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since 30/01/2006


Carte Noire Coffee 17/03/2006

My new favourite coffee

Carte Noire Coffee Being a massive caffeine addict, I am always up for trying new brands of coffee, especially as I tend to get bored of the taste if I stick to the same brand for too long. So once I'd had one cup of Nescafe too many off i trotted down to the supermarket. As usual I was greeted by (what seems like hundreds of) rows of different coffees, which had me scratching my head in confusion for a good five minutes. Finally I decided on the Carte Noir instant for a change and I'm glad I did! PACKAGING: I know it's a bit boring to describe the packaging but as it helped with said five minutes of indecision i'll mention it briefly. The coffee comes in a black rectangular jar, without too much adornment, just the name in a white box really and the colour is mostly what caught my eye so it's worth mentioning. PREPARATION: Pretty simple, as with any other instant coffee, just a teaspoonful in a mug, add boiling water and sugar and/or milk to taste and there you go, done. AROMA: As soon as I poured the water into the mug I knew it was going to taste good because of the delicious, rich smell of the coffee. It smells quite strong and hits you straight away but this is only a good thing if you love the smell of coffee in general! TASTE: Now for the most important part. On taking my first few sips I was extremely impressed. It tastes rich and refreshing at the same time and I thought it was delicious. I could almost feel the caffiene hitting my bloodstream straight away ...lovely! ...

Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari (Silent) (DVD) 15/03/2006

The original scary film!

Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari (Silent) (DVD) "The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari", one of the great classics from the Weimar Republic, was directed in 1919 by Robert Wiene. Set in the small German town of Holstenwall, the story is narrated by one of the main characters, the student Francis (Friedrich Feher). The film begins with Francis telling an old man the story of the horrible ordeal which happened to him, which the film then goes on to portray. The fair has come to the small town of Holstenwall and Alan, Francis' friend and contender for the love of Jane (Lil Dagover)persuades him to go. There they go and see the exhibit of Dr.Caligari (Werner Kraus), a creepy hunched over old man. His exhibit is Cesare (Conrad Veidt), a 23 year old somnambulist who has spent every year of his life asleep. However, Dr.Caligari, his master awakens him for the audience to ask him questions (he apparently knows the answer to everything!) Alan asks how long he will live and is horrified when Cesare replies that he has until dawn the following day. That night, in true horror film fashion, Alan is murdered. Francis is suspicious at this point because of the fairground prophecy. Meanwhile another unsolved murder has taken place. Moreover Jane's father is missing. She goes to the fair to look for him and encounters Dr.Caligari and Cesare. She runs away in fright. That night, as Jane lays sleeping Cesare breaks into her room with the intention of killing her, just as he killed the other two under the control of the mad doctor. However, ...

Cadbury's Highlights Hot Chocolate 08/03/2006

Sooo tasty!

Cadbury's Highlights Hot Chocolate I started (yet another) new diet recently and so out the chocolate has to go! I must admit I do have a bit of a sweet tooth now and again and since I am now rationing like mad on the chocolate and sweets front this mint hot chocolate is a godsend. Firstly it is quite good value for money, at only around £2.80 for a 220g jar, which has lasted me a good few weeks! One of the good things about it is that it only has 40 calories per serving (if you do not add sugar or milk), which means it is a better way to enjoy hot chocolate if you're trying to cut back on the calories. Right now onto the actual product.... I heard before trying this that it needs to be stirred very well or the mixture all settles at the bottom and this turned out to be true. In order to judge the product on its own I did not add milk or sugar, just the required boiling water and stirred thoroughly. Its appearance is very like normal hot chocolate, although it does look slightly weaker. In terms of taste I would highly recommend it. Although it is a bit more watery than normal hot chocolate I expected this from a low calorie version. However, in comparison to other low calorie hot chocolates I think the taste of this one sets it apart. For a start it does still taste very chocolatey (which helps with the sweet tooth!) and has a hint of mint, which is not too strong but just about right. If the mint taste was any stronger it would take away from the chocolate taste. Also I find it sweet enough ...

Typhoo QT 28/02/2006

Perfect tea for lazy people like me!

Typhoo QT Like a lot of people, I do love a good cup of tea and probably drink far too much of it but never mind! However, I am one of those people (you know who you are!) who likes their tea stronger but gets bored waiting for it to brew. In this respect Typhoo QT is perfect as there is no waiting time involved whatsoever! Right, about the tea... I normally buy the 225g jar for around £2. Considering this makes up to 90 cups I think it is quite good value for money. A smaller 150g jar that makes 60 cups is also available. The packaging is quite eye-catching, as it is a bright red square-shaped jar with the name written on the front in big letters. The instructions are also on the jar and are very simple. All you have to do is put one teaspoonful into a cup and pour in boiling water, done! You don't need to add milk at all, as the tea is instant and therefore has powdered milk in it already. As for the taste, I have to admit that it does not taste exactly the same as 'real' tea, but it is quite tasty. If you don't take sugar like me you can slightly taste the powdered milk but if you do like it sweeter I have found that this covers that taste. Per serving there is only 11 calories and 0.6g of fat so it isn't too bad in comparison to other instant drinks of this kind. Advantages --------------- - *Very quick *Nice taste *Good value for money *Brilliant for in case you run out of milk Disadvantages --------------- ----- *Doesn't taste the same as real ...

Member Advice on Tatoos 28/02/2006

To tattoo or not to tattoo?

Member Advice on Tatoos Firstly, if you are thinking of getting a tattoo done then make sure you do just that for a while, think about it. Many people have probably wanted to get a tattoo at some point and consequently changed their minds. This is why it is so important to think hard about if you actually want one in the first place because they are for life really. I now have four and I would recommend it if you are absolutely sure you want one. My first one was done when I was in Germany and I didn't think about it as much as I should have done. It is now my least favourite one so there you go! The other three however, I made sure I definitely wanted and one of them I drew myself, which is very satisfying. If you are sure and know what you want done then the next step is to find a reputable and clean tattooist. There are hundreds of shops across the country but it is worth going to have a look before you get one done so you can reassure yourself that it is hygienic and a good job will be done. Now to the actual experience. No matter what people say it does hurt a lot (as you would expect!) but on the plus side, depending on the size of course, it does not last too long. (For example, I have one at the bottom of my back about 5 inches long and 3 inches high that took roughly an hour). Tattooing is an ever growing industry so naturally there are many different products becoming available, such as anaesthetic. I used this for two of mine and I did not feel a thing. However, as it takes an ...

Truckers - Terry Pratchett 28/02/2006

Definitely worth a read!

Truckers - Terry Pratchett Having read this book recently for the fifth time, I have remembered why I read it the other times! It is yet another masterpiece from Terry Pratchett that is suitable for everyone, whatever the age. It is the first in a trilogy including "Diggers" and "Wings." I bought the book for £3.99 but as this was years ago it will probably be more expensive by now but I think it is worth parting with a few pounds for. The Storyline --------------- -- The plot begins with a group of gnomes (you wouldn't think it from the title I know!) who live in the countryside (or "outside"). This small group of characters are very loveable and draw you into the story straight away. Fed up with thier ever-dwindling numbers and the hardships of finding enough to eat they stow away on a lorry and end up in "the Store", a department store, which houses hundreds of other gnomes like themselves. However, these gnomes do not believe the outside exists and their beliefs in the store and its maker, likening him to God, make for some very funny reading. Just as you're starting to fall in love with all of these characters they recieve the devastating news that the store is to be demolished. Masklin, one of the gnomes from outside has to come up with a plan to take all of the gnomes out of the store safely to pastures new. (Not an easy job when most of them believe the 'Outside' is just an old wives' tale!). He eventually manages to gather them all together and they hijack a lorry, in ...

Recipes for Cakes and Biscuits 27/02/2006

Mars bar crunchie things

Recipes for Cakes and Biscuits I have just remembered a recipe for cakes that I used to make with my mum when I was little and remembering how tasty they are I just had to share it with you all! I haven't got the exact measurements because we never used them and just did it by sight really but I think it's pretty straightforward really. Ingredients --------------- - 4 Mars bars Rice crispies (no exact amount, see later) 200g/250g bar of cooking chocolate Butter Preparation --------------- - Chop the mars bars up into slices and melt these in a saucepan with a scrape of butter over a medium heat. When the slices have all melted and you have a gooey liquid start adding the rice crispies and make sure they are all stirred in and covered with the mixture. You should be able to tell how many to use, just keep adding them until there's none of the mixture left. Then spread this into a tray lined with foil and leave in the fridge to chill and harden. When this is done melt the cooking chocolate on the hob and spread on top of the rice crispie/mars bar stuff and return to the fridge until the chocolate has set. Once it's ready you can cut it up into small squares and enjoy! I think this is a good recipe to make with children, as it is relatively straightforward for small 'helpers' and all kids love it! It can be a bit sickly tho if you have too much as its very sweet, Hope you like it! x ...

Recipes for Snacks 15/02/2006

Cheese on toast ideas

Recipes for Snacks Being a student I have got used to living on less money and despite my horrendous lack of cooking skills have managed to survive so far on a number of tasty and easy snacks. Cheese on toast is one of my favourites because not only is it always tasty and filling but there are so many different varieties! Here are some of my favourites. --------------- 2 slices of bread Grated cheese (cheddar works best) 2 pickled onions Butter Toast the bread first (pretty obvious I know!). I find you get the best results when you toast it under the grill rather than in a toaster. Meanwhile mash the pickled onions using a fork. and mix with the grated cheese. When the toast is done butter on one side and spread with the cheese and pickled onion. Return it to the under the grill until the cheese is melted and it is golden and bubbling. --------------- 2 slices of bread Cheese Green pesto Tomatoes Toast the bread as above and spread with pesto before putting the cheese on and returning to the grill. When the cheese has melted add the sliced tomatoes. It adds a tasty twist to the normal cheese on toast! --------------- - (One for marmite lovers!) 2 slices of Bread Philadelphia or other cream cheese Marmite After toasting the bread spread liberally with the cream cheese. Then spread a little marmite over the top. Doesn't sound that tasty I know but it's very addictive! Hope you like them! ...

Reading University 02/02/2006

Bridges Hall, a home away from home!

Reading University This is about Bridges Hall rather than Reading University in general but it should be helpful to people who are deciding which hall to apply to. Firstly, I came to Bridges Hall in 2002 as a fresher, which is scary enough in itself! The hall is very large with roughly 460 rooms, some catered, some self-catered but don't let the size frighten you! For the first two years of my degree I was in a catered room in Bridges Hall, and overall i think it was pretty good value for money. In catered you live on a corridor with about 20 other people, who you share the facilities with, which does sound a lot but it does give you a chance to make so many friends, my corridor turned into a second family for me! The corridors are a bit dingy and dark but the rooms themselves are comfortable enough with a handbasin, desk and chairs. There's also a broadband internet connection in every room which is included in the rent. A cleaner also empties your bin every day and cleans your room once a week so it's one less thing to worry about. The facilities aren't exactly the height of luxury (1 shower and two baths and a kitchen with pretty basic facilities between the whole corridor) but they're definitely bearable. The cost is about £110 a week, which includes 3 meals a day weekdays and breakfast and lunch on weekends. I wouldn't say the food is the best but you can survive on it and if you get desperate there are various takeaway places 5 minutes walk away! However, if you can get into a ...

Dusseldorf (Germany) 31/01/2006

A place you'll never get bored in!

Dusseldorf (Germany) Having lived in Dusseldorf for a year, I left completely in love with the city. Not only are the people there extremely friendly, outgoing and helpful but there is so much to do and see. In terms of attractions it may not have as many as other German cities but it definitely still has much to offer. It is situated in North Germany just next to the river Rhine, which offers very reasonably priced river cruises. When i went last year it cost just 12 euros for a trip up to the media harbour, whose modern buildings are amazing and definitely worth seeing. You can however, go as far as Cologne on these cruises. Another famous attraction of this city is the Rheinturm or tower, situated slightly outside of the old town, which is definitely worth going to. For a small fee you can go right up to the viewing platform, 164 metres above the ground where the views are amazing. On a clear day you can see the whole of Dusseldorf. The tower also boasts a restaurant, although I found this to be slightly overpriced. In addition, if heights are not your thing there are a great number of sightseeing tours, including the Schlosser tour, which takes you through the city in horse and cart. Outside of famous tourist attractions, various parts of Dusseldorf are also worth visiting. The town centre, or old town, for instance. (I spent most of my year there!) From the older, more scenic part of the old town to the more modern part you will never get bored. It is literally filled with pubs, clubs, ...

Siemens SL65 30/01/2006

Good value mobile

Siemens SL65 Overall i was quite pleased with this phone. Apart from looking gorgeous the phone has loads of features. To start with its really quite small which is really handy for carrying it around (and looks pretty cool ;) ) However, this means that the keys are pretty tiny really so its sometimes a bit awkward to text. The sliding mechanism is also not as smooth as i would've expected. The phone does has a pretty good camera, which if taken in good lighting produces photos that are almost as good as from a real camera. It also takes small video clips and the quality is ok, if a little jumpy. It's also packed with things to play around with, such as a photo editing feature, which is lots of fun or the fitness manager, which even shows you exercises to do! Also the games are pretty good and you can download more onto the phone, although i havent tried this yet. The GPRS and infrared are also quite good although I have had a few problems with the infrared, which seems to be a bit temperamental and chooses when to work or not! The ringtones are also varied and fun on this phone. It has WAP as well, which is fast enough although i try not to use it too much! All things considered though, I think for what you get it's pretty good value for money. I bought mine on pay as you go for £130 and i'm very happy with it. ...
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