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I own a 55 reg 1.6 LX (115ps) 5 door, which is the 111bhp version rather than the normal 98bhp 1.6 version. I got it cheap from an auction because it seems no one wants these cars. However I'm guessing it will have zero resale value.
I get 31 miles to the gallon round town and 33 miles to the gallon on longer runs, which seems to be about the same as other owners so it is not great in the fuel efficiency department. The emissions are also not good and so you'll end up paying a fair amount in road tax too. A few reviews have said that power is lacking, but I have never found this even with 4 people and a boot full. The car also has a 4 star NCAP safety rating which I consider very important.
Mine has developed a fault with the power steering pump, apparently this is a common fault with the cars. It wouldn't be so bad just under the bonnet the layout of everything is a complete nightmare where you can't get access to anything. To replace this you need to take the front of the car off, ridiculous. Although this would have been covered by an extended warranty I didn't take one out, and so ended up with a cost of £700 to replace such a small thing. Apparently there are other common faults such as the with the electronics.
The ride is very comfortable and smooth, and the handling of the car is great. The higher seating position is great, especially if you have trouble getting in and out of vehicles and also gives you good visibility. Although one point on visibility is that one of the struts of the roof is very thick and is positioned exactly where you need to look when approaching roundabouts.
Inside the car the rear seats fold down in a few ways or can be easily removed. The boot is fairly large anyway. The CD player and speakers are fine. Fully adjustable seat and steering column which allows good comfort while driving.
Overall I really like the car, but I really worry about the reliability of it, and then the subsequent cost of getting it repaired. If you can get one still covered by a warranty then I'd recommend it. But my next car I'll be looking to buy something more fuel efficient and reliable.
Pitpass is a site that brings you news from Formula 1 and other motorsport series such as GP2 and GP3.
What matters is content, and Pitpass has by far the best content of any F1 site I have come across. Pitpass is not as glamorous as some other F1 sites, and can be slow to bring you breaking news, and lacks some features other sites have such as forums, and the look and interface to the site isn't great. However, and its a big however, all the above faults are irrelevant because of the great articles and comprehensive news coverage.
The site doesn't have a forum, instead you have the more traditional route of writing to the journalists where they vet out all the worthless speculation and uniformed debate that is prevalent on every forum on the internet. And they are proper journalists - they actually try and check the validity of rumours before publishing them which can make them look slow to bring you 'breaking news'. The journalists seemingly have a lot of connections with motor sport and the proper press and use those connections to bring you exclusives and well informed editorials that offer far more insight into the sport than anywhere else on the internet. The journalists treat the reader as having a lot more interest and value in the sport than just 'celebrity' and this is reflected in their coverage or a range of issues. One small example is they provide information given by various F1 teams before and after races, there is often not much of 'shock value' or controvesy in them so they are not published on other more tabloid style sites. But to proper F1 enthusiasts, we want to hear what the people on the ground actually in the sport have to say, and Pitpass reflects that.
So while the site could do with a slight image change to make it look the part, it certainly already is the part where it really matters in the content department - this site is way ahead of the rest.
Planet-f1.com is a website dedicated to providing news and editorials on Formula 1 racing. Note, this is the same site as planetf1.com.
This is one of the more popular sites regarding F1, they have all the latest news, results, galleries. And they also have a forum that is used by a vast number of people so a great place to chat with fellow f1 enthusiasts.
This site is a very tabloid style site however. All the news is more just gossip and rumours and the site seems to place more emphasis on getting new content out on the internet first before their competitors and not on checking the validity of stories or offering particularly great insight. They have facebook and twitter integration in keeping with the very 'Web 2.0' ethos of having more style than content.
That is however not always a bad thing, F1 is often all about hype, glamour and style over substance so the site fits well with this image, and a lot of the articles offer humour and gossip that make an interesting reading during a 5 minutes break at work for example.
In summary, an often read website with good contact with other f1 buffs, but expect tabloid style articles to entertain, rather than anything offering any insight into the sport.
This is my favourite children's book of all time. I loved it when I was a child over 20 years ago, and my children love it now.
The story is essentially a man wants to visit a star, so builds a rocket and sets off. However the industry required to build the rocket creates lots of pollution. While the man is in space, the dinosaurs awake and clean up the planet. Needless to say when the man gets to the star, it's rather boring and he sets off back to earth where he finds his paradise, but oh no... the dinosaurs have taken over. Thankfully the dinosaurs are a lot nicer than man.
The description of this book says its for ages of 4+, but do not let that make you think this is a young children's book. This book contains some very deep philosophical view points that even a lot of adults still fail to grasp. One for example is that we must not simply consume everything on the planet - a very strong message today, and clearly well ahead of it's time when it was written. The person in the book is simply referred to as 'the man' and represents all mankind allowing everyone to relate to him. Another message is that we should appreciate what we currently have, rather than 'the grass is greener' mentality, and the dangers of seeking 'paradise'. At the end of the book there is also what I interpret as a dig at capitalism, where 'the man' is not allow to own anything, but allowed to share everything.
But it does not push any of these messages in your face. The book just tells a story with lovely artwork and so young children of 3 and up can still very much enjoy the themes of space travel and dinosaurs coming back to life, and the older children of well over 10 can start to draw more deeper meanings from the book.
Despite being a slightly older children's book, this has not aged at all, and perhaps is even more relevant now than ever. Everyone should have a copy of this book. So much is contained with in such a simple story, Michael Foreman is a genius. I can not say enough how impressed I still am with this book 20+ years on from first reading it.
Nick Sharratt is fast becoming the family's favourite children's book author. With this book Nick tells the familiar stories of Jack and the Bean Stalk, The Three Little Pigs, and the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
The stories are well rehearsed but often you find other books slightly altering these classic tales, but these remain faithful to certainly what I am familiar with as the stories. The stories are also long enough that one book is often enough for a bedtime read. He tells the stories with some great pictures, pop-up sections, and lift up flaps on each page.
This is a book that my 4 year old loves, and my 7 year old can also enjoy. It's not an instant classic like I think some of his other books are, but that is only because he's simply telling an old story rather than inventing his own. I would recommend this book over any other I've come across to tell these 3 stories to young children.
The first Nick Sharratt book I have read was Octopus Socktopus, which the kids absolutely loved:
so I got on the internet to see if there was any other books like it, and I was over joyed to find there was!
This book much like Octopus Socktopus has a lot of different rhyming elephant characters (such as on the front cover - an elephant wearing wellington boots, so called 'wellyphant'), with pop-ups and other movable parts in the book, which are all funny and inventive.
The kids love this book, and the youngest one (4 years old) will want this book read to him over and over again (perhaps this is the only downside to the book...).
Nick Sharratt seems a great children's author with a lot of innovative books that really get young children interested in reading themselves. I strongly recommend you check out this book along with his others.
This is simply one of the greatest and most innovative children's books I have ever seen. I have to give this book 5 out of 5 (but would give it 6 if possible).
Written by Nick Sharratt it is basically a few pages of rhyming octopus with various characteristics as can be seen on the front of the cover, such as an octopus wearing socks, hence socktopus. There are drawings of each octopus and a lot of the pages have pop ups, or fold outs, or bits that move.
This book really helped my youngest child start talking when he was 3 as the words rhyme and the absurdness made him laugh. Now he is a year older he still goes back to this book time and time again. My older child (7 years old) also loves this book, but does get a little (understandably!) fed up with because it is read time and time again.
The only downside is that it is a little short, and so great you really want more. There is also Nick's other book in the same vain of Elephant Wellypant about elephants that is equally as great.
A nice little book that I've got for my 4 and 7 year olds. Story about a little boy's imagination running wild about dragons everywhere written by Helen Ward. Although the book has a fair few pages, there is not much text to each page, and instead is filled with lovely grainy drawings of the dragons and the 'dragon machine' illustrated by Wayne Anderson.
My 4 year old loved the pictures and the idea of dragons everywhere and took everything in a literal sense. On a few of the pictures there are dragons hidden and you can play 'spot the dragon' with the odd foot or tail sticking out places.
My 7 year old understood the dragons weren't real and just the boy's imagination and where the dragons were causing trouble it was just really him.
But overall the story didn't really make that much sense (if imaginations are supposed to) - just the boy saw dragons then had to build a machine to take the dragons back to where they should live, nothing particularly fun or exciting but a good bedtime story for smaller children.
Richer Sounds is a specialist home entertainment supplier that offers good value products because they save on overheads by having their shops small and not in prime high street locations. Richersounds.com is the website for the series of national stores.
There are many great deals on a lot of different home entertainment products on offer here, often far cheaper than other well know online or high street shops. There is the problem however that you can order very little from the actual website, instead you can view what they have and you are encouraged to go into the shops and pick one up. There is also no guarrentee the products they have on the website actually tally up with the prices and stock in the shops - so make sure you phone up your local store to check it is in stock, and also mention the price you saw it online for to get the good deal.
There is also the clearence section which can have some even better deals available, but in my experience it is often very old models being sold and the deals on the new stock are even better.