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wopnogger
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Member since: 12.05.2002

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    • Children & Divorce / Parenting Issue / 2 Readings / 20 Ratings
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      29.05.2002 10:56
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      I have read a few of the Reviews in this section now and it has inspired me and given me courage to write down my own experiences from my childhood to adulthood. My Mum and Dad were married about 1956 in Sussex and I can only imagine that life was bliss as for most newly weds, soon after they had a daughter and then another eleven months later (all names have been left out apart from my own). I was born in September 1961 and as I have been told I was a happy child, in fact the whole family was happy. I used to sit quite happily in front of the TV (yep we had TV) while my Mum did the housework, my Dad was in bed as he was working nights as a Tool Maker and my Sisters were at school. Life was grand, about four years down the line and (I'm a bit sketchy here) things started to go a bit awry. My Sisters and I started to notice that now and again we would see a strange man about the house during the evening, when he was around our Mum always made us stay in our rooms. Children being what they are we started to ask questions and one very early morning I saw this strange man in our bathroom having a wash and asked "what are you doing" his reply was "your Mum told you to stay in your room" I persisted, the next thing I remember was waking up on the floor with my Sisters crying and shouting at this man telling him to leave their Brother alone. My Mum came up the stairs at that moment and thinking she would tell the nasty man off we ran to her to tell her what he had done but instead of listening to us all she did was slap all of us and tell us not to tell lies and made us go to our rooms with a vow that we would be in trouble if we said anything. The nasty man just glared at us, he scared us half to death. As the nights past my Sisters and I started to notice a change of atmosphere within our house, my Mum and Dad would start to argue and then he would storm out of the house and go to work. One night while we were in our rooms, (we knew the nasty man was there) we heard the front door and we thought the nasty man was leaving but to our surprise it was our Dad he had come home early because he said he was not feeling well. You can imagine the scene, Mum and the nasty man cuddled up on the settee and Dad standing in the doorway, well you can also imagine what happened next, and it was like World War III. Chairs, ornaments, body parts absolutely everything went flying, my Dad through the nasty man and my Mum out the door. While this was happening I was in my room crying, shaking and wetting myself with fear, I had never known such rage could come from a person, especially my lovely Dad, how could I?, I was only four at the time and I could only assume that my Sisters felt the same way. After a few days my Dad had come out of the drunken state he had put himself into, he decided to inform our Grandparents (Mums parents) of the situation, they came as soon as they could and took my Sisters and I back to Surrey to stay with them. My Dad and Granddad decided to go out and look for my Mum and try to bring her back, they found her after three months living in a dark, dingy, rat infested flat, on her own after the man she was seeing left her for someone else. She came home and we moved into a house close to where my Grandparents were living, all seemed to be going well, but only seemed to be, the experience of that past six months had taken it's toll. As I found later it was my eldest Sister who had told my Dad what was happening while he was at work and so became his little angel, my other Sister was being spoilt by my Mum, myself I ended up as the one in the middle, my Sisters played their rolls to breaking point and anything they did wrong seemed to be blamed on me. Then there must have been a subconscious decision on my part that said if you are going to get blamed for all this stuff that is happening then you may as well do some stuff too. So I started to misbehave, I started to steal from home as well as from school and was wetting the bed on a nightly basis. I was beginning to be quite a handful and a bit of a problem child, no one could understand why or even tried to find out what the problem was, I was just punished most days for one reason or another which only made me more defiant and harder to handle. When I was about eight my Mum got pregnant again and she gave birth to a third Sister (not another one), by then my parents not hateful of one another but were tolerant, still I was a nasty child, I had started to smoke at nine, stealing my Mum and Dads tobacco when they were not looking (well it would have been hard if they were), and still it went on, when I was ten my Mum was pregnant again, would it be another Sister, she gave birth - and - YES, a Brother at last. After my brother was born my parents marriage went down hill fast, my Mum started to hit us on a regular basis, she would blame my eldest Sister for anything she could but in the end it was decided that I had done whatever dirty deed that had happened and got punished accordingly. I started to get the Cane, Slipper, stick or fist from both my Mum and my Dad, whichever was at hand, this however only made me worse. As this carried on my Mum started to play around again with other men, this time however she did not bring them home but would leave us in the hands of my eldest Sister until my Mum decided to once again move out (this time for good) I was now thirteen. This time my Dad said he did not want her back so we turned into a one parent family, my second eldest Sister asked my Mum if she could go with her but my Mum said she didn't want any of us because we would just get in the way, looking back I think my Dad did a good job in bringing the five of us up on his own (he even got into the local newspaper for his efforts). But I was still the same and by n ow I was stealing from shops and getting in trouble with the police until I was about fifteen and a half my Dad had had enough of me and told me that I was not wanted and told me to get out and not come back. As you could imagine even though I knew what I was like I was devastated at knowing my family no longer wanted me so I packed my bags and was put into a hostel. The anger grew, I would not let anyone get close to me, then I was taken under the wing of one of the house heads and he helped me to start to put my life in order, he got me my first job and started to teach me all that I would need to know to help me cope with life in the big wide world. I must admit I was doing well until I was about twenty, then I found myself on the streets, I new I had to do something, finally I swallowed my pride and phoned my Dad (the first time since I left). As I dialled the number I hoped that he had not changed it, it started to ring, my heart was pounding, I was shaking and the tears were threatening to flow. One, two rings, three, four rings, a voice answers "hello", I am speechless with the fear of rejection, "hello" he said again, I swallow and say "Dad", I hear a sharp intake of breath and then he says "my god Peter is that you", "yes" I whisper, I tell him what has happened, he says just two words "come home", I tell him I will be there in about two hours, he tells me he will be waiting, I hang up, at that point I just break down, the tears flow like a monsoon, I am shaking so much my muscles are aching, people are starting to stare, I pull my self together and make my way to the home I left some five years ago, I get to the door, my Dad had been watching for me, he opens the door and we both fall into one anothers arms and cry. It was good to be back home, my two eldest Sisters had left home, it was just me, my Dad and my youngest Brother and Sister, I still found that eve n though my Dad was glad to have me back I was still not trusted that much, things started to be locked up even though I had curbed my light fingered ways and was trying to prove how much I had changed, my little Brother and Sister got everything they wanted but still I felt I was considered an outcast. Things started to pick up from that point, I was twenty three and still at my Dads house (I still did not feel it was home) and I had a job stacking shelves at night for Safeway, after about a year I met someone that I thought had fallen out of the sky and lost her wings, even though she was eight years younger than I was I fell head over heals in love, her feeling for me seemed to be the same, after a four year engagement we bought our own flat in south west London in 1988 and got married in 1989. Oh how sweet this is, a loving, beautiful wife, our own home, what more could anyone ask for and I made a secret vow to myself that my life would not be like my parents, I would cherish what I had for all time. After two years all was going great, our love grew stronger, people commented how happy we looked together, but only one thing was lacking in our lives, the patter of tiny feet, we had been trying since before we got married (four years in total) but in 1991 my wife gave birth to a beautiful 6lb 2oz daughter. I took the first two years out to look after her while my wife, who wanted to go back to work, did. Life was so sweet, could this go on, well we started to try for another child but after another two years we were not having much luck and it was putting a bit of a strain on our relationship. My wife started to complain that I was not doing enough to help as I had now gone back to work and our daughter was at a child minders during the day. We started to argue more and more, my wife decided that she wanted to start to go out to have some fun that she missed out on when she was younger, I let her hoping it would bring us back as close as we had been before, but when I would ask her if I could go with her now and then she would get angry and say that I was trying to stop her enjoying herself, she would go out once a week with friends, then she started to go out twice a week, then she would be out until 6am the next morning very drunk and very sick. When asked where she was again, she would get angry and say she was only at a friends talking. Then I started to find those bits of sexy underwear hidden under the bottom draw of the wardrobe, I started to dig a bit deeper when she started to get very secretive phone calls and alas yes the same was happening to me as was happened to my Dad, the arguments got even worse, while this was happening my daughter was listening in the background, she started to ask if we were going to shout again tonight, she started to be naughty, she wouldn't do what she was told (there seems to be a pattern here). That?s when I decided enough was enough, I told my wife that this could not go on and if she insisted on keeping up these antics then she might as well not come back, in the end we came to a mutual agreement and parted in 1997, I still think that if we had sat down and talked about what was going wrong we may have still been together. I did tell her that even though I would like my daughter to stay with me I know she would drag us all to court and I did not want to put my daughter through any more hurt that she had to, I didn't want her to go the same way I did. I sat my daughter down and tried to explain what was going on and that Mummy and Daddy were going to live in different houses, there were lots of tears and questions why, I'm not sure if she understood (after all she was only six and to young to understand, in fact I'm not even sure I understood and I was 35). My wife and I went our separate ways, I kept our flat and she moved in with the man she had been seeing for the past year, I can never f orgive my now Ex-wife for what she has done to me and never forget, but for the sake of my daughter I am pleasant, adjustable and subservient to most of my ex-wives demands. I try my best to be a good Dad, I have never smacked my daughter, I sit down with her and have adult conversations with her, I explain things to her, I tell her that I love her, I don't besmirch her Mother (not in front of her anyway) and I definitely don't want my daughter to have the same feeling about me as I have for my parents, I am still very distant with my parents I hate them for what they did to me, they both still to this day use us their children as pawns in the game of life. CHILDREN ARE NOT PAWNS OR TOYS, THEY ARE HUMANS JUST LIKE THE PARENTS. TREAT THE CHILDREN PROPERLY AND TREAT THEM WITH RESPECT. I have a good life now, I'm still on my own and resigned to the fact that I may be for the rest of my life, sad but that's life, I have a daughter who loves me as much as I love her, I even feel happy for my ex-wife who has now re-married and as long as they treat my daughter well then I am happy, she is ten now and gets very excited when she comes to visit or I collect her, as for the relationship with my parents well it is very sad but I have tried to make it up with them for the past but they always seem to throw it back in my face so I don't see them very often now and that seems to suit us all us. Well that is my story, from my childhood to my daughters, I just hope that the mental scars that I carry from my parents divorce, and will carry for the rest of my life has not been past on or effected my daughter. I hope it has not bored you too much and hope I have not waffled on too much due to the emotional state I now find myself in, I hope anybody reading this that may be in the same situation I was, learns that if your marriage is not perfect and feel you must divorce, do not use the children as weapons against your partner and definite ly do not blame the children for your own faults. When a child is small you the parents are all the children have to model their lives on and if you treat them or your partner badly they will grow up to think it is the proper thing to do, treat them well and help them to grow up happy, they deserve it don't they? I will leave it there as I can feel the waffling coming on. Thanks for reading my Op (my story).

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        22.05.2002 11:32
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        So, you think you have got up enough courage to get a tattoo! Well! I can tell you from personal experience that getting the courage to actually go and get one done is the second hardest part, the hardest part is finding the right artist for the job because when it comes down to it anyone who does tattooing must be an artist. First I would like to give you a bit of background in body art, I won't give you too much and bore you to tears but just a little that may interest you enough for you to mull over. If it does get boring I'll say sorry now instead of after you have fallen to sleep. Tattooing is one of the oldest forms of body art. The urge to decorate oneself is a human characteristic that we have always done. Some decorate themselves with jewellery; some with bright cloth and some decorate themselves with body art such as painting or tattoos. A lot of body art can hold great meaning and beliefs. The oldest tattooed body was found frozen in the Austrian Alps and dates back approximately 5,300 years ago and had 57 tattoos. In England tattooing flourished in the 19Th century and been a tradition with the Navy since Captain Cook discovered tattooed natives in the south pacific in the 1700s. The sailors were tattooed as the perfect souvenir of their journeys, in the 1860s the Price of Wales got his first tattoo. Some in the tattoo business have been able to keep up the tradition by tattooing the navies of the world who have remained the patrons of the art, and the tattooing industry owe them a bit of thanks. I think that will be enough about the history of tattooing, I hope you are still awake so I can tell you a little about my own experiences that's sure to knock you out. I got my first tattoo when I was about 20 years old. Not knowing any better, after I had had a few drinks for courage and before I could run away my mates (that's what they called themselves), dragged me into th e local tattooist and strapped me down on what could be described as a dentists chair. As I looked over the not so many choices of tattoos the tattooist readied his equipment. I picked out a tattoo that I thought would look the meanest which were two flaming sculls with a snake entwined throughout. While I was waiting for the tattooist to finish readying himself and whilst listening to the rowdy comments of my friends I started to feel light headed with the rush of adrenaline, alcohol and the shear terror of what was about to happen. The tattooist then came at me with a razor and I thought this was a bit strange as I had had a shave just before I left home. He proceeded to shave my upper arm and smear it with Vaseline. He then put a transfer on my arm to guide him as he worked, he reaching for his four-foot drill (well that's how I remember it). Dipping it in the ink and came at me with the speed of a cruse missile. I sat there like a stiff concrete block trying my best not to move or show any sign of fear in front of my friends. I felt the sweat dripping down my back as the tattooist informed me that it may sting a bit and the worst part was the initial shock of the first 30 seconds. As the tattooist started his work I heard my friends gasp and then laugh as I felt all the blood drain out of my face and seem to come out of my arm in little droplets. As time went on I must admit I started to enjoy the experience watching as the tattoo took shape. The tattooist tattooed, wiped, tattooed, wiped. I even managed to join in the joviality and count the minutes until my nice new tattoo was finished. Once complete the tattooist cleaned it all up and covered it with some nice soft tissue with instructions to leave it on for at least 2 hours before taking it off to let it dry out. I paid him his money and off we all went holding my arm as carefully as possible just in case it broke off. The instructions on not to play with it or pick the scabs was the hardest part of the healing process but I did manage to leave it alone and keep rubbing in the required moisturisers to stop cracking and scaring. Wow! That's it my first experience with the tattooist. I hope I have not put anyone off who was thinking of getting a tattoo done because as it turned out it was not that bad really. After just a week it was nearly healed and was showing it off to all. I?ve had another four tattoos done since that first one and I am proud of each one from my little baby girls portrait to the sabre tooth tigers head (which took half a day to do). Each one gets easier to have done when you know what to expect. still awake, Good. After that little story I would like to give you a few tips on what to do before you get a tattoo. As I said at the beginning the hardest part is trying to find the right tattooist for the job. Every tattooist specialises in a certain area; some are better at cartoons, some at portraits, some at landscapes and so on. Try to choose a tattoo you really like as you could have it for the rest of your life, and think very carefully when thinking of have a name incorporated into it or you may be looking for a way to cover it with a larger tattoo or even more painful removal by laser treatment which burns the tattoo out and may leave a nasty scar (SO THINK). Check out some of their own handy-work, most will have some at hand to look at. Ask about their hygiene procedures, a good tattooist know the potential risks of Infection and disease like HIV. Beware of the side line operators, check if they are registered with a professional body or council. Ask a lot of questions, a good tattooist will be only happy to answer any questions or fears you may have. Check their premises are clean and he pays good attention to hygiene. Make sure they use a clean needle for every new tattoo and that they wear cle an new protective gloves every time. Once you done all your checks, picked out your tattoo and had it done there are a few things you need to do to ensure you keep it clean, free from germs and to look the best it can. Bathe the tattoo at least twice a day using warm water (not hot) and anti-bacterial soap. Pat it dry with a soft towel (DO NOT RUB IT). Make sure you wash your hands before touching it. Do not go swimming and keep it out of direct sunlight. Try not to wear dirty clothing as this may cause infection. And lastly do not pick or scratch it as this may cause infection or scaring. If you do get an infection get medical advice IMMEDIATELY! Signs of infection may include inflammation/redness, usually soreness and pain it may also have a discharge of pus. But if in any doubt (GET ADVICE). Just one last note and I cannot stress this enough, check and be sure rather than be sorry. The average price varies depending on the tattooist, the size and complexity but I would say it would be between £70 & £100 for the average size. Well! That's it I hope I haven't painted to grim a picture, once you get over the initial shock it is quite fun and you could be on you way to understanding how we the tattooed love it so much. ENJOY.

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          21.05.2002 10:55
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          DRAGONLANCE TALES (the collectors edition) What are the DRAGONLANCE TALES you may ask; well they are exactly what the title describes, they are Tales from the ever so popular DRAGONLANCE SERIES. DRAGONLANCE TALES is comprised of three volumes ? THE MAGIC OF KRYNN ? KENDER, GULLY DWARVES AND GNOMES ? LOVE AND WAR. MARGERET WEIS & TRACY HICKMAN have invited some doorknobs, oops sorry I mean friends, to tag along on their journey?s through the lands on a quest to, maybe answer a few questions you may have concerning what happens to some of the characters of the most excellent DRAGONLANCE SERIES. Come along as we discover the fanciful collection of exciting untold tales about the minor races of Krynn--the lovable, mischievous, and brave sidekicks of the Dragonlance book heroes. There are the some of the main characters like Tasslehoff Burrfoot, Flint Fireforge, Tanis Halfelven, Sturm Brightblade, Goldmoon & Riverwind as well as lots of others, some of who only get a short mention in the DRAGONLANCE SERIES Each volume is comprised of Ten short tales describing events in the lives of characters from the very well written and equally loved DRAGONLANCE SERIES. Some of the Tales are better than others but you will find that on the whole it is a most enjoyable read. Listed below is the three volumes with their chapters, Authors and a very short description along with the start page number. THE MAGIC OF KRYNN 1. RIVERWIND AND THE CRYSTAL STAFF ? written by Michael Williams is a poem about Riverwind?s search for the magical staff ? Page 7. 2. THE BLOOD SEA MONSTER ? written by Barbara & Scott Siegel is about what all fisherman have ?the one that got away? ? Page 21. 3. A STONES THROW AWAY ? written by Roger E More is told by Tasslehoff Burrfoot about himself about his perilous yet comic adventure with a magical ring ? Page 37. 4. DREAMS OF DARKNESS, DREAMS OF LIGHT ? written by Warren B Smith is a deligh tful little tale about Pig Face William and of his bravery and courage and his magic coin - Page 51. 5. LOVE & ALE ? written by Nick O?Donohoe tells of another day in the life of Otik the Innkeeper? Page 71. 6. WAYWARD CHILDREN ? written by Richard A Knaak is a tale about a patrol of Draconians who stumble on a village of Elves and ask the question ?where are all the children? ? Page 97. 7. THE TEST OF THE TWINS ? written by Margaret Weis where Raistlin faces the test in the Tower of High Sorcery ? Page 111. 8. HARVEST ? written by Nancy Varian Berberick a young Tanis and his friend Flint find out about love that redeems and love that kills ? Page 123. 9. FINDING THE FAITH ? written by Mary Kirchoff is the adventures of Laurana the Elf Maid and her sear for the Dragon Orb in the Icewall Castle ? Page 149. 10. THE LEGACY ? written by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman is about a young mage ? Palin - son of Caramon must face the fact about his evil Uncle ? Raistlin ? is trying to escape his eternal torment by stealing his Nephew?s soul ? Page 175. KENDER, GULLY DWARVES AND GNOMES 1. SNOWSONG - written by Nancy Varian Berberick tells of two of the companions lost in a blizzard and their only hope of rescue seems to be, Tasslehoff Burrfoot - Page 241. 2. THE WIZARDS SPECTACLES - written by Morris Simon Tasslehoff Burrfoot always insisted that he found the Glasses of Arcanist in the Dwarven Kingdom, but what if ? Page 263. 3. THE STORYTELLER - written by Barbara & Scott Siegel a Storyteller relates his own story to a mesmerised crowd too well ? Page 283. 4. A SHAGGY DOGS TALE - written by Danny Peary Tasslehoff Burrfoot tells the story of Love and Revenge ? Page 297. 5. LORD TOED?S DISASTROUS HUNT - written by Harold Bakst is a story about the demise of the Lord Toed in a hunt for Kender ? Page 311. 6. DEFINITION OF HONOUR - written by Richard A Knaak a young Knight of Solamnia rides to the rescue of a village who have got a Minotaur problem but his enemy threatens more than his life ? Page 329. 7. HEARTH CAT AND WINTER WREN - written by Nancy Varian Berberick another early tale about the companions where Raistlin has to use his ingenuity to defeat a powerful Wizard ? Page 347. 8. WANNA BET? - written by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman is about Palin?s first quest as a mage and a quest his two brothers did not expect ? Page 367. 9. Into the Heart of the Story - written by Michael Williams a ?treatise?? Page 433. 10. DAGGER FIGHT - written by Nick O?Donohoe a story from a deadly viewpoint of the beginning of The Dragons of Autumn Twilight from the viewpoint of a sentient dagger ? Page 453. LOVE AND WAR 1. A GOOD KNIGHT?S TALE ? written by Harold Bakst as told by a Knight of Solamnia, it is a tale that involves Love and War, the warring of passion of a selfish Father?s heart - Page 471. 2. A PAINTER?S VISION ? written by Barbara & Scott Siegel is a story of the love of a Husband, a Wife and painting, oh and a Dragon is there too- Page 487. 3. HUNTING DESTINY ? written by Nick O?Donohoe tells the tale of the Undead who haunt Darken Wood and their sacrifices - Page 505. 4. HIDE AND GO SEEK ? written by Nancy Varian Berberick Tasslehoff Burrfoot risks his life for a kidnapped child and of the love friends bear each other - Page 531. 5. BY THE MEASURE ? written by Richard A Knaak a young Solamnic Knight fights impossible odds and the courage and devotion to his order - Page 555. 6. THE EXILES ? written by Paul B Thompson & Tonya R Carter a very young Sturm learns his first lesson in courage when facing an evil cleric of the Dark Queen - Page 569. 7. HEART OF GOLDMOON ? written by Laura Hickman & Kate Novak a tale of romance and the first meeting of Goldmoon and Riverwind ? Page 601. 8. RAISTLIN?S DAUGHTER ? written by Margaret Weis & Dezra Despain there is a rumour going round, is it true ? Page 641. 9. SILVER AND STEEL ? writte n by Kevin D Randle the legend of Huma?s last battle with the Dark Queen, one that will soon be forgotten ? Page 669. 10. FROM THE YEARNING FOR WAR AND THE WAR?S ENDING ? written by Michael Williams a reminder that War is a destroyer of both Love and Life ? Page 683. When I first came across DRAGONLANCE TALES (the collectors edition) I was a bit reluctant to buy it for the simple fact that it was not actually written by MARGERET WEIS & TRACY HICKMAN, but eventually, after thinking that Weis and Hickman have approved it and written some of it, I took a chance and purchased a copy. Was I disappointed, DON?T YOU BELIVE IT, the tales related are spellbinding, they will keep you engrossed for ages and ages, you will not be able to put it down. The tales answer a lot of questions and nagging enquiries into what happened here or what happened there from reading the DRAGONLANCE ANNOTATED CHRONICLES. It is worth reading for the stories of the Majeres alone. At last, the story of what Raistlin went through during his Test! And of course to his brother, In another story, twenty-five years later, we are asked, is he truly dead and has he got an heir? DRAGONLANCE TALES (the collectors edition) was published by Penguin books in association with TST inc in 1991. It was first published by TSR in three separate volumes in 1987 Penguin books then published it in three separate volumes in 1988 It has a total of 698 pages in paperback. ISBN Number is 0-14-015742-5. And cost just £12.99. If you haven?t got it already then buy it you won?t be disappointed.

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            19.05.2002 00:25
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            I bought a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone under the instructions of my 10-year-old daughter; I must admit that I was not to keen on seeing it. Harry Potter and the Philosopher?s Stone is a Magical, Mystery / Adventure presented by Warner Brothers released on November 16, 2001 and is based on the first book in a series of a very popular children?s novels written by J.K. Rowling, it was produced by David Heyman and directed by Chris Columbus, the film is rated a PG and is about 147 mins long. It tells the story of a boy living with his unpleasant relatives who took him in after his parents died, on his 11th birthday he starts to receive mysterious letters which are inviting him to join an equally mysterious Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, he discovers that he is the orphaned son of two very powerful wizards, and more surprising that he is a wizard himself. Harry while on the train full of equally wide eye first year students bound for the mysterious school is befriended by fellow wizards-in-training Hermione Granger (EMMA WATSON) AND Ron Weasley (RUPERT GRINT). Together with his new friends, Harry embarks on the adventure of a lifetime at Hogwarts, a wondrous place beyond Harry?s wildest imagination where he starts to discover his extraordinary talent. As the DVD was spinning in it?s little tray I found myself being converted the more I got into the film, now I can?t wait until the second film comes out. Not only were the special effects amazing, it was especially fun to see the world of Hogwarts come to life. One of the many scenes that come to mind is their encounter with Fluffy ?who is Fluffy I hear you ask, well not telling- you?ll have to watch it?. The film is packed with mostly home grown British actors and actresses like the elderly head wizard Headmaster Albus Dumbledore played by (RICHARD HARRIS) whom, along with Deputy Headmistress/Professor Minerva McGonagall played by (MAGGIE S MITH) deliver a baby Harry to his only living relatives to keep him safe. Sir Nicholas 'Nearly Headless Nick' de Mimsy-Porpington played by (JOHN CLEESE) a resident ghost of Hogwarts, Rubeus Hagrid played by (ROBBIE COLTRANE) the massive but very kindhearted grounds man who seems to acquire some strange things from a man in a pub, Professor Quirrell / Lord Voldemort (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) ?and the less said the better? played by (IAN HART), Professor Severus Snape played by (ALAN RICKMAN), Madame Hooch played by (ZOE WANAMAKER). And of course the three main characters Harry Potter (Age 11) played by (DANIEL RADCLIFFE) the celebrity wizard himself, Ron Weasley played by (RUPERT GRINT) with his well-timed comic relief, and the wonderfully arrogant and obnoxious Hermione Granger played by (EMMA WATSON). It is said that Daniel Radcliffe is a bit of a practical joker; he took co-star Robbie Coltrane?s mobile phone and changed it so that all the messages were in Turkish. My only negative comment is about Daniel Radcliffe?s performance of Harry, which he seemed to play so expressionless. Don?t get me wrong he got the job done, but I would have liked to see him capture the essence of a boy who had been sheltered for the first 11 years of his life and then been transformed into an amazing talented wizard. Instead I saw a boy who was rather matter of fact about it all. Perhaps this could have been helped with the special effects on his scar like it was in the beginning of the film. When his scar hurt it should have glowed instead of him just covering it up with his hand. With the film you also get a 2nd DVD with lots of special features. Never-before-seen footage. Self-guided tour of Hogwarts. Mix potions, perform transfigurations, explore Diagon Alley, and catch a snitch and much, much more! Theatrical trailers. Scene access. And even hearing impaired English. It also has some features on the 2nd disc for DVD-ROM PC such as. Collect wizard trading cards. Be sorted by the sorting hat. Download screensaver and Rememberall. Receive Owl E-Mails. And link to the web. This is a film for ALL ages, from the very young to the very old and should not be missed

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              17.05.2002 03:00
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              Well I have been to the cinema to see the latest instalment in the Star Wars saga by George Lucas "Attack of the Clones". This is the fifth Star Wars film to be screened, But don?t be fooled this is actually only the second episode in this fabulous saga this one is called ?The Attack of the Clones?. As the first episode Attack of the Clones has the big names such as Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee and Samuel L Jackson as well as familiar faces from the first episode like Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid and Pernilla August and the familiar voices of Frank Oz, Ahmed Best, Anthony Daniels and Andrew Secombe. As I settle down in my seat with my large popcorn and a bottle of Dr Pepper, I switch off my mobile phone and wait patiently. After a while the lights start to dim and the curtains roll back, the film starts with that oh so familiar phrase "A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away". Then the equally familiar music bursts out of the speakers and the words start rolling up the screen with a short outline of the story line. It is ten years since the time of the Phantom Menace. The film is about a young Jedi Anakin Skywalker played by Hayden Christensen and his inner struggle with his emotions, he struggles with the love of a woman whilst fear, frustration and anger push him further and further towards the dark side. Members of the Jedi council which includes Yoda with the voice of Frank Oz and Mace Windu played by Samuel L Jackson hope that Obi-Wan Kenobi played by Ewan McGregor can help Anakin from turning as they try to protect Senator Padme Amidala and battle the dark forces of evil with Count Dooku played by Christopher Lee and the Bounty hunter Jango Fett played by Temuera Morrison. Once again we see the forces of Good battling against the forces of Evil, it seems a never-ending battle where good will triumph, aahhh but will it, you will have to wait and see, and we all hope w e do not have to wait too long George, getting on for 25 years is long enough wouldn?t you say, it?s a shame you are getting bored with it Mr Lucas because you will find that there are a lot of Fans that are not, never mind maybe it is like they say too much of a good thing can spoil what you have got, don?t get me wrong I as many of other fans are very grateful that someone of your Genius came along to give us such a superb set of films like Star Wars. The visual effects done by John Knoll, Pablo Helman, Ben Snow, Dennis Muren and Rob Coleman are second to none with the fabulous battle scenes that are the start of the clone wars and as all the other four Star Wars Episodes so far there seems to have been a lot of effort and imagination gone in to the creation of all the weird and wonderful creatures that pop up during the film. The scenery from the five worlds of Coruscant, Naboo, Geonosis, Kamino and Tatooine are absolutely stunning from Raging sea, Scorching desert, Airways and Mountain ranges they are all breathtaking. The music done by John Williams and the photography done by David Tattersall are also quite special from the old familiar music to the new and improved, the sound effects are very good, it is amazing the amount of different types of languages that had to be thought up for so many different races and the sound effects of the battle scenes, especially the main one is absolutely stunning. The film runs for approximately 2 ½ hours and I must admit I could have sat there and watched it if it was 5 ½ hours, I will definitely be buying the DVD as soon as it comes out to add to the collection I have already in my possession. In closing I would leave you with some questions to ponder. 1. Why didn't Qui-Gon Jinn disappear when he died in the Phantom Menace? 2. Why doesn't Darth Vader recognise C-3PO in Episode V if he made him? 3. Why doesn't Obi-Wan Ken obi recognise R2-D2? 4. Why doe s Obi-Wan Ken obi tell Luke Skywalker that Yoda in Episode IV trained him when Qui-Gon Jinn was his master in Episode I? 5. If the Clones were grown are fight for the Republic, why are they under the control of the Federation in Episode IV. One Last thing - WAY TO GO GEORGE YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN. GOOD JOB I can't wait for Episode III, all our questions may finally be answered. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU ? ALWAYS.

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                15.05.2002 19:25
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                I must first state that i am not usually one for reading Sci-Fi books but one day i found myself in possetion of a book called The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. The time is the distant future. The place is Space. The human race has expanded to distant planets and are under the Nine Star League. The Talents are the Elite of the Nine Star League which range from the gently telepathic to the primes which are the most powerful telepaths. The story starts on a planet called Altair, it is raining, it's been raining alot which in turn has caused mud slides and desroys a Rowan Mining Companies small setlement. At that point the Telepaths start to hear the crying of a young child, not the crying you and i would think of but a crying they can hear in their minds. A search is made and a young girl og three is found, the child is named Rowan, she is found to have great potencial to become one, if not the greatest Prime in the Nine Star League. As she grows The Rowan goes through all the emotions that a normal youngster would all the while training for the express perpose of one day running a station on a planet and using her powers to shift cargo from one planet to another. The first Prime to be born on Altair, more talented, more powerful, more agoraphobic and more lonely than any other prime. This is the first of Five books in this brilliant series. The other books being. Damia - Damia's Children - Lyon's Pride - The Tower and the Hive. The Rowan was respectfully dedictated to Jay A Katz. It was originally published in Britain by Bantam Books in 1990. it is now published by Corgi Books and has been since 1991. ISBN No = 0-552-13763-4

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                • Golden Virginia Tobacco / Tobacco / 3 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                  14.05.2002 11:12
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                  GOLDEN VIRGINIA A pure Virginia cut. This is a very mild smoke. This bright gold coloured fine/medium long cut which comes in a nice green packet; the robust flavour is very enjoyable. I have been smoking golden Virginia for 30 years and I have yet to find a tobacco that is as appealing, I know it is bad for me as I am told by lots and lots of people, they cough at me, they pretend to choke when I light up, and I was reminded every time I open my tin or packet with it's nice government health warning on the side and the top, so I decided to get myself a nice plain tin with a fancy picture on the top. I know I should give it up and believe me I have tried but to no avail, twice I have given up for about a year but have always started again. I have tried other tobacco's like Old Olborn, amber Leaf, Drum, even god forbid Boars Head, I have tried tailor made cigarettes but I always come back to good old Golden Virginia. I now find that if you rip a cigarette paper in half it makes a very good tip in one end to stop that bit of tobacco going down the throat when you inhale sometimes. I was glad when I found that I could now get my smoke from Europe for a third of the price that it is being sold in England which is annoying really seeing as it is packed in England and shipped to Europe. I don?t think I will ever give it up again; I resign myself to the fact that I will still be smoking for another 30 years, so there. Especially when I can make about 100 cigarettes from one 50g pouch. One last thing, you should stop smoking it is bad for you, it may kill you, but it is your decision, enjoy it if you will, I know I will.

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                  • Mutant X / TV Programme / 1 Reading / 10 Ratings
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                    13.05.2002 09:26
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                    Mutant X is just another show trying to compete with the classic hit The X Men. And where the cast, (with the exception of Adam played by John Shea & Mason Eckhart played by Tom McCamus) have all been taken out of the model school and forgotten to teach them the art of acting. Shalimar Fox played by Victoria Platt (part feline). Brennan Mulwray played by Victor Webster (part battery charger). Jesse Kilmartin played by Forbes March (density changer), and Emma DeLauro played by Lauren Lee Smith (the telepath) are all in there twenties, good looking but that?s it, their acting skills seem to have been overlooked, but then again they have no acting skills to look at. Even the story lines leave a bit to be desired, once you have seen one episode you have seen them all. Each episode starts with Mutant X (Adam, Shalimar, Brenan, Jesse and Emma) receiving a request for help from mutant (yet another model/bad actor) who, is trying to outrun their creators the GSA (a secret government organisation run by Mason Eckhart & Co). Mason in turn seems to have an endless supply of helpers, as every week he seems to have a different helper with different powers. If you are into this sort of thing the last time I looked it was on Sky One, but I would strongly recommend you give it a miss.

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