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      18.03.2010 23:41
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      4 stars

      More Specials is the second album by The Specials; the originators of the UK ska Two-tone sound.

      Track listing

      1. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)
      2. Man At C&A
      3. Hey Little Rich Girl
      4. Do Nothing
      5. Pearl's Cafe
      6. Sock It To 'Em JB
      7. Stereotype/Stereotypes (Part 2) (Medley)
      8. Holiday Fortnight
      9. I Can't Stand It
      10. International Jet Set
      11. Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)


      This album is a lot more progressive than their first self-titled outing, there isn't much of that "punk" feeling to this album, the first song "Enjoy Yourself" (a cover version) starts the album in an upbeat mood despite Terry Halls distinctive dull vocal style.

      Like their first outing, this CD also has political overtones although they are not as direct as before, songs like "The Man At C & A" questions the average person's attitude to the threat of a nuclear war. Some of the songs on the CD clock in at over 4 minutes and have a more chilled out feel to them.

      The highlight of this CD for me is the song "Do Nothing" which was released as a single: this song pretty much represents the feelings of the time in the eighties, a time of high unemployment and little prospects I like the line "I'm just living in a life without meaning I walk and walk, do nothing", in some respects this song can be relevant today too.

      Other highlights for me include "Hey Little Rich Girl" which is one of the more "punkier" songs on this CD and has recently been covered by Amy Winehouse (She's a fan). The musicianship on this CD is top notch and due to the slightly experimental nature of this CD I think it showcases the bands talent, there is definately an easy listening element to this CD.

      This was the bands last album under the name of "The Specials" they then went on to become "the Special AKA" although ironically they first appeared on a split 45 with The Selecter as the Special AKA.
      On this CD, Terry Hall shares vocals with Rhoda Dakar (from the 2 tone band "the Bodysnatchers"), on the song "I Can't Stand It" it is a dark love song with a good dose of sarcasm.

      Rhoda Dakar went on to join the band "The Special AKA" whereas Terry Hall departed to form The Fun Boy Three (alongwith Neville Staples and Lynval Golding) and later on The Colourfield. The Specials reformed recently with sell-out shows, unfortunately I didnt get to see them although I have seen various members of the band playing in other ska bands.

      To conclude, The Specials were and still are a highly influential band, this CD to some "purists" may be a big departure from their debut LP and may lack the "oomph" in the impact department but it shows the band progressing in the same way that Madness did. In some ways I think it's a shame that we didnt get a third album as "The Specials" but I have to say that I did enjoy "The Fun Boy Three". If you like ska and 2 tone music then buy this CD I got mine for under a fiver and saves my old vinyl getting more scratched!.

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        06.03.2010 23:43
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        5 stars. A great compilation

        Ian Dury was born in London in 1942, at the age of 7 he contracted polio and spent some time in Chailey special school for disabled children before moving onto High Wicombe Royal Grammar School, it was here where he developed his interest in art and eventually studied art under Peter Blake at the Royal College of Art.

        Ian Dury formed his first band Kilburn and the high Roads in 1970, they became very popular amongst the London "pub rock" scene and influenced the UK 1977 punk explosion, the band released two LPs and a couple of singles. After numerous line up changes, The Kilburn's eventually became the Blockheads and Ian Dury released his first LP "New Boots And Panties" in 1977.

        This CD documents Ian Durys career from "New Boots" right up to his last LP "Mr Love Pants". the track listing is

        1. Reasons To Be Cheerful
        2. Wake Up And Make Love With Me
        3. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
        4. Clevor Trevor
        5. What A Waste
        6. Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll
        7. This Is What We Find
        8. Itinerant Child
        9. Sweet Gene Vincent
        10. I Want To Be Straight
        11. Blockheads
        12. Mash It Up Harry
        13. There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards
        14. Billericay Dickie
        15. Inbetweenies
        16. Spasticus (Autisticus)
        17. My Old Man
        18. Lullaby For Francis

        The title track of this compliation "Reasons To Be Cheerful (part 3)"was a top 3 UK hit for the band and is a classic slice of funk which the Blockheads play so well, there is an awesome guitar solo in this by John Turnbull. Ian's lyrics are like a shopping list of "reasons" and showcases some of his excellent command of the english language and colloquialisms; the song title itself has become part of the english language as well as "Sex And Drugs And Rock N Roll".

        There are a few songs on here off Ian Dury's first LP which although isnt credited to The Blockheads, most of them play on it. "Wake Up And Make Love With Me" was also the b side to "What A Waste" and opening track off "New Boots And Panties", there's some great keyboards on this song and of course great lyrics. Another early favourite is "Clevor Trevor" (note the miss-spelling!) it is a slow paced song off Ian's first LP and contains one of my favourite Ian Dury lines "it takes a lot longer to get up north...the slow way".

        The song "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" is without doubt the bands most popular, it was number one in the UK charts in 1979. It was this first song which got me into Ian Dury, the song has a very funky feel about it and a superb saxaphone solo by Davey Payne.

        Another well known and successful song is "What A Waste" This song was a single released in 1978, in the lyrics Dury questions his life and what else he could have been instead of "the singer in a six piece band".

        Ian Dury was very outspoken; his song "Spasticus Autisticus" is deliberately provocative and was denied airplay by the BBC. The song was considered to be in bad taste even though the writer was himself disabled.

        Ian Dury was one of a kind, he was a true English legend and he is sadly missed. He influenced many bands (most notably Madness), I am so glad that I managed to see him live supporting Madness in 1992, I remember John Lydon joined him onstage for "Sex and Drugs and Rock N Roll" which was great.

        This CD contains a good span of Ian Dury's career, but there are many gaps and I can think of many other songs that could have been included, that said it is an excellent collection of some of his most successful moments and a worthy starting point to anyone not familiar with Ian Dury.

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          03.03.2010 00:42
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          5 stars

          The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin was originally a series of novels created by David Nobbs, he later wrote the screenplays for what would become a sitcom that ran from 1976-1979.

          The main character Reginald Iolanthe Perrin (or "Reggie" as he is usually referred to) was played by Leonard Rossitter. The first series sows the seed as Reggie being your typical Suburban business man married to Elizabeth (played by Pauline Yates), Reggie has to do the daily toil of commuting into the city to his executive position at "Sunshine Desserts", he always turns up late and usually makes a comment to his secretary Joan (played by Sue Nicholls aka "Audrey" in Coronation Street) about delays on the trains. Reggie enjoys flirting with Joan which doesnt go to his advantage when he asks her to come round to look at some files whilst Elizabeth is at her mothers (who Reggie pictures in his mind as "the hippopotamus").

          The whole Reggie Perrin saga revolves around Reggies disillusion with the world, Reggie is somewhat of a Walter Mitty character and often fantasies about things that would make his life more exciting. Reggies 9 to 5 job is very dull, his boss CJ (played brilliantly by John Barron) is somewhat of an eccentric tyrant who loves to humiliate his underlings by putting them down at any oppurtunity and by employing such childish things as whoopee cushions on the chairs so when his staff sit down he has a chuckle at their expense. CJ is one of my favourite characters, especially his malapropisms which usuaully begin with "I didnt get where Iam today.." Reggie has 2 assistants at Sunshine Desserts who he refers to as the "yes men" who admire Reggie and try their best to impress him.

          The whole "fall and rise" thing is basically about Reggie re-inventing himself by pretending that he has killled himeslf by leaving his clothes on the beach to create the illusion that he has gone. Of course he hasnt gone and he trys to create a new "Reggie" he trys various ways before becoming Martin Welbourne and actually appears at his own funeral, he then re-aquaints himself with Elizabeth who quickly sees though him that he is Reggie. Elizabeth has to then re-introduce "Martin" back as "Reggie" to her brother Jimmy (played by Geoffrey Pearce), their daughter Linda and her husband Tom (who Reggies hates and refers to as a "Bearded Prig").
          The character "Jimmy" is very much worth a mention, Jimmy is an ex-army man ,retired but still keeps himself ready for inspection at any time, Reggie gets tired of Jimmy as he always turns up asking for food "bit of a disaster on the catering front", in one episode Jimmy trys to recruit Reggie into a kind of militia.

          Having been unable to regain his executive status and spending some time as a sewage worker and also working on a pig farm, Reggie starts his own company "Grot": selling stuff that no one wants, everything guarranteed useless; naturally he sells his son-in-law's Tom's home-made wines alongwith ashtrays with a hole in them and square hula-hoops. Grot takes off and initially Reggie is happy but unfortunately Grot becomes global and Reggie again becomes disillusioned and trys his best to dissolve the company, but the more he trys the greater the company becomes!.
          Eventually Reggie and Elizabeth both decide to end it, in the same way as before by faking suicide. Eventually they both try and re-invent themselves by starting up a commune (Series 3) which sees them recruiting some of their "old" friends (CJ, Jimmy, Joan and more) to be trained as mentors for Reggies new community.

          In my opinion the Reggie Perin saga is one of the best UK sitcoms ever, it was so good that the BBC tried to re-start it with The Legacy of Reginald Perrin in 1996 despite Leonard Rositter being no longer with us, it also has been re-created with Martin Clunes playing Reggie, I can't comment on that as I havent seen it.

          The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin is something that you will either love or hate, it's as simple as that; if you can connect with the characters like I do then you will find it very funny, you have to bear in mind too that this was filmed in the 1970's and some of the terminology may not seem politically correct.

          If you have either enjoyed it as a youth on the TV as I did or was impressed by the Martin Clunes remake then you should get this box-set, I picked mine up for under twenty quid. I was well pleased to get my hands on this as before it was only available on VHS but not as full episodes so this was great for me to watch them all.

          Thanks for reading this, if you've never heard of Reggie Perrin then have a look on You tube there's plenty of clips on there.

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          • Tesco Liquorice Allsorts / Sweets / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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            02.03.2010 11:59
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            4/5

            I have recently started to give up smoking and this has awakened in me a sweet tooth and although Iam not normally a fan of sweets, I do enjoy Liquorice. I had been buying the 215g bags of Bassetts Allsorts which were costing £1.26 each, so I thought I would try Tesco's own make and save some cash.

            The packet design has changed from the one pictured it is now grey and white striped like an open bag of sweets, Iam not sure whether this is intentional or because the old design did look very much like the Bassetts packet. The new design doesn't stand out as much on display and I did have to look twice to find them, the front of the bag states "no artificial flavours or colours" which is useful to know.

            So what do they taste like?, well not far off the same as the more expensive ones, there is a good strong liquorice taste and they have a nice chewy texture.I was not overly keen on the orange and brown "sandwich " ones, I thought they had a strange aftertaste which was not unpleasant but not to my liking. The yellow and pink circle ones taste just as good as any other I have tasted with a nice sweet coconut flavour.
            The little pink and blue button ones have never been to my liking, does anybody like these ones? I dropped one on the floor and the dog got it but spat it out after licking off all the coating!..I suppose it is a matter of personal taste, everyone has their own particular favourite.

            To conclude, these Allsorts cost just 67p for a 250g packet, so you get more sweets for a lot less money, they arent as quite as nice as Bassetts but they are a good thrifty alternative.

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            26.02.2010 20:42
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            Five stars

            I have unfortunately suffered with Eczema since childhood, it wasnt until 10 years ago that I realised that the best regime to keep it from flaring up or at least manageable was to use a dry skin moisturiser (along with my prescribed steroid creams of course). The first one I tried was E45 which didnt work for me at all and made my skin 10 times worse, I didnt find out till later that it contained Lanolin (which is derived from wool) which I was allergic too.

            After much frustration with various other preparations I eventually came across this product by reading about it in an article on Eczema.

            Emulsifying ointment is a mixture of Emulsifying wax, white soft paraffin and liquid paraffin, it doesnt contain any perfume. It can be purchased from any Pharmacy either in a large 500g tub, or they will sometimes measure some out for you into a smaller container, you can of course also get it on prescription but if you pay for your prescriptions then this is a false economy as you can pick up a large tub for about £2-£3.

            Emulsifying Ointment is one of the main ingredients of Aqueous Cream, unlike Aqueous Cream it is much thicker and my first impression was that it looked like Lard! Despite its appearance the ointment is very easily absorbed into the skin and you do not need a huge amount of it, so a little goes a long way, it can also be used as a soap substitute in the bath or shower. I have also found this product helpful as a barrier before going swimming, the only problem is that you do feel greased up like your going to swim the channel!

            Emulsifying Ointment is a generic preparation so it is widely availlable. It is very simple with no harmful additives. This ointment is great for anyone with dry skin to use as a moisturiser, or if you have a dry skin condition such as Eczema then I would definately recommend it as part of the fight to help keep it under control.

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              26.02.2010 14:06
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              Four stars

              The UK Subs started in London in 1976. The band has had various line-up changes over the the years but the mainstay of the band is singer Charlie Harper who has kept the band touring for the past 30+ years; a friend of mine who booked the band a few times used to say to me that the 'Subs would play anywhere that had a plug socket!.

              This CD collection of singles is by no means definitive, you do get some classic songs like "Warhead", "CID" and "Stranglehold", but you don't get the complete songs off a full EP, it just contains the A sides. For example it has the bands version of The Zombies classic "She's Not There" (the only song on here that Charlie doesn't sing on), but doesn't have the great song "Kicks" that is also on the EP.
              A good thing about this CD is that it also includes the singles Charlie Harper did with The Urban Dogs and also his 1980 solo single "Barmy London Army".

              Overall this CD does give a wide spectrum of the bands career up to their 1994 single "Betrayal" and it is a good introduction to the Uk Subs and Charlie Harper ,but there are other compilations availlable that are more of a "Best Of" UK Subs.

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              • Tesco Fiery Ginger Beer / Soft Drink / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                25.02.2010 21:16
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                Very good value for money and full of flavour

                The other day whilst in Tescos I decided on a change from my ususal soft-drink tipple of Cream soda and thought I would try this Fiery Ginger Beer, it has been cold recently and thought it might warm me up a bit!.

                The ginger beer comes in a brown 2 litre plastic bottle with a red screw cap The front of the bottle reads "flavoured with ginger root exrtract" so no artificial flavourings, there are no artificial colourings either, it has a cloudy white colour a bit like "real" lemonade.

                The Ginger Beer has a mellow smell of ginger, not too sharp which is very pleasant, it isn't too fizzy which is good so you do get most of the zing from the ginger flavour, the label says "fiery" but I would have to disaggree with that, it does have a light kick but isnt as strong as some of the other brands I have tried.

                This product costs just 47p which I think is an absolute bargain, they also do a diet version of it but I havent tried that one. I will definately be buying this again, it is refreshing and leaves a nice taste in your mouth and is half the price of some of the other brands, so give it a try.

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                • Warburtons Crumpets / Snacks / 22 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                  23.02.2010 11:44
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                  five stars

                  Crumpets are something that normally I don't buy as I find them rather bland and rubbery but I spotted these Warburtons crumpets at my local Cooperative priced at 49p for six which I thoght was cheap considering that Warburtons are a premium brand.
                  The Crumpets contain Wheat Flour,Water, Yeast, Salt ,Sugar and also Raising Agents and preservative. The first thing that I noticed about these crumpets is their thickness, they seemed thicker than other ones I have tried, they just about fitted in my toaster.
                  Warburtons Crumpets don't take long to toast which again is something that in the past I have noticed with other brands, maybe it is because they are thicker but they only need a couple of minutes in the toaster. The crumpets come out of the toaster lovely and soft with a crispy top and are just crying out for a spread of butter on them - they are like a sponge, the butter just melts into them, I suppose some may think it wrong to add anything to the crumpet other than butter, it is a matter of personal taste what you put on them.
                  When you bite into one of these crumpets you get a slight crunch which then leads into the butter soaked , soft centre. They are surprisingly light considering they are a bread product, the packet says "less than 1% fat" which surprised me but then underneath it reads: "before butter and toppings are added" , so if you wanted to make these a healthy option then you would have to do without the dollop of butter!, they might go well with a low-fat cream cheese maybe?
                  I think these crumpets deserve 5 stars, they don't cost to much and are perfect for breakfast with a cup of tea.

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                    23.02.2010 02:55
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                    I hope it gets better

                    The Mall is Blackburn's main shopping centre which is on 2 levels and has nearly 90 stores, I am not going to name them all because the point of this review is about The Mall itself.

                    The Mall is open seven days a week, and can be accessed either through the multi-story car park entrance or through the pedestrian entrances, either way you will find yourself going round in circles. I have lived in the town on and off for nearly 7 years and it still manages to perplex me how to navigate the place, it seems that if I change my routine and go in at a different entrance then Iam totally bewildered as to how to get back, maybe it's just me but it does have this feeling like your going round in circles. The signage doesn't help at all and just points to certain shops like Boots or Tesco, there's very few signs for toilets for example.

                    The Mall at Blackburn as a shopping arcade is deeply flawed, it isn't a nice experience, it just seems to divide the town centre up in to bits and is not a nice shopping experience at all, it is being currently refurbished in as much as they are attaching another bit to it!. This construction has been going on for a long time and causes a lot of disruption but will bring some new shops to the town like Primark, I just hope that it all connects well together or it will just add to the confusion that is The Mall.

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                  • Quorn Crispy Fillets / Meat / Fish / 14 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                    23.02.2010 00:38
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                    Very tasty and low fat

                    I read that Quorn is a healthy alternative to meat and low in cholesterol so I thought i would give these a try, I purchased mine from Tesco, they were £2.19 for two which to be honest I thought was a bit pricey.

                    For those who aren't familiar with Quorn: it is a vegetarian product that contains "mycoprotein", which is a foodstuff derived from funghi (mushrooms and the like). Quorn is low in fat, high in protein and has no cholesterol.

                    The ingredients for the Crispy Fillets is

                    Quorn Fillet (69%)[mycoprotein, rehydrated free range egg white, onion, textured wheat protein (wheat protein, wheat starch), flavourings, milk proteins, tapioca starch, gelling agent: pectin], breadcrumb (wheat flour, yeast, salt), batter (maize flour, wheat flour, wheat starch, hydrogenated palm oil, raising agents: di-sodium diphosphate, sodium bicarbonate; salt, skimmed milk powder, dextrose, whey powder, wheat gluten, rice flour, rapeseed oil), sunflower oil

                    You can either cook these in the oven or under the grill, I put them in my George Forman grill for about 8 minutes, moving them around occasionally so they didnt get burnt.

                    These Crispy Fillets to look at them resemble chicken in a crispy coating, they smell very appetizing and I found that they cooked very well from frozen. I think they taste like chicken, the fillets have a fibrous texture and have the appearance of chicken,they are lightly spiced but a little bit salty in my opinion.

                    I have to say that they were tasty but I get the impression that it's all the extra things that go into them to make them taste nice, I have no idea what science is used to convert funghi to look like meat but to be honest I couldnt really care because they do taste great and if it helps to lower my cholesterol level then thats good for me.

                    I would buy these again but they are a bit expensive which is a shame as I think it will put many people off from eating a meat-free product such as this. I do have concerns that they may be high in sodium though.

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                      22.02.2010 20:53
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                      I like it but it could be improved

                      When I purchased my current car I was a bit miffed that the cars standard CD player would not play my mp3 discs. I did a google search about how could I use my mp3 player with my car stereo and learnt that I needed an FM transmitter. I checked on ebay if they had any and found this product.
                      The Typhoon Car FM Transmitter is about 3 inches long and simply slots into your cars cigarette lighter, it works by finding an unused FM radio channel which it then transmits to. The Transmitter comes with two inputs: USB (so you can put songs on a pendrive and play them) and an earphone jack that you use to play songs from your Mp3 via a short lead. The transmitter also comes with a small remote control and an audio cable for hooking up your mp3 player.
                      Once the transmitter is plugged into the lighter socket it comes up with a channel that you then tune your FM radio to, you can then input your device (mp3 or USB pendrive) and away you go, you can also retune to any other availlable channel if you experience interference. I will outline below how the device performs with each input.

                      1/ **USB storage device**

                      I transferred a few tracks from my PC to a USB pendrive, the songs were in folders. When I plugged the USB pendrive into the transmitter the transmitter just jumped to some random track and not the first folder on the drive. The sound was somewhat dissapointing so I tried using the remote's equalizer settings and managed to get it sounding ok but there was some white noise interference coming through from the FM channel on quieter parts of a song. You can use the remote control to skip tracks but they all seemed jumbled up.

                      2/**Mp3 Player**

                      You connect your Mp3 to the transmitter via a short lead (supplied with the item) that you plug into your Mp3 player. The sound quality of playback is much better doing this way as you can adjust your Mp3 volume setttings to give better amplification into the transmitter although you have to control your tracks by the Mp3 player controls and not via the remote which will only operate the equalizer settings when in this mode.


                      **Good Points**

                      1/ it enabled me to listen to my songs with out having to take the original CD with me in the car.

                      2/I only paid less than £15, which is cheaper than having to buy an MP3 compatible stereo.

                      **Bad Points**


                      1/You can sometimes get a lot of interference and have to retune it to another frequency.

                      2/Using a pendrive, you cannot control where the songs are and when you switch off your ignition the transmitter resets back to the first track.

                      3/The mp3 connecter lead is not adequate, far too short and your mp3 just dangles about which isnt good for it and makes changing tracks difficult.

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                      22.02.2010 19:20
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                      4 out of 5

                      Last year we decided to travel to the Manchester area on Christmas day to visit relatives, rather than have a long drive back we thought it would be a good idea to stay over somewhere.
                      We booked the Manchester Airport Travelodge on the internet in October, we got a family room (2 adults and 1 child) for £33 which also included breakfast which I thought was very good value.
                      After spending time socialising with relatives we decided to make tracks to the Hotel, unfortunately it was at this time when the sat-nav decided to play up and wouldnt switch on!, I had to resort to trying to find the place by following the little airplane signs to the airport. I thought this place was hard to find - it was frustrating as I could see the place but couldnt get to it as one of the access roads was shut so I had to join the M56 motorway and comeback on my myself.
                      We eventually arrrived and had to pay £5 to park the car on the car park which now resembled an ice rink, we gingerly negotiated our way to reception after doing a bit of dancing on ice. The young lady behind reception was dressed as a pixie (it was Christmas after all) and was polite and helpful.
                      Our room was rather basic , as you would expect with a Travelodge, in a family room you get a double bed and a bed-settee that pulls out to make another double bed. You get the usual tea and coffee, towels etc and of course a TV.
                      This Travelodge has a bar unlike some others and we were glad that it was open, the drinks were reasonably priced and there was bar-snacks availlable, the place seemed quite busy considering it was Christmas day. I went outside in the cold to have a cigarette and got talking to one of the other guests and they told me that they were there because their flight had been cancelled due to the weather.
                      After a small night-cap we went back to our room, the bed was ok, quite comfy and the sheets were fresh and clean. In the morning we went to the dining area at about 9am for breakfast, it was the usual buffet-style breakfast with a choice of full english items, cereal, juices etc.
                      The only thing which they didnt have was toast as the young lady in charge of the toasting machine had got it jammed and it had set alight so it had to be carried outside. I thought the breakfast was adequate but missed not having toast and the orange juice did taste watered down.
                      Overall I think this is one of the better Travelodges I have stayed in, I certainly think we got a bargain, but as I said we did book 2 months in advance. I will also like to point out that the car park is for 24 hours (although the sign says all-day) I made the mistake of getting another ticket after midnight for the next day which cost me another fiver (non refundable) but I can't blame the hotel for that.

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                      22.02.2010 15:39
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                      Spend a bit more and get somethingn drinkable

                      I went to Sainsburys recently and thought I might save myself a couple of quid by trying their cheapest cider.
                      Sainsbury's Basics cider comes in a 2 litre PET bottle with a screw cap, it has an alcohol content of 4.2% and contains Artifical Sweeteners and Sulphites.
                      Looking at the colour of the cider through the bottle it does give the illusion of looking quite dark in colour but this is due to the bottle having a yellow tinge.
                      I unscrewed the bottle and released a rather unpleasant smell of chemicals, the cider is quite fizzy and is a pale yellow in colour.
                      I have to admit that I was not looking forward to trying this due to the smell and rather pale colour of it but I closed my eyes and took a mouthful, the cider is fizzy on the tongue but thats about the only thing I can say - there was no appley taste at all and a very unpleasant feeling on swallowing the stuff that made me retch.
                      I don't know if the taste of this cider improves after you have drank half a bottle of it I think l will leave that for someone else to try. If I really did have to drink it all then I would add some blackcurrant to it to try and disguise the taste a bit.
                      In conclusion, you get 3.5 pints for £1.29 but it tastes disgusting which is basically what I was expecting.
                      I much prefer Sainsbury's second cheapest that they do which is a lot more refined and quite pleasant and comes in 3 litre bottles. Only buy this Basics stuff if you've either no sense of taste, are very skint or you need something to clean the toilet with.

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                      • Skol / Beer / Cider / 10 Readings / 9 Ratings
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                        21.02.2010 21:55
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                        If you like strong beers like Special Brew, then seek this out

                        The picture for this review is somewhat out of date, Skol Super is now mostly availlable in 500ml cans only, the design of the can is mostly black with a gold background and not availlable in bottles in the UK.
                        Skol Super is brewed by Carlsberg, the same people who gave us the mighty Special Brew. Skol Super has an ABV of 9% (like it's cousin Special Brew), unlike Special Brew this beer is not readily availlable in supermarkets and is usually only found in back street off-licences, I don't personally understand why this is but maybe it's due to government pressure about selling strong beers such as this?

                        When you crack open a can of Skol Super you get the strong whiff of alcohol and a slight chemically smell, the beer pours easily with not too much carbonation.
                        When I first tasted Skol Super I was very surprised at how good it tasted given it's high alcohol content - it did actually taste nice, it has a slightly sweeter taste than Special Brew. This beer is very deceptive though it doesnt taste as strong as it is, so beware.

                        To conclude, I have reviewed this beer based on it's taste, not on it's potency to get you drunk. It is quite cheap to buy if you can find it; I have seen it as cheap as £1.10 a can, so if you prefer your beer to be stronger and to taste good then try it.

                        Addition: I think the picture linked with my review is for Skol Lager not Skol Super, although the first person who reviewed this also assumed that the product was Skol Super.

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                        • Holts Mild / Beer / Cider / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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                          21.02.2010 20:15
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                          If you like Real Ale then you will love Holts.

                          The Joseph Holts brewery was founded in 1849 in Manchester. There are 130 Holt's pubs around the North West, most of which are within the Greater Manchester Area.
                          My first experience of drinking Holt's beer was when I was 16, I tried the bitter which given my young age was not to my palate,nowadays I go out of my way to drink it - it is traditional ale it's best and has a healthy ABV of 4.2, stronger than your Boddingtons or John Smiths and tastier too.

                          Anyway, this review is about Holts Mild. Mild is traditionally of less alcohol content than Bitter and not seen much on tap these days, very few breweries bother brewing mild anymore due to its lack of popularity.
                          Holts Mild has an ABV of aorund 3.5%, it is a "dark" mild with a creamy head, you could almost mistake it for a pint of guinness except that it is opaque with a light brown hue runing though it when you hold it up to the light. Holts Mild has a lovely nutty taste to it, with some slight bitterness but is very smooth and malty. Holts Mild is very reasonably priced at about £1.50 a pint, my first pint of it cost me 50p but that was some time ago!, if you like your real ale then check out Holts Mild or any of their other beers as well.

                          As a footnote I would like to tell you another reason why this beer or moreover, Holts brewery is special; part of the proceeds of the brewery go to help the Christie Holt cancer hospital in Manchester which has helped many people from the Manchester/North West area.

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