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since 16/07/2005


Made Of Bricks - Kate Nash 09/01/2008

Singing and Storytelling

The Kingdom (DVD) 01/11/2007

Take Note

The Nanny Diaries (DVD) 26/10/2007

Indifferent Diaries

Garfunkel's Leicester Square, London 31/08/2007

Average Funkel's

Tussuads Thorpe Park, Surrey 08/08/2007

Queue Park

Tussuads Thorpe Park, Surrey I have been to Thorpe Park on a number of occasions over the last few years. The university I went to was about a 15 minute drive away from the park, so it was one of the places we went to at least once a year. I’ve always had a good overall time there, though when I visited last weekend there were a few downsides to the park that somewhat let down our visit. Although some of these factors are things that are not necessarily in the park management’s control, I personally felt that there should be more measures in place to combat this type of thing. Anyway, let me explain. Last weekend, me and three friends of mine decided to head over to Thorpe Park. We had decided a couple of weeks in advance to go, as I had received some 2-for-1 ticket vouchers in the post recently, so we picked a Sunday and crossed our fingers for sun. As we woke in the morning we realised that we were in luck, as it was a bright sunny day and so we drove over to the park. Thorpe Park is pretty easy to get to, with a sign on the M25 telling you which junction to come off at, and then signs pointing you all the way to the front gate. As we drove in we could instantly see the swarms of other people who had had the same idea as us, but parking was not a problem. There was still masses of space left, and with the attendants directing us into spaces it was easy to park. We then headed over to buy our tickets, and were greeted with a massive queue. This was just after 9.30, so the park has already opened but ...

House Rules - Heather Lewis 07/08/2007

Uncomfortable Reading

House Rules - Heather Lewis Heather Lewis’ novel ‘House Rules’ was first published in 1995, and then republished in 2005, with a new afterword, which is the copy that I read. Although it can’t be known for sure, I would say that this was only published again in this way because of the author’s personal life. She killed herself in 2002. ‘House Rules’ tells the story of 15-year old Lee, who at the start of the novel has just been expelled from boarding school. The way that Lee tells us this makes it sound as though she was not really to blame for the incident that resulted in her having to leave, however in the following pages we witness her let a complete stranger on a plane that she finds almost repulsive perform a sexual act upon her. These two contradictory accounts of her personality almost set the tone for the rest of the book; Lee is a very confused young girl, one who has obviously been scarred by events in her past, and is just trying to find a place where she can fit in. We learn that Lee’s father was abusive to her, and so to escape from this she decides to join the horse-show circuit rather than going home. Although she has met some of the characters in this environment before, it is now that she becomes truly embroiled in their lifestyles, entering into a world of “violent sex and heroin” as the blurb of the novel so brashly tells us. As Lee sinks deeper and deeper into this world we see her become less and less in control of herself, and finds it harder and harder to even know what it is ...

Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller 06/07/2007

Society's Flaw

Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller ‘Death of a Salesman’ was written by the playwright Arthur Miller in 1949. Although it is considered an American Classic, I had never really heard of it myself until I bought it. I only even bought it because the last time I was in New York I was trying to spend my change, and this caught my eye. It has been critically acclaimed many times over both as a written play and as a stage production, and won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1949. It made both Arthur Miller and his main character, Willy Loman, famous. The plot of the play focuses on Willy Loman and his family; his wife and two sons. Once enjoying a successful career as a salesman, he now experiences life as a 60-year old, with a somewhat less profitable profession. He begins to live his life through his past; placing massive emphasis on how successful he used to be, and telling over the top stories about the places he visited and the people he saw. It is obvious that Loman has worked hard to provide for his family his whole life, yet instead of being able to settle down as the years go by, he is forced to keep trying to find work to be able to pay to keep his household running. He is faced with the humiliation of having to go begging to people he used to consider colleagues and friends, and son this starts to take a toll on his sanity. Loman’s two sons, Biff and Happy, both have problems of their own. Happy’s life is mixed up in the lies he tells his father so to portray the idea that he is the perfect son, ...

Paphos (Cyprus) 14/06/2007

Perfect Paphos

Paphos (Cyprus) I have never written a travel review before, and to be honest, haven’t really read that many either. Therefore, I’m not really sure of the customary layout, so I’m going to do mine in the form of a holiday diary. Last week, my boyfriend and I went on holiday to Cyprus. We had been planning to go away at this time for a couple of months, and looked at a number of places. We had wanted to stay in a villa or apartment rather than a hotel, so our search for where to go was limited really to people we knew who owned and rented out apartments. My boyfriend’s dad then told us about a guy who worked with him who owned a villa in Cyprus and that was that. The benefits for us for staying in an apartment rather than a hotel meant that we were more able to come and go as we please, and with our own kitchen could stay in and cook for ourselves of an evening if we wished. We were able to find out anything we needed about the apartment or the surrounding area in just a quick phone call, and the owner also arranged for some food to be in the apartment ready for our arrival. Last Wednesday my boyfriend and I set off from Gatwick on a GB Airways (subsidiary of BA) flight to Paphos. We had flown with GB Airways before and to be honest, they weren’t our first choice of airline. (On a flight to Austria we had to turn around half way there because the plane hadn’t been de-iced properly and then had to sit in Gatwick for 6 hours waiting for another plane to be ready! For a 4-day holiday we ...

The Girl In Times Square - Paullina Simons 30/05/2007

The Girl in my Handbag

The Girl In Times Square - Paullina Simons I added ‘The Girl in Times Square’ by Paullina Simons to my Amazon wishlist after reading a review of it here on Ciao. Despite my English Degree I am, and probably always will be, still a fan of trashy chick-lit, so I always have at least one eye out for novels that sound easy-to-read, but still maybe have that little something that makes them stand out from what we could very easily describe as a genre that is mainly full of very similar tales of little substance. ‘The Girl in Times Square’ sounded like it took a different approach to the genre. Simons’ novel centres around Lily Quinn, a normal college student who has just been broken up with. The start of the novel makes you wonder whether it will take any course other than the regular chick-lit style one of boy meets girl, boy and girl find problems, boy and girl overcome problems; but what Simons has done is to through some unusual situations into the mix that not only tug at your heartstrings and make you feel for Lily, it means that the budding romance isn’t necessarily the most important aspect of the story, and this is what, for me, really made the novel shine. Relatively early on in the novel when a few major things happen to Lily that affect her story for the rest of the duration of our time with her. Her roommate, Amy, goes missing, Lily comes into some money and then she becomes ill. This first event means that a whole new plot level of crime, mystery and drama begins to unfold (which, naturally with this ... 03/05/2007

No Music, No Film I originally joined this site when it went under the name, and I found it after following a link from one of those ipod referral sites that I joined ages ago. I’m not sure exactly when changed its name to, and I don’t really know why. I guess it’s a more obvious name and is easier to search for. When I got to the site I was offered four deals to entice me to join. These offers are pretty good, things like 2 DVDs for £8+£2 p+p; 4 DVDs for £20 with free p+p or 5 CDs for £10+£2 p+p. This, combined with the prospect of a free ipod was definitely enough for me, so I joined up straightaway, opting for the 2 DVDs for £8+£2 p+p. Once I had joined and given all my details it didn't take long for my DVDs to arrive, and I have had no problems with them, they were both obviously brand new and work fine on my DVD player. differs from other sites such as Amazon because it works on a loyalty scheme, i.e. you have to buy a certain amount of items over a certain period of time. At first I was fine with this, I got sent a catalogue about once every three months, which I would flick through, find something I wanted and send it off. Of course, there are more items on the website that aren’t listed in the magazine. The DVDs would usually arrive promptly, and in perfect working order. You can return an item if you change your mind as long as it's within 30 days and is unopened, and they will refund your money as well as ...

The Prince & Me DVD 02/04/2007

The Prince and Disbelief

Nandos 07/03/2007


BeneFit Eye Bright 01/03/2007

wake up bright eyes 21/02/2007

Global Test Money

Three To See The King - Magnus Mills 05/01/2007

A fantastical reality

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