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sunworld

sunworld

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since 29/11/2003

35

Member Advice on Trying to Conceive 16/09/2004

Making a baby is not always easy.....

Member Advice on Trying to Conceive Many women (in fact, most) have very little problem in conceiving. After all, it is the most natural thing in the world and quite often requires little effort and even less thought. However, there are some women who find nature to be incredibly cruel and unjust. I am an Administrator of a large Trying To Conceive (TTC) board and some of the stories I hear are heart-wrenching. I myself struggled a little, albeit comparatively easy compared to others, and wanted to share some information about how it feels when your body does not cooperate and also ways to maximise your chances of conceiving. Some of you already know a little of my story, I started TTC at the age of 36 and did so more because time was running out, rather than a burning to procreate. After only three months of TTC I fell pregnant, only to lose my baby at eight weeks. I then began TTC once more and six months after my devastating miscarriage, I again became pregnant. I am currently at 32 weeks and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my baby! As an "older" woman, I am incredibly lucky in the fact that it only took a short time to conceive. After the age of 30, a woman's body rapidly declines and as you hit 35, the downward spiral becomes all the more rapid. Many women over 35 can still achieve pregnancy relatively easily, however they are much more prone to chromosomal defects due to their eggs being older - subsequently, miscarriages are more common in women over 35. Sometimes, it is a wonder that ANY women get ...

Moral Dilemmas II 15/09/2004

I am SO moralistic!

Moral Dilemmas II Okay, I thought these questions were excellent and I couldn't wait to get my teeth into them! I count myself as a very moral person, but let's just see if there is proof in the pudding! DILEMMA 1 It is your mother's birthday, and you would like to get her some flowers, especially roses because they are her favourite. However, you do not have any money, but your neighbours have some prize-winning roses growing in their garden, what do you do? I would leave the neighbours flowers where they were. As much as I might like my Mum to have some nice flowers, I wouldn't steal them, especially not from the people next door. I would imagine how peed off I would be to spend all my time cultivating flowers, only to have someone nick them! DILEMMA 2 Some money goes missing from a colleagues bag at work. You saw your best friend hanging around their desk before and know that your best friend has just asked you out to lunch even though they are short on cash this month, do you tell on your suspicions about your best friend? Absolutely not! Even if I had the slightest inclination that she might be guilty, I certainly wouldn't say anything to anyone else about it. I would probably casually ask my friend where she had got her money from and trust my gut instincts on her answer. If I thought that she could have taken the money, then I would probably continue to talk about it and slowly make my way round to mentioning the missing money. However, there is no way on earth that I ...

All About Me 06/09/2004

All about me...!

All About Me Oh, a chance to talk about myself for a while! So, here goes............... What time is it: 21.32 Name: Tracy How many candles on your last birthday: Erm...do I have to answer this one? Actually, technically the last time I had candles on a birthday cake was on my eighteenth, but that was many, many moons ago. IF I had of had a birthday cake last birthday, there would have been 37! Hair colour: It is mid-brown, with natural auburn highlights that get lighter when they have been in the sun! Tattoos: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do! I have a medium sized blue unicorn on the right side of my tummy, in between my belly button and my pelvis! And, incidentally, it hurt like buggery! The tattoist told me that a woman's stomach is the most delicate part of their body, because it has to stretch when pregnant. Unfortunately, he only told me this after he had started! How much do you love your job on a scale of 0-5: Well, at the moment, I don't work, so I would have to say five! I am in the process of learning Swedish (I live in Sweden) without which I am unable to work (ahh, what a real shame!). However, I am also in the latter stages of pregnancy, so wouldn't be working now anyway! Favourite colour: I absolutely love pastel colours - pink and purple being my favourites! Home County: County Durham - Land of the Prince Bishops! And, before anyone asks, no it is not in Ireland! We have even had post via Ireland in the past, however, it is the county nestled ...

Member Advice on Miscarriage 05/09/2004

Surviving a miscarriage.

Member Advice on Miscarriage Whilst flicking through some reviews, I came across this category and wanted to tell my story. I wanted to talk about the subject of miscarriage and how hard it is for many women to deal with and also the fact that other people do not really know how to express their concern or sadness when confronted with a women who has suffered a miscarriage, especially if it is an early loss. Miscarriages occur in upto one in three pregnancies. Many are so early that the woman is not even aware that a miscarriage has taken place. She may just assume that her period is late and will never be any the wiser. However, in this day and age, we are using Home Pregnancy Tests (HPT) more frequently than ever before. This coupled with the fact that the tests are far more advanced and able to pick up pregnancy much earlier than ever before, means that many women will detect a pregnancy that is never going to be viable. For a wide array of reasons, an egg may be fertilised and travel to the uterus, but will not "stick" and a few days later the egg is washed away. However, the pregnancy hormone, hCG, begins being produced as soon as the egg implants itself in the uterus. Therefore, even if the pregnancy is unable to be sustained, the HPT will still show as a positive result. Many women experience this situation and one of the hardest things to come to terms with is that the medical profession usually do not count these as miscarriages at all. They are dubbed a harsh name: Chemical Pregnancy. ...

10 Things That Really Annoy Me 04/09/2004

What, I can only give you ten?

10 Things That Really Annoy Me When I spotted the category of "Ten things that really annoy me" I felt a little jolt of anticipation. This was surely a subject matter I could excel in, as unfortunately, there seems to be many things out there that rattle my cage! I think the main problem might just be the fact that I have to limit it to only ten! Anyway, eager to get on and let the whole world know what ticks me off, here is a list of my own personal bug-bears.......... 1. People making a noise when eating. Now, ever since I can remember, I have had a terrible time containing my annoyance when people eat loudly. This can take the form of people simply eating without closing their mouth - hence the whole world can hear exactly what is being chewed and even worse are the people that feel they need to talk whilst eating with their mouth open. Why do people do that? Do they think we really want to see the squished contents of their mouth or that we enjoy being splattered by surplus particles of food, sprayed to all and sundry as they speak? Please, world, take note and close your mouth when eating! It's just not nice! However, having your mouth open is not the thing that rankles me most, oh no, that award goes to people that choose to eat apples or crisps in my company. I mean, how dare they? Okay, seriously now, I will hold my hand up and admit that this is my problem and no-one elses. No other people I know get annoyed when someone harmlessly sits eating a packet of crisps, but I am afraid I do. It ...

The Know - Martina Cole 03/09/2004

In the know........

The Know - Martina Cole The novel, "The Know", is the most recent of stories by the acclaimed criminal and seedy underworld expert, Martina Cole. As were the previous nine books before this, The Know (released in 2003) was a number one bestseller and highly praised. Martina Cole seems to write with apparent ease: her words flow effortlessly and digesting the story takes little thought whatsoever. Before you know it, you are ploughing through this novel with abandon - sometimes touched by the heartfelt storyline, whilst at other times cringing at the brutality. The story rattles along at intense speed, slowly building to a climatic end. The story centres on an unnamed London council estate and namely the Brewer family. A family well-known in the area by neighbours, criminals and police alike and headed by the matriarch, Joanie Brewer. Joanie is a proud women, of indeterminable age, who works as a prostitute and has done so from an early age. However, despite this fact, Joanie is houseproud with a spick and span home and a deep love for her three children. Joanie has never married, but none the less has produced three off-spring, the eldest of which being Jon Jon. Despite his tender seventeen years, Jon Jon is already a "name" in his own right. Infamous for being a face not to mess with and renowned for his total lack of fear, Jon Jon is for all intents and purposes, a terrifying character; his respect is earned through fear. However, there stands a different side to the one seen by his ...

High Society - Ben Elton 28/08/2004

Not sure if it will give you a high

High Society - Ben Elton When I personally think of the name Ben Elton, my mind instantly conjures up an incredibly funny and intuitive individual, of less than average height and a tendency to spit when delivering his punchlines. Ben Elton used to be, in my opinion, on the cutting edge of humour and was never afraid to over-step boundaries and cruise a little too close to the wind with his opinions. That was, until he moved into writing books - now, don't get me wrong, I have never had cause for any complaint after reading his stories - they have always proved to be enjoyable, if not throw-awayable, but somehow they seem to lack the punch of his earlier days. The same follows with the novel High Society. This is a story centred around the legalisation of all drugs and the effect that drugs have on today's society, in their current illegal status. The story depicts how the use (and abuse) of drugs is pivotal in many differing lives, ranging from a back-bench politician, who is for all intents and purposes ignored through to the teenage heroin addict forced to sell herself for the next fix. *** THE CHARACTERS ***** - Tommy Hanson: Tommy is a previous winner of "Pop Hero" and is as arrogant and idiotic as they come. His life revolves around drinking, taking drugs and sleeping with as many women (and occassionally men) as possible. He is famous, adored by thousands and completely wasting his life. He is without a doubt modelled on a cross between the Gallagher brothers and Robbie Williams ...

Overseas Holiday Representative 27/08/2004

Do you think it is all Sun, Sea and Sex?

Overseas Holiday Representative I very nicely asked Ciao if I could review the job of Overseas Holiday Representative. This is a subject very close to my heart, as I worked a total of six years overseas, firstly as a Representative and subsequently as a Resort Manager. In my experience, Holiday Reps get a bad press and I thought it would be nice if I could maybe let people know that there is another, often unseen side to the job and the people that do it. I will apologise ahead of time if this review appears biased, I will try to keep it as neutral as I possibly can, however there may be times when you will pick up on certain bug-bears of mine and I sincerely do not wish to offend anyone that has had cause to be unhappy with their own representatives (Dave, you know I am talking to you!). ***** SO, WHAT IS A HOLIDAY REPRESENTATIVE? ******** Most UK based tour operators employ staff to work in the resorts they use and who act as a liaison between the tour operator and their customers: the holiday makers. The most common type of overseas rep is one that works for mainstream companies, such as Airtours or Thomsons. Working hand in hand with the resort reps are Childrens Reps (fondly referred to as "Kiddie" reps). These are the brave souls who take care of your young rascals, so that you can enjoy the odd moment of peace and quiet whilst sipping your beer by the pool. There are also many "specialist" overseas reps, for example, tour operators that are geared towards the "youth" market, such as Club 18-30 ...

The Stepford Wives (DVD) 02/08/2004

Take a step back..............

The Stepford Wives (DVD) It is a very rare treat for us to actually go to the cinema and watch a movie. However, we were in town on a lazy Sunday afternoon at a time that coincided with the matinee showings at our local cinema. In all honesty, nothing really jumped out at us from the listings, but we had seen the trailers for the Stepford Wives all weekend and plumped for that. The Stepford Wives is a remake of the original movie of the same name, which was made in 1975. The original starred Katharine Ross (of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame) in the leading role of Joanna Eberhard. The 2004 version stars Nicole Kidman as Joanna, with Matthew Broderick as her husband, Walter Kresby. The modern version has indeed been modernised, with Broderick's character having a different surname to that of his wife, whereas the original version includes a more traditional view with the husband and wife sharing the same name! The 2004 version was directed by the British born Frank Oz, a name synonomous with the Muppets, with his only noteable directing credits going towards Bowfinger and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Let's just say that after seeing this movie, he should have stuck with the Muppets! **** THE MOVIE ITSELF ****** The film runs for a relatively short 93 minutes and is billed as a "comedy/dama/thriller" - the original was more of the chiller/horror genre and although I can not actually recall seeing it, I do remember just knowing that it was scary. So, with no preconceptions other than ...

HP Original Sauce 26/07/2004

It sure makes me H.P.!!

HP Original Sauce I am surprised that I have not reviewed HP Sauce before now, as it is a long-standing favourite of mine. HP was put into production in 1903 by the Midland Vinegar Company, based in Anton Cross, Birmingham. The recipe was discovered whilst the owner of the company at the time was visiting a local grocers shop. The owner of the shop, Mr Garton, struggled to make ends meet and as a sideline, he made his own sauces. The owner of the Midland Vinegar Company was drawn to one particular sauce's aroma and the placard that accompanied the sauce - proclaiming it to be named "HP". When asked about the name of the product, Mr Garton responded that he had heard that the sauce had been partaken of by certain Members of Parliament. The owner quickly realised the potential and bought the recipe from Mr Garton for £150. We will start off by imagining (as difficult as that may be) that a prospective reader might not have heard of HP, much less tasted it: HP is a concoction of malt vinegar, fruits and spices, all thrown together to make an aromatic, thick, heavenly sauce. The sauce is a rich dark brown colour and on first sniff, smells somewhat overpowering to the senses. On further, gentler sniffing, you begin to detect the different ingredients, with the vinegar undoubtedly being the most prolific. HP Sauce can be found in almost every single grocery shop in the UK and the distinctive label has remained constant for decades: a light blue label covers most of the bottle, with the large ...

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Murkoff Eisenberg 20/07/2004

Now I know what to expect............

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Murkoff Eisenberg As a first time mum to be, I can honestly say that I really didn't know what to expect. So, I did some research (what on earth did women do before the internet?) and decided upon a highly praised book to guide me through it. That book is "What to expect when you're expecting". The book is co-written by three ladies: Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway; none of which are "trained" experts, but all have had their own children. The book is well written, without overuse of jargon, and clearly explained. The book is now into its third edition; the ladies have realised that in the 18 years since it was first written, times have changed enormously and the book has been edited to reflect that. So, is it worth buying? In my humble opinion, yes! There are so many tiny little details about pregnancy that are just not made known until you are right in the middle of it, many of them scary and worrying. Although the book cannot cover every single eventuality, it does its best. To ensure that the writers have their fingers on the pulse, they invite women to send in their own questions, so that any future editions may continue to stay with the times. ****THE BOOK ITSELF****** I have the lastest edition and it is a whopping 593 pages long. The first pages are from one of the writers, Heidi Murkoff, who explains why and how the book came about and then there is great praise from a reknowned doctor, Richard Aubrey who is a 'Professor and Director of Academic and ...

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 17/07/2004

Don't forget the Cavalier..........

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel I was flicking through some reviews today and saw one for a breed of dog (which type eludes me for the moment), but it made me think of my beloved pet, Oliver....... All through our childhood, my brother and I longed for a dog. We would repeatedly badger my parents, to no avail. However, most Sundays our hope would soar, when our Dad used to say he was off to "see a man about a dog" - it took years for us to realise that he was actually talking about going for a pint! Eventually, when at about the age of 15 my parents decided they were going to buy a dog, we were ecstatic! Seeing as this occurred over 20 years ago, you will have to excuse the lapses in memory, one of which being why my parents decided on the breed they did, namely the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Money was not free flowing in our house at that time, so I am still slightly perplexed as to why they didn't just go to the local dog pound, rather than fork out for the offspring of a champion no less, but I am so glad they did, because no-one could want for a better pet. So, Oliver came to our house and we loved him from the first moment - as a bouncy, bounding eight week old puppy, he was into everything. It wasn't long before he grew out of his infancy, and matured into, without a doubt, one of my greatest memories of that era. Despite being a male (as males in the dog world can be prone to being a little more aggressive) he was the most loveable dog. My Mum was his favourite and he would curl up with her ...

Heat Magazine 16/07/2004

Does it make you hot?

Heat Magazine Well, for those of you that are uninitiated, Heat (or maybe we should use its correct title of "heat", without a capital H - apparently it is trendy not to use capital letters these days!) is a "with it" magazine, definitely aimed at women rather than men (unless your a man who is likely to go ga-ga over Bruce Willis' naked bum!). I wouldn't categorise it in to any particular age group, but I would say it would infinitely appeal more to the "younger" age groups - although having said that, I read it on occassion and I certainly wouldn't fall into that bracket! So, heat, as it proclaims, offers "this weeks hottest celebrity news" and this pretty much sums up the rag! It is a magazine full of pictures of celebrities, gossip, TV and fashion, all written with a light hearted approach, not likely to frazzle your brain cells! The copy I have in front of me is a "bumper 140 page issue" (wow!) all for a measly £1.50. I purchased mine in Sweden for 35 kronor, which even without a calculator I can see is an over inflated price and it is about two weeks old - but hey, when needs must! The cover is teeming with colour and pictures of people in the "news" - there are TWO "stars" from BB4; the "lady" Jordan and her beau, Mr Andre; and Rachel from S club 7 that was, with her "secret friend".....and other such tantatalising delights to tempt you into purchasing! Opening up the cover we are hit with the first of many adverts, a two page spread for L'Oreal. This is a common ...

Queer eye for the straight guy 31/01/2004

The return of the Fab Five....

Queer eye for the straight guy I am sure many of you will be sitting staring blankly at your computer screens, thinking, what on earth is she reviewing now! It is my job today to enlighten you about an American programme (or should I say program), which is currently being shown on the Living channel in the UK. As I have mentioned before, living in Sweden we do get an awful lot (and some of it is bloody awful) of programmes, care of the USA. The show I am reviewing today is called "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" and offers quite a unique idea. The stars of the show are five gay guys, who burst unannounced into the house of a straight guy (which in other scenarios may well be scary!), to show him the error of his ways and transform him. The programme is set in NYC. The "victims" are nominated by girlfriends or family and usually have no idea the guys are about to turn up on their doorstep. The format of the show is simple: each programme starts with all five guys in a people carrier, journeying to their unaware prey. The have a file on the man in question, containing pertinent details such as marital status etc. There is also a photo included, so that they guys can get a look at what their work entails for that particular day. They arrive at their destination, and rush full steam to the front door (one episode it was obviously warm, and it was hilarious to see grown men running in flip-flops!). They pound on the door, which is opened by a bemused straight guy. The gay guys swarm all over the ...

Barnard Castle, United Kingdom 15/01/2004

In the Land of the Prince Bishops

Barnard Castle, United Kingdom The small market town of Barnard Castle (or Barney to residents and visitors alike), is found nestled amongst the rolling, undulating hills of Teesdale. The dale is so named due to the river Tees that begins it's flow just outside of the town and winds all of the way to Middlesbrough. Barnard Castle is a sleepy place, with approximately 5,000 inhabitants, most of who have lived their entire life in the town, and whose ancestors more than likely go back to the very first settlement. The town is situated on a sharp slope down towards the river and is approximately 1 mile in length. The streets in the centre of town are cobbled, with narrow alley ways, and the majority of buildings in the High Street are from the Georgian period. Wednesday is a special day in Barnard Castle. This is the day that all of the farmers from neighbouring farms and villages bring their produce into town, to sell in the many auction houses. Long before extended opening hours became the norm in the rest of England, on a Wednesday the local drinking establishments would open their doors for the whole day. Many farmers would only get to visit Barney on a Wednesday, so they made up for missed time. Spending the whole day supping ale has become a tradition in these parts and even has it's own name, a 'Cow Day' (in reference to the farmers bringing their cows to market). If spending all day drinking is not quite your scene, you will also find a market set up on the cobbled streets in the centre of ...
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