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since 23/12/2006


The Other Boleyn Girl (DVD) 05/03/2009

The Other Boleyn Girl - From the Other Side

The Other Boleyn Girl (DVD) The Other Boleyn Girl tells the story of Anne Boleyn's sister Mary. The king, Henry VIII, currently with first wife Catherine of Aragon, is facing difficulties with his marriage, and word reaches the Boleyn family, that there is an opportunity for one of the girls to worm their way into the king's arms. Though the plan is set out for Anne to undertake this task, it is in fact Mary whom the king notices first. They begin a affair, and Mary bears his first child - a son. However, the story as we know it begins to emerge whilst Mary is pregnant, and Henry's attentions then turn to Anne, after having been to the Queen's court in France, who has had a major change in personality, and the king is drawn to it. Mary is soon pushed out of the picture, and the story of Anne Boleyn begins to unfold, with the birth of Elizabeth, and her attempt at a 2nd child, which ends in tragedy. The film also shows their marriage troubles and the emergence of Jane Seymour, very late towards the end of the film. Whilst in her delicate state of mind over the loss of her 2nd child, it is during this, when Anne puts together the plan that ultimately has her guilty of treason, and suggests to her brother that they sleep together, so she can be pregnant again without the king knowing. She is unfortunately caught by her brother's wife as they "prepare" for the moment. It is interesting to see through the film that despite our knowledge of how Anne Boleyn's life ends, its not quite how you would ...

Discount Railcards 10/02/2009

Get up to 1/3 off your train fare

Discount Railcards Young Persons Railcard / 16-25 Railcard Depending on how you know it, the 16-25 Railcard is a discount railcard for students, offering up to a third off the cost of train fare. This is particularly useful if you are a long distance commuter paying a high rail fee, or if you use the train a lot in general. For me, I can find using the railcard for a short distance to Birmingham, it costs less than getting the bus. So not only is it quicker, but its cheaper! It costs £24 to buy a railcard, which is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, and can be bought over the desk at train stations, which makes them easy to get a hold of. The form is quick and easy to fill in, and you can receive and start using your card within minutes. You will quickly get your £24 back in fare savings, so I wouldn't worry about the cost! However And this is a big however..... You cannot use your railcard before 10am. This is the biggest restriction and the worst thing possible for any student! I am a student, and unfortunately, due to the university timetabling, I am expected at uni by 11am. To be there sensibly, I have to get a train which leaves at ten to 10, which is so close to 10am! Yet I can't use my railcard, which means I have to pay full fare. It costs me £10.40 for a full fare ticket which should only cost me £6.85 and it grieves me to pay it, but I've luckily managed to get a later train to avoid the 10am constraint, at a small cost of being late for lecture. Some ...

Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1200 25/06/2008

A high quality, almost ULTRA compact camera

Casio EXILIM ZOOM EX-Z1200 I recently bought this camera from Jessops along with a 3 year guarantee for just short of £180, which I didn't think was too bad really. Its wonderfully small and compact - in fact, I've seen it described as almost Ultra Compact by a digital camera review site. The face side of the camera, I would say, is the same size as a credit card, and about 2cm thick. It boasts a brilliant LED viewer, and an easy to use menu system. I originally had the Casio Exilim Ex-Z700, so as a newer model, it certainly has a few extra features. The Best Shot mode has a few extras which I didn't have on the Z700 model. Mainly with the video camera, you can film not only in colour, but in Sepia and in Black and White as a silent film, which I found quite amusing. Best Shot mode offers what every digital camera should have - Night mode, Macro mode for your close up shots, Portraits, and Water. You can manually change the settings to add colour filters, or change the White Balance. It also has face recognition, which is handy if you are photographing people. It interested me that the face recognition picked up my cat in photos as well! The 12.1 megapixels come in very handy if you like to see your work on your wall somewhere. It allows images to be blown up to A2 size, without affecting the quality. However, if, like me, you like to take a lot of pictures to upload onto networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, the file sizes can be rather large, which means they will eat up the ...

Tefal CCQH2 Quick CUP 19/12/2007

Click, 1....2....3...... Done.....

Tefal CCQH2 Quick CUP The Tefal QuickCup is somethig quite like no other. It offers what you want from a kettle, but in the sort of time you want - 3 seconds! It's very handy if you're a little short on time or fancy a quick brew. Its clever system is designed to measure out a 200ml cup of hot water at the touch of a button, and poured in a very short space of time. Its small and so doesnt take up much space on the kitchen work surface, and has a very appealing design to it. However, like most pieces of technology, its not without its downsides. It does need regular top up of water, as you would find with a kettle. However, the Tefal Quickcup only holds 1 litre, as opposed to the normal 1.5litre kettles found in most homes. This is, of course, only minor. But it does mean that if it runs out of water half way through your cup, you've got to stop and start and watch how much it fills your cup 2nd time round so you dont drown your tea bag! I'm on my 2nd Tefal Quickcup, as the first one had a couple of problems with it. The first was that it leaked from underneath, so I dont know if this was just a little glitch with the particular quickcup we had, but it does leak a tiny bit from the nozzle, so you have to keep your cup under for just a few more seconds to make sure there's no more water. The 2nd problem, which was a little more major and lowered my satisfaction of the product was that it left a bit of a nasty film on top of the drink. A sort of thick froth, like what you would find on a ...

YouTube 30/03/2007

If you're bored or want to find THAT video!

YouTube YouTube has been considered a life saver for those with a little too much time on their hands and nothing to do. I myself have been one of those unfortunate few a fair number of times. But it has its benefits. If you have a particular clip, advert or trailer you like, then YouTube probably has it. Some of the material I've viewed on this website has included full TV programmes and films, music videos, trailers, adverts and home videos. Some videos are broken up into smaller sized videos. For example, a half hour TV programme may be broken up into 3 10 minute videos, probably for size so that you can load the video quicker and have a smoother viewing experience. One major disadvantage to the videos is that they are home filmed. This can be someone using a camcorder to film off the TV or in a cinema, or games off console screens, and this can result in a poor quality picture and sound. Another disadvantage is copyright law. Some people put videos on YouTube that people want to see, such as music videos. However, they can breach the copyright laws of music companies and the video will be taken off. So, you may bookmark your favourite new music video one day, but another day you wont have it anymore because its been taken off. Its been announced in the news recently as well, that money could possibly be made from people uploading videos onto YouTube. I haven't heard much about it myself, but if this sort of website grabs you, then it may be worthwhile looking ...

Hungry Horse 21/03/2007

For a low cost family meal out!

Hungry Horse For a low cost family meal out, then the Hungry Horse restaurant chain is the place to look. They are very much a family orientated business, with the comedy horse, and Pony Club they offer for kids. The restaurant I'll be reviewing is the Bradmore Arms in Wolverhampton. The Bradmore is very easy to get to by a number of routes. It is by the bus stop for the 513 and 514 services which regularly run from the city centre. Bradmore itself is signposted from some distance away, and the pub is right in the heart of the area. There is quite a large parking area at the rear of the restaurant, but this can get quite full particularly of a Sunday, when it is almost constantly busy for the majority of the day. Fridays and Saturdays are also busy, but you can normally find a space, should it be only restaurant customers parked on the car park. Sometimes it can be used by non-customers because the Bradmore is opposite a number of shops and services, so people use the pub car park when using other facilities. There are 2 kid play areas - one inside and one outside. The inside play area is a large space at the back of the pub, with a number of toys for children to play with. This is still undergoing some development as the old children's play area was removed, and there was talk of a ball pit being replaced. The outdoor play area is only small, but consists of a slide and play area in a cornered off area of the beer garden. The upside of the play areas is that obviously, it ... 15/03/2007

Grab a last minute deal here! I've only ever used myself, and its brilliant for having a browse over different places you might want to visit and the sort of prices you'll be expected to pay. I booked a holiday to Paris through, and for 2 adults, 4 nights, 4* hotel = £187pp. When we were at the hotel, we noticed the room we were in should cost €220 a night, which is when we realised how good our price was! In the price, our flight was included. The site is very easy to use. However, there may not be any flights for particular dates you search for, so you may need to be a bit flexible when planning it. Its also best to leave it as late as you can without it being snapped up by someone else first. The price above for Paris was booked 2 months before we left , so there was a chance it could have been cheaper nearer the time. When you book your holiday, and paid for it, will send e-tickets for you to print off. We were a bit unsure of how the tickets would work, but we went through the Help section of the site and it said to present them as you would any normal ticket. So, with printed e-tickets, we headed off to Birmingham International, and sure enough, when we checked in, the e-tickets were accepted without any questions, and we were given our boarding passes. I suppose we were slightly concerned about if they needed anything else along with the e-ticket, or whether the email sufficed. But in the end, we printed off the entire email, to make sure we ... 15/03/2007

MyOffers.......... is genuinely a good site to log into and try and win competitions. Its completely free to join and to enter the competitions, with no hidden fees (that I've found of so far). You start off as a 3 star member - this means that you are rewarded with 3 star level prizes. The small catch with this is that you have to pay a £2.99 P&P fee, which, if the item is good enough, then its well worth it. After so many months (maybe 2 or 3) you will continue to upgrade, if you enter atleast 5 competitions each month. As you star level upgrades, the rewards get better.For example, for a postage of £3.99, I ordered a USB Webcam and a pedometer with FM radio, coming together at an RRP of £27.98! So its a large saving. As I said, there are many competitions to enter, ranging from cash prizes to cars, holidays and appliances. You can enter as many as you like, but for each entry you USUALLY have to fill in a questionnaire. Sometimes i have skipped these, but i dont know whether that reduces your chances of winning the prize. These questionnaires can lead you into a bit of a mess, when your inbox starts filling up with loads of ad emails from partner websites in conjunction with MyOffers. I've had to change email accounts because of it! When you complete the questionnaire, like an interests questionnaire, MyOffers passes on your email address to that company, so they can send you emails regarding the interests you specified in the questionnaire. But when you start getting ...

The Sims 2: University Expansion Pack (PC) 14/03/2007

Another brilliant expansion pack from Maxis!

The Sims 2: University Expansion Pack (PC) As with all expansion packs, you get your basic extras on top of what you already have. So, with the university expansion, not only do your sims get the university experience, but you get a whole host of new items, such as new furniture, outfits and places to go. The brilliance of this expansion is its close reality to the real life university experience. Your sim gets to choose its Major, and works on their assignments and goes to lectures in order to get the best mark possible. When you decide that your sim is ready to go to university, there are a number of things you can do. During their time at home, they may have developed a special skill in a certain area, e.g. they may have 8 on their Creativity or Charisma. If you make a phone call before you leave for college, then you may be in for a chance of getting a scholarship, which is always handy. There are also some secret skills that your sims can learn, such as pool trick skills and dancing skills. You wil never know how far your sim is, until you try and call for the scholarship, but even then you won't know how talented your sim is. Just whether you are eligible or not. So, you then say goodbye to your parents, and a taxi arrives to pick you up. You then choose what sort of accommodation you would like to live in, either sharing with just 3 other sims, or as many as roughly 10 other sims. It depends how much of an atmosphere you want. You can also choose to move in with other sims - maybe friends you made in ...

Derby University 06/03/2007

Getting their priorities right

Derby University I do not study at Derby University. However, I have sat in on a lecture, and have been a frequent visitor over the past 6 months - enough to provide a review of it. One of my favourite things about this university is that they have everything based in one building. Unlike more open campus universities, Derby contains everything to an atrium. When you step inside the university, there is a reception on entrance (as you'd expect to find), with friendly staff who are always willing to help. Walking just past that, takes you to the main atrium area. This is split into 2 floors. The main area itself homes a housing shop (presumably for the private sector of the university accommodation), then a clothes shop, convenience store, a Waterstones, a Natwest branch, 2 ATMs and a hairdressers. There is also a drinks stand where you can purchase hot drinks to take away. On the raised area of the atrium (pretty much the second floor), there is the entrance the library and learning resources, one of the teaching blocks (North block) and a number of eat in places. If you recognise the names, they are Upper Crust, Madison's, Proper Cornish and another which I've never used. Through a door to the left of the main atrium are toilet facilities, the SUB Bar (Student's Union Bar), a coffee shop, offering really nice hot chocolates for £1.20 each, (my fav drink there!) and further on, an on campus cinema with regular film showings every evening. There are recycling bins available on ...

Getting Around in Wolverhampton 05/03/2007

Easy enough if you have the right change

Getting Around in Wolverhampton Wolverhampton can be a big place to get around. Some places take some doing to get to and a number of buses. Some areas of Wolverhampton have very few buses. Some buses can be very unreliable, others, bang on time, everytime. So it just depends on where your going and where from. Take for example, Bradmore. I know that only 2 regular bus services go through Bradmore - the 513 and 514. The 513 is very unreliable at times and the 514 comes once an hour. Sometimes, you're just better off walking if you're going to the town centre! The city centre is very accessible, however, with a number of streets to walk down in order to get there. Every bus goes to the station,and everywhere is connected via this station, including Birmingham and areas of Walsall. The bus station is located across the road from the city's railway station, so different cities are linked together by train as well. Getting around by taxi is also very easy. The average wait will be around 10 minutes, but I still feel that it's an expensive form of transport. Prices start from about £3.50, but thats a fixed price for some distance before the meter starts, so if your journey's short enough, it will only cost you £3.50. (The figure of £3.50 is for the city's hackney carriages). There are a number of other taxi services which can work out to be a little bit cheaper, again depending on the distance as some drivers choose different routes to the same location, but I always use the council taxis because you can ...

Bridget Jones - The Edge Of Reason (DVD) 20/02/2007

Not quite as good as the first

Bridget Jones - The Edge Of Reason (DVD) Bridget Jones has been my absolute favourite movie for years. I've watched it time and time again, so when the second film came out, I was excited and pre-ordered it. Just so you know - I refer to quite a lot of the plot in this review, so if you really don't want to know what happens, it might not be a good idea to read ahead (as much as that pains me to say!) Its not a regret that I bought it so early, or that i bought it at max price, because it is a very good movie, but as with most sequels, something just isn't quite as good. But this time, it could just be that Bridget is in a more serious relationship. So, its not a case of deciding between Daniel or Mark. In this film, we see Bridget get serious in life - her relationship with Mark reaches new heights, she goes on her first holiday with him, her TV career at Sit Up Britain takes a new turn where she has to work with Daniel, and everything seems peachy. However, things take a turn for the worst when shooting a culture programme with Daniel in Thailand, and she is arrested for possessing a very large amount of cannabis. This is quite funny as the "Big-Scary-Stomach-Holding-In-Pants" make another appearance at airport security!! The time she spends in the Thai prison, I would say, holds one of the most famous scenes where she is teaches all the prison girls how to sing Madonna's Like a Virgin properly. Now, one of the favourite things out of the first movie, I would say, is the fights between Darcy ...

Doctor Zhivago [TV Soundtrack] (Original Soundtrack) - Soundtrack 13/02/2007

Such a relaxing, beautiful classical piece

Doctor Zhivago [TV Soundtrack] (Original Soundtrack) - Soundtrack The Dr Zhivago soundtrack is one of the most beautiful soundtracks I have listened to. Complete with the tracks from the TV series, you can think about whereabouts in the film it has come from. I listened to it whilst I was working, and it used to make me feel really relaxed and it made me want to work. Tracks on the cd are: 1. Zhivago 2. Farewell to the Past 3. Love is a Mystery 4. Kolechko 5. The Earth 6. Evil Days 7. Talking To You 8. Still So Early In The World 9. The Journey 10. Writing Poems 11. Eyes Closed 12. We Praise Thee (Tebe Poyom) 13. White Night 14. Fairytale 15. The Ringlet 16. Yuri's Lullaby All are classical music pieces, with the main instrument being the piano. I love piano pieces, which is why this is one of my favourite soundtrack albums alongside Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Some songs are sung in Russian I think? I'm not 100% sure on that, but there are a couple sung in another language. I assume its Russian, because thats where the movie is set. I'm not quite sure what else to put now, apart from listen to it, and you'll see what I mean! ...

Getting Around in Stoke on Trent 07/02/2007

There's lots, but is there too many?

Getting Around in Stoke on Trent I moved to Stoke-on-Trent in September when I started at Staffordshire University. To begin with, I didn't really have a look around until 2 weeks in when I decided to go to the City Centre. I instantly began to like the ease of getting around as there are so many buses linking up the different areas of the city. You can guarantee that you won't be waiting any longer than 7 or 8 minutes for a bus to the city, and if it's any longer, then there are timetables to tell you where you are and how long you can expect to wait for the bus. There are a few different bus companies like First Travel, D&G and Scraggs, which all cost differently. Full adult fare on First costs £1.40, but Scraggs offer a student discount, and it costs around 80p to go the same distance, however, this is a more limited bus service. There are buses that link other cities as far as Stafford and Uttoxeter I believe. There are regular buses that also go to Newcastle-under-Lyme and Keele. This isn't very far from the railway station in Stoke (which is where I get the majority of buses from.) The only problem I've found is that buying 2 single tickets to your destination and back could be a bit expensive. So the one day I decided to buy a return ticket when I went to Longton. It didn't cost much less than buying 2 single tickets. This option also restricts you to getting the same number or atleast same company bus. When I was finished in Longton, I had to get a different type of bus altogether ...

Staffordshire University 05/02/2007

Glad it was my first choice

Staffordshire University I'm currently in my first year at the Stoke campus at Staffordshire University, and I really like it. It is situated very good, right next to the train station, a 5 minute walk from Stoke, and with regular buses every 5-8 minutes to the City Centre. On campus, there are plenty of facilites: Union shop, Police, LRV bar and nightclub, Sports centre, astroturf football pitches, computers, and on the other campus on College Road there's another bar, the Student's union, the library in a separate building of its own, more computers, and another union shop. There are plenty of halls in and around campus. There are 6 standard halls, 1 ensuite and 32 on campus houses. Each of the halls are named after famous potterers: Aynsley, Coalport, Spode, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Minton. Eahc of these halls has 10 sharing on each floor, and each of these floors are single sex. There are 3 showers and toilets to share in these halls. The kitchens are quite large and hold all the people comfortably. The ensuite (Clarice Cliff) is roughly 6 sharing, with a small ensuite shower and toilet in each room. However, to have this luxury, you have to give up some of the space in your room. I live in one of the houses on campus. There are 30 houses which hold 6 people. There are 4 bedrooms upstairs, and 2 bedrooms downstairs, a large kitchen/living area, a shower downstairs, a toilet and a bathroom with a bath, sink and toilet upstairs. All rooms have a radiator, wardrobe, desk, chair and ...
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