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since 06/07/2000


Moulin Rouge (Special Edition) (DVD) 12/08/2002


Moulin Rouge (Special Edition) (DVD) ‘Toujours l’Amour’ - live and love for today, as there may not be a tomorrow. It is that very essence of life in Paris at the turn of the century which is brilliantly captured by Director Baz Lurhmann in his sizzling new movie ‘Moulin Rouge’. I was fortunate enough to see a Press screening of this last week and can honestly say that this is the best film that I have seen this year! It involves you in a world of decadence, which is seething with underworld sex. It draws a graphic and colourful picture of Paris during it’s most bohemianly Artistic period, when any form of behaviour was actively condoned. Throw into this mix, a tragic love story and the scene is set for a real rollercoaster ride of emotion. Lurhmann’s use of both classical musical numbers and contemporary rock and pop. is both inspired and innovative. Coupled with the superb casting of Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, between whom there is a real ‘electricity’ and it lifts this movie into the category of one of the finest musicals ever produced. We all knew that Nicole had a singing talent, but who knew Ewan did too? Well he has - the performance he gives is quite simply stunning.The story concerns the tragic love affair between Satine (Kidman) - the star and main courtesan of the Moulin Rouge and Christian (MacGregor) - a young penniless English poet. They meet by accident at the Moulin Rouge and fall hopelessly and helplessly in love. But, it is a love doomed to disaster. Satine has been used ...

Tefal Steam Station Iron 26/10/2001

HATE Ironing...You will LOVE This

Tefal Steam Station Iron I hate Ironing. I’ll say that up front. I’m sure that if you are like me you will agree that the most tedious, time consuming job anyone has to do around the house is… the ironing. You stand there for seemingly (and literally sometimes – if you’ve a houseful of men, like me) hours trying desperately to remove creases from clothes that look like they have been through World War 2 - and end up failing miserably. Well help is at hand. You know how all the clothes you buy look immaculate. In fact, a great deal of the time they arrive in store looking no better than your wash at home, full of creases from being folded and packed in bags. To get the creases out, the stores use a high pressure steamer, that looks a little like a vacuum cleaner. I know this because I use to run a Womens clothes store a couple of years ago. Imagine my delight then, when I discovered that the iron manufacturers had finally cottoned on and had started to produce something similar for the domestic market. The TEFAL PRO 2500, is one of a new range of steam generating irons. To all intents and purposes it looks like a regular iron . However that is where the story begins. Attached to the iron by a hose is a water container which is heated, and generates high pressure steam. Depending on the size and power of the heater the amount of steam produced varies. They never clog up. You can steam any fabric from denim to the most delicate silks. And the larger water tanks ...

Nurofen Caplets 26/10/2001

Darling I Havent got a Headache NOW

Nurofen Caplets Girls, if you are like me and suffer tremendous headaches around a certain time of the month, what better way to get rid of them that Nurofen? Over the years I’ve suffered from Migraines occasionally and headaches generally always just seem to knock you off centre. You don’t always have time to go to the doctor’s and get something on prescription – and in any case I just think that’s a waste of a Doctor’s time. So it’s down to the old pain relief/headache tablets. Which one to use though – there are so many. We always have paracetomol around the house somewhere. They are so handy and cheap. I’ve always preferred them to the likes of Anadin, but the one that works for me and quickly is always Nurofen. I’m not a chemist and I’m sure you have no need of me to bore you with what’s in the tablets. But it works and that’s the main thing. The best news is that with the Supermarkets now able to sell non prescription drugs at an unregulated price, Nurofen tablets have come down in price and a real bargain. The other day driving back from Oxford at night, I had a raging headache. I had to get home, but I pulled into a Tescos Service station in desperation. A pack of 16 tablets were only £1.18. I bought a mineral water – took a couple of Nurofens and before I’d got home – an hour or so later – I was feeling much better. Feeling so relieved that…well, hubby got a ...

Brighton in general 27/09/2001

Sea Life Centre Brighton

Brighton in general On a recent visit to the South Coast, we popped in to see my Sister, took her kids off her hands for the day and headed for Brighton. Maybe it was just an excuse to indulge myself “Well we’ve got to amuse the children”, but I’d always wanted to visit one of the Sea-Life Centres, but had never got around to it. I’ve always been fascinated by the under sea world and can remember avidly viewing things like Jacques Cousteau on TV and other Natural History programmes on underwater life. So the opportunity arose to visit Brighton’s Sea-Life centre with three young nephews and in any case – it was raining outside so we had nowhere else to go! It really is a joy to visit one of these places. A joy for me as an adult, but also to see the faces of the kids and hear their enthusiasm. The Sea-Life centres are not just one big Aquarium or succession of boring displays, but they bring the whole wonder of Sea life to the ‘surface’ so to speak. At Brighton they have a brilliant underwater ‘Ocean’ tunnel. You can walk beneath the water and see all the fish swimming above and around you. It’s fascinating and well, I loved it. The ‘blurb’ in the Guidebook tells you it’s a ‘fascinating expedition of discovery through the uncharted depths of the sea’ or something similar. But it truly is. You can see and get up close to some of the ‘inmates’ as there are ‘feeding ... 26/09/2001

WHAT A WASTE OF A GOOD IDEA Ever since the bubble began to burst for the many internet companies with good ideas, but little capital - LETSBUYIT.COM struggled. What seemed to be a great germ of an idea - a massive facility to 'co-buy' products at great prices - has foundered through lack of direction, lack of captital and poor customer service. Remember those crazy TV Ads with all the ants busily loading all kinds of products on their tiny backs, ready to deliver them to your door? Yes, a bit annoying - but they served the purpose of bringing the company's name to our notice. My first dealing with letsbuyit was when they had an offer designed to create more members. A pair of Cinema tickets for just £2. I went onto the site - which was easy enough to navigate - and applied for the tickets. A week or so later, just before the closing date, I got an email telling me that the price was fixed at £2 and they would debit my credit card accordingly. Great, - then a week later I got a voucher telling me that I had to send it to some other company to get another voucher to take to the cinema to exchange for tickets. Eh? It seemed very odd. They did not mention this beforehand, but never mind it was still £2 for a pair of tickets. But, just before I was going to send it off, I got another email telling me the vouchers were sent in error, "Don't do anything we'll send the proper vouchers that you just have to take to the cinema for your tickets. That will be in FIVE days time" However, 10 ...

Yates, Milton Keynes 25/09/2001

Ideal for RUMPY before CLUBBIN

Yates, Milton Keynes The sheer ‘pulling’ power of a Yates’ makes ‘pairing up’ on a night out easy for blokes or girls! Yates’ bars are always packed with well dressed, young, singles (or wannabe single!!) of both sexes. The girls will have their best ‘frocks’ on – you know the ones that cover the bare minimum. The lads will have their best designer gear on, ready for action. Plenty to drink and a bit of rumpy before clubbin, The attraction of a Yates is obvious – they are trendy, bright, brash, noisy and as I said, packed. Most large towns seem to have a Yates’ these days. Smart, semi-clubby type Bars. Often with a DJ on a Friday or Saturday night. They tend to be ‘circuit’ pubs/bars i.e Groups of friends will go in, down a couple of drinks, move onto the next one (Litten Tree, Brannigans, Wetherspoons or whatever fits the bill nearby), before hitting a Night Club after regular hours. But there is more to Yates that just it’s ‘pulling power’. Our nearest one – in MK, or another in Luton, also provide decent lunches for a reasonable price. At that time of day you can enjoy the ambience as it is less crowded, but at least you can feel you are in an up-market venue. It quite useful too if you want to takes a business customer there for a relaxed drink and a chat. Similarly, early evenings are good, before the rush comes and the Club 18-30 Crowd enter the fray. Actually that’s ...

Fifteen Minutes (DVD) 24/09/2001


Fifteen Minutes (DVD) This is a cop thriller with a twist and really is a film that you should go and see. It stars Robert de Niro as homicide cop Eddie Fleming, who has become a real media celebrity. That fact is a key to this whole movie. Eddie is the 'cop with a quote', the one the TV News stations call on to get the hot coverage of the latest 'bust'. Eddie is one of the first things that two Eastern European visitors to the US - Oleg and Emil - see when they hit the States. Him and Jerry Springer, of course. But with movie obsessed Emil filming everything on his stolen Camcorder - including the double murder of their ex-partner in crime and his wife, by Oleg - they hatch a plan to cash in on their increasing notoriety. They have footage of the murder on tape - they've seen a murderer interviewed on TV, after he's got off scot free by claiming he was insane. He has sold his story and the movie rights and will make milions of dollars. Oleg and Emil think this is fantastic - in America you can be famous and rich for being a murderer. Thereby hangs the tale of 15 Minutes - taken from the famous quote by Andy Warhol "Everyone will be Famous for 15 minutes!" The action is crisp and well paced. Oleg (Oleg Taktarov) is an excellently evil beast of a murderer, while his sidekick is just obsessed by film and wants only to come to America to be a famous film director. De Niro's character is tough, street wise and all knowing and he is teamed up with a Fire Department Arson specialist, ...

Rewards at Ciao 18/09/2001

Premium Fund CONFUSES ME

Rewards at Ciao Please forgive me for writing this under this category. I’m confused and wanted to put my thoughts down on paper. This is not just for me, but for other members who do not use the site very much and for newcomers. The PREMIUM FUND. One of Ciao’s biggest plus points over other opinion sites – dooyoo, in particular. It is a bonus that some members get each month for the quality of their writing. According to the Ciao details on the site they say “It's a fund of money set aside to acknowledge and reward the best opinions received by Ciao. A new amount will go into the fund each month.” Fine, so what determines an ‘opinion’ that should receive a payment from the Fund? Members are not told and quite often get frustrated at receiving nothing as a bonus – whereas other members, who have written nothing better get ££££. I can’t complain really because I do not get the chance, nor can be too bothered about writing on Ciao. But it would be nice to receive a ‘boost’ by means of something extra as a ‘pat on the back’ a case of ‘pour encourager les autres’. You can see from the Ciao Community centre charts/league tables that those members that have earned the most from the Fund are those that have been on the site longest, written the most and, by and large, are the BEST Writers. That’s good, it’s right and I have no gripes with that at all. However, I just get the ...

Meadowhall, Sheffield 24/08/2001

My FAVOURITE Place to Shop and Relax

Meadowhall, Sheffield Right we're all agreed SHOPPING IS FUN. The only drawback with Shopping is that it costs money. But that apart, where better than Meadowhall Shopping Centre to browse around acres of Shops and much, much more? I know that there are plenty of other popular Centres to do your shopping and obviously, living within easy access of the DREADED M25, places like the new Bluewater and the even more established Lakeside at Thurrock, should be #1. But I was never much of a fanof the really huge Shopping Centres, much preferring the likes of Peterborough's Queensgate or even the Grafton at Cambridge to spend a day. That is until I discovered Meadowhall. It was, if I remember right, the largest Shopping Centre in Europe when it was build around 10 years ago. Probably been surpassed now, I suppose - but it really does have everything you could want. As well as all of the top stores, it also has some smaller names and more intimate shops. Sorry, but I can't remember ALL the names of the Shops, surely that's not the point of this type of opinion. If you really want to know everything that the wondeful Meadowhall has to offer, why not take a trip to The big plus point for me is that it's very easy to park and the place is so big that even when very busy it does not seem over-crowded. There are plenty of cash point machines around at the entrances, so you can always get a refill out of hubby's account if you run short after buying that 'must get' pair of ...

Executive Orders - Tom Clancy 20/08/2001

You've got your orders now READ it

Executive Orders - Tom Clancy For those of you who have never read a Tom Clancy novel, then now is the time to start. The thing I appreciate most about Clancy's work is that he doesn't try to pull off some great literary feat - he just focusses on writing a damn good story. He is one of the finest storytellers around today. For those of you familiar with Clancy, this is another great continuation of the Jack Ryan Saga. You know what you expect and believe me, you won't be disappointed. I personally have to place this book a bit below Clear and Present Danger(which was an incredible read), but still very worthy. In this one, the whole American political system is in disarray as the President, Congress, and Supreme Court are obliterated when a Japanese terrorist lands a 747 on the Capitol building. At the same time, Iran have unleashed the Ebola virus to threaten the US. Things don't look too good, but Clancy's CIA hero of previous books, Jack Ryan, is sent in to try and sort out the mayhem. Because of a recent sex scandal, Ryan was appointed temporary Vice president. But with the majority of the 'executive' wiped out, he must take the reins of the Country. Sounds pretty far fetched now I put it into words - but believe me it is a very well spun yarn - in typical Clancy style and one that gets it's hooks into the reader pretty quickly. At times, Clancy does get bogged down in technical military jargon, but I don't find it to be too distracting. Usually it comes in the form of some military ...

Torbay (England) 11/07/2001

Typically English

Torbay (England) I think that sometimes we ignore those lovely places in our own country when we go off to sunnier climes for our holidays. One such place is the Torbay area – or as they like to call it ‘the English Riviera’. Well, never having been to the French Riviera, I can’t really compare the two, but Torquay especially has plenty going for it. We stayed in Torquay (if you add in Paignton to the equation you pretty much have the ‘Torbay’ area although Paignton is a little more for the ‘older set’) for a couple of days last week. We were there to cover an event in Devon, but thought it would be good, bearing in mind the lovely weather we’ve been having, to stay for a couple of days before it started, so checked in to a hotel in Torquay. We did the same thing three years ago and had a nice time in the evenings as there is plenty of nightlife – mainly geared towards the younger, clubbier types, but some very nice and reasonably priced restaurants. Torquay itself has a regular Summer season at the town’s seafront Princess Theatre. From mid July through to the end of August there are regular shows each night from such as Joe Pasquale, Cannon & Ball, Abba Mania and so on. In addition to this, the Riviera Centre – in the town itself – offers a Leisure Pool (Waves) and kids indoor playcentre (Neptunes Nockout), for those less that sunny days, plus Shops, Restaurants etc. All along the Harbour front there are ...

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (DVD) 10/07/2001

All Action and MUCH More

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (DVD) Director Ang Lee has a great reputation, but having not seen his work before I assumed this would be a bit of a romantic kung fu picture and frankly was not looking forward to it. I was wrong! There is plenty of razzle dazzle choreographed fight scenes in this film, don’t get me wrong. But Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is much more than that. It stars Chow Yun-Fat as Li, a rather disillusioned warrior, honour bound to avenge the murder of his Master and stave off the affections of his friend, Yu (Michelle Yeoh), a skilled fighter in her own right. When a thief enters their lives, one equipped with the ability of defying gravity (cue amazing special effects!) Li offers to hone Yu’s impetuousness. Instead, she steals his fabled sword, "The Green Destiny," and embarks on a her own journey of self-discovery. The film is beautifully choreographed, and I'm referring to both the action sequences and the emotional scenes so smoothly directed by Mr Lee. Yet ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ left me, well, really unable to put into words why I liked it so much. It was strange – it had charm – it had sword & sorcery – it had a STORY! The special effects were out of this world – not ‘over the top’, but just very clever. Like the scene with the duel that takes place in a bamboo forest - atop the trees. All I can say, is forget any kind of pre ordained ideas you have about this type of film. You will ...

Iceland (Shop) 10/07/2001


Iceland (Shop) With all of the high street Supermarkets trying to undercut each other with this 'price check' and that 'price slash' and the occasional 'price massacre', good old Iceland chugs along still providing excellent value on more than just frozen foods. I live in a pretty small town and we have a Sainsburys, Somerfield and Budgens, as well as a small Iceland store. They recently introduced a scheme where you can go to the store, buy your goods and instead of trudging home with armfuls of stuff - they will deliver it free, for you. Ideal if you are a Mum, saddled with a young one, but without a car, cos hubby's at work. That idea is pretty typical of some of the innovative and customer friendly things that Iceland provide - not just great prices. Our store is not a big one, but they are able to cram in as much as most people need. As well as the regular frozen items, they have a section for dairy produce, bakery items, drinks (inc alcohol too, nowadays) and confectionery. On a Saturday it can get quite congested in there, being a small store and all, so thats why I like to pop in during the week, if I'm around. There are often special offers which rotate from week to week - 2 for 1s, 50% extra packs and so on. These days all of the big name supermarket have huge frozen cabinets, so why, you may ask, even bother with Iceland. Well I dont really think they set out to compete with the Tesco's of this world, but they certainly compliment them. Their own brand items are ...

Channel 4 - Big Brother 05/07/2001

Only Suckers get hooked on this

Channel 4 - Big Brother Big Brother - no way. I really fail to see the fascination with this programme. I've read all kinds of reviews and stories about this show, plus all the hype the newspapers deal in, but it loses me, I'm afraid. I switched over the other day and found the omnibus edition, I suppose - or is it on all day? The camera seemed to be stuck. It was just focussed on a door. Never moved - Nothing happened. You could hear voices talking about nothing in particular. Sorry am I missing something? Duh I don't think so. But then I'm also not much of one for 'soaps' either I'm afraid. Hey, why am I apologising - this programme is just rubbish. The first Big Brother was supposed to be so good, but my first impressions were that it was 'highly manipulated', 'rubbish', 'cheap television - at its worst' for starters. Give me a comedy show like 'Friends' any day. Supposedly this is what Big Brother is meant to be aimed towards. An 'ensemble' piece, where each character interacts with the other. Well Big Brother NEEDS a script! And a damn good one to get me to bother watching it again. Fancy spending any time at all watching a closed door - oh yeah rivetting TV.....NOT! I know it's meant to be real life - a social experiment, but there is a prize at the end of it, isn't there? I wonder when a few 'contestants' get eliminated, their characters change - greed starts to kick in. I suppose that's part of the idea - we will watch to see the arguments, to see the friction, the ...

Mummy 2, The - The Return 29/06/2001


Mummy 2, The - The Return The first big blockbuster of the Summer arrived at the end of May when The MUMMY’S RETURN hit the screens. It is most definitely a worthy sequel to the hugely entertaining ‘Mummy’, with non-stop action and brilliant special effects, it has become a Box office smash in it’s own right. Now, without a doubt. It’s not a classic or a ‘serious’ film like say Schindlers list, but it is a good, old fashioned fast action epic on a grand scale. Cliched – yes! Tongue in cheek – most definitely! But a real rollercoaster ride from start to finish and anyone who sees it will love. Set in 1935, it sees Rick – Brendan Fraser - who is now married to Evie (Rachel Weisz) and living in London with their son Alex. Little do they know that events are happening that will once again pit them against their old adversary Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo). On an archaeological dig, Evie discovers the bracelet of Anubis which legend says controls his army led by the Scorpion king. Young Alex puts on the bracelet out of childish curiosity and sets in motion a chain reaction that will bring the army to life. Imhotep, meanwhile, has been ressurected from his grave by Melee the reicarnation of Anch-sun-amun. They kidnap Alex so that he can lead them to the pyramid oasis where the army is sleeping and when the Scorpion King awakes Imhotep will kill him to take his power and his immortality. Its a frantic race against time for the O’Connells ...
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