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Are you too busy to keep fiddling around with make-up? Me too. That’s why when I saw a promotional stand in my local high street chemist for this product, I was tempted to try what would otherwise be a fairly expensive lipstick. It claims that you need to apply once in the morning and it will stay in place looking perfect all day long! This is apparently due to the fact that the colour is a semi-permanent dye. Actually Lipfinity is not a lipstick in the traditional sense. It comprises two components; a container filled with coloured (goo) with a handy applicator in the lid, and a pen-shaped, colourless waxy lipstick. The idea is that you have to apply the colour and then wait a little bit until it is dry when you can apply the waxy stick over the top to create a glossy looking finish. So, I tried it the next day with no great expectations as I have tried several ‘long-lasting’ lip products before and have always been disappointed with the inability of the said products to match the claims of the advertising. I was in my usual, early morning, auto-pilot state when it was applied so it went on a little thick, but I was not deterred as I thought it would probably wear off after my second coffee of the day. ( I usually reach double – figures on the coffee intake for the day by late afternoon). It didn’t take as long to dry though (1 minute) as stated in the instructions, which was fortunate considering the rush I was in. Well, I have to say that I walked around with rather bright lips that day as it stayed put. I drank my usual coffee quota and despite this, it was still looking good by the time I got home that evening. I was so impressed, I bought a lighter shade! Since using it I have found that with a little practice the colour can be varied between dramatic and subtle which makes it really versatile stuff. The only thing that I would recommend is that you keep the waxy stick with you as
the colour on it’s own is fairly drying. Another tip: Don’t rub your lips together after applying unless it has dried otherwise it goes all lumpy on your lips and you if you do smudge it, you need to take it off with moisturiser as it will not wipe off easily otherwise. To sum up, I would say that this product is a little pricey but if applied with care then it will last and last.
This is a market leading woodstain for rough hewn timber fences and sheds. We have used this recently on our back garden fence, which was looking very tired, faded and grey. It has really improved the look of the wood with the added benefit of protecting it from the elements so it should last a few more years ( as long as it doesn’t blow down!). It was very reasonably priced and when we worked it out was cheaper than the average price of a tin of emulsion for internal use. It does not smell as strong as other fence treaments such as creosote which I found very beneficial. We found that on rough wood , it was absorbed fairly quickly which made the coverage time longer and you do need to get a good load on your brush to get even coverage. It is also important that you make sure to work it into any corners as the colour coverage will not be even if it is not well worked in. Also, if you do apply a thick coat it saves you from having to ‘patch’ areas where the colour result obtained is lighter. It has not harmed our lilac bush which also went autumn red temporarily (;-) so I believe that the manufacturers claims about it not harming plants are correct. However, all plants will react differently to this differently, so try not to paint them too much if you can help it. The woodstain washes off your skin very easily, I found I got covered in lots of little splats and these came off easily with water alone. Also, this is all that is required to clean your brush once you have finished. However, if you are using this for the first time then wear clothes that you do not mind getting messy as it does not come out of clothes at all even with stain remover applied. On the whole this product is very reasonably priced and does what it promises and hence is an ideal option for giving an old fence a new lease of life.
We have several DIY shops near where we live so we are in the fortunate position of being able to shop around, especially when buying power tools. We were delighted to hear that Homebase was having a Bank Holiday sale this weekend, as we have been stripping down all our woodwork and we now need a sander to help us finish this project. We shopped around our local Homebase and these other shops and decided that Homebase, in their sale, offered the most competitive price on a standard Black and Decker two-in-one sander. If you have never bought power tools from Homebase before, they use a system that is designed to minimise theft (I think) but this can often maximise hassle to the customer. In essence, there is a display that you find your required product from and you need to memorise the number of the product that you want and then you queue at customer services to request the product. Now often the queuing at this stage can be quite a tedious process as there are usually no staff at this desk and when there are staff, there’s usually a long queue! Well, we thought it would be worth the wait this weekend as the sander was reduced from 49.99 to 29.99. The problem emerged when we got served and they kindly and apologetically informed us that the item was no longer in stock. (It seems that they cannot sell you the display item any more either.) That may seem fair enough you say, but this is the second time that we have queued to find that item we request is not in stock. My problem is that nobody there took the time to update the main product display with a notice informing customers that they have sold out. I went to customer services to complain and was amazed to hear the lady there agree completely with my disappointment - she even went so far as to say that a gentleman had been in there the day before and had complained about the same problem. This led me to believe that if someone else has complained about it and nothing had been do
ne, then there was likely to be nothing done in respect of my complaint. I shall not be going back to Homebase to buy any more power tools as I feel it is a lottery as to whether the item I require shall be in stock or not. At least if you go to B&Q, the process is simplified, as the items are there for you to pick up and pay for. On the plus side, there are often bargains to be had at Homebase and the range is very good. If you wish to make a power tool purchase here though you may be disappointed, unless you perhaps ask customer services to check the product is in stock before you make a purchase. If we pass the inconvenience of checking these matters to them then maybe, just maybe, they will strive to keep customers better informed about their products.
We bought for the first time last year and the house we purchased was advertised in our local branch of Halifax. My previous dealings with estate agents have only been in context of rented properties so I do not have any other estate agency experience to compare this against. I think that because we did not have a home to sell then our experience was pretty straightforward. In terms of purchasing a home through Halifax, we had no complaints. From the start of the process at viewing the property, they were very helpful and were glad to arrange a second viewing at short notice. Once we had submitted our offer, we received written confirmation of the offer acceptance within about two days which we were impressed with. When the survey was due to be taken, they had to be there to let in the surveyor as the owner had moved out by that point and this they did without any problems. Also, during the buying process there were hold ups via the mortgage advisor and the solicitors and we found that the lady at Halifax who was managing our purchase was able to escalate matters and harass the involved parties, such that these delays were not detrimental to our estimated date of completion. In all, for first time buyers, our experience was not as stressful as some people have experienced. I partly feel that this was down to the estate agents for chasing up matters that could have held up our purchase. As we were renting at the time, it was important that the process was complete and exchanged by a certain date.
This album is a fine varied offering from the Grays and Noko and has a strong guitar presence ranging from the distinctly Status Quo type riffs in ‘Stop the Rock’ to the bass and funk feel of ‘Cold Rock the Mic’. Also on this album, we have the theme tune to ‘Lost in Space’ which has a fabulous introduction with strong drums and guitar opening into a lively track with a catchy tune. The next track ‘For Forty Days’ opens with a slow piano intro then merges with some low key drum and bass type percussion whilst retaining an intricate piano piece for a mellow feel. The result is an uplifting and ‘floaty’ tune, that is so easy to relax to, on this otherwise eclectic album. ‘Heart go Boom’ is a varied track that has a ragga/reggae feel but includes harmonica sounds , guitar and subdued lyrics that go together to create and interesting mixture of sounds. The dub influence in the track ‘Machine in the Ghost’ in unmistakeable and works very well with the assorted sounds of saxophone and piano and bass and lead guitar. The ‘Stadium Parking Lot’ tune reminded me very much of the Beastie Boys as it has a lot of scratching and loud lyrics which demonstrated the Apollos versatility well. On the whole, I would say that if you liked ‘ElectroGlide in Blue’ then you will love this album. It is not completely the same style but all good bands need to move on and develop their style by experimentation and this album works really well with it variety of sounds and tunes. Also on this CD are stills and movie clips of the making of the album that work best if viewed using QuickPlay so you get something to see as well as listen to.
If you are looking for a news web site that is updated regularly to keep you informed on the topics or newsitems that you want to know about then perhaps you should take a visit to www.newsnow.co.uk. I found this site recently by recommendation from a friend, who used it to keep informed about his football team. However, it can be used to find out about any current news item. It appears to trawl the web for the breaking news stories and makes them available from one site. You can break down your search via the various news categories that are on offer and these include: The top ten news stories Business and Finance Information Technology Current Affairs Sport Gaming Entertainment You can also perform searches to locate specific news items that you are interested in. Once you have located your news items, you can then leave the web page minimised on your pc and check back every now and again to see if there have been any further developments. I like this service because the newsitems are broken down further when displayed into time based categories. This allows you to clearly see which items are 5 – 15 minutes old, 15 – 30 minutes old for example, so you are able to tell straight away what the latest version of a story is. This is useful when you are hunting news over the Internet, as there are so many sources, it can be difficult to tell which ones have been superceded. The only thing that I can say that is a down side of this site is that it is unable to verify the accuracy of such stories so you do, for example, find items from TeamTalk on there who I have found to be quite inaccurate in their reporting in the past. That said, like any other news service, you have to make your own decisions regarding the media and your interpretation of a story anyhow. If you are tired of searching the net for infomation on the topics im
portant to you then why not give this service a try and see what you think?
The Flymo Turbo Lite is a reasonably-priced nifty little electric mower without the trimmings, that does the job adequately. We have quite a large garden with much of it lawned and when we first moved in our house the grass was around knee height. The Turbo Lite stuggled a bit with this length (note a strimmer may come in useful if your grass gets as long as opurs!)but in the end we had it looking respectable. The main points I would argue are drawbacks with this particular mower are: 1) It doesn't collect the grass cuttings. 2) It will need a long extension cable if your garden is over 20 feet long. 3) The blade appears to be going blunt after only about ten uses and some areas of the garden need going over twice. The main advantages of this model are: 1) It is light and easy to operate so you do not have to be able to bench press 200 Kg to use it. (;-) 2) The handles fold for easy storage and it has a safety cut out, though you should always use a circuit breaker with this sort of equipment just in case you havce a disaster! 3) It was reasonably priced at around 60 pounds. On the whole if you are on a budget and need something that will do the job then it is worth considering. A lawn connisseur may find that it is not up to the job though!
Foxhunting as a 'sport' .....it's an interesting comparison because whenever you hear the supporters of foxhunting being tackled on the subject, it is usually countered with the age old argument that states 'foxes are a pest in the coutryside and they need to be controlled' . Supporters try to eliminate the association that they are doing it for leisure or pleasure and instead point out that they are performing a much needed tidy up job to preserve the beautiful British country side from this most heinous of pests. Other arguments include that town people have no understanding of the coutryside or coutry folk and their ways. I am yet to hear a reasonable balanced argument as to the merits of such an activity. Now I am not a farmer nor a countryperson, having spent all of my life living in towns or cities. However, even I can understand that see that if a farmer is struggling to prevent a fox from killing his livestock then surely, he should get his gun and shoot it. Problem solved or at least contained for the time being. This to me is an acceptable method of protecting your livelihood from the occasional pest. Can you imagine a farmer at 2am, having worked an 18 hour day, having stayed up hoping to catch his pesky fox, he's (for the sake of this argument!) sitting atop a horse, bedecked in red with his bugle at the ready, pack of dogs on a leash, hoping that his fox will give him advance notice of when he will turn up for his supper snack?? I don't think so. What I cannot understand nor comprehend is what on earth posesses people ( who obviously have nothing else better to do with their time) to get a pack load of dogs who are kept hungry especially for the occasion, jump on some horses and rampage across the land in pursuit of a terrified animal. I completely fail to see how this can benefit anybody. I'm sure there must be damage done to land a property during the execution of a hunt. In short, it
is barbarism that should be outlawed. It is an activity that results in terrified animals being chased across the countryside until they are exhausted and caught. It is not sport and I feel that sport itself should not be associated with this deplorable activity. It is unfair to the fox, it is unfair to other animals that get caught up in the path of a hunt, it is unfair to other peoples enjoyment of the coutryside (would you wish to see this whilst having a relaxing walk?) and it is hurtful and upsetting to try and explain this to children who ask what it is all about. I fully support any legislation that is put into place to make this activity illegal and this cannot happen soon enough for me.
The first thing that strikes you about this album is the sleeve which is completely white apart from a little bit of text in the top right hand corner which lists some of the credits and acknowledgements. The lack of details and colour actually makes it quite eye catching indeed and very easy to find in a large CD collection. The individual tracks are listed down the spine though if you are long sighted, you may have difficulty reading them. (;-) The opening track starts with an almost tribal beat that is slowly built up to include trumpet sounds overlaid with female vocals. It is a combination of sounds that quickly becomes hypnotic and it transforms into a 'spacelike' feel towards the end. This tune leads directly into the second one which starts slowly with a synthesised 'birdsong' and opens into a catchy rhythm incorporating tempo changes and variety in this ten minute track. Track 4 - I don't know you people - has a very techno/industrial/dance feel to it which made it one of my favourites from the album. It starts with an eery background sound over which some nice guitar and bass work is layered. The two Nothing Left tracks are indeed inspirational. They complement each other in that the first one has a dark and foreboding sound when it begins, whereas the second is uplifting and lighter in context. However the one thing they have in common is the quality. In all, this is an album that I will definitely play again as the complexity of some of the tracks means that they require more than one listen. If you are a fan then you will not be let down by this album, though to me it seems like a slight change of direction for the Hartnolls and co from their previous ambient excursions. However, all collaborations have to move onwards and in doing so they have produced a memorable compilation.
We visited Agia Napa last year and liked it so much we returned this year too! It is a well-seasoned tourist resort that continues to grow due to the everlasting sunshine and the hospitality of the Cypriot people. So what does it have to offer the prospective holidaymaker? The accommodation standards in Agia Napa are very good. I would recommend to anyone considering a studio apartment, to pay the little extra for a 1 bedroom apartment as these tend to have a large dining area, decent size kitchen and a large bedroom. In other words, you get twice as much space for a tiny extra cost. We have stayed in the Carina Apts and the Eleana Apts and both offered spacious apartments that were clean and also had good-sized swimming pools. However, if a hotel is what you want then there is a multitude to choose from varying from 3 star to the luxurious five star hotels along the beachfront. One thing we did notice this year, was that along Nissi Avenue, a lot of new apartments are being built. This spoiled the view from the apartments where we stayed last year so I would advise that you ask for information regarding building work at the time you make the booking. The beaches in the region are fantastic. They are clean and there is a network of interlinking pathways that you can walk along, that take you from Nissi Beach right around the coast and past the harbour (look out for the pelican here!) past the caves (you see these best if you take a boat ride around the coast) towards Capo Greco. At regular intervals are stalls were you can purchase refreshments. The ladies who work these can peel a massive orange in a matter of seconds and it is well worth buying one just to see them at work. You have a variety of activities available at the beaches from jet skiing, boat trips and para-sailing. You can also hire a sunbed for the day if you wish to laze around near the sea. The harbour is where you can get on most of the boat rides available. These vary
in length from about 1.5 hours and will just take you up the coats and back again, or you can spend 4 hours or even a whole day afloat seeing places such as Protaras and Famagusta, which are further around the coast. If you are a diver, some of these trips would particularly appeal as they moor off the coast to allow time for taking a dip and diving. Eating out in Agia Napa is difficult in that there is so much choice that it can take a while to decide where to eat! You can find Mexican, Chinese, Indian and specialist seafood restaurants in addition to Greek so there should be something for everyone here. This of course is no bad thing, the food here is affordable and varied and my advice would be to eat out every night trying somewhere new if it is within your budget, you may come back a few pounds heavier but you're on holiday so it doesn't matter! Wherever you choose to eat, you will find that you get a warm welcome and you will not leave feeling hungry. There are numerous bars and clubs that sprawl around the ancient monastic square. (You can even take in a little culture whilst out drinking!) This area transforms at night and by midnight will be heaving with lots of music, energetic people and bright lights until dawn. To sum up Agia Napa, I would say that it has something for everyone. It is hot, (sometimes very very hot in peak season), it has great facilities, great beaches and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever met on holiday. If you have ever been on holiday and felt it was not quite up to scratch, perhaps in an under developed resort, then consider Agia Napa if you want to experience well planned, well established and successful tourism.
We visited Fuerteventura two years ago in September after impulsively buying a bargain holiday from our local travel agents. As it was at short notice we had no expectations other than a spot of sun and some nice beaches but we were aware that it was the quieter cousin of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. The first thing that struck me about the island is that it is still developing as a resort and there were lots of 'unfinished touches' such as roads and pavements which would just end, quite suddenly in some cases. Fuerteventura means 'windy island' but don't let that put you off, as it is usually temperate all year round and the winds are excellent should you wish to go windsurfing in addition to providing welcome relief from the pervading heat of the place! The landscape is a visual delight as it features dunes and has been shaped by volcanic activity which leaves it sometimes barren yet captivating. Correlejo is the largest resort on the island that has grown out from the harbour, and here you will find some of the finest beaches that you have ever set foot upon. The sand is soft and clean and they are nearly endless. You can walk along them for hours going through from the flat beaches near the resort to further around the coast where you will find the famous dunes. There are also plenty of shops offering duty-free goods at prices that are even cheaper than the airport! This is because the Canaries enjoy a lower rate of tax than the Spanish mainland. If you stand near the harbour you can see both the Isle of Lobos ( Isle of the Wolves - but they were actually sea lions!) which is practically deserted but very strikingly beautiful and in the distance you can make out Lanzarote on a good day. If you wish to, you can hop onto a ferry for a reasonable fee and make the crossing to see the spectacular 'moonscape' of Timanfaya Volcanic Park and the home of renowned artist Cesar Manrique. Around the coast to the West is
a pretty fishing village called El Cotillo, which you can get to by bus or by taxi for a reasonable fare. Here there is a wonderful bay where you can take in a beautiful sunset amplified by its reflection from the clear blue waters. This was undeveloped when we visited but I believe there may be a resort being built there shortly. If you travel inland you can learn more about the history of the island from towns such as the old capital, Betancuria with it's ancient monastery and Antigua one of the first settlements, which has a church with a figure of a lady with a knife in her heart. If you are into fresh Aloe Vera for soothing your sunburn, you can buy it here very cheaply as it growns in abundance, but be warned, it does have a pungent smell when fresh! Food wise, the island is known for it's crinkly potatoes, goats meat, goats cheese and the mojo picon and verde ( sauces to accompany). However, there are many restaurants that offer a wide variety of cuisine for very reasonable prices if you are not keen on trying the local food. To sum up, if you are looking for a relaxing break that is not in one of the clubbing capitals but still has the weather and a spectacular volcanic landscape (scattered with goats) then Fuerteventura could be the place for you.
Are you considering a trip to Barcelona for a long weekend? If so then my advice would be to go ahead and do it! For a weekend there is so much to see and do, you will need a break to recover.... Barcelona is a lively and vibrant city that combines both old gothic architecture alongside new mdoern buildings. We stayed in the gothic quarter at Meson Castilla , a beautiful 3* hotel that was designed and decorated in typical colourful catalan style. I could not believe how reasonable the room rates were in comparison to other Eurpoean cities. We were just around the corner from the Playa de Catalunya which is a bustling square containing gardens and fountains, that on Sundays is filled with people and pigeons. It is also where you can hop onto the tube network or the Bus Turistica that will take you around the sights and attractions of Barcelona. There are two routes (red and blue) that cover pretty much everything to see and the tickets are very reasonably priced. You are also able to alight at any of the stops to see a particular attraction and then you can just catch the next bus to continue with the tour. These buses run every 30 minutes. One piece of advice is not to leave this until Sunday afternoon or a Monday morning as most museums are closed during these times and you could be disappointed. Leading off from Playa Catalunya, is La Rambla, an immensely busy thoroughfare that is a pleasant assault on the senses. Lining each side of it are many many shops and restaurants, whilst the centre of the pedestrianised area is filled with flower stalls or on some days shops selling livestock. I found some of these stalls a little disturbing as there would be birds and mammals crammed into small cages, but this being a different culture, I moved on quickly. Also to be found on La Rambla are several mime artists sporting gold and silver body paint who stand still for ages and then jump up and shout and scare the kids! You need to be aware of the
pickpockets that target tourists here but as long as you are sensible they should not ruin this shoppers paradise. At the foot of La Rambla there is a marine museum which is well worth a visits as it is jam packed full of old marine artefacts of historical interest. Outside there is the enormous statue of Christopher Columbus pointing out to sea. Over the road is the harbour area which houses cafes, restaurant and cinemas as well as the odd boat or two. From here you can see Mont Juis and you can even take a cable car ride up there if you fancy something a little different. The nightlife in and around La Rambla and Playa Catalunya is fantastic with no shortage of restaurants, bars and clubs to visit. The only difficulty is deciding where to go first! Being veggie though I had to be careful what I ate and not all establishments catered for us non-carnivores! Whatever you like to eat though, you will find it here even if you have to look around a bit. The traditional catalan bread snacks are delicious! In addition to all this you can see the unfinished Sagrada Familia, the Nou Camp, the Royal Palace and the Olympic stadium and pool. These are but a few of the attractions of cosmopolitan Barcalona and like myself you will be left wanting more of this beautiful, diverse and historical city.
Chronoblock Prevention Active by Roc is a cream that claims it blocks 98% of skin ageing factors. This turns out to be UV rays when you read the blurb that comes with it. Appearance wise it is a little different to other moisturisers in that it is in fetching aluminium tube that can be recycled. However, this is not very good in a bag crammed with lots of other stuff, as the tube is quite soft and can end up squished with cream oozing out of the lid. Nice! Functionally, I’m sure it does as it says, because when I first applied some I found that it made my skin quite pale. I figured that this was down to some titanium compound that you often find high-factor sun protection creams. However as I had just been playing sport and had a ruddy look to me, this was not the best result that I wanted from my moisturiser! Also, it leaves your skin with a slightly greasy feel to it as though it has not been fully absorbed, which I found quite uncomfortable. You could apply less, to avoid this but then I wonder if the claims about the protection are then still valid. On the whole, it is fairly expensive per ml as it is around 12.95 for 40 mls and there are other brands available on the market that work out at better value per ml that claim to do the same thing. If you have slightly mature skin, it may prove to be a winner as it is a little heavy, but for younger skin it may prove to be a little too greasy.
This is an album that starts off well with the admirable ‘Show me Magic’ which is a catchy, lively number with recognisable rhythms and strong guitar riffs. The next track ‘Fuzzy Birds’ is quite a humorous one based upon a dream about a hamster being wired to the mains and turned into a dynamo! This is one of the collections star numbers… ‘Gathering Moss’ is a slower song and this also reflects the mood of the track lyrics which speak of the inevitability of life, the things that will happen whether we like it or not perhaps in a relationship or maybe out of one. I guess it is a little bit like growing old….. ‘Bad Behaviour’ is a catchy song but I cannot help but be reminded of the Quo (but with Welsh accents) when I hear it. They also go a bit more OTT with the guitar screeching in this song which makes it stand out a little from the rest. On the whole, the album is good but I wouldn’t class it as excellent. The main things that give it merit are the guitars and the lyrics which are witty and ironic observations of everyday things or people. The weaker points are that some of the tracks sound like some that I have heard elsewhere. Well worth a listen......then you can make up your own mind!
Leftism is an ambient dance album that is jam packed with samples and experimental dub and is mixed into a spellbinding fusion. The opening track ‘Release the Pressure’ is one of my all time favourite tracks combining a tinny beat and funky rhythm with varied sampled effects that despite their difference work amazingly well together. ‘Afro-melt’ starts with some intricate classical guitar work and a beat that complements the African lyrics. The whole track builds from a simple composition when it starts and slowly gains a busier beat with more and more effects incorporated as it continues. ‘Melt’ is one of the more famous tracks from this album, being the instrumental that was played to the short ITV film ‘Loved Up’. It is primarily synthesiser with the added interest of the odd wind instrument. I find this to be a good track to have a background music as it is interesting but not overpowering. I could talk about each of the 11 tracks on this album in depth but I feel that it would spoil some of your enjoyment if you are intending to go out and buy it. What I will say is that if you are a fan of ambient, sampled or dub style dance sounds with a variety of lyric styles, then you will not go far wrong with this one. The tracks blend into one another and yet retain their own distinctness. It is an excellent album that has not dated since it was released in 1995 and it is one of those that leaves you wondering why it has finished so quickly.