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since 22/03/2010


Heights of Abraham 16/09/2013

Not At All Biblical

The Heights Of Abraham Last month my wife and I visited a place called The Heights Of Abraham. We spent a good few hours there and enjoyed our visit. I must confess I had never heard of The Heights Of Abraham before but it’s a place I won’t forget in a hurry. So I thought seeing I had enjoyed myself I should spend a little time giving the place a review. So first of all I will tell you a little bit of the history of The Heights Of Abraham and then tell you of my experience of the place. So first of all, what, where and why? Whose The Jeff Is Abraham? The first question that springs to mind when you hear the name ‘The Heights Of Abraham’ is who is Abraham? Is this some biblical tourist attraction based on a long dead bible character? Or did someone called Abraham simply start a tourist attraction high up and name it after himself? Well I must admit while visiting I never got the answer to this question and it took a bit of digging online to work out where the name actually came from. So the name is taken from a place in Quebec Canada where a great battle took place on a spot called The Heights Of Abraham. Here the general Wolfe was killed in 1759 and the place became more well known. The spot in the UK was said to look much like the place in Canada, so it was given the same name. So where exactly is The Heights Of Abraham? Well it’s near the small town of Matlock Bath in Derbyshire. It sits in a lovely area with lots of rolling hills and green forests. Matlock Bath ...

Lightwater Valley 11/09/2013

Going Downhill Fast & That's Not The Rollercoaster's!

Lightwater Valley Lightwater Valley Theme Park Lightwater Valley is a theme park located near Ripon, North Yorkshire. As I do with all my reviews I want to tell you a little bit about the theme park, then tell you a little bit about my history with Lightwater Valley and then tell you of my recent experience. I visited Lightwater Valley in August with my wife and so I have a pretty good idea of where the park is currently at with regards to rides, prices and general service. So first of all before I tell you what I think of the place, a little bit of background about the park itself. The History Of Lightwater Valley Way back in the 1960’s Lightwater Valley first opened it’s doors. Back then it was a humble fruit farm where people would come and pick there own fruit. Lightwater Valley became quite popular until the mid 1970’s when there was a severe drought which decimated the strawberry plantation and much of the other fruit grown in the area. Is was not until 1987 that the area was started as an actual theme park. Back then there was just one rollercoaster and a few other basic attractions. The Staveley family had owned the land in this area for many years and it was they who set the theme park in motion, building it into a popular tourist attraction by the late 80’s. However in 1997 the park was sold to a new company called Queensborough Holdings. The park was then sold again in 2001 when Heritage GB took over the running of the park. Over the years the park has not really grown in ...

Kyrenia (Girne) 05/04/2013

A Turkish Town With A Greek History 07/10/2012

Almost As Good As The Real Thing

Saint Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia 20/09/2012

A Magical Castle Experience

Saint Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia Last Christmas my girlfriend and I travelled to Northern Cyprus to spend a week with her grandparents who live there. While in Cyprus we travelled round various places and saw some impressive sights. This area has some stunning monasteries, castles and other impressive pieces of architecture. Without a doubt the highlight of the week there though was visiting Saint Hilarion Castle. So as is my usually way I first of all want to tell you a little about the castle and it’s history and then I want to tell you about my personal experience of this magical castle. In doing so you should get a really well rounded out idea of exactly what to expect if you the opportunity to visit this place. St. Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus Saint Hilarion Castle sits high in the Kyrenia mountains in the north of Cyprus. The site is around ten miles from nearby Kyrenia or to give it it’s Turkish name, Girne. Northern Cyprus is the Turkish part of the country so when you cross over the border from south to north everything changes from Greek to Turkish. The castle started out as a monastery way back in the 10th century. Then later on the Byzantines converted the buildings adding fortifications and basically turned the place into a castle. Over the next few hundred years various sections were added and improved. Then in the 15th century much of the castle was taken down by the Venetians and since then it has remained pretty much the same. The castle really is an impressive structure ...

Lego Minifigures 8804 24/05/2012

The Forth Series Of Minifigures

Lego Minifigures 8804 Lego Minifigures Series 4 8804 The first thing I should point about before I get this review under way is that this review is for Lego Minifigures Series 4. The Ciao listing just says Lego Minifigures 8804, so it is a little unclear that they are referring to the forth series. But the Lego item number 8804 does indeed relate to this series. So now you know that, let’s get on with it. So why you may ask is a thirty year old bloke spending his time collecting Lego? Well I’ll admit this is a valid question. Back when I was a kid I used to love the stuff, but I’m not a kid anymore, surely I should have grown out of Lego! Well up until recently I thought I had done, but then I found that I still had a love of this clever little toy. The only Lego I really spend any money on are the minifigures, and I use the excuse that they are collectables so it’s perfectly acceptable. Lego brought out their first series of minifigures back in 2010. These seemed to pass under the radar of many people and some toy shops didn’t even stock them. Lego decided they were onto something though and starting to bring out more series’ of the toys. Now we are up to series 7 and the minifigures are now massively successful for Lego. I first starting collecting these figures last year. I now have pretty much all the figures from series 1-6 and am half way though collecting series 7. Despite the fact that they are children’s toys you can’t deny the fact that they are collectable and I do have a thing about ...

Lego Minifigures 8803 Series 3 18/05/2012

Tiny Little Lego Men

Lego Minifigures 8803 Series 3 Lego Minifigures Series 3 One of the biggest delights of my childhood has to be opening up a fresh box of Lego. Back then it was some kind of space ship series that had various different size ships and a few little minifigures. That must have been twenty years ago. Today’s Lego has come on leaps and bounds. These days there are tens of different Lego themes all running at once. You can get Lego for very young children, Lego for girls and Lego for older boys. There really is something for everyone. In recent times Lego have started basing much of their new sets on familiar themes such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Batman and various other well known characters. The big release of 2012 is the Lord Of The Rings Lego sets which are hitting the shops early June and then later in the year we will see the introduction of Hobbit Lego. Along with all these Lego sets Lego have also stumbled on something which seems to have taken the world by storm. Lego Minifigures. These are simply little Lego men and you can collect various different little characters. When these first came out back in 2010 they were nothing overly special, but since then Lego seem to have promoted them more and more and they have become massive sellers for the company. We are now up to series 7 with a series 8 promised for later in the year. One of the older sets though is the one I want to take a closer look at today. So this review will be taking a close look at Lego Minifigures Series 3. ...

Lego Minifigures Series 6 03/05/2012

It's A Mini Adventure

Lego Minifigures Series 6 My Love Of All Things LegoLego is something that pretty much everyone has come into contact with at some point in their lives. I got my first Lego set when I was around eight. It consisted of a small space ship with little guns and a little minifigure spaceman. To be perfectly honest I think my dad bought me that Lego set more for himself than for me as he seemed to enjoy building it far more than I did. From that day onwards though my love for Lego grew and grew. Up until the age of around fourteen I had lots of Lego and played with it on a regular basis. From that age onwards though my love of Lego pretty much ended. That all changed last year however. I write on another site and one area that I specialise in is Lego. When I first starting writing about it I was doing it because I new that I loved Lego as a kid and so I thought it would interest me. Now I’m right back into it. I have to admit I have no children of my own at this point but despite that fact I once again love Lego. It has progressed such a long way and you can now get some wonderful themed lego such as Star Wars, Batman, Ninjago and I’m very excited about the soon to be released Lego Lord Of The Rings sets and then also Hobbit sets later in the year. One relatively new line of Lego though are the minifigures. I started collecting these last year and have nearly all of them now. So I wanted to review them. So I decided the best place to start was from the most recent series, series 6. Lego Minifigures Series ...

Vivid Imaginations Flufflings Okki Soft Toy 30/04/2012

A Big Ball Of Fluff

Vivid Imaginations Flufflings Okki Soft Toy Flufflings Last week I wrote an in depth review of a new children’s toy called Fijit Friends. This week it is the turn of the Fluffling. This is another product out of my comfort zone, not something I would usually buy or review when writing here on Ciao. But yet again I do have quite a good knowledge of these furry little toys so thought I should give them a review. I want to tell you how I came to have one of these little toys and then tell you exactly what I think of it. Plus due to the fact that I recently purchased a Fijit Friend I will probably compare the two as they are quite similar toys. Why Do I Have A Fluffling?So first of all I feel as if I should justify the reasons for having one of these. Basically I write on another site and I often write about toys. At the back end of last year I had a look at quite a few kids toys that were going to be coming out over the Christmas period. One of these was the new Flufflings. My girlfriends saw me writing about these and thought they were adorable. I showed her the TV advert and she said she wanted one. She is the kind to want anything that is cute and cuddly and usually I tell her to stop being a big kid and behave, in fact I think that is exactly what I told her on this occasion as well. A week later however I was in Toymaster checking out some of their new stock and I came across a Fluffling. It’s big eyes just said ‘buy me, buy me’. I new it would put a big smile on my girlfriends face and even though the price was £20 ...

Mattel Fijit Friends Serafina 24/04/2012

All Singing, All Dancing

Mattel Fijit Friends Serafina Fijit Friends - SerafinaToys have come a very long way since I was a wee nipper. I’m thirty now and the ways things have changed is simply mind boggling sometimes. A prime example of this is a toy I bought a few weeks ago. This toy is what is known as a Fijit Friend. To be exact it is the pink one called Serafina. I have been amazed by exactly what this little toy can do so I wanted to share that with you and put across just how clever this little pink toy is. An Introduction To The Fijit FriendsFijit Friends first hit my radar around six months ago. I do a lot of writing for another website and I wrote an article about big toys that were coming out over the Christmas period. One of these toys were Fijit Friends. Back then I didn’t realise how big these little toys would be. Over the past six months I have had several thousand reads of my article on these and they went on to be one of the biggest selling toys of 2011. Fijit Friends are made my the toy company Mattel, a company you are probably familiar with as they have been around for some time now. Due to the massive success of Fijit Friends Mattel have actually brought out some smaller versions of the toys called Newbies and later in 2012 they are bringing out Fijit Friends Yippits. So as you can see these toys really were the start of something big. After all the hype surrounding these toys I decided I had to get one and see what all the fuss was about, for research purposes only mind due! So I bought one cheap on eBay ...

Petzl Myo XP Head Torch 22/04/2012

Shine A Light

Petzl Myo XP Head Torch The Petzl Myo Xp I used to assume headlamps were only for people who liked to poke around dark holes underground. I suppose you would call these people hobbits, or cavers. However, in more recent years I have found myself actually using a headlamp or head torch as they are also known. The need arose when myself and a friend were walking up a mountain in the evening, we were up on the summit for sunset and the light would be fading fast on the way down. It turned out that it was pitch black by the time we reached the car. For that first romp with a head torch I had bought an extremely cheap one for around £10. It was useless, barely casting any light on the ground in front of me, I tripped, stumbled and fell my way down the mountain. My friend on the other hand a Petzl head torch, it was ten times as good as mine, so I decided I would stop being so tight fisted and purchase one for myself. So a few weeks later I splashed out on one of these, a Petzl Myo XP head torch. Admittedly this was not a cheap piece of equipment but it has been invaluable since buying it. So what do you get when you buy this Petzl head torch? Well first of all the fitting is very good. The elastic headband is very easy to adjust and there is also a strap which keeps the lamp in place. Even when jogging along I find this head torch stays where you want it to, the light doesn't drop down it shines in a straight line where you aim it. My old head torch would droop, any heavy movement on my part and I would ...

Morphy Richards 48280 01/03/2012

I Love The Smell Of Fresh Bread

Morphy Richards 48280 That Wonderful Smell In The MorningNothing beats the smell of fresh bread. That wonderful whiff you get when you wander past the bakery in the morning is now available in your very own kitchen. Baking bread is something that my family has always done, when I was a kid my gran always used to bake her own bread and we were always treated with a slice when we would visit on a Friday afternoon. Nowadays though the invention of the bread maker has made making bread a simple task that anyone can perform, even me. We have had a bread maker for a few years now but I must confess it's only in the last few months that I have really started to use it and become familiar with it. So our particular bread maker is a Morphy Richards 48280 Fast Bake. This is a wonderful addition to any kitchen and it has been used on a regular basis for a few years now. I love coming in from work and smelling fresh bread and the bread that this creates really is tasty and also quite healthy which is an added bonus. We do still buy bread in as I'm not overly keen on home made bread for sandwiches, but I do love using home made bread for toast. Easy To UseSo first of all what exactly does a bread maker do? Well quite simply it makes bread! To do this, all you need to do is put all the correct measures of ingredients into the machine, this includes things such as fresh yeast, flour and salt etc… Then you switch it on and then leave it to make the bread, you really need do nothing more than that. It only takes ...

Helvellyn and Striding Edge Walk, Lake District 24/05/2011

A Walk To Remember

Rivington, Preston 08/04/2011

A Hidden Wonderland 10/03/2011

Earn A Living Writing Online Hubpages Before I start this review of Hubpages I want to point out that this write up is in no way meant to detract from the appeal of Ciao. This is a wonderful site, I enjoy writing here, I earn a nice bit of money from my work here, I’ve met some very nice people and overall I think it is a top notch site. So with that little disclaimer out the way let me tell you a little bit about my online writing career. To be honest I use the word career very lightly as I have only been writing online for around two years, hardly a career. I started writing online when I came across a site called Dooyoo. Many of you here are familiar with the site and will no that I still write over there quite regularly. Over on Dooyoo though the quality of my work was pretty low as I was never rewarded for putting in any effort. I found that if I wrote a few reviews a day I could probably make about £50 a month, not bad but not great. After a while I heard about Ciao. I love writing on Ciao as it’s a good place to write high quality reviews and be rewarded accordingly. I started to practice my writing and improve my skills, in the time I have been here on Ciao I have written some reviews that I am genuinely proud of. But again I felt like something was missing from the site. Yes it’s a good place to write high quality reviews, but it’s never going to make you rich. One month I wrote an exceptional review every other day, I spent the rest of my time rating other people’s work. At the end ...
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