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saraha007

saraha007
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Member since: 01.10.2005

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      29.07.2007 13:30
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      If you want a funny, addictive and easy to read book, then this is it

      MY BEST FRIENDS GIRL
      This is a fiction book wrote by a very talented woman called Dorothy Koomson. In its first few weeks it sold 90,000 copies and six weeks later it was selected for the ‘Richard and Judy Summer Reads Book Club’ and the book went on to sell over 500,000 copies. This is the 3rd book of Dorothy’s 4 books that she has published.

      The story is about a woman in her early 30’s called Kamryn. She is devoted to her career and has no other responsibilities and likes it that way. She has her best friend called Adele who she was friends with for many years until Adele decided to sleep with Kamryn’s boyfriend Nate. From this point on Kamryn insists she will never see Adele again or Nate for that matter, until one day Adele writes a letter to Kamryn and tells her she is dying. Adele has a child called Tegan and asks Adele to adopt her, but Kamryn never wanted children and feels she is being put on the spot. What does she do: Will this ruin her life? If she did take on the child would she be able to cope? Would she get adoption rights if she did adopt Tegan? How would this affect her career? How would she cope financially? There are so many questions you will find need answering and best of all - wait till she finds out who the father of Tegan is!!!

      HOW DOROTHY KOOMSON APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK
      The plot for this book is very well thought out. At times as you are reading through it you think you can see how the book will pan out, but it is not as predictable as it seems, with many things happening out of the blue that couldn’t of been forseen. This makes the book interesting, and exciting and hard to put down because you don’t know where the next few pages will take you. I found this book very easy to read, with few big words. Dorothy has a marvellous sense of humour and it really shows in the way she writes. If all her other books are approached in the same manner I shall definitely be reading them as her style is great.

      HOW I FELT READING THIS BOOK
      From the first page I was laughing and then crying. An amazing start to a book that just made me want to continue at break neck speed to find out more. In all the books I have read I can honestly say I have never read any book like this one where although there were a few sad parts, the majority of the book I was laughing out loud as it was so funny.

      DOROTHY KOOMSON’S WEBSITE
      Dorothy has her own website which is very interesting. It gives more details about all of her novels, it has an online forum and tips on writing. It also has her e-mail address for you to contact her with any questions and there is also a section about herself. The website is very clear and easy to navigate. From looking at her 'about me' section I found out that she doesn’t just write novels, she is also a journalist. She recently lived in Australia – Sydney for 2 years but now spends most of her time living in England, although she does have plans to travel more and to write more books.

      ADDITIONAL IMFORMATION
      This book is available to buy priced at £6.99. I have seen it sell on both E-Bay and Amazon for as little as 99p plus postage.

      Thanks for reading this
      Sarah

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        17.07.2007 22:26
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        A book that once you start reading it, it is hard to put down

        OUT OF THE DARK
        This autobiography was so popular when it was first published in paper back format in 2004 that it stayed on the list of best sellers for most of that year. It has sold almost a quarter of a million books in the UK alone!

        Linda Caine was born in Zimbabwe, Africa and lived there for most of her childhood, before moving onto Los Angeles and then England. She was happily married with a wonderful husband and two lovely children, living in a big house with no financial worries, and yet Linda was increasingly becoming more depressed by the day. She had what many people would describe as the perfect life and yet there was something that she hadn’t a clue what it was that made her dreadfully unhappy. This prompted her to start seeing a psychotherapist to discuss her feelings and to see if they could discover what lied at the heart of Linda’s depression, but it seemed that her feelings were buried so deep that to reveal them may destroy her completely. This is a real story of suspense that really makes you wonder how she will survive and get through her tragic life. It is also a really inspirational story of courage and strength of character.

        HOW LINDA CAINE APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK
        The story of Linda is told both by herself and her Psychotherapist (Robin) from January 1988 and ends in December 1991. The main focus is on Linda and Robin’s sessions together and going through Linda’s childhood to see if they can uncover any deep buried secrets that lie in Linda’s past. The book also focuses on Linda’s two children and her husband and the effects her depression had on her family. The centre pages of the book consist of a number of colour photographs of Linda and her family both past and present which are very interesting and very relevant to her story.

        HOW I FELT READING THIS BOOK
        Well I brought this book because the book prior to this one that I had read was called ‘A Child Called It’ and I loved this book, so when I came across the book ‘Out of the Dark’ and on the front cover it stated that it was the most shocking story of self-discovery since ‘A Child called It’ this made me instantly want to read this one. My biggest apprehension was whether I would find myself getting very emotional as I read this book as I did when I read ‘A Child Called It’ – I love a good true story but sometimes things can get a bit too much as they did at times when I read ‘A Child Called It’ but I was very pleased to find that with this book, yes there were a few moments here and there that were very sad, but the majority of the book I could just enjoy reading. Although the book held a terrible and shocking truth to it, there was a good balance between good and bad – many happy moments and many moments of suspense and uncertainty.

        I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Linda’s time spent in Africa and learnt a lot about this vast continent through Linda’s life out there. I found it interesting when she later moved to England to live how she found our ways of life and the place itself so different and how she learnt to adapt to that.

        LINDA CAINES WEBSITE
        Since writing her autobiography Linda set up her own website at: www.lindacain.com. On here Linda shows examples of her wonderful artwork which really is very unique. The way she described things in her book made me certain that she was very talented. She also writes a bit about her book and her life now. There is also a forum on her website where people can chat about her book.

        ADDITIONAL IMFORMATION
        This book is available to buy priced at £6.99. I have seen second hand copies of it sell on both E-Bay and Amazon for as little as 1p plus postage!

        Thanks for reading this
        Sarah

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          16.07.2007 13:35
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          A shaver that really does have the results it states it should have

          Last Christmas I decided one of the presents I wanted to receive was a lady shaver. So I had a look in the latest Argos catalogue at the ones they were selling and found that each one offers very similar features. But it didn't take me long to decide which one to go for. The Remington WDF 1200 stood out a mile for me against any of the others, and the reason for that was the look and style of it and the little carry case it came in. Also at just £19.99 it wasn't one of the cheapest or the most expensive, but to me it was a good sensible price to pay.

          APPEARANCE
          Well this was what won me over. Being a great fan of anything that is pink, yes you guessed - this shaver is a lovely shade of pale pink with light grey for the on/off button and light grey hand grips around the sides. The carry case comes in a pinky/red colour with Remington written on the side in grey.

          HOLDING THE SHAVER
          This shaver is battery operated and so even when I inserted the two AA size batteries the shaver still felt really light. It is very comfortable to hold in my hand and easy to grip. It doesn't slip at all due to the grey grip edges. The on/off button is very easy to use with the on and off being functioned through the one single button.

          PROTECTIVE CAP
          The shaver comes with a clear plastic protective cover which fits snugly over the area where the cutters are. It is very easy to pull off and place back. It just took me a couple of goes to remember which way round it goes as to not place it on back to front, but once you get used to it then it is fine.

          USING THE SHAVER
          As soon as I switched the shaver on, it sounded good, and not too loud. It can be used for a wet or dry shave. On this occasion I used it as a dry shave and found that it glided along my legs very smoothly - in fact so smoothly I could hardly feel it on my legs at all. I actually had to put my hand to my leg to see if it had actually removed any hair and to my surprise it had done a great job and my legs felt really smooth. I managed to complete both legs in about 5 minutes and they felt great afterwards. It felt like the smoothest shave I had ever had using a battery operated lady shaver so it did exactly what it said it would do on the box.

          CLEANING THE SHAVER
          Cleaning the shaver is very easy. You have two options. You can either run it under the tap to get any hair out and then dry it off thoroughly before putting it away, or you can use the little brush that is supplied with this shaver which I used when cleaning my shaver and found it to do the job well. It is easy to clean simply because there are two grey buttons on the side of the blades which once pressed together quickly release the head of the shaver from the main body. Then you can remove the foil area if you need to give it a more through clean just by pressing a small grey area on the side of the foil which easily releases this.

          OVERALL IMPRESSION
          I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone. It really does give a smooth and silky finish, it's a shaver that looks really smart and feminine. I have sensitive skin and often find shaving can irritate my skin, but with this shaver I had no irritation at all. The shaver comes with very clear instructions and a 2 year guarantee, so remember if you buy this to keep the receipt as you will need this if you need to use your guarantee.

          Thanks for reading this,
          Sarah

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          • More +
            08.04.2007 18:17
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            A lovely relaxing and scenic place!

            Isn't it annoying when you go on holiday to a place you have never been before for 1 week and by the time you are approaching the end of that week you feel you are just starting to really get into the spirit of things, you've found out so much more that you feel you could do with another week. Well this was what it felt like when I went to Guernsey in August 2005.

            I have written the majority of this review from my own experiences, rather than giving you lots of facts about Guernsey that you could read about in any travel guide.

            INTRODUCTION
            The Channel Islands consists of a group of 5 small islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Alderney. Guernsey is the second largest of these islands and is 24sq miles in size. St Peters Port is the main part of Guernsey and has a harbour there. It is at St Peters Port where me and my husband stayed.

            DAY 1
            From Stansted Airport it was a 1hr flight to Guernsey. We went on the airline Algriny which is a company this specifically does flights to and from the Channel Islands. It was a small jet plane holding just 60 passengers. On the flight we were handed a newspaper called the 'Guernsey Press'. So I shot straight to the weather page to find out the weather forecast. It said August 19th (today) Fair, August 20th Overcast with showers, some heavy at times, August 21st Heavy Showers. Oh no, I thought. We are going to Guernsey at a bad time. As we approached Guernsey I could see across the island lots of bright white lights glaring up at us, and as we got lower down I realised it was where the sunlight was catching the many greenhouses that Guernsey has.

            As we stepped off the plane the temperature didn't feel much different from what it did back home, however I had left Stansted Airport with thick rain clouds and here there was not a cloud in sight. Guernsey Airport is small, but very modern. It's a new airport that was built only a couple of years ago. Collecting the luggage was a very quick easy process and the airport seemed very calm and there were few people about.

            We had an adventurous journey up to our hotel in St Peters Port. We got a mini bus up to our hotel and the driver had to drop off two other groups of people at there hotels first which were in quieter parts of Guernsey, but as many roads in Guernsey are extremely narrow it caused quite a few problems getting the mini bus up to the hotel grounds as we met several cars coming in the other direction.

            We were pleasantly surprise with our hotel when we arrived. We were staying at The Moores Hotel. It looked very pleasant from the outside and very classy on the inside. We had a friendly reception and caught a glimpse of the conservatory area on our way up to our room where all the meals were served and this had a really light pleasant feel. Overall we were very pleased with this hotel.

            DAY 2
            Our first stop was to the Tourist Information. We were pleased to find it open on a Sunday and found many interesting leaflets - one of which was on Condor Express Ferry day trips to Jersey. Now before we went to Guernsey we had looked on the internet wondering if we should book the ferry in advance. The price on there was £40 return per person. But we were glad we waited as in the leaflet it said it was just £28 return per person. We also considered a flight to Jersey but that would have been £90 return per person so knocked that idea on the head straight away.

            St Peters Port harbour is just on the other side of the road to the Tourist Information. As we walked over here we noticed a very impressive sand castle standing about 2 metres tall on the harbour wall. It had apparently been built back in May so had been there nearly 4 months. I was glad we took a photo of it because a couple of days later it finally started to collapsed following there first spell of very wet weather.

            At the Harbour booking office we arranged to go to Jersey on day 4 of our holiday (which was the day of my birthday as a special treat). It was booked to leave Guernsey at 9.40am and leave Jersey at 8.40pm.

            Now St Peters Port is on the east coast of Guernsey and it's the east and south coast that is the hilly part of Guernsey with the North and West being quite flat. So when we decided to take a walk to Fermain Bay which was a 2 mile walk along the east coast you can imagine how we must of felt or should I say how I felt at the end of it. All I can say is that this is a great walk, but don't attempt it unless you are feeling fit. Because to get to every beach in this area you have to walk down a long steep coastal path and to come away from the beach you have to walk up on. The walk took 1 ½ hours at a steady pace and I have to say, as tired as I was it was well worth it. Fermain Bay is the most picturesque part of Guernsey. I suddenly felt I was in the tropics with the clear blue sea, and white sand. It was unbelievable. There is a café called 'The Beach Café' situated her and the food was exceptional with good presentation and service. I could of sat there all day watching the little twinkling stars that caught each wave from the sunlight but it was time to make that dreaded walk back up the hill.

            This time we decided to walk back a different way not following the cliffs edge but going slightly more inland. Here we stopped off at a War Memorial Cemetery. Following this I have to say I have never seen such big houses with incredibly large colourful gardens. This was definitely were some of the many Guernsey Millionaire's live.

            We decided to try out a restaurant that was directly opposite our hotel called Christies. It offers a 3 course meal for just £10.95 if you get there before 6.30pm but the catch is that you have to be out of the restaurant by 8pm which wasn't so good. Here they have live music most nights and we got a window seat which overlooked the hotel and some of St Peters Port Town. The food there was great and the live music so good that often people walking through the town would stop to listen.

            DAY 3
            Today we decided we would visit a few places in St Peters Port. So in the morning we did a short 10 minute walk from our hotel, up to the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery. One thing we noticed with this Museum and with the others that were to follow was that even in the peak summer season, because Guernsey is such a small island there are never many crowds anywhere so when you visit a Museum you can walk around at your own pace and not feel pressured in anyway. It was £3.50 per person and you could easily spend a couple of hours in there. There was also showing in there a video of Guernsey people and what it was like for them in World War 2. There is a shop and a restaurant. I would class the food in here as average, but its well worth visiting as you will get amazing views from the restaurant through the lovely gardens and down into St Peters Port harbour.

            In the afternoon, we went and visited the house that would have been Victor Hugo's many years ago. In this house he wrote many books including Les Miserables. There was quite a few French people wanting to see the house and I think out of all the places we went this was the only one that was busy. It cost £4 for a guided tour and we was very surprised to find out that the tour would be 1 hour long so it seemed good value for money. We waited in his garden before being called in for the tour. There were about 10 people in our group for the tour.


            DAY 4
            Well today was the day of my birthday and I was up at the crack of dawn. I couldn't wait to go to Jersey. We had to be at the harbour 45mins before departure time which mean't we was to get there by 8.55am. We went to hand in our tickets and was told there was no Condor Ferry going to Jersey today as it had technical problems. I have to admit I was quite upset, however that soon changed when we found out we could re-book for day 6 of our holiday, so that's what we did. Oh well, what a start to my birthday. So we decided instead that we would get a bus and explore some other parts of Guernsey so we got the bus to the south of the island and went to the German Underground Hospital. Now a word of warning - don't go there without something warm on because you will freeze to death like I did. Never the less it didn't stop me enjoying going through the underground tunnels and seeing where many of the French were taken after D-Day. As of yet there has been no refurbishment done on this place so everything is as it was. You get to see the casualties wards, the place they did operations, escape shafts and much more. It takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour to see the whole place and cost £3.00 per person. There is no café there.

            From there we took a 20 minute walk to the German Occupation Museum at £3.50 each. This has a café and outside garden. There were video's shown and lots of interesting memorabilia.

            From there we took a 10 minute walk down to Petit Bot Bay which was very nice although nothing I don't think would beat Fermain Bay. Here we sat in the café which had a sea view.

            We got back on the bus and discovered that buses here charge 50p for whether you want to go. So the bus we are on takes you right round the island and because we didn't stop we went right round for just 50p. It took about an hour. What an incredible price! We nearly didn't get back though. The bus had a near miss round the tight bend and narrow roads that Guernsey has. It is really not built for big buses.

            That evening we went to the Bistro One restaurant again, and had a nice view of the harbour and wondered if our ferry would go alright.

            DAY 5
            Today was our first rainy day and boy did it rain hard. So our first stop was to the Beach Café just across the road from the hotel. We went in there and had a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up and watch everyone else getting caught out in the rain. We took a moment to look through our travel book. Today was a day we decided to do as much as we could indoors. So we decided to get a bus up to the Sumerez Manor. We arrived there at 11.45am and realised we had missed there last morning tour. They have tours at 10.30am, 11.30am and 2pm. There were a few other things to be seen in the grounds of the manor but because it was raining so hard we decided to take shelter in the café there. It had a lovely country feel out here and there were many ducks and hens just outside the door attempting to make there way into the café every now and then. The café's roof was leaking and we struggled to find a seat that wasn't wet. Before long a few drips of rain every now and then fell on us. As I looked up I noticed a grape vine was growing in there as well. Very traditional out in Guernsey. Well we managed to drag out our 2hrs in there. It was quite adventurous what with the birds and the rain that it kept us entertained.
            The tour consisted of just me and my husband. Most people apparently saw the house in the morning so we had a private tour of our own. A lovely gentleman showed us around the house and it was very informative and interesting.

            From here we then took the bus to the Shipwreck Museum at Fort Grey. The journey up there though was horrendous. We had a learner bus driver with his assistant guiding him, plus the bus was so crowded that many of us had to stand, and no sooner had we gone a few yards down the road, and the bus driver slammed his foot down on the brake so hard that we all went flying forward - fortunately no one got hurt, but it wasn't long before more drama happened on board the bus as the lady who was standing behind me fainted. She clasped to the floor and the bus driver had to stop the bus - fortunately slowly this time. The lady had her sister with her who said she was pregnant and had been prone to fainting and so when the lady came too she escorted her off the bus where they called for an ambulance.

            There was a bus stop right outside Fort Grey Museum which was very convenient and the exhibition was held inside a tall Martello Tower. We spent about half an hour there and headed back to the bus stop. We didn't have to wait long before another bus arrived and this took us round the rest of the island and back to the town at St Peters Port. We was lucky to get back in one piece however as the bus had a near miss with a parked car as it clipped the edge of what sounded like the mirror of a car as it was going past, and the bus driver had to stop suddenly to check the damage.

            That night we went to the Riva Restaurant on the seafront. It was an interesting restaurant as every 15 minutes the lights would change colour from a blue to a red, then perhaps to an orange or yellow. This created a different feel to the place and made it individual. The food was lovely and we had a view of the harbour, although we felt the tables were placed a bit too closely together. For 2 main meals, 2 desserts and 2 drinks it came to approx £40.

            When we got back to the hotel we had a phone call from the ferry company. They said the ferry is still having problems. It would be leaving Guernsey at a later time of 10.30am and that there was a chance that if the ferry problems became more serious we may not get back to Guernsey. So we was in a dilemma whether to go or not.

            DAY 6
            Well we decided to take a chance and do our day trip to Jersey seeing as it was part of my birthday treat. The departure lounge is great because it has good views out to sea and of the entry into the harbour, so there was lots to watch while we waited. The ferry arrived at 10.55am but it was due to arrive at 10.30am. Due to the problems the ferry was having it couldn't go as fast as normal. Despite this however we arrived into Jersey at 12pm.

            Jersey is also a lovely island, not perhaps quite as scenic as Guernsey, but still very pleasant. There are also a lot more people there than in Guernsey so you don't get that same relaxed, calm feeling and also if you want to visit a gallery or go in a shop you are more likely to experience queues, where as in Guernsey you can visit practically anywhere and have just a pleasant amount of people about.

            The main reason I wanted to go to Jersey was because many items on the Channel Islands you don't have to pay VAT on. I had my heart set on a watch worth £1500 but knew if I could find it here I would get it for £300 less. To my delight I did find it, saved myself £300 and this helped to cover some of the costs of the holiday.

            The ferry was due to leave at 8.35pm so we got to the harbour on time to find out that it was running late due to the technical problems the ferry had, and it would not arrive until 11.30pm. We wasn't happy, however glad that at least we knew we would get back to Guernsey even if it was later than planned. The departure lounge here wasn't so nice as there was no area like there was at Guernsey to watch the harbour.

            However something very interesting happened…..as we were waiting a couple came and sat just to the left of us on the opposite side and my husband whispered to me, 'I think that's Helen Mirren!' I had only seen her in the 'Calendar Girls' film before and because she was very casually dressed and had no make-up on I wasn't sure, but after a few more glances we both decided it was her, and the man sitting next to her we found out later was her bodyguard.

            Well we couldn't believe our luck. The ferry in the end didn't leave until 1.45am and we boarded with Helen Mirren just in front of us. I kept saying to my husband - if this is Helen Mirren then how come she hasn't got crowds of people coming up to her asking for her autograph, but I have to say I did see several people looking at her probably saying to each other 'is that Helen Mirren' in total disbelief. I suppose she wasn't quite as well know then as she is now she has been in 'The Queen'.

            The sea was really rough going back to Guernsey and I didn't dare to get up off my seat and have a walk round as the ferry was swaying about all over the place. There were a few brave souls walking about but they walked in a drunken manor which was quite funny. I was quite glad when we finally arrived back in Guernsey but sad to leave Helen Mirren, who got on a coach with several other people to a hotel they were staying at in Guernsey.

            The main entrance to our Hotel closed at 12am, but we was told not to worry if we got back late as the porter would let us in. So we rang the door bell and there was no answer…..rang again still no answer, and we were starting to think we would be sleeping out on the street for the night, until 5 minutes later the door finally opened. It appeared the porter was fast asleep which was why he didn't hear the door bell ring.

            DAY 7
            Today we was to return home. We had to leave the hotel at 5am in the morning as our flight back home was at 7.30am. Once again the simple task of going down stairs with our luggage to leave the hotel wasn't so straight forward. When we arrived downstairs the porter who would let us out of the hotel was fast asleep on the settee. We didn't know what to do, we thought should we wake him up, or should we accidentally make a noise and hope it wakes him. Well we went with the second option and fortunately it worked. The mini bus was on time and away we went. As we was leaving early in the morning the roads weren't busy so we didn't have the adventurous journey like we did when we arrived in Guernsey, but then again our whole holiday seemed full of adventures and I think although Guernsey is a nice quiet, scenic and relaxing place, it is also a place where a lot can happen in just one short week. I would certainly return there again.

            SUMMARY
            1. Don't book a ferry trip on the internet - wait until you get to Guernsey.
            2. The Moores Hotel - great hotel by the sea and in the heart of St Peters Port town, where there are lots of lovely restaurants to choose from. Highly recommended, but watch out for the sleeping porter.
            3. No VAT so if you have something expensive to buy then get it here.
            4. Beware of the fact you are putting your life at risk on there narrow roads, and the use of the bus service will definitely prove to be adventurous.
            5. It only costs 50p to travel on the bus right around the island, and this is highly recommended.


            Thanks for reading
            Sarah

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            • Birth Induction / Parenting Issue / 31 Readings / 27 Ratings
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              16.08.2006 21:03
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              I would avoid induction unless absolutely necessary

              There are several different ways you can be induced. I went through two of these ways before I could give birth to my beautiful little girl.

              Firstly because I was 9 days overdue I was told I had the option of having a membrane sweep. This is a simple procedure where a midwife or doctor will sweep with there finger at the membrane inside which can help speed things along. When my midwife went to perform this on me she found initially on examination that I was already 3cms dilated. I didn't even know I was already dilating and she reckoned it had perhaps been happening slowly over a few days, so when she did the membrane sweep she said following that I became 4cms dilated. The procedure wasn't painful but just a little uncomfortable. This procedure doesn't always work, but for me it worked instantly and within an hour I was experiencing strong contractions that were just 5 minutes apart.

              Because the contractions came on so suddenly and I didn't get chance to get used to them gradually it was quite a shock to the system and I tired very quickly. In fact I got so tired that when the contractions got to 1 minute apart I was struggling to cope and as I was so tired my body reacted by slowing the contractions back down and weakening them and overtime they went back to about 15 minutes apart. This was a bad thing as I was unable to push my baby out as the contractions were so weak so I didn't have the urge to push.

              It was decided I would need to go on a drip that has a fluid in that once again induces and speeds things up. This worked and was very effective, although it speeds the contractions up so fast and they became so strong that they were very painful and hard to cope with.

              Unfortunately for me I need to have an assisted delivery in the end due to me being so tired and my baby being in distress. I feel that if I had not been induced and that things had begun naturally I would of not needed an assisted delivery. I think it was just simply that when you are induced you don't get time to get used to the contractions slowly and they can be more painful when you are induced and this in turn tires you out quicker.

              Given the option next time I would opt to wait a little longer and see if my baby would arrive naturally as opposed to having a membrane sweep. Despite all of this though I would go through labour again. The experience certainly hasn't put me off having another child.

              Thanks for reading this,
              Sarah

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              • More +
                23.05.2006 17:52
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                A book that gives you a very good insight into what can go on behind closed doors!

                A CHILD CALLED ‘IT’
                This is a book that is set in the 1970’s in California. It is written by a man called Dave Pelzer, and this book is all about Dave Pelzer’s life as he grew up between the ages of 4yrs and 12yrs old.

                It’s about a young boy who starts off in a very warm and happy family. He has at the beginning a very caring mother, a father and 2 brothers. His mother sounds wonderful to all her children and takes them on lots of trips and holidays and gives them all lots of treats. Several years on however and things take a dramatic turn. David’s mother starts to drink heavily, David’s father often works 24hr shifts and David gradually becomes the victim of his mothers rapidly changing attitudes. She treats her other two children with respect, but for David he becomes her slave. He is constantly given chores to do around the house with unreasonable deadlines to complete them in, he is rarely allowed to eat a decent meal – often only being allowed to eat any leftovers if he is lucky. He is made to sleep in what he called his army cot in there cold garage, and is beaten and made to feel like an animal. There are many incidents where things gradually get worse and life threatening things happen to him caused only by his mother. David’s family are aware of his suffering but are too scared to say anything in case they also become there mothers victim.

                HOW DAVE PELZER APPROACHED WRITING THIS BOOK
                There are 7 main chapters to this book and the first chapter actually gives you the final outcome to the story. So it is like reading the last chapter first. To find out the ending before I started the book in a sense took away some of the suspense of reading this book, but not enough to make me not want to read it. In fact as I was reading through the book the further I got and the more difficult it was to read each chapter as things seemed to go from bad to worse the more I appreciated the fact that I knew there would be a positive outcome at the end. So I think that by writing the book in this way works very well.

                HOW I FELT READING THIS BOOK
                I was aware before I brought this book that it was a true story based on child abuse, but I had know idea of the extent of abuse that would be suffered, so it came as quite a shock to read on through this little boys life and read what I would describe as some very shocking incidents that are described with such detail and feeling that it is almost hard to carry on reading at some points as it is very upsetting. There was however 3 things that made me carry on reading this book:
                1. Knowing there was a positive outcome at the end
                2. Reading about the way David coped every time he was abused was inspirational and it was very interesting. To think how he carried on when he was so weak and fearing for his life every day and how he turned situations round in his favour was remarkable. I felt privileged to be finding out about this amazing young boy.
                3. It intrigued me so much how David could be living in a family with 4 brothers, and a mother and father – each and every one of these knew young David was being abused but none of them said anything. They were to afraid of what would happen to them if they got involved. And also it intrigued me as to how it could possibly take a school years to discover that David was being abused – particularly as the abuse he was receiving was so bad.

                So all these things made me carry on reading this book. It gave me a real understanding as to why there are so many children that are abused that can go unnoticed for so long. I just hoped that there were others out there who were reading this book who were experiencing abuse that could read this book and really realise that as a victim it is not there fault and that the best thing is to own up and be truthful about what is happening. The fear of things getting worse it sounds like is one thing that stops people doing this, but in most cases this is a turning point in there life where things do start to gradually improve.

                A BOOK OF 3 PARTS
                There are 2 more books that follow on from ‘A Child Called It’. These are called ‘The Lost Boy’ and also ‘A man Named Dave’. They follow the life of David from childhood into adulthood. ‘A Child Called It’ at the end contains a chapter from each book so you get a good insight into what each of the other true stories are about. I liked the fact that they included parts of each book as if you decided you didn’t want to read on into the other books it wouldn’t matter as you would feel that you have gained a basic insight into what happened to David following on from the abuse.

                I personally will read the other two books as it sounds like the first book was based on the abuse, the second on his escape from the abuse and taking his mum to court, and the final book is based on David as an adult and what he goes onto achieve in life so I don’t see the other two books as disturbing to read as the first book is.

                I would recommend the first book to anyone who enjoys a good true story but isn’t easily upset or sensitive to reading about some quite disturbing abuse scenes.

                ADDITIONAL IMFORMATION
                This book is available to buy priced at £5.99. I have seen it sell on both E-Bay and Amazon for as little as 99p plus postage.

                Thanks for reading this
                Sarah

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                  13.05.2006 08:54
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                  This is both and entertaining and touching story with several suprises

                  A CHARACTER WITH ASPERGERS SYNDROME
                  I was in two minds when I first found out about this book whether to read it or not. This is because the author of this book has a character in it who has Aspergers Syndrome which is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder myself and knowing the complexities of it, I was in doubt as to how someone writing this book could possibly give an accurate account of this disorder if they hadn't got it themselves. I am glad though having read this book that I gave the author the benefit of the doubt because I can say from first hand experience that he has really put across in this book not only what Aspergers Syndrome is, but more importantly what it really feels like.

                  THE BOOK
                  When I first brought this book I was unaware that there were two versions of it. A book with a blue cover that contains quite a bit of swearing, and a book with a beige cover that eliminates the swearing. I got the blue book but I have to say I didn't find there was an incredible amount of swearing in it, but if I had of known about the other beige cover book I would have probably opted to read that one instead.

                  This book is particularly aimed at the young adult reader, but would also appeal to adults who are interested in finding out more about Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

                  THE STORY
                  This is a book that is quite entertaining to read at times, but also has quite a sad and touching side to the story in places.

                  The book starts off with a mystery to be solved with regards to a murder. However this is not of the murder of a person, but that of a murder of a dog. The main character in this book is called Christopher and he has Aspergers Syndrome. He finds the dead dog and decides he is going to find out who killed it. With all of Christopher's problems this proves to be quite a task as he doesn't understand social skills very well and doesn't like talking to strangers and ends up getting himself into quite a bit of trouble.

                  Christopher has many ways that would too many be considered strange. For example if he sees 4 red cars in a row on his way to school that means it will be a good day, and if he sees 4 yellow cars in a row that means it will be a bad day. If one type of food touches another on the same plate then he won't eat it. He has his own set of rules and I think that this is his way of feeling some control in a world that can at times be very confusing for this 15yr old boy.

                  Christopher lives with just his Dad, and his Dad has always had quite a lot of patience with regards to Christopher's problems, but when her finds out that he is investigating the killing of the dog things change between there relationship. His Dad wants him to drop the investigating immediately but Christopher is too caught up in it as he loves animals and wants to get to the bottom of things now he has started.

                  This only leads to more trouble for Christopher as he goes in search of the killer and finds out a lot more than he bargained for. This leads him onto another mystery which will end up turning his whole world upside down.

                  MARK HADDON - THE AUTHOR
                  Mark Haddon graduated in 1981 with a degree in English. He later went on to work for several organisations where he would work with children and adults who had many different mental and physical handicaps. This would explain how he has such a good understanding towards Christopher's problems. He has been involved with many television projects and has also won 2 BAFTA's. He has wrote now many children's books. 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night' was the first novel he wrote for the older reader.

                  BOOK DETAILS
                  The ISBN number for this book is: ISBN 0-099-45025-9
                  This book was first published in 2003. It is priced at £6.99, but is available for less on E-bay and Amazon.

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                    07.05.2006 10:08
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                    You feel confident with the result on this one

                    I started out buying just the standard Clearblue Pregnancy Test. I brought this one initially as it was cheaper than some of the others (£10 for 2 test sticks). Anyway I was 7 days late but suspected before this that I may be pregnant but wasn't too sure how long you are supposed to wait before you can do the test. When I read the box I found out I could of actually done the test on the first day my period was due, so I didn't actually need to wait this long at all.

                    I had never taken a pregnancy test before but was very pleased to find that there were very clear instructions on the reverse of the packaging. The clear instructions were in 3 steps. Inside the packaging was a questionnaire, a more detailed description on how to use the test and 2 of the testers. The testers are individually wrapped and easy to open.

                    On opening a tester I noticed in the middle is a circle and a diamond shape hole which reveals a small part of the actual test strip. At the end of the tester is a blue cap which when pulled off reveals the end of the test strip.

                    Basically all you do is hold the test in your urine stream for just 5 seconds and then wait one minute. At one minute - mine was abit before in the diamond shape appears a vertical blue line which means the test is working ok and is ready to read - then you look at the circle. Now when I did this there was a very clear horizontal line and a very faint vertical line so I was unsure as to whether I was pregnant or not. One horizontal line means you are not pregnant and a horizontal and vertical line means you are. So as there were 2 test in the box I tried again only to get the same result. I was so unsure as to whether I was or not and I couldn't wait any longer in suspense and I remembered a digital test that was more expensive so I thought I am going to have to get that.

                    On getting the Clearblue digital test it was more expensive in a way as i had paid £10 for the last test and £14.95 for this one. However when I opened up the box I found this one had 3 tests in it. So actually there was no difference in price at all as both types of test worked out at £5 per test.

                    Well doing the other type of test helped alot with this digital one as it worked in exactly the same way. You are supplied with one holder and 3 cartridges. There is a detailed instruction guide inside the pack which is well illustrated and easy to understand or you can go with the 3 simple steps it show on the reverse of the outer packaging which are also very straight forward.
                    This test once again can be used from the day your period is due.

                    Each of the 3 strips are individually sealed and you basically need to open one up and place it in the end of the holder so the 2 arrows are pointing towards one another. Then you hold the strip in your flow of urine for 5 to 7 seconds. It then says you should wait for 1 - 3 minutes for the results to appear on the digital display. The waiting is the worst bit but for me I found the results displayed after just one minute. You get a very clear reading in the digital display saying either 'pregnant' or 'not pregnant'. For me it said pregnant and this time there was no doubt about it. I felt 100% confident that I was. These tests are over 99% accurate so all in all I definately prefered the digital test.

                    The only negative thing I can say about the digital tester is that its a shame you can't keep the holder and just buy the cartridge refills seperately rather than if you use up that box you have to by the whole set again. It would certainly make it abit cheaper. Also on the digital display the results stay on screen for up to 1 hour. Whether thats a good thing or a bad thing though i'm not sure as when afterwards you are in shock and you wonder if you are dreaming you can have a quick look at the tester again to see that you are not dreaming.

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                    • More +
                      07.05.2006 09:42
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                      The only effective suntan lotion I have found

                      Well seeing as we are edging towards that time of the year when we can start appreciating the nice outdoor weather, I thought I would write a review on a suntan lotion which I am very impressed with.

                      Firstly the image that has been used for this review is incorrect. This is how the suntan lotion packaging looked a couple of years ago. Now it has changed to what I consider to be an improved design. The new design is much narrower and feels nice to hold. An advantage also with this new design is that it has an indent above and below the Piz Buin logo. This is very effective as when you are applying the lotion and your hands feel a bit greasy you don’t have to worry the bottle is going to slip from your hands as the indents help stop this.

                      Piz Buin comes in a variety of different factors – 8, 15, 20, 30 although I have heard that soon there will be no such thing as an SPF 8 due to new research into warnings of skin cancer. There is the standard Piz Buin Suntan Lotion and the Piz Buin ALLERGY Suntan Lotion. This review is based on the Allergy version.

                      I have always suffered terribly with my skin when exposed to the sun. Not only would I burn easily due to me having a very fair skin, but I also developed a very bad allergy to the sun. This allergy is apparently very common and as soon as my skin went into the sun I would come out in this terrible itchy rash. My skin would go all red and blotchy as well. Once this allergy flared up my skin only had to be exposed to the slightest bit of heat and I would be itching like mad. It ruined many a holiday in the past. That was until about 7yrs ago when I discovered the Piz Buin Allergy Suntan Lotion. I was apprehensive at first as to whether it would work as I had tried so many different suntan lotions in the past, but none of the other lotions stated that they were good at preventing sun allergies, so I thought I would give it a go.

                      The first thing I noticed about the product that I wasn’t to happy about was the price as it was the most expensive suntan lotion on the shelf. From Boots today you can buy it for £15. As soon as I got it home I opened the lid and smelt it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually smelt really nice. Most suntan lotions in the past that I had tried I never really liked the smell of so that was a great start. I read the details on the back where it says: Photostable UVA-UVB protection suitable for sensitive skin. Formula based on an innovative filter technology to protect from sunburn and skin ageing. Superior moisturisation. Dermatologically tested. Extra water resistant. It also states on the front of the container that it is Sahara tested.

                      On the day I brought this it happened to be a very warm and sunny day so I tried it out. It is a white lotion and when I rubbed it into my skin I found it absorbed very easily. I was very surprised and pleased to find it didn’t leave my skin feeling horrible and sticky as all other suntan lotions I had tried in the past did. A little seemed to go quite a long way and after I had applied this I wouldn’t of known I had any on which was great. I lay there in the sun with this lovely aroma which I found quite relaxing floating around me in the air. Normally I would dread the whole experience of applying suntan lotion but because I liked this one so much I couldn’t wait to apply some more so after a couple of hours I was quite keen to re-apply.

                      Now I spent 3 hours in all in the sun and normally after just that short time my allergy would start to appear. But I was pleased to say it didn’t appear at all. I went on many holidays after this and had very little trouble with my skin. The only time the allergy re-appeared was if I didn’t re-apply the lotion soon enough and my skin was exposed to sun without the allergy protection. Another good thing about this suntan lotion is that I found my skin doesn’t peel hardly after being out in the sun. The lotion really keeps the skin very moisturised which in turn helps your tan to last longer. It is also water resistant which is a great plus point. This lotion has made a real difference to my skin and has meant I can go on holidays and actually enjoy them. For me it has been well worth the extra expensive and I would certainly recommend this to anyone else who suffers from sun allergies or even to people who don’t.

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                        06.05.2006 16:33
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                        This is a book that once you start it you won't be able to put it down.

                        CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
                        This book is really aimed at children between the ages of 7yrs-12yrs of age, although I have read it again recently and I still really enjoy it and I am 33yrs old so I think anyone could enjoy this at any age as it is a real classic story.

                        I think this is a book every child should read and preferably read before they see the film. The reason I say this is because I think this is a book that would really stimulate a child’s imagination. You can conjure up as you read this book some marvellous images, really getting the child to think and see this magical world that Roald Dahl has created in this book. If a child has already seen the film the images they will create in there head will be of those watched in the film so they would not be really using there imagination skills to the full and wouldn’t benefit in the same way.

                        The true talent of Roald Dahl and how well he relates to things from a child’s point of view really show in this book. He starts off by listing all the main characters in the book and includes pictures of each one. This way it is made easier for the child to remember each ones name by just visualising the way each character looks from the illustrations. Also Charlie’s grandparents are named in such a way to make it easy to remember: Grandpa Jo and his wife Grandma Josephine. Also Grandpa George and his wife Grandma Georgina. The way he names these characters is a typical instance of Roald Dahl constantly thinking of not just the story he is writing, but of the reader reading this and easing them into all the characters in quite an intelligent way.

                        The story itself is based on a boy called Charlie who comes from a very poor family. He is not greedy or selfish in anyway - he cherishes everything he has and when he receives just one bar of chocolate for his birthday present (the only bar of chocolate he will have all year), he treasures it like it is gold and eats it slowly making it last a whole month. When it is announced that there will be 5 lucky winners in the whole world who will get to go into the largest Chocolate Factory in the world Charlie really wants to win one of these lucky golden tickets which are found inside 5 chocolate bars. But knowing his family doesn’t have much money to buy chocolate bars he doesn’t think he stands a chance. So how does he get the winning ticket?, what does he discover in this mysterious and magical Chocolate Factory?. Well for anyone who hasn’t read this I will leave that for you to find out.

                        The meaning behind this book however is a very important lesson for any child to learn. This is that anything is possible no matter what background you come from. Something can be just around the corner that could change your life forever. You don’t have to be super rich or greedy or selfish to get what you want – you just have to be yourself.

                        ROALD DAHL
                        This book for Roald Dahl was said to be one of the most difficult books he wrote, but it turned out to be the most successful. Roald Dahl’s inspiration for this book came from his schooldays when he and other friends were asked by Cadbury’s to test new bars of chocolate. As a result Roald used to dream that one day he could win the praise of Mr Cadbury’s by inventing a chocolate bar himself. So this book reflects one of Roald Dahl’s dreams he had as a child.

                        QUENTIN BLAKE
                        For me Quentin Blake’s illustrations really make this book special. His illustrations for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were put into all the books from 1995 onwards. His style of drawing is very unique and there is a really good use of expression in his illustrations. His drawings are humorous and interesting to look at and the book just wouldn’t be the same without them.

                        BOOK DETAILS
                        The ISBN number for this book is: ISBN 0-141-31130-4
                        Although this book was first published in 1964, this particular edition was first published in 2001. This book is priced at £5.99, but is available for less on E-bay and Amazon.

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                        • New Year's Resolutions / Discussion / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                          17.02.2006 14:03
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                          Its so easy to give in with your resolutions, but so rewarding if you can stick with them

                          Every year I always make a point of making New Year Resolutions. I think its very important to do this as it sets myself goals to achieve for the year and gives me something to aim for which I often find a good challenge. I don't like just going into a New Year with nothing in mind to achieve as I feel I would just drift by, day by day and not achieve as much as I would of otherwise. I find resolutions motivate me to improve my life in whatever way I choose and also its a great feeling to actually achieve some of the goals I set for the year. So here are my resolutions for 2006:

                          TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE
                          For most of my life up until the last few years I had little confidence in myself and so I got used to people I know telling me what to do and feeling that they always knew best and it never really bothered me that I never really had much of a say in things as I didn't have much confidence in my own opinions. But now I have got my confidence back I am at the stage where I want to stick up for myself and have a say in things - I feel that my opinions are just as valid. I also find myself saying 'maybe' or 'yes' alot when really what I want to say is 'no'. It sounds so easy just to say 'no' to something I don't want to do and it should be. So I am going to make a real effort to stop worrying so much and just go for it. I think I will be treated more like an adult rather than a child if I can conquer this one this year so on a gradual basis over the next year I am going to make a real effort to be more assertive.

                          TO BE THE BEST MUM I CAN BE
                          I am 6 months pregnant and on May 18th I am due to have my first child. I can't wait - I know I would make a really good mum as I have got alot of patience and have done alot of babysitting over the years and absolutely adore children. Up until now I have just been reading up on being pregnant and learning all about how my baby is developing week by week. But I want to make sure that before the big day I read as many baby books as I can to get myself educated on looking after my baby in the best possible way when it arrives.

                          TO GET RID OF SOME OF MY CLUTTER
                          Over the years I have accumulated many items that I now look at and think to myself that if I haven't used this item or worn it in the last couple of years I probably never will. So I am going to finally make an effort to sell all of my disused items on E-Bay to make some extra money.

                          TO BE MORE ORGANISED
                          I think this one ties up with the clutter one in that if I get rid of some of the clutter I can then organise the things I have left into a much more orderly fashion so I don't keep loosing things all the time. To be more organised means I would save myself all those hours I spend trying to find things and could use that time to do something more productive.

                          Well I don't like to set myself too many goals to achieve for the year as I think I would never achieve them, but I am quite confident that I will achieve all these four goals by the end of 2006, and if I can do this, I will feel great for achieving these. I am determined that I am going to keep at all of these and not put them to one side after a few weeks into the New Year. Now I have wrote this review I will be able to read it back to remind myself of what I really want to achieve and will achieve in 2006.

                          Thanks for reading,
                          Sarah

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                          • Dyson DC15 Allergy / Vacuum Cleaner / 33 Readings / 25 Ratings
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                            28.01.2006 16:59
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                            There are so many positive points about this hoover its well worth paying the extra.

                            I only got the Dyson DC15 Allergy by chance. I originally set out to buy the Dyson DC14 Allergy priced at £278.95. What happened was a couple of weeks ago I was looking on the Argos website and noticed that most of the Dyson hoovers had big discounts and the DC14 Allergy was in the sale for £180. The only trouble was they were completely out of stock. As I wasn’t to sure how long this sale would last and didn’t want to pay full price for a Dyson I looked at the next option up – the Dyson DC15 Allergy which I found was reduced from £339.95 down to £240 and it was in stock. Well seeing as this was cheaper than the other version at full price I decided to go for it.

                            FIRST IMPRESSIONS
                            Well I got the Dyson home and took it out of its box together with its set of instructions and its 2 year guarantee and I have to admit it did look pretty impressive considering it’s just a hoover after all! Its colour is silver and white with yellow on the carry handle, on/off switch and the ball. Now you are probably wondering what association a ball can have with a hoover. Well this is the main difference between the DC14 and DC15 in that it has a ball joint – this enables the hoover to steer smoothly with the turn of a wrist, great for going around tight corners and so you can clean with less effort involved. I got the impression from looking at this hoover though that it would be quite complicated to work out how to use – however looking at it more closely there weren’t lots of buttons to press so I felt reassured that perhaps I could get used to using this quite quickly.

                            INSTRUCTIONS
                            So out came the instructions. I couldn’t wait to try it out. I was pleased the instructions were kept very basic with pictures making it very easy to understand. To my surprise also there were only 8 pages of basic instructions and within 10 minutes I was ready to start. For those of you who want to take even less time to work this hoover there is also the ‘Quick Guide’ instructions that come with this which consists of just 6 easy to understand diagrams which would probably take no more than a couple of minutes to work out.

                            OFF WE GO
                            So first I undo the lead on the back of the hoover. It has a very convenient clip on it to hold all the leads nice and tightly together so they don’t flap about when the hoover is not in use. I noticed the lead was much longer than that on my previous bog standard hoover which I found to be great as I didn’t have to keep searching for another socket every 5 minutes. I then place my foot on the back of the hoover to release the catch enabling the handle to drop down to the level I feel best at hovering from and then switch the on button on and off I go. This hoover is slightly louder than I had expected but it sounds incredibly powerful and as soon as I started hoovering the carpet I could see the difference straight away. You could see it wasn’t just reaching the surface of the carpet to remove dust but it was really getting deep down and giving the carpet a through clean. I found the ball joint to the hoover a bit complicated to get used to at first but once I’d got the hang of it I could see its advantages as it really did become very easy to manoeuvre. The other thing I found good with this hoover was that it hasn’t got a rubber edging around the bottom of the hoover which is what has always stopped me in the past of being able to hoover right up as close to the skirting boards as I could, but now that was possible which meant less time fiddling about with the crevice attachment to clean round the edges of the carpet.

                            STAIRS
                            The great thing with this hoover is it has an amazing telescopic reach system with a quick release wand which expands so you can leave the main part of the hoover at the bottom of the stairs and the wands attachment (the hose) will stretch right to the top of the stairs. The hoover comes with 3 attachments – the stair tool, brush tool and crevice tool. I found the stair tool very easy to use and it was so much easier this way than to have to try and drag the hoover up the stairs as I was trying to clean them at the same time. I then replaced the wand tool and attachment to the hoover and carried the hoover up the stairs by its yellow handle. In my opinion this hoover is a bit heavier to hold in comparison to my other hoover.

                            EMPTYING THE HOOVER BIN
                            Well I have to say, I live in a small 3 bedroom semi-detached house and there isn’t all that much carpet to clean and yet already I have a full clear bin on the hoover (this hoover doesn’t use hoover bags – another plus point). Well this just goes to show just how effective this hoover is. My other hoover obviously wasn’t cleaning the carpets anywhere near as well and it was quite a shock to discover the amount that had probably been collecting in the carpets over the years.

                            So what was it like to empty the contents from the clear bin – well it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. There is a small release catch on the back of the hoover which releases the bin from the hoover. Then you just press the button on the bin and the bottom of the bin drops down enabling you to empty it directly into the dustbin, although I would advice putting it in a bag first and then putting the bag in the dustbin other wise every time you open the dustbin you will get a load of dust flying about everywhere.

                            OVERALL IMPRESSION
                            This hoover has so many plus points over my standard hoover that I feel it is really worth spending the extra money on. Looking at the carpets afterwards they look new from where it has given them a really nice finish. It’s certainly proved it is very effective from the amount of dust it picked up. The only negative for me was just the fact it is slightly heavier to lift, but it has so many positive points that they outweigh the negative. It took me less time to hoover than it normally would, its very user friendly and I don’t have to buy any more hoover bags ever again.

                            In the DC15 range there is also the cheaper all floors hoover and the slightly more expensive animal hoover. I would certainly advice waiting for a sale also before you go out and buy one of these as they are expensive and many sales offer up to £100 off so keep your eyes open for a good bargain.

                            Thanks for reading,
                            Sarah

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                            • Champneys / Spa / 37 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                              31.12.2005 13:13
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                              A place you can come away from feeling throughly relaxed and stress free.

                              At the end of October 2004 Champneys Health Resorts brought out a new range of beauty products. You may or may not of heard of these yet. There have been many reviews on these products in many magazines and they are apparently said to be better than alot of the top brands of beauty products and even better - they are at half the price. The price range starts from as little as £5. This is for a hand and nail cream which I have already purchased and used and am very impressed with the results. My hands feel soft and my nails are much better conditioned. There are about 20 different products ranging from shower gels, body scrubs, body sprays, moisturisers etc. They also come in a very classy looking package. (They look like they should be more expensive).

                              Since this range of new body products took off, Champneys have also introduced a new range of Skin Care Products ranging from Anti-Ageing Creams, Eye Contour Gel, Face Masks and much more, once again top quality products from as little as £5.

                              There most recent range of products are the mother-to-be products which went on sale just before christmas this year and are already proving to be very popular. I have already brought the Cooling Hand and Foot Cream, and the Beautiful Bump Collagen Boost Body Butter as I am pregnant. Both products smell really nice and its a pleasure to use them. My skin is left feeling soft and moisturised with a lovely delicate scent. There are 5 products in this range and they range from £6 to £10.

                              One of the things I like about these products is you don't have to go to Champneys Health Resorts to buy them. You can get them from most Sainsburys stores. You may of seen the Sainsburys advert on the television adverting these products a while ago.

                              All these products are selling so fast that alot of the London high street stores have been running out of stock.

                              Champneys Health Resorts themselves are great. I have only visited Champneys Henlow, but I am aware there is also:
                              Champneys Tring - in Tring
                              Champney Forest Mere - in Hampshire
                              Champneys Springs - in Leicestershire
                              Champney CityPoint - in London
                              Champneys Brussels - In Belgium
                              Champneys Hotel de la Paix - in Switzerland
                              And recently opened Champneys Goa - in India.

                              Champneys Health Resorts is currently celebrating 80yrs of service. So they have alot of years experience in this field and it is well established.

                              Champneys Tring is the original health resort and has recently been refurbished so I may well pay this a visit soon.

                              Champneys Henlow I found to have a very friendly warm atmosphere. It is very welcoming. The facilities there are supurb but it all comes at a price. If I had lots of money I would spend alot of time there as it is a place that is very tranquil and relaxing. It is set next to a river and in the summer you can get out a sun chair and sit near the river. I find the sound of the water very relaxing.

                              One of the appealing things when you are at Champneys Henlow and this applies as well to all the Champneys resorts is that you never know if you are going to bump into anyone famous whilst you are there - I didn't unfortunately when I was there but knowing you are in a place where celebrities come regularly is great.

                              My favourite things about Champneys Henlow was the Thalassotherapy Pool, the massive swimming pool, the gymnasium which is fully equipt with all the latest equipment and the staff. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and very professional.

                              A typical example of prices is that a one night stay at Henlow is around £120. This is a 24 hrs stay at the resort and include a thalassotherapy session, a meal and full use of the resorts facilities. This is what I did when I went there last year in the summer.

                              I would certainly recommend it if you can afford it.

                              Thanks for reading this
                              Sarah

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                              • More +
                                30.12.2005 10:30
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                                Bikini Strip, The Horrible Bird, Just a Kiss, Hair Dye Gone Wrong, and many more ....

                                Well, I feel embarassed just writing about these, but hopefully it will give you a good laugh. So here are my top ten embarassing moments...

                                1. JUST A KISS
                                It was just a few days away from Christmas. I went round to my boyfriends house and we had a few kisses – I noticed he hadn’t shaved recently as his chin was rather rough on mine. The following day I looked in the mirror and oh my god… I had a big red mark on my chin – it looked like a burn. It must have been caused by my boyfriend not shaving. Being so near to Christmas the whole situation was made worse because it was the time I would be meeting up with the whole family. At first I thought oh well its not too red, maybe I will be able to cover it up some how, but to my horror as the next few days past it developed into this dark scab and looked worse than ever.

                                On Christmas day when all the family got together I just wanted to hide but knew I had to show my face. I made out that I had fallen, but my niece guessed immediately what had happened and when she asked me if it was true and I went bright red with embarrassment word got out. How embarrassing that was!

                                2. HAIR DYE GONE WRONG
                                My original hair colour is dark brown, and I felt like changing it to a light brown so I brought a hair dye. I had never dyed my hair before but it all seemed quite straightforward so didn’t feel I had anything to be concerned about.

                                Well I dyed it and dryed it and it looked great. I was very pleased. A week later I went on holiday to America to my surprise as soon as I had spent one day in the full sun I looked at my hair and I thought, that’s strange, I’m sure its got a few ginger streaks appearing. I never thought anymore about it though and just thought my eyes had seen too much of the sun and it was making them see things all wrong.

                                A few days later my family started saying to me my hair was going ginger, and they were right – to my despair by the end of the 2 week my hair was completely ginger all over. It must have been something to do with the hair dye. My sister and my brother both naturally have ginger hair and I always had a very slight bit of ginger in my hair but nothing like this.

                                After that people I knew well didn’t recognise me and I was desperate for the colour to change back too normal. It took about 2 years before it was completely right again and I dreaded going out in the sun incase it went ginger again.

                                3. SUNBURN'T
                                When I was on holiday in Spain I brought a new swimming suit. At the back the shoulder straps crossed over. I never thought this would be a problem until I came in from being outside in my swimsuit. I took it of and I noticed I had caught the sun a lot on my shoulders, I thought I will turn round and see if my back looks the same and, oh no I had this great big white cross on my back. It was quite high up and I had very short hair at the time and it looked very funny. Unfortunately for the day time I had only packed strapless tops so as to not get any marks. The first time I went outside this little girl said to her mum out loud – “look at that girl, she’s got a big white cross on her back”. I felt so embarrassed about it everywhere I went. I was only 19yrs old at the time so that didn’t help.

                                4. CAUGHT IN THE ACT
                                I went shopping with my mum and we were looking around at some pyjamas, which were very close to where all the underwear was. On deciding there was nothing in there we liked we walked out past the underwear section and one of the bra’s got caught up on my mums handbag strap. I didn’t notice at the time but we were getting some funny looks as we were walking towards the exit. Anyway as we arrived at the exit the alarm went off as loud as anything – and scared me half to death. As we turned round I noticed the bra on the back of my mums bag, I couldn’t stop laughing but at the same time it was very embarrassing as the shop keeper discovers this bra we have and all these people were looking at us and I thought we must get away from here quick – I’m glad there was no one in there we knew.

                                5. A VERY SHORT SKIRT
                                I just went to the loo and on my return I thought why is everyone looking at me. Then I walked past some blokes and they were whistling and laughing as I walked past. As I turned around I noticed they were pointing at my skirt – I looked around at it and nearly died – I had got the bottom of my skirt caught up in my knickers. Since this day every time I go to the loo now I have to double check to make sure my skirt is alright before I can leave.

                                6. THE HORRIBLE BIRD
                                I was sitting on a seat at school, which was situated under a tree. I was having my lunch when all of a sudden I felt something drop on my head. I put my hand to my head quickly thinking it was just a twig or something and when I couldn’t feel anything I never thought anymore of it. Then when I went into class and sat down it suddenly became apparent that there was something on my head as a couple of the boys kept pointing to me and laughing. Know one else had noticed anything so I thought, do I put my hand up and ask the teacher if I can be excused so I could sort myself out which might bring more attention to me as more people might realise what had happened to me, or do I sit quietly and hope no one will notice apart from the two boys and then make a quick exit when the bell goes. I decided on option 2 and sat quietly. I felt so embarrassed and hoped no one else would notice. I was so glad when the bell went and I could go and sort myself out.

                                7. FLOUR
                                I was on holiday for a long weekend with a social group called the 18 plus club. At the end of the weekend I got up and went out to my car to load it all up with everything for my departure and I couldn’t believe my eyes – it is normally a bright red colour and it had now turned white. Some prankster had literally thrown flour all over it. There was so much on there it looked like a different car. I tried getting it off with some water but that just seemed to make it worse. So I did my best with the windows and had to drive the car 100 miles back home covered in flour. Fortunately no one I knew was about when I arrived back home to cause too much embarrassment but at least I can look back on it now and laugh.

                                8. BIKINI STRIP
                                When I was on holiday in America I went down a great big slide called the Kamikaze (I have probably spelt that completely wrong – hopefully you know what I mean). Anyway I had a bikini on at the time. You get people standing at the bottom of the slide watching you come down and there is also a lifeguard at the end to watch incase you go to far and get to close to the end of the slide. Well I went down it, it was well scary – and as I approached the end the rush of water on me was so much I nearly lost the top of my bikini completely. It was so embarrassing, right in front of everyone as well – I quickly readjusted it and made a quick escape. I’m so glad no one knew me.

                                9. COUGHING FIT
                                I was attending my best friends wedding and at the time I had a terrible cough. I took in the church with me plenty of Tunes incase I started coughing. Anyway I started off alright and then at the most important time of all when the main part of the service started I had a coughing fit. I couldn’t stop, it was terrible. Oh no I thought, of all the times for it to start up. So I had to rush out the church as fast as possible so I didn't cause too much of a disturbance. I felt so embarrassed afterwards. I was worried I had ruined my friends wedding but fortunately she was alright about it and said it added to the excitement of the day.

                                10. OOPS, I FORGOT TO TURN THE WATER OFF
                                It was Christmas Day and 1 hour before all the family would be arriving for dinner. I decided to have a quick bath while my parents were preparing the meal. Whilst the bath water was running I decided to just have a quick few minutes on a new playstation game called ridge racer - well it only seemed like a few minutes anyway. I went back up to the bath only to find it had overflowed. Oh god, I'm going to get in so much trouble I thought. The water was all over the floor everywhere, I had to tell my mum and she got a mop and managed to clear alot of it up. she was suprisingly calm about the whole situation. Thank god it was Christmas day or she might not of taken it so well. Anyway I had my bath and went down stairs. my mum didn't look to happy now and neither did my dad. Whats happened I said in a worried look. They pointed at the dining room table where all the family would be eating there christmas meal. There was a big bucket right in the centre of the table and a drip of water falling into the bucket every few seconds. Look what you've done said my mum. We've got our guest coming in no less than 15 minutes, we've got a bucket on the table where the candles are supposed to go and the ceiling could collapse on us at any second.

                                Fortunately when the guests arrived they saw the funny side and we laughed about it but we could never really relax as we were worried the ceiling was going to come down. It fortunately didn't but its a christmas I am constantly reminded of.

                                Well I hope you enjoyed reading about all my embarassing moments as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

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                                • L'Oréal Lash Architect / Make Up / 25 Readings / 23 Ratings
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                                  29.12.2005 16:59
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                                  A very effective mascara - its just a shame it isn't a waterproof mascara.

                                  I found this product out from an advert on the TV and thought to myself wouldn’t it be great if it produces the effects as stated. So I went out and brought some.

                                  L’Oreal has always been what I would describe as a good, reliable brand. When looking in the shop I found the mascara as easy as anything. It didn’t come in a box but the mascara was attached to a flat piece of white card which had attached to it a clear plastic cover containing the actual mascara inside. It was priced at £8.50.

                                  The mascara itself is in a silver matt finished 8ml container and on the lid at the very top is a non-metallic shiny silver end. It looks quite classy simply from the way it is shaped and it isn’t circular in shape around the edges. The main body has 4 sides and the lid has 3. When stood against the light as the lid tip is shiny it helps catch the light and looks quite nice. It feels nice to hold and you can grip it well – this is the advantage of having the four sides. The text is on 2 sides and is in gold. It says the name of the product – Lash Architect and underneath also in gold it says False Lash Effect Mascara.

                                  The whole idea behind this mascara is that it should give you longer and curler looking lashes with more definition and used in the right way it certainly does. It has a crew top lid which is easy to open but you do need to give this abit of a tug once unscrewed to pull the lid off to reveal the mascara brush inside. Once you have done this you will see the straight mascara brush with small brush ends.

                                  On applying the mascara the first time I just literally moved the brush over my lashes and was slightly disappointed in the results as it was no different from my previous one. However the second time I used it I actually turned the brush at the same time as applying it and was pleasantly surprised at the final result. In doing this it actually gave my lashes a nice curl hence making them look like they had more definition and did actually appear longer. Another thing I discovered about this is that on the part that attaches the brush to the lid there was no mascara residue so if I am applying my mascara and my hair gets in the way slightly and hits this part I didn’t have to worry that my hair would get covered in mascara. I also found that this mascara is good as it did not become all clogged up like some I have had and when applied I didn’t get clumps of it here and there on my lashes. I do find though that once I have applied the mascara it is always best to check it after a few minutes of wearing it, simply because if you look down or up and your lashes aren’t quite dry then it can come off onto your skin. However once dried this isn’t a problem at all. If you do happen to wipe you eye though with your finger you will find it will smudge quite easily.

                                  The only real disadvantage about this mascara is that it isn’t waterproof. I wanted to wear it on my wedding day but decided it wouldn’t be a good idea as it could have disastrous results with the colour running. Instead I ended up going to a beauticians and getting my eye lashes tinted which is just as effective but a bit pricy at £15 however it did last me 8 weeks and in that time I didn’t have to wear any mascara.

                                  I would recommend this mascara to anyone. It’s the best one I have come across yet and I have tried about 20 different types of mascaras over the years. I have now been using this one for several years.

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