- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
My old, but trusty washing machine broke down for the last time recently, and I was faced with a wide range of choices for its replacement.
My fridge freezer is a Zanussi make, and has always been fine, a friend has a ten year old Zanussi washing machine that still runs perfectly, so it seemed to fit that I should choose this particular make for the new addition in my kitchen.
Wanting a fast spin, this model is a 1600, in the abscence of a tumble dryer, i have not been disappointed by the machines power and ability to wring the clothes without creasing the more delicate or heavy items. The machine is also quieter than expected, and i have forgotton on occaision that it is on.
Perhaps another of its best features is its time delay system, meaning that you can set the devise for running at night time when electricity rates are lower ,or first thing in the morning for optimum freshness.
This model offers a 95 degree wash which is great for work clothes, and incorporates a drum easily large enough to fit a single duvet.
The control panel is simple to use with a guide layout on the left and a dial on the right.
The filter is easily accessable and the drawer simple to remove and clean. It also comes with a standard two year guarantee, which is great as most models only have one.
It is worth shopping around as some places deliver for free and the price can range from £239-269. Kitchen Science are offering it for £245 with free delivery, John Lewis £249 with free delivery.
Horrid Henry's antics have had my children laughing out loud, nodding in empathy and captivated into open mouthed awe.
Francesca Simon is the author, and the creator of Horrid Henry, and his little brother Perfect Peter. It tends to follow the classic 'one child is good whilst another is playing up' scenario, which most children can identify with.
Despite Henry's naughtiness, he is an endearing charector and there are times when you find yourself feeling sorry for Henry who cant seem to do anything right.
I have at times wondered whether Henry's and Peter's behaviour has been adopted by my own two, having given them seeds of ideas and roles to identify with, which i think is testament to the authors understanding of sibling relationships. I think every child will see a part of themselves in Henry or Peter, whether they are male or female. There are also a whole class of school friends to become aquainted with, such as Moody Margeret or Sour Susan, featuring in most stories, so your child can get a feel of their whole lives as the series goes on.
Francesca Simon writes humourously about some tricky issues, such as in Horrid Henrys nits, which could provide a good opportunity to talk to and normalise with your child about some of the more unpleasant aspects of hygeine!
Also good for encouraging older children to read for themselves as they are rewarded with laughing to themselves.
Books are available new and second hand from ebay and Amazon, WHSmiths, Waterstones (and other good retailers!) CD, tape and book sets are also readily available at reasonable prices (£7.99 plus) and great in occaisonal place of a bedtime story or in the car.
I am writing this now because I wish someone had been so straight with me before I had gone out and bought it! Being a mum of two little ones(,Benj is nearly 3 and Ollie is 3 months now)I was keen on anything that might save cash,but also that might save space under my stairs! Having looked everywhere for a suitable double buggy,and failed,I decided that a buggyboard would be perfect solution to all my problems. Scenario 1-pre buggyboard-Ben's new game is to run,as fast as he can,in the opposite direction to mine whilst squealing in delight at my attempts to retrieve him from wherever he had managed to get to this time. So I naivly imagined that he would quietly stand on the board,happily watching the world go by whilst I pushed the two of them along on my trusty Britax. Scenario 2-the buggyboard-After managing to correctly attatch the devise-(which is no easy task I can tell you!!)Ben's new game is to jump off the board whilst in motion and then run as fast as he can in the oppsite direction! I suppose what I am getting at is that the buggyboard is no more than a piece of plastic at the end of your buggy that is perfect if you have an angel toddler with no mind of his/her own and no desire to explore all the exciting things a trip out in your local shopping centre can bring!! So-inevitably scenario three and four involve me returning to my local department store and returning the contraption and investing in a hassle free double buggy instead-where my toddler has the freedom to run around when I have the time and resources,or I can simply strap him in and keep an eye on him that way!!!
In desperate need of a getaway,my partner and I booked a week away at the Haven resort in Hastings.I am unable to provide a reason why we chose that particular location,other than it looked good in the brochure and we had never been before! There are plenty of Haven holiday parks situated all around Britain,with accomodation ranging between economy caravans and home from home chalets.Being heavily pregnant at the time we opted for a two bedroomed chalet option at an off-peak cost of £160 for a Monday to Friday break. I say off-peak,as any sane person wouldn't have ventured near the site in mid April,as the country was recovering from major flooding and it was still raining!The campsite was wet to say the least! Although we had taken great care not to go during any type of school holiday the resort was still fairly busy,and the evening entertainment was very popular(mostly I suspect because there did'nt seem to be an awful lot to do in the rain at night in Hastings!?).I found it hard to imagine how a full campsite of holidaymakers would have fitted into the venue allocated for the childrens 'Rory the tiger'club or the adults evening drinking session and guest caberets. The indoor swimming pool was only open between specific daytime hours,a big dissapointment to younger children (and their parents!),and the outdoor pool was closed whilst we were there,but was very small. On-site there was a convenience store,a small gift shop,and a small arcade centre.Other than the afore-mentioned pools,there was an indoor venue for entertainment and the kids club,(which was badly advertised and not very well attended therfor until later on in the week),with four kiosk options for takaway food.In addition was a mini bowling lane and small bar/restaurant and a launderette. The accomodation was clean,with a lovely fire,and everything we might need for our stay,with a television radio and microwave.The carravans wer
e also spacious,and we did not see a hint of condensation! Hastings itself seemed to be a quiet,coastal town,clean,historic and scenic-we spent three days exploring,but also ventured to Eastbourne(even quieter-but lovely!)and Brighton-(lots more to do and we'd go back there!)as Hastings is quite small really.The tourist centre provided us with all the maps and local sites and was a helpful first point of call. In conclusion I felt that Haven holiday Park needed to seriously invest in it's Hastings(and possibly other)resorts.We were very disappointed with the facilities,which were very basic,such as the swimming pool changing areas,and you would need a car to visit this particular park,which I feel is unfair,especially as the brochure indicates the exact opposite. Personally,I will not be returning.If in need of a holiday park I would choose Butlins or Centre Parc-lots more to do and lots better cared for.If in need of accomodation whilst visiting a town or city then perhaps consider this option-but take a car.
Babycentre.co.uk I used the above website constantly during my pregnancy and now that it is over it is equally helpful with relavent e-mails and articles on my newborns progress. There is a facility to sign up to their e-mail service which will aid you in your countdown to birth with a weekly update on your pregnancy and unborn baby's development. I found this brilliantly reassuring,and sometimes a useful reminder that I was actually pregnant! The site also offers invaluable reminders about health checks and 'things to do'at your own personal stage of pregnancy. When your baby is born,Babycantre follow you through ,sending you weekly e-mails on the developments of your newborn,and offering links to relavant topics on the site. Babycentre offers alot more besides its e-mailing service.There is a pregnancy calender,parents forum,toddler information and frequent,interesting polls. I wouldn't hesitate to reccomend this site as a accurate,interesting and invaluable source of pregnancy information.
Having had a recent addition to our family in the shape of a 9lb 6oz baby boy I have used the Tesco on-line service frequently over the past few months,and thought I would share my experiences with you! My first thought upon seeing the site layout was one of confusion.The layout is random and cluttered,with few straightforward links to some everyday items such as cleaning products or fresh foods. However if you persist with the site,and it took me around thirty minutes(I am not what you would call very internetly intelligant!),the hard work is very worth it! For a delivery charge of £5-no matter how large your order-you put your trust in a tesco representative to do your shopping for you and have it delivered at your specified time-chosen from a list of available time slots. Once you have made your way through the cyber aisles(long lists of products and prices),the site remembers your purchases for you as 'favourites'so you can choose from them again,saving lots of time on your next visit. I have just a couple of complaints-neither of which will stop me using this fantastic,effecient service! -You cannot pay online with solo or electron cards -The items you choose may be substituted by something you really wouldn't have chosen yourself and although you don't have to accept it it can be infuriating. In conclusion I say give it a go!It is definatly preferable than dragging round a newborn,2 year old and tired husband round the real thing!
I have just completed one of the best novels I have read this year,and when I saw it's author listed in the category without mention of the book I just had to share my opinion with you! 'Going Gently'written by David Nobbs,and priced here in the UK on paperback at £6.99 is an un-puttadownable story of a woman approaching her 100th birthday in hospital following a stroke. Rather obviously much of the book is spent with the heroine Kate Thomas looking back on her many years experiences of life,love, opportunities,lovers and regrets. Unexpectedly there is a reason for the extremly well written reminiscing,although to reveal this would spoil your enjoyment of the book! This is the only novel I have read of David Nobbs,an English writer who resides in North Yorkshire and has apparently written thirteen other books,but the typical English dry humour,coupled with very clever observation and writing means that it will definatly not be the last! I would reccommend this book to anyone who wants something to get their teeth into.There is humour,real-life,sadness and mystery all rolled into one,and it kept me quiet for days!
I deliberatly havn't read any of the other reviews on Intelligant Finance submitted to Dooyoo yet so that I can write a personal opinion on my experience with the company so far! Intelligant Finance are a division of Halifax and therefore in my view fairly reputable from the beginning. Purely an internet based bank they claim on their television adverts to be the only way forward in banking by uniquely combining any savings with any outstanding debts and reducing interest payments,fuss and providing you with a one stop banking service. Intelligent Finance or IF,offer a range of services from current accounts to mortgages,credit cards to savings and personal loans along with the afore mentioned combination options. It is easy(perhaps too easy!?)to apply on-line,the process for most applications seems to take about ten minutes and you are generally informed straight away if your application has been successful. Interest rates are competitive with special combination or beginning offers,but a sound ten percent on personal loans for example. Banking can be done over the telephone,by post or through several high street banks and your local post office so your money is very accessable.With a debit card you can withdraw from any Link machine. From a personal point of view I have found the service very helpful,interesting and time saving-and could definatly get used to not having to queue in my usual high street bank!!
I think we are going to be destined with travelling to both sets of parents again this Christmas,does this ever end?! Whilst I love my family dearly and am very close to my sisters inparticular,my image of a perfect christmas is one not spent on a motorway!! My partner will most probably be working a six hour shift on the day itself(being a nurse),leaving the other half to be with everybody else but on our own with our nearly two year old! We then have the dilemma of who to spend Christmas lunch with,trying to remember what we did last year and where to travel first. Ideally,we would both not be working,at home-with wrapping paper everywhere,our normally redundant christmas tree lights twinkling,my first Christmas turkey effort and the advantage having your own remote control! Although I am fully appreciative that Christmas is very much a family time,our own family is also expanding and I find myself wondering about next years celebrations! A suggestion that might work for some would be to invite both sets of parents (at seperate times if appropriate!)to your own home.This way may seem like a reasonable compromise,and might even work out well, but you need cooperative relatives who don't think that every Christmas should be spent at their family home! So I await to see with baited breath what shift patterns will shape our festive celebrations,and I get the feeling that we will manage to disappoint someone no matter in what order we do things! In the meantime I plan to wake up my little family as early as possible in order to get some 'quiet', quality time together-but I'm not so sure that I will be willing to do this again next year!
Just a quick update to let you know that baby Oliver was born safely in at 9lb and 6oz!Being a parent the second time round is just as I imagined it only with less sleep! I will update further on things such as Ben's reactions as soon as I get a chance!! I was delighted to find this new section at Dooyoo on pregnancy and birth-as I have just discovered that I am a whole four weeks pregnant! This means that I get to share all my elation,fears,joy and memories with you unsuspecting readers! The line had only just turned blue when my mind cast back to having Benjamin,now nearly 2!Will I be able to spend as much quality time with him,what if he hates the baby,will labour really be quicker the second time around(!!) and so on. Luckily I stumbled across an opinion by a fellow dooyoo-er looking back on raising her children and wishing she had just relaxed more-and I intend to do precisly that! What better excuse not to have to steer the wayward trolley with the equally wayward toddler (screaming for choc choc!) inside it! Or to tell yourself its OK to eat the whole four pack of cream cakes-and no-one else likes them anyway! Apart from what seem to be pretty standard worries I am really looking forward to having another baby in the house.We wanted them to be close in age so they will (hopefully!)be friends and playmates. I am much more confident this second time round about what I am hoping for the birth,wheras with Benj I worried for most of my pregnancy about the labour! I developed slight pre-eclampsia as I went two weeks overdue,and ended up being induced with pessaries.Being induced can mean that your labour is quicker as you generally begin with strong, fast contractions. In my case it took three days for the pessaries to work,and in the end Ben was born in under two hours. I'm not going to say it wasn't painful for the 'benefit'of any mums to be
but my body just took over completly-and did a wonderful job! I had specified in my birth plan that I didn't want any type of pain relief,and as it happened I did't have time for it anyway,but I certainly would'nt rule it out -I think you need to stay as open minded as possible! I thought I would compile a short list of things I wish someone had told me before I went into hospital!: You can wear whatever you like both on the wards and during labour! Take lots to keep you occupied I really got very bored during the day whilst being induced! Take your own supply of food! Fit the baby car seat in the car ready! You don't have to take everything into the hospital in one go!Visitors ansd partners can top up supplys of towels,clothing etc! Don't worry if your newborn wakes up every other new mum and baby in the ward! Hope that was helpful to somebody! I would also like to mention that however intimadating some Doctors or Consultants may seem(one just completley ignored us whilst bringing a large group of junior doctors to assess a medical probem Benj has),don't be afraid to ask questions until your heart is put at rest. Although not as 'medically qualified' I found the vast majority of nurses on the ward were a much better support,who were prepared to discuss the numerous questions I suddenly thought of! All this reminiscing reminds me of why we have more than one child-the immense love when you meet your baby for the first time is truly overwhelming and unconditional. Infact I can't wait for it to happen all over again!!
Such a dangerous but intruiging path we seem to be taking.We cannot possibly predict the outcome of either GM or cloning,and this I feel is the basis of my opinion. Can we really produce safe,hardy food produce in mass quantity for the starving?It would be wonderful if we could,but we simply do not know, as yet. I am one of the 'lucky ones'living less than half a mile from a GM trial crop field.The field,in Hertfordshire has been trampled on ,debated over,yet is still thriving and is situated at the end of my road. Perhaps this is partly why I am so passionate about this issue as it is literally close to home.My own garden has probably been cross-pollinated already,something I am not particuarly appreciative of at all. I will never forget watching a film on the news of an elderly American lady dying who was convinced genetically modified medication was to blame for her illness.She completed her interview by pleading for further investigation into the experiment. Well it seems we are the experiment. Who ever thought of feeding cattle dead cattle??We have plentiful grass in England it is simply not necassary.As a result we have had many tragic cases of CJD.Now please tell me why farmers have got round the law and are feeding cattle blood,amongst other things.Why????Is it worth the risk? A little off my subject I know,but my point being that I don't feel it is right to impose these trials,unnatural farming methods,and general messing about with nature until lengthy enquiries have been undertaken-and I really do mean lengthy. As I round up my views on all things genetically modified.I have to say I am generally impressed with the availability of non-GM foods but believe that we shouldn't have to make a choice-GM ingrediants should not be available in our foods at all yet. Moving on to the more difficult issue of cloning,I am still amazed at what we have learned to achieve.In the
future it looks as though people may be able to lead illness free lives. 'Where do we stop' seems to be the ultimate question,which may even be answered for us as we don't yet know of any possible complications.Do we draw the line at wanting the entire British population to be intelligant or athletic? This kind of cloning seems a long way from bringing an already much loved baby into the world to save her big sister.In the same situation I too would have done the same. There is also the much publicised case of the family who want to produce a baby girl,after six sons.They are now taking their request to the European courts. I believe that if we are to embark on such experiments then they should be for medical use only.It would be difficult to control the way nature does the even spread of males and females.In China they have disproportionate number of males,and social changes are already taking place. Charector or gender specification should not be allowed unless there is a medical problem that can be passed down with certain sexes. You might ask why I am so against the interference of GM but fairly pro the advantages of medical use cloning.As a nation we are fast discovering new things every day,and not all of them are bad.Surely a discovery that can cure illness,disease and distress can't be such a bad thing?
My excuse for buying this book was that I attended the same school as Geri Halliwell(although I never recall having seen her!)and wanted to see what she had written about that time in her life! However it turned out I didn't need an excuse to read this book,it would captivate even the most sceptical reader. The biography,written by Geri Halliwell-former member of the Spice Girls,reflects on her childhood days through to the break up with the band. Brought up in a mainly council estate in Watford,Geri descibes her longing for stardom,and her path to acheiving it.This includes leaving home at 16,a passion for raves,booking herself into a psychitric clinic and glamour modelling to name just a few examples! The book also provides an insight into the Spice Girls rise to fame,and the early formations of the group,followed by firm friendships and fiery tempers.Geri describes her observations as the Spice girls storm charts and countries. If Only is very well written,and you get the feeling she has written much of it from the heart.A large proportion is dedicated to her battle with the eating disorder bulimia, her search for that something to 'fill the gap'and happiness. It really is an interesting read,and I would definatly reccommend it.At the time of writing the paperback copy is available at a reduced price from £5.99 to £3.99 from WhSmiths.
I remember being very small standing in awe at the amazing selection of sweets,(traditional and the latest) whilst in Woolworths.In contrast to many other things the well known store has not reduced in size now that I am a fully grown adult! Everybody knows where their local high street store is situated,and I am lucky enough to have no less than four to choose from in surrounding areas!Stores vary lots in size,style and stock,but are an asset to many towns and villages because of the wide range of goods available. Christmas is a traditional time for you to follow the adverts and visit the 'wonderland',with everthing from candysticks to tinsel and even the tree!Most stores sell competitively priced audio equipment,together with traditional and computer games and all the latest C.D and video releases. Toy's of every kind are also available from Bouncy Tiggers to play kitchens and ride on toys.The traditional Ladybird is still making some gorgeous outfits for little ones,in addition to wellies and party bags and ideas! Kitchen accessories are also covered with everything from a washing up bowl to an ironing board.I recently spotted a Hinari toaster,kettle and coffee-maker set(in yellow)for only £29.99-an ideal Christmas present!! Gift ideas are already appearing into our shops(even though we,ve only just finished our Summer holidays)and they are due to open their website this Autumn which will make shopping even easier! You can sign up in advance with the site at www.woolworths.co.uk,and could win a family holiday to Disneyland paris at the time of writing!
I thought other people might like to know how easy it is to sign up with one of the Open Universaty's courses. In addition to many regional centres and open days(i attended one on a Sunday and it was really helpful)they also have a website at www.open.ac.uk. You can reserve your place on a course with the site,or read up on the many different options.Local centres are listed,together with open day details and maps! The site also offers a Learners Guide which includes sections such as preparing to study andhelp choosing your course.There is also a direct line through to the University for any other questions. Qualifications can range from Certificates to Diplomas,or a Batchelors degree.Course subjects range from Art History,French or Criminology to I.T.Credit points are awarded to each course that will count towards a final qualification. Taking up a course is a big commitment-there is a lot of study involved and as most of the courses are home-study,you need to be organized! The course I am currently studying is K201-working with young people,and I am hoping to have a Diploma in Health and Social Welfare within two years.The course begins in February(and there is still time to sign up for next years courses at the time of writing!) The courses range in price as residential school courses are more expensive and go up with levels,mine cost £475,but is payable in installments,and financial help is also available to some people. Computers are not necessarily needed,but if they are you can hire or borrow one from the O.U. Other higher education study can also count towards a qualification,and the University provides a brilliant service to those who wouldnt otherwise be able to go. I say-at least look at the website!
**Update**! Well I have still not heard a thing.Despiter the official launch date of 24th November,my console is not available to collect. I have been informed by staff at retailers Game,that I should recieve a letter from Sony giving me a collection date,but was not assured that I would be able to collect it before Christmas. The launch of Playstation2 has been a long time coming,and this has been really badly organized.I would also like to know why newspapers and other countries have P2 consoles to give away or to put out on shelves?? If collection is not possible within the next few weeks I would much prefer to know this in advance so I can organize something else. Will update if I hear more!! I have pre-ordered and almost paid for the Play station 2 as a Christmas present for my partner(hopefully!).However there is concern as to whether it is going to be despatched in time. Available from Game stores at £299.00,it is fairly expensive and I would expect a concrete delivary date. I was initially informed that if I didn't preorder a console they wouldn't be availableuntil March 20001,howver if I ordered now it would bbe October. Other outlets such as Curry,s etc are also taking orders for the new Playstation and are offering package deals with DVD's and games thrown in. After finding a store that still had some available,I was told it might be late November but possibly in time for Christmas. Although your deposit(minimum of £25 is fully refundable at any time,it dosn't solve the what to get for Christmas problem or the disappointed kids. The new Playstation will have the ability to play DVD movies in addition to C.D's,better sound quality and graphics,the ability to be able to play your old playstation games and the creation of better ones-also available to pre-order!) If anyone knows
or could update me i,d be grateful!!I will update myself as soon as I hear anything!