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Ljg1006

Ljg1006
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Member since: 03.06.2009

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      28.06.2010 16:26
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      Would definately recommend to a friend

      I've just returned from a week in Guines, France staying in a 2 bedroom caravan owned by canvas, I knew which site I wanted to be on, checked the competition and Canvas came out the cheapest - £301 for 3 of us including the tunnel crossing for a week.

      The booking process was easy, all done online, the only thing I didn't like is that it doesn't give you the final cost of the holiday until a day or two later if you choose a travel option other than their free option (eg I wanted to go on the tunnel not the ferry). However, I read up and it did say if you weren't happy with the additional cost you could cancel the holiday and as it turned out they only wanted £31 anyway (which is included in the above total). I booked in Dec and paid a £99 deposit and the rest was payable in April (they send a reminder), I found spreading the cost of the holiday like this very useful cashflow wise.

      About 2/3 weeks before we were due to go a parcel arrived with a good sized canvas bag, a little t-shirt and hat for my son, a pack of cards, a GB sticker and a Canvas sticker, all nice touches (although last year we used Eurocamp and got a free French road map which was really useful).

      Check in was smooth and the caravan very clean and nicer than any I've stayed in in England furniture/decoration wise. We had our own garden area with patio table and chairs, 2 sun loungers and 2 sun chairs which laid back and also a charcol BBQ. We walked round the site and, in my opinion, Canvas seemed to have the nicer pitches, further away from the main site roads and nicely spaced out.

      We got back Saturday and I'd been emailed a feedback form to complete and today I've received a brochure for next year. They also offer 3% if I book again and if you've been more than twice you get 5% off. We will be going again next year and, if the price is right, I'll definately be using Canvas again and would recommend them from my experience to friends.

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    • marksandspencer.com / Online Shop / 26 Readings / 26 Ratings
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      02.12.2009 16:53
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      Look online for free del codes or deliver to local shop

      Checking hotukdeals I regularly come across postings for M&S and am therefore 'obliged' to take them up on their kind offers and relieve by dh of a few more pounds :)

      I find their site easy to navigate and, particularly when they are having a sale, it's easier than going in store, only to find they dont have the size you are after. The description are good and accurate, however I do find M&S sizes on the small side, particularly trousers. They do a whole heap of stuff I didn't even realise such as personalised birthday cakes, electrical items and personalised cards. They also tend to offer a good rate on their currency exchange, which can also be viewed and purchased online (although I've never used this service).

      The checkout process is painless and I've always managed to find free postage codes online so have never had to pay for it (which is a good thing and the reasons why I shall get to shortly).

      After ordering you get an email confirming your purchase and once the order is despatched you get another email with a tracking number attached.

      I have had in the past 6 months 4 orders from M&S, two to my mum's address and two to my own and this is where M&S comes unstuck slightly. They use a company called the Home Delivery Network for their shipping. The two parcels to my parents house were left one under my mum's car and another in front of their house, neither were 'safe' places and on both occassions it was raining, the box under the car just got wet on the bottom but the box by the house got soaked through. Luckily both boxes just contained saucepans and were doubled boxed so no damage was done but if I'd have wanted to give one as a gift I would have to have removed it from it's original packing. The two that have been delivered to my house I find a little more worrying in that the delivery driver never knocks, he opens my front door and puts the boxes just inside, why he doesn't knock I have no idea, he doesn't even shout to say he's there or that he's been. I've emailed M&S about 3 of the 4 deliveries (the 4th only arriving this afternoon) and all I got in reply was a 'we are very sorry and we'll take it up with the delivery company'. So my advice is make sure you are in when the parcel arrives or you put an address down where it's guaranteed someone will be there or heaven only knows where they'll dump your parcel!

      That said, I would use M&S again, as despite my moan all parcels have arrived quickly and all products were in perfect condition. As a side note however you can get the products delivered to your local store, something i did last week as I couldn't find a free delivery code, and that was a very simple process of heading to the ordering/collection desk with my confirmation email and being handed my goods.

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      • hallmark.co.uk / Internet Site / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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        01.12.2009 22:17
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        For a special touch these are lovely

        Ok so when I had my little boy last year my mum decided she wanted to be a Grannie (not grandma, gran or nana). Grannie cards are impossible to find on the High Street so for Christmas I resorted to Hallmark because I got a 10% discount using the code TESCO10 (tesco photo website).

        They have an array of different cards but I chose a Christmas, photo uploader card where you upload a picture and put it in to the card to make it even more personal. There was about 63 different cards to choose from a lot of 'cutesy' ones, they have Forever Friends, Disney ones and the other designs.

        Card picked I uploaded the picture I wanted, it was very smooth and quick. You can then change the wording on the front if you want so I added the word Grannie to Merry Christmas. You can choose the font, colour and size.

        Once you've done the front of the card you can 'turn the page' and fill in the inside with a personalised message, again you can choose your font.

        You can choose your card in 3 different sizes: Small (103 mm x 144mm) £1.95, Medium (137mm x 195mm) £2.90 and Large (204mm x 290mm) £5.80. The Medium is about the size of a dvd box and this is the one I selected. You are offered discounts for ordering 5 or more of the same card with the same writing on.

        Postage for 1 medium card is 49p. You can choose to have it posted to yourself or to the person who the card is for, what I liked about this option is you can pick the date you wish the card to be sent, so although I ordered the card 3 weeks ago it only got sent out Monday (delivered today, Tuesday). They do warn you to allow a few days for delivery but I assume this is to cover their backs just in case. Also, if you order before 2pm they can send the card out that day (which is great if you forget an occasion!)

        The payment process was smooth and clear and I received a confirmation email almost immediately. Mum rang me today to say that the card had come and it was beautiful, she said the quality was fantastic, the only thing is there was no writing on the inside, that could've been my error, I've ordered another one today this time for 'Grandpa' so he doesn't get jealous and for pure reliability from that first order I'd recommend them.

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          25.11.2009 10:58
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          A good stopping point or staying place

          Background: We are husband and wife in our 30s, 18 month old and Grandparents in their 50s. This was our first visit to France and our first time in a 'super tent'. My parents took their own caravan and have used the site for the last few years.

          Location: Situtated about 20 minutes from Calais this is an ideal base for the North coast of France, it's easy to find and Guines is signposted from Calais. Guines itself is a smallish town, it has several bakeries (we used the one in the sq which was lovely), cafes, small corner shops and on the outskirts there is a Carrefour supermarket and a Lidl (from the site take the first exit off the roundabout and just keep going along that road, the supermarket is about a mile or so on the left). We travelled to Bologne, Lille and Brugge from the site for day trips (Bologne can be done in half a day). You are also not far from Cite Europe which is a large shopping mall (although with the current exchange rate it's not cheap). There are also lovely beaches about 15 minutes away, lovely sand although a little exposed to the elements (we were there mid Sept).

          Site: The site is made up of different elements, touring vans, touring tents, supertents, static caravans and chalets. We booked through Eurocamp but noticed canvas and keycamps also do holiday accommodation there. It's a nice site, well landscaped and a one way road system. The only negative is I would imagine in season when it's full the pitches are a bit close together and it could get noisy, also we were near the main road which was fine til around 5am when the trucks started rumbling along (luckily we were awake anyway thanks to our ds), there aren't many pitches near the road though.

          Facilities: There is a toddler childrens park with little tikes equipment in and a park for older children. The park is based near the bar area and there is outside seating so you can keep your eye on the children. The facilites were running a limited sevice as we were there the week before the site closed for the winter. The cafe was expensive, I would recommend heading to the Carrefour and getting yourself a pizza if you want an easy meal rather than going there. The food we had was adequate.

          The shop shelves were pretty empty, you cold pre-order bread for the next day, although we always walked in to the village in the mornings and got bread from there.

          The swimming pool was nice, cleaned every morning, the only thing is to get to the changing rooms you have to walk outside which was a little cold, I imagine in the summer it's lovely. They have a big pool and then a small paddling pool for children. There is also a slide which runs in to a separate small pool.

          Toilets/showers: These were very clean, there was one incident where someone had smeared faeces around the toilet cubicle and floor (you have to wonder about some people!) but this was cleaned up very quickly. The blocks nearest us had one heated shower room with 3 showers, 4 toilets and some sinks in, these get very busy and I found the best time was either really early in the morning or late at night, however, the other none heated shower rooms were perfectly adequate and there was never a shortage of hot water.

          Price: With Eurocamp for a week in a supertent including the tunnel crossing we paid £251 in Sept, we are looking to go back next year (in a caravan this time) in June and at the moment the cheapest is canvas inc tunnel which is £315. In my opinion this is a bargain when you compare the cost of a week in england in a static van (just been quoted £800 in July for Bournemouth!)

          I would definately recommend this site to people but only if you are confident with driving abroad as there isn't much nearby to do. A lot of people use it as a stop gap before driving further south and it's ideal for this. We're going back next year as it suits our needs (my parents can take their own van and we can stay on the same site in hired accommodation).

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        • The AA Breakdown Cover / Transport / 26 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          24.11.2009 17:13
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          Approachable, friendly and easy to understand system cant ask for more.

          I am with the AA via my 'enhanced' bank account. I've always had breakdown cover but never had to use it until recently when, in the space of 2 weeks, both mine and my husbands battery's went flat.

          On both occasions I rang them my call was taken by a very polite, well spoken lady who was easy to understand and pleasant and the phone system was very easy to navigate (just one option and then I was talking to a 'human').

          The first time they said they'd be with me within the hour and they were, the man was very friendly, checked the battery for me and gave me advice on it. The second time I called I had to make an appointment as they were busy and I was at home (therefore not urgent). The appointment was for between 10 and 11am and the man arrived at bang on 10. He was also very friendly, I explained that my car had recently been returned from the garage after someone had gone into the back of me. He checked the work they had done for me to make sure nothing had been forgotten without me even asking which I thought was above and beyond.

          I have to say if my current account ever stopped offering the breakdown service I would definately check out the aa based on the service I've received so far.

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            01.09.2009 11:15
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            Please be safe.

            Just found this section and had to tell my story.

            Back in Jan 03 I decided to have a clear out. Started off by listing a ton of books on ebay. One, Void Moon by Michael Connelly, was purchased and the buyer sent cash in an envelope. At the same time the buyer had also purchased a ream of photo paper from a man in Wales. At some point in his trip to the post office he'd managed to get the two envelopes mixed up (which doesn't surprise me in the slightest now I know him!) - the man from Wales got £2.50 for a book and I got £15.00 for the paper. Being the honest person I am I emailed the buyer to explain what he'd done and got a lovely reply saying, send the £10 with the book and keep the rest, treat someone with the £5 and tell me what you've done.


            At the time my friend was having a hard time so I rang her up and off we went to the local pub quiz. 2 pints of lager and entry later and we won!! The prize being 4 free pints and free entry in to the next weeks quiz. I reported back to the ebayer and he replied again saying that I had to stay in touch as I was still playing with his money. Gradually the weeks went on, emails back and forth and, well, I kind of liked him, he was friendly and chatty and seemed genuinely interested in me. It turned out his 30th Birthday was approaching in May, he doesn't celebrate his birthday (long story, his brother was born on the same day but died at 19). Now I hate the thought of not celebrating, especially something like a 30th so I suggested he come down on the train (Durham to Nottingham) to meet me and we go out for a meal (eek!)

            The day arrived and I was beyond nervous, he'd never seen a picture of me (I hate pictures of me) and I was convinced he'd be disappointed. His train arrived and I watched him walk up the platform - at which point I was ready to run. I didn't, however, and we spent a lovely day wandering around town. I'd arranged to meet a friend after work (for safety reasons - I also had a friend texting me every hour to make sure I was ok!) so we met up with her and went for dinner, she really liked him too and the evening went on. He missed his last train home and was contemplating a hotel, I (probably rather foolishly) offered him my spare room and he ended up staying 3 nights!

            From that point on we spoke on the phone every night, and every weekend we'd take it in turns to visit each other. By August it was clear that we loved each other and I suggested that the only way to see if it was going to work was for us to move in together. I moved up to Durham at the end of Sept, keeping my flat in Nottingham and renting it out 'just in case'. The following November we got engaged and the September after we were married. We now have an 18 month old son and are getting ready to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary.

            The odds of all this happening are so extreme. The chance of him buying my book out of all those on ebay at the time; the chance of me getting the wrong envelope etc. Also I am a Policeman's daughter and would never ever meet a stranger off the internet, so why did I choose to meet Mr Ebay? I have never been promiscuous yet I was bold enough to invite him back after only being with him for 12 hours and then to let him stay the entire weekend! All in all it's confirmed my belief that if something is meant to be it will be and that there is love out there for anyone and probably when you're least expecting to find it....or as my husband says 'always read the small print when buying anything of ebay in case it states comes with wife'!

            As an end note I would never advise anyone to meet someone without it being in a very public place, make sure people know where you are at all times, don't worry about looking silly, safety is the most important issue, take a friend if you can and use your intuition.

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              28.08.2009 12:27
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              Make sure you book to avoid disappointment!

              The Mill House is just of the A1 on the A1231 outside Birtley. It gets very busy, especially on a weekend so I would advise booking. Car Parking can also be an 'art' but I did hear that they have extended the carpark to the otherside of the pub.

              I notice on their website they also do specials during the week - Quiz on a Monday, Steak night Tuesday and Wednesday and fish night on a Friday. Sunday night is live band night too.

              When you walk in the pub (I say pub but it is predominately used by people eating), it is quite dark, the bar area is fairly long but narrow. To the left is a dining area, the tables are quite tightly packed in this bit, through that room is a conservatory area which is nice a light as you would expect and has a more airy feel to it. To the right of the bar is another seating area and a newish back room with more tables in, this area didn't seem quite so 'tight'.

              The menu: It is slightly more expensive than your usual pub grub but for good reason - it's much much nicer! A Lasagne will set you back £8.50 but most dishes range from £10-£13. They also have a mussel bar if that's your thing (yuk!). The Sunday lunch, I would go as far to say, is the best one I've had in a long time, if not ever! I think it was around the £8.95 mark and you get loads, the meat, potatoes and yorkshire pud come out on your plate and you then help yourself to the veg you want, everything was cooked just as I like it, although mil did moan the veg wasn't cooked enough for her (but a.she always moans and b. I like them like that!)

              Service: was a little slow at times but then we could see they were really busy, it wasn't like they were just hanging round chatting, the meal came out surprisingly quick though and the staff were very friendly despite being rushed of their feet.

              Last year we had Christmas Dinner here - 5 courses for £18.95 - what I liked about this was you could either choose off the special menu or off the main one so if one of your party didn't fancy the Christmas menu it didn't matter. Needless to say we'll be going back this year!

              Drinks: I didn't buy a round but my dad moaned about the prices - that doesn't mean much and I've never heard anyone else comment on them

              This is my favourite pub/restaurant in the area at the moment for good quality food a little more fancy than a 'normal' pub and after talking about it I may have to find a sitter and go next week!

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              28.08.2009 11:03
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              We love Spot books

              My little boy got this as a present last Christmas, but at 10 months old he didn't understand, however, in the last couple of months it's become one of his favourite books and is teaching him about christmas time (I know it's not all about the presents). I can see how, when it comes to putting our tree up and wrapping presents this book will help him get more excited and understand that it's Christmas.

              Spot is helping Sally set up for Christmas Day. Helping her move the Christmas tree, decorate it, wrap presents, open the door to carol singers and finally get his presents and open them (set over 11 separate illustrations).

              It's a very simple book, like all of the spot books, the pictures are clear and there isn't too much on one page to detract from what the page is about (if that makes sense!) - my only complaint is Sally looks very much like Spot and my son gets a bit confused. The story is short but the excitement is in opening the flaps and finding spot, generally doing he something he shouldn't be and finally getting to see what Father Christmas has brought him.

              RRP £4.99

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                26.08.2009 13:18
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                Would recommend to a friend just go elsewhere for a drink!

                I attend a wedding at Lumley Castle a week last Thursday (as photographer). Whilst we didn't stay over we did get to see the 'Bridal Suite' known as the King James Suite.

                Location - set on the outskirts of Chester-le-Street the hotel is on top of a small hill surround by trees it does give you the impression you're in the middle of nowhere, despite being 5 minutes from the A1. It's a great location for exploring the area, visiting Beamish, 15-20 minutes drive to the Coast or Newcastle/Metro Centre or 10 minutes to the historic town of Durham. It's also within walking distance (approx 10mins) of Durham County Cricket Club.

                There is a sweeping driveway up to the front of the hotel and ample parking there or to the side where there is an 'overflow' parking area. To enter the hotel you have to go round the side in to a court yard area and in to the far left corner, I felt this could have been better signposted, I got asked twice if I knew where reception was.

                The hotel - From the outside the hotel is beautiful, a lovely place for a wedding (and for pictures). The reception area is very dark - it is a castle after all and this is the ambience they clearly want to portray. The reception staff were very friendly but the directions they gave us to the bridal suite were a little confusing and it was only my sense of direction that got us there!

                In the centre of the hotel is a small grassed area with wrought Iron tables and chairs laid out for guests or those wanting to dine outside. This was reserved for the wedding party as they had chosen to have their drinks and photos out there.

                All areas we saw of the hotel (including those behind the scene areas we saw) were immaculately kept. But I did find clear signposting lacking in all areas.

                Room - The King James Suite is probably the poshest hotel room I've ever been in! You walk in to a 'reception room' which has 3 or 4 single high back chairs, and is very 'Olde Worlde' full of furniture from way back when (which I'm assuming not to be originals but later reproduction but wouldn't know for sure). There's also a TV and a desk. This room is probably bigger than my own front room. Off to the left is a small wash area and a separate bath area with a Jacuzzi bath in. Walking through in to the bedroom there is the biggest four poster bed I have EVER seen, I is floor to ceiling (about 20ft high!). The bed itself is quite a way off the floor, they provide some portable steps to climb on it! There is another television in this room, wardrobe, drawers and a dresser, together with a tiny room with a toilet in. The room was very dark (which I only noticed as I was trying to take pictures of the Bride getting ready and we had to bring our own lights in). I can't comment on whether it offered value for money as I don't know how much this room cost but it was certainly spectacular looking!

                Wedding - the wedding was held in a room along from the King James' Suite. It was a very bright room with plenty of windows and was laid out lovely by the hotel staff. Although it was very hot in there which is probably my only negative comment. Once the ceremony was over everyone moved downstairs to the Courtyard. The Hotel provided balloons for everyone to let off at the front of the hotel for a photo which I thought was a nice touch and didn't look as tacky as I thought it would.

                After the photos everyone went in to the bar area which is or probably was at some point the cellar. Drinks were very expensive, I only had a cordial with tap water and that set me back £1.40! I think a pint was about £4. From here we walked through the dance area up to the Baron's Hall. Again very nicely set out by staff and a lovely large room with an airy feel to it - I think because of the high ceilings. Whilst everyone had their meals, we went downstairs to the Library Bar for Afternoon Tea.

                The Afternoon Tea, whilst we didn't pay for it, I believe costs £10 per person.....we got 4 finger sandwiches each, a fruit scone and a pot of tea, it was ok, but if I'd have paid for it I'd have been a bit miffed I think as it was nothing special. The Library Room was very busy (especially for a Thursday afternoon) and the waitress was rushed off her feet, culminating in a backlog of tables waiting to be cleared and dirty pots on the counter top. Apart from this it did feel very decadent sipping tea in the room.

                Overall impression - A lovely place to get married, they'd put in a lot of effort for the wedding and it showed. The place was very clean and the staff were friendly. I would definitely consider staying here for a special occasion/treat and would recommend it on the basis of what I saw to a friend if they were looking for a base for sightseeing in the North East.

                Oh one small minor point - the uniforms the staff have to wear, I know they're supposed to be in-keeping with the castle but they looked hot, uncomfy and very unflattering!

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                  05.08.2009 21:00
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                  A good buy which my baby has certainly had plenty of use out of

                  We brought this walker for our son based on it's sturdiness compared to some others out there at the same price. He's always been a solid and tall chaplet and this hasn't let us down, before he could walk he loved the buttons, lights and knobs on the front of the walker (this 'console' comes off so can be laid on the floor which is an added bonus), plus he used to like swivelling the rollers at the bottom of the walker as they have what sound like hard balls in so they make a rattling noise and once he started tottering this was great, sturdy, yet easy enough for him to swivel round to come back (we have wooden flooring).

                  Now he's walking he seems to have lost all interest in it but I intend to get rid of the walker bit and keep the pull of electronic bit to see if he'll play with that as it teaches them numbers (1-4), shapes (heart, circle, square and triangle) letters (a to e) and a few words (apple, ball, car, dog and elephant). By moving the butterfly wings you can change what each button does - so wings open means the numbered shapes play tunes and the lettered keys play notes; wings shut and it does the numbers, letters, and words. Another neat thing is that you can change the volume (2 different levels plus an off switch)....great for when you're sick of hearing 'jazz it up or hello baby' lol!

                  The only negative I can say is that it has a telephone but whilst it slots in to the console it isn't actually attached to it so we lost that some months ago.

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                    05.08.2009 15:18
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                    Worth the money for the added reassurance

                    When I was pregnant we knew we'd have to get a baby monitor, this one peaked my interest with the sensor pad for added peace of mind, however, the price put me off. My husband then said 'if we don't get this and something does happen you'll wish you'd have spent the extra money' and, as it happened I got £70 from work as a leaving gift and I managed to get it on offer on boots.com at £85. I have to say this is the best £85 I have spent on my little boy to date (he's 18 months now and I still use it).

                    At first we had an issue, like a lot of others, of it going off constantly, however, we realised that you can adjust the sensitivity of the pad and ours wasn't set high enough thus it couldn't monitor his breathing unless he was deep breathing. After we changed the setting the only 'false' alarms we have now are if he's crawled to the top/bottom of his cot away from the pad.

                    The 'alarm' is a high pitched continuous beep which doesn't stop going off until it registers a 'breath' and then the light on the parent monitor will flash red just so you know that at some point it has gone off, it wont stop flashing until you go to the baby unit and turn it on and off again.

                    I do find the wires annoying but we just altered his bedroom round so that his cot is against a wall one side and at one end we have a unit to stand the baby unit on, the wires then tuck behind the cot so they don't dangle.

                    Our little boy had a febrile fit just before he turned one, quite common apparently, whilst he wasn't in his cot at the time, after we brought him home from hospital I found knowing the breathing pad was there laid my mind at ease no end thus no sleepless nights (apart from having to get up every 4 hours to check his temperature just in case!). It was also handy having the temperature gauge as it's an easy way to see if your baby perhaps needs an extra sheet or not. The unit also has a night light but we've never utilised this so can't comment on it.

                    You can turn the sound up so that every breath makes a pulsing noise on the monitor, but I chose not to do this, just being able to see the flashing green light is reassurance enough for me when I wake up in the middle of the night. We've never had an issue with interference and I'll continue to use the monitor and the sensor pad until such a time as either he moves in to a big boy bed or he disturbs us by setting the alarm off by moving off the pad.

                    All in all it works out that it's cost me £4.72 a month since he was born (£85 / 18months) which I think is a bargain.

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                    28.07.2009 20:49
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                    Worth a visit if you fancy getting away from it all for a few hours

                    If you've been to NY a couple of times before or are there for longer the the average 4 nights during the summer months then Fort Tyron Park and the Cloisters are worth a visit. Situated in North Manhattan on the Hudson River, easily accessible from Mid-town Manhattan, we took the subway up (A Train to 190th St and then a 5-10 min walk) and the bus back (M4) - the bus back was interesting as you get to see parts of Manhattan that, as a tourist, you probably would get to see and I definately recommend this.

                    The entry fee to the Cloister's is only 'suggested' therefore if you are tight for money you can make a donation, as much or as little as you can afford.

                    I'm not a fan of Museums, this one contains specifically european medieval works of art - not my thing but the people we were with really enjoyed it. Why I think it's worth a visit are the grounds, they're lovely, the building itself is also picture worthy (inside and out) as are the views of the Hudson. Plus sometimes, whilst the hustle and bustle of Manhattan is nice, it's lovely to get away from it all and this is what, to me, Fort Tryon and the cloister's provide.

                    Little background info - Rockefeller not only donated his collection and brought the land for a park and museum but also purchased the land in NJ opposite to turn it in to a public park in order that that the view from the museum wasn't spoilt by buildings.

                    I've given it 4 stars rather than 5 because I honestly dont think it's worth taking the time out to visit if you are only in NY for a short time or you haven't been to NY before.

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                    28.07.2009 14:26
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                    If you can get at a good price go

                    We are - my Gran (79), Mum (54), Sister (27), Me (33) and my 18 month old son. We go away every year but since having my son we've found it harder to find a hotel to accomodate us cheaply enough so this year we opted for a 3 bedroom caravan at Hoburne Naish which is just outside Christchurch.

                    Location - Just off the A35 on the A337 outside New Milton. Within walking distance is a tesco metro (20 mins walk) in the village of Highcliffe. There is a bus service just outside the park that takes you in to Bournemouth (although haven't used it). The park is situated on a cliff edge (you can see where some of the park has, at some time, fallen in to the sea). There is a beach which is accessible from the park, through a woodland area and down some stairs, difficult, but not impossible, with a buggy but impossible if you have mobility issues.

                    Site facilities:
                    Indoor and Outdoor Pool - They are in the process of building/extending the swimming pool area to include a children's pool, spa facilities and a gym, this was desperately needed as their old facilities were inadequate (particularly the changing rooms). These are due to open in the next few months.

                    Children's entertainment:
                    Park - with a separate area for toddlers - both well kept and my little boy loved it.
                    Small indoor play area - good if fancy a drink as there is seating nearby
                    Mini golf course (which could possibly do with updating)
                    Tennis courts
                    Arcade games room.
                    There is also something on nightly in the entertainment hall (although we didn't go so cant comment)

                    Drinks/food:
                    Adults only bar
                    Pub - which isn't actually that over priced and is typical pub fayre food.
                    Kiosk - in the Arcade/crazy golf area selling drinks, ice creams etc
                    There is also a takeaway service, we didn't use this and I didn't see it so can't comment

                    Other facilities:
                    On site shop which sells basics that you may run out of, we just used the Tescos in Highcliffe.
                    Launderette

                    Caravan
                    We had one of the basic caravans, the bedrooms were tiny and we had to ask them to come and remove one of the twin beds as there was no where to put my child's travel cot (even though they were aware we were bringing one). I personally, couldn't have slept on the single beds, they were as wide as I am (and I'm big but not that big!) and I like to spread out a bit, however, my mum and sister, who both sleep straight found them comfortable. The toilet was tiny - made pulling your trousers up difficult if the door was closed! Shower room was slightly bigger and adequate for our needs, the living area was probably the best bit, good sized table with plenty of seating, tv, fire, and a sofa area. The kitchen was clean and looked to be fairly new - full cutlery/utensils provided. There was also ample storage for us all.

                    Each area has it's own parking bay - we requested a caravan nearer a bay as my gran has difficulty walking.

                    I imagine in high season it could be very noisey, we had someone in the next caravan to us for 1 night and we could hear them walking around and the children shouting/playing (not great at midnight) but after that we found that the carvans around us were pretty much empty (we stayed at the beginning of July).

                    Overall this is a nice location and slightly cheaper than other sites nearer Bournemouth or Poole (both in 20-30 mins driving distance), a lot of the staff were new and clearly hadn't finished their training yet but everything was offered with a smile and all the facilities were clean and tidy, even if some where a little dated.

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                  • Looking Back at 2008 / Discussion / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                    18.06.2009 16:28
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                    2008 was a mix bag of emotions for me.

                    1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
                    I gave birth to my beautiful little boy, although it was a beautiful experience, birds didn't sing and my husband didn't weep at my ability to produce such a wonderful human!
                    2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
                    Aside from myself I had 3 friends give birth, two boys and one girl

                    3. Did anyone close to you die?
                    Not close as such but one of my friends lost a baby, he was born at 27 weeks and died 4 weeks later, I can't imagine what she must have gone through and is still going through.

                    4. What countries did you visit?
                    America (New York) and Spain (Gran Canaria)

                    5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
                    Hapiness, I suffered from Post Natal Depression and spent a lot of 2008 feeling very alone, having taken a course of Anti-Depressants I am pleased to say I came off them 7 weeks ago and 2009 is definitely on the up!

                    6. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
                    5th February, my sons birthday, 4th August the date Angel Charlie was born and 5th Sept the date he died

                    7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
                    At the risk of sounding repetitive giving birth, how he got out is still a mystery to me lol!

                    8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
                    Nothing really other than the odd cold thank goodness.

                    9. What was the best thing you bought?
                    The baby monitor with the heart rate pad - ds had a temperature fit and having the heart rate device was really helpful in stopping me panicking and having to go check him every other second of the night, I knew if there was a problem the alarm would go off.

                    10. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
                    My own, but that was down to the PND, some relatives just not understanding and making me feel like I was weird and in the wrong.

                    11. Where did most of your money go?
                    On petrol going to see my folks with the baby as often as I possibly could (320 mile round trip twice a month) and baby clothes/toys/food/nappies!

                    12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
                    Going to New York again with my son to show him off to our friends and Christmas!

                    13. What song will always remind you of 2008?
                    Plain White T's Delilah is one that sticks out

                    14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
                    a) Happier or sadder? Happier
                    b) thinner or fatter? A little thinner and getting thinner still hopefully!
                    c) richer or poorer? About the same

                    15. What do you wish you'd done more of?
                    Dieting so I wasn't the same size this summer as last! I also wish I could've enjoyed the baby months more and taken more photos of us as a family.

                    16. What do you wish you'd done less of?
                    Wallowing and eating lol!

                    17. What was your favourite TV programme?
                    I love Grey's Anatomy so probably that

                    18. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
                    I think hate is a strong word, there are people I've 'gone off' for one reason or another but no one I hate.

                    19. What was the best book you read?
                    I can't honestly remember, I do love reading and tend to read Crime/murder books that tend to be very similar to each other. I did read a book about Starbucks that I really enjoyed but can't remember the full title of it.

                    20. What was your greatest musical discovery?
                    Not sure I had one last year - nothing springs to mind anyway

                    21. What did you want and get?
                    I wanted a new laptop and finally got one when my old one gave up the ghost in December!

                    22. What did you want and not get?
                    Would it be wrong of me to say a Girl? I was convinced through my entire pregnancy that it was a boy but secretly longed for a girl. However, I wouldn't change him for the world now, he's one cool dude!

                    23. What was your favourite film of this year?
                    Not really a big film fan, I have a tendancy to fall asleep half way through!

                    24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
                    I was 32 in 2008 and I can't actually remember what I did! It probably involved a trip home as Birthday's without the family aren't the same.

                    25. Who did you miss?
                    My family, I know they're only 160 miles away but that's 3 hours driving time and I can't just pop and see them when I want
                    26. Who was the best new person you met?
                    Being on Maternity leave and having a new baby I didn't really get to meet any new people last year, I'm hoping to change that this year by joining a college course and hopefully changing jobs! Actually re-reading that I guess my baby should be the best person I met last year!!!

                    27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
                    That I'm not a bad mum, depression is something you can't help but it can be helped.

                    28. What do you want from Dooyoo in 2009?
                    To spread the word of some of my favourite things, earn points and get people's opinions on different products.

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                    • What's In Your Bag? / Discussion / 18 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                      18.06.2009 15:50
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                      I couldn't live without my bag these days - guess that's what kids do to you!

                      Oh gosh my handbag, it drives me mad, since having a baby I've gone from not having a bag to carrying what is possibly classed as a suitcase everywhere with me. Even when I'm not with him (like today at work) I still have:
                      A nappy plus wipes (ever since getting caught out at the Doctors without a clean nappy and having to beg one off another mum!)
                      Bum cream (for him not me!)
                      Spare plastic spoon (I'm forever going out without one for him)
                      A sachet of calpol, just in case
                      A small plastic box with a few biscuits in - for those please stop crying moments

                      Add that to:
                      My purse (credit cards and cash)
                      Mobile Phone
                      Car keys
                      Tissues for the ever runny nose I seem to have
                      Lip balm
                      Torch (which I got today for 25p and thought might be handy)
                      Feminine products
                      Gum for that need fresh breath moment or need to not stuff my face full of sweets moment
                      And a pen.

                      I even cleaned it out a couple of days ago because I was sick of looking for my mobile and/or purse and not being able to find it through receipts, tissues and other rubbish!

                      You're supposed to be able to tell a lot by what's in a woman's handbag - I dread to think what mine says about me!

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