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Where to start! We should be allowed to do a review on our top 100 worst celebrities, seeing as there are now so many of these vile creatures on our TVs and magazines/newspapers. So I will have to do with just naming 10, these will be in no particular order as I hate them all with same passion!
1) Jade Goody.
How Jade ever become so well loved by the general public I will never know, what I find even more baffling is how she got so much media coverage over her death. She of course became famous by going on one of the worse shows in TV history...Big Brother. On there she showed the world just how stupid she really was. I mean lets look at some of the things she said on there ;
"Saddam Hussein - that's a boxer"
"Do they speak Portuganese in Portugal? I thought Portugal was in Spain"
"The Union Jack is for all of us, but the St. George is just for London, isn't it?"
Then of course she went back on the Celebrity Big Brother , where she was found out to be a racist bully, with no class what so ever. When she was in there , the media outside all slagged her off and rightly so , but when she was diagnosed with cancer , suddenly she becomes the media darling again. Yes it is not nice anyone dying of cancer, but I don`t think she deserved all the media coverage she got during and after her death.
All in a all a horrible person.
2) Amanda Holden
I love how this ugly tart gets to judge a talent show, when she is one of the least talented people on our TV screens. Maybe the only reason she got the job on there is the fact Simon Cowell fancies her, for some unknown reason. She is also very bitchy towards certain other good looking girls who appear on Britain Got Talent. No wonder she is jealous though, seeing as they are pretty and talented, two things she is the complete opposite off.
3) Jeremy Kyle
I don`t have much money right now, but if someone said that I could use my last £10 I had to get a 3 course meal or a punch at Jeremy Kyle, then I would pick the punch! I think I would be in a very long line of people waiting to punch him. Yes he is a hero to lots of chavs who watch his day time talk show, but to anyone with a IQ higher than 1 , he is vile person.
Ah Bono, the modern day Mother Teresa! The man who goes around the world saving us from poverty, aids, global warming and all other nasty things. I don`t know where we would be without St Bono. I personal think he should be the new Jesus so we can all worship him!
I have a idea the Bono, why not write a decent album again! Your music has sucked for a long time, at least when your music was good, I could put up with you being a jerk!
5) Kerry Katona
I really have no idea how she is still in the media spotlight. What has she done since leaving Atomic Kitten, who were at best , a below average pop group? Oh yes, she went on " I`m a Z list Celeb Get Me Out Of Here " but that was 5 years ago.
She was known for smoking during her pregnancy, I think she has like 20 odd kids now, just like a normal chav, she was also declared bankrupt, but still manages to buy super cars and go on exotic holidays! I would not mind so much if she was nice to look at, but come on, she makes pigs look hot!
Another star living off past glory. She made good music back in the 80s/early 90s, but since then , just like St Bono, she has failed to really make another great album. Its ok though, as she is too busy buying kids from Africa to fill her time up. Maybe its a deal she has with Bono, she has to go buy all the kids from Africa and thus help stop food poverty!
When she is not in Africa, you can catch her on stage , in skimpy outfits, making people blind all across the world!
7) Paris Hilton
I did not want to include her, as everyone picks Paris, but she really is one of the most annoying people in the world. Look at her last TV show. " Paris`s Best Friend" !! What a crock of sh*t. Do those dibby people who go on there, really think Paris is going to treat them as a best friend? I hate how she started the trend of celebs carrying around rats , well small dogs, in their handbags.
The only good thing she ever produced was the great movie "One night in Paris" she certainly sucks!
8) Heather Mills
I have never liked Paul McCartney but I do feel sorry for him to having to be married to hop a long Mills. She looks like a normal woman, to be honest, she is quite pretty, but underneath those looks, lurks a evil , nasty , screwed up money grabbing bitch. They were only married for 4 years, but during the divorce she tried to get as much of HIS money out of him. I can`t remember her writing or performing in The Beatles? I could understand more if they had been married 20 odd years, but to get a settlement of £24 million was a complete disgrace and not fair at all on Paul. The interviews she did during the divorce , did not help her public image too, saying she was being treated like a paedophile, well who`s fault is that then!
9) Cristiano Ronaldo
Being a Man City I hate all Man Utd players anyway, but Ronaldo sticks more than any other footballer I have ever hated! The unfortunate thing for me though was, up to the other month, Ronaldo only lived 5 miles from me. I had the misfornate to see him out a few times in the years he lived in Manchester. Luckily though, he has now moved to Madrid! :D. He is everything a footballer should not be. He would role around on the pitch, every time another player went within 100 foot of him, crying he had been shot! Then of course you have those pictures each summer of him dressed in pink tops and the shortest tight shorts in the world! Not forgetting his greasy annoying face! Lets hope he stays in Madrid for life.
10) Davina McCall
The only reason we have to put up with Davina McCall on our TV screens is because Big Brother refuses to go away. She has tried to make other prime time shows, but of course these failed , as she has a much talent as a baked bean!
Remember that hit show "He's Having A Baby" , on BBC One , which was cancelled after poor ratings, then there was the hit chat show "Davina" which was also cancelled after a long run of 12 shows.
I think it was good she failed to make a impact on BBC One though, as she is suited for Channel 4, where the majority of programmes on there are 3rd rate. Even on Big Brother she fails to do any hard hitting interviews, giving the housemates a big ass licking when they come out of the house, dodging all the questions people want to know!
Lets not forget too , that annyoing hair advert she does. It would be a much better advert if it went the way of the famous scene in "Psycho".
After my VW Polo was wrote off in a car crash back in August 2008, I was given a cheque for £2800 to buy a new car. So I went about car hunting for the next 2 weeks. When buying a car, I always know what I want and am willing to travel the length of the country to get that car, if I need to.
Luckily though, after searching around for a Golf Gti, I found the one I really wanted in a Village near Reading, which is only 3 hours south of me, so not too bad. My parents live near Reading anyway, so I had somewhere to stay. So after a long train journey down , I managed to buy my new car, a 1996 VW Golf GTI 16 V.
The car cost me £1,100, this came with a year`s Mot and 6 months tax. The colour is dragon green and overall the car was in very good condition. I travelled so far to buy this car, as being a old car you need to make sure it has been well looked after and since this car has had one owner from new, who was a mechanic , I was quite sure that he had taken care of it. It also came with full VW service history and he had receipts for every single bit of work carried out on the car, even including new bulbs.
So how does the car drive? I`ll be honest, I have never had so much fun driving a car than I have with this one. For a car which is now nearly 13 years old , it can still easily keep up with the newer Gti`s and other such cars. I have managed a top speed of 125mph on a clear motorway, but if I wanted to push it, I think it could get up to around 130/135mph, but as it is old car, you don`t want to be doing that much. For motorway driving though, it drives comfortably at 90mph and you`ll get around 39mpg at this speed too. As for driving around the city and everyday use, you`ll get around 23mpg, which is not so good at all, but if you buy a Gti , you know your`re not buying the car for it`s economy on fuel. At today`s fuel prices it cost`s me about £45 to fill up and for that I can get around 400/450 miles from the tank, which I feel is quite good for a car of this age and engine size.
Inside the car is very nice too, the seats are nice and comfortable, the dashboard is clear and easy to read. It comes fitted with a drivers air bag, eclectic windows, 6 disc cd changer, which is located in the boot and also has air condition. Even though it is a 3 door, there is more than enough room in the back for passengers, the boot is also big enough to fit our weekly shop in, while still keeping my tool box and other bits in there too.
Style wise, I think it looks very nice, but then I have always liked Gti`s so I am biased, but to look at it, you would not think it was 13 years old. Although I am lucky it has been looked after and since having the car I do wash/polish the car every 4 weeks to keep it in great condition. It comes fitted with alloys, metallic paint and sits a bit lower than normal cars. The only bit of rust on the car , is just under the passengers handle, it is only the size of a 1p coin though and I am in the process of fixing this issue.
Being a VW you know you are being in to a name which is well know for its reliability and this car is no different. The owner before never had any major issues in the 12 years he owned it and so far in the 8/9months I have had it , I myself have had no major problems either. If you spend time and look after your car though, servicing and general maintenance , you`ll find it really does pay off in the long run.
The tax on the car sets me back £190 , which will rise to £205 next year, I suppose its ok though, as I`m paying for the MPs to clean their moat , so not all bad. The insurance for this car is around £400 a year, the car itself is in insurance group 16. Other cost`s I have paid for have been for 4 new tyres, they cost me £380 in total and also 2 new front brakes, they were £100 in all as well.
If your`re lucky enough to find this model of car , which has been looked after as well as mine, I really would recommend it to any one, who is looking for a well priced, fast, quality built car, which is reliable. You can`t go much wrong in my book, with this car. Its very fun to drive, still fast, looks good to drive and most of all , has the famous Gti badge on the back.
Second hand prices for this car will range from £800 - £1200
I`ll list some of the technical facts now, for people who are interested in that.
Engine Size 1984 cc
0-60 mph 8.0 s
Power Output 150 bhp
Torque 180 Nm 133 lb-ft
Top Speed 134 mph
As I drive around 6000/8000 miles a year, I always make sure I have a up to date membership with the AA. There are of course a number of different companies who offer a breakdown service to drivers, but I have always chosen the AA over these , for a number of reasons. The first reason being my father has been with them over 20 years now and has yet to have bad word to say about them, secondly I feel the price I pay for the basic cover for which I need , suits me more than what the other companies offered me. There are other reason I like them too, which will be discussed in the review.
Having been a member of the AA for a number of years, I hand n `t yet had the need to call them out until the 14th April 2007, a date which I won`t forget as it was my girlfriends 21st birthday. At the time I had a 2000 W reg 16v WV Polo. I was driving along, changed up in to 3rd gear, only to look down in amazement to see the whole gear stick had come off in my hand. Luckily traffic was quiet, so I could safely bring the car to a stop on the side of the road.
I now got to use the AA for the first time since joining up and was hoping I would get a great service of which my dad had always received. So after ringing up their free phone number ( not free if you use a mobile phone) , I was asked a few questions by the lady on the other end. What car I was driving, membership number, where I had broken down and also what had gone wrong with the car. Once she had all these details , she told me that a patrol van would be with me within around 40 minutes, she asked if it was ok to send me updates on his arrival to my mobile phone, which I agreed too. All in the all, the phone call lasted just a few minutes and then it was just a matter of waiting for the AA to turn up.
I received a txt from the AA to tell me the patrol van would be with me in the next 10 minutes, I found this way of telling the customer of how long it would be until their arrival, really good, as it gives you time to go get some food or drink if you need too.
Right on time the AA van pulled up along side my car, for once a company had arrived when they said they would, so first impressions were very good. After getting out of his van, he introduced himself and asked me what had happened to my car and also if there had been any other problems before this had happened. I then let him set about his work, hoping to see if he could some how magically fix my gear stick back together. I don`t think even Harry Potter would be able to fix this though, so I was not expecting my car to be fixed by the roadside.
After looking at my gear box/stick for over 15 minutes , he gave me the news I was expecting, it would need a new gear stick welded to work again. The only way I could do this, is by putting my car in to a garage and letting them do they work. He did tell me though, the reason this had happened was because who ever fixed the gear stick before this, had basically bodged the job and had not welded it correctly at all.
As I only had the basic cover with the AA, it would mean I could only be towed to the nearest garage to where I had broken down. As luck would have it, I was only half a mile away from home and the nearest garage to where we was, was my local one anyway! So after fixing my car to his toe rope on the back of his van , we had a fun drive in tandem to the garage, which took all of 2 minutes. Once there he booked my car in for me, explaining to the garage what has happened and what was needed for my car to be fixed.
So, after having to use the AA for the first time, I have to say , even though they could not fix my car, but in all truth , it was not possible for them to do that anyway. I was very impressed with the overall service. The whole process from phoning the call centre up to the AA man taking me to the garage , lasted about 1 and a half hours , which on a Saturday afternoon, was very quick. I also liked the way I felt the AA man, actually wanted to help me and not just come and get the job done as quickly as he could. He also told me of other little problems my car had, which I was unaware of, which in turn , actually saved me a lot of money and hassle in the future, if I left untouched.
Since then, I have had to use the AA once more, by coincidence it was only two days ago, 14th 2009, yes, once again on my girlfriends birthday. So I do kinda blame her for my car problems. This time I had a duck living in my front left tyre, well not really a duck, but when I drove , it sounded like a duck was quacking away as I drove.
After phoning the AA up, I was told a time to which he would arrive, and duly received the update of his arrival by txt messaging. If anything I was even more impressed this time by the AA, as the poor man spent over 2 hours with me trying to work out what was causing the noise. He had my wheel off, cleaned all the rust away, sprayed some special AA spray on to my bolts, but still the noise would happen when he drove my car. Finally after looking at everything possible under my wheel arch, he found the problem, it was to do with my ABS sensor located on the back of my breaks, there was a small gap of around 2 millimetres, where some rust had built up. Once he had cleaned that away, my duck noise had gone!
I can not praise the AA man enough this time for all the help he gave me, he just would not leave until he had found the problem, he seemed more bothered he could not find the noise than I was, which I think shows the AA patrol men/woman really do enjoy what they do for a living and are there to help people out when in need.
As for what the AA other in terms of memberships, well there are quite a few packages you can do and on top of that there are add ons you can have to your memberships.
The minimum cover you have to is the Roadside cover, I have this and it costs me £39 a year, which is very good value for money. This allows you to call them out 24 hours a day, 7 days a weeks, if you have broken down at the side of the road.
Other extras you can have on top are,
Relay ; this then allows you to be towed to a garage of your choice.
Home Start ; If you can not get your car to start even before you set out on your journey, then you call the AA out to your home.
Stay Mobile ; If the AA can not provide you with a prompt local repair, then they can offer you a replacement car (upto 72 hours) , public transport costs or even overnight accommodation.
On top of these adds ons to your membership you also have a choice who is covered on your membership, yourself only, joint cover, family cover and car cover.
The cost of these memberships will vary from online and through phoning them up direct, I do know at the moment there are so good discounts on their websites for new memberships as I am due to renew this month.
For me AA are essential to have if you own a car, and for the sake of £40 a year, it really is worth the money you spend.
This is a review on O2 Broadband.
Up until last year I was with AOHell, sorry I mean AOL , for my broadband provider. Well I say broadband provider, the only thing AOL actually provided me with, was months of hassle and very slow speeds. Once they finally gave me a MAC code to leave their wonderful company, I set about looking for my next victim.
As I had already been with Tiscali in the past, who were good , until I moved house, which Tiscalii really do not like you doing and then they have trouble reconnecting you at your new home. So I didn`t want to go with them again, but after looking around at a number of Broadband packages , O2 stood out.
They were a lot cheaper than all the other companies. had a free 24 hour English based call centre , but best of all, unlimited downloads and as I download around 4 to 6 gig a week, that is what I needed to have most.
I had to do a online speed check on the O2 Broadband homepage, this was to see what package would be best suited to me, based on the results of the speed check. With AOHell I only ever managed just over half a meg , but O2 said it would be possible for me to get nearer 3 meg. This is due to O2 using ADSL2 wires, which AOHell do not use. So after finding out I would only have to pay £7.30 a month for their 8 meg package, while previously I was paying £15 a month, I quickly signed up to join O2.
Signing up with O2 was a very easy process, all I had to do was to fill out a online form, filling in my personal details, payment options, which broadband package I would like and then I had to supply them with my MAC code, so they could switch my broadband over from AOHell to themselves, hopefully only leaving me with out a broadband connection for 24 hours.
Once I had completed the online application, I received a txt from my O2 confirming all my details and that they would inform me by txt regularly with progress reports on my switch over. I was impressed by this method, as usually you only receive a email or letter , but to be kept updated by txt, I think was a good way of keeping you informed.
After 4 days, I received the free O2 wireless box, I won`t lie, it is very ugly , in fact, it makes Diana look like Camillia! It really is that bad. As good looking people tell their ugly partners though, its not what is on the outside that counts! The router in question is called the Thomson ST780WL. I have since learnt though, O2 now send out different free wireless routers, I guess this had to do with a number of children having nightmares from the Thomson router!
Soon after I received my router, then came my free set up disk and letter of confirmation. All I had to wait for now, was a txt from O2 to tell me, my phone line was O2 Broadband enabled.
After 8 working days of placing my order with O2 I got my txt from them to tell me I had the broadband all set up and was ready to go. I had already set the router up and installed the O2 set up disk. It was very easy to follow and took around 15 minutes to be fully installed. Also on the disc is the option for you to use McAfee Internet Security Suite for free, but as I have my own virus and firewall already installed, I skipped this option.
So I was ready to go and was eager to see if my speed was really much quicker than it use to be. My first port of call was a speedtest website, with AOHell I never once got above 800kbs on this site, but with O2 it shot up to 3.3 meg, which was a big improvement. First impressions then, was very good.
After using O2 for 3/4 weeks my only concern I had was, I was having around 4 to 5 connection losses a day, only for a matter of seconds, but each time the ugly router would turn off then take about 2 minutes to regain its connection. This gave me a chance to test out their call centre, it was free and for the first time in years , it was a call centre which was located in the UK not in the middle of the desert!
I found the customer service to be very helpful and that they actually had a knowledge of how everything works. Most companies I have used in the past, seem to make their customer service staff , follow a script, but I don`t get that feeling with O2.
With regards to my router , they were honest and told me they had known of some customers who had drops with it and gave me some advice on it and some tips to make it more stable. This seemed to work for a week or two, but then the same problem came back. I had a old Netgear router which I was using for AOHell, so I phoned O2 back up to see if I was able to use the Netgear instead of the ugly duckling router. They said it would be no problem and even game me help in resetting the Netgear router up, so it would work with O2.
Once using the Netgear router I have had no more drop-outs in over 8 months, so the only minor problem I had, has gone.
I have been using O2 Broadband now for around a year and have to say I am amazed at how good they are. The speeds have been constant and I have never dropped below 3 meg. I have not noticed any slow down in peak times or have I been warned about download to much, which I know a lot of broadband companies do now.
There are 3 packages available from O2 ;
Standard , which is £7.34 a month for O2 customers , £12.23 per month
for all other customers, 8 meg download speeds and 100 free online txts.
Premium, £9.79 per month for O2 customers, £14.68 per month
for all other customers. 20 meg download speeds and 200 free online txts.
Pro,£17.13 per month for O2 customers.£22.02 per month
for all other customers, 20 meg download speeds and 500 free txts.
All of the packages come with a free wireless router and McAfee security software. You also have a 90 days cooling off period, which I think is a really good deal, gives you plenty of time to test out the broadband and to make sure you are happy with it.
I would say O2 are the best broadband provider out there right now, they offer a fast service, free 24 customer service, very completive prices and a very reliable connection. If you are looking to change internet providers or are coming to the end of your current contract, then I can not recommend O2 highly enough.
Seen a lot of these reviews around, so thought I would let people know what are my top ten films. I have around 300 dvds and over 500 downloaded films, so I have a wide choice of films to pick from. Although I`ll label the films from 1 to 10, they are in no particular order.
1. The Shining.
When a film is being directed by the legend that was Stanley Kubrick and also starring another screen legend Jack Nicholson , you know it is going to be a masterpiece. The Shining does not disappoint. I didn`t actually first see this film until 5 years ago, but since then I must of watched it 10 plus times and it still seems as fresh as it was the first time. There are many iconic moments from this films, but the one that always sticks out in my mind is when you get to see what Jack Nicholson has been writing on the typewriter after all those weeks! Classic!
2. Cape Fear (1991 version)
Being a big De Niro and Scorsese fan, this film has to be in my list. I think De Niro is faultless throughout the film as is a very young Juliette Lewis. I have also seen the original version of the film, but I feel the updated version is much more enjoyable to watch and with De Niro producing some of his best acting in this film, it has to be chosen over the original.
Yet another Scorsese/De Niro film, but Casino is ever better than Cape Fear in my opinion. The film is was inspired by a Casino owner back in 60s/70s called Frank Rosenthal, who is played by De Niro. The film switches between fact and fiction but on the whole the outcome of many of the characters involved are true to what actually happened. The film is full of big names stars, De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci ,just to name a few. Joe Pesci stands out as the best actor in the film, even above De Niro, he could not be any further away from his character in Home Alone.
4. Pulp Fiction
I love Quentin Tarantino, who is a modern great. This was he 3rd film and to this day is his best. It took me 3 viewings to fully understand everything that goes on this film but that is what makes it one of the best films of a generation. So many great storylines going on at once, that all seem to blend in and over cross one another during the film. Jackson and Travolta have great chemistry and are supported by a star studded cast.
Out of the six Rocky films, the first films still stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Stallone gives his best ever performance in this film and plays the character of Rocky perfect. You`ll feel very drawn in to his life and you want him to do well and by the time of the fight at the end of the film you`ll be cheering him on!
I love horror films so had to have at least one in my list, it was a choice between this and Saw. Halloween had to win though. I remember watching it first when I was around 11, stayed up to watch it in bed on my own , one Halloween night and I remember being scared all night after watching it!! It`s one of the best horror films ever made, it may not have as much gore in it as the newer horror films, but there is more suspense in this film , which is helped by the legendary music! Jamie Lee Curtis is also very good in this film, I think it was one of her first roles too?
I make sure I watch this film at least once a year. This would easily make it in to my top 3 films of all time. I don`t usually like Brad Pitt in films, mainly as my girlfriend just drools over him for the whole 2 hours or so, but he really is outstanding in this film and act`s out one of the most famous ending`s to a film in recent memory. Morgan Freeman plays a good supporting role as he always does but Kevin Spacey upstages Freeman by playing a crazed manic. I never tire watching this film and have recently seen the alternative endings, I think after seeing them , the director made the right choice going with the main one in the film.
8. Saving Private Ryan
The first 20 minutes of this film are enough to shock any viewer, but that is what Steven Spielberg wanted, he wanted to show the viewers exactly what horror went on that day on the beach. It really is a hard watch the opening scene but it really does make you sit back and think about those real man who had to go through that, knowing as soon as they jumped of their boats, they had a huge chance of dying. The film is not as fast paced as the opening 20 minutes or so, but even being nearly 3 hours long, I feel the story is good enough and with Tom Hanks giving his usual strong performance, the time files by.
9. Home Alone
Yes I know this film seems very out of place on this list, but it`s a film I watched growing up as a boy, and I have seen it ever since each Christmas time. It`s a good family film, with lots of laughs all the way through. I didn`t realise until I checked it out, but it actually made a hell of a lot of money, over $450 million so far. Not bad for a kids film. I`ll still be watching this when I have kids and hopefully they will like it as much as I do.
10. City Of God
This is a Brazilian made film, with English subtitles. It was actually the first film I`ve ever managed to watch with subtitles all the way through. The film is that good I soon forgot I was even reading them. The film itself is based on a true story , where two people living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro go to war with each other. Its full of violence, drugs, sex and and language but also a very hard hitting story which is made all the more shocking when you know this is based on real events. If any one has not seen this film, I would really recommend you do, you will not be disappointed.
Hope you like my list, maybe you like some of my films or you don`t like any :P
Thanks for reading.
I have had to write this review on British Gas as I am completely shocked at just how bad they treat their customers.
Let me go back a couple of weeks. I woke one morning to find our Ideal Combi Boiler was not on, which was strange as we have not turned off in the 3 years we have lived here, plus the on/off switch was still on. So I turned it off and back on again, pressing the reset button, but still no power. Luckily my dad is a plumber, unluckily though he lives 300 odd miles away, so he can only give a little help over the phone. I told him what was happening to the boiler and he told me it was more than likely a problem with the circuit board, which would needed to be replaced.
I got on the phone to my landlord who arranged for British Gas to come and to have a look at it for me. British Gas phoned me up to tell me the Gas man would be coming out between 8am - 1pm the following day. So I woke up the next morning at 7.30am to wait for him to arrive, the house by this time was very cold as the heating had not been on for over 24 hours. The first problem I had with British Gas was with the man not turning up until 3pm, which was 2 hours later than he was suppose to be there, was there a sorry? No of course not, be to much to expect some manners from these companies, I was hoping he would ask for a tea so I could show my gratitude for turning up so late.
So in he came, had a look for all of 2 minutes, he told me it was the circuit board and that it would need replacing. I had told British Gas on the phone when I rang up that this was the problem, so I was hoping he would come prepared, but nope he didn`t. He told me he would have to come back tomorrow to come fix the new circuit board and that he would arrive at my flat between 8am - 1pm, hmm just like he did today!
Well I would give him the benefit of the doubt this time, hoping he would arrive inside the agreed time, as we all know if the customer was not in the house between the times they have told you, do you think the gas man would wait around? I don`t think he would. Anyway, a new day dawned, the flat was still nice and cold, I was up again at 7.30 and got myself a few good dvds as I thought I would be in for a long wait.
He did not let me down, as he arrived at 3.30pm today, so only 2 and half hours late this time, not bad , maybe if he comes tomorrow he could make it 3 hours! This time he did say sorry, although I have to admit it went straight though my ears as I was just fed up of hearing excuses for being late, when you give a customer a 5 hour appointment gap, you really have no excuse for being over 2 hours late.
He did manage to stay 15 minutes today, but he actually had to do some work, he fitted the new circuit board and the boiler came back to life to warm my cold flat. So after 2 visits , waiting around for over 12 hours, 20 minutes work and a bill to my landlord for £40,000 or how ever much plumbers charge now, the work was done.
Well I say the job was done, it was working perfect until Friday night, then once again the boiler turned off. I was not amused, as the weather forecasted for the weekend ahead was for night temperatures of minus 4 in Manchester. I needed this fixing quick this time, as I was cold last time it happened and it only got to around 6 degrees at night.
Once again the landlord got in contact with British Gas, who in return got in touch with me, it was like long lost friends being reunited, oh how I missed them.
They told this time as it was going to be cold where I lived and the fact they had supposedly only just fixed it , they will send a gas man out to me on Saturday, this time though he could come any time from 8am until 6pm. Joy!
As I was getting use to how British Gas worked, I made sure I didn`t set my alarm until 11am on the Saturday , knowing they would not be coming any sooner than that, I was proved right, as by the time I got up , I still had no contact from them. I gave the customer service a quick ring to give me update on the arrival of my gas man. " Sorry Sir, we can only advice he will be there before 6pm tonight " Once again, British Gas proving why they are light years ahead of gas companies.
Well I kept on waiting, waiting, waiting and even more waiting, until shock horror, it`s 6pm and he hasn`t arrived, who could of predicted that! I then gave my friends at customer services a call, telling them in a calm voice that I will be enjoying sleeping in a freezing house tonight thanks to them and that they better make sure they send some one around in the morning for me. " Yes Sir, they will be there between 8am and 6pm. " I put the phone down , before letting out a number of loud swear words.
I did my usual routine of sitting down watching my dvd`s while waiting for the gas man to arrive. 10am soon becomes midday, then 2pm, still no sign, couple of phone calls to scripted robots, who assure me he will come, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm!! Another day of waiting in all day and another no show from Mr Gas, I would like his job! This time I phone up the robots in the call centre, telling them in no uncertain terms if the man does not turn up on Monday morning then I will be taking the matter much further as they can`t keep promising customer`s who have no heating on a cold weekend , that someone will be out to fix it. It`s a disgusting way to treat people.
So come today ( Monday) , surprisingly he turns up at 10.30am , I almost faint as I see his dirty looking van pull up in the car park, maybe he has been on a off road rally all weekend?
He opens up the cupboard with the boiler in, to see what is wrong this time. My girlfriend walks in to see the lovely sight of his arse cheeks hanging out as he bends down to have a look. My girlfriend duly leaves the room.
After working very hard for a good 2 minutes, for which he must be tired, he tells me it needs a new part for the circuit board again, for which will take another day to arrive. Deja vu !!
So as he leaves today he tells me he will be around between....come on you can guess..thats right, between 8 and 1 the next day.
Some people may say I should of done this review once the repair has been finished, but I have seen and dealt with British Gas long enough now to know I would not recommend them to any one but my worse enemy. They do not communicate with their customers enough and when they do , they provide information which is based around a script and not what is actually going on in the real world. They tell you lies, promising a call out on certain days, only for no one to actually arrive at your house. For one of the biggest gas companies in the UK, you thought they would be able to collect parts which are needed to fix your boiler and return later on that day, not always the following day.
Overall I would not use or recommend these and the only reason I have to use them is because my landlord . in all his wisdom , keeps on picking them , although I tell him just how useless they are.
Avoid at all costs.
The Sopranos is for me , with out doubt, the best TV Series ever made. The blend of dark humour, violence, romance, drugs and some of the most amazing performances from many different actors/actresses, makes this must watch TV.
The series ran for over 8 years , spanning 86 episodes over 6 seasons. Over this period, it rightly won many awards. Most notable was by winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series two times in 2004/2007. It was also nominated in this category every single year it was in broadcast.
I think many people who have not watched The Sopranos before would expect it to be full of violence, gore and bad language throughout. Yes it does have all of these, but in the most part, each episode moves along at quite a slow pace showing more about each of the mobsters personal lives and battles. There are many episodes which have no violence in at all, these include some of the more classic episodes.
Main Cast & Characters
Tony Soprano - James Gandolphini
Tony is the main character of The Sopranos and James Gandolphini was born for this role. Tony is the boss of The Soprano family, but he is not your average mob boss. Throughout the series he battles his bad heath, family problems, depression, just to name a few. Although he does many things to shock you , James Gandolphini plays the character in such a amazing way, you always want Tony to succeed and come out on top.
Dr Melfi - Lorraine Bracco
Dr Melfi plays the role of Tony Sopranos therapist. There is a lot of time spent in Dr Melfi`s room throughout the series, leading to many stand out moments, some funny some very shocking. Lorraine Bracco , does a good job for me, you warm to her role , feeling sorry for character having to put up with near constant abuse from Tony.
Carmella Soprano - Edie Falco
Carmella is Tony`s wife, she plays a huge role in The Sopranos and is at the middle of many main storylines. Like Tony she has many battles to deal with as the series progresses. With falling in love with one of Tony`s mobsters, to blaming herself for their son`s fall in to depression. Once again, Edie Falco does a great job with the character, some of her scenes towards the end of the series will blow you away.
Uncle Junior - Dominic Chianese
Uncle Junior is Tony`s uncle and for a very short period is head of the mob. I won`t spoil any storylines, but after a brief time as head of the family, Tony takes over. Uncle Junior plays a massive part in the opening series, leading to one storyline that runs throughout the whole series. For me Uncle Junior is one of my favourite characters, more so in the last 2 series , some very funny scenes involve him.
Paulie Gualtieri -Tony Sirico
Paulie is one of the captains of The Sopranos family and is without doubt the most funniest character in the whole show. He is also my favourite. He is sometimes a very violent, careless person, but no matter how nasty he is sometimes in this , you will always end up warming to him. Tony Sirico has never played a better role in his life. He was also reportedly in a real life mafia family back in the 70s.
There are so many other characters who have big roles in The Sopranos, but I would not want to spoil it for anyone, as by being a mobster show, must don`t make it to the end. I will list a couple more names for you to look out for though, Christopher Molisanti,Silvio Dante, who looks like Elvis, John "Johnny Sack" Sacramoni and Phil Leotardo who are were both at different parts, head of the rival New York Mafia. Extra mention for Phil Leotardo, who in the very last 6 episodes, plays such a great role and pivotal role in the life of Tony Soprano.
What I love so much about The Sopranos is it does not just glamorise the world of the mobster, if anything it shows the downfalls of living the life of crime and all the troubles which come with it. It shows many of the main mobsters having personal problems with drug addiction, wanting to escape the life of the mob, but not being able to leave. There is one storyline , where one mobster, who is high up, is caught out being gay. This then shows a side to Tony you think you would never see. I think David Chase, the director of The Sopranos, should be applauded for doing such a strong storyline, which leads to a quite horrific scene.
If you are thinking that The Sopranos is only for men to watch, then you couldn`t be more wrong. I think there is enough here for anyone over the age of 18 to sit down and be completely engrossed in. With many very bland programmes filling our TV screens recently, if you haven`t had the chance to watch this , then you really should do. Otherwise you are missing out on a real gold TV moment. Nothing has or will ever come close to matching The Sopranos.
If you would like to buy the boxset of The Sopranos, then you can pick it up at the moment for under £90 on amazon, which in return give`s you over 5000 minutes of gritty drama, the likes of you will never see again.
The Sopranos is full of hard hitting storylines, some great comedy moments, scenes that will bring a tear to the eye of even the strongest man, it will make you think , make you discuss , but above all it will be a series you will never ever forget.
I first went with LV Insurance in January 2008 when I brought myself a WV Polo 16v. I looked around on a number of different comparison websites and LV came out on top on all of them for me.
The cost of fully comp insurance for 12 months on a 2000 reg, VW 16v Polo was just over £530, which was cheap for me, as I was 25 years old and only had my licence for 5 years. Some other companies had quoted me over £700, so LV made me a good £200 saving. So after filling out all the online forms, I waited to receive all my documents in the post, which only took 4 working days to arrive.
In August 2008, while driving down a busy main road just outside of Manchester, for reasons only know to the other driver, she pulled out of a side road straight in front of my car, giving me no time at all to break. I crashed at 40mph , smashing into her drivers side door. Never before have I felt such pain, seconds after the crash, my car is filled with smoke from the air bag, my head and chest killing me. The car I hit I can see though my shattered windscreen, is also in bad shape, with the lady driver not moving. I don`t know what hurt more, the pain I was in , or seeing the car I spent 2 hours earlier, washing, completely smashed up!
Me and the driver of the other car, both had to cut out from our cars and taken by ambulance to the local hospital. I was released the next day with a broken nose and bruised ribs, but she had the worse injuries. One broken leg, 2 broken ribs and a very badly cut tongue, as she bit down on it when we made impact.
Now some people may find my next views as careless and nasty, but I`m a honest person. I couldn`t care less about how hurt she was, as she could of easily killed me by doing what she did, she did not even look at the oncoming traffic as she pulled out and there seems to a lot of those kind of drivers around now. I have since learnt she got fined £250 and 6 points on her licence for causing this accident.
As my car was a right off, I now had to arrange a claim with LV to hopefully get some money back for my car and also to get a hire car from them. I phoned up LV as soon as I got back the following day, they took all the details down about the crash and also all the details I had gotten from the police , with regards to the other drivers details. They also gave me a number of a hire car company which they use, so I could sort out my car hire with them directly. They told me they would be in contact within 10 days with the outcome of my claim for complete loss of my car and how much I would receive.
I was very impressed with how quickly they arranged my car hire. My crash was on the 18th August, I phoned up with regards to my car hire on the 19th August at 10am and by 2pm that same day I had a brand new hire car delieved at my address. I was expecting to wait a couple of days maybe, but to get it within 4 hours, was amazing quick. So , so far I was greatly impressed with LV in how they was helping me.
9 days after I first made my claim for my car, I received in the post the outcome of my claim and how much they would give me for my car. I brought the car for £3000 back in January, so I was hoping for anything from £2000 - £2300, as all cars lose value over time. So when I seen that their first offer to me was £2855 I was over the moon, I had only lost just over £100 in 7 months on my car. I sent back the forms saying I was happy with what they had offered me and waited for my cheque to arrive, I was told to wait for 7 working days.
The cheque arrived after only 3 days, once again LV had impressed me with the quick and easy service they had provided me. I should also say that in my original insurance with them, I had agreed to pay £250 access for any claim I had to make, they had waived this for me due to what happened, which was nice of them to do, as they did not have to.
I would recommend LV Insurance to anyone who ask`s me, everyone has different experiences with companies, but for me, I have had nothing but first class service from LV and look forward to them being my car insurance provider for years to come.
During the current climate we all live in, we all know someone who has been affected by the credit crunch in one way or the other. For me it has been very personal and painful, the last 12 months have been very tough and at the time of writing things are still incredibly hard.
If I go back 12 months things were going perfect and after a lot of hard work I had finally started to achieve what I have always wanted too, run my own successful business. I moved down to Manchester in 2006 and after having a couple of temp jobs I decided along with my girlfriend that we should try to set up our own home domestic cleaning business. I had no experience of running my own business in the past but had done a lot of research in to this and found there was a small gap in the market for this where we lived.
It took a lot of hard work to get off the ground as we was turned down for any helping grants from the Government as where we rent our apartment is classed as a high income area and this said the Government was the reason we was allowed no help. Not taking in to account that we had no money in our bank and we was actually getting off our backsides to achieve something in this country, but of course you get no help of this Government unless your a bank.
It took us a good few months to get established around my area, paying for our own advertising in the local papers, I designed a website, some leaflets and also did some cold calling. It all paid off though and we soon had a full book of customers.
Things we going great, earning a very good wage, some weeks earning near £1000 a week, we had to work very long hours , but knowing we had built this business up from nothing was a great feeling of success. Earning this money also gave me the chance to pay my parents debt off for them, pay our own credit card off and treat ourself to a nice holiday.
Around August time last year though, things started to go down hill, with people having to cut back on their spending , more so on luxury items such as hiring us to clean their house, we noticed our bookings half in just over 6 weeks. This was a big blow, with buying all the products and petrol costs, we was only just earning enough to cover the basics. As more weeks past by , even more customers where leaving, so many in fact , we had no choice but to fold the business, as we did not have enough income coming in to cover our rent, food ect. It was a very hard choice but when you have rent to pay, you need a steady income coming in.
Of course we asked for some help before finally folding the company up, but like I said earlier, unless your a bank or give a back hand of cash to a MP, you will be just left with no help what so ever.
We finally folded the business up in October 2008 and both me and my girlfriend set out to find new work as quick as we could. Even though we earnt good money while doing the cleaning, when you take off paying our credit card off, my parents debt we paid, rent, running costs, lots of tax, we only had a small saving left, which would last around 4-6 weeks at the most.
My girlfriend found work within 3 weeks , at a shop in a local shopping centre, as it was shop work , it only pays £5.90 a hour, so a bit of a come down, but money is money and that is all that matters. She is still working there now and is very happy there.
As for me, I gained a job at Sainsbury`s, working nights stacking shelves, I did not want to work nights, as this would mean I would never see my girlfriend as my hours were 10pm until 7am. By working nights though I would earn £2 a hour more than the day shift.
I was told at my interview, back in November 2008, that is was a temp to perm job and after 12 weeks, I would be offered a permanent contract. So everything seemed to be going well, both back in jobs and the bills were being paid. Then come Christmas Eve and everything changed for good. Before the start of my shift I was handed a letter by my night manager, this was we thought a letter regarding my holidays I was told I could have in January, but when opened , it was a letter stating that my temporary contract would end on January 1st and thanking me for my hard work I had done up to then.
I was completely shocked as I was told it was temp to perm , along with 12 others at my training. They also got the same letter as me over the next days. I went to my union rep in the store but as I was within my first 3 months , the probation period, Sainsburys, like other companies are allowed to let people go if they choose. I would not mind so much if I had known it was coming, but to find out Christmas Eve was in my opinion a disgusting way to treat people. All Sainsbury`s did was to employ people for the busy Christmas period, let them believe there was working for a permanent contract, this making them work extra hard, but then come after Christmas, ship them out. Really nice.
I wrote a long email to the head office, but no one will be surprised to hear that I had nothing in return. It was not so much losing my job that made me angry, it was the fact the lied to me and they way they went round it.
Christmas was a unhappy time for me, as we had no budgeted for me losing my job so close to Christmas , we had already brought presents, which in turn , now made us very low on money.
If I thought finding a job back in October was hard, finding one in January when more and more people had lost their jobs over the last few months, would be even harder for me.
Fast Forward to today, I am still looking for work and we are finding everything very tough. I have applied for 43 jobs but yet to hear from any, it seems that every job you now apply for, you are fighting 20 other people for the same job.
Money wise, well we have none. My girlfriend brings in £700 a month after tax, our rent is £695 a month, council tax is £150, her trams to work our £70 a month, shopping is around £150 a month. So before you add on the energy bills and phone bill, we have over £1000 a month outgoings but only £700 a month coming in.
If it wasn`t for my parents helping out where they can, I don`t know where we would be right now, on the street more than likely. I did try to get Job Seekers allowance, seeing as I paid £1000s in tax with my business, I thought I would easily qualify. I was wrong. When you are self employed, the tax you pay is different to the tax you pay when you are employed by a company. Being self employed the tax you pay does not go towards the income needed to qualify for income support.
You can sit at home every day for years and years, not wanting to work and you get help, but by going out, setting my own business up , working 70 plus hours a week, I according to this wonderful country , should be allowed no help. Nice to see they are happy and quick enough to take my £1000s in tax off me to pay for these lazy people, but offer no help to people who want to work for a living. Also I may add quickly, the job centre took 5 weeks to process my claim before telling me I was entitled to nothing, as they lost my claim.
Luckily last week I found out I may be allowed to gain £200 a month from my council towards our rent, which would help, but I need to go for a interview this Wednesday to see if they will allow me this. Hopefully I will, but with the experience I have had these last few months , I won`t hold my breath.
So, this is my experience so far in the credit crunch, from owning my own business 12 months ago , to being completely broke 12 months on. Could not of been much worse. I hope things will improve in the coming months, but we will see.
This is my personal choice of things I would like to see go in room 101, you may not like all my choices, but hopefully you will agree with some of them.
1. Middle Lane Hogger`s
I really dislike these people with a passion, nothing frustrates me more in the world than having to either undertake or have to go in the fast lane to overtake these morons! They continue to plod along at a slow speed in the middle lane while the slow lane remains empty, even when you flash your headlights at them , they are still oblivious to the world around them. For me I think they should get 3 points on their licence and banned from motorways for life ;)
I had a lovely letter from my Halifax bank last week telling me, as I did not have enough money in my account for my standing order to come out they are charging me £35, even though no money what so ever even came out, so why charge me £35 when the bank occured no charge for this happening? The only reason this happened was because I stupidly forgot to cancel a old bill, but when I told them this, did they care? Not a chance. I told them though, by charging me £35, this would make me go overdrawn and thus incuring more charges but of course they went ahead anyway.
For me banks are just bullies and are no more than legal robbers. They charge people ridiculous prices for even going a penny overdrawn, while they can go billions in debt and expect us to help them out. It really disgusts me.
3. Soaps and Reality Shows
Now I know a lot people enjoy these shows and I understand everyone should be able to have their shows on TV, but do we really them on all the time! You have Eastenders and Corrie on 6 odd times a week, Hollyoaks/Emmerdale/Home & Away and Neighbours all on every night of the week. Every time I see a soap on they all seem so depressed and moan about the same things, she slept with him, he slept with the mother, blah blah blah.
Reality shows too are everywhere, you have Strictly, Dancing on Ice, Big Brother, X-Factor, Britain`s Got Talent, Celeb Big Brother, Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, the list is endless! Do we really need so many of these shows on TV? People will say if you don`t like it than watch something else, but most prime time TV is now either soaps or reality shows as I don`t have Sky, so I don`t have much choice with channels.
Like I said, I`m happy for some of them to stay as everyone should be allowed to watch what they like, but please not so many!
Yes I am 26 and a man, but when I see a spider I become a complete wimp and have to call my girlfriend to come get rid of the horrible 8 legged freak! They do kill insects, I give them that, but do they need to look so scary and always have to run across my floor at 100mph towards me! They also seem to be getting much bigger now too , this is what worries me, each year they are getting bigger and some are now coming here from over the world, through Cargo planes ect. So one day this country will be full of huge poisonous spiders all out to kill us, this is why we need to stop them now!
5. News Of The World
This paper seems hell bent on destroying peoples lives for no reason than other purely making money. Yes I know other papers sell stories about celebs doing this and that , but News Of The World seem to be more prolific than others.
Only the other week they had Michael Phelps pictured smoking weed, people in this country didn`t seem to care so much, but over in America it went down really bad and he got a lot of bad press for it. So why did they do it? Really does it matter that he smoked weed while in the off season? No it doesn`t one bit, I`m sure more than half of the reporters at News Of The World do coke anyway. Its not like weed enhances him at swimming, if anything it shows what a amazing athlete he is , that he can smoke weed and still break world records.
Then of course you had Max Mosley, he paid to have private sex with escorts who both agreed to have sex with him, so why does the News Of The World really think its in the public interest we know what Max Mosley does for sex? Its really annoys me, as he is a grown man doing something completely legal in his own time and I`m very glad he won his case as they ruined his life , just for the sake of selling papers.
6. Foreign Call Centres.
When I need to phone up to ask someone`s help on a product or service which I use, I would like to speak to someone who can firstly understand me and secondly, me understand them. I do not want to spend hours on end spelling out every line of my name, address and post code to these people only for them to get it wrong afterwards.
Don`t get me wrong , the people working in these places are very friendly but if any job requires you to speak very clear English , its a call centre job.
Also the people working in this places are on such a small pitifully wage , some only get £100 a month , for a company which chargers me £100s a month for a crappy service. It`s not on!
7. Motorway Service Station Prices
Why do I need to pay 50p more for everything in the shop at a service station than I do in a normal shop? I was at one only the other day and foolishly I forgot to take some drink in my car, so when I went to get a bottle of coke I was shocked to see it priced at £1.40 and a bag of crisps near a pound! Then I noticed, if I wanted a cooked, well I say cooked probably microwaved, full breakfast , for the cheap price of £9.99! Now that is value for money.
8. Poor Wages
As I recently lost my job, I have had to be looking through job after job and one thing I have constally noticed is just how badly paid jobs are now. I was self employed for a while so this has come to me as a shock. Your average job now pays just over £6 or so a hour, which is around £200 a week after tax. How do they expect people to live? With bills/food/petrol all going up, wages continue to stay low. Businesses like mine are closing all the time as people cut back on their spending and there is little wonder why , as they have no money to spend as they don`t earn any!
9. Amy Winehouse
I don`t want to write much about this vile woman as I really can not stand her. At first I felt sorry for her having a drug problem, but she has enough money to get herself sorted out if she really wanted too. There are lots of people with the same problems as her who would love to get treatment but just can not afford any help. Then of course it was her decision also to first take heroin, so she only has herself to blame and please never ever publish topless pictures of her again!! Are you trying to kill us all!
10. Pot Holes
I`ve lost count the number of times I have needed to get my wheels balanced or aligned after I have driven in one of the millions of pot holes we have on our roads. Even though we pay tax on everything we drive, petrol and even our council tax go towards roads, the majority of roads are in such a bad repair, it`s a joke. There is one road near me where you can not fail but drive over pot holes, even though I have rung the council up asking them to fill the holes in or to pay for my wheels to be done, nothing ever happens, the holes still remain.
Well that is my top ten list of things I would like see put in room 101 for good, hopefully some you will agree with.
Before I visited Germany, like many people from this country, I had my own perceptions about the country and culture. How wrong all my perceptions where though as I now count Germany as one off if not the best country I have ever visited.
I spent 12 days in Germany back in June 2006 to correspond with the World Cup. We did not have any tickets for any game but we just wanted to experience the atmosphere of a World Cup. We was based in a small town called Remagen, which is situated on the banks of the River Rhine, around 10 miles south of Bonn.
Remagen is where my love affair with Germany starts. Surrounded by beautiful hills and countryside, this tiny town was full of character and charm. Through pure luck we arrived on the day the town had its annual festival. The streets were full of stands and stalls, selling a wide range of products from locally produce meats to some very bizzare cocktails! Even though 3 of us were wearing England kits, the locals could of not been more welcoming to us all, supplying us with free drinks and food. All of them saying how nice it was for Germany to be able to show the world how friendly the people there are, they could not have been more right.
I could be here writing 1000s of words on my experiences I had in Germany, but as this is a review on the country itself , I will provide the more general information that is of more use.
Transport in Germany is second to none and makes our pitifully excuse of a transport network look even worse than it is. We caught many trains from Remagen to Cologne while we was there and not once was the train delayed. The trains themselves were clean, comfortable, plenty of space and had plenty of food and drink available on.
When we did use our hire car to drive around, we found the roads easy to use and once on the famous autobahn we had no hold ups or problems.
Quite typically the day I arrived back home in England from this trip, my train from London to my then home in Scotland, was delayed 2 hours. Nothing quite like returning back to the great British transport.
As for things to do in Germany, well there is enough to keep every kind of person happy. Even though we was there mainly for the football, we also got visit a number of different cities and places. First on my list is the Michael Schumacher Go Karting centre. We had noticed the Go Karting centre while we was driving to Remagen for the first time. It is based in Sindorf, which is just east of Cologne, if any likes Go Karting I would very highly recommend this place! We wasted many hours here, but for only a small fee , you get around 20 minutes of karting on one of the best circuits in the world.
We spent a lot of our time in Cologne. I will never forget the sight that greated me as I walked out of the main train station in Cologne for the first time, the very impressive and massive Cologne Cathedral. I had seen pictures of this before coming to the City, but actually standing right beneath it, really does make you understand just how huge the Cathedral is. I`m not too sure how much it costs, but you can if you want to, climb the very long steps right to the top of the Cathedral, which I`m sure would reward you with the most beautiful view of the city. As I was drunk most of the time in this city, I never really had the energy to climb to the top. Cologne is though a very well kept and pretty city, we so many shops to visit and lots of nice bars and restaurants. The first night there, it was full of around 200,000 England fans, so we could not really enjoy what the city had to offer, so we made sure we went back near the end of the holiday to have proper look round.
For those who maybe be in Cologne for a stag do, then I would recommend a "nightclub" called Pascha. Well we all thought it was a nightclub, until we was inside, but a good night was had be all, although £400 worse off after.
Further down from Cologne is a smaller city in Bonn, we only spent half a day here, but just like Cologne , we found it very clean and with enough shops to keep the girls with us very happy.
Money wise, while we was there, the exchange rate was still good, but even then I found it a bit more expensive than England, that may of been because of the World Cup being on though, I`m not sure. For trains/taxis and buses though, it was still a lot cheaper than England, it was mainly in the shops where I felt it was slightly more expensive.
If your planning a visit to Germany, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Most major cities have airports which are accessible from Britain. You can of course get the Eurostar over to France and then work your way to Germany by train. Or you could do what we did and just drive from England to Germany. We set off from Northampton at 4am, and by 4pm that same day we was in Remagen.
Accommodation is very varied and all types of budgets are catered for, as you would expect from a county such as Germany. There was 6 of us, staying in a rented house on the banks of the Rhine for 10 days, which cost us just £60 each. I don`t think even a 5 star hotel could of been better than where we was. Being able to get up and eat your breakfast , while watching boats go along the Rhine each morning, was a wonderful experience.
So would I recommend Germany? Well I think you know what I think, I have told every person I know who hasn`t yet been to go and experience the country for themselves. We seem to have a image of Germany people being cold and lacking a sense of humour, but honestly if more people here in England were like those in Germany, I think England would be a nicer place to live. Germans are very friendly , warm and kind people and who all seem to be able to speak perfect English!
I myself would hope to be able to live there one day, if I have kids one day, I would much rather they grow up Germany than here and I think that shows just how much I love this country.
I have read quite a few of other peoples top ten websites, so I thought I would give my thoughts on my top ten websites.
These are in no particularly order.
I can`t quite remember how I stumbled across this website but very glad I did. This is mainly a website were users can upload their pictures for people to use a their desktop background. The pictures are on the whole of very high standard and since finding this website, I now have around 200 pictures saved in a folder from here. Once you find a picture you like, there is a drop down menu from where you click on the resolution of your desktop for you to download the picture. You also have the options to post comments on the pictures as well.
This website also has different themes for windows which you may use, but I have yet to use
This website is my homepage as I like to be able to see all the news headlines when I first come on to the internet. The bbc is one of the most popular websites in the world and it is easy to see why, there really is something for everyone on here. With the addition of the IPlayer, the website for me goes from strength to strength
With a wide range of social networks sites available now, I still pick Facebook above them all. I like its clean and simple layout , with the choice of some good applications. I use Mobwars at the moment, which is a mafia based game, I have slowly become addict to this game!
If you want to keep in contact with friends and family , this website for me is the best of them all.
DS as it is know but most of the users is a website for the latest news on entertainment , media , technology , sport and gaming. The main reason I use this website though , is for its vast forums on here. Its one of the most popular used forums in the UK and has a number of famous users, one being Sir Alan Sugar.
If like me , you like using torrents, then this site is a must. You can search thousands of torrents, from films to music to games. It`s a very easy website to use, which I can`t say for other torrent websites, with a good community in the fourm if you need any help.
To use this website to its full ability I would recommend using a torrent application , such as Bit Torrent.
The legend that is axxo, is also a member here ;)
Not much I can say about this website which no one knows already. Not only is this the best search engine around, it also has a number a great applications. Google Earth, IGoolge, Google Chrome are just some of the applications which I have used from this website.
Just a week ago I had never heard of this wonderful website, but ever since I have , its become one of my favorite website. I am constantly coming on checking my reviews, reading other peoples reviews. I like how there is a strong community on here and on the whole everyone is so welcoming.
This will be a unknown to near enough everyone reading this review. Bluevibe is a forum for Man City fans, so we can have our own little place to moan and be depressed about all things blue! If you have a depressed state of mind, please feel free to join us.
As I live on the outskirts of Manchester this is a great local website, which is also up to date and has some great news stories on. They also have weekly reviews on local restaurants, music gigs and theatre shows. As I am currently out of employment right now, I am using the websites very good job search on there. Overall its a great local website.
I only started using this site once AOL had halved my speed for no reason, so I would go on daily to keep a record of my download and upload speeds, so I could send AOL them to show just how useless they was.
Since I am now with O2 Broadband, I do not use this site as much, as my speeds are always very steady and good. It`s still a very useful website though for anyone who wants to find out exactly what speeds their internet provider is providing them.
Thought I would fill in a questionnaire which I have seen elsewhere, so people who would like to know a bit more about me , can do.
1 - First Names:
2. - Pseudo(s)?
Nothing exciting, just Stu
3 - girl or boy?
4 - Towns? (Birthplace and living town)
Was born in Northampton, lived there until I was 21, then moved to Arborath in Scotland. Moved down to Manchester 3 years ago, which is where I still live right now.
5 - Size?
6 - Age?
7 - colour of hair?
8 - colour of the eyes?
Green and blueish
9 - Employment / current occupation?
Just recently lost my job
10- astrological and Chinese sign:
Virgo and Dog
11 - I like/love?
My girlfriend of 5 years, spending time together. Nice holidays away, seeing my car all shiny after spending 3 hours washing/polishing it :) Football, boxing, tennis and F1 for sports. Dinners out, seeing my family.
12 - I don't like?
Being unemployed, cheese!!, lies, racists, Gordon Brown, Banks, Spiders and flying
13 - If you can met one person of your choice, dead or alive, known or not, who would this be?
Martin Scorsese, he is the best director there has ever been in my opinion, other than Hitchcock, so would love be able to sit down and talk with him.
14 - What do you like to do, generally, during the weekend?
Usually go for a drive somewhere with my gf, find a nice pub and have a meal there. On the Sunday, usually spent relaxing at home.
15 - The town/country that you want to visit or even live in?
Visited a lot of countries, but to live in, it would have to be Germany, loved it there so much, the whole culture is just perfect for me.
16 - The first thing you do when you come back from school or work
Go kiss my gf and then start to cook my dinner.
17 - Style of music or radio that you prefer?
Quite varied in the music I like, rangers from Oasis, The Smiths, White Stripes to Jay-Z, Kayne West ect
18 - The most beautiful song which exist for you?
Stand by me, by Ben E King
19 - The singer, or band that you prefer?
If I had to pick one band it would be Oasis.
20 - The reality TV show that you prefer?
The Apprentice, if that counts
21 - the advertising that you prefer?
Can`t think of any
22 - Are you single?
23 - If no, are you happy?
24 - if yes, are you happy?
25 - Have you ever known an unhappy love affair?
Yes I have.
26 - How many Harlequins' collection (books) do you have?
What's that? None at a guess!
27 - Have you ever read "NOUS DEUX" (to make the bond with England, "Nous deux" is a tabloid)?
Ummm, really have no idea what this is!
28 - The magazine, which you never miss?
Top gear, although its monthly :P
29 - Your book of bedside?
1000 places to see before you die.
30 - The novel of which you would have liked to be the author?
Harry Potter books, as then I would be filthy rich
31 - Your society game (or console) favourite?
Call of Duty 4 for the 360
32 - The dish which you prefer?
Duck in orange sauce, very yummy
33 - What do you buy when you go to the fair when you are hungry?
Has to be those rubber hot dogs
34 - Drink preferred?
I love cherry 7up!
35 - colour preferred?
36 - fetish number?
33 but its not a fetish!!
37 - The quotation which you prefer?
I'm going to a special place when I die, but I want to make sure my life is special while I'm here.
38 - Film Actor which you prefer?
39 - cult movies?
I love so many films, if I had to pick a few it would be, Casino, Interview with a Vampire and The Aviator
40 - Preferred series?
41 - Your more beautiful quality?
I wouldn't say there's anything beautiful about me, but I am very trustworthy and a loyal friend.
42 - Your worst defect?
Trusting people to easily
43 - Your worst nightmare?
Dying in a plane crash.
44- The worst shame of your life?
Not shame, but regret would be not telling my first love how I felt about her.
45 - The most beautiful thing which one made for you by love?
My girlfriend cooks me beautiful dinners :)
46 - The thing of which you are proudest?
Being able to run my own business before the credit crunch put pay to it.
47 - A fairy lends his magic wand to you for a wish: what you make?
To have a secure job for life and being able to provide for my family.
48 - The first thing you do in the morning?
Turn my alarm off and go back to sleep.
49 - what you think when you are not able to fall asleep at night?
Lots of things, like what jobs I could get, how to make more money, if I turned the lights off my car!
50 - What will you bring with you on a desert island?? (5 max)?
My girlfriend, fishing rod, cooking pot, big knife and some sun cream if it`hot! Might as well sun bath if I have my on island.
51 - If you have to buy a handbook of survive, that would be which?
Have a couple of Bruce Parry`s books , so they will do.
52 - Your bedroom takes fire (or is flooded, it depends of the place), what do you rescue at first?
My photo albums.
53 - Quelle(s) peluche(s) partagent ton lit ?
54 - What do you have on the wall of your bedroom???
Nothing as will live in rented apartments and our landlord does not allow anything up!
55 - pets ?
My goldfish :)
56 - Do you get on with your parents?
Yes we are very close, although they live 4 hour away
57 - with your brother and sister ?
One brother, older, we are close too
58 - Which is the cartoon which you preferred child?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
59 - And now ?
Don`t really watch any now, probably The Simpson
60 - Which is the job which you dreamed to have child?
Would of love to be a professional boxer
61 - Why the lady is big of her belly ?
haha, ummm, maybe she enjoys her food?
62 - Tell us your most beautiful memory of childhood
Had many. Always remember a holiday we had in the south of France though.
63 - Were you already scandalmonger (to say evil of people behind their back)?
64 - You have the possibility of saying your four truths to the person whom you hate more in the world, what you would say to him?
I couldn`t say on here!
65 - The insult which you say more?
I`ll skip this one too.
66 -The word you overuse to much?
67- Do you speak another language that English?
Some French and German
68 - What countries have you been to?
America, Barbados, Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, Spain
69 - The area (or the place) of England which you do prefer?
70 - The area you least like?
71 - If one day you become hyper famous, in which would you become famous ?
Would be boxing.
72 - What you would buy if you won the lotto?
Would pay my parents and brothers debt off. Buy them both a nice house, buy myself a nice house and make sure I got myself a good car collection!
73 - Where and How do you see you in 2015? In 2040 ?
2015 I may be married and have a couple of kids, hopefully with a good job and a nice home.
2040, I will be old, so hopefully my kids will be rich and able to look after me and my then wife!
74 - One makes it possible to you to use a "Stargate" (cf Stargate
SG1), which planet visits you of first?
Mars, to go see some red aliens.
75 - The Earth is destroyed. You have time to flee, where you go?
I`ll go join Morgan Freeman on his spaceship out of here!
76 - The Earth will be destroyed. You do not have time to flee. Which is the last thing which you make ?
Love to my gf
77 - How many children do you want ?
78 - How you call them?
I`ll leave that up to my gf, would take me to long to think of any.
79 - What would you like, boys or girls?
Not fussed to be honest
80 - If you can change a part of your body, Which one do you choose?
Maybe be a bit taller
81 - You dye your hair. Which colour you choose?
Would never dye it!
82 - If you can have a tattoo, what?? And Where??
Already have one, but planning on getting both my arms covered in Tattos.
83 - Are you beginning, intermediary or expert when it acts of Internet?
Guess I`m pretty advanced.
84 - What mouse mat do you have?
Just a boring black one
85 - Which is your background desktop picture off?
Right now its a waterfall.
86 - What can we find under your bed ?
Photo albums and some other duvets covers.
87 - How many times a week do you come on Internet? How many hours?
88 - What do you think about cyber sex on the internet ?
If you are apart from your gf , then guess it`s ok, with her of course.
89 - What was your resolution on the new year ?
To get a new well paid job
90 - Do you do it ?
Well new labour are not helping me find one , no.
91 - The best gift that somebody offer to you ?
A PS2 when I was younger
92 - The worst gift that somebody offer to you?
A pen, yeah was so good.
93 - Somebody offer to you a house. You choose an igloo, an Indian tipi, a African box, the same house as your parents, a farm ?
A farm, as then you instantally have a chance to run your business. Also is a good place to bring kids up
94 - How much do you weigh ?
About 13 stone
95 - How much would you like to lose ?
Want to gain another 2 stone, as currently doing weights.
96 - the best teacher did you have?
Mrs Crow, my old Geography teacher, she always believed in me!
97 - the worst teacher did you have ?
Mrs Adams, maths teacher, who forgot to brush her teeth for the last 10 years!
98 - Dedicate this questionnaire to someone?
99 - What do you think of this questionnaire ?
Its not to bad, some very strange questions though
100 - Would you recommend it?
Sure, why not.
It`s been 18 months now since me and my partner purchased our first goldfish. It was her idea , she had been asking me for 2 years to get some, so one weekend we finally went to our local garden centre and purchased a 20 litre tank. It came we all the equipment needed for a basic setup, filter, gravel , lights ect. Before buying any goldfish we set the tank up and let the water stand for 3 days, this enabling the chlorine to clear from the water.
As my girlfriend had wanted goldfish for such a long time now, I let her pick which fish she wanted to have. As we only had a small tank for the time being , we limited ourself`s to 2 small fancy goldfish. Her first pick was a golden coloured telescopic goldfish, who she called Georgie, the second which would be my fish was a beautiful multi coloured fantail, who she called Macully.
Once we got the two fish back in to our apartment we kept them in their plastic bag and floated them in the water of their new tank, after 20 minutes, adding some water from the tank in to their bag, this allowing them to get use to the temperature. After waiting around half hour , we released them in to their new temporary home. We had decorated the tank with a little bridge adornment , couple of plastic plants and some red gravel. This would be their home until we could afford a new bigger tank for them.
I was amazed how much I became to like the goldfish and I soon spent hours a week just watching them and learning they both had their own little personality. People say goldfish have a 2 second memory , which I don`t believe at all as after having fish now for well over a year , I have found them to be quite clever animals who learn very quickly.
Within 2 weeks of owning them, we were lucky enough to buy a 2nd hand goldfish tank online from a nice couple in Stoke. It was a 80 litre tank, so much bigger and much what we wanted to have for them. So after going down to Stoke to collect the thank we soon had it setup in the corner of our living room. We spent around £100 on the gravel, new filter, 2 oxygen pumps, more plastic plants and some adornments. Once again we had to let the water settle down for a few days. As the other fish tank we next to the new one you could see both goldfish looking at the big tank thinking to themselves, "I can`t wait to get in to that!" , yes I do believe goldfish think like that :P
The big day had arrived to finally set free our 2 little goldfish in their new permemnant home, as they swam out of the net in to the new tank , it was a really good feeling seeing them swim around in their new surroundings. Both of them chasing each other around, trying to find new hiding places and where was best to sleep.
The first 4-6 of having the new tank we noticed the water was quite cloudy and some algae had appeared. This was normal though as every new tank setup with go through a new water cycle. This is when your filter is still growing bacteria which will remove harmful wastes in the water , some books and experts do recommend you let your tank do this water cycle for 4-6 weeks before adding fish. We was ok this time , but in the future I will make sure I follow those instructions just to be safe, as those first 4 weeks or so are the most dangerous conditions for a fish.
After the water had cycled though, the tank looked back to its best, clear water, only a little algae and 2 happy fish. A lot of people think having goldfish is a easy hobby and you just have to fed them each day and that`s it. It couldn`t be further from the truth. If you want your fish to live long and have a good healthy life , you will need to spend money and also put a lot time in looking after them. I will now go through some important things which are needed to keep fish healthy .
This is very important. Long gone are the days of keeping goldfish in a tiny bowl and never cleaning the poor guy out. The guidelines for water changes are between 10-25% each week or every other week, depending on the size of your tank. I personally do around 20% each week/10 days.
You should test you water at least once a week to make sure there is no high levels of toxin in your water. There is a wide range of tests of which you can buy, but I would recommend you spend a bit of money of getting one which test`s the , pH, high-range pH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrate levels. If any of these levels after the test are too high or low, you can buy tablets which help rebalance the water for you.
Having a filter in a goldfish tank is a must, as without it your goldfish would be living in all its poo and waste. The filter does 3 main jobs, the first is to suck up the water, catching all the debris and waste in the sponges inside the filter and then pumping the clean water back out of the top.
The second feature of a filter is the biological aspect. The filtration system is made up of different types of bacteria and it does the very important job of converting harmful chemicals such as ammonia and nitrite into a less harmful chemical known as nitrate. If it did not do this, or you did not have a filter, your goldfish would more than likely die from this.
Last but not least the third feature of a filter is the chemical filtration, which comes in form off the carbon inside the filter.The activated carbon attracts impurities and contaminants in the water and works by absorbing them thus preventing them from circulating back into the water. One word of advice though, if you have to treat your fish with any medicine, be sure to remove your carbon from the filter before treating them, as the carbon will remove the chemicals from the medicine.
When you carry out your weekly water change, make sure you give the gravel a good clean with a syphon, this is will suck up all the waste and bad bacterial from the bottom and underneath the gravel. Be sure never to take all the gravel out to clean in tap water as this will destroy all the good bacterial which has built up over time.
What I do each week before cleaning my tank, is to use my old tank which is 20 litres, is to fill this up with tap water and to leave standing for 3 days and then use this water to top up my new tank after the weekly clean. Once I have topped up the old tank with the tap water, I add a water conditioner which removes the chlorine from the water, I like adding this 3 days ahead though, as its not best to add straight to the tank with fish in. One other water conditioner I use , is a good bacterial conditioner, I add this once a week and this helps the water contain good bacterial.
So they are the main points in keep goldfish healthy, it`s quite hard work, but I am really enjoying the challenge and the rewards are most definitely worth it.
18 months down the line and things have changed a lot since we first set out to get some goldfish. The main thing that has changed is that my girlfriend has become a bit bored with them, while I have become very interested in them and am hoping to buy a new 200 litre tank when we move. As for the fish, well we have had some ups and downs, after 6 months we added a new fish, a blackmoor, who had a great personality, but unfortunately she died of Dropsy after 5 months and shortly after so did our telescopic fish.
Just before the 2 goldfish died we purchased a bristlenose plec, to help with the algae and within 2 days had managed to eat all the algae in there. He now loves to eat cucumber:)
Once the 2 fish died, we brought another new fish to keep the faintail some company but once again we was unfortunate to lose him to Dropsy as well.
So right now we have the faintail, who is doing really well and is my favorite and she was the originally fish we brought, so I have managed to look after her well for 18 months now and we still have the plec.
We are waiting another 4 weeks to still if the fish are ok before buying a another new fish, we losing 3 fish to Dropsy in a little over a 5 week period we are being cautious, but all seems good right now. The tank itself has changed a lot since we first had, the main difference is we replaced all the plastic plants with nice new real ones, not only does it look nicer it also provides more oxygen and food for the fish. We also had to add new gravel after just 9 weeks as the fantail managed to get a piece of gravel stuck in her mouth and it took me 5 hours careful surgery with some hair clips to remove it from her mouth, so new bigger bits of gravel was needed.
I would recommend any animal lover to consider having goldfish as a pet, I have found the whole experience to be fun and very rewarding too. It may not be the easiest pet to look after but being able to sit in the lounge at night with the light off and seeing the fish tank all light up at night, watching the fish swim around is always a good way to relax after a hard day. Nothing can beat it.
If anyone would like to see some videos of my tank, you can go to my youtube home page where I have 3 videos on there, which features all the fish I have had and shows the tank from new to how it is now.
I really miss this ground, being a city fan all my life ( 26 years old) I spent a good 9 years going to this ground week in week out and although we have a stunning new ground in the City of Manchester stadium, it will never be the same as Maine Road.
I had a season ticket for those 9 years in the Kippax stand, once one of the biggest terrace in England but after the Taylor report it was rebuilt into a huge 3 tier stand. As for the ground itself , it was located in Moss side, which is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, was originally built back in August 1923 and the last game to be played there was just under a 100 years later in May 2003.
The ground was built by Sir Robert McAlpine, who also built the original Wembley stadium and Maine Road was designed to be the Wembley of the north. Still to this day, Maine Road holds the highest attendance for a football ground outside London. 84,569 fans watched Man City play Stoke City in a FA Cup 6th round game back in March 3rd 1934.
After world war II, Manchester Utd shared Maine Road for 3 years from 1946-49, during this time they gained a attendance of 83,260 against Arsenal, which to this day is still a recorded league attendance is English league football. See, even when we let Man Utd share our ground they still have to steel our thunder!
In 1949, England played Northern Ireland at Maine Road in England`s first ever world cup qualifier, the won the game 9-2. The only ever other England international game was against Wales, with England winning 3-0, this was in 1946.
Maine Road has also held other sporting and musical events at the ground. Most notable ones have been , The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie and between 1938 - 1956 Maine Road held 11 Rugby League finals.
Probably the most famous concert held at the ground was Oasis, who played there near the end of the 95/96 season. At the time Man City were struggling to stay in the Premier League and soon after this concert we played Liverpool in a game which would decide our fate. We ended up drawing 2-2 , which was not enough for us to stay up. Some of the players and ground staff though had blamed the concert nights before saying it made the pitch bumpy and unplayable.
In the later years of this stadium life , it became a miss match of stands, each built by different chairman's with their own vision but never having enough time to take it further. On one side , you had the old Main Stand with its curved white roof tops, the North Stand which housed both home and away fans, the top half of the stand had old grey seats while the bottom had a mix of white and blue seats which spelled out MCFC. The Kippax stand which towered above all the stands, at 3 tiers high it has Manchester City spelt out in the seats in the lower tier, a row of executive boxes in between the lower and middle tier. The top tier was a row of executive boxes, with around 5 rows of seats in front of them. Last stand is the Platt Lane stand, once called the Umbro Stand. It was a one tier stand of about 40 rows of seats with 2 tiers of executive boxes at the back of the stand.
As the crowds began to grow again at the stadium as Man City were promoted back in to the the top leagues, the two corners between the Kippax/North Stand and the Kippax/Platt Lane were filled in by two temporary stands, which at best could be described as stands you would see at a golf match. One of these stands was later better know as The Gene Kelly stand.
The last ever game held at Maine Road was 11 May 2003, between Man City and Southampton. Sure enough Man City lost 1-0 and was possibly one of the worst games I seen that season, but in a weird sort of way, it wouldn`t of been Man City if we had gone and won 4-0. More notable for us city`s fans was that Marc Viven Foe was the last ever city player to score at Maine Road, who sadly died just a month after the last game here.
So why will I miss Maine Road so much? I miss the history old grounds have, nearly all new grounds now have no soul, they are round bowls with the same stands all round, no character. Yes Maine Road didn`t look the best , nor was it big enough, but it was home and we loved it. I miss going the City Chippy, a small chip shop just on the corner by the ground, I miss walking through the back streets at night going to the game and seeing the floodlights in the distance. I miss be able to see the team coaches arrive and seeing the players get off, as now at the new ground the buses arrive under the ground. I miss home, who knows , maybe in a 100 years or so people will feel the same about the Eastlands but I know where my heart will always lie.
Maine Road 1923 - 2003