurricane' - containing everything that is bad for you and makes you mad. My alcoholic tolerance was low due to the summers drought working in a kids camp for three months, my body was pure and unprepared for 2 Hurricanes and three Mint Juleps - but I gave them to it anyway. Before I knew where I was I had my top off and was frolicking my way through Bourbon Street in the centre of the Latin Quarter during the Southern Decadence festival, with bubbles raining down upon me from the balconies above. Decadence is a gay festival, Aug 31st - Sept 3rd approx, featuring many, many bad drag queens, may good ones and lots of old men in leather gear. Basically , the crowd is totall wild, and it rubs off. My trek leader managed to get his nipple licked by a gay man, I outed one of our trek members - who the next day had fairy wings henna tattoed onto his back! and got all of the girls to expose themselves to the revellers with me. I have never felt like so much of a slut in my life - but nobody knew me there and you guys don't know where I live do you??? So the next day we decided to go out and find some culture - sticking to the Latin Quarter, we wandered the streets, stopping off to get our tarot cards read, to eat some yummy gumbo and get lovely henna tattos applied to our Florida sun-burnt skin. During the day, Bourbon Street still had its drag queens and leather boys - alongside the nice cafes where kids sat in and the tacky shops selling mardi gras beads, mask
                s and dildos. Very odd. This is the thing I was intrigued by in New Orleans, the sex, poverty, drug problems, violence etc are not hidden away - it's all out there on the street and to me, that seems a more honest way of living - they maybe don't deal with it, but at least they don't shove them to the outskirts of everything as we do in Britain. New Orleans is well known for for its music. On a more tame night out we dressed prettily and headed down to Preservation Hall and listened to some live old-fashioned jazz, sitting on cushions on the floor stroking cats. I felt so chilled out, despite the noise and really felt at home. It was tourist-tastic but I pretended that it wasn't and that was just fine. There is a calm side to New Orleans, you just have to find it. The people are lovely and eccentric and the place is steeped in lots of history which I failed to pay any attention to! Anyway, just go! don't be shy and watch out for those hurricanes! Oh, and it's only as expensive as you make it for yourself - all budgets can be catered to - just be sensible (am I joking? in New Orleans?)

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                  10.05.2001 05:35

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                  You'll go Monk - ey Nuts over it!?!!! - Advantages: Tastes really different, Made by nice wee monks, Really nice in coffee or on ice cream - Disadvantages: Smell at first can be offputting, Sometimes hard to obtain

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                  08.05.2001 17:55

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                  Too hyped, but makes you feel as though you're on holiday though, so great! - Advantages: Great sense of atmosphere and surroundings, Sweet characters - Disadvantages: Odd Mussolini bits, slightly difficult to get into

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                • Almost Famous (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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                  06.05.2001 23:37

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                  I wasn't around in 1973 - but it made me feel nostalgic! Brilliant soundtrack. - Advantages: Billy Crudup, mmmmm, really very funny and sweet - Disadvantages: Long - but not long enough, Kate Hudson got to snog Billy Crudup, when he clearly wants to be snogging me!

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                • Kubler 53 Absinthe / Spirits / 1 Reading / 42 Ratings
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                  06.05.2001 06:01
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                  Do you want to end up in a police van?

                  I'm not boring , but I'm notTHAT girl, she was an saucy, bad poltergeist invoked by the spirit that is Absinthe - I promise! I was nothing like the beautiful Kylie fairie in Moulin Rouge, thought I would be.

                  Two shared pitchers after my 3rd champagne cocktail and I was quite unable to speak( I'm a small girl - lightweight), we decided to slow down and drink water. I really shouldn't have mentioned my pissedness, but everyone started slagging me for not being hardcore enough and it was decided that we would have an Absinthe each.

                  It was put in a glass, into which was dipped a teaspoonful of sugar - set alight and then stirred into the drink to be downed immediately. Yuckh! euch - didn't taste good at all. I quite liked the smell, but it was one seriously strong drink.
                  If you've ever tasted Ouzo or Pastis, then you'll know pretty much what the aniseed taste is like - if not, then think aniseed balls mixed with 70% vodka and you're almost there. It numbs your tongue and , depending on the quality of the stuff and how much colouring they've put in it - turns it green too!

                  It's potency is due to the wormwood content, which used to be of a much higher percentage and was basically the same stuff that sent the Montmartre artist
                  s mad and may even have lead indirectly to Van Gogh cutting off his own ear. It was banned up until very recently and it's relaunch has made it very popular again amongst the richer Aftershock drinkers of the world.

                  So forgive me if I indulge myself a little in the tale of my impressionist-style evening out. All I need now is a garret in Paris and something to wrap my ear up in! Oh, and a paintbrush.

                  Yes, I did lose it - in the mental schemie who you're scared of in a club sense!

                  I have been told that the transformation from giggling group of nice girls to spiky, scary, lairy hose-beasts was quite something to behold.
                  Within less than 5 minutes we had become monsters, lifting kilts, biting people, starting arguments, bitching at high speed and tearing through the bar like tasmanian devils in skirts!

                  My ideas of attractiveness and composure that night were quite innaccurate - I insisted in reapplying my make-up myself several times and must have looked a total state, as well as behaving as such.

                  We were advised to move to a club and so relocated to the local meatmarket and were really awful to the well intentioned lads who asked us to dance throught the evening. Extreme elbow-dancing ensued.

                  The three of us that remained wandered along the road with dilated pupils in search of a kebab shop. We found our mecca and worshipped at it's door, then carried our polyestyrene boxes along to the taxi rank to pick at what was left.
                  Now this is the scary bit. I can't quite remember what happened, but the group of guys we had upset had followed us h
                  ome and had started calling my friend all manner of nasty names. Next thing they were dragging her by her wrist along the road and she was struggling to free herself.
                  Kebab flew, boys ran and Anna was in tears. She had cabbage and dressing all over her hair, clothes and skin and was phoning her boyfriend up to get a 'crew' together and find the evil tourists.
                  I was taken over by a surge of adrenalin and sprinted my way, shoe heels as weapons, after the boys 'You will not do that to my friend! I'm going to kill you!'
                  Anna and Lyndsey ran after me wearing their shoes, and eventually caught up, crying.
                  All crying.
                  We phoned the police and spent an hour in the van searching the area, wasted (police men giggling at our nonsense) and were eventually deposited at our doors in the early hours - without ever having found the boys, not that we had any descriptions anyway.
                  Next morning:- puking, headache, weeping, phonecalls trying to work out what had happened. Regret.

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                  • Cherry Falls (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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                    06.05.2001 04:41

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                    This is one of the worst films I've ever encountered. Please don't waste your money! - Advantages: I'm sorry, but I really can't think of any! - Disadvantages: Brings up the old 'Beeing avirgin is nerdy' thing - bad, gratuitous violence

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                  • Loser (DVD) / DVD / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                    06.05.2001 02:21
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                    • Shallow

                    'I've got two tickets for Iron Maiden baby!...cos' I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby, like you, ooooh!' lots of my male friends took great objection to this film because of the Wheafus song 'Teenage Dirtbag' used in it and obviously the blasphemy of taking the mighty 'Maiden' in vain. Well, I don't really care. I knew that this film was not going to be a masterpeice when I rented it and I only decided to get it because it was free (perks of working in a video shop) and because I knew that it would be predictable. The basic story is that Jason Biggs' character Paul moves to college in New York and finds the people around him to be less than welcoming, unaware that he is viewed as being a total dork by his chump so-called friends/roommates. They eventually get fed up with his constant studying and wholesome ways and decide to turf him out. He then manages to get himself a room in the basement of an animal hospital downtown - obviously . Whilst falling down the lecture theatre steps on one of his first days he meets a beautiful goth-esque girlie Dora, plated by Mena Suvari, who is having an affair with her sleazy professor, played by Greg Kinnear ( the Hollywood-handsome soap doctor in Nurse Betty). Paul tries to win her heart by buying some tickets to an Everclear concert - she stands him up and......oh, I'm bored all over again! the rest of the film involves kittens, bread theft, stomach pumping and indulgent shots of Dora looking delicate and gorgeous! O.K?And plenty of unsubtle endorsements throught. This is your standard American geek wins girl/boy format, and it doesn't seem to stray far from its usual path. Dan Ackroyd is nearly always cool in films, but you hardly notice his bit-part as Pauls father and it really doesn't do him any big favours in the reputation department., not because any of the acting is particularly bad, but because it's so damn bland. I did find mys
                    elf smiling to myself on several occasions, however, as it was sometimes quite sweet. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was 'good', i wouldn't say that it was terrible and would probably recommend it as a ' do something else while your watching it' kind of film, you could make your tea, pick your feet, mend a stocking...whatever, and not miss the plots' amazing twists and revelations - cos' there are none! I'm just not sure what the point is to films like these. So, don't let the Iron Maiden references in the soundtrack upset you people, it's O.K. You don't have to think about it - just sit back and pick your feet! Enjoy.

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                      29.04.2001 21:38
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                      There's a place in my head that I go to whenever I'm feeling down, stressed of bored. It's called Paris, the steps of Sacre Coeur on a quiet, clear-skied Sunday to be precise. Now, I know that it's one of Paris' major attractions and that it might sound cheesy - but when you see that amazing view you will understand. Don't take the steps, take the Funiculaire at the base of Montmartre hill - or else you'll be knackered. I would have gone for the amazing view from the top of the Ferris Wheel in the Tuileries Gardens, if I didn't have the memory of nausea and an overwhelming need to pee myself to go with it! Oh, another. What about the Rodin Museum at 77 rue de Varenne, 75007 ? It's not exactly a magnificent view, but it's amazingly peaceful to sit in the gardens there and take in the quiet atmosphere. To see my view, you go inside the house and up the stairs to the main room with the balcony and look out over the pretty gardens, scattered with sculptures and people snogging! Sweet though. Next, you need to go to the mad and eclectic Shakespeare and Co bookshop at 37 rue de la Bucherie, 75007. It has to be dark when you go there, don't worry they're open noon - midnight, and the bench outside the shop has to be free. Sit down and stare up at Notre Dame, relax - isn't it lovely? It'll be bustling woth people so you ought to soak up the Parisienne atmosphere by going for a meal at Lac de L'ouest - the nearby Chinese restaurant at 7 rue de la Harpe 75005! There special views and places of mine are nothing without the food. So I'd recommend starting and finishing them in such places as L'as du Falafel in the Marais district - 34 rue des Rosiers, 75004 near the wonderful Pompidou center - they have delicious lemon juice and you need to try the filled pitta with cabbage salad, hoummus, chilli sauce and falafel. If it dribbles down your chin - all the better! I love Le Grand Co
                      lbert, near my usual hotel on rue Vivienne, 75002 (see Hotel Vivienne £50 a night double room - plug!). It's one of the few remaining Parisienne brasseries with art deco interior and the most astounding seafood platters imaginable. Their puddings are to die for! My main tip for seeing Paris is to restrain yourself from checking maps and guidebooks constantly, don't be afraid of getting lost - the Parisians are friendly, despite what people say! Buying a 'carnet' of 10 metro tickets will save you from running out and a few pennies too. Have your own tube map and watch yourself late at night in the stations - don't be silly about your safety. If you're on a tight budget then don't go for meals along the banks of the Seine, because they can charge just what they like without giving a damn about the quality of what they have to offer. Give yourself at least 4 days if you want to wander or, if you only have a weekend - restrict yourself to a general area and really explore it - you'll be coming back soon anyway! Next time try going in September - it's less American and you'll find that the Parisians are less irritated because they're probably on holiday as well!

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                        28.04.2001 07:17
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                        Location, location, location! The most important feature of this hotel is it's great position. The hotel is perfectly situated in the middle of the Opera district and is within easy walking distance of the centre of Paris. What's better is that the people who run it are lovely and although it is not the most glamorous of hotels, they do their upmost to help you with anything you need. They have a small lift, which barely fits two people, let alone their luggage! and there is someone (usually English speaking) at reception all night long. Breakfast is available in the wee breakfast area (as seen in the picture) but I wouldn't say that it was worth the £5 for the cofee and bread. You can find loads of great Petit Dejuner deals on the main street nearby e.g sandwich, coffee and flan/croissant for £3.50 etc, which will keep you going til' lunch time. My mum and I payed about £50 per night for the twin bedded room we shared. It had an ensuite, balcony, HUGE furniture and a couple next door who seemed to be having a 'lovely time' pretty much constantly! It was quite a funny room as the furniture was so big and the decor was hilarious - but a cosy boudoir anyway. Cheaper, more 'studenty' rooms are available at a lower price, just explain what your budget is and they will try to fit you in. Because we were only going to be in Paris for a short while, it was important that we were within a good distance of tube stations in order to save time getting around. The Bourse and Grandes Boulevards metro stops were situated at each end of the road and made it much easier for us to navigate our way round as both were fairly busy and safe stops. Further along rue Vivienne at no 2-4 is the world famous Grand Colbert (01 42 86 87 88) , one of the last surviving original brasseries in the city, serving amazing seafood and wonderful pudding such as strawberry soup and creme brulee.Yum. Set menus are
                        around £16 per head in the evenings. For cheaper eating try the crepes from the satlls along th Grandes Boulevards at the top of the street - savoury and sweet but all gorgeous. You will find most of the big stores such as Printemps, and some more high-street style stores along the Boulevard Haussman nearby and to find tiny boutiques you should head up the hill towards Montmartre. Anyway, I could start writing a Paris guide here - so I'll stop. But I would really advise you to use this hotel as it is clean and friendly and save your pennies for the galleries and shops - or duty-free!

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                        • Rose / Plant / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                          14.04.2001 20:49
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                          The rose is a very ancient flower, dating back over 40 million years - according to fossils. Being a very hardy plant, it can withstand extremes of temperature from polar cold to tropical heat - this capacity for survival makes me think that it must be as powerful as they say it is - as well as smelling lovely! The essential oil, which has a floral, warm 'rosy' aroma, is removed from the petals by process of steam distillation, this is a very expensive process as rose petals are needed in huge quantities in order to produce a very small amount of oil, this results in the essential oil being very expensive too - at around £20 for 2.5mls ( not much oil at all). It is very powerful however, and only a small amount is needed at a time - you can buy a dilute version from The Body Shop at around £6 for 10mls - this is obviously less potent, but still smells quite strong. A lovely by-product of the steam distillation process is rose-water, this is much less expensive than oil and has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being a mild astringent, it is suitable for use on sensitive and dry skin. If you're feeling a bit puffy, put some on cotton pads and place over the eyes to relax and refresh them. Therapeutically, rose can be used to treat many disorders of the female reproductive system, including PMT, menopause and irregular periods., it strengthens and tonifies the euterus, often helping women prone to miscarriage. It is also an effective anti depressive, useful for post-natal depression or following the breakdown of a relationship ( prevents feelings of resentfulness and bitterness), it is also a great aphrodisiac and is liked by both men and women , this is why rose petals were scattered on the beds of virgin brides in Roman times - and still sometimes nowadays if you're that way inclined! It seems to have a good effect on physical self-perception and is a good one to use if you are going out f
                          or the night and need a bit of a boost, and also in the more serious treatment of people suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Due to its low toxicity, it can be used in a variety of ways and even to treat hyperactivity in children. It helps to reduce feelings of nausea, constipation, soothes gastric ulcer painetc etc etc etc and basically does everything you might want an oil to do! My favourite blend at the moment is:-rose-4drops, bergamot-2drops, jasmine-6drops, sandalwood-2drops, coriander-2drops, 2tbsp of almond carrier oil. Mix all of this together and use it as a sexy/sensual/relaxing massage(at the same time the bergamot will detoxifying any cellulite!) and if you want to add it to your bath, double the essential oil quantities and 2tsp to each bath. Lovely, mmmmm! You can put rose into an oil burner, diluted in water, or wear it as a perfume neat on the skin. If you want to be really clever - you can add up to 18 drops of combined essential oils to 30ml/2tsp vodka and store in a glass perfume bottle. The traditional blend for Angel Oil is Jasmine, Rose and Sandalwood. A good book on the subject of essential oils is 'Essential Oils - Susan Curtis' made for Neal's Yard Remedies ISBN:-1-85410-413-6 - £9.99 (I got mine at the Neal's Yard Shop near me)

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