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since 30/11/-0001


Cahoot 03/04/2001

In Cahoots but not in cahoots with

Cahoot If I had a complaint with this internet banking arm of a high street player it would be that it seems to take an age to get anything going ie get your account up and running. However, if you are patient enough you may find the relationship interesting and rewarding. Some internet accounts are clumsy to access and operate but I have found Cahoot to be pleasantly simply in this respect. At present they are offering very attractive rates so they are a must for the investor avidly chasing the best rates. Considering monies are on instant access this really is a bonus. Of course, we are yet to see what will happen once they get as many accounts as they want but I am hopeful they will want to keep at the top and not fall a little by the wayside as I feel Standard and Sainsbury's (amongst others) have.

Derbyshire Building Society 03/04/2001

Derby Day

Derbyshire Building Society I have to be honest and say that I have no experience whatsoever as to the strengths and weaknesses of this building society from the point of view of a lender. However, I do find that, when it comes to the need to borrow the smaller societies do tend to look after you a little better and offer a more personalised service. So you have, by now, gathered that my relations with the Derbyshire have been to trust them with some of mine. Of course there is little to choose as far as risk factor is concerned since a large slice of your investment is covered in law. So who you give your money to really bolis down to rates and track record. derbyshire do not seem to be a society where one could easily accuse them of using high rates to attract your deposit and then reducing immediately afterwards. What attracts them to me is that they frequently offer fixed interest rate bonds at fairly attractive rates. In my view they are well worth considering if you have some spare cash to put away for a year or two.

Cheshire Building Society 03/04/2001

Chester Minute

Cheshire Building Society Just a minute that all it takes to read this comforting report. The Cheshire is what I would call a family friendly society. One thing is for sure, if you think it would be well worth opening an account with them for carpetbagging purposes you are likely to be disappointed. This is one building society that is as determined as it can be to stay a members building society. Interest rates offered are not always as good as you might hope for from a non public offerer but you can rely uppon them to be fair with you and not leave you with a bad deal. They often offer short term fixed rate deposit accounts and in these lean times they are often worth taking up. Their Tessa ISA's and mini cash ISA's again do not offer the top rates but they do provide you with some guarantees which could well benefit if things get tougher in the market place. If you have funds to invest add them to your list to check rates etc.

Royal Bank of Scotland 03/04/2001

The Royal Family. What do you think.

Royal Bank of Scotland I just hate boring titles. Trying to open a bank account can be an absolute pain. It hrdly seems to matter whether you are seeking your first bank account or have years of experience behind you. However, if you think about it, the harder banks' make it and the longer it takes the less likely you are to want to go through the rigmarole again so they keep your account forever. I have had many bank accounts in my time usually as a result of moving to different parts of the country when it was not so easy to armchair bank or transact on the internet. Yes I am that old. So I do have something pleasing to report. R.B.S. are one of my bankers and have remained so for many years because I like to repay good service. I moved to a new area 15 years ago and needed a spread of banking accounts and a mortgage facility like yesterday. Only one bank was interested in making a supreme effort to get everything in place within a week. This could only be achieved by the manager breaking the rules, treating me as a special case, and pulling out all the stops. This is service and they have my business for life as a result. I have no hesitation in strongly recommending them to you.

Rewards at Ciao 29/03/2001

Be nice to me please

Rewards at Ciao Some clearly find Ciao rewarding and there are ways of making it so if you try hard. The sensible way forward is to join a large family of friends who can spend their time writing and rating each others' work. But does this happen? Of course not. So why does a member like me who was in almost from the start fail to make it to the level of trustworthy? Would anyoneone out be so kind as to read a few of my varied opinions and comments and just tell me why? If you don'y I shall just become neurotic and spendthe rest of my life on vallium. Am I the only person amongst you who fails to make the grade regularly? Are there other like me and should we start a family of our own?

Manchester United 28/03/2001

The biggest mistake

Manchester United Perhaps the biggest mistake of Andy Cole was to try and re-invent himself as Andrew. It put him on the podium waiting to be knocked by the media and just about everyone else. I was quite impressed with Mr Cole when he played for Newcastle and was surprised that he was allowed to leave. He certainly had his critics when he first played for the Reds and I almost lost a few friends by extolling what as I saw his virtues. I agree he did not fit in with the then Manu tactics but arguably neither did the team around him. Time after time I felt he had read the play intelligently but those around hadn't. I also felt he got little credit for his value both off and on the ball. I believed he made many a goal for others but failed to do what he was mainly bought for....score goals. Over a period he clearly worked hard to improve his game and although he does not excell in every game he is certainly one of the best footballers in the side and continues to provide for others in a big way. He now scores a few too. Where he seems to have a problem is a lack of self belief. His confidence does seem to get knocked rather easily. Now it seems, having got into the England team, and not before time, he is again being questioned by the media just at the time he needs a confidence boost. I think he deserves his place and it would be sad if he is cast aside because of popular opinion before he has had the chance to show his mettle at this level. People forget even Alan Shearer failed more ...

Community Page & Cafe 27/03/2001

What is going on

Community Page & Cafe Firstly, How frustrating it is not to be able to write more than one opinion under the same headong, This is particularly so with Ciao itself because it is a changing animal and as time goes by there will be different comments to make on a variety of subjects. But no! Only one allowed so you had better make sure you cover everything you want to say in the one shot you get. Secondly, We all know Ciao have to make a living and adverts seem to be creeping in just where you are about to read. Do you all now get HABURI appearing on your screen every time you log on? It annoys me so much I will never go to their home page. I like to choose what I want to look at, not have it thrust in my face, Last but not least. It seems to me that a radical re-organisation of categories and headings is called for. Finding what you want is becoming exceedingly more difficult. Indeed, on occasions you could put one opinion in more than one place. A bit more logic and forward planning seems to be required to allow for the rapid expansion that is now happening.

My World (Autobiography) - David Beckham 27/03/2001

Please explain someone

My World (Autobiography) - David Beckham Nearly every sports writer in the land rants and raves about the virtues of David Beckham. Turn on the TV on most nights and you will find someone is praising this young man and identifying him as the saviour of english football. Apparently he is so good that he must now be captain of our football team. Is it me or are we raving mad? Since Man United get so much TV coverage we all get to see quite a bit of David Beckham. Apart from the occasional free kick that goes in and apart from the occasioanl cross, usually against a defence that does not mark him tightly, which leads to a goal what does he have to offer. In my book if he is that good he should win more tackles than he loses. I think that this is one weakness in his game. If he is that good he should be able to beat an opposing player with some skill to give him the space to use his kicking/passing talent. To me he does not beat his man regularly and invariably passes backwards to someone who is supposed to be an inferior player. I am sorry. I may be a lone voice but he does not inspire me. I am not sure he always inspires Alex ferguson either. For me he is far too un-influential in the majority of games I have seen him. It strikes me that either of the brothers grim see more of the ball down the right flank than Beckham. If he is that good it has to be a waste to play him out on the right. If he is that good he would find his way there during the course of the game and unexpectedly and more ...

Woolworths Department Store, Cambridge 26/03/2001

Not Worth

Woolworths Department Store, Cambridge What a strange store Woolworth has become in recent years. Once upon a time it held its head up in the high street offering a multitude of items that you desperately needed and at more than reasonable prices. The range was such that if Woolies didn't have it then probably no=one else did. I feel they must have lost their way dreadfully because it is no longer the store you would first make for if you want to buy records and videos, diy equipment, tools, and those sorts of nic naks the ladies need for sowing, needlework etc. In fact I am not sure what sort of store it is or is trying to become. It is just a bit of a mess really, providing a bit of this and a bit of that but nothing comprehensive. Small wonder of woolies that their owners are trying to find some sucker to take it off their hands. It is odd that the two market leaders of yesteryear, M&S and Woolies both have similar problems. I put it down to complacency.

General: Hong Kong 25/03/2001

Underground in Hongkong

General: Hong Kong Most of us, those who have not already of course, fell that Hongkong is one of those places we must go to. All the stories, all the films, and all the documentaries lead us in the direction of this island so when the opportunity arose I took it. To be fair I did see Hongkong at the end of a longish stay in China and I was somewhat spoilt by the beauty of that country and its people. So my stay was not a long one and, as a result, I was restricted to seeing the main visitor sites. I regret to say I was disappointed. It is such a crowded island and quite dirty. The Peak I was told is where to live and I can only imagine it is to get as far away as possible from everone else. Personally I did not find it very awe inspiring. The famous Jockey Club looked quite ordinary. Stanley Market was not as cheap as I had been led to believe. The Star Ferry was worth the cross but since Hongkong seems always to be shrouded in mist the view was not terrific. Kowloon was somewhere to get away from. The trams were good value provided you went in the direction intended (took me three attempts) The underground is quite modern but pricey compared to the trams. Food was good and reasonably priced but do avoid the floating restaurant. It may be famous but it is very over-rated. Hotels are very expensive and the rooms miniscule. I cannot see myself going again.

Scrabble 25/03/2001

Waht if yuor dicslexyck

Scrabble Thankfully, I am not. But I just wonder whether this game should be banned. Provided you fall outside of Anglo saxon origin you seem to be in one ethnic or deprived group somewhere. If you fall into this category then the chances are you are being discriminated against. Since this situation is a political no no for Mr Blair and his cronies something must be done. So all you sufferers should by my reckoning should gather up arms write contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau and take issue on this game which is clearly discriminatory. with a bit of luck you will not only get it banned but receive a generous payment in lieu of all you suffering. You may even get free accomodation and a weekly allowanve for life.

Monopoly 24/03/2001

Anything Mono has to be old hat

Monopoly Anything Mono has to be old hat? Yes this darling game even includes and old hat. I can understand why people who want to be bored with life should be avid followers of this game. In its concept it was good for its time and the basics stand good for many games today. persoanlly, I would be pushed to try this game nowadays even if the TV was bust, the computer full of viruses, the paper boy committed suicide, beer drinking was banned, and the wife left me etc. By now you will understand that I hate this game. I do so not because it is not a good game it is just that I find it pointless to play unless you have about a week free. It is not a game you can spend an hour or two and get any enjoyment or feeling of success or failure. Equally it only takes one awkward player who stops at nothing to make other miserable by holding on to sites regardless to increase suicide levels. Enough said?

Prima Automatic Breadmaker 24/03/2001

Use your loaf

Prima Automatic Breadmaker I bet you have looked at bread makers for a number of years but have failed to take the plunge. I do not blame you one little bit because i have done just the same. Like me you may not have met anyone with anything good to say about homebaking and if you did it was always from one of those poeple who are clever dicks at anything and everything. I do not know what made me do it. After all that time wondering whether they were any good at all I bought one (just on impulse). Prima just happened to be the one on special offer and the offer of free delivery as well was just too much to resist. What do i think. Well I am just off to make my sixth loaf. What will it be like? Just as good as the first, I am that confident already. Texture? A bit different from what I am used to but certainly not worse. Will it be crusty? You bet. And just think. No longer do I have to absorb all those strange things they put into our bread to keep it fresh feeling. All those missed years!

CrossCountry 24/03/2001

no virgin here

CrossCountry Dear Mr Virgin, When I was young I was taught proverbs and one that did stick in my mind was jack of all trades master of none. The trouble is you may be a superb entepreneur and very good at getting people to part with money to provide funds so that you can extend your empire but each individual part thereof is only as good.....The sum of the parts is only equal to....... (I cannot remember this saying but you know what I mean. Dear Richard spends so much time swanning around trying to improve his persona he cannot possible control what is going on in each of his companies let alone keep abreast. he will be advised by his respective CEOs but will only hear what they want him to hear. It is no wonder that people complain about the individual companies and the more so when like the trains they are already subject to scrutiny. I just hope the whole thing is not just a pack of cards and the first bank to get edgy does not start the avalanche.

Matrix, The (1999) 24/03/2001

Come on dad

Matrix, The (1999) Children take over your television with either videos or computer games so us older ones have few options. Yes, I could go down the pub (yet more young ones, young music, smoke, idle boasting etc ) or I could play chess with myself or read a book. On the other hand I could just try to get to grips with some of these new-fangled films. My children tend to think that we have are wasting our time watching because there is no chance that we shall ever understand the plot (even sometimes there isn't one) In fact they totally delight in our inadequacies. However, the Matrix is one film that i did try very hard with and think I did actually understand it better than they did. The plot was complicated and so unusual that it did take time and effort to unravel but it was well worth the effort. absolutely brilliant from concept to production this is one clever film which, if you dwell to long on, could deeply disturb.
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