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jingles
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Member since: 17.04.2001

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      13.11.2001 00:44
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      Hype and more hype has surrounded this film since its inception. The world has gone Potter crazy is quite simply an understatement! Specsavers are having an unprecedented run on little round spectacles like Harry wears. Every child worth his or her salt wants to attend Hogwarts (and if the truth were known adults too!) Saturday 10th November 2001 – a big day in my calendar. David and l left home at 7pm, having booked a table at the Chinese in the same complex as the Warner Village Cinema. I was jittery and excited – like a child on Christmas Eve! I almost grabbed little kids on their way out of the cinema to demand their opinions on it! At 9.30pm my excitement reached its peak! The main feature began. The music simply added to the magical mystery and enchantment. The opening scenes introduce us to the characters, but for me to go into the plot would be fruitless – lm not going to be blame for spoiling your enjoyment of the film! Needless to say Harry Potter is our hero, he’s a boy wizard and an orphan, living with his Aunt and Uncle. Live is not the greatest for Mr Potter until he received a letter – his acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. From here the tale unwinds, Harry learns more about his past, present and indeed future. I've read all the books so l had specific pictures and imagery built up in my head as to what the characters and scenery would be like. Full marks to director Chris Columbus (of Home Alone fame!) because the on screen adaptation from the books meet my expectations. Harry Potter is set in Britain, and many of our brightest lights in the acting world pop up in this film. But – do they meet the standard set out in JK Rowling's books – well l personally feel yes on the whole they do. Daniel Radicliffe plays Harry. He fits the role perfectly – it’s as if Rowling was writing her books with him in mind. A convi
      ncing role for such a young actor – 11 years old only. Emma Watson is Hermione Granger. This film is her first experience of the movies – but then again she is only 10 years old! Many have slated her acting as being contrived and perhaps over acted. I disagree – the character she plays is contrived to a certain extent – a brainbox, know all and real good two shoes – and l think Emma passes this feel on perfectly! I think the kid should be given a chance, there’s real potential. Rupert Grint aged 12, was hilarious playing Harry’s best friend Ronald Weasley. His facial expressions and one-liners were simply excellent. Again another brilliant performance. The rest……….  Professor Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris  Professor McGonagle was played by Dame Maggie Smith  Rubeus Hagrid was the superb Robbie Coltrane  Alan Rickman was the dark Professor Snape  Richard Griffiths was the bully that was Uncle Vernon Dursley The cast chosen were down so with expert eyes and someone with vivid imagination – they really and truly were what l had conjured up in my mind’s eye. The Book –v- The Flick The film is 2.5 hours long, but for me it flew by. Yes there were times where l noted that didn’t happen in the book, or more of the fact that they missed certain sections of the book out – really this is understandable – if they had not l d probably still be sitting in the cinema auditorium! Truly they kept to the book quite well. The script writers perhaps did not develop characters enough – Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) immediately springs to mind – he does feature quite prominently in the book and is at school at least Harry Potter’s nemesis. The wizarding game of Quidditch is important to Harry and central to the plot in the book. On screen it
      was indeed spectacular to watch them on their broomsticks, but it could have received more airtime. Also, as far as l can recall, an important secret regarding Hagrid was not revealed – which is quite integral to the 2nd book and therefore film – The Chamber of Secrets. Overall I loved it. I was mesmermised. I was enchanted. I want to go again! I make no secret of the fact lm a Potter fanatic of course! Adults and children alike can enjoy this trip into fantasy, to be truly spellbound for a few hours. Effects such as the floating candle sticks, the enchanted roof of Hogwarts Great Hall, The Fat Lady, the magic wizard photographs or even Fluffy, all add to the spectacular film and show just how much attention has been paid to detail. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (or if your are American Sorcerer’s Stone) is indeed the film of the year – go see it! For further details visit http://harrypotter.warnerbros.co.uk The film opens nation-wide on 16th November 2001.

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        07.11.2001 21:04
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        Ok lm sure you are all well and truly fed up of hearing about this little chap Potter, but lve only recently discovered him, and lm still reeling at how outstanding the books are! Joanne Rowling (the K stands for Kathleen which is after her grandmother, was inserted into her name to make is sound more manly on the instructions of her publishers!) has to date written and published 4 books in the Potter series with a further 3 in the pipeline. The film based on the first book (know not as the Philosopher’s Stone but the Sorcerer’s Stone) is due for general release in the UK on 16th November 2001, although advance previews are being held the weekend before. Everyone seems to be talking about Harry Potter; the papers have articles daily about the hero of the book – but why? JK Rowling has created a world of fantasy and magic. I would equate her to such children’s authors as Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. She is a children’s author, but adults adore her. I don’t think l would be going to far when saying l think she’s a literary genius! I ordered by HP books 1 to 3 from my book club at a special offer price and bought book 4 in Tesco’s for £3.49 (half price!). I read all 4 books in a matter of days; l simply could not put the books down – now lm suffering Harry withdrawal symptoms! Oh well, lve got movie tickets for this weekend! The Philosopher’s Stone – Book 1 I’m not going to go in-depth into the storyline and plots, as l know out there people exist who as yet have not had the pleasure of reading these master-pieces! Harry Potter as the title suggests is our hero. He was orphaned as a 1 year old baby and sent to live with his cruel and unimaginative Aunt, Uncle and Cousin – aka the Dursleys. Harry is banished to the cupboard under the stairs to live. When Harry turns 11 strange things begin to occur – and to cut a l
        ong story short, he finds out he has been offered a place at Hogwarts School of WitchCraft and Wizardry. Needless to say that these revelations shock the poor boy! Harry learns about his background and his parents – Lily and James Potter. Again he hears unfathomable stories! After an amazing experience at King’s Cross Railway Station and his introduction to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, Harry boards the Hogwart’s Express, bound for his new school life. Here Harry meets his new friends Ronald Weasley and Herimone Granger – who will stand by his side throughout his adventures. Life at Hogwart’s for Harry and friends is far from dull. Harry experiences the Sorting Hat, Quidditch, broomstick flying and much much more. Rowling uses language to such an extent that you yourself can be found in Hogwart’s and experience the emotive rollercoaster too. I’m not going into the plot any further as it simply would not be fair on those still to discover the delights of life at Hogwarts! The Main Characters Harry Potter The hero, who until the age of 11 was unaware of his wizardry parentage. He is known throughout the magical word as the boy who defeated “ You Know Who!” Ronald Weasley A wizard from a large family who although are not well –off, always seem to manage. He has a pet rat called Scabbers and is Harry Potter’s best friend. Herimone Granger Until she received her Hogwarts letter, she lived with her dentist parents, oblivious to magic. She is muggle born – that is from non-magic parents. She is an extremely intelligent witch and another close friend of Harry Potter. Albus Dumbledore The world-renowned headmaster of Hogwarts. One of the world’s greatest wizards and Harry Potter’s mentor. Minerva McGonagall The Deputy headmistress of Hog
        warts and Head of the Gryffindor House (which Harry & Co. belong to). She teaches transfiguration. A strict witch but she has her pupil’s best interests at heart. Hagrid A huge man, who was at one point expelled as a pupil of Hogwarts. Now due to the mercy of Prof. Dumbledore he works as a gamekeeper at the school. He is also a close friend of Harry Potter. Draco Malfoy A dreadful bully in the same year as Harry Potter. He is Potter’s archenemy with in the school alongside his two sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle. Lord Voldemort The encapsulation of evil. The Dark Lord – also known as he who should not be named or you know who. Professor Quirrell A nervous, turban wearing Defense Against Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Final Thoughts I loved the Philosopher’s Stone. It has to be my personal favourite so far – others may well argue with me on this point, but l loved being introduced to Hogwarts, Harry and friends and the delights of witchcraft and wizardry. The books are supposedly for kids, but l defy any adult to read them and not to enjoy them. When l was a girl l loved Enid Blyton’s St Claire’s series, with the adventures of the twins, to such an extent that l daydreamt about attending boarding school and living their lives! Now lm no longer a girl, (l haven’t had a sex change! I’m a woman!) but l still want to attend Hogwarts, to be sorted, play Quidditch or to go to Hogsmeade! Its such a pity real life can’t be like books! ENJOY Heather

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        • Money / Discussion / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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          23.10.2001 00:13
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          Many years ago when l was still at secondary school l took part in a public speaking competition and the subject which l had to speak for was the title of my opinion – Money is the Root of all Evil. We didn’t win that debate – then again it was my first attempt at public speaking! Even before the exchange of currency for products, services and time came into existence, human beings bartered. You know back in the Middle Ages – “ If you give me 4 sheep and a chicken I’ll give you a cow” “ No way 2 sheep and 2 chickens are equivalent to your auld cow” - get the picture! Money or exchange of one thing or item for another is an every day essential – no matter now much we would like to dress it up or down. We need money to pay the bills, feed the family and cover our heads. The 3 basic necessities of man – everything above and beyond this are luxuries. To get this money most of us have to work. We work to live apparently. We work to give our families and ourselves those extra little luxuries we would not otherwise have – you know ice-cream, a new shirt, a car, holidays and so on. The focus of this fast track new century is around money. There are people out there who would sell their own grandmother if they thought it was going to make them a quick buck. Society is obsessed with cash – of that there is no doubt. Why else do drug traffickers become involved in such lines of work – for money – the benefits seem to out weigh the risks – or do they? Do they realise if they are caught in some far flung country, life imprisonment is a certainty or even death – surely no amount of cash is worth incarceration and the removal of your civil liberties? It doesn’t make sense to me. How often do we read in the tabloid press (ok so 90% may not be true but lm using it as an example only!) of lottery winner’s family’s s
          plitting or friends taking other friends to court as they want a share of good fortune – see what the evil dollar has been known to do? Now don’t get me wrong – money can make changes for the better also. Think of all the charitable donations and the good that they go too. How events such as Comic Relief, Children in Need or Band Aid raise millions of pounds to help those less fortunate than ourselves. For people in such situations – concern about where they will sleep that evening or where the next mouthful of food is coming from ia of much more concern than where the next buck will come from. Seeing how others lives are in a much worse state than your own will helps to put things into context. I will never be overly rich – l know that. I’m not a saver – never have been and never will. As my father always says “ Money burns a hole in my pocket!” and he’s right too! To me money is for spending – if l can bring happiness to myself, friends or family l will do so. It’s much more important. I will always have enough (hopefully) to be comfortable – enjoy the odd holiday, get that new outfit l saw, or buy a chippy dinner, but l cannot see me becoming a hotshot investor – its simply not in my nature! Money is the root of all evil in some respects, it can cause death and destruction, but on the flip side – because of money through charitable donations good has been done. People who may not have lived have survived. The only advice l can give is to not become obsessed by money – it really won’t do you any good. Stay healthy and stay happy. Heather Note the only reason l recommend money is because bottom line is we need money to survive.

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          • Control of Time / Discussion / 0 Readings / 42 Ratings
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            18.10.2001 15:03
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            Remember when you were a kid there seemed to be a great expanse of time. It seemed endless. Summers stretched on and on and on and on. There seems no end to time; you really had all the time in the world. It’s a pity it’s not like that any longer – eh! Now were all grown up and living adult lives, we never seem to have enough time to do the things we want. Its 9 weeks to Christmas apparently – yet it seems like only yesterday we were out barbecuing in our gardens and getting the sun cream read for the long anticipated summer holiday! Our time is constrained by numerous things. Many of us are forced into having to work for a living – whether we want to or not. Life in the twenty first century demands we have money to live on, and generally the only way to come by this money is to work – of course winning the lottery or criminal activities will give you money too! As l have to work l have entered into a contract with my employer saying that during the hours of 8am until 5pm l will be behind my PC (not necessarily true for my job but lm talking figuratively here!), beavering away on their behalf, for which they will compensate me. So there you have it – a time constraint – l have to be where lm supposed to be or l will loose money and face disciplinary action from my employers. I study part-time – and fine no one forced me into this – its supposedly for my own long-term career prospects, but then again my time is now not my own on a Tuesday and Thursday evening. I miss watching Eastenders on this night -–and yes some of you may laugh – but l love Eastenders! So between 5.15pm – 8.15pm on these evenings again time is controlled – once l have entered in to a contract with the college they expect me to be there. I don’t have any children, but for those that do lm sure you understand about time controls – having to pick the kids up from sch
            ool, leave them at the child minders, take them to social functions – swimming, ballet, piano lessons – whatever. Your children become the time controllers – you must work yourself around their hectic agendas – how you all do it l don’t know! What lm getting at l think is that time control is about expectations. What is expected of you by your employers, college, family or whatever? Should you not comply you face the consequences. When you have a second sit down and assess what you do with your time – write or keep a daily schedule – leaving nothing out. You will be surprised – when did you find time to eat or go to the loo? Just how much “me” time is in that log? Probably very little. Now it would be great if l practised what l preached but l do try at least one evening a week or one weekend a month to do nothing – me time. I watch what l want to on telly, have a glass of wine, surf on the internet, soak in a bath or eat what l like. It’s good for you. Perhaps this is not the way you would unwind – well spend some quality time with your kids, with your parents or siblings, catch up on old friends – do the things you normally don’t have time for. Simply make the time. I know it’s easier said than done. I have attended a time management techniques course at work, and although it did not really help with my daily work load, it helped to instil in me the notion of time being precious. We are not long on this earth and so we should make the most of the God given time we have. Try keeping a diary, you can schedule your social time – it helps to ensure when you make the arrangement to meet Johnny an old school pal you will not have to canceldue to double booking – something small will do - you can keep in your hand bag or suit pocket or whatever. Time is precious and even though your everyday life may seem to have
            time constraints, time will still march on. Try to remember this, precious moments are fleeting so make the most of them. ENJOY YOUR DAY Heather

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              18.10.2001 01:13
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              What’s green and black and has an opinion on everything? Why Dooyoo of course! Alongside Ciao, Dooyoo is the other leading UK consumer website. According to Dooyoo they hope to offer [and l quote]: - “….a website that is dynamic, reliable, personalised, easy to use and useful for all - a truly independent forum for consumers to share information.” I personally would agree on the whole with this statement. No matter what product or service you want advice on as a consumer will generally have a Dooyoo opinion written. Joining Dooyoo, as with Ciao is quite simple. Click on either “Register” or “Not a member” at the homepage, enter the required information, choose if you want to be contacted with Dooyoo information, choose to accept the terms and conditions and then hit submit to enter your details. You now will have a personal user profile which you can add your picture too, some factual information and a message. This profile page can be modified at any time. Also on this page members can view your stats [you know reads, rates and comments], what you have given a “Thumbs Up” to or indeed a “Thumbs Down” too, and of course the opinions you have written are also on display. Opinions can be written on most topics including food and drink – something not on offer from Ciao and also in Speaker Corner. Speaker’s Corner is akin to a soapbox area where members can write about topics close to their heart – abortion, marriage, life after death or terrorism are simply a few. Like Ciao opinions can be rated under 4 headings:  Very Useful (VU)  Useful (U)  Somewhat Useful (SU)  Not Useful (NU) Comments can be left for the writer also giving constructive advice or praise on the topic under review. Dooyoo pay in Dooyoo miles, which may then be converted
              into some form of legal tender dependent on personal choice. It should be noted though that Dooyoo miles are only paid to those over 18 years old. Points can be earned in a variety of manners: -  If you write an opinion you will get 100 “DY” miles = 10p  If another member reads your opinion you will get 50 “DY” miles = 5p  Invite a friend to Dooyoo and earn 100 “DY” miles for their first 10 opinions  If you write a premier opinion (and for which you are awarded a pointy hat or a crown!) you will get 1000 “DY” miles = £1.00 Your current total is always available on your profile page and is constantly kept up to date – unlike Ciao who only update your account balance on a daily basis. You may exchange your Dooyoo miles for the following rewards: -  CASH You will get a cheque, but not there is a £5 handling fee for cheques beneath £100. Also to apply for the cash you must have earned a minimum of 55 000 DY miles  IPOINTS Convert your miles into ipoints, where you can exchange them for a wide range of vouchers. 10 ipoints are equivalent to 1000 miles and you require a minimum of 10 000 miles to convert.  E-VOUCHERS Amazon and Blackstar vouchers are available and are sent to you via email. Again you must have a minimum of 22500 DY miles to apply.  DOOYOO MERCHANDISE The infamous Dooyoo T-shirt!  CHARITY Give your earnings to charity – Dooyoo have a list from which you may nominate. The minimum donation you can make is of 5000 DY miles Dooyoo members may be called upon by the site to enter the Dooyoo Hall of Fame. For this position you will receive 1000 Dooyoo miles and your fellow site members may nominate you. In short it is similar to the Ciao Most Wanted, expect Ciao pay you £10 for the ho
              nour whilst you get £1 from Dooyoo! Members can write short opinions on topics also. They simply give the main advantages and disadvantages, their overall rating and whether or not they would recommend the product or service to a friend. There is no monetary (or miles) incentive to write short opinions, and not many members have written such. Each category has a manager who looks after their sections, deals with abuse, answers members questions and adds on new topics. Their name, contact email address and a short profile can be found on the category homepage. It means they are not faceless, you can see their picture alongside their profile. According to Dooyoo, Community Guides: - “…encapsulate the spirit and ethos of Dooyoo. They are helpful, friendly and most of all experts in their chosen field.” The guides are there to help the managers – and are normal Dooyoo’ers. They will help hound out abuse, read and rate opinions and give advice and praise. Hopefully l have paid Dooyoo its dues – not leaving anything out (if l have lm sure someone out there will let me know!). During the opinion l have in parts compared it with Ciao – the 2 sites are very similar. I initially found Dooyoo hard to navigate around – find the most recent opinions or looking for information. Experience, usage and asking for help have sorted out my issues though! Dooyoo does not suffer from the technically problems Ciao is infested with, nor as far as l am aware anyway is there any issues with receiving payment. I still prefer Ciao though. I’m more established there of course and my opinions get higher reads. I have made more Ciao friends than Dooyoo (although to be honest many are on both sites). I enjoy the family feeling l get at Ciao which l don’t feel at Dooyoo. Dooyoo is perhaps to me more cliquey – but then again lm a relative newbie – so perhaps wi
              th time my feelings toward the site will change – who knows! Heather

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              • Compensation culture / Discussion / 0 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                16.10.2001 23:12
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                I have read the other opinions in this category with interest. Why? Well l suppose if it were not for this compensation culture so prevalent in Northern Ireland l would probably be out of a job! NO l am not an ambulance-chasing lawyer, so put your claws away! I work for a company who are constantly being sued – l work with the realms of the construction industry – l investigate these claims made. My company, have undertaken major construction work through out Belfast, Londonderry and other arts and parts of the province. We are what’s know as a public utility and because we have carried out such works on the footways and carriageways we are the statutory undertaker, therefore even though we employ indemnifying contractors, liability ultimately lies at our feet. People will sue for tripping on the footpath or roadway or over street furniture. Some are genuine some are bogus. The amounts of claims flowing into our offices are phenomenal. People will sue for a stubbed toe or a grazed knee – the injuries (to me anyway) seem pitiful. These claims annoy me. I think people who have had their lives disrupted in a major way have every right to make such claims for damages – but those with a sore big toe – now come on! We all have a duty of care and should a company (or person for that matter) fail to meet this care, then the victim does have the right to take legal action. Some are of the opinion when suing a faceless corporation that “Sure they can afford it” “ They’ve got insurance”. Yes we do have insurance so to that extent you are right, and if you have bona fide injuries go ahead, but what about the individuals who end up as an unemployment statistic due to such knock on effects? Like my friend and colleague Janice for instance? Yes we are all facing job threats – not solely due to insurance claims of course not, the down turn in the market is 90% to blame,
                but the rising insurance premiums sure ain’t helping! In N Ireland the majority of plaintiff’s are legally aided. Solicitors don’t care win loose or draw – fees are still paid. Barristers don’t care – his fees are paid too. Insurance companies are generally faced with damages and costs, but hey they can bump up your insurance. It’s you and l Mr and Mrs Tax payer that fund this claim culture. Claims direct and the rest of that mob all state – No Win- No Fee on adverts. One word of warning though – l have heard horror stories. Awards of £5000 given but only £500 received after fees or in case a claim is unsuccessful insurance is required to be taken out and paid for by the plaintiff. We are becoming Americanised – disclaimers are evident everywhere. Its all “Just In Case”. People are scared to help “Just In Case” - there’s no trust anymore. It’s sad that society is so money conscious that you will not help a person lying in the street just incase he sues you. Heather

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                • ciao.co.uk / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                  16.10.2001 18:52
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                  Ive been a member of Ciao since 26th July 2000 – well over a year, having written 129 opinions. So l suppose l could say that l was well placed to write on the topic. Ive only been a Dooyoo member since April – so l think l need some more experience before taking the plunge on that opinion! WHAT’S CIAO ALL ABOUT THEN? Well l was referred by a friend (who has l think fallen by the wayside) being told that Ciao was an opinion web site where l could write opinions for money! According to Ciao it s about gaining consumer information on numerous products written first hand by consumers. There are over 35 000 members. JOINING IN THE FUN To become a Ciao member is easy – click on the “Join Ciao” link at the top left-hand corner of the home page, choose your user name and fill in the required details. Once this is completed Ciao will send you a registration email to which you must apply by clicking the given link. NOW YOU ARE A MEMBER! You will have a home profile page, which will detail your account details and balance. You may access this from the “ Your Account” link at the top of every page. From clicking on “Your Member Profile” at the right hand side of your account page, you may create a mini profile and also a more detailed one. Some members have been know to put in a lot of time and effort to jazzing up their home page using HTML (if that’s the correct order!) READING OPINIONS As you become more familiar with Ciao you will begin to recognise names of members whose opinions you trust. As a “newbie” (new Ciao member) l would recommend reading some opinions before writing. Those opinions under the section headed INTERNET- CIAO – MEMBER ADVICE ON…. HOW TO WRITE OPINIONS & HOW TO RATE & COMMENT can be invaluable. Reading opinions to me is reading about a subject l am interested in as opposed
                  to reading every single opinion written. RATING OPINIONS After you read an opinion you have the option of grading that opinion:  Very Helpful (VH)  Helpful (H)  Fairly Helpful (FH)  Not Helpful (NH) I’m not going into the ins and outs of rating opinions – that’s a whole other opinion topic anyway. It is suffice to say do not be a sheep – rate from the heart and use your own personal judgement. COMMENTS I love it when someone leaves me a comment on one of my opinions – it means so much to me! I can take constructive and well meant criticism (which l would encourage – hey l want to improve!) and l love getting praise – but this section is not for abusing the writer - this is against Ciaos Terms and Conditions and basically down right rude. Also should you rate a fellow member’s opinion FH for example – tell them why – its only fair. CIRCLE OF TRUST To be found at your profile page. Here members who feel your opinions are decent are listed and those who you trust are also listed. It always gives me a buzz when someone adds me on to his or her circle of trust. Also do not feel pressurised into returning the add on as a favour should someone trust you. GUEST BOOK Again accessed via the profile page. It is open to all to view so don’t go proposing or declaring undying love and how you are leaving your wife and children unless you want everyone knowing your business! It is a good place though for members to leave off topic comments. Again it should not be used to abuse fellow members. COMMUNITY CENTRE Again l am not going in-depth into this topic – there’s a section given over to the community centre in its own right! Ciao members can keep uptodate on the news happenings at the site through the centre. CIAO MOST WANTE
                  D (CMW) When l first joined l really aspired to this dizzy height – needless to say 1 year and a bit on l have not made this glorified position – but the want has lessened within me! These are chosen respected opinion writers who are featured on the home page who it is hoped will act as an example to all members new and old. REWARDS Most people join Ciao initially for the cash – if we are being honest. It is only when the addiction kicks in that the money aspect looses it pole position. Ciao pay members 10p for every opinion written and then 2p for every member read. Payment is given when your balance reaches £10 and it is made through your bank. Extra cash can be made through referring friends, filling out surveys and the Premium Fund. The “PF” is paid by Ciao for the top quality opinions published each month. It is generally a mysterious fund and only the top ten opinions are named. Money will pop into your account if you are lucky enough to be a benefactor. DIAMONDS Some members may have a diamond beside an opinion on their profile page – simply this signifies a PF top ten opinion. CATEGORY ASSISTANTS New to Ciao in October 2001. There are five trial categories, which have guardian angels keeping a beady eye on them. These categories include:  Cars & Motorbikes  Entertainment  Electronics  Computers  Telecommunications Members can apply for the monthly-rotated positions as long as they have 75% plus VH ratings on their opinions. More information is available on the Community Centre page. Ciao isn’t all sunshine and roses – technical problems regularly halt reading and rating, but heigh ho that’s life! People have had issues with abusers or even getting paid (but they do pay eventually!) but really it’s all part and parcel of Ciao Community Life
                  . That’s what Ciao is you know – a community. I love Ciaoing and lve made some wonderful e-friends because of Ciao and to me that’s what makes it all worth while (although the cash is nice too!) There are a lot of similarities with Dooyoo – you get paid for reads the Circle of Trust in Dooyoo, the community spirit which is alive on both sites. Dooyoo don’t have a Premium Fund instead they aware Pointy Wee Crowns – which at least you know which opinion its for although Ciao do pay out more. Dooyoo have had member category helpers for a much longer time whilst over at Ciao its in its infancy. I write on both sites but to be honest lm a relative newbie when it comes to Dooyoo whilst at Ciao lm more established, Ciao is my first love but you never know with more experience Dooyoo may take over as my number 1! HEATHER

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                    15.10.2001 18:07
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                    I seem to be writing a series on Lush products at the moment! Well after spending £24 pounds at the web site and visiting a store at the weekend – l feel l need to justify the expensive is some way! We (David & 1) were in Belfast window shopping on Saturday and the lovely bloke that he is popped into Lush and bought me a bath ballistic! I got World Piece whilst he choose Waving not Drowning for himself! What’s so great about the bath ballistics? After running your bath, prior to leaping in yourself, drop in the “bomb” and watch it fizz. It will take a few moments to dissolve - although l find watching it disappear therapeutic in itself! Don’t expect bubbles – there are none. Depending on the ballistic you buy, it could well change the colour of your bath water totally. When l dropped in World Piece my bath turned a vivid blue/green! When you get in the bath you will notice the water feeling more “silky” due to all the properties contained within the ballistic. They may contain essential oils, flower extracts, herbs or spices. The scent emmantating from them can be over-whelming (though not in a bad way!) It is recommended you stay in the water for 20 minutes to ensure you gain full benefit from the ballistic. I personally would recommend loads of candles or tea lights, a glass of your favourite wine and soothing music for that total de-stressing experience. I can guarantee you will fall to sleep like a log. Lush sell around 16 varieties of bath ballistic, all hand made, individually priced and all promising different effects. Varieties include:  BIG BLUE – 200g @ £1.95 Lavender and citrus perfumed for refreshment. Atlantic Sea Salt Crystals for stimulation and revival of your skin. Plus strands of arame seaweed as well. Apparently it is excellent if you need to have a clear mind and wish to boost your brainpower!  FEEL GOOD IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE - 90g @ £1.75 This will ensure you bath water gets a face lift – watch the vivid colours penetrate you boring bath water! It uses essences of orange to lift moods, create a feel good atmosphere and leave a smile on your face!  MONET’S GARDEN – 95g @ £1.65 Obviously inspired by the painter Monet – green in colour with violet leaves encased in the ballistic – so expect floaters in your bath! Has a rich floral fragrance to make you smell glorious.  ULURU – 200g @ £1.85 Pink and orange in colour, supposedly to look like an Australian desert sunset. Contains sandalwood and desert rosewood oils for a calming yet uplifting effect – like an Australian desert sunset!  WORLD PIECE – 200g @ £1.95 Looks like earth – blue and green. Ingredients stem from around the world including peppermint oil from USA to relieve anger and hysteria and pine oil from Russia to help people from feeling weak and down trodden. Must admit – the row David and l were having prior to me running the bath was forgotten about when l used the World Piece ballistic – must have been the peppermint oil! The cartoon on the web site is funny – it compares a ballistic to a giant Alka-Seltzer – and it does fizz in the same way when it hits the water! All l know is l love a ballistic soak in the bath, l love trying the new varieties and seeing their effects and smells. They may seem expensive to some as you only get one use from it, but they are the ideal treat, especially if you have had a hard day or week! So go on treat yourself – you know you’re worth it! Heather

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                      12.10.2001 16:45
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                      Belfast Waterfront Hall can be found at 2 Layon Place, Belfast, BT1 3WH. The contact telephone number is 028 90 334400. It is owns and run by Belfast City Council so ratepayers basically have funded its building and upkeep. Not only is it a concert hall it also acts as a conference and exhibition centre too. It has been open for around 6 years or so now – purpose built with modern facilities to suit the needs of both business and entertainment. Prior to this in Belfast there was a huge void. I have lived in the city for 8 years now and it was not until April this year (2001) that l visited the Waterfront Hall. FIRST IMPRESSIONS It looks huge from the outside. Built on the banks of the river Lagan, it overlooks the weir. It is a massive glass fronted building with 4 floors. The views are spectacular to say the least – you can see all the regeneration work going on around the Lagan. Outside has been landscaped – although l do not understand the metal sculptures of sheep! These poor sheep regularly get harassed at weekends especially when drunk louts hit the streets! In fact l have a photo of a friend in a lewd position with one of the afore mentioned sheep – no names shall be mentioned but you know who you are! Poor poor sheep! There is ample carparking - outside the Waterfront is a large car parking area and next door at the Hilton there is a multi-storey. Unfortunately the parking is not free and expect to pay a minimum of £3. INSIDE A very impressive and large foyer greets you as you enter. There are sweeping staircases as you enter and to the left and right. It is all very contemporary in design. On the ground floor you will find various refreshment points these are also located at sporadic points through out the establishment. On each floor you will also find toilet facilities and mother and baby rooms. There are bars on every floor – although smoking is on
                      ly permitted on the top floor. THE AUDITORIUM I was very impressed with the size but yet the intimacy of the main theatre. It does rise to quite a height. On my first visit back in April, we were seated in section S that can be found up in the Gods. Now lm not the greatest with heights but l was soon at ease! My view of the show was excellent – it was the Shaolin Monks (pity about the content though!). Acoustics were excellent also. The main theatre seats approximately 2000 people at full capacity. DISABLED ACCESS The Waterfront is extremely disabled friendly and for this they should be commended. In the design of the building it was ensured that is would be accessible to all. Elevators are available, specialised seating, disabled toilet facilities, telephone access for those with hearing difficulties, stairways with special tread for blind or partially sighted patrons, Braille programmes are available on request and guide dogs are welcome. A hotline number even exists on 028 90 334400. OVERALL The Waterfront is emerging as an excellent and world-class venue and lm proud to say it is in Belfast. I was there again in September (see my Billy Connolly opinion!) and shall be visiting again in November to see Jack Dee! For further information and pictures of the venue and facilities available go to http://www.waterfront.co.uk. Heather

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                      • Studio / Highstreet Shopping / 0 Readings / 16 Ratings
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                        09.10.2001 01:08
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                        Christmas is coming – there’s no getting away from it - 11 weeks and the count down is on! Are you methodical and organised in your holiday preparations or are you the chaotic shopper – running around on t Christmas Eve trying to find appropriate gifts for your nearest and dearest? Usually lm a mixture of both – organised in parts but sadistic enough in nature to enjoy the hustle, bustle and pure terror of Christmas Eve shopping! This year l am cutting down on spending – or as my mum would say going on an economy drive! Everyone has been pre-warned! Im not spending a fortune this year (this does sound some how familiar though!) So l thought to myself – I’ll spread the cost. Having seen Studio adverts on telly and my sister has used Studio previously l thought why not give them a whirl! After receiving the catalogue, l flicked through it, making my selections as l went along. The catalogue entitled “ The Christmas Book” is bright, glossy and tempting! There are a variety of trinkets and bobbles to fit the majority of Christmas needs! The catalogue is divided into sections: * CARD SHOP Pgs 4 – 61 cards wrapping paper calendars * CHRISTMAS ESSENTIALS Pgs 62-101 decorations tableware crackers * FUN HOUSE Pgs 102-151 sweeties toys books * GIFTS GALORE Pgs 152 – 235 personalised gifts wedding stuff toiletries * HOME STYLE Pgs 236-328 kitchen household crafts Orders can be placed via post, the internet or the phone. POST You will receive an order form with the catalogue. Simply make your selections; fill in the requested details and post in the prepaid envelope you are provided with. INTERNET (http://www.24studio.co.uk) Note – Only returning customers can use the internet – first timers must use eithe
                        r the post or phone. Again you simply fill in the requested details, y our account and addressing details and bob’s your uncle – order processed! PHONE (08706 01 11 22) Speak to an operator (just like me!) who will take your order, confirm product availability and take your payment details. Payment can be broken down into 3 formats:  Pay in full by cheque or postal order  Credit Card Payment  Spread the cost over monthly instalments - note APR is 37.9% so beware! DELIVERY Delivery can take up to 14 days and l ordered 7 days ago so lm still waiting – l can complain just yet! Delivery is by White Arrow and returns can be arranged with them free of charge. I have heard some bad things regarding White Arrow but for now l will reserve my judgement! I cannot really go into my order (you never know who could be reading this!) but l did get my Christmas cards and wrapping paper. The catalogue is excellent for gifts, personalised bits and bobs and stocking fillers. The quality of produce seems excellent – judging by what my sister has received in the past and the fact that she returns to them year after year! From dealing with the customer care advisors when ordering stock and my catalogue l found them to be very helpful. So far l have been impressed and here’s hoping that it stays that way! DETAILS Orders – 08706 01 11 22 Careline – 08706 02 23 32 Both are open 7 days a week 8am until 10pm www.24studio.co.uk – for stock orders. Heather

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                        • Radio 1 / Music Radio Station / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                          04.10.2001 22:53
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                          • "Chris Moyles being replaced on Sat morn by Jamie Theakston"

                          From reading some of the opinions on the category of Radio 1 – l have found a mixed bag of feelings. Basically Radio 1 – you either love it or loathe it. Overall l love it – l always have done. The Past Back in the days when Simon Mayo hosted the Breakfast show, Simon Bates did the morning slots – remember the true stories with the awful background music, and Steve Wright did the afternoon bit – Steve was my personal favourite back then, his show was manic to say the least with Captain Filleting Fish!! Bruno Brookes hosted the Top 40 and Dave Lee Travis (the Hairy Cornflake) did Saturday mornings – with his double top quiz! Remember the Roadshows when your favourite DJ’s took to the roads during the summer months and broadcast to the nation. I loved the Bits and Pieces quiz. Radio 1 reminds me of happy teenage years. The station has under gone massive face-lifts in recent years and has transformed from a cheesy and ridiculed station in to an ultra cool and trendy station. The 21st Century Radio 1’s frequency for the UK can be found from 97-97 FM. They have really upgraded their image over recent years – the DJs are celebrities and have huge fan bases. Music is wide ranging from popular top 40 hits played during the day to more specialist dance, indie R&B or garage shows in evenings and at weekends. Having got rid of the old summer Roadshows they now put on “One Big Sunday” during the summer – where big name acts play to the public for free. They have specialist weekends – Ibiza specials, Ayia Napa specials, or festival specials. They regularly broadcast live concerts for listeners only to attend – having won tickets on air – recent artists have included Macy Gray, Robbie Williams and Madonna. Radio 1 is really making an effort to stay Britains number one radio station, keeping their audience young and staying at the cutting edge of their
                          business. Personally l am a daytime fan, listening from breakfast through until drive time. So why Radio 1 for me? I suppose tradition for starters – l grew up listening to it, secondly, l enjoy the music they play (lm a bit of a pop diva!) and thirdly l like some of the DJ’s and their style – although there are some l cannot stand also on air! A typical Radio 1 week, from Monday to Friday involves regular DJ’s filling their allotted time schedules. At weekends the part-time staff take over the microphones. Week Day, Day Time DJ’s  EARLY BREAKFAST – SCOTT MILLS Monday to Friday, 4am until 7am. Mills is known as the UK’s youngest DJ, presenting since he was 16. I have never heard his early show – lm never up that early – but he regularly covers the Breakfast Show. He thinks he is cool, but down to earth regular guy – in reality he is a prat, an obnoxious twat. Sorry Scott but l can’t stand your style!  SARA COX – THE BREAKFAST SHOW Monday to Friday 7am until 10am Taking over the prime and most sought after radio show from Zoë Ball in March 2000, Sara has made her mark. Regularly hauled up in front the big chiefs on account of her Northern risky and down right dirty humour – she’s a real ladette. Oh her team she has Zara, Hannah, Chappers, Neil and Fletch – all of whom are regularly verbally abused! It took me a while to grow to like Sara but now she makes me laugh. Good luck to her also as she’s off getting married at present.  JO WHILEY – THE LUNCH TIME SPOT Monday to Friday 10am until 12.30pm Jo is Radio 1’s cool mum. She’s a serious music fan and journalist. She regularly interviews real artists – from MOBO winners to Brit. winners. I don’t mind Jo – l respect her love of music but she’s a b
                          it too serious for me – l prefer cheesy presenters!  MARK RADCLIFF & THE BOY LARD – AFTERNOON SLOT Monday to Friday – 1pm until 3pm Excellent comedy genius here from these Manchester based jocks. Whilst there’s no doubt the boys know their music they regularly take the piss out of themselves and others. Quizzes such as the Circle of Chance and the Wheel of Misfortune crack me up. Sadly Fat Harry White has been missing for a while but we do have Craig and David drinking down at the Shirehorseman’s arms!  CHRIS MOYLES – THE SAVIOUR OF RADIO 1 – LATE AFTERNOON Monday to Friday – 3pm until 4.45pm My favourite DJ and l make no apologises for it! A shock jock, a beer swilling, farting, burping, and piss taking man! His team consist of Comedy Dave, Will “Grey Head” Kinder, Thin Lizzy and John Culshaw (the Friday visitor). I regularly fall about laughing at their antics, their phone ins are wild and guests have included lap dancers and page 3 models. Features include Careoke – sing along on air from your car and Big Blubber – Chris’s progress with Gym Lady Jane in his battle with the bulge. I would say he is looking much more trimmer theses days too! I love Moyles – he’s excellent!  DANGEROUS DAVE PEARCE – DRIVE TIME Monday to Friday – 5pm until 7pm Sorry but l cannot stand this bloke – l despise him – he thinks he’s a cool DJ - he’s not, he’s a plonker! Other DJ’s include Trevor Nelson; Pete Tong; Tim Westwood; Danny Rampling, John Peel and Seb Fontaine – all having regular shows on Radio 1. At present l have no plans to change my listening habits – l love Radio 1 (apart from Dave Pearce!) and the banter and the music it provides! HEATHER PS Please ignore the ra
                          tings below - totally irrelevant to this opinion!

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                            04.10.2001 01:21
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                            When you first look at a Lush Shampoo Bar you could well be forgiven for thinking it was soap. In fact l had to hide my bar from the other half cos l was scared he use it to wash his face with! The Ultimate Shine Bar is one of a range of SOLID shampoo bars available from that wonderful company Lush. I’ll get the general information bits out of the way first. Lush is based around the UK and beyond, but they also offer internet shopping and mail order – meaning there’s a form of shopping to suit all. Personally l opted for the online shopping experience at www.lush.co.uk. Details of your nearest Lush outlet can be found here also. The shampoo bar cost me £2.95 for a small circular soap sized bar, weighing 55 grams. Do not be expecting fancy packaging with Lush products – they don’t go for it. My bar was delivered in a plastic see- through bag, with a label stuck on front giving ingredients and directions. The Ultimate Shampoo Bar contains: -  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate  Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate  Perfume  Elemi Oil  Ylang Ylang Oil  Violet Leaf Oil  Gardenia Extract  Golden Sparkles According to Lush this shampoo bar is supposed to turn dull and lifeless hair into sparkly shiny hair. Ylang, ylang is for the shine, violet leaf for the smell, elemi oil to balance the sebum and keep hair shiny and golden sparkles to make your hair twinkle! Generally l wash my hair daily or put it back in a ponytail when l simply cannot be bothered. So it is with great joy l tell you that l still have shiny hair 2 days after washing. I washed my hair on Tuesday morning, give the Ultimate Shine bar a whirl. After wetting my hair l rubbed this soap like bar all over my head. I was not expecting it to lather much, so l was surprised to find lots of white soapy lather produced. After giving
                            my head a good old scrub l rinsed it to remove all traces of shampoo – my hair was literally squeaky clean! After blowing drying l could notice the difference – my hair badly needs cut and coloured at present (and ld rather not part with £45 just now!) so l was extremely pleased with the results. My hair was shiny and manageable. The best bit was waking up this morning and seeing my hair could go another day without washing or tying up. Apart from the Ultimate Shine Bar, Lush offers other forms of solid shampoo: -  Dr Peppermint – for the baldies out there! It helps stimulate hair follicles so that you can keep what you have left!  Featherweight Fruit Bar – for dull and lifeless hair  Irresistible Bliss – for normal or perfect hair, which simply needs kept clean!  Jumping Juniper – for greasy hair, which cleans your hair and works on your scalp.  Soak & Float – dandruff control – apparently it smells like a resurfaced road! All these bars also cost £2.95 according to the web site. My experience has been great so l would recommend to anyone a solid shampoo bar from Lush – the Ultimate Shine certainly made more than my hair sparkle! Heather

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                            • Lush Mask of Magnaminty / Skin Care / 2 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                              02.10.2001 17:48
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                              During a shopping spree at lush.co.uk l was lead to purchase which l now refer to as a little miracle in a tub – the Mask of Magnaminty. Thanks to it, today my skin is radiant; it looks positively alive and thriving! As l have mentioned l got the Mask of Magnaminty tub from the Lush web site, but if you happened to be lucky enough to live near a store you may purchase it there instead. For 325 grams l paid £5.25 – money well spent l say! It’s a Fresh product from Lush so one word of warning – check the shelf life. My tub came with a 4-month shelf life from September to December. What with the party season coming ever closer l think l shall have no problems using it! Lush packaging is plain and simple – no frills. The Mask of Magnaminty comes in a white tube with the usual green, yellow and black lush logo. The ingredients are listed on the screw top and directions on usage on the side of the tub. So what’s in the tub? Ingredients include: -  Bentonite Gel  Kaolin  Honey  Talc  Ground Aduki Beans  Glycerine  Evening Primrose Seeds  Peppermint Oil  African Marigold Oil  Vanilla Absolute  Perfume  Chlorophyll  Methylparaben The pepperminty smell hits you immediately when you open the tub. Don’t let the Halloween Witches Face Paint colour put you off! Nor the gritty texture! What does it do allegedly? You can use this as a facial mask only and it will last quite a long time, or it may be used also on your back. It is supposed to zap zits, deep cleanse skin, and be calming on skin yet stimulate it and decongest your skin. I told you it was a miracle worker in a pot! My Experience: I had a pampering session last night so l tried out this mask on my face. After cleansing my face
                              (l gave it a wash!), tying back my hair, l opened my tub. Whoosh – l was hit by this delicious minty smell. A good omen! I scooped out a liberal amount. It was gloopy and gritty in texture and a bit icky really! I slapped it on over my face applying a good coating – avoiding sensitive eye areas obviously! Oh tingly and zingy on my face – ultra refreshing! It reminded me of Original Source Tea Tree and Mint Shampoo – the feeling you get on your head is similar to this rushing feeling on your face. For this alone the product is amazing. I kept the mask on whilst lounging about the bath – it dried out after about 15 to 20 minutes. I removed the mask by making circular movements with my fingertips using warm water (as instructed). As it is gritty in texture l think there was some exfoliating going on too. I patted dry my face. The results were obvious immediately. There was no tight feeling on my skin and my face was glowing. It really is a little tub of sunshine. I can not wait to use it on my back! So, thanks Lush – the Mask of Magnaminty is a gem – how have l survived without it for so long l really do not know! Heather

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                              • tv.cream.org / Internet Site / 2 Readings / 11 Ratings
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                                02.10.2001 02:25
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                                Tv.cream.org – what’s it all about eh? According to the home page it’s the best web site to find the low down on those programmes that time has forgotten and cult classics, which should never have been taken off the air. One can also find other icons of popular culture - old TV adverts, foodstuffs or magazines. When l fist came across the site (introduced by a work colleague) David (my other half) and l spent a Friday night perched in front of the PC, with the speakers on full blast sighing “ Do you remember…” We even went as far as recording some theme songs on to CD [Yes l know its sad!] So why do l think this site is such a gem? Simple – l can relive gloriously happy childhood years. Wonderful memories come flooding back. In other words the web site brings a smile to my face. What does it do then? On opening the site you are greeted by a retro style page – black screen, with navy and yellow fonts. After a brief intro, scroll further down the page for other options such as:  Contact TV Cream email address  TVC Times – subscribe to TV Cream Times for a weekly guide to cream TV viewing  TVC Update – again subscribe via email for a fortnightly site round up  Feature Presentations – these are pictures of shows featured on the site. Including: Grange Hill, Magpie and Tiswas Additional Material – this is other highlights to be found on the site:  Saturday Saturday – Saturday morning TV classics right through until present day  Blue Peter – get all the information you need on every Blue Peter presenter dating from the year dot!  The Cutting Room – programmes which did not quite make it on to the air Further areas to visit include:  Radio Cream TV cream gives us the low-down on radio ov
                                er the past decades and how it has evolved – dating back to the 1960s. It looks at Radio 1, Independent Local Radio and Pirate Stations. You can even down load the old jingles.  Top Shelf What else would this be about but old magazine and newspaper publications? Subsections include:  Newspapers  Music/TV/Teen  Comix  Computer/Techie Mags  Free Binder/Misc  Annual Labour Who can remember such literary gems as: -  TODAY – 80 –95 Britains first colour newspaper  LOOK IN – 72-88 Apparently Junior TV Times  MANDY – l remember getting the Christmas annuals and fights ensuing with my sisters  Best Before Fondly looking back at forgotten foods and drinks. Again subsections include: -  The Cresta Run – soft drinks lost in time such as Fresca, Jolt Cola or Tab  Sweet Memories – childhood confectionery – remember pacers (minty opal fruits), space dust (was this not made illegal?) or wham bars (they pulled our your fillings!)  Snack Attack – crisps, which have disappeared. Includes:- Farmer Browns – didn’t care for these much myself; KP Sky Divers – l remember mum buying these because they were cheap; Jackets – apparently the more healthy option  The Core This section deals with TV adverts gone but not forgotten! Further subsections include:  Food & Drink  Household Goods  Public Information  Themes Here you can download you favourite theme tunes from old programmes and films  Links Not only is tv.cream.org a gem it also provides links to other like-minded web sites – now how good is that! You may search specifically for a programme or browse the a
                                rchives and read the trivia attached to your old favourites. They are stored alphabetically so it could not be easier. Rather than list programmes found in the A-Z listing lm going to give you a sample of 10 of my favourites - they are not in any particular order mind you! 1 BOD A simple cartoon – can you name the characters? Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman, Farmer Barleymow and my personal favourite – Alberto Frog and his amazing animal band! 2 ChiPs (Californian Highway Patrol) American cops on motorcycles. One of my all time favourites – l believed as a child l was destined to marry Jon (Larry Wilcox) and Jennifer my sister Ponch (Erik Estrada). Ive even forced David to have the theme tune on his mobile! 3 The Dukes of Hazzard Bo, Luke, Daisy and Uncle Jessie Duke. A fun loving bunch of hill billies! Remember Rosco P Coltrane and Boss Hogg? The star of the show being the General Lee of course! 4 The Red Hand Gang American Kids doing what the adults could not do – solving crime! 5 The Famous Five “We are the famous five – Julian, Dick & Ann, George and Timmy the Dog” Enid Blyton adaptation. 6 The Kids of Degrassi Street A Canadian kid’s school soap with a moral at the end of each episode! 7 Animal Magic Johnny Morris in Bristol Zoo with his wonderful impressions. I would have loved him as a grand parent - he seemed so much fun! 8 Monkey A Japanese programme that was on BBC 2 l think, Characters were Monkey, Sandy, Pigsy and Tripitaka! 9 The Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew Mysteries I remember only watching this programme because l fancied one of the Hardy boys – whose face now slips my memory totally! 10 Number 73 A Saturday morning kids TV programme. Sandy Toksvig played Ethel and there was Harry, Neil
                                Buchanan and roller-skating Dawn (why??). I can remember the inane Sandwich Game very clearly! I really urge you to visit tv.cream.org – go on relive your childhood! ENJOY Heather

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                                  28.09.2001 16:04
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                                  It was a muggy Sunday afternoon in August when myself, David, Jennie my sister, Johnny her hubby & my adorable, loveable & the apple of my eye niece Lucy visited Belfast zoo. To be truthful Lou was probably too young (she’s only just 12months) to get any real experience from the visit – but I’ll take her again! I love Belfast Zoo and have visited it on numerous occasions – l now even have the pleasure of not living far away from it! I have been able to see the extensive renovations and enlargements made for the benefit of all the animals housed. I can remember visiting the zoo as part of an organised trip by my branch of the Girls Brigade. I know l was under 10 at the time but l remember the polar bears pacing back and forth in these tiny cages with bars and water pouring through. Even to an under 10 l could see the sadness and resignation in the poor creature’s eyes. Now, thankfully things are so much better – for the polar bears and all the other animals housed here. Large enclosures have been erected – polar bears have diving pools and areas to swim, also fake caves have been made for them to hide in. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION The zoo is known to locals as Bellevue – this is simply the area surrounding it. It is etched into the side of Cavehill - which towers over Belfast. From this you may well assume there’s a lot of up hill walking involved in your zoo visit! It is worth reaching the top of the enclosures though – the views across Belfast Lough are spectacular – you can watch the ships & ferries cone in and out or see the giant cranes Samson & Goliath found at the historic Harland & Wolff shipyard. If you are travelling from the Belfast follow the M2 until you reach the “Glengormley” slip road, follow the road until you reach a roundabout and then take the 2nd last turn off. You are now on the Antrim Road, follow this road makin
                                  g no deviations from it and you will see the sign for the zoo entrance – it is about 11/2 miles down this road. If you are travelling from Londonderry or the North West once you hit the M2 follow it until you see the slip road for “Glengormley” You should come upon a roundabout, take the 2nd turn off and this is the Antrim Road. Follow the directions as then given above. OPENING HOURS/COSTS At different times of the year the zoo opens at different hours – obviously the summer months are the most popular times. * April-September 10am – 5pm – Monday to Sunday * October – March 10am – 2.30pm – Monday to Sunday These prices are correct until 30th September 2001:  Adults - £5.90  Children (4-14) - £2.90  Under 4’s – free  Senior Citizens – free  Disabled – free  Family Ticket – 2 adults & 2 kids - £16 – you save £1.50 Should groups wish to visit it is advisable to contact the zoo directly, as reductions are available. FACILITIES So on top of seeing the animals what else is on offer at the zoo?  Ark Restaurant – overpriced and lacks originality – but if its wet you can get a warm meal!  Mountain TeaShop – once you reach this point in the zoo refreshment is essential so this teashop is in the ideal locus! Just what you’d expect – tea, coffee and tray bakes!  Sweet/Snack Shops – get your ice-lollies, ice creams, soft drinks or candy floss here – keeps both the young and big kids happy!  Souvenir Shop – good marketing here – you pass this shop on your way in and on your way out! Buy soft toys, figurines, masks etc of your favourite animals. Expensive sums it up really. I feel sorry for those parents dragged in here b
                                  y their kids.  First Aid – various posts are located around the zoo  Toilets & Mum & Baby Rooms – again these are dotted around the zoo. I must say though that l found the toilets vile – they stink and are covered in graffiti – but unfortunately if you gotta go you gotta go!  Picnic Tables – just use these – you have wonderful views, there are trees for shade and plenty of waste paper bins around. There are green areas too for kiddies to play. Excellent as long as the weather stays dry!  Free Parking – quite a large car park with separate coach parking facilities. It does tend to fill up quickly at weekends and during summer months WHAT TO EXPECT TO SEE……  The Children’s Farm Unfortunately due to foot and mouth this area was closed to the public. We were still able to catch a glimpse of the rare breeds of cattle and sheep etc. Generally this is a popular area as certain animals can be stroked  Spider Monkey Island Purpose built for the spider monkeys. They are very agile – you can see them swinging, climbing and playing. There were a few babies with their mummies there on our visit  Primate Enclosure This is where the chimps and gorillas can be found. One of our favourite areas! I could spend ages admiring these amazing creatures. The gorillas seemed to be playing tag when we were there and seemed oblivious to our stares! Lucy l don’t think could believe her eyes! At the moment here favourite word (and only one!) is cat – these were big cats in her eyes! Also on view are Columbus Monkeys.  African Enclosure This selection of the zoo is given over to some of the larger animals of the animal kingdom. There are special enclosures, which are heated for the animal’s wellbeing. We saw zebras, giraffe’
                                  ;s, ostrich’s and camels. There was a baby giraffe there which was amazing – really magnificent creatures.  The Elephant Enclosure The elephants at Belfast Zoo are Asian and we have Vishesh here. Vishesh is the 3rd only surviving baby found in the British Isles. She was with her mum and boy was she a cutie! Lucy at this point l thought was going to explode – and again they were called cats!  Penguin & Sealion Pools Especially for KathrynE! Here you can see both the sealions and penguins in their surroundings and if you wish you can view them swimming under water! These are only a few of the animals to see at Belfast Zoo. My personal favourites have to be the mere cats – they are real little characters. Belfast zoo is a great day out – although knackering. If the weather is good there are play areas for kids whilst grown ups can relax by the duck pond. One word of advice though – wear comfortable shoes – there’s a lot of up hill walking! Heather

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