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    • More +
      09.01.2007 16:02
      Very helpful



      Better than My Scene, but messy.

      Bratz Forever Diamondz Funky Torso - Cloe
      About Bratz Funky Torso.
      This is the latest in creations from the makers of Bratz. It is a styling head to encourage children to design and create great and exciting hairstyles to share and wear. This products differs slightly from the usual Bratz Styling range due to the fact that this toy has the Torso included up to the waist to allow you child to use there imagination in designing great T-shirt designed on the toy as well.

      The toy is the Cloe Bratz Doll in a larger version, which is cut off at the waistline where it becomes the base. The Doll has 18-inch straight blonde nylon hair and is wearing a black T-shirt. The Base is a star shape, which is attached to the waist, and this doll has arms included.

      The Toy Content.
      1 Bratz Doll Torso (in the case the Cloe doll)
      1 pair of plastic earrings
      3 bracelets
      1 brush
      2 pots of glitter
      1 clear lip-gloss
      1 red glitter gel
      1 red nail varnish

      My Opinion.
      I myself bought my daughter the My Scene Bling Styling head but due to lack of communication between my mother, and myself my daughter also received this toy as a Christmas gift. I was rather relieved really due to the disappointment of the My Scene toy (see my review on this product). This torso doll was retailing for £26.99 prior to Christmas at Woolworths and Argos, however, it is now retailing in the sales for £20.00 on average (typical).

      Removing the Bratz Torso from the box was a lot easier than the My Scene Bling, I have to say and an added bonus is that the Bratz doll comes with straight hair, which does not seem to tangle very much at all. So far so good, I think to myself until we get to remove the accessories. Tiny fragile plastic bracelets and fragile plastic earrings come with the doll, which you have to be very careful not to creak whilst removing from the packaging.

      The Brush was a good quality, I have to confess and very easy to use on this doll as it has straight hair. Then to my horror came the pots of nail varnish, glittery gel and glitter dust. Oh no, my daughter and glitter don’t mix. I think my mother does it on purpose some times to keep me busy. The idea suddenly came to me that perhaps my daughter would not notice if I was to hide the glitter away, but I was, too late she had spotted it and like a flash of lightning off went the toy, glitter and all. I have to say that although this toy is given an age range of 6 years and over I think it is a little messy for a child that age and the accessories are definitely unsuitable for a child of six.

      I must say I think that these Bratz dolls are extremely ugly and quite scary in my opinion with there great big eyes and there two fat lips. Yes, this toy has gone one stage further than the MY Scene Bling doll as Bratz is from head to hips, but why? What can a child learn from a belly button on a plastic torso? The main idea of the doll is to be able to create hair styles for the Bratz Torso Doll which given the length and quality of the dolls hair is great and quite easy for a child to manage, but I fail to see the point in a child having to try and glitter gel the plastic T-Shirt on the doll, especially when the glitter gel does not work properly and fails to stick to the plastic torso.

      Finally, the Bratz doll allows you child to try and give the doll a nail varnish manicure, which is very hard when actually see the size of the nails and that the nail varnish is a cheap one with a chunky brush and lumpy liquid. Come on you manufacturers, isn't it about time you put in the quality to the accessories on these products, especially when you consider the prices you are charging us for them.

      Overall, better than the My Scene Bling Styling Head, but still room for improvement.

      Welshwickedone © January 2007.


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      • Currys / Highstreet Shopping / 50 Readings / 42 Ratings
        More +
        06.01.2007 10:04
        Very helpful



        Poor service to Curry's on this visit.

        Curry's Electrical Store.

        This review is of Curry's Electrical Store, Unit 3, Harlech Retail Park, Cardiff Road, Newport. (Branch Number 2230)

        About Curry's
        Curry's is a large retailer, which offers a good selection of electrical and household appliances to the public. They regularly have discount and sales in store. They also offer and online shopping facility, plus the option to check stock and reserve items for in store collection. The online shopping facility does offer a deliver service however; there is a charge for this service.

        As I relaxed down in the evening to watch my regular instalments of the soaps a week before Christmas, I had no idea what was coming soon. A Friday evening all to myself with partner out on his Christmas meal and children fast asleep, I relaxed back and began my regular evening entertainment. As it approached half way through Eastenders though things started to look bad as the colour on my TV suddenly went dark. At first, I hoped it was the channel and not the TV, but this hope was short lived as I grabbed the remote. The sound was not affected so I did manage to listen to the end of my soaps, but soon after that, there was a large popping sound and the TV went rapidly into retirement.

        Time to do an online search for a suitable replacement, which led me to the Curry's website. I noticed there was about three different TV's I liked, but decided it would be quicker to go to the store and buy one to take home rather than order online and await delivery. The next morning, off we set to our local Curry's store to buy a new TV, although I was totally dreading the experience, as it was so close to Christmas.

        My local Curry's store is situated in the same retail park in Newport as Hobbycraft and Tesco Extra and shares the same car parking facilities, so as you can imagine, one week before Christmas and parking the car was a nightmare. Finally, after driving around aimlessly for ten minutes, we found a space and pulled in immediately. Having to share a car parking facility with Tesco make it very hard to know who is responsible for the quality control of the car park, but in favour of Curry's I will say that there were no trolleys left sprawled everywhere from there store, only from Tesco's and Hobbycraft. Little did I know though that the reason for this was that the store no longer has any trolleys for customers? According to the staff on the helpdesk, they were all taken away and never returned.

        This Curry's store does offer three spaces outside the shop for disabled parking; however, one week before Christmas and Tesco customers parking everywhere makes it impossible to use the facilities. This Curry's store also offers late night shopping facilities should you require it.

        The Store.
        When you enter the store, aisles of large shelving displays of small electrical appliances greet you. At the front of the store, to your left are the only two store checkouts, although there was not a member of staff on the checkouts when we arrived. Again at the front of the store, but this time to your right was the customer service desk, which was staffed by two members of staff when we arrived. Although the store has narrow walkways between the shelving displays to allow the customers to browse the appliances, they also had a large walkway, which went in a circle all around the store allowing you easy access to the PC department, Sound and Vision section and the large kitchen appliances section. The PC section is situated on the right hand side of the store just past the customer services department and then to the rear of the store was the sound and vision department.

        Off we went to the Vision centre, and on arrival, we noticed that the only staff member in this section was busy with a customer. We decided to browse through the numerous TV displays whilst we waited for the staff member to become available. In addition, whilst we were waiting I did notice that the large Kitchen appliance section was also at the rear of the store but on the left hand side as you enter. Browsing through the many TV's on display can take quite a while, as there are so many, but eventually we narrowed down our selection to three and just in time as we noticed that the staff member had now become free.

        Great we thought so off we trotted to ask for assistance, only to be greeted by the member of staff announcing he was going on his break and there would be somebody here to help us in a minute. Fair enough all staff are entitled to a break, this I have no disagreement with, but I do have a disagreement with the approach of this staff member. Patiently we waited and waited, but still no member of staff. After about ten minutes, my partner decided to ask a member of staff not to far away for assistance and he called for somebody to assist us in the Vision department over the store microphone. During the waiting, we did notice another five members of staff scattered through the store looking at shelves, but not actually assisting customers. Another five minutes went passed and several more members of staff came passed us and went to aid the other staff looking at the shelves. Still nobody came to the sound and vision department.

        We were starting to get a little impatient by this point as there was now ten members of staff scattered through the store and yet no one of them with a customer. I am not an impatient person normally and could understand if the staff were busy, but there was only two other customers in the whole store and they were only looking around, not requiring assistance. Eventually my partner went to ask for help again and yet again, a call came over the microphone for help in the sound and vision section.

        By now, my back was in agony and I was getting very annoyed when eventually who should appear but the staff member from the sound and vision department returning from his break. At last, some help with our purchase arrived and we showed the staff which TV we wanted to purchase. He disappeared to check if it was in stock and would you believe it, it was out of stock. We showed him our second choice and surprise, surprise, out of stock as well. Unable to believe our luck we showed him the last selection and guess what? Out of stock. I gave up at this point and decided to go and see what was available in Tesco next door.

        I did buy a TV that day from Tesco with no messing and no fuss, but I wont be shopping at Curry's again as I don’t think they actually have any stock available for sale that day in there stores.

        All in all I do feel that Curry's do need to take a good look at there staffing issues as well as there stock issues as I would say this was a very stressful and uneventful shopping experience I had at there store. Thumbs down from welshwickedone to Curry's on there customer friendliness.

        After leaving the store, we worked out that there were 13 staff members throughout the store, three customers that included us, no staff on the checkouts and limited stock available. Hardly good for a high street electrical retail that is supposed to pride itself in price, quality and availability.

        Welshwickedone © January 2007.


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        • Full Marks Liquid / Health Product / 27 Readings / 24 Ratings
          More +
          02.01.2007 10:15
          Very helpful



          Not that effective in my opinion although easy to apply

          Full Marks Liquid 200mls.

          As a retired hairdresser, over the years I have had the unpleasant experience of being greeted by Head Lice on many occasions, and yet I have been lucky enough to have only suffered with them myself once before when my daughter brought them home from school with her. This was several years ago now and yet I still remember the horrible feelings I had when I found them in my hair. That was until about five days ago when I let my guard down due to the stress of Christmas and because my children were on school holidays.

          It is quite strange how it all came about really was when my friend called over two days after Christmas with her children and was chatting away about her new bug busting kit she was getting through the post. At first I must confess, I really did not put two and two together until the next day when she called over the house again with her new kits, showing it off. I thought it was something for her several cats until to my horror she opened the kit and produced five different size nit combs. Instantly panic ran through my blood as my daughter had stopped over there house two days earlier and my son was over there two playing with the youngest child of my friend.

          Although my friend was only stopping for a quick coffee, I must confess it seemed like hours and with ever minute that went by my skin crawled more and more as my head began to itch frantically. Finally, she finished her coffee, packed away her bug kit and returned home not a minute too soon. I do not think her car could have got very far before I grabbed my faithful nit comb and began the family screening starting with my Son.

          Happiness prevailed as I finished combing through his hair carefully, section by section and found him to be free of lice. Next, it was my Daughters turn and that is when the happiness passed as section by section I comb through only to discover she had lice. I must confess anger began to build in me as I moved on to my partner and inspected his hair. Another one don and lucky for him another one free from lice, but then it was my turn. I dragged the comb through my hair, section by section, hoping not to discover any lice. However, unlucky for me I found one and I must confess I was furious and angry as I grabbed my coat and we all made off to a pharmacy to obtain some treatment for me and my daughter. Hence, bring on the Full Marks Lotion and this review.

          About Full Marks Liquid.
          Full Marks Head Lice treatments come in a variety of forms, which include mousse, liquid and lotion in various size bottles. It is produced by Seton Healthcare Group PLC in the U.K. and is a registered trademark of Seton.

          This review is of the Full Marks Liquid 200mls bottle, which should treat up to four heads and is suitable for adults and children over 6 months of age. As with all treatments for head lice always consult your Dr or pharmacist before using the product and check for allergies from the active ingredients. I purchased the liquid in Full Marks rather than the mousse as I am an asthma sufferer and this form of Full Marks is suitable for use by asthmatics.

          The product comes in a white box, which clearly states the product name and has a family of four on the front of the box. The liquid itself is in a brown glass bottle with a white plastic lid and a white label, which also contains product details. This product also contains a detailed leaflet with directions and precautions.

          Full Marks Liquid contains Phenothrin, Potassium Citrate, Citric Acid Monohydrate, Emulsifying Wax, Methylhydroxybenzoate, Propylhydroxybenzoate, Perfume HT52, Diethylene Glycol, Dimethyl Phthalate and Purified Water.

          The company states that Full Marks Liquid has been specially formulated for treatment of head lice and if used according to instructions a single application of Full Marks Liquid will kill head lie and there eggs.

          The Application.

          Before you start, always read the instruction leaflet carefully and if you use this product regularly due to your profession or you suffer with sensitive skin always wear gloves to apply the liquid.

          The Liquid itself is of a white creamy consistence and has a quite pleasant smell to it which it not harsh when inhaled, and although it says liquid, it is quite thick in consistence.

          Apply the liquid to Dry hair and be sure to apply sufficient liquid to make sue that no part of the scalp is left uncovered. Gently massage the liquid through the hair being sure to cover all the hair from root to tip and the scalp.

          Allow the hair to dry naturally whilst the lotion is still on the hair and scalp.

          Leave the liquid on hair for twelve hours or overnight.

          After 12 hours, wash the hair with normal shampoo and condition if required.

          Whilst the hair is still wet comb through with a normal comb and then a fine toothed nit comb to remove all the dead lice and eggs.

          In rare cases this product has had an undesired effect of skin irritation and a person warning from me is that if you have any cuts or sores on your scalp you may experience a slight tingling burning sensation when apply this product however this does pass after a few minutes.

          The Results.
          Finally, the next day when the treatment was complete it came time to remove the liquid and see the results for myself. First, my hair was washed and combed through, only to reveal one most definitely dead louse and two small eggs. Then it was time for my daughter and the same procedure was followed. As I combed through her hair section by section we revealed three lice and several eggs, but to my horror one of the lice was most definitely still alive. I could have screamed with this discovery and phoned my local pharmacy for advice. The pharmacist explained to me that this is sometimes the case and it does not mean that the liquid has not worked; it is just that some lice take longer to die and any remaining will die within the next 24 hours.

          I will be totally blunt and say that I find this very hard to believe and am now checking our hair every day twice a day to be sure that if any of the eggs left were not killed that as soon as they hatch they are removed to prevent them laying eggs themselves.

          My Opinion.
          What a waste of money and at £9.99 for a 200ml treatment, what an expensive useless product at that. I can assure everyone now I will not let my guard down again and will continue with my regular two-day inspection of my children's hair even when they are not in school as prevention is a much better form of defence than these expensive and ineffective treatments.

          I think that in future I will stick to some of the old-fashioned remedies I know of and use those instead. Before I finish this review though I would like to take the chance to pass on some of the old-fashioned remedies I have heard of as well as some interesting facts about head lice.

          Welshwickedone's Extra Facts.
          Although I have never personally tried this one, I have heard that some people believe that if you apply fabric conditioner to the hair, the head lice cannot get a grip on the hair and they are unable to attach there eggs to the hair follicles. (Yes a strange one, I know and to be honest, one I am not keen to try or believe.)

          The other old-fashioned remedies I have heard of, I have actually tried. Mix one tablespoon of Tea tree Oil with six tablespoons of cooking oil and apply to the hair. Comb through with a fine toothed lice comb. The Tea tree Oil is not only a natural antiseptic, but also the lice are apparently repelled by the smell and release there grip. The cooking oil makes it easier to comb away the lice and eggs from the hair. As I say, I have tried it, but found it no different to applying conditioner to your hair and removing the lice and eggs naturally with a lice comb.

          This is a person recommendation for anyone who has discovered they or a family member has head lice. Do not be embarrassed, it is not your fault, sadly head lice is a problem found worldwide. With regular checks of your family's hair, this is a good form of prevention and cure. If one member of your family has head lice, you should always check every member as it is very likely that they may have head lice as well.

          When you have treated head lice, you should also be sure to change all bedding and wash all bedding, towels and combs used by the sufferer. Wash all bedding and clothes in a minimum of a 60ºC wash cycle and soak all combs, brushes and hair accessories in disinfectant. The reason for this is that people have been led to believe that the head lice will die within minutes when not on a head of hair. This is not true, as a head lice can survive for two days or slightly longer, even when not on the human head, and therefore can survive on a pillowcase and return to a treated head the next night.

          Lice eggs hatch in seven days so you should always comb through hair every day to remove any lice that have just hatched from the eggs as in seven days they can mature into adult lice and lay eggs themselves. Regular daily combing for two weeks, being sure that you are thorough will prevent any lice infection continuing and is friendlier than the use of chemicals.

          Welshwickedone © January 2007


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          • Bill, The / TV Programme / 54 Readings / 49 Ratings
            More +
            18.11.2006 08:15
            Very helpful



            Good drama from ITV

            The Bill
            For this review I have chosen to write a small round up style summary in to what The Bill is all about and rather than try and focus on storylines on a weekly basis I have written a brief summary by each cast member to give a clue as to there characters past.

            The Bill is an ITV drama, which is broadcast twice weekly although that is not how it originally began back in 1984. Back then, it was a seasonal show, which consisted of 50-minute episodes for the first three series. Then at the end of the 1987 series, ITV decided to make dramatic changes to The Bill deciding that due to its popularity they would change the show to a year-round drama consisting of two 25-minute weekly episodes. The show remained relatively unchanged apart from the cast until 1992 when they started showing hour-long specials several times during the year. These specials where such a great success that in 1993 the schedule again and introduced the new look Bill to the public in three half hour weekly episodes. The success just did not stop in the viewers ratings polls for The Bill and in 1998 the scheduling changed again allowing The Bill to be aired to the public twice a week in two hour long episodes, although this sometimes is reduced to one show per week due to program rescheduling for Live Events.

            The Bill is a program about the Police Force and is set in the fictional location of Sun Hill, Canley, London and regularly mentions other fictional stations in the fictional borough such as Barton Street, Stafford Row and Spicer Street, although these stations are never really seen. The Bill does vary slightly from most police dramas shown due to the fact that it shows the shared work load between shifts, CID, uniform and also includes some of the officers in there private lives although this is a more recent addition to the show.

            The show first came to life in the shape of a one off episode called Woodentop and starred WPC June Ackland (Trudie Goodwin) and DC Jim Carver (Mark Wingett). ITV had no idea of this one off drama's success and then proceeded to plan for The Bill from this idea, even choosing to have the two officers continue to use there cast names and build the force around them. Of course, WPC June Ackland still stars in the Bill today although now she is Sergeant Ackland and it is only recently that DC Carver left our screens.

            We have watched many cast members come and go over the years and the show use these cast members to bring us some excellent storylines. Tow of the more major storylines The Bill used though were surrounding the events of a firebomb at Sun Hill to allow ITV to present a whole new set as well as get rid of some old cast members and replace them with new. He other was when the whole of CID had to be revamped due to ratings issues and in came DS Don Beech and his corrupt way with a brilliant story line, which gripped the nation. As Don's storyline ended so did many other cast members to bring in fresh blood to the CID department of the show.

            The most recent storyline in The Bill has been an intense investigation to finally capture Dr Wilder, a paedophile who has been filming and having sex with under sixteen year olds and managing to escape the grasp of the law, until this week that is. The time also came this week for us to say goodbye to another cast member PC Yvonne Hemmingway as you moves on due to promotion, but who will replace her, well that is already decided and in comes a new sergeant to Sun Hill in the form of Gillian Taylforth as Sergeant Nikki Wright. Love is also in the air a great deal at the moment but will it last, watch and see for yourself.

            The Top Brass of Sun Hill
            Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Adam Okaro:-played by Cyril Nri.
            -------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
            Adam Okaro has only recently received this promotion after an emotional ride at Sun Hill where we have seen him work along side his former love interest Inspector Gina Gold, who is still a dear friend and helped him through he grief when he lost his wife and children through a road accident in a series of The Bill.

            Superintendent John Heaton:-played by Daniel Flynn.
            ------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------
            Superintendent Heaton is a new member to The Bill and yet he is already causing many waves amounts his troops. He is having an affair with Commissioner Hobbs and has many family issues as well in the shape of his wife and daughter. His different approach to policing is also upsetting many of the other officers in Sun Hill and he has already had a few run-ins with Inspector Gold.

            Detective Chief Inspector Jack Meadows:-played by Simon Rouse
            ------------------------------------------ ------------------------- ---------------------------
            DCI Meadows has been a loyal cast member for any years now first starring in The Bill in 1992 to run the CID department and work along side DI Frank Burnside a very unorthodox CID leader. Jack Meadows has had quite a rollercoaster of a ride during his time at Sun Hill yet he continues to lead the CID to crime solving at its best.

            Inspector Gina Gold:-played by Roberta Taylor
            -------------------------------------- ---------------------------------
            Soon after her unwelcome arrival at Sun Hill, it was discovered that Gina Gold had previously lived with Adam Okaro in her thirties and this did not help staff moral. This has began to change now with her now forging many close friendships, in particular with Sergeant Smith who helped her through her Cancer ordeal.

            Detective Inspector Neil Manson:-played by Andrew Lancel
            ------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------------------
            DI Manson joined Sun Hill in 2003 and immediately set off on the wrong foot when he was promoted to the post of DI, pushing DS Sam Nixon’s nose out of joint as she was acting DI at the time. He has also has many problems in his personal life during his time in Sun Hill particularly as many of the CID department dislike the fact that his Father-In-Law was Deputy Assistant Commissioner and probably had a helping hand in his promotion.

            Deputy Assistant Commissioner Georgia Hobbs:-played by Kazia Pelka
            ------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
            Only recently getting her promotion to Deputy Assistant Commissioner after the death of DI Masons Father-In-Law, Commissioner Hobbs is already revealing a few skeletons in her closet and using her affair with Superintendent Heaton to influence decisions affecting Sun Hill.

            CID of Sun Hill.
            DS Phil Hunter: - played by Scott Maslen.
            ------------------------ -------------------------------------
            During his time at Sun Hill DS Hunter has been in the lime light a great deal particularly because of his love life. He is a womanizer and a hard man but underneath all that, he now seems to be melting the icy heart of DS Nixon as they enter into a new relationship.

            DC Mickey Webb:-played by Chris Simmons.
            Although in 2003 we though we had said farewell to Mickey Webb as he moved to another station due to the ordeal he suffered at the hands of a villain, he has returned to Sun Hill in 2005 again to be taken under the wing of DCI Meadows after becoming close friends with him on a personal level. He is still troubled by his past ordeal but is trying his hardest to move on with the help of his friends.

            DS Samantha Nixon: - played by Lisa Maxwell
            --------------------------------- ------------------------------------
            DS Nixon arrived in Sun Hill back in 2002 and we have seen her ordeal with many personal issues involving the abduction of her Daughter followed by the Daughter having a Teenage pregnancy with a mad man. She has managed to overcome all this greatly although her love life is still a rollercoaster ride.

            DC Zain Nadir: - played by T.J.Ramini.
            ----------------------------- --------------------------------
            DC Nadir first came into the limelight in Sun Hill whilst on an under cover operation where he even baffled the Sun Hill officers as to his identity as an under cover cop. When it was final uncover though he left a few officers red faced and has continued upsetting even more by staying on as a CID officer in there patch.

            DC Terry Perkins:-played by Bruce Byron
            ---------------------- ------------------------------------------
            DC Perkins has shown a great deal of emotion through some very powerful storylines during his time in Sun Hill. Having to face his abuser and arrest his own Brother for being an abuser has made you wonder why he has to given up on his career. Still he battles against the forces of crime in his own unique way.

            DS Stuart Turner:-played by Doug Rao
            ------------------------- ---------------------------------
            Another recent addition to Sun Hill CID DS Turner has already turned a few heads during his short time with Sun Hill. He has already had an affair with DS Nixon, which went wrong and upset DS Hunter, and yet now they are disagreeing on DS Hunters intentions towards DS Nixon.

            Trainee DC Kezia Walker:-played by Cat Simmons
            ------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
            Having only just begun her CID training at Sun Hill, DC Walker has made a few mistakes, although she currently seems to be getting more than a helping hand from Sergeant Smith and not just at work either.

            Uniform Officers of Sun Hill.
            Sergeant June Ackland: - played by Trudie Goodwin
            Sergeant Ackland really has not had an easy ride during her time at Sun Hill. The only original cast member remaining, June has suffered everything from rape, her adopted Son turning up, being emotional torn apart by another officer and a failed marriage to DC Jim Carver. She has also had to see many fellow officers loose there lives and leave the patch, yet she still stays firm in her position at Sun Hill.

            Sergeant Dale Smith (Smithy):-played by Alex Walkinshaw
            -------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
            Sergeant Smith (Smithy) has shown a different side to his character since accidentally shooting a fellow officer and friend during his time in SO19. He has been a good friend to Gina Gold during her Cancer ordeal and his emotional side is starting to show through towards DC Walker.

            PC Dan Casper:-played by Chris Jarvis
            ------------------------- ------------------------------------
            Dan Casper has a passion for boxing and with the support of the Sun Hill crew has had recent success, but at a cost as he is currently dealing with an addiction for Anabolic Steroids.

            PC Emma Keane:-played by Melanie Gutteridge.
            --------------------------- ----------------------------------------------
            Now she is PC Emma Hinkley since her recent marriage to a Solicitor, although it was close as to whether she would actually get married after telling her future husband that she slept with PC Fletcher

            PC Lewis Hardy:-played by Aml Ameen
            ------------------------ ------------------------------------
            When PC Hardy first joined Sun Hill he had quite a few run-ins with PC Valentine, claiming the officer who is was partnered with was a racist, although his opinion has since changed, as he became close friends with PC Valentine when he saved Hardy's life.

            PC Leela Kapoor:-played by Seema Bowri
            --------------------------- -------------------------------------
            This officer is determined to get to the top and is regularly helping CID. She is hard working and very career orientated although I am sure everything will not always be so good for her.

            PC Honey Harmen:-played by Kim Tiddy.
            -------------------------- ----------------------------------
            PC Harmen finally seems to getting her act back together after her farce of a marriage to a wanted murder, although she is feeling a little lost at the moment with the departure of her close friend PC Yvonne Hemmingway

            PC Reg Hollis:-played by Jeff Stewart.
            ------------------------- ----------------------------------
            PC Hollis and his strange yet wonderful ways has been entertaining us now for many years although it has not always been fun a games for him. The first time we actually got to see PC Reg Hollis fall in love was back in 2004/2005 to Marilyn Chambers who worked on the front desk, although the writers of The Bill did not want this to last and his girlfriend was killed off in the Sun Hill fire that hit in 2005

            PC Roger Valentine:-played by John Bowler
            ------------------------------ -----------------------------------
            PC Marital problems and work problems has constantly plagued poor PC Valentine who is currently on compassionate leave due to illness from his nerves caused by work.

            PC Will Fletcher:-played by Gary Lucy
            ------------------------- ----------------------------------
            PC Fletcher always seems to be in the wrong lately when things go wrong for him at work and during his love life. First, he messes up a major case, then he discovers his friend PC Casper is on Steroids and finally he loses his chances of happiness when PC Keane marries the man he hates with a vengeance.

            PC Tony Stamp:-played by Graham Cole
            -------------------------- -----------------------------------
            PC Tony Stamp first came to Sun Hill in 1987 and been through many emotional issues in his time. He is close friends with June Ackland as they have now served together for many years, but Personal matters are now taking there toll. He is currently struggling with the cost of care for his ill Father, which has now forced him into having to take his chances by taking on a second job as a taxi driver.

            PC Diane Noble:-played by Kaye Wragg
            -------------------------- ----------------------------------
            PC Noble has yet to cause a major stir at Sun Hill as she has only recently joined the crew, but I am sure this pleasure will not last after all this is becoming yet another soap opera in its own way.

            Sergeant Nikki Wright:-played by Gillian Taylforth.
            -------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
            Sergeant Wright first hit our screens two weeks ago in her introduction episode to The Bill. As an officer at Barton Street caught up in an incident on Sun Hills patch it is needless to say, she trod on a few peoples toes already. She has since asked for a transfer to Sun Hill and is due to begin her first shift there within the next two weeks as the new Sergeant, The other officers of Sun Hill don't know this yet but needless to say it is not going to go down well.

            ©Welshwickedone November 2006©


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            • More +
              15.11.2006 08:35
              Very helpful



              About as interesting as watching paint dry.

              I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

              Yes the time has come around yet again for a selected bunch of Celebrities to be cast out in the wilderness for three weeks in the aim of becoming King or Queen of the jungle as we are yet again subjected to another year of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. In the first two years of running this programme, I will say fair enough to the programme name, but as the years keep rolling by the Celebrities seem to be getting fewer and fewer. Let’s face it with this year’s line up maybe they should consider re-naming the show I'm A Celebrity Has Been or Wannabee, Get Me In Here as that is what it has come down to. They have scraped around the barrel looking for a desperate bunch of Wannabee Famous so-called stars who are desperate to try to re-launch there career, have a taste of fame again, and shoved them out in the jungle to amuse us.

              This years so called Celebrities look a right sorry bunch, which to be honest if it was not for the camera's and the fact that the winner donates there prize to there favourite charity, I don't think anybody would watch this and nobody would even miss them from the real world.

              The 2006 Celebrities!

              David Gest, Lauren Booth, Matt Willis, Jason Donovan, Myleene Klass, Faith Brown, Phina Oruche, Toby Anstis, Jan Leeming and Scott Henshall.

              Yes, I know what you thinking, as I did, what a right bunch of wannabee's and have beens. Still, ITV have still chosen them to be this years class act and I am going to give you an insight into each of them to help those who don't know who they are or why they are even supposed to be famous.

              David Gest.
              This is the man who married Liza Minnelli then later the same year entered into a bitter slanging match of a divorce with her. He is known apparently for his career in the music industry, yet we all find that his name sticks out for his marriage farce to Minnelli and his facial surgery. Close friends with Michael Jackson, although how close we are not sure, maybe they shared the same plastic surgeon. This man has had several face-lifts, nips, tucks and eye treatment, yet he has yet to realise it is actually made matters worse as like many others who choose this route to youth and went over the top his face now looks like a plastic mould melting in the Australian sun. In the first 24 hours he has shown his true personality already with his vulgar comments and slandering of other jungle members, particularly picking on Jan Leeming as she was a News presenter, Lauren Booth as she gave the press many comments on his facial surgery efforts and even upsetting Faith Brown but suggesting her chest could 'breast feed them all with milk to keep them going'. He currently ranks highest in the most disliked stakes and is top choice by the Celebrities to be the first to walk out. Here’s hoping.

              Lauren Booth.
              To be totally honest when I first read her name and seen her face I still had no idea who she actually was, it was only after a little research that I found out. Apparently, a former model and well-known (?) journalist, which still did not bring her to mind the key fact that made me know who she was is the fact that she is the Sister-In-Law of our Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair. Well at least we know who she is now, but I certainly would not have said she was a Celebrity in any way, that is me though. Obviously having a famous father Mr Tony Booth, the actor and a famous sister in the shape of Cherie Blair the prime minister's wife, Lauren was feeling left out and decided it was her turn to try to make a name for herself. Lauren has already found herself in the firing line of David Gest for her comments in the press on his facial surgery it makes you wonder whom else she will target to run down in her attempt to climb the fame ladder.

              Matt Willis.
              Who an earth is Matt Willis? That is what I though and after again needing to research this person for my review, I discovered he is a former member of the once well-known band Busted. Struggling to get his life back on tracks after his band and fame went down the toilet along with thousands of pounds wasted in his boozed up binge drinking sessions. Over his battle with alcohol and in desperate need to make a name for himself, he has signed himself into this challenge after his major flop of an attempt at a solo career. What a great start to life this one has already had and all this by the age of 23, no wonder his produce John Lydon thought this show was a good idea for him.

              Jason Donovan.
              Yes, the Jason Donovan, former Neighbours heart-throb and close friend of Kylie Minogue although not blessed with quite the same level of fame as Kylie this former Aussie hunk is desperate to rebuild his life. After leaving Neighbours along with Kylie and each choosing to launch solo singing careers Jason Donovan did not quite make it like Kylie did. His first two or three songs were hits but that was about it and off he strolled to Broadway to star in the Musical Joseph and his Technicolor dream coat. For several years he performed in the musical as Joseph but this all came at a price as he choose to take the slippery slope down the drug addiction road. This just about finished his career although he has now cleaned himself up and overcome his addiction. This is his opportunity to try to regain the fame he once had and re-launch his career in singing.

              Myleene Klass.
              For those who did not know Myleene Klass was one of the five lucky winners of the Popstars, which launched her and the other four members to fame in a group, called Hearsay. What went wrong? Well just about everything, you could think of as Myleene constantly clashed in personality with other band member and now Corrie actress Kim Marsh. Such was the rivalry between these two that eventually Kim quite the band and soon after several songs just continued to fail to gain them any success. Promoted as this years I'm A Celebrity eye candy to keep the men watching is not exactly what I would call a great way to earn you fame, but Myleene does not seem bothered by this comment and if anything tries her hardest to ensure she lives up to this title in her skimpy clothing and swimwear.

              Faith Brown.
              Finally, another name that actually was familiar to me, although I have not heard the name for a long time. Faith Brown has not seen the fame light for a while now, but previous has fame in the form of thee role Anne Bradley in Brookside, she also starred in the Dr Who episode Attack of the Cybermen, where she played Flast. She went on from there to host her own chat show called The Faith Brown Chat Show (original, I know) where she entertained her audience with impersonations of Pam Ayres, Diana Ross and Angela Rippon to name a few. This fame did not last however as the show failed to really hit the lime light and was soon axed. She dwindled away after this though even after her attempts in 2001 to re-launch her career in a reality TV show I'm Famous and Frightened which she did go on to win, but sadly the show was not a big hit anyway. Bring on I'm a Celebrity for her next attempt to become famous again.

              Phina Oruche.
              Who on earth is she, well for those of you who did not know she starred as Liberty Baker in Footballer's Wives. This role has earned her a little fame, but obviously not enough in her eyes so she signed up for this to change that. She has starred in many other famous programmes making cameo appearances but they were not enough to get her name in lights as she desired. She is apparently feisty and has a short temper, which is hoped to show itself during the programme, but as yet, we have had nothing more than another Myleene Class attempt at being eye-candy for the men viewers. It is believed she was actually on the z-list for the show and only made it in by the sheer luck although this has not been confirmed.

              Toby Anstis.
              Those of you who are of the younger generation or have children in there early teens may remember this man. He first rose to fame as a children’s presenter in the CBBC Broom Cupboard as it was know. He was comical and a great children’s entertainer until he found himself wanting more than this and choose to move on to bigger and better things. The bigger and better things just seemed to pass him on by though with him only managing to make a small name for himself from the music show Ozone and guest presenting Top of the Pops, before that was axed as well. His move from there took him into a career as a Radio presenter, which he still does now for LISPING Heart FM. I have to confess though this would be my choice to win out of all the wannabee's here as he has already shown team play, support and comedy in his role in this show.

              Jan Leeming.
              Yes, the Jan Leeming former Newsreader from BBC has decided to take a leaf out of Jenny Bonds book in the idea that if she can do it and get herself a career outside the BBC news team then why shouldn't she. Although, she did try in the past without any success after leaving the BBC as a news reader maybe she thinks if people can see she is more than just a woman behind a desk that can read the news this will help. In the first 24 hours though, she hasn't really had much luck in that department failing her Bush Tucker Trial miserably and showing just how squeamish and flimsy she really is. Things are not looking to good for her and I think she would have to be second on my list to be walking out before evictions even begin.

              Scott Henshall.
              What can I say apart from what a selfish, self-centred, winging, miserable character we have here, and all this in just 24 hours. Anyway who is he I here you cry, well apparently he is famous for his fashion designs for stars such as Paris Hilton, Jasmine Leonard and Princess Tamara. His mission as he puts it for appearing on the show is to set things right for the Gay community. I mean nothing offensive by this comment I am just phrasing it exactly as he did. He is a bit late anyway as Wayne Sleep already did this and with flying colours in my opinion. Wayne was a credit and an inspiration to all during his time in the jungle, but you know how it is, just as Jan Leeming has jumped on the bandwagon copying Jenny Bond so we have Scott Henshall copying Wayne Sleep. Sad really, when you think this is all there hopes amount to is copying somebody else in the hope to grab some fame again.

              Well that's me done passing my individual comments about the so called Celebrities of the show, I think now would be a good time to give you an insight in to what the aim of the show actually is.

              About the Show.
              Ant (Anthony McPartlin) and Dec (Declan Donnelly) the famous Newcastle Duo who have a continuing success in the world of entertainment host the show itself. The show is now in its sixth instalment which has seen previous Tony Blackburn, Phil Tufnell, Kerry Katona, Joe Pasquale and Carol Thatcher all take the title of King/Queen of the Jungle and the time has come around again to crown a new King/Queen.

              The idea of the show is to send 10 Celebrities into the heart of the Australian Jungle for three weeks where they will be made to sleep in hammocks under the starry sky and live on basic rations of food and rice. If the celebrities want to eat a decent meal, they must earn them. This is done on a daily basis by the public voting for which Celebrity they want to see complete the Bush Tucker Trials. These trials are daily tasks, which make the celebrities come face to face with creepy crawlies, heights, caving, water and other unpleasant tasks to earn stars. For each star they earn the camp is rewarded with a meal, so the more stars the more meals earned. Due to the fall in numbers of viewers over the past two series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, the producers have promised to entertain us with more twists and turns never seen before as well as more adventurous Bush Tucker Trails, although whether they deliver this excitement remains to be seen.

              This could well be our last chance to watch I'm a Celebrity this year if the numbers of viewers does not increase as ITV have promised to axe the show if it fails again this year, but we will have to wait and see if that happens. Although this program was original thought to be fixed in some way and had the campers living a life of luxury as soon as the camera's went off air, this is not actually the case as it is filmed 24 hours a day to allow viewers to tune in and watch the campers when they choose.

              So Far.

              Day One.
              With only 24 hours gone and tempers are already beginning to fray in the camp with David Gest and his language, comments and horrific snoring. Jan Leeming openly volunteered herself to do the first Bush Tucker Trial which involved her being lowered down a cave and putting her hands in with all unpleasant creatures which she could not see to try and retrieve the stars from the holes. How did she do? Not very well at all, as in the 5 minutes she had, she spent most of her time squirming and only actually managing to retrieve three stars. Her lack of success was made even worse by the fact that she dropped one of the stars she got in the hole so only managed to get two meals for camp. When back at the camp she cried at her horrific ordeal as she called it, but when you think about it, she was the one who insisted on going first and she was not the only volunteer, so why make such a fuss. If she didn't want to do things like that why is she even there and why volunteer.

              I will say however even at this early stage, I have already made my selection for who I would like to see win. I think this year Toby Anstis should win as he above all others has already shown us comedy, team work, supporting and has not done any back-stabbing yet (although this could change).

              The votes are in and counted and the Public has chosen David Gest to complete Bush Tucker Trial number two.

              Day Two.
              Yes another day of sheer misery subjecting myself to watching this rubbish. I must confess though I only really wanted to watch today’s show to see David Gest be subjected to the Bush Tucker Trail. I had great images of him screaming like a big girl when he did the trial, but credit where credit is due, he did the trial really well. Yes, he was using a few choice words, but that was hardly surprising when you think what he was up against. Well done on six stars and six meals for the wingers.

              The rest of the show in brief contained Lauren Booth giving us her political opinion and Faith Brown showing us more of her chest than any of us rally want to see. Tomorrow sees Scott Henshall voted to do the Bush Tucker Trial.

              Day Three.

              Today, Scott Henshall having to face the Bush Tucker Trail called Jungle Bogey entertained us. How did he do? Well let us just say what a wimp. He only managed to get through one song and only earned a single star. Well he just made himself look the biggest, most pathetic, weedy little girl I have ever seen and I think we have our first contender for walking out.

              Elsewhere in the camp David Gest and Toby Antstis have decided that they are going to kill our ears with a rap song and Jam Leeming is not cut out for this show at all. The next Bush Tucker Trial is requiring the participation of two happy campers and who have the public chosen for the high wire trial, well the voting public are obviously either not impressed or want the camp to go hungry as they choose Jan and Scott for tomorrow Bush Tucker Trial. I personally think the public have voted well in the hope that all will become too much for these two idiots who wanted to come on the show and do not want to do the tasks.

              To be honest watching this programme is a trial within itself as I am fed up with the constant crying and complaining from the campers although on saying that David Gest has certainly surprised me as I really thought he would not last or manage the Bush Tucker Trial as well as he did. Well done to him for that, but come on you other babies, shape up or ship out, as we do not want to watch you cry.

              Day Four.
              As Day four arrived in camp so did the news that a new arrival was to join the group of campers today. Former Eastenders star Dean Gaffney arrived all nice and clean and tidy in his Bush gear and then had the shock of his life when he discovered he had to do a live Bush Tucker Trial before he could enter the camp. Needless to say, he did not take it well; in fact, he took it so bad that the on hand medic Bob had to calm him down. Hyperventilating Dean did himself very proud for the hungry camp though as he continued through his trial despite nearly fainting, continually retching, wincing and hyperventilating he gained a massive nine stars and over came one of the toughest Bush Tucker Trials we have seen yet. Good on you Dean, you did yourself proud and showed some of those babies in camp how to play the game.

              The Bush Tucker Trial voted for by the public for Jan and Scott was not such a roaring success although it was better than there previous efforts. Along there trial they managed to get five balloons which equalled five stars and five meals until good old Jan let go of one of there balloons only leaving them with four. She just does not have a clue has she? The backstabbing and bad feelings continue to flow in the camp but how long before they boil over, not long at this rate in my opinion.

              The votes are in and counted and the camper set to do tomorrows Bush Tucker Trial is Phina Oruche, probably because she is bitching all the time. Let us see how good she is tomorrow during her Bush Tucker Trial.

              Day Five.
              Sadly I am unable to comment on th next few days as I have been unwell and therefore not been watching much TV. Rather than just copy from press the events I am now going to finalize this review and update again with the results on evictions and winners as they happen.

              Welshwickedone © November 2006


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              • Bush FC026 Deep Fryer / Deep Fryer / 28 Readings / 25 Ratings
                More +
                14.11.2006 07:57
                Very helpful


                • Reliability


                10/10 for a great product

                Bush Deep Fat Fryer Chrome FC026.

                Yet again, the time came for one of my beloved small kitchen appliances to take itself into retirement last week after five years loyal service. Now do not get me wrong the appliance served me well and in my opinion gave a good loyal service for a deep fat fryer. Time for another shopping venture, which I was not envying at this time of year, so I thought I would first chance my luck and browse through the countless sales leaflets I am always receiving from many mail order companies.

                Usually you find they are always full of sales on products and appliances that you do not need to replace, or would ever consider buying. However, this time lady luck was shining down on me and whilst browsing I found that homeshoppingdirect.com had a half price offer on the Bush FC026 Deep Fat Fryer. It was on offer for £24.99 reduced from £49.99 and I liked the appearance of the fryer straight away. This particular Bush Fryer is also available in silver/black and has a separate code FC026SIL however; this one was only reduced to £28.99 and in my opinion was not as nice in appearance as the chrome model.

                I placed my order immediately as I wanted to insure they had stock and I was luck and whilst ordering I was informed that it was being dispatched direct from the manufacturer and would arrive within three weeks. I did not really mind this as I was getting a bargain and the time scale is about the same on all goods being dispatched form the manufacturer. Anyway let us cut to the chase, I was very surprised when 6 days later my deep fat fryer was delivered.

                The fryer arrived in a large box, which displayed a picture of the fryer on the front and was securely sealed. The fryer was extremely well packed inside the box as well to ensure there is no damage during transit. After unpacking the appliance and checking it for damage, it was time to get the fryer ready for use.

                The Fryer.

                The fryer is an oblong in shape and the base unit has two black plastic handles on the chrome outer casing to allow you to move the fryer around with ease. The fryer has a chrome lid, which also has a black handle that matches the side handles. The lid itself is actually only to be used as a dust cover for the fryer and must never be used whilst you are cooking with the appliance. The lid is only to be replaced when the fryer has fully cooled and this will prevent the lid becoming mis-shaped and to stop any dust getting into the oil.

                The temperature dial of the fryer is located on a solid piece black backing unit, which attaches to the main base unit by a clip sliding function, which then keeps it securely in place. This black unit has the electrical cord attached to it and contains the fryers element. This is a great feature as it allows you to remove all the power and element completely from the base unit and fat for ease of cleaning and safety.

                The base unit of the fryer is a black oblong bowl, which is made of heatproof material and sits inside the chrome outer casing, which contains the appliance handles securely. This allows you to remove the bowl containing the oil completely for ease of cleaning and oil changing. The chrome base outer casing also has four plastic feet to prevent the fryer from sliding on the work surface when in use.

                The temperature control for the fryer is a dial with the temperatures clearly marked around the outside if the dial, which allows you to select the temperature you, require with ease. This dial temperature range offers a feature of temperature selection from 0ºC to 190ºC with the settings from 130ºC being clearly marked all the way up to 190ºC in 10ºC intervals but prior to that it is similar in looks to an increasing arrow. This dial also contains an off setting enabling you to turn all the power off to the appliance from the temperature dial. I personally although using this function still prefer to switch the power off at the plug and remove the plug from the wall for added safety.

                The temperature panel also contains a red and a green indicator light. The red light comes on and stays on as long as there is power to the appliance and gives a clear instruction as to whether you have turned the dial to the off position or not. The green indicator light comes on when you turn the appliance on but will go out to let you know that the fat is at the correct temperature. When you add your food, the green light will come on again but will go out when the food is cooked.

                The Deep Fat Fryer comes with a snug fitting food basket, which has a detachable handle, which makes it even easier to clean. The basket has a clip style feature on its side to allow you to hang the basket on the edge if the fryer base unit to allow you to drop the food in to the hot oil slowly and safely. This fryer suggests that you keep the basket out of the oil whilst heating the oil for cooking as this is a safer and secure method recommended by the manufacturers.

                The temperature casing unit has a hollow section on its rear side, which is there to allow you to store the cable and plug away safely when the appliance is not in use and gives the appliance a much tidier appearance when not in use. Finally, the fryer comes complete with an excellent and detailed instruction manual, which gives you pictures and clear instructions on assembling, using cleaning and appliance safety. The instruction manual also gives a list of temperature settings, which they suggest, types of foods; however, they still recommend you follow the foods cooking instructions to ensure food is cooked correctly.

                This appliance is supplied with a one-year’s manufacturers warranty which will happily repair or replace and faulty parts or the appliance providing the appliance has been used for domestic purposes only and within the manufacturers guidelines. Please note none of the parts of this fryer are user-replaceable or user repairable.

                I have already had the pleasure of using this appliance three times and must say I found it very easy to use. I was very surprised at how quickly the appliance got the oil up to temperature. I did find the basket to be very deceiving but in a good way do not get me wrong. I found I was able to cook more food in one go with this fryer even though I cooked enough to feed half of my street. As I assembled the appliance, it made me realise how easy this appliance was going to be to clean and I must say I was very happy with this as it is not the nicest of household tasks but this appliance has the features to make it so much easier and safer.

                The instruction booklet of this appliance was great and very easy to follow, but the thing I love the most about this appliance is the price I paid and the look of the appliance as it reminds me of a professional deep fat fryer. So far, I give this product 10/10, which as you know is rare for me, but the facts I am face with I cannot give it any other result. The appliance is actually even quite quiet when it is cooking especially when you consider it does not have the cover on it during cooking. I highly recommend this deep fat fryer form Bush to all.

                Welshwickedone© November 2006


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                • Wella Hair Streaking Kit / Hair Care / 36 Readings / 34 Ratings
                  More +
                  12.11.2006 16:57
                  Very helpful



                  9.9/10 top quality and great results

                  Wella Hair Streaking Kit.

                  My Daughter has reached that age where having your hair coloured is the in thing. Fortunately for us, she has a Mother who is a trained hairdresser and fortunately for me as it is saving me a fortune as it now costs around £30 to have your hair highlighted in a Salon. After months of nagging me, I finally caved in and agreed to highlight her hair for her yesterday. So off we ventured to Sainsbury’s to purchase a kit and on returning home it was grab a chair, painkillers and the kit and away we go.

                  The Kit.
                  The kit we choose was the Wella Hair Streaking Kit, which cost £4.79, and although faced with a few to choose from, I opted for the Wella as I have used it in the past on my own hair and always been happy with the results. Although I have been using the Boots home brand lately, I choose this one, as I did not want to travel all the way to my nearest boots store. The kit comes in a pale blue box and has a woman with short blonde highlighted hair on the front. The kit contains everything you will need to perform highlights at home.

                  1 Bottle of Crème Developer 75mls
                  1 Sachet of Lightening Powder 35g
                  1 Mixing Tray
                  1 Applicator Brush with Hook
                  1 Sachet of Conditioning Treatment 10ml
                  1 Pair of high quality Protective Gloves
                  1 Highlighting Cap
                  1 Instruction Leaflet.

                  The crème developer comes in an opaque coloured plastic bottle with a white plastic lid. The lightening powder comes in foil-sealed packets, as does the conditioning shampoo. The applicator brush and hook are white sturdy plastic and the mixing tray is slightly flexible and made of white plastic. The gloves in this kit I must say are great compared too many other colourant kits I have used. Wella have chosen to opt for the latex style gloves in there product rather than the clear plastic ones which are always too small and impossible to get on your hands. These gloves on the other hand are stretchy and very easy to put on and it is a great improvement as they are more sung fitting making application easier whilst wearing the gloves. Finally, the cap itself is plastic with tie straps to secure it. The holes in the cap are pre-punched and the cap has a thin clear plastic lining on the inside, which you have to pierce with the hook when pulling the hair through the holes. This is to prevent the bleach seeping through the pre-punched holes onto your hair underneath the cap and causing blotching.

                  Before You Start.
                  It is extremely important that you read the instruction leaflet fully before you begin. You must also do a strand test as per the instruction leaflet to see the colour you will achieve and the development time required. Finally make sure all the contents of the kit are present and correct before you start.

                  Ensure your hair is dry and knot free before you begin. Place the Highlighting cap securely on your head, tying the strings around you neck to keep it in place firmly. Starting from the crown, begin to pull through strands of hair through the pre-punched holes using the hook end of the applicator brush. Try to keep the amount of the hair you pull through even so that you get an even result at the end of the highlighting process.

                  Once you have pulled hair evenly through all the holes and are happy that you have an even look all over, get a fine toothed comb and comb through the pulled through hair to remove any looped hair that may be present as this will cause a very uneven finish if the loops are not removed. It is then time to mix the bleach powered and the Crème Developer in the mixing tray as instructed in the leaflet. Add all the powder and liquid do not try to measure out half portions. When mixing the liquid try to blend it together by folding first as stirring together fast can cause the powder to puff out of the tray and possibly being inhaled.

                  Once the mixture is fully blended and is creamy in consistency with no lumps you should start applying it to the pulled through hair a few strands at a time. Always wear the protective gloves and applicator brush to apply the bleach mixture to your hair and ensure all the hair is fully covered. After this is done, it is time to allow the powder to develop, but be sure not to cover the mixture with a bag or anything, as this will cause excessive hair damage and over developing with a possibility of receiving burns.

                  Once the development process is over it is time to move onto the final stage of the process. Without removing the cap rinse all the crème from your hair with warm water until it runs clear, then you can remove the highlighting cap. Once you remove the cap, wet all your hair, wash with the shampooing conditioner, and then rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear. Once this is completed you can then dry your hair as normal as the process is now complete.

                  Note:- Once you have mixed all the liquid and powder dispose of any which is unused immediately, do not under any circumstances try to save any for use another time.

                  The Result
                  After the complete process and 40 minutes development time my daughter was extremely pleased with the result as was I. The highlights came out a pale golden blonde in colour and were not orange or brassy in any way. My daughter is fortunate as she has medium to dark blonde hair, but I have light brown hair and have always had a similar result after about 45 minutes.


                  I am not going to list all the ingredients of the kit but I will say that you must be aware that this product contains Hydrogen Peroxide, Ammonium Persulfate, Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide and many other chemicals and you should always read all the contents before you begin in case of any allergies you may have.

                  Do not use this product if you have had any kind of reaction to any other hair colourants and always read storage instructions carefully.

                  Welshwickedone© November 2006


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                  • More +
                    09.11.2006 09:01
                    Very helpful



                    Top marks for quality and all round service


                    Mason's Arms.

                    The Address.
                    Mason's Arms
                    10 Old St. Mellon's Road
                    South Glamorgan
                    CF3 2TX
                    Tel:- 0870 2134744
                    Fax:- 01633 681348

                    About The Mason's Arms
                    The Mason's Arms is a small cottage style Pub/Restaurant located on the Old St. Mellon's Road in Marshfield on the borders of Cardiff and Newport. Off the main roads, which link Cardiff and Newport you would think, it would struggle for business when the Main Roads host many other Pub and Restaurants like The Coach and Horses, The Toby Carvery and The Heron Marsh, but this is not the case. To have a Sunday Lunch at The Mason's Arms you need to book at least two weeks in advance and there is never any spare tables should you call in on the off chance.

                    These changes have only taken place over the last eight months when the pub was taken over by new management and given a completely new lease of life. On arrival at The Mason's Arms, you are greeted by a very large cottage in appearance from the outside with a good-sized customer car park at the side of it with ample spaces for 15-20 cars. The outside of the building is tastefully yet traditionally decorated and very well maintained with a clean, rubbish free, well maintained car parking facility. In the front of the main building is a small but well maintained and clean beer garden with eight tables, which have umbrella on them during the summer months.

                    The Mason's Arms has good access for the disables with drop curb access to the entrance path and easy access through the main double opening doors. Everything in The Mason's Arms is on ground floor and has good-sized gaps between the tables to the rest room facilities.

                    Inside The Mason's Arms is tastefully decorated to keep a friendly yet traditional feel to the pub with a large wooden bar directly in front of you as you enter. The flooring around the bar area has real wood flooring which leads up to the carpeted area where all the tables for dining are located. There is plenty of natural lighting from the many traditional windows around the dining tables and the bar, which is not located by any windows, is very well lit. The flooring and carpet is clean in appearance and the decoration in all is well maintained. All the dining tables are well-spaced and solid wood with comfortable backed wooden chairs with arms arranged well all around them to suit the needs of the required number of diners. The tables are all set out and well presented with menus, cutlery, salt, pepper and serviettes presented for each of the diners.

                    When you first come in you will be shown to your table after you purchase any drinks you require and then when you are ready you can simply return to the till area to order your required meals. Meals have always arrived within 15 minutes of ordering whenever I have dined in The Mason's Arms and are always well presented with generous portions and piping hot.

                    The Mason's Arms offers a wide selection of Beer, Lager. Cider, Spirits, Wine and mixers to choose from as well as tea or coffee if you prefer.

                    Sadly they do not offer an alternative vegeterian Menu on Sundays, but they do have these options on there standard daily menu.

                    The Menu.
                    The Mason's Arms offers a traditional Sunday lunch menu with a selection of beef, lamb, chicken or pork with Yorkshire pudding roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. This traditional Sunday Lunch costs £6.95 for an adult portion and £3.95 for a Childs portion. In my opinion, it is great value for money when you see the size of the meal you are presented with and the quality of the food.

                    If you prefer not to have a traditional Sunday Lunch there is a selective menu with starters, main courses and deserts for you to choose from with starters costing £2.95-£3.95, Main Courses ranging from £5.65-£8.95 and deserts ranging from £2.95 up. They do offer as special price on a combined menu such as starter plus main meal for slightly cheaper, but this is not one of the many chain restaurants with a set menu and meal deal offer.

                    The Meal.
                    The meal itself was very well presented and very tasty. I had the Lamb Sunday lunch and was very happy with the quality of the meal I received. On serving the meal, they presented us with an oval plate containing a good portion of the selected meat, a good-sized medium Yorkshire pudding and four well-cooked good-sized Roasted Potatoes all covered in a traditional home made tasty gravy. With this, you are given a side dish containing a good potion of new boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower that were all clean, well cooked and very well presented. They do serve these in individual portions if required but ours were larger double portions wit more than enough vegetables for the two meals it was meant to accompany.

                    You are given the serving utensils with the vegetables, and you are supplied with another large gravy boat full of traditional gravy. When the staff brings you your meal they ask you if you require any sauces to accompany your meal and are very polite and pleasant.

                    The meat was extremely tender, falling apart as you cut it and it was not fatty in any way but had a lovely taste to it. The roasted potatoes were all-medium to large and were crispy on the outside without being over cooked or over crispy and they were lovely and fluffy inside. The broccoli was excellently cooked and dark green in appearance yet still containing its full flavour. The carrots were cooked very well and were full of flavour and I found it unusual as most restaurants slice there carrot in juliennes these days but not The Mason's Arms, they have chosen to stick to the traditional cutting in circles. The cauliflower was cooked to perfection yet still maintained its bright white appearance and had a lovely taste to it. The gravy had a lovely meaty taste to it and was of good texture by not being too thick or thin with a lovely beefy aroma.

                    The Facilities.
                    The restroom facilities were clean, tidy, well maintained, tastefully decorated and easy accessible for the disabled. They were well lit and rubbish free with a good clean fresh aroma that greeted you upon entry. All the sinks were clean and tidy with full soap dispensers and working hand-driers. There we plenty of toilet paper in all the cubical and paper towel holders were all full. The floor was carpets, clean and rubbish free and all the mirrors were clean and smear free. I give the toilet facilities 10/10.

                    The Staff / The Atmosphere.
                    The staff in The Mason's Arms is all extremely well presented with a set dress code and all look very smart. They were polite, helpful and made sure everything was good for you from the service to the quality of food. They come to your table during your meal to check that everything is ok with the meal and if you require anything. They are polite and courteous and regularly check that there are no empty plates and glasses left on the tables for to long. After out meal the manager came around the table and made sure everything was ok and we were happy as he did with all the people dining at the pub at the end of there meal. He prides himself on the service he provides and that his food and staff are up to standard and this has given him a great success and has made him able to achieve such high quality and many booking.

                    The Mason's Arms is doing a special Christmas dinner menu, which they opened for booking two weeks ago, and is already three quarters booked up. We were considering booking but probably will not bother but when my Father enquired about this, the manager explained to make up our mind soon as they are always fully booked before the end of November.

                    Payment Method.
                    The Mason's Arms offers several methods of payment, which are Cash, major Credit Card and Debit Cards, and you, can leave your card open if you wish whilst you enjoy the great atmosphere.

                    My Summary.
                    This Pub offers a great atmosphere and a top quality of service, which makes the whole visit thoroughly enjoyable. I would give them a massive 9.9/10 for quality of service, quality of food, plus atmosphere and appearance. I highly recommend The Mason's Arms to everyone.


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                    • kingolotto.co.uk / Internet Site / 29 Readings / 26 Ratings
                      More +
                      08.11.2006 08:16
                      Very helpful



                      Good site with free prizes

                      Kingolotto.co.uk. Review.

                      ***Please note this is a UK only website.***

                      Web Address:- http://www.kingolotto.co.uk

                      As per usual, I return from a week off from the internet and find myself faced with an email account full with free offers and reviews. I finally get around to reading all the review, but this still leaves my email account full off mostly junk offers. Me being the way I am though cannot resist the temptation of checking through every email though just in case there is something good going free. Whilst slowly and seemingly never ending email browsing I came across an email invitation for kingolotto.co.uk and decided to investigate further.

                      What is kingolotto?
                      Kingolotto.co.uk is a UK based free lottery site, which you can join, and play ten times daily for a chance of winning a selection of great prizes. Kingolotto is funded purely on an advertising and sponsor basis and will cost you nothing to join or play. It is fun, colourful, and very easy to navigate, but you must be over 18 years of age to be able to register and play.

                      Becoming a Member.
                      To become a member of kingolotto.co.uk is easy and most importantly free. The whole registration process takes about three minutes and all you need is an active email account. Click on the link Join Now, and enter your details in the sections requested. You need to provide your first name, surname, date of birth, title, email address, a password of your choice and your postcode. If you have an email address for referral please make sure you add it in the box supplied as the person who referred you is eligible to earn more kingo points. Once you have filled in all the relevant boxes you click submit and you are then fully registered to pay ten free grids daily for a chance to win some great prizes.

                      How to Play.
                      To play kingolotto you are given a grid, which is numbered from 1 to 49 from which you have to select six numbers you wish to play. When you have chosen your six numbers you can save them as favourites if you wish and then you must click on the confirm grid button to continue. Once you have confirmed your grid you simply select one of the banner links from the four you are offered and this will take you to a new web link. It also opens a new window, which lets you know when your numbers have been entered and contains the link to take you back to the web site to complete your next grid. You do not have to take advantage of any off the banner offers to play kingolotto the choice is entirely yours.

                      Once you have played all ten grids hat is it until the next draw. When the draw is completed, you will be notified via email of the winning numbers and your ten grid selection numbers. This email will let you know how many numbers on each grid you matched and what you won. If you have correctly matched between one and four numbers correctly, you will win kingopoints. If you match five numbers correctly, you can win vouchers worth up to £30 and if you match all six numbers correctly, you win the star prize of a dream holiday worth up to £8000. The smaller kingopoint prizes varies dependant on the number of matches you obtained.

                      You are awarded 30 kingopoints when you first join kingolotto.co.uk and you are able to earn more when you match four or less numbers on the lotto. These points can be saved up and you can exchange them for prizes from the prize section on the website. You need a minimum of 2000 points to be able to exchange for a prize but the more points you save the bigger the prize you can earn. There is also a friend referral system on kingolotto, which you can earn more kingopoints, it works on the basis that you get b75 kingopoints for every friend you refer who joins kingolotto.

                      My Opinion.
                      I joined kingolotto just four days ago and I must say I make sure I play everyday. It is free so why not in my opinion and the site is fun and very easy to navigate. I must say I am not one for referral systems but I play just for the chance to win and earn kingopoints as well. It only takes about ten minutes a day to play the ten grids and when you think, it is 100% free for a chance to win some good prizes then why not. I like the prize system that they have on offer, which allows you to save your kingopoints and exchange them for prizes and in my opinion that is a bonus, as you do not get many free sites that offer this system. I do wonder however if this site is linked with play and win in any way as when you look at the monkey logo the site has chosen to use it does look very similar to the one used on play and win. I have not mentioned it above but the site also contains links which enable you to view the list of winners and also a link which allows you to manage your account so if any of your details change they can easily be altered in that section. There is not much more I can really say about this site except, give it a go, as it is fun and most important it is 100% free so why not join.

                      Welshwickedone © November 2006.


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                      • Coming To America (DVD) / DVD / 45 Readings / 40 Ratings
                        More +
                        07.11.2006 08:01
                        Very helpful



                        A must watch film.

                        Coming to America. (Film Review Only)
                        ----------------------------- -------------------------------------

                        Saturday night in and the night before Bon Fire night. A nice quiet night in front of the TV where I can put my feet up and settle down to watch a film, or so I thought. Many people seem to have forgotten the fact that November 5th is Bon Fire Night, not November 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and certainly not October. Sadly my relax and watch a film had to be delayed until the continuing bombardment of loud bangs and flashes had calmed down at least, which finally happened at 10pm. Hurray get out the flags peace and quiet at last, so feet up, grab controllers and scan the channels for something to watch. Finally whilst browsing I noticed that on Paramount Comedy +1 was Coming To America, a film which I have seen many times before but still found amusing, so that was my choice of viewing sorted. Still, enough of my moaning and complaining about life and down to reviewing....

                        Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is finally turning 21 and as future heir to the throne of Zamunda, he is set to meet his chosen bride of his arranged marriage. Prince Akeem is unhappy about this and wants to choose his own bride so he has an idea. During his Birthday party that night Prince Akeem approaches his father King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) about his feelings but the King gets the wrong idea and although agrees to Akeem going to America, but still continues with the arranged marriage plans in forty days, thinking Akeem just needs to find a woman and get this out of his system. Prince Akeem takes along his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to America and they go to visit Queens thinking this will be an ideal place to find Akeem a bride.

                        When in America, Prince Akeem wants to keep his wealth a secret and chooses to stay in a run down boarding house and get a job to blend in so that when he finds a bride she will love him for himself not because he is a wealthy Prince. He finds himself staying in a boarding house slum run by a heartless Landlord (Frankie Faison) and getting a job at McDowell’s owned by Cleo McDowell (John Amos) and his daughters Lisa (Shari Headley) and Patrice (Allison Dean). Prince Akeem falls for Lisa but she is dating Darryl Jenkins (Eriq La Salle), son of the creator of Soul Glo so he ends up going on a double date with Lisa's sister Patrice. Akeem is not put off by this though and is determined to win Lisa's affections, which he eventually starts to do when things go wrong with Lisa and Darryl.

                        Just as things are going great for Akeem and Semmi is getting to enjoy himself too, things take a turn for the worst with the arrival of the King and Queen to get there son to return for his wedding. What happens next, well that you will have to watch to find out...

                        My Opinion.
                        To read my synopsis I even confess myself it does not sound a funny film but to watch it and see the comedy incorporated by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall soon makes you change that opinion. Eddie Murphy has a comedy genius all of his own and the performance he gives this is no exception. You soon find yourself in rib wrenching laughter fits as you watch his performance and how he has incorporated great comedy into not only his character but within the film storyline as well. Has he met his comedy match though in Arsenio Hall, in my opinion yes. What a fantastically funny performance from another great comedy actor in the shape of Arsenio Hall. The faces he can pull and the comedy he gives his character makes you see a great film performance from this great actor and comedian.

                        Well matched? Definitely a yes from me! There comedy timing is perfect and each compliments the others comedy genius uniquely, the only shame is that this is the only film they ever made together. Shame really, but inevitable I suppose with them both having great independent careers of there own. James Earl Jones a man only rarely connected to comedy films gives himself another credit to his career with a great performance in this film as the King. There could have been no better choice in my opinion for the role then him with his fantastic deep voice and yet quirky ways which come through great in his film. Madge Sinclair stars a Queen Aoleon, Prince Akeems mother in this film and gives us a great performance although does not really have much in the way of comedy to come to grips with, however, that does not cause any problems to her performance, role in the film, or the storyline in any way.

                        Shari Headley gives us and excellent performance as Lisa McDowell and brings realistic qualities to her character that makes it very interesting, yet convincing and great to watch. The performances from John Amos, Eriq La Salle and Frank Faison all give us excellent performances to watch and enjoy as do all the other actors who appear in this film. We also get brief cameo appearances from Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as Randolph and Mortimer Duke from Trading Places, another Eddie Murphy comedy classic to entertain us in the film, which I thought was very funny and well incorporated.

                        John Landis directs coming to America and I feel he has given us an excellent and very entertaining film. John Landis is now a very accomplished Director who has brought us other great entertainment films such as Trading Places, An American Werewolf in London, The Three Amigos, Oscar and Spies like Us. He does a fantastic job with this film giving it great entertainment value in my opinion.

                        Finally, my review would not be complete without mentioning the Barber Shop scenes that regularly appear through the film in which we see both Murphy and Hall dress up as different characters in the film and again give us very entertaining and comical performances to entertain us. Eddie Murphy not only stars as Prince Akeem in the film, but as Clarence, Randy Watson and Saul, with Arsenio Hall taking on the characters of the extremely ugly woman in the club, Morris, Reverend Brown as well as his main character Semmi. I think this film deserves and excellent 9.7/10 for its great comedy and entertainment value. To me it does not matter how many times I watch it, I still find it very funny every time.

                        Technical Information.
                        Eddie Murphy Prince Akeem / Clarence / Randy Watson / Saul.
                        Arsenio Hall Semmi / Ugly Woman in Club / Morris / Reverend Brown
                        James Earl Jones King Jaffe Joffer
                        Paul Bates Oha
                        Madge Sinclair Queen Aoleon
                        Sheila Johnson Lady-in-waiting
                        Cuba Gooding Jr. Boy in chair.
                        Eriq La Salle Daryl Jenks
                        Shari Headley Lisa McDowell
                        Allison Dean Patrice McDowell
                        John Amos Cleo McDowell

                        Director John Landis
                        Certificate 15 years and over
                        Year 1988
                        Screen Widescreen 1.78:1 Anamorphic
                        Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1), German
                        Subtitles Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish.
                        Duration 1 hour and 52 minutes (approx)

                        Interesting Film Facts.
                        In addition to my review, I thought it would be a nice touch to add one or two additional interesting facts about the film for everyone to read. The first is that during the scene where we first meet the Barber in his shop we see a young boy having his haircut. This boy went on to become a star in his own right since appearing in this film as the boy was none other than a very young Cuba Gooding Jnr. Another actor who made a cameo appearance in this film was Samuel L Jackson as the hold-up man. Finally, my last interesting film fact is a major error made during this film in which as the Landlord shows Murphy and Hall the room he tells them the former tenant was a blind man and there was only one window in the room facing a brick wall, yet when they enter the room there is no brick wall across window and later Eddie Murphy is standing on the balcony outside the window with Hall looking out at him from a second window in the room.

                        I hope you enjoyed my review and take the time to give this film a viewing.

                        Welshwickedone © November 2006.


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                        • Woolworths / Archive Shopping / 36 Readings / 33 Ratings
                          More +
                          06.11.2006 09:22
                          Very helpful



                          I will stick to 28 east Retail Park. in Newport.


                          Newport is lucky in the fact that it has two Woolworth stores for customers to visit. In my opinion that is just as well as they are both so different because the main City Centre store in the Kingsway Centre is a nightmare to visit, but the larger store in 28east retail park is great. Having paid visits to both stores within the last two weeks I decided to write a review on the store I received most problems with, I will give credit to the other store though as it was a very pleasant visit.

                          Woolworths is a subsidiary company of its US parent group F.W.Woolworths that first started trading as a five and dime store in the US in 1878. It was foundered by Frank Winfield Woolworth which soon gained massive success and led to major expansions across the US and soon UK.

                          The first Woolworths store was opened in the UK in 1909 and was based in Liverpool. The company gained the same great success in the UK as it did in the US and continued its development across the UK and Germany, Mexico and South Africa. There are Woolworths stores in Australia and New Zealand however, these are operated by Woolworths Limited and have no historical connection in any way to the US Woolworths Group plc.

                          Woolworth’s main aim is to offer customers value-for-money on an extensive range of products including, entertainment, confectionary, clothing, toys, games, stationary, homewares and much more and has managed to grow into a well-known brand name across households around the UK.

                          Kingsway Centre Store.
                          When you are approaching this store, you are greeted by a large entranceway, which is well lit, well maintained and clean in appearance, which is great for access for the disabled as well. This store is all on one level and as you enter the store, you have the music, entertainment and gaming centre to your right. This section is quite large and well stocked with good presentation but it does have very small aisles. To the left on entry you find the sweets and special offers surrounding the main checkout area. Silly really, as they have used the sweet displays as queuing guides for customers with very little room to move. The main central aisle is very large in the front entrance area of the store but as you travel through to the next sections, you notice that is narrows very dramatically.

                          As the main aisle narrows, you are greeted by the main toy section of the store, which runs the rest of the length of the store on the right hand side whilst on the left you have the stationary section. The aisle width between each of the individual toy sections is very narrow by the fact that you have to squeeze past a single person just to get past them in the aisle when walking and if using a mobility scooter or wheel chair you actually use up the whole width of the aisle. The same problem occurs around the whole store in this manner as on the left straight after the stationary you have the homewares, then the clothing, then the accessories.

                          The whole store itself is not massive and yet they have chosen to include a very extensive range for a very small size store, which I find strange. The fact is that it is difficult to travel around the store even when quiet and that no matter when you go in there you always seem to be greeted by a queue at the checkouts. There always seem to be plenty of staff on the shop floor and whenever I have had to approach them, they have always been very polite and helpful as well as smart and well presented. They seem to have too many staff on the shop floor and not enough staff covering the checkouts.

                          Christmas time in this store is a nightmare as the main checkout area only have three tills and getting to them when they have even more displays of Christmas stock is virtually impossible. There are tills at the entertainment desk and customer services, but they only ever seem to have one of the two tills there open and you can only use that if you purchase from the entertainment area. Further down the store on the left hand side there is another two checkouts hidden away out of sight and by them is a single changing room area for customers. I have yet to go in this store and find these tills open but regularly see staff hovering around the area.

                          My recent visit was to purchase three items for Christmas and what a nightmare it was. After blocking many aisles with my scooter and finally making my way around the assault coarse of additional Christmas displays, I finally reached the checkout area or should I say queue to the checkout area. I joint the queue being about the twentieth customer in the queue and had yet to try to get through the displays that controlled the queue. As I got closer I had to actually let my daughter stay in the queue with the money to pay and take my scooter up by the store entrance where the exit from the checkouts was. It was impossible for me to get my scooter around the displays and I was not alone in having many problems as I watched mothers with prams and pushchairs continually bump into the displays as they tried to navigate there way to the checkouts. Once or twice, we even saw the collapse of a display through no fault of the customers but through lack of space.

                          My daughter eventually came through the checkout area 15 minutes after I left her looking very frustrated and upset, which I was not very pleased about and I have to say after this experience this store will not be getting a visit from me again.

                          I want to give credit to the store they have located at the 28east Retail ark in Newport though as it was a very pleasant visit with minimum hassle and stress. The store had wide aisles with well set out and clear displays. There were no aisle obstructions, the staff in the store was extremely friendly, and helpful which was great. The store was very well stocked and very clean and tidy in its presentation and as for the checkout area, it was great. You are presented with twelve checkouts, which were well staffed, and you did not need to queue for more than one customer, which was a very pleasant surprise.

                          This store also has a more extensive range than the City Centre store and boasts cafe area for you to enjoy should you wish a sit down whilst struggling through the nightmare of Christmas shopping. They had loads of great offers in store, all there stock on the shelves, and there displays were very clearly priced. Now this is what I call a pleasant shopping trip so I say to you, if you are visiting Newport and wish to visit a Woolworths store then go to the 28east Retail Park store and enjoy unless you are looking for stress.


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                          • Peacocks / Highstreet Shopping / 38 Readings / 34 Ratings
                            More +
                            05.11.2006 08:00
                            Very helpful



                            A definate change for the worst.


                            Peacocks opened there first store for the public in 1884 in Warrington and later relocated there family and business to Cardiff in the 1940's. By this time, there was a steady growth in the number of stores they owned and its growth continued particularly in the regions of South Wales and Southern England. In the early 1990's Peacocks saw a dramatic increase in growth, which led to the company floating on the London Stock Exchange in December 1999? Finally, on the 1st February 2006, Peacocks became a privately owned business and begin a massive growth again. Now Peacocks has over 460 stores throughout the UK and employs over 5000 staff but it has still kept its main business headquarters in Cardiff.

                            The location of the Peacocks store I am reviewing is in the Kingsway Centre (previously the In-shops) in Newport City Centre. The address is 10-12 Kingsway Centre, Newport, South Wales, NP20 1ED. Tel: - 01633 251434. According to the website http://www.peacocks.co.uk my local branch offers a womenswear, childrenwear and footwear departments, but that is news to me.

                            My local branch in Newport City Centre has had a major refurbishment in the last few months due to the fact they had to decrease there store size to make room for the planned Debenhams Store.

                            Before the Refurbishment.
                            Prior to this refurbishment this branch had lots to offer including a large selection of womenwear, childrenswear, menswear, footwear, homewares and it also boasted a cafe at the rear of the store as well as toilet facilities. There store was always well stocked and full of good value clothing for all ages and although it was not the best-designed store with small aisles and customers bustling around in a cramped area. We never used to really mind as they had a good variety and offered a friendly service with great value for money. The store was well lit with clean, well-maintained facilities and friendly staff that were always pleasant and helpful. Therefore, what do they do, they close the store for a refurbishment and everything changes.

                            After the Refurbishment.
                            The first thing you notice upon approaching the store is the wide open entrance, which is a great improvement and has made access much easier so I cannot complain at that. Then you enter the store and the first thing you notice is the size difference as the store has lost over half its size due to the development changes they were made to do, but this has done them no favours.

                            The store is very well lit and looks very open a spacious which is great when you think of how it use to be but all these changes have come at a price. They have totally changed the type of women’s fashion they now stock and chosen to aim mainly to the younger generation, seeming to put us older ones out the window. We are not alone though as my local Peacocks no longer stock any menswear not even socks. There brilliant childrenswear they boast to have is actually four rails hidden far at the back of the store with no real selection for younger children or boys. They also boast a footwear department, which is actually two four-shelf sections containing high fashion shoes and boots with a minimum of a 2-inch heel.

                            The staff have all been presented with new uniforms but they give the impression that they are lost and do not have a clue as to what they do and do not stock. If you are lucky you may be able to get a slight grunted comment of "we don't sell them now!" out of the staff when you inquire about an item.

                            The once cafe and toilet facilities have now disappeared long gone behind the new wall blocking the once existing rest of the store, maybe if we knock it down we will find all the rest of the great features they used to offer.

                            They have also vastly reduced the range of women’s clothes they now sell and even when fully stocked the store really looks very empty and limited in its design. They have also increased many of there prices in this store which is another poor feature and I feel if they continue to take this approach to all there store, Peacocks will soon lose its once great name that it spent many years building.

                            I give the store thumbs down on its new look and most would agree unless you are an 18 year old with a size 10 hour-glass figure who can walk on needle thin 3 inch stiletto heels.

                            Welshwickedone ©


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                            • Primark / Highstreet Shopping / 38 Readings / 34 Ratings
                              More +
                              04.11.2006 09:00
                              Very helpful



                              A great improvement to Primark.


                              Primark Stores Limited is a retail chain store with over 148 stores within the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Spain. The company’s main headquarters are based in the Republic of Ireland where they trade there shops under the name Penneys. The company is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) plc and employs over 14,000 people throughout there branches. The first Penneys store was located in Mary Street in Dublin and was opened in 1969 with the first UK store named Primark opening in 1973. Since then they have gone from strength to strength with a further 23 stores due to be opened before March 2007. Primark targets young, fashion-conscious under 35’s, offering them fashion at basics prices with value for money. Almost half of sales are in Primark are from there range of womenswear.

                              My Local Primark.

                              Very rare are my visits to the City Centre these days, but when I do I always try to build up enough energy to prepare myself for a visit to my local Primark store. They are a great store with a good variety of clothing, which are of good quality and value for money. Some pricing examples are children's trousers £3-£4, Teenage skirts £8-10, women's t-shirts £4-£5 and mens sweatshirts £7-£10. Great Value!!!

                              My local Primark store is located on Commercial Street in Newport, which is the main street for all the top high street retailers in Newport. It went through a major refurbishment about twelve months ago and this has made a great improvement to the store. The new front features for the store include a full frontal facelift and new access door to enter through. These doors include new wide opening automatic doors for easy access for the disabled. There is always a good stack of baskets for customers to use at the door entrance but they are set out in a good way without causing an obstruction.

                              Primark stocks a full range of clothing, nightwear, underwear and shoes for women as well as a good selection of bags and accessories. Menswear has a good selection of men’s clothes, nightwear, underwear and socks with the babies and children’s section offering the same variety. Primark also stock a limited selection of homeware textiles for there customers. They offer good quality products at great prices and regularly have a reduced rail for clearance clothing.

                              Prior to the facelift, this store had serious space issues and upon entering, you would know you were in for a fight to the finish just to try to browse around the store. Since its new refurbishment the store has now opened a second floor and made great improvements to the space and display issues. You are greeted with a large central aisle running straight down the store with all the clothing racks and displays shelves evenly spread throughout the sides with plenty of room between them for easy access. The shelving displays are great as it is circular and is set out as follows. There is a circular tear system like on a wedding cake with each tear containing a set size of clothing, size 18-20 are on the bottom tear, size 14-16 on the next tear up, size 10-12 on the next tear and size 8 on the top tear. A well-displayed item of the clothing on the top tops all this. Easy to get to and easy to find the size you want, but most important a vast improvement on the previous system.

                              The store is always clean in appearance and the floor litter free and clean. There are no longer any stock issues in this Primark either with a well maintained stock level always clearly visible and ample staff in clear view should you require assistance. The store is well lit throughout to ensure there is ample lighting and the large new windows at the front of the store aid this.

                              The ground floor of my local Primark is set out as follows with the women’s clothing taking up two thirds of the ground floor and the men section which is separated by an arch system are in the other third of the ground floor. Downstairs has access to the upper floors via a customer lift, an escalator going up only and a stairwell system to come back downstairs. Ground floor also has six changing rooms for customers to use and barriers off checkout queuing system with five tills for trying to eliminate over long queues.

                              The second floor of Newport Primark is the area for the entire baby and children's clothing and the area to find the accessories, footwear and homewares that Primark sell. There are another two customer changing rooms on this floor and this is where the customer services department is located as well. The spacing on this floor is a little closer together than on the ground floor but is still always well maintained and fully stocked. The cashier system is the same as the ground floor with four till on a barrier queuing system to help with queuing elimination.

                              The escalator is well maintained and whenever I go in there always working well and rubbish free and clean, but I have to use the lifts myself. The lift is large enough for three prams or eight customers, it is clean, well lit, well maintained and has a very clean and fresh smell. There are all mirrors in the lift making it look larger than it is to stop you feeling so enclosed and these are always kept clean and smear free.

                              Now I never venture to the stairwell myself but in the interest of my reviews I took a look from the ground and first floor and my daughter came down the stairs to check them for me. They were clean, well maintained and litter free with all the chrome rails gleaming and the air containing a fresh, clean smell. There is a clear presence of security in the store but on saying that these guards are always helpful, polite, pleasant and well presented.

                              I have always found the staff in my local Primark very polite, helpful and well presented. They are always happy to help and greet you pleasantly with a smile and for the rare times I have had to go to the customer services they have always been very helpful and done everything to resolve any problems I have had. I must say prior to the facelift that Primark in Newport had, I used to dread the idea of paying it a visit. Yet they have taken a great deal of time and money to resolve this problem and have done a brilliant job with the new look and set out of the store. I give them thumbs up and hope they keep up the good work.

                              Welshwickedone ©


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                              • More +
                                03.11.2006 11:17
                                Very helpful



                                Might be worth a visit, you might just be surprised

                                Newport Past and Present.

                                The History.

                                In the early 1800's the bells of St Woolos Cathedral would ring out to summon the community of this small village based at the bottom of the hill., this hill would later become known as Stow Hill which is now more famed for its Nightclubs and Bars. Although with the development with Steam engines, the demand for the coal from the valley communities would boom and bring along with it a boom to Newport. Newport was chosen due to its prime location at the mouth of the river seven and close access to the valley communities. It would lead to a great canal system from the valleys reaching down to Newport and the soon booming docklands. Due to this boom, the small village of about 1000 in the 1800's increased to a massive 67,000 and a bustling community by the 1900's.

                                Another famous point in Newport’s great history is Tredegar House; part of the Morgan Family history plays a great part in the 1800's to 1900's during the industrial revolution of Newport. The family held great power and standing in Newport during these years although the earliest records for the Tredegar house estate stem all the way back to 1402.
                                However we are able to go a lot further back than that in the History of Newport and this is because of the Castle which still just about stands on the riverbank of the river Usk. This castle dates back a massive 2000 years to the Celtic era. The reason for this location by the Celts is due to the close proximity of the Roman settlement in Caerleon, which lies on the very boundaries of Newport. Newport received its first Charter in 1385 and although little evidence remained of the importance of Newport in the middle-ages in 2002 a sea vessel was found buried in the bank of the river Usk confirming Newport's importance.

                                One of Newport's most famous points in history after these dates was the Chartist Uprising in 1839 when demands made by the Chartists included a vote for all men over 21 years, secret ballots, wages for Members of Parliament and the abolition of the property qualifications for MPs. All these demands were incorporated within the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
                                Newport has since gone on to develop and grow and tried for many years to obtain a City status, which was sadly refused repeatedly until in 2002 the Queen granted Newport the City status it deserved in Celebration of her Golden Jubilee. Since the granting of the City Status Newport City has continued to grow and thrive and is currently under major development on its waterfront by Newport Unlimited. This company is spending in excess of £175 million to regenerate Newport over the next few years into a city offering great industrial and recreational area to live in for the 21st century.

                                Newport offers much accommodation for visitors and residents within its City Limits. The current estimated population of Newport in 2005 was 139,600 and increasing all the time with Newport's growth. The main city is separated into 20 community area's which are all growing and expanding all the time but Newport has plenty to offer tourists as well. There are several major hotels situated throughout Newport including The Celtic Manor who is the host of the 2010 Ryder Cup, The Holiday Inn, Premier Travel Inn, The Hilton Hotel, Express by Holiday Inn, which are the major Hotel destinations in Newport. On saying that though, Newport has many smaller Hotels situated nearer the City Centre offering a friendly welcome as well as many Guesthouses to choose from as well.

                                I have chosen Bridges for the letter be as Newport current boasts 3 transport bridges and now has a new Pedestrian Footbridge link which was opened in August 2006 and has yet to Boast a chosen name. One of the most famous bridges Newport has to offer is of course the Transporter Bridge, which was first opened in 1906 by Viscount Tredegar. The location was chosen due to the location having the ideal width of the banks at the location and the close distance to Newport docklands. The towers stand a massive 74 meters tall and the bridge is 181 meters at the longest span points. The gondola, which carries the vehicles from one side of the river to the other, holds six cars and costs 50p per journey. The gondola travels at three meters per second along the 181-meter span and is suspended from large metal cables. The bridge received a £3 million refurbishment in 1995, continues to operate today, and is a very popular tourist attraction in Newport. The bridge is one of only eight in the world and has made many television and film appearances in its history.

                                I say Castle but I really should say what is left of the castle, built between 1327 and 1386 by Hugh d'Audele or his son-in-law Ralph, Earl of Stafford it was to replace an earlier motte and bailey castle situated on Stow Hill near St Woolos Cathedral. The Castle was for the Norman lordship of Wentloog, which up until 1314 had been under the reign of the lordship of Glamorgan, but when it separated, the Castle was commissioned in celebration. The Castle only had an active life for about 200 years and during that time Jasper Tudor, Henry VIII's uncle lived within it walls but its main purpose was the administration of the lordship of Wentloog. Due to Newport’s development, sadly most of the Castle has been destroyed to make way for a Railway Station and main roundabout, but hopes are as the roundabout is to be removed that at some point the castle may undergo some restoration.

                                Development in Newport is currently on a high thanks to the Welsh Assembly setting up a company Newport unlimited. Newport unlimited are changing the whole look of Newport’s City Centre as well as developing the River Usk Waterfront to host two new Mariners and many new Waterfront Apartments and Attractions. Pillgwenlly also known as Pill in Newport has taken a major downturn over the last 30 years and is targeted for a 75 million-face lift to develop not only the waterfront community but also all the rundown and damaged properties which currently reside within its community.

                                There are many great entertainment features on offer to you in Newport and not all within the City Centre. The City Centre hosts the location for the Newport Arts Centre and jus down the road is the Newport Leisure Centre, which hosts a pool and sports facility as well as promoting many appearances of famous artist’s concerts. If you travel further a field in Newport, you can find several smaller leisure centres as well as the Newport Velodrome. This is located in the Spytty Area of Newport and near to this location are the Ten Cinema Screen Complex and Mega Bowl as well as many Retail Parks for all your retail therapy needs. There are many historical attractions in Newport to visit as well and information for all these are available in the Newport Tourist Board and Museum and include the Transporter Bridge, Tredegar House and country park, The Castle, and the Canal link which is currently being redeveloped and is due to be open for use again within the next five years and will provide a link from the River Usk all the way up the valleys and more.

                                Newport is located on the South Eastern Coastline of Wales and is on the Cardiff borderline. It has easy access to the Two Severn bridge crossings and easy motorway access to Bristol, London and more. There are five motorway exits in Newport from the M4 motorway and span from junction 24 to junction 28 inclusive; however, the access has restrictions on junction 25.

                                The majority of nightlife in Newport is the clubs, which are all located in the City Centre; however, there are plans to change this with several new clubs being placed in different locations under the new development scheme. These clubs will be situated on the Riverfront scheme and are making use of the numerous listed buildings, which can be found in the area.

                                Parking has been a major problem in Newport for many years now, although the council have many plans, which are currently underway to tackle this issue. Two of the older multi-storey car parks have recently finishes undergoing major refurbishment and Newport has had a large NCP car park build in the City Centre area. The numerous retail parks and supermarkets have there own large personal car parks and new plans for a park and ride scheme are planned to be implemented within 12 months. This is all planned to try and remove some of the traffic problems that also blight Newport City Centre, but I will say if you plan a visit in the near future be warned there are many roadwork’s in place at present that are causing a great deal of problems.

                                Recreational activities have taken a great boost in Newport over the last few years with new features still to be added. Current activities include the City Centre Leisure Centre, which offers a large pool with slides and a wave machine, fitness classes of all varieties, squash courts, sauna's, and an excellent gym and is the location for many of Newport’s live music events. Newport also has some beautiful parks with features such as botanical gardens, bandstands, outdoor pools, bowling greens and more. The Welsh National Cycling Arena also known as the Velodrome is located in Newport as is a ten-cinema screen complex, two major golf courses and much more for you to enjoy and discover.

                                For all you shoppers out there who love to browse then Newport is the place for you. Our City Centre currently holds many of the leading high street retailers as well as a lovely indoor market and many bargain stores as well. Debenhams have also now signed to join the many other stores currently developing in Newport with building already started and plans for it to be open within the next four years.

                                If you do not have a car or do not want to take it out whilst in Newport, there are great alternative transports available in Newport for you. Newport offers a great bus service with many buses running as regular as every ten to twenty minutes. There are free bus services also available for the major supermarkets from the main bus station and certain areas which is also great as many of the supermarkets are located in large retail parks with lots of other major retail stores for you to visit whilst there. Five minutes walk from the bus station is Newport’s train station, which offers a very regular service to all the major cities and towns. Located within the car park of the train station is one of Newport’s largest taxi firms for convenience and Newport bus station has a major taxi rank with its ground as well. All these features make all of Newport easy accessible and with the planned park and ride service this will soon be even better again.

                                Although for many years Newport had a bad name and not much to offer tourists, this has all changed since it has gained City status and crime is on the decrease. So when you are next looking for somewhere different to visit that has plenty to offer then why not come and visit us in Newport, we are a friendly bunch and you will be offered a warm welcome.

                                Welshwickedone ©


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                                • Final Destination (DVD) / DVD / 33 Readings / 30 Ratings
                                  More +
                                  30.10.2006 10:33
                                  Very helpful



                                  7/10 worth a viewing but don't expect too much

                                  Final Destination 3 (Film Review Only).

                                  Well the time finally came for me to view final destination 3 on DVD last night and see what all the fuss is about. Yes, I know it is yet another one in the series of Final Destination films and very probably one to far, but you know me I cannot resist but find out for myself. For anyone who has not yet seen the series of Final Destination films, I am going to do a quick synopsis of films 1 and 2 so you get the idea of the storylines.

                                  Final Destination 1.
                                  When young student Alex has a premonition of a plane crash he changes deaths design, but death is not happy and wants its intended victims. Death begins to take its intended victims one by one in the order they should have died, but Alex had worked out deaths design and tries to cheat it. Can you beat death and change you intended fate; you have to watch that to see.

                                  Final Destination 2.
                                  This time we see Kimberley Carman have a premonition of a fatal car accident one year after the tragic plane crash. In panic, she stops the traffic at a junction and breaks deaths design in doing so. Death again is not happy and wants revenge, but Kimberley thinks she can prevent death's design and enrols the help of a survivor from flight 180. Can they together beat death and break the design. Watch to see.

                                  Final Destination 3.
                                  In Final Destination 3, we join Wendy Christensen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) at the seniors Fairground Attraction to celebrate there up coming Graduation. Wendy who is there with her boyfriend Jason Wise (Jesse Moss), Carrie Dreyer (Gina Holden) Wendy's best friend and Carrie's boyfriend Kevin Fischer (Ryan Merriman) who is also Jason's best friend. As the four are enjoying the entertainment Wendy is happily taking Photo's of there, time there when she starts to get strange feelings, which she cannot explain. She continues enjoying herself taking photo's of other's who are also due to graduate when they approach the Giant Rollercoaster aptly named Devil's Flight. Wendy is nervous but Jason reassures her and they approach there turn on the ride. When it is there turn Wendy refuses to sit at the from and eventually Kevin is set to sit at the back with her whilst Jason and Carrie are sat at the front. As the safety bars come down to secure them in there seats, Wendy has a premonition that the ride is going to crash. She goes into a panic and soon is removed from the ride and in the struggle that follows, several others get off the back carriage as well. Jason and Carrie are still secured in the front carriage and although Jason tries to get off the ride starts. Wendy is removed from the ride still panicking like mad when suddenly everyone sees that her vision was right and the rollercoaster crashes, killing all onboard.

                                  Wendy is devastated and Kevin tries to help but at first has no success. Suddenly two others who were on the ride are killed in strange circumstances and after some investigation Wendy and Jason research Flight 180 and realise they are going to have to try and beat death's design. They desperately start to chase after the others who got off the ride to prevent there death in the order they would have died on the rollercoaster, but can they save them and themselves and beat death's design. You will have to watch to find out.

                                  My Opinion / The Acting
                                  There has been a great deal of hype about this film before its release and in my opinion, not all of it is deserved. Yes, it is a good film with great visual effects, but I think we are all getting a little tired of the Death's Design storyline now. From the very beginning you get the feeling here we go again and I have seen this somewhere before and it is understandable as to why. The only real difference between this and the other films is that this one is using a Rollercoaster and the way in which death takes its victims. Ok they have added a little twist in this one as in nobody knowing who was next as they cannot remember who was sat in the one set of seats but that’s about it. If you like to watch gory deaths and gruesome effects then this is probably a film you will enjoy. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy the entertainment it provided, but I just feel it would have been better not to drag out a third film from the Death's Design idea, although on saying that they will probably flog it to death and make a part four.

                                  Mary Elizabeth Winstead gave a very acceptable performance in this film although I did feel she could have added a little more drama to some of the scene's when you are suppose to believe she has just witnessed a gruesome death. Ryan Merriman the other real main character in the film came across to me as quite bland and boring in his performance. It really was lacking any real emotion in my opinion and I will be very surprised if he manages to pursue his acting career to the maximum if he keeps supplying us with performances like that. The other stars of this film gave a more than acceptable performance in there characters portrayals but none were anything to go overboard with praise on and certainly wont win them any Oscar's.

                                  I have to comment about the great effects given to us in this film as I feel they were brilliant. It makes me wonder what sort of person can come up with theses ideas of how they die, but on saying that it would not be much of anything if it were not for how they will die idea. I have to be honest more than anything else that is what kept me watching and entertained as you find yourself trying to second guess how they will die. Each time I tried to work out how there death would occur from the clues I must say I was very wrong, but loved the way they showed it. I think I may have a quite gory side really, when I think about it.

                                  Director James Wong who brought us his directing talent in 'Final Destination 1', 'The One' and some 'X-files' episodes has brought us a fantastically well-directed film in my opinion. The effects and style he has chosen to use gives this film great feeling and great entertainment value.

                                  Technical Information.

                                  The Cast.
                                  Mary Elizabeth Winstead Wendy Christensen
                                  Ryan Merriman Kevin Fischer
                                  Kris Lemche Ian McKinley
                                  Alexz Johnson Erin Ulmer
                                  Sam Easton Frankie Cheeks
                                  Jesse Moss Jason Robert Wise
                                  Gina Holden Carrie Dreyer
                                  Texas Battle Lewis Romero
                                  Chelan Simmons Ashley Freund
                                  Chrystal Lowe Ashlyn Halperin
                                  Amanda Crew Julie Christensen

                                  Director James Wong
                                  Certificate 15 years and over
                                  Year 2006
                                  Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
                                  Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1) EX ; DTS-ES
                                  Subtitles English

                                  In my total summary I think it fair to say this was a good film and definitely worth watching but do not go to mad and hope to receive anything other than what was given to us in Final Destination 1 & 2. This film gets a 7/10 from me.


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