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since 28/03/2002


Loreal Plenitude Visible Results Daily Skin Perfecting Moisturiser 28/01/2004

Feel My Silky Cheeks

Loreal Plenitude Visible Results Daily Skin Perfecting Moisturiser I've been using Visible Results for about 9 months now and today was the first time that this old skinflint had to pay for the product. I was getting my supply from Boots using vouchers from Internet surveys, but my vouchers ran out and Boots had increased their price by £3.00 to a whopping £10.99. Ridiculous when there are 4 stores close by with much lower prices in general. I ended up paying £7.99 for 50ml at Savers. Still high for somebody who has never paid more than £5 for a moisturiser, but I reckon that it's worth paying more for. Previously and for more years than most of us like to remember I have used mainly 2 products for moisturising my skin: Oil of Olay and the original L’Oreal Plenitude in a tube. I say original because I don’t know if that product is still available or if L’Oreal Plenitude Visible Results came from one of those new improved buy me promotions. I've always had a good spot free skin with only a slight tendency to dryness once in a while and am lucky in my middle age not to have masses of wrinkles. I’ve mostly been lazy and careless with my skin over the years. I have rarely cleansed and toned it, just washed with soap and water and more recently a moisturising soap. Every morning I carelessly slap a bit of moisturiser on and that’s it. I smoke, eat junk food and should with the limited care have a lousy old looking skin if there was any justice. I started to use Oil of Ulay as a teenager, more because my mum ...

False Memory - Dean Koontz 27/12/2003

Mindgames For Fun

False Memory - Dean Koontz When everything changed Martie Rhodes was taking Valet her golden retriever for his daily walk. Suddenly she became frightened of the shadows and by the time she reached home her panic developed into a fear of herself and what harm she might do to others. Familiar items around her became weapons that she might use to harm those she loved. She could picture herself using them and the damage they were capable of doing and even her car keys became a potentially lethal weapon in her thoughts. When the panic in Martie died down to a niggling fear, she went to pick up her agoraphobic friend Susan Jagger to take her to see her psychiatrist Dr Mark Ahriman. The twice weekly visits were an ordeal for both of the women. Susan had to overcome her fear of leaving the safety of her home and Martie had to cajole, reason and argue with her friend to make sure that she got the help that she needed. Afterwards as normal Martie felt physically and mentally drained. It was hard seeing her friend who 18 months earlier had lived a normal life going through such terror, but this time she had the added edge of her own fears beginning to envelope her. When she reached home Martie received a call from Susan who told her that she thought she was being raped regularly. Susan would wake up sore, sometimes bruised and would find sperm in her panties and the smell of a man on her body. She had no recollection of sex or being visited by any man including her ex husband Eric who Susan blamed without ...

No Second Chance - Harlan Coben 19/11/2003

A Painful Search

No Second Chance - Harlan Coben I read Tell No One by Harlan Coben several months ago and remembered liking his writing style when I saw No Second Chance on the library shelves. Harlan is a very good writer who knows how to draw you in and keep you interested with twists and turns in the plot, but the ending of Tell No One lacked the punch that I expected and hoped for as I approached the final chapters. As I began reading No Second Chance I felt a strong sense of familiarity and wondered if indeed it had been this novel that I'd read earlier. It wasn't but in both stories the hero is not long married and their wives are murdered in mysterious circumstances. I couldn't help thinking that Harlan maybe hates women or wives enough to make them victims but I pushed that thought from my mind as I read on. Dr Marc Seidman is a plastic surgeon, one of the good guys who treats the needy and travels to the third world or war torn countries. His wife Monica is the daughter of a rich man. One morning Marc and Monica are shot in their home and only Marc is left alive, but is severely injured and initially expected to die. Twelve days later Marc wakes up in hospital with no memory of what has happened and finds that their 6 month old baby daughter Tara has been missing since that morning. There are no clues at the crime scene and no apparent reason for the crime. Kidnapping Tara for ransom is the only logical explanation but no demands are made until the day Marc leaves hospital and is taken to visit his father ...

Scarlet Feather - Maeve Binchy 26/10/2003

Hungry For Success

Scarlet Feather - Maeve Binchy I used to read a lot of novels and then after a break of several years rediscovered reading for pleasure last year. I have found that my tastes have changed and that some of my previously favourite authors have become too predictable and just don't do it for me any more. I recall reading and thoroughly enjoying some of Maeve Binchy's novels a decade ago. Maeve was a relatively new author back then and producing what I felt were lightweight but really enjoyable reads with interesting and believable characters. Great for bedtime reading without being too challenged. When I saw Scarlet Feather on the library shelves I wondered if my tastes had changed too much, or I would be able to turn back the years and find the same level of pleasure as I had in previously reading this author’s work. Scarlet Feather is the name of a Dublin based catering company owned by Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather. Cathy is married to lawyer Neil Mitchell and Tom lives with his beautiful would be model girlfriend Marcella. After years of working hard for others they find suitable premises to run their business from and with financial help from Tom’s brother and Cathy’s aunt, good imaginative food and recommendations it looks like their business will do as well as they dream. The first function that we read about is a New Years Eve party at Cathy’s in laws Hannah and Jock Mitchell’s home. Hannah and Jock live in a big house where Cathy’s mother Lizzie used to ...

On The Couch with a Ciao Member 26/10/2003

A Mad Meeting With Mortimus

On The Couch with a Ciao Member A few months ago Phil agreed to jump on the couch with me, it was a mad moment and I quite conveniently forgot until he reminded me when we met in Birmingham. He must have realised that I’ll agree to most things when I’ve had a few drinks and now I’m wondering what madness I’ve let myself in for. Phil joined the site around the same time that I did and I very quickly grew to enjoy his sense of humour, what I don’t enjoy are his threats to blow up Bradford and it’s surroundings as part of his plan to rule the world. As I only live 10 miles away from Bradford I think he is scared I’ll expose his evil plot and thwart him, lets find out. Trish: Good evening Phil. I’m glad to see that you’ve left your atomic penguin at home but what on earth is that thing climbing out of your pocket? Phil: Oh that’s my new prototype terror weapon a stealth Gerbil. Sadly it hasn't learnt the stealth part yet and the non-reflective black paint does not stick to its fur that well! Trish: Perhaps you should try black treacle instead. As you know that I live fairly close to Bradford and the best curries are there, why do you persist in wanting to destroy that city? Phil: Well dear I feel that if I am to take over the world I am going to have to make an example so people believe I am serious. Bradford always looked like a good option until I found out that Dean liked Leeds United and now I have a different bias on the ...

Anno 1503 (PC) 26/10/2003

Sink Those Blasted Pirates

Anno 1503 (PC) I don’t really like games with fighting in them but after having my ships sunk several times I attacked the pirates and armies with glee and revenge was mine. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here so I’ll tell you more about the basics of the game. Anno 1503, the follow up to Anno 1602 is supposed to be the most popular German game ever but it took me weeks to figure out why. You start off with a ship, some food, gold coins, wood and tools and then set off on your great adventure. You choose an island and build a warehouse to store the resources you need to support the city you build. Houses cost nothing apart from wood. You start with a pioneer’s house, click on it and find that there are 5 people living there who need food, salt, cloth and leather. You have some food and for 50 gold coins, some tools and wood need to build a food/salt stand quickly else your houses and people will disappear in a cloud of dust if your pioneers have nowhere to buy the goods they need. When you have 80 pioneers you can build a salt mine and salt works if there are salt deposits on your island, but you have to make sure that you build roads that connect them to the warehouse or one of the marketplaces that you build. Before long you will need some more food for your hungry subjects and can supply that in several ways. You can build fishing huts and small farms to grow potatoes on. The potato farms produce food and alcohol to sell in your taverns, but make sure ...

New York Bagel Co. Bagels 26/10/2003

Why Did The Fruit Fall Down The Hole

New York Bagel Co. Bagels Bagel is a funny sounding word and has never seemed right for a food product to me, but then at one time I associated curry more with grooming a horse than a spicy meal. I’ve never eaten bagels before and decided when I saw them on the shelf at Spar to fill a gap in my food education as well as my tummy. I wasn’t impressed with the £1.09 price, far more expensive than the packs of 4 currant buns of comparative size sitting next to them that I was originally going to buy but I was feeling adventurous and didn’t worry about forking out 40 or so pence more. There was a choice of original or cinnamon and raisin. Original sounded boring so I plumped for the cinnamon and raisin 4 pack that was decorated with with white stars on a purple background. The original and other flavours have a different colour background and they all have a picture of the statue of liberty on the front. Of course that along with the company name is intended to make you believe that the product is made in New York, but really they are manufactured in Peterborough under licence from the New York Bagel Co. with a claim to an authentic taste and being truly American yeh yeh. The outer wrapper is a thin polythene bag, see through down the sides and the contents more yukky looking than naughty. The yellow tape at the top told me that the sell by date was 8 days later and I figured out 6 days longer than your average currant teacake which usually has a 2 day sell by date when they reach ... 26/10/2003

My First Time Was The Best When I decided that I wanted a website in January 2001 I looked at a lot of web hosts but didn't have a clue what I needed and what all those technical terms meant describing the different services on offer. I'm still a bit dodgy with technical terms so this opinion has to be simplified enough for me to understand what I'm writing about. My lack of understanding and Yorkshire common sense told me to look for a good free host and learn my needs while I went along rather than confusing myself by trying to figure it all out beforehand. That way I would be able to move on to a paid for host once I was ready. A friend recommended 20m who were chosen by CNET as the best free web space provider to me. It's easy enough to find in the search engines, just type in On the home page you are offered 3 paid for options (more about those later) and the free hosting option of 20 MB web space. 20 MB (megabytes) doesn't sound a lot but it's surprising just how many pages and items of clip art can be loaded on to your web space. The downside of free web space is that, as with most unpaid for hosts their banners will appear on your pages. 20m try to keep their banners in tone with your site and I’ve never seen them promoting anything dodgy. At the side of each option you will see 'sign up'. Click on the appropriate one and you will be taken to a page where you can choose your domain name. When I joined you could only use a 20m domain name which is free. For instance ...

Accident - Danielle Steel 26/10/2003

Make Allyson Wake Up Mummy

Accident - Danielle Steel At one time I had read most of Danielle Steele’s novels but after a break of several years I wondered if her writing still had the power to draw me in and absorb me when I saw Accident on the bookshelves. We start off playing happy families with 39 year old Page, 45 year old husband Brad and children Allyson 15, Andy 7. They live in San Francisco and as far as Page is concerned everything is near perfect, her marriage, children and lifestyle. So much so that she wonders about having another child before it's too late. Suddenly as is typical in Danielle’s novels their lives are torn apart one dreadful Saturday night. Allyson sneaks out on a double date with her school friend Chloe and two 17 year old boys Jamie and Phillip. It is Allyson’s very first date but knowing that her parents won’t approve of her going out with an older boy she and Chloe tell their respective parents that they are at each others homes. They have an enjoyable night; a meal and the boys drink wine but only half a glass. Allyson’s date Phillip is driving and the other couple are in the back seat. They are crossing the Golden Gate Bridge when another car driven by a Senator’s wife hits them. The crash causes the instantaneous death of the driver Phillip, Ally has terrific head injuries, Chloe has leg injuries and Jamie walks away with a few bruises. The senator’s wife is unharmed and her white dress isn’t even marked. She is going home from a ...

General: Malta 26/10/2003

Zap those Mosquitoes

General: Malta I went to Malta for the first time for 2 weeks in the summer of 1990. After that I went for 2 weeks every summer and 2 weeks twice at Christmas and the New Year until my last holiday there in 1996 – 8 times in all. It is the type of place that is said you either love or hate - obviously I loved it. I have considered completing and posting this before, but held back because I didn’t think my experiences were recent enough knowing how places change, but a friend who has just come back from a holiday there has assured me that little has changed. Also my type of holiday isn't the normal touristy thing. I don't go on many guided tours or have much interest in old ruins. Saying that I did pick up a fairly extensive knowledge of the brave history of Malta. What I love about there most are the people. I have never known such friendliness and helpfulness even though I live in friendly Yorkshire. Cynics say that it's because you are spending money. I don't think so, even though a lot of the Maltese people are on low wages and work in two jobs to survive I've found that many of them happily buy you drinks, take you for meals, spend money on petrol to drive you around the island without asking for anything back but friendship. We always left with invites to stay in homes the next time but we preferred to be independent and use hotels. There is a love for British people and all things British. We have had strong connections with Malta, which was part of our empire ...

The Klone and I - Danielle Steel 15/09/2003

Double Flips With A Spandex Clad Sex Machine

The Klone and I - Danielle Steel I wasn't going to read another Danielle Steele book after finding them too predictable but when I saw The Klone and I my resolve weakened. The main character Stephanie is 41, divorced and at a low ebb when she meets 59 year old Peter in Paris. Her marriage break up 2 years earlier came as a total shock to her. She believed that her and her husband Roger were happy until the day he told her that he had met somebody else, didn’t love her and wanted a divorce. Stephanie blamed the break up on letting herself go and becoming frumpy. Once over the shock she threw away her flannelette nighties, dieted and exercised and bought herself a new wardrobe. Her new image didn’t get her husband back as she secretly hoped but it did give her the confidence to help rebuild her life and start dating again. Some people manage to find new partners quickly after break ups and diminish their feelings of hurt and rejection. Others like Stephanie try the dating game and meet many prospective partners but none ever feel right. After the break up Stephanie realised or perhaps accepted that her husband had used her for a meal ticket. She had a healthy private income and he was in and out of work or following pipe dreams for a lot of their 13 year marriage leaving her to support them and their two children. Roger’s new partner has a larger trust fund than Stephanie, making her feel as if her money had been why he stayed with her for so long rather than herself and he had ...

Bristol Ciao Meet 05/07/2003

Bazookas, Booze and Little Willy

Bristol Ciao Meet I thought I knew what to expect after the Birmingham meet last year but Bristol surpassed Birmingham laughterwise. Probably because it was a smaller meet and we were able to mix more. I arrived just before 4.00 on the Friday afternoon and wondered if I'd got the wrong hotel when I saw the empty lobby. I was quickly reassured when I saw a note from madamejojo and sonicmk on the desk at reception giving their room number. I added my username and room number to the note much to the amusement of the staff and took my luggage to my room. Five minutes later I went back to the lobby and bar and found madamejojo and sonicmk, no Bermudan cricket team to ply me with drinks as happened in Birmingham but I did get a freebie quarter of a lager from the bar staff. We sat and chatted and chatted. Where were the rest of the gang we wondered? We drank a bit more and seriously began to think we were in the wrong place. I got the meet details out to reassure us, yes we were in the right place but our organisers were late. We decided to freshen up before getting plastered, passed a shy looking bloke sitting on his own. That turned out to be thediscerning being enigmatic. Freshened up I returned to the lobby and found that some of the rest of the gang had arrived to end thediscernings enigmatic moments, including the organisers madamoiselle, karenuk (who is prettier than she reckons) and a big friendly looking geezer called netstation. I saw this bloke looking dodgily at me and waving ...

Beach Life (PC) 26/06/2003

Sun, Snow, Sharks And Boozy Bonking

Beach Life (PC) I’d just completed Zoo Tycoon and found it very clever but a bit monotonous, leaving me in the mood for a fun game so I chose Beach Life from Eidos Interactive. Similar to all of the management games you start with an allotted amount of money and build, but with this game you develop a series of holiday islands and try to keep the regularly incoming guests happy so that the money flows and they don’t leave grumbling. It says on some sites that there are 14 levels, but there are 12 levels that have been built up to varying degrees and you have to complete them. With all you have a hotel, a power generator and a complaints hut. With your money you can add buildings like restaurants, cafes, speedboats, Jacuzzis, fun pools, toilets, bars, fishing trips, pedalo hire, beach furniture, theme clubs, windsurfing hire, party boats, beach barbeques and bars and extra accommodation blocks. You choose which you want to build but that is often dictated by the moans of visitors and how much cash you have coming in. To do well in the game and stop visitors complaining you have to build the essentials like lifeguard towers, cleaning shacks, mechanics huts, representative’s chalet and guards hut, all can be staffed by up to 5 people. Most of the additions earn you money to enable you to build more, but except for the guards who fine those who misbehave the essential buildings cost money with staff hire and pay offs if you decide to sack somebody. Click on the ...

10 Things About My Job 20/06/2003

Remind Me Not To Answer My Phone

10 Things About My Job As the category doesn't state whether they are things you like or dislike I'll include both and explain why. Job details: Petrol Station/Spar Shop Supervisor Started 8.4.2002 1. Meeting people - the upside When I applied to be a cashier last year I'd been made redundant in February and worked at home for myself turning a part time business into full time. My previous job had been in engineering, boring and very quiet in the area that I worked. It was even more boring and quieter working at home on my own so I became desperate to get out into the real world and be surrounded by lots of people. I immediately felt happier within myself and found that the job entailed far more than just taking money. It was quite a learning curve and I was regularly serving between 300 and 650 people per 8 hour shift and enjoying the contact with others. The downside is that when you have a busy shift there is little time for breaks and not much time to chat to customers. Most of them are great but some can be very rude. 2. Knowledge - the upside I didn't expect to learn so much but now I can deal with most of the problems that arise. Sometimes the site goes down or there are errors with the pumps causing lots of grumbling customers, the problems need to be dealt with quickly and touch wood I've managed so far. Because we are dealing with petrol and auto gas we have to ensure a safe environment and learn how to handle safety issues effectively and efficiently if they arise. ...

Faceless - Martina Cole 12/06/2003

Its Cold Outside

Faceless - Martina Cole Marie Carter who used to be a drug addict and a prostitute has just been released after serving 12 years in prison for killing her two best friends. She doesn't remember committing the crime, all she remembers is arguing with her friends and waking up from a drugged stupor to find them dead and with their blood all over her, but drugs take you out of it don't they. She knows that she must have committed the crime, her fingerprints were on the murder weapon and 12 long years inside beating herself up mentally about the murders changes Marie. Before she was wild, out of control. Now in her early thirties she is calmer, more reflective and filled with sorrow at the years lost away from her two children Jason and Tiffany. Nobody visited Marie or wrote to her. The lack of contact with the outside world and her family make the real world an even stranger place than it would be if she had contact with others. The first thing that she does is to visit the home of her family. Her mother Louise answers the door and nastily tells her to go away, she doesn’t want to see her again and blames Marie for all of the families troubles including the suicide of her younger brother Marshall after the murders. Marie’s younger sister Lucy is almost as vindictive and unforgiving as her mother; she has always been jealous of her more attractive older sister and wants nothing to do with her either. Kevin, Marie’s father is different, he loves his daughter and has missed her. ...
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