- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Whats in my bag? More like, whats not! After seeing this category I decided to tip my handbag upside down and out fell a mouldy Satsuma and a glass eye! I have a very big bag, like the sort a postman has with the flop down side.
I always put fruit in my bag because you never know when you will need a snack. Unfortunately, looking at the mouldy Satsuma that I havent been peckish whilst out and about in a while!
Rummaging around Ive also found:
1. A glass eye. (Not a real one, was on a necklace when I was a teenager, am superstitious about it!)
2. Mouldy Satsuma (sorry guys!)
3. At least 15 old bus tickets
4. A miniature screwdriver kit (never know when someones glasses will need repairing!)
5. A sewing kit (I learned the hard way when on my way to a job interview and a button popped!)
6. A manicure set
7. 1 folded up carrier bag (saves paying for one in Kwiksave!)
8. A library book (latest Karin Slaughter novel)
9. Witch Hazel (bites and spots)
10. Sun cream (Im hopeful okay!)
11. Roll on deodorant
12. Glasses (not of the drinking kind, its not that big a bag!)
13. Lip balm (chocolate orange flavour!..mmm For those choc cravings not to soothe lips)
14. Photo of my hubby-to-be
15. Purse (full of receipts and no cash)
16. Lottery ticket (non-winner? Best get it checked!)
17. Safety pin (for when that button pops and no time to sew)
18. Plasters (I do a lot of walking)
19. MP3 player
20. Hand wipes (I have no children, its me that gets in a mess with chocolate!)
21. Packet of tissues (for when ran out of hand wipes)
22. A letter I should have posted (argh)
23. Crumbs (um unidentified)
24. Comb and hair things
25. 63 pence
Last but not least kitchen sink! (KIDDING!)
So there you go, the most useful bag contents in the world, prepared for all emergencies.
Not sure how you can rate this sort of opinion but hope my bag is of some use to you, even if the opinion isnt!!!
Mmmm. Ing orger to goo dis ockinion I gnew I shug eatsh shum hockalut. Gang ong
Ah. Thats better! Sorry about that. Had my mouth full with chocolate! Well research is very important dont you know!
I've also included a "special place to eat them" and a "Special way to eat them" bit as I don't eat chocolate by just shoving it in my mouth!
Right this was the toughest review ever. Now counting backwards .
Little flat balls of chocolate covered in a flavoured coloured shell.
Now firstly I would like to moan about the change in packaging! What are the children of today going to make things out of if first they change the washing up bottles and now they change the Smarties tubes! Bring back the tubes that had all orange ones in them!
Special place to eat them: -
At a table where you have room to spread them out.
Special way to eat them: -
Empty contents of tube onto table. Divide into colours. Eat the blue ones first as they annoyingly change the colour of your tongue. Then eat the brown ones. Eat the rest in whatever order but leave the orange and red till last. Now slowly suck an orange one. This is just to tease you because you must eat all the red ones before you eat the rest of the orange ones! Savour each one.
**9** TERRYS CHOCOLATE ORANGE MILK
Silky, smooth, milky and mmm.
Special place to eat it: - In bed when poorly. Okay so it will make you feel sicker but it works for me!
Special way to eat it: Holding one segment at a time, pinching one far end between thumb and finger. Now slowly grind your teeth down the thin end of the wedge. Keep repeating this until it gets to the stage where youre going to drop it.
Now slowly nibble away until you have just that one (hopefully now melted) bit on your thumb. Now lick that last bit off your thumb! Mmmm.
**8** CADBURY BUTTONS
Scrummy milk chocolate in little round drops. This one is usually aimed at children but I have taken quite a liking to it at the moment as it means it lasts longer but tastes just as scrummy!
Special place to eat them: -I like my chocolate to last and every Sunday morning I have a little ritual. I sit there with my morning paper and a packet of Cadbury Buttons straight out of the fridge.
Special way to eat them: - Stick a packet in the fridge. Then I suck each and every one of them!
**7** TOFFEE CRISP
Chocolate covered rice crispie thingies with toffee.
Special place to eat it: - In a petrol station. This is a tradition that has gone on for years. Everytime my boyfriend used to stop at a petrol station he would always bring back to the car a Toffee Crisp for me!
Special way to eat it: - By constantly looking down at your lap where inevitably a bit will be melting slowly.
Smooth, milky and melts in your mouth.
Special place to eat it: - Somewhere private because you dont want anyone to steal any!
Special way to eat it: One chunk at a time. I usually nibble at Galaxy, letting it melt on my tongue. Its nice to let it move around on your tongue as it melts mmm
**5** DAIRY MILK (in a bar)
Milky ooh just yummy!
Special place to eat it: - Whilst watching a movie.
Special way to eat it: Pretty much in the same way as Galaxy!
**4** BOURNEVILLE (thin bar)
Dark, rich but melts quicker! Now I have chosen the thin bar because I much prefer it to the thicker one. Bourneville always used to be thin chunks which I prefer as it melts quicker and chocolate to me is always more scrummy when melted.
Special place to eat it: - I now only know of two places where I can get the thin bars. One of those is an hour and a quarter away from where I live and the other is a plane flight away in Belfast!
Special way to eat it: Break off one chunk at a time. Place chunk on tongue and wait until it melts if thats actually possible! If not, hold one chunk inbetween finger and thumb until it melts, then lick!
**3** CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
I cant remember the make right this second in time as I have none in the cupboard (cause Ive eaten it!) Its in a green tub and I know exactly where to find it in Sainsburys! (Anyone that knows please pop it in comments and Ill edit the review!) Problem is that I never look at the packaging long enough!
Special place to eat it: - Absolutely anywhere!
Special way to eat it: - Now for this you need one of those square spoons (or shovels as my fella calls it). Dip the spoon in and then put it in your mouth only letting your lips touch the sides of the spoon, scraping it in to your mouth.
Keep repeating this action until the first spoonful is gone. Dont forget to lick the lid and also let it be known its amazing how far your tongue can reach down into a pot of this when you really want to empty it!!!
**2** TERRYS CHOCOLATE ORANGE DARK
Silky, smooth, rich and mmm.
Special place to eat it: - In front of the telly at Christmas. I always have about 4 of these as presents so thats the time and place that springs to mind.
Special way to eat it: See previous entry number 9.
And in at number 1 DRUM ROLL
As Im sure youve gathered Im a serious chocoholic. Now with all chocoholicism there is that added problem of weight gain. So what is the secret to making your chocolate last forever so that you feel like youve had a chocolate binge?...
...FROZEN YORKIE - "Not for girls"? Yeah right.
And honestly, it works! I've not done it for a while and as I'd piled on two stone in the last year I figured it was time to start again. In the last week i've lost 4lb (along with healthy eating of course)
***Special place to eat it: - Near a freezer.
***Special way to eat it:
Freeze it! Every week I buy a Yorkie bar and I break it up into chunks. Very hastily (before I eat it!) I put each chunk into a sandwich bag and shove it in the freezer. Each time I need a chocolate fix I take one out and gnaw away at it. By the time ive finished it I feel as if ive had a whole bar! And it tastes EXACTLY the same!
I've rated the product "good" as to be honest "very good" would imply it was perfect and chocolate isn't. It piles on the weight if you eat too much of it!
There are so many other different kinds I could put in here and to be honest with you, I already want to change the order but alas if I do...you will never get the final result!
Mmm...maybe I could sample all the chocolates just one more time...
The skin on my fingers flaked off. The burning sensation was unbearable. Is that what Dream Cream does? No. Dream Cream gets rid of it.
Ive had eczema since I was a nipper and just before I discovered this cream I couldnt bend my fingers. They were so sore that they were like claws. Look down at your fingers now. See all those little creases? Well every single one of those was split. Up till then I had tried every medicated cream going. Id tried E45 as well to no avail.
THEN I discovered Dream Cream. At over £7 a tub I was reluctant to buy it (times are hard) but curiosity got the better of me. After only 3 days I could bend my fingers. After a week the cuts had healed and after that they just got better and better.
My hands now look like anybody elses. Dont get me wrong, sometimes they get sore but thats usually if Ive forgotten to use my cream. I make a point of putting it on every time I wash my hands. I cover my body in it every time I get out of the bath and I even carry a little pot around with me.
It contains, a mixture of ingredients, all of which have healing properties. Oat milk, Rose water, Olive oil, Cocoa Butter, Tea tree oil, Lavender oil etc. Its basically a case of shoving everything that does you good into a pot and it smells yummy too!
The pot is 240g and it goes a lonnnnggggg way! The photo that goes with this review is out of date now. Its a lovely black tub and I notice that recently they have updated the tubs to have a more secure lid.
I personally feel it should be renamed Miracle cream because thats exactly what it is. Nearly everyone I meet gets given a sample off of me and I have converted so many people! I even sent a small sample tub over to Ireland a few weeks ago!
My Auntie also has bad hands and believe it or not, hers are worse. She was extremely reluctant but now uses it regularly. She told me the other day that she was so happy because for the first time, she could get her own money out of her purse without help. Amazing what one pot of cream can do to a persons life.
In the last 18 months I have got through a total of two tubs myself. One tub I just keep giving people samples from! At under £8 a tub that works out at a mere £1 a month. Well worth it.
So anyone out there with skin problems, please try it. If you go to the lush shop (well the one in Derby does anyway) they will give you a sample pot to try for free!
Want to work for Betterware? Well here's a few answers to the questions that I had before I started.
There are two sides to Betterware, working for them and buying from them. I'm going to tell you about both from the point of view of a distributor.
* What is Betterware?
Betterware is a company that sells everything for your household needs to your independence needs. They sell those sort of gadgets for your home that you think would be very useful but just don't want to waste your money on! Betterware comes in the form of a catalogue straight through your letterbox. Some kind distributor will bung one through your letterbox and then pick it up the next day. They don't charge for delivery and once you've popped your order in then it will take up to 21 days to arrive. The things they sell aren't cheap by no means and being a distributor I often got to see the quality of the items. You *can* pick the same item up cheaper but obviously Betterware works on the fact that it's convenient and they come to you rather than the other way around.
* So how do I join Betterware?
I wasn't aware of any jobs going in my area but as we hadn't had a catalogue for about 18 months I knew there was a "gap". I went to the website (www.betterware.co.uk) and found a free phone number to ring. The person on the other end said that someone would ring me within a few days. They didn't, so I rang again. After two weeks the co-ordinator came out to see me and give me the pitch. The main thing is that they do not charge you like other similar firms for the books. There is no cash outlay. If I remember correctly, she claimed that if I worked part-time at 10-15 hours a week (500 books) then I would get £500 sales. I get 18% commission for the first year netting me a supposed £90. I figured it didn't sound too bad so I said I would join.
* Did you have to sig
Yes. A simple contract saying that I was self-employed and that I would give notice of "14 day's or less"...yes less..
* Right so what happens next?
The co-ordinator left me 200 books to go on with, order pads and call back pads. I had to do 300 that first week. You are given a set territory which is yours and yours only, unlike other similar firms. First I had to write my name and telephone number on 200 sheets, highlight the back to say when I would be picking them up and then put them in the books. This took a good hour or more. Why am I telling you this? Because before I got the job, if I had read an opinion telling me exactly what it involves I wouldn't have wasted my time...
TIME SPENT SO FAR: 1 hour
MONEY EARNT: £0
* So then you deliver the books?
Yes. They provided me with a shoulder bag. It carries about 50 books at breaking point and being a non-driver, this was going to prove a long job. (Eventually my co-ordinator gave me a trolley, which held 150) I went out on the Monday morning and delivered 150 books total. This took me over 2 hours roughly.
TIME SPENT SO FAR: 3 hours
MONEY EARNT: £0
* So we've done 3 hours work for nothing then so far?
Yup...the next day, I went out with my bag and picked up all the books on the doorstep. Our of 150 I probably got back about 30. I then had to knock on each door as most people wait in with the book. This took about 2 hours. (120 doors to knock, minute at each door)
As soon as I got home I sorted through the books and I'd made about £50 in orders. This seemed okay for a few hours work at the time.
* Hang on, didn't you say you had to do 300 books?
Well yes. I'd got 30 back from that morning, had 50 left so the same day I put out another 80 books. This meant another hour of writing order forms because they
had to have another day highlighted and another hour delivering them.
The following day I picked up those books and rang the doorbells again of the original 120 missing books. For the ones that were not in I had to put a note through. It's a pre-printed note but you do have to write your name and telephone number on.
TIME SPENT SO FAR: 6 and a half-hours
MONEY EARNT: £0
* Blimey, this doesn't sound worth it.
Well lets skip to the end of the week. It took all week to get the total of 300 books out. It took a further 2 hours a day in delivering and picking up, 1 hour a day ringing doorbells at night and 1 hour a day writing out order forms and call back slips. It brought in a total of £320 in sales. This looked wonderful at the time. I worked out my commission to be £57.60, which seemed okay for the first week.
TIME SPENT SO FAR: 20 and a half-hours
MONEY EARNT: £0
* But it doesn't end there though does it?
Nope. I filled out the main order form every night, which probably adds another hour on to the time. You also have to fill out territory sheets so that you know which houses you've been to and who gave a book back etc. Add another hour.
When I started the co-ordinator used to come out on a Friday morning. She would come to pick up the order form and as it was the first week there would be no delivery.
* So hang on this means you've got another week before you make any money???
Exactly. Not unlike normal work though. We'll cut out the next week and get to the deliveries. The co-ordinator brought the delivery with her the following week. First you have to go through it and tick everything off the list to make sure it's all correct. Then you have to pack it all. This takes another couple of hours if you've got a big order. I found that most items were not there, so you have to sort out part orders which also k
nocks down your commission for that week. So that the customers know that you're coming, you then have to write your name and number, the price owed, date of delivery and time on a provided post it note and pop it on a catalogue. This is so that they know when you are coming, and also in the hope that they will reorder in the meantime. You then have to deliver these books.
* Jeez, this sounds like a lot of legwork!
I don't drive but my husband offered to run me around to drop these books off. I had about 25 deliveries to do in the first week.
TIME SPENT SO FAR: 24 hours
MONEY EARNT: £0
* Okay, so how does the delivering work?
Well we set aside a Tuesday evening, as that's the best time to catch people in. You also need a lump sum for a float which is worth keeping in mind. Taking a couple of tenners and a few fivers soon adds up but you need them. It took a total of 2 hours to get around all 25 houses. About 4 of the 25 were not in. 3 didn't have the money and 1 changed their mind.
* What happens if they change their mind then?
Well say you have an order for £50 for them. This means a total of £9 to you. If they change their mind then you have to send the order back therefore losing that commission. The worst part is if someone returns an item at a later date because you have to pay back your commission to Betterware.
* So what was the end result of one weeks work with Betterware?
Well I did a total of 27 hours on that first order. One hour of that was spent chasing up the people who weren't in the first time around or who didn't have the money. Due to items missing and one customer changing their mind my grand total of commission was £44.30 (out of a possible £57.60). Still sounds great until you work out the hourly rate.....
* Are there any perks to the job though?
You get 18% off of anything you order for yourself, which is quite handy I guess. There is also a bonus scheme. At the end of each week you have to hand in an order of £150 or more. If you hand in 4 orders in your first 4 weeks then you will get a cheque for £50. If you do the same for the next 4 weeks then you will get another cheque for £50. If you give a total of 11 orders in your first 13 weeks then you get one for £100. It is this cheque that I'm waiting for. The bonuses do sort of make up for the loss however in my experience the sales lessened once Christmas passed. At one point I worked out that my weekly "wage" was £0,70 an hour......
* Wow this is one long opinion...
Well I know but I wanted to write an opinion that would have answered all the questions that I had before I started with Betterware. It does have its upsides though! Through the reordering method I managed to guarantee a further £20 a week for doing nothing which was helpful. I also made a lot of friends and it was a great way to meet the neighbours!
TIME SPENT ON ONE ORDER: 27 hours
TOTAL MONEY EARNT: £44.30
...PER HOUR: £1.64
* So what made you leave?
A lot of reasons really. Mainly I left because it wasn't paying. It also wasn't fair on my husband having to come in from work and then drive me around two evenings a week delivering in the cold. I hated the way the books and the orders took over the house. I could never find the dining table because everytime I cleared away the paperwork I would have to get it all out again for an order. The worst part is the phone calls. People have rung me as late as 11:30 at night to tell me they have an order/left a catalogue out/don't want a catalogue etc. I had one instance when a man had a go at me in the street for doing my job. A dog also attacked me when I rang the doorbell of a house to get the catalogue and he set his dog on me. (I was
okay though but my jeans weren't). I could go on but I think you get the message!
* Were they okay about you leaving?
Not at all. I'm sure this was an isolated incidence but my co-ordinator took it very badly when I handed in my notice. She gave me a lot of verbal abuse and then came around to my house to give me some more. Even though I handed in my notice last week I still have deliveries to finish off for a few weeks to come.
* So do you recommend the job to others?
Well yes. I know that sounds strange but if you have a car, and have a lot of time then it truly can pay. The more regular customers you get the more orders you get. I think it's a great job for those that aim to do 500-1000 books a week or more but for just a few it's a lot of work for little pay. I'm sure there will be plenty of people who will argue with me about it and I do state that this is my own personal experience.
At the end of the day there is no harm in giving the job a whirl.
* Any time saving tips?
** Double your pick up: To ensure you get as many books left on the doorstep as possible, take the time (yes more time!) to write a note and attach it to the catalogue simply stating "Please leave on doorstep for collection". I found this DOUBLED the books left out, saving valuable time and they can be reused.
** Deliveries: When doing deliveries write on the post it note who to write the cheque out to. This also saves valuable time.
** Recycle the books. Instead of going out and picking up the books and then walking home to sort them out, recycle them. Write out the order forms for the next day before you go and put them in one pocket. Each time you pick up a book, take out the order form, pop it in your other pocket and replace it with a fresh one. Once you come to the end of the road, start poppi
ng the books back through the letterboxes!
** Get their attention!: Rather than tick the box that says when you'll pick up, highlight it and leave it facing up for when they open the catalogue.
** Watch out!: Always check that people have put their address on the order form. It's suprising how many people forget to do that. At the end of the day its an order that you will lose.
** Take time out: Always take the time to chat. A lot of people look forward to seeing the Betterware lady/man and a smile doesn't cost anything, no matter how wet/cold/tired you are!!!
* Cheers, so what do you do now?
Well I now work set hours a day in a lovely shop, minimum wage but it pays! It's dry and a lovely place to work. I have made a lot of friends through the job and it was lovely to get phone calls from them wishing me the best and inviting me around for a cuppa!
All in all it didn't take 10-15 hours to do 500 books as once claimed to me by the co-ordinator. Betterware is a good enough job if you have plenty of time, your own vehicle (saves time) and a spare place to store everything. It costs nothing to try it out for a few weeks and is worth doing even if it's just for the first bonus. It takes a while to build up the regulars (who you come to rely on in slumps like after Christmas) and paperwork gets less the more weeks you do. I've said that I wouldn't recommend it to a friend due to the fact only a few people really make something out of it.
I do hope that I've answered all your questions, if not then feel free to email me!
(I've not written for dooyoo in a long time due to Betterware etc and I've just realised this was my 50th opinion!!!)
#Hi...Ho sil-ver lining!...# Ah that song takes me back. Right back to being an ickle sunbeam. Now you may or may not have read my hubbys version of the party but you see I've been there since the beginning... As I write this the sound of # Crystal chandeliers light up, the paintings on the wall...# is warbling out at me. I'm not even sure if they're the right words but that's what my family are singing. The tape that I'm talking about was recorded in 1987 when I was 10 years old. I can remember giggling as my pap secretly recorded the goings on at our annual Boxing day party on an old tape recorder. Back then, the family were a lot livelier, would get up to all sorts. As I listen to my auntie launching into a passionate verse (rather slurry too!) of "Crystal chandileirs" I can picture them singing drunkenly in the kitchen. She wasn't aware we were recording her either..heehee. Back then there were about 14-15 of us at the party, and somehow we would all cram into my Nans kitchen and dance until we fell over. There was only myself and my cousin who were young enough to annoy everyone but the oldies would outlast us! Picture the scene... 14 adults ranging from 30 to 60 dancing in a small kitchen. In the middle is my Dad playing DJ at my Paps (very) old record player. Not so strange you may think. Well add to that the fact that most of them are drunk, can't sing and that my dad is wearing a teacosy on his head (apparently that's what DJs wear..lol) and you'll have a pretty good idea of what made these parties a legend. The cassette is still whirring around in the background and you can hear me giggling at someone. Thinking back, I'm sure that was the year that the men dressed up. I can remember helping my Nan in the hall put some hooped ear-rings on my Pap and dressing him up as a gypsy?! I'm not sure why we were, but it was funny! Imagine it, your Pap
dressed as a gypsy, your dad with a teacosy on his head and your Nan dancing on a chair singing "Hi Ho Silver lining"...great! Did I tell you that the party usually lasts 24 hours? No? Well it starts at about 10am on Boxing Day and finishes around the same time the following day. We all gather at my Nans with our contribution towards the dinner. So far I've not brought anything, but that's not through want of offering! It's hectic first thing as all the woman gather in the kitchen and discuss oven times and prawn cocktail sauce. I tend to avoid the kitchen, too many cooks and all that... When I was little I would have to stay behind when all the adults went down the pub. It used to drive me mad not knowing what went on, typical kid. I remember the first time I got to go, all excited because I was finally going to find out what all the fuss was about. I was bitterly disappointed when we got down there for the men to just gather around a table with a pack of cards! I'd sit there with Dad trying desperately to understand the game and in my usual and kind helping way would end up revealing his hand to the others! After a few years of begging I was allowed to join in and most annoyingly to the men, would win all the money! In later years hubby would be there but he was there usually on the machine so didn't know how much I actually won. Erm..well I guess he will now! Dinner used to be another bone of contention when I was small. We used to have a big dining table for all the adults and a teeny one stuck in the corner for the children. I didn't used to mind in the early days as there was my cousin to sit with me, but the year an old friend of the family passed away meant he got "upgraded" to the adult table. Being a curious child I used to feel I was missing out on so much sitting there. It didn't help with my cousin sitting smugly at the adult table...lol After 18 years of wanti
ng to sit at the adult table I finally got my chance. It wasn't as happy an occasion as it could have been because I only got the seat when my Pap passed away. The Boxing Day party has happened every year for more than 20 years apart from one. The year my pap died. For once, I didn't miss the party. It's still strange now not seeing him sitting at the head of the table and listening to this tape is great as it takes me back to when he was there. I treasure that. We no longer have a childrens table these days as the family has grown so much we now need two dining tables crammed together. The actual meal time has become as memorable as the rest of the party as most announcements have happened at it. We found out little Laura was going to be born back in 1987, hubby and I announced our engagement in 1996 and then our wedding date in 1998. Many births, marriages and special occasions have been toasted on that day and it's become tradition to guess the announcement each year. There won't be one from me this year, I can tell you that...lol I'm sorry for babbling on but the Boxing Day party is the one day of the year I can honestly say I look forward to. I look forward to it more than Christmas day even, as it's the only day of the year when we are all together having fun. Oh, Nans teas! Did I tell you about the teas? No? Well, after dinner, and the usual sleep, passing of wind and more sleeping has happened we have tea. It's not just a few sausage rolls. Oh no...it's like...like nothing you've ever seen! I don't know where it all comes from, pies, pizzas, rolls, cheese, cakes, chicken pieces..you name it! I don't know where it all goes either..lol Family parties for some may bring arguments, fights and boredom but ours bring something new and exciting every year. My cousins wife was due to give birth at last years but managed to hang off until New Years Day!
Ah, it must be late now as the tape has got to the point where I'm starting to throw a tantrum. It makes me cringe to hear it but its all part and parcel of our parties. Ooh dear, I just got told off...lol I'm going to leave it here as I've gone on enough. I don't know if I've captured the true spirit of our party in this opinion but if I haven't then blame it on the fact that I couldn't just post a soundclip from the famous 1987 party! I dedicate this to Bonnie and Pap, the true stars of Boxing Day who are probably singing "Hi Ho Silver Lining" on a cloud somewhere... Cheers.
Dear Dooyoo, I have a confession to make to you, one that will hurt and upset. We've known each other just over a year now and the time we have spent together, reading and writing has been wonderful and enriching but I have done something bad. I'm sure you've noticed my absence in the last month and I need to tell you why. About a month ago I fell in love with another. I know that must hurt you but I need to tell you who and why, I owe you that much. The other one in my life is called Ebay. I didn't set out to betray you, it just happened, please believe me. I came across Ebay whilst browsing the net about a month ago. At first I just looked from a far and wondered whether the grass was greener on the other side. Other people told me how wonderful Ebay was and how much they have gained from their time spent together. I got curious and looked a bit more. At this time I was still with you and was writing every week and reading every day but Ebay was calling to me. I shouldn't need to tell you all about Ebay (the online auction site www.ebay.co.uk) as you have a category just for it, and this is just for addiction and for you... I'm not saying that it's your fault but it was from you that I learned more. I learned how much could be gained from Ebay, money and goods. I learned from you that Ebay was a great place to be and also an addictive one. It is that addiction I now suffer from. Oh I'm sorry, this must be hurting you so much to know that your number one fan has moved on. It is for this reason that I'm back today and writing you this opinion. I need you to understand that it isn't you...it's me. It was about a week or so before my looking turned to touching. It started off with just a quick glance at one of the numerous categories but soon moved on to frequent searching. The moment that I betrayed you and became truly unfaithful
was when I approached Ebay by email for more details. I found this urge to know everything about Ebay. I wanted what everyone else had. I wanted to know Ebay inside out. We emailed back and forth for about a week and then I finally succumbed to Ebays charms. I was asked my name and address and it was at that point I knew that I couldn't turn back. I visit Ebay and receive emails everyday now telling me how well I'm doing and who is interested in my goods. I'm sorry that I deserted you but the need to use Ebay was too great. Ebay is famous for auctions and money-making capabilities and I thought that I would get more from Ebay than from you. I'm sorry, but greed took over me. I forgot why it was that I fell in love with you in the first place, Dooyoo and it is only now I know that I can lose you that I remember. I visited you several times a day just to learn more, to share more and to write more. I made many friends through you and that I am grateful for. Ebay made me feel wanted too, bids, cheques but that was all material. You give me more than that. You make me proud of my writing, proud of myself. You help me to feel better of myself and what I can do. I don't know how to get past this addiction to Ebay. Maybe writing this for you after all this time will help me break away. Do you know I even changed my name for Ebay? I became sunnysunbeam in an effort to prove that I was happier... I'm sure we can still be friends Dooyoo, and you will soon find someone else to replace me. I can't leave Ebay at this time, not when I've got so many precious auctions going. Maybe I can see both of you! I'm sure I can split my time between the two of you. Of course that is if you don't mind... I'm sorry that you had to hear this in an opinion but I feel that the explanation for my absence was owed. Please believe me when I say that I cherish
our relationship and I didn't mean to do what I did..it just happened. I will post this and then I must just pop over to Ebay to check on a bid or two. Then again, maybe I'll write an opinion on Ebay so that you know *exactly* what it is I'm addicted to... Take care dooyoo, Yours some of the time sunbeam -x-
***IMPORTANT UPDATE*** (original opinion follows) It turns out that IPTL isn't giving money away for nothing now! Today an email plopped into my inbox informing me that in order to earn money from the site I would need to pay them: "...The member subscription fee will be just $2.95 per month for members of all ages if paid on a month to month basis, or only $29.50 for a year if paid at one time..." Hmm...so not free then? Nope. You can still play for fun though your stats won't be recorded. These changes take effect on the 1st November. One of their reasons is as follows: "...when IPTL began to be developed two years ago, Internet advertising and e-commerce was strong and even increasing. Since then things have changed and the economy has gradually cooled off. The financial fallout from the events of September 11 has only weakened advertiser and consumer spending even more. It is no longer realistic for us to keep IPTL stable through advertising and online sales alone..." The other two reasons were that the database was getting too full and therefore more expensive to maintain. The other being that they wanted to: "...build a community of members who are life-long learners and who will be regularly associated with IPTL, rather than simply attracting hundreds of thousands of casual members who have no particular allegiance to the site or its content and purpose..." Fair enough I guess. I must admit my primary reason was the rewards but I was enjoying trying to beat my personal best. I don't know what I will do about the site, but I doubt I'll pay a subscription. My reason being that if things can change that quickly, what next? There are other changes too, like making a fixed amount for your points being one-tenth cent. The cash point level is going up too: Correct answers... Beginner = 4 cashpoints Inter
mediate = 5 cashpoints Advanced = 6 cashpoints Incorrect answers = 1 cashpoint. Minimum cash payout is going up from $20 to $30 I've altered my star rating now, and also my pros and cons, not to mention those drop down questions at end of opinion...<sigh> So all in all, *not* a great site.. *****Below is the original opinion***** "Money for nothing! Honest!" <---original title Want to earn cash for simply answering questions? Want to get paid even if you answer them wrong? If you're interested in an easy to earn site then read on... Reader: So what is www.itpaystolearn.com then? Sunbeam: www.itpaystolearn.com (IPTL) is a new site that simply pays you to do quizzes. You can be any age to join and it's free for everyone. It's primarily an American site and at present pays in dollars but they plan to change to other currencies in the near future. They have a variety of payment methods depending on where you're from. Once payment reaches $20 you will be paid. If at the end of that month you haven't reached $20 it will be carried over to the following month. Reader: So tell me more about what I have to do to earn... Sunbeam: The site is based around the idea of education and fun. To earn you do quizzes made up of 10 questions with a choice of three answers. There are three levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You will get one cash point just for attempting to answer a question in all levels. If you get the question right then you get 3 cash points in beginner, 4 cash points in intermediate and 5 cash points for advanced. Reader: What are the subjects? Sunbeam: Thought you'd want to know how much a cash point was worth first but seeing as you asked about subjects... The subjects that are in each section are Animal Kingdom Bible Definitions Famous Words
Geography History Literature Music Science Spelling Sports In the beginner level there are the added ones of Maths and Songs and Rhymes. In the intermediate and Advanced there are Anatomy and Medicine added. Reader: Okay curiosity bit me (or was that the cat?!) How much is a cash point worth? Sunbeam: Well that's the $64 billion question. There is no set amount. Heard this before eh with the old pay to surf programs? Well they work it out depending on how much revenue they make. This will be then transferred to your "knowledge bank" (more about that later) every calendar month. The best thing is to just do it for a month and see what you get. Reader: Can I do referrals? Sunbeam: IPTL do not hide the fact that you'll earn a lot more with referrals so they encourage you to get people to join up. It is a ten-generation referral thing which is excellent, so long as you can find the people to refer! Of course the no spamming rule is included. You can do this by giving people your referral link, code or by sending one of the pre written emails. Of course I'm a good girl and won't advertise my link! You will receive 1 cash point every time someone in your referral network for every quiz they do provided that you have earned 500 cash points on your own that month. If you earn 5000 cash points on your own in that month then you'll receive double cash points for their activity. Reader: Are there any other ways to earn cash? Sunbeam: Yup! They have sponsored surveys that you can earn varied amounts of cash points on. At the moment there are none available but I assume that is because they are still drumming up business. You can also earn cash points for receiving sponsor emails. There is a reward of 50 cash points for receiving them but you have to be over 13 to get them. Again this is not yet active but I
'll keep checking and will keep you posted. The other main way of earning is to write the quizzes yourself. There is a lot to that so it is best you read all that for yourself. Various terms and conditions etc. Reader: Okay the important bit, how do I sign up? Sunbeam: You have a few options here. The links to join up are on the left hand side. You can either sign up as an adult (13 & older), a child (12 & under) or as a group (any size). Once you've clicked on your chosen method you will be given the terms and conditions to read. If you agree, then you'll be asked a few questions, Name, address etc. You'll also be asked to choose a password. The username is a bit of a pain because that is assigned to you in the form of a few letters and numbers and as yet I can find no way to alter it. If you were referred by someone then their code should be in the top box and on the next screen you'll be told who referred you so you can confirm it. You'll then be asked to tick a few boxes showing your interests and then you're away! Reader: So how do these quizzes work? Sunbeam: Click on "Take a Cash Quiz" on the left and you'll be taken to a screen with two options. One is to tell you how the quiz works, the other is to take the quiz. You'll notice on every page there are little adverts that say the quiz is sponsored by them. Each quiz has 10 questions with 3 possible answers. You'll have 30 seconds to answer and you can change your mind any amount of times before you submit it. If you get the answer wrong you'll be given the correct answer, hence the learning side of this, and if it's correct you'll be greeted with a bright red "CORRECT!". At the end of the quiz you'll be told how many you got right and how many cash points you earned. You can now choose to "Bank my Cash Points and Stats" or "Don't keep track of this q
uiz". The reason for this is that your stats are added up so you can follow how well you 're doing in each subject and your overall percentage of correct answers. Reader: Sounds easy enough, so what was that "Knowledge Bank" you mentioned? Sunbeam: The "Knowledge Bank" is where your cash points are stored and the records for how much you've earned. It tells you how many cash points you have, how many are available from your referrals, the monthly total, yearly total and overall total. Once we hit September I'm sure it will then tell me how much I've earned in actual cash. Reader: Can you think of anything else that I need to know? Sunbeam: Erm, not really. It's a very simple site, easy lay out, easy on the eye with a great help section. There is the option of retaking quizzes if you answer 10 or more wrong but that's all. You'll still get points for them! You can change your info at any time, home address, email address or password for example. Reader: Ooh I just thought, can more than one person in my house use it? Sunbeam: Yup, as long as they have their own email address. Don't forget to refer them so you get paid too! Reader: Well I won't ask you your referral code because that would be naughty, but I'll go and take a look! Sunbeam: Yes, it's worth checking out and trying for the first month. In my experience of all these pay schemes, they do well in the beginning and slowly go down hill (well not all exactly) so it's worth getting what you can now. Oh and I'll let you know how much I get when I get it! Have fun! ******************************************** *Update 9th September 2001* I went to check my earnings today and they have exchanged my points for cash! I have a grand total of $0.85. I only did about 12 quizzes so thats about 10 mins work.
I work that out to be 6 points earns me $0.01 (1 cent) So a beginners quiz, correctly answered (30 points) would get me $0.05 (5 cents) Not bad for a minutes work (or less)! Here is what IPTL say: "...Eash Cash Point for August was worth just a hair over 16 hundredths of a cent. Cash Point value in August exceeded July. In August it took just under 625 Cash Points to equal one dollar in cash, whereas in July it took about 667 to equal a dollar..." Will let you know how next months goes. ******************************************
After teasing the neighbours and my hubby with my pelvic tilts and sports bra-less workouts before I decided it was time to get them all worked up as I worked out again. Now I've done my pelvic tilts with Claudia and I'm slowly (emphasis on slowly) getting legs like hers but now I want more, I want a stomach you could eat your dinner off of... • The mission... As I've said before, I've danced with Patsy Palmer and lost some weight, I've toned up my lower half with Claudia and now I need to tone up the upper half. A trip to my local WHSmiths left me with an order for the video at £6.99. I had 8 weeks to go until my holiday, but unfortunately the video only came in a three weeks ago (at a changed price of £13.99) so I have 20 days to flatten my stomach and tone my arms and chest! Armed with Claudias second video in the set "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Upper Body Workout", I walked home using my now toned legs...heehee! • Why Claudia Schiffer? Well as I said with her first video, I love my Patsy Palmer video because that's great for getting the old heart going and fat burning but I needed something of a more serious work out that would tone the muscles. This video is one of two, namely the upper and lower workouts. The video is filmed on the scenic St.Bartholomew Island and in historic Prague. Throughout the video it switches from the island, to a rooftop in Prague, to the studio. This does not make the video look clumsy as you may think, but adds a bit of interesting scenery and this way shows the different ways to do an exercise. For example you'll see Claudia on the rooftop with her weights, and then on the pier with just her towel, showing you don't need to use the weights. The same applies with the trainer; you'll see her alongside Claudia doing the exercise slightly differently. It makes it interesting and as I've said before almost artistic. O
h and the main reason is that Claudia Schiffer has the body I want and aim to have... • A summary of "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Upper Body Workout" This video is recommended by Health & Fitness magazine and it's splattered all over it! They say "An easy to follow workout which really will give results". Claudia is quoted as saying "These routines have made me stronger, I have much more energy, and I can do them anywhere. Best of all, so can you! The exercises were designed to be safe and simple for beginners, and challenging and effective for more experienced exercisers". This is true as the video has each exercise split up into three sets, so if you're a beginner like me then you can just do the one set and work your way up. You can add repetitions if you are a serious exerciser. This second video is again working with "trainer to the stars" Kathy Kaehler, who is known for producing safe, easy routines that bring stead results. Claudia also says that it's "..not difficult and very safe..." I really do believe that Claudia does this workout, as many of these videos have a star in it just for the name it seems. The video was done in 1995 but Claudia still seems to have that same body! There's hope for me yet! As I've said this video is one of two videos. The other works on your lower body so you can do the videos together or just pick out the parts of your body you want to pay specific attention too (now now boys). After the introduction, the video is split into five main sections, the two middle sections I've divided up so you know what exercises you'll be doing! In between each section is a break there are short breaks of varying seconds that gives you an out loud countdown where Kathy demonstrates using Claudia how to do the following exercise properly. On the other video I found this a good gap to swig back the water but I didn
't find this video so hard so I used those breaks less. The workout is less than an hour and that's including all breaks... • IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I'm describing the exercises involved in this video, that is for the purpose of those who know their exercises, not so that you can follow them from this opinion. It is just so that you get an idea of what exercises are involved. As the video states, please consult your doctor if you have any health problems. What follows is a breakdown of the sections so you know what you're in for! If you don't want to read all that then feel free to skip to the bottom where I give you my overall conclusion... • Trailer and introduction... The trailer is to let you know all about the two videos, upper and lower, and what muscles each works on. Following the trailer is an introduction, some comments from Claudia and a mix of exercises to let you know what's included. We're told how to isolate muscles and what we'll need. So you know in advance, you'll need a chair, mat, towel, weights (optional) and some water. Now on to the hard bit... • Section 1: WARM UP - 4 minutes, 30 seconds Starting off with deep breathing we move on to shoulder rolls and stretches. Throughout this Claudia tells us what muscles we are loosening up which makes it seem a bit more worthwhile to those of us who never understood warm ups. There is more focus in this video on the waist and upper body. The whole warm up consists of stretches, waist stretches and more stretches! • PERFECTLY FIT ABS • Section 2: ABDOMINAL GROUP WARM UP - 2 minutes 30 seconds These are exercises that you find yourself doing in your every day life, stretches etc. It includes the sports stretches and abdominal stretches and yet more of those good old waist stretches! The funniest one which I can't begin to describe loo
ks like the sort of exercise you would do on a night out after lots of drinks over a toilet seat...sorry best way to describe it! • Section 3: PERFECTLY FIT ABS - A total of 17 minutes. This section is devised to get those abs fit and firm! The great thing is that you don't need to worry about whether you're doing it right or wrong as Kathy will talk you through each exercise before and during it. You'll be reminded how to breathe and when to breathe too. It's broken down into 6 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Mat exercises - 2 minutes 30 seconds Okay the first exercise in this area is the basic crunch. You are constantly reminded to "watch your form" and to "breath on the way up". We do 10 of these and then 10 pulsed. That is the first set. Claudia will do three sets of these but it's up to you to know your limit. Each set is separated with a cross over torso stretch to ease the muscles you've worked on before going on to repeat the set. • Set 2: Cross over - 4 minutes To do this exercise, still lying down you cross one leg over your other and using the opposite arm to support your head you reach for your knee. This time we do 20 on one leg, pause, change legs and do a further 20. Then stretch. Now Claudia again goes on to do a further set of these, I don't! • Set 3: Knees up & Cross - 2 minutes Now this one really hurt, and it's impossible to describe. Anyhow we do 10 of these slow and 10 pulsing. Again Claudia goes on to do another 2 sets of these...mad • Set 4: Combo of both - 1 minute, 30 seconds This combines the previous two exercises. Basically you reach with your elbow to one knee, then the other elbow to the opposite knee. Then lift your legs and reach upwards twice. This is repeated 5 times. • Set 5: Legs stra
ight up - 2 minutes This one looks silly. I don't care what anyone else says but when hubby walked in on this one he looked shocked! Lie on your back and lift your legs straight up in the air. Without bouncing or swinging lift your bum off the ground 10 times. Then do it a further 10 times pulsing. It looks strange and is a good neighbour entertainer! Again this exercise is done in three sets, so it's up to you how much you do and how red your face is by now! • Set 6: Power sit ups - 5 minutes I'll be totally honest with you on this one. I cannot do it. I can start off doing it but it's a hard one. It's made up of a combination of exercises to complete a set. Firstly there is the good old basic crunch done 10 times. (easy!) Then we bring our knees in and lift, so that elbows meet knees 10 times. At this point I though they were having a larfff as Patsy Palmer would say. I can lift but not elbow to knee. And if that isn't enough we then do 10 where you lift your legs right up in the air and reach for your shoe with one arm. ARGH! And naturally repeat this with the other arm 10 times. EEEK! The killer comes next. Without supporting your head (my primary problem) keep both legs out stretched and reach up with BOTH arms to your shoes...ARGH! I think today that I may have tried a bit too hard with that one because I'm still feeling it, so please go careful and know your limits. • End of Perfectly Fit Abs Okay so once you've done that section you can either fast forward on to the cool down or you can move on and do the "Perfectly Fit Arms". I choose to do all of it and what follows again is a break down of the sections... • Section 3: PERFECTLY FIT ARMS - A total of 25 minutes This section is devised to get those arms fit and firm! Again don't worry about whether you're doing it right or not as Kathy will tell you in each
break and during exactly how to do it. It's broken down into 7 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Over Head Presses and Raises - 3 minutes It is not said how much weight you need but I personally use two filled up bottles of water which is about half a kilo, I can always build up you see. Now these exercises are best seen than described but it involves lifting your arms over head 15 times. We are shown alternative stances from Kathy and Claudia so do whichever you feel the most comfortable with. The following exercise is a raise, which involves lifting alternate arms up to the shoulder 10 times. Again I recommend you see the video to get it right. Repeat this set 3 times if you want to. • Set 2: Push Ups - 30 seconds This is the first of four push-ups. These aren't done the way that you would expect, (I can't do them that way!) but are done by balancing on your knees. This is an easier way of doing them. Do this 10 times. Make sure you are pushing your chest into the ground and not your stomach and keep you neck level. We will do a further 3 sets of these at alternating times, I will just say when. That was the easy bit... • Set 3: Lateral Raise and Upright Row - 3 minutes, 30 seconds Again these are hard to describe but they work on your upper arms and the first one is just lifting your arms out to the side 10 times. The second is where you bring the weights up to the chin, making sure not to go to high. (Pick whichever chin you like!) This one is done 15 times. Again you can do 3 sets if you feel up to it. You will feel those muscles working by now..trust me! • Time for that second set of push-ups! • Set 4: Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions - 4 minutes 30 seconds These two exercises will really work your biceps and triceps so well worth doing. You'll ne
ed a chair for the second exercise or something at an equivalent height to lean on. As you have to work both arms this set takes a little longer. And again you can do all three if you want!..or should I say can? • Ooh time for the third set of push-ups! • Set 5: Dips and Bent Over Lateral Raises - 4 minutes 30 seconds Okay this one is yet another one that I just cannot do at the moment. I think that as I progress it will get easier as your arms need to be fairly strong for this one. Start off sitting on the chair. Put one hand either side of your knees on the edge of the chair and slide off. You'll find your arms are supporting your weight. We then lift using our arms 15 times!!!!! The second part of the set is to sit on the chair bending over and with hands behind legs extend arms out using weights. Again it will be easier to see this in action than to picture it from this. This one is done 15 times also. That is of course just the one set so Claudia goes on to do a further two more...is she super strong??? Both Kathy and Claudia encourage throughout. • Wahoo the last set of push-ups!!!!! • Section 6: Mat exercises - 2 minutes, 30 seconds This exercise is done lying down you'll be pleased to hear. It involves more weights and is divided into two exercises. The first is where you lift your weights above your shoulders 10 times and the second is when you start with arms straight up and bring them down outstretched to the floor 10 times. Again you can do the three sets or leave it at one. • Section 7: Tricep extensions - 4 minutes This one is also done lying down and is a fairly easy one. It's great because you can feel the muscles working as you hold your arm. I'm not going to describe it because I still think people may try them without checking out the video so take my word for it that you can feel it working. Each exercis
e is done 15 times on each arm and can be done in three sets. This is finished up with some stretches. That's it! Now time to cool down... • COOL DOWN - 2 minutes This section is to cool down and even though you won't be "hot", you're muscles will be. It is a section of stretches and is as an essential part of the workout as the warm up is. This section stretches all those muscles that we've used and ends the workout. So there you go, Claudias video, worked out and broken down so you know exactly what you're purchasing. • Was it worth it?... Definitely. I've finally found a video that describes the exercises properly and tells me exactly when to breath and how to breathe. I like the fact that I can build up to the same level as Claudia just by increasing the sets or repetitions. I'm noticing the difference every time I do it as my arms are getting stronger and I already feel that the weight could be increased. I can do more exercises using my abs now than I could before as they too are getting stronger. As with the other video, I no longer scream that "I'm not doing no more" but continue until I've finished. I get a great satisfaction out of doing this video as I can feel the muscles working and can see the difference. My stomach is starting to look great in my summer dress and I feel more confident to wear sleeveless tops. Claudia and Kathy make this video easy to follow and very safe which is something I find other videos lack. They remind you how to breathe and when to breathe. The only thing I don't like is that when you see the two side by side exercising, Kathy is smooth in her movements and Claudia is really going for it. There is no mention of whether Claudia is doing it right or if they are showing you two ways of doing it. I personally go with how Kathy does it as she is the trainer. Oh and they also give encouragem
ent throughout. • Conclusion... This video is ideal for those people out there who want to feel a difference and see a difference. It is not an aerobic workout but for toning up those muscles which a lot of videos seem to neglect. The exercises can be done anywhere and that is exactly what I do now. If you need to tone up then this video is ideal. If you're interested in finding out about the lower body workout then you know where to look... • To buy this video try: www.amazon.co.uk Their price: £11.99 www.whsmith.co.uk Their price: £11.99 Keep in mind you've got delivery charges too... ...But at WHSmith on the high street it's £13.99!!! Now go and get that stomach you can eat off of...
My hubby has a backside that smells of peach and Jasmine. Not normally of course but it does once I've sprayed near him! When up against a powerful smell of rotten eggs or sage and onion (yes we have that smell after eating Sunday lunch) we need something powerful to neutralise it. Haze comes in a variety of fragrances but I chose Haze, Peach & Jasmine because, well, my bathroom is Peach so it matches...lol It claims to neutralise odours and fragrance the air with the sweet smell of Peaches and Jasmine, and that it does. Although if hubby has eaten something particularly strong then it doesn't always overpower it, but it is the best that I've come across so far. It comes in a 300ml aerosol spray, with a lovely design of, guess what...peaches and jasmine! Now if you have a hubby like mine, you will normally get a warning of horrid smells to come by the expression on his face of total innocence and a sudden need to evacuate the room. This is when you need quick action and Haze gives you that. There is no top to remove so you can grab the can and spray quickly and painlessly. • Instructions for use: 1. When hubby pulls that innocent expression and squirms slightly, reach for the can. 2. Cover nose. 3. Watch in amusement as hubby breaks into sweat at sight of can. 4. As he jumps up from the chair to evacuate room, aim the can where he was sitting and push button. 5. Sit back and relax in the soothing aroma of your choice... You should never spray onto "surfaces, food or fabrics" states the back of the can. Apart from all the usual warnings about solvent abuse and flames it also says "This product is an air freshener and must not be used for any other purpose." Like what?! The can has a powerful spray, which can travel some distance, and the smell lasts a fair while, which is great when hubby is being rather frequent. If you
spray upwards be sure to move out of the way as it comes back down in fine droplets rather quickly and you'll end up smelling of it too. It's a big can as I've said and considering how often it gets used it lasts a very long time, months even. As I said there are other aromas and I too have a can of Haze that neutralises cigarette smells. We don't smoke but our living room still gives off a cigarette smell in the morning from the previous owners, despite redecoration and cleaning the carpet. That also works but I don't like the smell much so have gone back to just opening the windows! So if you have a hubby like mine that can't take his onions, leaving a room with air so thick you could cut through it with a knife then use Haze to fight your way through... Love you hubby, smells and all...
Please say that she's put on 15 stone, got an acne problem and broke up with the school hunk!... Seriously though, this site was the best source of gossip I've had in weeks! Reader: What is the site? Sunbeam: The site is called friendsreunited and is the place to go to find out what happened to your old classmates or to arrange a reunion. You can also use it to track down people you've lost touch with, friends and family. They have a database of 28,000 schools (Primary, secondary and college) for you to roam through and if yours isn't there then just add it! Reader: So how does it work? Sunbeam: Right, head off to www.friendsreunited.co.uk and when you get there you'll see the home page. There is a brief explanation about the site and below that some examples of memories people have written. All the links needed are listed on the left so you can't get lost! Right let's get going… First click on "Find School". On the following page select the region you went to school in, then the area. After that you can pick a letter of the alphabet and find your school that way or quite simply you can do a general search. To do that just type a key word in and click search and you're away! You will be given a list of schools matching the search, select yours… Reader: What now? Sunbeam: Now you need to register as it's the only way you can get access to the details. You need to supply your first and last name on leaving school, your current surname, nicknames (optional) and the year of leaving. If you don't know what year you left there is an option for just typing your age and they'll work it out for you. They also ask for an email address so people can contact you. (This will be kept hidden until someone requests it by paying) You need to remember this as it's also your logging in name. The next bit is the most i
mportant. It's where you leave some notes about yourself, what you're doing now, where you are etc. It's basically the gossip that people want to see when they spot your name! I put a lot into mine because I was quite disappointed to see that most people just said "I have a job in sales now" and that was it. I wanted to know if the school brainbox was in a great job or if my first crush was married and whether couples from school were still together! Reader: Okay so I've done all that, what happens next? Sunbeam: Once you've submitted your details you will be sent a confirmation email with your details in and password. You will need these to log in when you come back to the site in order to see your school details. Reader: So what information is available? Sunbeam: Right you've logged in and you've automatically been taken to the page with your school on. You'll see (hopefully) a long list of names in year order. Scroll down to the year that you left and hopefully you'll recognise a few names. The names in grey have no notes (or gossip!) and the ones in red do. Any new additions will have a lovely yellow and red "NEW!" sign next to them which makes it easier on your 50th visit in one day (like me!) to the site. Reader: What if I have a friend that doesn't have Internet access? Sunbeam: You can add their name to the list still (with their permission of course). They will show up on the board but with your name in brackets. This is so that people can contact them through you, saving your friend having to open an email account and using cybercafes! Reader: What if I want to leave? Sunbeam: Easy! Just click on the cross by your name and you'll be deleted. Easy as that! Reader: I want to know what happened to Jo Bloggs, how do i find out? Sunbeam: Well if their name is on the list then click on it
and you'll be taken to a page with their notes (gossip!) on. Revel in the fact that Jo didn't get as good a job as you did before returning to the school page. Now if you want to contact Jo it will cost you. To do this click on the notepad icon by his name. You'll be taken to a page that explains that to contact him you'll need to register which costs £5 a year. Reader: What if Jo isn't on the list? Sunbeam: Well maybe he changed schools or signed up under his college. To find him click on "Name Search" on the left. Enter their first initial and surname and see where it takes you. They may not have discovered the site yet, but you can keep checking or even leave a message on the message board within your school page. If you chose the option under "Your Details" then you'll be notified if someone new signs up. Reader: How do I leave messages there then? Sunbeam: On "Your School" page, scroll down past the list of names and you'll see a button saying "Add a message". Click on that and you're off! Reader: What else is there? Sunbeam: Do you remember that lovely P.E teacher? What about the water fights at dinnertime? There is a section called "School Memories" on the same page. You can add your memory by clicking on "View/add Memory board". I had a lovely trip down memory lane reading them. I wonder what happened to that P.E teacher.... Reader: What about pictures? Sunbeam: Well under the "memories" section you can view or add your school photos. Also you can add a photo of yourself to the name list at the top. Scroll back to the top of the page and you'll see a link in the intro at the top to add a photo. Reader: Can I change my details? Sunbeam: Yes to do this click on "Your Details". You can alter your notes etc here and then just submit t
he changes. I did this several times to add info and also an email address. Reader: Won't you get spammed? Sunbeam: Yes there is a good chance I will and they don't recommend it but I thought that there is more chance of people taking my address from there than paying £5 to get it. It hasn't been deleted yet either. Reader: Okay, what if I want to look at my college too? Sunbeam: You can add as many schools to "Your Schools" as you like, just click on "Find School" and start again. Doing this means you can get your name on your Primary, secondary and college lists to increase the chances of people finding you. Reader: Is there anything more to the site? Sunbeam: There is a guest book that you can sign, but they do ask that you don't use it to contact school friends as each school has its own message board. You can also read the "Success Stories" of pupils and even pupils that have become famous. Reader: What if I have a question? Sunbeam: There is an extremely helpful help page with FaQ. If your answer isn't there then you can contact them by clicking on "Contact Us" (Doh!). Reader: I have to tell my mates! Sunbeam: Easily done! Click on the bright orange "Email a Friend" button on the left and you'll be taken to a ready made email where all you have to do is add their address and click "Email Now". Done! Reader: I mustn't lose this page then... Sunbeam: Again, click on the bright orange "Bookmark this page" on the left and you wont forget where it was! Reader: So did you find anyone? Sunbeam: Yes! I didn't expect to but more than 70 of my year had signed up! I found several of the people at school had moved away and got successful jobs, the lad that I had my first crush on now works with my Father-in-law and two of my cla
ssmates got married! Reader: Wow! So it was worth it? Sunbeam: Definitely. I'm considering getting in touch with a few people now to natter about old times. I'm only in touch with one school friend and we want the goss! Whilst I was online the girl I was best mates with at age 11 joined. It was quite spooky seeing her name pop up like that. Reader: Any last thoughts? Sunbeam: Just that it made my day because I thought that these people would never appear in my life again. It's great to see my friends have done well for themselves, especially the two childhood sweethearts that married! Reader: So had she put on 15 stone, developed an acne problem and broken up with the school hunk? Sunbeam: Nope, but hey that's life!...
Wearing nothing but a smile I staggered in the dark to switch on my computer. It had just gone midnight and the weather was hot and sticky and I couldn't sleep. Realising that the new curtains in my study were only see through voile I stood there in a mass panic, blushing from top to toe. Remembering the dooyoo t-shirt that I'd won and thrown on the chair (sorry dooyoo!) I grabbed it and settled down to the computer furiously blushing. Logging on at gone midnight and greeting my fellow dooyooers in chat with the words "I'm wearing nothing but my dooyoo t-shirt" I realised this was either a bad case of addiction or just plain sad...shall we go with the latter? Now, with the intense heat and lack of being able to sleep I decided I might as well write a new opinion. It was 1am and I was looking around the room for some inspiration when it dawned on me. They say what you're looking for is usually under your nose and it was! My T-shirt! The dooyoo T-shirts are available in green, grey and black. Mine is a lovely grey cotton one and medium which is too big for me but ironically a great length when wearing on its own! It has the dooyoo logo and the words "what's your opinion?" discreetly placed over the left breast (now now). The back is not quite as subtle, but amusing considering the occasion that I was wearing mine. It says "For your safety please read". Under that are three illustrated steps... STEP 1: "Carefully remove hands from pockets before any online activity". Now as I'm wearing nothing but my T-shirt this is proving difficult! STEP 2: "Grip mouse gently in one hand, with the other type to www.dooyoo.co.uk and register free" Good advice of course, but I've already done that, but will still grip mouse firmly..lol STEP 3: "Write your opinions on anything you like until thoroughly spent" Th
is is the best advice so far! It's now 1:10am and I am "spent". Just got to finish this off and I'm off to bed... Okay, last bit. Under the three steps is the dooyoo web site address and under that this statement: "Dooyoo will make your life better. Recommended dosage: as often as possible" Does 1:10am count? Anyway, my T-shirt came in really handy tonight, saved a few blushes and at last I'm feeling tired. Will save this and post it tomorrow. Argh! It's "tomorrow" already! As much as I love my snug dooyoo shirt I'm going to have to part with it to go to sleep...way too hot! Thanks for the shirt by the way! :-) **UPDATE** I just wanted to point out that if you weren't lucky enough to win one then you can get one from dooyoo in exchange for 10,000 miles and come in 4 sizes, XL, L, M and S.
I've teased the neighbours with my sports bra-less workout before so this time armed with Claudia Schiffer *and* a sports bra I set about teasing them again. Mind you, hubby thinks the only teasing going on is having Claudia and myself doing pelvic tilts... • The mission... Well I've danced with Patsy Palmer and lost some weight, not a lot but some, and now it's time to tone up. Wandering off to my local WHSmiths I found a video with no case for 99p! Dusting off the label on the side I saw that it was "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Lower Body Workout". Well for 99p I can't go wrong surely! So mission completed, I set off back home (walking I may add) ready to tone my body! • Why Claudia Schiffer?... Well I love my Patsy Palmer video because that's great for getting the old heart going and fat burning but I needed something of a more serious work out that would tone the muscles. The video is set in Prague and switches from an island, to a rooftop in Prague, to the studio. This does not make the video look clumsy as you may think, but adds a bit of interesting scenery and is used to show the different ways you can do an exercise. For example you'll see Claudia in the studio doing squats arms outstretched and then on the rooftop with arms on hips. The same applies when using weights. A clever idea that makes the video almost artistic. Oh the other reason is that Claudia Schiffer has the body I want and aim to have... • A summary of "Claudia Schiffer - Perfectly Fit - Lower Body Workout" I don't have the cover to this video but the trailer at the beginning of it claims that the workout will "trim, tone and strengthen your legs, hips and buttocks". Well my buttocks need toning so all good so far. Working with "trainer to the stars" Kathy Kaehler, Claudia shows us an easy and safe way to work all the muscles
in the lower part of our body. Claudia says that it's "...not difficult and very safe..." and that she feels "...much stronger and I have much more energy" since doing this work out. For once I actually believe that the "star" does these exercises. This video is one of two videos. The other works on your upper body so you can do the videos together or just pick out the parts of your body you want to pay specific attention too (now now boys). After the introduction, the video is split into four main sections, the two middle sections I've divided up so you know what exercises you'll be doing! In between each section is a break that has a 20 second out loud countdown so that if like me, you're using that break to swig back the water you'll know when to get back into position. The break is used primarily for Kathy the trainer to show us how to do the following exercises properly. The workout is less than an hour and that's including all breaks... • IMPORTANT NOTE: Although I'm describing the exercises involved in this video, that is for the purpose of those who know their exercises, not so that you can follow them from this opinion. It is just so that you get an idea of what exercises are involved. As the video states, please consult your doctor if you have any health problems. What follows is a breakdown of the sections so you know what you're in for! • Trailer and introduction... The trailer is to let you know all about the two videos, upper and lower, and what muscles each works on. Following the trailer is an introduction, some comments from Claudia and a mix of exercises to let you know what's included. We're told how to isolate muscles and what we'll need. So you know in advance, you'll need a chair, mat, towel, weights (optional) and plenty of water. Now on to the hard bit... • Section 1: WAR
M UP - 7 minutes Starting off with deep breathing we move on to shoulder rolls and stretches. Throughout this Claudia tells us what muscles we are loosening up which makes it seem a bit more worthwhile to those of us who never understood warm ups. The whole warm up consists of stretches, squats and more stretches! • Section 2: PERFECTLY FIT BUNS - A total of 17 minutes (not including each break) This section is devised to get those buns fit and firm! Don't worry about whether you're doing it right or not as Kathy will tell you in each 20 second break exactly how to do it. It's broken down into 6 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Lunge squat combo - 2minutes 30 seconds After a 20-second break of instructions on how best to do these we begin. Placing a chair behind you start with two forward lunges, one on each leg. This is followed by four squats, where you tease that chair (and the neighbours) with your bum. This pattern is repeated eight times in total. • Set 2: Plie, combo - 2 minutes You don't need the chair for this set, as it is all squats. Standing centre you squat out to the left eight times, then to the right eight times. Back to the centre and then squat to the left four times and to the right four times. Back to the centre then squat to the left twice and to the right twice. Follow this up by doing a total of eight singular squats, alternating sides. Some squats and stretches and that's done. Easy! • Set 3: Mat exercises - 2 minutes Now I'm not going to lie because I found this bit to be the killer. Kneeling on all fours (yes, down boy!) and starting with the left, raise the leg up, foot flexed. Do this ten times slow and then ten times pulse. Then do it again! Now do the same on the other leg. Sweating yet? Oh yup! When finished we stretch back so we're kneeling
and our head is touching the floor to stretch out those muscles. • Set 4: Mat exercises - 2 minutes Starting off in the same position on all fours we do the same pattern of 10 slow, ten pulse, ten slow, ten pulse on each leg but this time the leg is out stretched. This is finished with the same stretch. By now the heart is racing, the sweat is pouring and you wouldn't think so doing such a simple exercise! • Set 5: Mat exercises, combo - 3 minutes Right now we combine the above two exercises and simply do twenty (yes twenty) on each leg. This is where you really feel the muscles working and it will keep you going. When doing aerobics I just feel puffed out and that doesn't spur me on. THIS does! • Set 6: Pelvic tilts - 5 minutes There is another 20-second break here to explain that you can do these exercises with weights if you choose. I don't and that makes no difference to doing the exercises at all. As usual the screen switches between locations and angles so you can make sure you're doing it right. This section is all pelvic tilts and is great to do after all the hard work of the previous sections. Lying down we start off with three sets of ten slow and ten pulsing, we follow this up with another three sets but with our toes tilted. This makes the exercise more intense. Finish this off with another three sets but with knees together and feet on ground. You can feel this working in your hamstring and with all the buttock clenching you can feel it there too! • End of Perfectly Fit Buns Okay so once you've done that section you can either fast forward on to the cool down or you can move on and do the "Perfectly Fit Legs". I choose to do all of it and what follows again is a break down of the sections... • Section 3: PERFECTLY FIT LEGS - A total of 23 minutes (not including 20 second breaks) This s
ection is devised to get those legs fit and firm! Again don't worry about whether you're doing it right or not as Kathy will tell you in each 20 second break exactly how to do it. It's broken down into 5 separate sets of exercises and each set is described below... • Set 1: Lunge squat combo - 3 minutes Now you'll recognise these exercises from the "Perfectly Fit Buns" section. Don't forget your chair! You only have the chair as a guide as to how far you should squat, but as the video shows Claudia in different locations you'll see she doesn't use the chair all the time because as she says " the exercises can be done anywhere". This time as we're concentrating on legs we do three sets of ten lunges and then ten squats. I found this was so much easier after doing the previous exercises. • Set 2: Hamstring Curls and Calf Raises - 5 minutes This section uses the chair again. Standing behind the chair we do ten hamstring curls on each leg. Then ten calf raises with toes facing out. Ten more hamstring curls on each leg and then a further ten calf raises, toes in. Not finished yet! Ten more hamstring curls on each leg and then ten calf raises feet together and ten pulsed. This section is finished with some stretches on the legs that we've just worked. That was the easy bit... • Set 3: Mat exercises - 3 minutes We're now getting down to the real leg exercises. There is a 30-second break before this section to tell you again how to best do the exercises. I think it's very important to listen to the advice as to avoid injury and to work out more efficiently. The exercises in this section are done lying on our side on the floor. I won't go into detail but don't think because you're lying down that it's easy. You will feel those muscles working..trust me! • Set 4: Mat exercises
, combo - 4 minutes 30 seconds Still working on the same leg this section combines the previous exercises and really works you to the point of burning. Don't worry because that is good! (according to trainer!). I still find this section hard and very nearly give up but everyday it gets easier. • Set 5: Mat exercises, other leg! - 7 minutes 30 seconds This section is merely the previous two together and using the other leg. So now that you've done one side its time to do the other. I personally find this one the easier but maybe one leg is stronger than the other. Because we've done this section before on the other leg, Kathy takes this opportunity to jump in and tell you to isolate muscles, and checks you're doing it okay. Both Kathy and Claudia encourage throughout. That's it! Now time to cool down... • Section 4: COOL DOWN - 2 minutes 30 seconds This section is to cool down and even though you won't be "hot", you're muscles will be. It is a section of stretches and is as an essential part of the workout as the warm up is. This section stretches all those muscles that we've used and ends the workout. So there you go, Claudias video, worked out and broken down so you know exactly what you're purchasing. • Was it worth it?... Definitely. I can feel the muscles aching afterwards and I've noticed a difference with every day of doing it. I no longer scream that "I'm not doing no more" but continue until I've finished. I get a great satisfaction out of doing this video as I can feel the muscles working and can see the difference. I've already got the other video on order so that I can work my upper body too. It will be no good having a fit bum and legs but a wobbly belly..kidding folks..heehee. Claudia and Kathy make this video easy to follow and very safe which is something I f
ind other videos lack. They remind you how to breathe and when to breathe and constantly remind you to stack your hips just when I find I'm slouching! • Conclusion... This video is ideal for those people out there who want to feel a difference and see a difference. It is not an aerobic workout but for toning up those muscles which a lot of videos seem to neglect. The exercises can be done anywhere and that is exactly what I do now. If you need to tone up then this video is ideal. I'll let you know how I get on with the upper body work out as soon as I get it! • To buy this video try: www.amazon.co.uk Their price: £11.99 www.whsmith.co.uk Their price: £11.99 ...But at WHSmith on the high street it's a mere £6.99!!! Now move that body!!! **UPDATE** 20/7/01 I've been using this video for god knows how long now and I'm certainly noticing a difference. When I walk (which I do a lot of in my job) I'm finding my legs don't ache at the end of it. My bum doesn't wobble anymore (waht a thought!)...wahoo!
Writing on dooyoo is like baking and eating a cake, you can either take your time and then savour each slice or churn out one after another and gorge yourself silly until you feel sick and so does everyone else around you! So what is the recipe for success? Well here is a short and sweet recipe followed by a list of ingredients... Take a pinch of inspiration and stir it until it becomes an idea. Add to this, one heaped teaspoon of knowledge and mix until satisfied. Fold in some grammar and spelling until the mixture resembles a dooyoo opinion. Pop in the oven to bake slowly whilst you think of any changes you may need to add. When the opinion cake looks ready take it out and ice it with some of your own unique style. Add a witty title for decoration and serve. • Ingredients for this opinion: One giant WELCOME. A witty USERNAME. A friendly PROFILE. Some INSPIRATION AND A SUBJECT. STYLE to ice. A limited WORD COUNT. A TITLE for decoration. FIRST IMPRESSION. 1 tsp. LAYOUT. A pinch of GRAMMAR AND SPELLING. Some TIME TO CHILL. A dash of POST IT. Some time to do some READING. A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS to test the cake. A sprinkle of CLUBS. 1 tbsp. of an UPDATE. ASK FOR HELP from others. A handful of REWARDS. Welcome! Take a seat on one of the beanbags over there and make yourselves at home. So have you joined dooyoo yet or are you just taking a nose around to see if you want to settle here? Well for those of you that haven't, if you peer up to the top of the screen you'll see a "register" link, <points upwards> now before you dash off to register read down a bit to hear one of my secrets for success. Once you've read that then go and click on register and then when you come back and we'll carry on with our natter. <Time passes> Ah you're back! What was that you said? You'
ve been reading some opinions on the way? Good on you, but I'm pleased you found your way back to here as there is a lot for me to tell you yet. Right so you're reading this because you want some tips and hints for writing? Well I'm assuming you wouldn't mind a few extra reads as well so I'll drop you some tips for that too! Now make yourself comfy, as this could be a long chat and feel free to jump in with questions at any time. Let's start at the beginning... • USERNAME - This is how people will remember you! This bit is primarily for those of you that haven't already registered. Now you're in a great position if you haven't because I'm going to let you into a secret that will help you on your path to success at dooyoo. As you can see my name is sunbeam. Easy to remember right? Some people join up not aware of how dooyoo works and they use a name straight off the top of their head. Whether it be an email address (yes I've seen them) or just a combination of letters and numbers, your aim is to be remembered. Some people have a username that consists of just numbers and these people sadly don't stick in my mind. The people that I notice, get a lot more reads or get discussed by dooyoo friends (I'll come to that later) are the ones that choose a name that can be remembered. One user springs to mind, Sexy Kay. Hope you don't mind me mentioning you Kay but I remember you now primarily for your work but when you first joined it was your name that stuck in my mind and that initially lead me to your profile! Even now, writing this has reminded me to pop to Kays profile to see if there is anything new! The point I'm making is think about your name. Don't use swear words or you'll just get into trouble but do try to come up with a name that people will remember, something a little different, something that will make you stand out. Now befor
e I go on do you want to nip off and do the registration thing? Nope? Well lets move on! • PROFILE - The bit we all like to nosy at! Now you've registered, chosen a name and now you need to sort out your profile. This bit is also another important part of getting yourself noticed and getting people interested. If they need to contact you this is where they will head. First you need to sort out what information you want to display, age, name, town, job, etc. I do think that your email address is important because that way people can contact you about your work or strike up friendships this way. I've made several new friends after they have read my opinions, found something in common and emailed me. You also need a bit of blurb on your profile. Some people choose not to do this but I personally head to someone's profile to be nosy and find out what makes them tick. This makes them a real person and not just a writer and again they stick in my mind. There is one persons profile that I like to frequent because they change it nearly everyday with something funny on it. Of course whilst I'm there I tend to click on a few opinions at the same time. The other part of your profile is your picture. Now you can be brave like me and put an actual photo up or you can pick a picture that coincides with your name. Someone immediately springs to mind and that's Fruitcake. Of course that has also reminded me to go and check out her profile to see the latest opinions... So now we've got you a cool profile and a picture to boot lets get down to the nitty gritty... I've broken this down into sections so you can skip the bits that you're not interested in, if not, go and get a cuppa and I'll see you at the next paragraph... • INSPIRATION AND THE SUBJECT - Write what you know about. Some people pick a subject and just write about it. To me the subject is a cruc
ial part of what gets reads. My first opinions were on anything and everything, magazines, television programmes etc. It was after the first 10 that I realised the subject was very important. I wrote an opinion from speakers corner on Fox hunting and suddenly my reads went sky high. I realised at that point that speakers corner (found in community section now) was a highly read area. It came with its downfalls though. I received some nasty emails after one on vivisection and have since stopped writing in speakers corner. I also realised that subjects written in the online perks section got a lot of reads. Lets be honest here, whether you're an avid writer who claims they only write on dooyoo for the pleasure, initially you probably saw £ signs! Making money is a popular subject and so I've written several on my success with these schemes. I have been a member a long time now and I'm going to be totally honest with you. Some of my opinions have been written purely for me as an expression of myself but at the end of the day I still choose each subject carefully. I have written a mere 40 opinions (41 now) in 9 months and each subject is chosen as something I can write strongly about and have knowledge on. If you write about something you know little about then you will be rated accordingly. • STYLE - Stand out from the crowd. I'm not totally sure what my style of writing is on dooyoo but it is certainly not just a standard "I like because...". If you've read anything of mine then you'll know that I've written a diary, done a counselling interview, newspaper interview, cried buckets over gerbils, done a virtual tour and even had my dog write an opinion! Some people don't like this and expect just a straightforward opinion but others do and they come back (I hope!). I include all the relevant information but in a unique way. Again Fruitcake springs to mind, as when I first "disc
overed" her I loved her style for making me laugh. Not all opinions are intended that way, as I'm sure she'll remind me but even so, I wait on edge for each new opinion. • WORD COUNT - Epic??? There is a 75-word minimum as I'm sure you know by now and when I first started I stuck to it. These were my worst opinions. As I got more into the writing side of it my opinions got longer but not to the point of epic. This opinion for example is a long one (epic even) and I'm sure it will be even longer by the time its finished, but I'm sure you'll agree it is because there is a lot to cover. Because of this I've broken it up so that you can scan the headings. Opinions that are long can sometimes be off putting unless on a subject that people are interested in (which should be why they clicked it!) but can also be the most informative opinions. This is a matter which a lot of people disagree on but one thing that I find personally, is that 75 word opinions don't usually say all that they can. • TITLE - Make it snappy! The title is what I would class as very important. It is likely to be the first thing that a potential reader will see and you want them to keep looking! Think of it like a newspaper headline. You need to catch the readers' eye and then hold their attention long enough to want to read it. Sometimes my opinions stem purely from the title that pops into my head, something catchy that I have to expand on. Use a play on words, for example I did an opinion on gerbils, very noisy animals. I entitled it "Things that go eek in the night!". So it's a play on the word bump and the fact that gerbils eek. Also if you're writing about a money scheme you joined and earned money from...put that in the title! I remember clicking on an opinion that was entitled " I won on the..." The rest of the title was hidden on the profile but the
words "I won.." did it for me. Also be aware of how much of the title will show on your profile and try and word it accordingly. The first few words are the most important as they are all that will be seen on your profile so make them the most catchy. It's no good calling it "On the lottery I won £10" if they can only see "On the lottery...". I'm sure you get my point! • FIRST IMPRESSION - The first bits count! The first 15-17 words of your opinion are the most crucial ones. When your opinion gets into the list or even on the front page, those words are all the potential reader will see. If you've got their attention from the title then you want to hook them in with those first few words. Using the example from above again, let's say you won £10 on the lottery and that is what you're writing about. Which of these two are you likely to click on first: "The lottery is a game that you can play for £1 a go twice a week..." or "I won £10 on the lottery with my first go on Saturday...". I'm sure someone will be awkward and say the first but the point is that those first words are the most important and are what I spend a lot of time composing. Do you want to get a refill on that coffee before I move on? I'll wait... • LAYOUT - Spread it out! Whether your opinion is a long one or a short one, spread it out. Don't just do one continuous block of text, as that is hard on the eyes and very off-putting especially if it is long. Put a few line breaks in here and there. I've broken this up into sections as I've said before so you can scan the headings. It is also helpful if you want to come back and read a bit more later because you can stop at a "chapter". • GRAMMAR AND SPELLING - People will pick! I'm not going to preach on at you about spelling but presentation is important.
The more people read on dooyoo the pickier they get. I personally write all my opinions in word and then run a grammar and spelling check before I post it. If you don't have a spellchecker then try writing it in Notepad and check over it with a dictionary before you go online to post it. The one thing I've noticed people pick up on the most is the letter "I". When saying, "Why I like dooyoo" remember to make it a capital "I". Right so we've written our first opinion, spell checked it. Now walk away, go on... • TIME TO CHILL - Let it simmer! Leave your opinion for a while and then come back to it and read through it one last time. Chances are you'll want to change a few bits here and there. • POST IT - Pick a time, any time... Now people will argue as to whether there is a good time to post or not. I've tried several times and it depends what you're aim is. Is it more reads or being in the top 75 for longer? I've posted at dinnertime and found it stays in the top 75 a lot longer but tends to get fewer reads. If I post at about 6pm it gets a lot of reads but stays in the top 75 for a very short time as the churners and the world and his wife are out to post! Another good time is after 9pm. I find more people are on reading and the churners have usually given up for the day, so more reads and more time! I'm going to post this one mid afternoon to see what difference that makes. The day that you post can also make a difference. More people tend to catch-up with their reading at the weekend so if you post say Monday morning, your new opinion will be an old one by the weekend. I'm posting this on the Friday in the hope that tonight people will read and also at the weekend. Then between now and next Friday I can start on my next one! A lot comes down to luck and with the new design it's hard to work out the best time,
but that's how I see it at the moment. • READING - Read, read and then when you've finished, read some more! A main way of getting reads is to read others. A sad fact but a true one. When you first join dooyoo you will probably read every subject that you're interested in, but after a while you'll be hunting for new things to read. I start with the front page. Chances are that the person I'm reading is online and they may come and read me. If I feel it is needed I like to leave a friendly comment and then pop back now and then to see if they've replied therefore striking up a conversation. After a while of being on dooyoo I now read for pleasure and not money but the old habits don't die. I have my favourite sections, which I check out for new opinions and also my favourite writers. Which brings me on to the Circle of Friends... • CIRCLE OF FRIENDS - Nothing like a good read! I have over 40 people in my circle of friends. I use it as a bookmark for new writers and also for my favourite people. Some people in my list are no longer active but I leave them in just in case they have a burst of inspiration. Some people use the circle of friends just to get their name noticed which is wrong in my opinion. I only trust someone if I want to read them but have found very often that most of the people who trust me have never read me. If you have the email notification on then you'll find that you won't want too many people in your CoF or you'll be there all week reading them. • CLUBS - Make friends! Another thing that makes dooyoo all the more special and addictive is the friends that I've made. I've joined various forums and mailing lists and admit that initially it was to get my name around. (At least I'm being honest!). But in the last 8 months I've made a lot of friends, some very close and that is a great thing to have within
dooyoo. They are there to encourage you when inspiration is flagging and are good for a giggle too! Right, I'm nearly finished so not far to go... • UPDATES - Keep people informed! Several opinions will eventually go out of date; for example an Internet rewards scheme. It is important to update your opinions to avoid down ratings for false information and most importantly to keep the consumer up to date. When updating I add the word UPDATE to the title so that people are aware that it has changed. I never delete the whole opinion unless it is a real stinker! Always leave the original and just put an update at the top. If you feel you have to delete it and start again then inform people. The only time I've done this was when updating an early opinion that was full of "Not usefuls". I updated it and then emailed the raters and asked politely if they wanted to read it again as it had altered etc. I don't recommend you do this often as people can get annoyed. • ASK FOR HELP - People are always willing to help! I'm not writing this and claiming to know it all. I wrote this in reaction to a new member paging me and asking me a few questions about dooyoo. I found myself handing some tips over and then realised I should write it down for everyone. You may not agree with everything I've said but then what works for one doesn't always work for another. Never feel afraid to ask others for advice. When I first joined I remember asking Jillmurphy and Andy(Art)Trigg in particular for advice. I saw their names in a club and that was how I met them! • REWARDS - Not all monetary! Since joining dooyoo I've received 10 crowns, 2304 reads and have been in the Hall of Fame. I was also a guru on the old dooyoo but that's a whole different story. One of the best things that I've had was to get my dooyoo name in The Daily Telegraph in a review o
n dooyoo. It wasn't the best of reviews but they quoted me from my "My name is sunbeam and I'm a dooyoo addict!" opinion and it made my day! (And mum loved it!) So the rewards aren't all monetary (although they are a nice touch!) and writing on dooyoo has kept my confidence up to submit my other writings to magazines. Anyway I will leave you there, as I'm sure you're gasping for another cuppa by now, nice meeting you and happy dooyooing! Fancy a slice of cake?
WARNING: THIS OPINION COULD SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR APPETITE. Ever wondered exactly what is hiding under your bed and on your mattress? With the Dyson DCO4 you can see all of that. You can watch the dust and other stuff swirling around your cleaner, so if ever there was a piece of equipment to encourage you to vacuum every day this is the one. A piece of advice...empty it because the last thing you want is your mother-in-law coming around and seeing the contents of your Dyson. • The Funeral. It's not cheap at £267.00 but it's certainly worth the money. I bought mine after my faithful old bag cylinder cleaner passed on to silicone heaven. After the funeral, held at the local tip, I decided that it was time to hunt out a new cleaner. I needed an upright vacuum because with my health I find an upright is less work to push around than dragging the old cylinder a long. I also needed something that could cope with my very deep pile living room carpet; god knows what could be lurking in there! • The Clincher. We assume that the average vacuum cleans well, so you go along cleaning, you empty the bag and that's it. Wrong. I'd heard that the Dyson could pick up more than your average cleaner, they claim that after tests against other vacuums that "other cleaners can pick up as little as 50% of the dust". Now that nearly sold it to me but on hearing that it has a filter system that has a bacteria-killing screen to trap, keep and kill bacteria and moulds on contact I was well impressed. • Right here's the details so if you want to skip to my amusing story about skin, hair and spiders then feel free to scroll down... The Dyson DCO4 upright guarantees high dust pick up, high filtration system and no loss of suction. It comes fitted with a lifetime filter so there are no filters to buy. It is a lovely combination of red, yellow and purple (doesn't m
atch my décor!) and literally every part of it has a function. It comes complete with three attachments, which are stored on the body of the Dyson. It has a rotating brush, which you can switch off for cleaning hard floors and delicate rugs. To vacuum the stairs the Dyson puts an end to precariously balancing the vacuum on each step because it comes complete with a hose that stretches all the way to the top of the stairs, so no more broken legs! This version of the Dyson also comes with a floor tool that you can attach to clean the stairs and under low furniture, so no more excuses for not cleaning under the bed! Most importantly the Dyson has no bag. It has a clear centre where the dust collects for all to see. Cleaning is simple, with a few clicks you can take off the centre and empty straight into a bag for the bin. Rinse out and reattach. No more expensive bags...Simple! End of technical boring bit! • The Test I suffer from sever eczema (boy am I unhealthy) and when using the other vacuum I would see the dust shoot out the back as most cleaners do (if the sun catches it you'll see it) well the Dyson doesn't let it back out. This proved essential to my decision to buy it. I am a very clean woman and very houseproud, mind you, you have to be with a mother-in-law about (kidding) but nothing could have prepared me for exactly how unclean my house really was. I clean my bedroom first thing every morning to ease my eczema, so when I used my Dyson for the first time I didn't expect what appeared. I started in the bedroom, and as we all know this is where we shed most of our skin where it turns into dust. (Remembering here that I lose more due to eczema..eek!) Now I did the whole bedroom, mattress to boot and was absolutely disgusted when I switched off the Dyson and saw how full it was! Euk! I had to empty it before I could continue. Now this was nothing to do with my cleaning skills but purely because
it picked up and retained double what my old cleaner could do. Strangely I found this fascinating and dashed off to do the next room, curious as to what it would pick up. First time I ever enjoyed vacuuming! Once you've done the whole house from top to bottom it gets easier! • The Haircut I have to give my Dyson a haircut at least once a week! You see I have very long hair and the Dyson actually sucks it up where my old cleaner would just run over it. The Dyson sucks it up and it gets wrapped around and around the brushes. In order to get it off I have to cut it. It's quite scary seeing exactly how much hair I lose in a week, but at least I know it gets picked up! • The Spider When we bought our house it came complete with an '80s style brick wall in the living room which the television and stereo sit on. Now, I have a spider phobia and if I can get someone to pick it up and put it outside then that's fine. But yesterday I was sitting there with the Hairy Armadillo (who is hopeless!) and this extremely large species of tarantula crawled out from the corner of the brick wall structure, peeped at me, stuck its tongue out and ran back again. By this point I'm shaking, feeling physically sick and crying my eyes out. Like I said it's a phobia and not just a simple dislike. This was at half past two in the afternoon and Hairy had lost interest with hysterical owner and had gone outside to hunt cats. I figured out that the only way I cold still live in this house (seriously) was to get rid of it but it was behind this structure with no clear plans on coming back out. I called my mum who told me a fascinating thing that I could do with my Dyson. So whilst standing on the sofa, shaking, crying and hysterically babbling, my mum explained what to do. She said that if I took the hose off of the Dyson and attached the long metal pole that comes with it and then added a further attachment (pure
ly for length) then I would be able to stand a good five feet away from it if it came out. Now the Dyson is a powerful vacuum and this was all that would keep me calm until my husband came home. So from 2:30 until 5:10 (yes over two and a half hours) I sat poised with my Dyson like gun staring at the corner of this unit waiting...and waiting... • The Demolition Hubby came home and after a conversation about the irrationality of it all we set about finding said tarantula. Forcing my hubby to sit with Dyson-gun I got the torch and shone it into the cavity and found the spider. Just seeing it set off my breathing and shaking again. There was no way of getting it without pulling the whole structure apart and that would need more people. So we called in reinforcements. Mum and Dad came down and set apart pulling the wall apart. Dad (with a look of disbelief at me) armed himself with the Dyson gun and sucked said tarantula up. Now this has been done many times in my house. Spider gets sucked into old bag cleaner and then released to run into garden. I have a phobia but I still wont kill them. So carrying the Dyson outside and unclipping it we waited for the spider to crawl out to freedom. It didn't. Thing is we didn't bank on the suction power of a Dyson though... • The Results • I have found a rapid decrease in the intensity of my eczema since using this because of all that it picks up. • My husband who suffers from a breathing problem has also found this has decreased (not his breathing!) since I've had the Dyson. • A more enthusiastic approach to cleaning. • A desire to decorate my living room, red, yellow and purple to match my Dyson, the new living room feature. • A much cleaner house and an awareness of how much a deep piled carpet can hold. • An appointment (made under duress) to see someone about my phobia. • A broken wall
and nowhere to stand the TV. • A dead spider. N.B No spiders were intentionally harmed in the writing of this opinion.
Each book tells a story but its cover tells a bigger one. Each book has travelled a journey, whether you buy it new or second hand like me. Each book I own has been held by many hands, captivated many minds and it will continue that journey, ageing until one day its dust cover falls off baring its bright undercover and the whole thing begins again... Right now I'm trying to judge a book by its cover. Why? Well I have thousands of books and as I prefer them in hardback I often end up doubling them. So I sit here now with two copies of Rose Madder by Stephen King propped up next to me. I'm going to keep one and relegate the other to the car boot where it can continue its journey, but which do I do? They are both hardback, one is small and one is large. The large one has a bright cover showing ripped up paper, it's design mysterious and inviting, captivating in its cover, the authors name barely visible. The smaller one is just a plain brown background with some credit card pictures on the front but just the right size for my shelves! The first copy that I described is my original. I saw it for its author at the time but was taken aback by its cover. I bought it, read it and added it to my collection. A year later whilst wandering around the Spring fair, I came across the other copy. Looking at it, I spotted the authors name in two inch letters and thought "I haven't got that". Judging by its cover it looked boring. It was plain and uninviting, the blurb giving nothing away, but I thought that as it was by Stephen King it should be good. So forking out a massive 50 pence I bought it. So now I sit here with the two copies, deciding which to keep. On the outside they both tell a different story. On the inside the story is very much the same... I'm sitting in a room surrounded with books. Some are tatty covered but most are in excellent condition. Some have been read over and over
and others I pick up, take one look at the cover and put it back again. It would be hard to judge by the cover my favourite books because I'm one of those annoying people that won't bend the spine and ends up with neck ache because of the queer angle I have to bend at to read! I wanted to say that I don't judge a book by its cover but I do and in many different ways. I have bought old hardback books purely because of the lack of an outer cover. The tattered edges and faded colour of the outer shell add to its age and intrigue me more. The pages a faded brown from years of sitting on some old shelf in a big old house. An inscription in the cover from one loved one to another... Each book has its own story. I buy most books second hand because they are more than a book with a written story inside. They all hold their own personal story, the journey from being published, several owners and then on to me... A book that has those lovely creases down the spine tells me its been read over and over and just that can make me buy it. Somebody has sat there engrossed in it from beginning to end and I want to have the same experience... Sometimes I find a "new" book in a second hand shop, I may buy it due to the author or it may have an intriguing picture on the cover. These new looking books may have been put there because the owner couldn't get into it, didn't like the cover or maybe they are just like me and read the book with love. I'll still get it because if I judge it too much by its cover then I could be missing out! No creases, no coffee cup stains...they just read it... I bought a new copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte many years ago, but never read it. It was one of those 99p versions but I just could never get into it. A few years later I saw an old looking red book with no dust cover but beautiful gold writing engraved onto its spine. Each page was edged in a go
ld effect and this book I just had to buy, not even knowing what it was about. I got home and curled up with this perfect book and read it from cover to cover. It was only later as I gave it pride of place on my bookshelf that I saw the paperback that I'd bought years before. I'd just read Jane Eyre... I am not a religious person I openly admit. I don't read the bible from cover to cover, but I do have two copies. One is an old brown tatty one that I've had since a child but never opened. The other is a small compact one given to my Pap whilst in the R.A.F in the second world war. As you may know, I lost my Pap 6 years ago and this bible was left to me by him. The cover is special as it's inscribed on the inside with the year that he was given it and a personal message. This bible I have opened and read bits of... So do I judge a book by its cover? Yes I do and in many ways. Some by sentimentality like the bible. Some by the story the cover implies they may hold. Some by the story that they bring with them from their previous owners and others from the design like Jane Eyre... So have I decided which book to keep? No, I'm still judging them...