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After the first Rugrats movie, I swore never to go again. Guess what? Here I am, another holiday, another, ‘Can we go and see it mum?’ and off we trot to the cinema! Rugrats in Paris lasted 1 hour 15 minutes and is a U rating in the UK. Despite enjoying the film, I still feel that it really suits a 20-minute cartoon slot better than it does a movie. I'm surprised that this is the second film because I thought that the first one would have been enough. I don't feel that enough different things can happen to make another 75-minute film. Let's face it, how many times can you see babies get into the same trouble and strife but in different settings? Personally, twice is enough for me. The only way they could get away with it is to start to evolve the babies - but it wouldn't be Rugrats then, would it? In the first film, Tommy got a baby brother, Dill. This time, I'm pleased to say that Dill has been evolved and now 'babbles' the odd word or two. There is also the introduction of 'Susie' another baby on the block. My children were watching Rugrats on cable the other day and pointed out to me that Chucky's new mum was in the cartoon series along with his new sister, so it looks like the continuity from film to series is good. I did like this film better than the first Rugrats Movie. I feel that this time the story was a lot stronger, although does it really matter as long as it is funny and keeps the kids entertained? This time round, the story hinged on finding Chucky a new 'mom'. The way the issue was dealt with from an adult point of view was quite well done. My children completely missed the significance of the parts, which I felt were quite poignant. In the parts of the film when Chucky and his dad were looking through old pictures of his mum and where Chucky imagined the clouds forming his and his mums face together, I felt quite a lump in my throat. Maybe because I wo
ndered if it would make my children think of their lost parent or not, I don't know. I expect it rang true with a lot of families out there who have lost a parent through one way or another. The escapades of the babies were as funny as they normally are when watching on TV and it was definitely rib tickling enough to have my 2 children, aged 12 and 9, in stitches. I even had the odd titter! There seemed to be a little poke at Disney's Lady and the Tramp, when Spike the dog went off on an escapade to find a lady friend. It wasn't a very subtle dig, if it was meant to be a dig at all, because my 9-year-old daughter spotted the similarities straight away! The film was very bright and colourful, which children love. It moved along quickly and even the little ones in the cinema seemed to be stuck to their seats, with the odd toilet trip interspersed! The animation was exactly what you'd expect when watching Rugrats on TV, fast, furious, well put together. Musically, Rugrats in Paris was a hit with the children, even if only for the Baha Men’s ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’, which delighted most of the kids, including mine and had me cringing! There were other little songlets in the film, which had my two tapping their feet. It was a good film for children and killed an hour or so, even though it cost me £12.40 for our tickets (£3.50 per child, £5.40 per adult in UGC), which I found a bit high. Thankfully we took our own drinks and sweets. If you don't want me to spoil your enjoyment of Rugrats in Paris, be warned, the next few paragraphs give a detailed account of the plot! Rugrats in Paris is the second movie taken from the animated Rugrats series on the Nickelodeon channel on Sky and Cable TV. It starts with the wedding of Grandpa Lou Pickles to Lulu. All the babies, Tommy, Dill, Angelica, Chucky, Phil, Lil and Susie are there playing the ‘Bobfather
’ (Godfather) game. This has sprouted because Angelica managed to watch some scenes of The Godfather film her parents forgot was on. Angelica, of course is the ‘Bobfather’, who grants wishes in a very dodgy Italian accent, to the unsuspecting, but ever believing other babies. Of course, the wishes she grants often mean that someone else loses out along the line. Angelica decides to grant Chucky a wish and when he sees all the mummies dancing with their babies, he decides that the one thing he really wants is a mummy. Chucky’s mum died when he was younger and although he has his dad, he yearns for a new mum. Cut to Paris where the Japanese are currently building ‘Reptarland’. (Weird, I know!) The main Reptar robot falls apart and the nasty Mademoiselle Coco Labouche, park director, summons her PA, Kira, to phone Ed Pickles and get him over to sort it out. Ed sleepily answers the phone in the middle of the night and by the next morning the whole Pickles family, including the dog, and all their friends are flying en mass to Paris. The babies get up to all sorts on the plane which includes finding what they think is a ‘mummy’ button. This is really the ‘call hostess’ button and they think Chucky might get his new mummy by pressing it. Unfortunately he gets a really nasty hostess who breaks his toy. Angelica, of course being a cut above the rest, is found in first class, being as obnoxious as usual. There is also a nice scene where Chucky can see himself and his mum in the clouds, which is a bit of a tearjerker. On landing in France, they are shipped to their hotel in Reptarland. Most of the adults crash out, which leaves Ed Pickles and Chucky’s dad Chas, to take all the babies out for a look around. They meet up with the lovely Kira, who is the PA and she takes all of them for a look around…or does she? The poor dog, Spike is left behind in
the hotel room, but spies a posh looking poodle running around the streets. When the maid comes to clean, he escapes and goes on a mission to find the attractive poodle. The babies find their way into Coco Labouche’s office and completely trash the place. She arrives and being the child hater she is, throws them all out – except Angelica, who has sat herself, hidden, under the desk with a large bowl of very expensive chocolates. Angelica overhears a conversation between the Japanese Head of the company and Mlle Labouche. The head is retiring and will be looking for a replacement, someone who is a child at heart and who loves families and children. Coco does not automatically get it, which leads to her telling her boss that she is shortly to get married to a man with a child! The conversation ends and Coco tells her right hand man she needs to find a ‘geeky man’ and child to dupe into marriage. A furious Coco discovers Angelica, but before she can be punished, she tells Coco that she can deliver a man and child. Poor Chucky! Angelica, being the mercenary little tyke she is, manages to get herself the promise of her own float in the parade, matching ponies and pretty dress if this all follows through. Meanwhile, Kira the PA is getting on famously with Chucky’s dad and she has her own child, Kimi. When she hears that Coco is planning on taking them all round the Park the next day she is obviously disappointed. The devious Coco makes sure she has a secret link up to Kira who tells her how to relate to the children to make them like her. Unfortunately, for Coco, kids are very perceptive and they do not like her at all. Baby Dill, who now talks a few words, is sick all over her front. Chucky decides that the Princess on the hill is the only one good enough to be his mum, and the babies escape from the back of a ride to go and find the princess. Kira alerts Coco and she sends the ‘ninja
8217; rescuers after them before Chas notices they have gone. This would otherwise harm her devious plan. The babies reach the top of the hill, lead by Kimi who knows all the short cuts in the park. They reach the princess, not realising she is a puppet on a sliding rail who disappears just as they reach her. They are captured in time and returned before Chucky’s dad notices them gone. Coco finds Chas a revolting, boring little man, but in her quest, she sends him a gold inhaler, which he says will remind him of her every time he wheezes! The poor guy has fallen hook, line and sinker, much to the other adults concern. Chucky tells the babies that he dislikes Coco and only wants the Princess for his mum. When Angelica tells Coco this, she dresses up in the Princess costume and gets rid of the actress playing the real one in the Reptar show. Chucky is overawed by the lovely voice and does not realise that there has been a swap. He goes towards the stage and Coco reveals herself. He is horrified and wants his bear that his mum gave him, returned. Chas is thrilled and says Coco is the one for him. The wedding is set and the babies are all held prisoner by Coco’s right hand man until the ceremony is over. They decide to jump into Reptar and try and get to the church to stop the wedding, after Angelica has a turn of conscience and admits she has been very bad. Kira travels with Coco to the church, but when she realises what is going on, she vows to tell Chucky’s dad. Coco throws her out of the car and drives off. Enter Reptar as driven by the combined talents of Chucky and Tommy. The babies, wearing special gloves, a hat and running on a special board, which corresponds, to the robots movements, activate Reptar. Coco tries to run through the ceremony quickly, but she underestimates the babies and they manage to defeat a robot driven by her right hand man. They turn up at the church just as the vicar goe
s into his, ‘anyone who knows why this can’t take place’, speech. Kira arrives on a ‘borrowed’ bicycle at the same time as Spike the dog and his newfound lady friend. Chucky enters the church and stops the service in time. Coco has to explain to the Japanese boss and is promptly fired. Kira apologises to Chas for not being able to stop Coco, but he forgives her….ahhhhh. Cut to USA where sometime later another wedding is taking place. This time it’s the wedding of Chas and Kira. Chucky get’s his new mum and a stepsister into the bargain. Kimi gets a new dad and stepbrother. The babies are all playing the ‘Bobfather’ game again, but this time with Chucky as the main man. The film ends with the new family dancing to the song played for mums and children at the beginning of the film.
I live in Southampton and although I think it’s a great place to live, it has hardly been the most exciting place for shopping. There are 2 smallish shopping malls, The Bargate Centre and the Marlands, which never appear to have a full quota of occupied shops in which to shop in. Above Bar is the pedestrian precinct, housing the bulk of your run of the mill stores such as BHS, Next, Woolies, Top Shop/Man, McD’s etc. Ocean Village, another white elephant is about to be re-developed in the next 6 weeks. 3-4 years ago, when Southern Newspapers moved out of their old building in the middle of Above Bar, it was decided by the powers that be, to build a huge, massive, happening shopping mall to help boost Southampton out of the shopping relegation zone and into mid table (a bit like their football team!) Southampton has suffered 3 long years of closed roads, building chaos and watching a concrete building rise out of the ground like a phoenix in flight. But it’s finally here…West Quay. I think it’s been well worth the wait. How do you get to it? What is it like? When does it open? What shops are there? If you read on I’ll try and give you an idea. How do I get to West Quay? West Quay is located in the heart of Southampton. There are good links with the local buses and the National Coach station is within easy reach. There is a brand spanking new bus station being built to make it even easier to get the bus in and out of Southampton. Shuttle buses run from the Ferry terminal to West Quay, so if you live on the Isle of Wight then there is easy access for you too. Southampton Central railway station is about 10-15 minutes walk away, but you can hop on a bus from just outside if you don’t fancy a bracing walk up the hill. For motorists there are ample road signs up to point you in the direction of West Quay. It is signposted from all the mains routes into Southampton, M3,
M27 and M271 as well as plenty of local road signposting. There are 2 car parks built specifically for West Quay. 1 is under the mall itself, which has 1500 spaces, and the other is across the road with 2500 spaces. It is linked to West Quay by a covered walk way. There are plenty of lifts to get you up to the shopping level so you don’t have to worry about walking up too many stairs. There is a ‘pay as you leave’ ticket system in operation and a small gripe is that there doesn’t seem to be enough machines to cope with a sudden influx of Saturday shoppers all wanting to leave at the same time. One draw back of all this lovely built on hand car parking is that it is devilishly expensive to park there. If you come to Southampton for a days shopping in West Quay, it will set you back an astounding £15 for the day! As a local, I would advise you to park in one of the other car parks and either walk to West Quay or jump on a bus to get nearer. The Marlands Centre, which is literally 5 minutes from West Quay, has a multi storey car park, which is cheaper (around £7.50), as does Eastgate Street car park. What is West Quay Like? West Quay is a 3-storey shopping mall. It has an obscene amount of floor space, which means nothing in square feet to me, other than it has over 80 shops. There are 3 different entrances from Above Bar, the linked car park and Arundel Circus. There are plenty of lifts available inside the mall to take you to each floor and to the car park under the mall. There are also escalators that are situated in the centre of the mall. One small annoyance here is that there is only one up and one down escalator leading to each floor. I have been in West Quay several times now and I always find that the escalators are heaving with people. It would be much safer if there could have been 2 up and 2 down leading to each floor. There have been a couple of small accidents where the escalators have b
een so over-crowded, that people have stumbled, resulting in the escalators being turned off. The building itself is absolutely massive inside. It is lovely and light and airy. The shops are set round the centre of the lifts/escalators. It can be a nuisance having to walk half way round each floor to get to the next escalator as they do not zigzag as most shops do. It is because the designers have made it that way to make people shop more. Cunning little devils, designers! On entering West Quay at the moment there are people handing out maps of the Mall. I have found these maps quite informative, because it is such a big place to navigate. It’s especially good if you get there for the first time like I did and are dying for a wee. The last thing you want to do when desperate is traipse around all 3 floors looking for a loo, which is just as well because, toilets are only on the 1st and 3rd floors. There is also a disabled toilet and a parent & child room on both floors. The loos are lovely and clean. There are huge cubicles so you don’t cut yourself in half trying to get in there whilst closing the door. I haven’t had experience of the disabled toilet or parent & child rooms. West Quay has an information desk on the Lower floor. There are lots of touch sensitive information screens dotted around the mall as well. There is a Crèche for children up to 8 years old, which is staffed with qualified people. West Quay also has a shopmobility scheme for those who are unable to cope with getting around by foot. Lockers are available which is good if you want to drop off some of your heavy bags. There are the usual public phones and a first aid point. You can also find a post box and cash point machines throughout the mall. There will soon be a Theatre and Cinema booking point available. If you would like more information then West Quay has its own web site. Go to www.west-quay.co.uk When Doe
s it Open? West Quay and John Lewis are open at the following times: WEST QUAY Monday 9.00am – 6.00pm Tuesday 9.00am – 6.00pm Wednesday 9.00am – 6.00pm Thursday 9.00am – 8.00pm Friday 9.00am – 8.00pm Saturday 9.00am – 6.00pm Sunday 11.00am – 5.00pm JOHN LEWIS Monday Closed Tuesday 9.30am – 6.00pm Wednesday 9.30am – 6.00pm Thursday 9.30am – 8.00pm Friday 9.30am – 6.00pm Saturday 9.00am – 6.00pm Sunday 12.00pm – 4.00pm What Shops are in West Quay? Where do I start? The main anchor store is John Lewis’s which spans all 3 floors. It is the largest store in the country, outside London. At the other end of West Quay is M&S that spans 2 floors. Some stores such as John Lewis’s, Next, Habitat and M&S have moved into West Quay from their current location in Southampton. Other stores such as Waterstones, Clinton Cards and Thornton’s, already have other stores in Southampton. Lots of designer stores are now located in West Quay, which is something that Southampton has never had before. Jeffrey Rogers, Karen Millen, Jane Norman, Gap, GapKids, babyGap, Monserrat and Eiseneggaer Klassiker are to name but a few. One thing that I’m not keen on is that most of the stores, which have larger lady departments, have put that section upstairs. To gain access to Evans means using an escalator to get up there, then a lift or stairs to get back out again. I noticed that Jeffrey Rogers works on the same principle. Do these stores not realise that the ‘average’ lady’s size is now a 16? We were trying to think of a type of shop, which is not available in West Quay. To begin with we couldn’t think of one. There are jewellers, men’s, kids and ladies wear, accessories, books/music, audiovisual stores, home ware, health and beauty, shoe shops, c
ard and gift shops, sports, major stores and food shops. BUT…there are no toyshops! Fancy creating a shopping mall such as West Quay and not putting in a toyshop for the children to enjoy. It means I can no longer foist my children off with the old saying, “If you are good whilst I shop, we’ll go into the toyshop when I’ve finished.” Once you have finished the West Quay shopping experience, why not sit and have a relaxing drink or a bite to eat? The whole of the 3rd floor is dedicated to food! My son will think he has died and gone to heaven when I take him to visit next week! There are 13 different types of eateries. KFC, McD’s, Jacket Spud, Haagen Dazs, Pizza Hut, Singapore Sam, Costa Coffee and numerous others. There is something for most tastes. Prices are not too bad, but you have to watch out. We tried Singapore Sam for lunch the other day and were extremely pleased with the price and quality of the food. It’s a Chinese fast food restaurant, which is good value and tastes great. It also fills you up, unlike McDonalds. If you don’t feel inclined to go up to the top floor, then several stores have their own cafes attached. John Lewis’s, Tower Records, Waterstones and M&S also have their own cafes in store. So there you are, the West Quay experience. It’s what Southampton needed and shoots us up there with the big city shopping malls. It really is worth going to have a look around and appears to cater for all needs. I apologise for this having been so long an opinion and if you have read this far, then well done and thank you. I always attempt to make my opinions shorter, but I like to try and tell people everything that I can think of to help them make an informed choice.
If you're one of those people who gets squeamish at the thought of putting something into your eyes, then stop reading here! I have to admit that I used to be a bit iffy about touching my eyes, but once I turned into my teens and realised that guys just didn't make passes at me in my glasses - it was time for a trip to my friendly optician. I started off with the 'change yearly' soft contact lenses, which cost an arm and a leg and came with gallons of different solutions to keep them clean. Gradually I progressed through the ranks to 3 monthly lenses, still with loads of solutions, then monthly high water content lenses and finally to where I am now...Focus Dailies. They are a one day disposable contact soft lense. I must admit that out of all of them I prefer wearing Focus Dailies. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first one has got to be that I no longer have to remember to clean them in plenty of time before I need to go out. I lose count of how many times with the predessors, I didn't give them enough time to clean properly and went out with irritable eyes! With daily lenses, you just open up a sterile blister pack and pop them in when you want to wear them. Secondly, Focus Dailies come in little sterile blister packs, all packed neatly in 6 strips of 5, into a little box. Don't worry if your eyes take different strengths of lense. Each box of 30 lenses has a L (left) and R (right) box at the end of it. The optician will mark which lense is which so you don't have to worry about muddling them up. You don't have to worry about changing saline solution if you don't wear them regularly as you do with monthly lenses, because as long as they stay sealed, Focus Dailies have a life of roughly 3 years stamped on the box. It means that when you go away, there is no need to take cannisters of saline, disinfecting tablets and all that paraphanelia with you. If it cuts do
wn on luggage then it has to be good. I'm a bit of a sporadic lenses wearer at the moment, but I do find that Focus Dailies are easy to pop into my handbag, just in case I need to wear lenses instead of glasses during the day. Obviously it is not a good idea to sleep with your lenses in as you will wake up with very sore and dry eyes. I have only fallen asleep with them in once and I would never forget again. Even if I've been over-indulging on pleasures of the alcoholic kind, I always remember to take out my lenses! It is recommended that you wear your lenses for no longer than 12 hours and that you give your eyes at least a day off of wearing lenses each week. Not all is so good with Focus Dailies however. Focus Daily lenses, as with all daily lenses are thinner than a monthly or weekly disposable. This causes them to rip and tear more easily, so handle them with care. I have found that on occasions, I have put my lenses in, only to find that they have ripped in my eye. As you can imagine, this can cause discomfort as I chase the two halves round my eye, trying to fish them out. The first time it happened, I was convinced that the elusive half would get stuck behind my eye and I'd never get it out. It came out in the end though. I have also found that sometimes when I have opened a blister pack, there has been no lense inside at all. My optician tells me that sometimes this happens but I don't think that this is good enough a reason. Surely if I'm paying for 30 lenses in a box then this is exactly what I should get. I'm going to write and complain to CibaVision who make Focus Dailies and see what they hae to say about it. My optician was kind enough to give me a strip of replacements when I told him. I normally buy my lenses from Postoptics.com. I found in the beginning that they were cheaper than buying from my optician, although I notice that lately the prices are
pretty much that same across the board. Focus Dailies cost £75 for 90 pairs (180 lenses). That is a 3 month supply. It is also possible to buy 6 month and yearly supplies. Postage is free and delivery is normally within 2 days if you have a run of the mill prescription and the lenses are in stock. If you wear lenses day in, day out, then daily disposables might not be the best for you. It could work out quite expensive in the long run. If you are a low to moderate lense wearer then you would gain from having daily disposable lenses. As with all things to do with your eyes, you should always see a qualified optician, before making the decision to wear lenses. You will need to be fitted for your lenses as you do for glasses. It is never worth it to take a risk with your sight. If you do decide to buy lenses on-line, then a reputable company, such as Postoptics, will ask you to provide a recent lense prescription from your optician. Once they have verified it, you will be able to order lenses from them until your prescription runs out. This is normally a year.
By now everyone must have heard about Tesco Direct and plenty of people use it. I have to admit that it is a godsend for our family for 3 reasons. Firstly, both my fiance and I are Chronic Fatigue (ME) suffers, so shopping via Tesco Direct saves us energy that we can ill afford to waste. We can also buy more of some items than we would have if we had shopped ourselves as we don't have to worry about packing it and getting it home. Secondly, we save a lot of money by not aisle cruising and chucking things in willy nilly. My shopping bill has decreased by at least £25 per month because I don't wander round the clothes and music aisles, buying on a whim items that I don't really need! Thirdly, we don't have to drag the kids out, don't have to suffer trolley rage/other peoples kids and having to shop in appalling weather. I was pretty sceptical when I first installed the software -I was sure it would all go horribly wrong. I was wrong of course. The software installed like a dream and connecting the first time for my password was no problem. I even had a little strawberry icon appear on my desktop saying, "Tesco Direct" under it! I only came unstuck when I stupidly thought, "Ah that's an easy password to remember - I can remember that!" 30 minutes later, I had phoned the help desk to ask if they could retrieve my forgotten password. The man was very kind and not at all scathing when I admitted that I had decided against the very sensible screen advice and not written down the password. So I sat there, logged on, and waited, and waited. The downloading of the database did take a little longer than I had anticipated, but it was soon there. After duly going off-line, I sat with the world of all things Tesco at my finger tips, a cup of tea at my side, no kids hollering "Do we have to go shopping?" and started my shopping. The store is separated into many di
fferent sections, just as it is in real life. Like shopping at a store for the first time after they change the aisles round on you - it took a little while to find my way round but I was soon off and running. I suppose that unlike real life shopping, the products will always be in the same place once you have found them. What is the point of moving round an internet shopping aisle? I came across two problems. First was that I hadn't actually written down my shopping list so I had to think about what I wanted or keep popping dowstairs. I also found my self trawling through sections that I didn't need to incase I had forgotten something. My resolution now is to write my list as I would have normally done and take it with me upstairs. The second problem is that if you shop yourself, you can tell by sight which size of item you normally have. I realised that by having only the written version of the product infront of me and not the object itself, I couldn't always remember which size I buy. I soon learnt after having lots of wrong sizes delivered, to write down on my list the size of product. So far these were only 2 small hiccups. Tesco Direct has a very good 'Search' facility. Sometimes I get to the stage where I can't be bothered to go through the sections so I bung the thing I want into 'Search' and 9 times out of 10, out comes a list of relevant products! Mind you, don't try searching for Quakers Snack-a-Jacks as I can never find them! The 'Home' button of course takes you to the home screen where there are plenty of offers, recipes and general information. You can now also view the next available delivery slot before you start to shop. Pressing the 'Trolley' button takes you to what is in your trolley at that time. Here you can add or remove items, edit the list, make notes and print out lists. It gives you a breakdown of each item in the trolley and a
running total cost. 'History' lets you view your recent shopping lists and gives the status of 'Delivered' or 'Accepted' you can click on a chosen past shopping list and select items to reorder rather than going through the whole selection process again. I find this feature very useful as I have pretty much the same thing most months so I can cut my shopping time in half by zipping through an old list and just altering the quantities if necessary. You will find a recipe section in here which has some wonderfully scrummy recipes in it. By double clicking on a recipe it appears with the exact ingredients you will need and to add them to your trolley you just click them. Again, you can adjust the quantities if need be. 'Order' is the magic button which zooms, or sometimes chugs your order through to Tescos. It is a secured site and here you choose the method of payment, delivery day and time as well as whether you want any substitutions made. You can choose same brand different size, different brand, same size or no substitutions. I know that people feel that you cannot shop around for the best deals, but a lot of the offers show up on screen and you can still collect your Bonus Points as your club card number if you have one, is entered on installation. 'Mail' brings up a new email screen, just type and send it away. I've not had cause to use this feature yet. A word of warning on the next one. Pressing 'Help' when you have you half written Dooyoo opinion in front of you, is not a good move, as it automatically brings up the 'Help' web page! I panicked as I thought I'd lost my pinion, but closing down the help page and scrolling back....there it was in its entirety. Phew! To be sure of not losing it, I copied it and pasted it into Word. I can assure you that this opinion would not have appeared, had I lost the lot. Anyhow, I digress. The 'Help
' section is a very comprehensive and useful section. It has plenty of possible answers to anything you may want to know. It can walk you through the whole shopping experience if necessary. The last 2 buttons are 'Exit' and 'About' which are pretty self explanatory. I have had no problem with the deliveries arriving on time. There is a huge range of time slots available depending on your local store. They are in 2 hourly times so you know when it is coming. My shopping is always packed well, I have suffered no broken goods and the staff are very pleasant and helpful. It tends to be a couple of ladies on my local route and you soon get to know them. Although I did feel a slight twinge of guilt about my cosy internet shopping when it was chucking down with rain and they were ferrying my shopping from the van in huge waterproof coats. When it is delivered they hand over a printout of your list together with the payment slip for you to sign. They then bring everything to your door. Even fresh goods are picked out in perfect condition, so if you are used to picking your own fruit, don't worry, you can specify on the notes section how you like certain fruits/veggies and they will do their very best to complly with your wishes. If you are not happy with anything, you can send it back and have it removed from your bill. I have only had 1 minor hiccup where a tub of ice cream (99p) was not included in my shopping. I phoned my local store, gave them my delivery number and they apologised profusely and refunded my Switch card immediately. What more can you ask for? I have used Tesco Direct since May 2000 and I shop once a month. I know that people complain because there is a £5 delivery charge, but look at it this way. By the time you have written your list, travelled to Tescos in whatever way, fought your way round the store, wrestled it all into carrier bags or boxes, trundled the lot home,
dropped half of it going up the front path as you carried too much trying to save yourself too many journey's, put it all away and recovered from the whole terrifying experience - you have spent well over £5. Just think that in the time it has taken you to do all of the above, you could have written some Dooyoo opinions in the comfort of your own home, with a nice cup of tea and earnt yourself some miles. Now I know which I would rather Doo! Dooyoo?
I recently had cause to call the new NHS Direct service when my 8 yr old daughter appeared to be suffering from cystitis. It was a Sunday evening and I didn't really think that it was cause to call out the doctor, yet I wanted some advice on easing her discomfort. My fiance suggested I try NHS Direct and found me the phone number - 0845 4647. I phoned the number at around 9pm and the phone was answered within 4 rings. A male operator gave his name and asked for a brief summary of the nature of my call. He took a few details along with my daughters name, my name and phone number and said he would pass on my details to a nurse who would then get back to me. He dealt with my call politely, and efficiently and I was on the phone for no more than 5 minutes. It had been no longer than 10 minutes when the phone rang and it was a nurse from NHS Direct returning my call. She asked a lot more detailed questions about the nature of my daughters problem, to enable her to give accurate advice. Luckily I had already made a list of my daughters symptoms and times that they occured. This was helpful in giving the nurse a step by step table of events. I was on the phone for about 10 minutes and the advice I received was thorough and most helpful. It allowed me to settle my daughter down for the night without having to inconvenience my GP. The nurse was very reassuring and said that if I was still concerned about my daughter then not to hesitate to ring back and if other symptoms showed up, then to call out my GP. All in all I was very impressed with the high level of service that NHS Direct provided. I was dealt with quickly, politely and with great efficiency. I already had an inkling of what was wrong with my daughter and it was nice to have someone on the end of the phone, rather than having to call out your GP who then tells you what you may already suspect. The phone number is a local call and you are called back with
advice. Well done NHS Direct.
Well, here it is folks, the long awaited (not) new Spice Girls record. It's 2 years since they released anything as a group and frankly for me it's not long enough. I've heard Holler a couple of times and I have to admit that it pales into insignificance for me. I think the reason is that they have all been doing their own thing for a while now, with various degrees of success and I feel that they have lost the ability to sing as a group without one of them wanting to be heard over the others. The Spice girls of old needed each other in order to remain in that number 1 position. This time round, most of them have had solo number 1's and aren't reliant on the others any more. There seems to be too many solo spots in Holler. Everyone appears to want to sing their own little piece and it doesn't work for me. Have the Spice Girls left it too late to pick up where they left off? I think so. The music world moves along so quickly these days that a record is hard pushed to stay at the top for more than one week. The music scene has changed and I think that maybe the Spice girls will have missed their comeback chance. Well I hope so anyhow, I couldn't cope with Spice Hysteria a second time round!
The Decleor Affinoderm is a full body toning mask. It will not give you inch or weight loss, but it will help to contour your body and tone and firm skin and cellulite. It is also incredibly relaxing and I find it helpful in dealing with my Chronic Fatigue. I am completely relaxed and my body feels toned and rejuvenated. What happens is that you undress and are provided with either disposable knickers or a thong. You lie face down on a treatment table and are given a back diagnostic, which is basically a quick back massage to help relax you and ease away some stress. Some aromatherapy solution to help break down cellulite is sprayed on your body, both front and back, working more on your problem areas. The therapist then mixes up a seaweed solution which is green and smells slightly of the sea. You lie on your back and she covers your body in this paste, front and back. You are then wrapped in a clingfilm type of covering and a large heated blanket is pulled around you to help the treatment sink into your skin and pull out the toxins. Whilst in this heated blanket you can close your eyes and relax or just nod off. It is so relaxing that you can easily nod off for 20 minutes. Some therapists offer a complimentary treatment whilst waiting for the mask to take effect. I have had a mini facial and a head massage, but these depend on where you have the treatment. Not all therapists offer this. Once your 20 minutes is up, you are unwrapped and go into the shower to wash off the seaweed mask. It can be a little sticky, but with a bit of good rubbing it washes off ok leaving your skin silky smooth. Afterwards when you are dry and with another pair of disposable knickers, it's back to the treatment table to have some after treatment aromatherapy oils sprayed on. These help to firm up the cellulite and moisturise the body. The oils are very light and not at all greasy on the body. They also smell heavenly! Yo
u are then left for a few mniutes to chill out before getting dressed. There is no aftercare, yet a course of 6 is recommended to gain full benefit of the body contouring. It cost around £30 per session and lasts for about 1hr 15 mins.
Feeling fat, out of shape or lumpy and want to tone up that skin, kick start your diet and lose a few inches to get into that sexy little black number? Well look no further than a Full Body Wrap. I lost 13.5 inches after my first wrap and 9.5 inches after my second wrap. I'm 1/4 of an inch away from losing a dress size on my top half. My skin feels lovely and more toned and it had also helped me to kick start my diet, as I have lost 3lbs too! UPDATE: I have now had my 3rd body wrap and this time lost 6 1/8 inches. My total loss is 29 1/8 inches! I wondered if it would stay off or, like my fiance reckons, go back on as it has to go somewhere in his mind. BUT, I recently visited John Lewis's to get fitted for some new bras and I used to always be a 36. The fitter now informs me that I measure 34. I can only say I'm thrilled! Here's what happened... I was feeling pretty low after my diet had ground to a halt six months down the line and was searching for some sort of treatment that would give me and my body a boost. I read an article in my local paper about this body wrap and thought I'd give it a try. Now I'll admit that it isn't cheap - I got in on a special which did 3 wraps for the price of 2 at £90 - so it's worked out only slightly more expensive than a facial. It would be £45 per wrap at normal price. Now what does it involve? Well firstly you have to take a spare pair of knickers and a towel with you for after the treatment. You are then asked to fill in a medical form and are shown into a cubicle where you undress (except for your knickers) and then pop onto the scales to record your current weight. It's a good idea to go for a wee prior to the next bit as when you are wrapped you can't go for about 1hr 15mins. On returning to the cubicle the person wrapping you then takes several measurements of your body, starting from your chest and finishi
ng at your ankles and wrists. To make sure that they always get the same readings, you have to stand with your hands behind your head for upper body measurements. To ensure that the next time you come the measurements are taken in the same place, they measure how far up from the floor each pen mark is to enable accurate measurement. Now comes the fun part! In a large sink looking basin is a murky brown liquid. This is the mineral clay solution in which are lots of elastic bandages soaking ready for application. They are in warm water so you don't have to worry about freezing whilst they are being applied. The bandages are applied from shoulders to ankle and if necessary around the chin area. I have to admit that you look pretty much like an Egyptian Mummy once the process is finished. I made the mistake of telling my children what happened when I had this done and then promptly regretted it when they laughed hysterically and threatened to tell their friends. Not a problem you might think but when you also work at the same school it becomes a sensitive subject! Anyway, I digress. Once swathed in these clay soaked bandages, which do not smell nasty at all, you are helped into a rubber tracksuit to help aid the soaking process. You have to wear lovely rubber bootie thing as well! After sitting in this strange attire for an hour, you go back to the cubicle and are unwrapped. You have to be careful when walking back as you may well have a lot of water sloshing in your boots from the bandages. It does get a bit chilly as the bandages come off, but you are covered up with your towel and then asked to dry yourself off and change into your spare knickers. After you have done this you are then measured again on the marks made previously to see how many inches you have lost. They guarantee a minimum of 6 inches on the first wrap. Once the details are recorded, there is an aftercare regime to stick to for 3-4 days to aid co
ntinuing inch loss. They recommend that you drink 3-4 pints of water, lay of tea, coffee and caffeine or drastically cut it back, stay off salt and fried and fatty foods. If you think about it, what is the point of eating all this stuff as it puts back in the toxins that you have just drawn out which causes the inch loss. They also recommend that for the next 3-4 days you shower in just plain water (except for your smelly bits of course!). This is because the clay leaves a residue on your body for these few days which continues to pull out the toxins. Showering using gels and things will only clog up the pores again. They recommend having the wraps about 1 week - 10 days apart and after a course of 3 you are normally 'wrapped up', meaning that they have drawn out as many toxins as they can for now. It is recommended to have one every six months just to keep everything toned and form. The inch loss is guaranteed as long as you don't go putting any weight back on. They say that once you lose 2 inches all over your body then you go down a dress size. I'm half way there losing it on my top half. If you want a bit of a treat I would thoroughly recommend it!