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since 06/10/2004


Riemann P20 Once a Day 15/06/2005

Better than all the rest

Riemann P20 Once a Day On planning our recent trip to Turkey one thought was uppermost in my mind. We were taking my 13 year old step daughter who has never been out of England and therefore not used to the intense sun abroad, and who is fair and prone to burning. At home she uses factor 25 or 30, never burns, but never tans either. Like all 13 year old girls she wanted to come back from her holiday with a tan. I had never heard of Rieman P20 but a kindly neighbour told me how wonderful it was so I decided to give it a go. The 200ml bottle doesn't seem very big for the £19.98 I paid in Asda but nevertheless I bought it and packed it away in the suitcase. For the first couple of days we were very wary of it but luckily the weather was quite cloudy and that helped. I could not believe it was possible to apply this lotion once a day, go swimming and not have to re-apply. We were pleasantly surprised at the result, Louise was not burning at all, although it was obvious from our tans that the sun was getting through the clouds. The real test came on the boat trip. We had 7 hours of blistering sun, accompanied by 4 or 5 dips in the sea by Louise and myself. We came away from the day a little worse for wear (I will go into this in my review of Piz Buin 1 day long), but Louise was fine. She had caught the sun, was a little pink but was not burnt at all. Suffice to say that by the end of the holiday she had picked up a (slight) tan, enough to satisfy herself, and her friends, but had enjoyed ...

Bodrum (Turkey) 15/06/2005

Bodrum - One to remember!

Bodrum (Turkey) We had heard so much about Bodrum we couldn't wait to get there and our flight was filled with anticipation, not least because we had taken my 13-year-old step-daughter for her first trip abroad. We arrived at our Apart/Hotel at midnight (Turkish time) and this is where I will start my review. -o- The Gardenya Apart/Hotel The Gardenya Apart/Hotel is a small, family run business. On arrival our bags were swiftly taken from us and carried up to our room. The first surprise of the holiday, our apartment was spacious, huge living area with dining table and chairs, separate kitchen, bathroom, double bedroom and BIG balcony overlooking the town below. The apartment was clean and well laid out, more than adequate for our needs. We needed a drink after our journey and so to the second surprise of the holiday. We found the bar was still open. Greeted by George (we couldn't pronounce his Turkish name) he made us feel immediately at home, told us that the bar would be open all night for incoming guests and made a fuss of Louise, who was now wide eyed at the thought of sitting in a bar at 1 in the morning instead of being tucked up in bed. After a few leisurely drinks we made our way up to bed at 3 a.m. The third surprise (not so good), as we climbed into bed loud speakers in the mosque below sprung into action, calling all good worshipers to prayer…. This happened 5 times a day during our stay, and always at 3 a.m. in the morning, and the sound resounding around ...

Bodrum Airport - Turkey 15/06/2005

I'm a Tourist 'get me out of here'

Bodrum Airport - Turkey This was our second visit to Turkey in 7 years and this time we were to fly into the relatively new airport in Bodrum. Pleased that we didn't have an arduous coach journey ahead of us we collected our bags and climbed aboard the bus. It is fair to say that on arrival you don't have time to take in your surroundings, and that the Turks bustle you swiftly through passport control, take your £10 and are prompt with your baggage. It was late in the evening and we just wanted to get to our hotel and chill. The journey home was somewhat different. Due to travel at 01:15 a.m. we arrived back at Bodrum airport with 2 ½ hours to spare. First impressions were o.k., the front lobby was as a large open area and the first thing which confronted us was security. Having hauled our cases, our hand luggage and our personal belongings onto the conveyor belt we passed through with no problems. The service was quick and we were soon on the other side looking for the check in desk. There were numerous desks in front of us but because we were flying into Doncaster we had to trail our luggage, and ourselves to the other end of the building where another array of desks opened up. After a relatively short period of confusion, where they couldn't decide which desk to put us on, we were checked in and our luggage thankfully taken from us. We then had to haul ourselves back the way we had come to find our way to the Duty Free. Signs were not obvious and had it not been for the Thompson Rep we ...

Man On Fire (DVD) 20/05/2005

Dakota Fanning - star in the making

Man On Fire (DVD) Wealthy parents in Mexico City are gripped with fear as child after child is kidnapped (24 taken in 6 days), Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) and his wife Lisa (Radha Mitchell) are compelled to find a bodyguard for their daughter Pitta (Dakota Fanning). Enter Creasy (Denzel Washington). Samuel Ramos is worried for his daughters welfare, has kept her away from school until a new bodyguard can be found for her. Due to financial difficulties he feels he cannot afford to hire, but without a bodyguard he cannot renew the insurance on her. His lawyer Jordan (Mickey Rourke) convinces Samuel that he should hire a dead-beat bodyguard, renew his insurance and then get rid of the bodyguard. It is a simple plan that would allow Ramos to renew the insurance policy. Creasy, an ex CIA assassin, is haunted by his past and an alcoholic. He enters the picture when his friend Rayburn (Christopher Walken) persuades him to take the job of looking after Pitta. He takes the job, but he doesn't want it, by day finds the little girl a nuisance and refuses to befriend her, by night he drinks himself into oblivion trying to null the pain of his past actions. Over time Pitta uses her magic, she and 'Creasy Bear' become almost inseparable. When the inevitable kidnapping happens Creasy is badly injured and accused of murdering two police officers. A bungled ransom delivery leaves us with the knowledge that Pitta is dead. His love for Pitta and his abhorrence at her death spurs him into ...

LG C2200 18/05/2005

Not heard of LG? Me either.

LG C2200 What do you do when your mobile phone starts going wrong? Buy a new one? Well you would think so wouldn't you - 6 months I have been waiting for my hubby to fulfil his promise and replace my ailing phone. Christmas came and went still no phone in sight, until last Saturday when he suddenly decided it was time to do something about it! I don't use the phone very much (hence his lack of urgency). As a writer I spend most of my time at home, but do like the security of having a phone with me when out and about. We trundled into town, he with a vision of picking up the cheapest pay-as-you-go he could find, me with a vision of a lovely sparkly new camera phone, this I thought, could be tough going. Having toured all the shops, looked at the £29 Motorola in Woolworth's and the cheap Nokia phones he was getting desperate, would nothing please this woman. We finally went back into the T Mobile shop to look (again) at their pay-as-you go phones (because I was insistent we didn't leave town without one, fearing another 6 month wait). He decided on the basic LG (no camera L ) but I stuck to my guns and told him I wanted a little fun in my life, I wanted a NICE phone and he relented. We came away armed with the LG C2200. A sleek little flip phone, which is smart, fits easily into your pocket and is lightweight without feeling cheap. It took no time to set up, the sim card and battery fitted within seconds and once it was charging I could sit and play to my hearts ...

Everything that starts with K ... 29/04/2005


Everything that starts with K ... Knickers. Thinking it was about time to go through my wardrobe to see what fits, ready for my holiday I ended up in my knicker drawer. How is it we women end up with a drawer bulging with knickers we never wear? I thought I would enter a voyage of discovery to find out and this is what I found. K King size, the only size that seems to fit now- a- days. These went straight back into the drawer, I'm too long in the tooth to go commando. N Nice, the pretty ones to match the bra and suspenders you bought, only they don't because you've worn the bra to death and the colours don't match any more. I Inconspicuous, you know the ones I mean, the ones the fella's like. The ones that have the tiniest piece of material hanging from a bit of elastic, they cut you in two and don't do anything for your confidence. C Celebrity, the extra special ones you buy for your wedding day, or that extra special night out when you want to look sultry. But you never ever wear them, keep them for that special occasion, and then grow out of them. K Knackered, why on earth do we hang on to these trusted friends, could it be because they are so comfortable to wear? Come on girls, bite the bullet and throw them away. E Everlasting, the ones that go on for ever and ever, but you are sick of the sight of them. You can't throw these away, you never know when you might need them. R Robust, the ones that pull you in when you want to look svelte, but in reality ...

Logitech 967093-0120 29/04/2005

Logitech, it's logical to me!

Logitech 967093-0120 I like a nice keyboard. As a writer the keyboard becomes an extension of my hands, the link between my hands and what is going on in my mind. Stiff and unyielding keyboards are cumbersome, and if the keyboard doesn't feel right the words don't flow. My old keyboard was not faulty, but the letters had worn away. Not a problem to me as I have been typing for more years than I care to note here, but it was a problem to my husband, and my stepdaughter who were constantly asking me where various letters where on the keyboard, so I decided to invest in a new one. Hail the Logitech Internet Navigator keyboard, I bow to its superiority, and sink to my knees with appreciation for the expansion it has brought into my life. The Logitech Navigator is a keyboard, that much it obvious, but it has many more buttons to play with, which make getting around your computer, or the internet so much easier. -o-0-o- INSTALLATION The keyboard plugs into the PS/2 connection on your computer, where the old one plugged in. It comes with a USB adaptor for those of you who have USB connections. If, like me, you are not computer literate just look at the shape of what you have, and match it with the equivalent connection on the keyboard. The keyboard comes with a CD, which you need to install the software. Pop it into your CD drive and run the CD. The installation process is easy, it takes you through various, self explanatory, screens to install the different components. The ...

All About Me 27/04/2005

Well travelled, or just old? (updated)

All About Me All about me… my name is Diane, I'm married, have 2 children, 3 step children and a dog. I was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in the 50's, my father was serving in the Army during the troubles and, so they tell me, after two years of trying I finally turned up on the scene. I was born with the cord round my neck and a veil over my face, which I am told is very lucky and means I will never drown. In the old days Fishermen would carry these veils with them as a lucky token, to ensure their safe journey home. My father carried it for years until one day he lost his wallet and the veil was lost forever. We left Cyprus when I was only two, so I don't remember anything about it at all but have always yearned to visit Nicosia, where I was born, and Famagusta where we lived for a time. After Cyprus we went to Fontainebleau in France for a short while. Again being so young I have vary vague memories of this time, but when I look at pictures of myself with my brother there is a tinkle in the back of my brain that says "oh yes I remember". From France we came back to England, to Catterick and into married quarters. My dad was released from the Army in 1960, due to cutbacks, and we found ourselves lodging with my paternal Grandparents in Essex until we could find a house. I was still only 5, my brother 8 and my first real memory of this time is my Mum walking me to school from our new house. It was miles, if you asked kids to walk it today they would refuse, and once I knew the way, I ...

The Reading Group - Elizabeth Noble 21/04/2005

It might just as well have been a Coffee Morning!

The Reading Group - Elizabeth Noble The Reading Group, for me, is a book of lost opportunity. I will explain this statement in my opinion at the end of the review. The Reading Group introduces us to five women, Polly, Susan, Harriet, Nicole and Clare, essentially giving us 'a year in the life of' each character, and 5 story lines to follow. The book is very well laid out, paragraphs individually marked as the story moves from one character to the next so you always know which character you are with, and where you are. Polly, who has brought her teenage children up alone, is in the throws of a relationship with Jack, and trying to decide whether or not she should marry him. The story develops with her daughter's (Cressida) pregnancy and the issues that brings into her life. Susan faces the prospect of placing her ailing mother into a home and we see the struggle she has with her own feelings of guilt, and difficulty with her sister over the decisions she has to make. Strongly supported by her husband Roger we see her suffering right up to the end where fate has a cruel blow in store for her. Clare's marriage to Elliott is an unhappy one. We watch the fall out of a couple that desperately want children, but are not blessed and come to understand the pain suffered by both Clare and Elliott. Nicole has dealt with husband Gavin's philandering for years, each time believing that this will be the last, and that it will get better. The failure of her plan to retrieve her marriage and bring it back to a ...

Getting Around in Beverley 11/04/2005

Beverley, historic treasure, shoppers paradise

Getting Around in Beverley BEVERLEY East Riding of Yorkshire Beverley is a small market town, 8 miles from its neighbouring City of Hull. It takes only 15 minutes to walk from the North Bar, through town, to the Beverley Minster, yet it is hard to believe that in the 14th century, with a population of just 5,000 Beverley was larger than Hull and was classed as one of the principal towns of England. Today Beverley has a population of 17,549 whereas Hull has increased to a population of approximately 263,000. Due to its steady growth Beverley has managed to retain its charm; as the pilgrims journeyed to Beverley c900, so today thousands of tourists flock to the town every year. Notable figures in the history of Beverley are St. John of Beverley, Thomas Percy, leader of the Gun Powder Plot and Fred Elwell RA, 19th and 20th Century famous painter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~ Shopping in Beverley and places to see There is an array of shops in Beverley for those who like to browse. The pedestrian walkway from Saturday Market, through to Wednesday market, was originally the main road through town, until it was give over to pedestrians c1980. Markets are held twice a week. Saturday sees the main market in Saturday Market, spilling its stalls over into Wednesday Market and each Wednesday the traditional fruit and vegetable market is held in Wednesday Market. The Christmas market is not to be missed. Held on a Sunday shortly before Christmas the day starts with ...

The Chronicles Of Riddick (DVD) 06/04/2005

Riddick or ridiculous?

The Chronicles Of Riddick (DVD) The trailers, and Dame Judy Dench drew us to watch this movie. The movie starts with Vin Diesel, a wanted criminal, being chased by bounty hunters in an ageing space shuttle – I couldn’t help thinking “but hasn’t this been done before”. He escapes (of course) and leaves the lack lustre crew abandoned as he flies off to Helion Prime to confront the person who blew his cover. On his arrival he finds the city being over-run by Necromongers and the story takes off from there. The Lord Marshall (Colm Feore) heads the sect in their quest to kill all humans and convert them to necromongers (a sort of living dead). Riddick is captured and it is discovered that he is in fact a Nafarian. It transpires that previously the Lord Marshall had ordered that all Nafarian boys be culled to ensure that his rule would prevail. When Riddick escapes the Lord Marshall orders his capture and death. Dame Judy plays Aereon, an elemental (a psychic to us), who can see the future. This is not one of her best roles and she would have done better to stay away from this film. The story line surrounding her is weak and not played out to its full potential. The rest of the story you will have to watch for yourselves, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. Did we enjoy this film? Well it filled the evening in. Firstly I offer warning to anyone who is photosensitive. I suffer from migraine if I am exposed to prolonged flashing lights and had to look away from this film on several ...

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon 19/03/2005

A detective story with a twist

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon The first thing that strikes you when you start reading is that some of the chapters are extremely short. And they are not numbered in sequence, i.e., 2, 3, 5, 7. All is revealed gradually as you realise that the book has been written through the eyes of a 15 year old child with Asperger’s Syndrome. As Christopher launches his investigation into the death of the dog he is unaware of the havoc he will cause. Seeing everything in his own logical way and not understanding the implications of what he does, he turns his world upside down without realising what he has done. If you enjoy maths there a some brainteasers in there for you, if like me you are not, skip past them, they are only there to add to your understanding of Christopher This book won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the South Bank Show Book award as well as being long listed for the Man Booker Prize. It is an excellent read, 262 pages, but written so well it can be easily read in one sitting. It is classed as Children’s fiction, but this is not just a children’s book, although they will enjoy it, and hopefully learn something along the way about those less fortunate than ourselves. Asperger Syndrome children can have normal intelligence but show autistic-like behaviour and have marked deficiencies in social and communication skills. The problems associated with the syndrome depend on the level of severity of the disorder in each individual. They ...

The Boy with No Shoes - William Horwood 18/03/2005

Jimmy, you can have my shoes anytime...

The Boy with No Shoes - William Horwood Written by William Horwood, best-selling author of the Duncton Wood Chronicles, The Boy With No Shoes is a memoir of the author’s childhood. The compelling story of five-year-old Jimmy Rova, continually rejected by his mother and bullied by his siblings, leads us through the trials and tribulations of his childhood. He has an unnatural love for his shoes, given to him by ‘The Man who was’, the loss of his shoes only deepening the yearning he has for ‘The Man who was’ to come back into his life whilst he tries to understand his mothers relationship with ‘The Man who wasn’t’. The arrival of his grandmother heralds the end of dark time for Jimmy when finally he has someone to listen to him, to be his friend and to love him. She encourages and inspires him to improve at school, without her help it is doubtful he would ever have written this book. When Jimmy goes to Wales to climb the mountains, another world is opened up to him and dark time is finally pushed away as Jimmy realises that there is so much more for him to discover and that he needn’t be trapped all of his life. When Mr. & Mrs. Bubbles come into his life he finds himself with surrogate parents who help guide him through his childhood. Grammar school comes as a big shock to Jimmy, who has to walk in his brothers shadow, for reasons he doesn’t understand. In his final year, at the prize giving, problems within the school come to a head, and you will find yourself amidst the boys, listening to their ...

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger 08/03/2005

If only we had time!

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger I guarantee that this love story between Clare and Henry will keep you glued to your book. I read the first 200 pages in one sitting! This is not your average love story - it is different. Henry’s rare genetic condition leaves them struggling to lead a normal life as he is cruelly pulled from the present, into the past, or the future with no warning, and no control. Is it fantasy, yes it is. Is it believable, well it certainly stretches the imagination. Is it compelling, definitely, I guarantee you won’t be able to stop reading until you have reached the end. Audrey Niffenegger’s approach to what is essentially an every day love story is fascinating. The book appears to break every writing rule. The character viewpoint changes page by page, the story jumps backwards and forwards with alarming speed, and on one page I was amused to note that one sentence alone consisted of 14 lines and 14 ands, my English teacher would have killed me for that. Nevertheless, this book works amazingly well, it leaves you a little dizzy in places, and makes you wonder “how can that happen?”, and “If he’s there, and not there, how can he be there?” but you will work it out, it’s quite simple really, or is it? I picked up this book thinking it was a love story over the years, totally unaware of what I was buying into. I got a book which is exactly what I thought, but with a hook, a hook that reels you in until you are caught, a hook that doesn’t let you go until you have finished ...

Top 5 Ciao Sins 08/02/2005

Saint or Sinner?

Top 5 Ciao Sins The top 5 Ciao sins, oh dear, where to start? I have only been here since October, and time spent on the site is probably minimal compared to many of you regulars out there, but here are the things that stand out for me. Ciao Sin No. 5 Under estimating your wider audience Although this appears lowest on my list it is, I feel, still of major importance. Whilst many Ciao writers are busy chasing points, and money, they forget that the largest percentage of review readings come from non-members. A good review, in my opinion: - Gives full information about the product or service being reviewed. - Gives personal, and detailed reasons for your like, or dislike of the product. - Offers the reader the ability to make an informed decision about the product. - Is not aimed solely at the members of Ciao to try and gain extra points. It is nice to be acknowledged by your fellow writers, but think of it this way; if your reviews are good they will serve their purpose. The wider audience will be able to make their purchasing decisions based on sound advice and you will earn yourself credibility with other Ciao members, points and pounds will follow. Imagine this scenario – You purchase something new, after being swayed by reviews you have read on the web, only to find it is rubbish and that the reviews were flawed, would you be happy? I know I wouldn’t. Reviews should always be written with the end user in mind. Ciao Sin No. 4 Think before you write On the table ...
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