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sweetpea1

sweetpea1
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Member since: 08.02.2001

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      05.10.2006 23:12
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      Smoking is harmful to your health & will affect your heart.

      Smoking kills, I know that. But I still do it. Why? Because I' addicted, that's why. Maybe I'm too weak to give up and just haven't got the will-power to give up. God knows I've tried. I even went to see a stop smoking advisor a few months back to help quit, but I'm still smoking. She prescribed Zyban, but it didn't work on me.

      I started smoking at the age of 16 when I was still in school - just before I left actually. Me and my friends were very naughty and used to go into the loft of the school and smoke! Yes, really, we did! (We used to climb up the ladder at the side of the gym!). How we never got caught I'll never know!

      So that was that. And 22 years later I'm still smoking. Nowadays I'm smoking roll-ups rather than ready made cigarettes. Mainly because it's cheaper as cigarettes are so expensive.

      I can definitely feel the effects of smoking now. I can feel it on my chest, and it is particularly uncomfortable first thing in the morning. I usually go without a cigarette for about 45 minutes before smoking my first cigarette of the day. But once I get started, I do smoke quite a lot. I smoke about 20+ cigarettes a day. When I go out I smoke more, especially when I go to bingo!

      Not only is is, obviously, bad news for your lungs, but it's bad news for your skin, tastebuds and smell too. There's a 101 reasons why you shouldn't start smoking! I KNOW that, but I just can't give up. I find it very difficult, and admire anyone who can do it!

      Society itself has changed a lot in their views of smoking. Of course, next year the smoking ban will come into force, so how the Country will take to that we'll just have to wait and see. Advertising cigarettes are have banned for some years. And now they tend to show you horrific pictures of diseased lungs through smoking. Then there's the messages on the cigarette packets themselve telling you that smoking kills.

      I find that more and more people are giving up smoking. Gone is the 'cool' look where someone is holding a cigarette on a billboard photo. Those types of photo's would probably be shunned nowadays. I often go in places where there's more non-smokers than smokers. When I go to bingo there's a small room where the non-smokers can go (or they can sit on the stage or upstairs). The smokers sit in the maid auditorium. I'm wondering if next year the roles be reversed and the smokers actually go in the small room!

      I know it kills, but I will keep trying to give up. It's hard to know what to do for the best when giving up, ie, patches, drugs, hypnotherapy etc. Any ideas?!

      Thanks for reading!
      Louise

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      • Ryvita Original Crispbread / Snacks / 47 Readings / 44 Ratings
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        24.09.2006 23:16
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        They do last a while & are pretty cheap too.

        I'm trying to be a really good little girl and diet! That means I have to watch what I shovel into my mouth! And that isn't easy for someone like me who will eat virtually anything put in front of them! I'm certainly NOT a fussy eater!

        I very rarely eat Ryvita, mainly because it is very boring! And how on earth do you make such a thing exciting to eat? Well, you do have to improvise on what you put on it, don't you?!


        PACKAGING
        ~~~~~~~~~~
        A 250g of original Ryvita Crispbread will cost you just £0.53p, which isn't such a bad price considering it's such a well-known brand that more or less the whole nation has heard of!

        The Ryvita comes in a red paper like packet with the brand name plastered across the front in big lettering. You can see a picture of the Ryvita on the front.

        On the back of the packet is a little bit of information about the contents of the packet, the guideline daily amounts for men and women, nutritional information and contact details. Although the contact details is in very small writing, so make sure you put your specs on before searching for this, okay?! There isn't much to go on when it comes to ingredients. There are just two, which are wholegrain rye flour and salt.


        THE RYVITA
        ~~~~~~~~~
        Per 10g slice (1 ryvita) there are 32 calories and 0.2g of fat. You won't be eating too many of these in one go, so I needn't worry about your calorie intake with these! Mind you, that all depends what you put on it (peanut butter, maybe??).

        The Ryvita are a very light brown in colour, a bit like the colour of the wheat you see in a field. On one side they are fairly smooth, and on the other side it is knobbly with dents in it. Presumambly, this is the side you spread your desired topping on. On the other hand, you may not wish you spread anything on it. You could have it with a salad.

        It says on the back of the packet that wholegrain rye goodness means naturally

        ~ high in fibre
        ~ low in saturated fat.

        There isn't really much of a smell to ryvita. It does have a bit of an oaty, cardboarding smell to it, but that's about it?

        Now, what about the taste? Well, it is very crispy. As this is really just rye flour and salt, there is, as expected, not much of a taste to it. But there are a number of ways you can liven the little beast up! I like to have cottage cheese with mind. The other night I had a couple with cottage cheese and a few baby tomatoes. Or, like I already mentioned above, have it with a salad. The packet suggets having ryvita with hummus, chopped olives and sunblush tomatoes. Now that doesn't sound too bad to me as I like all what they mentioned - including olives! Yum!

        I've never really tried other brands of crispbread, so don't have anything to compare it to. Are Snack-a-jacks crispbread? Compared to them, this is pretty boring as they come in lots of lovely flavours, although they, too, can be pretty dry! Ryvita is also very dry, so a drink close to hand my be ideal.


        MY OPINION
        ~~~~~~~~~~
        Well, these are okay in moderation. One or two aren't bad, but I wouldn't eat too many of these, This is why 1 packet lasts me a good while! But as a snack, they're not bad if you liven them up a bit with different foods!

        Thanks for reading!
        Louise

        NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90

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        • Heinz Macaroni Cheese / Ready Meals / 57 Readings / 52 Ratings
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          12.08.2006 18:51
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          Although a little dear, makes a nice meal!

          I haven't had Macaroni Cheese in ages, and when I was recently out shopping I spotted this on the shelves, so picked a tin of Heinz Macaroni Cheese up. For a 400g tin you will expect to pay around £0.89p. Certainly not cheap, but hey, I'm getting a review out of it - and a full belly! And it' s not one of those things I buy on a regular basis. (My Gran makes a gorgeous Macaroni Cheese!).


          PACKAGING
          ~~~~~~~~
          The tin is unmistakeable. It comes in a bright yellow tin with the famous Heinz name on the front with Macaroni Cheese in a green background. It says on the front of the tin that it is 'now low in fat'.

          On the back of the tin are the ingredients, nutritional information, contact information and a bit of information about the contents. You will also find the instructions on how to heat the Macaroni Cheese up and also the dietry information.

          The tin can be easily opened and you will not need a tin opener! There is a ring pull on it which is easy to use and pull back the lid to gain entry.


          THE MACARONI CHEESE
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          On opening the can I decided to smell the contents and found it smelt very cheesy! That's a promising start, and sometimes these tins of Macaroni Cheese can smell a bit false. It's not a strong smell, but the smell of cheese is very pleasant and tempting.

          The Macaroni Cheese itself looks very appetising. It contains 39% macaroni and 3% cheddar cheese and 2% reduced fat cheese. I was surprised to find that it contained such little percentage with the distinct smell of cheese! The macaroni contains water and Duram Wheat Semolina. Per 100g there is 85kl and 2.8g of fat. If you don't eat all the contents then keep refridgerated and eat within 2 days.

          On the hob just add the contents into a saucepan and stir gently while heating. If you are going to heat it up in the microwave, then heat it up for 1.5 minutes, give it a stir, then heat for a further 1 minute.

          On dishing up my Macaroni Cheese on 2 slices of toast, I got stuck in. I found that the macaroni itself are pretty large pieces, and there are a lot of pieces in the tin. The macaroni is covered in a thick, rich and creamy cheese sauce. I found this very nice in taste. It tastes very cheesy and the macaroni is soft the cheese sauce compliments the macaroni very well. Some people may find this a bit rich in taste, but I like it. There is plenty of sauce in the tin and once heated up, it tastes lovely.

          Although I had mine on toast, there is a serving suggestion on the tin. Heinz suggest serving it with a baked potato and with salad. I'd never thought about giving that a go, but it sounds a good idea, so will try it sometime!

          The Macaroni Cheese contains Gluten, Wheat, Milk and Mustard. It is suitable for vegetarians and there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. A serving contains 1.4g of an adult's recommended daily salt intake of 6g.


          CONTACT DETAILS
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~
          H J Heinz Co Ltd
          Hayes
          Middlesex
          UB4 8AL
          ENGLAND

          Tel: 0800 5285757 (UK)
          01 28055757 (ROI)


          MY THOUGHTS
          ~~~~~~~~~
          I really enjoyed eating this. It made a pleasant meal and I found it filling too. Compared to other brands of Macaroni Cheese on the market, this is a very high standard. Although with it being Heinz you would only expect the best from them.

          Although this is a bit on the expensive side, it's not as if I have this on a regular basis, only as a treat.

          Thanks for reading!
          Louise

          NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

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          • Coca Cola Zero / Soft Drink / 45 Readings / 44 Ratings
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            01.08.2006 13:31
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            Nice tasting cola with no sugar

            I've recently seen adverts on telly of Coca Cola Zero. My friend was given a free can of this the other day outside Woolworth's and he enjoyed it. After seeing the adverts and my friend saying he enjoyed it, I thought I'd give it a shot. So, in whilst shopping in Asda today I noticed these on the checkout so picked a bottle of it up. I paid £.0.88p for a 500ml bottle of it.


            PACKAGING
            ~~~~~~~~
            The coke comes in a clear plastic bottle with a red screw top.

            The label has the famous Coca Cola name on it in red lettering with the word Zero under it in white. The labelling is predominantly black with white smattering on it. In small letters on the front is says 'great coke tast - zero sugar'. On the other side are the ingredients, nutritional information is the contact information and website address.

            I like the look of the packaging as it's very modern looking and very new. It stands out from the other drinks an is very noticable.


            THE COKE
            ~~~~~~~
            On opening the bottle the cola smells like, well, like cola does! The coke is the usual dark brownish in colour. On the bottle it says it's a 'carbonated low calorie soft drink with vegetable extracts with sweetners'. And low in calories it is too! It only contains 3 calories per bottle (or 500ml pack)! And, as expected, it contains 0% sugar.

            As this contains no sugar whatsoever, you would think it may be quite bitter in taste. But this is not the case. As I said, it contains sweeteners which gives it that sweet taste. It tastes better cold, so make sure it's been in the fridge for a little while before drinking. As I have found with all of the Coca Cola products, this is good quality cola and tastes good quality too. It doesn't have that 'cheap' taste about it like some of the other brands do.


            MY OPINION
            ~~~~~~~~
            Compared to other cola drinks on the market, this is very nice. It is certainly on the top of my list! It tastes really nice. And the fact that it contains no sugar is reassurance that your teeth will remain in tact along with your weight!


            CONTACT DETAILS
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Bottled under authority of the Coca Cola Company by Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd., Uxbridge, UB8 1EZ.

            Freephone: 0800 227711

            NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90

            Thanks for reading!
            Louise

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            • Richard & Judy / TV Programme / 53 Readings / 48 Ratings
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              27.07.2006 23:08
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              Good show apart from Richard eating with his mouth open!

              'Richard and Judy', former presenters of 'This Morning', are now presenting their own daytime show on Channel 4 - aptly named 'Richard and Judy'! This is a lifestlye programme. It is aired each and every weekday at 5pm and lasts for 1 hour.

              What I like about the programme is that they have a varied selection of guests on there every day. Today, for instance, they had Noel Edmunds on the show (27 July '06). They have interviewed many people ranging from J K Rowling (26 June '06), Barry Manilow (04 March '05) and Ben Affleck (12 January '04).

              Although each show has the same standard layout each day, the content is different. They cover topical issues that could be something that has been on the news or in the newspapers. They will get certain experts in to discuss these issues and, as with any discussion, there'll be someone who disagrees which makes the discussion more interesting!

              Each series of 'Richard and Judy' they hold a book club. Over the course of the series they will review 6 books. They get members of the public to read them and give their personal thoughts on the book concerned. Richard & Judy will then have a couple of celebrities in the studio to discuss the book. Indeed, through their book club I went and bought a book called 'The Lovely Bones' by Anna Sebould. I found this book really enjoyable to read!

              If you don't want to read, then why not join their wine club? Each day they have been reviewing a different wine and, like with the books, members of the public will try this wine, and certain wine experts too, and give their opinions on the wine.

              Then there is the daily competition called 'You Say - We Pay'. You phone in and give you answer to a really easy question. If you are the lucky chosen one, then you could be in with a chance of winning a few thousand pounds! All you have to do is tell Richard and Judy what you are looking at. They may, for instance, put a picture up of a red rose. You have to try and explain to them what you are looking at without saying the word. If they correctly tell you what you are looking at, this will give you £1,000. Not bad, 'eh? Most people don't normally get past the £8,000 mark, but if you're really good you might!

              The only critisism I have of the show is that sometimes Richard can be a little bit rude. I have found that he sometimes interrupts conversations and embarrasses Judy with his remarks sometimes. And he also talks with his mouth open. That really irritates me! But apart from that, I like the bloke.

              The studio is light and airy. It is nice and colourful and not dull at all. Sometimes in the summer time they will go and sit outside infront of the fish tank, which I like looking at!

              All in all, this is an entertaining show with a plethera of guests on and topical issues to discuss.

              Thanks for reading!
              Louise

              NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

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              • Cadbury's Fruit & Nut / Chocolate / 43 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                22.07.2006 19:13
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                Nice chocolate, but I prefer the whole nut.

                I've always said I'm not a great lover of the Fruit & Nut chocolate bars - I've always bought whole nut or just plain old chocolate bars. But it's been years since I've had a bar of chocolate with fruit and nut, so thought I'd treat myself to a bar and see if I can change my opinion of it!

                I decided on buying Cadbury's Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut. I paid £0.45p for a 49g bar. It's certainly not the cheapest chocolate around but, hey, it is Cadbury's - one of the best brands around! And everybody knows who Cadbury's are!


                PACKAGING
                ~~~~~~~~
                The chocolate bar comes in a purple and red foil wrapper, with a white strip of white in the middle, which is milk. The Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut name is on the front along with a picture of some fruit and nuts.

                On the back of the wrapper are the ingredients, nutritional information and contact details. Also a very small bit about visiting Cadbury World with the phone number.


                THE CHOCOLATE
                ~~~~~~~~~~~
                There are 6 segments of this chocolate. I noticed that some segments contain fruit and nut, some just fruit and some just nuts. The chocolate is milk chocolate with raisins and almonds. The Cadbury name is embossed on each segment of chocolate.

                Per 49g bar there is 240kcal and 3% protein. It doesn't say how much fat is in it, but I'd rather not know to be brutally frank with you!

                On biting into the chocolate the almonds are nice and crunchy. I like the idea of nuts in chocolate, but wasn't sure what to make of the fruit. When I came to the fruit I bit into it. The raisins weren't hard and were quite chewy. When I came to a segment with a piece of nut and fruit in it, I found that the two blended well together. The milk chocolate is lovely and taste just as chocolate should do!

                With only 6 segments, this chocolate doesn't last very long as you can imagine! On the other hand though, you can buy those big bars of this if you want more. I bet they sell well over Christmas!

                This may contain traces of wheat and soya.


                CONTACT DETAILS
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                Cadbury Ltd
                PO Box 7008
                Bournville
                Birmingham
                B30 2PT
                ENGLAND

                Tel:
                0121 451 4159


                MY OPINION
                ~~~~~~~
                I liked this chocolate, but I'm not head over heals with it. I still prefer the whole nut, but it made a change to break a habit of a lifetime and go for something I don't normally opt for.

                Thanks for reading!
                Louise

                NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

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                  16.07.2006 16:54
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                  Not a nice taste, but helps nonetheless!

                  When I last had my cold a couple of months or so back, it was pretty horrendous. I couldn't sleep with the coughing and it was a real nightmare! And I usually give virtually every cough medicine on the market a go at least once!

                  Anyway, it's no good whinging about it, is it?! The best thing I could do at the time bar moaning was to buy some medicine and get on with it! I can't remember what I took before, but whatever it was, it wasn't Covonia.

                  I'm sure you've all seen the advert where Ainsley Harriot is bellowing his little heart out singing Covonia! After seeing this, I thought I'd give this a try.


                  PACKAGING:
                  ~~~~~~~~
                  A 150ml bottle cost me £2.49. It's certainly not the cheapest brand around, but I'm willing to give anything a go once! The mentholated cough mixture comes in a dark brown bottle, so can't see the medicine in the bottle. On the front it has the 'Covonia Expectorant' brand name and says it's non-drowsy.

                  On the back of the bottle is all the information for you to read about the medicine, including the directions, ingredients and side effects. If you lift the small flap up in the corner there is a lot more information for you to read up on.

                  The bottle states that this cough mixture is for:-
                  symptomatic relief of productive (chesty) coughs and sore thoats.


                  THE MEDICINE:
                  ~~~~~~~~~
                  This is for oral use only, and shake well before use. The dosage is 1 or 2 x 5ml spoonfuls for adults, the elderly and children over 12 years old. For children aged between 5 - 12 years it's 1 x 5ml spoonful. The dose can be repeated every 4 hours if required. Do not exceed the stated dose.

                  What I like about this cough mixture is that in the inside flap there's loads of information! There's the full ingredient list, precautions, further precautions, side effects and action. The action tells you what it contains and what it does.

                  They state the action is:-

                  **It contains liquorice and squill which belong to a group of medicines known as expectorants. They help remove phlegm in people with productive (chesty) coughs. Menthol helps relieve congestion associated with chesty coughs and bronchitis.**

                  The cough mixture itself is a kind of thick treacle, and resembles it in colour as well. As my nose is blocked, I can't smell a damn thing (that can be a good thing sometimes!). But, I do have it on good authority (my partner), that it smells of liquorice and menthol. Ummmm, good job I can't smell it then!

                  The taste? Bleugh! It's disgusting! Urgh! I hated it! But, I'm more concerned about shifting my cold than the taste, so did the horrible deed and swallowed! I took the recommended dose, every 4 hours.

                  Granted, it helped relieve my cough. My horrid cold is still there though! BUT, there has been some good come out of it! What for it.........I've not had a cigarette in 2 whole days! How cool is that?!


                  MY OPINION:
                  ~~~~~~~~
                  In summary, it's not got a nice taste, is a little bit expensive, but tackles the cough. Covonia can be bought more or less in every chemist. Prices may vary.


                  CONTACT DETAILS:
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Product license holder and manufacturer:
                  Thornton & Ross Ltd
                  Huddersfield
                  HD7 5QH
                  ENGLAND

                  NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

                  Thanks for reading!
                  Louise

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                  • More +
                    10.07.2006 16:36
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                    A cheap magazine with lots of stories to read.

                    You've most probably seen the advert on the telly, now buy the magazine! 'Pick Me Up' (PMU) is a weekly magazine which comes out every Thursday. It is priced at just £0.60p which, compared to some other magazines on the market, is quite cheap. And there's quite a lot in it too.

                    What I like about this magazine is the variety of content in it. It is a colourful and snazzy magazine which draws you into wanting to know more about its contents! It is aims for women and is the sort of magazine you will find in Doctor and Dentist surgeries!

                    The front cover is generally colourful with stories on the cover of what is included in that weeks' issue. You will see what true-life story is contained in it.

                    On page 3 you will find a short message from the Editor of the magazine and the contents with what page they are on. There are the true stories, of which you will find many. And the stories are very interesting with photographs of the people concerned in the stories.

                    And then there are the regulars which are:
                    ~ Come on In! - Spread across 2 pages this is where you, the reader, can send in your photo's, funny stories and poems, etc to the magazine. There is also a star picture where the winner will receive a gift.

                    ~ Tip-Offs - If you've got a handy tip, then send it in and maybe it'll get printed! For example, "After eating a pineapple, don't throw the peel away. Cuit it up and scatter it on your flower beds. It will deter cats from messing there and will decompose." I didn't know that. It'll certainly be handy where I live!

                    Him Indoors - You can write a message to your husband here for them to publish, or, for instance, there's a picutre of a man in the nude covering his bits with a copy of the magazine! Or if you are a bloke looking for a woman then you can send a photo of yourself with a description of yourself and what type of woman you woul like to meet.

                    ~ Toddlygook - This is where you can send in funny photo's of your kids. They will pay £25 for every photo published. Easy money!

                    Other regulars include beauty on a budget, Jeremy Kyle, Photo phsychic and your horoscopes.

                    There are also a few competitions in the magazine where you can win cash prizes. Also in the magazine is a small form which you can fill in to send in your real-life story. They will pay up to £500 for your true-life story. You can either post your story in, phone it, fax it or email it in. So there are pleny of options there to choose from.

                    There is the odd full page of advertisments, but I suppose this is to be expected with any magazine. Maybe this is how they keep the price of the magazine so low.

                    As you can tell, there's a lot of content in this magazine. There's real stories, competitions, your letters and photo's, your stars and much, much more. And for just £0.60p a week, you can't grumble at that, can you?!


                    CONTACT DETAILS:
                    Pick Me Up
                    IPC Media
                    King's Reach Tower
                    Stamford Street
                    London
                    SE1 9LS

                    Tel: 020 7261 5572
                    Fax: 020 7261 5765

                    NOTE: This review is also written on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

                    Thanks for reading!

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                    • Life after Death / Discussion / 46 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                      08.07.2006 23:44
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                      Is there life after death? Who knows!

                      When it comes to life after death, this is a very open subject to write about. Different religions believe in different things and what will happen to us after we leave our current lives. As a child I went to Sunday School and still go to Church. We are constantly having it drummed into us to be born-again Christians. The effects are that if we are not we will go to Hell. If we are, then we will walk up the pearly staircase to Heaven to meet our maker. Now, this can be a scary prospect for any adult, never mind a young child. I don't fancy the idea of spending an eternity in Hell with the Devil Incarnate standing there prodding me with his 3-tonged fork! Is this what really happens?

                      On the other hand, we could end up simply floating around in the cosmos looking down on planet earth being a Guardian Angel to someone. Or, even better, we could live on planet Earth as a spirit! Who remembers a few years back when this cult (the name of this cult slips my mind) when they thought Earth was going to get hit by a meteorite or something. They all committed suicide and the last person alive arranged the already dead people into stars - arms and legs out wide. They really thought they were going to go to some stange outer space place or something or other.

                      On telly there's programmes like 'Most Haunted' who go out looking for spirits and ghosts and Derek Acourah with his show. They WANT these so-called spirits to contact them in the form or orbs and bangs and tables flying in the air! Then, of course, there's I don't know how many films made about such issues.

                      Is it really an issue though? I don't think it is really - only if you let it be. You can go to seance (is that spelt right?!) or a ouji board to be extreme and try and contact people. Is this all fake? Or is there really life after death and that the living can contact the afterlife? If this is the case, then where DO We go after we die? Do we go to Heaven or Hell? Or do we go somewhere else? Do we go to another place outside this Earth? Our bodies die. That's a fact. But, what about the moment we die? Remember Patrick Swayzee in 'Ghost'? Do our spirits physically leave our bodies like they do in the film and float around tormenting the living?

                      I went to a Spiritualist meeting one night and this poor woman was reduced to tears. She had lost a little boy for reasons unknown to me. The lady taking the meeting was asking if someone had recently lost a child and this womans' hand went up. The lady said that he was fine and was doing well. Now, if that was me I would be crapping myself! I'm not knocking spiritualism. I'm just not sure about it myself. Maybe I should be though if I go to Church and am taught to believe we live after we die!

                      With all these different things being drummed into our heads with religion, film, TV and what have you, it's no wonder people are confused about what happens after we die.

                      Truth be told, we don't, and never will know what happens to us after we die. The only way we will know is when it happens to us. Dying is the only this we are sure of in this life. What our future holds, including the afterlife, nobody knows.

                      If/when I get to Heaven (I hope!), I'll nip down in spirit form and write a review on Dooyoo! Then all your questions will be answered, ok?!

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                      • More +
                        02.07.2006 23:37
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                        A true story which is an inspiration to others.

                        Dave Pelzer's book - A Man Named Dave - is his third book about his life. The first book, 'A Child Called It' covered his childhood and how he survived the extreme physical and mental abuse he received from his Mother. The second book, 'The Lost Boy', covers his teenage years and his 5 foster homes. This book covers his adult life. Although his has written another book, this is the last one in the series concerning his life.

                        As a child he dreamt of being Superman. How he would fly and be free. Free from 'The Mother' as he called her. As he lay on his cold, hard, army cot, he would dream of a better life. Little did he know at the time that his dream would come true.

                        At the age of 18 he joined the air force. He wanted to be a pilot. He didn't start off that way. He worked his butt off to better himself. He started off as a cook. But, in the end, his dream did come true. He did the training, and eventually became a pilot. He learnt how to fuel his plane mid-air. What an achievement!

                        His marriage to Patsy of 8 years ended in divorce. He also had a son named Steven. His wife didn't understand him. And he found it difficult to make her understand. With the childhood he had, you just can't forget something like that. He never felt loved or wanted as a child. He had low self-esteem. Which is why he worked so, so hard. He wanted to make something of himself. He wanted to feel better inside. He wanted to be loved and needed. He had to deal with his past every day. At times he went to visit his Mother to try and get answers as to why she did what she did. He never got them. It's difficult to understand why she chose him over the rest of her sons. Was it the alcohol? One time when he went to see her, she did tell him she was proud of him. It's very confusing as to why she did what she did - to Dave in particular.

                        Throughout his adult life he did have confrontations with his mother. One such time was at his father's funeral. He was devasted when his father died. Although he never tried to free Dave from his mother as a child, Dave still looked up and admired him. He still held on to the slim chance that one day his father would take him away. He dreamt of buying a house by the Russian River (where he always wanted to live), and having his father live with him. It wasn't meant to be.

                        Throughout the book, there's one passage that really stuck in my mind. It was at his father's funeral. His mother, as usual, was degrading and belittling him....

                        **"You lose", I smiled
                        "What?" Mother asked
                        "All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. Father's finally free, Ron's (his brother) in the service, and soon the boys will move out on their own. I'm a good person. I try my best in everything I set out to do. I make mistakes, I screw up, but I learn. I don't blame others for my problems. I stand on my own. And one day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself. Whether I dig ditches or flip burgers for the air force, I'll be the best, and somehow, some way, I won't waste my life away. If you taught me anything, you taught me that. Stay away from me. Everything you've done to others...I pray for you every night, I swear to God, I really do. You may have your papers, your money, whatever. You can hate everybody and everything on this planet, but YOU lose!'.**

                        When I read that, I thought 'Good on you Dave'. He's finally stuck up to 'The Mother'.

                        You know, after all what his alcoholic Mother has done to him in the past, he still forgave her. Why? For the simple fact that he didn't want to be like her. Forgiveness was the only way he could break the chain. He could have easily hated her, and treated her with the contempt she deserved. He could have easily murdered her and put her through hell. But he chose to forgive. He won't put his son through what he went through. Hatred eats you up inside. It tears you apart. It makes you into a hateful, bitter and twisted person. He didn't want to be like that. He didn't want to be like his mum. So he forgave. It was the only way to break the mould.

                        Dave is now happily married to his second wife, Marsha. He has won awards and appeared to talk shows. He's a brave man and deserves all the luck in the world. He's mother is now dead. He has a wonderful relationship with his son.

                        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

                        It's an amazing book. I just couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. I admire and respect Dave for telling his story, and for helping others. Of course it's sad, but it's compelling reading. And it does have a happy ending!

                        ISBN: 0-75284-408-3
                        £6.99

                        You can also find this review on Ciao under my username there LOUISE90.

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                        • More +
                          01.07.2006 15:56
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                          10 websites which are well worth visiting.

                          I'm on the Internet more or less on a daily basis, so I've got a fair few websites in my favourites! I'll sift this down to just 10 and tell you what they are:-


                          1) NEOPETS.COM
                          Neopets is a virtual pet website where you can create up to 4 pets. Although this website is predominantly aimed at children, there are a lot of adults playing on the site too! There are loads of games to play, forums to talk on, all of which are being watched by the eagled eyed Neopets staff in USA! You can also open your own shop to earn Neopoints (NP's) (like money) or open a bank account to earn interest on you NP's. It's a really good fun site and a place to go and chill out for a bit.

                          2) BBC.CO.UK
                          The BBC is a fantastic website and holds a wealth of information. I've got this set as my my homepage. There's games to play and lots and lots of information on learning on loads of different topics like ancient history, English, maths etc. The Interactive content on the learning section is really good too. Oh, and they do up-to-date news and weather reports too!

                          3) CIAO.CO.UK
                          Ciao, like Dooyoo, is a place where you can write reviews to earn money. (Like you didn't already know that!). I've been a member of Ciao for little over 5 years now and really enjoy it there. As a sub website (3a) I'll include Dooyoo as well. Although there was a time when I didn't visit Dooyoo for a good while, I'm back now and still enjoying it here as much as I did when I joined the site back in 2001!

                          4) GOOGLE.CO.UK
                          Google is probably the world's most famous search engine. What I like about Google is that you can find virtually anything you want here, including images. I visit Google if I want to find out anything about anything!

                          5) MYSPACE.COM
                          I joined myspace just a few months ago, but it's a great place to go blogging and play games. It's also a great way of interacting with other members and for bands to advertise their music.

                          6) EBAY.CO.UK
                          Hands up who hasn't heard of Ebay?! I don't see any arms in the air! I've bought and sold quite a lot of stuff on Ebay and like the fact that you can buy virtually anything you want here! I read in the paper a while ago that some bloke sold his soul on Ebay for £11! I'd have sold it for a hell of a lot more than that, I can tell you! Thankfully, I've got a good rating which helps people to see I'm a good Ebayer!

                          7) NATIONALARCHIVES.CO.UK
                          As I'm doing my family hisory, I've got a few good websites in my favourites related to family history/genealogy. I've managed to find out quite a lot about my family through these websites, and even ordered my Grandfathers' death certificate online! I also found out about my Grans' Uncle received 3 medals. He was killed in action in WW1 and is buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in France. Incidentally, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (www.cwgc.com) is a fantastic website for finding out about such people).

                          8) RIPWAY.COM
                          If you want to get pictures on the Internet, ripway is a great way of uploading your photographs from your PC, then just copying and pasting the url to that photo. It's been really for me to upload my photo's via ripway!

                          9) YOUGOV.COM
                          Yougov is a government website where you can earn money by filling in surveys/questionnaires. You need to reach a total of £50 before they send you a cheque. I have received one cheque from them, and am halfway through to receiving another one!

                          10) STREETMAP.CO.UK
                          Streetmap has been a big help to me in the past. If I don't know where a particular street is, even in the town I live in, I will go onto streetmap and type in the street and/or postcode and they will bring a map up of where it is, which is cool. Although, if you've got one of those sattelite navigation things in your car, you may not need to use streetmap. But as I haven't got one of those I shall resort to using this website!

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                          Well, these are my top 10 website. Most of them you will know and may visit on a regular basis like me. Some you may not know. But, they are all very good websites and well worth visiting!

                          Thanks for reading!
                          Louise

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                          • Top Five Musicals / Discussion / 40 Readings / 38 Ratings
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                            24.06.2006 19:23
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                            Great sing-a-long films to make you fell good!

                            I love musicals and have loads of them on DVD. I'm going to tell you my top 5 muscials on DVD rather than the stage show musicals. I've got many favourites, but I've sifted though my collection and here, in no particular order, are my top 5 muscials:-


                            1) SISTER ACT 2: BACK IN THE HABIT
                            1993
                            Touchstone Pictures

                            Whoopi Goldberg returns in this film as Sister Mary Clarence teaching a load of unruely kids in a run-down school set for closure.

                            What I like about this film apart from the comedy are, obviously, the songs. "Oh Happy Day" sung by the choir is really good. When they are singing in front of the school the style of singing is marvelous! Rita Watson (Lauryn Hill) has a stunning voice and has since released her own CD's.


                            2) GREASE
                            1977
                            Paramount

                            Who would think that nearly 30 years on this film is still in peoples' hearts and one of the Nation's favourite films! John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John make a great team. There are many great songs in thi film like "Look at me I'm Sandra Dee" and "Hopelessly Devoted To You".

                            The storyline is simple and yet it's a really enjoyable film to watch. I can't help but sing a long to the songs. Good job the DVD has got a song book in it, that's all I can say!


                            3) SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
                            1954
                            Warner Brothers

                            Although Howard Keel has now sadly passed away, I think he still remains in a lot of peoples' hearts from when he starred in this film. He starred alongside Jane Powell as Adam Pontipee.

                            There are many good songs in this film, but my favourite is "Sobbin' Women", "Goin' Co'tin" and "Spring, Spring Spring". As with "Grease", the storyline is so simple. There's no violence, swearing or sex, it's just a classic, beautiful story with a happy ending!


                            4)BUGSY MALONE
                            1976
                            Universal

                            This film is great! It just stars a load of kids, one of them being Jodie Foster! She's such a young lass in this film, but still very professional.

                            It's such a funny film with kids firing their splurg guns and the set being a typically gangland scenario! Jodie Foster plays Talluah. When she sings "My Name Is Tallulah" she sings it wonderfully! This film is definitely in my top 5 musicals and the songs in it will have you jiggling about in your armchair!


                            5) CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
                            1968
                            Universal

                            Starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, this film is certainly a top family favourite - usually shown over Christmas/New Year along with "The Sound Of Music"! There are may good songs in this including the obvious "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Toot Sweets", "Posh" and "Truly Scrumptious", the latter being my favourite song!

                            Although the film is over 2 hours long, which may be a bit long for the little ones, I think older children - around the ages 7 - 10, I think they will enjoy this film. There are lots of songs in this film which helps break it up a bit and the storyline is really good.

                            This is a truely magical film with a flying/sailing car and 2 dear little children that are every parents' dream children I reckon!

                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                            Well, there you go my friends! These are my top 5 musicals! I know I probably come across as a bit of a geek, but there you go!

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                            • Teenage Pregnancy / Discussion / 48 Readings / 41 Ratings
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                              18.06.2006 21:26
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                              You can't control them, just support them.

                              Teenage pregnancies are is a tough discussion to talk about as this ranges from the ages of 13 - 19. I think sometimes there is a stigma on teenage pregnancies. Maybe people think they are brought up on Council Estates by parents who don't keep an eye on them etc etc. But this certainly isn't the case. Me and my brother and sisters were brought up by parents with very high morals and standards. I'm 38 yrs old and my Dad still tells me about eating with a knife and not having my elbows on the table! My Dad owns and runs his own successful business which he has had for many years and lives in a large house in a small but thriving town.

                              But back in earier on this year we found out that my 18 year old sister is pregnant. Father was NOT happy about this! He did, afterall, bring her up to the best of his ability (and, of course, her mum (my stepmum)! But, all this doesn't matter. She had found herself a boyfriend and the rest is history as they say. Dad complained that she is still a child herself. When my other sister first told me that she was pregnant my initial reaction was "Jesus, what the hell has she done". I had the same thoughts as Dad, thinking she is far too young to get pregnant. But, what's done is done. You can't change the clocks back, can you?! She hasn't yet had the baby, she's due late September. She's going to call her Lily.

                              I know my little sister would have been nervous about telling Dad as I can just imagine the reaction she would have got off him! Although she is ONLY 18, I think she has grown up a lot, even though she hasn't had the baby yet. She's got a job and so has her boyfriend so money is coming in. She is still living at home and her boyfriend has moved in as well. She's lucky enough to have lovely parents who own a house with an annex on it, so they have moved into the annex bit of it!

                              I know there are many young girls who get pregnant at an earlier age than my sister. Coronation Street, in fact, covered the storyline with Sarah-Louise, as did Eastenders with Sonia. My sister is at the latter end of the teenage pregnancies, but it's still very young.

                              Although I don't agree with her getting pregnant at such a young age, I will stand by her and support her. She is, afterall, my sister and needs her family. I have been buying baby clothes for her and asking her if she needs anything. I can, however, understand how Dad and my stepmum feel though as it must have been difficult for them telling people in their community that their young daughter was pregnant. As I said, Dad has very high morals and standards and for his youngest daughter to get pregnant as such a young age must have been pretty difficult for them.

                              I shall update this review when she has had her baby girl. But I'm quite confident that she will be a good mum. This will, I think, make her grow up. Although she has lost a lot of her social life (or she will do when Lily is born!), she's made her bed so she's got to lie in it!

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                              • Creative Writing / Discussion / 40 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                                16.06.2006 00:09
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                                Creative Writing gets the juices flowing!

                                I'm currently doing an English class on Thursday afternoons and one of our classes was to do a bit of Creative Writing. So I thought up this story! I hope you enjoy reading it!

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                The platform was empty except for one man with a black briefcase. The train from London was due to arrive in one minute. The man looked nervous. He was pacing up and down and he was holding a briefcase very tightly, so tightly that his knuckles were white. The tannoy announced the train's arrival. the man, Sydney Rathbone, approached the station, the beads of sweat trickling down his forehead. His heart will explode if it starts beating any faster.

                                He enters the train and sits in the first available seat. He purposely sits on a seat without a table as he wants nobodys' company except his own. Sidney wanted time to gather his thoughts. He couldn't believe what he had just done, but he had to. Sidney had just lost his job at the dockyards, and needs the money. He has 2 little ones and a wife to support. Oh God. If she realises what he had just done, she'd be devastated. She'd never forgive him.

                                He placed the briefcase between him and the window of the train. He squeezed up next to it for safety. God forbid if anyone took it. It doesn't bar thinking about.

                                sidney was heading for Cambridge, his hometown. He had spent the weekend in London staying with ihs brother, Lee. His brother is a lorry driver so is out a lot of the time. Sidney was glad he wasn't there if he was honest with himself. He needed time by himself.

                                The train journey to Cambridge went smoothly and without a hitch. Sidney slept fitfully. He hadn't had much sleep over the weekend.

                                On exiting the train he held on tight to his briefcase. It weighed a ton. In a way he couldn't wait to get home to get the damn briefcase out of the way. In another way he was dreading it. Irene and the kids usually visted her sister on a Monday. He hoped he would have the house to himself for a while, to sort things out.

                                Sidney jumped into a waiting taxi in the taki rank.
                                "George Street", Sidney said as calmly as he could. The taxi driver drove off in the direction of George Street. Both men sat in silence for the rest of the journey. Sidney paid the fair and walked towards his house. He put his key in the lock and noticed the door was already unlocked. He save a silent sigh to himself. He entered the house as quietly as he could, hoping to get upstairs before Irene, his wife, found him. Wrong.
                                "Hello darling! You're back sooner than what I though."
                                "Um, hello," he said tring not to sound nervous. "I'll just go and change into something more comfortable, then I'll be down."

                                Irene started climbing the staircase at a brisk pace.
                                "Come here. Give me a hug! I've missed you."
                                Sidney gave her a flimsy hug in return, realising he was getting beads of silver sweat on his fore head.
                                "I'll just go and change into something lighter, then I'll be down," Sydney said.
                                "What's in the briefcase?" she said as they stood halfway up the staircase.
                                "Nothing. It's nothing important." His heart was starting to beat ever so slightly faster now.
                                Irene was sensing his frustration now.
                                "You're hiding something from me. I know you are. What were you doing in London?"
                                "I'm hiding nothing from you. I have had business in London. You know I go there to work for us, you me and the kids."

                                By now they were standing at the top of the stairs. With both of them getting more and more agitated at the others' actions, Irene tried grabbing the briefcase from Sidney. Before long the briefcase was tumbling down the staircase, landing at the bottom throwing the contents everywhere.

                                "My God! Oh my God!" Irene said, flabberghasted. Her jaw nearly fell to the floor!

                                What Irene was looking at was a briefcase full of drag Queen parofanalia - a dress, a long blonde wig, make-up, everything.

                                "Well, I had to do something. I was desperate. I did this for us. I had to."

                                Irene just stood there laughing. She could only be glad that the kids were at the zoo with her sister!

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                                • Room 101 / Discussion / 52 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                                  08.06.2006 23:29
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                                  What I would put in my Room 101.

                                  There are numerous things I would put in Room 101, but I shall name but just a few! In no particular order, although I shall put my most annoying one at number one!!


                                  1) CALL CENTRES
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  You know the sort, those people that phone you up wanting to sell you a mobile phone, double glazing or life insurance. None of which I want as I already have all three! And they don't take no for an answer either! I had a phone call the other day from an Indian bloke trying to sell me a mobile phone. I stopped him mid-sentance and said, "Are you trying to sell me a mobile phone?" He replied, "Yes". I explained I didn't want one as I had recently purchased a rather expensive video phone. You know what he did? Gave a big yawn and slammed the phone down! So much for Customer Training! Prat!

                                  On a similar note those people that stop you in the street and try and get you to sign up to a catalogue of some sort. I was in Norwich one day and my legs were aching so sat down. I couldn't believe the nerve of one particular sales person who approached me while I was sitting there! Can't I have any peace?!


                                  2) ACCIDENT CLAIM ADVERTS
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Those adverts you get on telly asking you if you've had an accident lately? There's people on the advert who 'claim' to have received so many thousands of pounds in compensation. Bog off! I'm not interested! Grrr! They're so annoying!


                                  3) Car Tax/Television License
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  The car tax is way too high. Far too high for my liking! The same applies to the television license. Hell, why don't the BEEB get advertisements in and sponsors to compensate for the license? (She says after complaining about claim adverts!!).


                                  4) THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Why doesn't life mean life? I think prisoners have got it way too easy these days. How can someone only get a few years for certain serious crimes and other people spend long periods behind bars who are innocent? Make me a judge! I'll sort the damn Country out!


                                  5) PEOPLE WHO HURT ANIMALS
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  I'll never understand why and how people can hurt animals. And a huge animal lover I can't kill anything! If I see an injured/dying bird I'll pick it up, bring it up and look after it!

                                  I once found an injured pidgeon in my garden that couldn't fly. I put a towel in a box and took it to the vets. I couldn't just leave it there. There was a man in the reception who said how good it was of me to take it in!


                                  6) ARROGANT/POMPOUS PEOPLE
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  I can't stand people like this! This is one of my biggest and worst gripes in life! Why don't people realise we're all human with red blood pumping through our veins! We come into the world with nothing and we'll go out with nothing. We're all equal. Just because your neighbour has more money than you, a bigger house or a better house doesn't make them any better than you!


                                  7) DENTISTS
                                  ~~~~~~~~~
                                  I know dentists are good and I go for my check-up religiously. But I'm feeling a bit cheesed off with them at the moment! On 27 May I had a chronic toothache. I went to the dentist on 30 May. She said it didn't need removing and just re-filled it. The pain continued. It got worse in fact,so returned on 01 June and saw a different dentist this time. He said it did need removing! I was prescribed a course of penicillin and the offending tooth was duely extracted on 05 June!

                                  But what annoys me the most is why wasn't I told it needed pulling out in the first place? I wouldn't have been in so much pain for so long. And it would've saved me a lot of money! Gits!


                                  8) CREDIT CARDS
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Credit Cards have been my downfall. I have now cut them all into bits and thrown them in the bin. When I got my Credit Cards I said I would only use them for emergencies. But temptation got in the way and before I knew it I was in a mountain of debt! I still am, and will take years to get out of it unless a miracle occurs!

                                  Well, I've listed 8 things I would like to put in my Room 101! Now I'm feeling de-stressed after getting it off my chest!

                                  Thanks for reading!
                                  Louise

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