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blackviolets

blackviolets
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Member since: 08.04.2009

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      07.08.2012 13:50
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      After seeing an advert for Dexter on ITV I knew straight away it was going to be a series that I would enjoy. The fact that it was shown late at night also made it pretty obvious that this wasn't going to be a gentle crime drama but one with lots of blood no doubt. Since then some other channel scooped it up so I've had to get my Dexter fix from the box sets.

      Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter expert. That isn't all that he's good at though. Some people have hobbies that they enjoy. Maybe bike riding or painting. His however, is a lot more deadly. Hunting down killers that he perceives have gotten away with their crimes. Either by escaping the law or have not been punished enough. A serial killer. Albeit a nice one!

      This first series involves a murderer named the Ice Truck Killer. Not entirely imaginative when it comes to how he/she goes about targeting the victims. This character appears to have a connection to Dexter though and throughout the series it becomes obvious that they know what the forensic likes to do in his spare time. And so a game of sorts takes place. Where the Ice Truck Killer sends little messages to Dexter at the crime scene, in which only he knows what they mean...

      Portrayed by Michael C Hall Dexter is a complex person. On the surface he appears as a well balanced individual. He has a job, a relationship and a place to live. All aspects of your average normal person. He hides the fact that he doesn't feel emotions well and keeps his coldness underwraps. That is until he finds a target and begins the killing process. Then you can see the glee and enjoyment he gets from it. Personally I like him, as I think you're supposed to. Afterall he's taking down the murderers. The ones that got away.

      Other characters are easily taken in by him including his potty mouthed sister Deborah. She has a problem with controlling her emotions so it seems apt that she should play a part in this particular story. A direct opposite from the unmoved Dexter. One of his colleagues, Doakes, isn't taken in and he has an irrational dislike of him. Not quite able to figure hime out he believes that Dexter is hiding something and isn't afraid of telling him so either.

      A person who is ridding society of of individuals that cause pain and destruction on others? Of course you're going to feel empathy towards him. He can't possibly be the bad guy in this tale. Right? At times it can be quite chilling in how cold and calculated this drama is but don't let that deter you in anyway. It has moments of softness when you come into contact with Rita, Dexters girlfriend, and her 2 children. Characters which lighten the mood dramatically.

      Personally I love this drama as it is something completely different from other crime shows. I especially like how Hall plays the role of Dexter and enjoyed how the programme developed over the 12 episodes. Yes it's bloody and violent in places but it does have splashes of moments which make you smile in a fuzzy way! Maybe not one for youngsters but still a great show which has now finished it's 6th season.

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      22.07.2012 12:48
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      I don't really go for the books which feature in the 'Quick Reads' section of our library, usually I find that short stories are either too crammed in with information or that the plot line is virtually non existant. With the situation that I was put into however I picked up The Little One, not expecting much, and began to read...

      Barbara, a small time journalist not getting much luck at the moment, somehow has managed to trick her way into the home of the once popular actress Margaret Reynolds. Hoping to get information for an article it soon becomes clear that this former soap star has a secret. One which is connected to the house and one which seems to terrify her. This spooky manor has an eerieness about it and Barbara quickly discovers that she's going to get more than she bargained when she stepped inside.

      I do like a good ghost story, unfortunately they seem to be in short supply at the moment so I was pleased when I saw this. I have a need to be scared or at least a little creeped out when reading one though and in the few that I've come across have failed miserably. This one however has bucked the trend! Barbara is a nice enough lady, ok so her tactics are pretty dodgy to getting a good story. But then she is a journalist. I felt that her lies were slightly unbelievable and parts of this book didn't ring true. I couldn't believe that all of the characters were that gulible and just took whatever she said as the Gods honest truth.

      This book is really well written though. Whilst reading it at night and in the dark it successfully managed to get my nerves jangling! It uses subtle images, some of these aren't very original, to get you to imagine what's going on and it's more your own ideas that make this novel distinctivly spooky. As you get towards the end things start to fall into place and you do sort of know how it's going to end but that doesn't take anything away from it because by that point it's almost finished. I've heard people saying that they'd liked it to of been longer but I think that then it wouldn't of been as effective and may very well of ruined the tale.

      This is a novel that I would really recommend, especially if you like to be spooked. However if you're after a book that gets you thinking with lots of thought provoking moments then I'd avoid. It's a simple tale which gripped me enough into reading in one sitting.

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      03.07.2012 12:42
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      I don't get on with liquid foundations. Or any foundations not in cream/mousse form for that matter. No matter what I buy they are always too dark for my skin. That doesn't stop me trying them out though, always one for a bargain and as I saw that this was selling at half price (£4!!) I felt that it was worth a shot.

      As per usual having pale skin I opted for the ivory shade. I don't believe that there is a lighter colour and if there is then I've never seen it. It does look quite dark in the bottle which I'm always wary about because something that brown could never match my skin tone, however....I was pleasantly surprised! Admittedly it was the tiniest bit darker but not so much that it stood out. It almost was the same tone which was pretty good in my books because usually the ones I go for are a bit paler.

      I use a brush to apply this and so it blends in well, not leaving any tide lines or making me look similar to an oompa loompa! I did think that it felt quite heavy. Maybe this is because I am used to mousses which are generally a lighter.

      The packaging itself is pretty simple, as you can see, clear bottle with orange cap. It has a pump dispenser and I found that one press is enough to get an even coverage and you shouldn't need anymore. As with most products that have this pump as you get closer to the bottom it's more difficult to get foundation out but you don't really waste that much. The texture is quite runny as you'd expect but not so much that it is dripping all over the place.

      As I said I got this half price, usual cost is £7.99 depending on where you buy it of course. Although this was a good foundation I wouldn't buy it again as I prefer make up to be more 'airy'. It covered my skin evenly, giving a nice pick me up sheen. I just prefer mousse.

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      26.06.2012 13:00
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      Trawling around the shops I went for this product because it was a little bit cheaper than a Neutrogena cleanser that I was going to invest in. I am one of those people who when it comes to skin care items am a sucker for the 'brands' rather than a shops own version, however in this instance because it was a tea tree and witch hazel formula I decided on giving it a go. Considering the benefits that people always talk about of using these 'ingredients'!

      This cost me £3.49, more than what a shops own product would usually charge I should imagine but I didn't pay for it begrudingly. Not when I sometimes have spent more. It holds 150ml and is a pale green liquid in a clear bottle so it's easy to see when you're starting to run down and need some more. The packaging has a pump action dispenser which you press down twice to get the recommended amount of usage for one wash.

      I do get a childish pleasure from seeing it transform from liquid to a foam literally as it leaves the bottle and it's nice that it is easy to apply as well. No scrubbing viciously is needed to keep the mixture from disappearing like some foams I've used in the past.

      For best results it does say to use Shine Control Day Moisturiser or Night Treatment Gel afterwards but I feel that that is them just trying to get that little bit more money out of you. Maybe a tad bit synical on my part.

      The scent is that of a faint tea tree smell. It isn't too strong and it's actually quite nice, almost refreshing because it doesn't have the overpowering perfumed smell that other facial products like to be pumped full of!

      I like this because it is gentle but works well. Exfoliators, scrubs, creams, facewashes and cleansers are all products I've used but it seems this foam is far more suited for my 'normal' skin. It left my face feeling clean and refreshed, soft to the touch and not uncomfortably tight or with red patchy areas. This bottle has lasted me a long time and I think instead of going away and buying a different product I might actually get another of these.

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        19.06.2012 12:47
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        I've read many Jodi Picoult books. Most have been very good, some have been non starters, one or two have had predicatable endings yet there's only one that has wasted what was a good story...

        Max and Zoe Baxter were once happily married but after years of attempting to have a baby and going through costly IVF treatments Max decides he's had enough. As the end of their marriage finally results in divorce they both take two very different paths from what they might of expected earlier on in their lives. As Zoe is comforted by her friend Vanessa which soon turns to love and Max turns back to drink, leading him to a more religious outlook they do not realise that these events will result in a battle of some unborn children. Three frozen embryos are lying untouched until Vanessa brings up that she could bear them. This needs Max's permission though and his new found religious mind has a problem with his prospective child growing up in a homosexual house rather than a christian one.

        My first thoughts towards this book was that it was a typical Picoult fiction. Resorting to a subject which quite a lot of people may not always think about. I have always liked how she writes from the characters point of view, not just one but all that are largely involved. We see how Max's mind works and why he'd think it would be better for a child to live in a 'normal' upbringing. What makes me take an instant dislike to him is not his alcoholism, his treatment of Zoe at the end of their relationship and somewhat thereafter. It is his decision on what he would do with the embryos should he win the court case. I think it gives a wrong impression of christian religion. Although I am not in anyway a religious person, I felt that Picoult concentrated more on the extreme side of it and doesn't focus that not all religious communities would feel this way.

        As the story progresses you get more and more attached to the female characters, even Liddy. Max's sister-in-law. There is not only the topic of a lesbian upbringing but also that of divorce, alcoholism, religion, jealousy and depression to consider. All of which contribute to a truely remarkable story. And then we come to the ending.

        I could easily of given this a 4 or 5 star rating but then Jodi Picoult completely wasted the story that she had writen by finishing it as she does. I mentioned at the beginning that sometimes the finales are slightly predictable. I have to admit that I wasn't sure where it was going. But then she ruins the whole of it with such disappointment. I wanted a remarkable ending to a thought provoking book. What I got was a weak attempt where no thought went into it at all.

        It was a dull and pointless finish.

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          12.06.2012 13:32
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          I have yet to find a shampoo and conditioner to rave about. There always seems to be something not quite right with it. So on another search I spotted the Herbal Essences section were having another sale on (anyone would of thought they weren't very popular!), £2 for a 400ml bottle? Yes please!

          It isn't difficult to recognise the Herbal brand with the vibrant shades and shape of the package I sometimes wonder why other companies don't think of a way to make their products stand out more. It's generally always the first item I spot at a distance in the hair care aisles. This time round it's a shockingly bright red, so even more visible than their other shampoos.

          When I think of red I think of berries of the straw and rasp kind, sure enough that's what you get. I can safely say that this is Herbal Essences most tantalisingly gorgeous smelling shampoo I've ever had the pleasure to stumble across. And even better is that it hardly fades! I don't need to wash my hair everyday and so it continually smells delightful. So very fruity but not the type of fragrance which makes people step away from you where it's too strong.

          Now let's move onto the more important bit; is it a worthwhile buy?
          Yes and no. The pale pink mixture is of a texture which is easy to handle. It isn't too runny that you end up losing it down the drain and it's quite creamy. After the first rinse however I had decided that I'd have to do it again because it didn't lather up as much as I'd of liked and it had left chunks of my hair practically unsoaped up, for want of a better word!

          It did however give a nice shine to my locks and made them look reasonably more vivacious! To the touch was the problem. Although it appeared better the ends of my hair was still dry and spikey feeling. Not exactly the result I was aiming for. And the top of my head felt ridiculously dehydrated. I did feel a little disappointed with the results. Yes it smelt nice but it didn't really enhance the condition of my hair.

          Afterwards I did buy the conditioner which seems to of done a great job and it's now far more improved but just using the shampoo on its own doesn't, in my opinion, make a difference.

          Item bought from Wilkinsons. Usual price £2.99

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        • Stuart: A Life Backwards (DVD) / DVD / 44 Readings / 43 Ratings
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          29.01.2012 18:36
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          A true story, Stuart a life backwards was first published in 2005 after a 4 year friendship between journalist and author Alexander Masters and ex-homeless person Stuart Shorter. In 2007 it was made into a film for the BBC which was well received amongst critiques and the public itself. I couldn't say what made me want to watch this, it's a serious drama showing the past life of Stuart. A man with a history of drug and alcohol abuse whilst also being in and out of prison. Nevertheless I tuned in and have never regretted doing so.

          Alexander Masters (Benedict Cumberbatch) is leading a campaign to free the Cambridge Two. His boss and her deputy were arrested after drugs were found to be being dealt in the hostel that they ran. After a meeting is arranged which is open to all we are introduced to Stuart for the first time. As he helps with the campaign an unlikely friendship grows between the two which leads to the idea of a book about Stuart (Tom Hardy) being written. Backwards. And so begins the telling of his life and what happened for him to turn out the way he did.

          Stuart Shorter isn't your typical person to be fond of. Violent, hostage taker, thief and the rest. Yet there is something so endearing about him. Despite his faults he is polite and well mannered. Especially towards women. As he says himself, he has led a very controversial and unpleasant life. However he is incapable of blaming his misfortune on other people, even though in some cases he has good reason to do so.

          Alexander, oddly enough, does have similarities to Stuart. Middle class he isn't altogether interested in the homeless, strange for a man who works as a fundraiser at a homeless hostel. There is a bit of a snobbery about him but somehow Stuart manages to rid him of it. At times I felt that he pushes Stuart too far in getting to tell him about his past but maybe this helped so as to get the best results. There is a politeness about him and he does have a good deal of patience. Just as likeable as Stuart, put together this makes them a rather odd couple yet there is a deep understanding between the pair. As though they both regard the other in high esteem despite their different backgrounds.

          Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch play the roles remarkably well. They make the friendship come to life and appear utterly believable. Bringing small sparks of humour to the drama it hasn't been adapted by the screenplay to lighten the mood. These events all stay true to the book, making you smile at the little moments of enthusiasm that Stuart has for the smaller things in life. Had these tiny details been missed out the film would have been beyond depressing. But then, it's got a serious subject to tell. And in no way have the humorous aspects taken away any of the story.

          What with Benedict Cumberbatch becoming increasingly popular due to his role in Sherlock I've discovered that people are more interested in watching other programmes he has been in. To be expected really. This, in its own way, is a good thing because the more people are aware of Stuart Shorter the better. Bringing homelessness to the forefront, making others get some idea of what drives people to live on the streets. It not being one that anyone would choose to do, having no other option.

          Two songs fit the drama one is from the trailer called To Build a Home by Cinematic Orchestra and then from the film another called A Minor Incident by Badly Drawn Boy. Both are not the cheeriest of songs but they bring the right amount of emotion to the drama.

          Overall this is a difficult film to watch. However it is one that I will continually recommend to people. It's dark, contains nudity, strong language and violence (so may not be appropriate for younger viewers) but is a very moving piece. You'd have to be a cold person to not feel any emotion towards what's happening. If you're still unsure I'd suggest going to YouTube and watching some clips. As Alexander Masters states at the very beginning, it's a shame that Stuart didn't get to see/read it.

          Extras: Interviews with Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alexander Masters (worth watching) and two other directors. Plus a mini interview with a homeless man (Also worth taking a look at)

          Duration approx: 90 minutes
          Available on Amazon.

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            17.01.2012 16:02
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            Dry, chapped lips. My how I have had problems with them. Seemingly getting worse in the winter what with the cold dry weather and they don't improve much as the atmosphere gets warmer. I couldn't even estimate how many lip balm products I've bought over the years. From Nivea and Neutrogena to shops own brands or the pricey ranges. Each one with varying degrees of success. Although I have tried Vaseline before, both the original and the little green one (aloe vera?), it hadn't really impressed me. However I had tried a cocoa butter balm a while back which had seemed to of worked quite well and so I figured this would be worth a try. Even if it didn't work it would still be a good nice smelling lipgloss!

            In a little pocket circular tin, recognisable instantly as a Vaseline product, in contains 20g which is filled to the top. On looking at the item I had assumed that it would have some kind of tint to it however I was relatively pleased to see it was still the pale beige colour. So no unflattering shade to be concerned about. Just a healthy sheen.

            It glides on easily, however leaving my fingers to feel oily. The texture of it once applied has never appealed to as it always feels quite sticky and makes me want to lick or rub it off. Still no different with this product. Nevertheless I carried on with it making sure not to keep touching my mouth otherwise I would see no difference.

            Cocoa butter always smells nice to me, with its lovely sweet scent which I find none too unpleasant. I'm not going to taste it but I'd imagine it could be a bit disappointing to the consumer(!)

            After about a week I noticed a vast improvement, white flakey bits of skin on my top lip had started to soften and not be so brittle. In the past I'd been known to be able to peal it off in frustration. Although they can still feel a little craggy from time to time it is nowhere near as bad as before. It's one I'd continue to use and not just put it on when my mouth goes back to its old state though. This isn't a permanant fix.

            The lid pops off easily, however, it has gone up by a whole pound since I last bought it...in 2004 I believe...so a staggering £1.99!! *sarcasm intended* This is a great little item which you can stick in your bag or pocket and be on your way.

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            01.12.2011 21:24
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            After not getting on with a touch screen phone I went in for a model which included buttons! After a lot of searching and price comparisons I finally came across the Samsung Genio Qwerty. In short it's appearance is not unlike a blackberry, albeit a cheaper version with less qualities to it. None the less I knew that all I'd really need is a camera and just text and call options. All of which you get, plus a little bit extra.

            I bought this on Amazon for just under £60. The price including a battery charger, earphones, a manual and 3 different phone backs. One white, one black and the other with a little pattern on it. Unfortunately it didn't come with a USB cord so I had to purchase this online, a bit of a hindrance as I wanted to upload my photos straight away but the cost of this extra piece wasn't to expensive.

            As I mentioned it isn't dis-similar to a blackberry in appearance, in fact someone mistakenly thought it was one. The layout of the buttons is in a qwerty style with the numbers having a white background. They are really quite small so people with larger fingers may struggle a bit with only pushing one button at a time. To connect a wire there is a little clip which opens up and the volume settings are placed on the side.

            There aren't many standard ringtones but you can download your own or use songs from the music player. When listening to your tunes you must make sure you are in the music player section rather than in the 'files' as otherwise it won't play them one after the other. It has a built in fm radio as well as camera, games and internet. This loads surprising quickly!

            The battery life is quite lengthy, however if you don't notice how much is left it doesn't give you much of a warning to when it's died. The camera is ok, however it does seem to have a slight delay on it and the colour also appears dimmer when saved.

            I've had this phone a few months and haven't had any problems with it. It still looks in great condition, with no scratches showing. For the price I think I've got a great deal, it has everything I want and need and would recommend it if you don't want all the sometimes unnecessary apps. Great value for money!

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            25.10.2011 13:17
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            My brother is one of the lucky book reviewers (Books 4 Teens) that gets fre novels sent to him by publishing companies. To critique of course! After he was having a clear out stopped him from sending this one to a school library, having read the blurb at a previous date and becoming interested. Although it is intentionally meant for young adults it isn't the first fantasy series which I have recently become a fan of.

            Hush, Hush is the story of Nora Grey. Just your average every day student where nothing too exciting gets put in her way. That is until she finds herself having to sit next to Patch, a strange boy who almost oozes warning to stay away. Not that Nora can. After being set the task of finding things out about their partner Nora goes away realising that Patch seems to already know a lot about her. Whilst she is none the wiser about him, other than being very mysterious. As events which surely cannot be coincidental start to happen Nora gets more and more closer to Patch, albeit still highly wary. As she should be. An attack from someone wearing a ski mask, stalking and voices in her head make for a more than interesting term at school. One which Nora is unlikely to forget.

            Let's get straight to the point. It's very like Twilight. The boy who nobody knows much about. Mysterious, attractive and she just happens to have to sit next to him. Right near the front of the class. Rather than vampires you have yourself another mystical creature and if you're looking for your vulnerable, inquisitve Bella? Well you only need to look at the main character Nora. Even if she is slightly less annoying. These are only minor observations and ones which I don't take as a negative. It would of been nice however if Fitzpatrick had of moved away from the similarities because the concept of fallen angels really does interest me. Having never read a story about them before.

            When she does go in to explaining about what they are I find a little bit confusing. It just comes at you with a barage of facts and not all of them made very clear. I felt as though it could of been spread out so you started to get some kind of idea before it was all confirmed.

            Nora is a likeable character however I found aspects of her personality to fit together. Yes, she's vulnerable at times, maybe even a bit timid of the male sex. Yet she's all set to search into the boys life and past. Not paying heed to any warnings or suggestions that she should be a bit more cautious.

            I liked Patch from the start, even though he has a bad boy air about him I couldn't stop myself from being sucked into his personality. For want of a better terminology! You can tell from his dark clothed appearance and attitude that he isn't someone to mess around with. Even though he hasn't displayed any outward signs of violent intent. Yet.

            There is an obvious desire theme as the story progresses between Nora and Patch. Even though it was pretty obvious that something would happen due to the two's chemistry. It was nice that to see Nora not acting like a love sick puppy though. She may not be the most confident of girls but at least she doesn't fall head over heels at the slightest bit of attention. In fact at times she even pushes Patch, however unsuccessfully!

            I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and one which I didn't take me too long to finish. Not to be a bit stereotypical but it does fit into the teenage girl genre. Yes the similarities to Twilight cannot go un-noticed, something which major fans of the vampire series may object to but it is in no way a rip off of it. The story is a lot stronger and you don't feel as though you have to read the next book in the series to finish off the ending. A nice novel which I'd recommend, especially if you like a bit of fantasy frivolity!

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            16.10.2011 22:31
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            A reasonable success The Mentalist first series started on Channel 5 in 2009 after losing House to Sky. Simon Baker plays the main role and despite protests from others I still believe that he looks like a young Michael Flatley! I began watching this after a chance visit on the channel which was showing the advert. I was interested almost immediately and earmarked that Thursday evening to tune in, there in for the next 20 or so weeks that 9pm slot was booked in for a bit of criminal delight!

            Patrick Jane is an ex psychic now freelancing with the CBI in their cases. In the past he played the role of a celebrity psychic medium, using his 'paranormal abilities' he provided a service to people who needed comfort or answers. That was until he caught the attention of serial killer Red John. A big mistake to speak of him on TV in an almost provoking manner, that ends in the death of his family. Filled with remorse and grief he turns towars the police force to help solve serious crimes with his ability to read body language, use hypnotism and picking up on the tiniest things which might otherwise go un-noticed.

            It's clear that he is nowhere near close to getting over the death of his wife and daughter even though his colleagues don't appear to of noticed. This becomes most obvious when speaking to another psychic. The team he works with deal with the slightly more gruesome crimes, some of the scenes can be a little grizzly at times however their different personalities bring a good mix to the show.

            You have Patrick Jane, ever charming, he uses this at his advantage especially when talking to females. Never seeming to lose control of his emotions Jane is able to coax people into saying things which they may want to keep covered. Agent Lisbon is the only member of the team who really knows what happened to Jane, meaning he trusts her a lot more. She becomes more likeable as the series progresses. At first she is a bit too straight for want of a better word. Acting more tough than necessary and not appearing at all approachable. As time goes by she does soften and by the end I had become quite fond of her. Although there is a romantic interest between two other members though it does look slightly one sided, I felt as though there would eventually be some sort of involvement between Lisbon and Jane much to my disappointment. Cho brings a bit of humour to the show alongside Agent Rigsby, the two making a good partnership. The final member is Van Pelt. I have no lasting opinion of her!

            The episodes always start with a murder like a lot of other crime dramas, the main difference being in how unrealistic some of the scenes seem to be. Such as getting into someones house and then persuading the police that the owners are the ones intruding! There does tend to be a massive turn around at the end as well. Taking about 50 minutes for the whole story and then a very quick solution in the last 10. The show has a nice approach to solving the crimes and Patricks use of hypnotism is very convenient in getting the answers they want.

            I recieved this as a present and have thoroughly enjoyed rewatching it. It contains a whole mixture of aspects which can show that some crime dramas can be both serious and have humourous moments rather than being too much of one or the other.

            Unfortunately as it moved to a Friday night I have missed the remaining series and have only just got the next boxset. So no spoilers please!

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              08.10.2011 17:50
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              The first film I saw at the cinema was The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The intention was to see James and the Giant Peach but after we turned up too late my Dad had to make a snap decision. After watching it again the other day it reminded why it is one of my favourite Disney animations.

              Set in Paris (despite the lack of accents), we are introduced to Quasimodo and how he becomes almost imprisoned in the bell tower by his thoughts. All due to Frollo ( not Frodo as I had always thought!), the Minister of Justice. After chasing a gypsy woman he becomes responsible for death as he snatches a bundle from her arms. Frollo sees the tiny baby as an unholy demon but is stopped from killing him when confronted by the Archdeacon, becoming his 'carer' to save his already darkened soul.

              Twenty years later Quasimodo has grown up into a kind and sensitive young man, although he has been convinced by Frollo that he would never be accepted by the public. His ugly appearance would repel them and, as in many cases when criticised again and again, you're going to start to believe it. That doesn't stop him from a desire to just spend one day on the streets of Paris.

              The yearly Festival of Fools becomes a deciding factor in the story as, for the first time, Quasi begins to slip away from Frollo's grasp. Crowned King of Fools by Esmeralda, believing his face to be a mask, he is pelted by rotten food by the crowd whilst cruel Frollo sits back and watches. Despite Quasi's pleas. The pity of the gypsy lady leads the film into a dark and sinister side of Disney classics.

              Moving away from the usual sweet but magical animations they have delved into a story which, however much you disagree, does have a good deal of truth in it. Especially when it comes to the beauty of others. The message is clear - not to judge others by their appearance.

              It is by no means a light hearted film, showing a more serious side but comic moments are brought into by Quasimodo's gargoyle friends. After all this is still viewing for younger people.

              I liked how Esmeralda is no damsel in distress, she is a feisty character and stands up for what she believes in. This is what makes her my favourite of the Disney ladies such is the difference from the standard need of them to be rescued by a gallant prince of some sort.

              Quasi is shy and a bit naive. Too easily led by those who are nice to him. This is what keeps him so loyal to Frollo, afterall he did give him shelter, food and clothing for all this time.

              A love interest is needed which brings in Captain Phoebus. As the story focuses on Quasi he is not the most charismatic of people. You could almost call him a non entity, however you need him in the story to give it an extra bit of purpose.

              With all this is mind I am pleased that we were unable to watch James and the Giant Peach. Maybe not the most light hearted film for a 6 year old but I can imagine at the time I may not of picked up on some of the darker moments. Possibly appreciating it more as I got older. Whilst some people might get moved by the death of Bambi's Mother or Simba's Father it was the crowds humiliation of Quasimodo that got to me!

              The music fits in perfectly with the location. Especially when you see the grandness of the bell tower combined with the orchestral tone.

              My second favourite Disney classic which shows that as it was released in 1996 it can stand the test of time against the battle of newer releases.

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              • More +
                02.10.2011 21:56
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                How many people can admit that they say no more than yes? Whether it be to a social event of just to get away from market researchers. I for one most definitely fall into this category. Danny Wallace shows through out this book how much easier it is to simply decline requests.

                I'm not a massive fan of Wallace but his books do intrigue me a little, such is their similarity to Dave Gorman's writing. (I don't know who came first!) It became clear to me that the library wasn't going to stock Yes Man so I braved the Amazon marketplace book section and bought it for a staggering £1.58!

                Wallace states himself that his life has become dull, possibly more so since being dumped by a long term girlfriend. Then a chance meeting and a conversation with a man on a bus changes things. A conversation which ends with him being told 3 little words. "Say yes more." And so, as he relates his story to a friend it is understood that Danny has already began to embrace the suggestion..

                This is a delightfully funny read, one which is difficult to come across from other famous celeb type authors. I suppose this s because he is sharing stories which are probably quite recent to him writing about it. Making them more real to life if that makes sense. It is clear that there are so many opportunities that we fail to see in day to day life and that saying yes can change things for the better.

                Whilst I liked the idea of the book I am doubtful about some of the things which he agrees to do. Call me a cynic if you like. The fact that he travels to Holland after getting an obvious spam email saying he'd won over $20 million doesn't ring true to me. I know that the whole idea of this situation is to say yes more but really? That is a bit too extreme for me to buy into. It does make for an amusing tale though and it does add extra volume to the book.

                My opinion of this doesn't mean that I dispute everything. You have photographic evidence of his travels and of the people he meets, making new friends along the way. Some of it is just plain silly such as trying to track down this mysterious man from the bus. By drawing a picture of said persons face from memory and sticking them up in public places like a missing pet! Absurd and silly maybe so but it's fun to read and is especially good for when you want a light hearted read

                I can't say it has inspired me to say yes more but I can see how it could for some people. I would recommend this to you and it's well worth my £1.58 although of course you could just get it brand new!

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                21.09.2011 21:33
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                Herbal Essences are not a brand that I use regularly, generally I've always been disappointed with the results. Finding that they claim results which they can't give. So why bother buying it when they weren't even on offer? Probably because I'm a sucker for a gimmick and bright colours.

                At £2.19 the shampoo was more money than I'd usually spend but as I had gone for the bigger bottle I didn't mind so much. My hair is quite dry in places and the fact that this is called Hello Hydration screams that it could bring a good deal of moisture and softness to my locks.

                The bottle is actually clear so you can see exactly how much is left as the shampoo is a brilliant shade of sky blue. It has a curve in the middle which suggests that they could fit more in if it was the regular shape. It has a push down cap which opens up to let out the shampoo which has a smooth consistency. Not too runny but not so thick that you can't get it out of the bottle.

                The scent has a coconut fragrance to it which is really quite strong but it seems to have an aniseed hit to it. It doesn't linger for too long which is a bit of a shame because it does smell nice.

                It does give a nice shine to it but as for the dryness of the hair it seems to only work in certain areas. Despite the fact that I made certain to lather it up enough to coat from root to tip the ends remained a straw like texture. It isn't as if I use hair straighteners that often to give a reason why it would dry out quicker.

                It soaps up well and you don't need to use too much in one go. Due to its consistency you can control how much you use a lot better than some shampoos, this also means you don't waste any.

                To make this a worthwhile product I feel that you need to buy the conditioner as well for it to make any impact or improvement. Herbal Essences have again not lived up to my expectations.

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                • The Sims 3 (PC) / PC Game / 25 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                  15.09.2011 22:08
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                  The reason why I left Dooyoo is simply all down to this game. Rather than whittle away an hour or so writing I'd prefer to control a little virtual person. But hey, everyone has their own little addictions right?

                  The majority of you will already know the basics so, simply put, you are the ruler of a sim. Little people whose appearance, personality, goals and ambitions are all up to you. From what job they do or to the food that they shall eat. It's your choice.

                  With each new updated version of the game you get better graphics and just a lot more variety in things to do. Extras have been included when designing your sim. For instance you can opt to give them a face full of freckles or just have a more detailed physique. Actually making the sim is a process that I spend too much time on and although the amount of clothes on offer seem to of decreased you can now have footwear, accessories and jewellery available at your fingertips.

                  In the start up game there is only one town but you have a lot more access to it. When you leave your house to go to a community lot rather than having a loading screen you can follow your sim, whether they be on bike, walking or in a car. You can see your neighbours houses exterior rather than it just being your home isolated on a green or grey square.

                  Other activities include going to the gym, visiting parks, cemetaries or libraries. Some of the locations you don't have availability to the inside of such as the bookstore, theatre or maybe the stadium. But you never know, all within good time!

                  In the previous sim games you have a mood indicator but this time you receive points for doing little tasks. An example being when your character washes the dishes, earning you 500 points maybe. These all go towards your life time rewards which you can cash in to gain other qualities, maybe being a sim with increased fertality or being able to multitask. All of these can be very helpful in keeping your characters spirits up.

                  You could become a world reknown surgeon or an author, such is the choice of jobs which are available by looking in the paper or on the pc.

                  As each new game gets released the system requirements are going to be of a higher amount due to the graphics updates. (All of which can be found on the Sims EA website) This would be why I had to wait before buying the game having a computer which would probably of exploded under the strain.

                  In the options tab you can decide on the level of quality you want visually. Whether you want low to high in reflections, shadows of the details in clothing. Needless to say game play is affected by how high the quality you choose to have. I find that keeping each of the levels at medium gives a good balance. From time to time you may find your game picks up a bug but EA have updates given out, also known as patches, which when downloaded from the site can fix the errors.

                  Overall I am very impressed with the Sims 3. It has added choice which brings more variety and interest to the game. I have always found it very addictive and have spent many an hour wasting time playing it. Almost a year since I first bought it and I am still captivated, although of course I have expanded with the additional packs you can purchase. You can still get this from such sites as Amazon and Play

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