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I like magazines, well actually what I should say is I believe I like magazines. I see the wonderful covers with eye-catching headlines and imagine curling up in my rocking chair with a glass of wine and losing a couple of hours having a relaxing but also stimulating read on a wide variety of subjects. In reality I buy what looks interesting and thought provoking and end up flicking through lots of glossy pages with the odd headline that may interest me a little and end up throwing it to one side for later. Then I bought Eve. Now you are going to say why? I know I waste money buying these mags because when I want a decent read I pick up a book but I bought Eve because it was a wet, manky (Northern saying?) day and there was a free unbrella with the mag. Add on the fact that the brolly fit perfectly into my shoulder bag and I have a reputation for finding bargains and you will begin to see why this mag found itself in my trolley and on its way home. So I eventually picked up the mag to read. First article *Get the Body of a Twenty Five Year Old*. Great start, I am twice that age and still overweight, although winning that battle. Back to the article, it was one of the most sensible, motivating and positive articles I have read and this is the opinion of a person who spent the majority of her career training others in positive attitude. It included points I knew, things to think about and others to learn, in nearly bullet point presentation. The article covered aspects of positivitey from attitude and stance to exercise and diet and was by no means only relevent to the younger sector. Following this I have read, with interest, other articles and find them refreshingly non-ageist and for the first time since I decided to cook every recipe in The Good Food Magazine, found myself actually reading a magazine. It is not just for us wrinklies though, I promise, try this one.
Can anyone out there tell me the difference between a money off coupon, a free offer and a guaranteed prize, because if you are a Daily Mail reader, as I am, you may also have problems differentiating. As you may be aware the Mail and The Mail on Sunday are currently running a promotion which promises every reader a prize that is worth at least £5. Each weekend a peel-off coupon appears in the paper which has to be matched with the appropriate coupon to claim my valuable prize. To date I have been the lucky winner of:- 1. A free curry, worth £10, when I purchase a curry of similar value from a restaraunt I have never heard of. 2. £40 off the total bill if I stay in a hotel. 3. A free paperback book if I pay the postage and package and also the oppourtunity to buy more books. I actually won this prize twice in the same week as the coupon in my Mail and the coupon in my Sunday Mail were identical but as each needed a matching coupon from Fridays Mail to redeem them I would have had to buy two copies of the paper in order to claim both prizes. You may feel by now that I am an ungrateful cynic for not taking advantage of these wonderful prizes even though I am well aware that the self same offers appear in The Mail on a regular basis without the guise of 'Competition' or 'Prize' when,in fact, I am actually waiting with bated breath to win my usual treat of 'Two for the price of One' meals from Little Chef, providing the coupon is not used in conjunction with any other offer. I am well aware that to genuinly give every reader a £5 prize that they would all want to claim would probably bankrupt the paper and also that the Mail is not the only publication to have these promotions but I find the 'Every Reader Guaranteed a Prize Worth at least £5' a little over the top to say the least. To date I have not been offered any prize that, to me, is worth anywhere near £5.
Having discovered the Big Brother programme a couple of weeks after it started on t.v. I then endured night after night of sleep deprivation as I found myself hooked on either the t.v. broadcasts or the web site, even though the web site pictures could be extremely boring I found myself thinking 'just another ten minutes, in case I miss anything interesting.' This has got to be a sign of an extremely nosey middle-aged woman with apparently nothing better to do with her time (ha ha). However,as we all know, redemption was on hand on the day Craig walked away the winner and made Northern Mothers everywhere proud of their sons. Life and my sleep patterns returned to normal and not too many wrinkles seemed to have added themselves to my lived-in face. But then, a friend decided to treat me by buying me this book. Ok the book is basically just a transcript of what happened in the house and therefore should not hold much interest to avid veiwers but I can not help but find it fascinating. It is like reading a multiple biography as I feel I already know the people featured very well but it also gives another persons perspective on what we all saw and heard as well as some parts that the t.v. did not show. Numerous learned persons have proved that we are all capable of interpreting the same information in different ways and this is where the true fascination of the book lies. Reading of incidents that you vividly remember but realising that others have put a different interpretation or relevance to them make the book well worth buying and I am back to square one with regard to lack of sleep as I find once I start a Chapter I have great difficulty in putting the book down. Far from repeating the programme I find this book enhances the whole Big Brother experience and I reccomend it unreservedly to true B.B. fans.
I have just been to see Billy Elliot, well after all the star is a local lad and the review in the paper said it was a real tear jerker, so I had to give it a try and the opinion, well the acting is excellent but the story was so comfortable to watch and so obvious I could have been sat at home watching my favourite soap. This is not a bad film but niether is it exceptional, more a case of easy watching. The story centres around a growing child who wishes to do something out of the ordinary for his social class and background, the fact that this is ballet dancing is more or less irrelevent, and after easily overcoming opposition from his parent he goes on to predictable success. The story is set against the miners strike of the 80's, but dated as though it was the 70's, hence making Billy's background appear more poverty stricken than necessary and except for an unbelievable scene where Billy's father was prepared to be scab labour to aid his son in fulfilling his ambition there was not enough made of the social setting to instill any real feeling of the overwhelming problems and feeling of the community at the time. Billy's friends were used to suggest he was reaching puberty and developing a curiosity about sex by introducing a young girl who offered to show her body and a boy who preferred to dress in his sisters clothes and thought he was gay. However if Billy actually attended school or had any scholarly ability was left to the imagination. Overall, as I said at the begining, this is not a bad film, it is easy watching and what I am afraid I would call nice. It will certainly not tax the brain or the social concious of the veiwer and will be forgotten in November when a rather promising looking comedy about two Newcastle United Fans who have more scams up their sleeves than Del Boy is released.
Should children be smacked, the age old question and one that parents will never all agree on. As a mother of two now adult and extremely well balanced sons, I would like to say yes I did smack my children, when I thought they needed it The next question of course is what do I consider needs a slap. Now this depends on the age and attitude of the child. When the boys were small and about to do something that would endanger them (usually connected to the fire or cooker) they would be told NO. If this got no response and they persisted then a tap on the hand would emphasise the point. At the time (70's) a lot of my friends would say if they do not listen to the word no, let them burn themselves, they will soon learn. Personally I considered a light slap an easier lesson for all concerned. As we neared the teenage years and everything I said was treat with scorn a gentle cuff would remind them of the respect I felt I deserved and although both boys are now men and considerably taller than me I tell them I would give them a clout if they needed it (though of course I wouldn't dream of it really) The most important point in my opinion is that like most parents I did occasionally slap the boys through sheer frustration and when it was unwarrented. I would like to think that on these occasions I did recognise this and appologised to them for my own behaviour at the time. If your children deserve chastisement of whatever is your accepted form administer it but for goodness sake if you get it wrong admit to them that you have and apologise, whatever age they are. One of my sons is dooyoo member Shep, it will be interesting to see if he comments on this.
Scary Movie will not create endless belly laughs but it is amusing and I have certainly seen worse this year. Although this is a send-up of lots of movies including 'The Matrix', 'Sixth Sense' and 'Blair Witch' if you have not seen 'Scream' do so first or else Scary Movie will be just about impossible to follow and the humour will be wasted. I watched Scream 1 and 2 over the weekend and then went today, Monday, to see this movie thereby probably appreciating the film a lot more than people who have not seen Scream for a while. The other movie that gets more than its share of references is 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and as previously stated at least an awareness of these others is essential. However please do not think that is all there is to this movie, keep your eyes open for send-up posters, references to advertisements, unusual names and ignore the fact that the humour and language are sometimes crude beyond belief and you could find this an amusing entertainment. I am sure this picture will be like the classic 'Airplane' the more times you watch it, the more jokes you will see.
Take 'Lock Stock...' without the originality, without the witticisms, with a mediocre story, without the humour and what do you have 'Snatch'. It is boring, boring, boring, the longest 100mins I have spent in the cinema in a long time. Please don't get the impression that I am an old fogey who can not take the language and violence, providing they are necessary to the story they can actually make a movie, but this film was just a cheap copy of the 'Lock Stock... formula without the special something to make it work, after all Frank Butcher as a believable villain - say no more. Unless you have seen every other film on release, the sky and cable break down and Supermarket Sweep finishes it's endless run, save your money.
She came, she went, and in between times she got close enough to Craig to be able to make people think 'did they or didn't they?' thereby making her true confession, to whichever rag buys it, definitely worth the fortnights work. For Claire to say she feels everyone in the house has an agenda and various people are devious, smacks of sour grapes or unbelievable innocence. Big Brother is 'only a game show' as the contestants keep singing, but it is a game show with an extremely lucrative prize, without the fame and fortune that is an inevitable addition and as the last few weeks of this show evolve it is obvious that not only are the remaining contestants hoping to be the winner but that human nature will conspire, if nothing else, to make each one show themselves in what they see as their most favourable way. Added to this will be the inevitable tension leading ,I am sure in the hopes of the producers, to more disagreements, frustrations and possible violence between the remaining contestants and after all, if we the viewers are honest isn't that what most of us are watching it for.
Over the years, thats quite a few since I am 50yrs old, I have dabbled in buying various skin care creams. In other words, I have seen the adverts, bought them ,used them a couple of times and thrown them out a few months or even years later when they have gone off. I must admit I have never been very good at beauty routines and some of the gunk I spread on my face in the 60's and 70's and then just washed off with soap and water would horrify beauticians the world over. I do like to wear a foundation and mascara whenever I go out but moisturiser was very hit and miss. Recently I have lost a lot of weight and consequently feel years younger and so much healthier, which is what started another of my 'prehaps I should try' moods, this one being Total Effects. The first big surprise is that I can remember to use it each day and am now into my second lot, I have never used a full jar of face cream before. The second surprise is that my skin is so much improved. I have a fair complexion which was looking very sluggish but I honestly believe it is brighter and smoother. When I finished the first lot my husband insisted I bought some more because he said it makes me look lovely - this from a bloke who thinks the only cream worth buying is the sort you pour over puddings. What more can I say, Total Effects is excellent and it is never too late to start using it, ask my friends, I am told frequently how well I am looking. As for the price,it is worth it but if you shop around you can buy it for around £13, I got my last lot from Morrisons Supermarket
X-men is not the superhero movie I thought it was going to be, no saving people from runaway trucks etc. and although it is about discrimination it will not make its name by changing the world. However if you would like a couple of hours of sheer entertainment, with hunky heros, good looking women and fantastic special effects, suspend belief, buy the popcorn, and enjoy. If you are the type of person who continually criticises and is only interested in deep meaning and facts-dont bother. Personally I loved it, the two hours I was in the cinema just disapeared.
Just when I thought we would settle down into life as two boring couples, Craig with Claire, Melanie with Thomas, someone, somewhere has said NO. Big Brother may have got its long awaited, by the producers, sex scene, but where would it have gone from there. Instead lets split a couple up, after all Claire appeared to come in with the remit of fulfilling the sex angle but if Darren is to go next week then Mel, who constantly craves male attention, might even be eventually provoked into a cat fight over Craig. And what has this to do with Thomas, politics my dear chap, you just were not needed anymore, and Channel Four would still try to tell me they are not controlling what happens!
I am a reformed ex-smoker and as such can be a pain about other people smoking but one thing I am sure of is you do not deprive a smoker of their ciggies, particularly when the smoker is under stress. For Craig and Claire to hide the tobacco of the others is asking for the punch-up that Channel 4 is hoping for and the latest recruit is responsible for instigating this action!! Once again I will query the spontenaity of the participants and their actions. Well done Claire, you have caused jealousy amongst the women, rivalry amongst the boys and frustration amongst the smokers, I hope you receive a bonus from the programme makers because you are working the house brilliantly.
Having just watched the quiz show The Weakest Link I am amazed by how much humiliation contestants are prepared to take. As you will probably know the game is meant to be played as a team with the weakest member being voted out after each round. However tactics sometimes mean the better player being voted out as the last two contestants play for the accumulated winnings. As if being voted by their peers as the poorest member of the team is not sufficently degrading, Anne Robinson, the presenter, then proceeds to ask other members why they think they are the worst, using of course the words 'the weakest link' but it means the same. Then having been told how hopeless they are and when the contestants must be feeling really demoralised they are interviewed to ask why they were voted the weakest link and who will be next. The overall impression of this show is the more humiliation the better and Anne Robinson trying to build up tension comes across as a complete prig who would actually be voted out first if that were possible. If the contestants are so desperate for money tell them to write to dooyoo instead. It may take longer to make your fortune but at least you can enjoy the experience without feeling the likes of Anne etc. are looking down their noses at you.
I am a great believer of giving nature a helping hand in the form of additional vitamins and minerals when needed. My grandmother would regularly visit a herbalist and recommend lots of mixtures that were treat with scepticism in my younger days and are now highly respected as diet supplements. However it was not until I read a magazine article which said do not take vitamin C at the same time as the birth control pill because the hormone will destroy the vitamin that I decided to query the affect H.R.T. would have if taken with vitamin supplements. According to my G.P. there is no point in taking any vitamin supplements at the same time as the contraceptive pill or H.R.T., for instance first thing in the morning, because the hormones will negate their effect and it is best to leave at least 3 hours between the hormone and the vitamins. As I said previously I would recommend supplements to anyone but do not waste your money by taking them inappropriately.
O.K. so it is only a couple of weeks to my birthday and to be honest I will be 51 but the last thing I needed in my morning post was an advertisement from Cornhill Insurance reminding me that as my birthday approaches I should consider the fact that statistics prove a high death rate in people under 65 years of age and I should therefore consider taking out Life Cover Insurance. It also offered better rates should I invest before my birthday. Now, as anyone my side of 45 will tell you, age is mostly in the mind and it is only the reminder of birthdays that makes a lot of us wrinklies aware of our age, that and the fact of Insurance Companies who basically seem to be saying 'Have a happy birthday,if you make it, cos you might not be around much longer. As far as I am concerned Cornhill have made me determined not to take out Life Insurance and to live forever and I would not want to use such an insensitive company for any of my other policies either.