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since 30/11/-0001


Mary Poppins The Musical Broadway, Broadway New York 02/07/2009

Practically Perfect....In Every Way

Mary Poppins The Musical Broadway, Broadway New York I was in New York for my sister's 40th and we decided to take in a day in New York City and catch a musical. My brother-in-law had no idea what to go for, we had children to cater for as well so we decided to check out Mary Poppins on Broadway. I don't know anyone who doesn't know the lovely story of Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins is the story of the mystical and stern English nanny, blown to Cherry Tree Lane and takes up the vacant post of Nanny at the Banks Household. Immortalised in a classic Disney movie, Mary Poppins was adapted for stage in both London's West End and New York's Broadway. ~~~ THE VENUE ~~~ Mary Poppins, the musical is showing at the New Amsterdam Theater located on West 42nd Street. It was built in 1903 and is Broadway's oldest venue still in production. It was restored in 1997 after Disney had taken up a lease on the building. On re-opening, this theater staged The Lion King. From the moment you step inside into the entrance way, you can see the ornate design along the wall. I can only describe it as gold filigree covered carvings. It certainly looks dated, but is in very good condition and looks like it is maintained regularly. We were on the balcony and all the way up the stairs, the theater looked lavish with rich red carpet and further carvings along the wall and at the end of each banister. There were also pictures of stars of eras gone by in productions staged at the theater. One of the other things you notice when ...

Loose Girl - Kerry Cohen 23/06/2009

A Different Kind of Loose Woman

Loose Girl - Kerry Cohen My friend gave me this book recommending it as a compulsive read and once started you couldn't stop. I have to disagree on the compulsive part, but more of that later. The book is autobiographical and written by Kerry Cohen, telling the story of her promiscuity and addiction to sex which as we learn through the book is a way of feeling wanted and desired by the opposite sex. The author is from the US and the tale starts in New Jersey where she grew up. The cover of the book is a close-up of the right-side of a womans bottom and thigh, dressed only in knickers. Whilst I would not call this smutty, I wouldn't class it as sophisticated either. This isn't the sort of book I would have felt comfortable reading on the train or indeed in public. Now when I first started reading the book I expected it to be quite glamourous and dramatic. Similar to Siobhan's story in the TV drama Mistresses. For those of you not familiar with Mistresses, Siobhan is in a sexless marriage so spends most nights picking up random guys in bars and ending up in hotel rooms until the early hours. This book is about sex addiction but not necessarily in a coarse way. The first part of the book starts with Kerry in her mid-teens and how she comes to terms with her sexuality, but it takes a good third of the book (and it is only 300 pages) to actually describe the first conquest. Coupled with the fact that the psychoanalysis about why the author was in this state, was crammed into the last 15 ...

Sharon Osbourne Survivor: My Story (Volume 2) - Sharon Osbourne 25/05/2009

Some Sequels Are Better Not Made....

Sharon Osbourne Survivor: My Story (Volume 2) - Sharon Osbourne Christmas 2005, Sharon Osbourne's autobiography covering her tumultuous and tempestuous relationships has been launched in time for Christmas and has gone down a storm, becoming the UK's number 1 book. I got this from the library over the Christmas holidays and found it so engrossing that I finished reading this in 3 days. Yes, it was that good. Fast forward 2 years and the second instalment in Sharon's life is penned and released for the public. After the greatness of the first one, I wanted to buy this book on the strength of the first book. After all, Sharon Osbourne seems to have been more in the public limelight during the time of these books so will have a lot of juicy gossip to share, right? Wrong, for many reasons. What made the first instalment such geat quality reading was that it covered 40 years of Sharon's life and given the number of experiences Sharon has been through there was more than enough to choose from so in essence the depth of each scenario had a lot more substance. This book covers about 5 years or so in about 11 chapters and there is only so much you can say about relatively few incidents during that time before the reader gets bored. For example, moving house is a fairly routine thing. Ok if you have lived in there for the majority of your life it is a watershed but only to yourself and not necessarily the reader. For Sharon to move house and subsequently justify why she had done so was quite a snooze-fest. What seemed to be a common ...

Serious - John Mcenroe 04/05/2009

"You cannot be serious!" from the Super Brat

Serious - John Mcenroe My favourite type of book has to be an autobiography. I don't read many books and when I do my genre of choice is autobiography. Whether it is true or not, I like the insight into peoples life and it is almost a world away from your world. To top it all off, autobiographies come with a set of pictures that you wouldn't normally have and I have to control my urge to view the pictures straightaway rather than wait till I get to that section of the book. That is a lot of fun for me. This is John McEnroe's autobiography, published in 2002 and there were two things that drew me towards this. Firstly, my passion and fascination of tennis meant this is a must have and secondly, I felt that John McEnroe's life definitely warrants an autobiography. You feel that after all of this time and after a tumultuous and glittering professional career, a couple of marriages and a subsequent career this is definitely the time in your life to write an autobiography. In fact this autobiography developed from a newspaper article. The front cover on mine is slightly different to the one shown here. My edition shows a half-lit picture of John McEnroe, with the left half of the picture hidden in darkness on the right hand side of the cover. The title and author are depicted in the bottom left (might be because I have an Australian copy). This picture made me smile, especially as I noticed John's earring on his left ear. Personally, I don't think it suits him, but then it his choice. I ...

Monsters Vs Aliens(DVD) 04/04/2009

Aliens AND Monsters Really Exist?

Monsters Vs Aliens(DVD) Easter is nearly upon us, which means the usual release of children friendly movies with this one being an exception. I was lucky enough to get tickets for a private screening at the Waterloo Imax Cinema and a great treat it was for us and the little ones. Starting in Modesto, California, the plot centres around Susan, a normal young lady about to marry the man of her dreams and live in supposed married bliss when she experiences the radioactive fallout of a meteor which falls to Earth. After absorbing a substance called quantonium, Susan grows into a giant and is captured by a secret group within the US military who operate to capture different types of monsters. An alien called Gallaxhar seeks out the quantonium and after tracing it to Earth, heads to Earth to retrieve the quantonium. After the US military fail to overcome Gallaxhar, Susan (now renamed to Ginormica) and some of her fellow Monsters are deployed to battle with the Aliens. What ensues is some hilarious and madcap entertainment as well as soul searching in the quest to prevent the Aliens taking over Earth. ~~~ THE MAIN CHARACTERS ~~~ Monsters: Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is the heroine of the film searching for a reason to exist and at the start of the movie, being a wife of a Weatherman seems to be her destiny. After being exposed to quantonium from a meteor fallout, grows to giant proportions and becomes very strong from the quantonium. After experiencing this and being captured, ...

Pure Digital ONE MINI 07/03/2009

Here Beginneth My Digital Radio Revolution

Pure Digital ONE MINI ***NOTE: I apologise with the formatting of this review, it just won't work. I hope it doesn't cause you problems while reading. *** Well folks it is time for the digital radio revolution. Aah, who am I kidding? I am getting into Digital Radio very late compared to when it first became available in the 1990s. I had an 18-year old twin cassette/radio player and was happy enough with the retro look and function of it, until it was finally sent to radio heaven by my builders last year. So new (almost) house and I need a radio for the kitchen. Inexplicably there is now so much variety with radios that you need a bit of help to understand the choices. ~~~ WHAT IS DAB? ~~~ DAB stands for digital audio broadcasting, a digital radio technology for radio stations. Over the years I have heard a number of great things about DAB and how it is the future of radio broadcasting. DAB is touted to provide a number of benefits over analogue radio broadcasting with superior reception quality, greater bandwidth for more stations within a smaller broadcasting spectrum and better features on DAB-enabled radios such as automatic tuning to all stations and providing a lot of information about the broadcast (songs, traffic info and station information). However all is not good and there are some downsides. Reception quality can vary depending on where you live and how close the transmitter is to your location, though DAB+ should address this and as additional transmitters ...

Philips Sonicare HX 6431 Hydroclean 01/02/2009

Mouth Vibrations

Philips Sonicare HX 6431 Hydroclean My beloved rechargeable Sonicare, died a slow death recently. It would not charge on its station and then would discharge immediately during use. The sonicare I had was of the variety where the lithium battery was internal and could not be removed or repaired, at least unless you have the patience and tools. Which is where I decided to purchase this battery-powered model. ~~~ WHY THIS SONICARE? ~~~ Sonicare's range of electric toothbrushes are considered the Rolls Royce of toothbrushes as said by my own dentist nonetheless so after that endorsement, I was not going to try anything else. I have had 2 toothbrushes previously and have found the toothbrushing experience very pleasant and easy. Disappointingly both of my previous toothbrushes have met a similar fate and also outside of the warranty period. But having lasted an average of 3 years each I was quite happy to stay with the Sonicare range. I bought this particular model for a variety of reasons. The Sonicare I really want is £100-plus currently and there was no way I could justify such spend right now. So this model was half-price and only £25 so I figured it was a reasonable price to spend whilst I waited for the model I wanted to come down in price. I also get the Sonicare experience which provides the easy timed brushing and the best brushed mouth you can get. ~~~ USING HYDROCLEAN ~~~ Arguably, this is Philips cheapest electric toothbrush and compromises on a lot of the features ...

Humax Foxsat-HDR 01/02/2009

Record, Pause and Rewind HD for Free

Humax Foxsat-HDR *** ALERT Very long review, hope you can make it through and I do appreciate it if you do :O) *** I am a former Sky TV customer but after some serious cost-cutting a few years ago I did not see the need to pay for a multitude of channels I did not have time to watch. Don't worry you still get the free to air channels from BBC1 to Channel 5 so I did not lose out. However I still have to use my combi VCR and DVD-Recorder to records programs I was never around to watch. The progression from a VCR and DVD-Recorder has to be a HDD (Hard Disk Drive) recorder. Simply put you can record programmes straight to a hard drive. Great if you do not want to keep having to change tapes or DVDs. I have always been wanting to get one of these which I meant could free myself of my combi. I never wanted to miss my programmes but it is quite cumbersome to have to routinely plan the programmes you want to watch. However with the continual introduction of new features such as Freeview, Sky+, Freeview+ there never seemed to a good time to buy especially as what you buy would immediately be succeeded by the latest and greatest. Furthermore with the introduction of High-Definition and hearing that there is a free service I was happy to wait until a product that provided all the benefits of the various features. So the Humax Foxsat-HDR is subscription-free satellite that gives you High Definition viewing on certain channels and allows you to record TV too. It is the first device of ...

Logitech X 540 25/01/2009

Who Says These Can Only Be Used For PCs?

Logitech X 540 ~~~ SURROUND SOUND ~~~ The product is a 5.1 surround sound speaker system. I have never actually fully understood the definition of 5.1 but after a bit of research I learn that 5.1 is actually a version of surround sound. 5.1 is also a standard and the most widely used surround sound configuration. Essentially this means that the sound system provides sound from 3 devices in front of you and 2 devices behind you. Being surrounded by speakers is where the term originates. ~~~ LOGITECH X-540 ~~~ Logitech is a well established computer peripheral manufacturer and produces high quality and reliable devices. My choice for this product was driven mainly by price. I have just bought a new TV and want to get the effect of surround without having to pay the high price of a TV sound system. The speakers on my TV are only 5 watts each and I had read that high volume could burst the speakers, not wanting to take a chance I opted for the Logitech sound system. I found this system on the internet for about £50 which is very reasonable for what I was looking for and the total was a whopping 70 Watts. Not a lot I hear you say, but far better than the built-in TV speakers. After researching many computer sound systems, it was confirmed that the sound system would need some adapting to use with a TV. However, I quickly discovered that you only need to be able plug this into the headphone jack of the TV. The difficulty here is that your TV needs to provide 3 connections ...

Frost/Nixon (DVD) 21/01/2009

"I Am The President, So I Can Do Anything"

Frost/Nixon (DVD) ~~~ Synopsis ~~~ Picture the scene, it is 1974 and Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, becomes the first and only president to resign from office for likely impeachment for his involvement in the infamous Watergate scandal of 1972. Watergate is the presidential scandal that involved a series of political scandals where it appears Nixon abused his position of power to his advantage for things like a laundered slush fund, wiretapping and break-ins. David Frost, a British broadcaster sees the events unfolding and takes it upon himself to pursue a series of interviews with the former President in a bid to gain worldwide acclaim and financial security with exceptional viewing figures. What transpires is akin to a switching tale of cat and mouse as Nixon tries to revive his political career and Frost tries to avoid bankruptcy from the financing of the interview as well as prove that Nixon was a key-decision maker in the scandal. ~~~ My Thoughts ~~~ The movie is a depiction of the historical presidential events of 1972 to 1974. The movie starts with actual footage and newsreel of various scenes of the Watergate scandal to set the scene. This is a factual drama using retrospective interviews with the supporting characters dispersed throughout the movie. This is mixed in with the dramatisation of the build-up to the interviews and the actual interview itself. You could actually call this a docu-drama as the events are entirely based on actual ...

Deception (DVD) 14/01/2009

Are You Free Tonight?

Deception (DVD) ~~~ Synopsis ~~~ A nerdy company auditor, Jonathan McQuarry is lured into a private sex ring called 'The List', falling in love with a participant of the ring, known as S. After falling hook line and sinker for her, Jonathan enters a tangled web of deceit and intricacy that sees him being blackmailed with her life. The ransom for seeing her alive is the embezzlement of funds from one of his prestigious clients. After a couple of non-sexual encounters, does Jonathan love S enough take the risks he needs to in order to secure her freedom? Or will he bow to his good-natured and impeccable record? ~~~ My Thoughts ~~~ The movie progresses at a steady pace but it does wait until about 45 minutes to understand why we have been assembled here and align the story to the title of this movie. Up until then we see Jonathan enter the anonymous sex ring and become very familiar with its workings. When participants ring each other for their booty call, the initiator uses the phrase "Are you free tonight?" In my opinion although we needed to understand the operation of the ring we did not need to see the different encounters and it did not warrant 40% of the movie running time. This means the real part of the story was squashed into about an hour. So truth be told, it could have been a shorter movie. The genre of this movie is Drama, Thriller and the story is told with a few twists and turns. Some are quite cunning and you don't expect them but the majority are ...

Things We Lost In The Fire (DVD) 09/12/2008

I Didn't See Any Smoke

Things We Lost In The Fire (DVD) ~~~ Synopsis ~~~ Audrey's husband, the love of her life, has been shot and murdered. The movie follows Audrey as she tries to overcome the tragedy by inviting her dead husbands best friend, Jerry, to come and live with her and her family. Jerry is a newly reformed drug addict. Over the course of the movie we watch as Jerry starts to turn his life around, becoming a key member of the family and helping them grieve. Audrey begins to build resentment for Jerry as he gets too close to the family. Will Jerry stay clean? Will Audrey be able to overcome her resentment to help him and finish grieving? From what I have written, you would not be far off in thinking this story seems basic and simple. ~~~ My Thoughts ~~~ The first part of the movie is told in flashback, beginning with a funeral and then the explanation of how Brian's death occurred. This part of the movie took over 30 minutes completing at the point of Brian's murder. It seems as if this is supposed to be some sort of character building, attempting to explain the relationships of the 3 characters. For me it succeeded in pointing out the blindingly obvious that Audrey is lovingly married to Brian. Not by the great acting as I explain later. The movie does not seem to have any direction. Many a scene I spent wondering why it was included and what the point of the movie was generally. The pace of the movie is very slow. Over an hour is given to setting the scene of the story As in my summary, this ...

RainX Rain Repellent 04/11/2008

Repel At Your Driving Leisure

RainX Rain Repellent ~~~ RainX Rain Repellent ~~~ RainX Rain Repellent is a product made for car windscreens (front, back and sides) and as the name suggests it repels rain, sleet and snow from the windscreen. In fact I have found that it actually stops dead bugs from remaining on the windscreen until you give the car a good old wash. On that note...I've never quite understood how bugs manage to get stuck but that is a whole other story. Basically this product keeps the windscreen clear. Nothing seems to stick to the screen, the raindrops simply slide off and if you are moving, the wind pushes the debris away. The product is a silicon polymer which when applied to the windscreens creates a barrier between the wipers and the screen. This allows rain, sleet snow to slide off, but also the wipers just glide across clearing the screen extremely well. It is as if the wipers do not even touch the screen, but they do as the RainX creates an even smoother surface between the two. This product is also available in wipe form but I cannot comment on that as I have never used it and don't see the point when I am happy with this product. ~~~ The Packaging & Usage ~~~ As the picture shows the product comes in a bottle. A sunshine yellow coloured bottle with a black lid. The bottle is rectangular shape which makes it easy to hold and dispense the product. The bottle I have comes with a spout that flips out to use and folds down to store. Nowaways the bottle has a flip top lid which ...

What's in my bag? 19/10/2008

It's By No Means A Sack!

What's in my bag? Ok folks, after weeks of promising myself a clear out my bag, here's what I found.....everything in it has a story to tell, so I apologise if this is a bit of a long read lol. Right the bag, is 8 inches wide and 6 inches tall. Not the biggest, but carries my home away from home hehe. It has a zipper at the top and one zippered pocket inside with 2 other pockets. 1 for my mobile but it houses something else and I have no clue what the other is for, so it carries some spare change, in case I get caught short. Well the most important thing is my wallet, which contains my cards, notes and a few coins. I prefer a wallet that can hold many cards (this one holds up to 12, more if I squeeze a couple into some slots) as well as coins. The purse is not as big but it allows 8-10 coins depending on which range. 3 loose kleenex balsam tissues. I never like to be without tissues and I'm a little sniffly after duly getting the annual cold that runs riot at this time of year. however the annoying thing is that these tend to get bunched and caught around other items. Many a time I've had to spend getting the caught tissue out of the zipper - not fun and quite infuriating as I am not the most patient of people. Many many receipts. To name a few, 2 B&Q receipts (currently doing the interior of an extension so lots of trips here), one for a return and then undid my refund by buying goods more than it's value. Fuel receipts (filled up at Tesco Esso as it was 111.9p a litre, the ...

Sainsbury's Fabric Conditioner Meadow Breeze 08/09/2008

Altogether now......SNIFF!

Sainsbury's Fabric Conditioner Meadow Breeze ~~~ Sainsbury's Fabric Conditioner ~~~ Browsing the aisles of Sainsbury's one day, I was after some fabric conditioner. I've always been a loyal user of the Comfort range and my normal conditioner is the Comfort Creme variety. However this is quite expensive and as I probably do four or more loads a week, I was looking at the normal Comfort bottles. However my search led me to the Sainsbury's own brand and I'll tell you why. ~~~ The Fragrance ~~~ The most important aspect of fabric conditioner to me is the fragrance and to get that I need to smell the product before I'll purchase it. Can you believe I spent 20 minutes choosing a fabric conditioner???? That's more time than I spent on the rest of my shopping! But anyway after smelling ALL (and I mean all) of the Comfort bottles I was less than impressed. I had already tried the Comfort tropical samples and loved them, but on the shelf these bottles didn't live up to the sample. So I tried my hand at the Sainsbury's range. Now I don't know what Meadow Breeze is supposed to smell like but I can tell you straightaway the smell from the bottle was not offensive. Not sweet or flowery (sorry as I'm not into flowery smells) so that was a good thing. In fact it was fresh. Smell test done, it was the Sainsbury's Meadow Breeze that was dropped into my cart. ~~~ The Packaging and Usage ~~~ The contents come in a 750ml plastic transparent bottle. The contents are a pastel green and the bottle has a lid that is the ...
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