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Jezza's Virgin Confessions is a relatively new weekday evening show on the national radio station that is Virgin. The show has only been running for approximately 10 weeks, and I have been addicted from the start. Jezza and his team have created a new genre of agony aunt/uncle show, Jezza simply tells listeners how it is, does not mince his words and does not mislead listeners with regards to there problems. The show features listeners ringing Jezza and discussing their issues/problems with him, a majority of callers have problems relating to sex and relationships. Jezza's technique is to allow the caller to discribed their problem with no interuption from him, afterwards Jezza analyses the situation and tells the caller exactly how it is. Although Jezza is blunt and to the point, he is certainly not insulting to the caller, he is sensitive to the caller but not overly. The agony sessions are mixed in with top tunes from the "Rock" station, and more light hearted features are in there too, where callers submit themselves to the wrath of Jezza's questions which they must answer honestly. All in all a great show to listen to, heartbreaking funny and so so addictive. The only quibble I have would be that Jezza does repeat the Virgin "slogans" an awful lot, and plugs a lot of other shows. Jezza's Confessions is on Virgin Radio Saturday @ 2200 - 0100 and Mon - Fri @ 2000 - 0000
Weight Watchers Magazine is the ideal for those following the weight-loss plan by the International Company. The magazine features a variety of 'real slimming successes' from Weight Watchers Members, these give a real insight into how difficult it actually is to be determined to lose weight and succeed. Members story's give readers helpful tips and hint to get onto the road to success, and prove that the Weight Watchers Plan does and can work for you! Other features in the magazine are low fat recipes all given their very own WW points value, these are welcome by members who are perhaps becoming bored with current recipes. The magazine does not solely concentrate on weight loss and slimming issues. Health and beauty and well-being are prominent too. All in all a great read for non-members and a must for ALL Weight Watcher members.
This opinion is based on the Virgin Active Gym @ Stockley Park only. I have never been to any other Virgin Gym in the country so am unable to comment on those. Initial Thoughts Virgin Gym?s are everything you would expect from Richard Branson?s highflying brand. From walking into the reception you know you are in for a unique gyming experience. The décor is bright, young and funky with lots of promotional information plastered over the walls. Registration and Membership Costs Joining the gym is a very pleasant experience, a member of staff gives you a tour of the entire complex explaining the training areas in detail, the member of staff who escorted me was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. There was no pressure for me to join immediately after my tour, I was given an option to come back at another time, however I decided to join right away. The registering process isn?t as painful as gyms I have joined in the past. Terms and conditions were explained to me thoroughly as well as what my membership would include, there were only a couple of forms to fill out and no nasty and embarrassing body or weight measurements were taken. Upon joining you pay a one off £25 administration charge, much cheaper to Fitness First for example. Monthly payments dependent on which scheme you choose are off-peak (8.30 ? 4.30 weekdays and 9.00 ? 6.00 weekends) costs £40 a month, peak membership (6.30 ? 10.00 weekdays and 9.00 ? 6.00 weekends) costs a staggering £60 a month, although it is certainly worth it if you take full advantage of the gyms facilities. There is also an option to freeze your account for a month which will only cost you £5 instead of the full cost for the month, which would be perfect for instance if you knew you were going on holiday for 2 weeks and had other commitments around that time Facilities The gym @ Stockley Park offers a 2 levels of a main gym, including training machines, weight machines as well as free weights. There are 2 studios which are used for fitness classes, a sports hall for team sports and circuit training. All this as well as a 30m swimming pools, large spa centre including steam room, sanarium, sauna and large jacuzzi. On site there is also a restaurant and bar as well as private outside dining and sunbathing area. For mum there are creche facilities and activity days for older children during school holidays. TGS System This was the wow factor for me. The TGS system is an electronic training program specifically designed for you. In order to get started on TGS program you have to make a free appointment to see on of the fitness consultants, so that they can assess your needs and target fitness areas and design a program just for you. The initial consultation lasts approximately one hour, for the first quarter of the session you discuss your requirements with the fitness consultant. For me I wanted to get fit, and tone up my body, concentrating on legs, bums and tums. The consultant designed a program including 30 minutes cardio work and strengthening exercises. Together we completed the cardio programmes, then he showed me how to work the weight machines. Further consultations are recommended every 6-8 weeks and these are included in the membership. After the consultation you are given a plastic key, which is inserted into every training machine and weight machines in the gym, the key contains all the details of your programme. For example I was required to complete 8 minutes on the step machine, with alternative minutes at level 3 and 4. Instead of me having to change the programme, the TGS system does it automatically for me so all I have to do is the workout! When you insert your TGS key into a machine it greets you with your name (very impressive, but little things impress me!!) and describes the exercise you are about to do , on the weight machines it senses if you have chosen a different weight to lift than that programmed and prompts you to change it. The data which is stored in the key is then uploaded into the main computer via checkpoint systems in various places around the gym. It logs how much of your programme you have completed and any extra activites you may have done. If you have done any additional activities such as fitness classes or swimming etc you can input this information and it logs it under your name. The checkpoints enable each individual to see how many calories they have been burning each session as well as fitness progress. The Classes Virgin Active has a wide range of fitness classes including Aquafit/aerobics, Dance, Kickboxing, Yoga, Aerobics, Strength building, circuit training and general toning classes. There is something to suit everyone at all levels. Being situated close to Heathrow Airport the gym caters for those who work shifts, there are as many classes during the daytime as there is in the evening and popular classes are repeated a few times during the week. Extras Social activities are also arranged by the gym, such as a night at the dogs, weeks holidays abroad, theme nights held in the gym?s bar. This is great for those who want to make new friends. Personal Trainers are available at extra cost. Also special activities such as scuba diving take place month to month, these cost extra but are at discounted rates compared to external facilities. Round Up All in all the gym is suitable for everyone, you can get as involved as you like and will never get bored. A bit on the expensive side, so to really get your money?s worth you have to be committed to visits at least three times a week. Staff are very friendly and helpful, the classes are excellent.
Baileys in an ice-cream, heaven I hear you say. Well it is close too it, trust me! But I have found making your own bailey's ice-cream is a sure hit for heaven! Haagen-Dazs version is a bit on the expensive side ranging from £4.49 - £6 a 450ml tub (depending on where you buy it). The ice-cream is best left to stand for up to 10 minutes outside of the freezer - whilst still in tub, this makes it easier to serve and gives a creamier consistency complimenting the luxurious taste of Baileys. A fantastic new pudding idea is to serve hot Brownies (or simply chocolate cake), with a dollop of Haagen Dazs - choc choc chip and a double dollop of Bailey's Ice-cream! I could eat this all day. Enjoy
I've discovered an ice cream which I can consume the whole 500ml tub for dinner!!!! Aaaah! Phish food from Ben & Jerry the ice-cream kings, is named after the band Phish from the US. The ice-cream sounds somewhat sickly but oh boy is it good. Rich chocolate ice-cream laced with melted gooey marshmallow, creamy caramel and little chunks of dark chocolate ickle phishies!! How cute!! I daren't look at the calorie or fat content on the packet, as once i start eating this ice-cream I just can stop! It can be eaten straight from the freezer, but I prefer to let it stand for ten minutes, to make it quicker and easier to get out of the tub! Also the ice-cream and goodies inside get warmed up and blend together easily! More scrummy than cookies and cream from Haagen Das. Enjoy!! At almost £5 for a tub - depending where you get it from, it's not your average Cornetto price, but well worth it as a treat!
At work me and some of the girls go through stages of buying lots of make-up, so when a friend bought in this Vinyl Lip colour we all tried it out! The colour was Abracadabra, a pinky/purply pearlesent colour that makes your lips super shiny. The applicator is really easy to use and the lip colour goes on with ease and gives that instant moisturised feel! It stays on for a good 2 hours, dependent on how much you eat and drink. I have since purchased both Abracadabra and Snog (a rich pink colour) and both are present in my handbag at all times. The only downfall is that if the wind blows your hair in your face, your hair sticks to your lips which isn't pleasant. Also we have discovered that you have to fully remove the last batch of lip colour before reapplying otherwise it has a tendancy to flake off in gooey lumps, not attractive. Definitely a bargain buy for that Victoria Beckham look!
The late Bill Hicks is the very controversial US Comedian from Houston. His jokes can cause offense to certain groups of people, particularly those of Islamic and Arabic countries. He loves to joke about the Gulf War and America's input and often cusses Bush - Bush tried to ban him for this!! Much of his material is very funny, but he can go over the top when speaking about religion and sex. initially it is funny but then he tends to take it a step too far. If you are comfortable with insults being thrown at people of all walks of life, then you may find this video entertaining. He certainly has a lot of imagination But if you are prone to being highly offended stay away!
Barbara Currie is the Yoga expert from TV. This home video offers 3 different workouts to suit everyone. The first is a 10 minute workout for those who don't have much time spare! 10 minutes of exercises to tone the bits you want to and to give you the energy you need! This is great for the mornings when you need that spurt of energy and it makes you feel better because you know youv'e done some exercise already that day. The second is a 30 minute workout which both relaxes you and contains lots of stretches and holds which tone everywhere. The exercises are really easy to follow, and beginners and advanced positions are demonstrated. The final workout is 35 minutes designed to relax and destress you whilst still toning those wobbly bits - this is perfect for the end of a hectic day at work or shopping! Barbara Currie has a very soothing and calming voice which aids the intentions of the exercises. Each exercise is demonstrated fully and I did not get confused once - which is odd for me and exercise videos. I'v e notice a difference in my posture and breathing already and i've only been doing it for a week! So definitely worth a go!
The Farrelly brothers are the comic geniuses behind Dumb and Dumber and There?s Something About Mary. With the not so funny Me, Myself & Irene back in 2000, finally there is another addition ? Shallow Hal. But will it be as ill-fated as Me, Myself & Irene was?? So here?s the basics, Hal is a very shallow man (hence the title Shallow Hal), despite being no Brad Pitt, he constantly goes for girls with supermodel looks and figures, failing a majority of the time. Along with his sidekick, the hilarious Mauricio Wilson played by Jason Alexander, they frequent clubs and bars where gorgeous women hang out and try their luck. Hal is played by Jack Black, John Cusack?s fantastic sidekick in High Fidelity. Jack Black is a very funny man, his facial expressions and mannerisms make me laugh soooo much. Back to the story! During an average day at work Hal gets stuck in a life with self-help guru Tony Robbins. Tony hypnotises Hal into seeing the inner beauty of women instead of the outer beauty. So off Hal goes and begins to see beautiful women who are interested in him, the rest of the world sees the women in their true form with far from supermodel looks. Ugly and fat are too harsh words. Hal meets Gwyneth Paltrows character Rosemary and falls in love with her, but he only sees her as his fantasy version and not the real version. The movie is very predictable but a pleasant watch, more a Sunday matinee movie than one you would spend a Saturday night on. I had some problems with the jokes made, and thought some of them were too spiteful, after discussing it with a friend who is overweight, I discovered that she was deeply offended by the way the obese characters were portrayed. Particularly the fact that they wore revealing clothes, which did not suit them, she said I wouldn?t wear that so why did they show them like it!
This New Zealand based movie was praised by the critics at the time of its release, I can?t remember if it got as much public recognition as at the time - I wasn?t really a movie fan like I am now!! Anyhow the story follows a few weeks in the life of Beth Owen, and her family. Descendants of Maori warriors and living in the slums of New Zealand, this movie shows an emotional and gut wrenching tale of a devoted mother and wife and her struggle to keep everything on the straight and narrow. Beth is married to Jake, a powerful, well-built and very sexual man. It is easy to see everything wrong with his character, but it is too easy to see what still attracts Beth to him and why she has stuck around so long. Jake is a very violent man, during his drunken binges he demands the respect of men who also frequent his local bar, those who refuse or cross Jake are pummeled into a bloody mess. Beth?s eldest son Nig joins a violent tribe slightly based on the principles of Maori warriors, and her other son Boogie is taken into care due to his juvenile criminal behaviour. And Jake has overstepped the mark and bought his violent behaviour home. Little Grace, is the one person who keeps her mother together, she is the innocent of the family, a bright and intelligent teenage girl with a passion for writing, when Grace becomes a victim of all that?s wrong in the world ? Rene takes a different view to the family she is trying so hard to protect. This movie features some winning performance by little known actors and actresses, notably Rena Owen (Beth), Temuera Morrison (Jake) and Mamaenagaroa Kerr-Bell (Grace). This is a highly emotional and very powerful film, and not everybody would be comfortable watching violent and disturbing scenes, but the truth is this does happen. But if you are willing to give this New Zealand masterpiece a go ? I?m sure you will not be disappointed.
Cameron Crowe's fifth offering after Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, is yet again completely different to its predecessors. Welcome to the wonderful world of David Aames brilliantly played by Tom Cruise, a 33 year old top NYC publisher thanks to the hard work of his late father. The film opens inside one of David's regular nightmares, he wakes up as usual to go into work, as he pulls out of his apartments car park, the streets of Manhattan are deserted, not one mobile car or one person. It is a terrific scene in which David is seen running through a deserted Times Square - complete with lights and advertisements still running and flashing! Amazing cinematography - it's worth seeing the movie purely for this unique scene, which no other movie has ever been able to accomplish. Special permission was surprisingly given to Crowe to shoot this scene in the early hours of a Sunday morning - this is the first time Times Square has been closed for a film shoot. So back to the plot....David has everything you could ask for fortune, wealth, good looks and women falling at his feet. But he has yet to discover true love as his best friend and confidante Brian Shelby (Jason Lee) regularly points out, true love is the bitter and the sweet! David also has Julie Gianni (Cameron Diaz) as a 'f@*k buddy', she regularly visits him and they enjoy a night of passion, in the morning he leaves for work, she leaves after and waits for him to call - which he never does. So the most important moment of David's life is at his private 33rd birthday party - which Julie has not been invited to. With numerous women fighting for the attention of the handsome host, in walks David's friend Brian and an intriguing and beautiful brunette Sofia Serrano (Penelope Cruz) whom Brian met just hours earlier, Sofia instantly captures David's attention, Julie (who has snuck into the party) spots this. When Julie tries to entice David, he rejects her in favour of getting to know Sofia, this upsets Julie no end and her obsession with David goes to a new level. David and Sofia spend the evening together and both enjoy themselves immensely without the need for sex. The next morning as David leaves Sofia's apartment, Julie drives by upset, so David gets in the car with her to calm her down. This turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life. It is no spoiler to tell you that in the heat of Julie's emotional turmoil, she deliberately crashes the car - leaving David to survive with severe facial disfigurement. This is where you really have to start concentrating on the movie, one lapse of conversation to glimpse at your mobile phone (on silent of course), or to see what colour Opal Fruit you have picked up, could knock you entirely out of the movie. It's a very interactive movie, and as a viewer I felt inside the film, rather than viewing from outside. Through flashbacks David's life during the period after the accident and being put in prison for murder (??) begins to take shape through consultations with psychiatrist McCabe (Kurt Russell) ? but what is real and what are dreams???? That's all I'm telling you!! See the movie its great. The movie is an American Adaptation of the Spanish thriller Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes), no doubt the original is far superior as is the case with many US adaptations ? however I have not seen it so can?t really comment.
Platoon is probably one of the few films which has grabbed my heart, crush it and make me ball like a baby. I?m not a big fan of war films, usually because they are so unrealistic and corny it makes me sick. But Oliver Stone?s take on Vietnam is something else. Told through the eyes of new kid to the Platoon Chris (Charlie Sheen), we are taken on a trip through to the Caledonian border, amongst the Platoon are Sgt Barnes, to look at one would say a war veteran (not age wise) due to the amount of scarring, Barnes has an evil streak, as does Bunny who is a fan of Sgt Barnes. Sgt Elias too is very wise when it comes to war ? but the Sgt although tough has some heart ? he and Barnes do not get along. Lt. Wolfe clearly does not have a clue how to run a successful Platoon, much to the amusement of all the Sgts. Also amongst the Platoon a highly amusing group of black men including Junior and Big Harold ? who like to give the new kid stick. The actors present ar tremendous, each and every one made me truly believe their character - which in my eyes shows real talent. Although there are a lot of characters present, and it is difficult to keep up with their names, you are still drawn in emotionally to each and every one, be it pity, love or hate. Charlie Sheen?s character Chris, is the one we learn most about, through letter to his Grandmother we learn how difficult he is finding his first experience of war and how emotionally attached to platoon members and Vietnamese citizens he is. Ok enough about the characters; for it?s time the special effects are great, when you think of the time gap between this and Pearl Harbor (I know 2 different events!) and how little impact all the million dollar effects had in Pearl Harbor, this puts a majority of recent war movies to shame. So what made me cry like a baby??? Well not far into the movie (no spoilers here) is a sequence where they tear through a local village, the villagers do not understand them and are scared witless trying to protect their hard earned crops and their precious children and family members, some of the Platoon members relish in this and take it to extremes, killing innocent people who have nothing to do with the war, it was these heart rendering scenes that just got to me. It really hits home what a sh$tty world this really is, and that a majority of us do not know what really goes on. For this fact I decided that this is be a great film ? to get a reaction like that Oliver Stone had drawn me into the world of the Vietnamese war. After the movie I felt drained, completely drained of all emotion, there I was all on my lonesome at 2am still crying! I wouldn't watch it again for the fact that I still do feel terrible, but it's a magnificent piece of work from Oliver Stone!!
The Ladykiller is Martina Cole?s second novel, it's a dramatic change to her debut Dangerous Lady, however still follows the seedy and criminal underground world of London. George Markham has found an interest in reading and watching pornographic material with men dominating women, soon this turns into hardcore S & M and leads onto an interest in snuff movies. A very unhealthy interest for anyone - but George oversteps the boundaries and makes his wildest fantasies become reality. What has made George act in such a sadistic and violent manner towards women? How long can he keep his secret? As a growing number of women are found raped and murdered, DI Kate Burrows heads a manhunt for the Grantley Ripper. Kate has a tough time being a female DI but it is her life and soul, and juggling a teenage daughter with her job becomes increasingly difficult. As does her interest in Patrick Kelly, the most renowned hard man in London, who only just keeps on the right side of the law, when Patrick and Kate are thrown together in the unfortunate circumstances of Patrick's daughter becoming the latest Grantley Ripper victim, Kate is thrown into confusion. Amid the hunt for the Grantley Ripper and her forbidden interest in a known villain as well as keeping tracks on her home life ? Kate's life is about to become very difficult. Patrick is on the hunt for his daughter's killer and will stop at nothing to get at the man before the law does. Will Patrick get hold of the Grantley Ripper before Kate and her team do? This book is very compelling but somewhat disturbing, scenes where George is murdering or fantasizing over women are not nice, nor are the scenes of George's childhood and his domineering mother. Although not extremely graphic, it can turn one's stomach, but unfortunately this is the world we live in, sad but true. Martina Cole cleverly mixes lies, deceit, murder and forbidden love into one thrilling nove l which is an easy read.
One Night at McCool's didn't generate much attention or hype upon its release last year. Why? Why? Why? This is such a great film, and is a welcome break from the tirade of war and fast cars movies that Hollywood is pumping out at the moment. In short the movie is a tale of how an entrancing young woman named Jewell and the actions on one night at McCool's bar (Liv Tyler) wreaks havoc on three men's lives, told from each man's perspective. So the film opens with McCool's Bartender Randy (Matt Dillon) secretly meeting up with Mr Burmeister (Michael Douglas - with a very dodgy quiff), in a Bingo hall. It appears that the two have met to make a deal (although at this point of the film it is unclear what that is) so Randy begins telling Mr Burmeister all about how he met Jewell and how he got in the situation he is now in. So through a series of flashbacks Randy's story unfolds. In turn Randy's brother is visiting his shrink and here we see his encounters with Jewell and the effect it has had on him, and finally John Goodman plays Detective Dehling, who is heading a case investigating Randy and Jewell, and soon he too is in awe of this mysterious and beautiful women. It's very difficult to describe this movie, without giving all the funny bits and the story away! But I think it shows how men act around beautiful women perfectly! The movie is a little under 90 minutes which is perfect for a comedy, it doesn't give you anytime to get agitated or bored! The flashbacks are hilarious all the way, and without telling you too much, one of the final scenes in which YMCA is incorporated, had me in stitches, also cleverly the scene was very much like the climatic scene in True Romance (the feathers), but a comedy version. So I think I shall leave it there, but give this little gem that keeps you guessing all the way a go!
Yep, here we have it; another teen comedy/drama attempting to follow in the footsteps of smash box office hit 10 things I hate about you. So what?s the plot this time, well Berke has been going out with Allyson for as long as he can remember, according to him they are perfect for one another. Until one day Allyson sits him down and tells him that the spark isn?t there anymore and it?s over. Berke is heartbroken and soon discovers that Allyson is now dating a new kid in the school Stryker (who also happens to be a member of a boy band and has a very dodgy accent ? not too sure if it is supposed to be English ? but nevermind!). So Berke sets on a mission to win his Allyson back, how is he going to do this? Audition for the school play of course ? A Midsummer?s Nights Dream ? which Allyson and Stryker are auditioning for too. Berke gets help from his best friend?s younger sister Kelly, who holds a secret candle for him. Will he be oblivious to what is right in front of him, or will he still hanker after Allyson. The storyline is set around the production of the play A Midsummer?s Nights Dream, and of course the characters begin to take on the roles of the characters they are portraying in the play. A clever idea ? but it?s been done before!! Some new faces hit the Teen Comedy Genre, Ben Foster plays Berke and does it pretty well. Berke is the male version of Ally McBeal, his crazy visuals are pretty amusing. Melissa Sagemiller and Shane West play Allyson and Stryker, and the ever enlightening Kirsten Dunst plays Kelly ? somehow this actress always lights up the screen on every production ? no matter how poor the character is. And of course not forgetting the screen debut of Sisqo ? the ?rnb?ster behind the hits Unleash the Dragon and Thong Song. Sisqo?s character is somewhat amusing, but it had so much potential that was never reached. The soundtrack is the usual pop rock that seems to be a consistent in a ll these types of movies. So in short, the movie isn?t as great as its predecessors, but it?s worth a look so just Get Over It!