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since 02/10/2000

160 14/10/2003

STRICTLY OVER 18's ONLY Hey folks its getting around to that time of year again, yes the silly season is fast approaching and the shops are laying out the Christmas decorations. Soon hoards of people will be clamouring for suitable presents for family and friends. Well if your anything like me I love Christmas but HATE shopping at this time of year. So once again, I have turned to the Internet and also to for Christmas shopping. is a shopping channel found on Sky digital page 636. The channel runs daily from 8am to 1am and they sell a variety of items from watches, bracelets, toys, and baby items to 18ct gold plated toasters! (Sorry but 18ct gold has no place on a toaster – far better around the neck, finger or wrist.) You can also find online at, here you can view all the up and coming items to be shown on the channel. You can also make your bids here if you wish. So how does work? The host will show an item, for example a remote control toy digger. At the top left of the screen you will see a guide price, say £45 that is either the rrp or the average of prices found elsewhere. You will also see a telephone number; this number is exclusive to the item being shown. Below the guide price is the quantity of items in the price drop, this varies from five up to 150 items. Below the quantity is a figure in pounds, which will start at for this example £45. This figure will start to drop once the price drop has begun. Also ...

Everything that starts with H ... 21/11/2002


Everything that starts with H ... TOP 24 WAYS TO SAY YOUR FLY IS UNZIPPED 24. Have you been using WinZip Again?" 23. Woody is looking for a tree to peck 22. XYZ (examine your zipper) 21. Your turtle is taking a peek 20. The cucumber has left the salad. 19. I can see the gun of Navarone. 18. Someone tore down the wall, and your Pink Floyd is hanging out. 17. You've got Windows on your laptop. 16. Sailor Ned's trying to take a little shore leave. 15. Your soldier ain't so unknown now. 14. Quasimodo needs to go back in the tower and tend to his bells. 13. You need to bring your tray table to the upright and locked position. 12. Paging Mr. Johnson... Paging Mr. Johnson... 11. Your pod bay door is open, Hal. 10. Elvis Junior has LEFT the building! 9. Mini Me is making a break for the escape pod. 8. Ensign Hanes is reporting a hull breach on the lower deck, Sir! 7. The Buick is not all the way in the garage. 6. Dr. Kimble has escaped! 5. You've got your fly set for "Monica" instead of "Hillary." 4. Our next guest is someone who needs no introduction... 3. You've got a security breach at Los Pantalones. 2. I'm talking about Shaft, can you dig it? And the number one way to tell someone their fly is unzipped... 1. I thought you were crazy, now I see your nuts

Everything that starts with F ... 12/11/2002


Everything that starts with F ... They said I was overdue, Mother was getting into quite a stew. The midwife assured everyone all was well, The doctor knew best, but he wouldn't tell. Friday thirteenth November Dad went to work with his bleeper, Maiden Aunts pondered would I be a sleeper. Cousin Matillda foretold great things to come, Mother complained of jobs still to be done. Friday thirteenth November. The rush of water left me stranded, Like a whale on a beach suddenly sanded. Father had to rush from the factory floor. Mother in panic, knew she should have packed more. Friday Thirteenth November. The sister said I was an obstinate brute. I didn't fancy the obvious route. A pair of forceps eventually ended my play. Both Mum and Dad delighted to call it a day. Friday thirteenth November. I really don't know what the fuss was about. The things mum said caused dad to shout. At least I avoided being born on any old day. For ever more when asked I shall be able to say... FRIDAY THIRTEENTH NOVEMBER! As some of you will know I used to be terrified of friday the thirteenth - staying off school, booking every friday the thirteenth off work and so on. NOTHING bad has ever happened to me on this date - well unless you count passing my driving test, exchanging contracts and moving into both my houses on this date, plus as you have read above having my wonderful son, who will be four tomorrow.

Kandoo Baby Wipes 24/09/2002


Kandoo Baby Wipes James my small big 'un is at that age where he wants to do everything for himself. He wants to ‘cook’ his own meals from the contents of the fridge – mainly consisting of yoghurt, jelly, chocolate mini rolls and carrots and he wants to be totally independent in the toilet area too. Having tried to erm wipe his behind with conventional toilet paper with some success and mess, resulting in shredded bits of paper being stuck where the sun don’t shine, we thought well how about trying some baby wipes. The only problem using baby wipes is I find them very ‘wet’ and they are not supposed to be flushed down the toilet, so we had to have nappy sacks in the toilet for them to be put in. James didn’t like using the wipes very much as he told me it felt like he was still a baby, plus he sometimes would forget to put them in the bag to be thrown away. Bring on Kandoo from pampers. I saw the advert for these toilet wipes and to be honest didn’t really give them a second glance – James, eagle eyed as children are did! On our next supermarket trip in went the box of Kandoo and I was told ‘we really really need them and if your good mummy you can use them too’ ah bless his cotton socks! Kandoo come in a lovely little box – smaller than your usual baby wipes box, and shaped like a toilet when the lid is popped up. They are really eye catching as the bulk of the box is purple and the lid and base are lime green! There is a large rubberised button on the box; to make the lid pop up and ...

Poetry 19/09/2002


Poetry Just for a minute, forget everything stressful and read this. Go back in time Before the Internet or the Apple Mac. Before semi-automatics, joy-riders and crack. Before SEGA or Super Nintendo. Way back... I'm talking about Hide and Seek in the park. The corner shop. Hopscotch. Butterscotch. Skipping. Handstands. Football with an old can. Fingerbobs. Beano, Dandy, Buster, Twinkle and Dennis the menace. Roly Poly. Hula Hoops, jumping the stream, building dams. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass. Bazooka Joe bubble gum. An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that plays a tune - Chocolate or vanilla or strawberry or maybe Neapolitan or perhaps a screwball Wait...Watching Saturday morning cartoons...short commercials, The Double Deckers, Road Runner, He-Man, Zeebedee, Tiswas or Swapshop?, Why Don't You? - or staying up for Doctor Who. When around the corner seemed far away and going into town seemed like going somewhere. Earwigs, wasps, stinging nettles and bee stings. Sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and Zorro. Climbing trees. Building igloos out of snow banks. Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Running till you were out of breath, laughing so hard that your stomach hurt. Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles. The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Water balloons were the ultimate weapon Football ...

Everything that starts with W ... 17/09/2002


Everything that starts with W ... Some questions for you to ponder........... 1. Why does your gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed? 2. If a person owns a piece of land do they own it all the way down to the core of the earth? 3. Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed? 4. Is it possible to brush your teeth without wiggling your ass? 5. Why is it called Alcoholics Anonymous when the first thing you do is stand up and say, 'My name is Bob, and I am an alcoholic'? 6. If you mated a bulldog and a shitsu, would it be called a bullshit? 7. Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside? 8. Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer? 9. Why does mineral water that 'has trickled through mountains for centuries' have a 'use by' date? 10. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp no one would eat? 11. Is French kissing in France just called kissing? 12. Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out'? 13. What do people in China call their good plates? 14. If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat? 15. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is? 16. Why does goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs! 17. What ...

Corsodyl Mouthwash 17/09/2002


Corsodyl Mouthwash I am at present undergoing a treatment regime that has some pretty nasty side effects. One of these side effects is what friends have loving nicknamed ‘galloping gob rot’ or rather an extremely sore and tender mouth/tongue and gums. As my mouth is so sore, it is painful to clean my mouth out using conventional toothbrushes and paste, which in turn puts me at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, plaque and the most dreaded bad breath! After speaking to my pharmacist and doctor they both advised me to try Corsodyl mouthwash. Corsodyl contains Chlorhexidine gluconate an antibacterial solution, which reduces the formation of plaque and assists with good mouth hygiene. Its most common indication is in the prevention and treatment of gingivitis. Also where mouth care by conventional means is difficult, as in my case. Corsodyl also assists with the healing of mouth ulcers and sores perhaps exacerbated by dentures or braces. Corsodyl is only available from pharmacies and comes in either 600ml bottles or 300ml bottles. I opted for the 600ml bottle, which cost me £7.99. This is enough for 60 individual treatments using 10mls per treatment, twice daily will last about a month. The bottle comes complete with a measuring cap, into which the said 10 mls is poured, you then swish the mouth wash around your mouth for one minute and spit it out. How vigorously you choose to swish for is up to you, but I find that it is quite painful at present to swish to harshly, so I just move my head ...

Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks 13/09/2002


Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks Situated just outside Woolacombe, North Devon sits Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parc. This park is one of a trio of holiday centres. The others being The Golden Coast – mainly comprising of chalet style accommodation and Twitchen Parc, which is mainly camping. Woolacombe bay is predominantly a caravan park. From Derbyshire it took us 5 and a half hours to reach our destination, with one stop on the way – the traffic was very light as we went just as the school term commenced for the majority of the country. Our checking in time wasn’t until 4pm as stated on our comfimation of payment letter, however we arrived at 2pm and were able to go straight to our caravan. There is a caravan to suit all pockets at Woolacombe bay Park the superior Trinidad and Tobago caravans – to sleep four to six people. These caravans are 12ft wide and 37ft long and contain everything from maid service to a picnic table and barbecue outside your caravan. To the Estoril and Buttercup caravans for smaller families and couples, these contain two bedrooms, one double and one twin bedroom. We chose the Estoril caravan, as from looking at the brochure it appeared to cater for our needs. On arrival at the caravan we were able to park right outside the caravan and had breathtaking views of Woolacombe bay and the Island of Lundy from the lounge area. There were three concrete steps up into the caravan, which were in good repair and were quite wide. The only problem here was the door opened outwards, so ...

Sundown Adventureland 21/08/2002


Sundown Adventureland LOCATION Set in the unusual position between a power station and a high security mental hospital is a little piece of magical England that is Sundown. Located in Rampton near Retford, north Nottinghamshire. OPENING TIMES The Adventure Park is open from April to the first week in September 10am to 5pm, from September to December the park is open, but with shorted opening times – they do have Christmas specials where you can meet Santa. The park is closed through January, reopening the second week of February. ENTRANCE FEE No children under the age of 18 are allowed in the park unless accompanied by an adult. Prices for 2002 are £5.50 for adults and children alike, with under 2’s going free. There are discounted prices for coach parties of 20 or more – you only pay £4.75. Going in a coach party has the added advantage of you not having to queue for an hour or more, to pay your entry fee! Once you have paid your entry fee, you are given a pamphlet with a map of the park on, easy to follow and essential if you want to go on everything there! PARKING The parking is mainly on hard standing, with some overspill in a fairly flat field just off the main car park. The road leading into Sundown is a very narrow one, and turning out of the car park proved problematic for some of the coaches. On the whole the parking was adequate, although there were no specific parking ‘bays’ so some people managed to take up more than their fair share of parking ...

Milky Way Mousse 10/08/2002


Milky Way Mousse Imagine if you will, a world where, money grows on trees, you don’t have to go to work, housework and laundry does itself, there is something new and exciting on television and Ciao pay 50p per read, not only that but also you can eat chocolate, delicious chocolate all day every day without putting so much as an ounce in weight on! Ok reality time again – sorry to shatter your illusions but I don’t think any of the above are going to happen in the near future – if indeed ever, but they were nice thoughts whilst they lasted. What I have discovered is a chocolate mousse that doesn’t send James into orbit as soon as he lifts the lid off, and one that doesn’t taste too bad either. Milky Way Mousse comes as a four pack; the packet design is similar to the Milky Way bars. Each little plastic pot contains 45 grams of scrummy yummy choccy mousse. Do beware folks, once you have split the pots up, you are left with one quite sharp plastic edge - which could be dangerous for children. when putting them in James lunch box, I always 'round' the egde off with a pair of scissors. The mousse is not just milk chocolate mousse, but also light and fluffy milk flavoured mousse too. The Mousse is organized very cleverly and prettily into a Battenburg design – in other words, for those of you who have never had to sample the revolting Batternburg – always foisted upon me by my Aunts and Grannies, you get two sections of milk chocolate mousse and two sections of milk flavoured mousse on ...

The Treatment - Mo Hayder 08/08/2002


The Treatment - Mo Hayder I first came across Mo Hayder, author of The Treatment, in her first book – Birdman. I am a great fan of anything murder/mystery/thriller so I turned the pages of the book rapidly until I reached the bizarre ending. Although a pretty gruesome story, Birdman certainly whetted my appetite for Mo Hayder's further writings. In The Treatment, we once again meet with Detective Inspector Jack Caffery of the AMIT squad (Area Major Investigations Pool) in the south London area. Caffery as well as heading the murder squad and trying to find the perpetrator committing the dreadful crimes is trying to unscramble his own life. His life as we find out in Birdman is blighted by a dreadful skeleton in his closet. As a young boy, he had a tiff with his brother – Ewan. Ewan ran off and since then has never been seen again. Caffery blames himself for Ewan's disappearance, as do his family. He still lives in his childhood home and keeps a shrine as it were to his brother. The main suspect for Ewan's disappearance is Ivan Penderecki – a known paedophile who lives over the train tracks at the back of Caffery’s house. Despite intensive investigation by the police, no evidence has ever been found against him regarding the disappearance of Ewan. This storyline is continued in The Treatment as just one more agony of Caffery – the conclusion, if you can call it that is certainly an interesting one and not beyond belief. The book begins with the appalling discovery of a husband and wife in ...

West Mid Safari Park [TV Advertisement] 02/08/2002


West Mid Safari Park [TV Advertisement] I have just realised that this is for the advertisement for West Midlands - I emailed Ciao to move it as soon as possible. After the dismal day out we had at Gulliver’s Kingdom, we decided to try further afield for a day out. Taking advantage of a rare weekday off during the school holidays. The weather in Derbyshire was dire – slinging it down with rain, but on checking the weather in Bewdley the town West Midlands Safari park is located showed it was going to be an overcast day – perfect for sitting in a car watching animals. On arrival at the park we were filtered into about 6 lanes waiting to pass the kiosks to pay our entry fee to the park. Whilst waiting in the queue we were approached by staff offering souvenir ‘programmes’ for sale. Priced at £3 each and packed with information about all the animals in the park, these A4 size glossy magazines were well worth the money. Waiting time in the queue was about 10 minutes, extremely good considering the volume of traffic waiting. The entry fee was £6.25 per person with under 4’s going free. Once you have paid, you are also given a free re – entry ticket – sort of buy one get one free. This re entry ticket has your car number plate written on it, and the amount of paying people in the car. The same car has to return and only the amount on the card get in free – but others in the car will have to pay. At the kiosk you are also given the opportunity to buy some animal food – these boxes of pellets will set you back ...

Tomy Pop Up Pirate! 22/07/2002


Tomy Pop Up Pirate! James had been pestering for 'Pop up pirate' for a couple of weeks so when we saw one at a car boot sale we thought 'why not' specially as it only cost us fifty pence -usual shop price is £9.99 so we thought this a bargain. The game is made by Tomy Active and is for up to 4 players, aged four and above. Well to be truthful James is only three - but has never been one for 'chewing' things, so we thought we would be ok with this. Inside the box you get a plastic blue disc decorated with stickers of sharks and octopus plus a 'desert island' scene. There is a slight raised area on which the barrel sits on. The barrel is quite heavy and the weight of it holds it in place on the plastic disc. The barrel has two rows of slots around the sides, into which the 'swords' fit. Swords? Swords? In a child's game? What kind of mother is she? DON'T panic folks please! The swords are small 'sword shaped' pieces of plastic, which slide into the slots around the edges of the barrel. They are made from whole pieces of plastic and are thick and sturdy - with no chance of any parts being broken off. There are no sharp corners on them and the end is as blunt as a butter knife. It would be wise to enforce to your little darlings however that these are TOYS - only the barrel receives the edge of the sword and NOTHING else! Now for the pirate, this again is made from plastic, three pieces in this case and is quite lightweight. He wears a rather funky pink bandana, has jug ears, an eye ...

Gullivers Kingdom 16/07/2002


Gullivers Kingdom Set in the beautiful and scenic location of Matlock Bath, Derbyshire is perhaps a little known world, a world of fun, frolics, and adventures, that place is Gulliver's Kingdom - a children's adventure park. I have never seen Gulliver's Kingdom advertised on television, radio or in newspapers and only know about it as I used to live in and around Matlock for a number of years. So when James came along I thought it would an ideal place to visit with him, as he grew older, preparing him for the more boisterous rides at Theme parks such as Alton Towers. If you plan on going to Gulliver's Kingdom make sure you wear trainers or other sensible shoes - the hills are a killer on the feet and if you are unfit. The scenery is however worth it! OPENING TIMES The park is open March to December opening between 10 -10.30 am and closing 5 -5.30 PM, check on their website for more details ADMISSION PRICES Adults and children over 90cm £6.80 per person Children under 90cm FREE Senior Citizens £5.80 per person Parties of 20 or more PAYING people £5.30 per person CAR PARKING As you turn off the main road upto the park the first thing that strikes you is the hill - more of a mountain that a hill some people might say - but having lived there, I guess I am used to it. There was some confusion when we arrived; we initially drove right up to the reception area - following the signs to the car park. There we were told we would have to ...

Outdoor Paddling Pools in General 15/07/2002


Outdoor Paddling Pools in General Whilst baking in the sun yesterday afternoon, listening to the gentle fall of the waterfall in the pond, I had the sudden urge to dip my feet in and have a splash about. Not only would the fish have resented this, I don’t think it would have set too good an example to James, my three year old. Not to be deterred out came the Argos book and we ruffled through the pages to find the padding pools. We didn’t want anything too big – last year we bough a 6ft x 6ft pool with canopy, which was wonderful for about a week – but it took so long to empty and fill the water soon took on that ‘green’ hue that is NOT desirable. We settled on the ‘boat pool’ a rather fun looking paddling pool in the shape – funnily enough as a boat and priced at £24.99. I reserved the paddling pool online at and was delighted to see that it was in the half price sale at £12.49 so we set off quick smart to fetch it. The pool comes in a small box with a picture on the front, of what the boat is supposed to look like. Inside the box is the pool itself, complete with an inflatable spray fish, which is blown up and connected to the hosepipe and has a ‘rose’ on the end for showing all and sundry. Also with the boat you get an inflatable anchor. There is also a spare valve and repair patch for any mishaps. The boat is 225cm long, 105 cm wide and 95cm high; the actual pool depth is 40cm. The boat boasts that it has ‘quickflate valve technology’ and that it can be inflated in less than ...
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