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Well I wouldn't wear a fur coat - not a real one anyway - so the title had to reflect that!! I have discovered a lovely second hand ladies wear shop in Beachamp Place near Harrods in Knightsbrisge which has designer wear at vastly reduced prices. I bought a Valentino short leather skirt (and the leather is baby soft, ok I know I said I wouldn't wear fur - so I'm inconsistent! ) which would cost £600 new for £110 and it it relly as new - you would never have guessed it's second hand. Anyway - onto the op - at this lovely shop I spoed a beautiful cream coloured cashmere coat - Versace no less for 150 pounds. Sold to the lady slobbering in the corner! The feel of the cashmere was sooo soft and it was lined with a beautiful silver embossed lining that felt beautiful against the skin and epitomised luxury all the way. No way would I be able to afford one of these at the real price of nearly £1,000. The fit of the coat was wonderful and I felt like I was one of those film stars sweeping into the room wearing the most wonderful outfit. Versace is available at so many stores now, almost always tied up by anti theft devices so this was the first time I had ever been able to try Versace on. There is a great Versace store at Biscester which does have cheaper prices - worth a look! This coat was less than 6 months old and had been sent in by a lady who gets her clothers for nothing and wears them once or twice and then sends them in for resale. Having worn Versace I would definitely look to buy something else from their 'stable' as the finish on this coat is the best. It has been hand stitched and reeks of quality. Proud of my purchase and having just been into Rigby and Pellar for my six month refit of lingerie I started my journey home wanting to show off my purchases. On speaking to the man of the moment I found he was at home not doing a great deal and, as he w as on his own, I thought I could pay him a visit. We agreed I would get a takeaway on the way back. My mind wandered as I negotiated the motorway and I was so eager to show off my new 'buys' that I cooked up a surprise. I have always wanted to do this and this was the perfect opportunity. I picked up the take away and then pulled into the local garage to use the loo. It didn't take long to change into the lingerie and on a whim I didn't redress but just put on my coat. Luckily I had been wearing a skirt in any case so had the required stockings to complete the look ;-) I stuffed my bags with my remaining clothes and left the garage trying not to look too conspicuous! No one, of course, paid any atention to me at all but I really thought they knew what I was up to. Now the food was getting colder the hotter I became and I really wasn't concentrating too well on my driving. As a precaution (clever girl - I'm learning)I thought I would ring my man to check he was still alone, after all I didn't want to make a fool of myself. Yes he was alone and where was his dinner! Well I thought...I hope to be giving you some food for thought in a few minutes;-) As I rung off down I caught sight of a blue light behind me.......the local constabulary wanted to discuss me using a mobile phone while driving.....well they don't have a great deal to do in this rural area! I duly pulled over and sat in the car having wound the window a little - after all you never know if they're real. They were real and asked me to get out of the car. Now I don't know if you have ever stolen a frozen chicken by stuffing it up your skirt and trying to walk away casually, but if you have you will be able to visualise how I got out of the car...trying the hardest not to reveal what was ( or wasn't) underneath my coat. Versace did not let me down. The coat, all encompassing, only using two of the buttons provided kept my chastity covered. This coat has quality and after several dry cleanings because of the colour still looks as good as new! The problem I had was that the evening was very warm and they asked why I was wearing a coat when it was so hot. The fear on my face convinced them that I was smuggling drugs or something and their manner was less convivial. Quick as a flash I told them I was going to a fancy dress vicars and tarts party. 'Lets have a look' said the youngest one, who was the one if I had a choice I would have accepted a drink from! I pulled up my coat to show the top of a leg and told them that was all they were getting! They laughed and we all went our separate ways.....thank goodness. Five or six minutes later I arrived at my mans house, 'nice coat' he said as I wafted in like a film star, 'did you remember the poppadoms?' As I tried to kiss him he shifted me out of the way as the football was on. I resorted to standing in front of the tv and slowly unbuttoning my two buttons......luckily he has a microwave, and only the nan bread went soft ;-) Would I buy Versace again? Best coat I ever bought!
Throughout this op it would work well if you could hum the tune 'if they could see me now' which is best known I think as a Liza Minelli song....every time I think of this country house hotel I start humming this song..... Apolgies to those 9 people who read a shorter version of this op under the wrong heading a few months ago....it has not only improved but the truth is now being told as I become more confident in my Dooyoo opinions...... Stapleford Park in Leicestershire is luxury unlimited, but at £365 a night for a suite it has to be something special. They do 'speacials' for different rooms so take a look at the web site! Owned by Peter De Savary, who also owns Skibo castle where Maddonna and Guy recently got married, the man has enormous amounts of money to throw at his ventures. The cushions in the many sitting rooms on the ground floor were enough to stock DFS for many years to come!! There are staff that just seem to plump cushions up all day! A very wealthy male friend of mine asked me if I would liek to go away for the night and he took me here as a surprise. We were met at our car (a Mazerati) by a very nice man, dressed in tweeds, who organised other people to take our luggage for us. The entrance hall alone was enough to take your breath away with a glimpse of the quality to come peeking around the corner, you could just see the sweeping staircase leading up to the many suites. I kept calm, but already knew I could swear undying love, if only to continue being treated to this...ok I know we are only negotiating the price here! We asked for a guided tour and just the cigar collection in the drawing room kept my partner occupied for some time. The house was wonderful, very much a country house hotel rather than a hotel. We were there during the Foot and Mouth problems so we were limited to the grounds and gardens, but not the woods beyond. As we were only there f or one night it wasn't a problem! There were very apologetic that the Falcons were not allowed to fly, as I didn't even know there were Falcons it wasn't a major deal for me!! We saw the huts they normally sit in and I had visions of them huddling down somewhere else with their wings crossed, looking very miffed that they couldn't stretch their wings! Our suite included the highest bed I have ever seen, if you go onto their web site you will see it as the Harborough Room, a bathroom which had lovely pieces of Dalton everywhere, and a lounge area which had sumptous sofas, more cushions and homemade biscuits and Sloe Gin, the Sloes made from Sloes on the estate. The spa was lovely although you do need to book in advance for treatments. It is also open to members of their country club but it was still very quiet. You are offered use of any Clarins products free of charge at the Spa, so after my swim I pampered myself.My partner said that at the price he was paying for the room I should have put them in my bag - such class! Champagne arrived promptly in our room at 7 pm (he got a brownie point for that!) and they were laid back about the fact that we were late for our dinner reservation....:-) Well champagne does go straight to a girls head ;-) We wnet down for dinner some time after the champers had been consumed and the room looked strangely untidy bearing in mind we had only been there a few hours... Canapes of goats cheese were mouth meltingly wonderful and there were roasted nuts including Pistachios and walnuts, kept warm in a basket made of linen napkins, and they were just for us. No thoughts about how many unwashed hands had touched these before we got there! Dinner was lovely, although it was slightly 'new cuisine' so have a few canapes before going in for dinner! Having said that I had a pud of lemon tartlet with homemade ice cream, dusted with cocoa powder and icing sugar that made me feel I was appearing as a tester on Masterchef, it looked good and tasted great. After dinner it gets a bit quiet, we played snooker in the snooker room, the staff were great at finding us and plying us with drinks, but apart from that there is nothing much to do apart from retire........and wake to the thought of a sumptous breakfast of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. On returning to our room it was tidy and there were chocolates on the pillow....slightly disconcerting that the bed was made.....after all they may have mis-read our pillow fight as something else..however it was soon forgotten as we lay in bed, looking out of large picture windows at the stars. This is always ruined by the fact that at some time I'm going to have to admit to my friend that I wear contact lenses and put my glasses on. Not prepared to ruin his image of me at this stage, after all he hasn't been through the 'first thing in the morning' look yet I decided that discretion was best and would take my lenses out when we were going to sleep. Some time later, after the wrestling had finished......I have always loved the WWF....and we had settled down for post wrestling sleep I snuck to the bathroom (size of normal semi detached house ground floor) to take my lenses out. Even with the curtains open it was dark - not much of a moon that night - so I turned on the bathroom light. I was taking my lenses out when I heard shouting in the distance. Turning and looking out of the bathroom window I realised that as period windows they are very low and I was exposing my nakedness to a few people worse for wear wandering about on the lawn with their champagne glasses. Quick as a flash (!) I fell to the floor (Ow that hurt!!) and did a good impression of a commando belly down making his way through enemy territory. I made it to the light cord, turned the light off and finished taking my lenses outin the dark. Ba ck in bed my man was breathing heavily, but this time it was more like snoring, and we both drifted off until the morning. In the monring after breakfast (smoked salmon etc) we were getting ready for clay pigeon shooting when my man said 'what's that mark on your knees?' Looking down I realised I had the start of two large bruises on my knees from the bathroom incident. For the rest of the day my man swaggered around thinking he was the originator of the bruises, and as we left that afternoon I had to wear a longer skirt than the one I arrived in to cover the evidence! Luckily the people involved didn't show themselves at breakfast so I kept our little secret! All in all a wonderful experience, I want to go back again as soon as I can, and although the price is high you come away rested and full of vigor!
Those of you who have been following my exploits as a single woman will know that there are not many lengths that I will go to snare 'the man', it's just finding him that's the problem..... Last night a date ensued and I spent some time getting ready, good underwear including a bra from Rigby and Peller (the Queens corseteers) and two inches of make up that then made me look completely natural...you know how it is. The top was sufficently low cut to ensure a good eyeful without being too obvious! Last look in the mirror after applying that dab of 'kiss me' perfume and I realised there was something missing.....Rigby and Pellar could only do so much with the goods I had provided and Imy cleveage just wasn't saying "dip in" or words to that affect. Auntys birthday gift of Boots tanning pearls "because you always look so pale dear" came into their own and with a quick stroke of the brush in the right place I was doing a favourable impression of Marilyn Monroe. Amazing what a bit of shading can do. This stuff is great, it's just over £5 and it makes you look naturally tanned without giving that false orange glow that some products do. The balls are all different colours so that it doesn't look too concentrated and you brush your brush around the tub and apply. It's as simple as that. I use it for all over the face, as a subtle eye shadow by using a bit more colour, under the chin and around the boobs for a bit of definition. It seems to last for ever and it doesn't matter what your complexion is (except very dark skins) it looks great on everyone. I have very sensitve skin and have never had any problems with it. Now I know that this should just be for the face but it really doesn't matter as long as you're not trying to get an all over tan! So now I was ready for my date and it all went well. As he excused himself to go to th e loo I reapplied my lipstick for a pucker up later on, re dabbed the perfume and checked out the boobs. Not too bad but I needed a quick retouch. After all i didn't want to start off as a 38C and end up as a 36B. It all makes a a difference! No one was taking any notice and we had been sitting in a quiet corner so with a quick swirl of the brush on the beads I swiftly pulled out the top a litle to get the brush into the right places. Unfortunately I had been a bit too enthusiastic with my swirling in the tub and one of the balls had got caught in the brush. As I re shaded my boobs the ball dislodged itself, ran down the middle of my breasts and rolled about at the bottom of my bra. In a panic I pulled my top out even further and got a hand down there desperately trying to get a hand to it to get it out. The balls are small and fiddly to get hold of if you drop one. It was about that time that I remembered that men don't take as long as women to go to the loo and this thought was rushing around my head as I heard the swing door swing, signalling an exit from the loo. Yes, the potential man walked out of the toilet just as I had my hand down the middle of my boobs and cupped under one breast fiddling. I swung my hair around as a distraction technique, withdrew my hand artistically and gave him my dazzling smile but his eyes were firmly fixed on the disheveled state I had become in the two minutes he had been away. After a few moments of awkwardness I thought I had got away with it, although he did look more quizzically at my boobs from then on. It wasn't until I got home that I realised there was a tan line all the way along the seam of my top where the colour had rubbed off, making it look as if I hadn't washed for a week. Moral of this story, the product is great but don't overload the brush as it can rub off when it comes in contact with clothing or you can loose the balls! Will he ask me for another date..too early to tell.....but lets hope he hasn't read the op about wanting a baby ;-)
Well I suppose honesty is the best policy but it's a bit disappointing to write to an old 'friend' to find that they have no idea who you are! More about that later! Friendsreunited.co.uk is the best site I have come accross in a long time. People are talking about it all over the place as it's actually doing what the internet promised to do all those years ago - put people in touch! You can join for free but you do have to pay £5 as a one off fee if you want to email any friends on the site. It's the best £5 I have ever spent. There are sections for each school and school year and you can put in memories of teachers, other pupils, and anyone who turned out to be famous. Apparently Gerri Halliwell went to my grammar school, I'm not very proud of that and neither is the school who are refusing to put it in their prospectus! I moved away from my first school area quite young and my parents divorced so there was a gap in continuity as far as keeping in touch with old friends were concerned and it's amazing that so many of them are still around! The site does give people the opportunity to tell everyone how well they've done so there can be a one up man ship thing going on. So far though in my peer group there has not been too much of it, more a version of - how the hell are you all and isn't it great we're all still alvie! Looking at the numbers of people joining the site the favourite age does seem to be people in their thirties and early fourties although there are a smattering of older and younger than that. The atmosphere is almost a post war carnival thing in as much as people are celebrating the fact that they've got through the years since school and come out the other end..... It's a gread demonstration of how well viral marketing can work. Since I joined the site a week ago there have been another 6 people from my class join, all wanting to get in touch. All the contacts have been positive so far, everyone has been very adult about it and and there has been an unwritten understanding that this does not mean we are all going to be best buddies again. Times have changed and we have different priorities. My one 'failure' has been when I emailed a 'boy' from my class who has done well for himself and is working abroad for the BBC. My opener was asking if he remembered that afternoon we spent behind the bike sheds instead of in our physics lesson....I thought it had been a special afternoon which would be remebered as one of those first afternoons of heated adolescent groping! He replied that he thought honesty was the best policy and he didn't remember the afternoon or me at all! For years I have carried that afternoon with me as one of those times you would never forget. Apparently he didn't think the same was as I did! Perhaps he thought I wanted to revive our relationship...even though I'm looking to get pregnant (see other op) and he has got rid of his spots that thought hadn't entered my mind! Having said that though - the other boys may want to watch out ;-) All in all a great site that is reviving old memories that are priceless, if only to me!
As far as I aware there is no one offering nude motorbiking courses. This subject came up in conversation when a friend admitted on the 'phone that he had just been bringing in the washing from the garden and was nude. Having pondered on this image for some time and managed to shake it from the forefront of my mind to somewhere along the side, I certainly couldn't put it to the back of my mind, we started talking about other things people could do in the nude 'as nature intended'. Now of course, as a responsible biker I know that biking nude would be dangerous and irresponsible, especially for other road users! But hasn't there ever been that thought when you're riding abroad without a helmet with the wind flowing through your hair, of what it might feel like if you were wearing less clothes? I can't believe that on the odd campsite during the summer there haven't been bikers riding nude just for the hell of it - if only to get to the toilets in a hurry. If you have ever done this - and I'm not being drawn on this myself - then you will have realised that there are certain skills you wish you had been aware of before starting the bike up. 1. The pipes are a lot hotter without boots on. 2. The grass is a lot colder without boots on. 3. The dog poo is a lot squishier without boots on. 4. The pegs (tent and bike) are a lot harder without boots on. 5. Getting on and off the bike can be very revealing especially if you are female. 6.If you are female don't be surprised (especially if you have gone over a few bumps) if a type of suction has occured and there is a loud sucking sound as you try to get off. 7. If you are large breasted try to avoid rough terraine or do wear a crash helmet. 8. Only ignore the above advice if you are a goth and get away with two black eyes. 9. Unless you have a faring expect a colony of flies to have nested in your pubic area by the end of the ride. Once they're in they just can't get out! 10. Do ensure you have some means of carrying money just in case, it's always cool to return from a nude bike ride with an ice lolly to show your friends. 11. If eating an ice lolly on the bike do expect admiting glances from people who think you have dared to wear a pink and orange coloured all in one leather. 12.Avoid nude biking on a cold day if you have large amounts of chrome and don't want to become too attached to your machine. 13. However tempted you are don't wear socks, it spoils the game for the other campers playing guess the nationality of the nude biker. 14. Don't go nude biking to pick up the dinner. Balancing a plastic bag full of hot chinese take away containers can inhibit your riding and cause you to drive too quickly. 15.Only take part in nude biking if you are confdent that observers will not be pointing at the size of your exhausts in a comparative and knowing manner. Until this course has been accepted into the British Bike Riding community I feel that we are all missing out on what could be one of the most enjopyable aspects of riding ;-)
I was quite looking forward to this film, it's a nice way to spend a Wednesday evening with some popcorn and a bit of a laugh at the cinema. My first mistake was not to take any children with me, as they will find this funny, but if you've read my op on 'anyone want to be a Daddy' you will know that I haven't got any of my own to take and there weren't any handy to borrow locally so I went with a grown up friend!! The film is about the Dr played by Eddie Murphy and his quest to find a mate for a bear so the woodland in the area won't get buldozed for a development. All well and good this environmentally friendly stuff, but where were the laughs?? The Dr's daughter admits near the end of the film that she can also understand the animals and I inwardly groaned when I heard this, knowing that there will be another film with her joining in...... It is amazing how the animals have been trained to do what they do, and the techie wizards have done well with the lip sincs but the whole film just laboured on until the end. As with all Eddie Murphy films these days there was the normal farting jokes...all just too predictable! It was typically American with the family disobeying dad and eventually understanding why he had to do what he had to do and loving him for, it with a happy ending to boot. It was just too sugary sweet for my liking!! Normally I would be tolerant of a film if it's for kids by thinking it will be lovely as a Christmas day afternoon film but if this came on I would be switching off! We've seen this all before.....
I'm not a great fan of flowers in my hanging baskets as they always die so quickly and never look as good as anyone elses so I feel a complete failure!! There also seems to be competition between hanging basket owners to get the maximum number of blooms thay can in one container! I just don't want to get into a competition I know I haven't a hope in winning!! My best tip for a hanging basket has given me hours of pleasure and a real reward, I grow tomatoes. Does anyone know why tomatoes are fruits instead of vegetables? I do have a few flowers along the bottom to fill up the space but the top is planted with two tomato plants. This is in a 16 inch basket. Always chose those that don't need propping up or pinching out, I find the 'tumbler' variety the best. The tomaotes are sweet, there are loads on two plants and the best thing is that as I'm watering them late at night I can pinch a tomato and eat it. You can't get any fresher than that!! The smell of ripening tomatoes is also very evocative of a childhood spent in my Grandads greenhouse where he had rows of tomatoes to feed us all. On a summers evening, sitting on the step, listening to the water gently dripping from the basket, eating a baby tomato I've grown myself.....sometimes it just doesn't get any better! :-)
I'm single and if you've read some of my other op's know that so far I have not been successful in finding the right man to share my life with! As I am fiercely independent it's also unlikely that at 37 I'll find someone I want to share anything with, let alone my life, space etc etc :-) However, all of a sudden the unexpected has happened, something hormonal has kicked in and I am actually looking at babies in a meternal way instead of scowling at the Mothers as they wait by the tills in Sainsburys, no longer am I thinking people should not be allowed to bring their children here....but thinking what would I do if I brought my baby here...... So - how am I going to prepare for mature pregnancy. My friend is the same age and has just had her second baby, she was referred to as a geriatric mother right from the start. So she gave birth with gas and air at home to avoid all the preconceptions (excuse the pun!) that goes with older pregnancies. She was sensible and did everything that an older mother should do - which is about the same as a younger mother, take folic acid before pregnancy, ensure she eats the right things, lots of fruit and vegetables, and exercise. The other thing she did was to apply the right creams to the relevant bits during pregnancy to help them stretch at the right time. This is something older mothers need to do as they may have lost a bit of flexibility.....:-( The advanatages of being an older mother during pregnancy outweigh the disadvantages. There is an increased risk of a Downs Syndrome baby and they had considered this and decided to keep it if this was the case. The tests for this are less invasive now so the risk to the baby is less but they decided to just go with the ultra sound tests to tell them anything they needed to know. The advantages are that the mother is more mature and more likely to be able to take what life throws at them! My friend i s also financially better off having built a career first which means she can afford more choices for her child as time goes on. yes - I know that money isn't everything but it can be useful when you need to get away from it all!! This is not a criticism of younger mothers, everyone does their job differently as a parent. All in all, taking the health issues into account the only thing a mature mother needs to do is prepare herself mentally for a complete turn around in her world. With an increasing number of women having children in their late thirties, early fourties they no longer feel like a pariah at the school gate and can use their life experience to help them through. The main thing she needs to do is prepare herself mentally before getting pregnant......now all I have to do is find a father for my baby.......any offers?? :-)
When a friend of mine told me he had a spare ticket for the final rugby match in Sydney I thought long and hard for five or six seconds and decided to go over. After all you only live once, I had the money, I love live rugby and he has the most gorgeous eyes known to man or woman (not that they had anything to do with it at all) but in the heat in a foreign country ones imagination could run wild.... I got his message in the middle of the night as he was working on Oz time and as I couldn't sleep a wink I decided to get on to the internet and book my flight. I was excited to the point of frenzy, his description of the hotels he was staying in, the previous matches, the people he had met, the adventures he had was so enthalling that I was going whatever.... Two hours on the internet and I had lost enthusiasm slightly as I had discovered that everyone else was in a frenzy for the deciding match and had got there before me and booked the cheapest seats. The best price I found was a little over £3,000 which even for a girl on heat was slightly over the top....ok so I've never flown anything but economy before but I wasn't worried about the frills as I needed to sleep to get my strength up, after all long haul flights are tiring and i wanted to enjoy the experience (and the match of course) while I was there :-) All of a sudden, having gone through all the obvious sites such as cheap flights,last minute and anything for under a pound (ok I made the last one up) I found a flight for Sydney for less than £600, leaving when I wanted, giving me enough time to freshen up that underwear I hadn't worn for some time, and coming back at the right time for work. Credit card in hand I booked, got confirmation of my flight and was all set to go. I sent a message to my friend who was astounded that I was actually going (not the reaction I had expected) but he impressed with my get up and go - he hadn't seen anything yet....... My Father duly dropped me off at Heathrow worried about the fact that I was travelling such a long way for such a short time, amazed at my sudden enthusiasm for sport and slightly worried I think that I had to resort to travelling to the other side of the world for a shag, although of course he didn't mention that bit. I was a bit surprised at myself but had made this momentous decision to 'live a little'!! I checked in, did the duty free bit, kept checking my phone for messages just in case there was a problem picking me up at the airport and argued with the stewardess about the size of my hand luggage. After all a girl on a mission needs her essentials so she can waft off the plane looking gorgeous into the arms of her stunned friend who has never seen her looking so gorgeous before, and then in a hot country in a foreign land the heat gets the better of them as they fall into each others arms.......ok we've been here before....but believe me I had lived that moment many times since booking:-) Take off was great, and as I was such an experienced traveller let the captains voice waft over me, taking no notice as I busied myself with my books, moisturiser and water so I could leave the flight with a dew like complexion. It was only a couple of hours in that I discovered there are two Sydney airports, one in Australia and one in Canada...... Canada is a very interesting country and not one I had visited before. As the flight to Canada was a lot quicker than I had been expecting (something I hadn't noticed when booking) I was able to ring my friend and tell him not to wait at the airport for me and that I would explain when he got home but something had come up. He wasn't unduly upset which wasn't the reaction I had been expecting.....but he was really sorry I was going to miss the match. So much for romance in a foreign land... The moral of this story is w hen booking a flight on the internet check the details in full, because they expect you do know where you want to go. If you are a dip stick like me use a travel agent! The person most happy was my Dad knowing his daughters' honour was still in tact....;-)
The Snow Dome provides some of the best entertainment I have ever had in this country! With real snow it's the closest you can get to skiing without flying anywhere:-) The slope is 170 metres long with a separate slope for teaching now which makes it much more difficult to run a learner down!! Whether you are a skier, snow boarder or want to have a go on a toboggan you can get it at the snow dome. The amazing thing is that as it really is snow - well manufactures but real - you know what I mean - you can really smell snow and think that you are somewhere else instead of a tin looking structure with a conveyor belt! I was invited there for a corporate event, skiing tuition was available if you wanted it. There are two moving walkways that drag you up the slope and at the top a flat bit of snow to get yourself collected befoe launching yourself over the top. A bend in the course with a dip for good measure means that you get to practise all those moves you learnt on your last holiday - and we're not talking about chatting up the men here - before realising you are running out of slope and, as I did, executing my first sideways stop. What a feeling it was not to have hit the protective rubber at the end......is that another op?:-) The rubber is actually quite hard I found later on but if you're going at speed you're grateful for it. If you a controlled skier you are allowed on without supervision and the cost is £19 for an hour, and that hour goes past so quickly! If you want lessons they are from £22 but the more you get in the group the cheaper they are. Family tickets can work out cheaper depending on numbers and if you really get the bug and become a member the cost comes down. All the prices include all the equipment such as skis, boots and poles. They also offer group evenings out and we had skiing with an apres ski party afterwards in the bar with food an d gluwein thrown in. Eddie the Eagle also teaches there so you may get him as your tutor..whether that's a good thing or not I'm not sure :-) I've seen him a few times when I've been there and he's very popular with the ladies.... As a new snow dome has recently opened in Milton Keynes this one is definitely quieter, and if you go in July, August and September you will get some great deals. All in all a good evening out if only for the novelty factor, I highly recommend it.
I find thrillers really annoying sometimes as I'm tempted to cut through the crap and read the last page to find out who did it. How glad am I that this time I didn't. I was glued to my bed/chair/garden bench reading this book and my only regret is that I've finished the book. The main character is Lincoln Rhyme who is a tetraplegic which means he has no movement below his neck and a slight twitch on one finger. He is fighting an inner battle as to whether or not to end his own life when a seemingly unsolvable crime occurs in New York and as a retired criminologist he is asked to help out. The plot has more twists and turns then even I imagined and there is even a love interest which opens your mind to the needs of those in a wheelchair to be 'normal' when it comes to love and sex. The only criticism of the book would be the detail that he includes, such as real acene setting stuff, which sometimes bombards the mind with so much information I had to take a break and go back to it a few minutes later.However the book is all the better for it but it meant I couldn't rush the book! As the title suggests the suspect collects bones, stripping them in acid before sandpapering them to a smooth finish.... The best part is that in some desperate attempt to be discovered the killer leaves clues at each crime scene as to what he will be doing next. In a race against time the team try to unravel clues to save the next potential victim, and in one particular scene I actually found myself holding my breath as I read! It was also fascinating because of the detail as to what clues can now, with new technology, be gathered at a crime scene. Did you know that collecting hair is no good for DNA unless you have the root as well which holds all the information - well I found it interesting!! All in all this is a book I've been meaning to read for a while and I'm glad I used some of my Amazon vouchers from Dooyoo to buy it. There is a great twist at the end which I really didn't see coming. This is one of those books I will be keeping to read again!!
I took the plunge recently and decided to have my front garden landscaped. As I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to plants and the only ones I can keep going are plastic ones (and even those melt in front of the fire in the winter) idecided to employ a professional. 'It's not like Groundforce' I was warned 'Don't expect a garden in 2 days' I was Ok with that and having agreed plans, the price (gulp - more that I thought) the work began. I'm having grass - everything was previously tarmac - paving to the front door, raised beds, a bit of gravel and two benches.....it looks nicer than it sounds I promise :-) Anyway - two days of digging up the tarmac have elicited the following comments from my neighbours who until now have been really lovely but over the last two days have taken to standing looking over the front wall and making snide comments..... 'We decided not to do our garden, as it didn't seem worth spending money in this type of area' 'Well anything will be better than the eyesore we have had to put up with for the last 5 years' 'The problem with having a nice garden is that it will emphasise how horrible the house really is' To cap it all - having paid a fortune to get the tarmac up I arrived home this afternoon to find a tarmac company about to re-tarmac the garden...........someone had ordered it and they were getting on with it in my absence....a passing neighbour had said it would probably be OK......but they didn't know who it was.... My advice - get groundforce in then everyone loves it because they can be on the TV!! I only wanted to improve my aspect through the front windows and I've fuelled a feud! My final thought is that it must be looking good for them to be sooo jealous :-) I'm just waiting for the cans to end up in my garden as they walk past....
There are sometimes good reasons to rent, if you are only going to be in an area for a short time for example. However, the property next to mine has three flats rented out and everyone of them is tennanted by people who thought they wouldn't be there long and have been there over a year. Not everyone can afford to buy because of all the associated costs such as stamp duty (on purchases over £60,000), solicitors costs, mortgage fees and survey costs. But if you add up the difference it costs to buy and to rent you will probably have spent that amount of money in a year and not have anything to show for it. A lot depends on the interest rates of course but at the moment it would be as follows - Now here's the science bit.....:-) Example: In Northampton a 2 bed flat rents from £400 to £600 depending on condition and area. Lets take £500 a month as an average. To rent it you will need to pay out a months rent in advance plus a months rent deposit which is £1,000. The rent will cost you £500 a month which is £6,000 a year. If you were to buy the flat at £55,000 your costs would be approximately as follows: To buy Abbey National rate of 6.15%. I'm not endorsing this lender just using them as an example!! £2750 deposit (5%) although they do 100% mortages. Survey of approx £150 No stamp duty Solicitors fees from £195 - lets say £250 to be realistic Disbursements such as work on behalf of the lender, land registry checks etc £400 Total cost £3,550. Mortgage payments on interest only £268 buildings and contents insurance £30 a month Life assurance/savings plan £70 a motnh depending on age Total monthly cost of £368 Other costs such as water rates, poll tax etc I have left out as these are payable whether renting or buying in this case. So renting costs £500 Buying £368 Difference of £132 a month. Mult iply this by 12 months and you have 'saved' £1,584 in a year. take that from the deposit and buying costs and it has cost you £1,966 to own a property which is likely to go up in value, and if you move on you can rent out to someone else..... I have done this a few times as I have moved around the country and I have accumulated a few houses with lovely tennants in. You do have the costs of maintenance but with the values going up and the rent covering the mortgage and some more so far it has always been worth it. Bear in mind that if you rent a house out you must tell your lender. Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate, you don't need huge sums to start off and with a bit of help from family and friends it doesn't take too much to get on the property market! I think that paying rent is lost money so avoid it at all costs!
I could never be accused of being house proud and I'm not famed for my tidy nature but when a visitor of mine threw up over one of my carpets I had no option but to get my carpets cleaned. In my defence I should say here that I do have a cleaner every week so the house does get cleaned - but not by me :-) Having received several quotations from companies who thought that a large house meant a large profit for them, not a large mortgage for me, I decided it would eventually be more cost effective to buy a carpet cleaner and be done with it. I had no intention if using it myself, but was going to ask my friend to clean the carpets as penance for throwing up on them. I looked on Dooyoo - made my choice of a steam cleaner and dashed off to the town to make my purchase. As with all new things you have to have one little go with it yourself....I was hooked. So far since Sunday afternoon I have cleaned all the bathrooms, kitchen including the cooker, all the wooden floors and the carpets - going up three storeys. I am running out of things to clean and am getting desperate. This cleaner is pure genius......using normal tap water you wait ten minutes for the water to heat to steam and then you just clean. The steam lifts and loosens any dirt that is ground in so you just wipe it away. With carpets you can just run the cleaner over them or if there are difficult marks you can target them using the steam 'gun' All the acessories are included and I even cleaned the mirrors using the squeegie thing. They have two sizes, for windows and mirrors. Can you tell I'm excited???? Stains that were there before I moved in have gone and the carpet, which is hoovered once a week, has shed dirt and cat hairs like there is no tomorrow. Now - I don't want you thinking I am dirty at home, as I think if anyone used this cleaner they would be surprised at the dirt th at comes up - but now I want to be dirty just to use the cleaner again!! Have I reached that middle aged place where you start to put your herbs in alphabetical order, is this the time when the cardigans emerge and I start to think that mothballs are a useful thing to have around the house?? I hope not - I blame it on the cleaner which has woken up a part of me I didn't know existed...cleanliness around the home :-))
What would you do if you were told that because you were of a specific ethnic minority you could not use the toilet in a restaurant? Would there be an uproar??? Damm right there would be. Would anyone in their right minds runa restaurant like that? Not if they wanted to stay in business. However when a friend of mine, who happens to be a paraplegic, and I decided to go out for dinner one evening this happened. We chose the restaurant with care, choosing one with good food, a great wine list and disabled access. I know the architect who designed the restaurant and the ramp looks like it is just a great design feature, doesn't smack of people on wheels at all! We booked the table because we can't have one of the tables on the balcony as my friend can't get up there. So the staff were aware that there was a wheelchair en route. Not long after arriving another wheelchair diner turned up - quite a rare thing to come across another person in a wheelchair. I'm a biker, and like bikers wheelchair users nod to each other as they pass by!! The night was going well, the wine had flowed well and we had decided to order a cab and leaving my friends car behind. 'Just wait a minute while I pop to the loo' he said as he wheeled himself round the corner. He wheeled back pretty quick with the news that the loo was locked. 'No problem though, I'll go and ask for the key' A bit embarrassing, but hey when you have to ask for the key - you have to ask for the key! 'Unfortunately' we were told 'the disabled toilet is out of order' It appeared that the loo was blocked and no one had yet arrived to sort the problem out, three days after it was originally reported. This often happens with disabled loos as many people use them to have covert sex because of the rom size! Whatever it is they put doen the loo afterwards causes it to block a nd that is the end of that! So - what to do? No way my friend can use anyother loo, and as the disabled loo is unisex there isn't the choice of popping into the ladies. So - this resaurant - by their actions - had discriminated against my friend and he couldn't even go to the toilet - one of the most simple bodily fuctions without a fuss. No dignity! I asked the question - what would they have done had all the ladies toilets been blocked - would they have got them sorted before now? My question was answered with an embarrassed look. We rushed back to his house but it did put a bit of a dampner (so to speak) on the evening. After all - here he is - leading as 'normal' a life as possible as you can without the use of your legs and he can't even use the loo when he's out. All of this caused - we were told- by people chosing to have sex in the disabled toilet. I have to say that had I been aware before that this was an option I would probably have visited disabled friendly bars more often - however I would have chosen not to stuff the results of my assignation down the loo. Could everybody else please do the same??