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    • Tesco Optician / Health Product / 52 Readings / 49 Ratings
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      07.07.2009 12:24
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      No more long waits for an appointment, great choice of frames.

      Tesco Optician

      I decided to try my local Tesco Opticians a few months back, I had been thinking about getting my eyes tested for quite a while because my old reading glasses were not doing their job as well as they used to, but I kept putting it off because of the expense.

      One Sunday after doing the weekly shop I walked passed the Opticians and noticed free eye test and reading glasses from £15. Plus club card points; so on the spur of the moment I made an appointment, they made me one for the following day. That impressed me where else could you go on a Sunday and get a slot for the following day?

      When I visited the store the next day I was taken into a cubicle to get the test for glaucoma the girl was very nice and put me at ease straight away, this took all of five minutes then after a two minute wait I was taken into another cubicle for the eye test.

      They were very thorough and professional, in fact it surprised me just how much time the optician spent with me when all I needed was a pair of reading glasses.

      After he had done all the tests he asked if I found the world a bit bleak! I quickly quipped back 'Well yes sometimes I can get a bit low' he laughed and asked me to read the lowest line of a chart on the wall I couldn't even see the letters then he popped a lens into the examination specs on my eyes and everything became so clear, I was absolutely gob smacked.
      I had quite bad vision for long distance and hadn't realised, it comes on so slowly that you just accept it.

      He advised me not to drive until I had glasses which totally shocked me at the time.

      I was advised to go for 'Vari Focals' and was then taken out to browse through the frames that were suitable for these types of lenses. I got a bit lost at this stage I really didn't know what would suit me but one of the assistants kindly helped and gave me her opinion.
      They had an offer on of 'buy one get one free' so I chose two pairs and paid £149.

      They marked up the lenses with a special glass pen going by my prescription and I had to pay for them straight away, and they told me that they would be ready within seven days.

      Three days late I received a phone call to let me know that my glasses had arrived in the store and that I could pick them up any time suitable to me.
      I called in the following day and they checked that both pairs fitted my face comfortably and gave me advice on how to look through them for close up and long distance.

      I could not get on with them at first they gave me terrible headaches so I returned to the store for them to check the lenses they assured me that I would get used to them and suggested that I give them a further fortnight but if I still found them unsuitable then they would change them for a pair of long distance and the other for reading free of charge.

      I did eventually master my glasses and now I can read road signs from quite a distance. To be quite honest it has amazed me just how hazy my eye sight was so I will definitely be going for regular checks in future and I will be using Tesco because of the excellent service and the good prices.

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        13.05.2009 17:12
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        I would not hesitate to book here again it was an enjoyable and comfortable stay.

        ***Introduction***

        I had a flight booked from Manchester to Rhodes three weeks ago but unfortunately the check in time was 5.30 am. I really needed to be refreshed on my arrival because it was a business trip so I decided to check into Bewleys Hotel the night before, I have on previous occasions driven from home to the airport and found it very tedious and stressful normally leaving me feeling like a washed up dish rag by the time I arrived at my destination.



        ***The Hotel***

        It is situated about three minutes walk from terminal 3 but also provides a 24 hour shuttle service to all the terminals.

        I actually travelled by train to the airport and on arrival I located the free phone in the main concourse to contact the shuttle service, they picked me up within five minutes which impressed me no end.

        It is a large hotel and offers double, twin and family size accommodation, they also have several wheelchair adapted rooms and a very rare touch today smoking and non smoking.

        I personally always like to have a non smoking room even though I do enjoy the odd puff because I have found that in other hotels the smoking floors are normally really smelly and fusty but it is still nice to be given the option.

        This hotel is geared up for travellers using the airport and offers parking facilities at reasonable rates.

        35.00 Up to eight days.
        45.00 Up to 15 days.
        These charges are for off site parking, you leave your car and they take it away to a parking pound and then return it to the hotel on the day of your return.

        ***Reception***

        On arrival I checked in at reception, this was a highly glossed long desk and there were three receptionists behind it all dressed in immaculate uniforms.

        I had to give them my debit card details even though I had already paid for the room when I booked but this is normal practice in most hotels nowadays.

        I was asked if I need an early wake up call and if I would like them to prepare me a light breakfast; I just opted for the call because I had three hours of hanging around after check in for my flight so plenty of time to grab a bite to eat later.

        The reception area was large and spacious with leather chairs and sofas placed around highly polished coffee tables and it led into a large bar area with a brasserie restaurant off that. I was really impressed; it all looked so plush and relaxing.

        My room was on the third floor and a lift swiftly took me in about ten seconds flat. I noticed that all the carpets along the corridors were a plush red and gold colour they certainly gave the place a warm feeling and pictures scattered every few yards gave it that final classy touch.



        ***Rooms***

        On entering the room using the swipe card the first thing that hit me was the actual size of it, there were pine coloured cupboards far more than needed for an over night stay, a trouser press, a long dresser with a huge square mirror above it, two king size beds covered in pure white duvets, a huge sofa with a coffee table opposite the television and finished off with a floor to ceiling window.

        I was really impressed and it does take a lot to bowl me over like that, I was beginning to wish that I had booked in for more than one night.
        Tea and coffee facilities a hair drier and internet access added the final comfort touch.

        The bathroom was fully tiled and bright with a heated towel rail, bath shower and a loo that sported a very posh lid, I don't know why I remember that detail but it just made the bathroom that little bit more luxurious.



        ***Restaurant and bars***

        The Brasserie restaurant offers a la carte in the evenings and the main bar has a snack menu served until 11.30 at night.

        I had a quick glimpse at the Brasserie menu, it all looked nice but a bit expensive so being on my own I opted for the bar menu.
        I had a bowl of vegetable soup with a hot crispy roll and then a salad sandwich which arrived with chips and about three different dips, this was all washed down with a large glass of house white and cost me under ten pounds.

        I could have had room service from the same menu for 3.50 more but I was happier to sit in the luxury of the bar and read a complimentary newspaper.

        ***Comfort***

        I ate a great meal in the evening and slept like a log in one of the huge beds, I must add here that when I actually got into bed I snuggled down under a feather filled quilt and pillows. Pure luxury and then the phone rang and broke the lovely dream I was having about winning the lottery. It was my early call from reception so I mumbled a gurgled thank you and threw the covers back.

        I tried the shower and this really woke me up so after two cups of coffee I made my way to reception.

        The shuttle bus arrived again within five minutes, yes I know I could have walked it in two minutes but I am lazy and it was raining. Before I knew it I was at terminal three and ready to check in with ten minutes to spare.


        ***Location and Booking details***

        Outwood Lane
        Manchester Airport
        Manchester
        M90 4HL

        You can book direct with the hotel by phone but I went to their booking site and found this very easy and quick.

        Tel. +44(0)161 498 0333
        ManchesterAirport@BewleysHotels.com


        ***Prices***

        At the moment they are offering rooms from 59.00 per night or one night and up to 15 nights parking 99.00.
        I did notice on their web site that they offer special rates occasionally so it is worth going to this first.


        ***Overall view***

        This hotel is ideal for staying in if you have an early flight or even to stay in after a late flight home.
        It is comfortable, extremely plush, and the staff cannot do enough to ensure that your stay is enjoyable.

        I chose it because it was so near to the airport and because of the price and I can honestly say I got far more than I ever expected.
        I give this hotel 11 out of 10. A most enjoyable stay I just wish that I had booked two nights.

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          10.04.2009 14:00
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          A hotel that I would definately stay in again

          I had a very hectic Christmas last year cooking for the family and generally doing far too much eating and drinking, so when it came to New Years Eve I was worn out, and to be quite honest just could not face another knees up to see the New Year in.

          My husband came up with the idea of going for a pint at tea time then back home for a night in front of the television. I agreed with that idea and then he piped up that we would have to go to bed early because we were getting up at six in the morning to drive to Scarborough and staying over night in the grand Hotel.

          Scarborough is about three and a half hours drive from where we live so we took a steady pace travelling over the moors keeping away from the motorway. It was great no stress and gorgeous scenery.

          There was quite a lot of snow on the moors but the roads were clear and all the trees looked as if they had been sprinkled with icing sugar it was just like a typical Christmas card scene.

          We stopped for breakfast along the way and finally arrived in Scarborough at about lunch time feeling totally refreshed after the mad week that we had had.

          We managed to find a parking space outside the hotel and check in was very quick and easy, we paid £75 for the one night and this included evening meal and breakfast the next morning. The only thing that we were not expecting was a £4.50 charge for parking but never mind it was not worth worrying about.

          The main reception area was very regal looking with a huge stair case going up to the second floor I have never seen a staircase like it, and the leather sofas placed throughout the reception gave the whole hotel a welcoming feel.

          There are three lifts to access the floors and these moved very slowly compared to other lifts that I have been in but again it did not cause us a problem we were there to unwind after all.

          Our room was on the fourth floor and to our delight it was a sea view with a large bed, sofa, television and tea and coffee making facilities.
          The bathroom was large with a Jacuzzi bath in and a nice touch I thought was the bottles of lotions and potions provided they certainly hadn't scrimped with these.

          Now I come to the comical part of this tale.....I just had to try this Jacuzzi bath so I filled it up with piping hot water and poured a liberal amount of bubble bath in, as I said the management had not been stingy with the stuff. I got into the bath and then turned it on, wow was it powerful especially on full blast, I tried the low setting but that was a wee bit tame for me.......Yes I bet you have guessed by now....There was bubbles every where I couldn't see a thing and had to fight my way out of the foam to find a towel.

          After cleaning up the bathroom and putting up with my husbands rips of laughter we decided to take a walk on the promenade, we were not expecting much to be open with it being New Years Day but there were people every where I was surprised. We bought a bag of chips to eat as you do when you go to the sea side and just wandered it was great.

          Before we returned to the hotel we decided to have a dabble in one of the amusement arcades and I won £65 on a fruit machine after three goes so we scooped up the money much to the disgust of the lady on the next machine, and we took a walk back to the hotel.

          This hotel is actually on a cliff top and walking down to the promenade earlier I didn't realise how much lower the prom was to the hotel. Never mind I remembered that there was an escalator to take you back up to the hotel so we walked right to the end of the pier and alas it was not working that day with it being a bank holiday.

          It was a painful climb up a load of steps and I was starting to feel really cold, finally at the top we staggered into the hotel and straight to the bar for a brandy, it certainly made me feel better and the second one definatley hit the right spot.

          The evening meal was served from 5.30 to eight o'clock so we decided to go down at half seven. The restaurant was a huge room and I liked the way the tables were placed there was plenty of room; I just hate a restaurant that packs people in like cattle.

          The buffet style meal was great, there was plenty of choice from fish to three sorts of meat, and all the vegetables were fresh. Everything was piping hot and I can honestly say we both thought it was excellent right down to the efficiency of the staff. This hotel has definitely got its catering right.

          Our room was very comfortable and after a good relaxing sleep we decided to try the delights of the restaurant again for our breakfast.
          Again it was spot on we were brought our pot of coffee within seconds of sitting down and we enjoyed a full English with toast and marmalade. I did have a good look at what was on offer, cold meats, cheese etc , fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurts there was something to suit everybody's taste and it was all displayed nicely.

          After we checked out and got in the car we both said at the same time 'Now that's a hotel that I would stay in again.'
          So if you are ever in Scarborough do give this place a try it is excellent value for money.

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            08.10.2008 17:28
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            Avoid this place for a meal.

            I have just had lunch in the Barrow in Furness 'Weatherspoons.'

            It is furnished really nicely with old pictures of the town scattered around the walls and three areas of seating some normal tables and a few higher tables near the windows.

            The menu was quite extensive but I decided to have the special lunch for 4.95 with a free drink.

            There was a choice of burger in a toasted bun with salad and chips, breaded fish and chips or a veggie burger with salad and chips, drinks were a pint of lager or soft drink so not bad value.

            I opted for the burger and a diet coke I would have had the lager but alas I was driving.

            The meal came after fifteen minutes and looked quite presentable with a good portion of chips and a thick chunky burger in a round bun with salad. A nice touch was a pot of tomato relish.

            The chips were dry and tasted as if they had been cooked in dirty oil, inspecting the burger I noticed that the lettuce was bruised as if it had been in quite a few burgers served before mine and left on the plate.

            The meal was not going very well at this point, I cut into the burger with difficulty because it was dry and resembled a piece of leather it tasted bitter and had a hint of the dirty oil like the chips. To be quite honest I got the impression that it had been cooked and then reheated to order.

            Needless to say I left my meal and vowed never to eat there again.

            I don't like to completely slate a restaurant but the meal here was bad, if they cannot get even chips right I don't think that anything else on the menu would be very nice to eat either.

            I did visit the toilets and found them to be immaculate so maybe I will enter this establishment again if I am in that part of the town and need to spend a penny but not to eat.

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            • The council tax / Discussion / 92 Readings / 91 Ratings
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              29.09.2008 14:13
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              When will this robbery stop!

              Council tax is getting so out of hand. I pay more and more each year to Furness Council but they are now talking about cutting the rubbish collection down to once a fortnight.

              I never see a police man around our neighbourhood and when I did have cause for reporting a crime they didn't even bother to get back to me.

              Half the street lights are on the blink in my road, pavements are in need of an extreme make over before somebody has an accident, (now there's a thought, why not sue the council and get some of my money back!!!!!!)

              No that is not a good idea, it would cause the tax to go up yet again and of course it is not a legal act is it!

              What does the council do with all the money? I know the Mayor and all his cronies have quite a few business trips and travel first class, that caused a storm in the local paper letter page I can tell you, but it doesn't matter what us council tax payers say we still have to pay it.

              Every year I receive my bill and it always states on the bottom that if I want to arrange monthly payments then I must contact them without delay. I do every year and get the same conversation.

              They always say that I can pay my council tax bill by direct debit over ten months starting in April and the last payment being in January.

              I always come back with I don't want to pay by direct debit I want to pay by standing order, it gets a reaction every year but eventually they agree to this method.

              I then go on to discuss the payments over twelve months as it is my legal right, this always gets sticky because they just don't like it you see. Why should I pay in advance and have two months break for February and March? I don't really care if their computer doesn't like it, I eventually win because they know that I have them over a barrel.

              I make sure that I keep to the payment plan rigidly because they take no prisoners when it comes to collecting this tax as a friend of mine found out last year.

              She was struggling for money and asked for help but they would not bend by allowing her to reduce her payments ,she skipped a few payments and eventually the letter arrived stating pay up the full amount for the year or we will take you to court because you have lost your right to the payment plan.

              At this stage she was really struggling and because they didn't help her a few months ago she ignored the letter and after twenty eight days she recieved a summons with about 150.00 added to the debt.

              She had no choice but to pay up otherwise bailiffs would have been brought in, she lent the money to get out of the hole but learnt a big lesson. 'Never cross the council tax Collectors' they will just send the entire bill to a collection agency and that must be a horrible predicament to be in.

              Is it worth working in this country any more? I could get this tax paid, get free prescriptions and a roof over my head if I went sick, it is such a sad state of affairs when I start to think like this but I suppose I will carry on working to keep my pride but am I doing the right thing?

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                27.09.2008 13:48
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                Good quality Tissues that cost pennies

                Tesco value facial tissues come in a plain white box with a bold red band along the bottom there is a blue Tesco Logo on the oval perforated cardboard in the top of it, this can be removed quite easily to pull out tissues as required.

                There is also the FSC logo shaped like a tree this is to show that Tesco are involved with the preservation of world forests, I must admit I didn't really take much notice of that logo when buying them I was more impressed with the price.



                Quality.

                Not bad really I must admit I have tried more expensive brands and these are a lot thinner but for a 2 ply tissue at a value price I certainly can't complain. I am nursing a chronic cold at the moment and these certainly do the job.

                Cost.

                27p per box!!!!!!!!!
                Can you believe it? Now I think that is excellent value for money, you cannot post a first class letter for that nowadays.

                Over all view.

                These tissues are so inexpensive because Tesco keep the packaging simple and of course there is nothing wrong with that at all.

                I will buy them again because they are handy for keeping in the car as well as around the house.
                I find myself pulling one out to clean my glasses, wipe a small spillage up and even to remove make up.

                A good quality product gets ten out of ten from me.

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                  26.09.2008 16:59
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                  I have eaten quite a few of these in my time but still cant belly dance!

                  Frys Turkish Delight by Cadbury's is an acquired taste some people may find it quite sickly but others like my self would adore the taste.

                  It is a small square of milk chocolate 2.75 inches by 2inches with a filling of pink jelly 0.25 inches thick. I know this because I have just had a ruler out and measured the divine slab of mouthwatering chocolate feast......

                  Believe it or not it has taken me two minutes to eat it, I chewed it really slowly to get the full benefit of its taste I only got four bites, it is defiantly getting smaller or maybe my mouth is just getting bigger!!!

                  The Turkish jelly is very soft and tastes quite flowery, roses come to mind here, and the chocolate covering is quite thin but compliments the jelly to perfection.

                  Cost

                  62p from my local paper shop but I know that the multi packs in supermarkets are only about 1.59 for four bars.

                  Storage.

                  Best kept in the fridge because they are a lot nicer chilled.

                  Wrapping and Nutrition.

                  This chocolate treat comes wrapped in a purple tin foil wrapper claims to be 92% fat free and the entire bar is 185 calories.

                  I have tasted authentic Turkish delight and this chocolate bar comes no where near but it is still delicious but a wee bit sickly if you eat more than one.

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                  • Bosch WFD 2471 / Washing Machine / 69 Readings / 67 Ratings
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                    24.09.2008 12:28
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                    • "Ease of use"

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                    washes well on cool washes and doesnt take forever.

                    BOSCH 2471 model

                    I had a bout of having to replace washing machines every year or so, I just could not find a good model that would last and I got so fed up of having to get engineers out and paying exorbitant charges for repairs.

                    I decided to do a bit of investigating and find a reliable make so after trawling the internet I decided on a Bosch model.

                    This was three years ago and I bought the 2471 model for 249.00 from Comet and I decided to take out the five year insurance to cover breakdowns for 149.50 just to give me peace of mind.

                    It was delivered within a week and they even took my old one away at a cost of 10.00.

                    Description.

                    It is white with a front loading door and above the door is a detergent and softener draw then three easy to push buttons one to start the machine the middle one for extra rinsing if required and then the rinse hold button. I must admit I never use the rinse buttons because I am happy with this machine washing on its normal cycles.

                    There are three lights that go on during a cycle to show you how far on it is, for example washing rinsing and spinning then the spinner light flashes on and off to let you know that it is finished.

                    The programme selector dial is very easy to understand, there is a choice of woollens, delicates, easy care, cottons and linens and a boil and prewash cycle.

                    Installation.

                    The adjustable feet are easy to turn when you are installing the machine it is important that you get it sitting level before use otherwise it would damage the drum but that is common sense but thought I would just mention it.

                    There is a cold fill hose that needs to be connected and an outlet hose so it is not rocket science to get it all up and running.

                    Care and maintenance.

                    There is a plate right at the base of the machine that is easy to remove using a coin to turn the plastic screws and here you can clean the pump or remove any foreign objects if necessary I have only cleaned it twice in three years and did find a lot of fluff and a few coins so it is quite handy.

                    The detergent drawer is easy to remove for cleaning it is amazing how they can get grotty and sticky after a few weeks and slimy soap is certainly one of my pet hates.

                    Spin Speeds.

                    This depends on the programme selected for delicates it is 800rpm and goes up to 1200rpm for hotter washes.

                    Length of cycles.

                    For a heavy duty wash it takes 118 minutes, but to be quite honest the washing detergents on the market today are that good it is very rare that anyone needs to boil clothes and it does take rather a long time in this machine.

                    I normally wash at either 30 or 40 degrees and this takes 50 minutes, less than half the time and the results are more than satisfactory.

                    Over all view.

                    This is a good sturdy machine that has never let me down in three years and I know that I will still be using it for a good few years yet having purchased insurance for the five years.

                    I did have to get an engineer out after three months because I noticed a hairline crack in the door lever but after a phone call they came around and put a complete new door on so I couldn't complain.

                    It is a smart looking machine easy to keep clean, very energy efficient holds up to 5kg of laundry, does a very good wash and of course it is extremely reliable.

                    If you are contemplating buying a washer I can highly recommend this Bosch model.

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                    • Birthday Greetings / Discussion / 94 Readings / 94 Ratings
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                      21.09.2008 18:05
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                      The world is changing and we must all keep up.

                      Every family likes to celebrate birthdays and mine is no exception, with children grown up and grandchildren now getting more numerous by the year, it is getting quite costly.

                      All children like a party and it is now the norm to hire a venue like the local leisure centre, or the soft play centre with the ball pits and bouncy castles. These don't come cheap and kids like to invite all their school mates including family members so it can get a bit out of hand.

                      There is the birthday cake and party bags to dish out, kids just love it all but some how I don't think that the parents do any more.

                      Years ago a party bag consisted of a piece of birthday cake and a balloon, not now, you have to put a pack of sweets in a set of pens a few whistles and trinkets, it's expected you see.

                      What ever happened to jelly and ice cream with a few sandwiches at home, then a game of pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey? It was affordable and we all enjoyed it as a family.

                      I was asked to attend a nine year old girl's party the other week to do nail art on twenty girls after they had had an hour driving around in a bright pink Limo and a game of bowling. This set the parents back about 250.00 without the cost of the buffet, how can normal working class families keep up with that sort of party?

                      Has the world gone crazy? Why do parents have to go to so much expense? Pressure from the kids is one factor and probably a bit of keeping up with the Jones's comes to mind.

                      My son and daughter in law told me that they are getting a bit sick of birthday party invites for their kids; they get one about every other weekend now that all three of their boys are in school, but of course you cannot say that they can't go and one of the parents is expected to go with them.

                      I am not a 'Party Pooper' really I'm not, but it does seem to me as if every year parents are having to do bigger and better bashes for their kids just to keep their 'Children's Street Cred' so to speak.
                      Quite sad really don't you think?

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                      • easyJet / Airline / 90 Readings / 87 Ratings
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                        20.09.2008 20:44
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                        A good airline but boarding is hard work.

                        I flew with Easy Jet for the first time when I went to Tenerife a fortnight ago, I must admit I was a bit dubious after hearing so many bad reports about this air line but I got to my destination and back to Manchester in one piece and only had a twenty minute delay with the out going flight.

                        I booked our flights through their web site and printed off the details to take to the airport, they were extremely reasonable prices more than half the amount of other airlines so it was worth trying them out.

                        CHECK IN.

                        This was open two and a half hours before the flight and all I had to do was show them our passports to get a boarding card. We decided to pay an extra 7.50 each to get a speedy boarding card after hearing that seats were not allocated it was just a free for all when you got on the plane and we didn't really want to have to sit apart.

                        BOARDING

                        I am glad that we did pay the extra money because when the flight was called every one just packed around the gate trying to be one of the first on the plane. There were people shoving and pushing it was not a very nice experience at all.

                        The ground stewardess asked everyone to stand back and let the speedy boarding pass holders through first then everyone else was allowed to board. We managed to get two nice seats with leg room because we were one of the first on but I did feel sorry for other people trying to find a seat because they were at the back of the queue.

                        FLIGHT and COMFORT

                        It was a very comfortable flight and the drinks were brought round twice during the four hour journey, I particularly noticed the attitude of the cabin crew they were nice and friendly and the Captain spoke to us before take off and towards the end of the flight to give us an idea of when we would be landing.

                        OVER ALL VIEW

                        For a no frills airline I thought that they were very good, the price was excellent, the crew were most helpful but the only draw back was the non allocation of seats, it was quite stressful to be quite honest because people were being rude by scrabbling and pushing to board before any one else.

                        Maybe they should change their system and allocate seats on check in it would make life so much easier for the passengers.

                        I probably won't fly with them again because of the pushing and shoving I think I would rather pay a bit extra and have less stress but who knows may be they will change their boarding system I think it does pull them down a bit.

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                        • Branston Pickle / Condiments / 93 Readings / 89 Ratings
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                          05.09.2008 19:09
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                          You either love it or hate it.

                          You either love it or hate it, just like marmite you have to have an acquired taste for this. I personally like Branston pickle and I can eat it until the cows come home.

                          HISTORY OF BRANSTON

                          Branston Pickle is a well known brand and manufactured by Cross and Black well, the company has been around sine 1922 when they first came up with pickled relish over the years this recipe has been improved to give us the Branston Pickle we know and love today.

                          In 2004 the brand was brought out by Premier foods, and all branston products were moved to Suffolk. It is now a very high demanded brand and sells over 28 million jars a year.

                          BRANSTON ORIGINAL PICKLE

                          Branston pickle has a unique sweet but spicy taste to it, with chutney like consistency. The Pickle is basically a thick sweet brown sauce containing diced vegetables.

                          This is commonly known to go well with pub ploughman's lunches and it even compliments cheese sandwiches or cheese toasties.

                          Branston pickle can be bought as the original version (as reviewed) or you can by the sandwich version, which has smaller vegetable chunks in it. Even more recently they have introduced a squeezable version, in a plastic bottle.

                          I personally feel that you don't get as much in this plastic bottle as the jar and it is a little bit more expensive, so I always buy the jar as you can get out every last bit of pickle.

                          PACKAGING

                          The pickle comes in a 720g glass jar with a gold lid; it has a pop button at the top to check it the jar has been opened previous to you buying it.

                          The jar can be recycled or used to store other food products once finished with.

                          This jar comes in a smaller size and the squeezy pickle comes in a plastic tube.

                          COST

                          The Branston Pickle is very reasonable, providing the factory doesn't burn down.

                          The 720g jar will cost 1.41
                          The 360g jar (the smallest available) 81p
                          The 520g jar will cost 1.13p
                          The squeezy pickle is 1.32p

                          All these prices are Tesco prices and I have found that they can change at times.

                          INGREDIENTS

                          Branston Pickle is made from a variety of vegetables, including swede, carrots, onions, cauliflower and gherkins pickled in a sauce made from vinegar, tomato, apple and dates with spices such as mustard, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

                          To be honest you would never know this contained garlic, I have only just noticed as I have read the label, so don't worry about bad breath.

                          OTHER PICKLE PRODUCTS

                          Pickle has become so well know that even Walkers have began producing cheese and branston flavour crisps, These are eatable but a little bit over powering for me.

                          The newest edition it the Branston Baked beans, produced by cross and Blackwell. At first I thought I would never be swayed from Heinz beans, but upon tasting these I will never go back, I just hope that they stay around as long as the pickle has.

                          EBAY PICKLE FRENZY

                          In October 2004 a huge fire eliminated the Branston pickle factory and therefore pickle became very hard to find. If you did manage to find it then you were paying well over the odds.

                          With Branston being a family tradition for us at Christmas I got a bit worried about Christmas without pickle. I trawled the shops without success and resorted to spending 10.00 for a small jar that should have cost me 81p. I wrapped it up for my hubby for Christmas I bet the seller was laughing all the way to the bank, my husband wasn't impressed.

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                          • More +
                            04.09.2008 18:20
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                            A marvellous hotel in a great location

                            In March 2007 I took a trip to Sydney Australia to visit my sister. Upon booking with Thomas Cook we were offered a free stop over all we had to pay for was the hotels so we chose to spend three nights in Hong Kong I actually grew up in Kowloon so this was the area I wanted to stay in.

                            The lady at Thomas Cook recommended The Shangri La 4 * Hotel, we snapped this up for 89.00 a night, yes it may sound excessive but I am so glad that I did it.

                            THE HOTEL

                            Kowloon Shangri-La, known for it being warm and friendly, is conveniently situated in the Tsim Sha Tsui East shopping and entertainment district.

                            The best aspect being it is overlooking the world famous Victoria Harbour.

                            This wonderful hotel has 700 rooms and suites, so as you can imagine it is very spacious and is one of the biggest hotels in the town. It offers luxurious comfort and seven dinning rooms and bars.

                            It not only offers all guest use of the state of the art fitness centre, it has a swimming pool to die for. If that does not appeal then you can even go and pamper yourself in the hotel hair and beauty salon.

                            From the moment we stepped into the hotel, we were hit with the lavishness of a marble foyer and beautiful chandeliers, I have never seen anything like it in my life.

                            LOCATION

                            This is situated in a stunning location over looking the harbour, in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong and is within walking distance to the Buses which travel direct to Stanley and Ocean Park. The Star Ferry terminal is also located nearby, which is the best way to reach Hong Kong Island for a trip.

                            Location wise it was not as far from the shopping area of Nathan Road, I would recommend this to everyone as if is full of designer shops, jewelers and much more and very good prices you can grab a real bargain.

                            The Hotel Is situated at 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

                            ROOMS

                            The hotel offered may rooms but we had settled for the deluxe harbour view room, the deluxe is classed as a standard room but we did pay extra for the view.

                            Upon arrival we were escorted to our room by the bell boy dressed in all the finery, silk tassels the lot. We didn't have to tip him but he was so willing to please us we slipped him a twenty dollar bill.

                            The bathroom was very spacious with marble tiles from floor to ceiling and had bath and shower, the best thing is the bathroom had speakers in it so you could listen to the TV whilst in the bathroom. The toiletries were lovely all flower scented just like the aroma right throughout the hotel.

                            The room had a large floor to ceiling bay window with a fantastic view of Victoria Harbour. The view was amazing especially at night we could not close the curtains and block the view so we always fell asleep watching those harbour lights and waking up to the sun rise ready for an early start to get all my shopping bargains.

                            There was a king size bed or for twin occupancy we could have had two double beds. I have to say the king bad was very big of I slept like a baby.

                            Included in the service in a turn down service and hot tea, these are all done free of charge and just put the cherry on the cake for this fine hotel.

                            FOOD AND BARS

                            As I have stated above this hotel has seven exquisite restaurants and bars make dining truly enjoyable. You can eat Japanese cuisine at Nadaman, enjoy Italian classics at Angelini or Cantonese specialties at Shang Palace and for international dining, head to the generous buffets at Café Cool, which features food from around the world.

                            My favorite had to be the resteraunt on the 59th floor and the view is amazing. It's very trendy and the decor is really fresh and contempry. The food is excellent. It's a mixture of Italian and seafood.

                            To eat in the hotel was not as expensive as you would think, so we were pleasantly surprised when it came to paying meal bills.

                            After a long day shopping I really enjoyed a glass of wine, or two in the hotels tapas bar. Here they offered a wide selection of drinks and cocktails and light meals.

                            SHOPPING

                            Kowloon is the shopping paradise for any shopaholic, I lost count of how many Louis Vuitton and Chanel stores that I laid eyes on. So if you are designer fashion mad then this is a must.

                            Night markets were good fun just of Nathan Road but you had to be careful and watch out for pick pockets, there were plenty of 'Knock Off' stalls to be found and my hubby came into his own when he started the bartering, he had quite a talent for it.

                            The hotel had gifts and souvenir shops so I could buy last minute gifts from there but I would recommend that you take a walk outside and get them for a fraction of the price.

                            OVERALL VIEW

                            This hotel was just so comfortable it felt better than home to be quite honest I would give up my house for this hotel room. I was impressed with the overall quietness and peaceful atmosphere of this hotel

                            The entire place was light, airy and ornately decorated. The temperature was always nice due the air conditioning which was a god send after trawling the street in hot humid conditions.

                            All in all I loved my trip to Hong Kong it brought back memories of my child hood days I am not sure when I will ever go back but I will be sure to book into Kowloon Shrangri La

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                            • Matalan / Highstreet Shopping / 69 Readings / 67 Ratings
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                              03.09.2008 15:51
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                              A good all round shop with ample parking.

                              I went to our local Matalan Store last weekend in Barrow in Furness, it is not a shop that I go to very often but it had just re-opened after a fire over a year ago.

                              It has a huge car park and I managed to get quite close to the entrance luckily because it was pouring down with rain and blowing a gale.

                              This is quite a large store and I decided to start in the ladies clothing section and weave my way around, I didn't bother with a trolley because I was only browsing.

                              They have a good range of tops and cardigans to suit everybody's taste and I picked up a nice black summery shirt for my holiday next week. At a cost of four pounds I thought that this was a bargain even if I only get a couple of washes out of it.

                              I stopped to look at fashion jewellery, the display stands are scattered all around the ladies section and I particularly noticed that the jewellery colours were strategically placed next to the same colour clothes, now a woman must have thought of that bright idea surely. I bought a set of three bangles two black and one grey this set me back six pounds.

                              Our Matalan has a tin roof and I could hear the rain pounding down onto it, so I smiled to myself and thought of the hot beach in Tenerife next week. It put me very much in the holiday mood.

                              Shoes next and that's when I saw the display of beaded flip flops two pounds a pair, well I would have to have a couple of pairs of them to put in the suitcase.

                              A holiday hand bag blue with ribbons all over it great for taking down to the beach, five pounds yep I will have that as well.

                              I did a turn back towards the doors (No not to do a runner!!!!!!!!!) to get a trolley of course I was getting a wee bit overloaded.

                              The children's section had a lot of school uniform posters up offering buy one get one free and I particularly noticed a few Mums buying packs of three polo shirts for three pounds.

                              There seemed to be alot of activity around the childrens shoe section so I assume they were a bargain having not bought kids shoes for years I wouldnt know the going rate at the moment.

                              Men's wear was divided into two sections casual and formal, there were loads of suits on display and men's outdoor coats but my bargain was denim jeans for six pounds for my better half.

                              Normally he would not entertain cheap jeans but even he had to admit they had a nice cut to them and were of a good quality.

                              The house Ware section is one of my favourite parts of this store wine glasses and crockery, bedding and curtains all for a good affordable price. I always like to buy from here when Christmas shopping because it is not very often I go out empty handed but I didn't buy anything on this trip but I will go back in a few weeks.

                              There are six tills so paying for all my purchases was quick and easy, I did have to hunt for my Matalan card in my purse but apparently you don't need to have one any more at this branch.

                              The changing rooms were large and airy with four cubicles both in the gents and ladies so another bonus for this store because I cannot stand communal ones myself.

                              If you haven't visited Matalan then I can strongly recommend them, they give very good value for money and their clothes are of a good quality.

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                              • More +
                                02.09.2008 22:03
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                                Not an every day shampoo

                                I don't use a lot of The Body Shop products but after suffering with a bad scalp I bought this to see if it would help.

                                Tea Tree oil is supposed to be good and it does contain antiseptic.

                                After a couple of washes my scalp felt so much better and not dry and itchy but my hair had no shine to it at all.

                                It is not a shampoo that I would use all the time because it is a bit pricey at 3.00 for a 250ml bottle and it smells of the dentist, I hate any clinical type of aroma.

                                I will probably keep some to wash my hair if I have been doing a dirty job like decorating or cutting the garden hedge just to ensure that it does get a thorough wash because my scalp can flare up quite badly.

                                I know The Body Shop Products are all animal-free tested products and I approve of that but this shampoo is just not the one for regular use, I don't want to go around smelling of a veterinary doctor with limp dull hair.

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                                • Fox's Chocolate Viennese / Snacks / 55 Readings / 53 Ratings
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                                  02.09.2008 11:44
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                                  They passed the dunking test with flying colours.

                                  Strolling through my local Co-Op today I decided to buy a packet of biscuits to have a naughty munch on, I do that occasionally to cheer myself up.

                                  I couldn't decide on whether to have digestives or something with a bit of chocolate in when my eyes were drawn to the beige and purple packets of Fox's Melts, I haven't had a packet of these for ages and to my delight they were on offer buy one get one free.

                                  Decision made on the strength of that offer I toddled off home to put the kettle on, I always have to have a cuppa when I indulge in a biscuit purely because I am a 'dunker.'

                                  On opening the packet I gently pulled the plastic tray out and immediately got a waft of buttery shortbread, then the Viennese chocolate aroma hit my nostrils, this was going to be heaven....

                                  The tray is divided into five sections with two biscuits to each section I presume that this is to avoid them breaking.

                                  The biscuits themselves are two pieces of short bread held together with the chocolate, they are not very big though, I have actually had the ruler out and they are 7cm in length, 2.5cm wide and 1cm in height. They are not going to last very long in my house that's for sure.

                                  Each biscuit contains 79 calories, 4.5g of sugar, 4.6g of fat and 2.6g of saturate fat, so not a good choice for those people that have to watch their weight.

                                  These biscuits taste gorgeous they are very buttery with a slight salty tang, the added chocolate filling compliments the shortbread to perfection.

                                  I wouldn't buy these too often because I could eat three or four at a time and my waist line really does not need to get any wider but they are great for a special treat.

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