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Dear Subscriber, Welcome to ACROSS SPAIN’S April Easter Issue. We’ve got Easter recipes, egg decorating, a tribute to the most expensive Easter Eggs in the world Faberge, as well as the usual film releases, horoscopes, motoring tips, celebrity birthdays and much more. If you’ve enjoyed reading ACROSS SPAIN why not tell your friends & family to Subscribe? It’s totally FREE and completely confidential. Tell them to visit and hit the subscribe button. ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS

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The Costa del Sol or literally “Coast of the Sun” is in the South of Spain. It stretches along 150km of Malaga province and is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. The area was developed for tourism during the 1950’s. Its main attraction is its mild climate allowing visitors to enjoy outdoor activities and alfresco dining all year round, as well as its beautiful beaches. During the 1970’s and 80’s the region earned the unfortunate nickname of the “Costa del Crime” because of the number of British gangsters who left home to escape legal trouble. However, now places such as Marbella and nearby Puerto Banus are important tourist resorts with Marbella known as the playground for the rich and famous. It is a major destination for luxury cruise ships and yachts, which dock in its harbour. Millions of visitors arrive every year via Malaga International airport to the Costa del Sol. As well as the beaches, nightlife and fabulous food there are many other activities to enjoy including horse riding, hiking, caving and of course golf. There are over 50 golf courses in the area including Alhaurin El Grand with an 18-hole course designed by Serveriano Ballasteros where the practice facilities are probably the best on the Costa del Sol.

Places to visit include Benalmadena Costa where the Marina with its Indian and Arabic architecture makes it the most astonishing port and residential complex in Europe. It has twice been awarded as the Best Marina in the World. Alongside the marina you will find the SeaLife aquarium with dolphins, seals and penguins. Other attractions in Benalmadena include Tivoli World with over 300 rides and attractions set amongst tropical gardens and fountains. There are restaurants and an outdoor theatre where you can see some of the best Flamenco shows. Paloma Park is situated right in the centre of Benalmadena Costa and stretches over 200,000 square metres with a lake, various themed gardens, numerous walkways, a large children’s playground and animals including rabbits, peacocks, ostriches which are very tame and used to all the visitors. If you love butterflies then Butterfly Park, Benalmadena has 2,000 butterflies from over 150 different species to view in their natural habitat inside the glass walled tropical gardens. If you are looking for something less tame then take a trip to Torremolinos to visit Crocodile Park which opened in 1988 and is home to 300 crocodiles. You can see other animals including Bengal tigers and the Parrot Show on Treasure Island, eat at the restaurant or the children can play in the playground. The area of La Nogalera, Torremolinos, due to its cosmopolitan atmosphere is regarded as the gay friendly centre of tourism.

If you want a panoramic view of the entire Nerja coast then visit the famous Balcon de Europa, which was built where there was once a fortress destroyed in 1812 during the War of Independence. A few kilometres from the town of Nerja are the Caves of Nerja with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, which can be admired, in their subterranean scene. Only one third of the halls are open for tourists and you should allow 45 minutes for a visit. In Fuengirola you will find the Bioparc, a very different kind of zoo. It allows visitors to watch the animals in their natural environment and during the summer months of July and August is open until midnight. Also in Fuengirola is Sohail Castle with its powerful square towers. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times after its long turbulent history and is now used as an open-air auditorium. Malaga, known as the capital of the Costa del Sol, is one of the oldest cities in the world dating back some 2,800 years to the Phoenicians. It is the birthplace of the painter Pablo Picasso and actor Antonio Banderas. If you want a beautiful panoramic view of the city then take a walk up to Gibralfaro Castle. Nearby is the Roman Theatre, which was rediscovered in 1951, the old Jewish quarter, the Cathedral and the Church of Santiago. There are many modern shopping centres with top fashion names, restaurants and bars. Some centres include multiplex cinema screens and bowling allies. Malaga offers a varied and vibrant nightlife for party animals or alternatively quiet bars for the more laid back.

The name of “Costa de Almeria� was used for promoting tourism in the region, although its origins derive from the Arabic for Mirror as the area was compared to The Mirror of the Sea. The coast of Almeria is relatively unspoilt compared to Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol with over 200 km of natural coastline. Despite the arid climate of Almeria it is mostly an agricultural area with miles and miles of greenhouses covering the fields. Almeria is known for its fish and seafood dishes and excellent fruit and vegetables including the most amazing tomatoes. Unlike Malaga, Seville or Granada, Almeria is less well known by tourists, however that is changing with popular destinations including Vera, Mojacar and Roquetas de Mar. Vera is a village about 10km from the coast with the municipality extending to the sea shore where a tourist settlement named Vera Playa has been developed. It is an important centre for naturism with about two kilometres of beach reserved for naturists. The Vera Playa Club Hotel is the only naturist hotel in Spain. Roquetas de Mar is predominantly a Spanish holiday resort throughout the summer months but is popular with visitors from the UK, Ireland and Germany. It is not as crowded as other resorts due to its vast beaches. In Roquetas de Mar you will find plenty of hotels, restaurants, tapas bars and a bull ring.

The city of Almeria, located at the foot of a mountain range crowned by the Alcazaba Arab fortress, is steeped in history. There is a ferry port where you can take a trip over to North Africa as well as sports marina and a working fish port. There are excellent museums, shops, galleries and restaurants to enjoy the local cuisine. To the east of Almeria is a natural park called Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, with its beautiful rugged and natural coastline it is the largest terrestrial-maritime reserve in the European Western Mediterranean Sea. In 1997 it was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The dry landscapes of the Taberna desert are famous as the setting for movies including Lawrence of Arabia. In the village of Tabernas you can visit the film set locations known as the “badlands of Almeria�. If you are looking for souvenirs then the little town of Nijar has a cottage industry of clay ceramic ware.

Spanish Fes SEMANA SANTA It is difficult not to be moved by the atmosphere of Semana Santa (Holy Week) even if you are not religious. Although this is a religious festival the bars are full day and night with entire families staying up until the early hours of the morning. Semana Santa is defined by its stunning processions. The processions typically boast two intensely adorned floats, one of the Virgin and the other of a scene from Christ’s passion. Some of the best floats date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The floats are carried by upto 40 men called “costaleros”, who haul them on their shoulders and control its swaying motion. Some of the floats can weigh upto five metric tonnes. Walking along with the floats are the rows of penitents or “nazarenos”, dressed in tunics, hoods and masks. Some of them walk barefoot. They are followed by women dressed in black and carrying candles. Brass bands, marching bands or military bands accompany the group, playing funeral marches or religious hymns.

stivals April

The expertise behind these parades is the responsibility of the religious fraternities and brotherhoods. Sometimes upto two thousand members of a brotherhood take part, some carrying candles, rods or banners depending on their level of seniority. The most senior is the president who carries a golden rod. The watching crowds tend to dress up especially during the second half of the week, the women in their Sunday best and many men in full suits. Semana Santa in Andalucia is a tradition that is an integral part of the culture and year after year each and every village enjoys the beauty and mystery of Holy Week. Smaller villages and hamlets generally hold their parades on Thursdays and Fridays while the larger cities have weeklong celebrations, attracting thousands of people.


La Feria de Abril officially begins on Monday at midnight 2 weeks after Semana Santa and is a huge annual event in Seville. The Feria originally started as a cattle-trading fair in 1847 and has evolved throughout the years into the amazing spectacle that it now is. The Feria is held at the Real de la Feria just outside the city. Here you will find 1,000’s of brightly decorated marquees, most of which have music, a bar and flamenco performances. Some marquees are “invitations only” while others are “free” with their bars open to the public. Next to the site is a huge fairground with all the usual rides. Every day at noon there is the Paseo de Caballas procession where the local girls, dressed in their beautiful flamenco dresses, are driven through the city in carriages pulled by magnificent horses. Accompanying the carriages are strolling singers who play traditional Sevillana ballads on their guitars. Many of the parade participants are members of Seville's high aristocracy, wearing the wide-brimmed “bolero” hats and short cropped jackets. For most days of the Feria you can experience some of the top bullfights at the Plaza de Toros de Maestranza, one of the most famous bullfighting venues in all of Spain. La Feria attracts top-notch matadors from all over Spain. On the Sunday the Feria ends with an enormous firework display.

stivals April MOROS Y CRISTIANOS – ALCOY, ALICANTE The festival of Moros y Cristianos in Alcoy, Alicante takes place from April 21st to April 24th and commemorates the Battle of Alcoy in 1275 when St. George helped defeat the Moorish forces lead by Al Azraq. All year the people of the city prepare for the festival by fund raising and preparing costumes. During the four-day festival 28 Christian and Moorish armies march around the town accompanied by their own bands. The people lining the streets admire and encourage the warriors. Soldiers march, sergeant’s wave to the crowds and horseman show off their skills. Mock battles take place between the armies of the Moros y Cristianos. The streets are decorated with the red cross of St. George. On the final day of the festival the Christians are defeated in the morning and the Moorish crescent can be seen on the ramparts of the castle. But then in the afternoon with the appearance of St. George at the top of the castle, the Christians surround the Moors and defeat them. Although not historically accurate a lot of attention is given to the details of the costumes. At the end of the fiesta the captains donate their costumes to the Moors and Christians museum. This is one of Spain’s greatest and noisiest festivals.

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal Parera is the Spanish professional tennis player. He was born in Manacor, Majorca in June 1986. His uncle Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, introduced him to tennis when he was 3 years old. At the age of 8 Nadal won an under 12 regional tennis championship and his uncle intensified his training. When Nadal was 12 he won the Spanish & European tennis titles for his age group. However he was also showing himself to be a promising football player and his father made him choose between the two sports. Nadal chose tennis. In May 2001, he defeated Pat Cash in a clay court exhibition match. He turned pro at the age of 15 and in 2002 at the age of 16 he reached the semi-finals of the Boy’s Singles tournament at Wimbledon. At the age of 17 he beat Roger Federer the first time they played and at age 19 he won the French Open the first time he played. In 2003 he won the ATP Newcomer of the Year Award. Nadal has the nickname of “The King of Clay” because of his success on clay courts and many experts regard him as the greatest clay court player of all time. He has won ten Grand Slam titles, the 2008 Olympic gold medal, and 19 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments. He was also part of the Spanish David cup team that won the finals in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2010 he completed The Career Grand Slam by winning the US Open. He is only the seventh player in history and the youngest to achieve it. He is the second male player after only Andre Agassi, to complete the Career Golden Slam. He is the former World No.1 but as of February 2012 he is ranked No. 2.

Nadal’s clothing and shoe sponsor is Nike. Nadal has appeared in advertising campaigns for Kia Motors and in 2009 he became the face of Lanvin’s “L’Homme Sport” cologne. He is also the international ambassador for Quely, a company from his native Majorca that manufactures biscuits and chocolate coated products. In 2010, luxury watchmaker Richard Mille announced that he had developed an ultra-light wristwatch the Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon Watch valued at US$525,000 in collaboration with Nadal who was involved in the design and testing of the watch on the tennis court. Nadal wore the watch on court during the 2010 French Open as part of a sponsorship deal with the Swiss watchmaker. Nadal is also the new face of Emporio Armani Underwear and Armani jeans. He has recently become seriously involved in Spanish football reportedly becoming a shareholder of RCD Mallorca.

TITANIC 3D Director: James Cameron Screenwriter: James Cameron Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, Bernard Hill, David Warner, Victor Garber, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis

Written, directed and produced by James Cameron, "Titanic" is the second-highest grossing movie of all time. It is one of only three films to have received a record 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director; and launched the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. DiCaprio and Winslet light up the screen as Jack and Rose, the young lovers who find one another on the maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic. But when the doomed luxury liner collides with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic their passionate love affair becomes a thrilling race for survival.

AMERICAN REUNION Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, Natasha Lyonne, Shannon Elizabeth

In the comedy "American Reunion," all the "American Pie" characters we met a little more than a decade ago are returning to East Great Falls for their high-school reunion. In one long-overdue weekend, they will discover what has changed, who hasn't and that time and distance can't break the bonds of friendship. It was summer 1999 when four small-town Michigan boys began a quest to lose their virginity. In the years that have passed, Jim and Michelle married while Kevin and Vicky said goodbye. Oz and Heather grew apart, but Finch still longs for Stifler's mom. Now these lifelong friends have come home as adults to reminisce about—and get inspired by—the hormonal teens who launched a comedy legend.

Two lovers torn apart by social standing, amongst other things, both passengers on the world's most famous doomed ocean liner. Together they must try and overcome the dangers of plunging into the freezing cold depths of the Atlantic.. At this point, you may be thinking "Hang on, we've been here before". And yes, there are indeed similarities between the big budget blockbuster Titanic, and the latest young adult book from a former journalist, DJ, and lawyer Claudia Gray. But no, Fateful, the novel in question, released April 3rd, isn't a simple literary retelling of James Cameron's hugely profitable movie. Instead, the story focuses on 18-year-old Tess Davies, a servant who has been in the employ of a family for quite some time. This isn't something she's particularly happy about; she feels trapped by the class system, not least as the situation forces her to live with some rather painful memories resulting from secrets of the past. Her employers have booked themselves on board the largest ship the world has ever seen, RMS Titanic, expecting all the luxuries afforded by a first class ticket. Needless to say they're not expecting their accompanying staff to meet someone well out of their league, fall in love, and then get intertwined in an Illuminati type conspiracy. Nor are they banking on the prestigious vessel to sink, but that's for later. Tess runs into Alec, a handsome and unquestionably charming man who, unfortunately, is also in the upper classes (and resides in the upper decks). Unable to ignore her feelings, she becomes enamoured with the attractive gentleman, dreaming of an opportunity to escape her life of servitude, but her plans go awry as she realises the object of her affection has some pretty big secrets hidden away too. The biggest appears to be a connection to a mysterious and rather sinister 'brotherhood'; an underground covenant that makes the Freemasons sound like a well-publicised Neighbourhood Watch group. Determined not to let these dark forces overcome their love, the couple begin trying to fight back against those threatening to ruin what chance they have of happiness. Needless to say there's another, rather monumental problem unfolding elsewhere as the book progresses. A huge iceberg is floating somewhere in the waters en route to the Titanic's destination, which will of course eventually cause a huge hole to be made in the ship's exterior, flooding, much destruction, drowning thanks to a lack of lifeboats, sinking, more drowning, and hypothermia amongst many survivors. Without sounding too pessimistic, those odds aren't good. Fateful is unashamedly part of that rather awkward genre of historical fiction, but given there's a strong chance non of the events in the story (the ship's fate aside) actually happened in real life, the author does a good job in making us believe they could have. Settings are realised with great descriptive writing, stopping short of superlative-overkill, whilst the characters are skilfully developed. As such, it's a worthwhile read for younger romantics and conspiracy fans alike and deserves to do well. And thanks to the logical timing - it being the centenary year of the Titanic's sinking, with the Cameron movie out in 3D this month - it should do just fine.

Easter marks the end of Lent and celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Lent is the 40 day period leading upto Easter Sunday and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry. The week before Easter includes Maundy Thursday which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, Good Friday which honours the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between crucifixion and resurrection. The 50 day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Easter doesn’t fall on a set date every year as most holidays do. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21, so it could be celebrated anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th.

Many cherished Easter traditions like the Easter bunny and decorating and hunting for eggs have been around for centuries. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life is said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would decorate them to mark the end of the period of fasting. The first eggs given at Easter were birds eggs which were painted in bright colours. As chocolate became more wide spread in the 20th century, a chocolate version of the traditional painted egg was developed. The Easter Bunny, who delivers the decorated eggs to well behaved children on Easter Sunday is thought to have originated because rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.

OIL & FOOD COLOURING MARBLED EGGS YOU WILL NEED: Eggs (hard boiled or raw) Food colouring Vinegar Cooking oil Containers for the dye mixture Paper Towels A few spoons

HOW TO MAKE THEM: In each container combine one tablespoon of each of the following: oil, vinegar and your choice of food colouring. Add enough water to make the liquid deep enough to cover an egg. Swirl the liquid with a spoon and quickly lower and raise an egg in it. Pat dry with a paper towel, and repeat with a second colour. Swirl into a third colour, if desired. Some white areas can be left on the egg. Gently pat dry the completed egg, leaving a bit of the oil to give the egg a varnished look.

CRAYON EASTER EGGS YOU WILL NEED: Crayons Boiled eggs Neon food colouring and white vinegar

HOW TO MAKE THEM: Be sure that boiled eggs are cool and dry. Use crayons to draw designs on the egg. Have children hold the egg gently so that they do not crack the shell. Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in to a mug of water (filled 他 full) then add several drops of food colouring. Dip the crayon coloured egg into the dye and let sit for about a minute. Remove and let dry. The dye makes the crayon look brighter, especially I you use neon food colouring.

EASTER JEWELLED EGGS YOU WILL NEED: Boiled eggs Glitter paint Flat sided jewels in different colours and sizes Empty egg cartons Tweezers

HOW TO MAKE THEM: Using the glitter paint add a blob of paint on the egg and place a jewel in the middle of the blob. You can make the blobs as small or large as you wish. Repeat around the egg although you need to decorate one side of the egg at a time. Let them dry in the empty egg cartons. You could dye or colour the eggs before using the glitter paint and jewels.

In Russia, Easter is the most joyful celebration of the Orthodox faith. After the church services families exchange gifts of decorated eggs. In 1885 Czar Alexander III commissioned a young jeweller Peter Carl Faberge to make an exceptional gift for his wife Czarina Maria Fedoroyna to mark their 20th Anniversary. On Easter morning, Faberge delivered what appeared to be a simple enamelled egg. However, inside the egg was a gold yolk, inside the yolk was a golden hen, and inside the hen was a diamond miniature of the royal crown and a tiny ruby egg. The Czar then commissioned Faberge to produce an Easter egg every year and requested that each egg was unique and contained a suitable surprise for the Empress. After the death of the Czar in 1894 his son Nicholas II ascended to the throne. He carried on the tradition of the Faberge Easter eggs started by his father and commissioned an egg for both his mother and his new wife Czarina Alexandra. In 1900 at the World Exhibition in Paris, the Imperial eggs were shown for the first time to the public and Faberge’s fame spread throughout Europe. Faberge’ workshops were flooded with commissions from aristocrats and kings and queens but his first duty was always to the Czar. Year by year Faberge’s Imperial Easter eggs are more extravagant and unbelievably lavish. In 1911 Faberge makes the Fifteenth Anniversary egg with detailed paintings of Czar Nicholas II, Alexandra and their five children. By 1917 with famine throughout Russia there were riots and when the Imperial troops joined the demonstrations the government collapsed and Czar Nicholas was forced to abdicate. The Czar and his family were held captive for over a year in Siberia until July 17th 1918 when Nicholas, Alexandra and their children were herded into a basement and executed.

Following the Russian Revolution the House of Faberge was nationalised by the Bolsheviks and the Faberge family fled to Switzerland where Peter Carl Faberge died in 1920. Joseph Stalin sold many of the eggs in 1927 to raise foreign currency. Many were sold to Armand Hammer the president of Occidental Petroleum and a personal friend of Lenin and also to Emanuel Snowman of London antique dealers Wartski. Malcolm Forbes had a collection of nine eggs and approximately 180 other Faberge objects which his heirs put up for auction in February 2004 at Sotheby’s where the entire collection was sold for a sum estimated between $90 and $120 million. In November 2007, Christie’s auction house sold a Faberge clock named the Rothschild egg for £8.9 million making it the most expensive timepiece on record.

Of the 65 known large Faberge eggs only 57 have survived to the present day. Ten of the Imperial Easter eggs are displayed at the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Russia.

Do you scream to yourself when you look at your hair in the mirror every morning? A quick wash, brush and dry sounds like the perfect cure, but you still end up looking like something a magpie would steal chicks from. If your bad hair days extend through the entire week your problem could be as simple as washing your hair incorrectly or using the wrong brush. The way you wash your hair can hinder or help your scalp, hair and style as well. Experts advise that you should apply shampoo on completely wet hair and only on the hair nearest the scalp. By gently working the hair into lather around your scalp it concentrates the shampoo where the oils and impurities build up while allowing a diluted amount of shampoo to run through to the ends of the hair follicle to retain healthy oils in the fragile ends. You should also avoid shampooing your hair upside down which tends to create additional tangles. If you have long hair, use your fingers to detangle with conditioner in your hair. After rinsing, gently squeeze the water from each section of your hair. Pat dry with a towel without rubbing. A well-made brush is a beauty investment that should last you for many years when taken care of correctly. Everyday you loose hundreds of hairs that build up in your brushes along with the hair oils and scalp exfoliation. This debris can alter the performance of the brush and inhibit the look of the style you are trying to create. To safely clean your brush, start by using a comb to remove built-up hair. Continue the cleaning process by soaking your brush in a solution of hot water and a few drops of shampoo or mild detergent. Rinse and dry thoroughly before use.

Choosing the correct type and size of brush can also affect the overall condition of your hair and scalp. Thick, coarse hair that doesn't need additional volume can benefit from using a cushion-style paddle brush, which can be used to create smooth look and sleek style. If your hair is course and dry, natural bristles are an excellent way to re-distribute the natural hair oils evenly and to massage your scalp. If you have wavy hair, buy a round vented brush with rounded nylon ball tips that are moulded as part of the bristle and not just attached to the top. Brushing your hair with a brush that is missing the nylon ball tips on some bristles can pull hair or cause breakage. Wavy and curly hair may also be frizzy and flyaway when it is dry brushed, so only use a wide toothcomb between washes. If you have fine hair, a vented brush can help you achieve a straight look. Use a brush with natural bristles, which nourishes the hair follicles. A barrel-shaped thermal brush can help provide lift if you hold the hair away from the scalp as you blow dry. When used with the heat from a hairdryer, the metal core of the brush heats up like a hot roller to create body and curl. If you have long hair, never use a brush to remove tangles as this splits the hair. To style, you can also use a vented or round brush. Vented brushes allow for faster drying time while round brushes allow you to shape your hair or create the Madonna flick. You can also buy paddle thermal brushes that are ideal for straightening untamed long hair.

PERFECTAS SALON Unas Perfectas Calle Gerald Brenan, 76, Alhaurin el Grande, Malaga Tel: 656 934 930 OPEN MON— MON—SUN (No Siesta)

When it comes to fashion advice, abundant information for women can be found in magazines, TV programmes and catalogues, while men are often left to rely on guesswork. But just as it is widely known that there are certain fashion staples that every woman should have in her wardrobe, like the little black dress, there are essentials that every man should own, too. While the quality and style of these items will vary according to the age and affluence of the individual, the following are "must haves" in any male wardrobe. A CLASSIC WELL-TAILORED SUIT For occasions when nothing else is appropriate such as funerals, weddings and other formal functions, a suit is a must for any man's wardrobe. Choose a single-breasted style that will not date. Either black or grey is a good choice and will be both smart and functional. A good suit will last for years, yet with the addition of a smart shirt and tie can be updated to look fashionable at each wearing. A BLUE OR WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT This is another essential for any well-dressed man's wardrobe, to go with the suit or formal trousers. Always in fashion, they give a crisp smart finish to any outfit, and a good tie worn with the shirt completes the look. Try to buy a new trendy tie every year to keep up with fashion, and add it to your suit and shirt to make a snappy new outfit. A GOOD PAIR OF JEANS Jeans have been around for years, but at least one pair is still an important wardrobe addition. They look good when new and often even better when worn, and can look smart or casual depending upon what they are accessorised with. Nowadays, a smart pair can be appropriate wear for both day and evening unless the occasion is particularly formal. Make sure that a white T shirt is in your wardrobe to go with the jeans and with the addition of trainers a classic, timeless, casual look is complete.

Buy at least one sweater each season There are many styles to choose from; pick one that suits you and you will have the perfect top to add to any style of trouser when a shirt or T shirt will not do. They are also handy to pop over a thinner top when a jacket would be too warm and can look smart draped over the shoulders until needed. ACCESSORISE WELL It's not only women who need essential accessories. Good quality black shoes will last for years and a stylish black leather belt should last a lifetime. Make sure they are worn together along with black socks. This combination can smarten up casual trousers or jeans as well complement the formal outfit. A good black leather wallet is both functional and smart and will last for years. A watch is another accessory that every man needs and is a "must have" piece of jewellery. If budget allows, purchase a smart dress watch for formal occasions and a sports watch for normal wear; if not find a style which will look good no matter what you are wearing. With these basic items in his wardrobe, a man can be confident that no matter what the occasion, he has a look which is not only appropriate but smart and fashionable too.

Almost everyone has some sort of debt, whether it's the mortgage, credit cards, an overdraft or loans. And whether it's hundreds or thousands of pounds, finding yourself in debt is both frightening and overwhelming. Getting into debt is always easier than getting out. Credit card companies and retailers encourage shoppers to take out cards with attractive sign-up benefits, and banks continually offer their customers loans - all involving repayment at a healthy annual percentage rate. Lenders have made it far too easy to get into trouble. Depending on how deep in debt you are, you may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel but rest assured there is. People find themselves in financial difficulty for any number of reasons, such as unemployment, illness, marital breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances. Although you cannot do anything about these or past mistakes, there are things you can do to improve your current situation. Many people ignore debts when they experience financial difficulty. Some fear contacting their creditors. They do not understand the consequences of not paying bills. Ignoring debts will affect your credit rating. In addition, creditors may take action against you in an effort to get payment. Or your bill can be turned over to a debt collector, your property can be repossessed or you may be forced into bankruptcy. If trying to get out of debt seems like trying to run a race while being tied to the starting line, and no matter how much energy you put into it you never seem to get anywhere, it's time to get some serious help. The key to solving the financial difficulty is communication.

If you follow these golden rules you shouldn't go far wrong. Don't ignore the problem: it won't go away and the longer you leave it the worse it gets. Don't borrow money to pay off your debts without thinking carefully: get advice first as this kind of borrowing could lead to you losing your home. If you have lost your job, or are off work because of illness, check whether your payments are covered by payment protection insurance. Check you are claiming all the benefits and tax credits you can. Get in touch with your creditors straight away and explain your difficulties. Make sure you tackle your priority debts first - for example, debts that could mean losing your home or having the gas or electricity cut off. Contact everyone you owe money to. If you make arrangements to pay some creditors but not others, you could run into difficulties again. If the first person you speak to is unhelpful, ask to speak to someone more senior who may be able to agree to what you want. Always attend court hearings and take a copy of your personal budget with you. Don't think that going to the County Court makes you a criminal; it isn't that type of court. You won't go to prison and there's no jury. Always keep copies of any letters or court forms you send or receive.

Nothing seems to be making much of a difference in the currency markets at the moment. In itself that is a contradictory statement to make. Following the last couple of months of concern with Greece and the lead up to the UK budget both matters have passed us by without having any real impact upon exchange rates. Finally, after much political haggling the Euro zone Finance Ministers agreed to release the necessary funds to Greece and stop them (for the time being) from defaulting. How long this money will last is the big thorny issue and the poor Greeks are having to make all sorts of sacrifices.

Moneycorp CDS News The big question now is has contagion been stemmed? Not if you listen to all the pessimists, by all accounts it’s the turn of Spain and Italy next, it is true however, that both governments are experiencing some hiccups within their own countries. In Spain we know that they will not achieve the budget set by them for 2012 and the recent local elections proved to be a very difficult one indeed with one of the biggest regions Andalucía almost turning against them. They did however, manage to hold 50 seats compared to the 47 won by the PSOE. The turnaround was a protest against the recently introduced new set of austerity measures and this in a region where the regional deficit is more than double its 1.3% of Spanish GDP for 2011. In Italy a similar situation is looming as Mario Monti who was brought in to restore order to the country's financial plight is facing a revolt from the unions and fellow politicians. With rates on bond sales being a key part of any further financial stability pressure will continue to mount on future bond sales for both these countries. The other matter for the EU to deal with is the coming together of the two bailout funds, the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) and the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) they believe the larger the fund the more confidence the watching world will have in the EU's ability to bail out any country without breaking the back of the fund.

Germany and Finland in particular have been very much against merging these two funds however, it does seem Angela Merkel is yielding to the pressure to achieve such but she has to balance this decision against her electorates wishes, a tricky one!!! What ministers do seem to agree on is that there is no room for complacency. Looking at the UK, there has been a mixed bag of news with bankers bonuses continuing to seek headline news and news of potential new jobs whilst losses through companies such as the Game Shop. Banks are never far away from the headlines and again this happens to be the case with RBS as the government considers how it should conclude its discussions with an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund who wish to buy part of RBS. Is it a right time to sell particularly as the taxpayer will face a bigger loss than that already costed. You can flip a coin on this one and still not win. With mortgage applications also proving to be elusive the fragility of the UK economy once again raises its head. Let's hope that Lord Browne (former head of BP) is correct when he forecasts that the UK could benefit by up to 50.000 jobs with the possibility of shale gas fracking doubling the reserves of gas in the UK. Whilst over in the States all had been going particularly well until Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman cast some doubt over whether the sharp decline in US unemployed figures could be sustained without the demand increasing across the bigger picture, unusually he was a little downbeat. If you look at what has been happening with rising inflation and an improving job market the possibility of further quantitative easing is becoming a little more distant. His comments did however, have a temporary impact upon the exchange rates as the dollar retreated a little against the pound and the euro.

Ok so what about exchange rates, the ranges have been pretty short and are:

Current Market Rates CURRENCY












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Do you enjoy cleaning or do you dread it? Experts in the cleaning industry recognise three distinct types when it comes to tackling the household chores: reluctant cleaners, practical cleaners and cleaning warriors. Which type are you? Do you get on with the chores under sufferance, or go at it all guns blazing like Monica from Friends? Reluctant cleaners believe that getting down and dirty with a dustpan and brush is one of life's necessary evils. They maintain there is more to life than domestic drudgery, but know they have to get on with it in order to have a faรงade of respectability and a house which doesn't disgust visitors, perhaps containing a plaque saying "My house was tidy last week - sorry you missed it!" Reluctant cleaners get away with as little as possible, shoving rubbish out of sight into cupboards and disguising snowdrifts of stuff under throws when guests are coming. They can happily ignore cobwebs - in fact, they think they save on Halloween decoration expenditure. By and large they indulge only in irregular surface cleaning: a cursory flick of a duster (if they've got one), dousing the loo with a generous squirt of cleaning fluid, wafting about with fresh air spray - that's their hallmark. The insides of their oven could produce enough charcoal for a barbecue. And reluctant cleaners never have the right equipment. They use torn up old T shirts instead of proper dusters, their rubber gloves have perished through lack of use and they have little interest in which are the right cleaning products for which job. Life's just too short for all that. Practical cleaners are the next step up the ladder towards "cleanliness is next to godliness". Their main aim is to make their home nice: they desire order and comfort and probably account for the majority. They are happy to do a supermarket sweep of a variety of standard own brand products rather than buying the one-bottle-suits-all commodity which the reluctant cleaner favours.

Practical cleaners are the next step up the ladder towards "cleanliness is next to godliness". Their main aim is to make their home nice: they desire order and comfort and probably account for the majority. They are happy to do a supermarket sweep of a variety of standard own brand products rather than buying the one-bottle-suits-all commodity which the reluctant cleaner favours. Their homes are neat and tidy but still manage to look welcoming and lived-in. There are no mountains of old newspapers and magazines waiting to be stuffed into the recycling bin, no dead flowers in vases. They have a regular cleaning routine but certainly do not let it dominate their life and the results show. They are never embarrassed to invite surprise visitors into their home. And finally there are the cleaning warriors, frighteningly well armed with intimate knowledge of germ warfare and with a specialised product for every chore stocked in their well-organised arsenal of cleaning materials. These Monica Gellar types actually enjoy cleaning and go at it with all guns blazing like a military operation. God forbid anyone who gets between a cleaning warrior and her vacuum cleaner. She has a specially designated cupboard for her artillery of cleaning materials, with all the bottles arranged like ranks of soldiers. She has every type and colour of rubber glove ever invented, buys and tries every new product on the market and compares notes with her friends over coffee in her cleaned to perfection kitchen. She also knows how to make her own products with such homely ingredients as vinegar, lemons and washing soda. This is the superwoman who takes huge pride in her cleaning capabilities and wants her home to be seen as a sparkling reflection of her own highly ordered life. She loves to welcome people to her spotless empire: just take your shoes off by the front door, don't dent those carefully plumped cushions when you sit down and make sure you use a coaster for your coffee cup!

Most people with back pain have trouble sleeping and keeping mobile. When back pain is ongoing, the added fatigue and ill-effects of inactivity can exacerbate the problem, leaving people trapped in a seemingly never ending cycle of pain. Over the past decade there has been a radical overhaul of the way back pain is treated. In the past, the accepted response was bed rest. In most cases, the advice from GPs today is to keep active as resting can actually make the problem worse. Light exercise can help break the cycle and enable normal life to continue while the back recovers and pain eases. A team of medical experts, including an osteopath, physiotherapist and GP specialising in pain management, have agreed that millions of people could break the cycle of back pain by better self-management of their condition. The best help, they say, is to manage their pain with the latest, long-lasting ibuprofen now available over-the-counter and to keep the back joints mobilised through gentle activity.

With back pain commonly getting in the way of a good night's sleep, experts believe the new generation of ibuprofen, which lasts for eight hours, will allow sufferers to sleep soundly right through the night while their back heals. The painkiller can also be taken during the day without drowsiness to help keep sufferers active and mobile.

Barrie Savory, osteopath and author of The Good Back Pain Guide , says, "While there are all sorts of back problems, pain is always the common denominator. If people can manage their pain, it will help them keep moving and that is key to breaking the back pain cycle. Ibuprofen is perfect for this as it works to reduce swelling and the pain associated with it." Given the scale of the problem, it's not surprising that seeing patients with back pain accounts for a significant proportion of GPs' workloads. However, experts suggest that many cases of back pain can be self-managed without the need to visit the doctor, using the pharmacist as an alternative source of advice. Dr Moheb Shalaby, a GP, says, "We see a lot of patients with back pain, but in many instances it may only be mild pain or it could be a recurring problem that could be self-managed.

"People should always check serious problems with their GP, but there are steps they can take on their own to avoid falling into the back pain trap." The experts urged back pain sufferers to ease the burden on GP surgeries by turning to their local pharmacist for help. Pharmacists can offer good advice about the new generation of ibuprofen, such as Anadin Ultra Double Strength, as well as suggesting pain prevention strategies.

Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world, equal nearly in size to Spain. Thailand is divided into 76 political provinces with Bangkok the political, commercial and entertainment capital of the country. It is located just 15 degrees north of the equator and therefore has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 19 to 38 degrees centigrade and is generally hot and humid. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonised by European powers. It was known as Siam until 1939 when it officially became the Kingdom of Thailand. Thailand hotels are some of the finest in the world from five star luxury spa retreats to quaint family run beachfront bungalows. Prices are highest during the cool season December through to February and off peak prices are between May and August. Thailand is a country abundant with natural resources and has over 100 national parks including 20 marine parks. Animals in Thailand include elephants, monkeys, bears and the world’s largest fish the whale shark. The parks offer outstanding facilities and unique attractions where tourists can experience trekking, mountain biking, camping or scuba diving. Thai food has a reputation for being spicy although it is actually a balance between spicy, sour, sweet, salty and bitter using fresh herbs and spices as well as fermented fish in nearly every dish.

Bangkok is a food heaven and as well as the Thai cuisine you will find cuisine from around the world. In Bangkok you can experience the ancient Siamese history with a river cruise to the famous ruins of Ayuthaya, the Kingdom’s former capital. Three of Bangkok’s finest temples include Wat Traimit which houses a 3 meter tall, 5 ton Buddha made of solid gold, Wat Pho which houses the revered giant Reclining Buddha and Wat Benjabophit famous for its elegant white marble façade and Buddha images. Evening cruises along Bangkok’s River of Kings are a delight especially when combined with a four course meal. Shopping is a thrill and from the modern malls to the bustling street markets. Floating markets are a fascinating experience, the biggest of which is Damnoen Saduak. Be sure to practice your bargaining skills to help you get the best prices. Bangkok’s nightlife has a reputation for being wild and rowdy but it is safe, enjoyable and great fun. Bangkok offers everything from live music to cool bars, trendy clubs and great restaurants. Thailand's beaches and islands attract millions of visitors each year from all over the globe. The main international airports in Thailand are at Bangkok and Phuket, and both are well-served by intercontinental flights.

TAURUS The Sun, Venus, and Jupiter will all transit in your sign this month to bring positive energy and the ability to attract the people and resources you need. Some of your dreams will be realized now if you're proactive and keep the faith. Personal relations will go smoothly while Venus is in your sign until April 3. The Sun will impart strength and confidence after April 19 when it moves to Taurus. A New Moon at the cusp of your sign on April 21 will herald a time when you feel renewed and can make a fresh start. Mars in Virgo will help you get organized and focused. GEMINI Venus moves to your sign on April 3 to help you get along well with others. You'll be inclined to listen more and be helpful during the month. Avoid the tendency to gossip - be diplomatic in conversations. The Full Moon in Libra on April 6 will bring out your flirtatious and superficial side. This could backfire if you're not careful of others' feelings. Mercury will be retrograde until April 4 and in Pisces until April 16. During this time you could have trouble focusing. Try to keep a record of conversations and instructions so there are no misunderstandings.

CANCER Three planets in Aries this month will get you motivated to make changes in your career. However, be proactive if you want to see results. Nothing will come to you easily - you'll have to put in some effort. The Full Moon in Libra on April 6 will stir up trouble on the home front or with your family. Don't be surprised if there's a misunderstanding or failure to communicate. Be on your best behaviour and willing to compromise even if someone else is in the wrong. A New Moon in Taurus on April 21 will help you improve your relationships with friends and associates. LEO You'll feel motivated and enthusiastic with the Sun, Mercury, and Uranus moving through Aries this month. The transits in this fellow Fire Sign will bring a lot of change and variety and several unexpected events. Jupiter and Venus will travel through Taurus. You might overindulge in food and drink or spend too much, especially while Venus is in Taurus until April 3. Jupiter in Taurus brings opportunities, but you must be patient, which isn't your strong suit. A New Moon in Taurus on April 21 will bring out this quality, however, and you'll also learn how to slow down and appreciate beauty and nature.

VIRGO Jupiter and Venus in Taurus will help you enjoy the finer things in life and open up opportunities to travel and meet new people. Mercury will be retrograde in Pisces during the first few days of the month. Until April 3, be clear when giving instructions and follow up later to avoid hassles. Mars will be in your sign all month, and retrograde until April 13. You should refrain from taking action on important matters during the retrograde period so you can be clear about the best way to proceed. After Mars turns direct, you'll be busy and have a lot on your plate. LIBRA Venus will be in Gemini from April 3. This planet will enhance all communication, and you'll have a relaxing and enjoyable time if you travel. Make new plans or take care of details after Mercury turns direct on April 4 or there will be a lot of confusion. The Sun, Mercury, and Uranus will move through the sign of Aries this month. You might become frustrated by rapidly changing scenarios and people who try to rush you. You could experience a lot of tension and anxiety when dealing with others. Try to remain calm and detached even if someone pushes your buttons. SCORPIO A friend will help you get organized and stay on top of things this month if you ask. You might also get involved in a group or organization that needs practical help. Venus and Jupiter will be in Taurus, bringing the opportunity to be helpful and generous to your partner or the public. Venus will only be there until April 3, but you'll be able to relax with others and enjoy the finer things in life. A New Moon in Taurus on April 21 will help bring out your patience and determination over the coming weeks. Your intuition will be strong all month.

SAGITTARIUS There might be some rapid developments in your love life with a few planets in Aries this month. You'll feel vital and energized, but you could make rash decisions if you're attracted to someone. Venus moves to Gemini on April 3, and after that you'll find that all of your relationships require more diplomacy and cooperation. It will be difficult to achieve harmony without some effort. Be careful when communicating to family members early in the month. If you aren't clear, there could be misunderstandings and confusion. Pay attention to details all month in order to avoid mistakes.

CAPRICORN On a positive note, Venus and Jupiter will be transiting in the sign of Taurus this month. There will be an aura of romance and new opportunities whether you're single or in a committed relationship. The Sun, Mercury, and Uranus will all move through Aries, causing you to feel uneasy and defensive. Life at home or with family members could be tense and full of conflict. Sudden changes will disturb your equilibrium. A Full Moon in Libra on April 6 could cause stress or a crisis regarding your career. Help from others that you had counted on might prove disappointing. AQUARIUS You'll be active in your community or within your extended family this month. You'll take the lead in organizing events or gatherings. Three planets moving in Aries will motivate you to get things started. Venus will be in Taurus until April 3, helping to smooth over any disagreements with family members. However, for the rest of the month, issues could be magnified and cause stress. A New Moon in Taurus on April 21 will allow you to develop more patience and loyalty, and this will help resolve problems. It would be good for you to get out in nature and surround yourself with beauty or listen to soothing music. PISCES Your ruler Neptune has been in your sign for a few months, bringing out your spiritual nature, artistic sensibilities, and intuition. Mercury will be in Pisces until April 16 so you can expect to have some powerful insights and vivid dreams. Follow your hunches and they will pay off. Mars will be in Virgo and retrograde this month. This transit could put a strain on a committed relationship because your partner might be critical and demanding. Much will be expected of you and you may not be able to live up to the high standards. A New Moon in Taurus on April 21 will help keep you grounded.

ARIES This will be a fast-paced month with plenty of surprises in store. The Sun, Mercury, and Uranus will all move through your sign, ensuring that you'll be busy and involved in many things. You'll be confident and self-assured, but you could be prone to impatience and too much risk taking. A Full Moon in Libra on April 6 could bring a crisis involving your business or romantic partner. Much tact and the willingness to compromise will be required from you to make up for one or more situations when you were overbearing or hurtful. There might be frustration regarding your career.


APRIL CELEBRI EDWARD REGAN “EDDIE” MURPHY - April 3 1961 Box office takings from Eddie Murphy’s films make him the second highest grossing actor in the United States. He is best known for his performances in “48 Hours”, “ Trading Places”, “Beverly Hills Cop” series of movies, the “Nutty Professor” and “Norbit”. He won a Golden Globe in 2007 for his portrayal of soul singer James “Thunder” Early in “Dreamgirls”. His work as a voice actor includes Donkey in “Shrek” and the dragon Mushu in Disney’s “Mulan”.

RUSSELL IRA CROWE - April 7 1964 Russell Crowe gained international acclaim for his role as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film “Gladiator” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. His other films include “The Insider”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “L.A. Confidential”, “Master And Commander”, “American Gangster” and “Robin Hood”. Crowe has won several awards including a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR - April 14 1977 Sarah became known for her role as Buffy in the television series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Her film work includes “Scream 2”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “Cruel Intentions”, “The Grudge” and “Scooby-Doo” and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed”. As of 2011, she stars as twin sisters in the television series, Ringer.

EMMA CHARLOTTE DUERRE WATSON - April 15 1990 At the age of nine Emma was cast as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” film series. She starred in all eight Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint and earned more than £10 million as well as several awards. She made her modelling debut for Burberry’s Autumn/Winter campaign in 2009.

ITY BIRTHDAYS VICTORIA CAROLINE BECKHAM - April 17 1974 Victoria rose to fame in the late 1990’s with the all female pop group Spice Girls where she was dubbed Posh Spice. Since leaving the Spice Girls she has had a solo pop music career with four UK top 10 singles. Her career in fashion includes designing a line of jeans for Rock &Republic and later designing her own brand dVb Style. Victoria has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrances as well as releasing two best-selling books. She is married to David Beckham with whom she has four children.

DEV PATEL - April 23 1990 Dev Patel made his feature film debut when he was cast as Jamal Malik in “Slumdog Millionaire”. To prepare for the role Patel observed the Dharavi slums and also worked at a call centre for a day and in a hotel, where he washed dishes. Patel won a Critics Choice Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role. He is also known for his role as Anwar Kharral in the British teen drama series Skins.

RENEE KATHLEEN ZELLWEGER - April 25 1969 Zellweger first gained worldwide attention for her role in the film “Jerry Maguire” alongside Tom Cruise. She received two Academy Award nominations for her role in the comedies “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”. She was cast as Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago” and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Cold Mountain” alongside Nicole Kidman. By 2007 Renee was one of the highest paid Hollywood actresses.

PENELOPE CRUZ SANCHEZ - April 28 1974 The Spanish actress made her acting debut at 16 on television and her film debut the following year in “Jamon, Jamon”. Cruz achieved recognition for her lead role in “Vanilla Sky”. Other films have included “Blow”, “Waking Up In Reno”, “Gothika”, “Sahara”, “Nine” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” for which she won an Academy Award – the first Spanish actress in history to do so. Cruz is also the first Spanish actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


HEATH L HEATH ANDREW LEDGER April 4 1979 – January 22 2008

Heath Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia. He acted in the television series Home and Away for a short period, playing a surfer. He left his native Australia for the United States in 1998 to pursue his film career. He secured a role in “10 Things I Hate About You” in 1999 but afterwards seemed to be typecast as a teen hunk, which he did not like, so he accepted a role in the serious war drama “The Patriot” in 2000. He played Gabriel Martin, the eldest son of Benjamin Martin played by Mel Gibson. He went on to play a short roll in “Monster’s Ball” but his version of “Ned Kelly” was a flop and the distributors were reluctant to release it outside of Australia. However, in 2005 Heath portrayed Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain which won him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Other films include “A Knight’s Tale”, “The Four Feathers”, “The Order”, “Casanova”, “The Brothers Grimm” and “Lords of Dogtown”. He also played the psychopathic clown prince of crime the Joker in “The Dark Knight” for which he received more than 30 posthumous awards including the Oscar, SAG, BAFTA and Golden Globe.


LEDGER Heath was an avid chess player and won Western Australia’s junior chess championship at the age of 10. As an adult he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park. He has been romantically linked to actresses Heather Graham, Naomi Watts and Julia Stiles. He dated Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain and their daughter, Matilda Rose was born in October 2005. After Ledger and Williams broke up in 2007, Heath was romantically linked to supermodels Helena Christensen and Gemma Ward and former child star actress Mary-Kate Olsen. Heath died on January 22 2008 from an accidental toxic combinations of prescription drugs. He died during the editing of “The Dark Knight” which cast a shadow over the films promotion. However, the film broke several box office records and received popular and critical accolades. Ledger’s work was described as “sinister and frightening” as well as “mesmerising in every scene”

Two businessmen in the centre of Cape Town were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new shop… As yet, the shop wasn’t ready, with only a few shelves set up. One said to the other “I bet any minute now some pensioner is going to walk by, put their face to the window and ask what we’re selling”. No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious old woman walked to the window, had a peek and in a soft voice asked:

“What are you selling here?” One of the men replied sarcastically “We’re selling ass-holes.” Without skipping a beat, the old dear said “Must be doing well…. Only two left.”

WHAT IS IT? I BET YOU DON’T KNOW!! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

It is made of metal but sometimes plastic. Sometimes it has a handle made of other materials. Different size ones have completely different uses. It can have 2, 3 or even 4 projections. It is usually paired with another item when used domestically. But it is paired with something completely different when used outside of the home. 7. Sometimes it is combined with another thing to become something with a dual use. 8. It can even be found as part of a utility knife. 9. Its name is used to describe a road that divides. 10. A type of lightning is also named after this.


Wanda's dishwasher quit working so she called in a repairman. Since she had to go to work the next day, she told the repairman, 'I'll leave the key under the mat. Fix the dishwasher, leave the bill on the counter, and I'll mail you a cheque.' Oh, by the way don't worry about my dog Spike. He won't bother you.

But, whatever you do, do NOT, under ANY circumstances, talk to my parrot!' 'I MUST STRESS TO YOU: DO NOT TALK TO MY PARROT!!!'

When the repairman arrived at Wanda's apartment the following day, he discovered the biggest, meanest looking dog he has ever seen. But, just as she had said, the dog just lay there on the carpet watching the repairman go about his work. The parrot, however, drove him nuts the whole time with his incessant yelling, cursing and name calling. Finally the repairman couldn't contain himself any longer and yelled,

'Shut up, you stupid, ugly bird!' To which the parrot replied,

'Get him Spike!' See - Men just don't listen!

When you feel the onset of a cold are you more likely to reach for the paracetamol or the Echinacea? If it's the latter then you're not alone, as more of us are turning to natural remedies over traditional ones, according to a recent study. Once thought of as old wives tales or airy-fairy, alternative remedies from natural sources are now used by 61 per cent of adults, says a report by honey producer Rowse. Natural remedies such as honey and lemon are used by 72 per cent of us, while 48 per cent of us use Echinacea for the relief of colds. A third of us would look to herbal remedies such as St John's Wort for the relief of mild depression, says the report. An increasing disillusionment with traditional medicine is behind this trend for natural remedies, according to the report. As a result, traditional medicines such as paracetamol, anti-depressants and flu remedies are being shunned in favour of alternative treatments. In fact, half of UK adults admitted they were more likely to use natural-based remedies today than five to 10 years ago. However it's not just herbs we reach for when we're not feeling well. Foods are also helping us to battle conditions such as colds and high cholesterol. You might use aromatic root vegetable garlic in a recipe, but 58 per cent of us have used it to boost our immune function and lower our blood pressure. It's not only garlic and honey that people have been raiding the larder for - protein-rich almonds are not only a delicious snack but are used by 43 per cent of us to help reduce cholesterol. Similarly a refreshing glass of pomegranate juice is the remedy chosen by 48 per cent of people to help keep their hearts healthy.

Foods and herbs are not just good at easing colds and flu. They can help in other areas of life too, such as weight loss. In particular, green tea, which acts as a natural antioxidant that helps free your body of free radicals, can also help to stimulate your metabolism. It's hardly surprising that 45 per cent of people use it when trying to shed those unwanted pounds. People are also turning to natural remedies when they feel a bit sluggish, as 42 per cent of us reach for some ginseng to improve our energy levels or as a general tonic. Stuart Bailey, Rowse chairman, says: "The research clearly shows that people are seeking alternative and natural ways to treat their ailments because they realise they can deliver real benefits. Rowse commissioned the report because we've seen an increase in the number of people contacting us regarding the health benefits of honey." Other findings from the Rowse survey include the fact that just over a third of UK adults would most likely follow their mum's advice when it came to switching to natural remedies. In contrast, 42 per cent of women opted to consult their friends over switching to alternative medicines - but only 29 per cent of men did. However, there is still a place for conventional medicine, as 60 per cent of adults would still seek expert advice from their doctor or a health expert.

EASTER ROAST SHOULDER OF LAMB WITH HERBS AND HONEY INGREDIENTS 1.4KG/3LB shoulder of lamb, trimmed Handful of dried camomile (or contents of 4 camomile teabags) ½ bunch fresh thyme, leaves only 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped 12 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped 1 tbsp dried oregano Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp clear honey 2 tbsp olive oil 125ml/4fl oz water

METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 With the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow scores through the outer layer of skin and fat of the lamb shoulder, but not into the meat. Mix the dried camomile, the thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano together in a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Press a handful of the herb mixture into the skin of the lamb, massaging it in well all over the flesh of the lamb. Sprinkle some of the herb mixture across the bottom of a casserole with a lid. Place the lamb into the casserole, then squeeze the lemon juice over the top, before sprinkling with any remaining herb mix. Drizzle the honey over the top of the lamb and pour over a little olive oil. Pour the water into the casserole, then put the lid on. Put in the over and cook for 2 ½ hours. Check the dish after one hour – the lamb should be taking on a little colour. If the water has evaporated, add a little more to maintain the dish’s moisture. After the 2 ½ hours cooking the lamb meat should pull away easily from the bone. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 4 – 5 minutes. To serve, using a knife and fork, pull large pieces of meat away from the bone and arrange on a large serving place. Drizzle the meat with any pan juices and enjoy.

RECIPES LEMON ROAST CHICKEN INGREDIENTS Lemon Small bunch fresh thyme 1 x 1.5-2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 6oz fresh chicken 2-3 garlic cloves 50ml/2fl oz olive oil Sea salt to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste

METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 Slice the lemon halfway through lengthways. Insert a sprig of thyme into the slit and place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken. Make the flavoured oil. Strip the leaves from the remaining thyme stalks and place the leaves in a bowl. Press the garlic cloves with the heel of your hand to lightly crush. Remove the skins and add the garlic cloves to the bowl. Pour the olive oil into the bowl. Using a pestle and mortar, a mini food processor or a hand blender, blend together the thyme leaves, garlic and olive oil. It should be quite liquid. Spoon the mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and pour over the remaining flavoured oil. Season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and roast in the over for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and roast for another 20-30 minutes and reduce the temperature to 160C/320F/Gas 3. Its fully cooked when the juices run clear when the bird is pierced in the thigh with a skewer. Turn off the oven and let the bird rest in the residual heat for at least ten minutes. Remove from the oven, then carve. Stir the pan juices over the hob to heat through. Serve the carved chicken on a large platter and pour the pan juice over the top.

HOT CROSS BUNS INGREDIENTS For The Buns: 625g/1.3lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting 1tsp salt 2 tsp ground mixed spice 45g/1.5 oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing 85g/3 oz sugar 1 lemon, zest only 1 ½ tsp fast-action yeast 1 free-range egg 275ml/10fl oz tepid milk 125g/4 oz mixed dried fruit For The Topping: 2 tbsp plain flour Vegetable oil, for greasing 1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

METHOD For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast. Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove. Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8. Meanwhile for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water. When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun. Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

DEVILLED EGGS INGREDIENTS 12 hard-boiled eggs ½ cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes ½ teaspoon minced chives ½ teaspoon ground mustard ½ teaspoon dill weed ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon paprika Pinch of pepper Pinch of garlic powder 2 tablespoons milk Fresh parsley Additional paprika

METHOD Slice eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Set the whites aside. In a small bowl, mash the yolks and add the milk, mayonnaise and dried ingredients. Mix together well. Stuff or pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with parsley and paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve. -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo-

EASTER EGG NESTS INGREDIENTS 225g/8oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces 2 tbsp golden syrup 50g/2 oz butter 75g/3 oz cornflakes 36 mini chocolate eggs

METHOD Line a 12 hole fairy cake tin with paper cases. Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir the mixture until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir in the cornflakes until all of the cereal is coated in the chocolate. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press 3 chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until completely set.

CHOCOLATE EASTER CAKE INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE 1 (150g) tub natural yoghurt 3 eggs 200g castor sugar 250g plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 150ml vegetable oil FOR THE CHOCOLATE ICING 335g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa 450g unsalted butter 1 pinch salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 475g icing sugar 2 eggs FOR DECORATION Shop bought chocolate eggs 1 small chocolate chick (optional)

METHOD Preheat over to 180C/Gas 4. Grease a round cake tin. For the cake: Beat together yoghurt, eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in flour and baking powder. Mix until smooth, then stir in vegetable oil. Pour cake mixture into prepared cake tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Remove cake from tin and cool on wire rack. Meanwhile make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, and then allow to cool slightly. Place the butter, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until very light and airy, about 4 minutes. Add the icing sugar a little at a time while beating on low speed. Mix well, and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 5 minutes more. Add the melted chocolate and beat for 4 minutes. Once cake has cooled, cut the cake in half horizontally. The lower park should be thicker than the top part. Transfer the top part onto a plate and cut out a circle in the middle using a small bowl or large glass as a template. This will be the centre of the nest. Spread some chocolate icing on the bottom part of the cake, then arrange the top part directly on top. To decorate – Spread the remaining chocolate icing on the top and edges of the cake. Place a handful of chocolate eggs in the middle and add one chocolate chick if desired.


Following last year’s launches of Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E., Renault’s Z.E. range will be joined this month by Twizy which boasts its own specific features: Unique styling and a radically new approach to motoring in built-up areas which combines fun, nimble handling and safety. •

Powered entirely by electricity and readily affordable, with tax-paid prices starting from €6,990.

There is a battery lease and insurance plan for everyone, starting from €50/month. • An urban-cycle range of 100km thanks to a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and energy recovery under deceleration. • An integrated three-metre long charging cable compatible with household 220V sockets for a complete battery charge in 3½ hours. • Safe & comfortable, with a level of performance similar to that of a 125cc scooter, & always fun to drive. Twizy is a new, simple and effective solution for motoring in built-up areas and confirms Renault’s status as a truly innovative manufacturer. Customers have a choice of two motors and three equipment levels, with few options. TWIZY = TWIn + eaSY:

Two seats and two versions… The top speed of Twizy ‘45’ has been capped, which means that this lightweight quadricycle can be driven from the age of 16 (road safety certificate required) in France, while holders of a valid ‘B’ driving licence are eligible to drive the 80kph version. It takes owners no time at all to familiarise themselves with Twizy which combines the comfort and safety expected of a car (four wheels, disc brakes all-round, seat belts and front airbag) with the nimble handling of a two- or three-wheeler (turning circle: 3.4 metres / easy to park: less than 2.4 metres in length). ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGES TO MEET ALL NEEDS: A choice of two motors, depending on usage and homologation: Twizy 45 (4kW/5hp, peak torque of 33Nm immediately available, top speed capped at 45kph) and Twizy (13kW/17hp, 57Nm of torque and a top speed of 80kph). • Three equipment levels: Urban (a high level of comfort and safety for the entry level version), Color (added style and colourful trim) and Technic (standard two-tone metallic paint, alloy wheels). • Useful options (doors, Twizy 45 Comfort Pack) and a long list of accessories (rear parking sensor, rear stowage, mp3/telephony kit, etc.). Plus a range of battery lease plans tailored to suit usage, distance traveled and contract duration (from 12 to 72 months for an annual distance of between 7,500 and 15,000 kilometres, plus comprehensive breakdown coverage including a 24/7 recovery service within an 80km radius of the customer’s charge station). •

TWIZY, THE JOKER IN THE CITY CAR PACK Nothing like Twizy currently exists on the market, and its numerous benefits will appeal to men, women, youngsters, tradesmen and traders alike. Order books for Twizy are already open in France, while customers who pre-booked their car will be able to take delivery of their vehicle this spring. Test drives are available at the first European test centre in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France, and media test drives are due to start after the Geneva Motor Show.

New Goldwing released. This time for the UK 2012 'Wing is coming to the UK later this year

HONDAS revamped 2012 Goldwing might have been shown elsewhere months ago but it’s finally been confirmed that the bike is coming to the UK later this year.

Featuring changes to the fairing and suspension but otherwise largely unaltered from the decadeold previous version, the new ‘Wing is clearly being challenged by a new breed of high-tech, high-performance tourers like BMW’s K1600. However, if you believe bigger is better, there’s still little to touch Honda’s two wheeled limo. Here’s what Honda has to say about the new bike’s UK release:

The latest evolution of Honda’s Goldwing for 2012 will be available in the UK at the end of 2011, featuring a range of updates for this superb machine which has been regarded as the pinnacle of two-wheel touring since its conception almost forty years ago. Several updates have refined the luxury tourer even further including more dynamic styling which provides a very modern and sleek look and improved weather protection, as well as enhanced stability due to a more streamlined airflow through the machine. Revised suspension front and rear further enhance performance, ride quality and stability and increased luggage capacity and upgraded audio and navigation systems also give this latest generation of Goldwing the continued luxurious grand touring reputation it has become renowned for over the years. As with previous Goldwing models, Honda’s superb dual combined ABS comes as standard, as does an airbag – one development in motorcycle technology which broke new ground in 2006 and to this day the Goldwing is the only motorcycle to be equipped with an airbag.

The Goldwing’s unique history dates back to 1972, when a new Honda design team set about creating a motorcycle which fulfilled their brief to develop a luxurious grand touring machine capable of covering vast distances. The first production Goldwing debuted in 1975 and since this time has seen a number of revisions to ensure the machine is kept up-to-date and in-line with customers’ requirements from a grand touring motorcycle.

There will be a range of Genuine Honda Accessories available for the 2012 Goldwing to include colourmatched rear spoiler with built-in high mount brake lights, high intensity fog lights, helmet headsets, pannier and trunk inner bags, chrome-plated covers and pillion armrest extension, to name but a few. Goldwing owners from across the globe will be meeting this weekend at the annual ‘Wing Ding’ event in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, where the latest Goldwing, joined by thousands of others from past and present, will be on show to highlight its latest credentials. Fadeless White and Graphite Black. The price will be announced closer to its launch date.

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We start with the Ed’s personal hero. As a young schoolboy back in the days of Brut his first job after school was to rush to the Headquarters of Heron Suzuki to sweep out the warehouse and as a treat each week he could go to the racing department to mingle with the bikes, of course his hero Barry Sheene with his wife Stephanie and the rest of the Suzuki Team. Barry Sheene was born in London in September 1950 and grew up in Holborn. At the age of only 20 he became the British 125cc champion and a year later finished second in the World Championships. In 1973 he won the Formula 750 European championship riding for Suzuki. However his career was threatened in 1975 after a crash at the Daytona 200 where he broke his left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs. Amazingly he was racing again only seven weeks later. It was while still on crutches that Sheene met Penthouse model Stephanie McLean during a photo shoot for Chrysler. He won five 500cc Grand Prix’s in 1976 winning him the World Championship, which he won again in 1977 after six victories. At the British Grand Prix in 1979 at Silverstone Barry Sheen’s battle with Kenny Roberts one acclaimed as one of the greatest motorcycle Grand Prix races of the 1970’s. After the 1979 season Sheen left the Heron-Suzuki factory team and shifted to a privateer on a Yamaha machine. Kenny Roberts was the reigning World 500cc Champion in 1981 for the third time but Sheene was determined to regain the title. They battled all season but were beaten to the top two spots by Marco Lucchinelli and Randy Mamola with Roberts finishing third and Sheene fourth.

With his good looks, cheeky grin and Cockney accent Sheene was one of the first riders to make money from endorsement. He tried his hand as a TV show host, including the ITV series “Just Amazing!”, interviewing people who had achieved feats of daring and survival. Sheene and his wife Stephanie also starred in the low budget film “Space Riders”. He was credited with boosting the appeal of motorcycle racing to the mass media and remains the only rider to win Grand Prix races in both the 50cc and 500cc categories. After a crash in the 1982 season Sheene retired in 1984. It was also in 1984 that Sheene married Stephanie McLean with whom he had two children, a son and a daughter. In the late 1980’s they moved to Australia hoping that the warmer climate would help alleviate some of the pain of Sheen’s injury induced arthritis. It was in Australia that he worked as a commentator for motor sport as well as a property developer. Barry Sheene died of cancer at the age of 52 in 2003.



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Imagine being herded on to a crowded lorry where you and hundreds of others were forced to stand in cramped, stuffy conditions with no room to sit down for hours on end. After this traumatic journey you are then shoved on to a ship with inadequate drinking water or space to move. Upon arrival, if you are still alive you are hustled away to slaughter where your throat is cut and you die a slow painful and frightening death. This is the fate of millions of animals each year that are exported alive across the Channel and into Europe. This practice has caught the attention of the country's top animal welfare charities, which have joined forces in a bid to ban live exports. The Handle with Care Coalition includes the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Compassion in World Farming (CWF), The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) Every year millions of animals including horses, pigs, sheep and chickens are transported thousands of miles across the world, when they could as easily be carried as meat. As a result, thousands die en route from disease, heat exhaustion, hunger and stress. Those that escape the intolerable conditions survive only to confront the butcher's knife on arrival. Speaking on behalf of the ILPH, Jo White says: "Long distance transport for slaughter is the biggest single abuse of horses in Europe, with around 100,000 involved in the trade. The ILPH is committed to ending this unnecessary suffering and with the review of EU legislation next year, urges the public to demonstrate its objection to this inhumane trade as a matter or urgency." But it not just horses that suffer this fate. Male dairy calves make up a large proportion of live exports from the UK and August to November is the peak calving season. Unwanted by the dairy industry, they are sold to veal farms on the continent.

RSPCA spokesman David Bowles says: "The long distance transport of animals is an emotive issue and one that people care passionately about. The RSPCA is urging everyone to support this campaign so that we can stop this cruel and unnecessary trade." According to the charity Compassion in World Farming, studies have shown that young calves do not cope well with long journeys: they suffer significant weight loss, are very susceptible to heat and cold and frequently become ill in the weeks after transport because their immune systems are underdeveloped. Compassion in World Farming chief executive Philip Lymbery says: "The cruelty these animals endure is completely unacceptable in the 21st century. This trade is one in which millions of animals suffer cruel and unnecessary journeys each year. It must stop." Campaigners point out that the transport of chilled and frozen meat has been going on for more than 125 years, yet millions of cattle, pigs, horses, sheep and other animals still suffer and thousands die while being transported unnecessarily long distances each year - just to be slaughtered on arrival. The coalition urges people to see the evidence at and add their name to a letter of protest that calls on governments to stop the cruel and unnecessary long distance transport of animals for slaughter. The campaign highlights four of the worst routes: sheep from Australia to the Middle East, cattle from Brazil to Lebanon, horses from Spain to Italy and pigs from Canada to Hawaii. The coalition says it is determined to stop "this cruel practice across the world and prevent more animals having to suffer this needless journey to slaughter".









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