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My husband and I both suffer with hayfever, mine is an all year round allergic rhinitis situation that includes the classic hayfever symptoms of runny and itchy eyes and ears, tickly throat and the runny nose and sneezing. Whilst his tends to be much more focused on the nose issues and occasional itchy skin. Histamine is one of the chemicals produced by the body in response to an allergic reaction, the main effect of an anti-histamine drug is to counter the effects of histamine, such as runny nose and sneezing or itchy skin. Cetirizine is one of the main active ingredients in over the counter antihistamine drugs and Cetirizine Hydrochloride is the generic name given to the drug that is best known under the trade name of Zyrtec, being one of the branded antihistamine products. The other most popular antihistamine drugs tend to contain Chlorpheniramine and Loratadine. Chlorpheniramine is the main active ingredient in market leader Piriton. Chlorpheniramine and Cetirizine work in much the same way on the body. Cetirizine does not cause drowsiness and Chlorpheniramine can. Cetirizine has a long lasting action of between 12-24 hours and Chlorpheniramine is expected to last between 6-12 hours. Having experienced drowsiness and poor concentration in the past whilst taking antihistamines I avoid taking them if at all possible. Indeed, I do my best to avoid any medication preferring to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle as a preventative measure. Although this is a generic drug that is not supposed to cause drowsiness (British Medical Association). I do find if I have taken a tablet three days running, towards the end of the third day, I am very sleepy if I sit down in front of the tv or listen to music, I will nod off quite early in the evening. However, I am confident these tablets do not affect my ability to carry out the normal functions of my daily life, whilst some of the alternatives mean I cannot drive. Supplied in a mostly pale blue cardboard outer the tiny tablets are packaged in a blister pack and are easy to access by pushing through from the other side. Each pack contains 7 tablets, designed as one weeks use. The packet carries advice to read the enclosed leaflet and that the tablets are for adults and children over 6 years of age and one tablet a day. Bold and in a box is the warning: ?DO NOT EXCEED THE STATED DOSE?. There are the usual warnings and advice about keeping medicines out of reach of children and not driving if you feel drowsy along with an ingredients list: ?Each film-coated tablet contains 10mg of cetirizine hydrochloride. Also contains Lactose.? The recommended way to use them is to take one tablet at the same time each day. I buy mine in Lidl and stock up out of season when they are often at half price. Usual price is .59p working out at just under 8.5p a tablet and I think that is a bargain to alleviate the discomfort and anti-social symptoms of hayfever. Piriton is currently working out at just over 11p per tablet from Boots (June 2014). I am happy to highly recommend these hayfever and allergy relief tablets, especially as they work well for both my husband and myself, they are fairly quick acting and do not cause drowsiness or lack of concentration which is a side effect my husband has from Piriton meaning that he cannot drive if he takes those.
Twix: Right Twix or Left Twix, Left Twix or Right Twix, which is your favourite? Only you can decide. You must have been living in a cave in outer Mongolia to have missed the recent round of Twix advertising, I don''t watch much TV, indeed I am extremely selective, preferring to learn by reading lots of reviews and even writing a few, yet I am familiar with that advert. Twix is a Mars product,first sold in the UK in 1967. That explains why it has always seemed to be around. Simply a crumbly finger sized sweet biscuit covered in a layer of soft, chewy caramel and covered (or smothered) in thick milk chocolate. Each wrapper contains two identical biscuits, making them ideal for sharing. Eating: I used to happily eat a whole Twix and have even been known to consume two. These days, I do still occasionally indulge in a whole one, but fore frequently find them ideal for sharing, either with my husband, daughter or a friend. Either way, it is necessary to bite into the finger through the chocolate and caramel to snap the biscuit and enjoy the mixture of flavours and textures in the mouth, it is almost impossible not to get a bit of caramel stuck on your teeth, however that means you can save that for later and lick it off by working with your tongue and savouring the last sweet morsel. I do find that one finger is sufficient to satisfy my sweet craving, indeed, half a finger will do that, but who''s going to stop at half a finger? Not this self-confessed chocaholic that''s for sure. Actually, what is so nice about Twix is that it is not too sweet, the biscuit is probably two thirds of the thickness of the total bar and the caramel layer is well balanced, so although it is sweet, it is not as sweet as say a Mars bar or a millionaires slice. Buying: Twix are available in several pack sizes: Single 4 pack Mini''s and fun sizes 10 finger family pack For the benefit of this review I am concentrating on the single (twin finger) pack. Twix are identified by their gold wrapper with red text. Nutritional Information: 250 calorie 12g Fat 7g salt 24g sugar Availability: Widely available from anywhere that sells confectionary. I tend to buy the 4x twin packs in supermarkets when they are on offer and there has been a really useful offer recently of 1 pound per pack, so at 25p per unit, excellent value for money. However at the usual single pack price of around .55p and I spotted them today in the petrol station for .75p. I tend to think twice before buying them which is better for the waistline!. Conclusion: Twix has stood the test of time and is a nice simple snack to aleviate that afternoon slump or anytime a sweet snack is required. Suitable for children, teenagers and adults Twix is a versatile tasty treat. 5/5
Bush''s first album The Kick Inside features tracks she wrote when she was just 13 to 16 years old, released when Kate was 19 in February 1978. All tracks written and performed by Kate Bush, the album was recorded over a two year period and used session musicians: ? Ian Bairnson - guitar, backing vocals ? Paul Keogh - guitar ? Alan Parker - guitar ? Paddy Bush - harmonica, mandolin, vocals ? Duncan Mackay - organ, synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano, clarinet ? Andrew Powell - synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano ? Alan Skidmore - saxophone ? David Paton - bass, backing vocals ? Bruce Lynch - bass ? Barry D''Souza - drums ? Stuart Elliott - drums ? Morris Pert - percussion ? David Katz - violin, orchestra conductor The Kick Inside album was produced by Andrew Powell, introduced to Bush by David Gilmour. Gilmour is credited as executive producer on "The Man with the Child in His Eyes" and "The Saxophone Song". Recording engineer was Jon Kelly, Wally Traugott did the Mastering. The Kick Inside made Number three on the UK Album Charts and has gained Platinum status. 1. Moving: Starts with whale music long before it became popular. ?How I move, how you mooove me. A sweet soft vocal ballad. I get goose bumps when I hear the opening whale music, it''s the anticipation that gets me every time. 2. The Saxophone Song: Predictably there is plenty of sax in this track, but not how you''d expect a song dedicated to the saxophone man to sound. ?There''s something special indeed''. Kate showcases her sweet vocals and opens up her range a bit here, this is a class 1970''s album track and there is something about the way she pronounces ?saxophone'' with the accent on the O that is very sexy. 3. Strange Phenomena: A taste of things to come with the vocal style similar to that on Wuthering Heights. Starts, slow and soft and builds a few bars in with the drums and cymbals coming to the fore, but never over the vocal. Nice catchy riff. 4. Kite: Up tempo track that bounces along with power and sense of fun. 5. The Man with the Child in His Eyes: I love this track, it is full of class. Strings are employed here to great effect in this melodic beautiful soft ballad. 6. Wuthering Heights: The track that put Bush on the map. Begins ?Out on the winding windy moor''. A famous track inspired by Emily Bronte''s Gothic novel Wuthering Heights. Centred around the supernatural element of the book. Anyone old enough cannot help but remember the Top of the Pops performance of Bush in her long white flowing dress, wild hair and eyes swooping about the stage as she performed the track which made number 1. 7. James and the Cold Gun: The track that the record company wanted as the first single, young Kate put her foot down,thank goodness Wuthering Heights was released. This track begins like ?Smackwater Jack? by Carole King, with its funky lively bass line this is a jolly fast paced track. This is a nice enough track, but single material? I don''t think so either Kate. Thank goodness our young singer songwriter got her way! 8. Feel It: A nice piano groove starts this track. ?Oh I feel it, oh I feel it, feel it my love, feel it see what you''re doing to me''. 9. Oh to be in Love: A nice piano opening again, builds and grows to a catchy chorus: oooh oh oh to be e e in love, ooh oh oh to be e e in love and never get out again (repeat). A nice sound from the mandolin on this track and a deliberate slow bass drum sound, stunning male backing vocals mellow the Bush vocal. 10. L''amour Looks Something Like You: A cleverly produced track, using layering of Bush''s vocals, again the drum is slow and more prominent, this is a ?nice? pop song about being in love. 11. Them Heavy People: ?Rolling the ball, rolling the ball, rolling the ball to me'' starts Them Heavy People, again Bush''s vocal is layered along with the backing vocalists to create a nod at Bohemian Rhapsody style vocal. Another jolly up temp track, The vocals seem to be about psychiatrists and philosophers. However, it also goes a little spiritual with the lines: ?I love the whirling of the Dervishes I love the beauty of rare innocence You don''t need no crystal ball Don''t fall for a magic wand'' 12. Room for the Life: A ?typical? Bush track if there is such a thing, all innocent, uncontrolled sounding vocals and an otherness about it. 13. The Kick Inside: The album title track begins with a lovely clear piano and Bush''s sweetest vocal. Before the strings accompany, a classy track, beautiful strings and piano. Immensely clever 3.34 minutes of sweetness. ?giving it all in a moment or two, giving it all for you''. Combining beautifully tuned piano, drums and guitar as well as string orchestration, the mandolin playing is exquisite,the saxophone seems to only appear on the one track. At times the percussionist has the opportunity to use some of the lesser known percussion instruments, there is a synthesizer credit although little evidence which is fortunate as they can so easily dominate.
Bounty from Mars is one of my favourite sweet treat snacks, basically desiccated coconut bound together and covered in a slim layer of chocolate, creating a coconut bar with just about enough chocolate to taste and enjoy. Along the top of the bar there are three lines of slightly thicker chocolate and these are carried down over the edges, either end is shaped as if the chocolate has slightly overrun and pooled there, however this is the same on every bar I''ve had so is a deliberate design. The confectionary is 57g and in each wrapper there are two small delectable bars to enjoy, each measuring approximately 70mm long x 40mm diameter. We find them ideal for sharing, I can easily eat a whole pack, however as my husband likes to have just one mini bar we usually share when he is around.
I''m sure I read somewhere that Bounty has been on sale in the UK for over 60 years, plain and milk chocolate versions used to be widely available, however, these days I find I do struggle to find the dark chocolate version that I prefer.
Packed in mainlywhite wrapper, featuring a blue sky and palm trees the word Bounty in quite large print and a cracked open coconut. The predominantly available milk chocolate version features blue text and features, whilst the plain version looks the same but the blue is replaced by red.
Made in a factory that uses nuts.
The packet is sealed, so as you tare it open it is possible to inhale the chocolate smell. Taking a small bite, the smell and flavour meld to give a nice hit of sweet coconut and chocolate, although the chocolate content is very low, the mix is just right and each mini bar can be enjoyed in 3 or 4 bites. Although the coconut is sweet and sticky, it is nothing like as sweet as coconut ice. The bar stays together well as you eat and there is very little chance of crumbs being dropped.
I blitz two packs in the Magimix to add to homemade cheesecake, create a yummy cheats cheesecake (bought in plain vanilla sprinkle the bounty chips on top). Bounty is an ideal flavoursome ingredient and the dark chocolate speckles the cheesecake mixture giving an unusual and attractive appearance. Also lovely added to a basic recipe to make coconut and chocolate cupcakes.
Widely available individually and in packs of four. The four pack sells for 1.79 in most stores and 1.00 at Asda (May 2014). Also Funsize10 pack totally 285g at 2.88.
I really like Bounty, I can gladly eat a whole one as a snack or dessert and sharing so that I have half a bar is a nice way to get a sweet chocolate fix and have maybe a few strawberries or blueberries as well. Being coconut based it is one of the healthier chocolate snacks available at 1.00 for four bars we are eating quite a few at the moment.
Berol Handwriting Pen
I had no idea these pens even still existed until we had an old retired teacher come to our school to give some students one to one English lessons and she identified that one of them was struggling to hold and use a pen and would benefit from one of these. We started to stock them in the school shop and they sell at just 35p each. Available in black, red or blue as these are aimed at students the school stocks blue and black. I have started to use these when I realised my usual nice writing pen had gone missing and decided to give one of these cheapies a try. They really are very easy to write tidily with and are a nice thickness and texture to hold. The barrel of the pens is red and the lid is colour coded to the colour of the pen as is the end piece. Somewhere between a felt pen and biro, these are not quite the fashionable gel pens we have come to love, these traditional pens are finer than most colouring style felt pens and I used to sometimes buy fine liners from the school shop to use for things like card making and outlining, however these are far superior, despite being 20p per pen cheaper, they actually do a better job for these functions as well as handwriting.
As I am left handed a smudge free pen is essential and I do find that some Gel pens smudge. Not so these little bargain priced beauties. I can read back what I have written and it is smudge free, which is so much easier than having to try and write at odd angles to avoid a smudge.
The only downside that I have found is that the lid does not stay on the end very well and is therefore easy to lose. Without the lid the pen soon dries out and is thrown away. The lid is very basic and quite small so is easily lost. I would also strongly advise keeping these pen lids away from babies, toddlers and young children as I consider them a choke hazard. This is especially a problem when the lid doesn''t stay on the pen in use as it means you need to put it somewhere safe and replace it before putting the pen away somewhere safe out of reach of tiny hands.
Supplied singularly or in packs of ten these pens are available from W H Smith and all good stationery stores.
Thank you for reading
VTec Baby Walker
I bought one of these for my granddaughter a few years ago and fortunately chose the red, blue and yellow colour option as it is now being used by her little brother. Other colour choices are Pink and White, Blue and Blue and I think there is a blue and yellow colour version now as well.
The walker measures approximately 40 x 45 x 15cm and is made almost entirely of plastic, with a large handle to hold onto or for a parent to use and has 4 caster type wheels. The height is not adjustable, but there is room to bend knees as the child gets older and bigger. The design is such that it gives them something to hold onto as they stand on one side and an activity centre on the other.
The activities tray is nice and includes rattles and animal sound buttons. There is a shape sorter incorporated and a lovely telephone. An especially nice touch for my musical daughter is a toy keyboard, so the children can join in whilst mum practices on her Sony. However, it is worth noting that the activity centre requires three AA batteries to work, but they do seem to last quite well and are easy enoug to replace.
My daughter asked me to buy the walker and it is a useful option to help ensure the toddler is occupied and safe whilst learning to stand and walk, they have both loved playing with the various activates and the walker still looks good now being used for the second time.
The negatives are that all the activity rattles and cogs and keys are a bit tricky to clean, however they do come up looking good with a bit of an effort. We tend to clean it with surface wipes. The phone detaches and falls off the table. An adjustable height would be fabulous, although bigger toddlers can and do kneel to play with it.
Marketed at age six months and upwards, I think both of ours started using at about seven to 8 months and my granddaughter carried on until about nineteen months.
A useful feature is that the activity centre clips on and off easily, with a simple clip either side and this means that it can be used in a high chair or whilst sitting on a sofa.
Priced at just 19.99 this walker does represent excellent value for money, although I do sometimes wonder if a more expensive brand might have been a little better. That said it is functional, the kids love it and it''s stood the test of time.
Available from Argos and other outlets at around 24.99 at time of writing (May 20.14).
Thank you for reading
Not just for boys!
I remember back in the day when Yorkie was launched and marketed as a MANS chocolate bar, I don''t really know why, apart from being sweeter than some other versions it is only Nestle Chocolate after all. When they launched the Biscuit and Raisin version I loved it so much I used to buy them by the case load and eat quite a lot too. However, it is the Yorkie Original Milk Chocolate Bar that I am reviewing here and for the sake of this review I am chewing a chunk as I type.
The 55g bar features 4 chunks of creamy sweet milk chocolate. Each chunk is a satisfying full mouthful and as the chocolate wraps itself around my teeth and gums I experience the full benefit of the texture and flavour. The texture is almost flaky, soft and very slightly chewy, the flavour is a full blast of cocoa nicely sweetened to deliver a delicious flavour that entices all the taste buds. The chocolate is smooth and is just the right colour. The four chunks deliver a satisfying snack to keep me going through the rest of the day.
Each bar has 299 Kcals and by reading the packet also has 3.2g of protein, 33.0g of carbohydrates, 32.4g sugar, with 16.8g of fat and small amounts of fibre, sodium and salt.
Easily recognised by the blue wrapper and large YORKIE logo, I bought my most recent acquisition as part of a 4 pack from Morrison''s. They are available singly from just about anywhere that sells confectionary and most supermarkets do multi packs from time to time as well.
I recommend Yorkie to anyone who wants a sweet satisfying chunky chocolate, there is no caramel or anything else in this bar, it is just chocolate to be enjoyed. Four chunks to a bar make it ideal for sharing. However, I would caution against giving this to small children as the chunks are quite large, I would worry about choking hazard. So maybe not just for men, but this is an adult only bar of chocolate.
Last winter despite being lucky enough to miss most of the flooding, we experienced several power cuts, mainly for a few hours at a time in the evenings.
As this meant we needed an alternative light source to electric lighting, we soon powered through our emergency candle stash when I remembered I had a couple of scented candles in a cupboard that I had been given.
One of them was a Yankee Candles Lavender & Lemon, a perfect gift for me as a lover of both fragrances, supplied in a little jar reminiscent of a sweetshop jar, the candle is a pleasing mauve colour and the lavender in particular hits you when the jar is opened. I lit my candle and waited for the light to build and the scent to spread. Designed to give out a fragrance, I was disappointed in the light level from the candle, however I am probably in the minority using it for this purpose and it did bring a nice ambient light to the room.
The candle is actually called Lemon and Lavender, I have deliberately placed the names around the other way because the lavender is the strongest scent and the candle is lavender coloured! I love the smell of real lavender and the fresh clean fragrance of lemons. The lavender fragrance seemed to be sweet as if it were fake in some way and the lemon scent made me think of cleansing. The fragrance is nice, however it seems too clinical for my liking. I use Lemon for cleaning a lot and I do sometimes use a lavender fragranced tin polish and that is what the fragrance reminded me of. Now, I don''t know about you, but I don''t relax to the fragrance of furniture polish and cleaning products.
The strength of the fragrance was impressive though and I have sought out other YC products to try. The fragrance is a good strength and lasts after the candle is extinguished.
We burned the candle for anything from 20 minutes to about 2 hours on several occasions and there is still burn time left now, from a longevity point of view the candle represents good value.
As a gift, this was lovely to receive, the jar is reusable with a good stiff stopper and the candle looks nice and should smell wonderful. However, maybe my love of natural cleaning products is the downfall rather than the Yankee Candle, for me it is too reminiscent of cleaning products to enable me to seriously recommend it or enjoy it myself.
Would I seek this fragrance out to buy? No, however, as mentioned I will be trying some other fragrances and indeed have used 2 others already which I prefer to this version.
Price & Availability: I have seen these priced between 8-12 GBP depending on where you buy. I bought some in Waitrose along with some other candles.
Thank you for reading & I look forward to catching up with reviewing the other fragrances I have too.
I bought this recently to make up the value of an on-line order in order to benefit for a really good offer.
I have been a Body Shop customer for years and remember the Anita Roddick green ethos as something new and interesting. These day''s there are many companies claiming green credentials and I''m sure some are better than others.
The review here is for the Lip Salve from the fairly new Honeymania range and it is absolutely fabulous darling!
The container is circular, brown and looks a bit like a nutshell, although I suspect it is supposed to represent a beehive in some way.
To use the lip salve, I simply hold the little container in one hand and unscrew the lid which is half of the cylinder and represents a little Lucas Mini or Landrover indicator cover when taken off (yes really, I am female!). I dip my finger into the salve and then rub that along my lips. My lips are hydrated and shiny after application.
The shimmer soon fades, but the benefit to my lips remains and I find that as I only apply these type of products when I feel the need, I reapply this a couple of times a day when my lips feel the need for quenching or protection. If I apply in the morning, I do like to apply a second application at lunch time and a third when I am reading and writing reviews in the evening.
I have been using this on a regular basis since February and have barely dented the top of the balm, so I anticipate the balm will last me a good few months yet.
I am really pleased how well this product works. However, during the day I am delighted that this balm works amazingly on my lips, keeping them soft and comfortable and looking good without lipstick.
The fragrance is slight and soft, reminiscent of a slight thyme scent with castor oil and beeswax as you would expect.
Best at the mo:
I tend to always have some type of lip salve or balm with me in case I feel my lips need a little Tlc. I have tried lots, I tend to avoid flavoured products, because then the temptation is to lick it off, which is counterproductive as the licking actually dries out the lips. With the single exception of the Aloe Vera Gel that is in a huge tube and not practical to carry about this is the best product I use at the moment.
The only issues I have noticed with this product is that if you apply it and go outdoors on a windy day, dust sticks to it, which is not a nice look. Also, I don''t actually like having to dip my finger into the pot. I have had this for a few months now and it is only going to get worse as I get through the balm.
Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, the year before Emily Bronte's death at the age of 30.
Probably the novel that has received the most attention over the years, after critic after critic have disagreed, been left baffled and marvelled at its power.
There is no doubt that this is a powerful book and compulsive read.
The story begins in 1801 when Mr Lockwood rents a house in Yorkshire rom Mr Heathcliff who lives at a remote Yorkshire moors farmhouse, Wuthering Heights. Lockwood spends his first night at his landlord's house. Lockwood, one of our main narrators, has a disturbed night, was he dreaming or visited by the ghost of Catherine Linton. Lockwood returning to his home exhausted and disturbed, beseeches his housekeeper to tell him the tale of the Lintons, Heathcliffs and Earnshaws. A story that begins some 30 years earlier in 1771. Much of the novel focuses on this back story, mostly narrated by the housekeeper. Thus returning from a trip Mr Earnshaw returns with a raggedy, black haired boy who they call Heathcliff. The arrival of the young boy into the family upsets the status quo with Earnshaw's 14 year old son feeling usurped for his father's affections, meanwhile, Heathcliff strikes up a rapport with the younger sibling Catherine.
A twist of fate sees Hindley returning from college when his father dies, now married and master of Wuthering Heights Hindley takes great delight in making Heathcliff a servant and subjecting him to much cruelty and beatings.
The Linton family lived at the house Lockwood now rents. In a childish prank Catherine and Heathcliff spy on the family in their home. Catherine is mauled by dogs and taken in by the Linton family, Catherine stays for a while and undergoes a transformation, gone is the carefree girl, now in her place is a young lady. Catherine receives attention from Edgar Linton and falls for him. Seeing this Heathcliff runs away. For some reason to return a few years later, to discover Hindley's wife died during childbirth and Catherine now married to Edgar.
Running away was obviously good for Heathcliff as he returns a wealthy and cultured man.
A love triangle type situation ensues as Catherine admits to her maid that her love for Heathcliff is eternal, whilst her love for Edgar is likely to change. Catherine's sister in-law Isabella falls in love with Heathcliff and in revenge Heathcliff marries Isabella setting out to ruin the Lintons and get revenge on Hindley.
Jump forward a few more years and Heathcliff orchestrates the marriage between his son and the Catherines daughter. However, his son is poorly and dies, by now Edgar Linton has also died and it is Heathcliff who becomes master of Thrushcross Grange. Catherine dies at the age of 19 and in an act of cruel role reversal, Hindley's son Hareton is forced to work as a servant for Heathcliff. Featuring a carefully worked out chronological order Wuthering Heights set against the backdrop of the moody Yorkshire moors this tale of revenge captivates.
Science Fiction Young Adult Genre, not usually something I would gravitate towards, however, I finally succumbed a few books ago and thought I''d better write my review. Fast paced dystopian, as is so often the case with this type of book we are led into a future that takes a while to get to grips with. The uncomfortable truth is that all people are born into separate particular groups or factions which are Abnegation selfless Amity peaceful, calm Candor, honesty, Dauntless, for brave Erudite, academics. Then there is the other rare group Divergent. People are born into a group, it''s possible to change groups, this happens at the choosing ceremony, when they are 16 and go through a series of aptitude tests.
The main character is Beatrice or Tris, she tells her story in the first person. Tris grows up with her Abnegation parents. Tris is certain that she does not belong in the Abnegation group with the rest of her family. However, in order to change she has to move away from her family she chooses Dauntless. She then goes through an initiation process; struggles to fit in with her new group.
Roth''s novel is believable fantasy dystopian, capturing the imagination of the reader pulling you into the world, the reader cares about Tris, the characters are believable and touchable, at times there is cruelty; pain and Tris goes through many of the emotions that any teenager goes through.
I am carefully writing this review to tell you enough to entice you to read this fabulous book, yet being careful not to add spoilers, creating a problem for myself.
Basically, Tris discovers something about herself during the aptitude tests that creates further difficulty in her life it will never be the same again. Tris is a likeable character who is honest with the reader about her emotions and her. Another main character Four adds a bit of tension, he is complex and Tris clearly finds him hard at times, there is a relationship there, however like so many teenage romances there are complexities and emotions to overcome. The fast paced novel twists and turns and pulls the reader along at a pace, at times you are not sure what is really going on, only occasionally do you see what''s coming. There is a real dark brooding sense a lot of the time and you feel that Tris is constantly looking over her shoulder, wondering who to trust. This is a clever aspect of the novel.
There are definite hints of religion along with dread of persecution. I feel that Roth must have drawn from stories told by her grandparents, she has certainly evoked the feeling of dread at times and the occasional happiness in the face of adversity comes through too, ensuring that the novel has a realistic feel.
I would highly recommend this to those of you who love dystopian novels, it is fast paced and pulls the reader into Tris'' world.
Produced written and directed by Richard Curtis
Co-Producers: Debra Hayward, Emma Freud, Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones
Starring: Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh
Written and directed by Richard Curtis, probably best known for hit movies Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, in the Boat that Rocks Curtis takes us on a journey of adventure on the high seas.
Based on the Pirate Radio''s of the 1960''s it transports the viewer back in time to an age of psychedelia, free love, and rock & roll.
The premise is a good one put a bunch of chaps on a boat whose only common factor is that they are all DJ''s. Throw into the mix a lesbian cook an innocent 18 year old boy, some fans and there is some drama and laughs along the way.
Forced by the government to take to the seas in order to broadcast the terrible, evil pop music the DJ''s make unlikely crew mates and it comes across very, well that some of them get on and some don''t and one or two just don''t give a damn. A true to life factor being that the ego''s of some of these chaps far outweighed their talent.
A whole host of talented British actors are cast in the film, plus one American DJ The Count played by Seymour Hoffman. Nighy has a leading role as long suffering manager/ peacekeeper Quentin and manages to raise some ironic laughs with his genius deadpan comic timing. Ladies favourite voice ?Doctor? Dave is played by Frost, who despite his ordinary looks pulls most of the girls. On the airwaves his show is followed by ?Simple Simon? O''Dowd, who really does come across as ?Simple? and it won''t be a spoiler to say he even gets married on air, Simon''s innocence ensures a likeable character. Ifans takes the role of the flamboyant ego Gavin Kavannagh and is introduced by the Rolling Stones track ?Jumping Jack Flash?, the Rolling Stones track worked so well introducing the character. A most memorable parts for me was the deleted scene where Ifans struts his stuff to another Rolling Stones track in Guatemala. Well worth watching the deletes for this scene alone.
The 18 year old played by Tom Sturridge, who portrayed the innocence of youth and the coming of age scenes brilliantly.
There is a lot going on in what could be a superficial film. The government trying to close down the radio stations - Kenneth Branagh plays a bad guy dirty tricks politician.
There are far too many good scenes to highlight any, the story steamrollers along at a cracking pace with the wonderful Curtis direction ensuring polished performances from the cast. The story is told so well and it is easy to find yourself wondering which DJ each character was based on. A little love interest is added for Carl in the shape of Quentin''s niece who comes on a visit. Much of the humour is ironic and slightly cringe worthy, this is not a laugh a minute or non-stop thigh slapping type of humour.
Hotpoint ?Creda? Double Oven Electric Cooker 60cm
I bought this cooker in 2006 when I moved home from a house with a built in oven and hob. Mid range pricewise I am very pleased with my choice, but it has not been trouble free.
I arranged for the cooker to arrive the day after we were due to move in and hung around waiting for the delivery, it eventually turned up 10 days later. Well packaged we found polystyrene in places I never new cookers even had. The cooker finished in Polar White, with a black ceramic hob and graduated tint to the glass oven doors it looked stylish and shiny. I called an electrician to wire it in to the mains and fortunately everything worked.
The controls, situated along the front of the machine are very easy to use and consist of clearly marked simple dials for each function.
The ?Solarglo?ceramic hob has 4 heating areas consisting of a large front and rear with the faster/warmer ones at the front. There is a useful warning light that warns when the top is still hot.
The bottom is a fan oven and is large with it being a 60cm cooker and I have bought an extra shelf for mine, it comfortably cooks a Christmas dinner or allows me to do lots of baking.
The top oven is less efficient, due to doubling as a grill, the door does not seal well and I have never got on with using it for anything other than plate warming.
The grill has the useful half only or full width function and has multiple level and a robust grill pan. We use this a lot for keeping bacon warm and making cheese on toast.
One month after I bought the machine the oven went wrong and the Hotpoint engineer fitted a new thermostat and fan. Whilst he was there I mentioned that the top oven still smelt terrible when we used it and he removed some packaging we?d not found and said it was a common problem
After about 9 months and despite being very careful with cleaning and the cleaning products used we noticed that there was a build up of grease under the fascia front that we could not get to in order to clean. This has been an annoying feature of the cooker. At about five years old we had to fit a replacement oven light and then two weeks later a new fan to the oven. These were fairly easy for us to do ourselves and given that we use the oven several times every week it was not a hardship to replace those parts. A few months ago I bought a steam cleaner and have now managed to remove the grime from the fascia.
The oven is rated A.
I would recommend this model highly and recently looked at new cookers, could not find anything as stylish and useful at an affordable price.
I buy these occasionally as treats for my dogs and they are especially useful when settling a new foster dog to allow the three of them to settle down with something to do.
They are frequently included in our dogs Christmas stockings as well as for an occasional treat, but I do not buy them frequently by any stretch of the imagination, largely due to our old Greyhound getting tummy troubles, I am not suggesting that these were the reason, but they were one of the things we had to stop using. Before that we used to get them about every three weeks for the dogs. Unfortunately for us though the big dog size is packaged and marketed as a single "bone" whilst the small dog size is sold in packs of two. Making them quite an expensive acquisition.
The "bones" are not bones at all but a rice and cereal based processed chewy treat made to look a bit like a bone with marrow in the middle. Having a solid heavy feel and appearance the large version packs in at around 18cm and the smaller version is just 8cm with the width as well being comparable to the length at 5cm and 2cm for the different sizes that I tend to use.
Sold in packs of 1 Large Dog size and 2 medium or small dog size I used to buy these on my occasional trip to Tesco and I now pick them up occasionally when I see them on offer in whichever supermarket I happen to be in as they are widely available from supermarkets and pet food outlets.
Designed to be a chewy treat to give the teeth a work out they do have a slight rubbery texture when you take them out of the bag and I think this is cleverly caused by the rice gluten and I suspect they are made with the gluten heavy rice water we would throw away at home, if you think about it that sets in the pan that you drain the rice into. I believe that as long as you don't have a dog with a sensitive tummy these are an ideal occasional treat that gives the teeth and jaws a good workout as they work the jaw, loosen and remove plaque and will polish the teeth overall. Rice is one of the feeds to give when a dog does have a bad tummy, so these should be OK for most dogs. Jumbone seems to last quite well and it is a pleasure to see three little doggies lying down contentedly chomping away.
Worryingly the ingredients list has sugar as quite a high content and in something designed to clean teeth this is a bit concerning! These days too, it is important that we steer our canine companions away from sugary snacks as canine diabetes is on the rise as is canine obesity. So I have reiterate feed only as an occasional snack.
"RICE FLOUR, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, CELLULOSE POWDER, WHEAT FLOUR, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL POULTRY FLAVOR, DRIED ANIMAL DIGEST, DRIED MEAT BY-PRODUCT, POTASSIUM SORBATE, VITAMINS (CHOLONE CHLORIDE, D-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, NIACIN, RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE VITAMIN B6, VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], FOLIC ACID, DI-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE SOURCE OF VITAMIN E, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ZINC OXIDE, and COPPER SILFATE.
Each Pedigree Jumbone contains the following nutritional breakdown:
Crude Protein (Minimum) 7 percent
Crude Fat (Minimum) 5 percent
Crude Fibre (Maximum) 4.5 percent
Moisture (Maximum) 18 percent
Contain no artificial colours or preservatives."
Price & Availability:
As mentioned these are widely available and a quick check on Mysupermarket.com allows me to inform you that at the time of writing these treats are currently priced at £1.58 for one large £1.83 for 2 medium or £1.68 for 2 small or even better at any 2 for £3.00 at Tesco, Ocado and Sainsbury's.
Most dogs love these and benefit from them. There are some pleasingly good products in these snacks and they are fortified with vitamins and minerals, however, the high sugar content is a disappointment. They are trying to be a healthy snack/treat and pedigree are working hard to please the public with human standard hygiene in their factories and red tractor style traceability of all products used.
All in all these are a good healthy occasional snack to help your dogs teeth and gums and occupy an active mind for an hour or two.
When I was growing up I remember having Bonio Biscuits around as treats and training aids for the dogs. Naturally when I got my own dog, I bought some too, but she did not like them, so for years I stopped buying Bonio's distinctive 4" biscuits.
These day's however I have dogs that love them so they are back on the shopping list and are an occasional change from Shapes.
The biscuits are made with whole-wheat with added animal fat and vegetable oil and are also fortified with vitamins to reassure us that they are a healthy treat.
The biscuits are the shape of a marrow bone or a small dumb bell and snap easily into two or three pieces if required. I think they are designed for larger dogs and they are a nice size at 10cm long with a diameter of approximately 4cm being thicker at either end to make them a nice size for medium to large dogs and whilst my little dogs will gladly eat a whole one I do prefer to snap them into three and give them that way.
The dogs enjoy chewing them and I am sure they are a tasty treat with the fats and oils. They are a snack or reward treat and not a feedstuff - think of them as crisps for your dog. Having smaller dogs the smaller sized Shapes are a more convenient option for me, however, I do like to give them these as well now again, maybe for nostalgic reasons.
The biscuits resemble wholemeal pastry and that is pretty much what they are, being light brown in colour and the texture of thick pastry.
Price & Availability:
Priced at around £3.60 per kilo from pet stores or available in the red box that is easily spotted by the Basset Hound on the front in supermarkets.
Great as an occasional snack for doggies that ate not watching their weight!