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I like using different brands of body cream and moisturizers, changing the brand every now and then to avoid boredom, and to be honest, trying whatever is on offer but is still a quality product.
On my last trip to England (and on one of my visits to Boots), I tried to use up all my Boots Advantage Card points before going home, so I bought so many things including Nivea Crème (the classic one).
== A QUICK LOOK INTO NIVEA'S HISTORY ==
Nivea is a worldwide skin care brand which can be easily found nearly everywhere; it's a German company named Beiersdorf, founded in 1911. Nivea crème was originally invented in Poland. The word Nivea is devised from the Latin word niveus/nivea/niveum which means snow-white because the finished product was (and still is) brilliant white.
The company Beiersdorf invented the first product of its kind, it was a water-in-oil emulsifier and it was a success. Later on, products like Shaving creams, tanning oils, facial creams and many more were introduced into the market as Nivea became one of the most wanted personal care product providers.
== NIVEA CRÈME - GENERAL PURPOSE CREAM ==
== The Packaging ==
Well, the packaging wasn't the best: it was a very basic round metal tin in the smaller pot and plastic in the bigger ones, but all of them were dark blue with the name of the brand NIVEA Crème in white writing. As far as I remember, Nivea crème has retained its original basic look over the years; it has had some special editions but in most cases it has kept its well known appearance. At the back there is some basic information: ingredients, the web address (http://www.nivea.co.uk) and postal address.
== The look ==
I opened the container to see a brilliant white crème! It was very white and hence the name Nivea. The look reminds me of Dove crème, same whiteness and thickness but the smell was definitely unique.
== Texture and density ==
It was extremely dense and thick; the buttery cream settled firmly in the pot; the mixture was soft to touch, oily and shiny. It has a butter-like consistency, smooth and silky.
== Smell ==
Very distinctive and recognisable, it was the typical smell of Nivea products that you can distinguish even with your eyes blindfolded. The fragrance, however, was not overpowering, and reminded me of a baby's smell for some reason.
== APPLYING NIVEA TO THE SKIN ==
The best thing is to apply after a shower or bath when the skin is cleaned and while the pores are open. Apply a thin layer on your body paying extra attention to the dry parts: knees, elbows and heels. Message well and make sure that the crème is absorbed into the skin otherwise it might leave an oily stain.
You don't need to use much as the crème is concentrated so a little will go a long way.
== Results? ==
You will love the results, your skin will be soft, shiny and hydrated for hours. Just re-apply when necessary.
== WHAT ABOUT THE SPECIAL ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Eucerit®? ==
Nivea crème is might look dull but never feel dull, it's a multipurpose crème that can be used nearly everywhere and for anyone at any age. It has a special ingredient, Eucerit® which is its secret moisturizer.
Eucerit® is a chemical substance of natural origin from sheep wool and skin fats extracted from waxes found in sheep's wool (yuck!)
Beiersdorf claim that its an extremely sanitised lanolin alcohol with excessive cholesterol content.
Eucerit® gives very dry skin a shiny look and soft touch and can prevent the signs of ageing
It has a lower allergy possibility than other lanolin alcohols but there is still some risk. So you should avoid if you have known allergies to Eucerit® and be careful to test a very small area in advance if you sometimes react to lanolin alcohols.
== Why use Nivea crème? ==
== On the body, hands and face ==
=== For babies ===
My little niece was born very late so her skin was extremely dry and she looked like an 80 year old wrinkled woman. My sister started using Nivea crème after my mum's recommendation and the baby's skin was immediately softer a few days later; the magic worked on, and Izabella was as good as new!
=== For kids ===
What I liked about Nivea crème is the fact that it can be used on rough areas like hands, elbows and knees. When we were little kids we used to play on a concrete playground and we used to come back home with dirty and rough knees. After a good wash, mum used to apply the cream to our elbows and knees and they were suddenly moisturised and softened up - even the very tough parts.
=== For women ===
In winter, my hands can get extremely dry and rough; sometimes they are so tremendously dry that my fingers are tightened up and won't open properly. It's not only the winter that dehydrates my hands. It's also the washing up, as my mum still uses the old fashioned way to wash the dishes: she cooks and I do the washing up. My hands end up like a hedgehog's skin! I use Nivea to soothe and unstiffen my hands. It works as a good moisturiser, making your skin supple, nourished and incredibly velvety and silky.
It's a very good make up remover, removing mascara and foundation easily without drying your skin but you should be extra careful around the eyes.
=== Cracked heels? No problem! ===
We all have cracked heals once or twice in our life; we try to hide them in winter but when summer arrives you have to wear sandals and show your heels! I did suffer from dry heels especially after the winter. The best remedy is to use Nivea crème at night before going to bed: rub into skin very well, wear a pair of cotton socks and next morning your heels will be softer.
=== For men ===
Men can suffer from dry skin too, maybe because of the nature of their work or skin type. My dad loves working in his precious garden for hours under the sun.
Sometimes his skin gets burned and his hands have become as dry as a log, I use Nivea crème on his skin . . . yes he usually refuses and complains, but at the end I always win! I also used it on his arms to calm down the burning sensation, giving him an instant cool feeling and relieve the feeling of his rough hands and elbows. It can be also used to ease irritation and redness after shaving.
== ARE THERE ANY ADVANTAGES? LOADS! ==
It's the classic cream, used by generations, which my mum has used for many years and which I use on many occasions. It's easy to apply, hydrating the skin fast leaving it velvety soft and fresh. It is very cheap and economic because of the thickness of the cream, a multipurpose cream for anyone and everyone, with a subtle smell. Also it is available in different sizes to suit every individual's needs. It's free from preservatives and dermatologically approved.
== ANY DISADVANTAGE? ==
It's not the best smell in the world; I mean it's nice and delicate but not as exciting as some other brands like sanctuary's creams.
It can be slightly greasy and sticky. You need to rub it well through your skin and give it some time to dry but once it does, your skin will look absolutely wonderful.
== For those who need to know the ingredients? ==
Aqua * Paraffinum Liquidum * Cera Microcristallina * Glycerin * Lanolin Alcohol Eucerit® (as mentioned before)* Paraffin * Panthenol * Decyl Oleate * Octyldodecanol * Aluminium Stearates * Citric Acid * Magnesium Sulfate * Magnesium Stearate * Parfum * Limonene * Geraniol * Hydroxycitronellal * Linalool * Citronellal * Benzyl Benzoate * Cinnamyl Alcohol.
== Sizes, Prices and availabilities ==
It's available in three different sizes and the price varied slightly from one place to another. It's available from Boots, Superdrug, major chemists and supermarkets, and generally online.
* 30ml/ £1.00 travel size tin to fit into the handbag
* 50ml/ £1.04 plastic pot
* 200ml/£2.68 plastic pot
== MY OPINION AND RECOMENDTION ==
In short, I loved it! It's basic, with dull and boring pots but it works very well, hydrates my dry skin, leaving it shiny, soft and nourished. I don't like using it on my face except as a makeup remover at night as it makes it slightly oily, but on other parts of my body it works perfectly fine.
The smell is the usual Nivea trademark scent: subtle, fresh and like baby powder; it did lessen over time but didn't completely fade away.
It can leave your hands slightly slippery so it is not recommended to use it when driving, or even reading, as it may leave some oily marks that take ages to remove. If cooking, and when chopping food, be careful as the smell can be transferred into the food and make a disaster!
I really love using Nivea crème on my legs, especially after using my epilator as it calm down the redness and soreness plus my legs look mirror shiny and silky!
I highly recommend it: cheap and cheerful and definitely works!
== My personal Ratings ==
Look and texture 9/10
How effective 9/10
One of my basic favourites
Thank you for reading
== © Karimkha ~ ~ ~ September ~ ~ ~ 2010 ==
Just Like Heaven
When it comes to films, I'm a sucker for a good romantic-comedy film; it is my favourite genre because it somehow matches my nature more than the action-thriller type films.
The film "Just like heaven" is a 2005 production, so it is five years old film but I hadn't seen it before.
The title of the film just reminds me of the famous song by the Cure (1987), and which I discovered later that the film was actually named after this song as the opening of the film contained the song.
'Just Like Heaven' the main story . . .
Elizabeth Masterson: An attractive junior doctor who was committed to hospital work, contributing most of her time to her patients and to her career is involved in a tragic car accident, after being awake over twenty six hours working in the hospital. She was on her way to see her sister who had set her up for a 'blind date' with someone she had never met before, because she no way had the time for romance or dating. As a result of that accident, she went into a coma for three months.
Afterwards, her family agreed to rent out her apartment so David Abbott was the new tenant. David was a nice lonely landscape artist who was mourning the loss of his wife by drinking himself to sleep and cutting himself off from social life . . . it was just him and the bottle!
Things didn't work out smoothly for David as the peace and quiet he was longing for wasn't in this particular apartment, as Elizabeth or 'lizzy' kept appearing (well not exactly as herself, it was her spirit)! She haunted him and asked David to get out from her apartment! David thought he was hallucinating as a result of his excessive drinking but soon discovered it was no illusion and that he was THE ONLY ONE who could see her. She gave such a hard time before discovering that she herself is in a coma and she is only a spirit! She asked David to help her solve the riddle about the whole awkward situation. He was more than happy to help so she can rest in peace and he can get the place for himself but why he was the only one you can see her? What was the special connection between the two of them?
The main characters of the film . . .
Elizabeth Masterson (Reese Witherspoon) . . .
She is a beautiful and very talented actress; I have seen and enjoyed watching quite a few of her films. She was successfully good when she played the character of the young doctor and an angry spirit. She was funny and entertaining and at the same time managed to deliver the story to us in a very light and gentle way! She was supposed to be the "annoying" spirit who gave the tenant a hard time and trying to kick him out of her apartment . . . she did that successfully and still adorable and lovable! She definitely made me laugh with her light "spirited" character and she without doubt gave a new meaning to "romantic-comedy" films.
David Abbott (Mark Ruffalo) . . .
He is an American multitalented actor, director, and screenwriter. I like Mark Ruffalo although I am quite sure some people don't like him as he can be a very slow motioned actor and very irritating sometimes. Actually, his slowness in talk and a slight facial disfigure (due to a brain tumour and then surgery) is what I like most about him. He seemed to be Mr. Smooth but surely not creepy.
He was very believable when he was highly romantic, funny and he broke my heart as he cried over his dead wife! I'm totally in love with his character!
My opinion of the director . . .
Mark Waters, a well known American film director (judging from this film); I guess he wasn't at his best as you clearly spot some directing mistakes and some very weak scenes (especially the ones joining David and Elizabeth) but still great direction after all as he is filming a ghost!
The story of the film wasn't that original as it didn't have that novelty, not in storyline, acting or even directing. The same old Romantic comedy plot of 'boy meets a girl and they fall in love but surely there is something forbid them from having the FULL relationship' . . . in David and Elizabeth's case she was a ghost or a spirit, she was in a coma or almost dead . . . which reminds me a bit about a great film I saw for Nicholas Cage (City of Angels) however there is no comparison between those two films, the only thing relate them to each other is that it's impossible to love a ghost or an angel!
Anyway . . .
The film definitely will take you into a romantic atmosphere, with Mark Ruffalo's sweetness and lovable look and Reese Witherspoon's strong personality even as a spirit!
In addition . . . like all romantic comedy films, the ending was quite predictable; even with a little twist at the end it was very conventional.
There were some very funny and entertaining scenes from Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo and what made it even better was that they were related to the film.
The film budget was reasonable, although it was a bit short (at just a bit over 1.5 hours) which might be good news for some people who have to watch the film for some reason! It can be considered as a "girly film" but that won't make it a bad film as a matter of fact I did enjoy watching it bearing in mind I already predicted the ending! However, don't be disheartened because there will be some other "romantic surprises" and twists!
Just Like Heaven is very safe for your kids to watch, with no violence, bad language, sex scenes or nudity although I'm not sure if your kids would want to watch it in the first place!
Prices And Availability
'Just Like Heaven' is available to purchase from most media stores, supermarkets and DVD shops. You can also buy it online from Amazon.co.uk or ebay (for cheaper prices and offers). Also it is available for rent if you don't want to buy it and even better you can wait for it to be shown on TV so
you can watch it for free! As far I know it's only available on DVD . . . not sure if there is a Blu Ray edition for the film.
Prices vary from a bargain 99p to a full price of £17.99; I wouldn't pay the full price though!
Watch it if you like romantic comedies, girly films or if you are simply scared of your wife and don't want to upset her when she suggests this film! I recommend seeing the film, it might not be the best romantic comedy film ever made, but it is a pleasant, sex free film! Well worth the watching.
Thank you for reading
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ September ~ ~ ~ 2010
Since I arrived to the England, I've been living on ready meals, peanut butter, cereal, marmalade and chocolate spread as a result of my insufficient cooking habits.
In the past, I had tried many brands of chocolate spread and all kinds of chocolate spreads varying from white chocolate to dark hazelnut chocolate spread. Nutella was one of them and it was and still my favourite, then I realised that supermarkets had their own brand of chocolate spread. I bought ASDA's smart price chocolate hazelnut spread at first. However recently I switched to Tesco's Value chocolate spread because I found that ASDA's chocolate spread was too sweet even for a person with a sweet tooth like me. Besides the ASDA was just a bit far from where I live.
==Tesco Value chocolate spread ==
This chocolate spread was just slightly different than other brands which I had tried, since it stated on the front of the jar that it's a CHOCOLATE spread . The others such as ASDA'S are chocolate hazelnut. I had never tried chocolate-chocolate spread before so I thought that it might be more chocolaty.
== The packaging ==
Generally, the chocolate spread jar had basic written all over it. The chocolate spread was stored in a clear roundish glass jar with a white cap on the top. On the front, the usual Tesco's value logo (the blue and white strips ) was on the top, a picture of nice looking piece of toast with a chocolate spread lightly spread on top of it. On the back you could see the ingredients, nutrition, some allergy advice and some other information.
== The appearance ==
I found this one pretty heavy compared to the ASDA's brand of course there was a difference in the weight but still it was pretty heavy.
Opening the cap , I saw a thin white plastic film to protect and seal the freshness of the chocolate spread. Removing the plastic film ,I saw the chocolate spread sitting nicely in the jar. It looked thick and dense unlike the Nutella which was slightly runny. However it is better slightly runny as it can be easily spread, if it is dense its gives you a harder time spreading it onto the slice of toast
The very dark brown chocolate spread was silky and shiny which means that it had some fat in it that gave it that shine and lots of cocoa powder that granted it that dark colour. The jar was filled to the top unlike ASDA's so I thought hmm, it looks tempting.
== The smell and the texture ==
To be honest, I couldn't smell the chocolate very well, The smell wasn't bad to start with BUT it wasn't chocolaty at all for me, I can't say the chocolate smell here is NOT genuine. There was a smell of something else and later on I discovered the secret behind the smell, the dark colour and the different taste. You want to know the secret? Keep reading!
It was extremely smooth and dense. I liked the thickness of the chocolate spread and I thought that being thick means extra chocolate but maybe I was wrong. I put my finger and it bounced back just like jelly.
== Taste ==
I tried it first with a spoon to see how sweet it was and how strong the chocolate presence was. It was sweet, not sickly sweet like ASDA's and it was sort of chocolaty but it tasted CHEAP to me, like the cheap soapy chocolate, cheap cocoa with lots of sugar. I still pretty sure that the chocolate spread has something else apart from "chocolate" I first thought there was molasses, I wasn't too far away though, carob powder was one of the main ingredients. If you are not familiar with it, I can briefly say that carob is a kind of very sweet fruit which belongs to the pea family, native to the Mediterranean , Iran , the Middle East and the Canary Island. The ripped fruit should be dry and very dark brown, then it can be roasted, powdered or made a syrup out of it or in some countries like Spain as a liquor . Carob can be used as an alternative to chocolate like this Tesco's Value chocolate spread, I'm pretty sure it was used to cover up the bitterness of the cocoa powder.
Back to the taste, I wasn't so impressed with the taste actually, it wasn't sickly sweet but it wasn't sweet enough besides that strange taste and carob smell put me off as I'm not a fan of carob.
It tasted a bit fatty or oily when eaten alone , also it was gritty as if the sugar wasn't dissolved enough. When I spread it on the bread It was easy to spread, very soft and it was ok but AGAIN wasn't up to my standards and quite frankly I was glad that the tasting was all over!
== After taste? ==
As for after taste, using cocoa powder was as bad as using carob powder, they both left bitter and vile aftertastes and left me extremely thirsty!
==My Final Opinion==
Yes it was cheap and nasty! It was Cheap in terms of the price, look and taste! It didn't taste chocolaty at all, weird combinations and marmite like smell! Of course I didn't expect high quality AND CHOCOLATE PIECES from the value range but at least an edible taste and good SMELL!
It was thick but easy to spread, oily and slightly bitter and instantly dried my mouth and stuck in my throat.
I compared it to ASDA smart price, 400g for 57p which is a slightly cheaper to Tesco BUT tasted way much better than Tesco value. The ASDA's chocolate smelled, looked and tasted like chocolate spread and more importantly no weird ingredients! It was high in sugar, high in fat and very calorific. For next time, I will go for Nutella and I will never try value products again!
== Nutritional information ==
Typical value per tablespoon (15g)
== Allergy warning ==
Although it doesn't contain nut but there is a warning that it might contain some traces of nut so it's not 100% guarantee nut free. It contains milk and Soya
== Price and availability ==
It's one of Tesco's value products so it's only available on Tesco's supermarkets. The price is fixed at 86p for 600g jar.
== Will I recommend it? ==
I shall recommend it to you in a word ,NO! I tried many varieties of chocolate spreads some were expensive others were cheap but to be completely honest here I HATED it! I didn't like it at all, there was nothing good about that product, I will never buy it again even if it was for 1p! It was a waste of money and put me off chocolate spreads for good! I really wish Tesco do something about the smell and the taste of it, it's nothing less than horrible.
== My ratings ==
For me not again and for others NOT RECOMMENDED unless you want to torture yourself!
Thank you for reading
While I was browsing the frozen food area in Iceland, I found some Birds Eye products in the "Anything for £1" section.
I have always liked their food products, as they are always made out of premium meat and Birds Eye don't fill their food with rubbish padding like some other food producers do; that is shown in their finished products.
I don't eat red meat so burgers and steaks were not on my list; I looked at their chicken range. There were so many from which to choose; I picked up a few. One of the items I bought was a pack of chicken chargrills.
== The packaging ==
The packaging is in the form of a small square box and is made from soft cardboard. The bright orange box has the Birds Eye logo on the front, the name of the product and a picture of the chargrilled chicken fillet.
On the sides you find the best before date, the weight of the product and the manufacturer's postal address, contact number and the website address: www.birdseye.co.uk On the back of the box there is a list of ingredients, nutritional information and suggested cooking methods; these are all displayed clearly.
== Birds Eye claims (their commandment to quality) ==
* This chicken breast is a Farm assured chicken breast; the chickens are regularly monitored by expert vets to ensure a high standard food product.
* The hens are watched over in barns and they are only feed with corn and vegetarian feed.
* There are teams of expert to look after the animal welfare and Iceland only use trusted farms.
== The look (before cooking) ==
I opened the package to find two approximately equal cut chunks of nicely shaped chicken breast (oval or heart shaped cuts of chicken). The chicken was about 3 cm thick.
The solid frozen chicken looked plain BUT it was covered with a kind of slippery layer of white stuff, not sure what was it before I cooked it! It was most probably just the glaze on top. The smell was pretty good even though it was still frozen!
== How to cook? ==
The cooking method can't get any easier than this, for better results, the product should be cooked from frozen. Preheat oven to 190 C, (fan-assisted 170 C) or gas mark 5. Place your chicken on a slightly high edged baking tray to avoid juices running down off the tray. Put the chicken into the oven for 18-20 minutes until the
chicken is piping hot and fully cooked. There is another way to cook them which I tried, using the grill; it took less time to cook and the glazing was slightly browner but it tasted just as good as when I oven baked similar ones.
== The look of the cooked chicken ==
The cooked chicken was slightly reduced in size; the white slimy stuff melted nicely to reveal a gorgeous glaze and a (surprisingly!) stripy chicken underneath! Some brown chargrilled stripes were all over the chicken giving it the look of chargrilled meat. I liked the look of this chicken; it was much better than plain looking ones. Apart from the stripes, the glazing was sticky and a bit messy but it gave the chicken a touch of gloss and a slight tan! It was not white meat anymore . . . No, it's tanned and looking good!
== Smell ==
Once I took the tray out of the oven, the smell wafted all over the place. The marinated chicken definitely smelled pleasant. I also detected a faint smell of onion, thyme and parsley. The aromatic smell of the chargrilled meat was nicely done; well, it wasn't like the real thing, for sure, but the smell was satisfying and very similar to the smell of BBQ crisps.
== The taste ==
The chicken breasts were tender and juicy; the chicken breast itself was flaky; just the way I like it. The chicken was nicely cooked, however I would have liked just a bit more seasoning (in that glazing) to give it that extra "oomph" however perfect the chicken was! The salt was just right, not too much, nor too little.
The glazing was pretty good. It was slightly on the sweet side; it was a bit sticky around the edges of the chicken (some of the glazing stuck to my fork), however it did bring a punch to chicken; it gave it that element of excitement I guess!
== Aftertaste ==
I really can't say that I noticed any bad aftertaste, apart from a slight bitterness from the caramelised glazing; it wasn't that bad I guess.
Some important ingredients and allergy advice
The marinade contains wheat flour, wheat starch, cornflour and rice flour. The Glaze contains wheat flour, cornflour, milk protein and soya. Therefore if you have any allergies or intolerances to any of those listed ingredients please don't try to consume.
== Where to buy? How much was it? ==
I had mine from Iceland, however it can be found in all major supermarkets as Birds eye products are widely sold. I bought it for only £1 but prices can vary from one supermarket to another according to special offers and promotions which change regularly.
== My final opinion and ranking ==
As a single woman who doesn't know how to cook properly, I found these very convenient and easy to prepare and EAT! It was reasonably priced (although the chunks were not big enough for my appetite) but I feel it was a good buy.
The idea of chargrilled chicken is not new but the special glazing was tasty and "finger-licking" for me. I think the thickness of the chicken was right; it was well presented and the food looked tempting even before it was cooked. The cooked chicken breast was moist and tasty.
It was well seasoned for British tastes but I personally would have loved to see a greater variety of different spices included in order to bring out more flavour.
'''The smell 9/10'''
'''Flavour and seasoning 8/10'''
'''Texture and moisture 9/10'''
Highly recommended, quick and easy to cook, cheap and cheerful but still won't replace real home cooking like my mum's cooking, I miss it when I'm away from home!
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ August 2010
I can remember when we were little kids, my sister and I used to buy gum with tattoo stickers (the gum was terribly sweet and hard to chew but we mainly bought it for the stickers). We stuck the tattoo on our arms or hands . . . put some water and rub it gently to get that tattoo, which can be easily removed later by simply washing our hands or arms with warm water. The tattoo sometimes went off without any effort! Our mum never liked the idea of having a fake tattoo: she thought that having a tattoo is a naughty thing to do; she did forbid us from even buying the gum in the first place, as both chewing gum and tattoos (in her opinion) were inappropriate for girls (young and grown up)!
Anyway, we used the fake tattoos every now and then with or without our mum's knowledge and for us it was the naughtiest thing we ever did!
****WHAT IS A TATTOO? HISTORY OF TATTOO****
A tattoo is a marking that done by inserting or injecting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment for ornamental or other reasons.
Tattoos are a very ancient way of body art and body decorations. It has been done and performed from a very long time in and has a pretty long history. Some studies show that tattoos may originally come from ancient Egypt and that was showing on their old paintings on the walls.
****Is it Tattoo or Tatao or Tatu? No matter how you spell it . . . still the same!****
The history of the word tattoo shows some very interesting results.
The original word "tatao", which means "to tap", can be the inventor of the whole thing, although some researchers strongly thought that an Tahitian word "tatu" which means to mark something to be the real origin of the current word "tattoo". Still only suggestions.
****Religious points of view****
In some ancient religions, tattooing was used to indentify a person's authority as a group member or his role in that group. As far as I know, in Christianity there are no issues on the subject, and no objections. In Islam and Judaism having a tattoo is prohibited. A Muslim may not have a tattoo as it is changing God's creation as mentioned by prophet Mohammad (Hadith); the Torah likewise forbids body modification or markings.
****So, WHY DID I WANT ONE (I MEAN THREE!)? And where did I go?****
The years passed by until I had the opportunity to travel to UK and stayed for a while. I noticed a growing number of girls having tattoos and body piercing . . . I was impressed with that body art; it looked a lot different from the fake ones that we used when we were younger.
Actresses and actors, singers, body builders and ordinary people were having tattoos. I was so tempted to have one but I also heard about so many bad experiences . . . I was not so sure whether to get a tattoo or not especially since it will be on your body forever and removing it could take time, money and possibly won't work and could leave you with a scar!
Therefore, I slept on it and tried to control my urge to have one until one day when I was talking with a female friend ... she showed me her tattoo: it was a beautiful piece of art... I loved it, but I told her about my fears, but she surprised me and said that it's a semi-permanent tattoo!
I wasn't so sure what she meant by semi-permanent so I asked her again and she said . . . yes, it is a semi-permanent tattoo, you go through the same procedure, you will also experience the same pain before and after the tattoo but the beauty about it is it won't last forever!
She said it would last for a few years the maximum of five years; it would fade gradually until it was completely gone with no scarring!
I was tempted . . . well, very tempted to be honest, so I asked her to give the phone number for the beauty salon she had used . . . she did and I booked an appointment! I was finally going to have a tattoo like the other girls, but it won't last so I wouldn't be a 90 year old pensioner with a wrinkled tattoo!
****Is it addictive?****
I can't speak for others, I can only speak for myself ... I had three tattoos and I know they are a bit too much but I had them at one go and I have never thought to have any more! Some very close friends who regularly have had tattoos tell me that they are addicted to them and can't help themselves having them all the time; I can see Mr Beckham having new tattoos all the time and even beautiful Angelina Jolie having a new body art! So it is an individual addiction but surely not for me! I guess I'm the odd one!
****BEFORE GETTING A TATTOO ****
If you are considering getting a tattoo there are a few things that you should consider and bear in mind before getting one or more . . .
* Tattoo is for life not for summer or to show off only! You have to think carefully before having a tattoo . . . taking into account how it will look like in 20-30 years time.
* Ask yourself, why do you want to have a tattoo? You may be interested now but do you really want to have one?
* Do your homework! Read, do research and ask questions before the big step.
* Choose your tattoo place carefully; once you have had it you can't change its place.
* Choose your design wisely and ask yourself, "Is it appropriate?" don't go for names (like your partner's name, club name or any other funny choices) as you don't know what might happen in the future.
* Do you have any health needs such as diabetes, heart problems, epilepsy or other conditions? If yes, you should consult your physician first before doing anything.
* Don't have a tattoo when you are tired or on empty stomach . . . You should have something to eat before the procedure so it can calm your nerves and prevent you from feeling dizzy or maybe fainting.
* If you are taking Aspirin don't take it that day as it may increase your bleeding.
* Keep the area clean and free from oil and dirt before having a tattoo to get the best results.
* Be ready to deal with some possible issues like potential infection, maybe soreness of the skin, itchiness and some bleeding (in my case it was severe bleeding).
* Make sure not to drink alcoholic beverages or anything with caffeine (coffee, fizzy deinks) before having your tattoo. Alcohol and caffeine can cause more bleeding.
* Tattoos can be costly so ask for the prices before you start.
* Some people have a fear of needles, so if you are one of them, think before having a tattoo because it is all about needles!
* Take into consideration that having a tattoo is not an easy procedure, you will experience pain and discomfort feeling before and after getting it.
****CHOOSING YOUR TATTOOIST****
Double check everything about the shop and the tattooist: is he or she experienced enough? Did they have the knowledge of how to do it and your aftercare? Know how to handle odd situations? Can they answer your questions easily? Have they asked you basic health questions before taking any further steps? And finally, are they giving you good
advice on what to choose?
What did the tattoo shop that I went to in South Wales offer?
According to their claim, they said that their tattoos will last for a period of 3-7 years depending on the size of the tattoo and skin type. There was a young woman (the tattooist) who was working there; she showed me a tattoo on her finger which was fading. It was definitely fading and scattering. I was a bit relieved but still not 100% convinced so I looked at their qualifications (hung on the wall); the place was extra clean and the staff members were friendly, chatty and helpful. When I asked her, "What's the difference between permanent and semi permanent?" the practitioner said that they are using special inks that will be absorbed by the skin over the years; that they use a special tool which looks like a gun instead of needles; that, unlike the usual permanent tattoo, the inks are inserted closer to the surface, allowing them to gradually wear away without leaving any traces.
I have only had these three tattoos and I never asked about the cost of 'permanent' tattoos but I know that tattoos are fairly expensive to have. I can only speak about my tattoos cost; I had the three done for the total of £80 which I considered a fair price, especially because they said they were using a different ink and it wouldn't last forever. I was quite happy to pay this.
After asking several questions and seeing the fading tattoo, I browsed through their sample catalogue: I saw so many logos and designs, some of them were really scary; other designs were stupidly funny! I have chosen a few, a butterfly, a teddy bear and an English rose. I thought the butterfly was beautiful but thinking that it IS an insect and originally creepy crawly insect I changed my mind! Teddy bear was cute but again too childish and finally the English rose which looks fine to me, so I go with the English rose, not one, not two but three slightly different roses at three different places.
I was satisfied with my choices and after filling a basic questionnaire with my name and address and my signature I was ready to enter the room of horror!
I was extremely nervous, maybe scared and nearly fainted but deep down I was happy that I was going to follow the crowd and have a "tat" like other girls and it wouldn't last for more than 5 years. She traced the design from the catalogue and showed it to me; I agreed and located the places that I wanted them to be tattooed.
Anyway, another member of staff was there next to her with the tools, the inks, wipes, the gun and many other things that I didn't pay attention to, as I was extremely nervous at that time especially after seeing the gun!
She explained the procedure step by step, mentioning the pain and the bleeding; I listened to her but to be honest I didn't understand half of her explanation, my fears were bigger than anything else!
There was a small stool, I sat it on facing the wall while she put on her gloves and started to clean the area and the first one was on my left shoulder.
Once she started, I felt like a giant needle was inserted into my skin. It was very painful; she was quick but the pain was too much; I did shed a few tears (silently) as it took her 10-15 minutes to get it done but for me it felt like a life time! Drawing the outline was painful enough but getting the tattoo coloured was a nightmare!
I'm not trying to scare you off, but I had to mention how painful it was. When she finished she gave me a mirror to see the results.
I was in SHOCK! The tattoo was supposed to be a couple of inches but what I saw was different! It was HUGE!! I panicked but realising how panicked I was, she explained to me that this is a normal thing and I should not worry about it. It will shrink soon and get smaller.
We took a few minutes break, then she started with the second one, this time it was on my lower back: another smaller rose. I was shaking, so she kept asking me if I'm ok, and I put the brave face and asked her to carry on.
Surprisingly, it wasn't as painful, although I'm not sure why. Is the lower back area less painful? Maybe there is less blood circulation? I really don't know. Or maybe I had become used to the pain? In any case I can confirm that the pain wasn't too bad, and I actually enjoyed the tiny needles this time . . . it was an enjoyable pain! This one finished quicker as well, probably because it was smaller or had fewer gaps to fill.
Now, the third and the last one, inside my hip on the bikini line . . . I guess I made a mistake here, I have chosen the wrong place to have a tattoo, I didn't realise then but now I do!
Pretty much the same procedure but this time it was extremely painful and I bled a lot . . . even the tattooist stopped many times and she looked worried. I was pretty sure the bleeding was because of the place that I've chosen. It took her over 30 minutes to get it done; as the area was so covered in blood even I was quite worried.
She finally finished, covered the tattoos with clean dressings and gave a leaflet with instructions how to clean the area and other things. She also gave me a pot of cream (non fragranced) to use on the tattoos once the bleeding stopped. I went out slightly different!
The pain gradually went away, I left the dressing for a good few hours, I couldn't remove them first, and there was so much blood that the dressing was glued to my skin.
I was so excited and wanted to see the results but I was patient and gave it some time to heal and dry.
Once I had taken the bandage off, the tattoos were definitely smaller and back to the sizes I had chosen. The colours were so bright and vibrant; I was so satisfied with the results and wanted to show my new tattoos to everyone.
****AFTER GETTING ONE****
* You should avoid spas, saunas, and hot tubs and pools for the first 10 days to 3 weeks after having a tattoo done, during the healing process.
* You should also avoid staying in your bathtub for prolonged periods of time. Avoid exposing your tattoo to sun or a tanning bed while it is healing. Leave the bandage on for a minimum of two hours after it has been done.
* After you remove the bandage, you will want to wash your tattoo. Use lukewarm water and mild, liquid antibacterial or antimicrobial soap to gently wash away any ointment, blood and/or plasma and to completely clean the area.
* Do not use a washcloth or anything abrasive and don't rub; use your hands gently.
You can (and should!) shower with your new tattoo. It's alright to get your tattoo wet but make sure not to soak it.
* Don't pick your scabs or try to peel them; leave them alone, your tattoo will peel and your scabs will be fallen alone.
* Resist the temptation to pick or peel them, otherwise you will end up with white patches and your tattoo won't look as good.
* Your healing tattoo will itch (yes, it was itching me all the time). I applied a thin layer of the cream that was provided by the tattooist every time I felt the itch.
A few years later (maybe two years) I moved to another area where I met an old friend who was a doctor; I asked him about the semi-permanent ink used for tattoos and their special technique as I never seen or heard anything about it anywhere since. He smiled and said to me "I'm afraid there is no such thing as semi-permanent ink and once the ink entered your skin there is no way back!"
I was shocked, horrified and speechless! So they tricked me and their claims were all lies?
I had to accept the fact that I will have to live with them, and I thanked God that it wasn't someone's name or a teddy bear and that the three tattoos were pretty small, no bigger than 2 inches each.
****My final thoughts and advice****
Any tattoo is a personal thing to have. Some people like having new tattoos all the time and enjoy having them; others are pure addicts; some people like to show their latest art and design . . . some men find a tattoo is a symbol to show their strength, and muscularity; some women think that a cute and small tattoo can be quite sexy and attractive.
For me I still find a man with a tattoo attractive and definitely sexy, but I hate the idea of turning your body into an art show (and this goes for men and women).
As for me, I can't deny that I have enjoyed having my tattoos throughout the years but the problems began when I started to get bored with them. The tattoos didn't fade a bit despite the years passing!
I felt that I was tricked by the tattooists: I believed their claims although it was far away from the truth.
I may keep them for a few more years but I'm seriously considering laser surgery to remove them. This time I will do my homework and will NEVER believe anyone or any claims: I will only rely on facts ... and the fact is
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SEMI-PERMANENT TATTOO! You've been warned!
Thanks for Reading! I hope this advice will help your decision making!
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ July 2010
The 11th July, the day the La Furja Roja finally made a name for itself. We were always flops who never made it past the quarter finals but this year thanks to the "Golden Generation" we have not only won a world cup but also a EURO in the space of two years and that really is something to relish. We have been fasting for over 80 years now, however this year I thought there was something special, I had a feeling that we were going to win it and when I believe something is going to happen it is usually the outcome. Although I was sure that we were going to win, I received a pre-tournament blow via Pele. At that point I was a bit queasy as in 1994 he said that Colombia was going to win it ...out of the 1st round. In 2002 he believed France was going to defend its world cup title and we all know what happened there, no goals were scored making it the most shameful team in France's history (although this year's team can give them competition). In 2006, he said England would win it... Rooney's red card and Ronaldo's wink remind us of England's loss on penalties against Portugal yet again. And this year he predicted that Spain, England and Brazil were all in with a shout and he believed that Rooney and Messi were going to light up the World cup after their impressive form for clubs Manchester united and Barcelona respectively.
****Our Road to South Africa****
After a triumphant Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland we were drawn in a group along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Euro semi finalists Turkey, Armenia, Estonia and Belgium. We won 10/10 games which otherwise only Holland achieved.
****Spain's road to the final****
When the groups were drawn in Johannesburg in December, not just me, but also the rest of the Spanish nation thought that our group was the easiest in the world cup. However we were the first team to fall to defeat in the hands of Europeans Switzerland where we fell victim to a defensive mistake by Gerard Pique and a lapse of concentration Iker Casillas. Manchester City youth product Gelson Fernandez was there to take advantage. Switzerland were ranked 25 in the Fifa world rankings which is 23 places below Spain's 2nd place. Rumours after the match stated that Casillas was talking to his girlfriend Sara Caberano who was in the stands behind him.
Over the next two games in the group we gained a certain reputation for play acting and diving. Mr Fernando Torres, who left his goal scoring boots back at Anfield, dived in our game against Chile gaining their best defender a red card. This in turn put the game out of Chile's reach as we were 2-0 up thanks to a goal from David Villa (El Guaje - the kid) who quickly thereafter assisted an Andres Iniesta strike.
In the game against Honduras, Villarreal Left back Joan Capdevilla was supposedly a victim of an elbow on his ear but replays showed that there was minimal contact in a game where the sexy David Villa scored a brace.
So the Spanish media speculated that if it wasn't for super Villa we may well have been out at the group stages. San Iker wasn't producing the goods, Carles Puyol was too slow, Xabi Alonso wasn't dictating the play like he did in Real Madrid, Xavi's passes were poor and the worst flop of them all was Fernando Torres who cut his hair and lost his form and spark.
Therefore, with huge difficulty, the Spanish advanced as group winners and in the last 16 they had to face Group G's second place team Portugal. This match was very tight; it was the clash of the Iberians if you want to call it that way. The match kicked off and Portugal were the more threatening. The crosses supplied for Almeida were inch perfect and he was causing havoc. However the turning point in the game was when Portugal gaffer Carlos Quiroz decided to sub Hugo Almeida. So with Portugal's main attacking threat done and dusted Spain began to pressure and the goal came, not thanks to David flat nor Freddie Bungalow, it was thanks to David Villa!!!! Although it is pronounced VI-ya because in Spanish the double l is pronounced as ya, it is peculiar seeing he is named after a property LOL.
Down to the Quarterfinals, the stage which we never got passed in our 80-year international football history and it was against none other than the south Americans Paraguay. Having faced a South American side earlier on this campaign we knew Paraguay's playing style was the same as Chile's. Therefore, we came out on all fronts believing that we could win this comfortably. However midway through the second half a clumsy foul by Barcelona starlet Gerard Pique gave Paraguay the chance to take the lead and continue Pele's unbeaten run! San Iker looked down the touchline to his mate Pepe Reina and he saved the spot kick from Benfica talisman Oscar Cardoso (Penalty should have been re-awarded for blatant encroachment..lol.) Just a minute later Spain got rewarded a penalty and Alonso stepped up to take it. He coolly dispatched the spot kick however the referee ordered a re-take since a couple of Spanish players entered the penalty box as soon as Xabi struck it. This time he struck it to the left of the keeper but the keeper prevailed as he saved the spot kick. (The referee should have immediately awarded another penalty for a clear foul on Fabregas by Villar as they went for the rebound). So once again we were grabbed by the scruff of our necks by Villa as he scored a goal in the dying minutes of the game. So history was made and we advanced to the Semi's for the 1st time in our history and celebrations began in Madrid.
So the historic Semi-final against youthful Germany had got under way and I was watching the match with my family. None of the teams were converting their chances until centre back Carles Puyol was left unmarked from a corner kick and scored with a powerful a header past the stranded Schalke 04 keeper Manuel Neuer. So on we progressed to the final of the Fifa world cup in the 1st time in our 80 year football history.
****The Fifa world cup final****
The final was to be against The Netherlands whom we had never met before in the finals of a senior international football tournament. Not wanting to miss the celebrations in Madrid there I came from my hometown all the way to Madrid with my vuvuzela and the Spanish flag embedded on my face wearing my Spain shirt with "David villa" on the back.
****So let's take a look at how the teams lined up:****
* 01 Stekelenburg
* 02 Van Der Wiel
* 03 Heitinga
* 04 Mathijsen
* 05 Van Bronckhorst Captain (Braafheid, 105)
* 06 Van Bommel
* 08 De Jong (Van der Vaart, 99)
* 10 Sneijder
* 07 Kuyt (Elia, 70)
* 09 Van Persie
* 11 Robben
* 01 Casillas Captain
* 03 Pique
* 05 Puyol
* 11 Capdevilla
* 15 Sergio Ramos
* 06 Iniesta
* 08 Xavi
* 14 Alonso (Fabregas, 87)
* 16 Busquets
* 07 Villa (Torres, 105)
* 18 Pedro (G Jesus Navas 60)
So having known that Torres was left out of the Spanish line up yet again I was pleased since when he cut his hair he ain't scored a goal. Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro (36), who retired from international football after Italy's dismal world cup and who currently plies his trade with UAE side AL Ahli Abu Dhabi, brought the world cup on the pitch holding it up tight and then they placed the trophy on a mini stage. Just a couple of minutes passed when a man sprinted on the pitch in a plot to grab a hold of the world cup but with no success as Fifa suspected somebody was going to do something like this. So as soon as he left the field with police on either side of him, the teams went out and began training. Now the whole thing was getting tense I began not to believe in my team... the Dutch are always known for their violence even if they really did introduce the "total" football.
So out came the players with Howard Webb the English referee leading the pack picking up the golden Jabulani final match ball from the plinth, heading for the centre where the teams line up for their national anthems. Only difference is this time they were standing either side of the Fifa World Cup Trophy and the hopes of both nations were on these 22 players' shoulders. None other than South African legend Nelson Mandela was evident in the crowd along with the usual royalty attendance from both Spain and the Netherlands.
Spain pressured right from the start and the first chance fell to the evergreen Sergio Ramos who used one of his main attributes, his head. His header from an amazing Xavi free kick was parried by one of the best keepers in the tournament so far Maarten Stekelenburg.
Once again it was Sergio Ramos who was causing havoc as on the 12th minute as he dodged a few sliding tackles before putting a delightful cross only to be cleared by Heitinga... it could have so easily been a goal. From the resulting corner, it was Villa's turn to have a pop at goal as his sweetly struck half volley collided with the side netting.
In the first 30 minutes, 5 yellows were dished out - 2 to Spain and 3 to Holland, including one for that vicious tackle by De Jong on Xabi Alonso. For a second I believed that I was watching a new Eric Cantona born but then I realised it was that bald twat from city, Nigel de Jong. What a shame I thought a new legend was born lol. A chorus of boos around the stadium rang out as the Spanish believed it was worthy of a red.
We saw nothing of Holland until the 37th minute as Robben won a corner. He swung it in and Van Bommel received it but instead of shooting he squared the ball to Hsv defender Mathijsen who then fluffed his shot. Even my 1-year-old niece would have got it on target. As Andy Gray once said, "If you don't hit the target mate... you are never going to score".
The first chance of the second half came around the hour mark when a superb pass by none other than Wesley Sneijder let Robben through, using his pace to go past Puyol with ease, he was clear through on goal. Our world cup hopes rested on San Iker's shoulders. Robben was one on one with the keeper and I thought it was a calamitous mistake by Iker coming off his line but it turned out to be a masterstroke. Robben didn't spot him off therefore he didn't lob him and to my great relief it was saved by super Iker. We all know what happened to Spain after San Iker saved Cardoso's penalty in the quarterfinals, Spain regained belief and confidence and that's what happened to Mr Robben here. Robben seemed to be in the first stage of running off to celebrate...because what he intended to do, he did... just shame about the outstretched foot of Iker.
Spain's first chance of the second half came in the 76th minute when David Villa's volley sailed into the crowd. Then the chances started to flow really. One-minute later unmarked Real Madrid Right back Sergio Ramos saw his header go agonisingly over the bar. That was very unlucky, as around 90,000 people wanted the net to be shaking.
Seven minutes to score and we received yet another scare as once again having evaded Puyol thanks to yet another frightening through ball by Wesley Sneijder, Robben tries to round Casillas but the Real Madrid keeper dived on the ball. However, after missing the chance Arjen Robben ran towards the referee Howard Webb, reminiscent to the run posed by Ballack towards the ref Tom Henning Ovbero, as he was appealing for the penalty. Robben was then booked for his antics.
So the first half of extra time got underway as Spain kicked off with Xavi Hernandez and David Villa
After seeing Iker Casillas save twice on one-on-one occasions this time it was Stekelenburg to the rescue as he denied Arsenal's 23 year old captain Cesc Fabregas from a certain goal. Fabregas' rifle of a left foot struck a rocket of a shot only to be saved by the amazing reflexes of the Ajax keeper who has been coveted by Manchester united.
In the second half of extra time, with 11 minutes left of play Everton utility man Johnny Heitinga was the victim of the first red card of the Final after a clumsy challenge on Iniesta and this proved to be the turning point in the game.
Puyol was penalized for tripping Elia and stopping his run transforming into something more dangerous for La Furja Roja. So Sneijder stepped up with the free kick and it hit the back of Fabregas but amazingly Howard Webb gave a goal kick. From the resulting attack, just two minutes from time, Fernando Torres's cross was blocked only for it to fall to Arsenal captain Fabregas who delivered a pinpoint pass towards Iniesta. Then Iniesta teed himself up and smashed an unstoppable volley in the corner past Ajax Amsterdam keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Dutch protested to no avail, as they tried to point out to English referee Howard Webb that it was meant to be a corner and in addition Elia had been blocked off by Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid just seconds earlier. However Webb had none of it and he booked Joris Mathijsen because of his antics.
And there you have it! For the first time in history SPAIN ARE WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS!!!
I was so proud seeing that star on our shirts, I felt that we put immense hard word into this whole campaign.
****Jinxes and world cup facts are untrue****
The amount of jinxes we had to overcome were a lot and they are all here listed below:
1. Whoever loses their first match, NEVER wins the World cup.
2. Pele: Enough said about him.
3. Spain never get past the quarter finals.
4. The mathematical 3964 rule
5. No European country had ever won World Cup outside Europe
6. The only country to ever win World Cups with goalkeeper captains was Italy
Iker Casillas (9.5): Simply superb performance from San Iker denying Bayern Munchen's talisman Arjen Robben twice on one- on -one opportunities. If it wasn't for him we may have never even got to see Iniesta's emphatic winner. My man of the match.
Sergio Ramos (7.5): The Real Madrid full back gave a solid performance causing havoc in the penalty more than a few times in the first half. The only blot on his copybook was the booking that he attained in the first half.
Carles Puyol (6.5): a solid performance from poochie although he was slow on both occasions allowing Robben two one-on-one opportunities.
Gerard pique(7.0): like his defensive compatriot he was solid at the back causing a few problems at the other end as well.
Joan Capdevilla (6.5): Defended well down the flank and limited kuyt's activity and he also provided Alonso with a lot of passes
Xabi Alonso (8.0): Some scintillating play by the Basque born player, beautiful passes from the middle of the park although he was on the receiving end of a karate kick from a certain manc Nigel de Jong
Sergio Busquets (5.5): sloppy on the ball the son of the legendary Barca goalkeeper did not do himself justice and he is the weak link in the Spanish line up.
Xavi (8.5): 80 passes out of 99 says it all as this midfield maestro just keeps getting better and better with age. The only thing that he could improve is the quality of his free kicks as his deliveries were poor to be honest with you.
Andreas Iniesta (9.0): Caused the Dutch to change into consternation mode. Whenever he touched the ball he was lively and he was a livewire down both flanks, whether it was through dribbling, penetrating or passing. As the game went on he was fouled but in the end his emphatic finish says everything about the player who is really underrated. Maybe now he will get the plaudits he deserves. However he may have been sent off after lashing out at Mark Van Bommel.
Pedro Rodriguez (6.0): The Barcelona whiz kid did not really put on a good showing. His speed did cause problems for gio down the left but his final product was quite poor.
DAVID VILLA (7.5): My Role model for la furja roja David villa started very brightly by thumping a half volley into the side netting. However as the game wore on his end product became worse and he was rightly withdrawn for Flopando Torres.
Cesc Fabregas(8.0): Cesc was stunning in his 23 minute cameo. Although he did miss a guilt etched one on one opportunity he redeemed himself by sending a pinpoint pass through to Iniesta who thumped his volley past the keeper. He was dictating the play all around the pitch so keep up the good work Cesc.
Fernando Torres (4.5): Torres did nothing apart from wiggling on the floor after injuring himself, no impact whatsoever.
Jesus Navas (8.5): As soon as he came on for Pedro the whole, game changed to Spain's good. Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, at 35 years old, is no Usiain Bolt so Jesus Navas kept on picking on him by zipping past him on countless occasions. He even had a pop at goal, which nestled in the side netting. He could have been a starter had he overcome his home sickness.
Maarten Stekelenburg (8.0): Casillas's opposite number didn't have a quiet night and he was as equally impressive. He went down quick to deny Cesc Fabregas on a one -on-one opportunity and a brilliant reflex save denied Sergio Ramos a goal early on during the game. Holland's best player.
Gregory van der Wiel (4.5): he was certainly not the high-flying force he was throughout this tournament. We never saw the attacking edge or threat of the Bayern Munich target and he was rightly booked. Beaten on one-on-one occasions several times.
Joris Mathijsen (7.0): The Hsv man was very solid at the back and covered for gio when a player went passed him. However he did fluff a shot in the 1st half.
Johnny Heitinga (5.0): Before his red card he was one of the men of the match-denying villa of two certain goal-scoring chances. However as soon as he got sent off he left a big void in the orenje's defence.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst(6.5): solid at the back and he was doing well until Jesus Navas came on and tortured him. Not bad for his last ever appearance in the Orenje shirt but surely he must be disappointed losing his last game.
Mark Van Bommel (6.0): The Bayern Munich hardcore worker has a love-me, hate me attitude about him you either love him or hate him. He was booked early on in the game and he could have seen red had the referee not been too lenient with him.
Nigel de Jong (5.0): He would have done King Eric proud when he went in with that vicious karate kick on Xabi Alonso. He should have been sent off without any question. Never really imposed himself on the game.
Wesley Sneijder (8.0): he provided the two of the best passes of the tournament to provide Robben with two one-on-one opportunities. He tried to break free but was somewhat isolated. Largely his best work was done defensively, getting in tackles in deep positions.
Arjen Robben (6.5): wasted two guilt-etched opportunities, otherwise had no effect on the game.
Dirk Kuyt (5.0): He had little attacking support and Joan Capdevilla and Sergio Ramos muted his activity.
Robin van Persie(4.0): did not even touch the ball and picked up a booking in the process
Edson Braafheid (6.0) :came on for van Bronckhorst and had to do more defending after Heitinga received his marching orders
Rafael Van der Vaart (5.5): Came on however he didn't do anything significant except take the captain's armband.
Eljero Elia (7.0): his pace and trickery caused some problems, however his end product was poor. Was supposedly fouled in the process of Iniesta's goal
Paul the octopus and Rafael Nadal were Spain's good omens
To tell you the truth as soon as we lost our very first match against Switzerland 1-0 there was dismay around the Spanish contingent. Nearly everyone believed Pele's jinx was getting underway. However British born Paul the psychic octopus predicted that Spain would win against Germany. And that happened, so the Germans want him to be used as part of their Oktoberfest or whatever it's called. So a report emerged that a group of Spanish businessmen want to buy him for a reported Euro30,000.
Rafael Nadal stated that whenever he wins Wimbledon Spain win. When he won Wimbledon back in 2008 we won the Euros, he won Wimbledon this year and we won the world cup.
****Lets analyze Howard Webb's performance****
There were four main talking points lets analyse them:
1. Andreas Iniesta lashing out at van Bommel
Van Bommel had brought down the Barcelona man Iniesta. A mere couple of seconds later Iniesta lashed out at him as a reaction to the tackle that van Bommel made on the 170 cm winger. Iniesta picked up a booking for his antics.
My call: I would have given Iniesta a red
2. Heitinga's red card
As Andréas Iniesta bombarded the Dutch's half and as he twisted away from van der Wiel, the Everton utility man panicked, making contact with Andréas Iniésta using his right hand. Iniésta went down on the edge of the area. A free kick was given and Heitinga received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
My call: Terrific call from the referee although it was soft it was denying Iniésta of a clear cut opportunity.
3. Nigel de Jong on Iniésta
Iniésta charged into the area and there was a tangle of legs between him, de Jong ,Xavi and Heitinga. The Spaniards called for a penalty but Webb waved play on.
My call: Yet another good call from Webb, probably been being a referee in the premier league had helped him with the decision as here in Spain we are not used to the same physical presence
4. Nigel De Jong on Xabi Alonso
Half way through the first half former Hamburg star Nigel de Jong went with his boot up high on former Liverpudlian Alonso. Even though the ball was around chest height Nigel got nowhere near it: Howard flashed him a yellow card.
My call: A certain red card. He should get his eyes checked as soon as possible at specsavers.
****Overall opinion of the final:****
My opinion of the final is that it was very poor... there were not a lot of clear cut chances and the Dutch were playing very dirty with the Dutch going in hard on our national team players. The game was a bit of a stop start game and we never saw the game flow to be honest with you, thank god we have Andréas Iniésta.
The Dutch wanted to stop Spain. Ironically the Dutch carried this tactic out very well. Without Xavi we were nothing as he is the life and soul of the Spanish team and with van Bommel doing plenty dirty work they were disrupting Spain's style. It was very reminiscent of the 2006 Fifa world cup final between Italy and France.
****Overall opinion of the tournament winners:****
The logical Spanish starting team contained a huge number of players, around 7, who are first choice players at the same club side.. Barcelona. The big problem with international teams is they struggle to get the players to 'gel together' in the very limited time and game exposure they get. Spain were able to play a style, and quality, of football that probably would be beyond even more talented international teams because of the familiarity of so many key players.
Thank you for reading
It is summer here in Europe and the World Cup has kicked off (although it is winter in South Africa where it is being held)! So I thought, "hmm, why not write a review about my favourite team - my Spanish National Team - and celebrate the arrival of the World Cup Tournament?
Being a woman doesn't make me a football dummy; I like watching football matches in general, but the World Cup has a special place in my heart. My father used to hang flags on our balconies months before the kick off and has talked non-stop about past World Cup events.
My dad, my brother and I are dedicated football spectators; the only one who isn't a fan is my mum (the World Cup fever has never reached her; I believe she is well immunised against this kind of fever)!
== La Furia Roja (The Red Fury) and their World Cup History ==
The Spanish national team... where should I start? Spain has played in 12 different FIFA World Cup tournaments and their best ever finish was a semi final in the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil In addition to those 12 appearances in FIFA World Cup tournaments, we have nine in the European championship winning it in 1964 and 2008.
They were crowned European champions in 2008 in a scintillating Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
We also took part in an unsuccessful 2009 FIFA confederations cup crashing out of the semi finals of the tournament to the United States of America thanks to goals from 20 year old Hull city striker Jozy Altidore and Fulham maestro Clinton Dempsey. Although we won our 3rd place match, I, like many Spaniards, were unsatisfied since we knew that we had the potential to go all the way.
== The journey to South Africa ==
We may not have the best history in the world when going into the World Cup but this is probably our best chance since the first time Spain played in the FIFA World Cup way back in 1950!
Throughout the preliminary qualification rounds, Spain went to the World Cup undefeated in a tough group containing the likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Euro 2008 semi finalists Turkey, minnows Estonia and Armenia and finally a reasonably good Belgium. Throughout that European qualification Spain scored 28 goals in 10 games, second only to England (34 goals in 10 games), showing the real firepower that we possess up front.
Spain kicked off their world cup 2010 qualification thanks to a narrow 1-0 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, thanks to yet another from El Guaje's (David Villa) strike. This performance showed the strong resistance they have had to endure since their victorious Euro 2008 win. Although Armenia and Estonia appeared to be pushovers, we had an away clash against Belgium and the hardest games of all were the two against EURO 2008 semi-finalists Turkey (one at home, the other away in Istanbul) - the most difficult in the group.
== How They Played ==
At the (2-1) win against Belgium in Brussels we battled back to clinch victory right at the death, through an 88th-minute Villa strike. After Belgium came our home game against Turkey which we won (1-0); the goal coming from Barcelona Center back Gerard Pique. The return fixture in Istanbul saw Spain embark on yet another comeback triumph winning (2-1) courtesy of goals from Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso and Liverpool outcast Albert Riera.
Belgium were thrashed (5-0) in the home fixture in La Coruna and our ticket to South Africa 2010 was assured with two rounds to spare after a comfortable (3-0) home win over Estonia. We were only the second European nation to qualify for the world cup after Holland. Far from taking our foot off the pedal, La furja roja rounded off their stunning qualification campaign with a win against lowly Armenia and a (5-2) thrashing away from home of the closest challenger, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
== Coach Vicente DEL BOSQUE ==
Our coach Vicente Del Bosque is no dimwit when it comes to managing. He has managed the most successful team in football history (Real Madrid) three times: during the 1994-1995 season, the 1996-1997 season, and finally from 1999 till 2003, when he was replaced by Vanderlei Luxemburgo. His main achievements with Real Madrid were steering the capital side to their eighth European Cup/UEFA Champions League title, in addition to another Champions League victory against German giants Bayern Leverkusen, winning it courtesy of that Zinadine Zidane scorcher. To add to those two Champions League titles they also gained two League titles in 2001 and 2003, a Spanish Super Cup in 2001, a UEFA Super Cup in 2002 and a Toyota Intercontinental Cup in 2002.
== Vicente Del Bosque's choices: "I have 23 players who are all in perfect condition" (Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach) ==
Our national team coach Vicente Del Bosque had a tough choice in choosing the Final squad of 23 players for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. I agree with him on most of his choices but I would have taken a certain Marcos Senna who played an integral role in our Euro 2008 victory in Austria and Switzerland in the place of Sergio Busquets (who usually flops against high calibre teams). Although Marcos Senna is very slow, he is certainly no Dimitar Berbatov, nor is he a certain Jamaican by the name of Usain Bolt. In addition, maybe José Antonio Reyes should have made the cut, but, I do admit that that is the coach's decision.
== This is the final 23 squad that is in South Africa ==
=== Goalkeepers ===
(1) Iker CASILLAS (Real Madrid ESP)
(12) Victor VALDES (Barcelona ESP)
(23) Pepe REINA (Liverpool ENG)
=== Defenders ===
(2) Raul ALBIOL (Real Madrid ESP)
(3) Gerard PIQUE (Barcelona ESP)
(4) Carlos MARCHENA (Valencia ESP)
(5) Carles PUYOL (Barcelona ESP)
(11) Joan CAPDEVILA (Villarreal ESP)
(15) SERGIO RAMOS (Real Madrid ESP)
(17) Alvaro ARBELOA (Real Madrid ESP)
=== Midfielders ===
(6) Andres INIESTA (Barcelona ESP)
(8) XAVI (Barcelona ESP)
(10) Cesc FABREGAS (Arsenal ENG)
(14) XABI ALONSO (Real Madrid ESP
(16) Sergio BUSQUETS (Barcelona ESP)
(20) Javier MARTINEZ (Athletic Bilbao ESP)
(21) DAVID SILVA (Valencia ESP)
(22) Jesus NAVAS (Sevilla ESP)
(13) Juan Manuel MATA (Valencia ESP)
=== Forwards ===
(7) David VILLA (Barcelona ESP)
(9) Fernando TORRES (Liverpool ENG)
(18) PEDRO (Barcelona ESP)
(19) Fernando LLORENTE (Athletic Bilbao ESP)
As you can see the Spanish national team possesses one of the best squads in the world and if they take advantage of that there is no stopping them.
== Here are some of the star and vital players (in my opinion) who could have a huge role in leading Spain to their first ever FIFA World Cup. ==
1) DAVID VILLA: Surely, he is Spain's most useful weapon, needing just seven goals to be Spain's top scorer of all time playing 40 games less than the first placed Blanco, Raul Gonzalez Blanco who has 44 goals to his name in 102 games.
He brings another dimension to the team, EL guaje can score free kicks, penalties, long-range shots, tap ins and even though he is a midget (175 cm I think), you would think that he doesn't pose a threat in the air but he does the complete contrary. EL GUAJE IS OUR KEY TO WORLD CUP GLORY.
2) IKER CASILLAS: No team is complete without its goalie and Spain does not possess JUST any goalie it possesses san Iker the captain of the Spanish national team... He needs to be on form as he has been very poor in the friendly matches. I do not know ... maybe it's just the Jabulani (the new football designed for this World Cup) ... It keeps on flying around like it's one of those balls you can get from Wilkinson's for a quid! I am not sure whether it is meant for a game of football or a game of beach ball. Any way Iker must master the Jabulani if we are going to have a chance of actually winning the tournament.
3) XAVI HERNANDEZ: There is no one in the world who can complete passes as well as Xavi, even if he has a howler of a game he still manages to complete 100 passes a game. He has been facing some problems with the 'beach ball' but he should manage to get things rolling against Switzerland.
4) CARLES PUYOL: The Poochie should not have any difficulties against the opposition we have in the world cup stages. Although Carles does look like Tarzan (I am surprised he can see because the amount of hair he has is appalling), he is one of the best and most reliable central defenders around so there should be no problem at the back if Puyol is at the peak of his game.
5) FERNANDO TORRES: Fernando has bags of potential and at just the age of 25 years, he has accomplished global status after having three successful seasons with Liverpool. The Torres - Villa strike force has 60 goals between them on the international front and Torres might be vital once more, that is if he stays away from injury.
== A warning note . . . Do you believe in "the Jinx" ? ==
=== OH MY GOSH . . . WOAHHHHH IT IS THE JINX AGAIN. ===
When I was a young child my dad always told us that he was a Spanish supporter, although deep down in his heart I was sure he was with Brazil, because he loved Pele. Even I loved Pele: he was amazing, scoring over 1000 goals ... but since he has started his predictions as to who will win competitions, I have lost all my respect and my feelings towards Pele. Why? Well, there hasn't been a team that has been touted for success by Pele so far who has actually won the cup (as far as I know)!
One day when I came back from work, my brother said, "Pele has jinxed us." I could not believe it so I ran to my computer as fast as I could to check his predictions and I saw the doom coming closer to my eyes
This year he has predicted that any African nation, Brazil, SPAIN or England could go the whole way!
I believe this could mean we will not see England, Brazil, any African Nation or Spain lift the World Cup this year, if his JINX is not thwarted! Seriously, someone should sew this guy's mouth shut prior to each World Cup and unstitch it after the final whistle that ends the Final or they should kidnap him before the World Cup and release him after it. Why should Pele ruin this World Cup after all the preparations done by South Africa? Shut up Pele! You haven't the slightest clue when it comes to today's game! I fear the day Pele might predict that everyone has an equal chance to win the World Cup: there could be no goals in the tournament making it so unsuccessful that the idea of the World Cup could be scrapped because of him.
This is what I feared when I heard the news . . . that Spain would not win this year . . . and I feared something else. It was my first time I have ever bet on the outcome, after I was so sure that Spain would win it, but after reading about Pele's prediction I do not know if it is too late to pull out my bet from the bookies and put my money on Holland to win instead.
== The JINX in action so far ==
UPDATE: 12-6-10 (10:30 CET) Phase one of the jinx has started here in the first match in group C between one of Pele's fav's England and the United States of America. After England took the lead through their skipper Stevie G in the 4th minute I thought there was no way back for The States. But I was wrong. In the 39th minute Green fumbled Clint Dempsey's tame shot. A complete "hand of clod" and I certainly believe that Green should be dropped. There you have it the jinx is underway here in South Africa!
Update: 15-6-10 (10:30 CET) Phase two of the jinx is completed as Brazil struggled to cope against a resilient North Korean defence. Although they ran out (2-1) winners, they suffered a huge scare as the North Korean number 8 scored in the 84th minute and they were very wasteful in terms of converting their chances. Whenever you watch Brazil, you expect to be entertained but yesterday I saw the complete antithesis.
== As a Conclusion ==
I believe that Spain will get to the semis at the very most having heard the JINX's predictions. We will ease through the group stages. If Brazil finishes second in their group it could mean an early exit for us; if Brazil finish first, then I believe we can beat Portugal/Ivory Coast. However, the obstacle would then be the semis as I think England may defeat us. But don't get me wrong, these are just predictions, and football is played on the park so everything is possible.
'''Good luck Spain you REALLY need it!'''
Thanks for Reading!
=== © Karimkha ~ ~ ~ June ~ ~ ~ 2010 ===
Please note it is a film only review
I have read and heard many positive reviews and opinions about Lost in Translation, so when the film was shown on my favourite movie channel, I was excited to watch it and see what the fuss was all about!
The plot summary
To be completely frank with you, there is nothing much going on in the film. The story takes place in Japan, specifically in Tokyo.
The tale revolves around an aging American actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) who left his wife, his children and his career as a well-known theatre actor. He flew to Tokyo city to film an advertisement for Suntory whiskey, purely to gain a huge sum of money: '''two million dollars. ''' In fact, that sum of money would be added to his bank account after finishing the act!
Running away from his miserable marriage, which had lasted more than a quarter of a century, one would think that he lacks romance by constantly ignoring his wife out of pure ignorance, or maybe it is just his wife.
However, one thing is for sure, he spent most of his time in the posh hotel bar drinking and looking terribly dejected, or at least most of the time!
One day, while he was drinking at the bar, he meets a beautiful American woman who was a newly graduated student from university.
Her name was Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) who in fact was recently married to a celebrity- determined to be photographer John (Giovanni Ribisi), who left her alone in Tokyo for another business trip!
They started chatting to each other while they were drinking at the bar that night. They both found many things in common, they both were unsure about their marriages; they both felt lost in the city and neither of them could sleep!
Because they both had lonely nights and they both suffered from insomnia (it is a problem where you cannot sleep at night) Charlotte was destined to meet him again and again.
One day, Charlotte offered Bob to join her in Tokyo on one of her nights out with her friends; he accepted her offer and their relationship grew deeper and deeper and as a result, it took another twist! From here on, their adventure kicked off, when they got lost in parties in the magnificent city of Tokyo, karaoke bars and the odd nightlife. Therefore they had to face many challenges; The Japanese language was one of the biggest barriers they faced as well as the traditions, the cultural differences , the customs and of course their MARRAGES!!!
Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson)
There is no doubt about it, this young and beautiful, baby faced actress was the best choice in terms of co-starring with Bill Murray in the film. With her calm, sweet, innocent looks she was probably the best actress out of the whole cast (although there were very few actors anyway).
Furthermore, when the film was produced seven years ago she was not so famous, she was an unknown quantity, a kind of surprise package but choosing Scarlett Johansson was a stunning choice a kind of mastermind choice while you are at it. For many reasons this was a stroke of pure genius, for one, her age was close to the character's age.
Scarlett was only 18 and got along with the role of a woman in the early twenties. Her kind, compassionate and simple looks made her extremely believable and loveable.
In some scenes, she had the tendency in making it too over-dramatic, bearing in mind that she acted this out seven years ago and she was not as experienced as she is now. However, I saw a few weaknesses in her acting especially towards the end of the film. In addition to the slow movement and reactions throughout the film, she had a very quiet voice, which was a bit annoying sometimes, however at the end of the day she was the star of the film and I would probably yield her a 4/5 for her performance in a very tricky film.
Bob Harris (Bill Murray)
He was the main actor (well he was the only one in the film!) I personally never liked Bill Murray's acting or personality. For me he was always the second best, always having that kind of secondary role in most of his films so seeing him as a lead actor in 'Lost In Translation' was a big surprise for me.
Anyway, while watching the film and after watching the film I realised he was the one. Most, if not all, scenes in the films were based on him, his misery and his lost life.
He hardly cracked a smile; his dumb look had driven up the wall! I know he was supposed to be like that, but he was extremely cold and some of his jokes were nonsense and they were also dull while you are at it.
In the film, he was struggling to find his real self, for some reason he looked like he was going through midlife crisis especially when he befriended a much younger, married woman and tried to get involved with her friends at the nightclubs. In fact, he was going through a lot of pain, not physically but emotionally. He tried to talk to his wife regularly but that tactic miserably failed, even his kids were emotionally separated from their dad. He filmed the whisky advertisement, hating himself for selling it "cheap" for money.
I cannot say I have changed my initial opinion about him by watching this film but at least with his superior acting he managed to bring the story altogether.
My opinion on the film
The film in general was sad, dark , gloomy and moody but had a good deal of entertainment and the odd funny moment; not the funny where you could burst out laughing, but it will make you smile and probably will take your mind off of that miserable mood of the film.
Although the film had a very weak plot, the story had a strong basis and was thought provoking as well; the film talks to your soul and mind with the surprising element that makes you eager to watch it right until the end.
The title of the film had many meanings, we saw many dialogues throughout the film in Japanese, which were not supported with any subtitles. Sometimes there was a translator who translated long sentences into a word or two missing out a lot of vital dialogue!
I guess that this was done on purpose so we could feel lost through this part and understand what they were going through.
I did not like the feeling of being left out. I was annoyed by the lack of subtitles and well over 10 minutes of our time were wasted with completely silent scenes in the club and other places as well. They hardly spoke a word; I was utterly uninterested, and I felt that I was taken out of the mood of the film by those unnecessary incidents.
I believe that a huge burden was put on the shoulders of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson as they were the only MAIN actors in the film therefore I appreciate their extra effort trying to break the boredom or repetition!
Most of the film scenes were shot in the city of Tokyo showing the streets, bars and nightclubs. It was a nice attempt to show us the other FUN side of Tokyo
The film Lost in translation was a big success and topped the USA box office for many weeks when released in 2003. There were millions of viewers all over the world; this resulted in the management gaining well over $119.723.856. This movie also appeared on several critics' top ten lists for 2003.
The film Lost in Translation had many nominations and won many awards. They got an Oscar for best original screenplay; also it won Golden Globes for best musical or comedy motion picture. The film won the best editing, actor and actress awards in BAFTA film awards ceremony and finally it won four IFP Independent Spirit Awards, for best feature, director, male lead, and screenplay.
The American Born, female director, Sofia Coppola, who directed the film Lost In Translation wrote and produced the film as well. She is an Academy Award-winning American film director, an actress, producer and a screenwriter. She was the third female director, and the ONLY American woman, to be nominated for an Academy Award for Directing.
She did very well directing this hard and difficult film; she added a touch of humour all the way, throughout the film. She managed to attract the audience's attention and kept the ending as open and as mysterious as she could with a twist; she brought an unexpected end to the film. She had some weak and utterly boring scenes but we must appreciate how difficult this film was to be directed, especially not having so many actors to help, therefore most of the hard work depending on good direction.
I respect Sofia Coppola as she tried to evoke the emotional intensity but without the use of excessive nudity or bad language. She successfully replaced sexual flair with emotional longing, craving and hunger without being too bashful. She did make us wonder and wait for the moment to happen . . . she cleverly helped us using our imagination a lot and she also surprised us with some unexpected moments.
Prices and availability
The film is available to buy in all major media stores also available to purchase online like Amazon.co.uk.
The price can vary between £4.98-£19.99. You can buy it used for as little as 0.99 p!
My personal rates
I would give this film 4 stars for the directing and good performances of both actors. The certificate for this film is 15+ and runs over 97 minutes.
An Amusing, thought provoking, romantic film but in a kind of AWKWARD way!
Thank you for reading
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ June ~ ~ ~ 2010
I am always trying to read as many books as possible, but I never want to read heavy novels that are padded with unfamiliar and words, which are hard to understand! I'm still a learner and walking my first steps into the English language (but I'm a fast learner), therefore I consider myself as an English language student and constantly looking for books that are easier to read and at the same time fun, educational and useful.
Biography books are always interesting books to read . . . but again some of them are extremely long, tricky to read and somewhat hard to follow, so I was advised to read SCHOLASTIC biography books for easier and more readily available information.
*Who are scholastic?*
You can guess from the name Scholastic (educational or academic) it is a book company which "specialises in didactic and teaching materials for schools, teachers, and parents as well." It was founded in 1920. They are usually promoting and distributing their books by mail order, and by their own books passing through book clubs, book fairs and bookshops.
Their books are mainly aimed at older children and pre-teens and of course for English language learners like me.
They have their own book club; you can order books from their website with some special offers and special member's discounts.
One of their books interested me and grabbed my attention . . . the book name was Helen Keller, by Margaret Davidson.
*A bit about the Author . . . Margaret Davidson*
There is nothing much which can be found about this writer. What I found out is that she was a published author who specialised in writing children's books. Some books by Margaret Davidson include Nine True Dolphin Stories, Story of Thomas Alva Edison: The Wizard of Menlo Park, Dolphins! (Step Into Reading: A Step 2 Book (Turtleback), and Helen Keller's Teacher.
I loved this book; I was very impressed and glued to the book from the very beginning. The story was written in an easy and comprehensible way, full of fast-paced incidents and events.
*Reviewing the book.*
The story based on a real life character Helen Keller. Surprisingly, I had not heard about her or read any articles about this person before.
The story took place in 1882, in a small town named Tuscumbia, Alabama in the United States of America. The story talked about a normal happy family, a husband, a wife and their little girl who is the apple of their eyes and their love and joy. Like any new parents Mr and Mrs Keller loved Helen and gave her all the love and care they could. Happiness was not destined for the parents or even for HELEN. The poor girl fell ill a mere 18 months into her new life, in fact she had a strange fever. They called the doctor who couldn't do anything to help . . . it was a strange fever the doctor said.
The eighteen month old girl was burning with fever for days, she grew weaker as the days went on and there is nothing to do, just the old theory of just wait and hope, the doctor himself didn't have much hope that she would survive the fever. She probably had Scarlet Fever, which is not a big deal these days, but it was 100 years ago besides no one knew about it.
The fever did not last long and sooner Helen seemed to look fine but the fever was not so kind on her . . . it left her blind and deaf too!
The doctor shook his head, nothing could done for the little girl; she is deaf and blind and will be for the rest of her life! Her parents did not give up and took her to see other doctors but there was no hope. They had to accept the fact that Helen is not going to a normal child again . . .
*Helen . . . and the dark silence*
Everyone felt sorry for Helen, so they let her have it her own way! How could they teach her discipline and good manners if She can't see or hear? She lives in dark silence alone. Day after day Helen grew more like an animal, she eats like an animal, no table manners no respect for anyone. She developed a few signs for communication but still it was a hard job conveying with her especially with her furious temper tantrums, everyone was scared from her, she was a very aggressive girl for nearly six years until a stranger entering Helen's life and changed it forever . . . Annie Sullivan entered her life. She had came all the way from Perkins Institute (a special institute for deaf and blind people) to help Helen.
Annie Sullivan was like the only hope for Helen. Since she entered the house, Helens life changed forever.
*My analysis for the book and the writing style*
Book analysis and writing style . . .
As I said, this book was aimed at a younger group, but it still is a fascinating read for adults and English language learners.
I liked the writing style of the book; the author Margaret Davidson tried to simplify her sentences as much as she could. Even young children can fully understand the book.
With her easy and interesting approach she successfully attracted my attention from the very first line with her straightforward and effortless words, such that I wasn't disturbed every time I faced a difficult word by running to the nearest dictionary to find the meaning so I was completely concentrated and focused on the story.
You can feel that her target is young people as she was explaining and defining some words or behaviour; she felt it needed explanation.
Usually a biography could be dull, boring, and sometimes packed with unnecessary events but with Helen Keller's biography she only pointed out what was interesting and what had a great effect on the story line, about her life and future career.
It was a very motivating book to read. At the beginning, it was sad, tearful and very depressing especially when you read about a toddler who suffered and ended up losing her sight and hearing. I was upset and I felt sorry for her and I cannot deny that, but the story carries on gradually to another level when she turned into little monster or according to the book a wild animal. My feelings were changed from being sorry for her to feeling annoyed and infuriated by her behaviour. Not long before the writer escalated us to another level of emotions . . . Suspense and anticipation! I was intrigued and excited to know what will happen next.
Slowly, systematically and word-by-word, I reached the end of the book. I couldn't let it go and I finished it in one sitting (which was so not me) but I wanted to know how did she transformed into a miracle girl?
Moreover, how much did she suffer to get there and what sacrifices she and Annie made to get her to be what she was?
The story was full of eagerness and keenness. It made me stop and think: how could a girl who lived all her life in dark silence became so successful and famous? She set a remarkable example for us to look up to with her determination and will power.
This woman could see with her heart - unlike some people who cannot see with their eyes wide open.
"The best and most beautiful things in the worlds cannot be seen or even touched they must be felt with the heart"
*My personal opinion (A few things that I liked and disliked)*
I liked many things about this book: I actually enjoyed reading the book and I highly rate it and recommend it for others to read.
The book was straightforward and uncomplicated, with easy to understand words.
I must say, it was very interesting and attention grabbing, no dull moments at all. The story was full of morals, principles, and teaching you how to keep your self-control and how to cope and deal with disability.
I also found it full of enthusiasm and passion, making you believe that there are no limits for ambition; never fear to dream, as your dreams may become true.
In general, it was a feel-good book that lifts up your spirit, full of ups and downs , sadness and happiness, hope and hopeless moments packed with actions, manners and many surprises, you will be certainly impressed.
The book was an excellent one but there were a few minor factors that I disliked about it.
The story could be very sorrowful and dismal at the begging, so some children might find it upsetting and disturbing; do not let them give up. When they carry on reading, the best is yet to come.
Although nearly everything necessary was mentioned in the book, I found that the story was short and I believe that there was some information missing; maybe some events . . . a few incidents seemed incomplete, and also there was very little or no focus about her personal and private life as a woman.
When reading the book thoroughly you can see some repetition but it was probably because it is designed for children so there is a need to remind a child about certain incidents.
At the end of the book, you will see some original pictures of our main character and Annie Sullivan, but I did not find the pictures enough. I would love to see more of this extraordinary character.
*Chapters, pages, and other information*
It is a small paperback book; in the front cover, you see a sketch of Helen reading her book while at the back there is a list of the Braille alphabet. I found them very interesting to try . . . I actually closed my eyes and tried to trace the raised letters. It was very hard to do!
Helen Keller was only 96 pages; Scholastic INC (printed in the USA) published it and Wendy Watson illustrated it.
The book is divided into 10 easy and small chapters
A strange fever
The dark silence
The stranger comes
The worst fight of all
So much to learn
The time to move on
"I'm not dumb now!"
The busy years
Lessons I learnt
I never thought that reading this book could be such a big assistance to me. Helen Keller set us a good example of how to love and accept yourself as you are . . . not only loving and accepting who we are but to believe on ourselves and our ability to work out and improve our capability and to do our best to shine.
She proved to us that disability is not an excuse; she did everything a normal person can do. In fact, she was even better than the others were; she did things that I could not and would not do in my whole entire life! She was brave and courageous, she was eager to learn and live her life to the end; she managed to turn her life into an exciting one rather than the dark and silent one!
Helen really made me ashamed of myself, we should really be grateful of what we have!
She was full of enthusiasm and passion, a helpful person that helped other people and showed them the true path of life.
Her teacher Annie Sullivan was a great example of patience and endurance, without her help and support Helen would not be what she was, she would probably still be a savage girl.
It is an educational book full of morals, principle and moralities.
*Prices and availability*
Helen Keller and many other interesting Scholastic books are available to buy from any bookshop in the UK.
You can also buy it from ebay and Amazon or go straight to the Scholastic homepage and order.
Scholastic website is www.scholastic.com. You can join their club and have exclusive offers and discounts or just order any book.
The prices can be as little as 2.99 +P&P or maybe less depending on their sales and special offers. Look out for this book in charity shops
Thank you for reading
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ May ~ ~ ~ 2010
Having been a long-term chocolate addict, the CHOCOHOLIC "karimkha" would like to introduce you to one of her favourite chocolates bars.
I consume a wide variety of chocolates but I savour only the creamy, smooth chocolate that has a touch of luxury to it.
I like milk chocolate; I don't mind bitter chocolate, but the white ones have a special place at the back of my memory; it always reminds me of my childhood and milky bars!
***A quick recap about Kinder Bueno History***
The name is a combination of two languages, Kinder is a German word meaning "children" while Bueno is a Spanish word which means "good".
Kinder Bueno is from the well-known company Ferrero. Ferrero is not a Spanish nor German company... in fact it is Italian.
The Confectioner Pietro Ferrero founded this Italian company in 1946 and it was based in Pino Torinese.
Ferrero's mostly known for manufacturing chocolate and other confectionery products.
Ferrero is ranked as one of the most trustworthy and decent companies in the world.
Kinder Bueno (original) was first released in Germany in 1999 as well as Spain in 1999 and finally hit the UK in 2004. . . A bit late don't you think?
Kinder Bueno (white) was released in the summer of 2008, however, I didn't notice it until recently. I was doing overtime at work and it was nearly seven in the evening; most nearby shops were closed and I was very hungry and the only solution was the vending machine.
I looked at the choices available and I found Kinder Bueno White. I was surprised because I am only familiar with the milk chocolate one, so I bought it and tried it. Since then I have become a fan of this chocolate for many reasons and I buy it every now and then.
There was the usual classic orange and white kinder wrapper with a delicious picture of the two bars and the classic glass of milk. The name of Kinder Bueno White was showing in the middle.
At the back of the chocolate, the weight, ingredients, the date of production and expiry date and nutritional information of the chocolate bar were shown.
We unwrap the wrapper to see . . .
Another wrapper? Well sort of. You will find the bar consists of two fingers or smaller bars. Each bar is wrapped individually with a clear, easy to open wrapper.
Laying my hands on the first bar...
There are many similarities between the original Kinder Bueno milk chocolate bar and Kinder Bueno white. This bar keeps hold of all the good features of the original Bueno; the size of the two bars was the same. They were light and had the same design; they have a big rectangular shape consisting of two pieces of wafers.
Each bar is divided into four small sections immersed with pearly white chocolate on the front and centred with chocolate bits. In addition, the sections were immaculately stuffed with soft, creamy, pearly white chocolate.
What is lying on the back of the bar is a bed of chocolate sprinkles; you can see the back of the bar is fully covered with tiny balls of crunchy cocoa.
***The smell and the consistency***
There was not a strong smell of chocolate, only subtle and obscure smell of chocolate. When I divided the bar into the two parts, an aromatic smell seeped towards my nose, but it was still a delicate smell. It was a nutty smell more than chocolaty. I do not know why but the smell reminded me of a hot soothing cup of cappuccino!
The bar is very light and crispy. I normally do not go for the crispy wafer sort of chocolate bars but the Kinder Bueno is an exception. The white chocolate cover was very thinly spread over the wafer while the filling was light, fluffy and had the whipped cream thickness. The cocoa sprinkles were sweet and very decorative but very messy at the same time, the moment I opened the wrapper I thought it was raining chocolate sprinkles! Most the cocoa sprinkles separated from the base and went straight into my lap!
***The taste (My experience)***
I always found Kinder chocolate tasty and a little sweet, but Kinder Bueno white was different.
Then I devoured the lightweight bar in less than two minutes! It was so light that I hardly tasted a thing! I have my own way to eat it. First I make sure that I have a tissue underneath the bar, then I shimmied off the bar so all sprinkles will fall into the tissue so it will be less messy.
I have a strange way of eating that chocolate bar in particular (I also eat Cadbury's cream egg using the same method). I broke off the first piece and sliced it in half so I can see the filing, which is the best thing in the bar!
Now since I reached the centre of the chocolate, I use my tongue to lick the filling when there is nobody watching! I don't know why I do this but I really enjoy eating it that way . . . until I end up with an empty shell! When I have finished the creamy centre, I eat the wafer.
The cocoa sprinkles: it looks very pretty and pleasing to the eye; it's definitely enhancing the plain look of the stick bar. They were very sweet and crispy, it felt like sugar coated coca. Even if they were decorative and add a bit of crunch to the bar, they were very messy so make sure that you don't eat it while you wearing a white shirt (like I always do) or standing on a beige carpet! The tiny granules of cocoa stuff will slip into the carpet and it will be tricky to remove especially by a Hoover.
The wafer coating: I am not a fan of wafers but this one was an extraordinary case. It was thin, light and crispy, easily breakable into smaller sections and once you bite it, it melts in the mouth fast. I didn't have that cardboard texture or taste it was light and delightfully tasty.
The white chocolate coating: was delicious and mouth-watering. I like white chocolate in general but I always find it extra sugary and slightly too buttery, I was expecting the same reaction when I ate it however in this case the experience was different. The white chocolate outside layer was delicately distributed with the right balance of sugar. The only thing that I did not like about the white chocolate coverage is that it was not enough for chocolate lovers; I wished that there was more white chocolate to enjoy the taste better. Still maybe if it was more it wouldn't be that tempting.
The best part (hazelnut cream) filling: this is the most delicious part of the whole bar, I actually buy Kinder Bueno white bar to enjoy the taste of the hazelnut cream. There is something naughty about that filling!
It's light, fluffy, creamy with a whipped cream consistency. The filling is ivory or off white. Nibbling all the way through the filling to discover a nutty, fluffy, silky, sweet, and milky flavour, I guess the secret of that chocolate success is the stuffing! I noticed that the filling sank at the bottom of the wafer, so it was not as pictured on their ads! It was half-empty or shall I say half full?
I can easily detect the taste of nuts; they complemented the cream perfectly, again; the right level of sweetness was achieved; the taste was overwhelming and very enjoyable.
My final opinion
I highly recommend it and would like to eat it repeatedly. It is not like any other chocolate bar; in fact, I cannot call it a chocolate bar. It is more like a luxurious wafer bar with extra delicacy in between. It light, crispy and creamy centred; it can be eaten as a light snack as it is not sickly sweet or over-indulgent.
Although it has two bars I have never found them really satisfying; on the contrary: the more you eat, the more you are craving!
The soft wafer was an advantage; melting in the mouth so easily that even my youngest niece Izzy can eat it with a smile (and chocolate) on her face.
I just wish they filled it a little bit more, I eat Kinder Bueno on a regular basis and always they are only half-filled.
I prefer to eat it at room temperature to enjoy the soft creamy centre; if you refrigerate it the soft centre hardens.
***It's good to know***
Contains vitamin E, B and B12 but of course it won't replace your 5 a day intake!
Nutritional Information per finger (21.5g):
Energy-504 Kj and121 Calories
Carbohydrates-11.1g (of which 9.1g are sugars)
Fat-7.6g (of which 3.6g are saturates)
Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
It contains nuts and nuts traces (hazelnut) so it is not suitable for nut allergy sufferers. It also contains: Milk, Whey Powder, Wheat Starch and Soya in big quantities so it's not suitable for lactose or gluten intolerance.
***My personal ratings***
All over rate 8/10
***Prices and availability***
Kinder Bueno White is available in supermarkets, corner shops and even in vending machines! The prices are normally is 49p-54p per bar, priced at 52p at Tesco Stores. It can be found in a pack of 3 twin-bar packs for £1 (pound shops).
Highly recommended but one twin-pack won't be enough!
© Karimkha ~~~ May ~~~ 2010
I don't read many glam, chatty or gossip magazines; not because I'm not into this sort of thing; but rather purely because I don't have the time to read magazines these days.
One day, while I was at work, I had some time without doing anything, the work was so slow and there were no customers. Therefore, whilst I was waiting I searched the piles of magazines bought by another female colleague for the customers to read while waiting. I spotted "More" magazine; I instantly remembered that magazine as it was one of the magazines I had sometimes read when I lived in the UK.
It was an old issue for 2nd November 2009. I started to turn over the pages and read a bit. It reminded me of why I stopped reading it in the first place. I've read better magazines, before and since.
The magazine is very popular among teens and young women, it is colourful, jam packed with different subjects, but I was very disappointed after reading a couple of pages and even more disappointed when I read certain subjects and how they dealt with them. I felt as if the magazine was like cheap version of pornography, with no proper editing and some very shallow subjects; nothing was taken seriously even on the experts page; some serious questions were not professionally answered, and sometimes was inaccurate. I thought paying such amount of money is total a waste and I didn't think it appropriate for young teens because of the sexual content.
##What is MORE magazine?##
"In theory" More is a glossy magazine designed for older teenage girls and young women but in fact, all women from all ages do read that magazine!
'MORE' magazine is published weekly, every Tuesday in the UK, by Bauer Consumer Media Limited and the first issue was published in 1988. It used to be published once every two weeks until September 2007; it changed to a weekly publication because of the increasing demand from young females!
More magazine has its own website as well which is easy to read and browse for people who enjoy e magazines: www.moremagazine.co.uk
'More!' is the UK's fastest growing glossy celeb weekly magazine with 17.3% growth of year-on-year in distribution.
## Some basic information before we go further ##
The magazine is pretty lightweight, made out of thin glossy paper; the cover was very thin - it can easily rip off - while the design of the cover was not the most attractive one. It was very crowded with photos and titles; it was very disturbing actually. The back of the magazine always has an advertisement like most magazines do.
There are different and varied Subjects every week beside the main regular weekly sections. I will discuss my reactions and opinions about these as I go through them.
When I first open the magazine, I find a big advertisement on my left hand side (mainly the back of the front cover) then . . .
* This week
A column especially created for the editor plus this week's index: a brief sentence about each section and what we expect to read about, with the page number.
* Cover star
A detailed interview with the cover star with some interesting questions and packed with glamorous pictures of the main interviewed person . . . in the issue I was reading, it was Cheryl Cole talking about her successful and flourishing relationship with Ashley (of course this was before Ashley cheated on her!)
The next sections will be all with the word ALERT next to them!
* News alert
This is full of latest news and reports plus mostly up-to-date gossip, with exclusive pictures and secrets about celebs and famous people.
* TV alerts
Here are the latest news and stories about some TV celebrities with pictures.
* A-list alert
Another selection is here of gossip and scandalous stories from celebrities and superstars with exclusive news and pictures.
* Fashion Alert
Most modern and hottest designs and fashion from the catwalk shows with red carpet rules and fashion dos and don'ts.
* Man Alert
This section is an interview with a different 'celebrity' man with photos and his latest news and stories.
* Love alert
Well not really! Another 'puppy love story' interview is here with CELEBRITIES talking about their love and life.
* Trend Alert
Another fashion page, but this time about our beloved celebrities: what are they wearing? Where can we find and buy it (whether from the internet or high street shops).
* Shopping Alert
Every week, the MORE magazine team goes to different places in the UK and meets shoppers and asks them about their shopping habits! I found it very interesting to read about people's shopping patterns and routines!
More sections to go . . .
* Man facts
Actually, I like this page; it's one of my favourites . . . it contains interesting and funny facts about men and their habits with a quick tour into their minds and what are they thinking about! Sometimes I wonder how accurate it is, though.
* Real life story
Real life story but this time told by normal average people. There were some moving and tearful stories.
There are some love stories, cheating, missing the loved one and many more from 'real' people.
* 40 men one big question
Again . . . I liked this section; 40 different men of different ages are asked one question each week (mainly a silly but stimulating and intriguing question). It was fascinating to read their answers, some very funny and interesting people and their responses.
They have big weekly competitions with very tempting and appealing prizes.
* More fashion
Yet another fashion section with over 25 pages of fashion, accessories, footwear and new buys, along with their availability on the high street or by mail order.
* High street fashion
This is the 'latest' high street fashion with the price tags and where to find the cheapest bargains.
* More beauty
Another good section with nearly twelve Pages of expert tips, new buys and beauty trends and tricks, what to buy and latest beauty trends and hottest cosmetics.
This time the more magazine expert team are solving problems sent in by the readers; the experts were giving out advice on relationships, surgery, men, health, life and your body! They have an answer for every question! I wish it was that easy . . . I would be the first to contact them!
* Position of the week (Oops! Sorry about that)
Sadly . . . I have to say this page appeared to be the most read page! Every week over a whole page, they explain a new sex position with hints and tips on how to get it perfectly done. Sometimes they use Barbie dolls and her boyfriend Ken to demonstrate the position! They also have a column with people's opinion about this certain position and how good it was!
I'm not against that, I know talking about sex is the norm these days and it's been taught at schools but I guess the main issue was using dolls and positioning them that way was a complete shock for me. I can't imagine what my three-year-old niece would do if she laid her hands on this magazine and saw those pictures with her favourite doll!
Different weekly ads placed by companies.
Varied Emails from the readers with some short news and interesting and funny stories from them.
Weekly horoscope with this week star sign.
* And finally . . . Men overheard
A hilarious page with tales from women overheard their boyfriends and husbands with some funny quotes, giving every published one £50
## My opinion examined more fully ##
I can't say that I totally liked this magazine for many reasons, I will explain my reasons in the following lines by mentions the advantages first, disadvantages and the most unpleasant part that make me made my mind about not purchasing this magazine.
## The advantages ##
* It is a colourful and glossy magazine;
* It is in high demand from young women and teens;
* It is jam-packed with hints and tips, expert advice;
* Plenty of celebrities gossip and news;
* Exclusive interviews and pictures;
* Real life stories, funny tales from people;
* Research into men and their behaviour (and other variable subjects on nearly everything except COOKING!
* Reasonably priced for a weekly magazine.
## The disadvantages ##
* In general, it is a shallow magazine; I never expect MORE from it to be totally frank, as most celeb and gossip magazines feed on and depend on other people's scandals.
* There are some very silly news items and unnecessary tittle-tattle about celebrities.
* I can also see disorganisation of some weekly subjects and photos are just thrown in without any use or importance.
* There are some inaccuracies regarding some medical and physiological issues.
* Some repetitive topics especially about fashion; you can find more than half of the magazine is about fashion but it is not well distributed.
* I detect encouragement for young teens to buy more and imitate models and other celebs by wearing and acting like them and wearing make up at a very young age. It might be not directly encouraging them but it's definitely there.
* Nearly half of the magazine is for commercial ads that are about plastic surgery, perfumes, fashion and cosmetics. Each ad had nearly a whole page! I counted the ads in my magazine and I found nearly 18 pages were wasted on ads!
* And one other thing . . .
## The unpleasant thing which I really hated about it was . . . ##
There was too much sex; on nearly every page, the words 'sex' and 'sexy' are represented. Even their advertisements had that sex appeal in them. Again, I don't know what other people's opinion is on this, but I personally found the weekly sex position very offensive and disturbing especially when using innocent toys as an "instrument" . . . I really hated that and felt dirty for seeing or reading about it this way.
Don't get me wrong, everyone likes to read some interesting sexy stories and advices but I disliked the way they used children's dolls to explain and demonstrate. I know if you are reading cosmopolitan magazine they have their own sex pages, but they are dealing with the issues with much more class, maturity and more professionally done; in MORE magazine it was like a bunch of amateurs!
== Prices and availability ==
In the UK: it is available on major supermarkets, bookshops, local shops (nearly everywhere)!
The price is usually £1.50 but sometimes you can get it for 80p using a coupon included in the magazine or a specially priced issue. Currently there are offers on the More Magazine Subscription website:
Quarterly Direct Debit (+ FREE Barry M Make up Set Worth over £32 - Save 20%) UK ONLY: £15.25
Annual Direct Debit (+ FREE Barry M Make up Set Worth over £32 - Save 20%) UK ONLY: £61.00
Annual Credit/Debit Card (Save 10%) UK ONLY: £69.00
ELSWHERE in the WORLD:
1 Year (51 issues) By Credit/Debit Card to Europe: £125.00
1 Year (51 issues) By Credit/Debit Card to USA: £125.00
1 Year (51 issues) By Credit/Debit Card to Rest of World: £250.00
If you want to buy a single issue outside the UK, you can find it in some specific bookshops. My colleague bought our copy for a staggering £6 for a single copy, which I found a total waste of money!
Nice to read parts of it for free in an office waiting area, but I won't waste my money on it! Don't bring it home if you have young kids
Thank you for reading
© Karimkha ~ ~ ~ April ~ ~ ~ 2010
-Film only review.-
Slumdog Millionaire is a film that became very popular since it was released in January 2009. Everyone talked about the film; it became one of the best films of this decade; it got many nominations and it was a multiple Oscar-winning movie . . . It was the "Must See" film of the year. Over a year later, I have finally managed to watch it! I know I was very late watching it but at least I did!
Slumdog Millionaire is British-Indian film roughly based on the novel (Q &A) written by Vikas Swarup in 2005.
The story was set and filmed in India (Mumbai) about a young man (Jamal K Malik) who participated in the Indian version of the Show "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" The young man was lucky to be picked for the show; to make him even more luckier he had won a big sum of money and there was only one question for the 20 million Rupees but the buzzer rang, so the show had to continue the next day!
The Show host was worried or maybe jealous, in either case, he called the police secretly, accusing Jamal, the illiterate, who had hardly attended school and worked in an Indian call centre as a Chai Wallah (delivering tea and drinks for the employers), of cheating.
How Come a Chai Wallah had all that knowledge to be able to answer nearly all the questions? There must be something . . . did he cheat? Is it fate? Or is it written?
So he was held in police and held custody, a police officer started questioning him showing him a recorded episode of his performance in the show. Jamal started to talk about it . . . every single question had something to do with his past: he had flashbacks. He claims he entered the show purely because he knows that his one and only love of his life will be watching him, not for money even though he was very poor!
-So What Happens In The Film?-
The Choices of Answer Are:
A) The police officer will believe Jamal and let him go and finish the show and probably win 20 million Rupees.
B) He will be jailed for cheating.
C) Jamal is telling the truth.
D) Jamal is lying.
Will it be A, B, C or D? You can go 50/50, phone a friend or ask the audience!!!!
The film contains a big selection of actors and actresses but I'm only going to mention the three main characters on the film.
The cast in general was well chosen, what I like about them is the idea of showing us Jamal, Salim and Latika as young children, then two young youthful people, growing up . . . unlike some films which shock us by the sudden transformation from very young child to a grown man . . . I like the steady and balanced steps.
-Dev Patel (Jamal Malik) the central character in the film.-
Dev Patel is a British born Actor, he is only 19 but he is very talented and gifted actor, he has the material of a real actor and I'm sure he will be shining on many other rules.
He is so very natural and believable; I completely forgot that he was acting. I cried when he cried, sympathised with him. There is something in his eyes that made me completely drawn to him.
He was a great lover, for some reason I felt that he was very truthful when he looks at Latika even his body language was far from acting. There was certainly a spark and chemistry between them. He was compassionate, caring, optimistic and very truthful.
Physically . . . looking at Dev Patel you see that he isn't the typical hero type; he is not that handsome, nor with a tall and strong great body or even have that charming smile; he was a normal young man with boyish build and nothing else!
He managed to be the perfect and best Slum Chai Wallah; I really admire him for taking too much in the film . . . if you saw the film you will understand what I mean.
-Latika (Frieda Pinto) Jamal's one and only love and "the most beautiful woman in the world" according to Jamal's statement. -
Latika is a Jamal's lost love; she was one of the slum children who had been sold and treated like a piece of meat many times. Again, she wasn't the usual Bollywood stereotype actress: she doesn't have that long hair or green eyes or that "wow" figure. She is a normal girl; the moment I saw her I felt sorry for her! She was the perfect match for Dev. I liked her natural movements, and looks. Like Dev her body language changed every time she came near Dev, and that was pretty obvious to me. I discovered later that Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto fell for each other while filming Slumdog Millionaire and now (in real life) they are in a serious relationship. This can be counted as an advantage for the film; there was no acting there, and it was all real.
I liked her, she made me cry most of the film; I liked most the scenes featuring her and Jamal in the film; they were the most emotional scenes in the film.
-Salim (Madhur Mittal) or the bad guy-
Salim is Jamal older brother. He is the complete opposite to his brother. Since a very young age he has played the role of the boss. He is always the demanding one, giving orders and bossing Jamal around. When he and his brother were facing the world after the death of their mum and a series of unfortunate incidents he took the shorter path to survive: he sold his soul, doing anything and everything to survive; he even hurt his brother's feelings and stole the most precious thing in his life.
He may sound like a heartless and evil Slumdog, but believe it or not I felt sorry for him; deep inside him and behind his tough and harsh looks there was another story . . . people react differently when life get hard on them and so did Salim. If he was raised up in a different environment maybe his life would have changed and there wouldn't be such a tragic ending to his life.
He was well chosen to take this part with his abilities and rough scary deeds he managed to attract our attention; he was very convincing and he nearly stole the spotlights from Dev (and to be honest I quite fancied him).
The film's story was very new to me and even the way the film was running was different. It is a moving story from the slums of India. Like my image of a typical Bollywood film (if I can classify it in that way), it had everything from drama, suspense and thrills to romance and even music. My moods were switching according to the events as they happened but to be honest the sad traumatic events were very effective and it felt like it would break my heart several times, leaving me sad for the rest of the film - especially when seeing the kids suffering.
Using flashbacks to tell the story in the film was original. Starting from the end till the very beginning was pretty good although I was very confused at the start of the film; once you get the idea it is fine.
The life of Jamal was connected to each and every question in the game show. It was like another game show for us, giving us other questions to answer. There was high tension especially when there were no clues and events kept on changing dramatically.
The outline of the film was idiosyncratic and unusual and it was very successful in attracting the attention and concentration of the audience. The soundtrack was amazing, some of the tracks stuck in my mind for a while; some were uplifting and the music was remarkably astonishing. I highly recommend O... Saya, Riots, Millionaire and don't forget Jai Ho . . . a mind blowing song! I can easily give 10/10 for the soundtracks, you feel that that you want to dance with joy when hear some of the tracks while others put you in the right mood whether the actors are feeling sad or deeply in love. The soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire can be bought separately on Amazon.
Two hours full of adventure, sadness, drama and love: the ending of the film (which I loved) was original and different. Watching the film over and over again, I discovered new things every time . . . I cried the first time I watched it, but watching it for the second time wasn't any better! So keep a box of tissues handy next to you and forget popcorn!
To be fair to the film, after draining dry our entire tears, there is still some good fun in the film, a few laughs and optimism and uplifting and emotional scenes.
-My Positive Reactions-
* Thought-provoking and a heart-warming, touching film that will leave you definitely emotional no matter how strong you are.
* Great direction by Danny Boyle who got us deeply drawn into the film, feeling for the characters, living with them, thinking of others without leaving our sofas.
* The main actors were all well chosen. They were young and inexperienced but natural and close to our hearts. Our minds accepted them easily. Even the younger versions of the actors were excellent and cute.
* The movie was filmed in India in some very poor places which looked truthful and realistic.
* The film was packed with principles and morals; although it was very sad throughout most of it there was always hope and young dreams.
* Astonishing and memorable soundtracks
* The film idea was different and new and so was the setting of the film
* The film was long nearly 2 hours but the hours passed so fast and the 2 hours were well spent!
* Unpredictable ending and surprising events and incidents, no boring or repetitive scenes
* A sincere and genuine love story showing us how fate plays with the lover's destiny.
-My Negative Reactions-
* The film was severely cruel and rough and bit depressing at some point.
* Dark, gloomy and traumatic in many parts which can really make you cry and feel depressed
* Some film critics criticised the way the actors speak: every single one of them speaks perfect English; bearing in mind that Jamal, Latika nor Salim hardly went to school or had a proper education, that fact is unrealistic.
Film certification: 15+ due to some disturbing scenes, some violence, killing and fighting scenes; there wasn't a direct sex scene but there were quite a few implied, and minor bad language; younger children could be greatly disturbed by seeing young children being treated badly.
Duration: 120 minutes
Languages: English, Hindi and French
Awards and nominations: Slumdog Millionaire is the film of the decade, it
reminds me of the Titanic and the huge audience response when it came out. The film scored a total of 8 Oscars, 98 other wins and 47 nominations and I think it deserves more.
- Prices and availability-
The film is available on DVD or BluRay and can be purchased from various media stores or online; alternatively you can rent it.
The prices range from £3.98 - £28.99
A must see film!
Thank you for reading
© Karimkha ~~ March ~~ 2010
A film only review.
This film was recently showing in Spanish Cinemas; my brother went with his girlfriend to see it after she and I convinced him to watch it, but they came back home after only watching half the film! He doesn't like romantic comedies as he is more into action films, thrillers and horror films. Unfortunately I couldn't go during the showing period, but recently it was showing on the DVD channels for the first time on TV, so I was pretty happy to watch it with my mum (as none of the males in the house wanted to see it with us)! Oh well . . . never mind. At least if they had joined us they wouldn't have stopped talking!
Margaret Tate is a bossy and hard to please executive editor of a book publishing company, Colden. She is so officious that nearly everyone in the office hates her. Even her young assistant Andrew (who has worked for her for three years) fears her, trying to please her as much as he can and at the same time, he hates her guts and wishes that she would be hit by a car or be poisoned!
Bossy Margaret is facing a major problem and time is crucial for her especially when she was informed by the owners of book company that her visa cannot be renewed because she missed some vital document in her application and it's too late to reapply so she has to be deported from the country as soon as possible and go back to her native country, Canada. She tried to persuade them to let her stay but they refused until (without any introduction or second thoughts) she brought her assistant and declared to the bosses that he is her fiancée and future husband-to-be, just so she can stay in the states.
She had a cunning idea! She forced Andrew to pretend that they are so much in love in front of them and later she explained herself to him. He agreed to the deception, but with his own conditions: to have a promotion and to publish his book.
Poor Andrew accepted and the deal was on but still there a few problems . . . first they have to convince the INS agent Mr. Gilbertson who was very sceptical after receiving a phone call from an employee who was fired by Miss Tate earlier. Their other problem was even more complicated: they must convince his family with their love. Anyway they carried on their plan and went to a small town in Alaska (Stitka) to meet his family and celebrate his granny's 90th birthday . . . Time is critical for her and their adventure began and the unexpected happed.
Gorgeous Sandra Bullock ... Margaret Tate
Ryan Reynolds... Andrew Paxton
Mary Steenburgen... Grace Paxton
Craig T. Nelson... Joe Paxton
Betty White... Grandma Annie
Denis O'Hare... Mr. Gilbertson
The director made a very good choice by choosing Sandra Bullock for the role as she is the queen of romantic films. I really adore her and respect her a lot. Also, in choosing the rest of the characters as well including young Ryan Reynolds (who is known for his light comedy and romantic roles) he has done well. So I'm going to talk about the main two characters in the film . . . The boss and her "little" assistant!
~~~~Sandra Bullock . . . Go Sandy . . . Go Sandy . . . (with cheerleading Chant and dance)!~~~~
Love her to bits . . . I did and I always well! She is the most natural looking actress I have ever come across. She is so beautiful and her acting is natural and always from the heart. She is successful in making us believe her in her roles, although most of her characters are romantic-comedies.
In the film she had to face the challenge of co-starring with a much younger actor . . . Ryan Reynolds was a lot younger than her as she is 45 and he just turned 33 on the 23rd of October. It can be a bit hard to make the audience forget about the age difference but she did it successfully . . . as a matter of fact I found them very suitable to each other.
Sandra was a very real Margaret; she didn't overdo it even when she was very bossy; she did it lightly and with a touch of comedy!
A TV and film actor, he is mostly known for his comedy roles . . . and of course he is a good-looking lad!
Anyway, he was absolutely brilliant; there is no doubt that he and Sandra were so perfect for each other! She was the boss; he was the assistant. She was older; he worked like a slave (a big-hearted and helpful assistant). When he becomes in control, the story changes and the roles do too . . . he is now the boss!
He did have a boyish sort of look that made me stop and think, "why him?" however, after watching the film (especially when he took his shirt off) I had second thoughts . . . I found that he is the one! With that sweet look and romantic gestures from him and his great body, I loved him.
The film was directed by a female director, Ann Fletcher. She is an American film director and choreographer well known for directing the famous "27 dresses." I watched the film before knowing that Ann Fletcher was directing it, but when I saw it, I felt the female touches nearly everywhere. The usage of certain music and some scenery were the creation of a woman for sure. I don't know what the result would have been if it had been directed by a man but this film was seen through the heart and eye of a woman and I appreciated her effort.
Altogether the film came out smoothly; there were a couple of unconvincing scenes, but it was still a strong and enjoyable film.
The shooting of the film
The film was meant to be mostly in the coldest place in the states . . . in Alaska in a small town called Stitka, but surprisingly it was not filmed in Alaska at all; in fact it was all shot in Massachusetts. The Alaskan scenes were taken in Rockport (Massachusetts) as well . . . it had all been done digitally! How clever!
The budget set for the film was nearly $40 million and it was well spent money, as the film grossed a total of $307,578,809 worldwide making it the biggest box office success in Sandra Bullock's career.
My Personal analysis
I liked the film . . . I knew before I watched it that I was going to like it! It had Sandra in it so surely it was going to be packed with love and romance. However there wasn't that flame in the air; on the contrary as they both hated each other. Even with the most romantic shots there was still that boss-assistant barrier.
The story was not very original: the older boss and the secretary; in spite of this, I felt the film wasn't discussing the age difference at all, although some hints and hidden signals were given.
Still, it was a good romantic story, with funny moments from Sandra as usual; Ryan was great too. I laughed quite a lot throughout the film (especially with the stripper scene and Sandra's reaction when the stripper took off his clothes and tried touching her)!
The ending of the film was very predictable but with a slight twist that gave it a bit of originality. I wasn't disappointed at the ending; I actually was expecting it!
It was given 12 UK and 13 US which I found fair. It included some strong language, the stripper incident (that only lasted for 5 minutes maximum) and finally Sandra Bullock was partially naked (only covered her bits) and the same goes for Ryan: a side naked scene for the two of them! So if you are watching the film with younger viewers, please bear in mind they may ask you loads of questions!
There were about 14 songs in the film which I found a bit too much for a relatively short film (107 minutes); the opening song of the film, featuring sexy Sandra Bullock exercising was cheerful and very enthusiastic though which gave a good start to the film. There was an old music track "relax" which was a good one as well. The rest of the film filled out with music according to the circumstances and the condition of each scene. Some romantic music, some positive bubbly music and some tearful and emotional music was included; at the end of the day it was a good selection and it did its purpose to set our moods to the right state. I liked a couple of the sound tracks and have downloaded them from YouTube.
* In the film Sandra Bullock's character was supposed to be Canadian and Ryan's was American, but in real life, she is American and he is Canadian!
* The film was shot in Massachusetts instead of Alaska
* Stitka is a real town in Alaska
* Sandra Bullock is the Executive Producer of the film as well
* The role was first considered for Julia Roberts who 'thankfully' refused because of financial reasons so Sandra took on the role herself.
I highly recommend watching the film only if you like romantic comedy films and Sandra Bullock in particular (although I can't think anyone would dislike her). It is a nice and sweet film; very predictable like most romantic films, but you won't mind that. You will have a few laughs, but it still has a good plot. You can watch it with someone you love, your husband/wife or partner but I urge you to watch it first before letting children to watch it even with 12 UK certificate; maybe you think I'm a bit conservative . . . anyway it's up to you.
Prices and availability
It is available on DVD, BluRay and in a special combi pack (BluRay and DVD). It can be found in DVD shops, media stores and supermarkets. It can be ordered online from eBay, Amazon and other online sites. The prices were ranged from £12.88 - £23.97 when I looked.
A must watch . . . don't miss it out x
Thank you for reading!
© Karimkha ~~~ March ~~~ 2010
~*~*~ Why did I buy it? ~*~*~
I like to change my shower gel/cream every now and then because I get bored of the smell easily and also I always like to get my toiletries at the best value possible. I have used Radox products many times; there are varied collections and smells that are suitable for every taste and preference. Besides, they are normally at an affordable, reasonable price and can be found nearly everywhere.
One day, while I was at my local supermarket, I spotted the Radox range at the entrance; it was reduced by 33% making them extra affordable so I didn't hesitate and bought a couple to use; one of them was Radox Nourish Therapy Shower Cream.
~*~*~ Radox, the brand and range ~*~*~
Radox is a well known brand for bath and shower body cleansing and muscle relaxing products. The brand has been around for 100 years; they claim it has been blending natural herbs since 1908. They have a lot of varieties, some of which were especially created for men as well.
To find more information and read about their campaigns, go to www.radox.co.uk which is an easy to navigate and browse webpage.
~*~*~ Design and packaging ~*~*~
Radox have embraced many designs and packaging throughout the years; their designs have changed many times but have always remained simple, convenient and easy to handle.
The bottle is simple but elegant and practical, made out of soft semi clear plastic, shaped like a leaf (or like one of those strange looking buildings in Dubai)!
The top and the base of the container are made out of different plastics - a thicker and harder plastic. On the top of the shower cream bottle there is a plastic hanger so you can easily hang on your shower cream and use it. It has an easily open dispenser with click on cover; you squeeze the soft bottle easily to get the cream.
Radox name was written in the front inside their green/silver logo, the product name (Nourish Shower Therapy) was written in green and highlighted in silver and a design of a plant which look like wheat grass although it doesn't contain wheat at all. At the back you can find a brief explanation about the product and ingredients, as well as the Bar code and their postal and web addresses.
~*~*~ Smell ~*~*~
I have always liked their fragrances - different, challenging smells; some of them very creative and new, others are strong and relaxing while still others are soft and subtle. Radox Nourish Shower Therapy is one of the strangest combinations I ever heard about and now I'M TALKING ABOUT THE COMBINATION NOT THE SMELL.
Anyway, opening the bottle, I could smell a sweet but delicate fragrance; an attractive and delightful but indescribable smell. It's funny but the smell is very similar to that of Palmolive Honey and Milk Bath Cream; I don't know why the image of this product linked instantly in my mind to this Radox Nourish but I am convinced the smell must be very close.
I was slightly disappointed by the smell; as I said, the scent is nice, delicate and sweet BUT I was expecting a stronger zestier and spicier smell because of the existence of Ginger root; unfortunately it wasn't there and so the smell was not as creative as I expected.
~*~*~ Texture and consistency ~*~*~
Trying to forget about my disappointment (and attempting to find good sides to the product) I put some of the shower cream on my fingers to see how thick it was; it is a shower gel cream so most definitely it should be quite thick and dense, but after my earlier disappointment I wasn't sure about anything else.
Thankfully, I was very happy with the thickness of the product. It promised to be a long lasting product so I wouldn't need to use much (hopefully). It was a big gooey or gluey; I washed my fingers but the smell was still there which was good news.
~*~*~ Colour ~*~*~
Radox is known for using eye catching and attractive colours. The colour of Radox shower cream is pleasant: it is faintly yellow or an ivory colour or maybe closer to magnolia. This colour is mainly because of the use of Shea butter (extracted from a Shea tree fruit that is normally found in Africa). Maybe it's not the most eye catching colour in the world but at least you won't need to worry whether or not it might stain your skin or bath tub!
~*~*~ Using it in the shower ~*~*~
I have used Radox shower gels/creams for many years so I have no doubts about their efficacy or cleansing results; the only thing that I was concerned about was the smell after the shower and whether or not it will last.
It is always a tricky thing to open a shower cream/gel with wet hands so the first thing I did was to hang the shower cream on my round hanger to use it easily and save time fighting with it.
~*~*~ How much to use ~*~*~
How much to use depends on many factors. Firstly, on individual preferences; then, how often you shower, how clean/dirty your skin is; so there is no specific amount to apply. For me, I squeezed the bottle once to get a walnut sized dollop; it was more than enough for me to use.
~*~*~ Lathering ~*~*~
It is very important to get a satisfying lather; for my part, the foamier the better. It lathered and bubbled very well; I first dampened my loofa with water, then added the shower cream blob and rubbed gently to produce pleasant foam which lasted until I completely finished. I was quite pleased and delighted now.
~*~*~ Rinsing; is it hardest bit, or not? ~*~*~
After all the joy of using the luxurious lathering foam, it was the time to rinse off the cream. I was expecting it to take me a lot of time to wash off all that foam, but it was surprisingly very easy to rinse; but where did all that foamy froth go? Did it go down the drain? Well . . . almost . . . but the rest was sticking to the sides of the bath! So that's another job to do when I've finished my shower!
~*~*~ Results ~*~*~
The results were excellent, the cleansing procedure was all done and I was very satisfied and convinced with the results. My skin felt nourished and deeply cleansed. I could see that by touching my skin: it was very soft, supple and had a gorgeous smell. Some shower creams I have tried have left soap residue or left my skin tightened or sticky, but Radox Nourish Shower Therapy was up to their usual standards and I have no complaints about the finished results.
A few hours later . . . the smell was a bit fainter. I was expecting that because it was subtle to begin with, but there was still a nice clean smell around, my skin was still moisturised and nourished, and that is what counts.
~*~*~ To summarise the whole experience ~*~*~
~*~*~ Good points~*~*~
* Uses natural ingredients. It has a natural blend of Shea butter
* Thick consistency
* Delightful, sweet smell
* Can be rinsed easily
* Moisturises, nourishes and softens the skin
* Reasonably priced
* Long lasting lather
* Long lasting smell for hours after shower
* Perfect PH balance
* Easy to use and to hang in shower
* Plastic recyclable dispenser bottle
* The shower cream is long lasting and money saving ... using it nearly every day, I finished the bottle in 3 weeks
* Not tested on animals
~*~*~ Bad points, I can only list a few~*~*~
* Smaller size, only 250 ml
* The lather can be a bit too much that can leave a residue on the bath tub and makes it very slippery so you have to clean the bath after using it.
* The smell was sweet and subtle, but cannot smell any hint of ginger whatsoever.
* When the bottle is nearly empty it becomes a bit difficult to squeeze the remaining mixture; I finally managed to get it all out by adding some water and shaking the bottle!
I have one question; it doesn't say if it is for men or women, so can men also share it with women?
You cannot forget that Radox has designed a whole range especially for men. In my opinion, this particular shower cream has a strong feminine smell, but it's a personal matter, men and women these days share the same things - even face cream. If my brother decides to borrow it, I would let him (and use his when mine runs out!)
~*~*~ Prices and availability~*~*~
Radox nourish shower cream can be prices can be as low as 99p for the 250 ml bottle. You will find it at discount shops (like Wilkinson or Pound Shops) or most supermarkets. Also, you can find it on special offers (like buy one and get one free) or even order it online.
~*~*~ My personal ratings~*~*~
Design: 8/10 simple and practical
Smell: 5/10 boring; not creative and no smell of ginger
Texture and density: 10/10 just right!
Lathering: 10/10 very foamy and frothy
Ease of use: 9/10 easy to open and use
Rinsing: 10/10 can be rinsed easily with water
Moisturising powers: 8/10 very effective and moisturising
Prices: 10/10 super-saver product often found at special prices.
Long life: long lasting and economical
It was a nice experience. I think most people will like the lovable subtle fragrance.
So will I recommend using Radox Nourish Shower Therapy? Absolutely! I even bought another one to use myself!
© Karimkha ~ March ~ 2010
== I have always had a passion for chocolate . . . ==
There was and still is a special relationship between me and chocolate . . . whenever I am sad, depressed or happy, chocolate is always my favourite "must have" confectionery!
I personally I don't like chocolate wafers or chocolate with nougat or caramel. . . I like it simple and plain, it doesn't matter if it is milk chocolate, dark or white so long as it's plain so I can enjoy the real taste of the chocolate.
Cadburys is my favourite brand of chocolate but I don't mind trying other varieties as long as it's good quality. Of course, I had heard about the Yorkie chocolate bar . . . who hasn't? However, for some reason this chocolate hasn't had the popularity of other chocolates so it easily slipped from my mind for years until very recently when I read a review about it.
I have tried Yorkie biscuit and ice cream occasionally before, but I was never brave enough to try the real bar. The moment you say Yorkie I remember its slogan and have flashbacks about the ad . . . "It's not for girls". I still remember the ad and the wrapper that used to have the girl symbol with banning sign. However, it didn't stop me from trying it even if it was only designed for men. Before trying it, I didn't understand why it's only for men but after I ate it I knew the secret behind the banning!
== A bit of history . . . ==
The Yorkie chocolate was made by the famous company "Nestle" in (York), hence the name. The chocolate bar was obviously meant for men only as you can notice the logo. A lot of complaints were made by girls and women calling it chauvinist and offensive. Sooner a special limited edition was produced for girls only with thinner, lighter chunks (with a pink wrapper instead) but it was only available for a very limited time then they went back to their original version.
== Yorkie flavours . . . ==
In addition to the original "plain" flavour, there were some other editions; I haven't had the chance to try them.
* Original Yorkie (milk chocolate)
* Raisin and chocolate Yorkie
* Honey comb Yorkie
* White chocolate Yorkie (very limited edition)
I'm going to review the most recent one that I tried Yorkie chocolate bar (original)
== Looking at the shiny wrapper . . . ==
As far as I'm concerned, the wrapper was and still is a bit sexist, Starting with the colour of the wrapper. Metallic blue rectangular shaped wrapper with bold orange and red YORKIE writing in it. Thankfully, the girl's sign wasn't there . . . not sure if the British one still has it but mine didn't have it .
My chocolate bar was a special version with more chunks. They used to have six bulky chunks (each one with a letter); then it was reduced to five, but mine had SEVEN chunks, which is good news for chocolate lovers. At the back, you can read all the necessary information that I found very useful like the ingredients, nutritional composition and contact numbers (based only in UK and republic of Ireland) and their website address.
== The appearance and consistency of Yorkie . . . ==
I opened the wrapper to find a pretty heavy and long set of rectangular blocks of chocolate! The big chunk was divided into seven lumps. Each piece had the name Yorkie engraved on the top of it.
I tried to break the bar into pieces but believe me, it took a lot of my energy and effort to do so and when I did, it was even harder to break the smaller chunk into half. It was so dense and solid so I was wondering what will happen to my teeth if I wanted to bite using my front teeth?
The chocolate bar was as I like it, simple, smooth, silky with no lumps, bumps or wafers!
== A quick sniff . . . ==
You can really tell the difference between a good chocolate and a bad one by its smell. Good quality chocolate has the smell of cocoa and that was exactly what I smelled when I first opened the chocolate bar. A sweet and aromatic chocolaty smell that was very similar to Galaxy Original or Cadbury's Dairy Milk.
== Now . . . the decisive moment, the taste . . . But was I READY for it? ==
You need to be as strong as a man to try it (only joking) I took a bar with me while I was at work for my lunch (I'm a bad girl I know); the men at work, my colleagues, started to laugh when they first saw it and kept shouting "¡No está para las muchachas!" (translate) I looked at them and said nothing! How bad could it be? Whom they think they are anyway? Therefore, I decided to try it in front of them and see what happens!
Ahem . . . Back to the review . . . I broke the first piece, very chunky like the chocolate pieces were pressed hardly together to form that solid thick mass of chocolate. I tried to show off and prove them wrong, so as a result I bit it with my front teeth (which eventually worked), but I really felt the pain even when I chewed it. Therefore I decided to use another technique for the second piece . . . I was going to put it into my mouth instead . . . so it will be gradually melting into my mouth so no pain and I can taste it even better.
The taste was very familiar; it was almost identical to the Galaxy Original bar. The only difference I noticed was the Yorkie signature on it; if I closed my eyes and tried both of them, I could not tell the difference. It was so sweet that unfortunately it disguised the true taste of the high quality cocoa. The chocolate dissolved and softened nicely in my mouth; it tasted very creamy, a smooth and silky milk chocolate, which was lovely. I ate the third segment and the fourth one and . . . I STOPPED! I was nearly sick. It was too rich, thick and sweet that even a big chocolate lover like me couldn't finish it, so I gave the rest to the guys, who ate each piece as quick as they can like monsters! How did they do that? Well they are boys!
Were they right then? Read until the end and you will have the answer!
== My opinion . . . ==
I was determined to try it and so I did. I cannot say that I disliked the taste; On the contrary, I loved it. It had the right chocolaty taste and smelled gorgeous but in terms of thickness and solidity, it was not too right, not hard for girls only but also not suitable for older people and for people with teeth problems (men or women). If you want to try it, eat it gently or simply put it into your mouth and let it melt slowly; you will end up with a sore throat and may be extremely thirsty, as I was!
I really wished it were a slimmer bar, because not only would it be easier to consume but the calories will be fewer too. Excessive calories and horrific amounts of sugar all drag the chocolate down. I have heard about a dark chocolate edition but I still haven't seen it around.
== My last confirmed opinion . . . do I recommend it or not? ==
It is a hard question but unfortunately, they are right, so, if you are female, I have to choose the NO button. Try it if you want to take the risk or you simply don't care about calories but for me I don't think I will consume it again.
== Good points . . . I'm afraid not much to say about it . . . ==
* Satisfying big chunky bar good for REAL chocolate eaters 82.5 g
* Luxurious smooth and silky milk chocolate
== The bad points . . . Mmm . . . where to start? ==
* Too bulky, solid and hard to bite and chew so if you have sensitive teeth or weak teeth I do not recommend that you bite it; it is as if you are biting a brick!
* A bit too sweet, so if you are on diet or don't like very sweet chocolate, don't try it.
* Too many calories! Another reason not to eat it and another excuse given by Nestle why it should only be for men. Imagine losing almost 22% from your recommended GDA by eating this chocolate bar! It has a shocking 445 calories so it's definitely a diet wrecker.
== Allergy warning . . . ==
* It may contain traces of wheat gluten.
* It has milk, lactose, and whey powder and soya lecithin.
''A quick piece of advice:'' do not even think about refrigerating it or putting it in the freezer - it will turn into a jaw breaker!
== Conclusion and personal ratings . . . ==
In my honest opinion, I don't think it deserves all that fuss about it. It's too thick, hard to eat, and there was no joy in struggling to bite and eat a piece of chocolate, so I had better leave it for the men to eat it (especially the builders, it will make a good solid brick for them)!
There was nothing special about it so if I miss its taste I will definitely eat a Cadbury or Galaxy bar instead - at least they're not sexist and the milk chocolate tastes the same!
== Sizes, Prices and availability . . . ==
It is available in standard size, king size and a 300g bar. Prices start at 49p and it is available in nearly every supermarket or shop.
== My ratings . . . ==
Look : 6/10
Smell : 9/10
All over rate: 5/10
=== A chocolate that needs a sex change! ===
Thank you for reading
=== © Karimkha ~~~ January ~~~ 2010 ===