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since 30/07/2001


Member Advice on Choosing a mortgage 09/04/2008

The Mortgage Crisis and how you can get round it

Member Advice on Choosing a mortgage It has been a long time since I wrote a review. Infact three years now, but I am back on the scene. I am writing today about my current experience with the mortgage crisis. It is so happening at the wrong time. I currently live at home with my parents and I am in a great relationship and me and my partner want to buy one of these shared ownership properties that are currently being built down the road from where I live now. I have done all the registering, got approved and chased to get my name at the top of the list for a place as I knew this particular site would be extremely popular. I am currently waiting for the prices to be released which they tell me will be in the region of £150000 gp so half of that is £75000. So were going to need a mortgage for 750000. Now when I spoke to a financial advisor in September to get an idea and they were prepared to lend us up to 87000 so mre than enough. Since then we have both had slight payrises so I thought great we wouldn't have any problems getting it. Now last week when First Direct and then the Co-op announced their closing their doors to new customers and removing products and asking for deposits I began to panic and thought I bet we cannot get one now. My Dad is telling me to save for a deposit but I have credit to pay off and I also have to save for furniture, legal fees, stamp duty so it is going to be impossible for me to save for a deposit aswell this year. The key though is not to panic because Martin ...

Next Directory 10/04/2005

Home shopping made easy

Next Directory I recently requested a copy of the Next Directory and I was delighted that I received an email confirming that my application was accepted and my new Spring/Summer 2005 catalogue would be with me shortly. When I receive my catalogue I could not believe the size of it. It was a book. It must have well over 1000 pages. It was hard back aswell. When I received it I picked out a few things to order and placed my order on line. As a new customer I also saved on the delivery cost, normally £2.95. They have an extreme wide variety of clothes and their sizes range from 6 to 22 so there is something in there for everyone. They also do accessories, footwear and swimwear. There is everything you could want in there. If money and space was no object I could quite easily order nearly the whole catalogue. I am into fashion in a big way and always update my wardrobe. I think I buy new clothes nearly every month of the year. Oops. Running out of space now in my wardrobe. I had to pack some stuff away the other week as I was worried my pole was going to snap. It is so bent because of the weight. Although it was already bent when we moved in I think I have made it worse. Anyway back to Next. Their website is Once you are registered with them you can start shopping immeadiately. If you need to obtain a customer number you can do this at the checkout point and they will confirm your order has been accepted by email. On their home page you can ...

NOP Mystery Shopping and Cybershop 10/04/2005

All about being a CyberShopper

NOP Mystery Shopping and Cybershop Not sure how many of you know or have heard of mystery shopping so I will write this from the begining. Appologies if some of you find it boring. Anyway on to the review. Firstly some of you might be asking 'What is Mystery Shopping?'. Well it is basically what it says. You shop as if you would normally and then report on the services that you have received and send your report to the company. They pay you for doing it. It is that simple. I am registered with a few companies, well three and I am here today to talk about NOP. I registered with NOP about 18 months ago now and they have been great. Their pay is very generous compared to many other companies. NOP stands for National Oppion Poll. Their website is They offer in store shopping and telephone assignments mainly and they always email you when work is available. As it is on a first come first served basis it is entirely luck as to whether you manage to get any work or not. You allocate this yourself by clicking on the visits available link on your home page. This is once you have registered with them of course. To register click on the link to apply and then select your own country. Then it will list the areas they are currently looking for assessors and the ages that you need to be. If you meet this criteria click on the apply now option and fill in all your details. They will email you a reference number which you will need to keep safe. You can then use this to track your ...

Hot Fuss - Killers (The) 03/04/2005

A top Album

Hot Fuss - Killers (The) The Killers are the following :- Brandon Flowers - Vox, Synthesizer Dave Keuning - Guitar Mark Shoermer - Bass Ronnie Vannucci - Drums When I first heard the Killers hit the charts with their song 'Mr Brightside' I thought they sounded like a great band and I was dying to hear more of their stuff. As soon as this album 'Killers' was released I went ahead and purchased it and blow me it was one of the best purchases I made in a long time. I played it from start to finish and listened to each and every of their 11 tracks on the album. The reason why I like them so much is all their songs were just right for the image they portraide. They are a rock band but I am not into heavy rock and none of their stuff on this album was too rocky and was all of similar nature. For e.g. They didn't produce some really heavy tunes, some slow and soft and some dance. All their tracks of the same nature and this is where I feel some bands go wrong. They try to produce a variety of tracks but it does not suit them because of their voice, the image they give off, the instruments that they have etc. This album I feel is something that I can play over and over again and not get bored of it. It will be a classic in my albums section. My favourite track is 'Somebody Told Me'. The reason I like this one the most is because of the words and the rhythm they chose for this track. It starts off with a guitar/bass introduction and then the words begin. It is about someone who ...

You are what You eat - Gillian McKeith 04/09/2004

Fits in your handbag

You are what You eat - Gillian McKeith I watched the TV programme on Channel 4 every Tuesday and then I saw the book and just had to buy it. It has a spring green cover, with big pink bold writing and a picture of a tape measure above and below the words. It was written by the TV host herself Dr Gillian McKeith and if full of information to help us get back to who we were. That slim, sexy healthy looking person we once were. Now I brought this book 2 weeks ago and I have not been able to put it down. I have found it very useful for many reasons. Some of the things are obvious and we should all know without any education but some are a bit more technical and biological and we would not necessarily know unless we had studied Biology. I have an interest in Human Biology anyway so thats another reason I cannot put this book down. It is available in all book stores such as WH Smiths, Waterstones, Woolworths, Tesco and is selling at the retail price of £12.99. It contains 9 chapters all to do with diet and exercise and has receipes and ideas throughout the book which you can use and do daily. Thats why I can't put it down. It is 223 pages long and starts off with an introduction on Dr Gillian McKeith and why she decided to go on and eat healthy for the rest of her life. She says that she was brought up on junk and was once a huge lady and then as she grew older and matured she decided to take control of her eating habits and her health. Then it explains about 12 of the foods that most of us eat on ...

Countrywide Property Lawyers 02/09/2004

Top Banana

Countrywide Property Lawyers When moving home there is so much to consider. You have to deal with so many people and the process can be very stressful, especially when people do not pull their weight or keep in contact throughout the chain. We moved home about a month ago and although it was not as stressful as some moves for various reasons it was still stressful, well for me it was. Anyway onto the review. When moving home you are required to get a solicitor/ lawyer to carry out all the legal work known as Conveyancing. This applies to selling and purchasing. We did so much research in to finding a solicitor. We compared prices, read reviews, looked at company’s websites, asked friends and family members for advice on who to go with and who to avoid. As the solicitor is one of the most important parts of the sale and purchase process it is very important to me to have someone who works hard for you and does get all the work done on time. Now most of the reviews on this company were extremely positive and their website seemed very reliable and up to date compared to others when doing our research so we decided to trust the opinions of others and go for them. Another good thing about them is they have offices located throughout the UK so you will never be that far from one of them if you ever needed to visit them and they work on a no sale/purchase no fee basis. So if it all collapses near the end through no fault of your own you don’t pay them a single penny. I liked the idea of this very much. ...

Brewers Fayre, Worsley Old Hall, Manchester 11/04/2004

Another great place to eat

Brewers Fayre, Worsley Old Hall, Manchester This pub is run by the chain Brewers Fayre and is always busy when we have been. (A good sign ey) It is located close to the A580 in North West Manchester. Worsley and Boothstown are the closest districts to the pub. It has a very good atmosphere whenever we go. It is always quite busy but we always get a great service. It appears to attract a wide choice of people. Mainly families, couples or business people and some locals. It is located next to the Marriott Hotel, which is probably why it has so much business. There is not much else around this area unless you don’t want to have a drink and you can take a drive to Tyldesley or Swinton and eat there. The restaurant is set back off the main road next to a golf course and is well maintained. The gardens around here are always well kept and well lit at night. The Brewers Fayre has always been one of my favourite pub chains because of the choice of food. We also regularly receive vouchers from them to get a meal free or a discount off our final bill, which always helps. This pub looks like it was converted from an old mansion. It still has a thatched roof and its traditional fireplaces. It seats around about 200 people and there is a bar if you just want to have a drink. It tends to attract the more up market of people which always makes it a nice place to visit. Most people are pleasant and friendly when ever we have gone. This probably helps because the hotel is next door too. It could do ...

Enrique Iglesias 27/03/2004

This relates to a particular track

Enrique Iglesias This is a very personal review and how I feel. I didn't really like Enrique's music and it is only one particulare track I have fell in love with so I am mainly going to be talking about that. Now that track is called 'Not in Love'. He teamed up with Kelis on this track and I really like it. My reasons for liking it will become apparent in a minute when I explain. I downloaded it today from Kazaa and I have listened to it at least 10 times already. I am listening to it now, 3rd time in a row. How sad am I ey? Well not if I like music I say. Now the reason I like this particular track is because of the words and I didn't realise what sort of a voice he has until I heard this track. In my opinion all his other music is not really my sort of thing. Some of it is also in Spanish which doesn't help. Seeing as the guy is Spanish then I don't blame him for doing some of his music in Spanish. He certainly has more talent than me anyhow. This particular track I think makes his voice sound really sexy. I can't really describe why but I think it really suits him. I also like the words and the beat/rhythm in this song. He is singing about someone he likes but is telling them he is not in love with them. He says in the politest possible way that he wants to remain friends with this person who fancies him. He doesn't want them to get offended or run away from him. He tells them that they are sexy but he is not into getting into relationships. He ...

My Ciao'ing 23/03/2004

Intrigued well now you wont be

My Ciao'ing i. Full name: Chantal Marie Henley. ii. Ciao Username: Coolchanty because I was told I am quite cool by many people and it includes the 1st part of my first name. iii. Date when you joined the Ciao community: 30.07.2001 iv. Why did you join Ciao? My partner Manics reccomended me to ciao to make a bit of extra dosh and at that time the earnings were pretty good, but since then they have deteriorated considerably. Now ciao is for fun and partly becuase I got addicted to ciao at times and I like to know what everyone is upto and keep up with my reading and rating like all you fellows do with me. v. Are you a member of any other review sites? No I am not. vi. Reviews written to date: This is going to be my 210th . Soon it will eb a 1000. Thats if I worked really hard. Mind you I did for a time and I still only managed about 100. I think that is some way off yet so don't worry I wont be racing ahead of you all. vii. How many reviews do you write in average a week? I did write loads and then I stopped for a while. I just need to calculate it. Hang on two ticks .... Right my average weekly writes since I joined is 0.6 per week. viii. How long does it take you on average to write a review? Usually about 40 minutes but the average I feel is a little misleading, since the time taken varies depending on what sort of a review I am writing. ix. How would you describe your writing style for ops? It depends on what sort of ...

Member Advice on Wedding Planning 06/03/2004

So much to consider for just one day

Member Advice on Wedding Planning I recently got engaged on Valentines day to my partner. We have been together for over three years now and have lived together for most of that. At times it has been tough but the main thing is we are still together. We both love each other very much and had talked about our future together a lot in the past. So I decided to ask him to his hand in marriage and he said yes. Some of you might of known of him. He used to be a ciao member. His user name was Manics. His name is Man. Anyway since that time I have been thinking a lot about our wedding and discussing it with him most of the time. I am one who has to organise things. I am not a person who can just wait to see what happens. We have set a date roughly for May or June 2006/07. Depends on fianances. When planning a wedding there is so much to consider. The first thing is to have a budget in mind as without this you could end up going way overboard. Once you have a budget in mind then you can start writing a list of all the things which matter to you at your wedding. You have to consider where you want to get married, what sort of dress and suit you both want, whether you want a car, flower arangements, cake, function room, drinks/bar, dj/disco, buffet or sit down meal, hotel, honeymoon, spending money, photographer. The list just goes on. You also have to consider each others ideas. As it is unlikely you will both want exactly everything the same. You need to do a lot of communicating and listening ...

Member Advice on the Pros and Cons of Joint Accounts 21/02/2004

The up's and down's of a joint account

Member Advice on the Pros and Cons of Joint Accounts Getting a joint account with your partner seems like a great idea at the start and you think about all the advantages it has and believe that the disadvantages are so slim that you apply and open the account and then it is too late. Well I have just got engaged and me and my partner have been talking about getting a joint account for months and now I am wanting to do it even more. The only reason I have for this is it will help me to save up my money instead of squandering it each week like I do. I have been spending all my pennies ever since I earnt at the age of 16 and I am now 24. I have been in permanent employment now for nearly 4 years and the least I have earnt is 10k per year but instead of investing any of my earnings I am in debt of 16k. This is due to me being foolish and not realising the implications borrowing brings to your life. Anyhow we wont go into all that now. Thats for a different review. This is all about having a joint account. Having a joint account does mean that you have to completely trust each other and you have to share all the interest you earn between you fairly. You also should only spend your share of the money and not start spending your partners too. We are going to get an account which requires both signitures. That way then neither of us can withdraw without the other person agreeing. We feel this will help me to save my money and will help us to get towards having a better future. My fiance is excellent with his ...

Valentines day - things to do 15/02/2004

Just some helpful ideas which may help

Valentines day - things to do The 14th February is a special day for many of us and sometimes it maybe difficult to think of things to do. Well this year was a very special one for me because of what happened. I will explain in a bit. If you are stuck for ideas of things to buy on Valentines or of things to do well there are many things you can do. Obviously for many money is the object, but if you are lucky enough and money is no object to you then these ideas may not apply to you.Some may do if you do other things with it. The hardest thing is buying your loved one a present and I am sorry but I find men so fussy and choosy that I always ask them and let them choose something. I never choose something for them because you can be sure that they wont like it or there will be something wrong with it. This goes for any present you buy for them i.e Christmas, Birthday etc. Well I tend to ask them out right if there is anything they like they have seen or need which they will find useful. That way then at least you will know your spending your money wisely and they will get their use out of the item/product. If there is a long list I tend to choose something off the list and surprise them. Very occaisionally I have took a chance and brought them something without tellling them and fortuantely I was lucky that they were pleased with it. Buying for women is not so hard as we women just want everything. I wanted a surprise this year so I just e-mailed my boyfriend a list of product codes ...

Everything that starts with W ... 03/02/2004

Where Have I Been

Everything that starts with W ... Hi all, I am now back on Ciao and will be looking at all your hard work over the past few months. Things have been rather busy and stressful for me over the past few months and there was a technical problem with my account so I was unable to log in anyhow. But I am back now and will hopefully be writing and reading again on a regular basis. Since the middle of October I moved out of my boyfriends place and back in with my parents as me and my partner were not getting on like we should be. I was going to leave him but decided to try long distance for a while and see how we get on. I wont go into the full details. Then on the 19th December my parents moved house so I had to move and change address again 6 weeks later, then it was christmas, then new year, and then my birthday, then my younger brother passed his driving test, then my older brother came back last week and surprised us all to say that he is emmigrating (think thats the right one, my spelling is atrocious) out to Australlia, then my boyfrinds sister got married and she is moving over to Calorfornia as her partners job is moving over there, then my brother was 18 yesturday, then my and my partner have been looking for houses down south again as I was rather unhappy in Manchester, we are still looking for work and I am stuggling to get a permanent job still and keep getting pipped at the post and he can't get anyhthing. So as you are reading this I am sure you can see why I have not been around. But I am still ...

10 Things About My Job 13/10/2003

Equality for temps. What a great rule.

10 Things About My Job I have never had much luck when it comes to employment so I decided to temp instead then it don't really matter too much that my CV is full of jobs. I have been made redundant twice in 2 years and sacked for lateness, even though there was nothing I could do about it and sacked unfairly for asking for a copy of my contract. (see my everything starts with a u review on the unfair dismissal matter). So temping has appealed to me so much more than it used to. So what is it about my job at the moment which has made me want to write a review on it? Well I will tell you. Normally as a temp you are treated very differently to permanent employees and some even look down at you and treat you like a slave and don't lnclude you in things and somehow you don't fit in and it is uncomfortable. Well this does not apply to all companies, as I recently have experienced. Just most. So the ten things about my job are as follows:- 1. As a temp I am receiving full training, getting included in team breifings, having one 2 ones and being included in the nights out and social events. I also have been given the intranet and e-mail for responding to customers and it is my personal account. In most comapanies as I temp I have been given a few hours training and thats it. I have been left to then get on with it. I have not been included in meetings, not had one to ones and nor have I been allowed to join in social events. As a temp I got over looked and used for services I feel ...

Rome in general 12/10/2003

Rome and it's history

Rome in general I have just come back from a 5 nights stay in one of the most historical cities in the world 'Rome'. I have always wanted to go to Rome to see some of the famous sites that I heard about in history lessons at school and as my grandad passed away last year and left us some money and me and my partner have had a very tough year or so we decided to take a break and fly away. We flew with Ryanair from Stanstead for an amazing £12.99 each return and taxes were on top of that. We in total paid £40 each return. When we arrived we took a bus from the airport to the main station in Rome called Termini. From here you can catch all connections to any part of Rome. Ryanair put on a special bus service for it's passengers and this is the cheapest way from the airport. Alternatively you can take a taxi, local bus or metro(Rome's underground). The special bus service was 12.90 euros each for a return ticket which is equivalent to £9 in stirling at this time. The bus ride is about half an hour each way. As with all Ryanair flights you land in one of their quieter airports. Rome has two airports. Fiumicino or Leonardo De Vinci is the main one and Ciampino is the smaller one, which is which we went to and from. After ariving and getting to Termini we then had to get to our apartment. We found out the best way and this was by underground. We found out the cheapest way of getting around Rome whilst we were there and this was to purchase a weekly travel card. This ...
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