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I hope that in writing this it could maybe someday help someone else with Autism to understand themselves a little bit more. Maybe just to know that they are not alone, I have thought a lot about how to write this. And I have decided that in order for this to truly be of use to anyone, I have to be completely open and honest with how it affected me.
Even if writing this never helps anyone, it is somewhat therapeutic for me to write about it. Anyone that has read my "about me," which I wrote quite a while ago, would know that I also have Mild Cerebral Palsy, OCDS, and Anxiety. From the time that I was able to walk and talk these things began being referred to as a "Hidden Disability.*
I also had Global Developmental Delay, as the years went by, I caught up, but I wish it had happened so much sooner. In that "in-between period between GDD and Autism, I am left with an almost blankness about all of the time leading up to when it got better.
So much of my childhood I cannot remember and what I do remember I cannot relate to anymore. Autism made me very isolated...
_How Isolation caused by Autism affected me_
I remember standing on the playground in school singing and humming to myself. I would never do something like that now, but then I did and I could not even explain why I did it because I honestly do not know. Since my diagnosis, It has been like emerging from years of having a cloud over my head and finally seeing everything crystal clear.
I am very careful who I let close to me. In day to day life, I do not have many friends, through choice because of the above-mentioned things. Some may think I am an introvert, but I am actually someone who loves people and would give my last penny to help someone out, whether I know them or not.
I can not go out to bars or crowded areas without great anxiety and being around alcohol is not really my thing. Some of the people around me do not understand this and probably never will and this leads to a gap in even family relationships.
When I was younger, I did my work experience in the Housing Executive and was given a glowing report that ended in the person who wrote it saying they would have me back at any time. I enjoyed my time there so much, but my autism ruled every day and minute. I could not be in crowds and despite the people being so nice to me. At lunch hour, I just felt a need to go out and stand by myself.
The only exception being when two guys who were also there at the time would invite me out with them and that was something I could do because there were no crowds. I wish then I had my diagnosis because I would of at least understood what was going on and what was going on was sensory overload which leads to isolation.
_Blind to Expressions and Intention_
Autism made me blind to people's intentions, and this was right up until about a 3 or 4 years ago that it affected me the worst. It still affects me, but at least now I have a better understanding of it. I could not read people's expressions, could not understand when they were joking or not (still affected by that one) I do not get banter at all!
I also could not tell by the tone of their voice either. This affected my life so much and had I had an earlier diagnosis I could have avoided so many bad people and situations because I would have questioned things and people even more. Particularly the bad men that I met.
Only now I am realising that questioning people was a good way that Autism affected me. I found myself asking men that I was just beginning dating questions, and this made most of them angry at me, but it was my only way to understand because I could not read their expressions or tone of voice etc. In this way, my Autism protected me and was almost like a defence.
In hindsight, I realize that this made men who turned out to have bad intentions towards me (the user type) run a mile. Processing meant I never knew their intentions were bad until it was too late and by the time I was asking them questions they had already been manipulative and often tried to get me to do things that I did not want to.
Even though I did not do those things I still was greatly affected by the manipulation and mind games that were involved. On two occasions, things went beyond being manipulation hence the PTSD.
I believe people with bad intentions can home in on vulnerable people very easily. Only after my diagnosis can I look back years later and see just how wrong they were.
It took meeting my Fiance who is different to realize there are good people out there and that when someone loves you, they love you for who you are not what you are wearing. Being with him has helped me understand so much and helped me understand myself more too.
Even before I got my diagnosis he helped me understand things and restored my faith in good people. We both support each other and he said that I have helped him a lot too.
The things that happened to me while dating left me with PTSD and I hope that in writing this, that maybe parents of girls with Autism might be even more aware of just how vulnerable they are and be extra vigilant. Although I know that children and adults who have autism often tend to be blessed with wonderful parents like mine.
They did their best to protect me, but they could not prevent me from living. Had I had my Autism Diagnosis I believe I would have known a bad person a mile off. When I was still processing people's intentions my Mum and Dad had usually already figured them out. But, I had to come to those realizations on my own.
It is important however that people with kids with Autism and other disabilities male or female, that they will be extra aware of their vulnerabilities because there can be both men and women who are abusive. Even parents of kids without disabilities have to be careful, but Autism make you significantly more vulnerable. Particularly for me because I got a late diagnosis and apparently that is on the rise because Autism is harder to recognise in girls.
Imagine looking at someone, hearing every word they say and wondering do they mean it? Never knowing if they are lying or telling the truth. Not knowing when someone is joking or serious. It is a blindness to social cues, that is what autistic people are up against. I am high on the spectrum but not the highest. I do not get the physical effects like hand flapping (stimming,) and so I cannot comment on that side of it.
_Lack of Diagnosis and Betrayal Of Trust_
The doctor who insisted that I got the vaccines that caused my Autism and other disabilities put my mom through hell. She wanted so badly to find out why 3 of her children were affected by vaccines and she fought very hard over me in particular. When they finally allowed her to ask questions one of the doctors attending the interview got up and walked out. They promised she could ask a set amount of questions and they hardly answered any at all. One of those things that they did say is that I had 8 or 9 different disabilities that I would never have a name for them all and I am only finding out now that Autism is one of them.
I would be lying if I said that I am not angry at the negligent, Doctor who so nonchalantly decided that I should get vaccines despite seeing that my other siblings were also affected by them, but it will not change what happened. I never wanted compensation even though he told my parents to sue him. I just want other people to hopefully never be in the same situation.
_Catching up, Autism, and GDD_
I do know that when most of the kids in my class were emotionally 8 or 9 I was still "catching up emotionally," I was top of my class in subjects and it never affected my ability to learn, but the bullying and ignorance I faced did. I had to leave behind all of what I worked so hard for. Despite my teachers telling me they were expecting very good results from me in my GCSE.
_How Autism Affected Me In School_
Being autistic, I believe has made me kinder, more caring and more thoughtful. These things were not appreciated in the Secondary School that I attended and I eventually had to leave. By the logic of a great amount of the pupils in that school. Being kind was weak and being shy meant I was a snob. However, I would rather be me than ever be like any of them.
When I went to my next school I had experience in tech doing Hair Dressing, Beauty Therapy, Sewing, Cooking etc I struggled so much in these things because of my processing times. Despite my struggles, it did not stop me putting everything into them. In fact, it made me even more determined to try harder.
Despite everything, there was always things that I just could not make sense of and that is where my Autism slotted together the final piece of the puzzle. Autism is not who I am, but it does affect me.
I refer back to a memory in Primary School, the teacher asked everyone with long hair to stand up in a group exercise and while everyone else who did, was already standing up, I was still sat down minutes later wondering do I?
I did but at the time I really could have done with knowing that people with Autism have problems with processing things.
I always figured things out eventually, but it took me a bit longer to do it. I found that one teacher in a Primary School that I attended had no patience for me at all. She thought that I was just being difficult and would often slap me around the head in class if I got things wrong.
Maybe in writing this someone, somewhere might one day read this and realize that people who get chosen to work with not just Autistic children but all disabled children and adults should be extensively interviewed to ensure that they are the sort of people to be in that position and that they have the patience to help those children and not get frustrated with them instead. Maybe my bad experiences can shine a light on the things that need to be improved and something positive could come out of them?
There are also wonderful people working with Autistic people and I would not forget to mention that. I have met quite a few lovely people leading up to and after my diagnosis some who I see or am in contact with on a regular basis.
Processing and spatial perception also affect me on escalators because I cannot judge when to step on to them. My perception is entirely out of whack and so is my balance. So much so that the bit in the cinema once you come down the steps and you are on the ground walking in total darkness towards the door. Well at that part I feel a need to make sure my footing is correct and feel like with each step I am about to fall. It is such a pain in the neck!
Another way that processing affects me is that I struggle to deal with things in the way that most people would. It took me much longer to come to terms with and accept things that have happened in my past than it maybe would have done for people without autism. This I know was extremely hard on me and those around me who had to watch me suffer. Now that I have this awareness and diagnosis I try my best to cope with things better because I do not want to see those closest to me upset and I know that they do not like seeing me upset either.
Another way that it affects me is that I can not cope with things being sprung on me. I need time to plan things and I have to stick to my routines. Otherwise, I would be climbing the walls
I never really thought autism affected my eating habits until I read about autistic people that have to have cheese with everything and I realised that I do that too. I also have to have things arranged a certain way on the plate and I go through fads of only eating certain things. My brother is like this too with his autism, although he tends to eat a lot of cereal.
I have found that the only way to cope with Autism for me is to do things my own way. I have to stick to my routine religiously, but acceptance and having people around you who understand is the key. I have also found that being different is not bad, if I could click my fingers and not be Autistic tomorrow I would not because there are positives to being autistic.
I also find it helps me to have Cortana on my phone which is sort of a virtual helper. Everything I need to remember is stored on that and I have it on my phone and laptop. Autism and sensory overload are enough to worry about without trying to remember everything too. Even just a Notebook or Sticky Notes might make all the difference to an Autistic person.
_There are Positive Aspects of Autism._
Autistic people can be very good at concentrating on things and once they put their mind to things they can do almost anything,
Autism makes me more caring, people have said I care too much, but I would rather that than not care at all. Caring is never a bad thing and can make the world better. It is actually something that the world could do with more of. I am always honest and only say something if I really mean it, autism makes me that way.
My happiness in life comes solely from being around the people that I love and looking after my pets. I am not materialistic and would not change that about myself for the world.
I put my heart and soul into everything that I do.
_My Advice On Understanding People With Autism_
We are not really that different to anyone else and a lot of the things that affect Autistic people can affect non-autistic people too. But, just maybe not always to the same extent or in the same ways.
_Working With Autistic People_
I cannot speak for all autistic people because we are all unique, but, I personally do not want to be treated any differently to anybody else. If you are someone who is working with Autistic people, please speak to them, and not at them. If they are in the room please do not talk about them as if they are not there to the other people present. I found that quite upsetting, and it made me choose not to have certain people around me.
This including even some people who were supposed to be there to help. If you interact with Autistic people this way and you truly want to help them, you may find that they come up with a lot of excuses as to why they cannot see you or attend appointments. That is not going to help anyone, because it leads to further isolation for the Autistic person and the person who cares and wants to help will come across as though they really don't.
Luckily I have people around me who I trust and who understand me but a higher functioning Autistic may not know that many people or even know how to communicate these things to you and you might be one of the only people who can help them. I can only speak from my experience, no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but I hope that by sharing this it will help the people who have encountered this and the people who may possibly be doing this, without even realising it.
I do not think that anyone likes to be underestimated, people with autism are not any different. If a person with Autism has not tried something please do not automatically assume that they cannot do it before they have even found out for themselves. And if they tell you that they really cannot do something, then they must really struggle with it and if they were to be pushed to do it this could cause them a great deal of stress and anxiety.
I do not really like to accept that there is anything that I "can't do* and so if I tell someone that I cannot do something, it is because I truly cannot. It may take Autistic people longer to do things but when they do they will probably put a lot of effort into it and it might even be close to perfect because we are often perfectionists. I cannot do anything by halves, I try to always do the absolute best that I can.
Please do not think that because someone is Autistic that they will automatically want everything done for them. I certainly do not, I am very independent, we may require longer to learn certain things and may even need to repeat the process a few times before we get it right but once we learn a skill, we have learnt it for life.
I always prefer to do things for myself and very rarely need help just understanding, encouragement and time.
I am so delighted with the support that I have received from my social worker, occupational therapist and the psychologist who diagnosed me. These people seem to have an inherent understanding of autism and are brilliant at what they do because they understand these things.
One of those people recently told me that I am coping so well, that her part in my life is now complete and that I will only be seeing her one last time. Although I can contact her if I ever need her, as someone who did not trust people and someone who was anxious about people who I did not know coming into my life. I will actually miss my chats with her, but I am glad that I am coping better.
I was the kind of person who would have been reluctant to get help from anyone, partially because I could not trust anyone and partially due to not realising that at the time I did really need support. I kept thinking that I could cope with everything on my own but because of my bad experiences in the past and the struggle to deal with them, I went through severe depression.
I needed help to pick myself back up again and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to have these people there to help me because now I am back on my feet and nothing can knock me back down.
I would fully encourage anyone else in a similar situation to let people help you because everybody needs help sometimes. Even if all you need is for someone to listen who understands you. I can promise that it is one hundred percent worth your time to get the support that you need.
_Having an Autistic Friend_
A lot of people with Autism struggle in this area, but that does not mean that they are loners or that they do not want friends.They might refuse to do certain things, for example, I like to stay in places that I am familiar with. No matter how much I like someone, If I do no want to go somewhere, then I am not gong and nothing will change that.
I will not go to bars because of sensory overload and also due to the fact that I just do not like crowds, alcohol or being drunk in general. This was very hard for other people to understand and often they took offense and that upset me even more because I do not like to see anyone upset.
If there are things we do not like please do not try and make us do those things anyway. I also found that I had a lot of friends who betrayed me and I was deeply hurt by those things and this made me less open to making more friends.
I sometimes am just so overwhelmed by day to day life that I cannot do the things people ask of me. It is something that causes me a great deal of frustration. There are times when I would love to do something, go somewhere and I just can't because it is all too much for me but even on those days I force myself to do the things that cannot wait I have to prioritise the best that I can and I think I do quite well considering all that I have had to cope with.
I compare it to being a bit like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit and some days I can do everything that needs to be done and all of the input doesn't overwhelm me as much but others there is too much input and then I feel like I am malfunctioning. If the day gets too stressful, I just have to do what I am capable of depending on the level of stress that I am dealing with, but I always try my best. I like to know that I have friends and I care deeply about the people who I am close to. I am great at listening to people and love to help others and give advice.
I need people to let me know quite clearly if they are joking or not. I have taken offense of thing that were not meant in an offensive way on numerous occasions and I understand that it can be an inconvenience to have to explain to someone why you did or did not say something or said it in a certain way.
But I hope that those people might try to understand. If you find it annoying or inconvenient having to explain yourself, then imagine how it feels to be the person who is so confused by things that people without autism understand so easily. If you have an autistic friend there may be some misunderstandings, but a little bit of understanding goes a long way.
After quite a while of choosing not to have any friends other than my family and my fiance. I have recently become friends with two really lovely people and I am beginning to trust again, but that took me a long time. One of those people is a breeder who I got my Siamese cats from and I am so glad that I met him. He even helped me with painting my flat and so did my fiance paul. Having his friendship has helped me so much and I am so thankful that I met him. Autistic people can have friendships, but they need to meet people who have the patience to try and understand them.
_Parents of Children with Autism_
My parents always did their best and they did brilliantly despite all that they had to deal with themselves. They both have disabilities of their own to deal with and they had four of us, three of us having disabilities that were caused by vaccines and my brother was recently diagnosed with Autism too.
I know it was hard for them to understand me, growing up, I was not even able to be hugged up until my teens. I would scream in pain if they tried to hug me or brush my hair due to the sensory issues. I am highly sensitive to pain, going to the Dentist is a nightmare for me because of that. It takes very special parents to cope with looking after a child with Autism, like all parents they did not have a book of instructions and they had to learn as they went along.
With their encouragement and support, I got through all of the ups and downs of life and learned to walk and talk too. I do not think I could have done it without them. They supported me through a very turbulent time and through all the heartbreak that lay ahead of me with some very predatory and heartless men. If I did not have them, I honestly do not believe that I would be here right now and writing this but I am so very glad that I am.
Growing up my parents did a lot of explaining things to me to try to help me understand. I had so many questions, that I am sure that I probably drove them mad because I was asking so many. But they never complained, if I was thinking something, I just had to ask and I always
felt better when I did.
They did not always have all of the answers because no one knows the answers to everything, but they always tried to answer my questions in the best way that they could. I would often have talks with them and asked things like, why people act the way that they do? What made some people insensitive? and how come I was not like that? Why are we here? What is our purpose? etc.
Those things were perplexing to me and I understand now that some people can just be bad because they are bad or because they have their own issues that they are taking out on others. I still do not know why we are here, but my paranormal research will hopefully one day answer that question sufficiently for me. If I was upset my parents were always there for me and they never put pressure on me to deal with things. They just understood what I was going through and they let me talk my way through the things that I felt in my own time.
_Autism and Relationships_
This is a minefield and I absolutely dread to think of other autistic people in the same dangerous situations that I was and if they do not have a diagnosis they are at risk. When I got my diagnosis I went through a roller-coaster of emotions and relationships were where Autism affected me most.
Being blind to Social Cues and too trusting is a dangerous mix. I found that even when people showed me that they were bad, I was still processing so many different emotions, and the overruling one was wanting to believe that there was no such thing as bad people.
I encountered two who lied to me about cancer, one who lied because he wanted me to feel sorry for him and who then went on to try and convince me to do things that I did not want to do, one I met online and the other I knew in school.
The person who I did not meet online, I thought was a friend who could be trusted, he lied about having it, for a reason that I will probably never know.
Another who tried to blackmail me into something because he knew a secret.
Most of the men that I spoke to online did not ask or care about what age I was. 99% were exactly the same. Even when I was only around 12 or 13. I blocked a number of them that is so large that it is also deeply worrying that there are so many like that.
There are many good men and probably more good than bad but the reason I am writing this is because I NEVER want anyone else, male or female, to go through the things that I did or to see their child go through it either.
If you have a child with Autism please do not allow them to have a webcam and if you do always supervise them. My parents had no idea what was going on and I guess they underestimated the power of a manipulative person behind a computer screen.
Even if you have a child with no emotional problems please be so careful. A lot of people probably already know this but my parents did not expect it and that was not their fault. I resorted to the webcam because I was isolated and lonely. My autism made it hard for me to socialise but in hindsight I would rather have had no socialisation than speak to the people that I did.
Some I talked to for months and then gradually they started to reveal their true intentions and they had been grooming me all along. The two I mentioned previously I did not talk to just online but I met one of them there and what followed caused me to have PTSD and trust issues.
The positive that I can draw from all of it is that I can use my experience to warn others and also that I will in the future be better equipped to protect myself and our kids (if Paul and I have any,) from those types of people. After my diagnosis all of this hit me pretty hard, I realized the danger that I had been in and that I had been blind to in the past. I finally stopped blaming myself and was able to become a much happier and stronger person.
I learned a lot of lessons and I am thankful for them, I was emotionally and sexually abused by insecure men but until I saw the Autism psychologist, I was not aware that this was what had happened to me, I thought it was all my fault and now I know exactly where the blame lies and it is not with me.
I let men dictate to me, telling me what to wear, who I could talk to, how they thought I should be, making me feel sorry for them to try and get me to do things that I did not want to do. I was always making so much effort for them, but, never wondering had they made enough effort for me? I was vulnerable to this because I had low self-esteem and blindness to social cues caused by my Autism.
Never change yourself for anyone whether you are a man or a woman, autistic, disabled or not disabled. If someone is asking you to dress a certain way or act a certain way that you are not comfortable with, it is not you that needs to change. It is different if someone tries to help you but that is the only exception and even then it is entirely up to you if you want to take their advice or not. If you are Autistic remember your self-worth and all of the things you are good at and make sure that the people who are around you deserve to be there.
If you know someone with Autism please look out for them because they really need good people around them, people that they can trust, I received a very late Autism diagnosis at the age of 26 and I cannot really say that it was a shock or that it was not one either. The diagnosis was better late than never. I struggled with a lot of things growing up that most people would find relatively easy.
I can say things do get better to anyone who has been diagnosed or is yet to be diagnosed. I am contented and happy for the first time in my life and all I needed was to know what was causing me issues. Since my diagnosis, all of my unanswered questions about my disability have been answered. The diagnosis is the second best thing that ever happened to me, but the best things will always be meeting my fiancé Paul, my Family, friends and my Pets.
I had seen Shop and Scan Promoted regularly on a Facebook page that I follow. I had always hoped for the opportunity to try it. I thought it sounded like a brilliant idea, but I had absolutely no idea how to go about joining. After a while curiosity got the better of me, I found the link to the website and I decided to fill in the application form. I waited rather impatiently to see what happened, A few months passed, and I had forgotten all about it, but then I finally received an email telling me that my Scanner and Code Book was on the way. I was so glad to finally get a chance to try it, I am reviewing the Shop and Scan website for Northern Ireland.
_What is Kantar World Panel?_
Shop and Scan are a research panel created by a leading UK company named Kantar World Wide Panels (formerly TNS,) they have a few different panels based on finding out what people buy. They have offices in Uk, Ireland, Mainland Europe, Asia, and in the US. On their website, they say that they have over 60 years experience and a team of 3,500 whilst also having services expanding to over 60 countries directly or through partners. They define themselves as;
Omnibus, and Ad Hoc Surveys
Business to Business
TV Audience Measurement
_How Do I Sign Up_
You can sign up by being invited by someone, or you can sign up by filling in your information on this website which is https://www.volunteer4panels.com/ When I signed up, I left a note in the "other information box" provided, specifying that I would like to join the Shop and Scan Panel because there are a few of them.
_What Happens When I Sign up?_
When you sign up, you will most likely have a bit of a wait before you receive any more information about joining the panel. Keep an eye on your emails for an invitation from them, as it could come at any time. They state on their website that they have to keep their panels demographically balanced, and because of this, there may not be a vacancy straight away. They also go on to say that invitations are not guaranteed, providing that you are within their targeted demographic, you will eventually receive an email informing you that your Scanner and Code book are on the way.
_What Happens To My Information?_
Kantar collects information on what you buy, and they also collect data when you volunteer, they hold your details such as your name, address, telephone number and your email and they have security measures in place to protect it.
_What Do Kantar Do With My Information?_
Kantar publishes summarized reports of the data that they collect during their research. By using Shop and Scan you are agreeing that you are aware of and happy for (Kantar Only) to use your information on behalf of their clients and for all other market research purposes that they might use it for. They make you aware that, any information that you give them, will be treated in a respectful manner and that they will not mislead you in any way.
_What if I Want To Contact Them?_
There is a contact form situated conveniently on their website, all you have to do is fill in your name, email address and the reason for your inquiry. You can also phone the Shop and Scan Helpdesk or the Rewards HQ, the contact numbers are located on the same page as the contact form.
_What Is The Website Like?_
The website is pleasant and extremely easy to navigate, It is very colorful and welcoming and runs fast. I have found that using this website is quite enjoyable and it is something that I look forward to doing. There is a yellow section of the home page that says "enroll now." All you have to do is type in the invite key, you will have received this through referral or by email from Kantar. On the website you can redeem your points for rewards, there is a good variety of rewards to choose from. Shop and Scan also have a section of their website with competitions, and a newsletter that you can read, but the one on their website doesn't seem to have been updated since 2012.
The one that comes to your email is updated every month. You can also find a visual guide area containing videos instructing you on how to use the Scanner and Code book. There are FAQS, and there is also a very useful part about consumer rights. Last but not least there is a section about Kanter's Support for UNICEF.
What is the Scanner Like and How Do I Set It Up?
My scanner sits on its cradle and plugs in via the adapter provided. I am aware of different types, mine works by GPS, but there is also one that works via landline. The scanner needs to be charging and switched on before use.
It takes a few minutes to get ready to scan if it has been switched off. It looks slightly like an old Nokia phone and whilst turned on it emits a red laser used for scanning your codes. It lights up green when it is charged and ready to use. The light goes red if it needs charged, or isn't placed in the cradle correctly.
If you have the scanner that connects to your phone line, you need to plug one end of the phone cable into cradle and the other end into the splitter provided, then plug the splitter into your phone socket on the wall.
How Long Should I leave The Scanner On?
I inquired about this and the person I spoke to was very helpful. She told me they would prefer if it was left on constantly. However, I do not leave any plugs on overnight in case of a fire and all my codes are still received. I leave it on all morning and throughout the day though.
How Do I Use The Scanner?
*The first thing you need to do is;
_Comms Communication Test_
You can do this by pointing your scanner at the bar code on page 3 of your Shop and Scan Panel Guide, at this point do not press yes or no, when it asks if it is a new shop visit?
After successfully scanning the immediate communications bar code put it back in the cradle and press any number to begin the test. Different scanners may use different symbols but if you have the same one as me, the success of this test is confirmed with a tick.
_Ready To Scan_
Once the scanner is charged and it is lighting up green, the scanner can then be used to scan your shopping.
Lift the scanner from the cradle and you will see the option "new shop visit" to which you can click yes or no. No is the top left button and yes is the top right button.
Once you click through you will need your Code Book. You will find that there is an option for up to 5 people in your household to scan their purchases and each one will have their own code. . I think that it would be very useful for people with large
families to write their names next to their own bar code so as not to get mixed up
Once you have done that you can choose the shop that you wish to scan codes for from a list of shops including Iceland, Tesco, Spar, Jollyes, Asda etc. There are also codes for the Milk Man and Off License's and Chemists. The categories in the code book are Meat, Eggs and Cooked Meats, Fruit, Vegetables, Salad Veg, Bakery, and Offers. If you are scanning Meats and certain other products, you also need to put in how much they weigh.
_What Awards Can I Earn?_
The Shop and Scan NI site has quite a nice range of awards to choose from.Amazon UK E-Vouchers are my favorite reward of those available and they arrive instantly, I have earned 50 pounds in vouchers so far. I think that if I continued to save them instead of spending them I would average around 100 pounds extra a year and that is not bad for doing something like shopping that needs to be done regularly anyway.Scanning codes is easy and it gets easier the more that you do it. I think next year I will save it for a little bit extra money around Christmas time. You can also earn an extra 500 points for referrals All the awards available are
Hotel Voucher Shop
National Book Tokens
Toni and Guy
Arcadia Group LTD
You can also choose to donate your vouchers to the following charity
Co - Operation Ireland
Help The Aged
I really do think that Shop and Scan is an excellent idea, I enjoy scanning the products that I buy and I like the rewards that this site offers. It was definitely worth the wait for it to come and to be invited to the panel. Most shops that are local to me do not offer receipts and I nearly always have to ask for one. Unless it is the bigger chain stores like Iceland and Tesco. I sometimes get all my shopping done and then I realize I have no receipt, this meaning that I cannot scan the shopping and that can be a pain in the neck. I will continue to scan my shopping for as long as Shop and Scan will continue to exist and I would actually miss doing it now because I am that use to it.
I keep my Scanner on my Kitchen Counter and the Code book on the Window Sill. The scanner takes up very little space and is easy to place somewhere convenient. Sometimes the Scanner loses communications and then the Comms Test is required again to get it back up and running. The Code Book has a plastic cover which keeps the book in good condition, and this is great because I am particularly clumsy. I am always spilling things in the kitchen and if it did not have a cover it would probably be wrecked by now. It takes me between 5 and 10 minutes to scan my weekly shop with it and only 1 or 2 minutes for just a few things from the local shops.
I begin this review aware that everyone has different views on this subject and I do hope that it does not offend anyone. I have a reasonable amount of experience when it comes to researching into the Paranormal because it is something that I have spent a considerable amount of time on but I am by no means an expert on the subject and do not have all of the answers because no one really does. The concept of life after death is something that has intrigued me for the longest time. It was always going to be of interest to me because I grew up hearing quite a bit about it. Researching the Paranormal has become a much loved hobby and luckily my wonderful fiancé shares my enthusiasm about it.
I have been on two Paranormal tours of the Crumlin Road Jail with my Fiancé, Sister and Mum and witnessed some unexplainable things and these only intrigued me even more and made me want to purchase what some would refer to as "ghost hunting equipment." I do not like the term "ghost hunting" and I do not see it as "ghost hunting". I am simply seeking for evidence that there is more to life and death than meets the eye. The aim is not to convince anyone that the afterlife exists because everyone has their own belief's. My only aim is simply to note the evidence that I have gained using the P - SB7 and explain how it works.
Hopefully my experience & advice on how to use the P - SB7 will make for an interesting read, if nothing else, to the non believers out there. I have personally found that the P - SB7 is not always required to make contact. My Fiancé and I both believe that it does work, and I have found it to be a very useful paranormal research tool. The P - SB7 is a great place to start for beginners who may want to test the water in Paranormal Research, but are not sure where to begin. It is very easy to use and provides a way of obtaining evidence with minimal effort and equipment.
I do like to have a look at what is believed to be pictures and videos of paranormal activity. Such as spirits allegedly manipulating things via electromagnetic fields (An electromagnetic field is a physical field created by electrically charged objects). However, I find that I prefer to investigate the E. V. P side of things which is why I got the P - SB7. Why is this, you may ask? Well quite simply I am a chicken and my fiancé is an even bigger chicken than I am and so it is rather ironic that we like to investigate this stuff at all but nevertheless we do.
Given the choice, I would rather hear a ghostly voice, than having things flying around our room or ghostly faces appearing in our mirrors or be witness to full body apparitions as these can replay horrible scenes of how they met their end. This is why I chose to buy the P - SB7 and not go down the video evidence route. I have actually seen things fly off shelves when no one was near them and there was absolutely no way they could have just fallen. It happens quite frequently actually. It happens to Me, my Mum and Dad and Sister and Fiancé and probably has happened to you.
How to Record E.V.P with the P - SB7?
Although I am greatly intrigued by this subject, I do rationalize things and if something can be explained in a perfectly rational way, then I always choose the rational explanation first. If you are taking part in any form of Paranormal Investigation, then I recommend that you do this too. When I record an E.V.P I have several people listen, including skeptics in my family, especially the biggest skeptic, my brother Trevor and I do not suggest what I think I hear. I wait for them all to tell me what they hear and if it is the same as what I thought, I know then that I am not simply hearing things.
To begin you have to turn the P -- SB7 on by holding in the on button until it comes on. Once it is turned on, you can choose to scan at different speeds. You will probably find that you need to test each speed to see what suits you best, but I personally recommend the fastest one for one simple reason. The reason is that when you are scanning at the fastest speed, you may get a tiny bit of radio coming through, like half of a word, but you cannot get full sentences.
When you record your EVP on the fastest scanning rate, and receive full sentences, then you can be confident that they are truly genuine responses to your questions because they could not possibly have come through via the radio. The slower you go the more the possibility presents itself that you will get radio voices and conversations that could confuse you.
Turn the volume up as high as possible, I recommend speakers because they make life so much easier. In my opinion speakers are only required if you plan on listening without recording though. I do not recommend doing that because in my opinion, it is a waste of time. Not because it does not work, it does work but you end up without proof of the excellent responses you get and you miss some great ones.
I downloaded Audacity, which is a free, very high quality, sound editing software. Audacity is easily acquired by doing a quick Google Search with the words "Free Audacity Download."" It is the best software of its kind and is completely free. It is used by professionals and one of the favorites of people interested in Paranormal Research. Once you get used to using Audacity it becomes a breeze, sometimes we used P - SB7 and sometimes we used white noise. Always make sure all electrics that could cause unwanted noises to ruin your E.V.P recordings are turned off.
You can choose to sweep forward or backwards. I recommend backward sweep because, if you are sweeping forward, there is a chance that you will pick up snippets from the radio. I would like to add one more time that sweeping at the fastest rate makes it impossible to get full sentences and that is regardless whether you sweep forward or back, but I Sweep backwards, do this and you will see just how well this really works, when you begin to get answers spoken forwards.
Use this when you are in a good mood, in my experience your mood affects what you encounter. If you are in a bad mood, negative energies and basically bad vibes will come. If you are in a good mood you will find whatever it is you are speaking to is much more pleasant and friendly. If you are very, very frightened by this I do not suggest ever trying it because it is not for the faint hearted. Remind yourself that you are safe and nothing can hurt you and it won't. During the experience we have had with this device, I honestly believe nothing will physically hurt you.
Some people acknowledge these things and some won't. Sometimes people are understandably just too frightened to accept it and other times they are skeptics. Sometimes it is pure coincidence and sometimes I cannot accept that it is just pure coincidence. Such as when something very heavy lifts up and fly's off a nearby shelf, even though it was placed far back, and the shelf was a good sturdy one.
Of course there are non paranormal moments that could easily be mistaken for one. Such as If a picture falls off a wall that it has been hanging on and the nail is crooked. It was just a crooked nail, but might still cause a fright with the unexpected crashing to the ground.
Does It Work?
I am 100% convinced that this does work and actually sometimes it works too well and scares the crap out of both my Fiancé and me. Something that gives us more evidence that the P - SB7 genuinely works is that curse words come through at all times of the day and night. At daytime local radio stations do not allow foul language. Even if they did, they would not account for some of the foul responses that come from this thing. With the P - SB7 we can ask questions receiving several yes and no answers in a row. We can hold an item that would be difficult to describe at best and have it described by whatever it is that is answering us, and when I say described, I mean in amazing great detail.
What Are You Communicating With?
Personally, I do believe that Spirits are answering us, they sound as though they are just people who use to be alive. Some are good, some are bad and some are evil. When I say evil I do not mean demonic though, in my opinion they are just evil as in being corrupt. I do not believe it is Demons or things that have never walked the earth, but a lot of people do. I could hardly say for definite that Spirit is communicating with us because you can't see what is providing you with answers but something is answering. I will admit it is a tiny bit frightening at times. I have received messages that are quite frightening, some that are clearly warnings about people around me. A brilliant response I received in reference to this question was that recording E.V.P is like standing in the middle of Grand Central Station and asking for opinions (about anything). Some would be wise, some would be mean, some would be crackpots.
What Kind of Messages do you get?
One E.V. P obtained via the P - SB7 warned me that someone who did something bad to me, would do it to someone else. With messages like these you have to take it with a grain of salt because since you cannot see what or who is communicating with you, it would hardly be wise to trust or believe anything that it is saying. If you thought it over too much it would drive you bonkers. I have a rule that if I hear something disturbing, something that does not make much sense, I just move on to analyzing the next one.
Although after receiving this warning I broke the rule and I did ask on Spiritual Forums about it and received answers that put my mind at rest. One reply was referring to a woman who had something lying to her through E.V.P. It told her that she had a serious illness and this understandably caused her a great degree of stress. When she finally got the nerve to go to the doctors about it, she was given a clean bill of health and was told nothing was wrong. However, I saw another reply about a person who was warned about having cancer via an E. V. P and they did and in that case it actually saved the persons life because they got treatment early enough.
A lot of the time we get the word "help" coming through and this can be upsetting. A lot of different voices can be saying it at once and they sound very unhappy. I have no belief in regards to Heaven and Hell. I never really believed in either, but since I got the P - SB7. I honestly am really beginning to question my own beliefs. I actually go out of my way to hide if I see people coming to the door with bibles, I do not like being preached to. "We are lost" Is another thing that frequently comes through. The best E.V.P we have recorded so far are as follows.
"Paul (my Fiancé) can you hear properly? This was said by a woman who sounds to have an English accent. Paul wears a hearing aid due to difficulty hearing and so this was very weird. The E.V.P is very clear, but did not frighten us because the voice was not scary. She sounded concerned about him.
"Murder" followed by a rather evil sounding laughter. I often listen over the recordings that we have but this one I do not. I read that in the right conditions being the atmosphere, mood, location. If you replay an E.V.P it can cause activity related to the words that were recorded and so you can probably understand why this one is no longer played.
" We are Aliens" was recorded and It sounds like a child is whispering it. This is strange, very strange and made even stranger by the fact that the room was in complete silence as with every E.V.P recording session and there are no whispers on the P - SB7. Do I believe it is aliens we are communicating with? No, not particularly but then who knows?
We asked what we believe to be spirits, if they missed things that they use to do when they were alive. We asked if they missed Alcohol, Money, People they knew and then Cigarette's and for some reason cigarette's was particularly popular. We received two responses, both from female sounding voices. One said " I had one today, wtf?, and the other said "I loved a smoke" and sounded like she was amused by the question.
We have one that says very clearly "you're a witch." Possibly aimed at me because in the old days people who communicated with the dead were considered to be witches. No need for pitchforks ha--ha!
In one a man can be heard saying "they're taping us"
In another the response was *We can see you."
Often we recorded voices saying "can you see us"?
One is of a man who sounds to be between 20 and 30 years old saying "help little Francis." He is very polite sounding and comes through often.
Another sounds to be a female saying "After they go."
One is of a older sounding male saying " we want free,"
Lastly, we have one of a young sounding man saying "time never heals." He sounds very sad.
What Is The P - SB7?
The P - SB7 which is also referred to as a Spirit Box is used to aid in recording Electronic Voice Phenomena. The voices are believed to be those of the dead. This is also referred to as ITC Research and is my main area of interest. When I first heard the term Spirit Box I thought it was a Gimmick but I am glad that I was proved wrong. The P - SB7 is a plain enough looking black handheld radio, but it has been altered to only work on either AM/FM mode or on some occasions both. It has a blue light that you can turn on for using in the dark. The battery life is very good and in my experience Duracell batteries lasted nearly a month. How long the batteries last depends on how much you use the P -SB7 though. It has an earphone output and internal speakers.
The P - SB7 has an aerial like any other handheld radio. Some people choose to keep this on and some people decide to remove it.
Some believe the aerial being attached allows more chance for interference from actual radio stations and so they take it off. However, we did not feel the need to do this when we were using ours because if you set the P -SB7 to scan at the fastest rate it goes so incredibly quickly from one station to the next that it could not possibly pick up whole sentences and certainly could not cause us to get the answers that we did.
The P - SB7 was made popular by Zak Bagans from the popular Ghost Adventures series.
Is This Safe to Use in My Home?
When it comes to using something like this it is completely at your own risk. If you have any mental illnesses, this could make them worse. If you are of a highly nervous disposition it is not recommended by me or those who sell them. Similarly, if you are on medication for depression, I do not recommend this. Other than that in my honest opinion, it is very safe to use.
Won't My House Become Like the Amityville?
No, not at all and films like that breed the fear and stigma surrounding these things. I have used Tarot cards, Ouija Boards and everything that is said to be dangerous and not once have I been possessed or levitated around our room. If I did it would be funny to see Pauls face though. The worst that could happen is that you would see an apparition recreating a scene of something tragic happening, this would not be pleasant but you would not get hurt physically by this. It is basically just a memory of something bad that happened years before, just repeated in front of you.
Risks and How to Avoid Them
In assessing the risks, the only ones I could think of is the psychological ones. If you are religious, you may need some kind of reassurance. I recommend saying a prayer before and after using the spirit box and to ask the spirits to leave after every session. This should make you feel safe and reassure you.
If you are lonely or living alone, do not use this to remedy that. Instead, go and make friends or talk to family, while using this at the same time. Never let it become your only form of communication and spend plenty of time away from it.
I read about a man who lived alone and he became completely consumed by his obsession with contacting Spirits via E.V.P. He use to be very outgoing, but once he got into this it changed. Concerned friends and relatives would call to his door and get no answer and when they looked through the window, he was sitting there having conversations without any spirit box or E. V. P equipment. This can apparently happen. When you become open to listening to E.V.P, it is said that the floodgates open up, so to speak, and spirit can begin to communicate with you in real time just as though they are sitting next to you. I have not encountered this yet, but a lot of people say it has happened to them.
Everyone has different beliefs, some will believe and some won't. I can see how this could be entertaining for both types of people. Skeptics could mock it or scare other people with it and believers like myself can use it to gain further evidence that the afterlife exists.
Where can I buy it?
The P - SB7 can be bought on Ebay, Amazon and other websites that specialize in ghost hunting equipment. There is currently a seller on Ebay selling them at £60 with free delivery.
I have lived in Belfast all of my life and I always use to feel that it was lacking in places that people could hang out in and have fun. The kind of place with nice surroundings, plenty of things on offer and one that does not revolve around alcohol and other less than appealing things. Then they introduced this wonderful shopping complex and that changed. It is so much more than simply a spot to go shopping though. Victoria Square also has loads of lovely eating places to dine in and an Odeon cinema to see the latest movie releases. It quickly became my favorite place to go to. On any day that I had a bit of extra money, I found myself heading to here and now that I am with my wonderful fiancé it is our favorite place to go together. I have had many good nights and days here and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was a TGI Fridays restaurant in Victoria Square that my fiancé and I went to on our first date, when we got back together. I spent a lovely day in Nando's with my little niece Becky and my sister Stacey. I have celebrated Birthdays, Anniversaries and Christmas's here and there is no place that I would of rather celebrated them in.
I remember when it was in the process of being built being quite excited at the prospect of a place so wonderful being built in Belfast. I was also quite fascinated on my first visit and amazed by how many different shops and restaurant's that there was because half of them I had never even heard of or seen before. I would like to add that Victoria Square is always stunning, but it looks especially beautiful at Christmas. I will now review to the best of my ability the places that we have personally been in enough to have an honest and helpful opinion of.
About the Building
Victoria Square opened on the sixth of March, 2008 and was built more than six years ago by Multi Development UK. Multi Development UK is a leading developer and manager of inner-city retail space in Europe and Turkey. This beautiful building cost quite a great deal of money to make, 400 million pounds to be precise and is one of the most expensive ever to be established in Northern Ireland. Victoria Square is a massive building. It stands at over 800,000 ft² and is home to the largest House of Frazer store that has been opened in the UK. It has an amazing dome that is lit up with lots of beautiful lights and I have only recently noticed a penny pool also. Victoria Square has 98 units, including shops, cafes, bars and the 8 Screen Cinema.
Accessibility and Facilities
Victoria Square has a car park with two levels and 1000 parking It is located close to apartments and is right in the heart of Belfast City Centre. There is a Value Cab within walking distance from Victoria Square, located on Chichester Street. There are plenty of restrooms and easy accessibility for people in wheelchairs to the Cinema, Shops, Restaurants and up and down from the different floors also.
I will begin with my opinion of The Dome as it is one of my favourite parts. The Dome is free to view and is
worth the trip up to do so. You can choose to go up the stairs or the elevator. I have done both, but often opt for the lift due to my disability causing pains in my legs and feet and because I have asthma also. When you get to the top of the dome you will notice that there is a stall with leaflets about attractions and things to do in Belfast. The way it is all lit up is just beautiful, I could stare at it for hours. I remember on that particular visit that Paul and I went up via the stairs. I was that tired by the time I climbed up them all just sitting down on the floor and looking up. I was completely mesmerized by how beautiful it was and the view over Belfast is just amazing. The bottom line is that if you choose to visit Victoria Square The Dome is not to be missed and in my opinion it is especially beautiful at night.
Reasons Why I Like It
The Odeon Cinema in Victoria Square is a magnificent one. They have a selection of Pick N Mix Sweets and a Ben and Jerry's (my favorite part) and you can also queue there to get your tickets and Ice cream at the same time. On our last visit we decided to just go home after dining at Pizza hut because the Cinema was completely packed to the point that we probably would of aged a few years by the time we got our tickets. That is a good thing though, and means people like that particular cinema. It usually is quite busy when we visit. We simply could not be bothered queuing and there was not anything that we genuinely wanted to watch at that particular time anyway. The staff are very friendly! On a particularly memorable visit, we went to see Ted and we decided to go VIP. I ordered an Ice Blast which I expected to be much like a slush puppy. When I ordered it the machine was not working perfectly. The employee who was serving at the time told us to go into the cinema, in case our movie began while we were waiting and about 5 or 10 minutes later bought it in the cinema and gave it to me. Great service!
What I did not count on is that the large Ice Blast is so.... Large. I was handed something that looked like a glass but maybe better described as a very long plastic flute that could of fitted in on the set of Mars Attacks and being weird as I am, this kind of made my night. I wanted to keep the plastic flute it was in but would of felt stupid walking about with it. The seats in VIP were very comfy and cost an extra £1.60 for both of us. Ticket prices for adults at peak times, are between £6.80 and £7 and at the cheapest are between £3 and £3.50 and I think this is quite reasonable
Reasons Why I Do Not Like it
There is only one reason that I do not like it and that is because more than a few times, different members of staff have charged me too many times for one or two items or charged me for more tickets than I actually asked for but I must add that each time I noticed and pointed this out and they were pleasant enough about it and promptly gave me a refund.
The Pizza hut in Victoria Square is the nicest one that we have ever been to. It is by far mine and Paul's favorite place to dine in. The food is always cooked to perfection and there has never been a visit in which we were even slightly disappointed. The servers and waitresses are constantly attentive and I can not think of one thing to sound off about. I was particularly impressed with our last visit as the server did not leave us wanting for anything and before we could even ask for a refill of Pepsi he had already topped our glasses up. The Garlic Prawns and Garlic Mushrooms are exquisite and our favourite Pizza is the BBQ Meat Feast. The atmosphere in this place is so chilled and always welcoming and the restaurant Is always spotless. The menu has options for all tastes and caters to vegetarians also. The menu also has Gluten free options and great deals that make dining at Pizza Hut more affordable. We always get the meal for two and the warm cookie dessert with either toffee or chocolate sauce and ice cream is lovely. The restaurant caters to young and old and there are also restrooms in it and they are always kept nice and clean.
Brief opinions on Other Restaurants
We have been to the McDonalds in Victoria Square and were happy with the meal we each got in it. The people who work in it are pleasant and the food is nice and the place is always kept nice and clean. We can say the same about every restaurant that we have been to in Victoria Square. The politeness, cleanliness and attentiveness in this place raises a standard for other places in Belfast to live up to. We have been to TGI Fridays several times and it holds special memories for me as that was the place my fiancé and I went on our first date, when we got back together. I love how the staff in TGI Fridays go out of the way to make you feel welcome and nothing is too much trouble. They also go all out to celebrate special occasions which is a nice touch.
The alcoholic drinks in TGI Fridays ) similar to most restaurants) are expensive but they are worth It because they taste lovely. If you are planning on going there, I recommend that you bring a good amount of money with you because if you plan on getting more than a few drinks it will cost a quite a bit. Last time I only got one Cocktail and Paul got a beer and on top of our food bill it was around 60 pounds and I expected 50 would more than cover it. Although Paul insisted on starters, which neither of us could eat because we were so stuffed after our burger and chips and this put the price of the bill up a bit and caused the food to go to waste. Nando's is another place I was impressed with after visiting with my Sister and my niece Becky.
Again all of the before mentioned can be said about Nando's. Friendly and attentive staff, great food, nice atmosphere and wide variety of menu choices to suit all tastes. China Buffet King is lovely and the selection of food is wide but Paul jokes about not going back again. They have a wastage fee of £5 and on our first and only visit to the restaurant. I filled up my plate and thought I could eat all of what was on it and could not and then Paul ended up offering to eat it to avoid the fee and left the place feeling very sick. . We have yet to have a bad experience in any of the restaurants that we visited and so I can only give glowing reviews. We visited more restaurants, but I feel I have said enough about the ones I have mentioned because the review is not solely about the restaurants, but Victoria Square itself. Overall the restaurants and staff in them are a credit to the shopping complex. Lastly O'Brien's have the most amazing hot chocolate ever with plenty of Marshmallows on top and is the perfect place to chill out and the seats in it are so comfy!
There are so many places to shop it is hard to decide where. You can purchase gift cards for the ones you love to spend in any of the stores that takes their fancy. My personal favourite's are H & M and River Island. In some stores the prices are ridiculous, but that is my opinion. My view has always been as follows. Why pay £100 quid for something you can get for £5 just because it has a designer label on it? I would possibly cry if I handed over so much money for something just because it has a brand name on it. Out of all of the shops that are listed below, some I have just wandered into, looked at the huge price tags and felt like fainting and almost ran back out like the Grim Reaper was behind me.
H & M have great sales and I visit virtually every time I am in Victoria Square. I think Build a bear is a lovely idea and I bet kids love it. In the few shops that I do frequent the people who work in them are all very pleasant. I have never had to return any items to any of the shops in Victoria Square and so cannot comment on that particular aspect of things. The shops I go to are always busy and this is even as it gets close to closing time. Although sadly at Christmas time, idiotic so called dissident's caused businesses in and around Victoria square to be affected by their stupidity and I was actually too frightened to visit until after Christmas as things had settled down again by then.
List of Shops
H & M, Build a Bear Work Shop, Apple, Art & Hobby, The Carphone Warehouse, Claire's accessories, Coast, 3 Store, Accessorize , All Saints, Crabtree and Evelyn, Calvin Klein, Bank, Dune, Everything Everywhere, Cruise , Exhibit ,Goldsmiths
Hobbs, Guess , Hollister, Fat Face, Fossil, House of Frazer, Hugo Boss , JD Sports
,Kiehl's, 02 , Lunn's, Mamas & Papas, Levi's, Lk Bennet ,Monsoon, Kurt Geiger, Pepe Jeans, Pretty Green , Phase Eight, Pull and Bear, Regis, Remis Uomo, Replay
Shop Mobility, River Island, Reiss, Rituals, Super Dry, USC, Vodafone, Top Shop, Tommy Hilfiger, Ted Baker, TM Lewin, Urban Outfitters
List of Restaurants. Cafes and Bars
China Buffet King, Costa Coffee, Nando's, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, The Kitchen Bar, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny's O'Brien's, Prezzo, TGI Friday's, Wagamama, Cosmo McDonald's Pizza Express, Spurs Steak And Grill, The Ivory Restaurant & Bar
One of the best things about Victoria Square is how it embraces the different seasonal times of the year. At Halloween they had a great stall set up for Halloween outfits and there was so much to choose from. As Valentines day is just over they are giving free love heart sweets with you're meals. They have created a Love Zone running from 14th - 22nd February. The love zone is situated on the Lower Ground Floor and put there to encourage shoppers to relax whilst shopping, share a love seat for a chat, arrange to meet a date or take a pictures etc. This is just some of the events that take place and they add to the magic of the place.
I think that Victoria Square is one of the best things to ever come to Belfast and I will always be a regular visitor. I love the ambience of the place it is always buzzing with people who seem happy and lively. It is a place worth visiting time and time again,
Recently my BF and I got a gorgeous little German Shepherd puppy named Magnum. We got so caught up in the moment and never really considered that our little darling could be carrying fleas. These last few days I suffered severe discomfort and pain and I have lots of red, swollen lumps from the bites. I was struggling to sleep and was often yelping in pain every time something hit against a bitten area. It turned out that I am one of the unlucky people who has quite an allergy to the little pests. I am really glad that they have not gotten Paul as well but I was curious as to why I was the only one they attacked. I found out that fleas like certain chemicals in the blood and some humans are just more appealing for them to feed on than others.
Unfortunately for me they really like my chemicals and have feasted on me in the same way Paul and I would a Domino's Pizza. Paul was kind enough to pour water over my bites and that helped take the edge off the pain for a while but still when I tried to relax or sleep it was unbearable. My Mum heard about what I was going through and sympathized having also been attacked by fleas in the past. So she went to the Chemist and asked the Pharmacist for something that would help ease my pain and itching and the Pharmacist recommended Anthisan. When Mum turned up with Anthisan, I could not even begin to explain how grateful I was. I was desperate for some relief from the pain and itching and could hardly wait to apply the cream. As you will probably have guessed by now, Anthisan Bite and Sting cream is available without prescription and I am so glad for that because I did not particularly want to have to go to the doctors covered in bites. Even though I could cover all areas that are affected, I just feel like resting in bed to be honest.
Anthisan comes in a cardboard box and is decorated with pictures of Wasps and a couple of leafs. On opening the cardboard box you will find a tube that is similar to the kind that is used for toothpaste.The tube is yellow in colour with a white lid. On the box and on the tube you can find warnings and instructions which I will go into more detail about later.
How Does it Work?
Anthisan cream works by blocking a natural substance which your body creates during an allergic reaction, that substance is named Histamine. Anthisan contains a medicine named Mepyramine Maleate which belongs to a group of medicines called Antihistamines.
I lifted the tube which is quite light in weight and read the instructions and warnings one last time. You can never be too careful! I twisted open the white lid which had a seal covering it. To open this I flipped the lid over to the bottom and pushed the sharp part against the seal. This pierced it (without much effort) enough to squeeze some of the cream out. As directed I applied the cream making sure it was well rubbed in and applied it to every single area that needed it but had to ask Paul to help apply it to my back because I couldn't reach it. I couldn't help but notice that it doesn't really spread much. In this case a little really doesn't go a long way! In light of this I would definitely recommend someone with lots of bites like myself to get a few tubes. I have two and Mum told me she got them both from Gordons chemist for 7 pounds.
How It Looks, Smells and Feels
The cream is of a very light consistency and white in colour. It could probably be better described as a creamy paste instead of just referring to it as a cream. It was a bit cold when it touched my skin and since my first application I have decided that I will be storing it in the fridge from now on. Coolness really seemed to be one of the main factors contributing to my relief in the first few minutes of application. The smell of this cream is not one that I could describe as being particularly pleasant or unpleasant, it just kind of balances itself equally between the two extremes. At the time of application, I noticed a cooling and soothing sensation spreading all over everywhere that I had applied the cream to.
Possible Side Effects
Anthisan Bite and Sting cream does not have quite as many possible side effects as some other medicines.
Possible Side Effects are as Follows
* A Severe Allergic Reaction Signs include Problems Breathings, Problems Swallowing, Swelling on your Lips, Face, Throat or Tongue.
* A increase in Skin Redness, Swelling and Itching in the area you applied the cream to because this may be a sign of a mild allergic reaction.
This product claims to be a bite and sting cream which gives its users relief from itching, pain and inflammation. It claims to give relief from insect bites, insect stings and stinging nettle rash.
Did it Live Up to its Claims?
My first impressions on application were that I was pleasantly surprised and Instantly felt a little bit better but there was still a bit of pain in certain areas and I still felt itchy but I was relieved that It was no longer half as sore as it was to begin with and I noticed that it had become much more bearable. I also noticed that I was able to move without as much pain in the areas that had been bitten. Bitten areas are all over my body including a lot of bites on the back of my legs, my shoulders, back and thighs. Within about half an hour of my first application and all applications since. I have felt a kind of numbness in those areas and no longer felt the need to itch them. The itchiness does return after a while (1 or 2 hours) and this of course leads to more itching and pain from itching, causing me to re-apply the cream again.
I notice that having to re-apply this every one or two hours means its effect is only temporary but the fact that it is effective for any amount of time at all, is for me, more than enough reason to give it five stars. After all it is working, it just needs re-applying but the problem with that is that I have been re-applying it over and over. The instructions do not recommend doing this but rather warn against it. I cannot help it though as the itching and pain is too much to deal with at its worst and I cannot help but re-apply this because I know that it will relieve the pain and itching at least temporarily. I have noticed however that some of the bites are a lot less red and swollen. So I guess the relief from inflammation claims are true!
Where Can I Buy Anthisan Bite and Sting Cream?
Some of the places that Anthisan can be bought include Chemists and it can also be found very competitively priced on websites like Amazon and Ebay.
Anthisan Bite and Sting Cream 20g can be found on Amazon for just 3.44 with delivery costing an extra 1.13. Mum got both my 20g tubes for 7 pounds in our local Gordons Chemist.
Mepyramine Maleate, Ceto - Stearyl Alcohol, Polyethylene Glycol 600 Monosterate, Castor Oil, Methyl Hydroxybenzoate, Foin Coupe, (fragrance), Silicone Anti-foam, Purified Water,
* Keep out of reach of children.
* Do not use on Eczema or extensively broken skin.
* Do not use if the skin is cut or grazed.
* Do not use on sunburnt skin.
* Do not use on large areas of skin.
* Do not use after the Expiry date.
* Do not Swallow - If you do you should seek medical attention immediately and take the medicine with you. The reason for this being so that the Doctor will know what you have taken.
* Do not change your dose yourself
* Talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist if you are Pregnant or Breast Feeding.
* Consult your Doctor or Pharmacist before using this if you take any other medication (including Herbal Medicines.)
* This medicine may make you feel Drowsy or Sleepy (Oh that explains it!) and so you should not drive or use any tools if you feel this way.
You should stop using Anthisan Bite and Sting cream if you notice any signs of skin sensitivity. If symptoms worsen or do not improve after 3 days you are advised to talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist.
How to Dispose of Medicine
The leaflet tells you that medicines should not be disposed of via household waste and advises you to ask your Pharmacist for details on how to dispose of it correctly in order to protect the environment.
How to Use
Apply Anthisan Bite and Sting cream directly to the site of the bite, sting or stinging nettle rash. For best results you are advised to use Anthisan as soon as possible after the bite, sting or nettle rash. Adults or Children of two years or over should apply Anthisan Bite and Sting cream two or three times a day for up to three days. Store below 30°C.
I would love to find something that would not need constantly re-applied but I am currently just thankful for any kind of relief and so this does the job. Although my mum bought me it, I would purchase this product again for myself. However I would only get it if there was no other more effective alternatives available. I do wish the tubes had a little more in them because I am absolutely covered in bites and could really use tubes with more cream in them. I also would like it if the cream in the tubes was a little bit thicker and spread more easily and generously. I do not think they will last very long due to the fact that the cream does not spread well. Still when you are as irritated as I have been with these bites you would be glad for any amount of it. I do think they are rather reasonably priced and it is as well because if you have lots of bites, you probably will end up needing to buy more than one tube. I found the instructions really easy to understand and the cream was simple to use.
The box mine came in looks different to the one pictured but it is the same product.
When the weather is as warm as it is right now, we are often opening the windows to cool down. The problem is that while the window is open it allows various creepy insects to fly right in and make themselves welcome. I am terrified of spiders, I hate moths, but none of those previously mentioned insects manage to annoy me quite as much as flies. When a fly is buzzing around my head I really do find myself getting extremely irritated. It is never long before I am on my feet trying to swat the annoying little gits. No matter how thoroughly I clean my house they often come in and it makes me really fed up. It only seems to happen when the weather is really warm. In the back of my mind, I wanted to find something to get rid of them, something that would exterminate them in the most effective way possible. Yes I really do hate flies!
On a recent trip to the shops with my Boyfriend we saw these Astro Fly traps. My face lit up with glee as I looked at them and turned to ask the shop assistant how well they worked. I noticed the amused look on her face and I am guessing she found my enthusiasm towards killing the little winged devils more than a little bit funny. Either that or she thought I was slightly nuts but I couldn't help but be enthusiastic about this product and the thought of finally getting rid of the damn flies. She told me that they are quite effective, so believing her, and imagining a fly free house, I bought them without a second thought.
When I saw these I was reminded of sticks of dynamite and assumed based on the way that the product was presented that they would be very effective. Seeing the words "Pest Control" and "High Quality" made me feel that I had made the right decision in purchasing these. They come in a packet of 8 and I thought if nothing else they would at least last a while. I left the shop imagining the incredibly annoying little pests that fly in through my window vanishing forever and ever. I could not wait to get home and test them out!
Unrealistic Expectations of a First Time Pest Control Buyer.
I examined the packet much more closely when I got home. On closer examination it actually says no baiting, no poisons, no vapour, no mess on those little fly traps. I was disappointed when I realized this and felt it was an indication of a product that would be pretty useless for my desired purpose of killing flies. I was a little bit too optimistic in my expectations for this product to be entirely honest. On my first impressions I was imagining unscrewing the cap, hearing a small bang, a substance only lethal to insects filling the room and then immediately killing any flies within the radius in which it was opened. Instead I got something that looked rather lethal to flies but had no effect at all. This was my first time purchasing Pest Control and I really did not know what to expect.
I lifted one of the yellow cylinders out of the packet noticing how light it was to lift up. The cylinders are covered in yellow paper. On the back of the paper there are instructions for use. Although I used one of these on the very first day of purchase, I never really took the time to discover what they are made of. With that in mind I decided to peel the paper back to reveal the second layer which I just discovered is made of cardboard.
Using the Fly Trap
Following the instructions I brought the cylinder to room temperature. I then slowly pulled out the red string on top and unwound the adhesive strip in anticlockwise direction. The red string did not need to be pulled hard to reveal the adhesive strip. The cap fell off and a thumb tack fell out while doing this. Having read the instructions, I knew that I would need the thumb tack in another minute or two. So I sat it somewhere safe until ready to use it. The adhesive strip is covered in glue and is an icky brown colour. It is ugly to be honest and I did not look forward to hanging it on my wall. The adhesive strip is rather long and gooey and takes quite a bit of unwinding. I then went in search of the area to hang it on. I found the wall in the kitchen to be a good place for the second trap. I tried to hang it up but couldn't.
The thumb tack takes quite a bit of pushing into the wall and whilst doing this my hand got covered with the glue. In the end Paul kindly offered to do it and he used a screwdriver to ensure it was securely placed on the wall. We wanted it on the wall as securely as possible because we want to ensure it can not drop off and get into contact with our puppy. There is a little white circular piece of cardboard covering the tack that only managed to make it even harder to do. The one in the Kitchen has literally just been hung up there now. The one in the living room has been there a few days because I wanted to give it time in which to work and also to make the review fair. Unfortunately it has not proved to be in the slightest bit effective. There were still flies and none of them appear to have been caught in the gooey trap.
Instructions On Cylinder VS Additional Instructions On Packet
Bring to room temperature.
Pull out red string and unwind adhesive in anticlockwise direction.
Discard the removed cap and hang with thumb tack.
In case of contact with glue wash hands.
On the packet the instructions are different and they advise you to use protective gloves. There is no mention of this on the actual trap and because of this I did not use them. They also tell you to wash your hands and use a mild deteraent after use, I think they meant to say detergent. Noticing the spelling mistake on detergent only made me notice that there was a lot more. On the part that it says bring to room temperature it is written bring toroom temperature ( no spaces.) They also said protestive when they meant to say protective and wate instead of water. Admittedly I am guilty of lots of spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes myself. I actually use an application to help with mine and still manage to make mistakes. If I was selling any kind of product though, I would do my best to ensure that the instructions were clearly written. I would even pay someone else to if I was unsure of my ability to do that. Isn't presentation meant to be an important part of selling products and coming over as professional? I am baffled how they managed to screw this up so much because the actual traps at least look professional. Astro not mentioning about wearing protective gloves on the actual traps resulted in me wearing none at all and that is something you are not supposed to do.
Where Are They Made?
After just quickly looking at their website, I found this by typing the name Astro and Pest Control into the Google search engine. I just found out that they have been serving South Georgia since 1969. For them to have been around that long, I would expect much better from their product. It appears that if you live in Georgia or a couple of other locations (none of which are actually from where I live in Northern Ireland.) You can request their services to help with pest control but based on my experience with their fly traps I would not.
This is relatively inexpensive but in my honest opinion a total waste of money. Paul agrees with this conclusion having noticed how ineffective it has been. The price is 1. 25 but for this price you could probably find an insect spray that is much more effective. I did find an insect spray much more effective in the end.
I honestly do not see how these traps can be described as being of high quality. I am really disappointed in them. I resorted to getting a can of insect killing spray and that worked a million times better in just a few minutes than Astro Fly Traps worked over the space of three whole days. I believe I have been very fair in giving the trap three days to work. They have not worked in the slightest, they just managed to hang on my wall, looking rather unattractive and I cannot wait to throw them all in the bin to be honest. I thought I would use them all to get full value for my money but during writing this I have realized that it would be useless and I would just be putting holes in my wall for no good reason. I do not recommend this at all!
I found Pinterest thanks to an invite which was sent to my email. In the email the following was written. I'm excited to invite you to join Pinterest, a social catalog. I can't wait to have you join our little community. It then told me to use either Twitter or Facebook to sign up. After reading that I saw a little section of the email dedicated to informing new members of the pinning etiquette. The email said membership was by invite only and I was curious as to why this was. The fact that it was described as a Virtual Pinboard made it even more intriguing to me because I had never seen or heard of one before. My first impressions clicking onto this website were that it was extremely unique. It struck me that this was a website with all different types of people, with all different types of interests and it was fascinating to see all of these interests come together in a gallery of photos on a page. With so many pins (Pictures or videos) and so little space. It really gives the appearance of a page that is bursting with content. The Pinterest website has recently quit its invitation only policy and now is open to everyone. Pinterest has been talked about in the news and popular websites. Development of this creative website began in 2009 and the site was launched in march 2010.
Each category on Pinterest has a page dedicated to it. All of the Pinterest members contribute to it by adding Pins to their chosen category. Each section is always very colorful and I always find a couple of things that catch my eye. You will see a mixture of categories Art, Films, Music, Books, Cooking, Celebrities, Architecture, Hair and Beauty, Posters, Quotes, Gardening, DIY and Crafts, Design, Weddings, Fashion and Educational to name a few. All of the categories are listed in alphabetical order and can be accessed by hovering your mouse over the categories button.
What are Pins?
Pins are pictures or videos that are of interest to the pinner. You can choose to pin via a photo or video found on a website or upload your own. Once you have uploaded your pins they will be viewed by category or you can choose to view them all at once.
How Do I Pin Things?
To pin things you must first install the Pin It button. This can be found in the "about" section. The about button located at the top of the screen. Hover your cursor over it and you will see a list of options. One of those options is The Pin It button. Click into it and you will find a step by step guide. I will explain briefly how to do it here because I struggled with this at the beginning. Firstly you need to display your Bookmarks bar. When your Bookmarks Toolbar is on display just click on the Pin It button and drag it into your Bookmarks Toolbar. Once completed you will have a nice red Pin It button on your toolbar and when you see something you wish to pin all you have to do is click it. If you are on a page with more than one picture or video they all will be displayed. Simply choose the one you want to pin! All there is left to do after that is to choose which category you want to put your pin in or create your own. Then you can write a caption with your pin and decide whether to send it to Twitter or not. All that is needed done now is to push the Pin It button and you will see a message confirming that your Pin has successfully been sent to your profile and be given the option to click on a link and view it straight away. There are three options if you already have what you want to pin. Add a new pin, upload a new pin or add a new board.
Can I Add a Pin It Button to my Website?
Yes you can! You can place a Pin It button on your website. All you have to do is provide the requested URLs for the chosen website. Once you have done this you will be supplied with a link. Add this link to the area of your website you would most like it to be. You can have as many Pin It buttons as you like on your website. Pinterest recommend its users to place the Pin It button near to their other social sharing tools in order for it to be most effective. The Pin It button looks just like the ones used for adding content to Facebook and Twitter. The main reason to add a Pin It button on your website is to invite its readers to pin your work onto Pinterest. This of course is designed with getting your work more exposure in mind.
Can I Change the Buttons Appearance?
Yes there is an option to do this at the bottom of the "about" section for The Pin It button and it is named Art Work. There is another Pin It button that is much more attractive and professional looking in appearance.
How Can I get More Followers?
There is a button on the same page as The Pin It button and this button is one that you can copy onto your website. The function of this one is to get people to follow your pins. All you need to do is embed the HTML code provided depending on which button you choose
This is the guidelines for using the Pinterest website. They mention it in my invitation and in their "about" section. It is basically a run down of the do's and don't's. In the section dedicated to explaining this it says Pinterest is special because of the people who use it. The rules are as follows
* Be Respectful -- They ask the Pinterest community to remember to be respectful when commenting on peoples Pins and in conversations. I have seen a few people arguing in the comments section under Pins and so I can see why they created this rule. Pinterest has people pinning things of all kinds. Some things that they do like and some that they do not. This obviously can cause some friction because everyone differs on opinions.
* Be Authentic - Pinterest ask its community to be themselves because that is the whole idea of the website. It gives you the opportunity to express who you are and how you feel based on the things that you choose to pin.
* Credit Your Source - Pinterest ask you to give credit to the place you get your pin from. The reason for this is so that people who want to find its original source can. They ask members to leave a comment under a pin if they notice it is not sourced correctly.
* Report Objectionable Content - Pinterest ask its members to report any nudity, hateful content or content that encourages others to harm themselves. If you happen upon content of the previously mentioned types they tell you to click the report content link. This link can be found at the right side of the pin. All you have to do is click the button.
* Tell Pinterest how to make their website better - Here they ask you to email them at http://support.pinterest.com/ if you discover that something is not working. They then go on to inform you that although they may not get the time to answer every email they take your input seriously.
What if I Need Help?
If you need help you can go to the "about" section and click on help from there. You will find the answers to all of the most common questions. You may still need help and these perhaps have not answered your question. Look to the left of the page and you will see an option for support. In here you can type your query into the search bar at the top of the page. I just typed pinning for example and it has come up with several results. If you still need support after this you will see a link to fill out a request form and get in touch.
What if I Really Like Someones Pin and Want to Pin it?
The re-pinning option is for you! To do this simply hover over a pin and you will see some options. You can choose to either Repin, Like or Comment. If it is your own pin you will be able to edit it too. Re pinning means basically that you are exposing more people to your pin. This means more Likes, Comments and Repins for you or the person you Re - pinned it from.
What if I Want More People to See my Pins?
If you want more people to see the things you pin. Clicking into the pin and selecting like on Facebook or Twitter is a good start. This is extremely easy to do by just clicking like and being taken to a little pop up window and signing into your chosen Social Network. When you click into your pin look to the right side of the screen. Here you will find options to either share them on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Embed or Report them.
How Many Things Can I pin and How Many Pin Boards Do I Have?
There truly is no limit to how many boards you can create or how many pins you can pin. It is endless!
This section you will find on the left side of the screen when you sign into Pinterest. It displays all of your Repins, Comments and Likes and the people who gave you them. It also tells you how many days ago they did it. If on the same day it tells you how many minutes or hours ago instead. You can click onto the information for each pin and from there you can click into the profiles of the people who in some way interacted with your pin.
Following your Fellow Pinners
You could happen to be in a specific category and see someones pin or several pins from that same person. You might really like those Pins and decide you would enjoy seeing more of them. If you use the follow button you can. Simply click the person's name and wait for their profile to load up. Once you see their profile locate the follow button which is just under their profile picture, likes, activity, pins and boards. You can choose to follow all of their pins but perhaps you just want to follow one or two of their boards. Well all you have to do is click boards. When it loads up you will see each board and an option to follow it right underneath.
How Do I Sign Up?
Signing up is easy! You can either sign up with your email or connect with your Facebook or Twitter profiles. If you sign up via Twitter you are agreeing to allow Pinterest to send tweets for you, Update your profile, see who you follow and follow new people and read tweets from your timeline. If you sign up via Facebook they will have access to your likes and email address. When I signed up I got an email verification and once I clicked it my account was created. You no longer need to be invited.
Layout and Design
This site is well laid out and it looks very nice. It is quite easy to navigate thanks to all of the different sections and categories. If you do have trouble you will find all of the answers you could ever need in their help and support section.
Pinterest for your iPhone
I do not have an iPhone but I am betting this would be a pretty fun way to use this website. Original images posted to Pinterest are often more popular because they have not already been seen and pinned by everybody. If you have an iPhone and wish to get this application it is available in the iPhone app store. This allows you to take Pinterest with you wherever you go and create unique pins. Maybe you are at your favorite restaurant or have just seen a new dress you love. With this app you can Pin it!
What If I Speak Another language?
Pinterest have that covered and if you look at the top of the page you will find you have the ability to change the language.
Using Pinterest as a Planner
Some people use Pinterest to plan decorating their home. They find their favorite furniture, colors of paint, wallpaper etc. Then they upload the pictures to a board designed specifically for planning and use it as their inspiration. Some people do the same to plan their wedding or plan their next big purchases. I created board for future purchases and it will come in handy when the time comes to buy them.
Is There Anything Else I Should be Aware of?
In the settings menu you can choose to change your email address or password. You can choose to hide your Pinterest profile from search engines. You can change your location and the text written in your "about me" section. You can also add a link to your profile on your favorite Social Networking site and choose whether to publish your Pinterest activity to your Facebook timeline or not. You can find friends who are on Facebook via your settings menu. You can invite friends via Facebook or various email providers. Lastly In email settings you can also choose which things you want to be alerted to via email and how quickly and often. If you are looking for a certain type of pin just use the search bar at the top of the page to find it.
How Do I Deactivate My Account?
This is really easy to do just go to settings and then scroll down and you will see a button saying "deactivate my account."
My Pinning Experience
I did not go looking to join this website. It found me via the invitation to my email and I am glad it did. I find the site to be very inspiring for planning things and also very fun to use. I have pin-boards dedicated to the 80s, my favorite actors, favorite songs etc. I currently have 25 boards, 177 pins and 79 likes. It is fascinating to see all of your favorite things, all on one page in front of you and kind of strange at the same time. I used all of my childhood favorites and things like that on my pins and when I am looking at it. It feels like looking at all of the memories in my life so far. My pins feature The Land Before Time which was one of my favorite films as a child. A whole host of quotes that have been useful to me throughout the years and helped me view certain things in a different light and things I plan to purchase in the future. Pinterest is a really unique site and because it gives you boards on which to plan things it can be useful too. I can thoroughly recommend this website.
This game was created by Rockstar Games and released in May in 2011. LA Noire is set In LA in the late 1940s. It has been made to look exactly like actual locations in LA and to be historically accurate. There is an extensive range of downloadable content for this game. The Rockstar Pass is in my opinion the best value DLC currently available for it because you get access to a lot of extra cases for a reasonable price. There are very few games on the PlayStation 3 that have ever really impressed me. When I am searching for a new game, I look for a thought provoking game, one that can really make me think. I look for a game that is a challenge and one that manages to keep me intrigued and excited for what lies ahead. This game is one of the few that managed to do all of that and because of this I think it is truly amazing. My brother recommended this wonderful game to me, if he hadn't I probably never would have given the game a chance. I was astonished by how real the characters look and the special, incredibly realistic detail that has gone into creating their facial expressions. The storyline for each case was incredibly interesting and never got tedious or lost its intrigue. It didn't matter how many cases I closed because I was always eagerly anticipating the next one.
This game was so much fun to play! I literally did not sleep for the duration of time that I was playing it. I just could not bring myself to put the controller down. Inability to sleep because of my enthusiasm towards a game is something that rarely happens to me. This game just kept me completely glued to the screen. Everything about it is so realistic and believable. As I was getting to know each character, I began to feel as though I was getting to know actual people and the cases started to seem real. I really liked the main character Cole Phelps role in this game. I specifically got caught up in his parts in the storyline. When the character of Cole Phelps was in sad situations, I really felt really sad too. When he was lied to, I felt angry at the characters who deceived him and then something totally unexpected happened. I suddenly went from emphasizing with the troubles his character faced in the game and began to feel a loss of respect towards his character later in the game due to a unexpected twist in the storyline. I can not recall any other storyline that has ever managed to capture my attention quite as well as this one did.
I believe the reason for this is that they allow you to choose how you respond to the characters that you encounter in the game. Success in this game relies largely on your ability to read the characters facial expressions, listen to the tone of their voices and the things that they have to say. Then you have to judge whether they are telling the truth or not and that is actually a reasonably difficult thing to do because some of them are extremely talented liars. It really is a game that requires your undivided attention. If you play this game and decide to skip past the cut scenes and do not pay attention to the subtitles or listen to what is being said. It really is odds on that you will end up incredibly lost. You will also miss out on the best parts because the cinematic parts are really well done and the storylines are incredibly entertaining to watch.
I played this game quite a few months back but it is still fresh in my memory. That to me is a sure sign of a game that I really enjoyed playing. It wasn't just Cole Phelps character that shined in this game though. The character of Phelps just happened to be the one that I found particularly interesting. Each character in this game had their own unique personality and stood out on their own merits. Each character you meet as you progress in the game is part of a bigger picture and most of them can provide you with vital clues to help solve your case. You just have to listen to the things they say, observe their expressions and ask the right questions. In this game there is some very fun puzzles to solve also.
Visiting Crime Scenes
When you visit a crime scene it looks very realistic. Well as realistic as crime scenes in games possibly can. Rockstar really know how to set a scene. As you approach each scene you will meet new persons of interest. These people are mentioned in your notebook. I really sensed the atmosphere of something tragic having happened and each crime scene seemed to feel eerier than the last. All of the detectives and forensic characters can be seen and you get to go behind the tape that keeps the general public from accessing it. You can walk towards people who are coming too close to the crime scene and ask them to move away. You can pick up clues which have been highlighted. It is obvious that Rockstar have highlighted the clues to make them easier for La Noire players to find. Eerie music plays while there is still clues to be discovered and once they all have been found it stops. You can use your intuition points to help you find clues that you are struggling with. These are awarded for correctly distinguishing who is a liar and who isn't by asking the correct questions at the correct times.
Examining Dead Bodies
If you are squeamish you may not like this game. The bodies look quite realistic and you have to actually walk over to them, move them and examine them very closely for clues about how they died. They are usually covered in blood, scars, bruises and are what you would generally expect of seeing someone who had been gruesomely murdered. Plus when moving them you can hear their bones crack and crunch which isn't too pleasant to say the least.
Can I Change Vehicles?
You can drive in a police car and choose whether you want the siren on or off. Perhaps you will get sick of the police car though. In that case you can drive in any other vehicle that you choose. All you have to do is get out of the vehicle that you are currently in and walk up to another one. At the door of your chosen car press the correct button and Cole or whichever detective you are at the time will confront the passenger or passengers and ask them to exit it. Once this happens the passengers exit their car in a timely manner and leave it for you to drive or wreck if you choose to or just can't drive it.
Do I Get A Crime Fighting Partner?
Your partner is assigned to be by your side in each case. Your partner will be different depending on who the captain of the department you are serving chooses.
Tell Me More About Intuition Points
Intuition Points as previously mentioned are awarded for correctly interrogating a suspect. You can use them to show you all of the clues that you are struggling to find. You can use them to eliminate one answer making it easier for you to find out which one you believe. You can also use them to use the Ask the Community feature. This works similar to how the ask the audience option works on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Your notebook is essential to assist you in solving cases. You can refer to this if you need to analyze a suspect, clues or locations further. You can use the evidence stored in this against a suspect during interrogation. If used correctly it can make finding out who the culprit is significantly easier to do.
I found driving to be rather difficult to do in La Noire. I always crashed no matter how much I tried not to. This has nothing to do with the controls because they were rather simple. It was just something to do with my coordination. When you are on the way to a Crime Scene your partner will talk to you.. You can choose to let them drive if you struggle with it. For the first while playing the game I always drove but as time went on I just decided to let my partner drive instead. The benefits of that being that I did not have to crash into everything and we got to locations much faster too. Also I did not have to listen to the moans of my partner every time I crashed. While driving you can see a map on the bottom left hand side of the screen. This helps you find where you are going and also shows you the route to Crime Scenes.
What is the Rockstar Pass?
The Rockstar pass gives you access to a lot of free content. You can get access to it via the PlayStation Store or in game. If you buy this you get access to more than 7 new cases and each case is very interesting and lasts a while. It really is good value for money at just 8.99. I should mention downloading them can take some time. Perhaps it would be best downloading them all one by one and in the background so you can do other things while you wait. This is what I did and having purchased and enjoyed playing through all of these extra cases I can thoroughly recommend the Rockstar Pass.
Graphics and Sound
I do not usually care about graphics but in the case of La Noire I am more than willing to make an exception because it looks a million times better to me than most games that I have played. In this game the characters you look at have been created by Team Bondi who actually animated the faces of real life actors. The results are so impressive! You really have to see them to believe just how good they are. IGN gave La Noire on the PS3 a rating of 8.0. The graphics vary in quality slightly based on which gaming platform you choose but not my very much at all. The music used in this game is very fitting and I quite like it. The sound effects if say a gun is fired are very loud and clear. I just looked at a YouTube video showing pictures of the characters beside pictures of the actors who played them and it is really hard to tell the difference because they really do look fascinatingly real. I can hardly believe they managed to make animations look so true to life. This is the link to the video and should give you a clue of just how remarkable the facial recognition used in this game is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qytTSilIc​5M The game uses every camera angle possible so you see the scenes from all different angles and see close ups of the characters faces which only further shows how amazing the detail is.
This game can be purchased on Amazon for the very reasonable price of 17 pounds with free delivery.
How Difficult is it to Play?
La Noire can be quite difficult if you do not pay attention to what all of the suspects and persons of interest are saying. It can be difficult even if you do pay full attention. It can be made a lot easier with the use of your intuition points. I completed this game and even got trophies including the one for collecting all of the cars. I am not exactly a gaming expert and I was able to complete it but I did have to restart certain cases because I misread expressions and accused people of being guilty without enough evidence. I did struggle with it at certain points but never enough to make me give up on it or lose interest. I did however at one point have to resort to looking at a guide to one case on YouTube. Sometimes the characters who are liars make it almost impossible to tell that they are. It didn't matter how much I looked at their expression because I was still puzzled. One thing that helps is to make use of the feature in the game that lets you glance up from your notebook and study the suspects face. Some of them seem to panic when you do this and it can give them away if they act suspicious when you do that. Some just get nervous though and again it brings you back to square one and looking at them wondering are they guilty or are they just nervous.
As well as the amazing stories that unfold with each case and new clues that are found. In this game you will also have fist fights and shoot em ups. My favorite part of this was on top of a building on the set of a film. As Cole Phelps you had to jump as the set started to fall away beneath your feet and make your way to the bottom before it all collapsed. It was a very high height and you had to also engage in a shoot-em up while up there. There are also car chases which are fun but I found them difficult because as previously mentioned steering the cars in this game wasn't my strong point.
Side missions you can take part in as long as you are in a police car because if you are not you will not be notified of them and they will not show up on your map. When you are near to an area with a side mission you will get a message telling you. You then get to choose whether to accept it or carry on with your mission instead. If you do leave these to later it means you have a lot of extra stuff to do once you have completed the game. Side Missions consist of shoot-em ups, car chases, chases on foot and things like that. There is also a mission which I completed in which you find all of the hidden cars locked away in garages around the massive city. In such a big city they are not easy to find! There is another mission which I have yet to complete where you find and collect all of the golden film reels hidden around the city.
For all of the Trophy Hunters out there there is a total of 60 achievements and 61 trophies to be earned with the complete addition or all downloadable content.
I was completely amazed by this game and I cannot recommend it enough. Anyone who likes thought provoking, complicated, puzzle solving games with interesting storylines and cinematic cut scenes this one is for you. It is not usually my kind of game if I am being honest but I am so glad I discovered it. I was very entertained while playing this and my only regret is that I completed the game so quickly because I just could not wait to see what happened next. I love everything about this game and I liked the 40s style music. I really hope Rockstar make a sequel or more games similar to this one.
I remember seeing the TV advert for Domino's at breaks in between watching The Simpsons and was always curious about it but it took me quite some time to order my first pizza from there. The first domino's store opened in 1967 and has since spread in popularity worldwide. In 2007 Domino's made it possible to order online or by phone but the Pizza Tracker was not added to the site until 2008. Domino's used to offer customers in free pizza if they did not deliver within 30 minutes time but stopped doing that in certain countries after in 1992 a woman was actually killed by a Domino's delivery driver and another was insured when one ran a red light and crashed into her car. In places like Mexico, India and Turkey the 30 minutes or free pizza rule still stands. Domino's Pizza has been a long time favorite of mine. When it comes to sending out for food it always comes down to a choice between this and a chippy called Guccii Chip because they are both mine and my Boyfriends favorite places to send to for home delivery.
You can choose to pick up your food or order online. We always order online. I really love how easy it is to do! It is the most convenient option when I do not feel particularly like cooking and the most tasty one too. With so many great deals to choose from and vouchers saving you money off your order. Domino's really is a great place to order food. I remember my first order from here. I bought Myself, Dad, Brothers and Mum it whilst still living with them. It was expensive but so very worth it! I was hooked from the first time that I answered the door and saw those Domino's box's with the garlic and herb dip placed conveniently on the side and smelt the more than pleasant aroma drifting through the hallway and into the living room. I used to always order the Domino's Waffles and occasionally sent out for them alone. Recently they appear to have stopped putting so much sugar on the waffles and never send a toffee dip anymore and as a result I have stopped getting them altogether. I am rather disappointed about this because it was one of my favorite things. The rest of the food still is lovely though and so all is not lost. Sometimes we have been given a whole lot of extra dips free and even some extra tins of coke. I think I will be trying the Chicken Mexicano at some point. I cannot quite tell if I will like it or not but I guess there's only one way to find out.
YOU WONT BE SHORT OF SELECTION!
There is quite an extensive range of food on offer and types to suit almost everyone's tastes. With a menu offering the most indulgent desserts, delicious pizzas, tempting side orders and also catering to vegetarians or those who like their pizza to have a spicy kick to it. Clearly Domino's has thought of everything! They even specify beside each pizza which is hot or which is for vegetarians by placing a little red circle with the letter H in the middle of it for spicy pizzas or a green circle with the letter V in the middle of it for vegetarians. They even made sure to include in their new Mexicano range one for vegetarians too. You also have Garlic Bread, Chicken Wings, Chicken Strips etc
* Meat Extreme - Meat Extreme has to be my favorite of all the pizzas available. I have tried quite a few and always come back to ordering this one. Layered with cheese and sauce and with stacks of Pepperoni, Ham, Chorizo, Tandoori Chicken, Smoky Bacon and Meatballs. It is really nice and even a small one leaves me absolutely stuffed.
* Mixed Grill - This is my second favorite Pizza and it is also a meat based one. With plenty of Chopped Tomatoes, Sausage, Mushrooms and Smokey Bacon. If I am ordering a pizza for myself and not to share with my Boyfriend. I usually get a half and half which includes half of both of these delicious pizzas.
* Hawaiian - This is my final favorite topped with Ham, Pineapple and Mushrooms. I really find I have to be in the mood for this one. I know that sounds weird but whether I get this one or not depends all on how I am feeling at the time. If I am not in the mood for this one and get it I end up leaving most of it but when I am in the mood for it its delicious.
* Garlic and Herb Dip - This is perfect for dipping pizza in and I would not feel like my order is complete without it. It makes the crust taste even nicer and that is saying something. I am a fan of Domino's crust and particularly their stuffed crust it tastes great but even better with this dip.
* Domino's Chocolate Chip Cookies - I love these! Sometimes I cannot be fussed on them but when I am in the mood for something sweet I really enjoy them. The cookies arrive warm and the chocolate chips just melt in your mouth.
* Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream - When ordering Domino's, I rarely finish ordering without adding a carton of their Cookie Dough to my virtual basket. It is the perfect dessert to finish a lovely dinner with and comes with a spoon so there really is no need to do any cutlery or dish cleaning. I mean who really wants to do that when you send out to a takeaway? The whole idea is that everything is done for you and you get to just sit in front of your favorite TV show, film, book or game and enjoy it
* Domino's Stuffed Crust - I love this and noticed that the Garlic and Herb Dip and the pizza in general are much nicer with it.
HALF AND HALF
The half and half option is a truly excellent idea. Not always is it easy to make up your mind. I often struggle to decide which I want because there is so much choice. I went through a phase about a year ago and every time I sent to Domino's I made my left side Meat Extreme but my right side something I had yet to try. I tried The New Yorker, House Special Tandoori Chicken, Mighty Meaty, American Hot, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Meatalicious and Full house. As you can see I have almost tried all of the Pizzas on offer except the vegetarian ones, The new Mexican range and the Spanish Sizzler. I found I stuck with a half and half Meat Extreme and Mixed Grill or Meat Extreme and Hawaiian. When myself and my Boyfriend send out and split a Pizza between us. Paul gets Pepperoni on his half and I get Meat Extreme. The half and half option can save you a lot of money and even half of a medium pizza can be hard to finish. You probably will not still be hungry afterwards! Making your pizza half and half is easy. All you have to do is choose half and half from the drop down menu and then go to customize. From there you can choose which type of crust you would like and which pizza you want on your left and right side. You can also choose to add more toppings here but it will cost a bit more money.
ORDERING DOMINO'S IS SO FAST!
I think we all have felt the feeling of being absolutely starving and not wanting to wait too long for our food. Domino's is the perfect place to order from if you feel like this. You can even use the Domino's Pizza Tracker and watch all of the stages your Pizza goes through while being prepared. This is a five step process and the first step is Domino's letting you know your order has been placed. Step 2 then consists of them letting you know they are currently preparing your food. When the tracker moves to Step 3 your food is being baked. In step 4 your food is going through quality control and then the final step number 5 is for delivery. I find the pizza tracks moves so fast from 1 to 5 until the delivery person standing at my door. I sometimes wonder how they do it! The food always gets here in good condition and piping hot. If you sign up with your Facebook the order process will be significantly faster. The reason for this is they use your information from Facebook to sign you in. This prevents the need to type your address, name, phone number etc because they all are already there.
When you land on the Home page you will see an option to view the menu now. All you have to do is click this to be transferred straight to the menu and be one step closer to your pizza being delivered. I really like the design of the site they have cleverly chosen to animate the Deal button. This of course drawing in potential customers and highlighting perhaps the most important part. This website is not cheap! Making use of the deals and vouchers will be important to anyone like myself who is not made of money. I think the animations definitely add to the attractiveness of the site. They have added all the little details that some places forget about and clearly put thought into its design. Everything is easy to understand and read. This is not a complicated site to navigate!
When you have chosen everything you want to eat just go to the checkout. When you are at the checkout you will see an option for something named a Meal Deal Wizard. This is a handy little thing and suggests meals and things similar to what you have ordered but for a more reasonable price. The aim of this is to of course save you money and so it can be very useful. You can choose to go back to the menu from here or to add some extras which are rather annoyingly draped along the side of the page. I say annoyingly because sometimes I do not want to spend more than a certain amount of money and I often get sucked in by this adding more to my basket and I do not even end up eating it all. You can also add voucher codes from here. I find this website to be very reliable for providing me with vouchers to save money on my order http://www.hotukdeals.com/vouchers/domin​os.co.uk and this one too http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/dominos.uk​.com.
ARE MY DETAILS SAFE?
I have paid by card often and never had any problems. Domino's takes your privacy very seriously and the website is secure. They say in the privacy statement that they have implemented security measures to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information placed under their control.
Domino's can be quite expensive but if you use the voucher codes and take advantage of the great deals you will save a lot of money. You can currently feed one person for 7.49, two people 12.49, three people for 14.99 and four people for 16.99. You can also get two large pizzas for 22.99, two medium pizzas for 19.99 or with the party deal you can buy two large pizzas and get one free. Two for Tuesday is a great offer in which you buy one pizza and get another one free.
You can choose to pay by either credit card, debit card, PayPal or just pay with cash on delivery.
ELECTRONIC CHARITY BOX
Domino's support Pennies which is an online charity box and they give you the option to support UK charities with this before checking out. The money you give will be used to support charities like The Special Olympics and The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice. I do believe it is likely that the charity's vary based on that country you are ordering Domino's from.
Are you concerned with how many calories are in your pizza? You will find a link to a food guide. This is placed on the right side of the screen next to the selection of pizzas. All calorie counts are based on a large slice of a classic crust pizza. Calorie counts on medium and small ones will be significantly lower. If you are really worried about calorie intake they make a pizza with only four slices which is called a personal pizza.
I have found Domino's staff to be nice people to deal with. One time my order went through twice and I am thankful they phoned to let me know and I was able to let them know it was a mistake because otherwise I would of been paying for it twice. The delivery drivers are always very pleasant and I have one to thank for reminding me that I left my keys in the door on a night that I ordered some pizza. At the very bottom of the website you will find contact details, franchise information, legal section and business information. In the contact details section you can find a section in which to complain if need be.
I totally recommend ordering food from here. In my experience the food tastes great. It always arrives piping hot, drinks are always nice and chilled and the ice cream is never melted because they keep hot food and cold food separate. They even have it written on the bag they store cold stuff in that it is specifically for chilled things.
I decided to review this Ice Cream Parlour due to the realization that there are many places where I live to review and I haven't reviewed any of them yet. I am glad Fonzerellis is available to review as it is just my kind of place. I will be happy to let people know as much as I can about this wonderful place. My sister is also a regular visitor there and would recommend it too. Fonzerellis is a family run business. It has been providing delicious Ice Cream to customers for over 24 years now and appears to still be going strong. The special recipe for their famous Ice Cream has been in their family for generations now. Fonzerellis customers consist of people from the Shankill area and also people from further afield. You often see families and couples here.
Where is Fonzerellis?
The Fonzerellis Ice Cream Parlour is situated on the Shankill road. It is close to all local amenities and if you live on or around the Shankill area it is within very short walking distance. If you do not live around this area and should wish to visit the address is 173 Shankill Road in Belfast County Antrim and the postcode is BT13 1FP.
Arranging Your Visit
The Ice Cream Parlour is quite distinct in appearance. You know it is an Ice Cream shop looking at it and because it is one of only a few on the Shankill road it makes it that bit easier to find. You do not need reservations in order to eat here. It probably will be busy on really warm days though. You can choose to sit in or take your food with you. You can pretty much wear whatever you want because there is no set dress code.
Myself and my Boyfriend went here on Wednesday afternoon just after we had finished our shopping in Iceland. It is literally just across the road from where I live and so we did not have very far to walk to get to it. When walking past Fonzerellis you always get a sense of how relaxed and happy the customers are. If you happen to glimpse through the window or should you decide to get something to eat inside, you will notice the atmosphere is very chilled out and the customers are usually engaged in conversation with each other, laughing, or smiling. The Booths are very comfortable to sit in and there is plenty of room for quite a few customers to eat or drink in Fonzerellis at any given time. The Ice Cream parlour looks lovely inside and is very tastefully decorated. When I lived farther away I use to regularly walk all the way down the Shankill road just to get one of their milkshakes which are available in a variety of delicious flavors. I do not usually see some of these flavors in other Ice Cream Parlours that I have visited. Some of the flavors available are the ones we all have come to expect such as Banana, Strawberry and Chocolate but then there are also Mint and Pineapple which seemed a little adventurous to me at first and it took me a while to decide on trying those flavors out because I was unsure if I would like them or not but when I did to my surprise they tasted great. Their Ice Cream tastes lovely and there is a wide range of sprinkles available. My favorite thing from Fonzerellis is their plain Ice Cream with Honeycomb sprinkles and Jelly. The Milkshakes are also available in a thicker consistency and in varying sizes too.
The Ice Cream Parlour was nice and quiet on our visit because there were not many people there. All we could hear was the sound of the three people at the table laughing and carrying on and then our own conversation. Sometimes this place can be noisy and other times it can be quiet as a library. It all depends on how many customers are there at the time you arrive.
Time to Eat
There is a range of classic desserts on offer such as Banana Boat, Smokey, Chocolate Smokey, Knickerbocker Glory, Ice Cream Cones, Sliders and also available are a range of Cold Drinks, Coffee, Tea, Cappuccino etc. We saw these on a laminated menu on the wall next to our booth. The menu was well laid out, easy to read and looked professional. Once we had both decided what we wanted to order. I walked up to the counter and paid for the order and then waited. I was not waiting for a long time but while I was standing there I noticed they sell Nougat Bars, Homemade Fudge, Bags of Honeycomb Pieces that are smothered in chocolate and original Honeycomb rather reasonably priced at around one or two pounds each. I made a mental note to myself to purchase some on my next visit.
They also had a range of brightly colored Ice Cream dips in tiny white containers with a plastic lid. There were blue ones, red ones, brown ones and green ones. Once our stuff was finished being prepared. The lady behind the counter handed it to me with a smile and I bought it and set it down on our table. Paul chose a Chocolate Smokey which looked really nice and he seemed to enjoy it. It was presented in a fancy glass bowl and garnished along the sides with Chocolate Sauce. The bottom was also full with Chocolate Sauce and there was a Chocolate Flake on top of it. There was a very generous amount of Ice Cream in that big glass. In fact so much so that Paul mentioned he was struggling and there were still three layers left to eat. I ordered a large Strawberry Milkshake but decided to get the normal one instead of the thicker variety. My Milkshake tasted really nice! The scent of Strawberry was quite strong without being unpleasant and so was the taste and it was very sweet. My glass was also huge and it was full to the brim.
I have to say I am very impressed because for both my large Milkshake and Paul's Chocolate Smokey it came to under five pounds. All of the stuff in this Ice Cream Parlour is extremely competitively priced and really high quality.
Opening Hours and Contact
Fonzerellis opens from Tuesday to Sunday between the hours of 12 noon and 10. If you wish to contact them the number provided is 0289-031-0550
You can apparently pay by cash or card (Visa, Maestro, MasterCard etc.) but I personally have never seen anyone pay by card in Fonzerellis. I myself only ever have paid by cash and observed that others do the same.
This place is sparkling clean and is kept in tip top condition. The table we sat at was clear and had no dust or anything on it and evidently had just been cleaned because it was nice and shiny. The floors were clean and the glasses which were used to put our Ice Cream and Milkshake in were clean enough to see your reflection in.
There are no toilets here and it probably isn't the easiest place for people with disabilities that confine them to a wheelchair to get access to because there is a step up into it and the door is not very wide. However if you really needed a toilet there is a public restroom just around the corner.
The lady who served us was very polite and friendly. She said goodbye and thanked us for visiting on the way out and this was even though she was having a conversation at one of the tables with two lovely wee elderly women at the time. It seemed they were regulars and I can understand why because it really is a place you will want to go back to.
We both really enjoyed our time here and the stuff that we ordered. I have no doubt we will be visiting again soon. We felt very welcome and I like that there was no rush to order our stuff. There also were no lengthy queues. I am not a fan of how in some places someone hovers over you and repeatedly asks if they can take your order before you have even made it half way through the menu. I always end up feeling pressured and ordering something I do not want. I like to take my time and enjoy the surroundings and in this place I can. I can one hundred percent recommend this Ice Cream Parlour. All in all Fonzerellis is a really welcoming place to get something nice to eat or drink. It has top quality stuff and their home made Ice Cream is top notch. This sort of establishment shows amazing value for money, friendliness and exceptional customer service.
A Constantly Evolving Game With Unlimited Possibilities.
This game is fascinating and it truly is one of a kind. Imagine you are playing a game where you can do absolutely anything and that is exactly what you can do. With this game you can design a level of any kind and watch as all of your most artistic and creative ideas come to life right before your eyes. The first Little Big Planet was just as wonderful. My first impressions of Little Big Planet 2 were that it was more like an upgrade than a sequel. It felt like being giving a bigger tool box in which to make even better creations with and that was sufficient because in this kind of game a bigger tool box is like a winning a Little Big Planet 2 style lottery or an all access pass. My first experience with this game was thanks to a PlayStation Plus Beta invite sent to my email address. At the time me and someone who I was good friends with and spoke regularly to on PlayStation Home got one and it was him who told me about the beta. I was really happy when I got my invite. We both played in the beta together and had so much fun. We made Sack Bots and got them to say funny things. Including making a reptilian Sack Bot and making it speak like a woman in a hilarious video on YouTube who professes her love to reptilians. I love this game because it gives anybody the opportunity to create actual levels and better still full games.
In the second Little Big Planet there are more than 50 story levels including mini games. With over 5 million levels available to play which have been created by the Little Big Planet community and more being added every day (even as I type this.) There is an also an extensive range of costumes available and you can even make your own. As you can see it is going to be hard to run out of things to do on this game. It is so much value for money if you really think about it and a lot of fun. After all with this you can create your own full games and even your own films. This game is so much fun. Oh and Score Bubbles and Bounce Pads are awesome. My favorite things are Bounce Pads. From the first time you see your little Sack person drop into its pod and you discover just how much you can do with this game you will be hooked. When I say drops I mean dropped. It comes out of nowhere like it has just been dropped out of a space ship.
Even just one game can cost around forty pounds or more but Little Big Planet 2 offers over 5 million levels and costs just £18.49 and £3.99 for delivery on Amazon. Under 25 pounds for this game just seems to good to be true but it's not. Add that to the fact that Little Big Planet often adds free costumes for your Sack Boy or Girl to the PlayStation Store. I own this game thanks to my brother Colin who bought me the special edition as a gift.
Admittedly even with the extensive range of explanatory videos and all of the free objects given to you after you watch each one. It really can be quite hard to get the hang of this game. I would not say this is an easy game for someone who wants to be a creator. For those who just want to play the Story Levels, Mini Games and levels submitted by the Little Big Planet community it will be significantly easier but they will be missing out on the best part and it really is worth persevering with until you learn how everything works.
The graphics are satisfactory and maybe even better than those in the first installment of Little Big Planet. To be honest when I am playing a game, I really do not give a monkeys whether the graphics are good or not as long as I enjoy playing it but for those who do care about that kind of thing the graphics are good. The picture on my screen when playing is nice, bright and very colorful. I can see my sack girl and her animations crystal clear. The game looks amazing! Especially recently because the quality of the levels being submitted by The Community has improved so much. The level I just clicked into is absolutely stunning and you would think a professional game designer had created it. .
The World Within Your Pod
This is the first place you are taken to when you play Little Big Planet 2 just after you complete a few story mode levels. You should view it as the control room or kind of like your headquarters because from here you can choose which level you want to go to and view all of the different sections. You can access the Little Big Planet store to purchase and download content from here and even find some free stuff. You can edit your pod and decorate it in any way you choose and you can access options. The more content you purchase and the more user submitted content you pick up in the game. The wider your selection of things to decorate with will be. In your Pod you have not got a lot of room to move. It is a little bit of space to make your own. You can talk to friends on mic or even play your own music. It resembles a cardboard spaceship and in this spaceship you will see a PlayStation Controller. If you walk towards it and press Square this is where the fun begins. Visitors can even help decorate your Pod. I found this out when a nice Little Big Planet player made me a very nice Pod and all I had to do was save it. I am about to explain now the things that you can access from your headquarters.
As mentioned earlier you can access the PlayStation store and purchase content directly in the game. I like this because it means you can download your new purchases without ever having to quit out. In the store section you can choose the browse option. If you choose to browse you will see all of the available content at once. When you click into one of the items available to purchase. A short summary of everything you will get if you purchase that pack shows on screen and to the right are a basket icon and the price of the item in question. You will also see a button which you click if you want to buy it. Once you have chosen all if any of the items that you want to purchase you are taken to a blue screen which shows you the price of each item in your basket and the total cost. Here you can either cancel or confirm purchase. In the store section you will find level kits which give you extra objects and some high quality levels created by professionals which are very fun to play. You will also get a large selection of new stickers to use as you wish. My favorite is the Metal Gear Solid one because I got a free paintball gun with it which led to some very fun sack paintball fights. There are some free costumes in the store and some to purchase and a music kit to add also. Much to your delight you will see there is big names such as Toy Story or The Muppet's. You can use these famously inspired level kits to make your own levels consisting of the theme of the characters and films you love. There is a large range of content and so you might want to press triangle and narrow it down. If you press triangle it filters the results and gives a few options like one that lets you hide all of the kits and outfits you already own. You can also sort them by price or the date they were added. If you already know what you are looking for. You can just go to the text search option and type the name of it in. Once you do that you will swiftly be taken to a page displaying your chosen search item. Finally if you want to view your purchases you can go to My Stuff and it will all be in there. You will be able to see content that you have purchased but not downloaded yet and your levels, downloaded packs and outfits
Now on to the Recent Activity section. Here you will find all of the latest goings on in the Little Big Planet including the latest Little Big Planet Community Spotlight. This is a rather quirky showcase of recommended levels and links directly to them. It is currently on episode 91! In your Recent Activity section you can also see what you and your friends have been playing and see any new levels that you or they have created, updated or liked.
From there you can also see how many people have liked, hearted and played each level. If you go to the Community section you will see a list of places to go to get to exciting new levels.
Firstly there is the My Queue option in here you can view or go straight to levels you have chosen to play later. This is handy because sometimes you will see a level and might be intrigued by the name or description but either do not have have the time or just can't be bothered at that given moment in time to play them. All that you have to do is press square when you see a level you would like to store in your queued levels' section and you will be given the option to Play, Copy (if the level has been made copyable,) queue or heart it.
Now I will explain the Dive In feature. Some days you will have no friends online to play with and you might want to play a Multiplayer game or a Mini Game from the Story Mode but you cannot do that alone and that is why this comes in very handy.
While you are hovering over the Dive In option you will see a little speech bubble telling you how many players are currently online. There are usually thousands of players online at any given time. So you are never short of someone to play with. Once you click Dive In it will tell you it is looking for suitable players. When it finds one it updates you informing you that it is requesting to join a player and the name of that person. The countdown starts at one minute and twenty seconds. At this time if someone refuses to let you join it simply restarts again and it does the same if the request times out and no one answers when given the option to let you join them. Eventually you will be allowed into someones game and when that happens you drop into their Pod. Usually there is a moment of introduction. Well either that or you slap each other if you or the person you join is in a particularly mischievous mood.
Now to discuss the Cool Levels option. The levels that get into the Cool Levels section have had a lot of plays and been hearted by a lot of players and that is why they are there. Play one of these levels and the chances are it might be really good.
MM Picks is the section to go to if you really want to play a level that is good. Only the most memorable, well designed, exemplary levels get to be here. They are chosen by no other than Media Molecule the makers of the game. You are guaranteed to find only levels of the highest quality in this section.
Making Use of the Search Function
You can also search for a specific type of level by text. For instance if you type in the name of a singer or band you will find levels designed based on their music. I love music levels! I also regularly search Slide or Roller coaster because those styles of Levels I find to be a lot of fun.
Little Big Music Sequencer
I really admire those in the Little Big Community who use the Music Sequencer so well because I tell you it is not an easy thing to do. I have never been able to figure it out even though there is very informative tutorials on Little Big Planet and YouTube. I just can not get the hang of it at all. It is worth finding out how to use because the Music Sequencer is very powerful and will allow you to recreate any song key for key or even make your own masterpiece.
If you go to the option called more in The Community section you will find you can view which friends are online, levels that you have hearted, creators that you have hearted and your recently played levels. You can also view the highest rated levels this week, this month and in all of Little Big history. You can do the same for the most hearted and most played and finally if you go to even more you can choose to go to view the newest levels, the busiest levels or if you're feeling spontaneous you can choose lucky dip.
The Story Mode section is also a click away from your pod. In that you have 50 levels to explore and conquer and you get to meet some rather fun, unusual characters along the way. In story mode you can play alone or join others. There are lots of stickers and items to collect but in order to acquire some of them you will need to play with others. This can be a good thing though and can make it even more fun. You can also win trophies there is 65 of them in total to earn. The story levels are fun and engaging. They keep you interested and it helps keep you motivated that you win things as you go along.
Not too long ago there was a new button added called More Stories from this you can get quick access to all of the level kits that you have paid for.
All About You
Now to discuss the section dedicated all to you. Firstly I will discuss the My Earth part in this section you can access all of the levels you have created, you can view Your Profile and you will see your three favorite pins that you will have chosen to display to the community. Next on to the My Profile section here you can see any comments left by Little Big Planet players. Perhaps someone really enjoyed your level. If they did this is where you may hear about it if not on your level reviews. You can add pictures of your level here to entice more people to play it as well. If you click decorate while in your "you section" you can change your moon to look however you want. Mine currently looks like a circular pink cake with white icing. Click into My Moon and you can choose a spot in which you want to place a new level on. You can choose between big levels or smaller ones and you can change the appearance of your level to others with a picture. You can also access all of the very informative Tutorials in this section and see which ones you have completed and those you have yet to do. Finally you can look at all of your pins from here.
Add Your Own Pictures
Using your PlayStation Eye camera gives you the opportunity to be very unique because you can upload all of your own stuff and stick it on your objects in your levels or on the walls or anywhere really. You can add pictures of yourself in your level which some people do. You can add your favorite sayings and quotes. Add pictures of your pet and make a level dedicated to them. That makes me think I could make a game based around my Parrot Oscar. It really is that flexible of a game you can do absolutely anything. There are no limits!
You will earn pins for all of the different little things you do in Little Big Planet and these are basically like little badges of honor to show off to your friends and other people. There is a large range of pins to collect and many of them you can get whilst playing in story mode. They are more or less little challenges which you do not have to complete but they are fun to earn. You get them for things like playing 5 versus games, dying in a Community Level or placing your first sticker. You will get them without even trying to.
To begin with you will see a rather inspiring advert for the game you are about to play. It is possibly the coolest advert for a game that I have ever seen. It manages to build up your excitement on your first time playing and made me even more enthusiastic about what lay ahead. When you are new to the game and have not completed any Story Levels yet it will require you to complete Da Vinci's Hideout before you can access all of the features in your Pod. The first level you see is basically an introduction to the game and a celebration of all things Media Molecule. Media Molecule are the makers of Little Big Planet and the people whom we have to thank for such a wonderful game. You will hear the narrator Steven Fry welcoming you to Little Big Planet and as you walk forward and he stops talking for now a colorful scene will unfold right before your eyes. You can see pictures of all of the people involved in the making of Little Big Planet and some dancing speakers. Yes you did actually read that. I did actually say dancing speakers. You are only beginning your journey and your sack person starts out pretty much naked but not for long. You will come along screens with instructional videos in which Stephen Fry and his voice tell you how to do certain things and he will pretty much be your guide for the whole game. Here you will get a taste for the wonderment that is ahead of you.
PlayStation Move Compatibility
When your game loads up a screen telling you that you can use a PlayStation Move controller with Little Big Planet 2 is the first thing you will see. I have to admit I preferred the normal controllers because I found them much easier. I borrowed my brothers PlayStation Move controller at the time to try out the Sack Boys Prehistoric moves which came free with my collectors edition of the game. I have to say I found the PlayStation Move controller really awkward to use. However recently they have added much more content for players who want to use the move. This includes a whole new story called The Rise of the Cakeling which is basically an extension to the original Story Mode. In the Rise of the Cakeling you will get access to14 new levels and lots of new gadgets including a new power up called The Brane Crane. Once placed on your Sack Boy or Girls head the Brane Crane gives you telekinetic powers. It allows you to move things with the mind of your Sack Bot. You can pick up objects and even your Sack friends and move them as high or low as you want them to go but perhaps the best thing about The Brane Crane is that it allows you to make whole new use of your ability to slap others. This is one of my favorite things about Little Big Planet and it has been there since Little Big planet 1.
With The Brane Crane no longer do you have to be within close proximity of other Sack people to slap them because you can just use your telekinetic powers to do it. Often when you slap a Sack Person a hilarious chase ensues with a sometimes rather annoyed (some people take this game far too seriously!) sack person trying to slap you back. Imagine virtually slapping one of your friends or someone you randomly join up with using the " Dive In" feature which drops you in a random Pod with people you do not know. This time when you join sack people at a level you can stand far away and slap them. Mwhahahaha! I think the slap emote was the makers of Little Big Planet 2 best ideas. It was obviously put there to make the game much more fun and add a little silliness to it and that it does. With the new content available for the PlayStation Move I saw a level created in the style of the Robot Unicorn game and I have to say it was absolutely beautiful. The way the colors were used was fascinating and I do not think it is possible to do this with the normal PlayStation controller. I believe it was the work of The Move Paint Pack and the talented and very artistic creator of this level that allowed it to look so amazing.
So the PlayStation Move does open a lot of doors. With the new content created exclusively for the PlayStation Move controller you also get The Movinator which allows you to use your PlayStation Move controller similar to a cursor on a computer mouse when combined with the cursor tool. With it you can pick stuff up and you can also customize your cursor to be your favorite color or make it one of the stickers that you have in your pop it. The movinator is said to make it much easier creating things. Then there is the Motion Recorder with this you can pick up any object in your level and make it move whichever way you choose by moving the controller in the motion you want your object to move. Simply choose the object that you want to move a certain way and it will start to record. Then set your moves in motion and that's you. If you download this content you also get another 32 pins to collect and display proudly on your profile. There are also 66 new stickers, 18 new material, 41 new decorations and 13 new objects to beautify your levels with and there is also new music available and good news for all those glorified trophy chasers out there because you also get 11 new trophies to win. As I am writing this I am seriously considering buying my own PlayStation Move controller just so I can try this out myself. The reason for that is that it sounds as if this new content has breathed new life into what is already an astonishingly fun game to play. If you choose to use PlayStation Move you will also need a PlayStation Eye camera plugged in and you will need to place it somewhere in line with your controller.
Where Would a Sack Boy or Girl be Without their Pop it?
Your Pop It is your Toolbox and the key to creating some magnificent levels and objects all of your own. It stores all of your essential things such as Stickers, Materials, costumes and Items and even has the ability to get you out of the stickiest of situations because you can press the hold to retry option and when you do your Sack Person will show you his or her Houdini style magician skills. Hilarious as it is it will look like it is constipated and squeeze making a moaning noise until it poofs and reappears in a puff of greatness. In your Pop it you can also access all of the tutorials available and with each one you complete and bag yourself a nifty little set of new stickers and items as you learn each one. I only played the tutorials for the freebies! With that little bag of tricks you have the power to change day to night and make colorful raindrops fall from the sky to name a few. You have access to glue, scissors, nuts, bolts, water tweakers which you can use to add waves, change water color and choose how deep or shallow it is. In here you have items to make things jumps, spin, talk, fly, dance. Anything you want to do you can do with all of the things in your Pop It. The only thing Little Big Planet 2 has not provided is imagination but that's fine because we all have our own and despite all of these wonderful tools your brain is the main thing needed to make your levels come to life. You can also change your Pop It cursors color to suit your mood.
A Disco in Game, Whilst Creating or Even Whilst Chilling in the Pod
If you go to your settings and then to your music player all you have to do is press play and all of the songs stored on your PlayStation or in playlists can be played. Once you press play on your chosen track it will just cycle through all of your songs one by one. This is especially helpful in creation mode because it helps to have something to listen to, Well I found it did anyway and it made me concentrate more. You can invite your friends over and put mics on and just have one person playing music for everyone to hear.
Steal Other Peoples Levels
If you are feeling particularly lazy and want a bit of inspiration or a sort of blueprint to build on this will maybe be your chosen way to go about designing levels. Personally I do not like it and have always designed my own. The whole idea of Little Big Planet is seeing your own creations come to life. That is what is so good about it. I do not see why they made it possible to copy someones work. It kind of diminishes the point of the whole thing.
Yay and No-more Nays
I am quite sad about this because giving feedback in Little Big Planet seems a very important part. They recently made it impossible to leave a sad face communicating to the creator that you did not enjoy the level. I thought this was a good idea and would help people to know if others enjoyed their levels or not. Now you can only leave a smiley face. I guess it will promote positivity and confidence in new creators though and encourage them. That is a very good thing and so I see why Media Molecule did it.
This is a website for people who want to view the trending levels of the moment. You can also search your favorite creator/creators and keep up to date on their recent creations. If you sign in using your PlayStation Network details you will be able to add levels from here to your queue. You can view pictures for levels and you can see what you or a certain creator has recently played and how much they scored. This can be used like many other websites to advertise your levels because it truly can be hard to get plays on your levels. I think this is because there is so much and so promoting your level can work wonders. My boyfriend mentioned the half done levels and I have to agree with him that they are really annoying. I do not know why people publish half finished levels, It is a waste of their time and that of potential players. The game is totally amazing and one I cannot recommend enough. Even if you get a little bit fed up of it from time to time it is something you can always return to when you feel more like it and I have done on many occasions. It is difficult to create but worth the effort. Once you get used to the controls and everything else. You will soon be gliding effortlessly through all of the things needed to create your own dream level and if you never pick up on how to create and it just never catches on. There is still a wide range of levels and multiplayer fun at your fingertips
The fact you can can purchase this game for under twenty five pounds on Amazon and sometimes free if you are a PlayStation plus member makes it too good to miss. Even for those who may not take enough time to get to know how this game really works. It might leave a sour taste in your mouth but I think it is fair to say that you will never play another game quite like it. I really recommend The Rabbit and the Wrestler series. I admire that creator and those short movies had me laughing my head off. There is a never ending supply of game with Little Big Planet 2 and that makes this a game really worth getting. This game is packed with mesmerizing, colorful and crazy levels. Each of the thousands of user submitted levels taking you of on a different adventure each time.
I have been entering online competitions since I first discovered that they existed and that has been for a very long time. Undeniably it is appealing when you get an email to your Hotmail Inbox convincing you that you could be a winner and sometimes the temptation to enter is too hard to resist. When you enter them there is so much signing up and divulging of your personal details and some websites end up having your phone ringing off the hook. The reason for that is that in order to enter certain sites competitions you have to provide contact details. It can really be annoying and a total inconvenience. Especially if your phone continuously rings until it wakes you out of your sleep. It seems to me a lot of these websites want a membership fee and that is required monthly. Sometimes they get you to sign up under the false pretenses. They make a very tempting offer and then hide the T & C (The reasons why its a con) somewhere out of sight or really difficult to find and often use letters so tiny you struggle to even see them. Then before you know it they are requesting very expensive membership fees that you did not even realize you had signed up for and this happened to me recently. I was led to believe I would only be paying a small one off fee of £2. They told me I would get a free voucher and have a membership to their competition site.
I thought it would come in handy. Admittedly I should of been a little more suspicious and looked at the small print but I took the offer at face value. The way they presented the offer made it extremely misleading and that caused me not to question it. With genuine competitions anyone who enters has the chance of winning it. No matter how big or small that chance may be. For a lot of people just knowing they could win is enough to make them enter. Even if they do not even like the prize being offered and they just want the chance to compete. It seems the perfect thing to do. All that the participants have to do is enter and then sit back and wait for the results. Some competitions go through stages in which people compete and one by one they get eliminated until finally the winner is revealed. I don't particularly like situations like this when people go head to head. I get the impression there may be a lot of squabbling and I myself avoid them for that reason. Entering competitions should be fun and not stressful. I enter with the hope of winning but it does not mean I can not be happy if I do not for those who do but for some people this is not the case.
I HAVE ENTERED A LOT OF COMPETITIONS BUT WON ONLY A FEW TIMES.
I have won around fifty pounds from Scratch Cards on the National Lottery website. I was silly though and gambled it all away. What can I say? It is addictive! I won a competition on Ciao and that has been one of my favorite out of all which I have entered and won so far. I constantly win Swag-bucks via completing offers and using their search toolbar and have cashed out four times. I once won a free Maybelline goodie bag via a Facebook competition and got quite excited about that as it contained products that I really like but ended up very disappointed because it never arrived. I have won on bingo sites like Bingo Port and Bingo Street but they were small wins. It really is down to luck and the reason I know this is that my mum buys Scratch Cards regularly and always wins. I always joke that she has a lucky leprechaun following her everywhere she goes. She has won hundreds!
There are even ones that want to take five pounds or more from your mobile phone every single week for something you probably will never win. I often wonder if these particular ones are scams because I have yet to hear of anyone I know or even anyone I do not know winning them. I decided over these last few days to quit comping and instead focus all of my attention on my reviews because the feeling of getting good ratings and recognition for something you put effort into is a million times better than any prize that any competition site could offer and is a lot more worth my time. That is not to say that occasionally I will not be tempted and maybe enter one or two but I certainly will not be spending as much time as I use to on them.
I have seen some people on different websites arguing with each other over competitions and it totally goes against the whole point of them and that is to have fun. Well in my opinion anyway and in times like these when you get emails telling you that you have won a competition that you have not even entered. It is really getting much harder to tell the difference between scams and genuine competitions and the fun is going out of it because as I fill in my details I am always wondering in the back of my head if its a scam or not. If I had to recommend a site to someone that you have a fair chance of winning competitions on it would be SwagBucks, Ciao or Dooyoo because all three of these sites are rewarding and worth your time because you win not by luck but by the effort you put into them.
Whilst visiting the playandwin.co.uk Website the first thing that strikes me about it is that it is quite colorful and absolutely full of games. You really are spoilt for choice! It is extremely easy to navigate because of this. After all almost everything seems to have been crammed right on to the page you sign in on. On that page you will see a part with the Recommended Games and next to that another section showing you the Top Games and the New Games. If you look to the right you will see a book with a red arrow with go to Challenges written on it. To the left you can see a list of all of your friends who are currently online. You will also see the games you played most recently and and how many emails and shared prizes that you have. Near to the top directly underneath where your Profile Picture you can leave a short greeting for anyone visiting your profile but you can only do that if you are a VIP member. You can also edit your profile in the same area. You will see five icons. The icons represent your Trophies, Medals, Gifts, Challenges and Scratch Cards. In that same part you will see an option to log out. There is a rather funny looking monkey with a crazy look on its face and that sort of gives me the impression the site is suggesting you will be as deliriously happy playing their games as that monkey is. Annoyingly adverts are displayed along the top and all down the right side of the home page and I hate those but nevertheless it is just an advert and doesn't take away from how good this website is. You can also see the Daily Winners and the Super, Extra and Quick Jackpots. Also accessible from this page are the Challenges of the week and your Games, Profile, Help, Tournaments, The Ticket Shop, Prizes, Winners, News, Become VIP and Account Status and at the bottom of the page you can see pictures of the most recently added profiles. You can see all of your tickets for the Jackpots and how many tokens you have to buy them. There will also be a part telling you have limited access if like me you are not a VIP member and giving you the option to read more about it.
There are lots of reasons to be a VIP Member which I will talk about shortly. I was a VIP Member before because it was so reasonably priced and good value for money. It only cost me one pound at the time and it was really easy to become one because you could even sign up for it via a text message to your mobile phone. All you do is type the given code in and wait for your phone to beep with a pin and then type it in the box provided and it really is as simple as that. It did add to my enjoyment of the website when I was a VIP and I played on it for a significantly longer time. I realized recently that the price has crept up quite a bit to five pounds a month but this is rather confusing because now they are giving their members twelve whole months VIP Membership for 4 pounds and 17 pence. So you get one month for 5 pounds and a whole year for 4.17. It is quite obvious which one is better value! There is also an option to sign up for 8 days membership via mobile phone for 2 pounds. The one month and twelve month subscriptions require a credit card. If you become a VIP there are a lot of benefits.
Your tickets are automatically purchased for you and that means you probably are more likely to win because you never miss the opportunity. You get to choose which draws you want to be tickets to be automatically purchased for as well
You get access to VIP Games that only VIP members can play. You also get little extras like in Bingo Stars (My favorite game) you get special Bingo Cards that non VIP members do not get access to.
You also get Advantages in Games because you are a VIP.
You get to use Instant Messenger.
You get rid of all those Annoying Adverts.
You get Unlimited Access to Tournaments which is really helpful because if you are not a VIP and you wait like ten minutes for a tournament. If a VIP member comes along and enters you get kicked off because they get priority and that is obviously going to be a pain in the neck but it only happens if all of the spaces are full.
You get Extended Profile Statistics which mean you get to see things that Non VIPS can not. Things like how many people have visited your profile, the number of entries in your guestbook and diary visits etc.
You get Extended Chat meaning that you have access to Smileys and Icons that Non VIP members do not.
You get to leave a Short Greeting on your profile page. Useful if you like to leave comments about yourself or how you feel.
You get use of the Message Editor which means you can leave pictures, change font, make your writing bold, add lots of smileys etc to your messages. To sum it all up you basically get the ability to make your messages look more professional and nice.
You get Access to Picture Galleries and the opportunity to make several of your own and also you can comment on other peoples pictures.
You get to add Favorites Lists which you fill with your favorite members.
You get to add more than ten friends. As it stands Non VIP members are only allowed ten friends.
You are allowed more than 25 Guestbook Entries.
A VIP member can get more than 25 emails. They can also use Pictures and HTML in their mail.
When you want to play a Tournament click on the word at the top of the page. After this you will see a list of all the available Tournaments and the start time for each one. Click sign up for Tournament and then you will be asked to confirm that you are certain you want to partake in the chosen Tournament. All you have to do then is wait until the time counts down and when you are ready click go to the tournament. You will then be taken to a page where you will see all of the participants. You can either stay on that page until the time counts down or choose to just click on in. It is probably a good idea to click on and wait in the lobby because sometimes I click join Tournament and then forget all about it until a second before it is started and by the time I join its too late. To join just click open game which is beside the countdown timer. Once your in you will see a message saying game starting soon and another countdown. At this point all you have to do is wait it out and then you will be entered into the game automatically once all your opponents are found. In the Tournament section the following new options become available. Tournament guide, Tournament plan, My statistics, Recent results and High scores. Tournaments are more exciting because you can win a lot more tokens.
Jungle Dice - Hover your mouse over the dice while holding in the button and do this over rows of dice of the same or higher value. When you match them they disappear.
Picture Logic - Pick a picture and copy it with rocks.
Snakes & Ladders - Roll the dice and climb to the top of the board without landing on snakes and having to go back down again.
Vocabulum - Find words the longer the better.
Below I will mention a few of the many Puzzle games with a short description.
A Glorious World - In this puzzle game you launch balls of the same color at each other to make them burst.
Balloon Buster - In this game you shoot balloons at other balloons to make them pop and clear them all up to win the level.
Balloon Buster 2 - Again shoot balloons at other balloons to make them pop and clear the level.
Diamond Mind - Move the different colored diamonds around in order to have 3 or 4 in a row. When you match 3 or 4 of the same color they will disappear.
Diamond Mind 2 - Same as the first one match the colors in rows of 3 or 4 to make them disappear.
Funfair Animals - In this game you simply shoot red balls at animals of the same species or ones with the same number.
Gem Quest - In this game you match the falling gems to other gems of the same color in order to get rid of them and stop them building up.
Handyman - In this game you connect pipes of the same color. You have to connect three or more for them to disappear.
Solitaire - Put all the cards in the right place to clear up the whole deck and win.
Arabian Solitaire - The original Solitaire game just in different surroundings.
Egyptian Pyramids - Egyptian style Solitaire just plays as usual but you will be building a pyramid and if you succeed you get to spin the wheel.
Egyptian Pyramids 2 Same as before just the second one.
Hearts - In this game the goal is to get as few points as possible.
Bob Game - Shoot your tiles in the holes to win.
Ice Cubes - Ice Cubes is another game in which colored things (blocks) fall from the sky and you match three in a row so they disappear and don't all build up on top of each other.
Sketchmaster - Very like ISketch just draw what you're asked to and let others guess what you have drawn.
There are five Slot Machines in total same game but with different surroundings and mini games when you get three identical symbols.
There are seven Bingo Games and they are as follows. Bingo 75, Bingo 90, Bingo Spinner, Bingo Spinner 2, Bingo Stars, Yatzy Stars. My favorite by a mile Bingo Stars.
MATCH THREE GAMES
These are simply games like Diamond Mind, Handy Man and Jungle Dice
Cut 2 Pieces - The name explains it. You get shown an angle to cut something in and you copy it.
Monkey Galaxy - Simply use your mouse to propel yourself into the sky and collect as many bananas as you can.
ABOUT THE GAME SECTION
In the gaming section you can see what others have rated the games and you can see how many people are currently playing in each one. With each game you play and win in you can gain Tokens, Medals and ratings. Whilst in certain games there are different rooms and in each one you have the option of chatting to the members.
This is my favorite part and the reason I keep coming back to the site. You get five free Scratch Cards every night at approximately eleven o clock. There is a bingo one where you scratch off the panels to reveal bingo balls and if the numbers match those on your calling card you earn tokens and if you get 2 full cards you win a tenner. If you get 3 full cards you win 20 pounds. There is a Treasure Hunter one in that you scratch the panels to find treasure and another one too with a magician on it. They all are basically the same in that if you get a certain amount of something you win. I like to think you never really lose. I have never won any money on it but I always get points which get me tokens and increase my chances of winning money.
You get tokens for winning at games and every-time you use Scratch cards. The tokens in the picture are golden and once you start getting them you want more and more. It is so addictive.
At the very bottom of the home page you will see it written Contact Playandwin.co.uk. It says when you click into it that most of the answers to your questions can be found in their FAQ. However if you still want to contact them you might be a bit disappointed to know that if you are not a VIP member you won't hear from them as fast. I really have to say I disagree with this part. Fair enough if they want people to pay for a membership that is understandable but to make them require one just to get a timely response is kind of unfair in my opinion. You can also find options to view a Guide, look at Terms, conditions and data policy, request Technical support, apply for admin position or information about their Advertising and Partners.
This seems to be a very popular website. I do not know anyone who has won money on it. I did once mention it to my sister and she said she knew someone who won money on it but I think she meant another website. I have not won money but I am still hopeful that one day I might and that keeps me playing games and winning more tickets. The Super Jackpot currently stands at a balance of 1893.54 and it will be a very lucky person who wins that. I have to say as much as the thought of winning might be the motivation for most people (including myself) to use this website. It is a brilliant site on its own merits with or without the offer of the chance to win money. Bingo Stars is my favorite game and always passes in time when I am bored. I also enjoy the slots and match three games too. I really do recommend this website. I also would like to mention the shared prizes because I think it is a really good idea. Every time your friends win you win too and every time you win they do.
I really enjoyed the first three Shrek films. They were bursting with fun and could of made almost anyone laugh but something really went wrong with this one and I think I know exactly what it is. When I watched the first Shrek film I was only twelve years old. I remember watching it in school. We had no work to do and our Music Teacher put it on. I remember everyone including me laughing our heads off at it and everyone went home that day after watching it in a really good mood. I also watched it again at home with my parents when it came on TV a while after that. I realized at the time how much it made even adults laugh and I thought it was one of the funniest films I had ever seen. Even though I watched it twice it was still just as funny the second time around and not many films are. So when Shrek 2 came out two years later in 2004 I was really excited about seeing it and I was not disappointed because it was just as hilarious as the first one. Shrek 3 came along in 2007 and did not disappoint either. So I was really disappointed with Shrek Forever After which was released in 2010 and I am about to explain why but before that.
Is it possible taking into account the popularity of the Shrek series that anywhere in this world someone exists who has never seen at least one of the films? Just kidding there probably is but just in case I will write a bit about the first three. In Shrek number one we saw Shrek and his noble steed (Donkey) set out on his quest for a peaceful life. Shrek was a mean, green and selfish Ogre and he wanted his swamp all to himself but there was a predicament and Shrek set out to change that. Donkey (Shrek's noble steed) and Dragon also meet in number one and of course Shrek met Princess Fiona . In number 2 Shrek met Fiona's Father who was less than approving and Shrek had a rival for Fiona's affection in the form of Prince Charming. In Shrek 3 we saw Shrek get a lot of responsibility put on his shoulders when his father in law got ill and he was left the heir to Land Far Far Away but Shrek doesn't want to leave his Swamp and so he set out looking for someone else to fill his boots and take the land instead and Shrek and Fiona heard the pitter patter of little Ogre feet and that brings us to Shrek Forever after.
WHERE SHREK FOREVER AFTER WENT WRONG.
When I watched Shrek one, two and three it made me feel like a little kid again. I was in my teens at the time and not much could of made me laugh back then but the Shrek films did. I bet kids love number one, two and three but I wonder if they liked the final Shrek even half as much? Shrek is the perfect film for families to watch together. It is one that somehow found a way of appealing to both kids and adults alike. It was silly and fun and never took itself too seriously and that is what made it so good. I felt like I had just watched a funeral or something after watching the final installment of Shrek. I am surprised by how serious they made it. The quote from Donkey voiced by Eddie Murphy that I used as my title to this review is one of the only funny parts.
Shrek Forever After would of been awful if it was not for Donkey. I am left quoting the Joker from Batman and must say "Why So Serious?" This was the final chapter and I had really high hopes for it. I mean this was DreamWorks final installment of what used to be hilarious and I really thought they would make the last one the funniest. You know give it their all and go out with a bang sort of thing but no. Maybe DreamWorks wanted to take it from a different angle and try something new but they shouldn't of tried to fix what wasn't broken. I don't want sentimentality or a life lesson when I watch Shrek. All I want is for it to make me laugh. The Grinch is the only green, grumpy thing that manages to be funny while huffing and moaning a lot. The Shrek is sad and gloomy for the majority of this film and that just ruined it in my opinion.
THE GOOD PARTS (Despite my grouches there were some good points.)
I love the relationship between the Donkey and the Dragon it is so unlikely and is funny because of how unlikely it is and I can't help but think of how funny it would be if they were a real couple and Dragon and Donkey argued because well she breathes fire. Oh and the half Donkey and half Dragon babies look so weird that you can't help but laugh at them. I'm glad Dragon and Donkey were present in all of the Shrek films. The Shrek babies are very funny. They look a lot more like Shrek than Fiona and have funny names Farkle, Fergus and Felicia. Puss in boots and Pinocchio are also in this one. Puss has had a major change of which sort I won't mention but still has those big eyes and Pinocchio can still be heard using his famous "I'm a real boy" phrase.
SHREK FOREVER AFTER
In the final Shrek installment we see Shrek go through what can only be compared to an Ogre style midlife crisis. An ogre having a mid life crisis sounds funny but really it wasn't. He starts to feel that people see him as a big softie instead of a fierce, terrifying Ogre and he misses the days when people use to cower at just the mention of an Ogre living in a muddy Swamp. Shrek is tired of family life and he feels melancholic and wishes he was the Ogre he use to be. While he is sulking about that the rather sneaky looking Rumpelstiltskin steps in giving him a shoulder to cry on and an offer Shrek might just find hard to resist. Will Shrek resist it? What will be the consequences of his decision if he doesn't? Can Rumpelstiltskin be trusted? The soundtrack for this is one thing that I do like about the film because just like the previous films really good songs have been chosen for it. Including songs by The Scissor Sisters, The Carpenters, Lionel Richie, Weezer and The Beastie Boys to name a few. As people who have watched the first few will know there is a few popular celebrities providing the voices for the characters. Cameron Diaz provides the voice for Fiona, Mike Myers probably better known for his role in the Austin Powers films provides the voice for Shrek and Eddie Murphy the voice of Donkey and Antonio Banderas voices Puss in Boots.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES
Butter pants to Shrek - Do the roar!
Shrek to Fiona - You know, I always thought I'd rescued you from the Dragon's Keep.
Fiona to Shrek - You did.
Shrek to Fiona - No. It was you who rescued me.
Rumpelstiltskin to Shrek - You're not going to eat me?
Shrek to Rumpelstiltskin - I already had a big bowl of curly-toed weirdo for breakfast.
Donkey - Please eat my face last and send my hooves to my momma!
I wish I could recommend this but I can't. It seems in the final film they just couldn't continue with the same quality shown in the first three and it's a shame because I wanted to like it. Although I might of gotten tired of Shrek moaning and the jokes have become less funny and the film was quite dull. I will never get tired of seeing Donkey and Dragon. I would not watch this again though and I am glad I did not buy it because I would of been even more disappointed. Believe it or not it took until today for me to see this film. I loved the ones before but was not even aware there was a fourth. How did that happen? Oh well now I wish I had never known and would happily swim with Piranhas if I were given the choice between that and ever having to watch this again.
I have chosen to write about Eclectus Parrots because my gorgeous little Oscar is one of the most wonderful pets that I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I absolutely adore him! I got him about a year ago just before Christmas and not long before moving into my first home. He is not even one year old yet and already has an extensive vocabulary. When I got him I was still living with my Mum. She got a female Eclectus which she has named Nikita at the same time that I got Oscar.
GETTING OUR EKKIES
When getting Oscar and Nikita we found two lovely people who breed birds of all kinds and we arranged to get our Parrots. We went to the breeders house and visited Oscar and Nikita to see how they were doing before the wonderful day when we finally were able to bring them home. On the visit I walked over to Oscar in his cage and he walked right towards me. Well maybe walked is the wrong word to describe it. He marched towards me. Yes that is a much better way to explain it lol! He does this little walk and it is like he is marching and he even hops. The first time I saw him he tilted his little head inquisitively as if to say who is this? I fell in love with him in a heartbeat. The whole experience of getting our Parrots was great and one I will never forget.
The people who bred the Parrots had so many different types of beautiful birds and in such beautiful surroundings too. They made us feel really welcome for the duration of the time we were there. I even got to see a Hawk Head which was great. It was so comical and cute and I have never seen a bird like it before. The breeders always kept us up-to date on how our Parrots were doing. Going home without Oscar on the day that we visited was really difficult though. I wished I could of just brought him home straight away but we had to wait another few weeks until they were both ready. While we waited until the day when we could finally pick them up. Mum and I prepared everything required for their arrival. We got a large shiny new cage. We made sure it was more than big enough for them both and that it had plenty of perches for them to climb on and toys to keep them entertained. Mum rang the breeders to ask about our ekkies and was told that Oscar loved showering and even done belly flops in the shower and heard about her Eclectus Nikita too of course.
BRINGING THEM HOME
On the day when we were getting them I was so excited. So much so that I did not even sleep the night before. We were told that Nikita (mums bird) was the tame one but my Oscar still needed a little bit of work. I did not let that deter me though and I was handling him from the very first day that I got him home. When we got them in their cage (they already knew each other) as they are Brother and Sister and that helped a great deal with them not biting each others heads off. They looked so beautiful standing next to each other. Each has their own very bright and different colorings making their feathers stand out even more and they really complement each other when they are together because of that. Handling Oscar from that first day was easy because he learned so fast and now he never bites. Well unless play biting and that does not hurt at all. All parrots including the Eclectus use their mouth in a similar way to how we use our hands. So sometimes you would be forgiven for getting confused and thinking that your parrot is biting you. In that instance it is actually just trying to grab onto you and probably wants to climb onto your hand, arm or shoulder. It took them a few days to feel at home and really settle in. This was seen in how they behaved towards us. They went from being a little shy to making a lot more noise once they had settled in and they wanted out of their cage much more. Whereas to begin with they retreated back to the comfort of their cage very quickly.
As with any type of animal it is important to know exactly what you are letting yourself in for. Me and my Mum studied a great deal on how to keep, feed, train and keep our Ekkies happy. We also got a book which was of great use and helped us to feel more informed but it seems no matter how much research you do. Every day you are still learning new things about your parrot. I am not ignorant enough to think after less than a year that I know everything but I can share my experiences and maybe inspire someone else to let one of these wonderful little parrots in their life. They really are such a rewarding animal to have.
Ultimately research led to us feeling more comfortable with our little friends when we got them home and I feel we maybe would not of felt so comfortable if we had not done it. In light of that I would definitely recommend researching these Parrots before giving one a home because it is important to know which sex you want. Male and Female Eclectus are so different from each other. Often Females are reported to be nasty and Males are said to be more laid back and friendly. There is always exceptions of course and it is best to form your own opinion and decide which you prefer. In my experience though I have found Oscar to be a sweetie because he is so loving. Nikita has a bad temper and has bitten me under the eye. She bites mum regularly and has bitten my Dad and my Brothers on several occasions.
Oscar has attacked me only once and I believe it is because of his protective instinct. I was brushing my hair and he was on his cage right in front of me. Something about the motion of the hairbrush hitting my head really made him uncomfortable and it seems he just does not like anything to touch my head. He kept growling at the hair brush and eventually he flew at me. I spun around to try and stop him biting me but he kept flying until he got me. He sunk his beak into the right side of my face and it was cut and bleeding quite badly. I told him off and put him in his cage and he has never done anything like that since. Eclectus picks up on things very quickly and are really intelligent. In my experience with Oscar once they know you are not happy with any particular behavior they desist.
FEEDING MY ECLECTUS
When we first got our Ekkies the breeders gave us a special mix of food just like baby food and Oscar and Nikita loved it. They would of done anything for it and as soon as they saw the syringe full of the special mix they came running and would always make this adorable little noise when they were getting it. Once Oscar and Nikita were the correct age we stopped giving them the special formula. The correct age to stop feeding them the formula is between four and five months and we chose to stop feeding them it at around five. It is important to feed Eclectus a healthy diet and not give them foods that do not agree with them. Oscar loves Corn and Fruits. Chopped apples, bananas and strawberry's. Occasionally I treat him to some scrambled egg which he goes nuts for. He lifts his food in his claw just like we humans do with our hands and munches away on it. It is entertaining to see an Eclectus eat. It turns its head and its eye dilate and it looks like it is extremely deep in thought every time it eats. I currently feed him a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables and Jollyes Premium Parrot Food which has ingredients such as SunFlower Seeds, Whole Oates, Flaked Maize, Whole Maize, Flaked Peas, Sultanas, Banana Chips, Pineapple, Pasteurized Egg Powder, Chilli's etc. And I always keep his water topped up. I never give him Chocolate or avocado as those are two of the many things toxic to parrots. http://birds.about.com/od/feeding/tp/poi​sonousfoods.htm That website is helpful for owners of parrots or potential owners doing research as it lists ten of the most toxic foods.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE EKKIES
The differences between the Male and Female Eclectus are actually very profound. The Male has a lovely green plumage with varying colors under his wings. Oscar has light blues and red and yellow colors on him. Nikita mums Eclectus has reds, blue and purple coloring and a yellow tail. Oscar has a bright orange beak with some yellow on it but Nikita's is all black. As previously mentioned there are rumors in regards to the difference in temperament between the Male and Female Eclectus. I personally have found my Male Eclectus to be much sweeter but I am sure there are gentle Females Eclectus out there too. I have also noticed my Male Eclectus speaks much more than mums Female one. Another thing is that Oscar seems to be quite more trusting with new people and he will climb on them without biting but Nikita does not let anyone hold her except mum. Oscar is only really cheeky to someone if he is being protective of me.
I wanted so much to get a parrot that could talk a lot and was not sure which one to get. I got Oscar after seeing Riley the Eclectus on YouTube. I just had to have one and once my mind is set on something there is no changing it. Riley spoke loads and was hilarious to watch and I knew I would benefit greatly from having a lovely little bird like that in my life. At the time I was ready for leaving mums and moving out into my own home and was nervous and very aware of how lonely it could be. I needn't of worried because Oscar has been a wonderful companion pet and I can only hope to have loads more years with him. Now I have Oscar, my BF and our dog Magnum I feel much more content but it was Oscar before they entered my life who kept me company and brought smiles, laughter and happiness into it. Oscar has in an incredibly short time learned so many words. I am amazed but then I did spend a lot of time with him. Talking to him constantly has paid off. He use to sit on my shoulder all night until he fell asleep and seemed to start talking most just as he was getting sleepy but now much to my delight he never stops talking. He currently says the following. Hello, Omg, What are you doing?, What's your name? My name is Oscar, I love you, Whose a gorgeous green birdie?, Night night, Ouch, Hahahaha, Danielle, Wheres my gorgeous Paul?, Hiya, Peekaboo, I'm sorry, Wolf whistles, Whose a good boy?, Good birdie, Scary grudge noise, Ooooh, are you being cheeky?, Are you being a cheeky bird?, Naughty, Oi, Wheres my gorgeous wee bird, Hello Oscar, Owww, No, Screams, Where were you?, Mumbles, Paul, Ok, What? And he also sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
The cage you house your Eclectus in should be to be at least 30" wide, 24" deep, and 36" high. Oscar now has his own cage and seems much happier. Even though he had plenty of space in the one he shared with Nikita. He seems to have come out of his shell a lot since moving to my new home with me and having his own cage. Ideally they should have lots of toys and things to climb on. Oscar has a swing and he loves it and it is an added bonus that it is so enjoyable to watch him use it. His cage needs cleaned out regularly and becomes mucky very fast seeing as Oscar is a messy little green devil. It helps to put newspaper or something like it in the bottom of the cage because then all the mess falls onto it and it makes cleaning much easier. Cages vary in price the one Oscar has cost over one hundred pounds but you can shop around if you want better deals.
Eclectus are not cheap to keep but neither are most animals and I am lucky in that my mum gives me half of the food that she gets for Nikita. That means I do not have to buy Oscar food because the bag is so big it feeds them both easily for a month at a time. Buying fresh fruit and veg and the odd treat here and there can be expensive. You may want to insure your parrot as they are very expensive animals and particular sites offer cover for an accident, sickness or disease, up to £2,500 or £5,000 etc. Oscar and Nikita cost 600 pounds each. Expensive but so worth it and I know mum would agree as she loves Nikita as much as I love Oscar. I once bought a pinata for Oscar on Ebay because I read that parrots love to forage. I was so looking forward to when Oscar finally opened it all up and found all of the parrot style treats inside. Instead it had just one tiny bit of food for him and I was really disappointed because I spent around 15 pounds on it and it was Santa shaped and I got him it for Christmas.
Eclectus like any pet can be prone to different types of illness and some of those include foot tapping, feather plucking, bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Some illnesses can be avoided by keeping your Ekkie on a healthy diet. Some like feather plucking can happen if the Eclectus is distressed and to avoid this you should keep your parrot contented. Eclectus are intelligent and need a lot of attention and they are a big commitment because they live so long. They need a lot of love, mental stimulation, space and they need to exercise. The fact that they are referred to as companion parrots really is true to them. If you get one of these birds it will quickly become your best friend. They are such expressive and intelligent birds and getting mine was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Grand Eclectus (Eclectus roratus roratus)
Red-sided Eclectus (Eclectus roratus)
Solomon Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratus solomonensis)
Vosmaeri (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri)
Biaki or Biak Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratis biaki)
Sumba Island Eclectus (Eclectus roratus cornelia)
Australian Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi)
Tanimbar Islands Eclectus or Riedeli's Eclectus (Eclectus roratus riedeli)
New Guinea Red-sided Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus polychloros)
Aru Island Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus aruensis
Westerman's Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus westermani)