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Date: friday 27th to sunday 29th june 2003. Venue: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, UK. Guest List: 150000 music pilgrims. Before I begin, I should warn you, I'm not going to write about every little detail of the Glastonbury festival. If you want to know about directions, site map, full line up list, etc. then look it up on the officical glasto website (http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/) - that's what its there for. I've read previous accounts of Glasto from other people, and to be honest, a message advising you to bring toilet roll is stating the obvious. Forgive my ignorance, but if you want to wipe your arse, take some loo roll, you don't need a degree to figure this out. Just bring the things you'd normally take camping, plus ear plugs for the light sleepers amongst you and plenty of pain killers, (and a pack of wet wipes for the ladies amongst you). There are plenty of things to eat and drink (although at over-inflated prices so bring some food with you that won't go off quickly if you're on a budget). There are loads of different food stuffs from all over the world, ranging from Cornish pasties to West Indian cuisine. Also, I was pleased to note that there was a huge number of food stalls catering for vegetarians and vegans. I would strongly advise that you bring your own supply of illegal substances (NOT a requirement for enjoying the festival I hasten to add) from a known and trusted supplier. Now that the advice has been handed out, lets talk problems. There were several problems for Mr Eavis even before the festival had started. Firstly, there were problems with getting a license granted, however, the biggest problem was the ticket sales. For the first time in the event's history, tickets sold out in less than 24 hours, leaving many Glastonbury regulars very misearble indeed. The cause? Money-hungry parasites with no concept of what the festival i
s all about. These unscrupulous individuals began to sell tickets on internet auction sites for as much as £400 a ticket (RRP £105). Desperate people took the bait, whilst others, angered by the actions of these maggots decided to play them at their own game and started bidding ridiculous prices (£1 million) in order to ruin the bidding (good on them, I say). This left many of us who had managed to get tickets rather worried about what the festival would be like. The problem arose from the vast improvements in the fences after previous years (especially 2000) where individuals climbed over without tickets (hang my head in shame for I was one). This lead to Glasto being cancelled the following year (still feeling the guilt). In the earlier years, part of the festival atmosphere was made by a small percentage that jumped the fence, however, glastonbury's popularity has grown so exponentially that it is now impossible to accommodate all the "illegal" and "legal" festival goers without safety being seriously affected. Since the improved fence was so good last year, touts realised the way to make money would be through buying as many tickets as they could and selling them at maximum profit. Hopefully, something can be done about this for next year, but what? I don't envy Mr Eavis. Now for the fun part, the festival. We arrived on thursday morning, although the gates had opened by 9am on wednesday morning. After setting up the tent and having a smoke, we decided to get to grips with the vast site, so we had a wander around some of the tents and stages. Changes this year included the former Jazz Stage being called the One World Stage. I've been to Glasto twice before, but I'd never gone as far as the Green field and the stone circle. I have to say that one of my festival highlights was this. It was a stark contrast to the bustling areas around the campsites and stages. There was a genuine calm and sereni
ty, a retreat when all the crowds got to be too much. There were alot of people there, as with all areas of the festival, but it was just a really peaceful area to chill out. Now for the main point of MUSIC, after all, that's what we were mainly there for. There were a huge number of performers as ever, and as always, I couldn't get to see everyone I wanted to see. I managed to get about 5 minutes of seeing Goldfrapp before having to go to the Dance Tent to catch the Chemical Brothers' DJ set, before moving again to the Glade to see Apex Twin's punishing DJ set. The Glade was an amazing place, a small stage in amongst some trees, with white cloth draped between them (the trees that is). There was a really nice breeze blowing thorugh and it was nicely shaded which was lovely on sat and sun when it was really hot. My highlights of the festival were seeing De La Soul and reliving my youth when they played several songs from their fab "3 feet high and rising" album including tracks such as "Buddy", "Me Myself and I", and "Pot holes in my lawn". They also managed to coax the sun to come out-which was nice. Second Highlight was Jimmy Cliff on the Pyramid Stage in the bright sunshine singing "the harder they come, the harder they fall". The man still knows how to move! Third highlight was the unexpected pleasure of catching Roni Size DJing in the Dance Tent, although Rahzel was supposed to be on (not that I was complaining) so I don't know what happened there. Although, in my defence, it was Sunday night and by that time I really was dazed and confused. Next highlight was seeing Aphex twin's set as I've already mentioned. Those were my top four, in no particular order, however, it was all good. Didn't see Radiohead as I didn't fancy slitting my wrists that night, but from what I heard, they were really good. Manics be
lted out t he old favorites and treated the crowd to some new stuff. And Moby, bless him, was headlining on sunday. As he put it himself, it was like a clerical error to put him to headline on sunday after REM and Radiohead headlining the previous two nights, but I think he accomplished his mission to give the crowd what they wanted. There was a great light show and he treated everyone to past classics from "Go" to his newer stuff "We are all made of Stars". Thankfully, it didn't feel like you were listening to the soundtrack of one commercial to the next, as he played alot of his techno stuff to get the crowd going. Actually, another highlight which I've just remembered was Mr Nice himself, Howard Marks, telling us all not to piss in the hedgerows. Polyphonic Spree were weird but fab. Missed The Flaming Lips and their herd of animal suits, and Macy Gray funked up the Pyramid stage. Terri Walker was very soleful in the Dance tent, infact, was very impressed in general with the talent in the Dance tent, especially Blak Twang. Regretfully, could not get near the New Tent to see up and coming yanks The Kings of Leon as there was such a crowd. Overall, no one was disappointed in the quality and quantity of music on offer, just abit annoyed that all the things you wanted to see seemed to be on at the same time! The only down side were the loos. For anyone who has never been to Glasto, yes, they are as bad as everyone tells you. There is more, but most of it is forgotten - as they say, if you can remember the Glastonbury festival, then you weren't there! Am abit depressed now as I've had to go back to THE SYSTEM, those hazy days seem like a distant memory, from your mispent youth, ahhhh! Things to look forward to are.............. NEXT YEAR!!!!! So for anyone reading this, I would definately advise anyone who loves music to go to the festival at
least once in t heir lives. Its like no other festival on Earth. But next year, please don't be greedy with the tickets, just get enough for you and your friends and give everyone a chance. And remember, don't piss in the hedges! I'd also like to say thanks to all of you who went this year, and for making it so wonderful. The people make the festival as much as the music itself. Finally, all thanks and praise to Michael Eavis; for your enthusiasm, perserverance and hospitality!
Dinner at Cafe Apogee was the first stop on my friend's hen night (and it all went down hill from there). Location: The restaurant is very easy to find. We went by London underground, and got off at Leicester square on the Picadilly line. When you come out of the station, turn right towards the Hippodrome. The restaurant is situated down a side street between the Haagen-Daaz shop and the Empire Cinema. Restaurant: The restaurant consists of three floors and has a bar on the ground floor as you enter. We had the whole of the top floor for our Hen night (consisting of 20+ very loud women). The decor is very tasteful and has ambient lighting. They played a good selection of music (not too loud to be disturbing). Food: Large selection on the menu, but mainly Mediteranian cuisine. Wide range of starters ranging from Caesar Salad to Calamari, with prices ranging from £3-8. Good range of main meals too which started at about £6. There was also a chef's special which consisted of several starters, main courses, and desserts. The most impressive part of the menu for me was the large vegetarian selection. It always annoys me when I go to a restaurant and they only have about 2 vegetarian options-so I was pleasantly surprised. Drink: There was also a separate drinks menu with a wide range of wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and coffees/teas which should cater for anyone's tastes. Prices were also reasonable (surprising for central London). I highly recommend trying the Paradise cocktail, it had vodka and about 3 other spirits thrown in (but after having a two pint pitcher of it I'm afraid I can't remember the other ingredients-nor did I care!). Two pint pitchers of all cocktails cost £13.50. I'd also recommend trying a Jamaican coffee (also alcoholic). Service: The service was very good. It didn't take long for the food to arrive (which was go
od since there were over 20 of us) and they didn't have any problems with the orders as usually happens when you go out in large groups. However, the best bit for me (and I think I speak on behalf of all the girls) was one of our waiters called Marco. Tall, lean, young, mediteranian and extremely handsome! WE were all quite happy to be served by him but we were even more pleased when he decided to perform a strip tease for my friend! 20 grown women went wild as he girated his hips, took of his apron and finally his t-shirt. Unfortunately the pants didn't come off (I suspect he feared for his safety by that point) but a very good strip tease nevertheless. Bad Points: The only bad point about the whole experience was the bill at the end because they over charged us. I think it was only a problem because our group was so big, but we did get 3 bottles of wine added to our bill that we hadn't consumed. We also had a mystery £20 drinks extras charge which they couldn't explain. Also, there is a 15% service charge that is NOT included on the menu prices. Summary: As a whole, I was very happy with the overall experience at the restaurant. The menu selection was good, the waiters were friendly and helpful, the atmosphere was very nice, and Marco was WONDERFUL! I highly recommend anyone to visit the restaurant, if only to get a glimse of Marco!!!
The Fitness First Cardiff North branch opened earlier this year. Address: Fitness First Cardiff North, Caerphilly Road, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5XY. Tel:(029)20695590 Fax:(029)20759130 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.fitnessfirst.co.uk/ Opening hours: Peak Mon-Fri 6:30am-10pm Sat 8am-9pm Sun 8am-10pm Bank hols 8am-10pm Off-peak Mon-Fri 8am-4pm Sat 2pm onwards Sun 2pm onwards Bank hols 8am-10pm Price: £34 per month (peak) or £24 per month off peak. I have been going since early February. I try to visit the gym at least 3 times a week and to be honest I've surprised the hell out of myself (and the boyfriend) as I'm still going! I pay the peak price as the times off-peak are really restrictive (week days), if you've got a job. Facilities: Air-conditioned gym containing bikes, running machines, cross-trainers, step machines, weights machines and free weights. Exercise Studio-with a fully sprung floor for safety. Classes-they have regular classes (with beginner, intermediate and advanced classes taught separately) such as aerobics, step, yoga, aerobiking (bloody hard work!), fat-burn aerobics, boxercise, and many more. I've personally tried the yoga and aerobiking classes. The aerobiking was beyond me as I was knackered after 5 minutes! The yoga classes are great because they really stretch out muscles (most you never knew you had!). My posture has improved and the wind-down phase is only 10 mins so even I can't fall asleep! 30 minute express work-out room: Loads of machines to give you a full body work out in 30 minutes. Operates using a traffic light system in the corner (red for stop, amber to change machine and green to work
out). Nice changing rooms- large oak lockers, hairdryers, lovely clean power showers with free shampoo, conditioner and shower gel (not the best in the world but hey, it's free!). Freebies: Video/DVD library- free 24 hour loan. They have loads of videos but unfortunately many of them are quite bad. They do have a few good ones, many new ones are only available on DVD, but they do have a good kid's section (if that helps!). After 24 hours, you pay £1 per night. Gift pack when you join; containing headphones (mine have broken already and my bf's doesn't work on one side), training towel, 3 personalised fitness programs, 2 guest passes for family/friends, 1 free sunbed token (no use to me), beauty and personal training vouchers. You have a "juice bar" where you can get a selection of soft drinks, herbal and black tea, and coffee. You also get free newspapers in the morning (only a few left by evening). You also can use the other fitness first clubs throughout the UK for free. Parking: below the gym, with CCTV cameras. Sauna/steam room/ice feature/aromatherapy room: steam room is good. The ice feature is just a sink with a spout that produces crushed ice (if you're hardcore you rub this all over your body). Sauna room is not really that good, and the aromatherapy room with ambient lighting is pants and smells of pine toilet freshner. Sunbeds: you have to pay for the use of this facility. When you first start you get 3 personal one-to-one sessions with one of the instructors, who show you how to use the machines and build up a work-out program with you. You then get a progress card, so that you can fill in your improvements as you get fitter. You are supposed to have an update meeting with one of the instructors but I think my instructor's gone AWOL. Joining fee: £100, but they often run offers where you c
an join free. Good points: you can freeze your membership for a minimum of 3 months (if you're going abroad, etc) so you only pay £5 per month and you don't have to pay the joining fee again. Friendly staff, especially at reception. They all give you encouragement and are very approachable. Lots of different people go there so you won't feel out of place. It's really nice that everyone doesn't look like a fitness freak, model, body builder. Events- regular socialising events are organised to help you meet other people (if you want to). Good facilities, wide range of equipment. Bad point: No swimming pool (but that's reflected in the lower cost compared to gyms with a pool). Sauna and aromatherapy room. Can sometimes get very busy and some people hog the equipment. The gym has put up a graph of the number of users each day so you can see at which points of the day the gym gets packed. Mornings and last thing at night are least busy. Between 5 and 7pm you get upto 60+ people in there. I go in the morning (7:30am) before work and it is really quiet and it sets you up for the rest of the day.
The RHS New Encyclopaedia of Plants & Flowers (3rd Edition). Editor:Christopher Brickell Publishers:Dorling Kindersley. ISBN: 0751308005. RRP: £30, however you might be able to get it much cheaper if you look around (I got it for £8.99 from a Christian book shop of all places!). I've got the hardcover version, which is a hefty thing but it is 744 pages of what gardener's dreams are made of! This encyclopaedia is the dog's ********! If you only invest in one gardening book then this SHOULD be it. It is so well presented, and clearly written that it is suitable for absolute beginners as well as the more green-fingered amongst us. The best thing about this book is that it divides plants into colour-coded sections such as categories (trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annuals & biannuals), heights/size, colour and positioning (Dark & moist, full sun, etc). This is invaluable if part of your garden is in full-shade almost all day(for those of us not blessed with a south-facing garden!)because it shows you such a wide variety of plants that are suited to such conditions, and the height/size guide helps you plan the position of your plants in your borders. The colour-coded edging helps you quickly locate what you are looking for. The other bonus of this book is the wonderful colour photos of the plants. If you're like me and infatuated by certain plants then you'll love this book as it gives you loads of different pictures of types of plants such as orchids, peonies, clematis, lillies, etc., unlike some books that give you two poxy pictures at most! There is also a Plant Dictionary at the back of the book which gives descriptions, common names and information on growing and looking after over 8,000 plants. Finally, there is a list of plants that have been given the award of garden merit (one of the highest accolades the RHS gives to a plant after it has satisfied
a group of RHS judges over a period of time, and chosen for it's looks, ease of growing, availability in the trade amongst other things). And finally, for those of you interested, the editor in chief of this book,Christopher Brickell, was Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society (1985-1993), and is now Chairman of the International Commission for the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants.
I use this toner in combination with the aquamousse and hydramax moisturiser. Having "problem" skin, I usually hate to go through the cleans, tone & moisturise steps as the more products I use, the greasier my skin would feel. I originally used Clinique but found that it really dried my skin. Also, the alcohol made my face sting sometimes. I therefore changed to the chanel toner with amazing results. It doesn't irritate my skin, nor does it dry it out, and it is the perfect platform for the moisturiser. I had literally given up on toners before coming across this one. This is not greasy like other "gentle" toners, and it removes dirt as it is supposed to do. Although I have numerous products from this range, this is the one that I cannot live without!
This is one of the nicest facial washes I've ever used. Unfortunately, my face is prone to the occasional outburst of spots therefore I have tried anti-bacterial face washes in the past. However, these often leave my face really dry, therefore I need to use more moisturiser which then leads to greasy skin and more spots! I have also tried gentler face washes however these don't tend to leave my face feeling clean. Aquamousse is different as it is light, beautifully scented and leaves your skin feeling clean. It will not dry your skin out like some facial washes and it won't leave it feeling greasy either. I especially like the fragrance because it is subtle unlike some other designer-brand facial washes. The scent also compliments the other products in the range. The texture is wonderful and creamy, and it makes you feel like you are pampering your skin every time you use it. The only down-side is that it is expensive (around £14) compared to other face washes-but totally worth it for the feeling of luxury!