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since 30/05/2009


Asda Create Your Own Pizza 16/11/2009

Oldchem becomes a Pizzaioli - so can you!!

Asda Create Your Own Pizza Asda Create Your Own Pizza INTRODUCTION Did you know that the word “pizza" comes from the Latin word pinsa, meaning flatbread? Or that early Greeks called the early pizza ‘plankuntos’ and it was basically used as an edible plate when eating stews or thick broth. Or that it was only after the introduction of tomatoes to Italian cuisine in the 18th and early 19th centuries finally gave us the true modern Italian pizza. Whatever it’s history, we in England seem to have a love affair now with the pizza. It seems to be a real favourite with youngsters, perhaps I have the only thirteen year old son in the country who doesn’t like pizzas! I however do have rather a liking for the Italian delicacy, but I am fussy about which I have. Given a choice I would be sat outside a ristorante on the shores of Lake Como, with a paper-thin crispy dough base topped with mozzarella, basil and olives and a carafe of cold white wine. Unfortunately, after a morning struggling with a trolley around a packed Lancaster Asda store, a quick flight into Milan isn’t always that feasible so a passable alternative (let’s face it which would YOU prefer) is to create your own pizza at the Pizza counter at Asda. THE PIZZA COUNTER Every Asda that I have visited the Create Your Own Pizza Counter has been situated at the rear of the store close to the deli and cooked chicken counters. There are always several ‘ready made’ pizzas displayed at the front of the counter and you can, ...

Santa Claus - The Movie (DVD) 15/11/2009

I TOLD you there was a Santa!!

Santa Claus - The Movie (DVD) SANTA CLAUS THE MOVIE (1985) DVD (2007) REVIEW "A prophecy has come to pass, that there would come to us a Chosen One, and that he, having no child of his own, would love all children everywhere, and that he himself would be an artist and a craftsman." INTRODUCTION I am like a kid when it comes to Christmas, I just love it; I love the family getting together, the Christmas services, the carols, lights, the decorations, the children's faces, the food, the excitement and so much more. I also look forward to the Christmas season as a time when we get to watch a lot of my favourite Christmas films. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without watching my favourite of all - "Santa Claus - The Movie" - I've shared it with my children and my children's children and it's nothing short of magical! So my second Christmas film review this year is for the wonderful, evergreen 1985 film - 'Santa Claus the Movie'. To me this film epitomises Christmas, well the secular side of it anyway; it is a straightforward, nondenominational attempt to explore the mysteries of Santa Claus with the main purpose seeming to be an attempt to answer some of the basic questions many children have about the Santa Claus/Father Christmas, such as how Santa's reindeer fly, how he and his wife made it to the North Pole and how Santa ascends chimneys, among other things. I can't believe how this absolutly adorable film got such negative reviews, getting a rating of only ...

Fox in Socks: Green Back Book - Dr. Seuss 15/11/2009

a tweetle beetle noodle poodle bottled paddled muddled duddled fu

Fox in Socks: Green Back Book - Dr. Seuss FOX IN SOCKS DR SEUS Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer and cartoonist best known for his children's books written under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He published over 60 children's books, which were often characterized by imaginative characters and rhymes. These were mainly known in America, but they do seem to have gained popularity in the UK. I can remember when reading books to my son when he was little, I was always pleased when he picked a Dr Seus book; the words tripped off the tongue so easily - well they did until on a visit to the library, my darling four year old picked up Fox in Socks. Macho Mum here thought 'NO problem' - if a cat in a hat didn't faze me a fox in socks would be easy meat!! But what I found was that Fox in Socks is essentially Sam-I-Am with a taste for tongue twisters!! Dr. Seuss had a devilish streak in him, part of what makes everyone love him so much - in the same way Roald Dahl's wickedness woos children everywhere. Fox in Socks actually comes with a warning label on the inside cover."Take it slowly. This book is dangerous." And so it is. It's dangerous to one's tongue, self-esteem, and dourness. But what is life without risks? In my arrogance, I thought that I was up to this book. I had taught obnoxious sixteen year olds who didn't want to learn - I could do this. It started out easy. Fox. Socks. Box. Knox. Fox looks full of mischief and Knox looks content. Knox and I know what ...

Y Branwen, Harlech 14/11/2009

"CROESO Cynnes Cymreig - A Warm Welsh Welcome"

Y Branwen, Harlech Y BRANWEN HOTEL HARLECH Men of Harlech, march to glory Victory is hov'ring o'er ye Bright-eyed freedom stands before Ye, Hear ye not her call Harlech is located in Gwynedd, Merionethshire, North Wales. I just love this area of North Wales and personally think that it is home to some of he most beautiful scenery in the British Isles. We have spent many, many happy holidays around this area. Including three days in the lovely little Y Branwen Hotel. If you are interested in staying awhile in this beautiful area I would really recommend this little family run hotel. WHY HARLECH I just love this area of North Wales and personally think that it is home to some of he most beautiful scenery in the British Isles. We have spent many, many happy holidays around this area. Harlech is the perfect base for a short break to an extended holiday; set in the heart of the incredible Snowdonia National Park over-looking Tremadog Bay and the Lleyn Peninsula. The lovely little town is dominated by the Rhinog mountain range and its wonderful medieval castle, Harlech Castle (a review on the castle is to follow). It is a quaint little town with steep winding streets that are full of traditional Welsh architecture. If Golf is your game then there is no shortage of excellent Golf Courses in this area of Gwynedd Wales, and situated right between the town and the sea there you can enjoy the spectacular setting of Harlech's Royal St. David's ...

The Pirate - Sir Walter Scott 13/11/2009

Vikings, pirates, adventures and mystery all in one book.

The Pirate - Sir Walter Scott THE PIRATE SIR WALTER SCOTT “THAT long, narrow, and irregular island, usually called the Mainland of Zetland, because it is by far the largest of that Archipelago, terminates, as is well known to the mariners who navigate the stormy seas which surround the Thule of the ancients, in a cliff of immense height, entitled Sumburgh-Head, which presents its bare scalp and naked sides to the weight of a tremendous surge, forming the extreme point of the isle to the south-east.” The work of the prolific Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott, is sadly no longer thought of as fashionable to read. Ask people what he wrote, and the most popular answer I am sure would be ‘Ivanhoe’, ‘Rob Roy’ or perhaps ‘The Lady of the Lake’. ’Ivanhoe’, like ‘Rob Roy’ were part of Scott’s Waverley Novels as was one of my favourite books by him, and the one I am reviewing here, The Pirate’; this book was seventh in the series and was published in December1821. The Pirate is set in 17th-century Shetland (Jetland in Scott’s book) and centres on the rivalry between the gallant Mordaunt Mertoun and the buccaneer Clement Cleveland. It was based roughly on the life of John Gow who features as Captain Cleveland. Think beyond the language of the novel and get your tongue round the rather strange names, you will find that you are reading a mystery, rather like a modern detective story. In this book though you will have to be vigilant, keeping a look out for clues so that ...

Re:creation Cranium Cariboo 13/11/2009

Cranium Training Preschool Variety

Re:creation Cranium Cariboo CRANIUM CARIBOO I bought this game for my granddaughters third birthday. It’s a fun and educational game for preschoolers that helps with letter, number, colour, and shape recognition. It’s an ideal first game, to get children used to the idea of a structured game, and it’s also a much more tolerable game for adults to play than many of the standard preschool games on the market. The basics Cranium Cariboo is a game aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds. It can be played with 2-4 players and combines a treasure hunt with colourful bouncy balls, an easy-to-use key, and lots of cards and doors. The board itself consists of two parts: a large section where there are doorways where the six included balls are hidden and a narrow section where the balls are stored once they’re found. When all 6 balls have been found and put inside the collection area or “Tidepool,” they press up against a piece that opens up a treasure chest. A beautiful “gem” is revealed and the game ends. The game can be played two ways: Beginner and Advanced. Cards, cards, cards There are two decks of cards—Beginner and Advanced—for use with this game. In addition, each of the 15 trap doors on the board has a card on it. The cards can be played in the Beginner or Advanced mode by sliding them out and flipping them before gameplay begins. These door cards have pictures on them as well as the written name of the object beneath the picture. For instance, the ...

Winning Moves - Pass the Pigs 13/11/2009

Oh No!! They're making bacon!!

Winning Moves - Pass the Pigs PASS THE PIGS Pass the Pigs is a super little game from 'Winning Ways'. To be honest I hadn't realised that this game was still around, and when I saw it I had to get it to relive some fantastic memories. I can't be sure just when it was, but must be almost 20 years since one of my daughters recieved 'Pass the Pigs' one Christmas. It was a game that I'd never heard of, but my goodness, as a family we did have some fun. THE GAME The basic game is VERY simple, I suppose you could say it's a little like 'craps' but with pigs instead of dice. The small plastic carrying case holds two plastic pigs (both of which have a dot on one side), a score card, score pad, two pencils and the instructions. On your turn you roll both of the miniature pigs, depending on how the pigs land you score points. For example a pig landing on its back or feet scores 5 points. At the end of your roll you need to decide if you want to add that roll's score to your total score and end your turn or roll again for more points. If when you roll the pigs they end up on opposite sides (one with a dot up, the other dot down) you lose all of your points for that round and play passes to the next player. If the pigs touch when the land you lose all of the points you have earned for the whole game. The first player to reach 100 wins. The game is recommended for children ages 7 and up and for 2-4 players. Since everything is contained in a case ...

Carnival Games (Wii) 12/11/2009

All that's missng is the candy floss!!

Carnival Games (Wii) CARNIVAL FUNFAIR GAMES NINTENDO Wii I expect that there are many people looking at Wii games to buy this Christmas and are not too sure as to what will suit them best. With that in mind I decided to do a review on the Carnival Funfair Game. I have decided to create a new category for Nintendo Wii Games - simulator. As this game I'm reviewing today isn't really suitable to be classed in any of the normal catgories like first person shooter, action, platformer etc, so now it's in the simulator catagory - Oldchem has decided!! This game gives you a chance to play all the normal fairground type games, there is a dunk tank, tossing rings on bottles, throwing balls at milk cans, Hoops, and a Test Your Strength etc (All though on Carnival Games they have their own names). There are five areas to the fair (or should I say carnival), each with a few games, and unlockable super games. Take Alley Ball , if you get all the prizes necessary, you get a better version. The prize system is something that should be noted. Each game has a criteria for getting either a small, medium, or large prize. Each prize is upgradeable, and by getting three large prizes you can unlock the grand prize, which unlocks the super games. In our house the upgradeable prized acused a bit of confusion at first. Basically, you can trade in all your small prizes for one medium, all your medium for one large, and all your larges for the grand. Ultimately, what ...

Longmorn 15 Year Old Single Malt 12/11/2009

Mine's a Longhorn, what's yours?

Longmorn 15 Year Old Single Malt Are you looking for a good Malt Whisky to give as presents (or even to drink yourself) this Christmas? Then let me introduce you to a paticular favourite of mine. Longmorn 15 Year Old Malt Whisky Over the years and after several holidays to Scotland I have sampled a plethora of single malts and have been taught on more than one occasion the "proper respect and appreciation for the nectar." If it wasn't so early as I write this review I would have indulged in a dram or so from my well hidden stash ! THE DISTILLERY There are long roots to the distillery in the area know as Longmorn in Morayshire. A missionary named Maernanaog, or Mo-ernin-og, had brought Christianity to the Picts of Moray during the 7th Century. A church was built just outside of Elgin following his death in 625AD and named Lann Marnoch, the Church of St Marnoch. Over the course of time, the name 'Lann Marnoch' gradually became Anglicised and eventually the area was known as Longmorn. Building began on the distillery on the site in 1893 under John Duff and Company, founders of Glenlossie in 1876, it was completed in 1894 and John Duff bought out the other members of the group and officially founded the Longmorn Distillery in 1897. In 1909 the firm was declaredbankrupt and the shares were acquired from the bank by James R Grant. In the early 1970's, Longmorn merged with The Glenlivet and Glen Grant distilleries to create The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. The malt ...

The Pearl - John Steinbeck 12/11/2009

"This pearl has become my soul."

The Pearl - John Steinbeck THE PEARL JOHN STEINBECK ‘The Pearl’ first published in 1945 is one of Steinbeck's lesser-known works. This is a short book, or novello of just less than 100 pages, and originally appeared in the magazine Woman’s Home Companion in 1945 under the title “The Pearl of the World.” JOHN STEINBECK John Steinbeck, American author and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1962, was a leading writer of novels about the working class and was a major spokesman for the victims of the Great Depression. Born in 1902, Steinbecs most famous novel is ‘The Grapes of Wrath’(1939) which deals with the struggle of a family of Oklahoma tenant farmers forced to turn over their land to the banks, it received the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. Another popluar work was ‘Of Mice and Men’ (1937) He died on December 20, 1968, in New York City. (Incidentally this was my 18th birthday!!) THE STORY The story explores the destructive effect of colonial capitalism on the simple goodness of a traditional native culture. This is the tale of a simple peasant family, living on the shores outside a town in an unspecified nation of the new world; they are very poor but very happy. Kino, the man, is an Indian pearl diver whose skills have been past down from generation to generation. Juana, his wife, looks after him and their new baby Coyotito. Their life is straightforward and simple, with established routines and they just about manage to get by. When a scorpion ...

Martini Asti Spumante 12/11/2009

Put a bit of sparkle in your life !!

Martini Asti Spumante Martini Rossi Asti Spumante I have to admit that love this stuff. There really isn't any other way to say it! I have been a fan of Martini Rossi Asti Spumante for years, and while I know there one cannot compare this to a vintage Champagne, I just love letting those little bubbles tickle my nose, and to watch them just dance up the sides of a champagne flute. This is often the drink served to the guests at weddings when the top table have Champagne!! Now don't get me wrong, I adore Champagne, as I do usually prefer a very dry wine, but there are times when this slightly sweeter wine just hits the spot. Produced in the Piedmont region of Italy, Martini Rossi Asti Spumante is one of the more affordable Italian sparkling wines . It is popular with people who do not normally drink wine, and makes a great choice when you want something a little sweeter and/or something for celebratory purposes and want a sparkling wine that almost everyone will find agreeable Martini Rossi Asti Spumante has a pale yellowish colour, similar to white wine. The body of this sparkling wine is bubbly and it even produces a frothy head of foam at first, which eventually subsides, if I've poured it usually after its gone all over the table.(Not a pretty sight watching Oldchem lick up the wine!!) The nose of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante is oaky with a touch of fruit. This is a sweeter sparkling wine with a taste that combines apple, pear, grape, and a touch of honey. ...

Beloved - Toni Morrison 10/11/2009

Slavery Made Real

Beloved - Toni Morrison BELOVED TONI MORRISON Is there anyone who has not come across 'Beloved'? If there is I would really recommend that you beg, borrow or steal (perhaps not steal!) a copy and read is ASAP. This book written by Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author Toni Morrison is an incredible, albeit disturbing book. This book is extraordinary on so many different levels, it is one that you will never forget, I guarantee that. This book is very graphic - it tells of murders, sex, rape and slavery-related situations with great detail. You might find yourself sickened at the extent of the details, as I did; however this is intricate to the story and to the reader understanding the facts. 'Beloved' is about the effort of an escaped slave called Sethe, to love, raise and be responsible for her children. After 28 days of freedom, Sethe is about to be found and she makes a horrific decision, to kill her children rather than see them live in slavery. Unfortunately, Ms. Morrison got the idea from a true story about a captured runaway slave who did just that in 1851. The actual woman and Sethe, the protagonist in Beloved, both knew all too well that in slavery, there would be nothing that, as mothers, they could do for their children. This was the one act of love that they would be able to perform and the only way they knew of to protect them. This is such a great book, how do I tell you exactly what this book actually is. *Beloved is a really scary ghost ...

Thomas And The Magic Railroad (DVD) 10/11/2009

So bad I think BR have got the franchise for the Isle of Sodor

Thomas And The Magic Railroad (DVD) Thomas And The Magic Railroad (DVD) My family are big lovers of Thomas the Tank Engine, my kids and grandkids have grown up with the wonderful books by the Rev W.V. Awdrey, books that were written way back in the 1940's but have stood the test of time well. In 1979 Britt Allcroft mortgaged her house to bring us the wonderful television programmes, programmes that my two youngest children and all my grandchildren adored. We have visited and travelled on'Thomas' at Llangollen and Haverthwaite railways, my son and my grandchildren have had the Thomas railway sets etc etc So when I saw a DVD of a film created, produced and directed by Ms Allcroft - Thomas and the Magic Railroad - I had no hesitation in buying it for my grandchildren to watch. Now we all now Thomas is a British institution, but for this 2000 film he gets an American makeover that includes upping the PC element - thus the Fat Controller is fat no more- he is now Mr Controller. Some of the engines, most of the cast and even the narrator have American accents. And 'that' theme tune's gone. The film tells the story of two places - the Isle of Sodor and the happy town of Shining Time - and the magic railroad that connects them. The island is populated by talking trains (the steam engines, painted in cheerful colours, are the good guys; the diesels are the baddies, faithful to Awdry's creation), while Shining Time and the nearby Muffle Mountain are inhabited by people. Once, long ago, it was ...

Kraft Philadelphia Light with Basil 10/11/2009

Basil can Phill his boots, it's only light.

Kraft Philadelphia Light with Basil KRAFT PHILADELPHIA LIGHT BASIL Introduction. I was never a lover of Philadelphia Cheese in any form. My daughter loved it on toasted bagels but personaly I found the taste very bland and stayed clear. Then in 2006 I started doing (what was then called) the No Count plan with Weight Watchers. (This plan then became Core and is now lurking somewhere under the muddy waters of the Discover plan as Simply Filling.) Anyway, I digress, on the No Count you basically ate three meals a day of as much as you wanted from the food list - the only cheese allowed on this list was this extra light cheese and cottage cheese - this was CERTAINLY the best of the two options - I detest cottage cheese!! From then on this cheese ( lovingly known by WW members as ELF - extra low fat) has become a regular product in my shopping trolley and is used for many, many things. While his paticular variety of Philadelphia is the Light rather than the Extra Light, I feel that the 14 calories per 30g serving extra ( see further down for more details) is worth it for this cheese. History. I was very surprised to find out that Philadelphia Cheese has been around now for over 200 years. It was started by an American dairyman William Lawrence in 1872. It was in 1800 that it got the name 'Philadelphia' and was named after the town of the same name. In 1800 your Philadelphia came wrapped in a silver covered foil package, that looked rather like a block of butter - this ...

Mog's Christmas - Judith Kerr 10/11/2009

A cat with attitude, Christmas attitude that is.

Mog's Christmas - Judith Kerr MOG’S CHRISTMAS JUDITH KERR This year will be my 37th year of having a child in the house for Christmas. Each and every one of those Christmas’s has seen me buying Christmas books for the children in my life, my own children and now my grandchildren. The books have always been bought as an early Christmas present that the elves bring on Christmas Eve to see if the child has gone to bed, we then open the book and read it before the little one (hopefully) goes to sleep. One series of books that my children have grown up with are the ‘Mog’ series by Judith Kerr. My eldest daughter was born in 1972 and the first Mog book, ‘Mog the Forgetful Cat ‘ was released in 1970. There were seventeen books in the Mog series, and what is unusual about children’s books, the last book, written in 2002, ‘Goodbye Mog’sees Mog dying. ‘Mog’s Christmas’ was released in 1976, my fourth daughter was treated to this book for her second Christmas, this year her three year old niece will be having it left on her pillow by the Christmas elves. Mog, born 1970, died October 2002. Mog was one of the best-known cats of her generation and lived with a family called the Thomas’s. It’s nearly Christmas and the Thomas family are busy. Mog is not a happy cat, strange things are happening at her house, and she doesn't like it one bit. Everyone is running about the house, hanging up mistletoe and decorations, blowing up balloons, baking loads of food and wait what’s this - "It was a ...
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