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sherry

sherry
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Member since: 30.08.2000

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    • Gender Dysphoria / Discussion / 2 Readings / 24 Ratings
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      20.10.2001 00:22
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      Gender: Sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture Dysphoria: An emotional state characterised by anxiety, depression or unease ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When I think of Gender Dysphoria I immediately think of 3 different types of people: a) Gay and Lesbian b) Men/Women who like to dress as the opposite sex c) Men/Women who really want to be the opposite sex People A ~~~~~~~ These people, for whatever reason, choose to have sexual relationships with somebody of the same sex. It could be that they find it hard to communicate with the opposite sex, maybe their shy and lack self confidence, and that the opposite sex always sees them as a 'friend' and never a lover, they feel that their only option is to find love and satisfaction with the same sex. Maybe they've had a relationship with the opposite sex, quite possibly they've been married, I know of a man who had been married for 20 years and then decided this wasn't what he wanted and left his wife to live the rest of his life with another man. Obviously, he didn't make this decision overnight, even though it might have seemed that way, but deep down when he got married all those years ago he was fighting these feelings and convincing himself that he wasn't 'gay' he was 'straight'. I believe also some of this could even be started from bullying at school - the girl who's a bit of a tomboy or the boy who doesn't enjoy fighting, and kickin' in everybody heads, like the rest of the 'boys'. The child gets bullied being called names and being picked on that they start to believe they are what they're being called and again lose all self confidence in dealing with the opposite sex. But if 2 men or 2 women want to have a relationship and don't inflict on mine o
      r others lives then why should we be opinionated on what they do - infact some of the best people I know are gay. People B ~~~~~~ These people could again be split into 2 groups: There are men who like to dress as women (drag queens) and perform to an audience. I personally have to admit to absolutely loving these people, some of these 'women' are absolutely gorgeous and look and move far more feminine than most women!!! I just love the way they take hours to get ready applying all their make up and false nails its superb! In fact on the American chatshows when they've asked the audience to guess the real women and the drag queens most have been wrong and couldn't tell the difference! While on holiday I have visited drag shows and have had some of the most memorable nights ever!! The people who then come into the second group of these people are, mainly men, who like to dress in womens clothes. This group of people probably have no desire at all to be a woman but have a 'fetish' that they enjoy in the quiet of their own home. If somebody wants to walk around their own home dressed in clothes of the opposite sex - then let them - they're not interferring with me or you - ok if they're married then maybe it can be upsetting should the wife discover her husbands new found hobby - but what the hell - he's no different than he was before you discovered this. People C ~~~~~~ Probably one of the harder groups of people for individuals to understand is that of people who actually want to be 'made' into the opposite sex. Only yesterday I heard somebody say 'aw there's somein' wrong with people like that' I don't believe there's something 'wrong' with these people at all I solely believe that a lot of these people are born a sex in the casing of the opposite sex, and that somewhere, somehow, the genes get all mixed up and
      confused. Just imagine what it must be like to be born with all the feelings and emotions of a woman but to be in a mans body and vice versa there are plenty of women who feel that they should have been born a man - if somebody is prepared to put themselves through the trauma and pain of operations like this then they must really feel what they feel is right. There was a guy who lived just outside of our city who had the operation and became a woman - and he was one of the most attractive women you'd see. Infact he is now married and enjoying life being what 'she' always knew she was. Even from the pictures of when 'he' was a child you could see that this person really was a 'she'. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So basically I firmly live by the rule 'live and let live' and would support anybody who felt themselves in any of the above situations. Please note I don't mean the above to be the 'rules of gender dysphoria' but are just how I perceive this subject and some of the reasoning being it - I maybe wrong - but then I maybe right!

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        29.09.2001 00:20
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        Dooyoo the accused (the internet!) plead guilty or non guilty to providing too much information that is harmful to society and alienating us from each other? I ask you the jury to decide But first lets look at the defence: Case 1 ~~~~~ Firstly there you are sat writing frantically day after day for opinions to be posted on Dooyoo, Ciao, Writtenbyme and numerous other opinion sites set up to earn yourself a bit of extra cash, in fact you find your scrutinising everything you do and use so you can write an opinion on it!! This then leads you onto sites that offer incentives and money for participating in surveys. Later you find that not only do you have all this money to earn but also you can be paid to be a mystery internet shopper too!!!!! Case 2 ~~~~~ Your partner wakes up in the morning he/she is covered in bright red pimples all over his/her butt(!!) gasp! what the hell is that?? after accusing them of various activities you quickly switch on your pc, log onto the net, enter www.google.com and enter 'bright red pimples on butt' - hey presto within 30 seconds your inundated with webpages containing these words - then you calm down as you realise its none of the things you said it was, apparently its caused by sitting on it for too long the day before, while you did all the hoovering/ironing/cooking!!!!!!!!!! Case 3 ~~~~~ You partake in a specialist hobby and you've come up across a major problem that you need help with again you log onto the net and enter your favourite interest site, whereby they have a problem forum, you type in your problem and then wait while somebody reads it and helps you out by explaining what should be your next course of action. You do as that person advised, as soon as you can, and wow it worked - the next day you go back onto the site and thank the user for their much needed assistance as you've managed to sol
        ve your problem. Case 4 ~~~~~ You've just had a really busy week and there's just no way you're going to get time to go to the supermarket, so you log onto tesco.com and shop for all your groceries - even choosing the day and time you want them delivered. The delivery turns up on your doorstep at the given time and you've managed to get a months worth of shopping without having to squeeze past other shoppers, finding its so late they've run out of bread or waiting ½ an hour in a queue with screaming kids behind you!!! Case 5 ~~~~~ Your having a conversation with your colleagues one day and they say swear blind that they're right and your wrong over a argument you've been having for years. To solve this arguement once and for all you look on the internet search for what your argueing over and low and behold your right!! That's the defence, that we have at present, to say that the accused (the internet) does not provide too much information that is harmful to society and alienate us from each other. I ask you now to weigh up the evidence: Against Case 1 ~~~~~~~~~~~ Your sat there all day long writing and reading, rating opinions, then there's numerous surveys and you've just become an internet mystery shoppper, this can't do you much harm, as your earning loadsa moneeeeyyy (well a little!!) but you may well spend hours on end writing and not communicating to friends, family and colleagues. Against Case 2 ~~~~~~~~~~~ Great you can find out what's wrong with you but be careful you can also read irrelevant information and start to frighten yourself , what may start off as a very minor ailment could soon become life threatening. Against Case 3 ~~~~~~~~~~~ Problem page forums excellent ideas, advise almost instantly. If this progresses into chatrooms the
        n we may come across problems such as people disguising their identity the 40 year old man who claims to be a 21 year old male model and chatting up young girls all day long, and people tend to say more when speaking behind something (email or chatrooms) rather than face to face. Against Case 4 ~~~~~~~~~~~ There's nothing against case 4 - who wants to tramp around a b****y supermarket!!! Well downside can be that you don't choose the goods yourself and you do have to stress on ordering that you want a long shelf date. This could in time reduce the amount of staff a supermarket employed if everybody choose this method of shopping. Against Case 5 ~~~~~~~~~~~ You settled a score and now your owed a tenner!!! The internet is a great way of finding out information and for education but are children becoming too used to the internet that they don't bother to use their own imagination anymore and can they be exposed to information that you'd rather they didn't see or know about even if you have the function to control certain sites as some inevitably 'slip the net' My final summing up before you the jury decide: Basically what I'm saying is, like anything, its open to abuse, but if used correctly the internet is an absolutely wonderful tool and hive of entertainment and information. I personally can't go a day at work without a look at the net!! I visit many sites on a regular basis and find it excellent if there's something I just need to know there and then. I've learnt an awful lot since using the net - how to write for one thing!!!! I love all these sites like Dooyoo and have learnt loads about various subjects including politics and current affairs - something I maybe not even bother with if it wasn't for the net and the information being so close at hand and easy to retrieve. The fact that you can communicate with people
        so far away whether it be by email or comments written on opinions brings us so much closer to other parts of the world we would normally ignore. I rest my case now only you can decide.

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        • Attacks on America / Discussion / 0 Readings / 25 Ratings
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          13.09.2001 18:49
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          If you've ever visited writtenbyme.com you'll know that this is an American opionion/writing site - much like Dooyoo - but writings contain content more about feelings and true stories rather than opinions. On this site they too have a catogory for the terrible terrorist attacks that have taken place against their country, below is the thought that I left them on this catagory:: Its now over 24 hours since the atrocities that happened in New York, Washington and Pittsburgh and yet still nobody can believe what has actually happened. Here in Britain the US is miles away, but at the moment it feels like its just around the corner, never have I felt such a complete silence around the country like I feel today. Britain will stand by America, whatever decision is finally made. I'm not going to go through all that days happenings, as we all know what happened that day, we either watched it live on TV, the internet or listened to the radio. But I feel that everybody in America should know that they are receiving support from all over the world. The scenes were very disturbing to all, whether we had direct links or not, to hear of people ringing loved ones from the hijacked planes, seeing people jump from hundreds of feet high, to see people running with a cloud of smoke and rubble behind them is something we watch at the movies NOT on the NEWS. This country is in devastation but they WILL come back, America will not let these people destroy them. What will it mean in the future? Well none of
          us know yet it could be war, global recession we just don't know. This affects every single person in the whole world not just America. Our thoughts are will you. Now I've not visited writtenbyme for sometime, as I was beginning to get a bit negative about this site, but thought that I should visit and express my feelings to people who live so near to such a tragedy. Please visit the site and read some of the articles that have been posted from New Yorkers who were caught up in or saw the devastation for real that this has caused - for instance one guy is a firefighter - he explains what impact this has had on him and the fact he's working 24 hrs on and 24 hrs off is just so terrible. I've read some of the opinions on Dooyoo on this subject, but I feel personally that we should express our thoughts and feelings regarding this subject rather than getting into heated debates, as none of us know the true story yet of this tragedy and who are we to judge President Bush, whether you love him or hate him I don't feel that this is really appropriate at this moment in time. The problems lie with the sick individuals who call themselves 'religious' who cause all this devastation in the first place, those who were jumping for joy because America was crumbling and the fact that they had managed to kill, maime and destroy so many families. I just hope that Bush does think long and hard about all this before he makes his final decision and this his final decision is the right one. Finally my thoughts are with anyone here in the UK who may have had family members/friends killed or who are still in New York or Washington.

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            10.08.2001 18:57
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            OH MY GOD!! As Helen from Big Brother would say!!! I've not visited Dooyoo for a while, and upon receiving my newsletter today, thought it was about time I revisited! The main reason I've not visited Dooyoo was due to the fact that no new catagories were getting added to the Speakers Corner section so I had nothing much else to write about. Anyway, the reason for the shock, horror was seeing BT's 1571 service under Speakers Corner!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does this service really cause such a discussion?????!!!! Confession time - I work for a very well known British Telecommunications Company!!!! and I read with interest and amusement some of the opinions already written on this subject. What I couldn't fail to notice was the fact that most people don't know the correct features or how to use the service correctly - this is probably a BT fault - as they either don't explain to the customers correctly in the first place or as i've know previously, user guides do not get sent out when they should. The History of 1571 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1571 or Call Minder as it was originally known, is an answering service, provided to residential customers from the exchange, which will answer your calls should you either be unavailable or the line engaged. The main purpose of the service was to provide a facility for a rental cost per quarter (£4.99) which would prevent customers having to buy seperate answering machines and be maintenance free. Features of 1571 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I used the answering service when it first became available (as far I'm aware the service is still the same without the rental charge) so correct me if any of these services have changed but I no longer (thank goodness) have anything, in my company, to do with Customer Services(!!!!) Basically you would set the service to answer your calls after either a short, medium or long length of ring
            (ie if you set it to short the answer service would 'kick in' after 1/2 rings, medium 4/5 rings and long 6/7 rings). 1571 will answer your calls when your line is engaged be it on a conversation or on the internet(!). At this point the person calling will IMMEDIATELY be connected to 1571 (I will comment on this again later). Should the 1571 service take a message for you while your line is engaged it would ring you back a few minutes later to inform you. If you have been out and messages have been left you would just need to pick up the receiver if you heard a 'broken dial tone' (ie more of a beep than a continuous tone) that would indicate that new messages had been received. You were able to set the service so that you had seperate mailboxes, so the person calling could state who the message was for ie - if Adam and Eve both had the service set to both their names the caller would be asked who the message was for and they would reply Adam (hey you didn't know it had been about THAT long now did you???!!). With every message you are able to either repeat, save or delete the message. The service could be activated both by voice or keypad control ie - you could press 1 for yes or just say 'yes'. Advantages of 1571 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well obviously apart from all the above its now a FREE service. The other largest advantage I like is the fact it answers while the line is busy. Disadvantages of 1571 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well according to most of the reviews I read, it seems that people think that the biggest disadvantage is the fact you are connected straight to 1571 when the line is engaged because you pay for the call!!!! BUT you would also pay for the call should you ring a number and get connected to their stand alone answer machine, so I don't really count this as a disadvantage, because if you've run out o
            f money - leave a message - and the phone should ring the person back a few minutes later to advise them of the message. To myself I feel that the biggest disadvantage is the fact that most of the customer services operators don't know ppropely how it works and hence, information is missed when communicating to the customers. Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~ Also remember that BT is governed by OFTEL and a lot of what they would 'like' to do they can't because OFTEL states they can't. **but thats still no excuse for the poor share price and the bad way they treat their staff*** (((!!!!!!)))

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              19.04.2001 16:10
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              In a copy of my local newspaper: Census Enumerators Wanted Join a team of Census Enumerators to deliver the Census Forms (well not the exact advert but you get the idea!!!) Wanting to earn a bit of extra cash to pay off some debts I thought I'd check out the website and printed myself a copy of the application form which I posted that same night (see I'm keen!) I received a letter a few days later inviting me to an interview. I attended the interview and impressed the interviewer by saying that even with a full time job, 2 horses, a man and a house to run of course I had time to deliver the Census Forms. He thanked me for attending the interview and said everybody would hear if they were successful, or not, within 2 weeks. Sure enough within 2 weeks I received a letter to congratulate me on my new position and asking me to attend a training session on 19th March (training but I thought you just posted them through the door!!!) Anyway I attended the training, which was actually an introduction to our team leaders, and supervisor, and to collect our supplies of Census Forms. We were also informed of our next training which was to be held at 7pm on 3rd April (more training!! what have I let myself in for!). As the training session was nearly 2 weeks away, we had to read an abundance of literature and complete a 'self study' test which we had to submit to our team leader, before the training. I attended the training, which was to last 1 ½ hours (to talk about forms for that length of time!) we watched a video and partook in role-play! During the training session, and literature I had read earlier, I discovered that we were to try to make contact with as many households as possible (even if it involved a second visit!!) and we were to check whether there was more than 5 occupants in the household (if so they will need a continuation for
              m) any lodgers (they are entitled to their own form if they so desire) and to leave the form with a responsible adult after writing their surname on the top of form (at this stage I hasten to add, that before venturing out I have to write the address and reference number on all the forms - yes all 423 of them - I can feel writers cramp coming on already!). After this training session we were all fully-fledged Census Enumerators and ready to greet the general public in the big wide world. The next day I leapt out of bed, still a fully fledged Census Enumerator, wanting to get to the office early to enable me to get home, write out some forms and pack them into my bright yellow (yes bright yellow) satchel (supplied to us of course) ready for the delivery. **************************************************** It is now 17th April and the households allocated to us have to be visited by the end of the week (20th April) AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! This morning I had over 100 left to do!!!! Well who else probably went out in their lunch hour to deliver some (well 47 to be exact!). Oh before I finish Part I I'll just let you into some of the various different categories of general public I have come across:: a) The General Wingers - who will usually say something like 'huh' ' do I have to?' ' what more forms?' (these are usually best approached telling them that you knew they'd be pleased to see you!!) b) The Worriers - 'oh didn't think I was getting one my friends all have theirs' (how many pairs of hands do these people think I have!) c) The I'm pretending to be Stupid - 'well what census is this?' 'who do you work for?' 'why should I fill this in?' (just mention the word Government and they normally shut up!!) d) The Flirts - (when asked if they have any lodgers) ' why are you offering?' 'yeah
              you can lodge with me anytime' 'I'm sure I can find a space' (oh ha b****y ha! I tell them I'll give them a call - yeah right!!!) e) The Old Verging on Pervert - 'do you want to see my kittens?' (yes I have had that but fortunately he bought the kittens to me rather than me to the kittens!!) f) The Drunk - thankfully I've only come across one of these as they tend to talk a load of rubbish for at least 10 minutes (still not establishing their surname so giving up!) you tell them in a polite, but positive tone, its lovely speaking to them but you really must go as your running behind schedule. g) And not forgetting The B****y Rude - 'I'm not filling that in' ' I'm going to put it in the bin' 'what a waste of time' (tell them you had to fill one in too and totally agree with them, usually they will give up as your not prepared to argue with them). ***************************************** Anyway that is the end of Part I as I have to go and finish the rest of delivery and attend ANOTHER training session on 1st May regarding collecting those that don't get returned in the pre-paid envelope (extra money is given depending on how many we have to collect).

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              • writtenbyme.com / Internet Site / 0 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                06.04.2001 00:55
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                Now this is not an opinion on how writtenbyme.com works, as there are plenty of other opinions, to explain all that, its an opinion as to the attitude of some of the readers and writers on the site. Ok I'll tell you a brief bit of how writtenbyme.com works first then - basically you write and rate reviews, same as DooYoo but you collect points (called Deweys), its 1 dewey for a posting and 1 dewey for every read, its an American site that seems to attract an awful lot of writers from all over the world. Now that's over with! Back to the nitty gritty!! I don't visit WBM very often as some of the articles can be rather over powering, to say the least, and I have to think of what I'm going to write about next!! (it has some really high standards of writing) With WBM it covers such a wide variety of subjects, it doesn't really review products like DooYoo or Ciao, its mainly thought writing on various subjects (such as should gun laws be stricter in Amercia - I tell you its amazing how many Americans are totally AGAINST stricter gun laws, even though they have just had yet another shooting at a High School - but if you want to read my review on this you shall have to visit WBM!! to how lesbians rate lesbian sex to normal sex!!!) Right back to my original source of writing: I was reading an article yesterday by a writer who had written about the loss of their child, underneath the writing, amongst the ratings, were some really shocking comments, a certain writer (called TalkShowHost) had written how he feels that the writer of this article was purely using this 'subject' as - wait for it - his words not mine - being a 'dewey whore'. Now whether or not you believe this article to be true or whether you feel that writer has maybe written various articles surrounding this same 'subject' - I do not feel that it is right to write such comments. If he felt that strongly about the arti
                cle then surely he should complain to WBM for them to look into or just not read this persons work. BUT to make it much worse, is the fact that TalkShowHost seems to have attracted a lot of 'friends' his 'posse' shall we say, who also commented with similar comments. Now I don't know whether I believe the writer or not, but surely it should be rated on the quality of the work, I actually don't read anything and expect it to be fiction unless they have placed it under the heading 'fiction'. Anyway, reading further articles, I discovered an article (obviously by one of TalkShowHosts 'posse') stating that TalkShowHost had died the night before. Now how sick is this - if this is all a wind up. I then went on to read about half a dozen contributions from other writers with their odes/sympathies to TalkShowHost. Now all of this is appearing to be more and more of a scam as you read on - apparantly he was attacked and died while waiting in the queue at the local MacDonalds. (needless to say that the person who wrote the original article, regarding the death of a child, had posted a comment wanting to know if proof was available - ie which newspaper shows this, which MacDonalds etc etc) Now I can agree with TalkShowHost if the writer of the baby death article was writing informing articles in the first place, as it then tars the other contributions on this sensitive subject that ARE true. I cannot really believe that WBM allows such abuse to happen - constantly there are contributions with f** written in them (written in full I hasten to add), yes we all swear but is there really a need for such abuse on a site on the Internet, whereby people are writing for various reasons - they want a career, they want some 'cash' or 'rewards' , they want to get noticed, they want to release their opinions on various subjects etc etc. Unlike DooYoo where I feel that every one of my rev
                iews count, whether highly rated or not, I don't get that with WBM, as I feel that you have to be part of the 'click'. But then today, I was reading a contribution only to find that it had been rated by a 'TalkShowHostsRevenge' - so obviously its all a b****y big scam (sorry but a swear word had to be entered there!!!) This has really put me off writing for WBM and as soon as I can get my 1000 deweys I probably won't bother anymore. Final last words I would like to say is I don't feel the need for anybody to abuse anyone else whether writing or rating opinions, as I have come across a certain user on DooYoo who has done just that to myself and others, and he apparently states he has been cautioned by the DooYoo Police but couldn't give a f***. This is just unacceptable behaviour that I do not in anyway agree with, a review should be rated fairly on any site whether you agree or not and any comments to write or receive should be taken as advise or a debate not a slanging match. Thank for listening to my ramblings any obscene commentaries please keep to yourself!!!!!!!! (as I've already read far too many this week)!!!!!

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                • The family unit / Discussion / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                  05.04.2001 21:33
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                  I myself, value the fact that I was really lucky, and was an only child born into the family of 2 very very loving parents. I was not spoilt but neither did I go without! (and yes, at 29 years old, they still think at times that I'm a child!!) While I was growing up it would be fairly uncommon to come across many single parents and definately no single sex parents. Parents still used to remain together 'for the sake of the children' more then, than they do now. OK on the surface that may appear to be the 'right' thing to do, as peoples expectations of a 'family unit' is a mother, father and the children, but surely if the parents are unhappy and are constantly disagreeing/drinking/being violent towards each other etc etc then surely its better for the children if the parents seperate. That way the children will see their parents away from each other and the whole atmosphere should be more tolerable for all concerned. Nowadays the whole aspect of the 'family unit' is completely different, it is no longer frowned upon for a couple to divorce or for a single parent to raise their children on their own. What effect this all has on the children is all entirely different depending upon each different family. Unfortunately there are good and bad people in every walk of life, and when talking of a family this is no different. For instance I cannot see how you can talk of all 'single parents' as one, because all their reasons for being a single parent are completely individual for instance:: There are women who decide they 'want a baby' and will just get themselves pregnant on purpose (I know a couple of people like this) and they have no intentions of wanting the father involved. The man/woman who has the awful circumstances of losing their partner to an illness or accident. These single parents have no choice. The couple who constantly argue and abuse each oth
                  er with perhaps violence involved, they then split (for the sake of everybody) and the parent with custody of the children ends up a single parent. BUT in all of the above scenarios if the child is raised with love and is brought up as 'normal' as possible (ie taught right from wrong, manners etc etc) then I cannot see any reason for these children to grow up any different or lacking anything, than a child raised in a 'nuclear' family set. Even children raised in the 'nuclear family' don't always get the love they deserve. My partner was raised up in a family with a mother, father and 4 children, he was the oldest, one child was disabled and one was a girl. Now this posed a lot of problems, as the girl would be the favourite and the disabled brother would need an awful lot of time and attention, so as you can image there wasn't much time or space left for him and he would constantly be put to the 'back of the queue'. I find that since I've been with him (over 8 years now!) he looks at MY parents as HIS parents, which is great for us, but his parents can't work out why! As far as he is concerned he now gets the love and attention that he has always wanted and missed out on. As far as single sex families are concerned I truly believe that any child brought up like this would be shown an awful lot of love from these parents. I know a lot of gay men and I am much happier to be around them than most straight guys!!! My only concern with this would be the fact of whether or not the child would get teased for it at school, but to be honest if children are growing up with this to be part of the 'norm' than they probably wouldn't take any notice - lets face it children would soon find something else to tease them about anyway. Another concern I would have is the fact that they get turned down for adoption, I feel this unfair as a lot of their relationships are a lot more stable th
                  an the man/woman relationship. This does then encourage the lesbian couple to then maybe try their own IVF program! So to sum up my opinion I feel that there is no longer an ideal 'family unit' but any 'family unit' can work with the love and devotion a family should give.

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                  • Religion / Discussion / 0 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                    04.04.2001 00:50
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                    If I was asked if I'm religious in anyway I would probably answer No, but the trouble is like most people, you always end up in church to attend a wedding/funeral/christening and yes I do celebrate Christmas. So I suppose really I feel a bit of a hypocrite, but I find it very difficult to think that so much badness can go on in a world if we are supposed to have a so called God. If there really is a God would he allow such occurances to happen? Or if he has just put us here, and we are expected to cope on our own, then what sort of a God is that? I personally couldn't care what religion people choose to follow, but what does annoy me is when they inflict their believes on other people - yes we all know the religion that constantly knock on your door to convert you (one day when I answered to these people, I didn't realise at first who they were, as upon unlocking the door he said 'ah madam your obviously concerned about safety' I thought maybe the residents were starting up a neighbourhood WATCH!!!! until he handed me the WATCH Tower - or whatever the publication is called!!!). Another instance when I am totally against religion, is when it appears that most of the wars in countries are started purely because half of the country follows one religion and the other half follows another. This is absolutely crazy - what on earth possess people to start wars and shoot their neighbours purely because they disagree on one aspect of their lives? People are raped, tortured, killed etc just over religion. Surely whatever religion somebody follows, when their front door is shut, is their business. But why do people choose to follow a religion in the first place? It always appears to me that its people who need something in their life, to see them through. If they feel that they have a 'leader' then they feel more stronger and able to cope with life, and any decisions they make they will say they were 'told to do so'. I kno
                    w people who visit spiritualists, to contact their friends/relatives that have deceased, again I cannot understand this - at one instance the person came through and was supposed to say certain things that really could have applied to anybody. But like religion if they believe this to be true - they feel better within themselves. Another bad aspect of religion is whereby the religion states that they must not have operations or blood transfusions - BUT its in the interest of the individuals own safety/life that they must have this operation/transfusion again whatever sort of a religion is it that refuses their followers such lifesaving situations. Overall I feel that religion is just the root of all evil and if there was no religion to follow at all then maybe the world would be better - but then who knows?

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                    • Vegetarianism / Discussion / 0 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                      02.04.2001 17:39
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                      I personally choose not to eat meat mainly because I don't like it and because I am an animal lover and do disagree with a lot of the farming practises. But that doesn't mean that I would try to stop other people eating meat and certainly would not insist that, if I did have children, they shouldn't eat it as everybody has the right to decide themselves what they eat - just because you didn't eat baked beans doesn't mean you would tell others not to (even if at times it may well save the ozone layer!!!!!!!). It can be a bit of a pain at times when my boyfriend, who likes meat, has one meal and I have another, but then its always been like that and you just get used to it. But what makes me really mad is when people say 'well what do you eat?' WHAT DO I EAT - well if you've not noticed there are other things out there to eat you know besides steaks and beefburgers and I don't mean nut roasts (which are b****y awful anyway so contrary to popular belief I do not live on them!!!!!). Veggie mince makes for a wonderful chilli or shephards pie!!!!! In fact I'm sure that if I did eat meat (which I haven't done since I was about 13 - as the smell makes me feel sick - yuk! all that fat!!!!!!) I wouldn't choose to eat a steak everytime I went out anyway - how boring, the same meal, everytime you venture away from your own kitchen!!!! Then people seem to think that all vegetarians live in 'peace man' lifestyles and preach everyday the well being of being a vegetarian, I would like to stress that I don't preach my believes, but don't wish to inflict my healthy body on rotting flesh!!! Not eating meat is not an affliction, like some people like to make it sound, you don't get condemned for not having tomato in your salad bcause you don't like them - so don't shun people who choose not to have a steak with their meal. As far as the a
                      ctual farming of animals goes it annoys me to think that better practises cannot be put into place, since most animals are kept in cramped conditions where they often suffer from physical and psychological conditions. Most of the diseases that the animals suffer from are due to over breeding, over milking, living in close confinement and being fed on poor food (which contributed to both BSE and the recent Foot and Mouth). If I was to list every single disease or bad practise that occurs you would be reading this for ever and the meat eating community would be getting well p****d off by then!!!! But just to mention a few: Ewes generally lamb once a year, but due to selective breeding, this has meant that some can lamb twice a year. Breeding has also encouraged ewes to have twins or triplets rather than a single lamb. This then causes, a ewe who carries only one lamb, for the lamb, to become too large to pass through the narrow birth canal, many farmers then choose to cut the front legs off the live lamb whilst still in the womb. This is called embryotomy and is carried out to avoid having to pay a vet to perform a caesarean. The practice is widespread and more than 50,000 lambs are believed to be killed in this manner during the lambing season. In battery hens cages prevent hens from dust-bathing. Despite this, caged hens will attempt to dustbathe on the wire floors or on other birds. Pecking and scratching for food is also impossible as hens naturally spend a great deal of time pecking at objects, so hens will begin to peck cage fittings and each other. Feather pecking at each other will cause the hens to lose all their back feathers. As the hens are uable to escape from each other, this can then lead to more aggressive behaviour and cannibalism. To try to prevent this hens may undergo debeaking or beak-trimming, this involves cutting off about one-third of the bill using a heated blade without anaesthetic. This is obvio
                      usly very painful for the birds and studies have shown that the pain lasts for a prolonged period if not indefinitely. Birds may not resume normal pecking or preening for as long as six weeks after debeaking, and in some cases profuse bleeding and death from shock occurs. Overfishing of the worlds oceans have caused many fish to become extinct, while others are now at dangerously low numbers including cod and herring. Dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles are also killed by drift netting and in some parts of the world are deliberately slaughtered. Again I could go on with an endless list, but these are just examples of why I personally choose to eat or not eat what I do. After the animals have endured their 'farm life' they are then exposed to the ordeal of slaughter and possibly live exportation. I am also totally against live exporting of animals, and I cannot see personally, where there is any advantage in making these animals suffer and endure these long journeys, often without adaquate food, water and ventilation. Surely its better for animals to be slaughtered at a nearby abbattoir and then send the meat to their final destinations. As far as the abbattoir themselves is concerned the trouble is, that a lot of the time the animals aren't always killed correctly: Cattle, Pigs and Sheep are first stunned, followed by having their throats cut, if the stun gun is not placed in the exact position, the animal is then totally conscious while having its throat cut and being 'bled'. Turkeys are hung upside down on shackles, before being stunned and having their throats slit. After this they are then placed into a scalding tank to loosen the feathers for plucking, in research studies, it has found that 0.1% of turkeys are still alive while entering these tanks. So basically what I 'm trying to say is, whether you choose to eat meat or not it's obviously
                      the individuals choice, but if a better choice of product can be made then please use that, such as free range eggs or organic farmed food. PS:: Medical evidence from the United States has recently shown that vegetarians are likely to be better lovers!!!!!! So get your courgettes ready NOW!!!!!! (and with over 1.5 million people choosing to become veggie since the recent foot and mouth outbreak thats a lot of testosterone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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                      • More +
                        27.03.2001 21:54
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                        I am the proud owner (mother!!) of 2 horses. 1 thoroughbred mare (nearly 22 years old and still in full time work) and her daughter (crossed with an Irish Draught) who is now nearly 4 years old. To breed from a mare is not a decision to be taken lightly, but if your like me, once you've made up your mind there's going back, to everybody elses dismay, (yes the man does come 3rd in line!!!!! well actually 5th as there's 2 cats and a fish tank too!!!). Anyway the decision was made, Zara was checked to ensure everything was in full working order (!) and then off she went to the stud for some fun!!. Well at least I thought she'd enjoy it - but she had other ideas!!!! It was a really wet summer that year (bit like most of them now!) and none of the mares were particularly interested in these fine specimans they were to meet. After about 2 months of Zara, and most of the others, completely ignoring his advances, they were to be injected to get them into season. Finally the inevitable happened and I was then allowed to take her home. I actually rode her nearly until the end, just gentle walking around the land (bareback as saddle may have been a bit tight!) which kept her interested in life still. For about a week before she actually gave birth, I would visit her during the night to see if she was OK, and any little visitors had arrived!!!! Horses don't like to give birth if they are disturbed, so you have to be real quiet! She finally gave birth at about 2/3am in the morning, and on my arrival at the yard at 6am the foal was already to her feet - aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!! Zara was very tired and had to eat her breakfast lying down with, Sherry as she was later callled, watching with caution! I watched Sherry grow up over the coming months becoming braver and more independant by the day. I made the decision to ride Zara as soon as I could, so Sherry had Zara's mate Chrissy in the field t
                        o baby sit for her while Mum went out on a quiet hack. On her return Sherry was starving by now and the was most pleased to see the milk machine had arrived home!! Needless to say that weaning was actually no problem by now, and I just segregate the field with electric fencing for a while which didn't seem to bother either of them. Sherry was introduced to a saddle and bridle as soon as I felt the time right, she was probably about 2 1/2 and as she had been handled from birth she took to them with no problem. Over the coming year I would regularly just put her saddle and bridle on the stable and just 'play' with her! then gradually she was introduced to lunging and long reining. In the last month or two she has been long reined around the farm and was ready to be broken properly (ie introduce the rider!! HELP!!!) for this I laid across her back in the stable and got her used to the weight. She is now at a friends, who breaks in youngsters all the time. He has had her for a week now and she was ridden in the school for the first time yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and as you can probably tell I am now getting very excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry to bore all you non-horsey people out there!!!! but I'm sure if you are horsey you can understand the excitement of watching this little tiny foal grow into a wonderful horse (who will be thoroughly loved and spoilt just like her mother Zara that is - I'm not spoilt!!!!)

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                          01.03.2001 23:02
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                          I myself have never suffered from any form of eating disorder and the thought of the pain and torture these sufferers go through must be awful. When we think of eating disorders we immediately think of anorexia or bulimia, neither of these I could suffer from, as the thought of making myself sick scares me. What drives people to these disorders? Well personally I believe that it depends on the individual's situation and that there isn't one thing in particular to be blamed. It can be triggered by peer pressure, media pressure or sudden traumas such as divorce or death. Does media play a part? Yes I believe that the media can play a part on starting these disorders, I mean whatever happened to the years of Marilyn Monroe, I have a diary at the moment which shows a picture of her on every page, and she was by no means a waif like size 10, she was in fact a size 16, but she oozes far more sex appeal than any of the waifs you see. In fact in previous surveys men have voted the likes of Dawn French above Kate Moss for sex appeal. But still the media likes to pursue the image of a large lady being unattractive. The media do annoy me, as only yesterday, did they show a picture of Gerry Halliwell at the Brit awards and underneath a picture of her in the Spice Girls, discussing how she'd lost weight, personally I didn't think she looked any better for it, as no way was she over-weight in the first place. Then not along ago they were picking on Mel C and saying that she'd put on weight - I mean how many of us want to be reminded of what we used to look like!!?? They should be commenting on their profession, singing, not whether or not they've lost/gained a few pounds. How does peer pressure affect all this? Peer pressure is probably THE most common cause of either of these eating disorders, the child at school who constantly gets bullied and taunted for being a bit over wei
                          ght, who eventually thinks the only way to stop this harrasement is to lose weight. People have to learn to accept people the way they are. An over eating illness? Yes there is also the opposite, whereby, people suffer from an illness called Prader-Willi syndrome whereby the person constantly feels like they've not eaten enough and crave for food. A sister of a friend, has been diagnosed with this illness (called so as it was discovered by Professor Prader and Dr Willi) its caused by a defect in chromosome 15 and is a genetic defect caused either at or just after conception. Victims may constantly also suffer from temper tantrums and their food consumption has to be carefully monitored keeping them on a low calorie intake if possible. My friends sister needs an operation for gall stones but they will not operate until she loses about 8 stone. She has lost most of this, only with careful monitoring by the centre (making sure she has no access to food and no money to spend on food) she will still need to have a 'tummy tuck' to firm up the lose flesh, and the operation could be fatal. My advise? Well it is only MY advise, but if your wanting to lose weight, don't starve yourself, eat healthy and take plenty of exercise, as exercise (in any form) makes you feel good and if you feel good, you'll look good. So next time you look at yourself, concentrate on all your good bits, rather than the bad bits (as everybody has bad bits!!!) and remember a great personality and smiley face goes a lot further than being skinny.

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                          • Bullying in Schools / Discussion / 0 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                            27.02.2001 18:10
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                            Firstly may I say that I find bullying at school a subject that makes me really angry. To hear of a child/teenager who has taken the decision that the only way they can escape bullying is to take their own life is heartbreaking. Only just a year ago a daughter of a couple who my parents knew committed suicide because she was bullied at school, this was awful, her parents were just devastated; it's just so sad to think that she will never get the chance to walk past these bullies, in later life, with her head held high, saying look at me now (just like I do). I absolutely hated school and the thought every morning of having to get ready to go, made me feel sick, and often I would try to get out of going. This would obviously not work everytime and my parents would tell me I would feel better once I got there, but no I never did. As I'm an only child, I was very very shy, and this would be the reason I would get picked on. I wasn't bullied in the extent that I got beaten up everyday, I don't think I ever even got hit, but it was mental abuse and torture, kids not speaking to you or laughing at what you're wearing and all silly things like that. The trouble was it didn't stop when I went to comprehensive school, in fact I found the people even nastier. As we all came from different middle schools we were mixed, and I woud find that often I would be in a lesson where I didn't know anybody, again being shy I would feel it hard to make friends and this seemed to just egg on the bullies as they would deliberately not ask you to sit with them. The moment though I was in a lesson with a few friends I was, and felt, completely different. As I read in another opinion, the thing is if you ask these people why don't you like him/her, they will just say 'cos he/she doesn't like them', this is just awful. What makes me laugh now is the way that all of this actually made me a much stronger person; the moment I left schoo
                            l, I decided that nobody knew me and that I would be completely different, which I was. I found that I compensated for it more by becoming more outgoing, lively and made sure that wherever I went, I always looked the best, and still do now. There is nothing more satisfying than walking past these people, and looking at them down my nose, and to see them just put their heads down and not even look at me. Now I don't like to sound vain, but as far I'm concerned thanks to them, I look better than them, probably have a better job than them (as I know of a few that just ended up drug takers with no job and lost their looks completely) I'd like to thank them and see if they would say to me now what they used to say then!!! But the hard facts are, I think that I basically came through it, mainly because I had an interest; I've ridden horses all my life and feel that this is something I did well, so I would escape there and have only to deal with this problem at school. Others are not so fortunate, and I feel that it is these people who, it just eats away at them more and more, and they feel nowhere to go as the mental torture just never escapes them. But how can you tell a child that it won't last forever and they will escape it and probably turn into a much stronger person - you just can't. What can we do? Well I don't have a magic wand to wave to make all bullying stop, but all I can say is, teachers and parents have to work more closely together to control bullying and try to control it as much as they can. Often maybe the bully needs some form of help - I mean what sort of a family do they come from? Are they having problems at home that make them like they are? Or they just thinking that they're being clever and not hurting anybody? Whatever the reason more emphasis needs to be placed on bullying and teachers/dinner ladies/parents all made to watch for the signs. To come down on them 'heavy' isn't going to solve the problem
                            , neither is if the bullied child tells somebody to speak to them, that will make them worse, maybe just for the teachers/dinner ladies to keep their ears and eyes open more and if they see or hear any form of bullying to just maybe say 'I heard/saw that' now apologise. They have to make it more along the lines of that they heard/saw it for themselves rather than the child reporting it. I see there is another new category - eating disorders - this can all stem from bullying too. I don't have any children of my own, and at the moment don't intend to, but if I do my worst fear would be for my own child to be bullied at school. If i'm right, I believe I read in the paper where a member of Steps and another group were bullied at school, but look at them now (not that I'm a fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

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                            • MBNA / Credit Card / 1 Reading / 22 Ratings
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                              23.02.2001 21:40
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                              While I was looking for a new credit card and checking out which were offering the best deals on balance transfers, I stumbled across the MBNA card as it was being offered through one of the equestrian magazines that I regularly use for ordering items. The offer stated a low APR on balance transfers and competitve APR after that, along with money off all future orders with the mail order company (Robinsons Country Leisure) and special offers. As I ordered the credit card through the Robinsons Country Leisure, it has a lovely horsey design on the front, which I feel would attract a lot of people to have one of these cards. I regularly receive through the post £10 money off vouchers to use in the catalogue as long as I order with my credit card. This at first seemed great to keep receiving these £10 vouchers, but the trouble is everytime I use them, I save £10 but then don't put the money away to pay for it at the end of the month and still just pay off the minimum amount due, hence I then don't really save £10 at all in the long run!!!! The other attraction to this card, was the fact that I could have a cheque book and use this in instances where a credit card wouldn't be accepted, for instance if I was to have work done by a local tradesman, costing a bit more than I could afford that month, and who didn't have the means to accept credit card, I would just use one of the cheques and not have to worry. BUT the only trouble is, is that the APR is charged at a highter rate for this, its charged along the same level as though I had withdrawn cash. The one thing that I really object to is the late payment charge, which is £18!! I forgot on a couple of instances to send my normal payment, through moving house etc, and was charged, even though I pay on time all other times. At no time until then was I aware of a late payment charge as I had not come across this before. I have always found their custome
                              r services department to be very friendly and professional. You also get the option of setting up a pin number over the phone so that you can call for information on your statement, without even having to speak to anybody, which is quite useful if you just need a quick query solved, such as a credit limit check or balance oustanding. I am currently looking again to change to another card (one with low balance transfers!!!) as I feel that I am spending a lot more with this card than any other, due to the fact that I receive the £10 vouchers and they also keep putting up my credit limit!!! I just hope that I don't come across any problems with them when I wish to transfer the balance and close the acccount!!!! fingers crossed!!!!

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                              • More +
                                21.02.2001 22:27
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                                Brooke Animal Hospital was established in Cairo in 1934, by a lady called Dorothy Brooke, who was so shocked by the conditions of horses working in Cairo (Cavalry horses which the British Government had sold them at the end of World War 1) that she was determined to put an end to their suffering. The work now covers lots of other countries but the main centres being based in: EGYPT where there are 25 fully qualified vets working in 6 centres in Cairo, Alexandria, luxor, Aswan, Edfu and Mersah Matrouh. The work of the vets is backed up by over 90 assistants and farriers to provide well over 200,000 treatments each year. JORDAN: a clinic based at Petra helps over 1000 horses, that carry tourists to the entrance of the city, where Brooke have provided shelters and troughs for the horses to have access to while they wait for the tourists to return. PAKISTAN: centres here are based at Peshawar, Lahore, Multan, Mardan and Gujranwala, these include 2 in-patient clinics for more intensive treatments, there are 3 veterinary teams operating at each centre treating over 13,000 patients per month. INDIA: in this country Brooke has to work with 4 other animal welfare organisations as the large number of animals involved are spread over such a huge area, with a recently opened office in Delhi. Brooke provides free veterinary care and should the animal be out of work for a period of time, they will actually pay the owner a small subsistence allowance as their horse is their only means of a livelihood. Brooke works extremely hard, to not only treat the sick and injured animals, but to also educate the farriers and owners of these animals to care for them in a much better way. Work is always being carried out the ensure that the animals have tack that fits them correctly, I cannot describe to you the terrible wounds caused by ill-fitting tack, as well as mo
                                st of the animals suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Some of the most recent work Brooke has completed includes: SUPPLYING WATER TROUGHS: Its amazing that generations of owners have been told that it is better not to water their horses as it reduces their strength! A tremendous amount of work has been carried out to supply water troughs for these animals to prevent dehydration in these terribly hot countries. Several clinicss in India and Pakistan carry a TV and Video unit to help to explain and show the owners the importance of regular watering. BUT more water troughs are needed. SUPPLYING SHADE: With temperatures reaching 50C not only do these animals require water but also shade. Brooke have suplpied various shade for the horses to take a break and in Delhi they have constructed shelters made of mud and cow dung (a natural fly repellent!!) for the horses transporting bricks all day - often overloaded, they horses suffer quickly from exhaustion and the lifespan of a brick kiln horse/donkey can be as little as 18 months, but with Brookes help this should improve. FARRIERY: Most farriers in these countries know nothing about the correct care of horses hoove and many horses have neglected overgrown feet causing more anguish to the horse.. Brooke supplied, in Jordan, a farrier from the Royal Stud who spent 12 months training local farriers. HARNESS/SADDLEPACKS Work is currently being undertaken into designing a well-padded saddle that will withstand oads of up to 100 bricks while preventing the horrendous sores and wounds found on most animals. A subsidised harness initiative is also underway to provide owners with a low cost harness, which they can pay for over the years, following this over 200 harnesses have been distributed and no owners have defaulted a payment. This is the main charity that I would support as I feel that the workt
                                hey do is extremely important and these animals desperately need all the care they can provide. For more information on Brooke please visit :: www.brooke-hospital.org.uk Or E-mail at:: info@brooke-hospital.org.uk Or write to:: Brooke Hospital for Animals Broadmead House 21 Panton Street London SW1Y 4DR

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                                • Arrow Express / Transport / 2 Readings / 10 Ratings
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                                  21.02.2001 18:23
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                                  OK here we go - my recent dilema with White Arrow Express BUT it could be White Arrow Heavy Goods!!!! Having ordered from my catalogue a new 3 piece suite for my new home, I had asked for expected delivery date which I was given as 26th February. Great I thought not too long a wait, but it gives me time to finish the decorating and have the new carpet laid. UNTIL:: FEBRUARY 13TH: when I received a note from White Arrow Express advising that my 3 piece suite would be delivered the next day!!! Oh my goodness but the carpets not going to be done until the 19th!! I'll have to get that changed, so I gave them a call to advise of the situation and could they make delivery on the 20th. Now most of us would assume that this is a simple process to delete off tomorrows delivery and change to next Tuesday - UNLESS you work for White Arrow that is!!! Apparently it was impossible for them to change the delivery for the next day as the route was already planned and the goods would already be loaded onto the vehicle, BUT surely they could simply unload the suite and delete off the route - NO this was not possible. So they had to make an attempted delivery, at an address where there was going to be nobody there, then take the goods all the way back. To make it even worse I couldn't even change the delivery date there and then I had to wait until AFTER the attempted delivery, when I would receive ANOTHER form and then ring them back to arrange delivery!!! FEBRUARY 14TH: Delivery of 3 piece suite is attempted, note left through door to advise, customer (ME!!) then rings to arrange a convenient day. Ask opertor if delivery can be made on Tuesday 20th, Yes she replies thats fine. FEBRUARY 20TH: It has reached 3:30pm and still no suite has arrived, I thought I'll just make a quick call to check its on its way. Now this is where a quick call calls into a
                                  heated debate!!!!! Apparently my suite was not on the delivery for today its on the delivery for tomorrow! Having spent several minutes on the telephone expressing my deep concerns (as by now I have got rid of the old suite and have nothing sit on!!!) the operator tells me that the day specified cannot always be guaranteed!!! CANNOT BE GUARANTEED - but I was not advised of this at the time. I am then transferred to a manager, who speaks to the depot, but is told they cannot even give me an estimated time of delivery (but I thougt the route was all planned the day before!!). Eventually I managed to get out of them that I was on the PM delivery route which is anytime between 12and 5pm. I then rang back to check which depot it was coming from, as I have a White Arrow Express fairly near my house, the operator told me that I could not do this and anyway I was not expecting a delivery from White Arrow Express it was actually coming from White Arrow Heavy Goods(?!?!) but it says White Arrow EXPRESS on the note through the door, she then explains that yes it does, but it shouldn't!!!!!!!!!!!!! My goodness the plot thickens!!!! FEBRUARY 21ST: It is nearly 12:30PM and I am waiting with anticipation for the arrival of the goods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the meantime I have actually rung the catalogue to complain and they have agreed to give me a credit for all the inconvenience. ================================================ hopefully no further updates regarding the non - arrival of the goods will be necessary - but who knows!!!!!!

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