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At present I live in Paignton, part of Torbay other wise known at the English Riviera. Although I have lived in other places in England I am only a stones though away from the very place I was born namely Brixham, which is also part of Torbay. I love to take a walk around there remembering how it was when I was a child and seeing how much has changed. Brixham is spread over a valley at the bottom of which is the town leading down to the harbour, it now has three inner harbour piers where the fishing boats tie up along side. The third one was only added about thirty years ago, I can remember as a child my friends and I used to love playing leap frog over the captains where the trawlers would tie up. Brixham has always been a very busy fishing port way down through the ages and is the place where William of Orange is said to have first stepped ashore when he came to England in 1688. There is a big statue of him on the quay which has been there since way before my time. The harbour hasn?t really changed much since I was a child, apart from the new pier the only other real change is they have knocked down the shelter that once covered the fish market. There is an aquarium on the harbour, its not very big but gives a good taste of what sea life there is, there are also gift shops, cafes, ice cream parlours and pubs, right at the end of the harbour there?s a small sweet shop that was there when I was a small child and its still run by the same family, I can remember my gran used to take me for a walk along the harbour and buy me and ice cream from them. There are loads of little kiosks dotted along the quay where you can book a mackerel fishing or deep sea wreck fishing trips and if fishing isn?t your cup of tea you can choose to go on one of the many little cruises around the bay or even down to near by Kingswear
and sail past the late Agatha Christie?s home and then on down to Dartmouth. Just backing off from the harbour is Brixham town centre with Fore street running up the middle, this is where I was born to be exact about a quarter of the way up in a pub called the London inn, which was run by my parents, These days it is a tea room and very different. There are all the usual shops in the town, Woollies, Summerfield and many local shops and of course an abundance of gift shops as there always is in a resort. There is one very odd little shop though, when I was a child it was a tea room but now days it sells clocks. The odd thing about this shop is it is called ?The Coffin House? because it is built in the exact shape of a coffin. There are a couple of stories as to why it is that shape the most popular being that the father of a young woman who fell in love with a man he could not stand, told his daughter ?I would rather see you in your coffin than wed to him? but the girl married him anyway so her father built them this house, weather its true or not I?m not sure. If you leave the main town and go the top of the left side of the valley you will find Furzham Where I went to primary school, there is a large park and many houses around but also a place now called ?Battery Gardens? so-called because it was where the gunning placements were, to help protect England from invasion during the war, the gunning placements are now turned into shelters where you can sit and look out to sea. If you take the right hill side from the town this will bring you firstly to the breakwater pier where there is now a large marina and a marine centre which when I was a child was the seamen?s mission home for boys where young boys were sent while there fathers were away at sea if their mothers could not cope with them. Discipline was
very strict there and the boys had to march to church every Sunday dressed in naval uniform lead by their own marching band made up of some very talented boys from the home, This was quite a sight, the police would stop the traffic and the town centre would come to a halt, people would even line the street to watch them. It was a sad loss to Brixham when this stopped; they were so good they even appeared on TV once. Just past that is Breakwater pier which is the main pier that shelters the harbour from rough seas. There is a great place to fish at the end. Next to that is a small pebble beach and then an out door swimming pool where I used to love to go swimming with my two brothers, the only problem with the pool is, it is right on the edge of the land and the sea over flows into the pool at high tide bringing with it small fish and jelly fish at times but if that puts you off, don?t worry there is a indoor swimming pool as well now. A little further up the coastline is Berry Head, a place with many claims to fame, Firstly it was once a Roman settlement and the walls of the fort are still standing there to-day. A little later the Reverend Henry Light, who was at the time the vicar at All Saints church in Brixham sat on Berry Head and wrote the famous hymn ?Abide with me? this is still played out by the bells at the church to-day in memory of him. Another claim to fame it has, is that the lighthouse there is the highest and the shortest lighthouse in England because it is only the light section of the light house perched on the top of the cliff top. I love Brixham and often take my self off there for a couple of hours. To be honest it is not really the kind of place children would want to holiday as unless they like fishing there are a few amusement arcades but little in way of fun, it is little more than history and
sightseeing for them but for a rest or a little break for someone just wanting to walk and sit by the sea it?s a great place, it was also a great place to grow up in to. Thanks for reading. Kim.
Many of us use Vinegar to make our chips taste better but do you know just how many other things Vinegar can be used for. Here are just a few. Cooking ? We all know vinegar can preserve food but you can prolong the self live of meat for a day or two by washing the meat in vinegar then washing it off again. ? Stop eggs from cracking while boiling by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar at start. ? Tenderise meat by either soaking in vinegar overnight or rubbing on both side?s leaving for a couple of hours then wash it off. ? Rub on hands before and after peeling onions to remove odour. ? If 1 tablespoon is added to red cabbage while cooking it won?t turn purple. Cleaning ? Equal parts of vinegar and salt will remove tea and coffee stains from china. ? Heat salt and vinegar in a small pan. Use to clean the scorched base of an iron. ? Use equal parts vinegar and warm water to clean windows without leaving streaks. ? To clean a vase with a small opening. Crush egg shells put in vase with vinegar and water. Shake until clean. ? Add to water when washing glass to make it sparkle. ? Use on a soft cloth to clean stainless steel. ? The easiest way to clean all the splatters inside your microwave is to put 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Place in microwave and boil. Leave door shut for 5-10 minutes then wipe clean. ? Soften chewing gum from fabrics and carpets by soaking with vinegar, if you warm the vinegar it will work even quicker. ? Rub stains left by deodorant by rubbing with white vinegar to remove them before washing in the normal way. ? Use neat to remove ink stains from fabric. ? Wipe over a car windscreen before leaving over night to prevent windscreen frosting up. ? Soak r
usty tools and metal in neat vinegar overnight to remove rust. ? If you place a small bowl of white vinegar in a room when painting it will help remove the paint odour. Health ? Use to relieve sunburn. ? Help a sore throat by gargling with a cup of water containing 2 tea spoon s of vinegar. ? Use vinegar to sooth a bee sting. ? It is believed that cider vinegar can help people with arthritis. ? Add one teaspoon of vinegar to the final rinse when washing your hair, this will help prevent dandruff. In the garden. ? Use vinegar to help kill weeds. ? Spray around to deter ants and cats. ? Use to kill grass from the driveway. ? Help keep cut flowers fresh by adding, 2 teaspoons of vinegar and one teaspoon of sugar to the water. There are so many more but I hope these few are useful. Thanks for reading. Kim.
David Clark, aka, shadowhawk has challenged us to write an A-Z review, on television programs. .:The Rules:. Titles with "the" in the title don't come under "T", but the first letter of the next word. Any movies that were only made for TV are not allowed. Programs that are spin off from films are, (example My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Television Ads are not allowed. This Challenge was set by shadowhawk. Please cut and paste this at the top of your review. A. Angel. Yes I have to admit to watching this a lot at one time. A story about a vampire with a soul who goes out trying to help innocent people who are in danger from demons and such. B. Bottom. Here we have two sad old gits Richard Richard and his flat mate Eddie Hitler living in what could only be described as a hovel in Hammersmith. Eddie lives only to drink while Richard dreams that one day he?ll lose his virginity. C. Casualty. Series about the A & E department of Holby Hospital. Always lots of drama and action not only from the patients but also the Doctors, Nurses, Paramedic?s and other hospital staff. This program has some great visual affects. D. Dads Army. A timeless classic set in the second world war, a bunch of old men make up the home guard to fearlessly help protect England in her hour of need. Captain Mannering is in charge of the platoon with the help of soppy Sergeant Wilson and over eager corporal Jones the butcher. No matter how many times I watch this it?s still funny. E. Emmerdale. I?m quite a soap fan my self and I think Emmerdale has really caught up w
ith the main runners in the soap league. It used to focus on life on the farm when it first started but now days is more about village life. F. Flog it. A program where people bring unwanted items and sell them hopefully sell them for loads of money. G. Ground force. A gang of expert gardeners surprise someone with an unexpected garden make over, achieving some lovely transformations. H. Hells Kitchen. I don?t as a rule like to watch reality programs but this one really got to me. Gordon Ramsey coming across as a devil of a chef to work under but got cut down to size by Amanda Barrie and Edwina Currie at times. I. It aint half hot mum. This is one of my favourite oldies, a group of misfits making up a concert party to entertain the troops serving in India. Little Lofty was my favourite, played by Don Estelle and of course the Sergeant Major played by Welsh actor Windsor Davies. The duo also had a couple of hit records back in the late seventies. J. Judge Deed. An exceptional program about a high court judge who?s a bit of a rebel and always stirring up trouble and putting fellow judge?s noses out of joint, yet staying one step ahead of them when they try to out him. While with his other hand, he?s a fair and just judge. Excellent drama starring the gorgeous Martin Shaw. K. Keeping up appearances. Snobbery at its best. Hyacinth Bucket who prefers to know as Hyacinth Bouquet lives to be the envy of everyone but all too frequently has to live down the embarrassment of her very common family. L. Life of grime. A documentary program about some of the awful cases that the health authority has to deal with, it?s amazing just how some people live. M. My Family. A series about the dysfunctional Harper family. Ben a dentist played by Robert Lindsey and his wife Susan played by Zoë Wananmaker who?s three children almost always seem to get the better of them. N. Never the Twain. Actors Windsor Davies and Donald Swindon play two men who both lived in the same road next door too each other, both are antique dealers with shops next to each other and just to complicate matters further both have a teenage child who fall in love with each other, as you can imagine rivalry was top of their agenda. O. Open all hours. Ronnie Barker played the stammering tight fisted shopkeeper who was always lusting after nurse Emanuel in this comedy show. His long suffering nephew Granville was played by David Jason and together they ran the corner shop. P. Porridge. Ronnie Barker again, this time playing Fletcher an inmate doing a sentence at Slade prison. Q. Quantum leap. A bit of a sci-fi this one, Sam Beckett a scientist trying to invent time travel manages to go back in time but only in other peoples body?s in order to sort out their problems, problem solved he is then whisked of into the next person with no control over where he?s going. R. Ready steady cook. Two guests take a small bag of shopping to challenge two top chef?s to cook up something delicious. S. Some mothers do have them. ?MMmm Nice? as Frank Spencer him self would say, he means well but things just don?t come as easy to him as they do to most people. T. Two Ronnie?s, The. The two Ronnie?s, Aka Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett stared in their own show of comedy and sketches. U. U.&
#70;.O. Now this is the one that really gave me problems but then I remembered this old US program about UFO?S that my ex-husband used to love to watch. V. Vicar of Dibbly, The I love this comedy about a small village awaiting their new vicar to arrive, when he does it takes everyone by surprise to find he?s a she played by Dawn French. W. Wildlife on one. I love watching wildlife programs, seeing how many animals cope with life in the wild. X. X files. Agents Mulder and Sully deal some very unusual cases as FBI agents. Y. Young ones, The. They have to be the saddest bunch of juvenile delinquents ever. This show had quite a large following and they even made a hit record with Cliff Richard?s. Z. Z Car?s. Another hard one but then I remembered the old sixties program of Z Cars. A police show so called because in those days the police used Zephyr cars as their squad cars, even the theme tune of this was very well known. Well that?s it, I?ve done it. Thanks for reading, now you have ago. Kim.
Competition. man has set us a new music challenge and a half so I thought I would give it a go. The rules are:- Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter, i.e. No listing close seconds. 3) give reasons for your choices. ~ hints ~ using all the letters may seem an easy task , but believe me , you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others , then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record . so here are some hints to help you complete the challenge : 1) solo artists , duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely , eg.: Lionel Ritchie and the commodores could come under l , r and c 2) album tracks as well as single releases are allowed , but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used e.g.: Fredrick Mulsara = Freddie Mercury So here goes my attempt. A. Aerosmith. This one is easy because Aerosmith are my main favourite band, there aren?t many bands that have been around as long as they have and they are such survivors, they have reached the top screwed up and hit the bottom only to get up dust them selves off and climb back to the top again. B. Blondie. A top band of the eighties led by the beautiful Debbie Harry, Punk but with style, they made quite a successful comeback a short while ago. C. Cher. I love the way she does her own thing, she?s such a strong woman. D. DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY. One of my favourite songs from the sixties performed by Manfred Mann. I used to play this one with my friends in my bedroom on one of those old crackly record players. e. EVERLASTING LOVE. Sung by another sixties band ?The Love Affair? my parents had a pub back in the sixties and I can remember this being played over and over on our jukebox. F. ERMA
FRANKLING. ?Piece of my heart? again from the sixties, I always loved the strength in this song and in most of her songs. G. GYPSIES TRAMPS AND THIEVES. One of my favourite Cher songs released in 1971, I used to play this in a biker café I would hang out in, in the wilder mis-spent fun days of my youth. H. HANG ON SLOOPY. Another sixties song, this time by ?The McCoy?s? this one used to get everybody dancing along its got such a strong rhythm. I. I GOT YOU BABE. Proberly Chers most famous hit song with her one time hubby Sonny Bono. I can just about remember this one. J. JANIE?S GOT A GUN. A powerful song from my favourite Aerosmith included on their ?Big one?s? album. A song about a young girl who shoots her farther who sexually abused her, strong stuff.. K. KEEP THE FAITH. This is one of the few Bon Jovi songs I really like and is the on the album of the same name. L. LOVING SPOONFUL. Back to sixties again for this one, their hit single ?summer in the city? has always been a favourite of mine I love the beat. M. THE MONKEE?S. Yes I admit it, I was a big fan of theirs back in the sixties but so were loads of people. My favourite song of theirs has to be ?I?m a believer?. My parents used to have parties after the pub was closed and this was always played and danced along to. N. NEIL DIAMOND. Another artist that?s been around for ages. I love his strong voice and many of his songs, amongst my favourites are, Love one the rocks and I am I said. O. ROY ORBISON. What else could have for O but the big O himself, He had quite a sad life losing family in a fire and seeing his wife killed in a motorbike accident but he still remains one of the greats. P. PAUL SIMON. No other reason than I like the sound of his voice and his style. Q. QUEEN. In my opinion one of the greatest bands ever, the loss of Freddy Mercury is one of the saddest losses of all time; his style was just so
unique. R. ROAD RAGE. By Welsh band Catatonia, from their ?International Velvet? Album. I?m not a big fan of theirs but I do like that one it reminds of my ex-husbands driving.. S. STEVEN TYLER. Well it has to be doesn?t it, for a true Aerosmith fan mighty gob just has to rule here. T. TINA TURNER. I couldn?t pick out any one or two songs here; I love most of her music. Another one of life?s survivors who started out in violent relationship with her husband she left the duo ?Ike and Tina Turner? and went on to be the Tina Turner we know and love today. Sadly she has now retired but I think she does deserve her rest although she is missed. U. UNDERNEATH YOUR CLOTHES. Sung by Shakira and taken from her ?Laundry service? album, a beautiful song in my opinion one of those I couldn?t stop singing to my self.. V. VIVA LAS VAGAS. Well I had to slip at least one Elvis song in, I think there?s a bit of an Elvis fan in most of us.. W. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE. This one reminds me of my teenage years. Performed by Procol Harum this was always the first warm up tune that was played at the local disco I used to go to. X. XTC. The only album I have really listened to is Waxworks; my ex-husband used to like this one and played it quite a bit. Released 1986; my favourite track is making plans for Nigel. Y. THE YARDBIRDS. Back to the sixties for this one again, over under sideways down, Boom boom and the train kept a rolling bring back many memories of my friends and me trying to sing along with these tunes. Z. ZAGER & EVANS. In the year 25 25, this was such a hunting song about the demise of man and the end of the world, pretty scary stuff as I remember. Well there that?s it, how I?ve remembered all those I don?t know but it?s been fun. I do hope you join in; it?s a lot of fun remembering all those songs from your past. Thanks for reading. Kim.
It was a nice sunny day early in May when I found my self standing on the forecourt of a ford dealer surrounded by cars of all models and sizes, I was quite sure It was going to be either the Ford Ka or the Ford Fiesta. I am still learning to drive at the moment, something I?ve often thought of doing but never really got around to but now with mobility problems starting to slow me down I thought it?s a choice of becoming house bound, dependant on other people or taking up the challenge and taking some driving lessons. I?m a carer for house bound people so I know what to expect and don?t really want to join them just yet. I thought I would buy my own car so I can have extra lessons with a qualified driver like my son sitting beside me as professional driving instructors are expensive and on my budget have to be limited to a couple hours a week so in between I can drive my own car and practice what I?ve been taught. I went to a main dealer so I would have a good choice and that?s exactly what I had. There were Ka?s and Fiesta?s a plenty so much so it made it more difficult to choose which one to choose when suddenly, I caught sight of little bit of bright blue paint work, I moved in closer to take a better look and it was love at first sight. There he sat all alone and abandoned, cast side for a newer model, he was small blue and perfect, his paint work shone in sun and I knew I just had to make him mine all mine, my very own little Ford Ka. Some people including my self seem to be a little unsure of just how to pronounce the word Ka, I have heard several versions so I asked the head mechanic in the service department and he assured me it is pronounced ?Ka? as in the sound of the word ?car? so that?s good enough for me. When I told the salesman that I wasn?t sure whether to buy a Fiesta or a Ka he informed me that the engine and the chassis is the same and the only real difference is the bodywork. Blue, that?
s what I have decided to call him, had one previous owner since his first registration in 2003 and has a 1299 cubic capacity Duratec 8V engine with catalyst, is fuel injected, five speed gear box, power assisted steering, immobiliser PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System), drivers air bag, side-impact door beam?s, opening rear windows and a 40 litre capacity fuel tank. The only disappointment was he had a cassette player instead of a cd player which I would have liked. Blue is a three door hatch back and although he seems small to look at the interior is surprisingly roomy even in the back seats and there is ample leg room back and front. The boot is fairly small but more the adequate for a weekly shop but if you need more room the rear seats fold down giving you loads of room. I was a little disappointed with the size of the glove compartment which is very small and like a little pot that would struggle to hold a bag of sugar with a lid but then I found a huge lidded pocket in the side just behind the drivers seat that would easily hold most things I would have a need for so I was more than happy. So far in my very short life as a driver I have driven a brand new Ford focus, a three year old Peugeot 206, 10 year old Rover and a 3 month old Mercedes A class but the very first time I pulled away in Blue the first thing that really struck me was just how smooth and easy to driver he is, much smoother and easier than all the rest I had tried. To buy a brand new Ka would cost you from £6,775. The asking price for Blue who is just over 1 year old was £5,299 but I have a mind of my own and after a little straight no-nonsense talking with the salesman we struck up the deal of £4,800 and they would replace the cassette player with a nice cd player I saw in a similar car, I left the show room a happy woman. The showroom was approximately thirty miles away from where I live so when we went to pick Blue up I asked the salesman if he
had enough petrol to get us home, he assured me there was a quarter of a tank but I was so excited when I started him up and drove away that I did not realise he had lied and half way up the duel carriageway I notice the needle was on the E and the warning light was on. Luckily we did make it to the nearest station where I found it cost me exactly £27.90 to fill Blues tank to from empty to completely full, after I had driven 118 miles without using any heaters or such, the needle was still only on the half way mark, proving him to be very economical. I was very surprised to learn that when you use heaters and such in your car it actually uses a lot of petrol; I always thought they ran off the battery. I have now had Blue just over a month and have driven him for miles without any problems what so ever, I couldn?t be more pleased with him. I would recommend the Ford Ka to anyone wanting an economical easy to drive small car. The only real grumble I do have is the foot brake is a quite soft, I spoke to the service mechanic and he told me all Ka?s have soft brakes, he even showed me this brand new demo Ka?s and yes it was very much the same. They are not too bad but just seem a bit soft at first but once you depress a bit further they are quite sharp, I?ll just have to get used to them. All I need to do now is pass my driving test so I can ditch the gooseberry that is my qualified driver so me, Blue and my little dog Jack can drive off into the sunrise on our very own little quest for fun and adventure. Thanks for reading. Kim.
Jill has set us a new play thing, a lazy way of putting our point across and as anything that takes little effort sounds good to me I thought I would give it a go. Do you believe in life after death? Yes I do. I don't believe in all that crap about heaven and hell and the devil eating your soul and stuff but I do believe we move on to something better, or at least I hope we do. Should smoking be banned in public places? No, I have just written a full review about this so just to recap in a nut shell, being someone who suffers with asthma I do find that smoke is only the tip of the iceberg and to have total affect everything from cars to flowers would have to be banned. I do feel though that people who do smoke should at least respect other people enough not to smoke in restaurants and such and in turn people who don't smoke should be prepared to accept it in pubs and such. Is capital punishment wrong? I find this one hard to answer. There is the problem of innocent people being put to death which in turn is murder but when I hear of these evil child molesters and murderers, I feel something really has to be done, why should they be so well protected in prison at the tax payer's expense and such? They should be made to suffer in some way. Should cannabis be legalised? Yes it should, it is a good pain killer that is far less harmful in the long term than many of the painkilling drugs you can buy over the counter. Also the police can then have a little more time to fight real crime. Is beauty only skin deep? I prefer to judge people on the acts that they do, we are what we are inside and that's what counts. Do animals have rights? YES absolutely YES. As we are "questionably" suppose to be more intelligent than animals, then I feel we have an obligation to treat them better and lead be example. Unfortunately we do have t
o eat to stay alive but it can be done without cruelty. Does Britain still need a monarchy? I'm not really bothered either way but I don't think we need so many hangers on, there are still too many. Should fox hunting be banned in England and Wales? Yes Fox hunting should be banned everywhere, it is cruel and unfair and no amount of reasoning will ever make me feel otherwise. Should Britain join the Euro? No. I think it would be a good Idea to try to see how we can cope without it, just as long as we don't finish up tagging along with everything America wants too do. Should all fire arms be banned for private use? Yes. If you don't need it for work and you have no intentions of shooting someone then you have no need of a gun. They are not toys and should not be kept as such. What is your opinion on legal prostitution? If prostitution was made legal then there could be rules and laws that would protect both the prostitute and the punter alike and hopefully cut down the need for those nasty Pimps that live off of these people. Also it might help to cut the spread of things like AID's and such. Are we living in rip off Britain? Yes I think we are, just look at the price of petrol, cds and many other things compared with some other countries. What is your opinion on pornography? It's not so much the pornography I have a problem with as long as it doesn't involve children or unwilling people but the fact we all but get it shoved up our nose at every turn. If you want to see it and someone wants to show you then fine but a while ago every other email I seemed to receive in my inbox was some kind of porn I never asked for, at first it was a bit of a giggle but it soon became a bit of a bore. My isp as now set things in place to sort it out, it seems to be working. Is genetically modified food
right? I think it worth looking into anything that will feed the starving people of the world as long as we can be sure it is safe but this is a fairly new thing and I for one would like to see tests done over many, many more years before I would put my self at risk. Things like this should be about people and not about profit as it is so often. Well that's it my two penny worth. Thanks for reading. Kim.
There seems to be a lot of fuss lately about smoking in public places so I thought I would add my two penny worth. Firstly let me tell you that I am not a smoker but once was. I was introduced to smoking at a very early age as young as about 7 or 8. I am the youngest of three children, my two brothers are 6 and 4 years older than me and one day I walked into their bed room and caught them red handed with fags in hand. They were afraid I would be a tell tell tit on them so made me smoke my first ciggie, I can remember standing there blowing through the cigarette and my brother explaining I had to suck the smoke not blow it. I suppose I was about 14 when I really started for my self and of course my friends, I wanted to look cool too. At the age of 23 I was told by my doctor that I was pregnant and after already suffering one miscarriage I wasn?t going to let anything that might be in the slightest bit bad for me or baby enter my body and so gave up immediately, after my beautiful healthy baby boy was born I found I could not afford to start again. I have now been a none smoker for just over 24 years. So do I think smoking should be banned in public places? Lets look at it this way, ok lets ban it, it will be so much better for everyone?s health won?t it. Oh but wait a minute what?s the point of that when car fumes churn out much worst than the average smoker so we had best ban them too. What a lovely healthy place this would be with out cigarette smoke and car fumes, Oh but what about animals, I?m asthmatic and animal fur can really play that up so we had best ban them as well and while we?re about we had better ban flowers too because pollen can be a major cause of asthma attacks and such. Oh then of course we must also ban electricity pylons and phone masts and many many other things that we all really n
eed in every day life. Another way of looking at it is cost of policing public areas in order to catch the offenders; this will cost the government and the tax payer more money proberly about the same amount as it will save on the NHS so no one will be better off. It is said that that stress is the main cause of heart attacks which is in turn the main killer in this country, ok they think smoking can increase your chances of having a heart attack but it is also said that to a smoker, smoking can relieve stress one of the main causes of heart failure. Some people stand on their soap boxes and blame smokers for the using up all the money set aside for sick people on the NHS but smokers are heavily taxed and again how much do car drivers cost us also, drinkers, drug addicts and even those awful people who work to hard and suffer heart attacks, they don?t get blamed do they? I have given the question ?should smoking be banned in public places? a great deal of thought and can see many arguments for and against but my view is that banning it is just a drop in the ocean. As for people who want to go out and not suffer the smell of smoke in a pub or restaurant, well they do have a point, who wants to eat while other people are blowing smelly smoke across their table. One of the things that amuses me the most is those silly café?s and restaurants that think you can put two tables next to each other in the same room, call one a non smoking table and the one next to a smoking table and think that the non smoking table wont be able to smell or breath in the smoke. Don?t they know that smoke floats around in the air? I live with smokers although I don?t smoke my self the thing I hate most is the smell of a old ash tray or the room the next day but that is just a personal preference so for this one I am going to stay sitting well and truly on the fence a
s I can see many sides of this one, except to say I think it would be polite for smokers to at the very least refrain from smoking in restaurants when other people are eating. I do hope that I haven?t bored you too much. Thanks for reading. Kim.
A short while ago I read a very good review about a product called ?Clean and dry? I was very impressed with what I read and so went out to buy it. I have since found it very useful for another purposes and so decided I should write this review and tell you all about it. As I have said the product is called ?Clean and dry? and is a hand wash that needs no water or towels to dry your hands after use. It comes in a small clear plastic bottle approximately 12cm tall with a flip lip on the top and can fit nicely in most hand bags making it very portable and also would take up little room in the glove compartment of a car. The contents are a clear blue gel (although there is also a yellow, lemon scented one) which has a smell a little like shampoo but a very mild smell and contains Alcohol denat, Glycereth, Triehanolamine and Benzophenone. It is antibacterial and will also leave your hands almost germ free as well as clean. To use you simply squeeze out a small amount a little larger than a pea, then rub it all over your hands, within only a few seconds it just evaporates to nothing taking with it all signs of dirt, germs and stickiness leaving your hands clean smooth and very soft. The mild smell also goes within a minute or two and leaves no nasty taste or anything on your hands. I always carry this in my hand bag, I often find my hands feel dirty after doing my shopping from the trolleys at the super markets, the times I?ve picked one up and someone?s child has been sitting in it eating sweets or chocolate and got it all over the handle is awful but I just wash my hands with a little of this stuff and they are clean, soft and fresh again. You may be wondering what I?m on about in the title, a kitchen sink in my hand bag? Well about three weeks ago I was out shopping with my mother quite early and had to wait a fe w minutes for a shoe shop to open, we decided to sit on a nearby seat and wait rather than come back la
ter. While we were inside the shop trying on shoes my mother asked me what I thought of a pair she was modelling, as I looked I notice as she turned around, a large patch of something messy at the back of her knee on her pale beige trousers, It was quite large and mostly black and had obviously come from the seat we had sat on. Mum got a bit upset as she takes quite a pride in her appearance, she tried spitting on a tissue and rubbing it but it would not shift and as I looked in my hand bag for another tissue I found my hand cleaner so we put a little of this on the marks, rubbed gently and within seconds it just disappeared leaving absolutely no mark, no wetness and not even a water mark, I swear to god it left no sign at all that there ever was a mark there in the first place. Disclaimer I have since used this a number of times on many fabrics and even wallpaper, each time with great results, mostly the fabric was Polyester and cotton but I would like to take a moment to say the gel is not meant for this and although I have not found it to harm the fabric, I can?t say that it won?t and the choice must be yours but please be careful. The price of the small 100 ml bottle is 89p and is a Superdrug own label product. All in all, I always carry a bottle of this in my hand bag and car, it?s just like having a kitchen sink in the bottom of my handbag, it is just such amazing stuff. If only I knew of this when my son was small, it would have been a god send. Highly recommended. Thanks for reading. Kim.
Last week having done my weekly shopping and put it all away, I sat down with a nice cuppa and started flicking through one of those free supermarket magazines that you usually find lurking at the end of the checkout, when I saw an ad for a new type of snack and being someone who just cant resist crisps and such things I had to take a closer look. The name of this new snack is ?Special K lite bites?. Well being made by Special K the first thing that run though my mind is they must be low in calories so looking further I saw they came in cheese flavour and were said to be toasted savoury corn snacks. There seemed to be two other flavours but it was not possible to see what they were in the ad so this meant another trip to the supermarket. I popped into Sainsburys as I was passing to see if they stocked them there and found them lurking next to the other crisps and snacks priced £1.99 for a bag of six, you can also buy them in single packs at 35p each. My find in hand I made my way to the checkout, paid and left. At home I looked closer at the bag, which was mainly white with the usual big red K on the front, just like the breakfast cereal box. The multi-bag contained six packs, 2 were Cheese flavour, 2 were Tikka flavour and 2 were Sun dried tomato and basil flavour. The little packs were small but seemed well filled and weighed in at 28g each. First I choose the Cheese flavour ones. On opening the bag, I found inside little oblong shaped pillows and bit like those Scampi fries you can by. Each little pillow had a kind woven grid like texture and was hollow in the middle with a yellowish dusting on them which I took to be the cheese flavouring. There was no particular smell to them just a slightly cereal smell. I looked at the packet which was white and yellow with a big red K
on it and found that one 28g pack contains 116 calories and 8% fat, well ok that is less than most crisps but more than snacks like Quavers and the bag was considerably smaller, still hopefully the flavour would make up for this. When I put one in my mouth the first impression was nice and crunchy but as for the flavour, there was no hint of cheese just a taste like salt and to make it even worst after a couple of chews you got this sweet corn taste which together simply tasted like eating sugar with salt, not a combination I found at all pleasant, in fact quite the opposite. I did try the other flavours and found the sweet corn flavour came through too strong on all of them and they all tasted disgusting. Of all of them I think I very slightly liked the Tomato and basil ones best but even they weren?t nice, the herb flavour was too strong (not strong enough to mask the sweet corn flavour though). I don?t think I could even describe the Tikka flavour it was so awful. All in all I would not recommend them to anyone, they are awful. I did offer them around my family (my son Adam, his girlfriend Lisa and even my mother) and they all came up with the same verdict, YUK! As far as low calorie snacks go I think I?ll stick to quavers or something which are also a whole lot more filling. Thanks for reading. Kim x.
I was shopping a little while ago and remembered I needed to get some more soap, well as I have told you in another review I always use Boots royal jelly soap so off I went into Boots only to find the shelf was empty, after I enquired I was told they didn?t have any in the shop and would be getting any for a couple of days, well I was sure that what I had at home so I carried on with my shopping. Later that day I was in Sainsburys doing my weekly shop, while I was pondering the shelves something caught my eye that brought back memories of when I was a little girl. The small white box seemed to stand out from the rest of the bars of soap, it had written on it in black letters ?Pears?. I remembered how my mother would use nothing but this on me when I was small. This soap is widely available in many many out lets as well as Sainsburys including Super drug, Safeway and many pharmacies. I bought the box of soap which cost me 89p in Sainsburys for a 125g bar containing an oval shaped bar of soap, which as well as being amber in colour is quite transparent, it has the word ?PEARS? pressed into the inward bow of the top and bottom of the bar. The soap does not smell quite as strong as some on the market but has a gentle almost delicate herby sent to it. At first the bar does feel a little awkward and clumsy in your hand but after a few washes becomes more easily shaped to the hand, it lathers up quite well, giving a nice soft gentle lather with which to cleanse your self. After washing even my face with this soap my skin felt very soft and fresh, I didn?t find it dried my skin at all. I?ve been using this soap for about two weeks constantly now and I am really impressed, my skin feels soft, smooth and lovely and clean. This soap is a little more expensive than some soaps on the ma
rket but I feel it is really worth it. Pears soap is also suitable for sensitive and babies skin. The soap itself is quite a firm bar and keeps its firmness even after washing, unlike some soaps that claim to be all that and just fall into a soggy mess on the wash basin, I find most of these soaps are a waste of money as most of it is washed down the plug hole and are used up within a very short time. As I have said I have been using this bar now for about two weeks and it has only shrunk by about a third with it being used by three of us for showers as well as use in the washbasin. Andrew Pears developed the soap, a Cornish man and farmer?s son from Mevagissey where he trained as a barber. He arrived in London and opened a shop in Gerrard Street, Soho where he sold Powders, Rouges and creams to help cover the affects of the thick white chalky make up they used back then. You may have seen pictures of the upper-class people of those days with awful white make up on, this was worn because common folk and peasants were often dark skinned and suntanned because many of them work out doors so the upper classes would make them selves appear as pale as possible to show they were upper-class and different, a kind 16th century snobbery. Harsh soaps that were use in Britain in those times along with the chalky make up, dried and ravaged their skin. Andrew quickly realised there was a need for a more gentle soap and after much trail and error came up with a possess to remove all the impurities and refining the base soap before adding the delicate perfume of English garden flowers. Pears Soap is still made today with all pure ingredients: - glycerine, natural oils, cedar, thyme and rosemary. Most clear soaps are made on a base of animal fat but Pears isn?t nor is it tested on animals, it is non-comedogenic so it won?t clog
up your pores, and in the same old fashion tradition that has lasted for about 200 years is left to mellow for approximately three months until it reaches its transparency. Years ago, Pears soap used to run a competition where parents would send in pictures of their darling little girls with nice fresh complexions to be judged by Pears, the winner as well as winning money would then become the face of there advertisements though out the year. As my memory recalls this was quite a thing to be chosen for, as the little pears girl in those days was the junior equivalent of miss world. I can remember my mum telling me she was going to enter me for it one day, she never did though, sadly this competition is no longer running, but my mum said I would have won it if she had of entered me but there again most mum?s say things like that don?t they. I have found out since I bought this soap, Pears have just brought out a liquid facial cleanser, which is 100% soap free, this I must try. All in all I would recommend this soap to anyone if they have sensitive skin or not, I have used and favoured ?Boots Royal Jelly? soap for a few years but now I have rediscovered this one I think I will alternate them for a change, as it is without doubt a good reasonably priced product that has been around for approximately 200 years and kept its recognition the whole time as one of the worlds leading soaps, which in my view speaks for its self. Cert Distributors, Unit 28, Verey Road, Dunstable, Beds, LU5 4TT. Tel. 0800 3282510. Thanks for reading. Kim.
In my view there is nothing to beat fresh veggies picked straight from the plant at the time you prepare your meal, then cooked and eaten within an hour or so. This way nothing is lost either in goodness or in taste, frozen veg no matter how expertly frozen can never match the taste or quality of freshly grown and harvested. This in my mind makes the small amount of work involved well worth the effort. One of my favourites for my small garden is the humble pea, useful in so many meals from the tasty stir fry to the glorious Sunday roast. The garden pea has been a favourite for centuries and has a good food value, among other things it contains vitamins A, B and C also calcium and iron in small quantities. The most popular type for growing is ?early onward? these are the ones I grow in my garden. Peas are very easy to grow and can be sown from early March though until mid June in well cultivated soil, they grow best in a nice sunny position and will need to be supported with either canes, a net or such. As they grow the plants will shoot out little grabbers to cling to their support, you will need to help these little grabbers get a hold of their support to begin with. I find it best to sow a few at a time at two weekly intervals throughout the season so that way you get a good full crop over the summer months. They work well being sown straight into the soil but can be started off in small pots or seed trays either in the greenhouse or on a window sill. If you do plant them out, they will need to be planted 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, you must also leave approximately 24 inches between the rows and must be watered in as soon as you?ve finished planting. There are a few common ailments that can affect the plants, I have only found two which have been a bother to me in all the years I have been growing them, the first is white pow
dery patches that can appear on the pods and the leaves which looks like and is a form of mildew. This happens in very sheltered gardens like mine but can be avoided by being sure your plants are well watered and if you do see any signs of this a little spray with Benlate (available from any garden centre) and repeated fortnightly should solve the problem. My second and biggest pest is my son Adam who has a liking for eating them straight from the pod with out cooking, as soon as the pods are of a descent size, he can be found sitting in the garden looking very guilty with a bundle of empty pods at his feet, I have tried many things to combat this pest but nothing seems to work, even my local garden centre could not help. Once your Peas are grown sometimes it can hard to know exactly when they are ready to be picked as the pods often swell before the peas inside do, I find the best way to tell is by gently tapping the pods, if they rattle then the peas inside are not big enough. Once the peas become big enough to pick it is in your best interest to pick regularly as the more you pick the more will grow, this is Adams favourite excuse. Growing peas is something I do every year, I find the benefit makes all the work worth it even if is just to see Adam busy enjoying his self out in the fresh air (as long as he leaves some for me of course). Peas freeze very well and are in fact the only frozen veg I like but you just can?t beat that straight from the plant and into the pot flavour. I do hope those of you with a garden will try growing your own, thanks for reading. Kim.
Well it?s that time of year again, time to get busy in the garden digging, weeding, sowing, planting and hoeing to mention but a few things. I only have a very small back garden so it?s up to me to make the best of the space provided as I do love fresh veggies straight from the garden mmm there?s nothing better, except chocolate of course. This week I?ve been sowing some of my favourites, the good old runner bean. When you first start off growing these you will need to buy a packet of seeds, they are readily available from loads of places from garden centres to supermarkets, after your first year simply allow one of your plants to go to seed at the end of harvesting and you?ll have your seeds for next years crop, this way you can really save money. You can start sowing from April through to mid June, what I normally do is sow five beans at two to three weekly intervals over that time so I have a longer lasting crop with nice tender young beans all though out the season. You can start the off in little pots and keep them in a green house or on the window sill or as long as the last frost has gone you can plant them straight into the ground. When planting out you should space them approximately 2 inches deep and 6 ? 9 inches apart, Water them as soon as you have planted them and then frequently throughout their growing season. Once your little plants start growing you need to support their stems by providing them with something like a tall bamboo cane on which they can grow up by wrapping their selves around, you will need to help the young seedlings to grip the cane by gently wrapping them around the bottom of the cane. Once this is done they need little attention except regular watering through out the season. When the plants reach about six feet tall it is best to nip off the top of the plant to stop it growing too tall, it will then bush out a litt
le, this makes it easier to pick the beans when they are grown. The beans will start to flower after a few weeks with bright a scarlet small flower although you can get verities with white, pink or even red and white flowers, these will drop off if a bee or something does not pollinate it but don?t worry it will simply grow more flowers. If it does get pollinated the flower will wilt and soon you will see a tiny bean start to grow, these can be picked when ever you feel they are ready for you. There are not too many diseases that will affect the plants but the main one is a condition called Anthracnose, it causes brown shrunken spots to appear on the pods and leaves get brown patches on them both of which may turn pink if left and can even kill the plant. The best treatment for this is to lift and destroy all the affected plants and spray any remaining ones with something like Benlate which you can buy in most garden centres. In order to try to prevent this it is best to rotate the crops position in the garden each year and you can dust the seeds with benlate before planting. When picked young these beans are lovely and tender but if left on the plant to long will become stringy and tuff. Once picked they can be sliced using a propose bean slicer which you can buy almost anywhere and then be lightly boiled, steamed used in stir fry?s etc. After slicing you can blanch them slightly and then freeze them but I find they go soggy when they are cooked, the best way to enjoy them is picked young and eaten fresh from the plant mmm lovely. Thanks for reading. Kim.
I first joined Dooyoo in October 2001 when I was quite new to the internet, my reason for my first visit was to find a good ISP and found the advice so good I decided to become a member. It was almost a year before I wrote my first review, which was pretty bad to be honest and was infact about the ISP I had found. I did regret not reading many other peoples reviews first as I do feel this would have given me a much better idea on what to write. It was almost another year before I returned and really became a regular and even I?m afraid an addict after having to cut back on a lot of my work hours due to poor health, well its something to do isn?t it. Now to date this is my 73rd review so I thought it was about time I let it be known what I really think of Dooyoo and what goes on here. One thing that is a bit annoying is all the pop ups but we have to realize if Dooyoo doesn?t make any money neither can we expect to, I do find it best to let the smaller ones stay in the background as every time you delete them they only come back again which I find slows my pc down more than ever. I try to read as many reviews as I can now days and find there are so many characters here on Dooyoo, although we only really get to know people through their reviews you can really see their characters shining though. I also like to read some of the new comers and like to watch as they gain confidence and start to produce some really good reviews. I do belong to Ciao another review site but find the community more to my liking here on Dooyoo, I know its gone down hill a lot over the years but if we make enough effort I sure we can help give it a bit of a leg up but it has to be said it does sometimes feel that we are the only ones here that really bother. I am sure that many of the bugs that
plague Dooyoo so much could be sorted if only the powers that be would try to do something about it, after all if Charliechuckle can fix the capital problems then why can?t Dooyoo. The product suggestion thing is another bugbear, you can wait and wait for weeks for your suggestions to be posted only to find when they do add some there is about a thousand or so of one category which then means loads of reviews all about the same thing which can become a little boring after a while. I think though one of the worst things is abuse, sadly this has been demonstrated very recently. If someone has an issue with another member I think it very off putting to constantly bicker in the comments before bad mouthing people in reviews which have been posted under different names, this is not what people come to Dooyoo to read. Some of the guides are very helpful, dedicated, and do a great job but others don?t even appear to be there unless they want to pick fault with someone?s review or put down peoples opinions. The most annoying thing I have found is people telling you what you should and should not put in your reviews, in my view if that?s what they want it to say then they should write their own on the subject. What some people might find boring and tedious is to someone else is very helpful. In my work I am a carer for the elderly and many reviews I have written, I have written about the packaging only to be down rated by someone who said I should not pay so much attention to that as it is boring, well when I shop for my oldies knowing what the packaging looks like saves me so much time and knowing how easy it is to open for me is a god send, also another thing gets lower ratings is when people list the ingredients,. Three of my ladies are on special diets so to me this is also very helpful, after all this site is meant to help people with their decision on wha
t to buy not just to provide entertaining reading for certain members. All in all I do love coming to Dooyoo and in some ways all the bugs and even the more moody members do seem to give the place character, I for one would really miss it if it were to go under. Thanks for reading. Kim.
Just before Christmas one of the elderly ladies I take care of asked me to buy some sort of sweets to add to an article of clothing she had bought her great grandchild for Christmas, she didn?t want to spend over £1 on them as it was just a small addiction to another gift so off I went in search of something. I was looking in Woollies and had just about made my decision to buy one of those mixed selection packs that are so popular and common when something a little different caught my eye. It was a small oblong box coloured white and orange with the words ?Happy Hippo? written on it in blue. As I picked up the box I noticed it was made by ?Kinder? the same Kinder who make those little chocolate eggs with toys inside. Inside the box were five individually wrapped sweets, approximately 7cm long. Each sweet was made up of a light golden coloured wafer shell, which was shaped exactly like a Hippopotamus complete with markings for its eyes, nostrils, ears and a cute little curly tail. The bottom half was dipped in white creamy chocolate and dipped again in tiny beads of sweet and tasty meringue, which were crispy and light. The inside of the hollow wafers is filled with cream, this is made up of two different coloured and flavoured cream. The bottom layer is very pale brown colour is made with crushed hazelnuts, while the top layer is creamy white with a very sweet milky flavour, there is plenty of filling not at all skimpy. The taste of these is extremely creamy and sweet, while the texture is at first light and crispy and then smooth and creamy. I would say if you like things like the Kinder beuno then your going to love these as their very much the same but without the chocolate out side and twice as much filling. As well as buying them in boxes of five, which in Woollies cost me 95p you can buy them single for 20p each, that?s how come I can tell you about them as I bought one box for the child and a single
one for me, for going. Each little hippo contains approximately 116 calories so not as good for the old waistline as they are for the taste buds. I would also have to say while they can be quite sickly if you did eat more than one they are not at all filling, one of those things you need when you just fancy something sweet. I have never seen Kinder Happy Hippo in any other shop other than Woollies at the pleasant time but I?m sure you could get them elsewhere if you tried or at least you will soon. All in all I would recommend these to anyone especially those with a sweet tooth, although I don?t have a particularly sweet tooth but I still enjoyed them but more than one is very sickly. The box of five made a lovely little gift and I did check after Christmas and was told the child adored them so much so he now pesters his mum to buy them for him. I feel they are quite reasonably priced for what they are too. I for one will definitely be buying them again, not just as a gift for someone but also for myself but not at the moment because I?m on another diet. Thanks for reading. Kim.
I have been with Virgin for my dial up Internet access now for a couple of years and can say in all honesty I am very, very happy with the service I receive from them. In all the time with them they have never abused my bank details, my payments are taken at the correct amount at the correct time and with the exception of a few problems cause through the many bugs floating around the internet their service has never let me down, any problems that do arise through bugs etc are always reported on their home page and are fixed in the shortest time possible. The only problem I do find I have any gripe with is the slow loading of pages and downloads but of course this was due to the fact I had a dial up connection and a 56k modem. This drove me to despair at times and the only way to keep my self from getting impatient is to run a program like Solitaire or Free cell in the background so as to give myself something to do while I wait, this is all very well but I would often find my self getting distracted by the game and so waste a lot of time. After giving my problem a lot of thought, I decided the only thing to do was to treat my self to Broadband. Firstly what is Broadband? Broadband is a permanent, high-speed connection to the Internet; sometimes referred to as always on so you don?t need to dial up each time you want to access the Internet. It is at least 10 times quicker than a 56k modem with typical speeds of 512 kbps (kilobits per second) and up load speeds of up to 256 kbps. This sounded like just what I wanted. Pricing Although I have been more than happy with the service I get from Virgin, I did feel I owed it to my self to look around a little first. Virgin broadband costs, £24.99 per month, with no activation fee but do charge a further £24.99 for the activation kit, whic
h you need to connect with. AOL, charge £27.99 per month with no other charges for activation or kits. Tiscali, charge £24.99 per month for the same speed with no other charges. (They do also have lower speeds available at a lower cost) Yahoo, charge £29.99 per month with no other charges. And Freeserve, charge £27.99 and no other charges. The contract On checking I found that out of the ones I checked, all with the exception of Virgin, need you to commit your self to a 12 month contract so where as you don?t have too pay for the kit, it could cost you more in the long run, if for instance you find that you can?t get along with broadband for some reason, or your pc can?t cope, or even if you find that for any reason you are unable to use your pc for a couple of months, may be something unexpected might crop up and you need to cut your spending, with all the others I have checked you will have to keep paying the monthly charge for 12 months but with Virgin there is no contract, all you pay is the first months payment and you can then end it for what ever reason you like. This was the final thing that pushed me towards Virgin, the thought of being tied up to pay out £24.99 or more for the next twelve months is something that I feel uneasy about, I would rather fork out the extra £24.99 for the kit and have peace of mind that if I made the wrong choice I can change it with out further cost to my self. What you get With the broadband service, as well as the high speed connection, you can get up to 5 email addresses which down load into outlook express, and 10MB of free space in which you can build your own web site. You use IE web browser, which is something I like; I tried AOL once and couldn?t get along with their browser at all. Support
6;irgin does charge 50p per minute for support, something that in the two + years I have been with them I have never had to use. You can opt to pay an extra £5.99 per month, then you can use their low call number for as long as you like for how ever many times you like but there is little need for this as their phone support is charged at low rates until you are up and running smoothly, then I was told by their operator that Virgin don?t like to charge this and advise you to call customer services at low call rates first, only if it?s a big problem that needs an expert do you need to call their 50p line. What you need to receive broadband. The minimum pc requirements needed for the service are: - Pentium 200 MHz. 32 MB RAM. 16-bit soundcard. Four-speed cd-rom player. Vidiocard/display 800 x 600, 265 colours. 150 MB free on the hard drive. Windows 98, 98SE, ME, or XP A spare USB port. For Mac. PowerPC 601. 200 MHz. 32 MB. 2 speed CD player Video driver/display 800 ? 600 265 colours. 100 MB on hard drive. Mac OS 8.6 or higher. A spare USB port. You will also need a BT landline for your phone. Signing up This was very easy; you simply click on Register or in my case ?change package? then it?s a simple matter of filling in a few details on line and ordering your connection kit.. After you have done this, Virgin check with BT that you are able to use broadband in you area and that there will be no problems with your line, they then email you the results. All being well in a short while (the next day in my case) they will email you with your activation date, which was exactly 7 day
s after I signed up. If you don?t have an account with Virgin they can put you on their ?pay as you go? service until you are activated. You can cancel you order and get a full refund if you cancel your order before they arrange your activation date, if you cancel after that but before activation they will charge you £15 to cover the fee?s they have had to pay BT. The Activation kit On signing up I was informed that my activation kit would be delivered 2 days before activation would take place and that exactly when it arrived. The kit contained; 1 speed touch modem, this looks just like a mouse but twice as big, 2 filter units, 1 cable, 1 cd containing the driver and a user guide. Every thing was well packed and arrived in A1 condition. The modem I received was a Speedtouch 330. The web site. Virgin.net the home of Virgin is a very full and informative site; there are links to just about all-Virgin services, which as we all know are many. For instance you can book a train ticket, book a holiday, buy wine, by phones and music, a whole host of things. There are competitions too; these are usually one question of which you pick one from the choice of three different answers. I have actually won a Fugi Fine Pix digital camera. Also on signing up can get a £20 off voucher to spend at the Virgin wine site, so if like me, you enjoy a glass of wine you?ll be well sorted. Installation and activation Activation took place with no problems at all but the installation of my modem was not quite as straightforward as I first thought it would be. Firstly when I put in the software, connected the modem and rebooted my pc it froze on boot and I could not start windows unless I disconnected the modem, if I started the pc first then connected the modem I could then acces
s the net for about 10 minutes before my pc went very wrong, also at this time if I received a phone call it would disconnect me from the internet. I contacted Virgin support who tried different things before telling me to phone the suppliers of the modem, which meant phoning their 50p per min, help line. I had no choice but to do this. The help line operator tried loads of different things and after I had been on the phone for about 12 minutes told me to hang up and he would phone me back as he felt I had paid enough. When he phoned me back he gave me instructions to download up dates for both my pc and the modem, he then gave me a low call number in case I needed further help, I have to say I was impressed with this as so many help lines just take and take. Luckily I was able to get a friend to download these and put them on a disk for me. It did take two days to get all my problems sorted but they are sorted but every thing is now working fine. Virgin.net even phoned me later to ask if everything was ok and I was happy with my installation, I told him I now was. My opinion As I have said it was not quite as easy to get onto broadband as I first though but most of the problems were with my pc, although the driver supplied with the modem froze my pc on boot up because it needed the up date which you have to download from the internet, which I feel is a little naughtiness on the part of the modem suppliers. Although it has to be said the help lines could not have been more helpful and fair if they tried, The operators were always patient, polite and very easy to deal with. I have now been using my broadband connection for almost six weeks and can say in all honesty that I have no complaints what so ever; my connection is always up to speed and secure. I would recommend Virg
in broadband to anyone, as they are a first class ISP; I have been with them for over two years now and have no complaints. I would give them five stars but feel I must take one off because of the driver thing. I am very happy with everything but most of all with knowing I can end the service at anytime should I wish to. Thanks for reading. Kim.