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On my visit to Bangkok I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel, on the banks of the historic Chao Phraya River. I chose this hotel as it is voted one of the top ten hotels in the world consistently, which after a ten hour flight from Heathrow, I thought my girlfriend would appreciate the self indulgence, as anyone who has read my opinion on flying will understand why. We stayed in the ultra luxurious Krungthep Wing which was out of this world. On check in at the reception area which had a very large lobby area which was light and airy, with exquisite flower arrangements and statues and panoramic windows overlooking the river, we were taken too the Krungthep Wing reception, which was even more stunning if possible, with waterfalls and a pianist who sat playing in a delightful oriental setting. The lift going upto your room had a luxurious deep pile carpet which was changed every day, how do I know this you ask, well it had the day of the week in the pattern. The room it'self leaves you breathless it is really huge with a giant kingsize bed with plush bedding, a couch two chairs a coffee table vanity desk, with postcards, personalised pens and paper/envelopes along with things to do in Bangkok, a large bar and coffee making facilities, all fixtures and fittings are beautifully presented. The curtains worked from remote control opening up to a wondrous garden area balcony, overlooking the Chao Phraya River, and tropical gardens with private pool totaly awesome. First thing we did was open a bottle of Moet anbd Chandon which we'd bought at the duty free, sat on the balcony and thought how lucky are we, to be in such a beautiful country and in such a setting, we sat for an hour just watching and listening too the noises on the river, absolute perfection. sun shining. Then of course I had to go to the toilet, to be stunned again, what can I say, it was huge and fully marbled with a massive seperate shower cubicle, a
long with soap shampoo bubble bath, you had body lotions toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower hats, cotton buds, talc, which were changed every day, as my girl packed all hers away souveneirs she said, slippers and super heavy super soft long white bathrobes with the Shangri-La S inlaid in gold as were the towels. Every evening your bed was laid down for you and special touches were left such as a book mark on your pillow with extracts pertaining to Shangri-La from the book the lost horizon He liked the serene world that Shangri-La offered him, pacified rather than dominated by its single tremendous idea. He liked the prevalent mood in which feelings were sheathed in thoughts, and thoughts softened into felicity by their transference into language. Shangri-La meaning is...... an imaginary and remote paradise on earth, from the name given to an imaginary land, in the novel lost horizon, by the english novelist James Hilton. exactly what the Shangri la has to offer better than anything I could say about it, even though, it's right in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok it'self. Room Facilities: air conditioning coffee/tea making free daily newspaper mini bar/fridge radio room safe telephone(idd) television and movies colour hairdryer 24 hour room service Hotel Facilities: 2 outdoor swimming pools tennis courts squash courts gymnasium 2 outdoor jacuzzi's sauna steam bath and hydropool thai massage service baby sitting service 24hour medical clinic beauty salon barber shop same day laundry and valet service shopping arcade gift shop limosine service shuttle service tour and travel office There are too many restaurants too mention, serving Asian and cosmopolitan dishes,exotic cuisines to seafood specialities, Japanese delicacies, Italian dishes, poolside snacks chances are whatever your looking for is there.. The waiters along with the barstaff all staff in this hotel will always surprise you with their sheer genuine smiles and gracious service. My favourite restaurant was the Royal Thai Salathip serving thai cuisine, and We would sit out at night overlooking the river, tranquility at it's best, and beautiful cocktails very romantic. This Hotel surprisingly does'nt break the bank.....very affordable for a hotel of this class.
How safe do I feel about flying?...Well forget all the worries about blood clots in the legs leading to possible death, forget worrying if the plane is going to crash into the Indian Ocean, my fears begin well before I step on the plane. It all started with my first plane journey, first holiday abroad to Morrocco. My girlfriend had flew a couple of times as a child and had told me not to worry it's a lot of fun, you don't even know your moving....sounds great I thought, had a few drinks at the airport lounge...No Worries. We step on the plane Royal Air Maroc, has a strange resemblance to a converted world war two bomber, but I just laughed and thought what the heck.. The plane took off, my girlfriend nudges me and says " something is'nt right", I thought holy s*** what aint right trust me first plane journey and all goes wrong.." Whats wrong" I asked nervously, "I don't know but listen to me I've flew before it's not right, listen to the creaking , look at the rust over by that window" she said and I'll tell you this went on for the whole trip which took four hours. I live through this every plane journey we take, in Greece she tried to run off a plane, going too Thailand she is escorted onto the plane before anyone else, in Bulgaria they showed her the cockpit to ease her nerves and on and on this goes. She has tried hypnotism, valium, valium and alcohol, coach holidays to Czech republic and Spain, yet we always fly again because everywhere we really want to go to you need to fly. So yeah somehow it would'nt matter to me how safe flying is I'm sure I'd still be scared as I can't change my partner, although I must say I felt better one day as there was this lady who had flew all around the world sitting next to us calming my girlfriend down, by the end of the journey she said "I'm never going to fly again"..Then I knew my fears of aeroplanes were normal, what chance do I have. Though the net does'nt help
either I'm going to Egypt this year, and had found a site you put your flight details into and they tell you what your chances are...stupid me, They are worse than usual for this journey, it said...well I could have told them that. So my advice is...no matter how safe flying is or is'nt just remember there is always someone worse off than yourself, and keep your fingers crossed if the worst is too come, it's on the way home. Oh yeah and you don't find yourself sitting next to my girlfriend.
In an ideal world I would be all for Capital Punishment, in a just world where you could believe in the system the administration of how it would be applied, in our society such as: what about the poor and minorities? does money help your defence? Will there be safeguards for innocent people? is it possible just too punish by death people we know are 100% guilty? will there be certain kinds of crimes where it is'nt wise to give death penalty, how many factors will be taken into account? Will the final act be for revenge or peace? can we have death with dignity without electric chairs, gas chambers, people watching through a glass windowlike tv screen, is'nt taking a life enough without all the paraphanalia of torture. Why I as a non murdering person wishes there was a way for the death penalty too work, well follow me if you will for a minute or two and I will try and explain. I go to the doctors to be told sorry Mr Max25 but your brain is going to breakdown, misfunction in a years time, resulting in you going out and murdering your fellow human beings in ways that you find no depravity taboo. You will torture, rape, canabilise in the most horrific ways possible only limited by your imagination for the macabre. Possibly resulting in killing up to 100 young boys/prostitutes/homeless, whichever group takes your fancy. If your lucky eventually getting caught. Now I ask you why would you find it immoral to give me an injection and put me too sleep, what good would it do to lock me up in jail no chance of ever being cured, but a one in a million chance perhaps of escape to pick up where I left of and kill again. I know what I as a rational sane being would choose if ever this misfortune befell me. What about the guy who murders his wife for the insurance policy, for money and gain is he any better? I'd say no he's worse his mind is'nt broke, he is
cunning,evil and only out for self gratification. Why should we feel guilty killing those who can quite easily kill a lot of the time with no remorse. We go too war send our sons/husbands/fathers out too kill in the name of justice against such enemies. So before you say it's not right too take another persons life think on how far will you take this belief that each person respects the life and liberty of others hence we cannot have a death penalty. Surely there are more deserving cases to put these utopic views into practice creating a better world for all...think of the innocent, the victims, create a better world where crimes of these kind are unacceptable.
The Dusit Resort and Polo club, sits between the two towns of CHA-AM and Hau Hin, facing the sunrise side of the Gulf of Siam in Thailands oldest beach resort, which is only a 3hr drive or 25mins by air from Bangkok. The hotel it'self is part of the Dusit chain who are members of leading hotels of the world, and are known for their high standards of accomodations, and quality service. The location of this Hotel is wonderful right on the hotels own private beachfront, white powdery sand which stretches for miles and of course is never crowded. The gardens are out of this world with lilly ponds and exotic plants taking a stroll, gives you a feeling of peace and serenety, intoxicating and seductive, you felt as though you were in paradise on earth somewhere that time stood still. The hotel it'self what can I say everything you would expect and more from a five star establishment, understated aristocratic luxury, everywhere you went, with attention too fine detail, even the lobby ashtrays were stamped with their logo of the polo horse symbol, when I say stamped I mean stamped in the sand inside the ashtray you lay your cigarrette in which one min later is emptied and re-stamped. They have 305 guest rooms and suites, all air conditioned which is a must in Thailand, bathrooms have bath and seperate shower facilities, colour tv in-house movies and satellite, hairdryer, IDD telephone, in room electronic safe, minibar and of course the much wanted private balcony all having sea views. OH and yeah how can I forget the bathrobe and slippers. The swimming pool is spectacular, and huge it's 1,500 sq.m there is also a childrens pool, jacuzzi, gymnasium sailing, water ski-ing windsurfing, jet ski squash courts tennis courts and horse riding, though can I take time here to give you a word of warning on the Horses.....I decided to go horseriding thought it would be great too take a walk along the beach, well my advice is mak
e sure your a good rider, as it was'nt the usual kind of horse I was offered to take off with on my own ,here it's a thouroughbred they hand you, well both the horse and I eyed each other up and I quickly declined the offer. Restaurants: Palm Court- Western Asian Ban Benjarong- Royal Thai San Marco- Italian The Ascot- Continental Rim Talay- Seafood BBQ you could also buy snacks and drinks in the lobby lounge, the pool terrace. The prices were not too bad for a five star hotel, though would seem very expensive compared too outside eateries in Thailand. The food was out of this world coconut and thai chilli's yum... There was two lounges the gymkhanabar which had live music and dancing, and the polo bar where a guy played the piano, though watch what tune you may speak about as I started too wonder if I was being taped as you just had to mention a song practically whisper one to your partner and spookily the guy at the piano would play it....Western Alcohol was quite expensive, on saying that my girlfriend wanted a baileys on ice, which the hotel had ran out of Baileys they quickly ran into town to buy a bottle rather than say no we have none left, hows that for service. The staff I can't say enough about them they were so friendly, full of smiles and no-one could do enough for you just out of this world. Remember if you chose CHA-AM/HUA HIN as a resort.... it is quiet peaceful and sedate not a lot if no nightlife. There is a shuttle bus which runs daily into Hua Hin town on a regular basis for those that want to go do a bit of site seeing or souveneir shopping at the night market in Hau Hin.
Anyone thinking about buying so called cheap cigarettes and tobacco, from any of these internet sites, should think very carefully before doing so. All cigarettes bought from these sites must bear UK taxes.There are no allowances for cigarettes bought from these sites, that do not pay UK taxes and are liable to forfeiture, customs have destroyed millions of these cigarettes. The current UK Duty and tax for 200 cigarettes is around £32.50 so add this sum to your cigarettes and they dont seem so cheap do they? and there are NO statutory reliefs for tobacco goods posted as gifts from other EC countries.Even if you did wish to pay the duty and tax on seized cigarettes customs will only allow this in exceptional circumstaces. These companies are only liable for complying with regulations, in their own countries. They know about UK laws but wont be respecting them, or held accountable by them.This leaves the UK customer powerless when customs seize the goods. Thousands of people have been conned with these so called cheap tobacco sites, dont let it happen to you.Customs is well aware of these sites and are vigorously pursuing action against them. These sites are well laid out and leads you to the conclusion that they are just trying to supply you the poor UK smoker with cheap tobacco, and UK customs are illegaly seizing your tobacco,they dont tell you that under UK law you must pay duty and vat on all purchases overseas its called DISTANCE BUYING under an EU directive (council directive 92/12/EEC tobacco dispatched by a vendor in one member state to a private individual in another,forms a commercial transaction and is liable to duty in the member state of destination. The sad truth is these company's are out to make a profit and could'nt give a monkey's, once they have your money whether you get your good's or not.Your choice is it worth the gamble? your good's may get thr
ough customs they may not,if they don't there is not a lot you can do about it, there is only one certain winner who can't lose that's the owners of these sites.
If you are looking for accomodation in Inverness I would recommend the Melrose Villa guest house,the house is a solid sandstone villa built in 1895, and was the home of wealthy families in the past, but is now used as a guest house by present owners Neil and Margaret Hart. The rooms are clean spacious and comfortable, most have en-suite bathrooms, they also have colour tv, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities, single/double/twin/triple and family rooms are available. We stayed in September, and the prices were a very reasonable £25 per person for a double and single room with no supplement for the single room, children are half price when sharing with two adults and well behaved dogs are welcome. All the public rooms are non smoking but guests may smoke in their bedrooms. Breakfasts are just fantastic, with a choice of cerials and fully cooked breakfast consisting of bacon, egg, sausage toast etc, tea and coffee vegetarian and other dietry requirements are also available on request. The guest house is ideally situated just a five minute walk from the town centre, which has numerous cafe's and restaurants and many nearby attractions including the Culloden battlefield and of course the famous Lochness. On a final note, Neil and Margaret are magnificent hosts who go out of their way to ensure you have a pleasant stay,nothing is too much trouble, and for the price I'm sure you would be hard pressed to find better. The website for Melrose Villa is: http://www.melrosevilla.com
Frankensteins theme bar 26 George 1V Bridge, Edinburgh. This is eating and drinking with a difference, the theme all over is Mary Shelly's Frankenstein Monster as the name of the bar suggests. The pub it's self is in an old church which adds too the atmosphere, and can be found on 3 levels a basement main bar and one upstairs, from the upstairs bar you can see down onto the main bar area. There is a roaring log fire, lots of Frankenstein memorabilia candles and electrical stuff all over the place,a Peter Cushing room for 6 or more people, and at certain times of the Day a huge Frankenstein himself comes alive too the delight of customers. A few million pounds was spent on this venture which you can tell with the surroundings,not tacky in the slightest works well. They sell cocktails such as the bride of Frankenstein which consists of...Tia Maria, Kahlua,Baileys,Milk,Cream and chocolate sauce for £3.95 which are heavenly. Shooters such as split shots which is Tia Maria and Baileys in a split glass with a pic of Frankenstein which ya get too keep, well I think you get too keep I do for £3.00 Pitchers the simplest being Vodka and Red Bull for £14 your definately alive yourself after one of these. Though look out for special offers as Monday too Friday between 5pm and 7pm you get 2 for ones which makes for a really good time. The food menu aint too bad from fish and chips too shepherds pie, though I usually stick too chicken Fahita slices of chicken breast lots of onions and peppers, served with dip and flour tortilla's which for £10 gives you enough to feed two people, as too my mind the only great meal on the menu, frankly forgive the pun, I'm not really impressed with the food, on saying this it's still edible and just a really fun place too eat in now and again. the starters range from soup of the day too tortilla chips melted in cheddar cheese with dips, puddings range from chocolate cake
too apple pie, sadly no more pancakes and maple syrup with a huge dollop of ice cream as somehow it was'nt popular..They cater for children too. They sell a lot of merchandise which I have to say is excellent quality from baseball caps too tshirts and my personal favourite boxer shorts which are of high quality, good to look at black 100% cotton with a small white logo of Frankenstein saying established,1818 with Edinburgh on the bottom right hand corner, at a price of an amazing £5. You can also apply for a loyalty card if you plan to eat or drink at Frankensteins on a regular basis, with this each time you buy something depending on what time of the day you buy something you recieve loyalty points, of which when you reach 10 thousand points you will recieve a voucher through the post giving you a £10 voucher to spend at Frankensteins. They also have an official website, at www. frankenstein-pub.co.uk On my Birthday each year I recieve a birthday card hand signed by all the staff who work at the Edinburgh Bar. Occasionally I recieve a postcard offering me 25%off on presentation of voucher though one card was so smart I decided to frame it instead. To sum it all up, not great food but edible, Great drinks, brill atmosphere for kids and adults alike., very helpful friendly staff I give the place a well worth a visit too anyone living or planning a visit too Edinburgh, you won't be dissapointed. There is also a Frankensteins Bar in Aberdeen and one is opening in 2001 in Glasgow so looks like it's good enough to get a chain going.
Greggs, well in the bad old days I loved Greggs because of their cheese pasties and fudge doughnuts the latter of the two I'm still addicted too, even though they can be so mean with the custard in the middle which makes my blood boil when somehow I've taken too big a bite and missed the custard altogether. Though you must try their Roast Beef Oval, they are deliscious one large seeded roll with mounds of Roast Beef virtually fat free which is brilliant for me as fat on meat just turns my stomach, the obligatory bit of lettuce and it has a lovely mustard mayonaise, they are quite expensive costing £1.60 for a roll I hear you scream what roll can be worth this, this one definately is, though on saying that if you happen to get one with not much meat in it, hand it back and complain which I have had to do once, you see the rolls are made up on the premises and I guess sometimes you get someone too enthusiastic over Greggs profit margins while making them which is the only disadvantage I have come across, oh and for chicken lovers I guess the chiken tikka masalla oval is good. Don't take my word for it though, try one and see for yourself what have you got to lose? yeah I hear you £1.60 fair enough. For me this is a very healthy snack as I belong too the junkfood group out there, if only everything healthier tasted so good.
God save the Queen, it should be God save our Country kidding what I meant to say was God save our EARS. This awful out dated drone is sung out of tradition in the United Kingdom it has never been proclaimed the National Anthem by parliament or a Royal Proclomation. So it's more a case of do we stick by traditions just because it is the traditional thing too do or do we find a mind of our own and get rid of traditions that are out dated. Something is now making me think of the Euro but thats another subject. Anyway what has God save the Queen got to do with an Anthem to inspire the people of a country not everyone gets inspired by royalty, maybe God save the UK but then again that would be a bit thin what about the rest of the world, surely God has more things to do with his time than Save the Queen unless it's his own Queen I suppose, Phillip does'nt seem godlike to me so I guess not. On a serious note as an anthem we need something a lot more inspiring and uplifting with a tune too tap your feet too sing along with, whistle on your way to work not put you to sleep as ours generaly does. Forgetting the tune the words are completely unapropriate as well in this day and age, so a re-vamp would'nt really work as the tune and the words are as bad as one another, well thats my humble opinion for what it's worth...and I know I won't get a crown for this so I have no fears of being king for a day, so no god saves ME, hey sounds okay though, maybe if I were King or Queen ouch not Queen that is possible in this day and age, I could bring myself too get used to it, a bunch of demented people at every sporting event or such singing God Save My Butt. So I would hope for a change of Anthem something upbeat and modern gets my vote.
I read this book belonging to my other half one day as many years ago I remembered reading Flowers in the Attic and quite enjoyed it...This one called Orphans by the New Virginia Andrews, four spellbinding novels brought together in one volume it promised, Butterly,Crystal,Brooke and Rain. The stories centre on four orphans brought together...this is where i'm sorry to say I have to stop as who cares..Be warned this is the worst drivel I have ever came across, it is badly written with a very poor if no plot total crap, each story though the characters are supposedly different seem the same. Even your 5 year old reader expects and gets a lot more entertaining read in any fairytale... This is a case of money being made on the success of Virginia Andrews of old, and the general public should not be encouraging publishing companies to get away with it, as it's a total travesty and a con to anyone who spends their hard earned money on books. So if theres anyone out there who would be foolish enough too buy Rain, Butterfly, Crystal,Brooke or the four in one bargain Orphans be warned this is unimaginative dross that it's hard too believe was written by someone older than 5.
This is one great read, you are hooked from the very first chapter which starts off like a Stephen King novel slowly reeling you into a world you recognise as your own, but with one slight difference, where fear is the master and you know your going to be very afraid before this read is over. The story itself mostly centres around Martie Rhodes a very well balanced and happily married successful video games designer and her husband Dusty. Martie who has been helping her friend who for the past year and a half has been suffering from severe agrophobia. Then Martie herself begins to have irrational thoughts and feelings, a fear not of open spaces, but of herself, it starts off slowly from being afraid of her shadow one afternoon and builds too a terrifying crescendo of being afraid of her thoughts of violence, she can't bear too look at normal household objects anymore such as forks knives garden spades car keys etc, everything has become a potential weapon, she see's herself wanting too inflict pain with, too such a degree that if no-one was around she could turn one of these weapons upon herself. This is where the link with the supernatural ends, when you realise what is happening too cause Martie too feel this way, this is when the fear factor goes sky high and you suspect there is a very real possibility that this could be you. You will encounter the most vile and horrendous criminal mind that you may ever have come across before, capable of acts so despicable, forget Hanibal Lector he's a pussycat. This book is so edge of the seat,and convincingly written that don't be shocked if you begin having strange dreams yourself, as your mind can't switch off too the terrors that are imprinted by an author who knows how too write in a way that you are not just reading about Marti Rhodes and how she feels but you are actually experiencing her fear,along with your own FEAR.....so as the saying goes be afraid, be VERY afraid. No
t for the faint hearted.
Racing Green part of the giant Arcadia group who also own companies such as Dorothy Perkins Evans Top Shop Burtons Hawkeshead etc, has got to be one of the best online experiences I have had to date. They sell excellent quality mens and womens clothing and accessories..the prices are quite high but saying that they have great sales where you can pick things up for a real bargain price, knowing that it is a genuine sale not manufactured. The delivery is only £1.95 anywhere in the UK for whatever amount you order, it is a speedy delivery service usually arrives to me two days after I order, and it's all neatly wrapped up with tissue paper making it look more special, and even better if for some reason you do not like your goods, wrong colour wrong size etc just not happy with them for whatever reason, it could'nt be simpler too return, they enclose a pre-paid label that you can take too the post office, or if you can't be bothered doing that you can phone Racing Green up and they will pick the items up from your home...which makes hassle free ordering. They will also send you a catalogue of their goods which gives you a better view of what you may wish to order. Although the website itself is excellent and easy to use, everything clearly marked. They also have competitions on their website and someone you can email on advice about fashion. They are also a member of zoom, each time you make a purchase you get zoom points, which you can exchange at any shop on the zoom list for goods. So happy shopping, you won't be dissapointed.
Just wanted to say I think for some people shorter opinions are a good thing, as I personally find if someone writes screeds of information I get bored reading the opinion which is such a shame, particularly if the opinion is well written and you know someone has put a lot of effort into it, so perhaps it's more a fault with me that I love short and too the point give me as much information as you can in as little words as you can, like fast food, just wondering what anyone else thinks? I'm so glad 75 words is pretty short
Half price or less, I can't praise this site highly enough. What is it you ask? Well it's an online shop that sells everything as the name of the site suggests for half price or less, from...toiletries, shampoo's, soaps, toothpaste, showergel etc too microwave ovens, bathroom scales, prams, perfumes, watches, household cleaning products, suntan lotions, socks, food and drink...half the fun is that you never know what great bargain will be instore...reminds me of Bruce Forsyths generation game, the way you scroll to view the goods on display, and the way you choose what is worth remembering to buy and what is crap. The site itself is simple to use but can be timely buying your goods as when you click in to buy your chosen item, and add it to your shopping basket,for some reason when you come back to continue shopping your automatically put back to the start of the conveyer belt so to speak, which means you have to scroll forward to where you were last, but not too much hassle when your saving a fortune. I buy from half price or less a couple of times a month, and the packages always come within five days...I find this one of the best and most fun bargain sites available. So go grab yourself a bargain, you never know you may even come out a winner, I know I have.
It's so easy to put most of the blame for eating disorders onto the media such as magazines, tv, films, models, popstars, actresses etc..rather than face the real problem, which is....how many of us actually eat a healthy well balanced diet, and ensure we have the exercise our bodies need? The way to ensure we all have the best possible start in life is to start young which puts the onus on parents to take note of all the advice on eating healthily and putting it into practice; a healthy body helps us to have healthier minds, helping us to have a better outlook on life. Not that this will work for everyone, as there will always be as many reasons to either eat too much or not enough, just as there are as to why people drink too much alcohol...and the only role then is to be as supportive as possible, giving advice and help be it medical or homeopathic counselling etc, along with willpower. And an understanding that you never need to go hungry. Along with so many other subjects in the world we live in, we ourselves have to learn to be non-judgemental towards people no matter what ails them from disabilities to obesity etc; stop adding extra pressure onto people with problems in turn, helping everyone to feel good about themselves, having a positive attitude and knowing we are all worth more ... than what we eat. So healthy eating should definitely be an important part of our lives, something we do naturally just as we brush our teeth in the mornings; ultimately it is our most prized possession that we abuse.