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elfbwillow

elfbwillow

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Thanks to everyone for the ratings especially the E's - much appreciated I am back! I have missed you all!

Reviews written

since 07/02/2007

377

Nodes Point Holiday Park, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight 24/04/2017

ENJOY A QUIET, RELAXING HOLIDAY AT NODES POINT

Nodes Point Holiday Park, Ryde, Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight Nodes Point Holiday Park As many of you may already realise from some of my recent reviews, I have recently returned from a lovely holiday in the Isle of Wight and so a number of reviews have focused upon this beautiful area of the country. The Isle of Wight is an area which is close to my heart, having visited not only with my school as a child, but also with my Grandparents who have both unfortunately left us now, so revisiting this wonderful place holds many memories for me. Nodes Point Holiday Park is not one in which I have never stayed at before, so unlike the rest of the holiday, I have no memories of this place, and so have no preconceived ideas. I do admit, it was not our first choice in camp site, though it was within the area of the island that we wanted, so we went ahead and booked up. DIRECTIONS AND VISITOR INFORMATION Nodes Point Holiday Park is a 'Park Resorts' camping site situated on the Isle of Wight in the small town of St Helens in Ryde (full address below). A short walk from St Helens Beach, this campsite offers a range of accommodation from self service tents and caravans with electric hookups available, to static caravans and chalets. You are also able to purchase your own caravans here. As the Isle of Wight is a small island, most people will choose to come over by ferry. There is a small airport, though I am unsure where flights can be caught from as I have never crossed to the island this way. One thing I did not realise when booking was ...

Wightlink Ferries 16/04/2017

ALL ABOARD FOR A RELAXING EXPERIENCE

Wightlink Ferries Wightlink Ferries Having booked our Isle of Wight holiday, we had to consider how we were going to get there on account of it being an island! Living a couple of hours from the coast, we knew we were going to need to take our car with us (which we would have wanted anyway as I hate relying on public transport), so that did rule out certain pathways across the sea. We decided upon the most well known ferry company (and a very long running company of over 160 years) to the island and immediately booked. *************** ************* BOOKING AND PRICES *************** ************* There are a few options of where to travel from and to with Wightlink depending on your preferences. I have only travelled the one route so can only review that, though I would imagine the service would be the same on any route you decide to take. The main vehicle ferry routes are as follows: * Lymington to Yarmouth (40 minutes) * Portsmouth to Fishbourne (45 minutes) There used to be a route from Southampton, though I can not see this on the website so they have either stopped this or it is run by another company! If you are travelling on foot, you also have the option to take the fast passenger-only catamaran which leaves from Portsmouth and arrives at Ryde Pier Head (22 minutes) which then directly leads to the Island railway line which is handy. We chose to take the Portsmouth to Fishbourne route both ways. This route is perfect for central and east of the island, though to be honest, ...

Needles Pleasure Park, Alum Bay, Totland Bay 14/04/2017

HISTORICAL BAY TRANSFORMED INTO A GREAT DAY OUT

Needles Pleasure Park, Alum Bay, Totland Bay The Needles Landmark Attraction/Pleasure Park “The island is ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.” ― E. Lockhart, We Were Liars As many of you may have seen, I have recently returned from holiday with my partner and daughter to the Isle of Wight. It used to be a home away from home in my younger days as I often visited with either family or school, though it has been a while since I have been there so did wonder whether it would still give me the same feeling. Thankfully, it did, and the whole holiday was amazing for all of us. On one of the days, we decided to head towards The Needles and Alum Bay, somewhere I remembered from my younger days. Luckily, as we woke up, the sun was shining. It was over to the other side of the island from where we were staying, though the Isle of Wight is so small it would take us approximately 50 minutes to an hour to cross the length of the island. *************** *************** ************* DIRECTIONS AND VISITOR INFORMATION *************** *************** ************* DIRECTIONS The Needles Landmark Attraction/Pleasure Park is situated in Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight (Postcode: PO39 0JD) Most people will prefer to visit this attraction whilst on holiday on the Isle of Wight, though it is always possible to come from the mainland for a day out one of the three ferry points that allow vehicles, or at a push, two other passenger ferrys. The three ferrys which bring over vehicles set off from Portsmouth, ...

English Heritage: Carisbrooke Castle, Newport 10/04/2017

A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE AFTER WAR

English Heritage: Carisbrooke Castle, Newport Carisbrooke Castle “This Island is a little paradise.” (Karl Marx) Having not had a proper holiday in a couple of years due to life getting in the way, we wanted a memorable holiday, especially as it would be the first proper one with my partner. I had gone many times to the Isle of Wight when I was younger, both with family as well as school trips, and having lost both my grandparents, I wanted to return to a place that holds so many memories, and at the same time, introduce my daughter and partner to the island that touches my heart every time I visit it. Suffice to say, there were also places upon the island to which I wanted to take them, and one of those places was Carisbrooke Castle. *************** *************** ************* DIRECTIONS AND VISITOR INFORMATION *************** *************** ************* Carisbrooke Castle is situated in the town of Carisbrooke, near Newport on the Isle of Wight (Castle Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1XY). There are many signs around the Island for all of the tourist attractions, though I did find the brown signs few and far between for the castle. It is, however, easy to find. As Carisbrooke Castle is situated on an island, most people visit it when holidaying over there opposed to a day trip from mainland, though it is possible to take a day trip to the island if you are not too far away from one of the ports. We took the ferry from Portsmouth and it takes approximately 30-45 minutes over the water. Depending on where ...

Beauty and the Beast (2017) (DVD) 08/04/2017

EXPERIENCE THE TALE AS OLD AS TIME

Beauty and the Beast (2017) (DVD) Live Action Beauty and The Beast Please note: This is a review about the film only Belle: [singing] “I want adventure in the great-wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell... And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned!” BE OUR GUEST Back in 1991 when I was still a child, Disney released their 30th animated movie in the shape of 'Beauty and the Beast'. It was Disney's second attempt at this film and this time, following the success of other Disney Princess films, it was a huge hit worldwide, and from the moment I saw it, I fell in love with it. All these years later in 2017, the news I had been longing to hear after many live action Disney films had already hit the big screens, was that it was now joining the next generation in the form of a live action movie. I cold not wait to see it, despite having an actor in it that I was not hugely fond of, it was my favourite Disney movie as a child, and still is. My nine year old daughter was also excited to see the movie, so for a Mothers Day treat, my partner and daughter took me to see it at the cinema. It is not the first time 'Beauty and the Beast' has been re-released. It has also been made into a 3D animation in 2012 and has released a number of small sequels to the film, though this is the first time it has been released as a live action film. This live action remake is exactly what it says on the tin – it is a remake of the original 1991 animation ...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 27/03/2017

A BRIDGE TO GREAT PHOTOS

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 A BRIDGE TO GREAT PHOTOS Please note: I am not a very technical person and am in no way a professional photographer, so therefore, I apologise if I miss anything out or get anything slightly wrong. I purchased this camera about a year ago give or take after my old camera decided to give up the ghost. I may not be a professional photographer, though taking photos is my hobby, especially since my daughter was born nine years ago. It is very rare that I am out without my camera – (to the annoyance of my family most probably!) - and so I wanted a good, solid camera that would take great photos, though at the same time, easy to use. I can not quite remember the price I paid for it, though it is selling in PC World for £249.00 which is possibly around the price I paid. It does say on PC World's site that it has been reduced by over £100.00, so I would definitely recommend looking around for price comparisons. Anyway, onto the camera itself... GET CLOSER TO THE ACTION A lot of people prefer camera phones, or the tiny digital cameras that can fit easily into a bag or even pocket, though I have always loved the feel of the 'big black cameras'. Perhaps, despite my novice status in cameras, it works to make me feel more professional! Either way, I spent a short time researching cameras and trying some out in shops before purchasing this particular one. I am not sure exactly what drew me to this one in the end, though I do know part of it was the ...

The X-Files - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) 19/03/2017

EVERYTHING DIES...YEARS LATER

The X-Files - Series 4 - Complete (DVD) X Files – Season Four A/N: This is a review of the forth season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. EVERYTHING DIES 'The truth is out there' is no more...The forth season opens with 'Everything Dies' instead, showing how much darker the series has become since the beginning...Just a little trivia for you! The Cigarette Smoking Man: “The fiercest enemy is the man who has nothing left to lose.” As some of you may know if you have been following my reviews on this series, this is not the first time I have watched them, and recently, have come back for an X Files marathon. As I go through the seasons, though, my memory does become foggy and so in some cases, it is like I am watching it for the first time. The first three seasons seemed to whiz by as I became hooked once more on this series, though I find myself slowing more as I reach season four. Perhaps it is because I am all X-Filed out, though it may be more to do the fact that the series itself seems to have slowed its pace considerably, and in some ways, has gone back to how it was right at the beginning, just not as fresh. But let me start at the beginning... The X-Files originally aired its pilot episode back in 1994, and to date, it has released ten seasons plus a number of movies in between. Season four first aired in 1996 and continued through to 1997, airing 24 episodes which all run for approximately 45-50 minutes. Although some ratings did dip part way through the season, it became the highest rated ...

Inside I'm Dancing (DVD) 17/03/2017

LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL

Inside I'm Dancing (DVD) Inside I'm Dancing Please note: This is a review of the film only! Rory: “Rory O'Shea. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Besides the full vocal range, I have the use of two fingers of my right hand, sufficient for self-propulsion and self-abuse. You can shake me hand or kiss me arse - but don't expect me to reciprocate.” RORY O'SHEA WAS HERE I enjoy a whole range of different film genres and am always looking for new films to watch, whether they are new out or a number of years old. Quite a while ago, after watching 'Me Before You', my partner mentioned 'Inside I'm Dancing' as it held a similar story basis. I had never heard of it before, though after watching the trailer and also finding out that one of the main characters was played by an actor I love, I looked forward to watching it, and finally we found the timeto sit back,relax and put it on. It is worth mentioning that this film has been released under two titles; 'Inside I'm Dancing' and 'Rory O'Shea Was Here'. One thing that struck me when reading about this film before watching it was some stern criticism it received. The criticism was not focused upon the acting, nor the storyline, yet it looked upon the fact that two able bodied people played disabled people, saying that the parts should have been given to disabled people. Luckily I took no notice with this. Whilst I agree that abled and disabled people can both play parts in a movie, I do not believe that the intent of the film makers was to pass disabled ...

Assassin's Creed (DVD) 15/03/2017

NO HISTORY MAKER HERE

Assassin's Creed (DVD) Assassin's Creed Movie Please note: This is a review on the film only! Cal Lynch: “We work in the dark to serve the light. We are assassins.” YOUR BLOOD IS NOT YOUR OWN A review on this film can be written in two ways as it is based on the games that can be found on many different consoles and has been a popular game for many years. Although I have some knowledge of the games, I never really played them so I can only review the film from the concept of someone without prior knowledge of the story from the games. I did watch this with my partner who has played some of the games so I will add his input in as well to give an idea from both sides. I had seen the trailers and was looking forward to watching this film, as was my partner (he probably more so than me!) and we both had certain expectations – mine coming from the trailer and actors involved and my partners from his knowledge of the games. The premise of the story is what appealed to me first of all. I have always liked stories involving any sort of time travel, and although the 'time travel' aspect in this film is not of the traditional sense, it still appeared exciting to me. As you may have already guessed, the storyline takes place in a few different time periods, but what you may not have guessed is that the whole story centres around the apple of Eden. Yes, you heard me right, the films core is an apple! Of course, there is a lot more involved in the storyline, though the main aspect is the hunt for ...

Magic: The Gathering 11/03/2017

GREATNESS AT ANY COST

Magic: The Gathering Magic: The Gathering "The dead make good soldiers. They can't disobey orders, never surrender, and don't stop fighting when a random body part falls off." Nevinyrral, Necromancer's Handbook Drudge Skeletons GREATNESS AT ANY COST Let me open this review by saying that I will only cover the basics of the game as if I was to cover every single aspect of this game and all its components, it will stretch for miles! I am hoping as I learn more about this game, I will be able to cover certain aspects or parts in greater detail. For now, let me introduce you to Magic: The Gathering. I am certainly not a professional in this game, so please excuse me if I miss something important in this review. I had personally never heard of it until last year when my now nine year old daughter was invited to a Magic tournament by a friend, to play doubles with her. My daughter jumped at the chance, even though she had no idea how to play. For this first time, she borrowed her friends cards, though since then, she has excitedly built up her collection and attends club every week. Magic: The Gathering has players of all ages, from approximately eight years old upwards. At the last pre-release afternoon, the oldest player at our local meet point was in his 80s! So, what is Magic: The Gathering? Let me start at the beginning... THE SWORD IS JUST A TOOL In essence, Magic: The gathering is a trading card game, though unlike most that fit in this category, Magic is so much more complex ...

Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? 09/03/2017

THE HIDDEN VIRTUE THAT IS MY GARDEN

Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? THE HIDDEN VIRTUE THAT IS MY GARDEN Do you see your garden as a haven, a labour of love or a chore to keep on top of? “What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson must be a man after my own heart, or at least follows the same wave length as me in the garden. You see, I am certainly no gardener despite my great grandparents, grandparents and parents all having green fingers. I would say that perhaps it is finally skipping a generation, though my sister seems to have developed the taste for gardening, so the only conclusion I can come up with is that I must be adopted!! When I was a little ankle biter, barely bigger than the huge sunflower in my grandparents garden (which is possibly the reason these evil flowers scare me now as they watch your every move!), I used to spend hours playing among the other beautiful flowers in the garden, having teddy bear picnics among the beautifully tidy grass and skipping around the flourishing apple tree. My grandparents were always busy in their garden and took great pride in every inch of it. It was certainly a labour of love for both of them, and back then, it was for me too as I helped dig the weeds that my gramp taught me about, or watered the pretty flowers alongside my nan. I could spend hours and hours helping them out, never noticing the time go past. Unfortunately, both my grandparents have gone to sleep now, though I will always hold on to ...

Lion (DVD) 08/03/2017

THE HEARTBREAKING TRUE STORY OF A LOST BOY

Lion (DVD) Lion (2016) Please note: This is a movie only review A LOST BOY Saroo Brierley: “I'm not from Calcutta... I'm lost” I love movies based on true stories, though am not obsessed with them and do not generally run out to the cinema to watch them, preferring the cinematic horror experience to the drama experience (plus quite often my soppy side comes through with true stories so it is much better being at home when in floods of tears!), though planning a morning out with my mum and sister, it was decided that we would go and watch 'Lion'. I will be perfectly honest, from reading the write up, I was not overly keen on watching this movie at first, though I should remember to never judge a book by its cover, or in this instance, a movie by its trailer... As already mentioned, this movie is based on a true story, though it is worth mentioning that the movie also comes from the non-fictional biographical book written by Saroo Brierley, the man whose life story runs through the movie. I have not read the book so I do not know how close the movie is to the actual real life story, though from what I can see, it is very close indeed. The real life people also feature in the film at the end as well as usage of some photos. 'Lion originally premiered in September 2016, though it was not until January 2017 that it was released more worldwide. Almost straight away, the movie was bringing in exceptional amounts of money as well as receiving many nominations for awards. As you may ...

Marley's Ghosts (DVD) 03/03/2017

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE...EXTREMELY FUNNY DEAD PEOPLE!

Marley's Ghosts (DVD) Marley's Ghosts Please note: This is a review of the first and second season combined as seen on the DVD, though it is not the DVD itself. The DVD can be purchased online from £9.95 as of writing this review. I SEE DEAD PEOPLE Marley's ghosts is a British comedy show which originally premiered on the 'Gold' channel in September 2015, with the second season following in October 2016, and even though I have only just come across it, it is not difficult at all to catch up as there is only two seasons to date (I am unsure as to whether there will be more at this point) and I do wonder whether they originally did not think it would be popular as the first season (if you can call it that!) consists of three, forty minute episodes and the second season having only six! Despite the lack of episodes, I found myself hooked from the beginning, so please do not let this aspect put you off. Marley's Ghosts follows (dum dum dum) Marley, a young woman who finds out she has a gift, albeit one she would prefer not to have most of the time! She can see ghosts! Yes, the storyline is a simple as that, but there is so much more to it, what with the fact that the three main ghosts, who take residency in Marley's home, are her former husband (who she had not divorced and realises she still loves), her lover (who died shortly after her husband) and her 'friend' the vicar (who died the same time as Marley's lover, and so Marley is suddenly overwhelmed by these over the top characters 24/7 ...

The Blind Side (DVD) 28/02/2017

A LIFE CHANGING STORY

The Blind Side (DVD) The Blind Side (2009) Beth: “You're changing that boy's life.” Leigh Anne Touhy: “No. He's changing mine.” Please note: This is a review on the film only. AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY Although this movie was made back in 2009, it continues to be a timeless joy to watch, never losing its power or emotional value, and one I can watch over and over again, and so I did, watching it for the third time with my partner who had never seen it before. This movie is predominately a drama, though it is also based on a true story, so it can almost be looked at like a biography of sorts. It has featured in a book by Michael Lewis which covers the true story from his personal viewpoint as well as other points in the evolution of offensive football. I have not personally read this book and so my review is based solely on the movie. As I have already mentioned, this movie is based on the real life of the characters involved, and it also features personal photos at the beginning and the end of the real family. It has been said by the real Michael Oher that “Some things in [the movie] are the truth, some things are not. People have got to do things to sell it.”. This, of course, is usually the way with factual based movies, though it is also said that the film does resemble the actual happenings very well in the main. Something else I found interesting is that in the movie, Michael writes an essay called 'White Walls' and it was read out by his teacher. The interesting part is that ...

The X-Files - Series 3 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) 24/02/2017

DENYING EVERYTHING...YEARS LATER

The X-Files - Series 3 - Complete (M-Lock Packaging) (DVD) X Files – Season Three A/N: This is a review of the third season of the X-Files only and not the DVD. THEY'RE NOT COMING...THEY'RE HERE Scully: “What kind of business are you in?” Well Manicured Man: “We predict the future. And the best way to predict it, is to invent it.” If you have read my previous reviews on the first and second season of the X-Files, you will know that this is not the first time I have watched this series, though as the seasons go on, I do find my memory fading more. I can remember certain episodes, though this season was almost a fresh look for me. The X-Files itself began back in 1994, and back then, as well as today, I was hooked from the start. I never managed to watch all 10 seasons, though hopefully this time around, I will! Season three was first aired between 1995 and 1996 and contains 24 episodes which all last approximately 45-50 minutes each. This particular season was rated the highest since the show began and a number of the episodes received Emmy awards. I have had a look online and can not find a specific classification for season two, though season one was rated an 18+. For both the first season and this one, I would say that the 18+ rating is too high. I watched this as a teenager and still today would allow my teenage daughter (when she reaches that age) to watch it. It is worth noting, though, that there are some sexual scenes and references, though this in the main is done in a sensible fashion. The theme of violence also ...
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