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since 19/09/2003


Elefun 19/08/2005


Elefun My youngest son (and I suspect a lot of other children) generally ignores the vast contents of his toy box/toy cupboard/bedroom (in fact the whole house is stacked with toys) and favours just the odd few. This game is one of the chosen ones! I've sometimes been a little short of ideas as to what games to buy him. Many a time he has shown more interest in the packaging than the actual contents! Which is why, having come across this little gem, I thought I would do a review about it, hopefully helping anybody else who encounters the same problem. For my mind, the reason this game is so successful and attractive to young children is that it is uncomplicated, doesn't require them to sit still and most of all is fun. The object of the game is to catch coloured paper butterflies which are shot up into the air through the elephant's trunk. The player with the red net catches the red butterflies and so on. Unfortunately my dog isn't so selective, he catches (in his mouth not in a net - he's not that clever) whichever colour butterfly happens to float past him at the time! I guess you could say as well as fun it's reasonably educational as it teaches colours and the kids enjoy counting the butterflies in their nets at the end. The game only lasts about a minute, which I think is part of the appeal. The good natured (??) squabbling over who shoved who out of the way thus lowering their chance of winning however, generally lasts much longer. The age range on the box is ...

Pac-Pix (Nintendo DS) 13/08/2005


Pac-Pix (Nintendo DS) I was and still am a massive fan of the original Pacman game. I have spent hours trying to stuff my little Pacman full of those nifty ghosts and a selection of fruits. So I was looking forward to this new and different version of the game on the Nintendo DS. After convincing my husband to part with 30 of his good British pounds to buy it and with my persuasive sales patter of 'Come on, it's Pacman, it's got to be great hasn't it?!', I have to admit I was wrong. Being a female, I'm sure you appreciate how hard it is for me to admit that...... It's an easy enough game to play and the rules are simple enough to understand. The principle is the same as the original game, basically eat everything in sight! The twist is though that you have to draw your own Pacman (using the pen that comes with the DS obviously) and guide it around the screen by putting a line in front of it when you want it to turn in a different direction. There is no grid/maze for you to munch your way through just a blank screen with the odd ghost/pill to swallow and obstacle to avoid. As you progress through the levels of which there are 12, there are different power ups to be obtained (oh, when will the excitement end!!). Arrows and bombs can be drawn to aid you in depleting the ranks of the ghosts. There are the usual end of level bosses to be conquered (they don't really pose much of a threat). A little tip.... simply draw the biggest Pacman you can fit on the screen and they soon gobble the bosses ...

Miele W435 WPS 12/08/2005


Miele W435 WPS Well I never thought I would find myself being all enthusiastic about a washing machine! I would hardly describe myself as a domestic goddess! Although this machine is incredibly expensive (mine cost approx £700, I would say the 10 year guarantee is worth that on it's own!) it is absolutely worth the money, in my opinion. After having nothing but trouble with Hotpoint machines (not to mention their stroppy engineers) I decided to invest in a Miele. WHAT AN INVESTMENT! Having 3 children my washing machine gets a massive amount of use which is no problem for the Miele. The noise that comes from the machine is so minimal that if it wasn't for my youngest son standing in front of the machine circling his head round along with the drum I would forget it was on. Gone are the days of my machine hopping it's way along the kitchen floor! There are all the usual cycles for wool, cotton, delicates, silks etc. Several different spin speeds to choose from. There is also an option for 'extra water' which comes in very handy. I use this option when I need to wash something large and heavy, e.g. my settee covers. It ensures that the cover is fully wet before procedding to wash. Something that you might consider trivial but means a great deal to me is the time display panel on the front. It tells you exactly how long the cycle will take, so I now don't leave the house and leave damp washing in the machine all day. It also has a 'lock' feature which stops small inquisitive ...

Fuerteventura (Spain) 12/08/2005


Fuerteventura (Spain) Having 3 children, a husband, a mortgage, a dog, a liking for restaurants, pubs and shopping I can really only afford one foreign 2 week family holiday a year. Needless to say I have very high expectations, so maybe my gripes are a little unfair, but I'm going to share them with you anyway! We travelled to Fuerteventura at the beginning of June this year. We booked with Eclipse Direct (very easy to use website) as the price (£1700) was right for us - a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children.) After a fantastically smooth, efficient flight with First Choice Airlines we landed on this barren island amid lots of grey cloud! I'm sure you can understand after leaving rainy London I was hoping to bask in sunshine, so admittedly I did have the hump a little as soon as we got there. The coach journey to the resort of Corralejo was only approx 30 mins, but don't expect to fill that 30 minutes by gazing upon beautiful scenery. I would not advise anybody to visit here if they are after taking home lots of snaps of beautiful Spanish landscapes, as there simply isn't any. The resort of Corralejo itself is not at all picturesque and at the time we visited was doing a mighty fine impression of a building site. I was able to count approximately 20 cranes without even having to crane (excuse the pun) my neck. There are the usual gift shops selling the usual t shirts, perfume, watches, hats, bikinis, henna tattooes.....I'm sure you know the kind of tat I mean. Now I love to shop but ...

Davina McCall - The Power Of 3 (DVD) 12/08/2005


Davina McCall - The Power Of 3 (DVD) Right then here goes....... After first watching the DVD munching on a biscuit and sipping a hot chocolate (just to build up my energy levels, you understand...) I got the old lycra gear out and decided to have a prance about in my front room with Davina. After ATTEMPTING previous work out DVDs, i.e. the Ministry of Sound Pump It Up, I found this one to be surprisingly easy to follow. The exercises are clearly shown and repeated enough times for you to feel the burn (come on work through that wall of pain!!!). The exercises are varied enough to work several different parts of the body, stomach, bum, thighs (a real killer) and arms. After skidding across the front room floor with the chair I was using to do the press ups I have to admit I now skip that bit..... Oh, a good tip too is to grab yourself a couple of tins of beans or filled up water bottles beforehand as most of the arm exercises require that you use weights - you can do them without but I don't really think that would help build up the muscles required to carry all that shopping home.... I would say the DVD is ideal for beginners and anybody with an average amount of fitness. I don't really think it would test anybody with a higher level of fitness. The music is definitely a let down I have to say. I was geared up for some bangin' choons after Davina specifically mentioned how she found working out to great music a help. Unfortunately, I think her definition of great music and mine differ somewhat. ...
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