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fluffy123

fluffy123
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Member since: 20.06.2000

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      17.08.2006 15:45
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      Disgusting Showers, Terrible onsite restaurant cafe

      My Fiancé and myself regularly go on camping holidays in the UK, and as normal my Fiancé decided to take his son away in August. Unfortunately due to a bit of a mix up (no you cant use Tesco vouchers to book camping holidays at Haven), we had left things a bit late to book think it was the end of June.

      Looking around at various holiday parks on the internet, we came across Parkdean Holidays mmmmm now this looks promising we agreed, seeming to specialise in parks in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Norfolk, Scotland and Wales. Catering for those wishing to stay in a static caravan, or those wanting to stay in tents or caravans on pitches either with or with electric hook-up.

      Looking at the various sites we decided to book they’re to stay at their West Bay site in Dorset.

      Booking

      Booking was fairly easy and was done by phone; in total the holiday would cost £210 for 7 nights, staying on an electric pitch for my fiancé, his son and myself. We were lucky I was told as we had managed to get one of their last electric pitches. The staff on the phones were friendly and efficient and I was told my pack should be received shortly with my booking confirmation in it.

      About 3 – 4 days later I received a letter confirming my booking however no other information about the site. Ah well not to worry will probably get given something on arrival.

      Arriving and Checking In

      We arrived a little earlier than the 12pm check in time stated on the letter I had received (we arrived at roughly 10.45ish), but this has never normally been a problem. At other sites we have stayed they have simply said that the pitch isn’t ready but feel free to park on site and use the facilities until we can check in.

      Bear in mind we had been travelling for about 4 ½ hours with a 5 year old in the car.

      On arriving, I went into reception where before I had a chance to say anything the girl said “You cant check in till 12, you might be able to check in earlier come back at 12”. So on telling my fiancé this we headed into West Bay, which I have to say doesn’t have much to do to kill time especially with a car full of camping gear. After taking a walk on the beach and having some sandwiches it was now roughly 11.30 so we decided to see if we could check in yet.

      This time my fiancé went in he did slightly better than I did and was told the pitches were not ready yet, so he nipped to the toilet in the reception then overheard a radio message saying to send them up, so he asked again if we could go up and thankfully he was told we could. He was also given a little introduction bag, the bag contained a map of the park and information on some of the facilities and passes to use them.



      The Pitch

      The pitches for tents and caravans are based on a hill, which is on a tiered system. Our pitch was at the top of the hill on the second tier, this was fine for us although someone with younger children/toddlers who need to be supervised may find this a problem.

      The pitch area was adequate for us, and was flat which is a bonus when pitching a tent. The electric hook-up worked and we had no problems.

      The Showers and Toilets

      Now here is where I have to say I was disgusted. For over 150 pitches tents/caravans there was one shower block male and female, and one family room.

      Shower/Toilet Block
      ************************
      The female showers houses the Showers, Toilets and Sinks, it also had 2 baby changing mats and a couple of hairdryers.

      There were about 10 showers in it, in each shower cubicle there was a shower which was not adjustable and set quite high on the wall, a shower curtain which was just as well because as you could not move the shower the water hit the curtain rebounded off it and hit you, and a peg on the door this was the only place to put clothes/towels while showering.

      There were also roughly 10 toilets in the shower block and the same amount of sinks.

      I have to say the female showers/toilets were disgusting they seemed dirty and the area even in the toilets was always like walking in a puddle, on the toilet one day and I thought this makes a change the floors dry, but while there a puddle stream of water slowly made it’s way down from the other toilets and you’ve guessed it another puddle to wade in.

      On the plus side I don’t think they were ever without hot water.

      The whole time we were there I only ever seen the toilets/showers being cleaned once.

      As for the male block my fiancé commented there was no way he could shower his son in them, as there simply wasn’t enough room for both of them in a cubicle.

      Family/Disabled Room
      ********************
      As the name suggests this is meant to be a room where families can go and shower etc together, normally the disabled room is separate BUT the site only had one of these.

      In it was a shower which could be adjusted in one corner, a bath in another corner, the toilet in another corner, 2 sinks, and 2 bins.

      On walking in the first thing you noticed is the filthy floor, I tended to use the shower to water clean the area around the shower. Once put a bag on the floor and when we got back to the tent noticed a bad smell turned out it was the bag I had put on the floor.

      We tended to put Brad in the bath after cleaning it, while we showered then carry him to an area we had showered to clothe him.

      The water in the family room was hit and miss I think it depended what time you got in although it was never freezing cold more tepid at times.

      There was normally a queue for the family room (cant think why), so we found that going down at 5 was always a good plan.

      One thing that did bug me was teenagers using it singly instead of using the shower block, and people using it to go to the toilet when there was no reason they couldn’t use the block.

      Washing Up Point

      3 sinks for over 150 pitches enough said. Although water was always hot.

      Facilities on Site

      The facilities on site included a swimming pool (also open to general public), a park, and a restaurant/café and bar.

      Swimming Pool
      **************

      The swimming pool is free to those staying on the site had both a child’s pool with a small slide and a bigger pool with a slide. The water always looked clean although could have done with a smidge more warming up. The opening hours were reasonable and it also had other activities you could book in for like inflatable fun, or hydro jets. The Changing rooms were clean and fairly warm too. Also there were lockers available to put your stuff in free of charge.

      The Park
      ********

      The park was really good it had obstacle courses, swings, scramble nets and something really to suit most age groups, it was fenced in and also had woodchip. The park was clean although there wasn’t really anywhere for parents to sit while their child/ren played.

      Restaurant/Café/Bar
      ******************
      MMMmmm now lets see on the door it states that food is freshly prepared (raising eyebrow here). There was a sit in menu – toad in the hole, fish and chips etc, a takeaway menu – pizza, curly fries etc and a kids menu (very limited although does offer mash or jacket potato as an alternative to chips).

      Now I have to say that a) this wasn’t the cleanest place I’ve seen b) the average person working there was 18 c) isn’t the cheapest place bearing in mind less than 5 mins walk away are a variety of booths offering jacket potatoes, burgers, fish and chips etc.

      The first time we went in we tried to order a pizza but was told they only had ham and pineapple as they didn’t have any bases although they should be delivered on weds. So we choose toad in the hole, chicken and chips and a kid’s meal. I have to say it wasn’t too bad.

      On our last night we decided to try again for pizza this time we were told by someone who could barely speak English we think they were polish, the only one they didn’t have was bolognaise, so we opted for the chicken tikka £6.50 one we then tried to order curly fries to be told that they didn’t have any of them either, we then also tried for garlic bread you’ve guessed it non of that either, so in the end we settled for another pizza cheese and tomato £6.00 (I think).

      Now I have to say my Brad who is 5 could have made a better pizza the bases must come as standard cheese and tomato because the chicken tikka pizza was literally a cheese and tomato pizza with curry slapped in the middle and not even spread out or cheese melted over it. The chips that came with the kids meal looked and tasted as if they had been re-cooked.

      Enough said lets just say I wouldn’t eat here if you stay here.

      Entertainment

      Now I have to say the children’s entertainment is quite good, they have a maxi club for younger children, a freestyle club for teens, both have various activities on during the day and in the evening the maxi club has a stint in the clubhouse where one or more of the characters are involved either maxi, or millie etc.

      Also the compare for the children’s bit was fantastic he was funny, and friendly and he was also part of the resident band.

      The only 2 things to mention are the drinks in the club are expensive nightclub prices and sometimes the entertainment was not as advertised.

      Overall

      I have to say the area of West Bay is lovely and would happily go again, however there is no way I would stay at a Parkdean Resort again, what with dirty showers and rubbish restaurant, club priced drinks, with only the entertainment being the redeeming feature next year we are going back to either Haven or Unity. My fiancé is going to be writing to Parkdean to complain.

      Thanks for reading and any feedback is welcome.

      Susan :oD

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      • More +
        17.07.2006 10:51
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        Facilities, Food, Environment, Location to Centre

        While staying with relatives in Ireland my Boyfriend (now Fiance) and I decided we would have one night out where we would stay at a hotel in Belfast. Searching the Internet we came across Benedicts and I have to say we will be going again.

        LOCATION
        ************

        Benedicts is situated in the Shaftsbury Square area of Belfast and is a 5 minute walk away from the University or the centre of Belfast. It will cost about £7.50 to get to from Belfast City Airport and £25 from Belfast International Airport by taxi.

        THE HOTEL
        *************

        The hotel itself was opened in November 1998. When you first walk in you will notice the reception is done in dark wood and plush fabrics and has a sweeping staircase leading upstairs, there is also a lift.

        THE ROOMS
        **************

        There are three categories of rooms to choose from Executive, Standard/Double Twin or Double Twin(single Occupancy). The price you pay is for the room and breakfast the next morning, for example me and my boyfriend opted for the executive room which cost £80 in total and included breakfast the next morning and ohhh what a breakfast, anyway rooms are:

        Executive Room £80 per night
        -----------------------------------------
        What can I say fantastic room the basic info on this is, it is en-suite, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, ironing board&iron, cable tv, safe, spa bath, reclining chairs and hi-fi.

        This is the room we stayed in and I have to say it is pure luxury the first thing you notice is the space, the decor is excellent and very tasteful, with a huge bed.

        The wardrobes and drawers have loads of room in them too.

        The bathroom was decorated in black and silver, with a spa bath, shower, toilet, bidet and a large wash area. Complementary dressing gowns, soaps, shower gels etc are also in the bathroom.

        The tea coffee making facilites are of excellent quality and not the usual powdered cheap nasty stuff and you also get some bisuits.

        There is also an ironing board and iron in the room.

        My boyfriend loved the reclining chairs saying it was just like the one from Friends.

        What can I say staying in this room was sheer heaven.

        Twin Double Rooms £70 per night
        -----------------------------------------------

        Not much I can say about this except the basics:
        It is en-suite, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, ironing board&iron, cable tv, safe.

        Double Twin (single Occupancy) £60 per night
        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        Not much I can say about this except the basics:
        It is en-suite, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, ironing board&iron, cable tv, safe.

        FOOD
        *******
        The hotel has a restaurant which breakfast (included in the price of your room) and dinner are served from,not sure about lunch as we ate out.

        Dinner
        ----------
        On the night we stayed there we had dinner in the hotels restaurant, they operate a beat the clock menu where the time you have your main meal is the price you pay for it i.e go down at 5.15 and your main meal will cost £5.15, the also have a variety of set menus ranging from £18 to £25 you can pick from.

        Myself and my boyfriend had soup starters, steak mains and ice cream puddings, and I have to say the food was fantastic it was excellently presented and tasted sumptuous the bill came to about £40 but it was definately worth it. Word of warning though if ordering steak you will need to order veg as extra.

        Breakfast
        --------------
        Now I have to say the breakfast is absolutely orgasmic.

        Bear in mind you can have all or just some of what am listing is available for breakfast and believe me we had a go at just about everything including the full irish which was fantastic and am drooling just thinking about it.

        For breakfast there is:

        Fresh fruit juice,
        Full Irish breakfast and I mean full (black & white pudding, soda bread, potato bread, pancake, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, tomatoes, beans you get the picture)
        Cereal
        Toast
        Yoghurt
        Fresh fruit
        Omlette
        Tea/Coffee

        The food is truely wonderful both for breakfast and dinner.

        THE STAFF
        ************

        We found the staff to be friendly and helpful from the moment you arrive until the time you leave.

        OTHER
        ********

        Benedicts is also a popular nite spot in Belfast with its own club, entrance is free to hotel guests.

        OVERALL
        ***********

        A fantastic place to stay and would definately recommend me and my boyfriend are planning to go again and stay 2 nights, in an executive room ohhh the spa bath.

        Hope you have found this review useful and any questions just ask.

        Oh the hotel also has a website:

        http://www.benedictshotel.co.uk

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        • Lush.co.uk / Online Shop / 9 Readings / 19 Ratings
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          17.11.2003 16:08
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          I never thought in a million years that I?d try this but having read so many wonderful opinions, on so many tempting products I just had to try some. As my nearest shop is in Leeds not far I know but as I couldn?t be bothered going to Leeds and I wanted to shop now, I decided that I?d make my purchases online. This however isn?t a review about my purchases those beauties are yet to come, it is a review about the website itself. Before I start let me just give you the web address, it is www.lush.co.uk, see dead easy. HOMEPAGE *********** The homepage has LUSH TIMES wrote across the top of it, giving it the feel that you have entered a magazine, and the background under the text has lots of little Lush logos. Across the top you will find 5 menu tabs to help you navigate your way around the site. Home, Find Out More, Products, Quick Order and Gifts. I?m not going to go into these yet (no I won?t your just going to have to wait) as I plan to go into them in more detail. On the right hand side of the homepage there is a box in which you can enter your email address to subscribe to their emailing list, a bit about the latest news from Lush, a link to click into to go to the Lush forum (more on this later), and a list of the new products they have introduced for sale, as you would expect at this time of year they are all pretty much Christmas orientated, such delights as Christmas Gift boxes, Fairy Jasmine (with wings) bath ballistic, Angels Delight Soap and Tam O? Santa bubble bar. They do seem to have introduced quite a few new products, as although I?ve not listed them all they are put under separate headings. To the left hand side of the homepage there is what I would call a mini newsletter, welcoming you to the Lush Times, which in the initial paragraph is encouraging you to buy Lush for family and friends, as well as for business colleagues and clients. Then in bright red there is a note informing you of deliv
          ery charges. Then there is a bit more detail about a couple of the new products followed by link buttons for quick ordering (if you know what you want) and products if you want to browse. Then right at the bottom there is information on Delivery, I mean lets be honest here if your gonna place an order you want to know when it will be delivered and where it can be delivered to. So here they let us know that you can have your order next day delivery by phoning 01202 668 545, we are also informed that if you choose regular delivery the terms and conditions are listed on the link at the bottom of the page (more on this later), and that you need to allow 14 days for delivery although 5 is the norm, but if you don?t receive your delivery to either email or phone them. They also inform us that they can ship abroad and have provided a drop down menu listing the countries that they deliver to. MENU TAB BUTTONS ******************** Right now onto the menu tab buttons across the top of the homepage. Home ===== Fairly obvious this is the one that will return you to the homepage from any other screen. Find Out More =========== Press this button and it takes you to a screen which enables you to find out more about Lush, in fact on it say find out more about Lush and there are then buttons you can press down the left hand side, in brief detail and cos I don?t want to bore you these are: WE BELIEVE ? Takes you to a screen which tells you Lush believe in making products out of materials such as vegetables, fruit, essential oils. Without using animal ingredients. They also only buy their products from companies which do not test on animals. They also go on to tell us that all their products are handmade and hand filled with the makers name on the label. Then they tell us that their products use as little preservatives as possible, and mark things with a use by date. HISTORY ? Give us a brief
          history of Lush, did you know they were set up in 1978 and sold their first products to Body Shop, and that they have over 100 shops. TESTING POLICY ? Basically here they assure that their products are not tested on animals, nor will they buy from any company which test on animals. It?s quite an interesting read this one. BUSINESS ? States they are wholly owned by Lush and do not have franchises and also give an address for international enquiries. WHERE IS LUSH ? Shows from which countries and how you can buy from Lush. PRESS COVERAGE ? Pretty obvious this one it is literally press reports they have had wrote about them. PRESS ENQUIRIES ? Gives contact details for members of the press on getting in touch with Lush. TALK TO US ? Contact details for applying for a job, emailing them your favourite Lush experience (would anyone really do this?), if you have problems with their web pages etc etc. CATALOGUE ? Phone number and email address for requesting a catalogue which for anyone interested is: email us on orders@lush.co.uk, telephone 44 (0) 01202 668545, fax 44 (0) 1202 661832 Products ====== This button takes you to probably one of the most important screens of all the place where you can select what products you want to buy, to the right of the screen we are informed that all products are suitable for vegetarians but those marked with a V are also suitable for vegans. It also explains that if you want to buy a product you just click on the add to basket icon, and if you want to check what is in your basket at any time you can click on the review basket icon. The products are split into sections which you will get to by pressing the buttons on the left hand side of this screen. For the purpose of this opinion I?m not going to go into where each individual button on the left hand side of the screen takes you and exactly what type of products you can buy there. They are se
          lf-explanatory, you click on these to go to the products you want to buy, if you require or want to know more about the individual product your buying click on more info under the product. The buttons listed are: Bath Ballistics Bubble Bar Slices Soaps Skincare Close Up Gifts Fresh Bath & Shower Hair Care Fragrances Massage Bars Xmas Specials Quick Order ========= If you know what product you want to order, and do not wish to browse this is the way to do it, you are taken to a screen with two buttons one lists products alphabetically and the other lists by category. Gifts ==== This takes you to a page where you can order gifts for people and it is broken down into price range starting at £5.00 to over £10.00 The most expensive of which is titled Big Spender and costs £77.45. ORDERING ********** To place an order, or add something to your basket simply double click on the item you wish to order a pop up box then appears, telling you what you have ordered and how much it costs. If you want to remove anything from your basket click on the review basket icon, this lists everything you have put in your basket; you can also change the amount you wish to order here as well as the cost including VAT put not postage. Anyway to remove an item from your basket simply click in the remove box and it is taken out, you then press the continue shopping button to keep on shopping, or cashier to actually buy your goods. Once at the cashier you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions, then you fill in your details, delivery and payment. Once done you are taken to a screen which lists what you have ordered the total bill including delivery charge, you then select the way you wish to pay by smart wallet or through Netbanx using a card. Once the order is placed you are sent a confirmation email. TERMS AND CONDITIONS & PAYMENT METHODS <
          br>*********************************************** Before allowing you to place your order you will be asked to review and agree to the terms and conditions, these are very simply and also outline the different delivery options you have as well as the charges for delivery, depending on which option you select. You are also informed about what payment methods are accepted and these include: Visa, Mastercard, Solo, Switch, Delta and American Express. Btw for card transactions they do it by Netbanx which means Lush never actually get given your card number. Alternatively they list a number on which you can phone through orders. Before I forget they also accept Smartwallet (but I have no idea what this is). CONCLUSION ************* I?m sorry because now your probably all bored to tears. The website itself is really easy to use and navigate the only problem being that you may end up spending loads or money, as a Lush virgin I only bought 3 products and spent £12.90 but I do know of people spending over £70. I personally ordered by credit card and found the knowledge that Lush never receives my card details gave me peace of mind. I also received an email confirming what I had ordered from Lush as well as an email from Netbanx confirming what I had ordered and how much had been debited from my card. Anyway, thanks ever so much for the read especially if you?ve made it his far. Susan x

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          • Nokia 3510i / Mobile Phone / 1 Reading / 11 Ratings
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            08.10.2003 16:21
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            Well my old phone has finally given up the ghost and am fed up of having conversations cut short by the phone cutting out, so I taking the hint I bought a new phone. The phone I eventually decided on was the nokia 3510i mainly for very shallow reasons i.e. it looks nice and has polophonic ringtones. However, I realise that when looking into a buying a new mobile phone you need to know much more than this, so take a seat and let me introduce you to my phone the nokia 3510i. Looks ***** Looks wise the phone is not much different from any other mobile phone it is of average size although slightly bigger than the Nokia 3310. The cover on mine is dark blue with an orange trim down the sides which lights up when the phone rings or a message is received very handy when in the pub. Although I believe you can get it in other colours such as mustard and orange I have never seen them. Durability ********** The phone does seem to be quite durable i've dropped mine a few times and it has not had any adverse affect. Features ******** The phone has a variety of features which I will go into seperately including the ability to keypad lock, this I find extremely handy to use so I don't dial random numbers when the phone is knocked about in my bag. Screensaver - The phone does appear to have a screensaver type function but this only shows the time on a split screen and as yet it does not appear theat you can download additional screensavers have tried via the nokia website, and vizzavi but never mind the time is good. Screen - The screen of the phone itself is colour and you can download colour wallpapers for your background there are some already stored on the phone which you can choose from, these are in the Gallery Option under graphics. To download a different wallpaper it will cost on average £1.50. Currently mine is a seahorse. The following options can all be found in Menu on t
            he phone: Phone Book - You can store over 100 telephone numbers and you can also assign different ring tones to different numbers, you can also use voice tags for voice activated dialling although I confess I haven't quite got round to using this function yet. Messages - From here you can send/receive text messages or send an email, you can even archive emails into folders. Quite handy for the funnies you receive. The Nokia 3510i can also send and receive multimedia messages. Call Register - Shows what numbers you have recently dialled, received, also lists any missed calls from here you can also delete recent call lists. Tones - Fairly standard one this you can change you ringtones/alert tones, Ring volume, Select whether you want the vibrating alert on or off. The Nokia 3510i has the ability to download polyphonic ringtones mine at the mo is Big Brovaz favorite things. Profiles - Not 100 % sure on this one its a bit technical for me. Settings - Set the time and date, Call settings i.e. divert you phone to receive calls on another phone etc Gallery - In here you will find the picture folder which you can use to change your wallpaper, this is also where any downloaded tones wll be stored. Games - The Nokia 3510i comes with 3 standard games which are all in colour: Backgammon, Racket and Skydiver. You can download additional games I recently downloaded Bowling, and hey if I can do it anyone can. Organiser - Now this funtion I find incredibly useful it has an alarm clock, and a calendar on which you can make notes of appointments etc Applications - From here you can access Club Nokia and Software Mkt Extras - contains the calculator, Countdown Timer, Stopwatch for those of you who like to time yourself a lot. Services - This is the WAP part of the phone for connecting to internet services although I have to confess am not 100% on this function I have used it
            and found the connection and dowloading speed quite good. Vodafone(my service provider) - this has some goodies you can access via Vodafone such as find and seek a little function that uses your location to find cash points etc. BATTERY ******** The battery in the phone is quite long lasting and I only have to charge mine up once a week although if you are a heavy user you may need to charge more often. OVERALL ******* I realise that I have not covered everything the phone offers my opinion is that the phone is packed full of useful features enough to keep gadet people happy as well as those of us that use the phone for its basic functions. I paid £129.99 for mine although I believe that they have now come down in price. My only critiscism with the phone is that it can be a little complex to use some of the features, however most shops will now give you detailed demos of your phone if you take it in to them sayiong you don't know how to use certain features. Overall though a good little phone, if you are chosing to get a phone for your children though i'd stick with something very basic like the 3310. Thanks for the read Susan

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            • More +
              11.09.2003 16:17
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              Before I go into the product itself which in case you were wondering is a mini cash ISA let me tell you how I came to decide it was the best option for me. I have decided to go to Australia on holiday next February so in order to save for it I came to the conclusion I needed a savings account separate to the one I have with my bank (small matter of tending to dip into it). PLANNING ******** Before I began to look for an additional savings account I had to decide what did I want from it, I would recommend the following exercise to anyone looking into taking out a savings account it will help when you go looking for information. So I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote out what I wanted from the savings account, the list looked something like this. 1) Accessibility - Although I am not planning on making regular withdrawals, it was important to me that the account was fairly instant access, I didn't want to have to give 60 odd days notice to be able to take out my money. Who knows when emergencies will crop up. 2) High Interest - I wanted the account to have a high interest rate although I realised I was limiting my options by also wanting it to be instant access. 3) A Local Branch - I didn't want the account to be from an online only bank as I wanted to make regular payments perhaps even additional ones in person to a branch rather than have a standing order set up. These were my three main criteria , at the time I was sure that I didn't want to venture into ISA's etc partly because I didn't understand them . So off I trotted into town picking up leaflets on savings accounts, now I have a theory that banks do not have these leaflets out on display (well nearly every branch I went into didn't) because it forces you to talk to someone which in turn means they can give you a bit of a sales pitch. As a result in the Bradfor
              d and Bingley I ended up talking to a lady who explained a wee bit about mini cash isa's mmmmmmmmm thought I this may be worth taking a gander at, so I retraced my steps picking up info as best I could on the mini cash isa. Let me explain what swayed me: MINI CASH ISA ************** With a normal full ISA the most you can save/invest in one year is £7000, however with a mini isa this is broke down into 3 seperate areas a mini cash Isa in which you can save a maximum of £3000 in one year. The other two mini isas are one which is related to the stock market and one which is related to life insurance. The best thing about an Isa is it is TAX FREE for those who don't know ISA stands for Individual Savings Account. The interest on any money saved is paid out yearly on the 1st April. My sole reason for picking an ISA over a standard savings account was the fact it is TAX FREE. yes yes I hear you say but why the Alliance and LEicester. WHY THE ALLIANCE AND LEICESTER ******************************** Having decided to take out a mini Cash Isa I wanted to be sure I got one with the best interest rate, so I checked various institutions, Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bradford and Bingley, RBOS etc and most of the interest rates were 3% or just over. However with the Alliance and Leicester it was 4% the highest I had found anywhere, this was my sole reason for going there. OPENING MY ISA ************** How easy was it to open an account I hear you ask, well this is where the Alliance and Leicester in my experience fail and also succeed. You can go into any branch and pick up a pack containing any information you need, the application form is easy to understand and you also get the option of having either a passbook or an ATM card, it is explained quite clearly that you must be over 16 to open the ISA and that the minimum opening balance is £1.00, it is also clearly explained that you nee
              d 2 forms of ID to open the account and just in case you are confused it lists the acceptable forms of ID. So with application form completed, opening balance and ID in hand I headed to the Alliance and Leicester to open my ISA you'd have though this was going to be easy and hassle free. But once there I am told that I must make an appointment to open it and there is no way it can be opened over the counter, well "ok can I make an appointment then", to which i'm replied "would you like to make an appointment" hold on a mo isn't that what I just said, so I make an appointment for a Friday at 2pm. Have to admit the staff were not what I would describe as the most helpful but maybe they are having a bad day so the benefit of the doubt is given silly me. On Thursday afternoon I recieve a call from the Alliance and Leicester person I have the appointment with to check that I understand the ID I need she seems pleased when I say that I do and that i've even completed the application form. So it is now 1.45pm on Friday and I arrive at the Alliance and Leicester for my appointment to be told by sullen member of staff that the person I have the appointment is running late am I ok to wait. "Yes, fine" says I (I was on a phased return to work at the time so was only working 1/2 days). Then at 1.55pm the same sullen member of staff returns to say "She's running a lot later than expected is it ok to be opened over the counter", with that statement I am more than slightly peeved especially after being told previously that there is no way that it can be opened over the counter, so I mention this to which I just get a slight shrug and asked if I want it opened, so I proceed to the counter to open the ISA where the girl concerned gives me a receipt for £10 less than I had given her, when pointed out she sighs and recounts the money in front of me to find that surprise, surprise I the customer am c
              orrect. So ISA opened I go home about a week later I received my passbook. Unfortunately the customer service at the Alliance and leicester branch did not improve and if anything became worse, a frequent occurance would be at lunch times they would have 2 people on their counters with only 1 person dealing with customers an example that stands out is 5 people were in the queue the person at the front was there to close their mortgage (I would have thought they needed to book an appointment for this but no not here), so 10 minutes later there are now 8 people in the queue 2 people on counter 1 person still closing this guys mortgage another 10 minutes there are more people in the queue and some people have given up a comment is made that shouldn't the other person be serving now too, she looks up pulls a face and reluctantly opens her counter but don't expect a smile. I closed my mini isa with them on 1/5/03 as did my mum and they didn't even ask why we were closing it. PROS AND CONS ************* In conclusion I think the pros and cons of opening an ISA with the Alliance and Leicester are: Pros: * High Interest * Instant Access * Easy and Well Explained Application Form * Local Branch As you can see my essentials are met. Cons * Customer Service (the service I received at the branch would not encourange me to open more than a savings account) Thanks for the read, any comments greatfully received been a while since i've wrote an op here.

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                27.08.2002 02:48
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                Finally after years of having to make do with men?s sensitive shaving cream a company has cottoned on to the fact that shaving foam for women could be big business. So onto the product testing. Well now I?ve comfortably soaked for an hour or so onto the shaving. Gillette Satin Care comes in a range of smells all as equally sniffable, for the purpose of this review I am using Crystal Essence others in the range include Watermelon, Wild Berry and another one with a pink lid which name I forget. Crystal Essence smells fresh with a hint of light perfume and also contains silk which I can only imagine is for extra smoothness. The whole range claims to be anti nicks and cuts yeah yeah I can hear you saying just get on with it so I will. The Packaging ************ Satin Care comes in an aerosol the tin I am using is a silvery blue, with a blue top. Others in the range are green, purplely and pink I think this is so if you are in a rush you can pick the one you want by the colour of it?s top. I could however be wrong. Ease of Use ********** The gel easily sprays out (even with wet hands), the smell is wonderful and it smooths onto one?s legs really easily. Be warned though a little goes a long way. I found that my razor slid through the gel/foam quite easily. For Use Where ************ Boys you may want to turn away now, this little bit contains information you may never have wanted to know. The product is suitable for use on legs, under, arms, bikini line and just about anywhere else you may want to use it, though please note I am pretty sure it is not supposed to be used internally. The Results ********** The results were more than pleasing not only have I shaved without a single nick my legs and other parts feel smooth and moisturized. It also seemed to make shaving easier as my razor glided over my legs as though there was nothing there. <
                br> Price ***** Least I forget to do a review without including the price. The price does range depending on where you shop in Boots or Superdrug unless on special offer expect to pay £2.99 in Bodycare where I get it, it is £1.99. Thanks for reading :O)

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                  20.08.2002 20:08
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                  The St Joesph hotel is a 3 star hotel and is classed as mid-budget range. The hotel has 2 bars one on the roof which, where the pool is, and also where snacks can be purchased the roof bar also has quite a good menu with everything from chips to spaghetti bolognase. The other is the cocktail bar in the basement which has two happy hours one earlier in the evening and the other later. Both bars serve alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails my personal fave was the non alcoholic Cinderella.. There are 2 restaurants the one on the roof and the al la carte restaurant on the ground floor, the al la carte is perhaps the better choice of the two for your evening meal. . The food is excellent at both the restaurants with a wide varied choice on the menu, have to say though the spaghetti bolognase is delicious, definitely one of my favs. You tend to find that the snack bar on the roof is busier as it does snacks, burgers etc. The jewellery shop although dingy looking is really exceptional value, one thing to remember about buying jewellery in Egypt is that the price is based on the weight of the gold or silver and also on the craftsmanship. Genuine gold and silver has an assay mark, to be honest you are better off buying the jewellery from the hotel shops as they are less likely to sell you fake gold/silver which does happen a lot in the shops outside the hotels where they think nothing of selling silver plate as silver. The gift shop had a wide range of gifts for sale and if you ask nicely the bloke who runs it will post your postcards for you and yes they do arrive where intended we were sceptical at first but were proved wrong. The item we found the best value which the gift shop sells and also makes a unique gift and souvenir were the papyrus the charge was roughly 5 eygptian pounds for a small one to over 100 for a really really big one, also unlike when purchasing outside the hotel you can be sold banana ski
                  n as opposed to genuine papyrus. I found that the hotel shops were also better value. The room we were in was quite large, and had a balcony, ensuite toilet/bath/shower , t.v. and it was cleaned daily to a very high standard. The room also had air conditioning which in Eygpt is a must. The hotel staff were really friendly and helpful. While there my mum got bit by a mossie which became infected our room porter burst the bite and cleaned it for her something which I think goes beyond the call of duty. Although not as posh looking as some of the other hotels if you are looking for a friendly well run hotel, this is the one to go for. If there is any additional info you need to know please leave a message, unfortunately I am unable to comment on price as this was part of a package deal we booked through Cosmo's.

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                    19.08.2002 00:22
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                    Like most people, I want to have the toned firm body of a goddess without all the normal stuff you have to do to get it, like torturing yourself down the gym or depriving yourslef of fantastic eating experiences. So whilst browsing through my latest edition of Take a Break I noticed a bit in the beauty feature about a body moisturiser which could actually help you to gain firmer skin. MMMMM thinks me firm body, no sweat, no deprivation just has to be worth a look, so off I trotted to my local Superdrug, marching straight to the Nivea section I quickly shrunk away when I seen the price for this little gem was £5.89 for 200ml. But I still wanted it, so I headed off to Boots but alas still nearly £6.00 for 200ml, just buy it I hear you say, but to be honest 200ml wouldn't last me long as an everday body moisturiers and at nearly £6.00 a pop it would be relegated to a now and again treat. But then I had myself a brainwave, not easy when your on your lunch hour dashing about like a mad chicken, and my brainwave was Bodycare and true to form the did have it at the cost of only £3.89, so I grabbed 2 bottles and headed to the checkout. Following my bath that night I flipped open the lid and applied to my bod. The first think that struck me was the smell, it smelt fresh and kind of talcum powdery subtle and not too overpowering. The second think that struck me was that it actually sunk into my skin, a test most body creams have failed, I seem to have the type of skin moisturiser just sits on. Now that i've given you a taster of my first use and before I go into the results let me tell you a bit about the actual product. It comes in 2 sizes 500ml and 200ml I have only found the 200ml bottle at a cheaper price the bigger bottle is nearly £10. The bottle is a standard Nivea bottle white with a blue flip top lid. It claims to be able to: * Increase elasticity and improve skin tone
                    * Smooth and improve skin structure * Provide long lasting moisture * Light and easily absorbed This is due to a coenzyme in the product called Q10, being a bit of a nerd at time I looked into this so called enzyme and found out that it is one which we have naturally in our bodies but which loses i5's potency as we get older, the function of this enzyme is it replenshies the bodies natural ability to stay firm. Ok you may say but does this lotion work, well I have to say the results so far have been very promising, but don't expect instant results. After the first application my skin was definately smoother and felt nicer, also I have to say that on application you can feel a slight tingle like your body crying out for something lost. I have been using this product now for about 1 1/2 months and taking into account all the factors that the product says it will do it works, my skin looks more smooth, feels more smooth, and has a nicer looking appearance. I have also found that some of my stretch marks (no kids just yoyo weight gain and lose) seem to be fading slightly. Also my skin does feel ever so slightly firmer. In summary this is a product I would definately recommend however, do take care to shop around as you can see the difference in price from £5.89 to what I paid £3.89. Thank you for reading.

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                      05.08.2002 18:30
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                      My mum and I went to Luxor at the beginning of this year after getting a really good deal, we paid just over £300 for 7 nights half board accommodation with Cosmos staying at the St Joseph’s hotel. I have broken this review into sections and please bear in mind that is based only on my experiences. Anything that I have not covered please feel free to ask about and I will attempt to answer. HISTORY ********* As you are aware Egypt is full of history, Luxor is no exception. After the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, Egypt split into a series of power bases. One of which Thebes became strong enough to take on the Northern Capital and win to become the new capital, this was during the reign of Montuhotep II. Under Montuhotep’s rule a series of building began including a temple in Karnak and a funeral temple at Deir al-Bahri. When Montuhotep’s rule came to an end the pharaoh’s of the next dynasty moved the capital of Egypt back to the North, however Thebes remained the capital of the south and also remained as Egypt’s ceremonial capital. PLACES TO SEE **************** Contrary to popular believe that the only thing in Egypt is Pyramids if you go to Luxor you will not see any Pyramids. However, most tour operators do organise trips to see the Pyramids as well as most of the sites which I mention below. A word of advice, before committing yourself to booking with your tour operator take time to go down towards the Old Winter Palace where you will find quite a few local tour operator’s who undercut the big tour operators quite substantially. For example a ½ day trip to the Valley of the Kings/Queens and the Temple of Hatshepsut (say it like Hot Chicken Soup really quickly), with our tour operator would have been £32 each. However, with a local tour operator it was only £17 each and that included a 12 seater air conditioned mini-bus to ourselves, a guide, a driver and
                      entrance into all the sites as well as all the baksheesh (which I will go into in more detail) being taken care of, bit of a difference eh. The sights which I will now go into are not all there is to see but just details the ones which I visited. Fellah Tent ********** I have to confess that I am not sure if this is the correct spelling but it is how it is pronounced, if you get the opportunity to visit a Fellah temt it is well worth it, it is basically an evening of traditional dancing and music with a banquet most of these also consist of a nile trip in a felluca (boat) to begin with. Karnak Sound & Light Show ************************** First thing I have to say about this is it is very cheesy don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed. Hosted in Karnak Temple this is a walking tour though the temple to the voices of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, describing various points of interest and history of the temple and Thebes. Cost about £15 each with the tour operator. Valley of the Kings/Queens and the Temple of Hatshepsut ************************************************** Two very important things to note about these are No1 set off early as, as the day goes on the heat gets unbearable, No2 take more than one bottle of big water you will need at least 2 for the entire day. Unfortunately I am unable to give you individual prices for the sites as, as I mentioned before we paid £17 each with everything included, however if not going by a tour operator or as we did you can go by taxi but make sure you take enough money for the tickets and for the baksheesh. Another thing to note is that if you want to take any photo’s in the tombs you have to pay extra. Oh and before I forget if you do opt to pay to use your camera in the tombs and a local offers to take your picture he will expect you to pay at least one Egyptian pound for this but you won’t know that
                      until after the pic has been taken and he starts holding out his hand. Valley of the kings. We visited 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings, unfortunately I couldn’t tell you which as after a bit every tomb begins to look the same, especially if you are too hot. They are however well worth the visit just for the hieroglyphics, we were lucky to have a guide who knew the history well and translated some of the hieroglyphics for us. A word of warning though make sure you wear comfortable walking footwear I wore trainers and was glad I did as the valley of the kings is quite hilly and a trek to walk around. Also cover up as on the west bank where the valley of the kings is the sun is hotter and you will burn quickly I wore a long skirt and light blouse, however the amount of sore red people walking round was unbelievable. Valley of the Queens Very much like the Valley of the Kings but the tombs were smaller and there is not as many. Temple of Hatshepsut This was my favourite site of the ½ day trip the temple is truly stunning, and when we visited the third floor had just been opened to the public. Unfortunately not many drawings remain of Hatshepsut, as her son destroyed them when he became pharaoh. I can not put into words how truly stunning the site of this temple rising from the desert is. Luxor Museum ***************** Although most of the main pieces of history relating to Luxor have been moved to Cairo museum, Luxor museum still has a lot to offer, including statues, furniture, jewellery, pottery and coins. The museum is well laid out with good explanations of the exhibit pieces. Admission is roughly 30 Egyptian pounds. Words of warning though you will have to pay to take photos. Also be careful what you buy from the shop I bought a “silver” bracelet which looked to have a mark to show it was real silver however it couldn’t have been as when I got back home and wore it, it t
                      urned my wrist green. Mummification Museum ********************** If you happen to be near Luxor temple this is a interesting museum to visit, but be warned don’t make a long trip to see it, it will only take you 20 mins to go round maximum. The museum exhibits are in one medium sized room. The mummification museum takes you through the history of making and some of the exhibits on display include mummies of a person, cat, crocodile and instruments used to scoop out the brain. Admission is roughly 20 Egyptian pounds with extra being charged for your camera. Oh before I forget if you are not paying the extra to use your camera you will have to hand it over to be kept until you leave, also it is standard practice that your bag is checked. Luxor Temple ************* Again this is another truly stunning site, the price of admission is 20 Egyptian pounds and you do not have to pay to use your camera. It was really nice to wander around and look at the avenue of sphinxes and the engravings. Unfortunately there are a lot of locals about who try to point out things, show you where to take pictures or even offer to take your picture again the will expect payment. These were the only sights we visited but you can take trips to Cairo, Balloon flights, Felluca Ride, and trips to the Red Sea. The next part of my review will cover the baksheesh, kalesh’s, places to eat, general advice. BAKSHEESH ************* This basically means tipping and it is common place in Eygpt, expect to pay Baksheesh everywhere you go from buying something in the shops to, having something pointed out to you by a local. It can be extremely annoying our first encounter of it happened when we stepped off the plane and went out to out coach our bags were grabbed off us and carried to the coach by a local (not employed by the tour company but we didn’t know this) a matter of a few feet away and you t
                      hen have to tip bear in mind that when you just arrive you will only have big notes and they know it. Typically I just tipped 1 Egyptian pound but it can be annoying tipping for everything. KALESH’S ********** A word of warning to animal lovers you will find these upsetting, a Kalesh is a horse drawn carriage and unfortunately a lot of the horses are badly neglected and mistreated, and not fed enough or given enough water. Kalesh’s are everywhere and I can only urge you not to use them. Walking down the street you can often see the horses have open sores, their ribs are sticking through so much you can count the ribs, have their legs fastened together with rope, are not allowed to lie down. Most of them are never taken out of their shackles. To be honest the site of these poor animals made me very angry and sick. There are some which are treated very well but unfortunately these are heavily outnumbered by the amount abused. If going to Egypt use a Kalesh on your own conscience. If there is a hell it is where kalesh drivers go to become horses. Taxis are readily available everywhere for just a few Egyptian pounds but agree the fare before getting in. PLACES TO EAT **************** There is no shortage of places to eat although we did stick to eating in the hotels, eating is really cheap and a meal generally cost the equvialent of £3. I loved the food in the Sonnesta St George. However, if you fancy some real British food while in Luxor then the place to go is 7 Days & 7 Ways which is run by 2 blokes John and John from Leeds. The menu ranges from Beefburgers to corned beef hash you can even have a Sunday dinner and what amazed my mum was “they have HP brown sauce”, you get hugh portions and the food is delicious for more info they can be contacted on goodgrubegypt@hotmail.com. GENERAL ADVICE Make sure that you take a first aid kit as a trip to the doctor can cost
                      £25, ensure you drink plenty of water. No matter when you go it is going to be hot so ensure you use appropriate suncream. Expect to be hassled everywhere even walking up the street people will try to get you to go in their shop it can be very wearing. A word to remember is LA SHOCKRA which means no thank you. Don’t but any part of your body in the Nile it has a nasty bug in it which can in the extreme cause death. A guide which I found extremely useful containing lots of good practical advice as well as info on sites and places to stay was the lonely planet Egypt guide well worth the £12.99.

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                        30.07.2002 18:45
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                        I am writing this from the perspective of someone who has managed to give up smoking, so if you are sitting comfortably let me begin by telling you a little about my journey of the demon weed. My first cigarette was at the tender age of 13 when myself and the gang got caught behind the electric unit by the dinnerladies, following a quick run to the ladies loo to put the still lit cig down the toilet and frantically deny ever having one we still got detention. I remember bursting into tears telling my mum why I’d got the detention. Alas, this still didn’t keep me off the weed and to stay part of the in crowd we carried on puffing (god knows why looking back it must have looked pathetic) and to be honest I think up till the age of 18 I may have just had in total 20 ciggies. Needless to say we used all the usual tricks to keep it hidden from our parents, mints, chewing gum, cheap body spray etc etc. My parents eventually found out I smoked when I joined the forces where smoking was part of a big culture thing (not big and not clever). I eventually gave up about 2/3 years ago, my big incentive was a trip to Australia where I would have had a long flight without a smoke and also it’s not really socially acceptable over there. The bad news however, is that there is no one way to give up smoking which will work for everyone I managed by sheer will power alone but I think for this to work you have to be 100% committed that it’s what you want, (not just the yes I want to give up, but don’t really, one now and then won’t hurt frame of mind). The treatments/methods currently available for giving up smoking include and this list is by no means complete: * Willpower – My number one favourite if you are serious and committed. * Patches/Gum – Have you read the possible side effects list they’ve covered everything. * Hypnotherapy – Expensive
                        * Acupuncture – Expensive * Gadgets – These range from thing which send a blocker to your brain to all sorts of weird and wonderful things including does anyone remember the thing that looked like a tampon holder? * Counselling – The good thing about this is that most local authorities are running schemes as well as some workplaces. The reasons to give up are numerous and range from cancer to the fact lets be honest yellow finger (NOT ATTRACTIVE), makes you look stupid, you smell, think of your family need I go on. The reasons smokers give for not giving up are also numerous: after this one (it never happens the next one is then the last one), I look cool (not at 13 you dont), I’ll put on weight (I personally would rather be fat than dependent on nicotine and besides you can diet) etc etc. I am not saying giving up smoking is easy I found it very difficult, especially as I chose willpower one of the things I found that helped me was drinking water (cigs taste foul if you drink water before hand), kept busy so I didn’t look at the clock for ciggie break time, ate nuts and grapes, played with pen to keep my hands busy. The worst was the pub but I was determined. Another reason it took me so long to give up was people telling me I should give up (take note parents nag at me and I will continue), also although I "attempted" to give up many times these always failed cos I didn't really want to quit (you have to want to or your setting up to fail). Now let me tell you what has happened since I gave up smoking: * A friend has died of lung cancer (age 55) * A friend has been treated for breast cancer (age 32) * I know of 2 people who have got some form of cancer * A lot of my family have died due to cancer. * I can breathe easier * Food tastes so much better * My mouth isn’t con
                        stantly dry * I get less colds * I can walk up steps and hills without puffing for breath * I smell nicer * You wouldn’t believe how much cash I’ve saved. The best advice I can give is don’t start in the first place and if you are a parent trying to get you kids to quit phone your local hospital of hospice and ask them if you can bring your child to see a cancer ward, I’m sure they will think about looking cool twice when they see patients spitting the stuff off their lungs into containers marked with days of the week. This of course would have to be with the permission of the patients or maybe a scheme where patients volunteer to talk about it could be investigated.

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                        • Monarch Airlines / Airline / 1 Reading / 29 Ratings
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                          18.06.2002 18:46
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                          Not Very Regal I came to be flying by Monarch Airlines after booking a holiday to Egypt with Cosmos (both these reviews to come later). As you can imagine it was quite a long journey departing from Manchester at 10.00 am and arriving in Egypt at about 5.30 p.m. our time. To do my review I’ve broken it down into the following sections the plane including legroom, the staff, in-flight meals etc, and entertainment. PLANE INCLUDING LEGROOM Outbound Flight **** **** **** On the outbound and returning flight we were in an Airbus A300-603R, my initial thought of the plane was that it was quite small looking and when I got inside I was not disappointed in spite of the fact the plane seats 361 people. We were in row 10 I say we were in row 10 meaning we were squashed into the row it seemed that legroom had been given over to an extra row of seats. I am roughly 5’8 and was squashed if the person sitting in front of me had put their seat back they would have created problems as they would have damaged my knees. Believe it or not their was a bloke who was nearly hitting 7 foot on our flight and they put him in one of these rows and he had to sit with his legs apart for most of the flight. Also if you are of a slightly larger build you will be really uncomfortable my mum is a size 18 and found the seats really narrow with no room for give I must admit I am a size 14/16 And also found very little room for movement. And for those of you who are saying well at least you could get up and walk around on the plane WRONG the rows were extremely narrow and due to the amount of rows of seating movement during flight could only be restricted to toilet visits. One good point was that the plane was clean. Return Flight *** **** ** Again the return flight was on the same type of plane this time however we were allocated seats at the front of the plane which had a lot more legroo
                          m and the seats had more room to wiggle in as well. Even though again you couldn’t really get up and walk about at least you could stretch the best seats though were the seats on the emergency exit which is where they placed the bloke who was 7 footish but even then he said that the width wasn’t much better. I can definitely say that the return flight was definitely more comfortable than the outgoing flight. STAFF What can I say about the flight attendants let me see on the outbound flight I wonder if they had heard of customer service? They were sullen and not very helpful and the only time you really seen them was when they at the beginning of the flight, when handing out the meal and doing the bar and when doing the in-flight service. The majority of the time they could be found behind the curtain gossiping between themselves. On the plus side however they were well turned out. Again the return flight wins for staff as they actually smiled well most of them anyway and for some of them at least there was no trouble, however despite the fact it was a night flight and departed Egypt at 7.30 p.m. not arriving back in the UK until 2.30 a.m. they were no blankets onboard. Upon asking one flight attendant my mum was ignored and was given a look that was like why are you asking me can’t you tell it’s too much trouble for me. However upon asking another flight attendant 15 minutes later we were informed that they had no blankets on board but she would ask the pilot to turn the heat up which he thankfully did, also you did see the flight attendants more on the return flight. INFLIGHT MEALS I have to say that I enjoyed the in-flight meal, probably more on the outward flight than the return flight but they were both quite nice. On the outward flight it was pasta salad as a starter with beef and potatoes for the main followed by a fruit tart in custard for dessert and cheese and biscuits. On th
                          e return flight it was tuna pasta starter, chicken and veggies for the main, chocolate gateau for dessert again with cheese and biscuits. The downside was that if you wanted soft drinks water, juice etc. you had to pay for it the average price being 75p for soft drinks and £1 for water. ENTERTAINMENT A word of advice take a book, there is in-flight entertainment but unless you are lucky enough to be sat in front of a screen only in the middle row you will struggle to see the screen and end up with neck cramp. The films we watched were (ore tried to) wee not that good and the stuff played to fill time was reruns of porridge or the vicar of Dibley. Not worth the £1 for headphones. Well I hope this review has been informative and if you can think of any ways it could be improved please let me know.

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                          • Breast Cancer / Discussion / 4 Readings / 26 Ratings
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                            16.05.2002 22:42
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                            A review that I had to update

                            ****UPDATE****

                            It has taken me quite a while to do a slight update to this review.

                            Last August 2005 my friend discovered that once again the cancer had returned, it spread very quickly through her body until eventually in March 2006 doctors diagnosed it had reached her brain.

                            She met myself and a couple of others for lunch in March this year and the change was drastic (she had been up until this point not wanting to meet us but still stay in contact). Being one of the nicest people I have ever met her main concern was us all and how we were doing, and she didnt want to talk much about herself.

                            She told us she had converted to Christianity (she was hindu) and how she felt at peace with things the biggest regret was that she would be leaving her teenage children and husband. After a very emotional lunch we said our goodbyes with her saying she would haunt me if didnt get an invite to my wedding (at that point I wasnt even engaged).

                            The following evening I received a phonecall from her sister in law informing me she had passed away that morning.

                            The world lost a shining star that day, full of compassion and caring.

                            I did get engaged later this year and when I get married an invitation will be written though never delivered to keep the promise I made...........

                            So this review is now in memory to Krishna a shining star and a fantastic friend even now your missed x


                            I believe that there is just not enough promotion done from an impressionable age on how to check our breasts, before telling you what I think could be done to improve this let me tell you how I came to this conculsion.

                            6 July 2001
                            ***********

                            Met my friend for lunch really excited at going to Valkenburg on holiday, she gave me Calvin Kline for my brithday.

                            August 2001
                            ***********

                            Met my friend x for lunch to tell her about my trip, we've got confused over where to meet so running slightly late. Just after we've ordered we head to the table to sit down and she say's "By the way i've got breast cancer, i'm going into hospital to have my breast removed".


                            My initial reaction was one of dibelief she is only in her early 30's, happily married with 2 children and a size 10.

                            "Please don't cry, I've known since the end of June but didn't want to tell ou as I didn't want to ruin your birthday and holiday".


                            Never mind that, I couldn't believe she had known for so long and not told me, my reaction was I was very upset especially when I found out she was going into hospital the following week. We chatted and I offered my support any time she needed to talk or not. I told her that I wouldn't ask her about it or mention it unless she wanted to talk about it, you may think this was harsh but that's the way she wanted it, she didn't want our future conversations to revolve around her treatment, if she was feeling sick or well, she just wanted to be treated as normal .... nfortunately some people couldn't handle this and stopped talking to her altogether.

                            My friend had her breast removed in August, went through cemo and radio therapy until the end of January, she has been given the all clear so to speak and is going for her reconstruction in August.

                            There has been tears, she has wanted to talk sometimes
                            and hasn't at others, the thing she says she's appreciated is the fact i've been there and not centred on the fact she had breast cancer.

                            CONCLUSION
                            **********

                            The above happening made me realise the lack of education we have on this illness, I mean lets be honest do you know how to check your breast properly? I didn't I went to see the nurse at my local GP's to find out how.

                            Promotions which happen tend to show breast cancer as something that only happens to women over 50, I mean I know they have those mammograms screens regulary but did you know that the youngest person to die from it was in their teens?

                            I thought it was something only women could get, but did you know men can get it too?

                            I honestly believe that how to check yourself and awareness of it should be promoted when your at school perhaps when your being taught about periods etc. It's one of those thing that if caught early enough may result in efficient treatment but left it can involve a mastectomy (breast removal) or even death.

                            I'm now more aware but it seems to be one of those things most assume you know how to check for, for unusual lumps, but without education and teaching how can we?

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                              14.05.2002 21:17
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                              Wondering round dooyoo I came across this category and just felt I had to contribute. I have had many embarrasing moments in my life so I try to only list the top 6 unfortunately most of them are rude but aren't all the funny ones. 6) Never Ask Your Brother Anything My brother still delights in telling everyone that I once asked him for the phone number or the fire brigade when a van was set alight in front of our house. 5) A drinking One Having coped off with a bloke I had been trying to get my hands on for ages we went out for a drink or 2 or in my case too many, as soon as we left the pub the air hit and while he tried to kiss me outside my accomodation at the time I felt my stomach churn and make it's way up result being he ended up with sick in his mouth, which consequently made him sick and me with no more chances.Wouldn't have been too bad lets be honest he wouldn't admit it but my ex seen the whole thing and felt his duty to tell the world. 4)Another Brother One My brother and I decided to go to the local fair, despite his protests of having a funny stomach I dragged him on a ride which looked great really fast and lots or whirring, getting off the ride I thought he was besides me alas no he had been sick all over the seat of the ride andI turned just in time to see him at the front of the queue in which a woman and her boyfriend were head of he looked her up and down then proceeded to vomit over her open toe sandals. 3) We Need a Doctor over Here Making love to my new boyfriend for the first time I started to massage his ego and proceeded to rip it open under his foreskin, somehow my ring had got caught... Was a genuine accident we didn't last long and a warning to other girls take your rings off this accident causes lots of blood. 2)Carpet Burns Ok right carpet burns you say whats so great about that, nothing much except when you have to go for tr
                              eatment for them, picture the scence carpet burns on both knees, am in the army so shower in the morning scab softens, tights on and scab heals into them durning the day, tights come off and so does the scab this equals infected carpet burns had to go to the doctor to get them treated when asked how done turned bright pink and said I fell he fell for it I think unfortunately the nurse didn't. 1) Outdoor Love Making Myself and my now ex decided to be adventerous on way home from a club and make love on the assault course on camp, so in the dead of night between 2 brick walk over beams we are hard at it, he is in and suddenly out shouts a voice "STOP EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE OR WE WILL RELEASE THE DOGS", we stop he droops and they ask us to stand up luckly i'm wearing a dress but my ex is totally in the buff. To cut a long story short they knew me and let me off and made him do the assault course twice it was the military police. They then told everyone about the indescretion and I spent weeks having people come up going on about droops and shouting "STOP< EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE" well i hope these amuse could have gone on and on and on.

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                              • Pet Bereavement / Discussion / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                                29.04.2002 17:41
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                                Before I start let me tell you I’ve wrote about 20 first lines and deleted them all, as nothing seems adequate as my introduction to pet bereavement, so to get through this I would like first to introduce you to three special cats. Please remember that this is a personal opinion, which has invoked a lot of emotion when writing. PUDDY (July 1991 – April 2002) Puddy was my first baby she was a tabby with the most fantastic green eyes you will ever see. I was bought her for my 14th Birthday after I had been beaten up. Puddy was never the most friendliest of cats but she was still my baby in fact one of my funniest memories of her is that when we moved houses she attacked the gas man and he wouldn’t come back into the house until she was shut in the living room. Puddy liked a fuss but it was always on her terms she’d nip you when she’d had enough put her purr was the deepest rumble you could ever hear. Although Puddy was a large cat I will always say she wasn’t fat just big boned. I could go on and on sharing my memories of Puddy with you but I won’t as these are precious, and special probably only to me. I was on holiday in the Isle of Wight with my mum over the Easter Holiday when on 3rd April my dad phoned to say that Puddy wasn’t well, she hadn’t been eating so he was taking her to the vets the following day, well my anxiety levels just shot through the roof after all Puddy is my child, the following day my dad phoned to say that the vet had kept her in (I was on the coach tour and we were on our way to the Pearl Centre), by just the first sentence I knew it was serious …. I couldn’t talk to my dad and just had to hand the phone to my mum, tears were streaming and I just couldn’t stop them, the pain was on a physical level. When I had calmed down my mum told me that the vet had taken one look at her lovely eyes and said “We have a serious problem we have a
                                very sick cat”, the vet had decided to take her in and open her up that afternoon to see if she could be made better. Needless to say that for the rest of the day I was in tears on and off, hoping for the best but deep down knowing the worst. Later on that afternoon my dad phoned to say she had gone… (sorry am just pausing to wipe away my tears).. when they had opened her up they had found cancer…… a large mass on her spleen which bled when touched…….. tumours through her spleen and a large mass in her abdomen… The vet (Graham who I have to say is the most fantastic vet I’ve ever met) phoned while she was still under to tell my dad, the vet said that nothing could be done, if she was his he’d let her go (my vet has 10 cats). As you can guess the humanist thing that could be done for her was done, she was euthanasia-ed. I can not begin to tell you how painful this has been for me and the guilt that I have felt at the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye, or give her one last kiss, hug. The one thing that has made it easier over the last few weeks is that at the pearl centre the first thing I saw was a cat necklace which I bought because it did remind me of Puddy, we have put a plant in the garden for her, and above all I know that she didn’t suffer at at the end we did the only thing we could for her. TWITCH (UKN – Current) ********* Twitch is a black and White stray cat which we adopted or is it that he adopted us? He is friendly by nature with big bright eyes, he got his name as he has a habit of twitching his tail, he will quite happily lay in your arms like a baby and purr and drool away (he tend to drool a lot when very happy). Unfortunately a dark cloud now hangs over Twitch you see we found out last Tuesday (16 April 2002) that Twitch has the cat equivalent of HIV. How does a cat contract this you may ask well there is no definite answer, it can
                                be from a scratch or bite from an infected cat, possibly even sharing food sources. Finding out that Twitch had this we had to make the difficult decision of whether to keep him or not as we have another cat which does not have the virus (it can be determined by a blood test whether your cat has this virus). In the end we have decided to keep Twitch because we do not know how long he has had the virus it could have been days, weeks, months or even years we also do not know how long he will live again it could be days, months weeks or even years, and like the human equivalent it will probably be a secondary infection which will take him from us. How can you take the risk of your other cat getting infected I hear you say, well to be honest we weighed up the pros and cons and took into account the facts we knew i.e. he could have had it for as long as we have had him, we have taken the vets advice i.e. they don’t share bowls or water sources (these two are very posh and have their own bowls etc they don’t like to share), also they don’t clean each other and they don’t fight the most the do is chase each other. Twitch at the moment is thriving and if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him, also fluffy is happy to have him back he was getting depressed after the death of his mum then the disappearance of twitch. FLUFFY (July 1992 – Current) ******* Fluffy I have to say is MY baby, I was there when he was born. The runt of the litter he had to be hand fed so we do have a special relationship, he sleeps in or on the bed with me, he waits up in the window for me when I am out. But life’s not always been plain sailing. A couple of years ago he had cat flu really badly and after a weekend of forcing him to take water (which the vet said probably saved his life) the vet admitted him and put him on a drip etc at the time the vet said he had seen sh#t on a stick look be
                                tter, put since then he has thrived and has his jabs every year. CONCLUSION ************* Due to the above I feel somewhat qualified to write this as I have experienced loss, illness, and a near miss. The loss of a pet is never easy for anyone, as a friend all you can do is be there and be supportive. If you need to cry don’t hold it back cry, the loss will get less painful remember the life your pet has had and the joy you shared, remember your pets little quirks it will make you smile. Remember at the end you did the best you could for them. Buy a plant to remember them by and as it blooms remember your pet. I know that some will find this not helpful but the loss of a pet is like the loss of a child it will stay with you forever put will become less painful, the only advice anyone can give is remember your memories.

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                                  25.04.2002 17:55
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                                  Picture the scene they you are strolling through the woods, enjoying the day. As it’s been wet recently the air has that slightly damp must smell to it suddenly there is a subtle change you sniff, you know that smell your heart is now starting to beat faster and you can just make out the sound of voices, you start to run but now you can hear the growling and barking behind you it sounds so close, will you make it home where your children are waiting…… just a few more feet when suddenly something lands on you from behind this is quickly joined by more things tearing at you, the pain is unbearable but your fighting back as best you can, just as one of them starts tearing at your throat you look up and see the hunt with triumphant smiles on their faces. Oh how proud these men and women should be they have watched while their dogs savagely maul and kill the fox which is outnumbered scared, and can do nothing else but run. Take a moment think how you would feel if you heard on the news that this is how a young mum had been killed, admit it you would be horrified. As you may have guessed from the above I think that fox hunting is cruel and unnecessary, and it is anything but a sport. I mean let us take the word sport to me it conjures up the image of a competitive game played for pleasure the only winner in fox hunting is the hunt, even if the fox escapes I doubt it would say it had been a pleasurable experience. Let us also take the word sporting which every true sports person aims to be, this is defined in the dictionary as relating or conforming to sportsmanship – fair. How can fox hunting claim this as it is not very fair on the fox who is often outnumbered and definitely not a willing participant. Yes I have to say I am one of the people who believe that fox hunting should be banned, however I do understand that foxes can be pests and carriers of disease (but can’t also humans) particularly in th
                                  e countryside to farmers, however there must surely be a more human way of tackling the problem rather than what can only be described as torture. A quick acting poison perhaps. As for those individuals that feel this is their only entertainment what about trying out the hunts where a human is chased and no animals etc are harmed, however if you feel that the true value of the hunt is the blood, and watching something die a painful horrible death then you have my sympathy and pity because you are truly sick and sadistic which unfortunately as this is your nature by choice there is no cure for.

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