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clairmay

clairmay
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Member since: 01.12.2005

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    • More +
      01.10.2006 12:14
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      This is a first class hotel for the disabled visitor it remains to be seen if they can improve.

      I had the opportunity to visit the wonderful city of Glasgow for the first time a while ago to visit a few friends. One of whom I stayed in the same hotel with The Jurys Inn.


      Booking.
      **********
      This could not be simpler. The website is easy to follow and your room reservation can be made in about one minute.


      First Impressions.
      ********************
      The hotel is situated on a main road and is very close to the River Clyde. The view over the bridge is wonderful. The front of the hotel is well appointed and gives the impression of a large modern building. There is a ramp up to the large double glass front doors, which is excellent for disabled travellers. Reception is directly in front of the main doors and has a lower section of desk to the right, which is ideal if you are in a wheelchair. The reception staff were polite. (I am going to touch on the subject of booking in later in this piece.) I explained I had made an online reservation and gave my name. After tapping on the computer he gave me my room card key and wrote the number of my room on it. I asked what room Pauline my freind was in and was told that they could not divulge that information, so full marks on security. The young man offered to ring the room for me, which he did, and passed me the phone. After a short conversation I proceeded to my room.

      The Room.
      *************
      In my job I travel quite a lot and stay in all kinds of accommodation, most of which I don't have to pay for, as it is all part of the fee I get for the work I do.
      The room was quite sparse. It was clean and the décor was a pleasant colour but it was not what I was expecting for my £70.00 per night! All the amenities were there: en-suite, television, double bed and two chairs. The wardrobe was an open plan affair with an added bonus of a lower rail excellent if you are a disabled traveller. The view was not impressive to say the least . I had at least expected to see the river but what I actually got was the Hostel opposite. (More about that later.)
      The room has coffee and tea making facilities, which were well stocked, and mugs. Not those tiny fiddly teacups.
      The room has an easy to understand air condition unit and a modem point. I could not find out if this point was free or if there was a charge for using it.
      The bathroom was excellent , If you are a disabled traveller then this bathroom was designed with you in mind. The toilet had handles on all sides for help getting up and down. The wheelchair access was brilliant and the bath was low enough for anyone to step over. However, if you do want to take a nice long relaxing bath then this is not the bath to do it in, as it is very shallow.
      Both the bath and hand basin had Dove liquid soap in containers which I thought was very handy.
      The shower was very good but not a massaging shower and, once I had got the hang of which way the temperature handle went, it was great.
      The room was supposed to have a hairdryer. Mine was missing but that was not a problem to me, as I had no intention of washing my hair.
      The television boasts all the usual TV channels and also Sky One. There are the usual CNN and other news channels but I would not class this to rate as 'Satellite TV.' I really wish hotel chains would stop trying to con people into thinking that having a few extra channels, three of which are news channels, constitutes having Satellite TV'.
      Everything in the room was clean. The pillows, the mattress and I did not find any dirt or dust under the bed.
      The room card key has to be placed in a slot just inside the door to operate the electricity, a fact the young man on reception omitted to tell me, but a call to reception put me right. Good job I don't get easily embarrassed.


      Amenities.
      ***********
      The hotel has two places to eat. One is an 'a la carte' restaurant serving international cuisine, modern English and traditional Scottish meals and the other is a licensed bar where you can get snacks or bar meals. The hotel also caters for vegetarians.
      I cannot comment on the service in any of these places as I did not use them but I will cover breakfast later on.
      The hotel does not accept pets but welcomes children.
      It has outstanding disabled amenities.
      It is open all year round but not at Christmas (their words, not mine) and is available for private functions.
      There is no parking at the hotel but there is an NCP car park just to the left and across the road from the hotel where you can park for £5.00 for 24 hours. However, do remember to get your parking ticket stamped before you put it in the machine to pay or you will get charged full price. If the attendant had not been there when I was at the machine and retrieved my ticket for me I would have ended up paying £17.80. Yet another thing the chap on reception failed to mention.

      Food.
      *******
      The only food I had was breakfast. I was not informed where breakfast was to be served nor what time it was served (again, something I would have liked to have been told upon checking in.)
      The breakfast was self-service 'buffet style' and, after showing a young lady our room card, we were smiled at and pointed towards the restaurant. I realise that a self-service buffet speaks for itself but it would have been nice if someone had said, "If you would like to find a seat and then please help yourself. Tea and coffee are at the end, knives and forks are over there, or just something, rather than a hand gesture".
      The fayre was typically English, with a selection of bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, and a choice of scrambled or fried egg, There was what appeared to be toast but it turned out to be slightly grilled warmed bread.
      There were croissants and bread rolls, which I spotted as I was leaving.
      The coffee-making machine was at the far end and it was one of those that do every kind of coffee so, although I wanted tea, I had coffee because I could not find the tea.
      I am rather particular when it comes to breakfast and I have to say this breakfast would probably meet most peoples' expectations. It did not reach mine. The bacon was undercooked and lukewarm, as was the sausage. The only thing that was remotely warm was the fried egg and I think I was just lucky with that, as some new ones had just arrived.

      Conclusion.
      **************
      I have said that I will cover a few points that I omitted earlier in this piece.
      When I booked online I specifically asked for a quiet room, which is a choice you can have when booking. I was given a room overlooking a main road and opposite what turned out to be 'The Hostel From Hell.' I went to bed at around midnight, after a fantastic night out, and was woken at around 3.00am by people opposite throwing cans and bottles at passing cars, making them rev their engines to get away. The language from the people opposite made me blush and trust me I am not easily offended.
      This continued for most of the night. Even with earplugs it was still audible.
      I did ask the management for a quote on this because I felt it was only fair. The manager I spoke to was charming and apologised but he stated that 'they have no control over the public,' a fact of which I am aware, but I specifically asked for a 'Quiet Room' and if they are going to offer this service they had better be sure that they can provide it. Which in my case they did not.
      My booking-in process was, as I have already stated, not good. Although the staff were polite… that was all. And, I am convinced it was because of the way I looked, as
      I had travelled to Glasgow from Manchester for some four hours through monsoon type weather and had decided to travel in cut off pants, a sleeveless T- shirt and a hooded top.
      I have to admit to not looking like a business traveller. I was decked out for comfort rather than smartness. I did feel that the young man wanted to get me booked in as quickly as possible and that is why he omitted vital information from my booking in process.
      Pauline, who travelled up by train, looked every inch the smartly turned out traveller and was rewarded with an excellent room. I was told that the hotel works on a first come first served basis. If that is the case I suggest you get there and queue up so as to be first in line when they start allocating rooms and do dress nicely.

      My Opinion.
      **************
      Had this been the first hotel I had ever stayed in I would have thought nothing of it but I spend a lot of time in hotels and have compared this to a number of places I stay. This hotel looks like a three star, in fact, for looks and especially for their disabled amenities I would rate it four stars. I have absolutely no doubt that they lose stars on the fact that they make promises they cannot possibly keep (The Quiet Room!!) and their staff are either 'snobs' or not very well trained. This is the only Jury's/Doyle hotel I have ever stayed in and, whilst I do not want to put anyone off staying there, please take into consideration what I have written. I am reccomending this hotel with the hopes that it improves but I can only offer 3 stars.

      Message from the management
      *************************************
      Because of the excellent disabled features of this hotel I did not want to put anyone off staying so I asked the Hotel for a quote. They read the review and were kind enough to get back to me.
      Re the noise...Everything possible is done to provide rooms that are noise free and these are secondary double gazed, they are checked at all times of the day and night and if found to be noisy are fitted with said double glazing.
      Re the staff...The staff are well trained but obviously on this occasion I did not recieve the kind of attention that Jurys/doyle would have liked and therefore the staff will be asked about it and where needed re-trained.
      The manager I spoke to was very charming and offered a free stay at any of the jurys/doyle Hotels. He did not need to do this and I was delighted. As to whether I take up his offer remains to be seen. If I do I will definately be doing another review.
      **********************************************************************


      Below please find communication I have had from Jurys

      Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. Your article is detailed and will be used as a training tool for the staff and management team.

      As discussed yesterday I would like to make a gesture of goodwill in a hope to regain your confidence in the Jurys Doyle Group. I would like to offer you a complimentary weekend, B&B in a Jurys of your choice. To make a reservation please contact me directly and I will make the necessary arrangements.

      Should you decide to return to Glasgow again please contact me directly and I will make the necessary arrangements here to ensure you have a comfortable stay.

      Once again thank you for taking the time to contact me.

      Sincerely
      General Manager

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      • Phones 4U / Highstreet Shopping / 67 Readings / 62 Ratings
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        12.08.2006 20:21
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        Very well laid out shop with good staff who told me everything I needed to know.

        Background
        **************
        When my computer recently went on strike and refused to do anything that I asked it to (actually very much like my kids in their younger days). I had to part with it while the gentlemen at the computer hospital mended it. For you technical people out there, amongst other things, I had a ' Deep Throat Trojan Horse ' Not an ordinary Trojan Horse. No! Mine had to be a Deep Throat one! Anyway I am off on one as usual. Must concentrate. While it was away I had nothing to play with and Yes, I know what you boys are now thinking! Right. Have you finished? OK. We will continue. So, having nothing to keep my mind from going numb I decided to buy a new mobile phone. Now, normally, I would go onto the Internet and have a look around at what was on offer but with no computer to hand I had to do it the old-fashioned way and go to the shops. It was at this point I realised I like living in a virtual world (maybe another review there). I went to the Trafford Centre to check out what was on offer. Well, let me tell you, it is a jungle out there. Give me the peace of my comfy desk chair, a cup of tea and a good browser. I am hereby stating for the record that I am never venturing out to buy anything ever again. They are all quite mad.

        Shopping
        ***********

        My first port of call was the Carphone Warehouse shop where I waited at least 10 minutes for someone to notice I was there and, believe me if you ever meet me in person you will know I am not hard to miss. After some time a 12-year-old sales boy sidled up to me and said, and I quote, "You want a phone then?" After looking him up and down I replied, "No, I am looking for a freezer" and left.

        My second attempt was at the Orange shop. I will not go into great detail but after a fifteen-minute wait and after examining every phone in there I walked out.

        Finally I called at Phones4you and was greeted as soon as I walked through the doors by a cheery young man behind what looked like a reception desk. He asked me what I was looking for, pointed in the direction of a display stand and told me when you have decided which phone you like if you come back to me I will get someone to attend to you. Which I did and which he did.
        I was taken to a small desk with a computer screen and two chairs and was introduced to Daniel. We chatted and he asked how many calls I made in an average week and what network my friends and family where on. This all done I expected him to try and sign me to a contract but, instead, he advised that the best plan for me would be a "pay as you go" one and, as most of my friends and family were on Orange, that this would be the best network to use, as the calls are less Orange to Orange. I told him that I was surprised that he had not tried to get me onto contact and he simply said that it would be a waste of money for me. After he had picked me up off the floor he continued and explained that because that was the best plan I would not be entitled to a free mobile phone as you are with contacts. I told him the phone I had had my eye on and he said that particular phone wasn't free anyway so that worked out quite well. However, they didn't have the phone I wanted in stock but he was more than happy to order one for me. I said that was very nice but what if when I saw the phone it wasn't what I was looking for and he assured me there was absolutely no obligation to buy.
        At no point during the time I was in the shop did I feel under pressure, in fact, quite the opposite. I did think, "If this is reverse psychology it really does work!" because had they had the phone in stock and I liked it I would have parted with my money gladly.
        Daniel looked on the computer and told me they could have the phone in the shop within about 48 hours. I thanked him and said that would be fine.
        He then asked would I mind giving him my phone number so he could ring when it arrived but also added that if I felt more comfortable he would give me the shop number and I could ring them. A nice touch, I thought. I gave him my number and he got up shook my hand and escorted me to the door. I can't help thinking his mum would have been so proud.

        The Shop
        ************

        I liked the shop because it was very well planned out. All the phones were on display and handy so you could pick them up and examine them and all were laid out as to which type of network. For instance, directly to the right of the door was the Orange display with contract phones on the right and pay as you go phones on the left. All had their prices clearly marked and the free contract phones were clearly marked. On the board behind these phones were all the different network tariffs for Orange.

        Next to this was a similar stand for Vodaphone and next to that O2. Across the other side were T-Mobile and the 3 Network. All these are displayed with cards that tell you everything you need to know in clear English. I know how that sounds but being a technophobe I having some difficulty understanding some of the jargon.

        There were four small desks each with a computer screen and there was a room to show phones to people with one chair behind for the salesman and two chairs in front for customers to sit on. Behind these desks was a glass display stand with a range of extras and add-ons such as travel chargers, cases and various logoed items that you could purchase to go with your chosen mobile phone.

        I noticed that everyone who entered the shop was greeted by the nice young man at the desk but not pounced on. They were allowed to look around but he did keep a close eye on them and, if anyone looked to be in difficulties, he approached them and offered advice, all the time keeping his eye out for new customers walking in.


        All in all, my visit to the Phones4U shop was very pleasant indeed. I cannot say that every shop will be exactly the same but I have had, on occasion, to go into the Leigh branch and I was treated with the same respect, so I can only praise the in-store training.
        I will be bringing you up to date on what happened next with the purchase of my phone when I cover the phone I chose.

        Finally
        *********

        Phones4U have a very good website <www.phones4u.co.uk> which is brightly coloured with everything you could possibly want to know about mobile phones. Like the top ten "pay-monthly" phones and the top ten "pay as you go" phones as well as a description of the most popular phones. There are loads of offers and there is also a store locator where you can find the nearest phone4U shop, which, if you are thinking of changing your phone, I hope you do, because, apart from having some great deals, they are exceedingly nice.

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        • mybeautysecrets.co.uk / Online Shop / 48 Readings / 43 Ratings
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          26.06.2006 12:22
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          This site is the best for good quality cosmetics at less than duty free prices.

          Background.
          ****************

          I am always on the lookout for bargains and a major part of my expenditure goes on cosmetics. That happens when you reach a certain age and Mother Nature deserts you with amazing speed to be overtaken by a face in the mirror that, when you see it, your exclamation is one of 'Mother??!'
          So, on my lifelong quest of trying to find good quality cosmetics at a more reasonable price I came across mybeautysecrets.co.uk. This is an Internet site, which offers all leading brand name cosmetics at lower prices than on the high street, or for that matter, salon prices.

          The Site.
          *************

          The site is easily accessible and very well laid out. The only thing that niggled me was the fact that some of the sections have a lot more products than others. However, with this being a new site I suppose it is going to take some time to build up the product ranges that are available. The site is split into sections, which include:

          Anti-aging.
          **************

          This consists of some very interesting products to hold back the effects of time including some of the Transformulas range like Transformulas Eye Lifting Gel as used by Victoria Beckham. I cannot vouch for this but I can tell you that I have used Transformulas Lip Volumiser and it really does work. On the day I checked it out there were saving of between £5.00 and £20.00 depending on how many of each product you buy. They even offer a HRT tablet. This is a completely safe herbal alternative to the conventional HRT treatment, which can be obtained via your GP. As we all know, or rather us ladies who are experiencing the so called 'Freedom years' will know, the menopause can be a debilitating time so Simply Natural HRT capsules is a welcome alternative. I have seen these herbal tablets advertised elsewhere for £29.99 but on this site they are only £19.99. There are other products including Proto-Col collagen capsules which smoothes away fine lines and wrinkles and replaces skin's lost elasticity. Also available are a number of other products, all at well below the normal price, saving anything from £4.00 to £30.00, depending on what you buy.

          Body Care.
          *************

          This is a super section because it contains everything you could possibly want to pamper and treat your body including those 'problem areas.' The first product I noticed was Simply Natural Breast Enhancement. I would like to point out that I have never needed anything remotely like this, in fact, I could have done with something to do the opposite, This product promises to increase breast size by up to three cup sizes, improve texture of skin around the breast area and increase the plumpness of the breasts. There have been clinical tests on this product with no side effects found. RRP: £48.50 their price: £39.99, so, a saving of £8.51 for a months supply. Also, Transformulas Firm Slim Cellulite Mousse, which can help eliminate toxins, slim and contour the body, combat cellulite and firm skin. This product is priced at £19.95, which is a saving of £5.05 on High Street prices, and has been featured on This Morning and GMTV. I particularly liked the large assortment of brand name body lotions like Estée Lauder Youth Dew Body Satinee and Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely Body Lotion or perhaps Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps Body Lotion to name only a few out of very many other well known body lotions.

          Face Skincare
          ******************

          After pampering the body it is only right that we move onto the most seen part of the body, well, in my case that is, everything specifically designed for the face from Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser (all skin types) to Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Advanced Time Complex 60 Face and Throat Capsules, which are quite expensive but, according to a very close friend of mine who I must say does look like she has had a face lift, work brilliantly. One would hope so as they cost £46.00 on the High Street but, amazingly, on this site, they cost £16.00. That's a saving of £30.00! Blimey, you could buy them and sell them on E-bay! Along with cleansers and toners there are creams and lotions that do absolutely everything.

          Face Makeup.
          *****************

          This was the first section I was a little disappointed in because it only had one product. Even though the product is a favourite of mine I still felt that this section was lacking. The only product offered was Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat No.1. They give the High Street price at £22.00 but I don't know where they are getting this price from because I pay £24.95 for mine at Kendals in Manchester. However, their price is £17.60. I bought two just in case they put the price back up.

          Eyes Skincare.
          *******************

          Again, a little disappointing, with this section only having three products to offer, both of which I have already covered, namely, Transformulas Eye Lifting Gel as used by Victoria Beckham and Touche Eclat No.1.

          Eyes Makeup.
          ******************

          There are only two products on this section. One being Touche Eclat No.1 (again!) and the other is a rather nice mascara, Elizabeth Arden Double Ended (2 brush) Mascara in exactly black. I ordered this and was pleasantly surprised because I have always paid a lot of money for my mascara. Having almost invisible eyelashes I need all the help I can get and this was priced at a mere £7.20 and the usual price is £18.00. Call me suspicious but, as my mum says, "You don't get owt for nowt!" However, you are wrong here mum because you definitely do. This mascara is one of the new breed two brush systems. There is a big brush that separates and coats and a smaller brush to comb any tiny flyaway type lashes…. Just superb. I have just ordered another one.

          Lips Makeup.
          *****************

          In this section, as you would expect, is lipstick, but only three colours. None of these appealed to me. They are all made by Lancôme. I do like Lancôme but the variety of colours was, quite frankly, not good. All of them are in the Rouge Magnétic Lip Colour which is a long lasting velvety type lipstick. The three colours were Knockout (Gold), Racy (Red) and, what I thought was best of a not so good bunch, Whirl (Light Mauve). You can buy these for £5.80 and the usual price is £14.50. Also on this section was the Transformulas Lip Volumiser and a tooth whitening system by SmileQuest costing £23.95. That's a saving of £11.00.

          Fragrance.
          **************

          This is a huge section with 75 different fragrances to choose from and, in my opinion, at lower prices than can be had if you buy Duty Free. At least now I don't have to wait for my frequent 'booze and fags' runs across the Channel or for my holidays to pick up a reasonably priced fragrance. From Burberry Brit Eau de Toilette Spray priced at £22.80 saving £11.20 or, why not try, Burberry London Eau de Parfum Spray priced at £25.00 instead of £55.00, giving a saving of £30.00. That is a Billy Bargain. Joop! Femme Eau de Toilette Spray retails at £49.00 but is half price at £24.50. I am not going to name all of them but, whatever your preference in perfume, it can be found on this site at a very definite reduction.

          Hair Care.
          **************

          The products included on this section were too numerous to name one by one but brand names include L'Oreal, Fudge, Goldwell, Wella and a lot of salon only products, which include hair treatments and styling products, that are not available on the High Street and all with money off. There are approximately 50 odd products all with between £1.10 to £2.00 off the High Street price.

          Hair Loss.
          **************

          I have to say that although I don't suffer from hair loss myself I do know a female friend who does. From what she has told me, all women have an amount of the male hormone Testosterone, however, a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia combined with testosterone can cause the hair to thin and sometimes fall out completely. Up to now there has been only surgical correction, including treatments like hair transplants or implants, that was until Folligro hair rejuvenation capsules. These are priced at £29.99, which is a massive saving of £10.00. There is also Folligro Shampoo and Conditioner or you could buy the Folligro Hair Rejuvenation Starter Pack at £68.70, saving you £25.64, and this has everything you need to get you started and to see if it really does what it's supposed to.

          Hands and Nails.
          **********************

          I expected to see Nail Varnish and Removers on this section but it really deals with the well being of hands and nails products like Proto-col Instant Manicure, which exfoliates and softens skin on the hands, and can also be used as a refreshing foot treatment. Also here is Proto-col Collagen Capsules (not suitable for vegetarians) these not only help put back elasticity but also refresh and resurface the skin. Three capsules should be taken at night because the first two hours sleep is known as the 'Alpha cycle' when it is most beneficial because that's when all the repair work is done. In my case I have a feeling it is going to take a lot longer than 2 hours. These are priced at £29.95 which is a saving of £7.00

          Slimming.
          **************

          My favourite topic… Slimming. I really don't know how I would spend all the free time I had if I gave up fretting about slimming. This section is packed full of goodies to make you slim. The first product is Universal Contour Wrap-Home Treatment Pack priced at £42.95 saving £7.00 and is supposedly very good for getting rid of stretch marks, tightening skin, especially round the 'chicken wing' area, and eliminating toxins from the body. Also on this section you can get Herbal Slimming Pills Ultra slim, which can curb your appetite without any of the side effects you would normally expect like a racing heart or a nervous feeling or a dry mouth. These are priced at £19.99 saving you £6.00.

          Placing Your Order.
          ***********************

          This could not be simpler as step-by-step instructions are given. Just choose your item and click onto Buy Now and you will be asked if you want to continue shopping or go to Checkout. When you have decided that your order is complete you proceed to Checkout by clicking on that icon You will be asked to register and give a valid Credit or Debit Card. All quite painless! You then receive an e-mail thanking you for your order and giving you an order number. I received an e-mail to tell me that my order had been shipped.

          My Order.
          *************

          I placed my order on a Tuesday and everything arrived beautifully packaged on Thursday morning. I opted for the free delivery, which it states will usually take three working days but, as you can see, mine took just two. However the website does state that free delivery can take up to ten days so, if you are in a hurry, there is a Next Day Delivery option, but this will cost an additional £4.95.
          There is a Goods Return Service if you are not completely satisfied, for whatever reason, with your product. You have 30 days to return it, either for a replacement, or a full refund. I had to sign for my delivery, so, if you are not going to be around, leave a note for it to be taken to a neighbour's house.

          In Conclusion.
          *******************

          Although this site is in its infancy there are some good bargains to be had. I am hoping that they will be able to offer more products and perhaps something for the gents to buy instead of just going onto the site to buy us girl's perfume.
          I give this site a big thumbs up and a 9 out of 10.

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          • annsummers.co.uk / Online Shop / 54 Readings / 49 Ratings
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            17.05.2006 19:45
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            An easy site to use with some beautiful lingerie and other interesting stuff!!!

            A Brief History
            ****************

            I have never been petite, dainty or small…. words describing my body usually rate amongst Gargantuan, Enormous and 'Oh Dear God, don't sit on me!'
            From the age of 13 when I acquired two footballs glued to my chest I have been a lady of ample proportions and have even had a slipped disc because of my huge boobs. That is why I had a breast augmentation… 'boobs made smaller' to those of you who don't know what that is. I was reduced from a 38FF to a very manageable 38C. The bonus of this was I could finally wear pretty lingerie and not something that resembled Boadicea's breastplate. However, due to hormonal changes, which I will not gross you out by going into detail about, I have gradually worked my way back up to 38DD. I had got so used to sexy undies that I just could not bear the thought of going back to huge bolder holders. Enter Ann Summers.


            Ann Summers.
            ******************

            I had always thought that Ann Summers was for getting those things that girlies keep in their undies drawer. I had never thought about getting my bras and pants from there. Well, not unless I wanted some stunning little number in black PVC or a delicate little red rubber all-in-one, but I decided, before I rule them out, I would go to their internet site and have a little look. The site can be found at www.annsummers.com. It is a very colourful site with lots of information. I skipped by the toys and naughty nurse's outfit and went straight to lingerie.

            The Lingerie Dept
            *********************

            There are several different departments for you to choose from including
            New Collections
            Best Sellers
            Hot
            Hotter
            Hottest
            Thongs, Knickers and Stockings
            Basques and Babydolls
            Cheeky T-shirts
            I went to 'New Collections'. On display on the page were twenty-four outfits (Matching Bras and Pants). I thought the selections were brilliant. Definitely some racy wear but also sets for the more reserved lady. (Which I am not).
            I chose a set called 'Blush' clicked on the picture and scrolled down to see what sizes were available. It comes in 32A to 40F and all sizes in between and is priced at £25.00. This is a quality garment, beautifully made and the colour match was exact. It was just like the photograph on the site.
            All the sets I clicked on were in these sizes so I moved on to the other sections.
            I tried Best Sellers but, to be honest, they were really just the same as New Collections. So, next, I tried Hot and I rather liked Angel Delight but found this only went up to a 38D.
            After that I had a look at Hotter. Here I found Madam Fifi Nipple Clamps…Ouch…
            I moved onto Hottest. I found the French Tease Peephole Bra which goes up to a size 22/24. Enough said, I think.
            I did have a quick look round the other sections and found some interesting items of clothing including the Vamp Corset and the Thrill Basque. Nice.
            Now I don't want you to think this is a female only site because its not. You gents should try out the 'For Him' section where I found a thong and a posing pouch that are both edible, presumably, when they have been removed, or not! Also, a quite attractive Donkey Pouch. A must for all you donkey lovers !!!
            I found the 'Cheeky T-shirt section very funny. Here you can purchase a number of rather tasty T-shirt sporting messages. I couldn't help thinking this gives the gents yet another reason to talk to your breasts. However, I did quite like the 'After mad sex T-shirt' that has printed on the front…
            "After mad sex I always like to gaze into his eyes and say those three special words 'GO HOME NOW.' You heard the lady, go on, sling your hook."
            Sizes are from 8 to 24 and are priced at just £12.00. What a bargain and such a lovely sentiment.
            Amongst the others is, 'Temptress,' 'At it like rabbits,' and, my particular favourite, 'Gagging for it'…I don't think I need to say anymore.
            Most of these come in sizes 8 to 24 with just a few exceptions like a vest that only goes up to a size 20. They are priced between £12.00 to the most expensive, a cami and cardy set at £22.00, and all with very cheeky slogans on them.
            I have paid special attention to the lingerie section because I went onto this site to buy a bra.
            There are other sections all more or less self-explanatory. Just some are.

            Dressing up.
            ***************

            With Naughty Nurse, Barrack Babe, Miss Hot Cakes and She-devil. And many more all priced £30.00 to £40.00 and coming in sizes 10 to 24.

            Fun Stuff.
            ************

            I rather liked this, as there is plenty of stuff to eat including, Edible Bra £6.00. Edible Thong £6.00 and a rather tempting 'Bondage Starter Kit.' A snip at just £8.00.

            Oils and Lotions.
            *********************

            You can buy Strawberry Lick at £6.00 and Warming Passion Fruit Massage Oil at £8.00 and lots of interesting potions for all kinds of activities.

            Gift Ideas.
            ************

            This is broken down into sections including Gifts for around £5.00, £10.00 and £25.00 and over. It also includes a section of Gifts for her and him and one for 'Kinky Gifts.'

            For Him.
            ***********

            This section contains items of a rather delicate nature, so I am not going to go into detail, but amongst the stimulation toys I did see a rather tasty T-shirt, which is called 'Sleazy Rider' and comes in sizes Medium, Large and X-Large and priced at just £15.00. I would probably pay that just to drool over the model. YUM.

            Hen Night.
            *************

            This section is full of handy things to make your Hen Night go with a swing including Fur Handcuffs at £8.00 and lots of Chocolate Willies and other treats at £5.00 or you could just opt for the 'Lucky bag,' enough for 6 girls and includes a 'Sick Bag,' aren't they thoughtful, £6.00

            Sex Toys.
            ************

            If you know the name Ann Summers then there is a very good chance you will know about their extensive range of 'Sex Toys.' The most famous being the 'Rampant Rabbit.' There are 5 varieties of Rabbit from the original Rampant Rabbit at £28.00 to the Rampant Rabbit Thruster at £45.00 and 3 other varieties of the Rabbit. There are quite a variety of toys available and you can pay anything from a Pocket Pleaser at £10.00 to a jewel-encrusted 'Minx' at £99.00.

            There are several links on this site to others including links to David and his daughter, Jacqueline Gold, who are the directors of Ann Summers, links to the face of Ann Summers, Nancy Sorrel, and a look at the advertisement that was banned.
            There is also information about becoming an affiliate and about holding parties.
            There is even a readers' letters page where you can ask 'Dr Love' 'Phil' about any problems you may be having.
            As always there is a 'Clearance' section and I suggest you check this out before you purchase as I found one of my items for half the price.

            Using the Order Service.
            ****************************

            This could not be easier. Just put your item into your shopping basket by clicking the on-screen icon and you are then asked if you want to proceed to checkout or continue shopping. When you finally decide to go through checkout you will be asked for your credit or debit card details. All this is done on a secure site. You can remove an item at any time by clicking on the 'Remove Item' icon and your total will be adjusted. The P&P is £3.50 per order but if you order over £45.00 P&P is free. I placed my order on a Tuesday and it was delivered on the Wednesday in a plain padded envelope, which, I think, is absolutely superb.

            In Conclusion
            *****************

            Would I use Ann Summer again? YES I would!! I cannot fault the order and delivery and I have to say I found the site intriguing to say the least and the 'Chocolate willies' are delicious and anatomically correct.

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            • More +
              24.03.2006 12:02
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              This is chocolate indulgence..A really adult treat...

              On a quick dash to the shops recently I spied something new and just could not resist
              Lily O'Brien's Caramel Toffee Biscuit Crunch Belgian Milk Chocolate Lolly Truffle. Part of the Lily O'Brien Cocoa Deli range.
              This is a very big name for such a small treat. It has the appearance of a mini Magnum Ice Cream bar and has Cocoa Deli on the front of the wrapper. There are three to choose from Mixed Berry Crunch, Cookies & Cream, and the one as listed above which I am reviewing.

              Upon opening the wrapper the first smell that I got was a wax smell from the wrapper. This is a little off putting, as I actually thought that it was the chocolate I could smell, but upon further sniffing I got the distinct smell of butter then cream and finally a cocoa smell. Not the chocolate smell that I was expecting. I removed the lolly from the wrapper. It is a darker shade of milk chocolate but not dark enough to be classed as dark chocolate.


              I bit into the lolly and the first taste was a very creamy chocolate. Although the outer shell is quite thin, it is very creamy and not at all synthetic, which is what I had first thought it was going to be. Having taken off just the end, all I had in my mouth was the outer coating and not the filling, so as to best to describe the chocolate to you. Cream. That's what I can taste the most. The cocoa or chocolate taste is secondary. The main taste is buttery or creamy. It is a very mild milk chocolate in my opinion. Beneath this outer shell is a thin layer of caramel, which has a rich buttery toffee taste with a hint of vanilla.


              The next thing I tasted was the filling, which is quite delicious. I had first thought of praline, as that is what it has the look of, but after melting a bit more on my tongue I realised I could not taste the distinct nutty taste that goes with praline. This is a very creamy and sweet (but not overly sweet) taste. I can taste cream and vanilla and there is also a mild malt fudge taste. It is very soft, not at all chewy, and just melts on your tongue. There is a definite after taste of chocolate, but this could be from the outer coating, which has melded together with the filling.


              The surprise element to this product is the pieces of biscuit in the filling. These are not crushed up broken pieces of biscuit but complete little round pieces. After separating one little piece with my tongue I bit into it and was immediately reminded of a butter shortcake biscuit that is very crisp, very light and very buttery yet not too sweet. Along with the biscuit I found very tiny pieces of toffee, which were far too small to separate, but I did get a strong caramel taste.


              I have explained what the tastes are when separated but when you bite straight through and get a mouthful of everything the taste is absolutely delicious. It is the combination of tastes that make this product very special and not one of the ingredients overpowers the other. The overall taste is very creamy, not too sweet and not too chocolately. I ate mine straight from the wrapper and found it to be quite soft but I would be interested to know what it would taste like from the fridge.


              In my opinion this product was aimed at adults, not children, although the appeal of chocolate on a stick may make children want to try it. I am giving this product a 9/10 because I would have liked more but then I am a Greedy Chocoholic...
              I paid 59p for my lolly from my local Alldays convenience store and, after looking around on the Internet, found that to be the best price. I am not going to list the ingredients or nutritional values if you would like to see these a quick visiit to www.cocoadeli.com will tell you all you need to know. But I am happy to announce that it is nut free so you allergy people can have a ball…. ENJOY!

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              • TomTom One / GPS Sat Nav / 46 Readings / 37 Ratings
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                20.03.2006 16:42
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                The Tomtom one is the only travel companion you will ever need.

                My best present ever is the Tomtom One. For those of you out there saying WHAT??!! It's a satellite navigation system ('sat nav' for short). It gets you from home to places and back home again without having to look at a map or an A-Z, of which I have about 12 lounging on the back seat of my car.
                I do a lot of travelling, mostly at night, when, in winter, it is almost impossible to see street signs. That's if you are lucky enough to be in a town where they haven't all been nicked or vandalised! This tends to add about another hour onto my journey because, if it's somewhere I am not familiar with, I have to keep stopping and re-reading the map. You don't need me to tell you that you can't read and drive at the same time. Well, you're not supposed to… let's put it that way! So I needed a co-pilot. Enter George…my name for the Tomtom One. Yes, it has to have a name…OK…


                What's in the box
                *********************

                The Tomtom One.
                SD Memory Card.
                Mounting Kit.
                Car Charger.
                USB Cable.
                CD for Microsoft windows.
                Product Code Card.
                Booklet telling about the accessories you can get for your Tomtom.
                Booklet telling about the Tomtom PLUS services.
                An installation poster.


                Getting Started
                ******************

                Remove the sticky label covering the front of the sat nav and push the SD card into the slot on the bottom of the machine. You will also find holes for the USB connector, the power connector for the car charger (the other end of the cable fits in the cigarette lighter socket) and the headphone connector. The Tomtom One has a rechargeable battery that can be used continuously for up to 2 hours without charging. My advice is, when you are using it in the car, to keep it plugged into the cigarette lighter. Press and hold the on/off button, which is found on the top right of the Tomtom One for 2 seconds. When you first fire it up you may need to hold down the button for about 20 seconds. Once the screen is on just touch it anywhere and answer the questions. These are whether you would like a male or female prompt voice. Your Tomtom One will then display the driving view which is in black and white. It remains this colour until the Tomtom One locates your position. It may take up to about 5 minutes to do this. If it takes longer just go to an open space away from tall buildings or trees. You may find that if your car has a heat reflective shield built into the windscreen that your Tomtom One may have difficulty finding a signal but this is easily rectified by the purchase of an external antenna.


                Mounting Kit
                ***************

                This is very easy to fit. Just follow the Step by Step guide supplied with the Tomtom One. I have mine positioned at the bottom middle of my windscreen which is to my left. I was a little worried about this as my windscreen is at a funny angle, due to my car being a convertible, but I need not have worried because the bracket onto which you slide the Tomtom is movable, so you can position it wherever you want to enable you to see it. It attaches by suction. This is activated by the movement of a lever which expels all the air from the rubber suction cap device enabling it to stick solidly to the windscreen.


                Your FIRST Journey.
                ***********************

                1. Tap the screen to bring up the menu.
                2. Tap…Navigate to.
                3. Tap address.
                4. First type the name of the town or city you want to go to…. (As soon as you have the first few letters the Tomtom One will give you alternatives so just click on the correct one to save time)
                5. Tap in the street name (Again same as above)
                6. Tap in the house number.
                Your Tomtom will then calculate your route.
                7. When this is finished tap 'Done' and your Tomtom One will immediately start giving you directions for reaching your destination.

                Your Tomtom One will not only give you voice commands but will also give you an on screen moving map to follow.


                Following Instructions.
                *************************

                I am not going to tell you that this is easy because the first time I used my Tomtom one it was to try it out, so I used it on a journey I know well, and because the Tomtom One wanted to take me a route I had never been before it completely freaked me out. I did try to override the instructions and it became quite belligerent with me telling me to 'Turn in the road when safe to do so!' (a term I have become quite familiar with) However, I decided to let George do his job and… wonder of wonders… not only did George get me where I wanted to be but he also found a quicker route…OK I have learned my lesson…'George Knows Best!!'
                You will get used to the commands. An example is 'In 800 yards turn right' then at the junction you get 'Turn right ahead' (I have George set to yards and miles because I am very old and don't understand metres). George tells me when there is a motorway exit I need to take and what exit to use at a roundabout. All of these instructions are given with plenty of time to complete them. And on the bottom left of the screen an arrow shows you which way to go and how far before you have to do it.


                Measurements.
                *******************

                My Tomtom One measures 4 ½" or 12cm across 3 ½" or 9cm in height and 1 ¼" or 3cm deep. So I can get it into even the dinkiest of handbags, which is handy because you do not want to leave it in your car, as it's just another excuse for some idiot to break in.


                Technical Information.
                *************************

                Not only will your Tomtom One make sure you never get lost again but it will also give you:

                An anti glare screen, which is even visible in direct sunlight.
                Points of Interest.
                Petrol stations and their distance and route.
                Restaurants… anything from McDonalds to the finest dining places and their distance and route.
                Hotels/Motels and their distance and route.
                Attractions and their distance and route.
                Parking areas and their distance and route.
                You can also work out routes by using a postcode. Just follow the instruction as before but using the postcode icon.

                If you want to you can take a demo of the route you have selected. Selecting the browse icon can do this; you can either do this in images or you can listen to George as he takes you through command by command.

                If you decide to visit attractions on your route just press the itinerary icon and you can add places to visit


                The Technical Stuff.
                ***********************

                Integrated GPS receiver based on SiRF Star III with 20 Channels.
                32 MB RAM - CPU: 380 MHz.
                Operating temperature: -10 to +55 °C.
                Internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery.
                Built-in Bluetooth Connection.

                Along with the route finding George also has a number of extras…these are part of the Tomtom Plus services.

                1. Information on traffic jams as they occur.
                2. Information about changing weather conditions.
                3. The wherabouts of speed cameras.
                4. A more detailed view of the city or town you are in.
                5. I saved this one until last because I think it's the best. How do you fancy getting your route instructions from John Cleese or a New York taxi driver. These are only two of an assortment of funny voices that you can download along with all the other services that come with Tomtom Plus. I can't wait for the Ozzy Osbourne voice (I have a feeling that he would probably not say'turn in the road when it is safe to do so' …I'll leave you to fill in the 'blanks' on that one!)
                All the above can be downloaded using bluetooth technology and your mobile phone, provided it is enabled with bluetooth. However, there is a small charge for all of the above. Just visit the Tomtom website at www.tomtom.com and see for yourself .


                Where to buy and how much
                ********************************

                This was a Christmas present and I did not want to ask the person who bought it how much they paid so I went onto the internet and the best price I could find was at Carphone Warehouse where it was £249.99 with free next day delivery, Dixons also had the same offer and, after that, Comet came in at £296.99 with free delivery.


                My overall recommendation
                *******************************

                I love George. It is official. I do not know how I managed all that time without him. He is my constant companion. This little gem is so much more than a simple route finder. It is an entertainment guide, a traffic reports system, a weather man, and a money saver. I am sure I am not the only one to be caught by a dreaded 'speed camera' and, before you say anything, I know I should not be speeding, I will go and stand in a corner and beat myself about the head with a wet kipper, and No! I am not going to start driving like Stirling Moss (A racing driver… for those of you only just out of nappies). I give my Tomtom one 12/10….
                I have given my best answers to the Dooyoo product features although some of them are not applicable.

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                • More +
                  24.02.2006 14:02
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                  Everything your dog will ever need in an easy to feed food.

                  I have been breeding, and showing, West Highland White Terriers, (Westies as they are also known) for over 25 years, and using Eukanuba, for many many years, I was converted, by a much loved, and sadly missed, Westie breeder and foremost expert, Marion Hampson, who could not speak highly enough about Eukanuba,

                  Eukanuba is the first dog food, that I have felt confident enough to feed my dogs on, from weaning, to old age, It suits all ages of dog provided that you are feeding your dog correctly, something which must be discussed with the breeder, before you are allowed to take away your puppy, the breeders instructions must always be followed to the letter, thats why you go to a registered breeder, and not a puppy farm, or pet shop, This also applies when taking on a rescue dog,

                  Now the technical stuff, Your dogs immune system, muscles, bones, skin, hair, blood, and other tissues, come from amino acids, these in turn come from protein, in your dogs diet, So you need a complete balanced diet, to ensure your dog will achieve optimum growth, and development, Why eukanuba? because everything you need is right there, no need to add anything, at every stage in your dogs life, there is a eukanuba containing just what your dog needs,starting at the puppy stage, I feed my pups on puppy eukanuba, as soon as they are weaned, there is no need to soften, as it comes in tiny pieces, not only that, but there is a different type eukanuba for every size of pup, small (my breed) medium, and large, each one specifically designed to give the right amount of protiens, omega 6,and omega 3, fatty acids, For your size of pup, for instance, you cant really feed the same food to a westie, as you do to a great dane, In my opinion thats were tinned dog food fails, After puppy stage you move onto junior, then onto various different types depending on size, activity, working, large breed, there is even something for doge who need to diet!. Finally you move onto senior.

                  I have yet to meet a dog who provided they have been trained correctly, has not taken to eukanuba, however I must add that a dog who has been allowed to have human food, is not going to relish, that being withdrawn, and repaced with food that you are not eating, a little bit of trickery may be needed, the old ummm thats good routine, may need to be used, I can assure you there is not a dog alive who will starve itself, so if you persevere you can encourage your dog onto a diet that will meet every stage of its life, You can stop whatever you are feeding your dog on, and repace it with eukanuba straight away, there is no need to introduce a bit at a time, because there is nothing in there that will affect your dogs system, Please do not be alarmed by the amount you are instructed to give, and NEVER be tempted to overfeed, it may seem a lot less than you have fed before, but because of the absorption factor, everything is measured out perfectly, all you have to do is put in a bowl, and watch them enjoy, As with all dry food, a water bowl should be kept full, and changed often, I have known people fill up a water bowl in the morning, and leave it there till the following morning, can you imagine drinking a day old glass of water yuk!.

                  One of the really good points is the 'poo' factor, all dog owners have been there, wondering how on earth so much can come out of such a tiny dog, goodness knows how you big breed lovers go on! when you have established your dog onto eukanuba you will notice that they dont pass as much, this is because most of what they eat is absorbed, therefore less waste, but please note, that if you feed your dogs treats of any kind, they will pass through in the normal way.

                  Now for the price, it may seem that it is priced at the top end of the market, but I am a firm believer in 'you get what you pay for' and when you think of the unconditional love, and respect, you get from your dog, it is a small price to pay, I pay £37.99 for the largest bag, medium £19.99 and small £9.99 this is a good idea of price for my size of breed, the price can differ by a couple of pounds, to a web price of £40.99 for large breed maintainance, quite expensive, so please shop around, there are some excellent deals of 3 for the price of 2, on the net, just put eukanuba into your search engine, and off you go,

                  Please dont think I have forgotten you cat people, You to can get the benefits by using the same thing, but in the form of Iams...

                  Before you rush out to buy eukanuba, why not ask your vet for a free sample, or better still ring Eukanuba on freephone, 0808 100 70 30, and ask them.

                  I would like to add here that I firmly believe that most dog owners have the welfare of their pet at heart, So if you are on a feeding routine that suits your dog then dont change it. However if you are looking for a first class alternative then give Eukanuba a try.

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                  • More +
                    24.02.2006 11:33
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                    If you are a believer then this is for you..If you are not then save your money.

                    I am not a believer nor am I a disbeliever so when I was given a treat of going to the theatre I was surprised to find out we were going to see the Derek Acorah stage show. I had never been to a séance or to a spiritualist meeting and the only thing I knew about Derek Acorah was a programme on TV called 'Most Haunted!' where some people wander around in the dark scaring the pants off one another and saying things like "It's very cold, can you feel how cold it is?" Well, yes, it would be cold! You are walking round an empty building with no heating! Or "Did you hear that sound?" I would be very surprised if you didn't hear sounds at the dead of night in a deserted building. However, I was very intrigued so let the show commence

                    The Stage Setting.
                    ******************

                    This particular show was at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, which is a beautiful old theatre with particularly good views of the stage no matter where you sit. We were sat around 20 rows from the front in centre aisle seats. The tabs (Curtains) were back to reveal the stage. On stage left was what looked like a very large display of flowers. This was, in fact, to hide a camera, which was put on the audience so that everyone could see the person Derek was being asked to make contact with. On stage right was a table with a jug of water and a glass. In the middle of the stage at the back was a huge screen to project the camera shots onto. Below this was a banner with script on it, it read…
                    To the believer no proof is necessary
                    To the unbeliever no proof is possible
                    Sam's True spirit words to Derek from the world of spirit

                    Derek's entrance and first encounter.
                    *************************************

                    Derek was introduced and the packed theatre went mad with clapping cheering and lots of shouts of "Hello Derek!" and "How are you doing mate?" He then spent a few minutes introducing himself and explaining what would happen whilst, all the time, walking around the stage. I felt that the head mike he was wearing could have been louder but perhaps that's just my hearing. In the midst of talking he turned and walked to the front of the stage pointed towards the back left and said 'Nelly! Has anyone got someone called Nelly in spirit world?' No one said anything but he continued to ask, pointing towards a certain area at the back. The camera was now scanning that part of the audience, who could see themselves on the screen, and I was dying for someone to jump up and shout 'Hello Mum!' but they didn't. Derek homed in on a certain lady, whom I have to say looked completely bemused, and said "Do you have anyone in spirit world called Nelly?" She answered, "Yes." I cannot help wondering why she had not said 'Yes' straight away. She was passed a microphone by one of the helpers who were dotted around the theatre. Derek then began to ask questions and it turned out that Nelly was this lady's Aunt. I don't know if it was the fact that she could not believe anyone would want to speak to her, the fact that she did not believe it or the simple fact that she was shy but she was not very forthcoming with her answers and Derek moved on.

                    The Second Encounter.
                    *********************

                    At this point Derek turned to the side and said, "What was that Sam?" I found out that Sam is Derek's spirit guide and that throughout the show he would spend time wandering about speaking to thin air, or so it seemed to me, however, the audience loved it and it occurred to me that this only happened when there was a lull in the proceedings. Was this man really talking to someone from beyond or was he a very good showman? I still wasn't sure. At this point Derek asked did anyone know a Bob or Robert who would have been around 6' 1" in height and worked as a sheet metal worker because he could see him bending metal round something. The camera again homed in on a couple of ladies who said 'Yes they knew a Bob.' It was her granddad and he was a big man who worked in a foundry. Derek seemed pleased to have found them and started to ask questions like "Have you got a sister?" She replied 'No, but I have a sister-in-law. Derek nodded and said "She has children hasn't she?" The lady replied, "Yes…four." Derek asked if she would be having anymore to which he got a resounding 'No.' At this point he laughed and said Sam is telling me different he says there is a child in spirit form waiting to come to them and the next baby they have will be a little girl. There was not reaction to this. Derek then asked "Have you got a guinea pig?" She said 'No'. So he asked if she had a rabbit. Again she said 'No' but the lady then said, "We used to have a gerbil but it ran under the fridge and wouldn't come out and eventually died." Derek laughed and said "Yes, I know, because it's here and your granddad keeps moving it out of the way with his foot!"

                    The Third Encounter
                    *******************

                    Derek asked did anyone know a Bill and May Kendal. He was looking up into the balcony and when no one answered he said laughingly "Don't make me come up there". The crowd went crazy, clapping and shouting "C'mon Derek". The camera moved to the back of the balcony and zoomed in on three ladies who had been moved from their seats to stand at the back. The blonde lady in the middle said, "Derek, I know Bill and May Kendal. They were a lovely couple. They were healers and we worked together because I am a medium!" Derek then turned and spoke to Sam saying, "Right Sam. Right". He then asked the lady if she knew anyone called 'Jackie'. She said, "Yes, my friend". Then Derek asked did she know a 'Dave' and she said her brother-in-law was called Dave. He asked her was he 'all right' and she said 'as far as she knew'. Derek was insistent that she phone him straight away because he felt that he was in difficulties, He then asked "Who is Linda?" The lady turned to her left and said, "My friend here is Linda, Derek". He then asked her, "Are you starting a business?" She said that she was, with the blonde lady. Now call me suspicious but it just seemed a little too set up. Out of all the people there a medium is contacted not with a 'John' or a 'Pete' but 'Bill and May Kendal'! If that was a guess it was a really good one. Who do you think was fibbing? Derek or the blonde lady?

                    The Forth Encounter
                    ********************

                    After Derek took a break (The intermission) I felt the whole show took on a different feel. I cannot comment on how these shows usually go, because this is the first I have ever been to, but I felt very uncomfortable, Derek walked around the stage in quite a sombre mood and then said, "On our way to Manchester I was contacted by the spirit of a little girl around the age of 11 or 12 years of age who had passed away from a tumour or something in her head and this poor soul wanted to contact her parents. He then asked the audience does anyone know a Pat or a Tina. He looked up into the balcony and said, "I am drawn up there to the right-hand side". No one made any kind of sound. However, I did take this opportunity to look at the audience, who were now starting to shift in their seats, and many did look as uncomfortable as I felt. Eventually, after what seemed an age, Derek said, "Don't make me come up there!" The crowd cheered and clapped and shouted, "Come on up Derek". Once again my suspicious mind went into overdrive. I firmly believe this was a smoke screen, because the audience had started to become unsettled, but as soon as Derek started to make his way up onto the balcony the crowd rallied and started cheering, shouting 'Good old Derek'. He asked in a certain area and someone did say, "Yes" but it turned out that they were not the right person. So, he asked again and, would you believe it, the blonde lady medium stood up again and said she knew who it was because she had been giving a reading to the dead girls mother. I couldn't help thinking what a good place to advertise for free. Derek asked who Pat was and the blonde medium said Pat was the girl's aunt who had been with her when she passed away. Derek asked her to pass a message to the girl's parents that she was all right and that she would be sending her mother a sign and not to be frightened. He also made a point of telling everyone that he had never met the blonde lady before and he got her to confirm it. The next part was unpleasant. Derek said that this little girl was accompanied by a young drug addict. She was a girl around 19 years of age, who was waif thin, and had passed away via a drugs overdose. Did anyone know Rachel? Someone said they did and he asked if they could tell her family that she was all right. I don't know if it was the content or the fact that this show was no longer entertaining but the atmosphere in the audience had definitely altered.

                    The Ending
                    ***********

                    I have to say that when Derek announced that he was nearing the end of his show I was relieved. Derek then said he would take a question and answer slot. He looked round and said does anyone want to say anything. The audience were still quiet from the last part involving the two girls so he asked again and someone at the back shouted "You are a w*****" Derek just smiled and held up his hands again. I could not help but wonder if this was a plant or a diversion because of course the audience rose to his defence and the mood lifted. I must add that no one was reprimanded or put out for the outburst although there were lots of Derek's people about so they must have seen who shouted. At this point Derek pointed to a lady not far from where we were sitting and said, "Do you know a George? A slightly overweight man who smiled a lot." She shook her head and said that her grandfather was like the man Derek had described but his name was David George. Derek said, "Yes that's him." and that he had a message for her niece to say that the flowers she keeps smelling are from him and not to be frightened of her gift because he knew she was physic. She said she would pass on the message and Derek moved away but I did notice that the young girl sitting next to the lady had broken down in tears. Derek then spent several minutes answering questions about guardian angels and birds and other bits and pieces. He then thanked everyone and said goodnight and bowed and moved to go off stage. Now I have been to lots of shows of all kinds and even the most mundane receive fairly enthusiastic applause however this was not 'encore type' applause. It was not a very good applause at all. People had started to get out of their seats and make there way out. No one stood in ovation. It was just a few of us politely clapping for all we were worth. Derek came back, took another bow and the applause had stopped before he left the stage.

                    My Opinion.
                    ***********

                    I am reviewing the show and not Mr. Acorah's ability but I feel that the show is Mr. Acorah so I will have to put the two together. As I have already said, I have never been to a spiritualist meeting so I don't know how these go but I have been to lots of shows and I am a regular theatregoer. I think Mr. Acorah is a showman in every way. He knows how to play an audience and is not averse to using some tricks of the trade to get back on track. He is charming, quite good looking, very presentable and articulate. He is amusing and with the Liverpudlian accent, even in Manchester, had the audience warming to him. The actual show depends on whether or not you believe. If you do then I suppose the content is down to the spirits and who decides to come through but if you do not believe then it was not a good content.The bit about the two girls really upset me and left me feeling very sad for those in the audience who had perhaps lost a child. I felt the chats with people were overly long and a little hit and miss. The names were names in everyday use and who hasn't got a deceased relative that was slightly overweight and smiled a lot? The bit with the medium felt rehearsed. If it wasn't then the blonde medium got free advertising to about 300 people. Would I go again? A resounding 'No!' but I do not want to put anyone off. If you believe, go along, as you may just be contacted. If you don't then, don't waste your money, go and see a real show

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                      09.02.2006 11:27
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                      Not if your hair is stressed. But fine if you just need a boost.

                      I received this product along with two others as a Christmas present, the person who bought them knows I am a fan of all L’Oreal products and thought that as I used L’Oreal Hydra repair, which is part of the L’Oreal serie expert range. I might like to try L’Oreal absolut repair shampoo, and like the conditioner in this range which I have also reviewed is suitable for ‘very damaged hair’ should I feel hurt.

                      The Container.
                      ***************

                      This is bottle is shaped not unlike those little bottles that you can buy with soda pop in. Take care not to leave this where little ones can find it…I nearly had to do a hospital dash. My granddaughter thinking it was banana milk shake was just about to take a swig when I caught her....PHEW...The upright flip top opening bottle is cream in colour with the L’Oreal logo on the front and absolut repair. It is plastic and contains 250mls


                      The Shampoo
                      ************

                      The shampoo is a pearlized white in colour and unlike the conditioner is more runny but is very creamy, It does have a fresh fruity smell, no overpowering perfume in fact it is very pleasant.


                      Application.
                      *************

                      The instructions say to apply to damp hair work into lather and repeat if necessary. This is where it fails to perform. When I use my usual shampoo I only need ONE amount regardless of how much product has built up on my hair. However with absolut repair I used it the way I always do by putting the same amount into my hands and rubbing them together before Appling to my hair, and there was very little if no lather, no matter how long I massaged I could not get any decent amount of lather going. I had no option but to rinse and repeat the second time I got a good lather going but it had taken me twice the amount to get my hair clean, I cannot say I noticed any immediate difference it was no softer than with my usual shampoo. I have used this on several occasions and have had the same result.


                      The result.
                      ************

                      I always towel dry and comb through before I use conditioner I honestly could see no difference whatsoever if anything my hair felt a little more brittle that usual, I would have to wait and see if the conditioner made the biggest difference.


                      Cost and Where to buy.
                      ***********************

                      As this was a present I didn’t want to ask how much my friend paid for it so I went in search. I could not find this product in any of the high street chain stores I think it is because it is classed as a professional product. So my next port of call was the internet so after a bit of smurfing I found it at www.lookfantastic.com for £7.25 but if you join membership free you gat it at a special price of Members price: £6.16 but you do have P&P on top however when I looked if you buy three products you get a free gift. I also found it priced at www.beautysleuth.co.uk for £7.25 and P&P is only 99p.


                      Final Thought.
                      ****************

                      Would I use this again well yes if there were absolutely nothing else in the house? I am sorry really because I wanted this to be just as good as L’Oreal Hydra Repair. But it isn’t, It is very expensive to use I had to use twice as much as I usually do, and it didn’t make any noticeable difference even after I had used the conditioner. My hair was soft but it did not repair the damaged hair surface. Which is the claim it makes on the bottle. I do not want to stop anyone from trying this maybe if your hair is in need of a boost then this product would probably suit but as mine is very coloured and heat damaged it just wasen't strong enough. I have recommended this but only if you need a boost not if your hair is stressed like mine.

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                        09.02.2006 11:06
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                        If your hair is very stressed dont buy this. But if it needs a boost then this is the one for you...

                        Full review
                        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        I received this product along with two others as a Christmas present, the person who bought them knows I am a fan of all L'Oreal products and thought that as I used L'Oreal Hydra repair which is part of the L'Oreal serie expert range I would like to try their absolut repair conditioner which like the shampoo I have also reviewed (Review to follow) states on the bottle is a 'repairing conditioner for very damaged hair'. Do you think she's trying to tell me something?

                        The Container
                        ****************

                        This is a cream coloured bottle, base opening with a flip lid, it contains 150mls or 5fl oz. The L'Oreal logo is on the front along with the name absolut repair .It is made of hard plastic and is handy for the shower.

                        The Conditioner
                        ******************

                        The conditioner is a off white colour and is quite thick I put some into the palm of my hand and turned my hand over and it stayed where I had put it, Great because usually mine ends up running down the plug hole…still it keeps the drain well conditioned…It smells of melons and is quite a fruity smell not overly perfumed I like that.

                        Application.
                        *************

                        The instructions say Apply to shampooed hair leave for up to 2 minutes and then rinse I put about a 2" by 2" blob onto the palm of my hand it just about covered the inner part of my palm, I then rubbed my hands together to distribute it evenly through my hair, I have shoulder length average thickness hair, and the amount I used was not enough I had to use some more to do the underside of my hair at the back, I would say it took nearly twice the amount of my usual conditioner, When I was satisfied I had covered my hair from root to tip, I used a comb to make sure every strand was covered I was surprised to find that most of the conditioner stayed on my hair there was very little in the comb, I waited 2 minutes and then rinsed. I did not notice any immediate difference it was no more soft than with any other conditioner.

                        The result.
                        ************

                        After using L'Oreal hydra repair as usual I dried and styled my hair in the way I always have and to be perfectly honest I have not seen any difference, this the third use of this product and there is NO difference what so ever. The claim on the packaging is that it 'repairs and revitalises the damaged hair surface' and 'gives instant detangling for soft protected hair' Well my hair does feel soft and it isn't tangled but no more than with my usual conditioner.

                        Cost and Where to buy.
                        **************************

                        I have not seen this in the shops and I cannot find it listed at boots, the only place I have seen it is on the web…after a search I found the most reasonable price was at
                        www.lookfantastic.com their price is £8.25 but if you join as a member you can get it for £7.01. There is P&P on top but if you buy three products in the range you get a free gift. www.beautysleuth.co.uk are offering it at £8.25 and their P&P is only 99p.


                        Final Thought.
                        ****************

                        Am I impressed…Not really it doesn't appear to be any better than my usual conditioner. It smells very nice and is very thick so no running away and it does stay on my hair. But I had to use a lot more making it quite expensive. It would be unfair of me to say this conditioner is not any good, it did detangle my hair and it did leave it soft but it did not repair the damaged hair surface. That said my hair is very damaged from colouring and the constant use of heat, so I am recommending it to potential buyers because it may be more useful if your hair just needs a boost

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                          03.02.2006 11:50
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                          If you hair is damaged or just frizzy this is the product for you..It really works.

                          It has to be said that my hair is the bane of my life. A top hairdresser once described it as a cross between a bird's nest and a Brillo pad. However, I am not completely guilty of making it that way, although being kind to my hair does sort of come way down on my list of priorities. I lay the blame firmly at my father's door. He had what can only be described as Afro hair and, guess what, out of all of us, who was the lucky person to take after him...ME!!!! So, although I do bleach and straighten my hair, I don't think I am fully to blame,


                          OK rant over...I am always on the look out for something, firstly to straighten my frizzy mop and secondly to protect it. Later you will find out why! Whilst smurffing the web for straightening products I came across this godsend… L'Oreal hydra repair. The following statement got me interested 'Contains the Thermo Bi-Actif System making it perfect for light and easy styling especially when using ceramic irons' I had tried numerous lotions and potions to protect my hair and found that they either weighed it down, left it greasy or just didn't work. So for the princely sum of £7.86 (members price) or £9.25 (non-members price) plus the usual p&p. from lookfantastic.com I ordered and 3 days later my wonder product arrived.


                          Just the thought of washing my hair tires my out because the ritual I go through is a wonder to behold. I have tried every which way to get my hair the way I like it without costly visits to the hairdressers and what follows is the culmination of a lifetime's work....


                          Firstly there is the Shampoo. For me, it has to be John Frieda Frizz-ease Super dooper Maximum Strength (purple bottle) which I wash and repeat.
                          Secondly, there is the Conditioner. Again, John Frieda Frizz-ease Super dooper Maximum Strength (purple bottle) which I leave in for a minimum of 3 mins.
                          Finally, I use John Frieda Miraculous Recovery which I leave in for 5 mins.
                          When I have rinsed this out of my hair I usually wrap a towel round my head and collapse in a heap on the sofa...lol. After this I apply a very small amount of Aveda Hang Straight. Now it used to be at this point that my hair would dry quite nicely. However, I am not sure if it is an age thing, but my hair has started to get frizzy even before I add heat. Which leads my on to my super find...


                          The first time I used hydra repair, I followed the instructions, which say…
                          Spray over your freshly shampooed, towel dried hair, one section at a time.
                          Comb through and style.
                          Do not rinse out.
                          I did as instructed and was pleasantly surprised at how my hair responded. There was a definite improvement but it did feel sort of plasticy.The next time I omitted the Aveda but found it was still a little squeaky. So I then tried my own way of doing it. I followed my usual routine but when it came to the hydra repair I didn't use it section by section, I sprayed the ends of my hair, because that is where I have the most problems, and sprayed just a very fine mist over the rest. Hey Presto! Not only did it work but people started commenting on how good it looked (I must have looked a fright before…lol). I use a straight to dry Iron, but I should imagine the result would be the same if you blowed dry your hair. It does make your hair ultra shiney. There is no chemical smell but it has a very light pleasant smell…sort of fruity. I found the effect lasted for that day and right into the evening although I did have to use my GHDs just to flatten the whispy bits, I definately would have needed them more without the L'Oreal hydra repair.


                          L'Oreal hydra repair comes in a hard plastic pump action spray bottle. On the front is the L'Oreal logo and it says that it is part of the professional range. You are also informed that it is a 'Leave in spray' and that the 150ml bottle contains Thermo Bi-Active system. On the back are the instructions for use, as I have already stated and a huge list of ingredients which I am not even going to attempt to list because most of them are in French anyway! The bottle is recyclable and also it gives the web address as www.lorealprofessionnel.com. There is also some more information but this is in French as well and, as you have probably gathered, I have a problem with ENGLISH! I am not even going to attempt to translate the rest.


                          As I have mentioned already, I got my L'Oreal hydra repair from lookfantastic.com. However, I would say that most places are offering this product at £8.95 but I have seen it at £12.95 so, as always, shop around before you buy.
                          Now I know you canny ladies out there are shouting £8.95 for a finishing spray "God Gina…are you made of money?" Well, No, I'm not! My 150ml has lasted me 6 months and as you can see from my picture my hair is not short and I still have plenty left. I wash my hair 2-3 times a week. Please remember LESS IS MORE! Would I recommend this product? YES! If, like me, your hair wants to do its own thing then BUY this and tame your locks.

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                            29.01.2006 19:44
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                            Problem free, easy book holidays, and all travel requirements.

                            I love holidays. Who doesn’t? But I hate the thought of having to book them. I find no pleasure at all from trawling through beautiful photographs of a resort, which, when you get there, is nothing like it. When I go away I just want to go…I do not want to go into a High Street Travel Agent, queue up to see someone, then wait till they have found the resort I want on their computer only to be told that they are full on the dates I want to go or that the price has gone up…it never seems to go down. Or that I can’t go because they have a ‘No Singles’ policy…So, where do you go from there? I know I go to Teletex! So you find the holiday you want at a brilliant price but when they check it that one never seems to be available. However they do have something in your price range but when they have added on all the extras you end up with having to take out a second mortgage for it. I know I will probably have ruffled a few feathers because I know that some of you out there will have had no trouble at all booking your holidays and I applaud you. My motto is ‘If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it’. But if like me you have had trouble, fear not, help is at hand…Enter Travel Counsellors.


                            The Company
                            **************

                            Travel Counsellors is the brainchild of David Speakman who has had some 25 years in the travel industry. His mission is to make travel troubles a thing of the past. The difference being Travel Counsellors are not tied to any one particular company. For instance, if you go into Thomas Cook in the High Street they will probably not be interested in you wanting to book a Thompson’s holiday because they want you to book their own brand holidays. But when you go to Tavel counsellors You get what you want! You can book a world tour stopping off at the places you want to visit, and not just the ones the brochure tells you you have to, or just book a flight to Glasgow to visit your granny. Wherever you want to go however near or far it is, its all arranged personally for you,To your own specific requirements. There are over 550 independent Travel Counsellors in the UK, all working under David Speakman’s banner. Travel Counsellors are the only Travel agency to win the Queen’s Award for Excellence.




                            First Contact
                            ***************

                            I went on line to find my nearest Counsellor and that’s when I found my travel angel Paula. I really did not expect the level of service I got. She was friendly, chatty and quite humorous. She listened patiently to all my moans and disappointments and offered advice where and when she could get a word in…I was on a mission…She made me a promise to get me the holiday I wanted and not the only one in the shop as that’s the one they are told to push because they are linked to that particular company. Paula was very interested in what I wanted. She asked me what my likes and dislikes were, what type of accommodation I preferred, did I like nightlife, did I want a beach, and was sun important? Lots of questions like these, and finally, how much money did I want to spend. She then said she would come up with some ideas for me to think about and if I did want to visit any travel agent to do so but, before I booked, to come back to her to see if she could better the price…nice touch I thought.



                            The Booking
                            **************

                            It was only a couple of hours and Paula got back to me with some ideas She offered me about 6 choices! I was amazed at the standard of accommodation and the diversity of the places to visit. Paula explained that the price quoted was the full price and that there was nothing else to add on, unless, of course, I wanted her to arrange car hire or insurance or any other little extras. For instance she offered to find out about excursions for me to save me the bother. She even offered to get my currency for me, which would be delivered to my door. Talk about 5 star treatment. Paula also gave me links to resort and hotel websites so that I could check them out for myself. We spent a good half an hour looking at hotels and having a giggle at some of the photos.
                            I decided on a beach holiday in Lanzarote. I like Lanzarote so I felt comfortable going back. I decided to go to the Sand Beach Villas complex, which I had seen many times in the past but, because it was so beautiful, I had believed it to be either time-share or definitely out of my price range. I had certainly never seen it in any brochure. When Paula offered it to me I voiced my concerns but she said “ Well, its coming up as available to you so if you want it its yours!” I accepted.
                            We then went onto flights…I hate flying at night and would rather pay double than have to check out of my hotel and have to wait 10 hours before I can go to the airport. I know most places have courtesy rooms but they are not for me. This was not a problem and Paula offered me several different combinations. I never realised you could fly out with one airline and come back with a completely different one. Paula did all this because she knew I did not want to fly at night. She got me the perfect combination. Departing from Manchester at 8.00am…and returning from Lanzarote at 12.30pm. Just perfect and at a very affordable price! Paula also mentioned that if for any reason I had to fly at night I was not to worry because she could extend occupancy of the room. That was something new to me.


                            The Holiday
                            **************

                            What can I say? Outstanding! I had a week of perfection. The flights were spot on time. No delays out or back! The accommodation was just splendid. It was all exactly as Paula had promised.



                            The Personal Touch
                            *********************

                            This is where Travel Counsellors excel. I received my paper work the next day and, along with my accommodation voucher, I had luggage labels, which had been beautifully hand written, with all the flight and hotel details on them for me. What a nice touch. My flight tickets arrived about a week later. The currency I ordered arrived the next day. A week later I received a ‘Thank You’ card thanking me for booking with Paula, and along with this Paula sent me a resort guide. Two days before my holiday I received a phone call from Paula wishing me a safe journey and a good holiday. When I returned, waiting for me, was a postcard from Paula saying ‘Welcome Home… and she hoped I had had a restful and good holiday! I must just point out that these were all hand written and personal. Then, two days after that, I received a phone call from Paula and she was really genuinely interested in how my holiday had gone.


                            Recommendation.
                            ******************

                            Travel counsellors are the new breed of Travel agents and will I have no doubt take over from all the competition. Would I use Travel Counsellors again…a most definite YES!! …. If you are in the market for a holiday then before you book, through whatever means you choose… just call over a have a word with Paula who can be found at… www.travelcounsellors.com/paula.brown If she cannot find the holiday of your dreams she will at least give an entertaining hour or so trying.
                            Enjoy your holidays. I am off to spend a lovely hour or two booking mine....

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                            • Dog Training Techniques / Discussion / 45 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                              05.01.2006 14:30
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                              This is the starting point of good behaviour for you and your dog....

                              I am not going to preach about the dos and don'ts of purchasing a pup, as you will already have wrestled with your conscience about that for yourself. What I am going to do is help you train your pup in what can be a sticky subject for most new owners.

                              Toilet Training.
                              *****************
                              Your first port of call should be to refer to the guidelines set out for you by the breeder, but if for some reason you don't have these then I will go through it step by step.

                              Before You Bring Home Baby
                              ********************************
                              Before you bring home your pup set up its sleeping place. This should be a hard floor and the kitchen is ideal. Never let your pup into your bedroom as it's a hard habit to break and is just as bad for the pup as it is for you.
                              Get a cardboard box. They are free at most supermarkets. They are warm and they can be used to teethe on.
                              Set it up in a place that is permanent. Don't move it! Remember your pup will get used to the spot.
                              Surround the bed with newspapers. You will need loads of these. I usually advise prospective owners to start collecting them up to 2 weeks prior to getting your pup. Extend them all over the floor.

                              Bringing Home Baby
                              ************************
                              Take your pup to its new bed and with a lot of encouragement place your pup in it. With any luck your pup should be used to a nice warm cardboard box because the breeder will already have used something similar.
                              Your pup will spend a lot of time sleeping. NEVER disturb your pup; you will just have to wait until it wakes to cuddle and play with it.

                              Toilet Training. Phase One
                              ******************************
                              Firstly let me say that you are going to have to have a lot of patience. If there are any accidents then it is YOUR FAULT not your pups.
                              Usually pups wee and poo (Technical terminology). When they wake up or after they eat or when they are excited from play…which is most of the time, so you have to be vigilant.
                              The paper you have put down will become your pup's toilet. Your breeder will have already introduced your pup to newspaper toilet training but if they haven't it really is easy.
                              When your pup wakes make sure that he doesn't leave the 'paper area' until he has performed a wee. He will do this but you may have to wait a while.
                              As soon as your pup starts to perform repeat a word over and over to it. I use 'wee wee'.
                              Don't say its name! Just the word repeated until they stop and then lots and lots of praise.
                              For poo I use 'Hurry up'.
                              Once you have established a routine you can then start to train your pup to do its toilet where you want it to do it.

                              Toilet Training. Phase Two
                              ******************************
                              You will find after a short time that your pup will only be using certain spots in the kitchen to do its toilet. Usually three or four places.
                              At this point you can start to move the outer edges of the papers in towards the 'toilet points'. You will find that after a short while you will have three or four pieces of newspaper on the floor. You must always remember to put the paper back in exactly the same places so as not to confuse your pup.
                              Once this has been established you will be able to move these pieces of paper very slightly in towards each other.
                              Eventually you will be able to take away a couple of pieces of the paper provided that your pup has taken to performing on them and nowhere else.
                              At this point I feel it only fair to mention there will be accidents but, as I have said previously, it will do you no good at all trying to chastise your pup as they will not understand. Just clean it up and chalk it up to experience.
                              Once you have your pup down to one piece of paper you can then start to move this towards an outside door. It is your aim to have your pup go to that outside or back door when it wants to do its toilet.

                              Toilet Training. Phase Three
                              *********************************
                              I am not going to set a time limit on this training because every breed of dog is different, just like every owner is different, and I am a great believer in the fact that the more time you put in then the greater the rewards. You may find your pup is trained in one week, or it may take up to a month, but you will get there.
                              Once your pup is fully vaccinated and your vet has given you the 'all clear' that your pup can go outside it is time to complete phase three.
                              At this point, after you have introduced your pup to the outside world, you move the paper outside. Always leave a piece in the usual place until you can coax your pup that you want them to perform out of doors.
                              This is where the voice command comes in. If you have used your repeated chosen word every time you have seen your pup perform then this is the time to use it. Don't be disheartened if your pup just runs around ignoring you. I promise it will work but only when you pup is calm.
                              The same still applies as to when your pup wants to perform on waking etc. but hopefully you will have learned the signs. It may be that you do not have a 'lassie type pup' who runs up to tell you 'Robbie's down a mine shaft' but, if you have been observant, you will, hopefully, have spotted the tell tale signs that say. Let me out!

                              Problems
                              ************
                              Sometimes problems occur. It's not your fault and it's not your pup's fault. No one is infallible. If something goes wrong and you start to get accidents, don't be upset, just go back to phase one and start again. You will be amazed how going back to basics really does work and I can assure you it's quicker the second time. Sometimes we just need our memories jogged.

                              I hope this has been helpful to you and I have to say that I know this has worked on older dogs so give it a try.
                              I have never believed in the saying 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks'.
                              Just look at me!

                              This is only one tiny part of training a dog but one of the most important. Get this one right and you are off to a wonderful start...Good Luck.

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                              • Life after Death / Discussion / 46 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                                17.12.2005 15:43
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                                Life after death....A debate that will continue untill someone comes back to let us know.....

                                I have always believed I have a healthy attitude towards death,
                                As far as I am concerned when you die one of two things may occur.
                                No 1....I don't know anyone who can tell me the exact moment they fall asleep. Well, I believe that death is like that, even extreme death, i.e. accident or worse. The actual moment of death is non-existent because if there is nothing else you won't know anyway. You will pass away and that will be that...
                                No 2....If No 1 is not the end, well, this could be the start of the most incredible adventure of your life or death.

                                I feel that a belief that there is something after death stems from fear. A fear so strong that it makes people create another world. How many times do you hear, "This can't be all there is" or "There must be something else otherwise why are we here" We are here because the force of mother nature made our parents procreate, and those of us indoctrinated into religion at an early age have our minds conditioned to believe that there is a heaven and far, far worse infect our poor childlike minds with the fact there is a hell!!! What kind of sick puppy dreamed that one up. Leaving religion aside, and I think, with respect, that any decent minded person amongst us would or should do exactly that, after all that is purely man made and worthy of a review all of its own.
                                Where is the proof? Do we turn to 'Most Haunted'? A program based on some people with extremelly lively imaginations wandering around 'haunted' locations contacting souls who have passed on but not 'over'. The central figure being a rather dubious Liverpudlian who talks to a chap called Sam (who has shufflled off this mortal coil) and who can only be heard by himself. Now, call me a sceptic, but are we really supposed to believe that this guy is taken to a mystery place which he knows nothing about and is let loose to advise the presenters about all the souls who gather in that dwelling? Oh, give me a break, they, like every television production you watch, do it to make money. If this guy was for real would he be working on a TV production? I can assure you he would not. He would be locked away whilst every scientist in the country examined him and the information he gives can be obtained by logging on to any search engine and typing in the location.

                                I bet you are thinking that I am a disbeliever and do not believe in life after death. You would be wrong I niether believe or disbelieve but until someone gives me proof either way I will remain undecided. There have been two occasions in my life when something has happened which has made me stop and wonder but being the person I am I have proceeded to find a logical explanation. I will share these with you.

                                When my father died I was nowhere near home and took the call from an extremely hysterical mother, who kept shouting "Your father's fainted and I can't wake him up". Given the fact that 6 weeks prior to this my father had suffered a massive heart attack I very much doubted that it was just a faint. I asked if she had called an ambulance and she said "No". I immediately told her to call the ECRU (Emergency Cardiac Response Unit), which she did. When I finally arrived the ambulance men were still working on him but to no avail. He died that night. He was a lovely man. Once my mother was settled with my aunt I made my way back home promising to return the following day when I had sorted everthing out kids dogs etc. It was only when I had gone upstairs to bed that I realised I had not shed a tear. I sat on the end of the bed and thought...that's it...I will never laugh with my dad again. It was then the floodgates opened and once open I could not stop. After what seemed like an age I heard a voice inside my head, not through my ears, (I know that sounds strange but I dont know how to explain it). It said "It's all right cocky it's all right" That's all it said. No more. But it was my father's voice using a phrase he only said to me. I wasn't frightened and I didn't answer. I just felt it was his way of letting me know it was all right. I suppose you are thinking at this point that that should make me a believer, and it would be easy to be, but at a time when there was extremely high emotion and a wish that I could have had more time with him, could it have been my own brain giving me a solution.

                                I was in a violent unhappy marriage with two small children and at times doubted my own sanity. I remember one night when I had gone so low that I contemplated suicide. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that in the next rooms were a 6 yr old and a 4 yr old who would have found me. I was in such a state that I sat on the bed and locked my arms round my knees, and rocked back and forth, and wept and wept till my legs were wet through from the tears, when I took a moment to breath, I looked upwards and said, "GOD help me, if you are there help me, I have never asked for anything till now because I didn't really think you exsisted, but if you are there Please Please help me"..it was at that precise moment that a feeling so strong overtook me completely, I felt like someone, or something had put ther arms, or a huge blanket around me, and a feeling of complete Peace came upon me, so much so that for the first time in a long time, I felt no need to lay awake waiting for the key to go in the lock and wondering what was going to happen, all traces of sadness and fear seemed to vanish, was that a being from beyond giving me comfort, or just my brain shutting down to save me anymore hurt. A self presevation button...

                                So do I believe in life after death, I have to put my hand on my heart and say I dont know, and finally, if I have upset anyone with my views, I am deeply sorry, it has not been my intention to derride, or to discourage anyone from their beliefs, We are each in turn responsible to our own conscience

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                                  15.12.2005 20:46
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                                  One appliance to make the job of 'Drying and Styling' your hair easier

                                  Firstly, a little bit of background, My hair has been compared to a bird's nest and a brillo pad so when I saw an advert for Remington Wet2Straight I was delighted because, with only one lot of heat, I could be kinder to my poor tired dry hair. Instead of Bleaching, Washing, Blow drying, and Straightening. I could go from washing to straightening. Sounds perfect in theory.....

                                  I purchased my Remington slim S-8100 Wet2Straight from Boots for £79.99. I do believe they have come down in price and, after a quick visit to the net, I found they ranged from, top end £85.99 to the lower end £63.90 from Tesco. and my Remmington wide from Amazon for £49.97 I have been onto the internet again to research and apart from E-bay, Amazon are the cheapest. They come nicely packaged which is a must if they are going to be a pressie.

                                  The instructions are very easy to follow, they even show you pictures! Wash and towel dry your hair and apply some form of protective spray, I use L'Oreal Hydra repair, I have tried others but I find this works the best (well for me anyway). You then switch on your straigteners with the temperature setting at its lowest, a red light will come on, and after 30 seconds, start to flash, it does say leave for 90-120 seconds for optimum heat-up time. For my damaged hair, I use a minimum setting, average is OK for normal hair, and highest for thick or coarse hair. The next stage is the bit that took me some time to get used to, My first attempt, I sectioned too much hair, and went to fast, So ended up with damp frizzy roots. It does take a little practice, to discover how much hair and how fast to dry/straighten it. I find it best to section the hair from the back of the head first, don't section too much, and take the irons quite slowly, down from root to end. Don't be put off by the crackle, and hiss, it just means it's working, and very important, KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM THE VENTS.....I found out the hard way, good really because I have never done it since. Once you have completed all your hair you can go back over it, just to smooth any little flyaways. I find that my straightened hair usually lasts about 4-6 hours, before the return of the frizz, but that is in ideal conditions, it dosent include, hot or humid, when even super glue wont hold it down.

                                  I was advised to get the slim version, because, and I quote, 'You will be able to get them closer to the roots of the hair.' I have since found out that this is just not true, So I have passed the slim version on to my friend who has much shorter hair than me and have now got the wider version, I see no diference in the operation, however I do find that because of the width of the plates I dont get an anoying 'crease' effect at the sides of each section, which I would have to go over again to take out.

                                  They come, as all appliances do nowadays, with a plug attatched, and a super little carry case, they are 220-240v 50/60hz 50w. You technical folk out there will know what that means, but I have used mine abroad without any problems.

                                  Finally, I must say that the results I get on my hair are good, but not as good as blow drying and straightening the conventional way. and I must say that for a proffessional look I really dont think you can beat GHDs. However, for taking away with me they are the best

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