Share this page on

bronze Status bronze (Level 7/10)



Trusted by 167 members
See member statistics

Our little boy arrived Friday 13th December, weighing in at 8lb and measuring a lengthy 57cm. His name is Dane and we are utterly in love.

Reviews written

since 27/06/2003


Member Advice on IVF - Invitrofertilization 15/08/2013

Six weeks to possibly change your life.

Member Advice on IVF - Invitrofertilization A while back I detailed all the forms and tests you have to put yourself and partner through before being accepted for IVF. It’s not so simple or quick as you may think, there are many tests and many forms and there are points you wonder when all the tests are going to end and you can finally get started. . . I could do the quick explanation of IVF which is as follows:- Step one. Start to sniff Down-Regulation drugs. Step Two. Start to inject Stimulation drugs, whilst still sniffing and having regular internal scans. Step Three. Take a trigger shot. Step four. Have eggs taken out, fertilised. Step five. Have fertilised egg/s put back in. Step six. Take pregnancy test. Step Seven Whoop / cry. However, that’s not really going to help those of you who may be about to embark on IVF or ICSI, so here’s a more indepth ‘step’ of what happens. This is what I’ve been through; it may be slightly different (timescale, drugs and emotions) for others. Get comfy, its Numb Bum Time and yes, this contains man-scaring words like ‘vagina’ ‘period’ ‘blood’ and so on so maybe don’t read if eating, or if you’re a tad squeemy. The Beginning I had my pre-start appointment at the IVF clinic back in June 2012 and it was there that they discovered my teeny fibroid had grown into a not so teeny fibroid and had to be removed. Most IVF clinics will refuse an IVF cycle if the woman is found to have fibroid/s as it can affect implantation and can even result in ...

Everything that starts with I ... 20/06/2012

I want a b***y baby!!

Everything that starts with I ... Men may want to step away now, this article contains words like ‘period’ and ‘ovulation’ and other stuff which makes weaker men run for the hills. If however you have a friend or partner who is about to go through IVF, then read on – I hope this insight helps you. Of course, everyone’s story is different, this is mine. . . SO, this is the beginning of “My Pre-IVF Story” – honestly, I sound like one of those awful Channel 5 programmes, “The boy with a bum for a face”. As the whole pre-IVF shebang is long, this portion only details the ‘run up’ to it, i.e. all the hoops you jump and body roll through before you get anywhere near a vial of nasal down-reg drugs (oh yes, you take drugs to make you go through the menopause! I can’t bloody wait for that fortnight she says laughing hysterically). . . To start at the beginning where it all makes sense – I have PCOS. This means that your ovulation can be a bit up the creak, you just don’t know precisely when your period is going to put in an appearance, therefore you can’t count precisely or even roughly when you will be ovulating, so you can’t work out your prime ‘ovulation window’ (you are fertile a few days before and a day or so after you’ve ovulated – if you are a regular bunny, and say, you KNOW your period is due 28 June, count back 14 days which takes you to 14 June. That’s your Ovulation date. Your Ovulation Window will be roughly 2 or 3 days prior to the 14th, and approximately 2 days after ovulation). This means ...

Windmill Restaurant, London 09/05/2012

When first impressions should be ignored.

Windmill Restaurant, London ** Some people call this place The Windmill restaurant, others call it The Windmill Tapas Restaurant - Ciao went with Windmill Restaurant **. The Windmill is a restaurant the man and I would walk past of a Saturday after visiting his parents, I’d look through the window and despite the place being absolutely *heaving*, I’d be all whiney and stupid and “but it doesn’t look nice” and would refuse to go in there. Until one day himself went just as whiney and made me. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t look fantastic from the front and if you didn’t know and just walked in there, you may well think “uech”, turn on your heel and walk back out again at the site of many tables and chairs in fairly close (but not too close) proximity to each other, the abundance of pictures of windmills on the walls, the rather dated bright orange paintwork and the area by the till often having many cases of beer stacked up near it. All these things make you wonder what the hell you are getting yourself in to, but relax, it’s all good. On a Saturday The Windmill has a special lunch menu, you pay around £4.50 for a large plate of food - you get a good sized menu to chose from, items ranging from beef rib, piri piri chicken, calamari, mackerel, pastas, frittata and a whole lot more and numerous veggie and fish options for non meat eaters. All come with either chips, sautéed potatoes or fruited rice and the serving is of a good size to set you up for the day. If we lunch here, we often treat it as ...

Method Touch Wood Floor Cleaner 26/04/2012

Mmmmmm, cakey.

Method Touch Wood Floor Cleaner After my Aggie floor disaster, I’ve been looking for a good quality floor cleaner for my living room floor (tiles, which have been painted with floor paint then a top coat of clear varnish). I did consider using those ‘multi-task’ household cleaner sprays and solutions, but I thought that whilst they’d be great on kitchen floors which can get food splashes and paw prints, it may be a little too harsh for my living room floor. Y'know how sometimes you are in those moods when you think it's un-acceptable to pay £1 for a pair of flip-flops which you deem to be over-priced, yet other times its perfectly acceptable and A-OK to pay about £4 for a floor cleaner? Well, I was in one of those moods when I thought the £4 floor cleaner was acceptable.... So, after vacuuming the floor to get rid of grit, loose cat fur a and odd little spit outs of kibble (now the mogs are cracking on in years, they have this irritating habit of spitting out the odd piece of kibble, which they then use to bat around as a fun toy. Being owned by cats is a charming experience of daily house cleaning, locating soggy kibble, being dribbled on and constantly sticky-rollering yourself), I got the bottle out of the cupboard. How to use This is a squirt-directly-to-floor liquid (pull up the plastic lid to open it). To wipe the liquid around, you need to use a damp mop or I suppose you could use a damp cloth. The lid is quite snug so once its re-closed, it won't leak and the bottle is soft enough to ...

Wheelers Natural Beeswax Floor Polish 17/01/2012

White lines - don't do it luvvie.

Wheelers Natural Beeswax Floor Polish The living room floor has involved a lot of hard graft and now looks pretty amazing and I wanted to keep it that way as after spending a LOT of time removing the carpets, grippa rods, filling in the nail holes, sanding back the un-glazed floor tiles (my house has a concrete floor), I painted the tiles a rich chocolate brown then finished off with a coat of hard wearing varnish (I was aiming for a buffed beaten leather look) – the last thing I wanted was for the floor to look dull. . . I was in HomeSense when I saw their small selection of cleaning products, one being a floor polish suitable for tiled floors made by Wheelers. As it was only £1.99 instead of £4.99 AND it had a sticker of Aggie – ones of the Queens of Grime – endorsing the product, I thought it’d be good as I’ve got one of their Natural Beeswax Furniture Creams which did good job of my dark wooden coffee table (which as it no longer matched the new style of the room, was handed to a friend). Oddly, the bottle I have contains a thick dark brown cream, yet the website shows the product as being white. I’ve also used their Leather Balm thick cream which works well too so I had high hopes. . . A few days later I tried it...then spent over an hour rectifying the nasty oogy mess it left of my living room floor. . . How’s it work? Pour a small amount of the thin white liquid on to a soft cloth, apply to floor, then buff to a high sheen with a clean soft cloth. . . How it actually works... ...

White Glo Tea & Coffee Drinkers Formula 12/01/2012

Say G'day to whiter teeth.

White Glo Tea & Coffee Drinkers Formula I’m a sucker for toothpastes which claim to whiten your teeth, I think I must’ve tried every brand going – even spending up to a shocking £10 per tube on those pastes which promise to lighten your teeth several shades in a week. I end up using the tube, seeing my teeth are still the same shade as they were several weeks earlier, then changing brands. . . That was until I discovered White Glo. It was a Monday morning, I’d galloped into the large Boots at Liverpool Street to hand in a prescription, I had no intention of buying toothpaste but whilst hoofing it past the display, I saw a new product on offer “White Glo”. After checking through the variants on offer, I opted for “Tea & Coffee Drinker” as I’m a sucker for a daily cappuccino and I’m aware this had left my teeth looking slightly dull. Whilst pricey at £4.05 a tube, it also came with a toothbrush and a pack of 5 interdental brushes. . . I put the paste to the test that evening. . . White Glo does not come in a pump variant, only flip cap. The supplied brush has a sucker on the bottom of the handle so you can stick it to a tiled bathroom wall, I always pull the sucker off so it can fit into the toothbrush holder thing in my bathroom. I found the brush to be of good quality, I’ve been using the paste for 3 times a day for well over a year now and have gone through many of the brushes (having a toothbrush with the paste encourages you to change your brush when you need new paste), I’ve never had any ...

The Empress of India, London 23/12/2011

The Empress has an admirer.

The Empress of India, London The other half is a photographer and his most recent shoot took him to a gastro pub in Hackney. he said that the food there looked so good, we had to go there for lunch on Saturday. However, that didn't quite pan out as we got there and nothing on the menu really leapt out at us so we decided to have a walk down the high street to see if there was anywhere else that caught our eye. And the place that did was a large pale grey building (clearly an old converted pub), called The Empress (of India). The Decor To the immediate right is a firly large bar area, I imagine you could perch here for a drink and some bar snacks should you not want a proper sit-down meal. The kitchen hatch is quite open and if sat right, you can see the chefs working away. The restaurant is 'canteen' style furniture, so old wooden tables and chairs, and red leather banquette seating round the edges at the windows. The room is open plan, light cream, bright and airey. The toilets are located downstairs - a big staircase is bang in the middle of the restaurant - again, these were clean, tidy and well stocked but not great for access for some people. The Service A very happy waitress gave us each a menu which was a sheet of A4 and asked if we'd like still or sparkling water - no mention of jugged water which many places are offering these days, but hey, this is Hackeny which is now the preserve of the Yummy Mummy and Investment Banker Brigade..... Our water arrived along with a plate ...

Member Advice on Surviving an Accident 06/12/2011

8 yrs of careful driving blown by 1 idiot driver

Member Advice on Surviving an Accident I was slow to take driving lessons, I could never see the point - I always lived near plenty of commuter links and I had my legs so what was the need? After many discussions with the other half, I finally took lessons and passed my test. Eight years of un-eventful and safe driving on my part pass by. Until last Friday. I had the day off as I had a morning hospital check-up and the afternoon booked as leave. I decided that for the afternoon I'd be driving my my house in Loughton, to Walthamstow and then back to Epping. It's a short drive from mine to the M11 and I was driving along in the left hand lane at about 60mph, I was in no rush. I noticed I was slowly gaining on the person ahead of me and as I was soon coming up to the part of the M11 which changes from three lanes to two - then drops from 70mph to 50mph, I decided to move to the middle lane to enable me to take the A406 exit I required (some drivers really don't like to let you change lanes!). I checked my mirrors and over my right shoulder, everything was totally, utterly, 100% clear, so I gently accelerated, indicated and moved smoothly into the middle lane. I was about to click off the indicators when I noticed that suddenly, there was a very shiny red car to my right - it was level with my car and was moving sideways directly into me. I knew the driver either hadn't seen me, or they were being typically "I'm in a flasher, newer car than you, so you can move" arrogant. At one point the red car was so ...

Paintball - General 25/11/2011

On my command, unleash hell.

Paintball - General The Man used to play paintball many years ago with his friends and it was something he said that I, a gym fiend, would love, simply from the fact it was exercise and a pure adrenaline rush. Knowing that paintballs hurt and not relishing the idea of clambering through mud, I managed to evade the game until a few weeks back when one of our friends got cheap tickets through Groupon and now I’m kicking myself for having not been sooner. . . . There are numerous paintball sites throughout the UK, however, we were at the Zap Paintball site in Broxbourne. It’s not very well sign posted, the Man drove into what he thought was the venue (I told him it wasn’t), he then realised I was correct (hah!), and the site was a short distance down the road. The signs were those plastic things tied in place with rope and they weren’t brightly coloured so could be easy to miss. . . . Parking You are essentially in woodland, the car park is just that, woodland – no marked bays. It’s not very spacious so many cars were jumbled up together, we made sure we didn’t block anyone in and off we went through the entrance gates. . . . Entrance Everything is in a big U shape in front of you so working from the left:- * The entrance to the LaserQuest game site, next to that was a snack shack selling burgers, hot and cold drinks, crisps and chocolate. * Next to that was the desk where you collect your cammo gear, mask and ammo belt. * Next to that (now immediately in front of you) is the ...

DFS Furniture Store (Shop) 17/10/2011

DFS - not as bad as the doom-mongers make out

DFS Furniture Store (Shop) I have been slogging away decorating my living room for quite some time now, 6 months infact. It’s taken absolutely ages as I wanted to do it properly and a lot of work was involved for the living room to end up like how I’d imagined it. . . I was in the final stages of finishing off those niggly bits of DIY so decided now was the time to order a new sofa as for several years we’d been sitting on a battered old leather 2-seater which through the cunning use of throws and cushions...looked like a battered old leather sofa covered with throws and cushions. I showed the Boyf a picture of the DFS sofa ("Cobra") I thought was perfect and he said it was fine – “Don’t you want to come to the shop and sit on it?” I asked. “Nah, anything’s gotta be more comfortable than this....just order it, I’ll be fine, honestly ” was his helpful reply. You’d think being given free reign is helpful, it isn’t as it sent me off in paroxysms of “IS it comfy, am I getting the right colour” . . . As we didn’t have the ready cash to hand, the only option was either apply for a zero interest credit card and purchase it on that, or opt for Interest Free Credit – I opted for the later as I think the credit card option could be a path to disaster. So, Boyf was off on a 10day photoshoot of South America and off I pootled to DFS, armed with a piece of A4 painted in my new wall colour, my door measurements, proof of ID, cheque book, inside leg measurement and the position of the moon at the precise moment ...

Ikea 05/10/2011

Ever wondered where the 7th portal to hell is?

Ikea Most people – I say most, there’s always going to be one or two who shudder and say no – but most people would have ventured into an IKEA store at some point in their lives, either to kit out a room, their whole house or just to buy one item they’ve seen in the catalogue (or to go in, see the crowds and run out screaming, as in the case of the Boyf). I live about a 20minute drive away from the Tottenham / Edmonton (or ‘Enfield’ as it appears on my phones sat nav) branch so a few times a year, I venture off to IKEA and usually exit a bit trembly – I then drive to the Krispy Kream and have a sugar fix. . . . ~ The Rules ~ . Never, ever go on a Saturday or any of the School Holidays. . . When parking your car, remember to look up at the lettered lamp-posts and remember your letter. I once parked and neglected to do this. I then exited and naturally, couldn’t remember quite where I’d parked. Have you tried finding a small silver car in a car park full of small silver cars? Have you? I had visions of having to wait until the shop closed and everyone else had buggered off, but eventually by pure luck, I stumbled across my car hidden from view by two mahoosive vans. . . You must (not) follow the floor arrows. Although after you’ve been to the Enfield or I dare say any branch a few times, you get to know the short cuts. If you want the food, you go straight up the escalator, hit an immediate right and bingo, food hall. For the Market Place, up the escalator, up the ...

FrogTape Multi-Surface 14/07/2011

Pricier, but stops you swearing.

FrogTape Multi-Surface I’m in the process of decorating my living room - it’s a total revamp starting from ripping up the carpets and sanding and painting the floors, fitting new wall lights, stripping all the woodwork and re-painting, sanding the walls followed by building chunky built-in shelves in an alcove and ripping out and replacing the old dated twiddly-twee fire surround. I was spurred into action after stupidly putting a screw through an upstairs heating pipe in my bid to stop an incessantly squeaky floorboard (more of a donkey honk than a squeak) and I was so ashamed at my living room when the plumbers arrived that the very next day I set about tearing up the manky carpet much to the alarm of the Boyf and the cats. Yeah, I didn’t exactly ask him first....... . . Now I’m in the final furlong of painting the walls and as it’s taken 2 months and 15 various shade of paint samples daubed across the walls before the Boyf finally said “I don’t care anymore, just pick a bloody colour and I’ll live with it” so I couldn’t wait to go. The only clause Boyf brought up was that I must use masking tape on the edges to get a crisp line. I absolutely detest masking tape. It never does its job properly, paint seeps under no matter how much you make sure you’ve stuck it to the wall / ceiling / skirting and when you finally do gingerly peel the stuff away it manages to bring a bit of the wall you’ve just painted away with it, or reveal a nice seeped paint splurge. . . It was whilst scooting around my ... 21/06/2011

An enjoyable good deed. Sat at my desk I was surprised by the words from my colleague “I’m doing the moonwalk”. Glancing up and noticing that she was doing no such thing, I carried on working. After her explaining it was a charity walk, I was then subjected to 5 mins of Mrs Doyle “G’won g’won, g’won’s” and before I knew it, I’d signed up too. . The Annual Moonwalk is a charity walk, commencing at midnight, it starts and finishes at London Hyde Park and you walk 26.2miles (or around 13 miles for a Half Moon). Oh, and the catch? Because it is for breast cancer, you do the walk in your bra. Even the men. Yep, a comedy moment if ever there was one, men in decorated bras, quite often better decorated than the womens ones too. . Signing up is incredibly easy although you do have to be quick, the link to join came live at 9am on the Wednesday 29 September and I was signed up by 10am. I had to fill in obvious details (name, address, date of birth, emergency contact numbers for the day, pre-race food choice of veggie pasta or veggie rice, the time you plan to complete the walk in, t-shirt size and bra size - they send you a bra to decorate for the race). You then need to pay £45.50 and you wait until you receive final confirmation of your booking which should arrive no later than 11am on Monday 4th October (Obviously, these dates will most likely change a little for next years walk). Well before the walk, you get a few info packs on how to prepare for the big event, plus how to get there, as well as ...

Dinner by Heston, London 19/04/2011

Lunch @ Dinner

Dinner by Heston, London It was fast approaching the man’s 40th birthday and as you’re only forty once (unless you plan on reaching 80), then I decided that he was due a treat. As he is a foodie fan, I spent a long time reading various restaurant menus until finally, I hit gold ....I’d heard Heston Blumenthal was opening a new London venture located within the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge and once the initial manic clamour for bookings died down, snagged myself a lunchtime reservation which I made a month in advance. . . Ahh, Heston - that likeable but slightly odd man who serves snail porridge at his restaurant in Bray and whips up lickable wallpaper and seagulls that poop tartar sauce on his Food Feasts programmes.....well, “Dinner” is nothing like that. Much time was spent researching old recipe books for long-lost recipes, infact, one item on the menu is dated c1500 but clearly, it has been given the Heston update as I think the 1500 version would be completely dire compared to the 2011 version. . . The restaurant is located within the hotel, signs are minimal but once you’ve got past the man who opens the door for you, you encounter another member of staff who asks you if you need assistance. You are then guided to a Heston employee who walks you to reception and then walked from reception to your table. Yep, a whole lot of people whose job is to walk people from one spot to another...... . . The restaurant is large but not overly so, and there are a range of tables from ...

Autoglass 13/04/2011

Hammer Time.

Autoglass It was 6am and I was woken with a jolt at the sudden and un-expected ringing of my doorbell. As it was swiftly followed by a rapid thumping on the door, I knew it was urgent, so got up and galloped down the stairs to be greeted by my neighbour - she leaves early for work and upon leaving, discovered her cars front windscreen had been smashed (not shattered, but a huge impact mark and spider legs running out from it). She then glanced round and saw my car’s rear windscreen had been totally obliterated. . . She’d sent her son off down the street and he came back a few minutes later saying that at least 6 others cars had also been vandalised so at that point we rang the Police to report our incidents. . . After that, I then dug out my car insurance to check my policy - I’m with Direct Line and pay for Fully Comprehensive and this comes with free windscreen repair or £75 excess payment for windscreen replacement. I rang Direct Line and due to the time I called, think I got someone half awake as I don’t think it’s normal for a company employee to answer a phone with the word “Alriiiiight”, and I was given the number for Autoglass. . . Autoglass have one of those annoying automated press 1 if, press 2 if, numbers so after much pacing and toe tapping - I am incredibly impatient - I finally got through to a person. I gave my name, address, car make, model, registration, stressed it was a rear heated windscreen and then paid the £75 excess over the phone by debit card. I was ...
See more reviews Back to top