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Full time worker, also doing a day release degree. Childminder extraordinaire to my grandchildren, too. Life is never boring, that's for sure!

Reviews written

since 07/08/2010


Club La Costa, Fuengirola, Spain 07/08/2012

Club La Costa-Lot - updated

The Lollipop Shoes - Joanne Harris 12/03/2012

It's a kind of magic

New Beginnings - Fern Britton 24/01/2012

Life and times of a TV host

New Beginnings - Fern Britton I saw this book in Sussex Stationers, before they shut down, mainly because it was written by Fern Britton, who I never knew had turned authoress. Fern Britton is daughter of Tony Britton, the British actor most famously known as the father in law in Robin's Nest in the 1970's. Younger readers will have no idea who I am talking about. Also, Fern is the wife of the lovely Phil Vickery, TV chef and advocate of all things Aldi. Fern is about the same age as me, but much more successful, and the blurb on the back of the book looked like the type of light reading I wanted to do in these dreary winter months. So I bought it! 'New Beginnings' (a Sunday Times best seller) is about a young mother, who suddenly finds herself a widow with a young son and daughter. Christie had previously worked on Market Force, a watchdog type programme, but following the death of her husband Nick, she could no longer concentrate on anything other than getting from day to day, looking after her children and running the house. Anyone in a similar position of suddenly losing their spouse (through death or divorce) should be able to relate to this mechanical way of living. But, unbeknown to anyone, Christie was also paying off a very large loan that Nick had taken out to support his parents. The loan had been to pay for a money pit of a large estate that his parents were struggling to manage, and upon their death, there was nothing left to come back to the family as it was all swallowed up in debts and ...

Diet Chef Hamper 19/11/2011

The most successful diet I have done

David Lloyd Clubs, Maidstone 23/10/2011

In the swim

I recently saw an advertisement for our local David Lloyd fitness centre in Maidstone, on a hoarding by the railway station, whilst waiting for a train. I have been a member of LA Fitness in the past, and pledged that I would never join another gym following my experience there, but somehow, looking at my sagging stomach muscles and general lack of stamina, I wondered if I may have been a bit hasty in my condemnation of all gyms? So, the advertisement said it was offering a 'weekend only' pass for £14.99 a month. This sounded like a good cheap option, as the local council one costs about £5.75 to go in, which works out more expensive per month. I decided I needed to explore further. The David Lloyd Club in Maidstone is part of the Lockmeadow complex, by the River Medway, and is very accessible via public transport or walking, as in the town centre. The only draw back from driving there is that it doesn't have its own parking, so you do have to pay for the public car park on a Saturday (free on Sundays). To access the building, there is a flight of stairs just inside the main entrance, but there is also a lift for anyone with mobility difficulties. Once upstairs, the receptionist is very friendly, and if you are a member, you are issued with a card that is swiped to open the turnstile into the main area. Nice cafe/bar with large screens showing sports channels and major games is just there. To the side is a hair salon called Khushi (I plan to sample that, but haven't as ...

How do you fight stress and anxiety? 02/10/2011

You have to laugh, or you cry

Last Orders at Harrods - Michael Holman 29/09/2011

Spending some time at Harrods International Bar (and Nightspot)

Last Orders at Harrods - Michael Holman I have just finished reading this book, and it has been quite a struggle. I bought it in Sussex Stationers before they closed our local shop, as it was on special offer, and I didn't read the blurb properly. I thought I was buying one by Alexander McCall Smith, and was going to be like the No1 Ladies Detective agency, but I was mistaken, and this book was written by Michael Holman. I have read teh N1LDA series, and this is nothing like them. This is a hard hitting look at how charities, such as OXFAM work in the African countries, and how they are viewed by the locals. The 'bookends' to the story is around Charity Mupanga, who owns a cafe and 'nightspot' in a slum area of Kuwisha. She bought the cafe with money left to her after her late husband, a bishop, passed away, and she named it after her late father, Harrods Tangwena. He was named Harrods by way of a nickname, having spent some time in London working at the famous store. However, there is trouble afoot, and there is a law firm out to sue Charity for using the famous brand name for her small cafe. This is really quite a red herring to the book, and might put off a more serious reader. The cafe is frequented by some charity workers, and journalists, who can feel that they are really living in the thick of it, where as really, they are nicely cushioned by the fact that Charity has enough money to make sure she can run her cafe properly. Her sister is a nurse in the local medical centre, so between them, they keep an ...

Botel Fortuna, Budapest 29/09/2011

Service with a scowl

Member Advice on What to take on Holiday 16/08/2011

I missed out the kitchen sink

Whole Earth Smooth Peanut Butter No Added Sugar 17/07/2011

A Peanut Smoothy

An Education (DVD) 02/07/2011

An Education in Life in the 1960's

An Education (DVD) My daughter bought me the DVD of the film An Education for Christmas, and having just watched it again, I thought I would do a review of it. For those who don't remember the film, it is a British film that was directed by Nick Hornby (About a Boy and novels including High Fidelity) which was based on the memoir of Lynn Barber (journalist 'The Observer' and self confessed Grumpy Old Woman). It was released in 2009, but I received it Christmas 2010. The story is one of a teenage girl, Jenny (Carey Mulligan - My Boy Jack; Northhanger Abbey), who dreams of the exciting life she will have, once she has been to Oxford and graduated in English Literature and moved to France. She is fluent in French but less so in Latin, and lies on her bedroom floor (when she should be studying) with her Dansett record player, which spins the Juliette Greco vinyls as she sings along to them. Her parents strongly disapprove of such frivolity, as she is their only daughter, and they have pinned all their own hopes and dreams onto Jenny. It is 1962, and there is change in the air. Jenny is feeling it before her fellow classmates, and her parents are terrified that she will go off the rails. Twickenham is a dowdy suburban backwater, compared to the London and Paris scenes that she dreams of. Jenny is scholarly, artistic and also a talented cellist. It is during a rainstorm one afternoon, that the suave older man, David, offers her a lift as she is soaked through and carrying a large cello case. She ...

Another Year (DVD) 28/06/2011

A year in the life of Tom and Gerri

Everything that starts with L ... 23/04/2011

Lent 2011 aka The Vegan Diaries

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