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Of course one of the main features of this film is love. However, it also relates to the torment and destruction of living through a Civil War, moral values, social and political issues, poverty, putting life together again in the aftermath of a War, and exposes those seeking to gain from the misfortune of others.
The film is based on a book written by Margaret Mitchell, which I believe was written in the 1920s, and published around 1936. In tandem with a lot of movies that have been based on books, there are parts of the book omitted e.g. Scarletts first two children, do not feature in the film at all. Having also read most of the book, I do not feel that the omissions made are detrimental to Margaret Mitchells story at all others may disagree of course.
The film is set in the Deep South (Georgia), in 1860/1861, where undertones of a pending Civil War were prominent. Some of the Southern States of America had begun to secede from the Union, following the election of President Lincoln. The issue was not purely slavery there were other issues such as, the fact that the Southerners felt their rights were being threatened and the North was becoming more industrialised. As the industrialisation was evolving, the King of the South - cotton - was being demised and therefore putting many livelihoods of those in the South in jeopardy. The majority of the Southerners believed they could win the war with their honour.
THE FILM ITSELF
It begins with a musical overture and a textual prologue about a civilisation that was, and can now only be seen in books, as it has Gone with the wind. The first scene sees one of the main characters Scarlett, as the Belle of the surrounding neighbourhood, talking to the Tarleton twins (males of course), on her front porch and flirting, as only Scarlett knows how. She is not interested in the impending war, only of herself and gossip. She finds out that Ashley Wilkes, who she believes she is in love with (even though he doesnt know it) is about to get married, and, as seems customary in the Wilkes family, to his cousin Melanie Hamilton. A barbeque at the Wilkes sees Scarlett being the focal point of attention from would-be male suitors, and also those who are spoken for including Charles Hamilton, Melanie Hamiltons brother and beau of India Wilkes Ashleys sister. It is at the Wilkes barbeque Scarlett has her first real encounter with Rhett Butler, who incidentally, although a Southerner, sees the southern beliefs that, as gentlemen they are worth more than ten Yankees somewhat arrogant, and not a useful weapon to win the impending war. Rhett overhears (without Scarletts knowledge, at first) Scarlett declare to Ashley, her undying love for him. Ashley has feelings for Scarlett, but not in the way she wants. This is the first of many incidences where Ashley should have told Scarlett that the love he felt for her was as a friend and his real love was for Melanie. Perhaps another woman loving him flattered him. He remained, in my opinion, quite a weak character throughout. His weakness had detrimental effects on Scarletts life. She continued thinking that his love was really for her, and she kept her superficial love for him, until she realised too late that it was just that, superficial, and that Melanie would always be his true love.
Knowledge of the start of the war begins in the evening at the Wilkes barbeque. Scarlett sees Ashleys farewell to Melanie, and in a moment of haste to make Ashley jealous - agrees to marry Charles Hamilton. Charles later dies of pneumonia whilst out in the fields of battle, and Scarlett grieves more for the fact that she has to wear black than for her dead husband. Her superfluous grief sees her mother send her to Atlanta to stay with Melanie and her aunt, much to the disgruntlement of Scarletts Mammy. Mammy knew Scarlett inside out, and knew her real intentions she really wanted to go to Atlanta because Melanie was there, which meant Ashley would come back there. Ashley does return and Melanie becomes pregnant. Ashley asks Scarlett to promise to look after Melanie whilst he is away. A promise she despondently agrees to.
The film proceeds to trace the events of the Civil War and its aftermath. We experience the devastation of the Gettysburg battle (one of the main turning points of the war), where there were over 28,000 Southern casualties. This is the battle that hits home the loss of family, friends, and neighbours. Scarlett accompanies Melanie to look at the long list of deaths; both women looking for Ashleys name, which thankfully for both wasnt on the list. Scarlett saw the names of many of the people she knew on the list the most poignant being the Tarelton twins, whom she had sat out on the porch with at the beginning of the film. Then Sherman marched his Union Army toward the sea and Atlanta was directly in his path. People fled from the city and there were countless wounded who could not flee the city. However, some people such as Rhett Butler seemed to be able to enjoy their pleasures for a little longer. Scarlett became outwardly frightened, but soon resumed her strength and kept her promise to Ashley to look after Melanie, now with a new born baby. She enlisted the help of Rhett Butler to flee Atlanta and go home to Tara.
Devastation and destruction had hit the South, and in eventually fleeing Atlanta with Melanie and her new born baby, Scarlett finds out how hard her home county had suffered. Scarlett arrives home with Melanie and baby in tow to devastating news. Her true strength and character shine through and she takes every negative that is thrown at her and turns it into a positive. She vows, against an amazing backdrop of red sky, that none of her folk will ever go hungry again. The war ends, but for Scarlet it is only just beginning.
The aftermath of the war is, in some ways, harder than the war itself. Scarletts determination again shines through, regardless of whether others around think her intentions are right or wrong. Her Mammy has mixed feelings about Scarletts intentions, but stands by her nonetheless. Scarletts biggest ally in everything she does and stands for is Melanie. Scarlett remains unaware of the inner strength that Melanie possesses, and also of the high regard that Melanie has for her. Scarlett stoops as low as it takes to keep her vow of feeding her folk, sometimes straying from moral boundaries to do so. Melanie always stands by her.
Rhett loved Scarlett from the first time that he laid eyes on her, and always wanted to make her his. He was attracted to her feisty nature. He saw himself in Scarlett. He wanted her to love him the way she loved Ashley.
This film is an undisputed classic and is timeless. It portrays characters of tremendous courageous and strength and also exposes the weak. It represents the toil and destruction that a war can impart on people who endure such a war. The film goes on further to illustrate the lengths that people will go to in order to get their lives back together again. Further tragedies were to hit both Rhett and Scarlett, many years after the war had ended.
One of the main tragedies for me is that Scarlett discovers all too late who she really loves. Perhaps a lesson for us all to learn. However, she has an astounding philosophy, in that whenever any negative situation imposes itself upon her that she will not think of it today, she will think about it tomorrow because tomorrow is just another day. This is indeed a philosophy that I have used in my own life. Tomorrow is always just another day, and things do sometimes seem clearer tomorrow.
My title begs the question is this just another love story? My opinion is that it is not. Love stories impose themselves on everyday life, in all semblances. There is so much more to this film, and to enjoy it in its entirety you need to look further than just two people who may or may not end up with one another. Absorb the harrowing experience of people living through a war, and making a life for themselves after. Feel what each character feels, even the weak ones, and try to think how you would cope. You may even find yourself as absorbed as I become each time I see it.
To some I may have concentrated on Scarlett far more than I should have. This is only my opinion, and in my opinion Scarletts character deserves the amount of concentration that I have given her I just hope I have justified her character as much as it deserves. I am not listing the names of who played who, as that is all it is a list copied from the DVD or a website. This is a review about one of the finest films I have ever seen. Just give a lower rating if you feel that this is an important aspect to writing a film review.
Many films, such as Cold Mountain have tried to emulate this magnificent story of an era that has Gone with the Wind, and although enjoyable, they do not come close to this one.
Thanks for reading
Why do I love Gone with the Wind and now have an interest in the American Civil War? I actually did it all backwards!! I read Scarlett (the sequel to Gone with the Wind), and then decided that perhaps I should see Gone with the Wind to find out what had happened previously. I got hooked perhaps you will too.
In May this year my parents, my husband and myself embarked on a holiday encompassing a stay in the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida in the United States. I am very interested in the American Civil War, so the focus of ?my? journey was Charleston, where the first gun of the Civil War was fired on Fort Sumter ? April 12th 1861. However, it is Savannah that I now hold close my heart, and I hope to inspire at least one of you to pay it a visit.
Savannah is situated on the south eastern Atlantic coast of the United States, along the Savannah River. It was founded in 1733 by James Oglethorpe and Oglethorpe Avenue, off Martin Luther King Blvd (one of the main accesses into Savannah), is named in commemoration of their founder.
Savannah encompasses many picturesque squares, and these can be initially viewed from a ?trolley tour? around the city. As an absolute must to get an overall feel of the city, we embarked on one. We were fortunate enough to have a lady who was born and bred in Savannah drive us around; her passion for her home city was plainly evident and made it all the more enchanting. The tour lasts 90 minutes, and there are different types of tickets that can be purchased. Two that I remember (and there might only be two!) is either one where you stay on the tour for the whole 90 minutes or one where you can get on and off as you please all day. The buildings were mainly of neo-classical architecture, with Roman and Greek pillars striding doorways. The balconies outside the majority of the houses is of wrought iron ? even those that have been painted. Forrest Gump was filmed in parts of Savannah, an interest perhaps to film buffs. A lot of the history and habitants described may be more familiar to Americans, but those unfamiliar with the narration can look in awe at the surroundings.
A book by John Berendt called ?Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? (which I was advised to read before I got there) was the scene
of an actual murder. Passing the houses of the characters, especially Mercer House, brought the book to life ? I have since watched the DVD again on my return and it seems unreal that I had actually been there and seen them. This book has obviously brought a lot more tourism to Savannah, but it does not seem to have a cheapening effect on Savannah itself.
During our stay, we also took a Saturday lunchtime cruise on a steamboat, along the Savannah River. The tickets that we purchased included lunch (I suppose it should as it was a lunchtime cruise ? but this is not the case, as I believe a ticket void of food can be purchased). The cuisine of the day was typically southern and included the notorious southern baked ham. Unfortunately, I am not partial to ham be it southern baked or cooked by any other method - but I did try a small morsel. Having looked at the quality and experienced the texture and taste, I did feel a little bit jealous that I was not a great lover of it. It did however suit the pallets of the others, and inevitably ?seconds? were consumed. The accompanying dishes were mainly Creole, as well as lots of salad, potatoes and fresh fruit. The cruise lasts around one and a half hours, during which, we heard the obligatory commentary of the history and present day workings of the river and it?s surrounds. I booked our tickets from the UK, which was not too easy, as they do not take online bookings ? I had to ring them to give credit card details, as I was not prepared to put these details in an e-mail to them. The cost of the tickets are approximately $28 (approx £16.50) per person. Cruises such as ?Gospel Cruise?, Moonlight Cruise? and ?Murder Mystery Cruise? are some of the other options available ? all at a different cost to the Saturday Lunchtime Cruise.
We stayed at the River Street Inn for 3 nights, which, as the name suggests is on River Street and overlooks the Savannah River ? however the front and reception is not on River Stre
et, but on East Bay Street. We had booked two double rooms, but due to an accent problem via telephone calls that I had made, they had booked all four of us into one room ? no way, were we sharing with my parents (this actually proved to be quite a common misunderstanding in more than just this hotel)! The hotel can be booked online, but as it is quite expensive, and I knew which type of rooms we required, hence the telephone booking. Their website states ?rooms vary in theme and décor, from hardwood floors and four-poster beds, to plush carpeting and private balconies?. We wanted a balcony with each room overlooking over the Savannah River. I do not know how they managed it, and who the unlucky people who arrived after us were, (the hotel appeared to be quite full) but we acquired almost what I thought I had booked. We had a room with a balcony, hardwood floor, semi four poster bed (sorry not a good description) and window seat. The room only had one double bed, which is more suited to a single person than two people, by American standards; but the room and the view made us oblivious to that.. Our bed was next to the ?French Door? leading onto the balcony, which overlooked River Street and the ?piece de resistance?, the Savannah River. We did not close the curtain over the French door at night, as the lights shining from the other side of the River over the rippling water was a sight to behold. I rarely sleep all through the night, and to open my eyes during the darkness of the early hours of the morning, to this tranquil peaceful sight seemed like a dream. My parents had a ?proper? double room, which they loved, especially as it was carpeted (not plush carpet I should add)!! Now for the balconies! Ours was approximately 4ft by 4ft (not good on metric sorry!). Being as the hotel was a restored warehouse ? probably tobacco ? the balcony floor was of the wooden kind, and looked slightly untreated. It did not look or feel safe at all. I did venture out onto it, but hu
ng onto the surrounding ?railings? for grim death! My parents had a double balcony with two chairs and a table. Their balcony in size was approximately 6-8ft long and 4ft width.
Enough of the actual hotel!! Venturing out onto River Street I died and went to heaven. Sorry girls, I?m not the shopping kind, unless it?s small shops of the souvenir or craft type. River Street is cobble stoned on the river front, and has an abundance of shops of this type. Shops with Civil War memorabilia (double heaven), homemade sweets, candies, and chocolates ? with free samples!! I mentioned pubs didn?t I? Savannah is indeed ?Hostess to the South?! On a hot night, not many want to sit inside a pub, but might want a nice cool beer to stroll along the river front. No problem, just ask for ?one to go?!! It is unbelievable to be able to go into a pub and come out with a drink of the alcoholic sort, albeit in a plastic ?glass? and stroll along the river. Food wise there are lots of restaurants, as well as pub food. We never experienced an under average meal. Fish and seafood are plentiful and good quality.
Most weekends the River Front lays host to a festival. We were fortunate to be there for an Art Festival, where there were many ?stalls? of arts and crafts and plenty of music and fireworks.
As Savannah is famous for ghosts, there are hmmm ?ghost tours?. We saw the beginning of one, which seemed like it would be a good night, if you are only taking part for fun. For the serious ?ghost hunters? it did not seem appropriate, especially as a ?call in? to pubs along the way (during opening hours) is part of the itinerary!
Overall, if you haven?t guessed, this is one place I must go back to. I really don?t think I have done Savannah justice in this review, but I have really enjoyed reliving the city and my experience. I apologise for the parts of Savannah that I have left out, but I have only commented on what I actually saw and experienced.
Websites are bel
Thanks for reading.
www.savannah-riverboat.com ? Riverboat Cruise
www.riverstreetinn.com ? River Street Inn
People to choose to undertake Open University (OU) courses for various reasons. Some go ‘all the way’ to a degree, and others take a course/courses, just to increase their knowledge in a particular subject. My own reason is probably peculiar, in that I worked in the same building as the OU, and used to have a look at their leaflets, on a regular basis, and this led me to finally fill in one of their forms and register. Even when I left school, I always had the ambition to return to study at some stage in my life, but the word University was not even contemplated in these thoughts, as I do not have any ‘A’ levels, and to my mind the natural progression to University is achieving ‘A’ level status first. I saw a course that interested me called ‘You, your computer and the Net’ (the OU code is T171). It was June and the course was to start in February the following year. Having read the terms and conditions, I realised that I could ‘sign up’ for the course, but still have the option of cancelling if I changed my mind. In addition, if I registered for ‘The Open University Student Budget Account’ (OUSBA) I would not have to pay until the following February, and even then I could pay in instalments if I wanted to (at quite a high interest rate though – sorry I don’t have the actual rate as I didn’t use the instalment facility, but I am sure I would be able to find it if someone really needs it) So what did I have to lose? I took the plunge and registered. It was a really strange feeling when I walked across the corridor and handed my form in. At the time, I always thought that before the course started, I would change my mind and cancel. However, me being me, I never got around to cancelling it. In addition to the fee for the course, I had to buy 3 ‘set’ books. These cost around £40 in total (although I understand that they can be purch
ased a lot cheaper on e-Bay) The course was so enjoyable that I have registered for 2 more courses this year, one worth 30 points and one worth 10 points (the points system will all be explained later) There are many courses available from the OU, and these can all attribute towards a degree. There are also other qualifications, such as Diplomas. In the OU book entitled ‘Undergraduate Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees’ it states that in order to achieve a degree 360 points is required. However, I have recently read that the points required have been lowered to 300 points (this is for an ordinary degree and not one with ‘frills’ on e.g. ‘honours’) As you can see from the amount of points that I am attempting, I shall still be studying for many years to come! There are three levels to the courses, 1,2, and 3. 1 being the easier and 3 the most difficult. To achieve a degree levels 2 and 3 have to be included (to my understanding). The subjects studied can be ‘tailor made’ to suit individual interests or requirements, and the category of subjects available are as follows (these categories have been taken from the OU booklet ‘Undergraduate Courses Catalogue): Developing Your Study Skills Business and Management Studies Childhood and Youth Studies Education Environment Health and Social Care Humanities Information Technology and Computing International Studies Law Mathematics Modern Languages Science Social Sciences Technology To some people these may sound a bit daunting, but looking within the categories, there are a lot of appealing subjects, such as ‘Writing for the Internet’ Unfortunately this booklet does not give the full range of courses available, however the OU website does: www.open.ac.uk/courses This site will also give full details of each individual course,
including knowledge/educational requirements. As I have stated each course is worth points, and these are normally 10,30 or 60. 30-point courses need on average 8 hours a week study time and 60 point courses inevitably need 16 hours a week study time. I am not sure if this is true of all 10-point courses, but the one I have registered for has a suggestion of 93 hours in total for the course. The 10-point course I am taking (Introducing Astronomy – S194) commenced last October, and I have been given two ‘End of Course Assignment’ (ECA) dates of 31st January 2003 and 30th April 2003. This means that I can choose, up to the last date, how long I wish to take studying the course, and which ECA I wish to take. Are there exams to sit? Generally, and to my knowledge, level 1 courses do not have exams. Instead they have ‘Tutor Marked Assignments’ (TMA’s), Computer Marked Assignments (CMA’s) and an ECA. In the course I took last year the pass mark was 40%. However, 40% had to be achieved overall on the TMA’s and then 40% also had to be achieved for the ECA, in order to pass the course (there were not any CMA’s in last years course, although they would combine with TMA’s for the first 40%). I understand that there are exams for levels 2 and 3. Most courses have tutorials, and although they are not compulsory, it is understood, from talking to other OU students, that they are extremely beneficial (although I have not been to one yet, as my course last year was specifically designed to be undertaken via the Internet). Some courses even involve a ‘Summer School’. The OU does seem like an isolated way to study, but in addition to the tutorials, for us lucky people to have access to the Internet, there are online conferences for the majority of courses. These are equivalent to ‘online classrooms’. The conferences are very beneficial. St
udents help each other, and there are also tutors who ‘pop in and out’ to answer questions. Now the crucial bit – cost: Short 10-point courses start at around £75, 30 point courses around £200 - £250 and 60 point courses up to £550 (these prices all assume that a residential school is not included, otherwise the cost will obviously be a lot more). IS IT WORTH IT? The answer is obviously ‘Yes’ if you want/need a degree or Diploma etc, and cannot attend full time at University. From my own personal view I would also say ‘yes’. For last years course the OU did not give me anything apart from a study calendar, and a list of ‘set’ books to buy to prepare for my course. They also did not suggest that I should read any of the books before the course – and having finished and passed the course, I did not need to. Therefore, I registered for ‘Introducing Astronomy’. I thought it would give me something to do in-between October and February when my next course (Open Mathematics – MU120) started. ‘Something to do in-between’?!?! A box with four books arrived as a preparatory course for MU120, which started Feb 1st this year, BEFORE anything for my Astronomy course (starting October 2002) did!!! Needless to say I would not have registered for the Astronomy course if I had known. However my ‘Astronomy Box’ arrived a few days later, and I must admit that I think it was worth £75. WHY? Astronomy has never been one of my major interests – OK there are stars, but they all look the same and I can never find constellations as others can. On reading the course specification, and wanting some day to look up into the sky, point confidently and say “that’s ‘the plough’ etc” I decided that to register. I was sent two books, a videotape and a planisphere (a gadget that shows the p
osition of the stars at any given time). As I see it, if I wanted to learn about Astronomy, then I would probably spend a lot of money buying books/magazines that probably would not start me at the beginning of the subject, whereas the OU material that I received did. As I have stated it is a 10-point course, and does not make a huge impact into the required points for a degree. Therefore, even if I do not complete the ECA and gain the 10 points, I will know that I have learnt something (yes I can identify Orion within the night sky, and no I had never heard of Orion before!) and still have the books as a reference for the future. WHEN DO THE COURSES START? 30 and 60 point courses mainly start in February and end in October. The short 10 point course are run 3 – 4 times a year, and carry on between October and February. In conclusion, I am now the proud owner of 30 points towards a University degree, and for those who would like to further their education, or even their interests or hobby, the OU short courses are an excellent way to start. Personally, I will be taking a few more of these short courses – they have recently introduced a few writing short courses, including writing about family history. For those who like me would like to study, but have no wish to attend a classroom – take the plunge and register. Register at the right time i.e. a few months before the course starts, and you will have sufficient time to think about whether or not it was the right decision. Even if you start the course, as a ‘first timer’ if I remember correctly, I think that you can obtain a substantial amount (if not all) of your fees, by way of a refund, if you decide that you do not want to continue. WARNING Once you have the learning OU bug it is difficult to stop – BEWARE
This will not be an up to date ‘fly on the wall’ op, as I haven’t been back to Jersey since 1995. Although I will endeavour to inject a lot of facts and a little bit of history here, this is essentially my opinion on an island that I love. My memories of this idyllic island stretch back a long way, and may be a little bit biased, as I was fortunate enough to be born on Jersey, and then spend the first three years of my life there. However, I will try to portray an objective opinion. The Island itself is 45 miles square, and is the largest and most Southerly of the Channel Islands. The Channel Islands, were the only British soil to be occupied by the Germans during the second World War. Jersey consists of 12 Parishes, which I suppose is similar to counties on the mainland (UK), only on a smaller basis. The names of the parishes are as follows: · St Helier · St Brelade · St Saviour · St Clement · St Martin · St Mary · Grouville · St John · St Peter · St Ouen · St Lawrence · Trinity Jersey is normally renowned for it’s, pretty Jersey Cows (producing wonderful – high calorie, creamy milk) and also potatoes and tomatoes. It is also famous for sandy beaches and clear blue water. It is said to be a fisherman’s paradise and believe it or not there are green valleys running through the middle of the island. It is ideal for a range of holidays, from camping to luxurious hotels. The capital of the island is St Helier, which appears be the place where most people stay. It is probably, the most liveliest place on the island, although that should not detract from other places e.g. Harve Des Pas and St Brelades. The last time we stayed on Jersey, we stayed at Harve Des Pas, which I must say, I preferred to St Helier, as we were overlooking the beach and were only ten minutes walk from St Helier and its shops, pubs, ni
ghtlife etc. Harve Des Pas (which is slightly east of St Helier), does have some of it’s own entertainment. The last time I stayed there this included a nightclub and live music in one of the pubs. A trip around the island can be made quite comfortably within a day, and there are a number of coach trips available. A great deal of information can be obtained from these ‘trips’, but they do make a point of stopping at places where you may be enticed to part with your well earned cash. However, if you do not have a car, I would highly recommend one of these ‘trips’. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I went on, and even saw and learnt things that I didn’t know already. Personally, I would prefer to either take a car or hire one for a few days whilst there. What is there to do on Jersey? Jersey is a volcanic island, and in my opinion, because of that the eastern side is very different from the west. The Eastern side is supposed to be excellent for fishing, and sandy beaches on this side are rather extinct. However the east side of the island is well worth a visit. I will now try to give you a brief journey of beaches around the island, in a westward, or anti clockwise direction, and then list other places of interest. Firstly, Portlet Bay - this used to be a favourite of mine when I was a youngster. The view overlooking the beach is wonderful. Depending on the tide, there is either a tiny island just off the coast, a tiny island with a sandy pathway to it, or ultimately there is an island off the coast, which in true childhood fantasy style, can be reached by the sandy path, which is just visible beneath the sea. This is not a beach for the ‘unfit’ person, as there are 100’s (perhaps a little exaggeration) of step’s down to the beach. And yes you do have to walk up them again, to come back. But there is the most wonderful sight greeting you when you have
finally mastered that last step – a pub! Even to those that don’t drink alcohol, it is still a very welcoming sight, for a cold drink of anything. I think the pub is called the Portlet Inn, and it used to have seven bars (and may still have). My next stop is St Brelades. This was always an extremely popular beach, but not really one of my favourites. However, I always go there at least once during any visit to the island. To me it seemed a little bit too overrated. Although I have never stayed there, it is said to be one of the more popular places to stay, outside of St Helier. Onto St Ouen, which is sometimes known as the ‘five mile beach’ – because it supposedly is – not that I have measured it. It encompasses luscious white sand, coupled with deep blue sea and waves that make it a surfer’s haven. However there have never been many amenities there during the daytime apart from a shop or two, and perhaps a few café’s. The famous Lobsterpot restaurant is at the northern end of St Ouen beach. Personally I have only ever been inside to look at the menu – it is a little bit on the expensive side, but one day!!! To the North of the Island is Greve de Leque, which is another of my favourite beaches, and I’ve never really known why – it just is. As a child I found it very strange and intriguing that to sunbath on a normal beach you faced the sea, however on this beach you had to have your back to the sea! It made for some wonderful photographs, with the sea in the background. There are a few shops there and at least one pub – which used to be called ‘The Prince of Wales’, and might still be. Other beaches: St Aubins Quaisne Plemont Bay - apparently better than St Ouen’s for surfing Green Island - which is probably more used by locals, and is on the eastern side, bordering the volcanic side
of the island. Further Attractions: Jersey Pearl: In the Parish of St John. This gives an insight into the way pearls are harvested, and yes there are pearl items in abundance to buy. I would say that this is not an not an absolute must visit, but worth a look if time prevails (the Jersey Pearl is incorporated in a lot of the coach tours around the island) The Jersey Experience This as I remember it is a great day out for the family, and the ultimate is the Living Legend itself, which provides lots of ‘special’ effects, and tells the full story of Jersey, and how the island itself actually originated. There are many places to eat and drink. Fort Regent In St Helier. This can be reached by cable car, steps or through the carpark and then a lift. Great for families, it has a swimming pool, and many other amenities. Jersey Pottery I never go to Jersey without visiting the Jersey Pottery. That does not mean that it is a ‘must see’. It just is for me – especially the shop. They also have a restaurant and café there, and the ‘order of the day’ is usually seafood, although there are lots of other choices. However, although I drool over the thought of dressed crab etc, I have not ever eaten there. I normally find the nearest pub and I have had a wonderful pub lunch, which is much, much cheaper. Gorey Castle This, is definitely worth a visit. The sight from the top is wonderful. It’s a long time since I have been inside the castle, but I remember it being very informative, and it’s certainly a must for the view. Gorey harbour itself has many shops café’s and pubs. German Hospital Underground This is a place that each individual needs to decide for themselves whether to visit or not. It is sombre and sad, and in essence is a grave for many Russians, who helped to build it. One tip when visi
ting is to take something warm with you, as it is really cold in there. It is not a guided tour, so you are free to spend as much or as little time there as you want to, but, be warned it can be extremely depressing. The advantages of holidaying in Jersey are: No passport is needed, they are English speaking, British currency is used (although they have their own Jersey £ notes, £5 notes etc, which are not accepted in mainland UK) and water can be drunk straight from the tap. The disadvantages of holidaying in Jersey are: I would love to say none, but there are some. Firstly it is expensive to get there and then it can be expensive to stay there. It is not as inexpensive as it used to be for food, drink, shopping etc. Although I do not have any children, and am therefore not that experienced in this subject, I do feel that perhaps, there would not be enough entertainment available to keep children occupied. Finally a real ‘must see’ The Battle of the Flowers Words do not do justice to describe this event, so I will not even try. However, it cannot be left out. In essence, it is a parade. The predominant features are the ‘floats’ covered with masses of flower heads. The ‘floats’ are often very large/long lorries, which will be covered all over with flower heads, and will need guidance via mobile phones – ‘walkie talkies’ I think in years gone by - to direct them. The flowers are painstakingly fixed to the ‘floats’ one by one. I won’t go into detail here as The Battle of the Flowers deserves an op to itself. However, one of the biggest must see’s on the island, is the Battle of the Flowers museum. Only then can you try to imagine how exquisite this event is. Most coach tours incorporate this museum within their tour. For those that
have actually reached the end of this – thank you, and I hope you now have some insight into the island of Jersey.
Rich, smooth and silk like - this must surely be the reality of those numerous adverts that can only pretend to ‘walk in the footsteps’ of this Molton Brown product. The product itself is in the form of bath granules, in the colour that I can only describe as ‘vibrant’ emerald green. As it’s title suggests, oceanic scents surface from ‘the tin’. Yes, I said ‘the tin’. OK so let’s do the obligatory packaging – ‘the tin’ is as expected green and accompanying it a silver lid. The green, however, is a shade of green that I would depict as a darkish green – certainly not as vibrant looking as the granules inside. If anybody really wants to know the height and circumference, please let me know, and I will oblige. The weight of ‘the tin’ I am reviewing, however, is 250gm. On opening ‘the tin’ you will find a plastic bag filled with the vibrant green granules, held inside. The marine smell will hit you immediately. A pair of scissors will now become very handy here, as the bag is sealed! I suggest a very careful slicing of the plastic bag as you really don’t want to lose even one granule, especially when you see the price at the end of this! As I am sure you all know how to run a bath, I certainly will not go through the motions. It is recommended that these granules be added to running tap water, obviously to create a foam. The recommended amount is a handful (which I feel is to be interpreted as approximately a nearly full ‘silver lid’). However, those lucky enough to have a whirlpool bath, will need half or even less of this of this amount. You will immediately notice the aquamarine colour of the bath water, which temporarily transposes you to somewhere other than your bathroom. As you step into the bath you feel the silky water hug every inch of your body. Is i
t stress relieving as the title suggests? I think a long soak in a bath can do wonders for stress relief anyway, and together with the rich velvetiness of this product, I can say that I truly feel totally relaxed afterwards, and sometimes in absolute need of my bed. We are fortunate enough to have a whirlpool bath, and when switched on at the highest speed for a few seconds, it will produce the highest quality of silkiness imaginable. A long lengthy soak is highly recommended. I never emerge looking like a dried up prune after using this soak therapy, it always seems to have moistened the skin. This luxury of luxuries is made by Molton Brown, who have been around since 1973 (although in those days as famous hair studios) They never test on animals, use animal extracts and, their packaging where possible is kept to a minimum. They do not use artificial fragrances or high levels of preservatives. The ingredients of the Seamoss Stress Releiving Soak Therapy are as follows: Dead sea salt, sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrance (parfum), calcium silcate, seaweed powder (focus vulgaris), extract of horsechestnut (aesculus hippocastanum), sodium sesquicarbonate, chromium oxide green. I understand that normally on packaging the first ingredient listed is largest presence in the product, running down to the last ingredient being the least. The first listed here is Dead Sea Salts, which are said to be a concentrated source, felt to be a need of the body - apparently they help psoriasis. Also listed (about two thirds of the way down), is Extract of Horse Chestnut. This is said to contain tannic acid, which has a soothing effect. It also allegedly extracts to detoxify and de-stress the body and mind. Brown & red seaweed extracts, which I believe are used within the seaweed powder, supposedly revitalises, energises the skin and restores it’s natural radian
ce. The price for this 250gm luxury is £15.50 (QVC price, plus there will be postage and packaging added) Wildly expensive, I hear you say. Yes, I suppose it does seem that way, but used in proper proportions, and not in an everyday bath, it can last a couple of months rather than weeks. MY VERDICT Personally I think it is well worth the money – I try to make one ‘tin’ last for at least four to five months (although the first one I ever bought went within two weeks). I always make sure that I have enough time to appreciate it.
Where to start? I’ve often heard that Virginia is said to be one of the most beautiful states in the U.S.A., and having been there twice I can see why. It is also said that ‘Virginia is for lovers’, but I disagree – it’s for everyone. The state itself is in the shape of a triangle on the east coast. Its motto is ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis’ which is seen on the Virginian Flag and means ‘Thus always to tyrants’ I will endeavour through this op to give you a view of Virginia itself, and not a history or geography lesson, and I will try to keep it as short as the description of the state of Virginia will allow. You will have to bear in mind however that I am going to try to amalgamate where possible two holidays, one with friends of similar alcoholic persuasions as us, and one with my parents who were aged 69 and 71. · FREDERICKSBURG After leaving Washington D.C. we travelled to Fredericksburg, (approx 50 miles). We stayed at a hotel called the Colonial Inn, which is located in an historic area near a river called the Rappahannock. Although the name of the hotel suggests an era before the British became colonists of the U.S., it is just like stepping back into the 1860’s. Each room has been furnished with antiques of the Civil War period, but also has all the ‘mod cons’ e.g. fridge, TV. coffee-maker etc. We booked one of their 8 colonial suites, and were lucky enough to have a four-poster bed in ours. Our separate sitting room/parlour (which incidentally did not house the TV) came complete with a rocking chair. Close the door and you are indeed in a different time period. I understand that no two rooms are the same, and it’s the ‘luck of the draw’ as to the furniture in each room. Fredericksburg itself is definitely not lively, but a great place for history buffs, especially Civil War ones. A lot of the shops and houses are historical wi
th quite a few antique shops (although on our 2nd visit some had now been closed) A cruise on the Steamboat on the Rappahannock is a great way to spend 2 hours over lunch, and a lot of information about Fredericksburg, and the Civil War especially, is given. For those who like something lively in the evenings, two nights should be enough, as there’s not much going on in the evenings. Those of you, who like history of any sort, will love it. We briefly drove along the Fredericksburg battlefield (the others in the car weren’t that interested, they kept trying to remind us of World War Two- I bet you can’t guess which of the couples we went with, these particular ones were!) I couldn’t believe the distance that was covered. The trenches are still there, and they carry on for miles. *********************** · WILLIAMSBURG On to Williamsburg, which is again about 50 miles away. This, and the nearby Jamestown and Yorktown were the sites of the first permanent English Settlers, although I think Boston claim differently! I personally have only seen Colonial Williamsburg. The hotel we stayed at was the Sheraton Four Points. It was in extremely easy walking distance from Colonial Williamsburg (even for the ‘oldies’ with ‘bad backs’ and some ‘arthritis’). Within the historic area the only traffic seen are horse & carriages. This again seems like to travelling back in time. We found that you are able to go in & out of any building that was selling something, free of charge. Otherwise to actually see the ‘cobblers’ and re-enacted incidents it would cost around £75 per person. Whilst there, a trip to ‘The Peanut shop of Williamsburg’, is a must. For food and drink we felt, on both visits, that we really didn’t need to leave the hotel for this. We tried both snacks and main meals and were impressed with both. However I understand that there are ma
ny good restaurants and loads of shops in Williamsburg. *********************** · VIRGINIA BEACH (VB) We stayed at a hotel called the ‘Sandcastle’ – I found it on the net! The majority of the rooms I believe, are sea facing. We overlooked the pier. What a view – miles and miles, all around, of lovely white sand and sea. Although, not one for those who are afraid of heights. I’m not too good, but eventually was able to sit on the balcony. At first I had to stick to the back wall or window, and then I became acclimatised. There’s a notice on the door to the balcony stating ‘do not feed the birds’. I can see exactly why this has been put there. At times, I thought I was reliving the Alfred Hitchcock movie ‘The Birds’ as the seagulls swooped almost within inches of you if they thought you had any food. Food and drink (alcoholic or not) were in abundance in the resort, and ranged from very inexpensive to expensive. Some of the restaurants were surrounded by very picturesque sights. A tram travels regularly from one end of Atlantic Avenue to the other, and this is very inexpensive. The seafood was magnificent. All in all if you are going to watch your weight on any part of the holiday I would suggest that it isn’t at Virginia Beach! The resort is very lively, but it is possible to have some decent amount of peace and tranquillity – if only sitting on the pier watching the waves, and fish being caught. If you need a change from the beach the Norfolk Naval Base is very close. We were at Virginia Beach on September 11th, and as you can imagine the whole mood of the holiday changed, however this is an op about Virginia itself, and although the events of September 11th, obviously did have a big impact on the last part of our holiday there, the feelings should be another op and not this one. Therefore I will only mention it where I feel necessary. *********************** · RICHMOND We then travelled to Richmond, along ‘Plantation Road’, we didn’t actually stop at any of the plantations - I have to save something to insist on going back again! I do know that there are four really notable plantations, Berkley, Sherwood Forest, Evelynton and Shirley. I have been to Richmond twice now, and would probably miss it out next time to favour somewhere else. However we had a wonderful lunchtime on the steamboat ‘Annabel Lee’, much better than the Fredericksburg trip. It included lunch and entertainment, and the compulsory narrative of the surroundings and history. The lunch was of the Deep South origin, and was fabulous – can’t remember exactly, but I do remember the mention of ‘Creole’. Richmond itself houses the ‘White House’ of the South, which is next to the Museum of the Confederacy. Another feature of Richmond is Monument Avenue, which has – well do I really have to tell you? – statues in plenty, of famous Americans, from George Washington to Arthur Ashe. There is quite a good shopping area in Shockoe Slip, although it’s more specialist shops than department stores. Our Hotel? This is the main reason why we would consider going back. It was called Linden Row Inn. It is said that Edgar Allen Poe used to play in the garden there. Rocking chairs are situated along verandas. The hotel itself is made up primarily of a row of mews houses. The finest part of this hotel must surely be the service. The staff cannot do enough for you (identical on two visits). There is a courtesy bus that will take you where you want to go (within a given radius), and you then phone them to collect you again when you are ready. Two blocks away from the Linden Row Inn is a hotel called ‘The Jefferson’, where it is rumoured that the staircase in ‘Gone With the Wind’ was bas
ed on the staircase of this hotel. Personally I don’t doubt it for a moment – OK so hubby suggested finding out by kicking me down the stairs to see if the carpet would make me roll the same way as Scarlett O’Hara did!. It is worth a visit for the magnificence and grandeur of the hotel, and although it is a little bit on the expensive side, a snack, lunchtime won’t break the bank. *********************** · SHENANDOAH And so onto the peace and tranquillity of the Skyline Drive, not forgetting that on the way is the Walton Museum, which I believe is in their old schoolhouse. I think a visit is worthwhile, just to have a look around the area. You get the feeling that people still leave home without locking their doors. The museum is an experience in itself - I think it’s still in the era of being a school when Jon-Boy’s grandfather was alive. I thought it was worthwhile especially ‘Ike Godsey’s Store’, where you can buy lots of souvenirs and actually have your postcards stamped and sent as coming from the store. Another attraction along the way is the Natural Arch Bridge, near Lexington. It is amazing, but we spent five hours getting there (that’s another story), and three getting back, and so I don’t think I appreciated it’s exquisiteness. In reflection I can now see why it has been in contention for the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ Our drive to our lodgings on the Skyline Drive, had scenery beyond belief. I think the speed limit along the Skyline Drive is in the region of 25mph. It is easy to see why. There is a lot of wildlife, and certainly loads of bends. We checked in to our lodge, which it is said to be at 3680 feet above sea level. We had to drive from reception to our room, which we did in wonder. On arrival, we saw a row of wooden – well I suppose lodges. Our keys were the partner to a mid terrace lodge. Oh well, hopeful
ly there will be a bed inside! We opened the door, and words failed us all. I will now try to describe what greeted us. Was there a bed in the room? At first glance, I really can’t remember. All that I can recall is the view out of the rear window. We tried to get trough the back door as quickly as possible to see the view without the obstruction of the glass in the window. Breathtaking and astounding are two words that might be used, but the English language really does not accommodate what our eyes witnessed. Miles away in front of us lay the Shenandoah Valley, which looked like tiny, tiny Monopoly sized houses in the distance. Directly below our balcony was a grass verge, which merged into a steep drop through a wooded area below to the sunken Valley in the distance. Our view right to left was surrounded by many different shades of green, and then intermittently, between the greens the sight of burnt orange, browns and vibrant red, as the leaves began their transformation into their winter glory. During our stay we saw up to 10 deer at a time emerge from the Woodland onto the grass verge just beneath us, and also what we think were chipmunks burrowing in and out. The room itself? Well it was more than adequate, which was a wonderful bonus after that view. However, from the rooms we were in there was a very, very steep walk back to reception. Reception, was alongside the tap room (the bar to us in the UK), dining room, souvenir shop and the venue for the nightly entertainment. The tap room served snacks, and the food in the dining room. Food in both, especially the dining room was excellent. However the dining room has to be booked, so it’s wise to turn up early in the evening, make a booking and have a pre dinner drink whilst waiting to be called. The entertainment was normally ‘Country & Western’ style, which whether liked or not suited the surroundings. There are a lot of Caverns ne
arby to see, but after September 11th, we chose not to go anywhere (other than the ‘entertainment area’ for food and of course entertainment!). We enjoyed a whole 5 – 6 hours just sitting, looking and marvelling in the peace that had suddenly overtaken us – with a bottle of wine of course. *********************** · MANASSAS And so onto our last stop, Manassas, where the first battle of the Civil War took place in 1861.This was chosen because of it’s close vicinity to Dulles Airport (Washington), where we would travel back from. We stayed in a Days Inn Motel (which we pre-booked from UK). Next to the Motel was a pub/restaurant, with excellent food. We couldn’t believe our luck. We were only here for a night, so cannot say too much about Manassas, but we did manage to see the area where the 1st Manassas (battle) took place, which again will interest not only ‘Civil War Buffs’. There is a walking tour (guided or alone) around the battlefield itself – it’s about a mile long. It is very worthwhile doing, even if just to take a walk, to get rid of the effect that all that tremendous American food will have done to the body. There is also a driving tour of the 2nd Manassas, which I will do sometime. Here ends the account of my perception of Virginia, as the next stop was Dulles Airport, which is definitely outside Virginia! I would like to add that we haven’t taken any children with us (probably because we haven’t got any), but I understand that there are ‘Theme Parks’, Virginia Beach as you would suppose caters wonderfully for families, and, what a learning experience on the Skyline Drive in the Skyland Lodge for youngsters.
Washington D.C. (For those of you who don’t know D.C. stands for District of Columbia) Where to start? It’s a fabulous city, although a little bit on the expensive side to stay, eat and drink, but it’s quite a bit cheaper if you stay on the Arlington side of the Potomac, where taxes are lower. The Metro system into Washington is inexpensive and very easy to understand. If you stay on that side of the Potomac, perhaps you should make a start at Arlington Cemetery, which ought not to be missed. We've been there twice and have still not seen it all! It's extremely hilly, and a bus will take you around if needed – at a price of course, which wasn’t too bad and well worth it. You can 'get off and on' wherever you want to – but beware if you really want to see the most popular parts e.g. ‘The changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, be prepared for a long wait for a bus, as everybody has the same idea as you, and will want to get back on the bus when you do. I’m calling this means of transport a bus, because I don’t know what else to call it – it’s a sort of a bus. The first time we went there, we walked it, so those of you who are reasonably fit won’t need the bus anyway. I found the John F Kennedy grave/memorial a little disappointing, but the view from there was really brilliant. However, don't miss Robert E Lee's house at the top. The view across the Potomac is one level up from the Kennedy grave/memorial, and is outstanding, and really well worth the effort of getting there. Across the Potomac is Lincoln's Memorial. A gigantic building, with a statue inside to match – 16ft tall. The statue is awesome, and definitely not one to miss. You can only gauge the enormity of the statue by being there and comparing the size against humans. Close by is the Vietnam and Korean Memorials - both a
re very moving, although I preferred the Korean Memorial. There are figures of soldiers in the fields of war, and the pain on their faces is absolutely so real and incredible. The reflecting pool is beautiful, and, depending on which end you are, reflects either the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Memorial. The walk along the side of the pool is very relaxing. There are tours, which will take you around the city, and these are highly recommended. They offer the same ' get on and off' as the Arlington ones, and at least one of them incorporates Arlington. The Smithsonian museums are free, and very extensive. We weren’t as impressed as we thought we would be with the National Air & Space Museum (obviously that’s our personal opinion) but it really is worth a visit. We found the National Museum of American history seemed to be extremely informative and in a way addictive. We spent 4 hours there, and have to say we still haven’t seen it all. For those of you out there who think that we obviously read everything, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Normally we have a quick look and sort of run around a museum. I personally feel that the museum is that extensive, that an hour even to those ‘runners’ like me would leave a long way still to go. Union Gap station is a place worth visiting, if time permits, with loads of shops, restaurants and bars. However, there are some very unsavoury areas around it, which we encountered walking back to our hotel (the time we actually stayed in D.C. itself). Whist travelling on one of the ‘get on and off’ tours, we encountered Embassy Row, Please don’t expect me to reel off all those Embassy’s, it’s breathless to say them all, as our driver demonstrated, and even he had to miss a few out. St Patrick’s Cathedral, which can be seen from most of the city, is another place to visit if there is time
, especially if you are religious, and the building itself deserves a look, even if you aren’t. A real ‘must’ is Georgetown. As you pass through the 'older' part of Georgetown, you see houses that are immensely small width wise, but in contrast extremely high for their width (although still not higher than the Washington Monument, which is the height at which buildings are allowed to be built). Apparently, this was due to the fact that taxes paid on houses in the ‘early’ days were calculated by width, and not height. Georgetown itself we found to be cheaper than the heart of Washington’s city centre. Shops were in abundance, as were restaurants. There were also quite a few bars. We found the food in Georgetown to be excellent and quite reasonable. And so back to the city - the White house is well worth a look - from the outside. For those who really want to see inside, I understand that you have to queue firstly for the tickets, early in the morning and then queue again with the tickets to actually go into the Whitehouse – personally this was not my idea of fun, with so many other things to do and see. Where did we stay in Arlington? Days Inn, Crystal City. A good quality hotel, with plenty of reasonable bars and restaurants just around the corner. These included Vietnamese, Chinese and Italian. But we opted for a pub, which served very good food at reasonable prices, and was called ‘The Sports Pub’ The hotel had the all-important ‘free car parking’, and also had an outdoor swimming pool, which is open from the end of May to early September. I can only talk about our experience of the weather – I would say at a guess that it has been between 78 degrees and 82 degrees Fahrenheit each time we’ve been there and these times have been within the first two weeks of September and early May.
I am not a financial adviser, & have never been, but, I have worked on the administration side within the Financial Services Sector for 25 years. Working with 3 substantial product providers, and 3 Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s). I have therefore ‘seen and experienced both sides’. Even though there are now strict regulations (which have now become law), imposed on the Financial Services, it is my opinion that not all IFA’s religiously do what is best for the client. However, there are reputable and very trustworthy IFA’s. How do you find one that won’t have their own interests in mind? A very hard question, but, from my experience a referral from a solicitor, accountant or a similar organisation should be considered, after all their reputation will rely on the advise given by the IFA they recommend. The IFA’s I have worked for are small companies (ranging from 3 – 8 people, including the proprietor and /or partners). I would recommend all of them, and in fact have, but my present one only if you are rich, as I will explain later. Personally, I would probably not want to go to a very large firm for advise, as I think they are very impersonal. At least the smaller ones know you as a person and not ‘a number or reference’ The difference between IFA’s, Networked IFA’s, Tied Agents and Company Representatives? There are four types of financial advisers (to my knowledge): Independent: Not obliged to use any particular company’s products, but beware they may have favourites. They are able, and are obliged to, look at every ‘avenue’, including anything that does not earn them any commission. Networked: Also independent, but are a bit like a franchise. Although they have their own name, they belong to a bigger organisation (Big Brother it seems). I now work for one such company, a
nd of the one's that I have worked for, I find that this company is more concerned with the rules than the others. (A real good thing for the comsumer) They are frequently 'checked' for their advice, their continued training, the recording of advice, and whether they have given the consumer all the information needed, and most importantly, honest advice. Tied Agents: A financial adviser, but have an allegiance to one product provider, and can therefore only offer that company’s products. This fact must be displayed clearly, and disclosed to you at outset. They will often know more detail about that company's (the one they are tied to) product than perhaps an IFA, because that is all they are allowed to advise on. Company representative: Similar to a tied agent, but is a little bit more restrictive in the way that he/she actually works for the product provider, wheras the tied agent is his/her own man/woman to a certain extent, and can pull the 'plug' anytime. Obviousy only the company products can be offered. This fact must also be disclosed to you at outset The Tied Agents and Company Representatives are both obliged to tell you if their company/product provider does not have anything suitable for you. I have not come across this myself, but I am sure that this does not always happen!! Why use a Financial Adviser? A lot of people these days follow the stock market, know which building society accounts etc. have the best interest rates, and to be honest, the small investor who has done sufficient research probably can do as well as any Financial Adviser, with their savings. However, if you are looking for an income or growth from an unexpected source of money e.g. redundancy, inheritance, lottery win!!, etc, I would highly recommend an IFA. As I have said it will be hard to choose the right one. You can however, ‘try’ more than one, although
I would urge you not to waste their time unnecessarily, you should be able to gauge at the first meeting whether you trust them or not. (Any people reading this from Cardiff or surrounding areas I will be quite happy to tell you my thoughts on any Financial Adviser you choose - if I know of them) A Financial Adviser, is I believe, absolutely crucial for Pension advise. This is such a complex subject, that it really does need an expert! And I don’t mean ‘Joe Bloggs’ that you see in the pub, or ‘down the street’, and has ‘had’ his/her pension and ‘got the best deal’. I can’t believe how often I have heard this in a pub, and I cringe. I also feel like going over to the people talking about it and telling them to go and seek professional advise, because they haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. Cost of advise? I can only speak for the 3 IFA’s that I have worked for, but I would expect similar from everyone else. Financial Advisers primarily earn commission on most products that they recommend – not all products though e.g. Post Office bonds, National Savings Any commission earned must be disclosed, before a product is taken up. The other method of payment a Financial Adviser can take is ‘fee based’. A ‘fee based’ consultation will mean that any commission earned by the adviser is used as part or all of a payment toward your bill, and some can be re-invested back into your policy. If there is any surplus it will be refunded to you or held on your accountfor future reviews of your portfolio etc. Personally, unless you have ‘mega bucks’ (which means you probably wouldn’t be reading this anyway), I would opt for letting the IFA have the commission, if you have the choice between commission or fees. The fee rates are generally quite high for the adviser, and lower for
administrators or secretaries. On average about £140 per hour an adviser, and £40 administration. So unless you have a lot of money to invest, I would look for those accepting commission as payment. However if you do win the lottery a fee based adviser maybe worth while. They will only take enough commission to pay their bill - anything over will be refunded or sent back to you. In conclusion, I must say that I disagree with the fact that an IFA’s commission must be disclosed. I do not know any other profession that has to disclose their earnings – does a travel agent tell you how much commission they earn? Not as far as I'm aware. I must also say that the 3 IFA’s I have worked for have been nothing less than professional with their advise and have certianly thoroughly thought of the client's interests first. All three are prosperous company’s, and do not advertise on the internet etc. In my opinion they have never needed to Their clients are referrals from extremely satisfied clients, solicitors etc, or as with the company I work for now client's from a previous employment. As a lasting comment I would like to point out that the listing of IFA' on this site must be well out of date, as I was employed by one of them, and one of the addresses there are 2) must be about 5 years old. When I left they hadn't been at the 2nd address listed on here for 10 months!
The words ‘gloom and doom’ have had a lot of meaning lately. Believe it or not, I am still in denial that Robbie has gone. This does remind me very much of the day that Shankly announced his retirement, both days I will always remember where I was, and what I was doing. However there was life after Shankly and I am sure that there will be after Robbie. The question still remains ‘why’? I think it has become obvious that Robbie did not totally fit in with Houlier’s & Thompson’s plans. The reason for this, I feel, will never be fully known. The ‘rotation system’ was used on many occasions to blame the reason for Robbie being unhappy. But when did the rotation system ever include Robbie? Heskey and Owen always seemed to be first choice, and Robbie got his chance sometimes if one of them were injured. And when Owen or Heskey were injured, Murphy, Litmanen or Smicer were often preferred to Robbie. Sven Goran Eriksson, however, has always recognised his worth, and one of the papers this morning is reporting, that he told Robbie last month that first team appearances would enhance his chances for England next year This may have been the final factor to convince Robbie to move. Sven is also reportedly to have intimated that with regular first team performances, Robbie would be his first choice alongside Owen. I do believe without a doubt, that if Robbie plays a substantial amount of first team football for Leeds, this statement will in future will be reversed, and there will be speculation as to who will play alongside Robbie. Robbie is undoubtedly the most natural goalscorer in the premiership. His workrate is second to none, and Leeds now have the bargain of the century (although Gary Mcallister most come a close second). £11 million – that I suppose, is another op to be discussed!! I personally think that this is a good move for Robbie himself, and I hope he fulfi
ls the rest of the country’s and my expectations. I am without any doubt that he will. I wish him all the best and thank him for the last fifteen years. Where does this leave Liverpool FC? I do still have faith in Houllier and the board etc, and after their achievements, it would be unfair to judge on this one decision. Time will tell whether Robbie will come back to ‘haunt’ them – and I feel he will. But I still think we have all the ingredients to win the premiership this year – dare I say it – with or without Robbie. I still continue to believe that the club is bigger than any player, and I certainly think that this is, and should continue to be the ‘ground rules’ at Liverpool FC. It still does not take away the fact that losing Robbie will take a very long time to ‘get over’ I personally am totally gutted and don’t agree with the decision to let Robbie go, but think that behind the scenes it was probably the best decision for both parties. As a lasting thought – what happens to everybody that has bought replica Liverpool shirts as Christmas presents, complete with No 9 and Robbie Fowler as I have for my nephew? Well let me enlighten you. You cannot return them for a refund or anything else. They can only be returned if they are faulty, which I feel that they are, as Robbie is no longer there. As I have said earlier – ‘I wish all the best Robbie, as long as it doesn’t effect Liverpool’