Share this page on

bronze Status bronze (Level 7/10)



No member profile available. The person you are looking for is no longer a Ciao member.

Reviews written

since 22/10/2000

425 10/01/2007

Earn while you shop There are a few reasons I shop online: Firstly I am disabled which means getting out can be a little on the difficult side if I am alone. This in turn means that when I go out I generally go with a member of the family, which again in turn means that any presents for them can't be bought as they are with me. Secondly, it is easier and far less crowded not to mention the bargains that can be grabbed. I practically did my Christmas shopping online and with many BOGOF's and freebies it cost a whole lot less than in the shops. Everything is packaged up and sent to your door - perfect. And lastly on top of any discounts you may get if you shop through certain online sites you can get some money back - paid directly to you. Some of the site available for shopping include: Freefivers, The lolly, Quidco, Mutual points, Cashbag, Cashbin and Topcashback. I am currently using Topcashback more often than not. Arriving at the site You'll be presented with a green and white page, on the left hand side of the page is the various menus, on the right a picture of a hand holding £100 below which are listed several of the affiliates they associate with. But why should you join Topcashback? Well the site tells us they give you £2.50 for signing up, they also claim to be the UK's most generous cashback web site. So when you ad your commissions to the equation you'll be quids in if you do shop online. They claim they pay 100% of any cashback you earn from any retailer, this is not ...

Ambassador Hotel, Southport 10/10/2006

Get away from it all

Ambassador Hotel, Southport I'm still not quite sure why we picked Southport as our holiday resort for this year (2006), but the decision having been made we needed to chose a hotel. Now I'm not sure about anyone else, but I like to do a bit of research prior to booking my UK breaks at least, nothing in depth - maybe reviewing it on line or sending an email to the hotel to see the response - that sort of thing. In this case I happen to have some genuine questions and sent an email to inquire. I was very happy with the response from the owner Tracy which I received within hours (if not minutes) of clicking the send button. A decision was made following some telephone conversations where Tracy told us about the area and what it had to offer etc, and we booked. Months later it was time to make our way via train to sunny Southport and enjoy a week of luxury - or so the hotel web site would have us believe. Needless to say the train journey didn't go exactly according to plan (do they ever), and we were running late. It just so happened Tracy gave us a ring the day before departure to ensure everything was OK and to see if we had an ETA (expected time of arrival) which we happily shared with her. However what with our trains having work done on the lines and us needing to get a taxi bus from Crewe to Liverpool South parkway late we would be. Having felt like Tracy was a new friend I rang to let her know of our new eta... Eventually we arrived in Southport train station and found the taxi rank where we ... 29/05/2006

PLAY WITH ME If you type into your browser, you will arrive at a forum with a difference. Whilst the forum was originally based on health issues over the year in which it has been in existence things have changed. They realised that while people want to talk about their health when they do have something to discuss, they don't want to just chat about health only - so changes were planned. But what can you expect when you visit the forums? The first thing you will be certain of is a very warm welcome; the members are a very friendly bunch and will extend you the warmest of welcomes upon your registration. Currently the site is celebrating its first birthday and is decorated up with balloons and a special thread to help celebrate. There is also a newsletter which has exclusive competitions sometimes (The June one is currently underway for a CD of your choice), and members articles are often published in the newsletter for others to enjoy. On site the first thing that is different is that the site appreciates its members and each month let's members vote for their favourite member of the month or M o M as it's known on site. The M o M has their picture (if available) displayed in a small box at the top of the page, along with a link to their profile or home page whichever they opt for. Travelling down the page you will next come across the box to join their monthly newsletter. You simply enter your details and click the link in the follow up email to activate ...

Norfolk Holidays Forum 29/05/2006

GREAT Yarmouth board

Norfolk Holidays Forum As someone who visits Norfolk on a regular basis I was pleased when Louise set up these forums. Not only did they offer new ideas for my trips (I live in Suffolk) but they offer plenty of other ideas from where to eat, and what to watch on TV. NORFOLK HOLIDAYS forum was recently set up by a member of ciao so that people wishing to visit Norfolk can ask questions, and those who have already visited can share their experiences. Arriving at the site you won't be greeted by anything flashy - just a plain blue forum, which has a hint of French-ness about it at some parts. The greeting at the top of the page is from the administrator welcoming you and giving a brief idea of what to expect inside. Registering is easy and takes only a minute or so, and requires the usual details. The first section is the member's section where you'll find polls, suggestions and idea, the help centre, and the obligatory welcome thread. Next down we begin to get to the reason for the forums - and this board deals with coastal holidays, from Lowestoft and Kessingland to my beloved Great Yarmouth, you can share your thoughts here. There is also a general chit chat board where you can discuss anything regarding the coast. I have to confess that the Great Yarmouth thread is the one I home in on, eagerly awaiting the next post. The next category deals with Norfolk in general from local history groups to ghosts and memories - it's all here. My favourite in this part would have to be the ...

Everything that starts with X ... 27/05/2006


Everything that starts with X ... If you type: http://www.hgaf OR into your browser you'll arrive at a discussion board or forum that I created, and now run with the help of other ciao members (and one or two non ciao members) Arriving at the destination you have just typed into your browsers address bar, you'll find a basically white page with blue headings. The top of the page plays host to a single banner advert, which is a promotional tool only, and no money is earned through it. Below the advert you'll find you 'menu' in the form of blue buttons, below this you'll find your user information on the left and key stats on the right. Under this is a news box which tells you the latest news PLUS has a list of moderators who can help you with enquires. Directly below this is where the forum or discussion boards start. Firstly, I would like to say that to post anything on the board you have to be a member, some parts are open to non members to read but some parts are also member only. The layout of the forum is good and clear and it has a lengthy and growing list of categories, anything may be added in either a new board or a subcategory - or child board. The board was created for people with health problems and has a huge list of possible ailments that may go wrong with your body. But I realised that people want to chat about non-health items too, so a non-health section was added where you can discuss such things as: What's on TV, Your favourite film, gardening tips, ...

Haverhill in General 24/02/2006

The lost town with its NEW attraction!!

Haverhill in General Haverhill, is a medium sized town in Suffolk. Nestling on both the boundaries of Cambridgeshire and Essex, it is also just around 60 miles from the capital city of the England - London. It's sister town of Bury st Edmunds is just about 16 miles away, while the horse racing capital of Newmarket is a similar distance. The city of Cambridge is around 18 miles away. Essex is also very close; in fact you can walk within minutes to the Essex and Cambridgeshire borders - depending of course where you are in the town. A few miles up the road in a small village is the prison in which Myra Hindley is now staying "Highpoint". There is some lovely countryside around the town, which in itself is worth a visit. The town has around 25,000 occupants (growing), many of whom commute between both Cambridge and London daily. ~~Fabulous New talking point~~ If the north can find national fame with the angel of the north, then our little town in Suffolk can do the same! Our new sculpture cost a mere £100,000 and is basically a sculpture of a giant metal sail on the skew! Of course local debate has been fierce with very few actually liking the new item. (See it here: Personally speaking I think it is an eye-sore, although I think the whole scheme is a reasonably good idea. What we have at present is nothing less than an eye-sore. We already have a 'face-of-Haverhill' which is made up from hundreds of Haverhill ...

Homecall 15/11/2005


Homecall Home call is from the people of phones 4 U, the mobile phone company, and has been since 1987: They claim to sell 26 phones a minute, and have an annual turnover of £1 billion (as a group), so one could assume they are trust worthy. MY EXPERIENCE: Living on a low income I'm a sucker for freebies and offers and in fact anything to save money…some might call me tight, but why waste money? So having been with BT all my married life (about 23 years) I had a phone call from Home call saying they guarantee to save me money on my BT bill. Currently BT charged me £10.50 a month for my line rental; they would save me 51p a month on that. In addition the calls were cheaper: With BT I was on option 1 paying 5.5p per hour call evenings and weekends…Home call would 5p for 90 minutes that worked out to 50% extra for .5p less money. All in all it seemed like a decent deal so I agreed and signed up. If one thing is important to me it would have to be customer service…I like to know if I have a problem it will be sorted quickly and efficiently. Luckily with phone I rarely have problems. Usually I send emails to check their reply speed and quality prior to signing up, but this time I didn't. All signed up I sat back and waited to see my bills reduce… A week after my sign on date I had a mysterious phone call from an exact replica of BT's 1571 service telling me to press "x" to hear my messages, which I foolishly did. I then realised I had seen on TV and read online about a ...

Member Advice on Choosing Pet Insurance 23/10/2005


Member Advice on Choosing Pet Insurance We had Bea our cat before we got Fudge the dog in 2002, Bea had never shown any illnesses and indeed the only reason we needed the vets were her immunisations each year. But then in 2002 one of the local taxi drivers bitches had puppies and we requested one. Luckily we got one and she already came with a name - Fudge, but it was when she was having her first jabs that we decided to look into pet insurance (we had heard very little about it until then). First thing we realised was that Bea was too old to get insurance, though Fudge was OK. We had read she may be prone to hip problems in late life, and eventually chose E & L insurance which we felt offered a decent standard of cover for an average price. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that our opinion changed, you see Bea (now 14) developed diabetes. And within just a few weeks the costs began to mount up what with blood tests, needles, insulin and hypo-stop etc. It got us thinking about Fudge and the ability to pay for any ongoing treatment if she got ill in later life, particularly as one of her parents was a spaniel (possible future ear problems) and the other a German shepherd (possible future hip problems). I vetted the terms of our E & L policy and found we would only be covered for a period of twelve months, rather than for life. And let's face it, something like diabetes doesn't stop upon demand (I know I have the condition) and by the end of twelve months you're probably only just feeling comfortable with ...

Members Advice on Gardening 18/10/2005


Members Advice on Gardening Last year saw a new me! No I didn't decide to go to the gym, no my missing leg didn't grown in time for me to enter the London marathon, but something strange happened while my poor old mother was recovering from a fall in hospital. It was a particularly nice sunny day when my brother and I were travelling back from Newmarket hospital, and he asked me whether I wanted any tomato plants (complete with pots), as someone who rarely refuses anything free I accepted his offer. As we chatted he told me he was growing a number of edibles in his garden, and I was hooked! I decided there and then I was going to start home growing vegetables etc, and pick them as I wanted them…and all in pots! First up I opted for the one thing I knew I could grow from the previous year's experience - tomatoes. I chose a cherry variety and planted my seeds in a propagator and waited. Within a small amount of time, the heated propagator had brought forth tiny little seedlings, and I was getting excited-no serious we are talking about serious excitement here… As they grew into stronger more robust plants I transplanted them into bigger pots, and waited for them to die…they never! IN fact they went from strength to strength and I now am the proud owner of nine healthy tomato plants all of which (apart form one) are either flowering or in fruit. As mentioned on of poor tomatoes isn't flowering, indeed while it still looks healthy and green enough, the flowers lack and I know why! My secret is ...

Behind closed doors - Jenny Tomlin 06/06/2005

Daddy don't do that!

Behind closed doors - Jenny Tomlin **PROLOGUE** It was while watching ITV's loose women recently that they had a guest called Jenny Tomlin on. We were told that she was the mother of Martina McCutcheon (the ex-EastEnders/film/singing star), and she started talking about her new book - Behind closed doors. It was billed as a biography that would was graphic and shocking…My wife decided she wanted to read the book so I went to WH Smith and bought it. Our copy was hardback and costs £9.99, I had just finished the book I was reading so decided I would grab it before my wife. Lets be honest everyone has a biography out these days - Jordan, Sharon Osbourne, Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda, Boy George and so the list goes on! From what I gather this is her first book, although the sleeve tells us she is writing a follow up. But why we decided to buy this book was the fact she was unknown (to us anyway) so my read began… **STORY** We find that Jenny has one brother called Laurence, and sister called Kim and they live in London with their parents. Her dad doesn't work due to his fitting, which is usually done to order when social security comes to check etc. Their mother is completely ruled by the father and has no say-so without his permission. As the story unfolds you get an insight into the harsh world of the Ponting family. Whereas other children about them had love and regular food they had abuse and starvation. The children never knew where their next meal was coming from, and they never knew who ...

Adelphi Hotel (Liverpool) 25/03/2005


Adelphi Hotel (Liverpool) It was a birthday treat for my son to go to Liverpool, so with destination chosen we simply needed our hotel. Looking through the super break site we come across the Adelphi hotel, it was historically interesting; the hotel was built for the passengers of the Titanic and has been restored with great care (apparently). So now to tell my tale of my visit to the Adelphi… We arrived at Liverpool Lime street station and soon found the way out onto Lime Street, as we walked along the street our first impressions weren’t good. The city seemed dirty and run down and not inviting at all: We carried on walking and within a couple of minutes we had arrived at the hotel. The first thing you noticed it the fact it is stand a lone, with roads running in front, and to the two sides: while at the rear another part of the hotel (bars I think) and a post office prevent the road slightly further on from making the hotel an island. The building itself is quite imposing, although there are a lot of road works right opposite the hotel at the moment in preparation for the city of culture bid 2008. Again it looks far from clean and inviting, and to be honest if outside impressions were anything to go by I would have walked past probably. The first thing to juggle your way through is the entrance: Firstly, there is a side road (big enough for one car) that stands in front of the hotel, with a minute pathway which was certainly not big enough for my wheelchair, if a car or van is parked in ...

Man On Fire (DVD) 05/03/2005


Man On Fire (DVD) This is the second film I have seen starring Dakato Fanning in a week or two and I have decided she is the best little actress around, the other film being hide and seek which we see at the cinema. In this film she stars along Denzel Washington and plays a young daughter of wealthy parents who live in Mexico. Her Mother is American and her father an heir... THE STORY In Mexico there were 24 kidnappings in a period of 6 days, and the police seem slow in catching the kidnappers. So Pita’s (Fanning) parents start the search for a replacement body guard for their beloved daughter. The fifth applicant is Washington who plays John Creasy, the fact that he and Pita’s mother share the same nationality (American) swings him the job in his favour. He starts the job and considers it as exactly that – employment, even when Pita tries to get him chatting and makes friends with him. He slowly begins to melt to the charms of the little girl when things take a drastic turn for the worse; Just as Creasy is starting to learn to live again she is kidnapped…The very thing he is paid to protect against. MY THGOUGHTS The film seemed a little lengthy in my view, but that said it was interesting enough to keep you watching until the very end. The storyline is hardly stunning or edge of the seat stuff but it is captivating enough. Denzel Washington’s is excellently cast in his character of Creasy, and he slowly developing friendship with the child is touching and at one point ...

Everything that starts with V ... 04/03/2005

Very Very Annoying

Everything that starts with V ... What is my view on the British law? Overall it appears to be a jackass, with irregular and often ridiculously light sentencing…And so my story begins… In 1996 I was involved in a serious Road Traffic Accident as many of you know, it nearly cost me my life and I was in hospital for six months and even today am still suffering. Along with my own suffering was that of two colleagues who both spent time in hospital. In addition some other vehicles were involved but I don’t know how they suffered. The women that caused the accident suffered a few cuts and grazes, which I have no quarms about, after all no one wants to see anyone else in such a state. So I waited for her to contact me with an apology, it would have made things a lot easier. And I waited. In fact I am still waiting today, nearly nine years after the day that changed my life. Anyway I digress… So this woman did all this harm to all these people and her day came in court, I was not even asked for a police statement simply due to my state of health at that time, I was unable to comprehend and certainly couldn’t reply… So the attempted killer had her day in court, and her punishment was know…A £100 fine for a start, but the judge was feeling particularly nasty on this day, because not only did she get the fine she got five whole point son her license…. I wonder whether she might have got more had I been the judge’s son or daughter lying in hospital. Another case a few months ago in Cambridge hit the ...

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) 17/02/2005


MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) Following my accident in 1996 it was a regular occurrence that a new ailment was added to the list of things for my body to cope with. First come Diabetes, then Hypothyroidism, then liver problems and so on. At some point during my recovery a male nurse knelt beside my bed and uttered the words “You have M R S A”! He proceeded to tell me it was nothing to worry about although I was going to have to be moved to the infectious diseases ward, as they had no side rooms on the orthopaedic ward where I was. I was unperturbed by this latest worry as I had worked on the infectious diseases ward previously and realised that freedom of the patient was far from restricted. SO WHAT IS M R S A? The initials stand for: Methicillin-Resistant-Staphylococcus-Aureus a proud name that is easy to say when you know how and had as much practise at saying it as I have. Indeed whilst my ignorance of the condition carried on I changed the letters of the song Y M C A to M R S A…I didn’t really know that MRSA could be a killer. As a recent campaign by ITV news and GMTV pointed out, MRSA can prove fatal and certainly disfiguring to some people. As you know by now it is a serious condition; especially in people with ill health, elderly, and young children, those with open wounds etc. M R S A is immune to all antibiotics with the exception of one or two. Although it has to be said around 30% of people carry M R S A in their noses or skin without having any ill effects. M R S A slows the ...

Phantom of the Opera, The (2004) 22/12/2004


Phantom of the Opera, The (2004) Wanting to watch the Phantom at the theatre in London I was put off by reports that the leg room was extremely minimal; so when I heard it was coming to the big screen I was somewhat happy. I arrived at the cinema in plenty, thinking it would be hugely popular – I was wrong. The audience in the film (which was only about a quarter of the seats available) were people of my own age and over. Considering it was a 12a certificate and the fact that it starred an ex-soap actress come pop star I thought maybe there might have been a few youngsters at least, but there wasn’t. The film opens with us at an auction in Paris in 1919; the items being sold include items from the notorious opera house with its very own phantom. We then flick back to the time when the auction house was an opera house and so the story begins: A disfigured young boy is an attraction is a circus until he escapes the torture by murdering his tormenter and prisoner. Realising what he has done he is soon pursued by the folk of the town; a young girl who has watched his torment helps hide him – and the safest place is the basement of the opera house. The lead female character –Christine is played by Emmy Rossum who portrays the character with a good degree of emotion and skill; her hypnotic state as the phantom sings, her tears as she realises some truths. The story centres around Christine basically and the two men who love her. Jennifer Ellison (ex Brookside star, and winner of ITV’s Hells Kitchen, ...
See more reviews Back to top