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Parent forums, parent councils, working parties - whose idea to change, is it for the better? Taking a lot of my time no time for reviews!

Reviews written

since 13/09/2002


Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) 18/04/2006 - no value, just heartache!

Buyer Beware! (urgent warnings about products/services to avoid at all costs) I live several hundred miles away from my folks, and thought that it would be a nice gesture to send some flowers to my mum for Mother's Day. This is the 17th April and she has still not recieved them. I went via mutualpoints to find a supplier, well I might as well get some money back on my purchase, and found this company was doing a special deal for Mother's Day which included some free chocolates, and by inputting a special code a five pound discount. The website was easy to work through. It looked as if they had really taken time to ensure that the customer found navigation a pleasure more than a struggle. The payments section was simple and easy, with the site using Nochex for the transactions. I didn't ring my parents on Mother's Day, hoping that everything had arrived safely, so sent an email a few days later. imagine my horror when she replied to say no flowers! I have made several attempts to contact the company - used the live chat section to no avail, and emailed several times. Only once have I been replied to, and this was when I threatened to let Mutual Points know and Ciao on the buyers Beware section, and also to get my credit card company involved. The reply was that the flowers had been dispatched and that it must be Royal mail that had lost the flowers, but that they would resend them, free of charge. This email was sent on the 5th April, with me replying straight away to confirm that this would be ok. There are still no ...

Everything that starts with N ... 08/03/2006

Everything that starts with N.........

Everything that starts with N ... About time I started writing again, but hey, what do I write about? Well a chllange is a good start. A: Last time you ate an apple? About a week ago. I do try to avoid chocolate, so had an apple with my youngest daughter who loves them. The chocolate was out straight after as the apple did not fill a gap. B: Ever fancied a bungee jump? Don't be so stupid! My eldest son would though! C: Last time you cried? Last week, when we were moving a shed. The shed had to be dismantled and moved into our garden from next door. It is 13' by 8' approx, bu solid. We managed to drop some of the roof on me. The pain was incredible, so are the bruises to my legs and arms. A couple of days before that it was because my eldest son was giving me so much hassle. He is now being tested for ADHD. D: Last time you danced? At my sister inlaws 40th birthday do in February this year. Showed some of the kids up as I knew the moves and they didn't! E: Do you watch Eastenders? Yes. Out of habbit. F: Last time you flew? Seven years ago. I was going to a CSA tribunal and my second son was only a few weeks old. Why I bothered going though was beyond me as even with the evidence they still didn't listen. G: Ever been to Germany? Not yet, but have an invite from a teacher who stayed with my family last year. H: Last time you had a bad hangover? It is that long ago, I can not remember, and that is the truth. I drive to all the do's and rarely drink. I: ...

Parent Teacher Association 04/03/2006

Are Us Parents Mad Giving Our Time?

Parent Teacher Association How many of us have said things like, arn't those on the PTA busy bodies?, or Do they have nothing better to do? or You certainly wouldn't get me doing that for the school!, or Where do they get the time, I would help but....? I have been a member of my school's PTA for about two and a half years now, the last year as Chairperson. It happened by accident. My daughters pal was on the committee and asked me along, next I find that I am Treasurer, and then Chairperson. The first thing that happened when joining the committee was getting an Advanced Disclosure - basically a police check to ensure that I could work among kids. I am not sure about the checks you would need to do for outside Scotland, so you would need to check with your school. This allowed me entry without being escorted within the school. The PTA is a body within the school that helps to raise communication between the school and the parents/community, but is especially concerned in fundraising. In our school we have a meeting every 4 - 6 weeks, which can last up to an hour. Anyone can go along, but the team is generally made up of Chariperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, School Management and Teachers, and 'ordinary members'. Each position has its own role, but you will find that many of these do intermingle. Our fundraising is through several routes, which I hope to increase with your help! We have 2 disco's a year, 2 Wear What You Want Days, a Summer Fayre and Christmas Fayre. We also ...

Dunfermline 05/08/2005

You'll Be Surprised at What You Can Find Here!

Dunfermline I hope I can give justice to Dunfermline. I have lived nearby now for over eight years. My first impressions were 'Is that it? Where is Woolworths?' amongst others. Since then my impression has changed, and although the shops are a bit to desire this is also set to change for the better. What does Dunfermline mean? The name means 'fortress by the crooked stream'. Where is Dunfermline? Dunfermline is in 'The Kingdom of Fife', just over the water from Edinburgh using the Forth Road or Rail Bridges. It is easily accessible by car coming off at either junctions 2 or 3 of the M90, or if coming from the west use the A985 from Kincardine and then the A994. You also can travel by train, or if coming from abroad the ferry (main route is Rosyth to Zeebrugge). As I said Dunfermline is stacked with history. Dunfermline was once a Royal Burgh, this title was removed after the death of James l. It was the birthplace seven kings (one of thiese was Charles I), also an empress, a queen and four princes were born here. It is also the resting place for a number of royalty. The chapel witnessed the wedding of Malcolm and Margaret Canmore whose reign of Scotland came to end in 1093, Margaret died a few days later. The Abbey is well known for being the resting place of Robert the Bruce since his death in 1329. If you are travelling to Dunfermline, you can find out much of the history by visiting The royal palace, which is dated from the 13th century, St Margarets Cave ...

Everything that starts with F ... 06/05/2005

Everything that starts with F

Everything that starts with F ... This challenge was set by freaklikeme. Time now? 21.18 How is the weather? Dry, but chilly Name? Sarah Age? 36 and 2 months Eyes? Blue Hair? Recently cut shortish, mousy going grey. Never dyed. Height? 5ft. 4inches Weight? 10 stone 4 - I've lost a couple of stone and wow do I feel better. Sorry girls still eating chocolate just a combination of no anti-depressents, no contraceptive injection, more exercise since my knee op and feeling much better about myself which has helped in other areas, if you know what I mean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! Do you live in a house or flat or what? Terraced. How many bedrooms? Four - it used to only have two, but my designing ways found a way to make four - architects had been in telling me I could only make three, but I proved them wrong! Favourite room in the house and why? My bedroom. Up in the attic, quiet, pastel colours, mirrors, tv ...... Best thing about your body? My ankles. Worst thing about your body? My stomach, I still need to do some work to flatten it. How many kiddies? Four - 2 girls and 2 boys How many brother and sisters? One brother and two sisters - all younger than me. How many relationships in your lifetime? This is a very leading question in some ways, but not in others. With my family loads for a start my hubby, 4 kids, mum and dad - need I go on? With men - well definately 2 - my ex and present hubby, as to others well you will never know! How many ...

Call18866 22/03/2005

How to upset reps trying to sell you cheap calls.

Call18866 After taking a look at my finances recently, and realising what a mess they are in, I made it a goal to firstly cut my phone costs. My first visit was to a website I really must do a review on From this site I managed to find two fantastic sites to sign up to: and which I shall write about in another review. Regsitration. Registration is free, is online only, and whilst I only use it for my BT line, non-Bt and mobile customers can now use the service. The normal registration information is required - name, address, email address, telephone number or numbers, and payment details. Payments are made by either credit card or debit card, not by direct debit, but unlike some companies that only keep your debit card details for one transaction, 18866 keep the details and after sending an invoice by email (if you use AOL like myself they block the email so use a different email address), debit your card. Registration can be for companies and households. Once you have registered, a confirmation email will be sent. You will then be able to input the prefix to your calls and start saving money. It states that this email can take upto 24 hours to arrive, but I was using the prefix within 20 minutes. Invoices. An email will be sent out with your invoice. I joined in October and had my first bill about Christmas. It was less than £2.50 including the vat, so it did not hurt, especially when I counted up the ...

Keeper 21/03/2005

Mooncup - What Cup?

Keeper After reading a review previously about the Mooncup, I decided to take the plunge. I am always getting on at my husband and the kids to be more environmentally friendly, and there I was using pads and/or tampons, such a waste and mess. There are now a few sites that you can buy the Mooncup in the UK. I personnally bought mine via but the information came with another sites address also, The site is easy to navigate, going into natural women and then clicking onto the mooncup picture. Buying from Plushpants cost £16.00 for the cup and £3 .50 for the postage and packaging (again using environmentally friendly packaging). With Plushpants, if you find you are still unable to use the cup after three months, then you can send it back and get a full refund. The cup is the same shape as in the picture, but is clear non--allergic silicone, derived from sandstone. Anyone with an allergy to rubber can also use this. It comes in a drawstring bag to keep it in. A very clear and informative sheet is sent with the cup explaining how to look after the cup and how to use during your period. Once you have recieved the cup, you will need to boil it for 5 minutes to sterilize. It is also suggested that you may wish to try before your period. You can use a lubricant such as ky jelly to help insert the cup, which is done by folding in half and then in half again. This can be fiddly the first time you try, but by relaxing either sitting or squatting, ...

1899 18/02/2005


1899 Several of my Ciao friends, will have seen the review that I have just written for 18866. Some of this information will be repetitive because the two companies are connected, however you will find some differences especially with the call prices. For those of you who have not read my 18866 review, I found through doing some research on another site I love I have been a member of a different telephone company for getting my phone calls in an all inclusive price, but unfortunately I found that I was spending more than I had been without them. Registration. Once on the website, registration is free for both the regular public as well as companies. Registration is available for BT users, although they do now have facilites for non-BT, NTL, Telewest and mobile users, although the prices might slightly vary. To register click on the link within the homepage. You will be asked for your name, address, email address, payment details, and of course your telephone numbers. Payment is by credit card or debit card. It is not a direct debit, but by one off payments. However, 1899 will store your details for use. Once the registration details have been processed, 1899 will send a confirmation email. Please note that you should not use and AOL email address as they block the emails from the company, at this moment in time. This can take up to 24 hours, although mine only took 20 minutes. Once this has been recieved you will be ...

Premier Travel Inn Preston - North, Preston 24/10/2004

Premier Lodge, Preston North

Premier Travel Inn Preston - North, Preston After searching for a place to stay near to Blackpool, at a reasonable price, I came across this Lodge. At £45.95 per night for the room ( can be higher) I thought great. Premier Lodge has recently joined forces with Travel Inn, and is now known as Premier Travel Inn. They have a saying 'Spend a Night, Not a Fortune'. I booked via the internet, unfortunately the date clicked back tot he day I was working on as i had scrolled down using my mouse roller. I was off to work and hadn't had a chance to check my email confirmation. Thankfully, the girls realised my mistake and rang me the next day and asked which day it was for really - I had put down that I would arrive by late afternoon, and considering that I would have to travel 5 hours to get there it was easy to see it as a mistake - thanks to the girls I was not charged an extra night! Apart from this mistake the booking was really easy logging onto Several other options were available if the lodge you wanted to go to was unavailable. Well we left Blackpool in the dark, and because of the illuminations were diverted out a different route to the one I wanted. This is when I realised that information of how to get there wasn't any use to us - hubby also useless at reading maps!! We did find the A6, eventually, but ended up going the wrong way up it, so when we reached the M6 had to work our way back down. We had gone about 15 mile out of our way! I would suggest that if you stay at this lodge, find it ...

Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool 18/10/2004

Norbreck Castle Hotel

Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool I'm glad that I did not get to read any of the reviews before I went to this hotel, or see the Holidays from Hell programme the night before! The hotel can be found along the seafront, about three miles from the main centre of Blackpool, heading out towards Fleetwood. It is now under the Britannia hotels group and it is easily accessible by tram and bus. We used the trams the whole time instead of me driving all the time. My husband, my two youngest children and myself went last week for a couple of nights, after finding an advert which gave a special price of £35 per person dinner bed and breakfast per night. The two children were included free of charge, including their meals. The advert did state that the hotel was ungoing a £7million pound upgrade, and that some services may not be available. This did not deter us as we had plenty we were wanting to do in Blackpool itself. We arrived well before booking in time, and if we had needed to would have been able to store our luggage at the hotel before being allowed to actually book in. We informed them that we had arrived and were able to book our meal time. There was also no problem with us leaving the car in the car park. When we went back to the hotel, we changed our meal time with no problem, when we booked in officially. The staff at the desk were very clear in their instructions of where to find the room and other facilities. The Room. Firstly you are given a key card as opposed to a standard key. ...

10 Things I Hate Doing 06/05/2004

Is there anyone listening to me?

10 Things I Hate Doing Some say we shouldn't use this site as a place to moan, so when I saw this in the Ciao Cafe, I could not resist the temptation. My only problem is where do I start? 1. The first has got to be the ironing. Several reasons - backbreaking, time consuming, but usually a waste of time and effort, espesially when the kids just throw their clothing around without a care. 2. Bed making. I have 5 beds to make in my house, although the kids generally strip their beds they don't seem to have the ability to remake them. My eldest daughter's is the worst as it is a high bed and I am forever battering my head off the ceiling, this is closly followed by my eldest son's bed which is the top bunk. My youngest child's bed is a nightmare basically because of the amount of cuddly toys on it. 3. Weeding. If my husband does it he pulls everything out, so I have to do it to ensure that my plants remain intact. I love my garden but I hate weeding, it wreakes havoc on my back, leaves my hands stained (can't work with gloves), and then the weeds just reappear! 4. Is anyone listening to me out there? I do hate being ignored which happens on a very regular basis in our household. Not just the kids I might add - you have the football on or good film, then I might as well talk to a brick wall, but then many of you will know about that! Even at work when trying to transfer to other departments they don't hear you say which department you are in and say just go to such and such a department and ...

Should ALL drugs be legalised? 18/03/2004

Drugs. The debate

Should ALL drugs be legalised? This is a subject that everyone has to think about now. We all have an opinion, but are we all right? There are many different drugs - cannabis, crack, heroin, cocaine etc, etc. I personnally could not name them all. Recently I attended a drugs information session at my children's primary school. I thought it was going to tell me what each was, its effects and how to tell if someone was taking, etc but it was more about letting us know how much we already know. Still I did gather an incredible amount of information that will be useful in the future both as a mother and a volunteer. Should it be legalised? Previously I would have said yes. My reasons for this were that we would remove the drug barons, stop stealing and other crimes from the streets. We would have more control over how much people can get and whether it was 'clean stuff' or contaminated. It is also known that if legalised those who want to take would have no problem in getting the correct equipment to take it ie not dirty syringes. Is this reason enough to legalise? It is widely discussed about only legalising certain drugs ie cannibis because of its pain relieving properties, especially in MS. What we could do is use some of the properties of the plant, as we do with other prescribed drugs like those that contain morphine ie daimorphine, then with clinical trials prescribe to sufferers so that they are known to be pure, but also controlled. Personnally if you legalise one then the other ...

Everything that starts with Y ... 02/03/2004

Spring Chicken Yellow and Small

Everything that starts with Y ... Thank God for challenges - this one will help me into the swing of writing again. 1 Whats on your duvet cover? A vibrant pattern of blues, reds, purples, yellows - an MFI range sounds guastly but looks better than it sounds! 2 What is in the glove compartment of your car? A first aid kit - my kids either get stung or fall. Mobile phone accessories, pens, rubbish.... 3 What is the background of your computer screen? I have a picture of my kids at the moment - they were all looking clean and tidy for a wedding. 4 What was the last thing you sang? I'm a Spring Chicken yellow and small... - the eldest have sung this at school for easter assembly now the 3rd child is learning it, he decided to sing it when we were in the car this evening. 5 When was the last time you did a cartwheel? At primary school. 6 How do you take your coffee? White, no sugar (cut it out last year) 7 When was the last time you went clubbing? When I was courting my first husband - probably about 1987 - it was the club on the end of Eastbourne Pier! 8 Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Before, otherwise I have two flights of stairs to go back up, apart from from trying to get four kids out the door for school. 9 Do you put sugar on your cornflakes? Yes, but not a lot. My youngest daughter asks for sugar on hers but eats it before it reaches them! 10 If you could learn an instrument what would it be and why? I learnt to play the ...

Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh 01/03/2004

Let's go to the Zoo.

Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh Well I thought it was about time I sat and wrote another review. Edinburgh Zoo is only 20 minutes from I live so we aim to go at least once a year, sometimes twice. The Zoo is easily found on the Corstophine Road which runs directly into Edinburgh from the airport. There are several buses running past it regular. Take a look at the website which gives loads of information - The zoo has been in Edinburgh since opening in 1913, on a hillside park, 10 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh. (For those of you that have read my views I did say hillside again, and yes it is quite steep in places) The zoo aims to help preserve many different species whilst at the same time inspire and excite its many visitors. It is part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and is a registered charity. As to prices and admission charges I would direct you to the website, as with many organisations prices change, although it is generally once a year. You can also pre book your tickets on the site and become a member of the zoo, or sponsor an animal here also. The zoo has a wide range of animals, although no elephants (apart from the statue as you walk in). It is constantly upgrading its enclosures and is always involved in breeding schemes with other zoos. When you pay your entrance, you will be given a map of the zoo, which also has details of the days itinery ie feeding times and talks. There is a free bus which runs from 10am to 4pm daily, donations ...

Home Start UK 24/01/2004

A Big Thank You

Home Start UK Many will have read my Charity Begins At Home op that I wrote just recently. Well this time I have decided to write about Home Start UK, a charity very dear to my whole family, for the help and support they have given us over the past couple of years which have been very trying. Home Start UK was founded in 1973 by Margaret Harrison in Leicester. It was set up to help families with at least one child under the age of 5 years, to give support to help prevent further breakdown of the family or some other crisis. Since the launch, the group has grown all over the UK and in 2002 reached 320 outlets, which are also found with the British Forces throughout Germany and Cyprus. Homestart is looking at becoming an international support group in the near future. Homestart helps with a variety of different situations ranging from divorce, depression, illness, twins, loneliness, language barrier etc. They offer practical help. Each section has weekly meetings for you to go and meet other parents, take the kids along and get a snack. They also have volunteers for some families (there is a shortage of volunteers throughout the UK), that go in once or twice a week to either take the kids out for a bit, be there for a chat, just be there! I can't thank me volunteer enough for what whe has done for our family and hope that writing this op goes some way to do that. Another person who holds Home Start dear to her heart is 'Trisha' who quite regularly gives a plug on her show as she is ...
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