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I would like to share my experience of premature birth with you. Each experience is unique so what I & my baby went through is unique to us, medical procedures, advice I was given & problems were our & ours alone, This opinion is written 15+ years after the event but the feelings still remain & cut deep, though I came through as did Ben. I have had four babies all born early, No 1 decided to arrive 4 weeks early weighing 5lb 5oz & spent a night in special care. No 2 arrived 5 days early & weighed in at 6lb 1oz & slept for 9 peaceful months! No 3 arrived 2 weeks early weighing in at 6lb 10oz nothing much to worry about with any of them. No 4 on the other hand, is where the nightmare began. Ben decided to make his unscheduled arrival 8 weeks early weighing in at 4lb 4oz, he was born at home by accident the whole thing was over in 7 minutes. The ambulance men arrived about 10 minutes after the birth & whisked us both of to hospital. On arrival Ben was taken straight to the special care baby unit. That was the last I saw or heard of him for 4 hours. My head was in turmoil I did not know if he was alive or dead. I just sat in bed & cried my eyes out, the staff were far from sympathetic & told me to “ pull myself together”. When my husband finally arrived at the hospital after making arrangements for the care of my other three children he was horrified at the way I was being treated & demanded very loudly that we be allowed to see our son. By this time I was convinced Ben must have died, as no one would tell me anything. We were told that I could not see the baby as there was not a porter to push me in a wheelchair & my husband was not insured to do the same job. Where did they think my legs had gone! Well we escaped; we literally walked out much to consternation of the staff. On arrival at the SCBU the staff were brilliant, totally different from the Gestapo downstairs, we were sat dow
n & offered drinks while the sister went to great lengths to explain what had been happening to Ben, we were shown his notes & it was explained what all the equipment was for & encouraged to read the notes. Ben was in an incubator as he could not hold his temperature & he had a feeding tube in his nose, we were allowed to open the sides of the incubator & touch him. All the equipment was very daunting with lights & monitors beeping everywhere. The sister stayed with us & explained everything & answered every question I could not fault the flow of information, we were told we were welcome on the unit any time day or night. Our other children would also be welcome to visit but anyone else would only be able to use the glass gallery, which was like a police identification corridor you can look but can’t touch. I went home again the following morning, I felt relieved to be out of that atmosphere & guilty at the same time. When I was at home my mind imagined every worst-case scenario & when I was there I felt guilt at wanting to be at home with the family that belonged to me & felt real. Most mothers of premies feel the baby belongs to the hospital no matter how many times you are told your baby belongs to you. My midwife still visited every day for 10 days & went through the normal checks, it all felt so empty I was being treated as a new mother with no baby to show for it. Every little thing that went wrong either at home or the hospital was blown out of all proportion, ah hormones I hear someone say, well yes that does play a part, but your mind plays a greater part. Then there are the practicalities to deal with. Tiredness plays a huge part, living on the edge all the time does more damage than the unbroken nights can cure. Most new mothers either stay & rest at home, the mother of a premie has to visit the hospital so its up & dressed the next day for the endless weeks of visiting, all the while feeling more & more detached from you
r baby. Then there are the feeds. Most mothers are encouraged to express their milk, after all a premature baby can do with all the help he/she can get, & you do feel as if it’s the only thing you can do for your baby. Well anyone that’s tried it may well vouch that it’s easier said than done. After a week & a manual pump I was all for forgetting the whole idea, when my GP came up trumps & provided a machine, the most undignified thing I have ever had to use, I know how a cow feels! A baby that has been tube fed for 8 weeks is impossible to breastfeed. Ben had no sucking reflex & as breastfeeding requires some effort on behalf of the baby I found he had been tube fed after every attempt to feed him myself when I visited. I was left with a new baby on homecoming who not only could not breastfeed but also could not bottle-feed, I spoon-fed him for a few days then found a feeding cup was the answer. Then there are the clothes, premuture baby clothes cost a fortune, if you know a knitter there are loads of patterns for dolls that do the trick, also dolls clothes are a great but make sure you check for nylon threads & the fastenings are safe, nappies are a real problem, folding the tops in help but the mess soon escapes the huge leg holes! Special mnappies are available but at a huge cost so you just have to adapt, one bonus is that it takes a lot longer for your baby to out-grow things. Then there are the endless when is the baby coming home questions from your other children. Lara was 3, Niccola was 5 & Donna was 7 at the time, I had spent 7 months trying to prepare Lara for the shock of not being the baby in the family only to give birth & not have a baby lying in the cot to prove it. Niccola proudly told everyone her baby was in a fish tank, well what does an incubator look like to a 5 year old? She finally got the hang of it & to this day still talks about eggubators, at that point I gave up! Then there are your visito
rs, most were very welcome but the ones who phoned & said they would visit once the baby was home upset me greatly & the phone never stopped ringing, explaining over & over again to people who wanted details only perpetuated the over vivid horror of it all.The best visitors arrived with a meal ready cooked in a casserole or a cake in hand, put the kettle on themselves & asked how I was then waited for news of the baby. One unlikely person with whom I had only exchanged a few words turned up & tackled all my ironing, she bought a cake & that fed me for days. A friend of a friend who I hardly knew phoned & offered a shoulder, she had been through the same & was the only person who really knew what I might be feeling, she listened to me blubbing on many occasions & always had the right words with indulging my sorrow, bless you Carole & Kate if you read this. You really found out the difference between friends & mates at times like this. Ben remained in his “eggubator” for 10 days & then advanced to an open cot, at this point he could be held at any time & I could do more of his care without fear of setting of alarms. Then the dreaded jaundice set in, in a premature baby this is monitored more closely which results in mum turning into a worrywort all over again. Then Ben developed an infection again quite common in a hospital but the one small setback seems to become a mountain, well in my mind it did. Why did my baby then develop the screaming abdabs, he started screaming within the first 24hrs & carried on for 3 years, I kid you not! I went to the hospital one morning to find Ben missing from his cot & the unit was quiet except for the radio that played constantly, my heart sank, I span around & then rushed to the nurses station, there I found a nurse holding Ben on top of the radio, she had found that the vibrations rumbling up through his bum quietened him, Rock music played real loud was the only thing that pacified him. Many visitor
s on his return home found the sight of a baby in a babyseat with headphones pumping Queen at high volume to his ears a hilarious sight! It’s a wonder he has not grown up deaf! Well Ben came home at 8 weeks old to match the time he should have been born. I had to attend the clinic at the hospital for his first year. I was warned that his milk teeth would be likely rot very easily as the enamel is laid down in the last few weeks of pregnancy, this indeed was true his milk teeth crumbled away, I am happy to report his adult teeth are fine & he has had no fillings yet! I was also told his development would be slower, he achieved all his milestones at the expected age, so that theory went out of the window, with the exception of talking, he spent so much time screaming I don’t think he ever heard anyone speak, & he also had 3 adoring sisters to speak for him. I was also told he would match his peer group in size by the time he was three. Now at almost 16 & in his last year at school the poor lad has never grown into school trousers that don’t have elastic in the back, oh the shame of it. Ben never outgrew 7-12 lb nappies! At the end of the day I have a perfectly normal except size teenager, he excels at sport & is very fast & strong for his size, he became National tumbling champion for 99/2000 (mum has to boast here). His schoolwork is average for his age but his determination to succeed is boundless, this I will always attribute to his fight at the beginning of life. On reflection I would not wish premature birth on anyone but if it does happen to someone you know remember, mum may not always be rational, even if she looks it! Offer practical help & a shoulder to cry on & don’t probe or give the opportunity for too much self pity. If it happens to you find a friend a real friend not a mate & share the positive & negative, take any help on offer & don’t shut the world out.
Beenz for charity website was set up by Collywobs to aid our joint venture of running theBeenz auctions. I had 4 cinema vouchers I could not use so I decided to set up an auction using them as prizes to raise a few Beenz for charity, little did I know just how popular the concept would be. The first auction was run on DVD Forumzs & the auction was a lively affair raising over 3000b. All beenz raised are collected By Kandice at the Beenzdragon site. Kandice is a long established & respected beenz trader, she then issues cheques to the charity in force at the time of the donation. The Charities are chosen by beenzers themselves & Dragon from Beenzvine carefully vets all the charities. The charities chosen are all international charities. The target for donations is $50, so far 20 charities have benefited from the beenz collected from generous beenzers from all around the world. There are a few banners on the site, these are to raise money for the postage of the prizes on offer. Many of the prizes are available to bidders from all over the world & prizes have been posted to the US & Australia the postage is currently being paid for by Colly or myself so clicking the banners would help us pay for future postage. Due to the success of the auction Colly & I joined forces to continue the concept & have run many successful auctions on DVD Forumzs, Beenzboard & Beenzvine. The prizes have included vouchers, a tarot reading, beenz pins, books, Beenz for charity pens & hats, pokemon cards, cinema vouchers & more. Colly decided that a website was in order & set about designing Beenz for Charity website. Beenz for charity was born. On the website you could find where the latest auction would be happening, As from 23/6/01 as an trial we will be running the auctions direct from the website. In addition Colly has set up a forum so we can all share news & views on the auctions directly at Beenz for charity. We do ho
pe this will grow & develop into another lively forum. We have had many generous offers of vouchers, services & other prizes as a direct result of the website. There are also links to free to donate sites such as the NSPCC, save the rainforests & the hunger site. Beenz for charity is a colourful site with direct links to Beenzvine, Beenzboard & DVD forumzs as well as direct e-mail links to both Colly & myself. It is easy to navigate with the homepage & a latest auction news page. It may be small but is run with the sole intention of helping others & fostering friendship. This site is for beenzers from every corner of the globe & all are welcome, whether it is to bid on the auctions or just say Hi. Do pay us a visit & join in the fun, you may also pick up a bargain or two
Formule1 hotels are chain of hotels situated all over France, so if you are looking for a cheap getaway I would highly recommend them. A friend let me into the secret when I was planning “le weekend” & had a very tight budget. All the hotels are based on major roads & tend to be based either on the edge of a city or just outside. This is a budget hotel chain with no frills. Cheap does not mean a lesser product! Your room will sleep 3 people with a double bed & a bunk bed placed diagonally across the head end, if you have small children the rooms would suit 2 adults & 2 small children. All the rooms are identical & are clean & perfectly comfortable. Toilets & shower rooms are situated outside the rooms & are like our public loo’s, they automatically fully clean themselves as you exit. Bottom line is the price, the current price is £15 a room per night, this does not include breakfast, which can be ordered at an extra cost. The web site for this chain is at http://hotelformule1.com, where you can see pictures of the layout of the rooms, make a reservation, or find out where the hotels are located.
Now what is everyone’s favourite cleaning job, you’ve guessed it the loo NOT! Being your average anything that makes it easier kinda lass & being a gullible easily influenced by the telly kinda lass, watched the adverts for this revolutionary product & rushed out to buy some, well on the next shop really. There on the shelves proudly displayed was the object of my dreams, a no work loo cleaner. No more scrubbing for me, or so I thought! Now I was faced with a choice 2 new loo cleaners! Harpic powerfoam & Domestos W C active mousse, armed with a can in each hand I had a problem, which to choose? I took the easy way out & put both in the basket, well I do have two loos & it saves running up & down stairs with the can. Smug me went home to try this new wonder product. Claim 1: The foam expands up under the rim, sounds great, well they both do that but the Harpic one involves two or three continuous rounds around the rim, whereon the foam does expand, slightly. The Domestos variety does expand generously with just one round. Claim 2: The concentrated foam clings to the bowl, very interesting! Oh no it does not, either of them, they both fall down the sides within seconds! Claim 3: Helps prevent lime scale build up. Both fail, that’s why I am still using descalent. Claim 4: Freshens, here the difference between the two really shows! Harpic Atlantic fresh smells like, wait for it, toilet cleaner, use too much & the fumes will kill you, really nasty niff! Domestos Mountain fresh has a nice clean fresh bathroom smell & comes out top in the niffs test. Claim 4: Kills bacteria, well how do you test that one? Well I place my trust in Domestos bleach & a brush. Ease of use, a big difference between the two comes into play here, Harpic has an upward pointing spout that you depress to use, so you have to hold it at 45 degrees & as much foam ends up all over the place as in the loo.
The Domestos foam has a extension on the nozzle that points out at 45 degrees, which means you hold the can upside down & the foam goes exactly where you want it to. Other differences include size the harpic version looks bigger but only contains 400 mls whereas the Domestos ones contains 500 mls. The price difference was a matter of pence with both being on offer & I paid around the £1.30 mark. Both versions have a hazchem label on the back warning of flammability Also warning not to put ciggies , matches or candles? Down the loo even after flushing! And the moral: The magical no work toilet cleaner has yet to be invented. But if a freshner to impress the Mother in Law is required the Domestos cleaner is your best bet.
Kavala Airport is situated some 40km from the city of Kavala in Northern Greece, it serves the 5th biggest city in Greece. Its present location is to the east of the city. The original airport is located to west of the city & now is a military base. The decision to move the airport in the mid 80’s was due to the upsurge in tourism in the locality & the old airport frequently becoming fog bound. Built in the mid 80’s Alexander The Great airport is a small airport comprising of just one terminal, & strangely enough two control towers, the reason for which I cannot fathom! The terminal is on one level with arrivals at one end & departures at the other. The arrivals hall has 2 luggage belts & very few trolleys in evidence, the customs desk is just that, one small desk next to the exit door, which was unmanned on my arrival. The main area has plenty of seats albeit rather uncomfortable metal ones, the terminal is air-conditioned; this was set at a very comfortable level, not too cold! There are just 8 check in desks that may well be adequate but as I was on a package holiday all 170 passengers were deposited at the same time & only two desks were open & the great British holidaymakers managed to form four queues for just two desks. The facilities offered in the main area consist of just one tiny shop & a refreshment area, which was horribly overpriced, e.g. a cup of coffee was generally priced at 500dr at the airport the coffee was priced at 700dr & was served in a plastic beaker & the taste was disgusting. The monitors all two of them were very confusing as both showed both in arrivals & departures, if you were unsure of your flight number were not much help, all the displays were in English & all announcements were in both Greek & English. It seemed strange that the passengers were not allowed through to the departure lounge until one hour before the flight was due to depart, the reasoning became apparent when w
e finally got there. The security & passport control formalities were very strict, all passports were checked thoroughly & the X-ray machines & gate appeared very sensitive with the smallest metal object being picked up. The departure lounge was just one reasonable sized room with two departure gates. The lounge contained the usual refreshment area & a largish shop, this was not a duty free area & the prices were a little higher than similar goods bought outside the airport. The WC facilities were well laid out & spotlessly clean, as was the whole airport. There were also telephone facilities. There was nowhere near enough seats provided in this area mainly due to lack of space. The terminal had two air bridges that were not used either on arrival or departure, instead a bus was provided on arrival & we were on foot across the apron for departure. On reflection this airport was perfectly adequate for arrival/departure slightly off season with just 2 incoming flights on arrival & one on departure, in the height of the season the airport serves 30 flights a day, & the distinct lack of baggage trolleys would be a severe hardship for many & the seating would be woefully inadequate for more that 2 flights departing at a similar time. This is not an airport that would make a flight delay any easier to cope with.
This my personal story of my brush with depression, I have always been a happy & well balanced person able to cope with all life threw at me, & boy did life throw some terrible events my way! At the time I worked in retail with a particularly stressful job within this industry, I had been working within this environment for some 3 years, part of my job had been handling customer complaints, which often involved some very abusive people. I handled all this the way I had done all my life, with no detrimental effect at all. One morning for no apparent reason I walked into the stockroom & burst into tears, there had been no incident, which could have prompted me to react this way, I was calmed down by colleagues & returned to my duties. Over the next few days any little thing sent me flying to the rest room in floods of tears, this then turned into a feeling of dread every time I reached the door to the shop & within a month I could not enter the place without bursting into tears. I knew I had a problem but did not know what or why. The other members of staff just took over until I was calm enough to carry on. We then had a change of store deputy. The new deputy had worked with me in the past & well knew my capabilities. I was called to see him, poor man tried to talk to me only achieving a one way conversation, he talked I sniffed! At his suggestion I went to my GP along with the Personnel officer who was also my friend of long standing, I was diagnosed with depression & stress. My GP was wonderful & gave me as much time as I needed to tell my story in-between the sniffs & sobs, I would not have managed to tell him anything if I had gone alone. Where was my family in all this, to be honest they just ignored me as the problem only became apparent at work, at home the only symptoms were insomnia & loss of appetite. I spent all night on the computer for days on end only sleeping on average 2hrs in any 24. My weight fell to just
over 6 stone. How did I get over it? My GP prescribed Prozac the so-called happy pill, I don’t honestly think it really made any difference at all. The major influence in my recovery was support from friends, colleagues & my GP, all who gave me time to talk & were ready with a smile & tissue when I needed it. I thankfully have not been down that road again, I try to tell people when the stress gets too much & not bottle it up. My eternal thanks go to a very understanding boss & friend who made all the difference when in mattered. That friend is sadly no longer with us but what she did for me over those dark days will remain with me forever & inspires me when life gets a little rough. For many, depression is not so easy to get over & it will return again & again, for others with the right help & support it can be overcome & consigned to history. My sympathies lie with those that battle this terrible affliction on a daily basis. My experience has taught me a valuable lesson not only in coping with my own life but to understand that for others every day is a black hole
Warlock is the third book in the series written by Wilbur Smith set in ancient Egypt. I read the first book River God some 2 years ago after a trip to Egypt & seizing on anything Egyptian, found the book to be riveting. The second book of the series The Seventh Scroll, was missed as I had no idea it existed, but is on the to buy list! About to depart on another holiday found me scouring the bookshops for a suitable holiday read. Big displays of Wilbur Smiths latest offering Warlock jumped out at me. Priced at £18.99 for a very large tome made me think twice, but I was fortunate enough to find a copy in a discount bookshop at half price, the decision was made & book purchased. I was a little disappointed to find I had missed the second book in the series but was relieved to find Warlock stands on it’s own & missing the second of the series did not detract from the storyline. Warlock is set in ancient Egypt & although a work of fiction some of the places are real as are the descriptions of life in ancient times. The story starts with the murder of the Pharaoh Tamose & the subsequent struggle to survive & retain the right to rule of his son Nefer. The story includes epic battles, betrayal, fighting for existence, true love & true loyalty. All aided & abetted by a character called Tatia, a eunuch whose character runs through all three books in the series. Tatia is the lynchpin of the story; his wisdom & magic see the young prince through to the ultimate goal of re-claiming the crown & uniting Egypt under a stable rule. The book has something for everyone; it is very well researched & written in a style that keeps you riveted from page one.
thedvdforum, is a new site all about DVD's, its only been up & running a few weeks & in that time it has become a friendly & lively place to meet & find answers to all your DVD questions. The site does not just stop at DVD's there is a lively beenz section that is updated several times a day, dealing only in UK beenz. Also a popular general discussion section that any member can post anything they like. A referal section to post your referal plea's The DVD section covers software, hardware,retailers, & a new tradz section added this week where members can sell/swap their DVD's. There are plenty of techies posting regularly so any questions of that nature are sure to get an answer quickly. This site just goes from strengh to strengh & it growing very quickly. Looking for information or friends you know where to come.
Mouse cheese, yes I am mad! Well mouse cheese is the name my daughter gave to Emmental cheese the first time she saw it! makes sense really as this is a cheese with varying sizes of holes running throughout its body. The taste is sublime, slightly nutty & creamy with a texture not unlike a good edam & not in the least bit rubbery. Best served with fresh crusty bread liberally spread with real butter preferably unsalted. The flavour is very distinct & to add anyhing else would be a crime. Widely available in all food shops the French variety is cheaper than the Swiss with no loss of flavour. This cheese being a hardish consistancy freezes well so if you are of on a day trip to france stock up as it is much cheaper there. Emmental can be bought in ready sliced packets, but this is not a good option, the plastic wrap tends to make it sweat. If you are a bit unsure as your supermarket for a taste sample, you won't be disappointed & you are sure to buy!
dooyoo turn white at the cost of ink cartridges from the computer superstores! Well I nearly died a death at the price of cartridges for my machine. Buying a printer that took 4 spererate cartridges I thought I was on to a good thing not having to throw away a half used cartridge just because one colour had run out. I soon found that the cartridges might be seperate, but they are tiny & run out in no time. The replacements were £9.99 each to replace. On to the net to find a cheaper alternative. Aktiv direct sell compatable cartridges for my machine at £3.99 each a saving of £6 each. I have now used them on many occasions & have never had any problems. The order takes only a couple of days to arrive & is well packaged & allways contains a full catalouge of other goods they sell all at great prices. Post & packaging is free which is another bonus from this site. I have not bought anything other than ink cartridges from them but may well do in the future.
If you are looking for a mid shopping lunch time meal don't bother with the Litten Tree in Kingston! Situated just off Fife Road the Litten tree is part of a chain of modern pub/restaurants. The menu is varied & offers 3 courses priced at about £3 for a starter, £4-5 for a main & about £3 for a pud. The starters on offer included various natcho's, potato skins & the like. The main courses offered burgers,traditional dishes like sausage & mash, veggie options & steak as well as wraps & baugettes. The puds looked very tempting but as the following paragraph will show, I didn't get to them. I ordered a Brie & broccoli rosti & my companions ordered mega burgers. After 55 minutes my companion went to the bar to enquire where our food was. The two burgers arrived within minutes, they were according to the menu acompanied by a generous amount of fries, the word generous may have different interpretations too many, what arrived was far less than generous. The burgers were 2 4oz patties, bacon, cheese & salad, of which the iceberg lettuce was well past its best. My meal arrived at least 10 minutes after the burgers, the menu said that the rosti had herby potatoes & petit pois with it. The meal that was presented to me had no peas, these were provided some 5 minutes later! In the mean time I started to eat the rosti, the meal consisted of frozen broccoli, cauliflower & carrots in a cheese sauce, the veg was disgusting & the plate contained as much water as sauce, I noticed the plate did not contain any potato rosti at all. I promptly sent the whole unappatising mess back & asked for a refund. My waitress offered a replacement meal, but after waiting in excess of an hour I refused. Maybe your local Litten Tree is a different story, I for one will never darken the doors of this particular chain ever again!
I have read a lot of reviews by other dooyoo members on this subject & was wary about contributing on this subject until yesterday when an incident at school bought the whole subject into context. My son suffered an accident at school resulting in him breaking his wrist in 3 places & necessitating him having surgery. His headmaster phoned me full of concern & wanting a full explanation of the incident. At first I was touched by his concern & then realised he was afraid I would sue the school. The accident & following injury was entirely self- inflicted by my son! He did a one handed somersault in celebration of scoring a goal, the surface was concrete, he is an accomplished gymnast & such a move is well within his capabilities, but he should have known better that to perform the move on such a surface. This is not the only accident suffered by one of my children at school, another child of mine collided with a fellow pupil in a game of rounders & the other child’s front teeth were snapped off into my daughters forehead a freak accident nothing more. The teacher on that occasion was in floods of tears when I arrived at the hospital, my daughter was a mess but calm & only a few stitches were in order. The teacher asked me directly if I was going to sue her. Of course I wasn’t, an accident is just that, negligence is another matter! For those who are injured through the negligence of others either an individual or company should have the right to sue if the injury sustained results in loss of earnings or permanent disability. As part of my work duties I am a risk assessor, this is a legal obligation placed on almost all employers to risk assess their significant risks. The system involves the assessor watching a task & recording the most probable outcome of a hazard causing harm regardless of weither or not an accident has occurred. The risk assessment is then handed to the boss for implimentation, if he/she does not take
any further steps to control the risk they make them selves liable in the case of an accident. Any risk is graded from 1 – 9, a rating of 6 – 9 is deemed to be high & control measures must be implemented without delay. The hazard can be rated 1 – 3, 1 being an injury that can be treated by a first aider, 2 being an injury that requires hospital treatment, 3 being a fatality or permanent disability, these ratings are then multiplied by the likelihood of an accident occurring on a scale of 1 – 3. Most firms that carry this out will tell you it is for the benefit of their employees, the reality is that it is to safeguard them from losing a court case if they have placed control measures into practise to minimise that risk. Therefore if you sustain an injury that is not a pure & simple accident & that injury causes a dramatic lifestyle change I do believe that you should sue the responsible person/company. Where my concern lies is that we in the UK now seem to following the USA in suing for any injury even if it was a pure & simple one off accident that could not have been reasonably forseen. In the case of my children & their schools, it is a shame that one of life’s valuable lessons in learning my mistakes will become obsolete as teachers will have to ban all sorts of things to prevent themselves being sued by parents for doing what comes naturally to children. So before you think of suing your child’s school for an accident, please stop, think, was this accident a pure accident or was it negligence! Suing for financial reward where no permanant damaged has been sustained only limits compenstation for those that really deserve it.
Popstars is a new documentry following the formation of a new steps style band. Regional heats were held all over the UK to find that elusive mix that will make it to the top. The sheer ammount of new talent out there waiting to be discovered is overwhelming. Each wannabee is put through sheer hell & it shows, only the best will do. The requirements are not only a great voice but personality plus without the big head that goes with it. Being able to move & learn complex dance routines & sing at the same time showed the men from the boys. The ability to take direction & sing in a different key took a few down & suprised others. Just 5 will make it through to form the new band. Tears, laughter, talent this show has the lot in huge quantities. The wannabees who have fallen by the wayside so far have given their all. Some were devestated & others took it on the chin. Poor Claire the girl with that voice supprised everyone including herself at her dancing ability only to be rejected on the grounds that she did not have the "right look". Warts & all this is what the buisness is about, so much talent & so few making it. A great start to anyones Saturday veiwing.
I am writing this opinion from the other side as if it were. Part of my job as a Personnel Administrator is to place adverts with various agencies to find staff. I have used the job centre on several occasions, all with the same result! On visiting the job centre as a prospective employer the layout is very good with all the available jobs displyed on cards in varing catogories. The job seeker wanders round & reads them, any jobs they feel they are suited for they can apply for. The staff are very helpful & took no end of details about the vaccancies I was interested in filling including working hours, job description, main duties, pay, benefits, training opertunities etc. The adverts were placed & I sat back & waited. Only a few people applied, of those applicants only one seemed remotely interested in gaining employment, the others made it quite clear at interview they were only attending to keep therir benefits by appearing to be job seekers. The one applicant that was employed soon showed that he had been forced to take a job as his benefits were about to stop, his employment lasted a matter of days before he broke every rule in the book and forced us to end his contract. I am now inundated with requests from the job centre to confirm that we recieved applications from hundreds of people they sent to us, of these the vast majority had never applied, they may have been given application forms but they never returned them! Some, but very few had returned the forms & been invited for interview, of these none had turned up for the interview. This is my wxperience of the job centre from the other side, it may be very different in your area. I live & am employed in an area which has plenty of jobs, so no-one need not be employed. I know this is not the case country wide.
Costa Coffee cafes are everywhere now, on shopping expeditions to far flung places the eyes quickly scan the boards listing the shops & maps & my heart sinks if there is no Costa Coffee house listed. Coffee addiction is one of my many failings & anyone who is shares this addiction will appreciate the taste of the king of Coffee's to be found at Costa. My first experience was one one of those painful days where you wait for hours at Gatwick for a delayed incomming flight, you wander aimlessly keeping an eye on those TV screens, as the headache begins to bite ( withdrawal from the bean ) your eye spots that Costa house. From the first drop to the last the taste is sheer heaven, the almond crossants are to die for. The sheer variety of coffee on offer is mind-boggling, to my shame I have not tried many! Cappuccino freak here. The moccochina is a slight bent on the theme with added chocolate for those sweet toothed chocoholics out there. My daughter who often gets dragged on the many missions to collect Grandma from Gatwick won't come unless I bribe her with hot chocolate laced with cream. The cost unfortunatly is very high for what is at the end of the day just a cup of coffee, but what a cup! Currently the price is somewhere in the region of £1.45, although I generally don't take note of the price its the taste for me. I am however not so much in love with the food offered with the exception of the almond crossants, the sandwiches are nothing to write home about & the toasted ones ( don't know the fancy name) I find quite tasteless. The cafes are set out nicely with big slouching chairs & I have never visited a branch that was not busy, so others must share my rapture! The queues at peak times can be quite daunting but the coffee is worth the wait I promise. Sorry to waffle but having tried most of the latest coffee chains none come close to Costa. ** Monte Blanco ** <
br>New addition: Monte Blanco is an expresso With milk & white chocolate syrup, topped with thick cream & white chocolate flake served in a tall glass, expensive at £2.25 but one sip is you like all things sweet will send you to heaven!