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Me and my boyfriend moved into our first house around May 2012, we decided on our first hoover to be a Dyson, the Dyson did us well for around 1 year, and then it broke. (Im not sure what was actually wrong with it, but the boyfriend (we'll call him Mr B) said it wasn't fixable hmmm). So he began searching for a new hoover, at the time I wasn't really interested in looking for one so I possibly made a big mistake- I let him choose it!
So he opted for the GTECH (after being easily led by the TV advert), I just went along with it. He brought it from their website for £199. It was easy and straight forward to buy and arrived a couple of days later.
My Opinion- It is a dark grey colour, a straight handle upwards and a small box shape at the bottom. It has small elements of a lime green on the handles and base. It has a sturdy handle where it does give you a firm grip. There is only 1 button on the hoover which turns it on and off, no other buttons or settings are needed. I give it- 7/10
Mr B Opinion- "alright"- 8/10
Ease of Use
My Opinion- I am not a strong person (physically) and one of the selling points of this hoover was that it is 'light'. I would say that it is slightly lighter than the Dyson we had, but I wouldn't go out of my way to say it is a 'lightweight' hoover.
When pushing the hoover around it does glide easily over both carpets and hard floors which makes the process of hovering easier. The handle turns each way so that it is easy to manoeuvre around different areas, eg. Tables etc. We only live in a small house, so it is fairly quick to hoover most of the rooms with this hoover. The only issue I have is when I come to the stairs! There are no extra parts with this hoover so you literally have to lift the hoover up and glide it along each step. In my opinion I don't feel this does as good a job as when you have the extra hoover 'pipes' attached to your hoover, as they can get closer into the corners and around the edges. I give it- 7/10
Mr B Opinion- "Just switch it on and go round with it, don't need to plug it in just take it"- 8/10
My Opinion- OK, so all the dust etc gets sucked up and makes a nice little rectangle box for you to easily empty. You just have to pull the lid off the top and its empty, then click it back in. It is very easy and simple, which is a good thing because I find I have to empty it quite often, at least after every hoover, as you know the next time you come to use it, it wont be sucking up very well because it will soon need emptying. An issue which I have with this hoover is that the roller which goes round does not come out. I have long hair and yes my long hair gets trapped around the roller, now this wasn't an issue with the Dyson because the roller clipped out allowing me to get rid of my hair, but now I have to turn the whole hoover upside now and try to cut out my hair.- 7/10
Mr B Opinion- "Easy, pull it out, bin it, pop it back in"- 8/10
Charging the Gtech
A positive point to this hoover is that it doesn't need to be plugged in to use it, which does make hovering different rooms around the house quicker, as you can just get it and go. The plug which came to charge it with has a very short lead so it needs to stay near the plug anyway. On the front of the handle at the bottom are 4 green indicator lights which tell you how much charge you have left. It goes down bar by bar, and the last bar will turn red to show you it needs charging. As I said our house is small so to hoover our whole house would take me around 30-45min. This would be an adequate amount of time as it roughly lasts 50mins from one full charge. I do charge it after every time I use it just to make sure it wont run out. It takes around 3 hours to charge it fully from empty. 8/10
Mr B Opinion- "Plug it in for a few hours"
Practicality Vs Value
I have some issues with the practicalities of it for the price that we paid. The tall handle does not lower so storage could become an issue. I did like how our Dyson handle lowered allowing for easy storage solutions.
Tight Corners and awkward spaces could become an issue as there are no attachments to allow you to other areas. It is difficult to hoover stairs, so if you live in a flat then this is perfect for you J. As there are no attachments you wouldn't be able to hoover your car with it (we used our Dyson for our cars too). As this hoover was £199 it was expensive, to pay this much for something that doesn't do a lot of things is a major issue for me. I want to get the best value out of something for my money and I don't feel this was worth it. I give it 6/10.
Mr B Opinion- "Bit expensive for just hoovering carpets" - 6/10
Ok, so this is the main point of the review, is it any good? Yes, it hoovers up well, we don't have any pets which it is supposed to be good for pet hair so we cant comment on that. But our carpets (which are cream) always look 100% better after a good hoover up. It works just as well on both carpets and hard floors, so I cant fault it on the actual performance of the hoover. I give it- 10/10
Mr B Opinion- "good"- 8/10 "(because nothings perfect)"
Would I buy this hoover again? Simple answer No. Would I let Mr B choose a hoover again? No.
It's an OK hoover and does the job, it is just all the little extra's that it lacks which is why I wouldn't buy it again. I want to make the most of my money and I feel that this hoover doesn't do that.
Would I recommend this hoover to someone else? Only to an elderly person living in a flat.
Overall Score- 7/10
Mr B Opinion- "I think it's the best hoover out there, could be cheaper but a lot of things could" Would you buy it again- "err yeah". Would you recommend it to some else? "well if they wanted it for hovering yeah"
Overall Score 8/10
Roomzzz Leeds City
If you haven't heard of the Roomzzz brand before, then the concept of Roomzzz is an apart/hotel. You get a lovely 'hotel' style room, with the added extra of a kitchen unit, which I love the idea of!
Roomzzz are currently located in 4 area's, 3 of these being in Leeds- Leeds City, Leeds City West and Leeds Headingley, and the other location being Manchester City Centre.
This review will concentrate on my most recent stay at Leeds City.
We booked this stay in about May as they had an offer on for 50% off all rooms and stays, we booked it for the bank holiday weekend in August which was all fine. Me and my boyfriend booked a 3 night stay in a Liberty Suite room (1 bedroom apartment) - 26th-29th August for £162. My friends who also stayed here booked a 2 night stay in a studio room- 27th- 29th August for £88.
The hotel is situated right in the centre of Leeds, it is in walking distance to the train station, the shops, nightlife, restaurants etc. It is a perfect location, and even though it is in the centre it isn't noisy, so you get the best of both worlds.
You can check in from 3pm, or you can pay £10 extra for early check in. We checked in around 3.20pm and our room was ready for us. The receptionist was very friendly and helpful. We paid on arrival and this was all done very quickly. We also had 2 room keys. The reception area is very nice, with comfy sofas and a TV, it all looks very posh and plush. Great first impressions.
We then quickly made our way to the room, we were on the 1st floor, so we took the lift (I had a heavy bag!), but there is also stairs.
You use the room card to enter the room and then use this in the room to turn on the electrica, air con etc. The room definitely lived up to all our expectations. Walking in to the room there is a small hallway, with 1 door to the left, 1 to the right and was straight ahead.
The Main Living Area
Turning to the door to the left is the main living area. This includes the kitchen area, dining table and the seating area. The kitchen area has everything you will need for a short stay, cutlery, plates, glasses, dishwasher, fridge, saucepans etc, it even has a washing machine! They also thought of the little things, including fairy liquid and a dishwasher tablet! It has a kettle, toaster, micro/oven, hobs etc. It was all very clean and we soon stocked up the fridge (with alcohol, but a cold beer is always better than a warm one...or so I've been told!)
There is a glass dining table with 4 chairs, so you have somewhere nice to eat if you fancy cooking. We did use the cooking facilities for breakfast and we made (I say 'we', the boyfriend made..) bacon and cheese sandwiches, and I must say they were delicious!
There is also an I-Mac in every room with free wifi which is definitely a great added bonus, particularly if you are there on business, or you like to check in to Facebook and make your friends jealous!
The seating area consisted of 2 sofas, one was a 3 seater sofa which also pulled out into a sofa bed, and the other one was a 2 seater sofa. There was a nice TV with free view channels. What also makes this hotel feel more 'homely' is the added decorations, such as the vases on the shelves under the TV.
It has laminated flooring in this room, and 3 coat hangers behind the door.
Great room and a good space.
The bathroom was also very nice, white interior and had a heated floor. There is a large mirror above the sink, where part of it was anti-steam, which again is a great touch. There was some small toiletries provided, along with plenty of towels. There is also a hairdryer in the bathroom. We had a bath with shower overhead and a shower screen, which is where my first little niggle for this hotel comes in. We were both left a little disappointed with the shower. I didn't find it very powerful and because it is permanently attached to the wall, you are unable to move it down or up etc, (and being only 5'1 and ¾) it is nice to be able to move it down so you can get it more powerful. Also when the shower was turned to be on full power it would splash against the shower screen onto the floor, so make sure you put a towel down so you don't slip over!
Yes, I am being very picky but it shows how good the hotel is when its these things which are negatives.
This had to be my boyfriends perfect bedroom. It had a king-size bed, which was extra comfy, and a good sized plasma TV on the wall. It had a window to one side, and on the other side was an open wardrobe with coat hangers, an iron and ironing board, and also a safe. There is also a table and chair in this room with a mirror opposite. There was two bedside tables, one of which had an ipod dock on, again great added extra. Although this is where another little niggle of mine comes in. There is plenty of storage in the wardrobe, but it would be nice to have a drawer! Yes I'm being very picky again, but I like to put my 'smalls' in a drawer out of sight. (The boyfriend shouldn't have to see my Bridget Jones knickers lying around!). The bedside tables had more like shelves underneath and not drawers.
The carpet was also very comfortable and soft, and again some nice pictures on the wall giving it that added homely feel.
The room was well lit with the lights on, including two spotlights above the bed, and was very dark with the curtains closed, which I love! We actually didn't get up until about 11am Saturday morning, because we didn't realise how late it was! The bed is one of the most comfortable beds I think I have ever stayed in!
Another little niggle, is that there is no full length mirror, and a girl needs to see her shoes in the mirror!
This seems to be a common occurrence in my hotel reviews, so this time it has it's own heading. Although I'm sure you can guess what is coming... we again had a view of a wall. We were quite lucky this time as this wall had windows and there was even two cars we could see. However I think this could have worked to our favour, as if we had been on the other side of the hotel we may have heard traffic noise, that's what I'm telling myself anyway!
My friends stayed in a studio room, which was also very nice. On walking into the room, you have the bed on the right side, which was a good sized double bed. It had a wardrobe and storage on the left side. The bathroom was in a door to the left, which had toilet, sink, mirror and shower. Walking further into the room, is the kitchen unit (both kitchen units in the different rooms are the same). It had a two seater sofa, and then opposite the bed was the TV, which also turned round to be used as the computer screen.
The space in this room is used very well. It was my friends first stay in this style of room and it is definitely something they will consider in the future.
Grab & Go Breakfast
This hotel offers a free grab & go breakfast, this is on from 6.30am-10.30am every morning. It consists of a variety of fruits and pastries, hot drinks and cold drinks, perfect if you forgot to get the bacon in!
There is also a Pantry where you can buy items you may want in your room, such as food and drink etc. (The prices weren't too bad, but it would be cheaper from a supermarket).
The hotel does not have its own parking, but it does offer discount parking, at a nearby NCP car park (literally a few minutes around the corner from the hotel). It is good discount as well, it roughly works out al 50% off parking, by staying at the hotel you pay £8.50 per 24hours, the usual price for this car park is about £17.50 per 24hours. So it is great discount. You park on the car park as normal and get your ticket. Then when you check out the hotel give you another ticket which you put into the pay machine to get your discount. As we stayed for 3 nights, our parking should have been about £52 but with the discount is was £26.
This was again very quick and efficient, we simply handed in our room cards and were on our way! Check-out was at 11am, although you can pay £10 extra for a later check out.
The Negatives to this kind of stay...
I have always thought that this apart/hotel concept is perfect, because it gives you the option to eat in your room which hotels don't always have. However we soon found the drawback to this concept...
At around 8.45pm, I was in my comfy pj's, relaxing in bed watching TV, while the boyfriend was in the shower, when the fire alarm went off. We waited a few minutes to see if it went off (stupid idea as it could have been a real fire and we were dawdling around!) which it didn't, and it was a very loud piercing sound, and with 3 fire alarms in our room (one in the hallway, bedroom and main living room) we got dressed and went down to reception. The hallways smelt of smoke. There were already a few people waiting outside (in the rain) and the receptionist told us that 2 fire engines were on the way. There was a group of around 10-12 girls who I think were on a Hen Night. The fire engines came, and after flirting with the girls, they found the culprit. One of the girls had completely cremated a pizza in the micro/oven which had then blew up. The girls were all very chatty and laughing about it, and taking photo's with the firemen, and didn't care about the other guests whose night they had interrupted. There was a family with a little boy, who was in his pj's and had no socks or shoes on, who I felt for.
Even though this was not the hotels fault, it did put a dampener on our first night there, more so because the girls didn't care.
I'm not sure how often this happens, but it would have been nice for the hotel to maybe put a small card under the door the next day, apologising for any inconvenience from the night before. However it did not happen again and we didn't let it ruin our stay.
We got back in our room about 30mins later.
You can book through the website or by phone, but just to give you an idea of how much the stays here are (and what a good deal we got) include:
A two night stay- Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th September, 2 Adults- £164- Smart Studio
£200- Liberty Suite
The hotel offers a Royalty Club Card where you can get 10% off your stay. They did have a special offer on where it was double discount for stays in July and August for Royalty Club members, it is free to join so definitely check it out!
**I 'liked' Roomzzz on Facebook a while ago, and every Friday they have a special offer/prize on. On one Friday you had to say why you loved Roomzzz so much and you could win a free night stay at Roomzzz Leeds City. I entered with a poem and won! I have decided to use it in October for my boyfriends birthday, I have again booked the Liberty Suite, and had one night free, and I decided to pay for the second night to make a special weekend of it! I also used my Royalty Club discount on the night I paid for! So if you are on Facebook, they are well worth 'liking', and they will answer any questions you may have!**
Here's my poem I won with...
I love the Location of all the Roomzzz its perfect for all my needs
Whether its shopping, eating or partying its never a far walk in heels
I love the kitchen and how my boyfriend cooks
So I can relax in the tub with bubbles and a book
The beds are super comfy I never want to wake
The only thing to wake me would be the smell of Stoke's cheese oatcakes
I love the cool and trendy imac with the free wifi
I get to write on Roomzzz Facebook and will always get a reply
I love when if you're hungry and in a hurry to spend to some dough'
Then all you need to do is pick up the free Grab & Go
I love the choice of different rooms for all of my friends
We all like to get ready together and have a Fab weekend
I love the friendly staff who always welcome you in
Whether your checking in or out they'll always be with you in 1 min
I definitely love the price for this fabulous stay,
It's perfect in every way, and that's not just a cliché
I love how it reminds me of home
In fact that's how I'll end this ode, Roomzzz is my home from home
Having had this phone for the past 18months (I have just upgraded to the Samsung galaxy s2) I feel it is time to write a review for it. Before you get too into my review, it is important to say that it is not a review which is filled with technical data, it would definitely be improved with that information, but I'm not going to pretend to understand it when I definitely don't. So read this review knowing that it is purely based on my experience with this phone over the last 18 months.
One thing which appealed to me when I wanted a new phone was how this phone looks. I think it is very sleek and stylish. It has a large touch screen on the front, with silver at the top and bottom, and a silver back cover. There are three buttons at the lower end of the screen, on one side of the phone there is a camera button, a video camera button, and speaker volume buttons. On the other side of the phone there is the port for the battery charger and usb connecter. On the top of the phone there is the on/off button. At the back of the phone is the camera, this is fairly small and fits in well with the style of the phone.
It is quite a light phone, with curved edges at the top and bottom, making it easy to hold.
Overall based purely on the looks of this phone I will give it - ""8/10""
I like using my phone for the camera features, this phone has an 8.1 mega pixel camera, which sounds good. The camera also has a flash on which you can set on/off yourself. By pressing and holding the camera button on the side of the phone will allow you to take a picture. You can also access the camera mode from the main screen and menu. Unfortunately I am not a very technical person when it comes to technology so I can only tell you my thoughts and opinions and not the mechanical structure etc of the camera on this phone.
To be able to take a good picture on this phone you need to hold it very still, as I found I took a lot of blurry pictures, the flash is ok but I was always left disappointed with any night time shots I might have took. I have took a few nice pictures on this phone at the beginning when I had it, however my photos never seemed to be as good as other pictures taken on camera phones, so towards the end of my use with this phone I barely used the camera feature.
The video tool on this phone is also OK. Its nothing special, but not terrible. If you are in good well-lit places then you can probably get a good couple of minutes footage. The sounds also comes out quite good and clear from a video you have shot.
If you are looking for a phone purely for the camera/video features then I wouldn't recommend this one. For the odd use now and again then I would say it is more than adequate.
Viewing the photos is quite clear and the colours and quality of a good picture are really good to look at. However it's just getting that picture which is a hard task.
Overall I will give this- ""7/10""
This is where this phone really let me down. Even when I first had it I found the battery life to go down really quickly. I have had other sony ericcson phones before and the battery life had been good, so this is definitely a negative point to this phone. I only really used this phone for mainly texting, using the wifi and other simple feature like checking the calender, calculator etc. The batterys life is indicated in the top right hand corner and when fully charged has about 7 bars of strength on. When this got down to about 3 bars of strength then it's time to panic! It just seems to go from about 3 bars of battery to 1, and when you reach 1 then you need to run to your charger asap! If I used my phone about 50% then you might be lucky to get 1 and a half days use. However if you use your phone more often then you would need to charge it everyday. (Having now got a smartphone I have heard that's its common to have to charge it daily, so this may not pose a problem to you, but I would recommend getting an emergency charger if you use it a lot).
One feature about the actual battery charger which I like is that the usb lead is attached to the charger, this was good for me as it saved me losing one of them.
To fully charge the phone when it is completely dead would take a couple of hours. If you did let it die completely then trying to get it to switch back on even when its plugged into the charger could be a real pain and took a while.
Overall battery life gets- ""4/10""
I found that there wasn't much storage on this phone without a memory card, luckily for me I have a memory card from a previous phone which I was able to use, which definitely let me save a lot more things than the phone would originally hold. If you are planning on taking lots of photos, saving lots of music etc then I would definitely recommend getting a memory card. I have a micro SD card, 8GB which has been great especially as I got it free with another phone! I did tend to save most things to the memory card to make life easier when I wanted to transfer them.
The phone can save lots of messages and at one time I think I had about 2000 messages in my inbox and still had room for more. It only saves 20 of your sent messages and then these get deleted. There is also plenty of room for lots of phone numbers, whether you want to save them to the phone or sim card. I only had a few songs on my phone which again were saved to my memory card.
Overall if you have a memory card for this phone then the storage is great- ""7/10""
As mentioned above I didn't really use my phone that much for music, choosing to listen to my ipod instead and save the battery on this phone. There is a button on the main menu which takes you to your media, this include music, photos and videos. The music menu includes accessing the music store, pod casts and then it categorises your music into artists, tracks, albums. It also allows you to create your own play lists which is a definite advantage. The quality of sound from this phone I found very good. I did have music on my phone which I was able to use as a ringtone. The quality is very clear and you would have no problems listening to your music either through the speaker of through the headphones. I had headphones provided with this phone when I brought it. If you are more into using this phone to listen to music than to take photos then this phone would be for you. Whilst I am writing this review I am playing music through the phone and it is pretty good.
Overall I will give this- ""7/10""
-Calendar- Easy to use and easy to navigate around. You can set up specific events on specific days and set alarms for them. Pretty basic but more than adequate for my needs.
-Orange Maps- I didn't have internet included in my last contract so I did not use this feature or other internet features. I did regret not having the internet last time to use on my phone.
-Address Book- Simple straight forward list of names, where when you can click on them you can add pictures, email addresses, extra phone numbers etc.
-Call History- Recent Calls, Call Duration, Packet Data- easy to see all of this information, easy to use.
-Organiser- Media Album, Clock, RoadSync, Google, Search, Notes, Converter, Calculator, Adobe PDF, Quick Office, Help- The main ones I used here were media album, notes- which are easy to view, converter and the calculator, which are again simple and easy to use.
-Settings- This is where you are able to change all of the settings on your phone. The options which come up ion this category include:
- Personal- Where you can set your profile (silent, loud etc) and change themes.
-Phone- Date &Time settings, sensor setting etc- (All the boring stuff)
-Apps- This is where you can access around 3 games, with at least 2 of these being just demo's and then you have to purchase the full games booo! You can also access the radio from here, the internet, you tube and face book have icons to allow quick access to these sites, you can record sounds, view converstaion messages etc.
Cant you just tell that mobile phones are now used more than just making a phone call, as it has taken me until now to actually review phone calls made on this phone!
Dialling numbers is pretty straight forward with their being an icon on the main screen taking you to the dialling page where you can easily input your phone number and then click the green button to ring. The quality of sound though the earpiece is very good, and I have had no problems with this aspect of the phone. When someone rings you, it is easy to answer by pressing the green button at the bottom of the phone, and then ending the call with the red button. I think its always good when touch phones have manual buttons aswell, even if it is just 3!
As boring as it is nowadays to make a phone call, this phone does it justice!
Overall rating- ""10/10""
This was the first touch screen phone which I had so sending texts took me a while to get used to. The best way I found to text on this phone was to use the full keypad, this meant using the phone landscape and then using the touch screen to touch each letter. I found I could text pretty quick on this phone after I gout used to it. You can choose whether you want to receive delivery reports, whether you want your texts saving, and there are also folders you can save your messages in, or make your own folders. You are also able to see the conversations which you have had with whoever you are texting.
Again it may be another simple feature of a phone nowadays, but it's something which we come to rely on.
Overall rating- ""9/10""
I cant really complain too much about this phone as I have had no problems with it. I have also dropped it a few times and it has been fine. There is a few tiny scratches on the screen but nothing which can really be noticed. It is a good phone, its not the best phone I have had, but definitely no where near the worst phone. I think the camera could be better, especially as it is supposed to 8 mega pixels, and the battery life could certainly be improved. The sound quality is good and the memory is easily improved with a memory card. With the rate at phones which now come out, this may be considered an 'old' phone, so it might not have that much going for it compared to the ones which are now on the market.
Its easy to use and easy to get used to, and I think it looks great, but as they say, 'looks arent everything'
Overall Rating = ""59/80""
Mercure Wigan Oak
The hotel has recently been taken over by the 'Mercure' brand, previous to staying here I had read other reviews which stated that it was being refurbished, all work has been done now, although as we havent stayed there before I don't know how much had changed.
As a lovely Christmas present from my boyfriends mum she brought us a 2 night weekend break from buyagift.com. We deliberately didn't use it until now because we always find that with Xmas, New Year, My Birthday and then Valentines day all in the space of 3 months we end up doing nothing after February, so we thought this would give us something to look forward to.
There are some nice hotels which you can choose from, although being from Stoke a lot of the nicer hotels were down south and a bit too far for us to travel, so we ended up choosing Wigan. Neither of us have ever been there before, the hotel was in the centre of shops and bars, there was a free car park and free wifi, so we decided to book it.
We weren't sure whether we would be able to go the last weekend of May with it being a bank holiday but we phoned up the hotel to see and they said they had rooms available and we could use our voucher. They had the reference number from us over the phone and we booked a double room for 2 nights. Very straightforward.
The day before we went we phoned the hotel up just to double confirm our booking as we didn't have a reference number or any confirmation emails, they confirmed that it was all booked and looked forward to seeing us.
Check in is stated at 2pm, we arrived a little earlier around 1.45pm, and we did have to wait until 2pm before our room was ready, which was fine. The receptionist was nice, she took our car registration number, handed us our room card, gave us some information about breakfast etc, and that was it. Very simple and easy check in.
The room was nice, I know describing a hotel room as 'nice' isn't going to win me any review of the year awards, but that's what it was. It had a double bed (which was 2 larger single beds pushed together) which was very comfortable and had plenty of pillows and space. The bedding was all white, which did make it a little boring but nothing to really complain about. It had a nice plasma TV on the wall with all the freeview channels. There was shelving and drawers under the TV.
If I am honest and not being sexist at all, I would say the room was designed by a man. There were just several flaws which have 'male designer' written all over them.
The first problem is that there is only 1 plug!! Yes 1 plug! How was I supposed to straighten my hair, charge my phone, have my laptop on and make a cup of tea all at the same time! (As we know, women can multi-task). We did search the room for more plugs just in case there was one hiding somewhere but sadly we had no joy.
Another problem being that the 1 plug isn't really that close to a mirror, so if your straighteners don't have a long lead you may be walking back and forth to the mirror. They do have weddings at the hotel which I would see as a huge problem if you have more than 1 woman getting ready with only 1 plug not close to a mirror. There is a full length mirror in the room which was good but again not near a plug.
There is a hairdryer in the main room which is already plugged in (and no its not a normal plug you can just unplug!) Its not that powerful and you do have to press your finger to down to keep it on, but hairdryers are always a great touch. There are tea and coffee making facilities in the room, kettle, mugs, tea, coffee etc.
There was a window in our room, and if you have read any of my other hotel reviews before then you will know that we aren't known for having the best views, this is no exception. Our view was of the staff car park where you would see the chefs sitting outside smoking. We weren't really in the room too much anyway so the view wasn't a problem, we just chose to keep the curtains shut a bit more than we would normally.
Lighting- This is also another flaw of the hotel room, with the curtains open there was plenty of light coming into the room, and at night when sleeping it was pitch black which I love. However when the curtains are closed and the lights are on, its not that well lit. It can be a bit dark, we managed fine and the bathroom is well lit so this makes up for it.
Storage- this is another area which I think has 'male designer' written all over it. On the main shelving under the TV, there was 3 drawers and then at the far end of the room there was a rail with about 6/7 coast hangers on, and that was it. I know, its probably a hotel which guests only stay for short periods but still, its nice to know you can unpack all of your things without running out of places to put them. Even just adding a few more drawers or bedside drawers would be helpful.
The bathroom was lovely. There was plenty of towels when we arrived and the shower was very powerful and relaxing. There was a large mirror above the sink and the toilet was next to the sink, so that was all fine and nice until I used the toilet roll. Ok, so I know I am going to sound like someone who is never satisfied and likes to complain about everything, having just complained about a plug, but the toilet paper was that very very cheap toilet roll that was literally just paper. It was not nice at all and definitely something the hotel should upgrade! They had little sachets and tubes of soaps, shower gel and shampoo which was nice, but I would much rather use my own shampoo and shower gel and have decent toilet roll! (Not to be too crude, but its like wiping your bottom on sand paper!)
The wifi was very easy to connect to, you just needed to ring the reception for a username and password, we had no problems with this and it was a good connection.
On the Friday night as we were getting ready the smoke alarm in our room went off. It is a very loud, piercing sound, but after a few seconds it went off, and then it came back on again, then went off, then on, then off, I think you get the picture. I rang down to reception to tell them and they said pretty much in so many words 'don't worry about it, bye'. It's hard to ignore when it was blasting in your ear drums! After about 15 minutes it went off and thankfully stayed off for the rest of our stay. If it was planned by the hotel then a little notice would have been nice.
We did have breakfast included with out voucher, however due to unforeseen circumstances (us being too lazy to get up) we didn't have the chance to have it. The times for breakfast the weekend were 7.30am-10am.
There was a menu in the room which you can have food at certain times, they also served dinner and tea in the main restaurant. Although the prices on the menu I thought were a little expensive, especially for a small hotel, £4.50 for a sausage bap!
This again was very quick and straightforward, we handed in our room key and we were on our way! The only thing to mention would be that when we phoned up about booking the room they told us that checkout was 11am, however they had 12pm written on the room key card, we checked out about 11.45 and this was fine.
The hotel was easy to find, it is just off a main road, it is only about a short 5 minute walk to the centre where there are shops and bars. We went on a night out and I was easily able to walk to the bars in my new heels, although I cant really say the same about the way home! You also need to ring the bell on the gate outside the hotel as it is all locked up at night.
It is a secure car park which locks the gates at night. Our car was fine there all weekend. It is free to park here if you are guests at the hotel, although shoppers can park here too for £2 and they have to give their registration number in at the reception. A nice touch to this car park (if you're a woman) is that they have 'ladies only' spaces. Granted they are only about a step away from the other spaces, but still a nice touch.
As this was a Xmas present I do not know how much the hotel was. So here is how much the hotel would cost for 2 people for nights, the last weekend in June:
Standard room without breakfast- £100
Standard room with breakfast- £130 plus gift.
Superior room without breakfast- £120
Superior room with breakfast- £150
I would also recommend looking at buyagift.com just in case you can get the hotel you want at a cheaper price, and look at using cash back websites too.
Having got this far in the review I feel as though it sounds quite negative which isn't really the case, it is a nice hotel room, it just makes you realise that it really is those little extra's which make other hotels worthy of their 4* and 5* ratings.
Overall I probably would recommend this hotel to someone if they wanted a good hotel in the centre of Wigan, it does have a lot of positives such as the free car park and free wifi and nice comfy beds. The negatives I have mentioned are possibly just me being fussy for a 3* hotel.
If I was going to go back to Wigan then I would stay here, I would just bring a plug extension and toilet roll with me!
Riu Clubhotel Bellevue Park
Tunisia, Port El Kantaoui
Thomson Platinum Holiday
4 Adults, 2 Children both aged 12
1 week stay
01st May 2011- 08th May 2011
Night Flight- 18.50-22-00- 23.00-02.00am
Price per person for adult- £300
Booked 1 month before
From Manchester Airport- Enfidha Airport- Approx. 3 Hours
The flight to Tunisia was fine, no problems here.
The airport is a brand new airport which had just recently opened before we arrived, hence why we had to queue up for over 1 hour before we got through to collect our suitcases. (However this would have been quicker if we had been given the visa forms to fill out on the aeroplane). Once we were going down the escalators to get our suitcases we were greeted by staff handing out Tunisian flags to people. Nice touch. When you get your suitcases there are people wanting to help you with them (for a tip) we politely said no thank you and they left you alone. Also the Thomson Rep at the airport didn't help much by sending us in the wrong direction to the coach, but we found it eventually. And finally with a very funny rep on the coach we were off!
It is a short drive to the hotel from the airport, about 30-40minutes.
This was very easy and straightforward, there was about 15 of us checking in and it all went smoothly. We were handed our key cards, towel cards, safe key and of course our wristbands. White ones for adults, red for children.
The receptionist then said that they had left the dining room open so we could get something to eat, and showed us where to go. We went down here and there was not much that was worth eating, in fact no-one had anything to eat but all made our ways to the drinks machines, to then find they had been switched off so we weren't able to get a drink.
So we headed off to our rooms to bed.
We had booked two rooms, one double room for 2 adults, and an interconnecting room (family room) for 2 adults and 2 children. We were both on the same floor- Floor 2, and just around the corner from each other which was good.
First impressions of the room were very good, they had 2 single beds pushed together, wardrobe space, balcony with 2 chairs, a table and a washing line, TV, good sized bathroom, well lit, drawers and bedside tables, sofa bed, mini fridge. It would have been a nice touch to have a bottle of water in the fridge for us when we arrived as this is stated by Thomson. Our other party guests phoned up to request this and soon had one delivered to their room which was good service.
I have heard some people complaining about the beds being quite hard, I did not find them a problem and had a good nights sleep most nights. There was extra pillows and blankets provided in the wardrobe if you needed them. There was plenty of wardrobe space for both of us, especially as we both ended up taking more clothes than we needed! The safe is kept in the wardrobe which is free to use and on arrival you are given your safe key. If you lose your safe key or towel cards then you do have to pay for them.
The bathroom consisted of a bath with overhead shower which was very powerful and very good with a shower curtain. Then the sink with a large mirror in front of it. (Tip: If you don't want the mirror to get steamed up then wipe some shaving gel over it and then rub it off). The toilet was in a separate room next door which consisted of just the toilet. There was plenty of towels provided throughout our stay.
The TV channels consisted of 2 English speaking channels which were BBC World News (which seemed quite good as we were kept up to date with the death of Bin Laden) and NBC Action which had a variety of programmes on including- Blair witch project, Rambo 4, Top Gear etc.
The Balcony. We didn't spend much time out on the balcony for two main reasons- our view was predominately a building site and each morning we would wake up to find the birds which you could hear, liked to poo, a lot, on our balcony. If you are going hear try and request a pool view balcony as this way you will be away from the building work. The building work was directly opposite our balcony and looks like they are building a new hotel, or apartments. They don't seem very far along yet so I'm guessing it will be there for quite a while to come. We only heard them a few times making noises so it didn't cause us too much of a problem.
The family room was the same as the double except that it had an extra room connected to the main room. This consisted of a two single beds pushed together and a further sofa bed. This was definitely a good sized room. There was extra drawers in this room aswell. This had one balcony which also overlooked the building site.
The maids came everyday and did a good job, if you make the right decision in tipping at the beginning then they will leave you nice pretty things made out of your towels etc. Whereas in our room we made the wrong decision and waited until the end, so we didn't get that extra special touch. (Tip: Tip as you go along!)
Breakfast is served from 7.30am-10am. We usually went down to breakfast around 8.30/9am. One issue which you will see arise often in this review is that the food is somewhat limited. You will more than likely find something that you like, which you will then end up eating for the next week or two. They served eggs, bacon, scrambled eggs, fried bread, sausages (not too nice), beans (bit hard), bread, toast, fruit and that was pretty much all we ate. There was tea and coffee available, water, juices etc. On our last day there was no bacon but salami instead, and we definitely realised how much we relied on that bacon!
Dinner is served from 12.30pm-3pm. This consisted pretty much everyday of chips, rice, a certain meat eg. Chicken/turkey/pork etc. sometimes in a sauce. I do think that sometimes it was the meat left over from the night before, but it was edible. Pizza, burgers (they didn't looked that well cooked so none of us tried them). On the last day there was baby octopus's, we didn't try these either. There is always a range of bread to choose from, and cakes which weren't that popular. Ice cream is served at both dinner and tea this usually consisted of a range of flavours, chocolate, mint, vanilla, strawberry etc.
Dinner was usually busy about 1pm, if you got to dinner too late then there wasn't much left for you to choose. Water, juices, pops, beer and wine are all self service at both dinner and tea.
Snacks are served from 3.30-5pm. Don't rely on snacks to fill you up because they really aren't that good. It is served at the pool bar and on the few occasions which we had a look down there, there was about 2 cakes and a chef making and serving omelettes, and that was it. Whether or not this changes in the high season and they offer more choice I'm not sure. At other Riu's we have been to the snack bar usually consisted of foods like chips, hotdogs, pizza etc, but not here.
Tea is served from 6.30pm-9.30pm. On your first time at tea you need to allocate a time slot which you then need to keep for the rest of the week. The time slots were 6.30pm-8pm and 8.15pm-9.30pm, we chose the first time slot. You are then issued with a table which will be yours at tea time for your entire stay. The food at tea was pretty much the same as dinner, with a few more selections of meat, and spaghetti was popular. They had a few desserts which were hit and miss each day whether you would find something to take your fancy. We never felt rushed to be out at a certain time and we usually went for tea around 7pm, so we had a good time to sit and relax at tea time.
There is also an al la carte restaurant which you can book to dine here, however we didn't dine here so I can't comment on the food here, it was supposed to be Tunisian Food.
Overall I would say the food is pretty hit and miss, there are not many cooking stations which is why I think there can be limited choice. You do see the chefs cooking some of the food fresh which is always a bonus, although when you have to wait in a very long line for it, you might choose to give it a miss. We always found something to eat, even if it was pretty much the same everyday. It is important to say that none of us got ill or poorly from the food or any drinks which we had here. For the price we paid to come here you cant really complain, we just haven't ate chips for a while since we have been back!
Drinks- They had a selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails, my personal favourite being strawberry daiquiri. Beer, branded and non branded vodka, rum and your other usual drinks from all inclusive. They stopped serving drinks and turned the machines off at 12am.
At the time of year which we went there were plenty of sun beds to choose from, so you didn't need to get up at 6am to reserve one! There was also plenty of shade or sun whichever you wanted at all times of the day. The pool staff are excellent, there were 6 of us and they always remembered where we liked to be and got our mattresses ready for us when we got our towels. When you get down to the pool, you go to the towel hut and exchange you towel card for a towel and then at the end of the day you swap it back for your card. They were even very good if you wanted to swap your towel throughout the day. There were 2 men working here and they were both fast and on the ball. The older guy entertained us with his own dancing and singing around the pool.
The pool is very big and has different levels of depth throughout it so it is fine for children, just be wary of where it does get deep. There is also a children's pool as well with 2 slides going into it. The pool area is a nice area to sunbathe and relax, there was music played which to my delight including Glee songs! The pool did tend to be a little bit cold, but once you were in it was fine, it just took you to build up the courage to get in, in the first place! My tip- jump straight in!
There is a self service bar at the pool bar which included Coca Cola/Sprite etc along with water. Be wary around this area as there were a few wasps and bees hovering around and on the floor. You can get alcoholic drinks from the bar out here as well. The staff here are also very friendly too.
There is an indoor pool as well at this resort, which is kept at a nice warm temperature, so if you cant build up the courage to go in the outside one then use this one instead. There is also a Jacuzzi in this area and a sort of hot bath pool.
There is also a gym next door to this indoor pool. It had quite a few different exercise machines, one of our party did go in there to use it but complained that some of the equipment was a bit 'sweaty' to use, so they decided to stay away. However we did see people in their using the equipment, we also saw the general manager in there a few times! This was all free to use.
The entertainment was pretty hit and miss. If you have ever been to other Riu hotels then you will know that they have an 'entertainment team'. The entertainment team at this hotel was very small, again this may be due to the season in which we went. There was 3 main men in throughout the day, and 1 man for the kids club. The activities in the day included- bowls, archery, water aerobics, zumba, step aerobics, crazy games, darts, tennis, volleyball etc. So there was plenty to do if these were the activities you liked. There were not many English children here at this time of year so the kids club was mainly German and French children. The children in our group did go to the kids club a couple of times where they did arts and crafts and darts. They did enjoy it and all the entertainment team members are friendly and welcoming. One good thing about them is that if you say you don't want to participate then they will leave you alone, which is good.
Night time entertainment is a little different. We usually went into the main bar where the shows were held about 8pm. This is when they had the kids dancing on stage and doing different dance routines, which is always fun to watch. Then this finished about 8.30pm and the main show started at 9pm. My two favourite nights were the first night and the last night. The first night was 2 Tunisian men singing a variety of songs both in English and in other languages. Lots of people were up dancing and it was an enjoyable evening. The last night was Tunisian's strongest man, which was also a good night. This was a man showing how strong his body was by doing several things, both with audience participation. The other nights in between, included Karaoke and Bingo night. You had to buy your own bingo tickets to participate and it went on for a long time, they then followed this with karaoke. A crazy/comedy night, which well was stupid, to be honest, not really funny, but the entertainment team did try their best. The other nights I cant really remember so they couldn't have been that good! If you like to get up and dance to different styles of music then you would probably enjoy the night times.
If you would prefer to have a quiet drink and relax then I can't say a bad word about the interior and furniture of the upstairs by the reception, this was a lovely place to sit and relax on very comfy chairs. I don't think I would have liked the entertainment if I was there for 2weeks as it did become quite repetitive. I think they need to spend a bit more money and have acts come in from outside of the hotel instead of getting the entertainment team to do it.
There is an 'American Bar' inside the hotel but you have to buy your drinks in here and it is not included in the all inclusive. They do have large TV screens in here where they played the football, champions league. The drinks are quite expensive in here so you may as well just come out at half time to have a free beer then go back in!
As we had a night flight we had to check out of our room at 12pm. There is a luggage room where you can keep your suitcases, which is safe and near the reception so nothing to worry about. Check out was very simple just hand all your things in and that's that. If you want to keep your towel card for the rest of the day then you can do so, but you either need to leave a deposit or your credit card number.
If you want to shower and change then they do offer a courtesy room. You just need to go to the reception and ask for it and they will give you a key card for one of the rooms. This is just a standard room like the normal rooms you stay in, and I think there are several of these rooms available so you don't need to wait for other people to finish.
Our coach picked us up at 7.45pm so we had time for tea which was good, you can continue to use the all inclusive facilities until you leave the hotel.
Shops- There are a couple of shops in the hotel but I'm sure you can find exactly the same outside of the hotel. I brought 2 fridge magnets from the shop here for 5 diners, and they were priced the same at the airport.
There are shopping centres just outside of the hotel which are fixed priced, and only a short walk away.
Currency- The currency is Tunisian Diner which is a closed currency so you can only purchase it in Tunisia. We easily changed money at the hotel reception which you can do pretty much all day everyday.
Location- It is about 30-40minutes to the airport.
If you walk straight along the beach for about 40 minutes then it takes you to the harbour where there are shops and restaurants.
Beach- Nothing to really talk about here, not one of the nicest beaches I have been on, and there was quite a lot of seaweed on the beach, it definitely needs a good clean up. There are plenty of sun beds and umbrellas on there. There are different water sports you can participate in on the beach too. The red flag was up most days so not really a good sea for swimming in. In fact I saw no one swimming in the sea. didn't really see any children playing on the beach either. A bit too windy I think.
Airport- On the way home, when you check in to your flight there are a few shops and a café opposite the check in desks, if you have any Tunisian diners left then you should spend them here, because as soon as you go through passpart control then they do not accept them. I think they accept everything but their own currency at this point, which is a bit annoying as this is where the duty free is. They accept sterling and euros. The duty free is no cheaper than what we would find at home regards to perfumes, the alcohol and cigarettes are slightly cheaper here I think.
Rating- Thomson rate this hotel in their platinum holidays as a 4*+ hotel. I would give this hotel a good high 3*.
Reception service- We had one problem with our room, our toilet started to leak just around the bottom of the base, we told the receptionist of this the next morning, and by returning to our room at the end of the day, it was fixed.
We did have a good holiday, we wanted a last minute cheap holiday to just relax and catch some sun and that's what we got. It was a good price for a weeks holiday. I don't think we would return to this hotel but I would still recommend it to someone depending on what they were after. You get what you pay for, but there's no harm in suggesting improvements for the hotel, which in this case would be to offer more food choices and better entertainment.
I borrowed this book from my Auntie for my holiday, as there is nothing better than sunbathing with a good book.
I am a huge Torey Hayden fan and I have read most of her true story books, whereas this one is a little different, this is a Novel. I tend to be put off books when I find out they aren't true, but being a fan of Torey Hayden I thought I'd give this one a go.
This is one book that definitely took me a while to get into. Once I get into a book it is hard for me to put it down so I usually read it within a few days of the holiday, whereas I found myself reading for the sake of it, hoping it got better. Well, let's just say it did get better. After a few days of picking up and putting down the book I finally got into it. I would say it took me about 100 pages into the book before I came to understand and enjoy it.
This is about a family who have several struggles going on in their lives. They have a 9 year old son Connor who has been diagnosed with Autism and is being haunted by the 'ghostman'. His Mum Laura is a famous author who is struggling to come to terms with this, and finding it hard to cope. Her husband Alan, is trying to keep his son from being institutionalized aswell as trying to keep his family together. They also have another daughter Morgana who starts playing with the 'truth'.
The other main character in this story is James. He is a psychiatrist who is brought in to try and help Connor and the family. He becomes very involved with the family and starts to unearth some secrets about them. We also learn more about his own family life. He has two children with his ex-wife who come to stay with him regularly.
The reason I found this story hard to get into was because their are several things going on at once. We know that Laura has a very vivid imagination which she wrote down on paper. These stories are included and printed in Italics so we know when we are reading one of these. The stories are imaginary stories which involve a girl named Torgon, the Dwr, The Power, Mogri and are all based around their lives, which have their own rules, religions and cultures. As I am not much of a fan of this type of story on it's own, when I saw the italics coming up, I'd frown and try to get through it as fast as I could. However the more into the story I got the more I realized how vital these stories are to the main plot of the story.
James is a psychiatrist who likes to involve all of the family and listen to what they have to say. When he finally persuades Laura to attend one of his sessions, we begin to hear an account of her life which had its ups and downs and was influenced by Torgon. We hear about her life as a small child being fostered and growing up with four brothers, the story then unfolds to her adult life and the trials and tribulations she then faces, which again also become influenced by Torgon.
At the same time the story still concentrates on James sessions with Connor who we start to see making improvements both in the playroom and at home to his Dad's delight. The story also included Alan's sessions with James and Morgana's.
Without giving to much away, the story definitely gets better the more you read it, and I was definitely impressed by the ending, it was unexpected and exciting to read. The way Torey Hayden makes you have links with the characters you become involved with them and have emotive feelings towards them. She is definitely able to tap into our own imaginations and I think it is a truly fascinating story with a superb ending.
Even though it took me a while to get into the story, the first thing I did when I got back from my holiday (well the first thing I did was sleep after I got in at 5am, but after that) picked up the story so I could finish the last few pages I hadn't been able to read. I would recommend that if you are a Torey Hayden fan then you read it because you do forget that it is a Novel you are reading.
This was Torey Haydens first Novel and I think she did a great job and I'm sure there are lots more to come from her.
Title- Overheard in a Dream
Author- Torey Hayden
Publisher- HarperCollins, 2008
Recommended Price- £6.99
Amazon Price- £4.68 (Free Delivery)
For more information on Torey Hayden- www.myspace.com/torey_hayden
had gone to the library to print off something (my printer had to break at the most inconvenient time) which seemed to be a blessing is disguise after reading this book.
I am a huge Torey Hayden fan having most of her books, with my personal favorite being One Child. I am currently looking for a job working with children, having been to university etc and I do find her stories fascinating to read. At only 23 I haven't had a great deal of experience working with children with special needs, which may be why I find her stories so enjoyable and interesting to read.
This particular story does not live up to previous stories from her (hence the 4* star rating not 5*) in my opinion but it is still definately worth a read.
Torey Hayden is a highly qualifies special needs teacher who thouroughly enjoys working in schools with children who need a lot of extra support. In this story she is working in a school only as a resource teacher, where children go to her for a couple of hours a day to help with their reading and writing skills, although somehow she still ends up as having her own 'class'.
The main people in the story, including Torey herself, are 4 children Lori, Boo, Tomaso and Claudia.
All 4 of the children have their own unique story, I don't want to give too much away and ruin your read of the book so I'll just stick to a sentence or two about each of them.
Lori- A truly lovely child who has some difficulties in life. She is lovable, chatty and caring, but she can have her moments. What we see in the story from Lori's life is how different teachers can impact upon a child's life in different ways. She battled through parental beating which has meant she cant read or write.
Boo- He does not communicate with anyone and is in his own little world. I think Torey found him most challenging out of the group but with the love of her and his parents they keep on trying with him. He has an excellent memory and randomly repeats words and phrases he has heard, including weather and news reports. Although he fails to acknowledge anything in the real world.
Tomaso- What we could say is he is an explosive child. For me, I think it is him who comes the furthest out of all the group. Having witnessed a tragedy at a young age, his mother shooting his father. He has been in many foster homes and has a negative view of the world. Torey definately shares a huge fondness for this child.
Claudia- Claudia is the eldest out of the group at just 12, she becomes pregnant which is why she has to go into Toreys class, being unable to carry on in her catholic school. She is a quiet, reserved child who definitely has to grow up fast.
This mix of children all end up in Torey's class where they all learn to bond with each other in their own way. No-one else knows what do with them, so it is left to Torey to handle and teach them what she can.
One thing I liked about reading this book and others by Torey is that she is always realistic and honest. She doesn't claim to be the world's best teacher who can 'cure' these children, she only shows her true love for them. She is definitely a 'trier' who doesn't give up. There are times in the book where she feels she cant carry on and she feels she isn't doing any good for the children, she writes honestly about these times explaining her true feelings. She writes things which at the time she was ashamed to be thinking them, which is refreshing to read honest thoughts.
The book also explores some personal issues for Torey such as her relationship with her boyfriend. It shows something which I think many people may relate to when you find it hard to leave things which happen at work at work, and not take it home to your home life. Something which Torey's boyfriend found it hard to deal with.
I enjoyed reading this book and definately recommend if you enjoy reading stories of this type. All of her stories are true and she write from the heart. It was definately a story which I couldn't put down and read it in a few days.
Author- Torey Hayden
First published in 1981.
This book version was printed in 2007 by HarperElement
Amazon- Paperback- £5.59
cant really remember how I cam across this site, I think it may have been through a Facebook link or something, which I know doesn't sound too reliable but I did my research and went on the site.
First impressions were very good, the website is very well laid out with all the clothes categories at the top, these include:
-Jackets and Coats
-Accessories & Make Up
Granted my first impressions might be slightly bias towards the '70% Off advertisement on the homepage.
The reasons I was looking online at clothes is because I am going on holiday to Jamaica for my boyfriend's mums wedding, so I was excited to start looking at what to wear. (I'm not actually going until December, but that's not really important, is it?).
I was after a maxi dress, which at 5'2 might not be the best idea but I'm sure I can wear some 10 inch heels!
Anyway, I looked at the dresses category where you have the option as what type of dress you want to look for, what size etc. This is also the same for the other categories. I think this is a great tool to use because it saves you trawling through pages and pages of unwanted items. It also saves you from that disappointment when you think you have found the perfect dress but it's not in your size!
There is also the option to view 200 items per page which is definately a plus in my books because it does annoy me when you can only view about 10 items per pages and then have to wait foe each page to load and have about 30 pages to get through, I tend to get bored and give up!
There are some lovely, beautiful clothes on this website at great prices. I found a gorgeous white maxi dress with flowers on which I think will be just right for the wedding. (only £16) I added it to my shopping basket and carried on looking. By the end of my browsing I had added about 8 items which worked out about £50 which I think was really good. However having just been made redundant (I know I shouldn't be looking at clothes anyway) I logged off without spending a penny.
However, I kept thinking about that maxi dress, and I kept going back to look at it. What if it goes? What if they don't have my size in a few months? What if I cant find another suitable dress for the wedding? These were questions going through my head trying to convince myself that I need that dress now. Well they worked! So I added it to my shopping basket again, along with a white vest top with a picture on the front (it was only £6!).
The shopping basket is very simple and you have the option to remove items and view them again.
The delivery is £2.95 and that is next day delivery when you order before 2pm. I didn't order until around 8pm so didn't really take full advantage of this. There is also the option for voucher codes, I had an email from them with a 10% off discount on my first order, which I used and worked fine.
I then entered my details, address, payment details etc. which all went through OK.
I had an email on the 24th January confirming my order (titled 'Hey Good Looking' nice touch). I then had another email on the 25th January saying my order had been completed and was being shipped to me.
My order then arrived on the 26th January at 8am. The money was also taken out of my account on this date as well.
I rushed to try on my top and dress. I ordered both size 8's, and one thing that I have noticed is that they are quite big size 8's, which is good for me (being a little bit top heavy). If you are worried that a size might be too small then I would keep in mind that both items I ordered were fairly big sizes, but they still fit nicely.
I must say I love my dress! It fits perfectly, and is not too long which I thought it might have been. It is not a cheap thin fabric either, it is good quality.
I have now put my dress away where it will stay for the next 11 months!
Also what is good about this website is that you have the option to create a wish-list, which of course I did. I put all my favourite clothes on the site into a wish-list. You can then email that wish-list to yourself, or better still to other people!
So be sure to leave your email address and you can buy me all the things on my wish-list! Thanks!
'Your son is accused of murder...You fear he might be guilty...What would you do?
I had this book for a Christmas present from one of my friends, having previously only read one Jodi Picoult book (My Sister's Keeper, which is definitely better than the film) I thought I'd save this book to read when I was on holiday, especially as it is very thick! However I must have been bored at the time because I started to read it, and then I just couldn't put it down!
The story is based around a son who has Asperger's syndrome, and the family's struggles and triumphs in dealing with what daily life can bring.
The story is written through each person's perspective, like they are narrating their own story, with their own thoughts included. I sometimes feel that this type of writing would be able to confuse the reader more easily, as there were times in the book, where I had to go back to check who each character was.
I found this story really opens your eyes to the issues surrounding Asperger's, previous to reading this story I did not have much insight into this condition, and Jodi Picoult makes sure that there is enough information around the condition that will help the reader understand this issue more. She also uses a lot of legal vocabulary which I must admit some if it did go straight over my head!
Jacob is an 18 year old male who has asperger's syndrome, he was diagnosed from an early age and has overcome many stumbling blocks throughout his childhood, he attends a high school where he is allowed special passes when he needs time out. He lives with his Mother Emma who is a single mother to both Jacob and his younger brother Theo. She is only able to work from home and works as a columnist for a magazine, reading and answering people's problems, 'Dear Aunty Em..' .
Jacob takes everything very literally which is a symptom of Asperger's syndrome which is a reason as to way he finds social situations and communication extremely difficult. Jacob and Theo's Dad left when they were both very young. Emma is the only one who knows how to deal with Jacob and is able to calm him down. The only friend which Jacob has is Jess, a student who comes to help Jacob with his social skills. Theo, Jacob's younger brother always see's himself as the older brother as it is he who has to look after Jacob rather than the other way round. We get to know Theo in this story and learn about how Jacob's difficulties affect the whole family. Even though there is angst between the two brothers, we definitely get to see 'brotherly love'.
To help Jacob, Emma has House Rules which they have to follow, these include:
1.Clean up your own messes.
2. Tell the truth
3.Brush your teeth twice a day.
4.Don't be late for school.
5. Take care of your brother, he's the only one you've got.
Jacob lives religiously by these rules, which becomes evident throughout the story.
A part of Asperger's syndrome is becoming fixated on different things, the main fixation which this story revolves around is Jacobs fixation with Criminal Investigation and Crime Scenes. This proves to be both a positive and negative when Jacob becomes accused of murder.
We see a mum's struggle to believe her son when evidence and other people turn against him. This is definitely an emotional story.
Other characters in this story include Rich, a local policeman who becomes involved in the families life following tragic events in the story. Oliver, a young newly qualified lawyer who tries his best by the family. Mark Maguire, Jess's not so nice boyfriend, who belittles Jacob publicly to Jess's annoyance.
From writing this review so far it all feels very doom and gloom which is not the case, there are some very funny and light hearted moments which definitely enhance the story. There is a lot of detailed information in this story which without reading the story will seem very random, but you do learn a lot of interesting yet strange facts- 'It takes the average man thirteen minutes to eat his dinner'.
I really did enjoy reading this story and it definitely kept me gripped....however I hate to admit it, I did not like the ending of the story. It seems like a huge anti climax and was very disappointing. I think the ending could have been so much better, and even though the story is a long one anyway, an extra chapter may have done the story more justice. I do still recommend this story even with the disappointing ending as it truly is a fascinating read.
Author: Jodi Picoult- www.jodipicoult.co.uk
Publisher (UK): Hodder & Stoughton (2010)
National autism society- www.nas.org.uk
Last year me, my boyfriend and our 2 friends went to Leeds for New Years Eve and had a really good time, so we decided to do the same again this year and chose to stay in the mint hotel, Leeds. (Previously known as City Inn, the company has re-branded itself and is now known as mint hotel, although I do not know why?)
This was our first stay in this hotel and I must say we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
We booked online through the mint hotel website a week or so before Xmas and we paid £143 for 2nights, 31st Dec 10- 2nd Jan 11. For New Years Eve we thought this was a pretty good deal as other city centre hotels were much more pricey.
Booking online was simple and we had confirmation emails straight away. We booked 2 double rooms, no breakfast.
We live in Stoke, so it took us around 1hr 30mins to get to Leeds (by car) and we arrived there about 3.30/45pm. There is a car park located at the hotel, however this is on a first come basis, so we didn't attempt to get on this car park. Instead there is an NCP car park on Boar Lane, around a 5min walk to the hotel (although it did seem much further with all my bags!) where you can get a voucher from the hotel on check out which means you can park here for £5 per day.
First impressions of the hotel were very nice. There is a canal next to the hotel which some of the rooms overlooked. On the other side of the hotel was Leeds Train station where other rooms overlook the platforms.
It is a city centre hotel so you are well placed for all your needs. It is a short walk to the shops and bars, so definitely come here if you want to be well placed. The good thing about this hotel is that you dont feel like you are in the middle of town, but just placed well enough to feel like your close enough if you need anything.
This was a very simple and quick, and the staff were very friendly. We checked in and were informed that we did have breakfast booked for both monrings (bonus!). We had 2 key cards for our rooms, and were quickly on our way to our rooms. As we were travelling as a group of 4, 2 double rooms, both rooms were on the 4th Floor, pretty much opposite each other which we were pleased with. There are 3 lifts located next to the reception, so we took our own bags with us.
The rooms are very nice and smart and they are a good size. Our room overlooked the train station which wasn't a problem for us as there was no noise you could hear, just remember if you can see them, they can see you...
One of the features of mint hotel rooms is that they all come with an i-mac system with free wi-fi. This is a TV/computer/dvd player all in one. It had satellite channels (although not so good for the girls as we had to put up with the boys watching darts and football on Sky Sports, but they enjoyed it! Apart from Phil Taylor losing as he's from our neck of the woods... anyway i'm digressing....)
Although if you are not so good with technology, I do think you might struggle to work the TV as it is not your standard remote control, but there is instructions so just might take some time.
There is full length mirror, mirrors on the wardrobe and a standard mirror by the table, which all came in very handy.
One of the minor issues which I would say about these rooms, is that there is not much storage space. There isn't no bedside drawers which I usually find come in handy. The wardrobe was big enough for our 2 night stay but any longer than this we might have struggled. There was just enough drawers in the desk and in the wardrobe area.
There was an iron and ironing board which we didn't use, and a hair dryer which I used which was good.
Tea/Coffee facilities were in the room. There were 2 wine glasses, and 2 regular glasses to drink from. There was also an ice bucket, although we couldn't find any ice machines on our floor which some other hotels have.
Air conditioning was good, and the rooms were very warm which was good as we were just coming out of the 'big freeze'.
The bathroom was compact but more than ideal. There was a small walk in shower, with a very good power shower, which was more than ideal. They also supplied a large shower gel in the shower which was stocked, as well as hand wash, and the smaller bottles of moisturiser/shampoo which you get in hotels. It was a nice bathroom, just missed a bath, but that was fine with us.
The only other issue I would have with this hotel which is definately a personal preference, is that the room wasn't dark enough! I like to sleep in pitch blackness, literally. There was 2 lights on the air conditioning which were very bright (I even resorted to putting plasters over the lights to make it more darker!) And there was a small gap where the curtains didn't reach the end of the window! This should not be a problem for you, I think it's just me, just next time I will take an eye mask!
My friend had brought a dress earlier that day and had noticed that the bow which was on it was slightly coming off and she wanted to sew it back on, looking through the information packs in the room, it said you could hire a sewing kit for £1, which she was going to ask about at reception. However, whilst looking through the drawers in the wardrobe, we noticed that there was a 'mending kit'. It was a just a needle with different colour cottons, which was perfect for what she wanted to do. It certainty is the little things that make hotels special!
As you can imagine New Years Day we might have been feeling a little worse for wear and needed as much sleep as we could get (after having a fab night out new years eve!), so we decided to opt out of breakfast this morning! However we did have it the following morning. How this breakfast was served was a new experience for me, I am used to going hotel where the food is self service, and all the sausages/eggs/bacon you help yourself to. Whereas here there is a breakfast menu where you can choose what you want and then have it cooked for you. There is still all the cereals/fruits/ juices on the side for you to help yourself to.
I haven't yet decided what I prefer, as for one,we asked for bacon but didn't get any, and there isn't the option of how many sausages or how much bacon you want. Although this way the food was fresher and made to order. I think there is pros and cons to each. But the breakfast was lovely, I had fried egg, beans and sausage and toast.
This was again very simple and we paid on check out. We didn't use any room service or have anything from the mini bar so we had nothing extra to pay. The reception staff were again very friendly and more than helpful. We also got our parking voucher on checkout as well.
We would definitely stay here again and I would definitely recommend it to any of my friends.
We had a really enjoyable stay and it was a great way to start off 2011!
I have been trying to think how I came across this website and I can't really remember, I think it must have been through random trailing through Google or some other random website.
Well, anyway I don't know whether I have been living in the dark ages but I hadn't heard of anything like this before and the closest thing I had been on like this was Ebay, but this is slightly different. (I have now been informed that it is similar to other website, such as MadBid, but I hadn't heard of this before!)
What is it?
Quick2Bid is an online penny auction website. It is literally that, you bid on certain products and the money goes up by the penny.
It's slighlty hard to explain so I'll try my best.
The products are usually on for around 48hours. They each start at 50p. There is a fairly large button which says 'Bid Now'. All you have to do is log in, and then click on this button, and you bid whatever amount of money it is on at that time. The price goes up in bids of 3, by a penny, for example:
A bets 50p
B bets 50p
C bets 50p
D bets 51p
E bets 51p
F bets 51p
G bets 52p.. and so on..
When the bidding gets down to the last 15 seconds, each bid then will reset the clock back to 15 seconds, and it will continue to go down until no-one else bids. When it reaches 0, the auction is over.
A good point about this auction website is that it offers you Bonus Points. When the auction reaches a specific amount of money (this changes with each product), for example 72p, each bid you have made prior to this earns you 2 bonus points. These bonus points can then be used when the auction reaches its specific amount of money (stage 2), and each bid you make using your bonus points will only cost you 50p, regardless of what the auction is currently at.
The point of this is so that it entices you to making more bids earlier on in the auction so that you can accumalate your bonus points and use them later on. What you need to remember is that you will still be paying 50p in the bonus rounds, so be careful with your money!
If the auction goes on too long, then the computer intervenes and the last 15 seconds will be the last, so whoever places the last bid in those 15 seconds wins.
I must say that I think that are some great prizes on offer. They do change so if it's something you really want, be prepared to get it then, as it may not be on offer again on the website.
Here are some of the prizes:
£50 Amazon voucher
£25 Shopping voucher
Digital Photo Frame
With each product, it states a value which they deem it is worth. So remember a product may be cheaper from somewhere else and not wherever they have valued it from. Im guessing they value the product from where they have got it from.
When you are on the homepage of the website, if you click on the product it will take you to a main bidding page for that product, here you can see the detailas of the product and what the prize involves.
I think that it is a good, user friendly website. It is very easy to navigate around and has different sub headings.
What I like about this website is that you can see the Current Auctions taking place, Future Auctions, which haven't yet started, Auction Winners and User Feedback. Auction Winners is my favourite thing to look at which I will explain more about a little later on. The website also offers you lots of information, on How to Play, How to Bid, Strategies and other FAQ's. You are also able to see a list of all the people who have bidded on a product, Im guessing this is so you can get tacticle!
They also offer a Charity 2 Bid, where they match 10% of your deposit into a charity. I dont fully understand this part of it, so definately read the small print when signing up.
Like I say the website is very good and easy to understand, so check it out for more information.
I have signed up to this website and I have deposited money. On registration you get £2 free credit, and you can use this before you deposit any money. Signing up is easy and simple, and just asks for basic information. You dont need to put in any bank details to get your free £2, and you only need to input your bank details when you deposit money. Another bonus of your first deposit is that they match it. The minium you can put in is £5. I deposited £5 which again was very easy and straight forward to do, all secure and they matched it.
Another way they try to entice you to register is by saying that you are guaranteed to win in your first month, and if you don't then they will match whatever you have deposited in your first month back into your account. I am a little dubious of this fact, and I havent won anything, so I don't think they should be allowed to say that you are guaranteed a win, I haven't been on it a month yet though so I will see whether they put any money back into my account! With this part of the registration you definately need to read the small print, and go through it with a fine tooth comb! (I was too excited to get bidding and didn't do this).
Auction Winners/ The Catch?
Ok, so I cant see the obvious catch, which the more sceptical ones of us will be looking for. The only thing which I can work out why they are able to give away great prizes at cheap prizes is because of the people who play it.
You are betting 50p+ everytime you make a bet, even if you don't win, so the money can easily add up. If you are clever at the game then you can get a real bargain, but let's just say everyone's not so clever...
Auction Winners- When you look through this page you can see whose got a bargain and who hasnt. It shows you what the product went for, and how much money the winner spent trying to win the prize. For example a recent example of this was someone who ended up spending £62 on a £50 La Senza Gift Card.. you see what I mean?
Well as it is my favourite part of the website here's some more winners and losers....
-£25 Amazon gift card- Winner spent 55p
-Computer Game of your choice- Retail Price- £50- Winner spent £78
-GHD Straightners- Retail Price- £119- Winner spent £4
-£50 Supermarket Vouchers- Winner Spent- £49.68
Ok, well there just a few of my favourites!
I think it's easy to see where the makers of the website make their money and can afford to put these prizes on there.
Chances of Winning?
I think it's very hard to win prizes on here because with some people common sense seems to go out the window when they are in the middle of a bidding war. I have tried to be clever and wait until the very end, but then I either end up waiting too long and miss it, or someone with more money than sense comes along and bids after me!
Ive still got about £1.27 left in my account so who knows I could win big!
I think its a fun website, I even go on there just to watch other people bidding in the last 15 seconds, because its funny to watch!
I havent won anything, and I probably wont be depositing much money on there because I dont think I'll win.
I think the website could improve by having some sort of chat room so users can chat to each other, and then you can see whether the prizes actually turn up (although Im sure they do, because many users are regulars on there!). Also just to see what the people who overspend were actually thinking!
If you do want to register, follow this link-
Thanks for reading and good luck bidding!
I won!!! I have just won a portable Ipod/Iphone Charger! The Bid price was 53p! I paid £1.06 because I accidentally clicked twice! But it's still a great bargain and I'm so excited to have won!! I even have my ipod on charge right now, so it will definately come in handy! It's worth £15.
They have sent me an email straight away confirming that I am a winner, and they say someone will be in contact with me shortly to arrange delivery etc.
I will update again when I receive the prize, just wanted to share my excitement with you all!!!
I stayed here with my boyfriend for 3 nights. We chose this, as it was a reasonable price, close to both the train station and bridgewater hall where my graduation was being held on the monday. We stayed Saturday-Tuesday. We have also stayed at Roomzzz in Leeds, so we knew what to expect with this kind of hotel.
We took the train to Manchester as it worked out cheaper and easier (the hotel doesn't have its own parking but does offer discounted nearby parking). After a slight d-tour trying to find it, we arrived in about a 10/15 minute walk from Picadilly Train Station.
Check-In- The reception area looks very swish and posh, there is a lift and stairs, its just a short walk down the stairs to the reception, so the lift is a great little touch when youve got lots of bags etc. There is a 'pantry' located next to the reception, where you can buy drinks/food that you might want. (They are overpriced, so will be cheaper from a shop), but it is convienent. There is also a breakfast area by the reception, where they offer a free grab and go breakfast. This consists of fruit, tea coffee etc. And it is a nice place to sit and relax.
The only problem we have about this hotel is 1 of the receptionist. She was so dull and uninterested in everything! And she was slow! She barely said 2 words to us, then we had to sit down for a few minutes to wait for our room to be ready (Check in was at 3pm, we arrived at 3.30pm). During this time, another couple who must have arrived just before us, came down to the reception and asked if they sold toothbrushes as they had forgotten theirs. To this she replied 'No.'. All the other receptionist were extremely friendly and polite and always greeted us in and out of the hotel.
As we waited (literally for a few minutes) another receptionist came over to us and told us that our room was ready, she was very friendly and happy. She also informed us (which the other receptionist did not), that we had been upgraded from our Grande Studio, to the Liberty Suite! Fab News!
So we took our bags to our room, we were in 207, (the nice receptionist also offered us help with our bags). There is both a lift and stairs.
Grande Studio/Liberty Suite?- To this day we still dont know what room we stayed in. The room was very nice and had lots of space. There were 6 large bay windows all around the room which gave it lots of light. And we had a view of China Town.
We entered the room and firstly come into the hallway.
This is a large hallway with 3 full length mirrors here. It was very light in here as well, and had a plug socket.
From the hallway you enter the:
Kitchen- The kitchen was very clean and good furnishes. There were two hobs to use, toaster, fridge/freezer, kettle, dishwasher, cutlery, plates, dishes, glasses etc. The only down side was that there was not a proper over. It was a micro-oven. (A microwave, grill and oven in one). This didnt prove to much of a probem to us, and it worked fine. Fairy liquid, salt and pepper, and a dishwasher tablet were all ready there which was nice. Opposite the kitchen area was a large bench surface, with an I-Mac computer at the end. This had two chairs with it.
I-Mac- Having an i mac was a great bonus, as it came with free wi-fi. The only problem was, there was no manual or instructions on how to use it! It took us a very looong time to work out how to connect to the internet. And then it took us an even longer time to work out how you switch it on! They are good though when you work out how to use them!
Bedroom area- On the other side on the large bench in the kitchen, leads you to the bedroom area. This area is carpeted with a nice big comfy bed. At the end of the bed, there was a large plasma TV, with free view on. It was very comfy to just lie in bed easily watching the TV. Next to the TV there was a 2 seater sofa, with a small glass table, and then next to this was the wardrobe.
Even though the room was very spacious, there didnt seem to be enough storage space (or maybe I just take too much!) but we managed. There was an iron and board in the wardrobe which worked fine.
Bathroom- I loved this bathroom. It had the 'his' and 'hers' sinks (2 sinks), which is nice. And although it didnt have a bath, it had a rain shower! This was really good and I definately want one in my house! If your not a fan of the rain shower, then there is also a normal shower head as well. Again, not much storage in the bathroom, but nothing could have dampened my views on the bathroom! There was a large mirror in the bathroom, which partly steamed up, but the middle part didnt steam up so you could still use it. It also had a hairdryer in there, which was quite powerful and easy to use.
The reason we dont know what room we stayed in is because the photo's of both rooms on their website are different to what we stayed in. We loved our room though, so whatever it was we liked it!
We went out in Manchester on the Saturday night, and we returned about 3am (hardcore). To enter the hotel you just swipe your room card, and then the doors open for you.
There is also a Chinese Buffet place just around the corner, which we went to and loved. Although being located opposite China Town, there are plenty of Chinese resturants around.
Check-Out- This was straight forward, even though we had the miserable woman again! Just handed in the room card and that was it really! Then it took us about 10mins to walk to the train station. (Little tip- try and get a travel bag/weekend bag with wheels, they really are great and make life so much easier!)
We would definately return to this aparthotel again, it was very nice andf convienient. I think aparthotels are the way forward! It makes life so much easier not having to rush about to get ready for breakfast or constantly find somewhere to eat. When we were looking for a place to stay in Manchester, the price of staying here was just the same as hotels, but this way you get those added extra's.
I have just received my purchase from this online store, so I thought it was only suitable to write a review on it!
First of all, I must say, I love my dress!
I had been searching around a couple of fashion websites looking for a dress for my graduation. I wanted a smart dress, possibly with buttons at the front, in either, black, white or grey. I hadnt really come across anything I liked so I had a look on Asos. Well, first of all there is a lot of products to search through! This is made easier by the search options which you can choose. I ended up being very specific just to narrow down the amount of choice there was!
I found a gorgeous, very smart dress, with ruffles at the front and buttons on, but it was £40. (A little bit expensive for me) and it's not really a dress I thought i'd get a lot of wear out of, so I saved it in my basket and kept looking. I then came across a black and cream smart dress with monochrome buttons at the front, which was £28. This was an Asos brand. Out of the two I preferred the £40 one, but I didnt want to spend that much, so I saved both items in my basket and carried on looking on other websites.
A few days passed, and I really needed to order a dress asap to get it in time for my graduation. So I went back on to Asos website and had another look. There was now a Sale on, great! I cam across the £40 dress, and it was still £40, never mind I kept on looking. I then came across the £28 dress, and it had gone down to £20! I decided to go for this dress there and then!
I had to sign up to Asos which took only a few minutes, just basic information. I then places my order, it was all very secure and safe. What makes this website even better is that it offers Free Delivery! This is called Super Saver Delivery which I opted for, it states that it will get your purchase there within 6 working days. It is sent with Royal Mail. I recieved a couple of emails keeping me updated on my purchase, and I had the option to track my delivery. I ordered my dress on Thursday 8th July, and I have just recieved it on Tuesday 13th July.
The postman pushed it through the letterbox, good job it wasnt damaged! It came well packaged in a black bag, nice and secure. The dress was then in a further plastic bag, nice and neatly folded. I tried it on straight away and I love it! Its perfect for my graduation! This was my first experience shopping with Asos and I would definately shop here again!
Whats more is that you also get free Returns as well if you dont like your product , they send you a form which you just need to fill in and return.
What even better about this is that I got a little freebie too! Ok, dont get excited its not much, but if you're like me and love any kind of freebie then you'll like this too! It is a free sample of imperial leather shower gel, its just three little sachets of different types of shower gel they do. It's not much but dont the litttle things make the big differences!
'Aliens love underpants, in every shape and size, But there are no underpants in space, so here's a big surprise..."
This is fast becoming one of my favourite stories to read to children. It is a funny, imaginitive and creative story that keeps both me and the children amused!
It is about aliens who come down to earth to steal your underpants! It doesn't matter whose underpants they are, grannys, daddys, anyones! And it doesn't matter what they look like, the aliens still want them!
They have to race off in their spaceships so noone knows theyve been, and it tells you to check inside your pants to make sure no aliens are lurking around! It rhymes a lot which the children enjoy and is very funny. The illustrations are bright and colourful, making it hard to turn the page because the children enjoy looking at the detail in the pictures!
I even tried using the story to get a child to go on to the toilet before the aliens came down and took his underpants! (It didn't quite work but at least he found it funny!)
It is a great storybook for children (and adults) that they will thoroughly enjoy!
I have only just recently come across this storybook, whilst working in a day nursery and the theme being that of The Rainbow Fish.
Although we shouldnt judge a book by its cover, this really is a pretty magical cover, which just makes you want to open it up and begin reading. The colours on the fish are beautiful and the scales do shine, which leads children wanting to touch them to see how they feel.
The story is a sentive story about the rainbow fish who does not want to share his beautiful scales with anyone. Like most childhood stories there is a moral to the story. He wont share his glittery scales with any of his friends, so in the end he ends up alone. 'What use were Rainbow Fish's beautiful scales if they were no longer admired by anyone?'.
Im sure you can guess the ending of the story, but I wont ruin it just incase!
There are many learning opportunities for children in this story, which can be followed up in many ways. There are lots of sea creatures in the story such as, fish, octupus and star fish. This can be a good way to introduce children to these new animals with the beautiful illustrations in the story. One activity which I have done with the children has been to make their own rainbow fish collage. We ended up with a colourful, glittery, magical rainbow fish which is now on display, all the children are very proud of it. Along with the story there is also merchandise which you can get to go with it, for example we have a rainbow fish puppet which the children love playing with.
Ok, well enough of me trying to be 'educational'. At the end of the day this is a lovely story which the children have enjoyed reading, it has a nice moral to the story which doesnt overtake the main storyline. It would make a great present for a young child, and keep them entertained!
I think the story is aimed at children aged 3+. The book comes in different variations, such as a big book, paper versions, and hard back versions, in different sizes. So there should be something for you!