ISSUE 21 FEBRUARY 2013
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IN THIS MON THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE AVOID FIRST DATE FAUX PAS
MORE OF US FIND LOVE ONLINE TROUBLE IN PARADISE MEN URGED TO GET BACK TO BASICS SPANISH STARS DAVID BISBAL FLAMENCO
TRAJE DE FLAMENCO
ACROSS SPAIN LANZAROTE FEBRUARY MOVIES
NTHS ISSUE WALKING IMPROVES HEALTH
HAND IN GLOVE FOR BEAUTY
FASHION NEEDS TO GROW UP SAFE CHAT OR FREE CHAT BROADBAND BEFORE BEER YOUNGSTERS SAVVY ABOUT SAVING
FEBRUARY CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS MOBILES DRIVING MOTORIST TO DISTRACTION RECIPES CARING FOR OUR CANINES TEETH
Dear Subscriber, Welcome to ACROSS SPAINS February Valentine Issue. Along with our usual features like the February movie releases, book reviews, celebrity birthdays, horoscopes, beauty, menus etc. we have articles especially for all the lovers. We want to wish all our readers a VERY HAPPY
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THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE February has long been celebrated as a month of romance. St Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, mostly in the West. St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine? One legends says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied the Emperor and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Emperor Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasise his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. By the Middle Ages Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France. At this time is was believed that February 14th was the beginning of birds mating season, which added to the idea that this should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or hand-written notes and by the 1900s printed cards began to replace written letters. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase approximately 85% of all valentines.
First dates can often feel like a minefield of potential faux pas and blunders that may convince a potential suitor that a second date is not a wise idea. It can be difficult to know which areas are off-limits for conversation on a first date, especially when the onus is on getting to know someone. Follow these tips on what to avoid, compiled by the dating experts at introduction agency Bowes Lyon Partnership, to escape first date embarrassment and secure a second meeting. RELIGION It affects people in a whole manner of different ways, and whether an individual is religious or not, they are sure to have some views on beliefs and faith. In certain circumstances, debate about religion can actually create stimulating and interesting conversation, but laying all beliefs and strong opinions bare on a first date can end in disaster. No two opinions on religion are the same, and a heated argument within hours of meeting someone doesn't spell an automatic second date, so it is wise to steer away from deep conversation about this topic until a little further along the line. POLITICS As is the case with religion, the vast majority of people have immovable opinion about politics, and so it is unwise to descend into outright debate or even argument on a first date. The first date atmosphere should be light and flirty, with friendly conversation about topics which can remain neutral; politics do not fall under any of these categories. In the long run, someone's political views will probably not be enough to end a relationship, and so holding off on deep discussions about party politics can be eschewed for the first date at least. PAST RELATIONSHIPS Everyone has had relationships, with some good and some bad experiences all round. It is inevitable that, at some point, should the relationship be successful, conversation about exes will eventually come to light. Regardless, any mention of previous relationships on a first date should be kept light and broad, without too much detail. Should the first date go well, there is plenty of time to share details of misfortune with previous partners, but spilling out the minutiae of a recent messy divorce can be a serious faux pas in dating terms. MONEY In-depth discussions about money and how much of it one possesses can be considered rude at the best of times, and should certainly not be brought up on a first date. Financial issues should remain private until such a time as is appropriate; bragging about having a lot of money can come across as cocky or arrogant, whilst mentioning not having enough could look as though you are trying to evade splitting the bill come the end of the date! To browse more dating tips visit http://www.bowes-lyonpartnership.co.uk/
Over the past decade, online dating has gone from being something that was frowned upon or considered a little kooky or even dangerous, to something that most people think is a normal way to meet a partner, In fact, a recent survey by the Oxford Internet Institute reveals that over a third of us have tried online dating, with users in their 40s and above being the most likely to have signed up to a dating website. For women in particular, the attractions of online dating often revolve around security issues and intentional dating rather than leaving things to chance. Whereas younger people are more likely to take an attitude of "I'll meet someone at some point", older people are far more focused on finding a partner by actively going out and looking, rather than passively waiting for a potential mate to appear in their life. The rise of online dating appears a trend which is likely to continue over the next few years, as more and more people meet their partners through this medium and success stories continue to come out.
Brand new dating website Love is Dating has just launched with the aim of bringing together more couples. Spokeswoman Karen Barr says â€œTen years ago, if you told someone that you met your partner online, you would often be the recipient of a shocked look or some rather prurient questions. But as the internet has become so much more a part of people's lives, internet dating has lost that sort of nerdy or seedy aura that it used to have and is now accepted as a very efficient and safe way to meet potential partners. In another 10 years' time we might all be asking not 'How did you meet?' but 'What site did you meet on?' We believe the right relationship makes you happy. And everyone needs a little happiness in their lives. But there's no point in joining an online dating site if you aren't proactive. It's no good putting together the perfect profile and then sitting waiting for the emails to come flooding in. If you want to get back in the dating game, you have to email the people who you find attractive. Don't worry if they don't reply - there are plenty more fish in the virtual sea. It's also important to tailor your email. A generic copy and paste job can be detected a mile off and is pretty insulting. Put a bit of time in and make it personal - it's much more likely to pay off. But remember not to tell them your life story! At this stage it's advisable not to mention your ex - it's a sure sign that you're still focused on a past relationship. Use that first email as a chance to spark their curiosity. Keep it clean, polite and to the point and throw in a little humour if possible. It is supposed to be fun!
As much as we look forward our annual family breaks, sadly it's not all fun in the sun. Holidays should be a relaxing time but new statistics suggest families are struggling to cope with all that extra time together. Figures from relationship support service - theCoupleConnection.net - show an increase in demand in calls for advice after holiday periods - summer, Christmas and Easter breaks. The spike in traffic suggests holidays lead to increased stress and more arguments for families, causing them to seek relationship support to help put things right as they settle back into a routine. Research has found that two thirds of couples end up arguing once while supposedly away enjoying themselves, with one in four having lost the rag by the third day. But with families working harder than ever throughout the year, by the time holidays come round there's high expectations for that precious time off. Already exhausted and potentially irritable, it's hardly surprising that even minor setbacks can lead to frayed tempers and the onset of arguments. While women blamed alcohol for causing arguments more than anything else, green-eyed men claim their partner checking out potential partners on the beach was the usual trigger. An unhappy 50% fell out before they'd even left home, with more than half arguing over possible destinations and 37% having a tiff over the often frustrating booking process. Money worries also cause couples to argue about their break and the lucky ones who do get away often find they're unable to switch off from work for fear of falling behind. Blackberries on the beach and work calls from the sun lounger are often a source of resentment for partners who feel their other half's work will always take priority, even on holiday. Thankfully, the online service has some tips for couples worried that excess baggage and bickering children might put a dampener on their quality time together.
Remember the issues you face on holiday are largely the same ones you deal with at home. Expect that they'll crop up, that way they won't overshadow everything else. Try to postpone arguments. If a conversation starts to get heated try saying something like: If we carry on with this conversation it'll turn into an argument. Let's not spoil the day while we're on holiday. Shall we drop it for now and pick it up again once we're home? Very few arguments suffer from being postponed; most of the time you won't care enough to revisit it at a later date. Decide when to switch off. It's unfair on your partner to constantly check work emails while you're supposed to be spending quality time together. So switch off the Blackberry, and if you really must check in with work schedule an hour in the morning or evening to focus on it so it doesn't detract from the rest of your time together. Schedule some me time. If you're busy at home it means you're not used to living in each other's pockets, so set some time aside when you can pursue your own interests. A morning swim or an afternoon stroll round the shops can give you some much needed space.
The overwhelming success of Downton Abbey is feeding a national yearning for a time when etiquette and respect were more valued than they are today. This hankering for the decorum of days gone by is hardly surprising given that you only need to get on a crowded train to witness the fact that there are very few true gentlemen left with only four per cent of men willing to give up their seat for a pregnant woman or elderly person. Research reveals that the such civil behaviour is, however, becoming lost in today's modern hectic world and gentlemanly ways are in serious danger of being forgotten at a time when they are needed most. In fact a study has discovered that 46 per cent of men admit to spitting in public, only 40 per cent regularly hold doors open for women and just four per cent claim they never swear in public. The study was carried out by socked.co.uk, which describes itself as the black sock subscription service which aims to rid the world of odd socks and bad manners. Managing Director Mark Hall comments: It's shameful that as a society we have let our standards slip. Visitors from overseas associate Great Britain as a place filled with discerning gents with impeccable manners but unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth.
As well as ensuring that customers never have the misfortune of wearing odd socks through a monthly sock subscription, the company aims to teach men etiquette via website tips that are guaranteed to turn any man into a gentleman. Here are their five top tips on how to be a gentleman: 1. Look after your appearance: a gentleman would never wear odd socks. Take pride in how you look when you go out in the world because it shows respect to others. 2. It's rude to curse: swearing, as your mother will tell you, is a no in all circumstances. By cursing you are merely showing you have a distinct lack of vocabulary and an inability to express your thoughts appropriately. Furthermore, others will only remember you for your crudeness and vulgarity. 3. Let others speak: always be courteous and let others finish what they are saying before adding your comments. To break this rule is a sign of poor social skills and a distinct lack of etiquette to both the person talking and to those listening. If, however, you want to be seen as rude and egotistical you may do so by interrupting others. 4. Do not spit. This should go without saying but research shows men engage in this disgusting practice subconsciously. Spitting is a horrid habit and is not advised under any circumstances unless you want to look like you were raised in a sewer. 5. Do not shout: this does nothing but raise the stress levels among your current company and those in close vicinity. It implies that you are rude, show no consideration to others and cannot reason with others so rely instead on brute force to get your point across. Hall points out that there are still some notable gentlemen who have taken notice of this good advice. Richard Reed from the Innocent drinks company remarked on his Twitter account recently: I would just like to apologise for swearing on national television, my mum is going to kill me.
DAVID BISBAL The Grammy winning pop singer was born on June 5th 1979 in Almeria, Spain. During his childhood he showed a talent for performing, but was always very shy about doing so. After leaving school and working as a gardener at the municipal nursery in Almeria David began working in Orchestra Expressions, a band very popular in Almeria. He gradually began to develop as a singer and to discover his passion for music. In 2001, David was one of 16 contestants from the first Spanish edition of ‘Idol’ contest. He came in second place. David signed a contract with Vale Music and released his first album recorded in Miami under the title “Corazon Latino” with Kike Santander. The album became 7 times platinum by the summer of 2002 after topping the Spanish charts. The first single form the album called Ave Maria, had a phenomenal success.
On September 3rd 2003 David won the Latin Grammies held in Miami from the category “Best New Artist”. He launched a big promotional tour n Latin America with sold out concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. In 2008 he recorded “Hate That I Love You”, a Spanglish version with Rihanna. He achieved European success in England, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Romania and Japan. In 2009 her recorded “Sufriras” a Spanglish duet with singer Pixie Lott. As of 2012, David Bisbal has sold more than 5 million records in Spain and America, getting 35 Platinum albums, 17 gold and 2 diamonds. He has toured throughout Europe and Latin America and is now considered to be a crossover international artist.
Flamenco is a genre of Spanish music, song and dance from Andalusia in southern Spain that includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre grew out of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles. In recent years flamenco has become popular all over the world and in taught in many countries: in Japan there are more academies than there are in Spain. The word flamenco was not recorded as a musical and dance term until the late 18th century. Flamenco performance has evolved during the history of this musical genre. In the beginning, during the late 18th century) songs were sung without any guitar accompaniment. During the 19th century, the guitar was used to accompany songs and since the second half of the 19th century, the solo guitar is played in flamenco concerts. Today most guitarists undergo rigorous professional training and often can read and play music in other styles and many dancers take courses in ballet and contemporary dance as well as flamenco. A typical flamenco recital with voice and guitar accompaniment, comprises a series of pieces (not exactly â€œsongsâ€?) in different palos. Each song consists of a set of verses, which are punctuated by guitar interludes called falsetas.
Every Sunday at LINDAS BAR, Fuengirola Every Monday at BUZBYS BAR, Benelmadena Every Tuesday at THE IRISH AFFAIR, Torremolinos Every second Thursday at LOS AMIGOS BEACH CLUB, El Faro Every Second Friday at LA QUINTA, Benelmadena
The traje de flamenco is the most characteristic element of flamenco. It is a long dress that reaches to the ankle and which is adorned with ruffles in both the skirt and sleeve. It is typically bright coloured and may be either plain or patterned, with the most typical being the polka dotted traje de lunares. Traditionally the outfit is worn with hair up in a bun and is accompanied by a mantle worn over the shoulders. The outfit was originally worn by Spanish Gypsies but is now generally thought of as typically Andalusian and is particularly associated with Andalusian festivals such as the Seville Fair. The outfit originated in the late 19th and early 20th century when women vendors dressed in modest calico gowns adorned with ruffles came to the fairs along with livestock traders. In time, women of the propertied classes copied these outfits. Ever since the Seville Fair of 1929, the traje de flamenco has had a status as the official outfit of the event. The traje de flamenco has undergone changes over the century for example in the 1960s and 70s the skirts got shorter, with skirts reaching only to the middle of the calf or even the knee. Beginning in the 1970s the hemlines dropped back to the ankle. In the early 21st century there are a wide variety of designs of traje de flamenco for women and girls. They come in a variety of colours, plain or patterned with short or long sleeves and more or fewer ruffles. The outfit has inspired numerous Spanish and international fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano, Valentino Garavani and Tom Ford.
Lanzarote it the easternmost of the Canary Islands. It is the fourth largest of the islands. Lanzarote has a large number and variety of beaches along its coastlines from fine white or black sand to calm water or waves. The municipality of Tias, around Puerto del Carmen, once a little fishing village, has now become one of the most important tourists meccas. Its coast is a succession of marvellous beaches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings. Some of Lanzarote’s best beaches are here with waters that are calm all year. The most symbolic sights on Lanzarote are those created by the dynamic union between lava and sea. This unique “lunar” landscape has been featured in several well-known movies including Krull, Enemy Mine, and One Million Years B.C. because of its unusual visual impact. The island was also the filming location for the videos for the Stone Roses singles “Fools Gold” and “I Wanna Be Adored”. Many of the islands more interesting buildings were created by the painter, sculptor, architect and artist Cesar Manrique, a native of Lanzarote. These places are part of the Centres for Art, Culture and Tourism.
Teguise, the old capital of Lanzarote until 1852, has become one of the main tourist and cultural centres on the island. It sits in the centre of the island and its streets, palaces, convents and squares stand witness to the passing of the centuries. The Villa de Teguise is a major tourist and cultural centre, which hosts the largest outdoor flea market on the island, where you can find all kinds of goods from crafts, textiles, art, decorations and food. It is held every Sunday morning and always attracts large crowds and is the perfect place to buy gifts or souvenirs.
The history of the Canaries is marked by pirate incursions, which date back to pre-Hispanic times. The fortress that stands at the top of Guanapay volcano is the result of a series of architectural changes, which started in the 15th century when an impenetrable fortress was built against the constant attacks upon Lanzarote by pirates. Today the Castillo de Santa Barbara is home to the Piracy Museum. Nightlife in Lanzarote is divided between the capital, Arrecife and the surrounding tourist areas. Bars and discos in Arrecife are located on Jose Antonio Street. In Puerto del Carman the action is along Las Playas Avenue or the old port, while Islas Canaries Avenue in Costa Teguise is lined with bars. As well, you can discover some unusual nightlife, places dug into volcanic rock right on the beach.
Due to the increase of visitors and residents throughout Europe, Lanzarote is introducing even more international food as well as traditional Canarian food that can be found and enjoyed in different restaurants on the island. The most famous local dishes include Sancocho, a stew of fish, “mojo” sauce or “gofio” a corn flour that is used as an accompaniment to any meal or drink. In Lanzarote you will find several shopping and leisure centres as well as an array of stores and boutiques selling all kinds of goods from perfumes, clothes, jewellery and electrical equipment. The shopping districts are located in the main resorts. There are also theme parks including Aqualava Waterpark, the newest water park in Lanzarote with attractions such as Slow river, wave pool, children's water castles, giant slides, Space Bowl, fast slides, ramps and slides for children. There is also a modern restaurant with varied cuisine. At Aquarium de Lanzarote you can see the wonders of the marine world. It is the largest aquarium in the Canary Islands with more than one million litres of water, distributed in 3 aquarium where you can see hundreds of marine species.
STAND UP GUYS
Director: Fisher Stevens Starring: Al Pacino Christopher Walken Julianna Margulies Alan Arkin Addison Timlin Release Date: February 1st 2013
Val is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates. His best friend Doc is there to pick him up, and the two soon re-team with another old pal, Hirsch. Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by. And despite their age, their capacity for mayhem is still very much alive and well – bullets fly as they make a hilariously valiant effort to compensate for the decades of crime, drugs and sex they’ve missed. But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret – a former mob boss has put him in an impossible quandary, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys’ legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.
IDENTITY THIEF Directed By: Seth Gordon Starring: Jason Bateman Melissa McCarthy John Cho Clark Duke Amanda Peet Jon Favreau Release Date: February 8th 2013
Unlimited funds have allowed Diana (Melissa McCarthy) to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where the queen of retail buys whatever strikes her fancy. There’s only one glitch: the ID she’s using to finance these sprees reads “Sandy Bigelow Patterson” ..and it belongs to an account rep (Jason Bateman) who lives halfway across the U.S. With only one week to hunt down the con artist before his world implodes, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with an all-access pass to his life. And he attempts to bribe, coax and wrangle her the 2,000 miles to Denver, one easy target will discover just how tough it is to get your name back.
As the age-old Greek dramatist's adage goes, only a handful of truly original tales have ever been penned. The result means that thousands of years on, authors are always eager to prove the saying wrong, weaving narratives that don't adhere to any rituals of genre. Irrespective of post-modernism in literature though, sometimes the simplest stories are the best. And, despite being riddled with academic references to the sciences, in many ways the latest from Will Adams matches this blueprint, albeit in a rather deceptive way. Because, ultimately, what the author has provided us with is a suspenseful pursuit across country and continent in the timeless thriller vein. Luke Hayward finds himself somewhat adrift in the world. Blacklisted from academia, after spending his life devoted to further education this doesn't bode well for his financial self sufficiency, not least if current real-world jobless figures are anything to be believed. Still, this is a work of fiction, and therefore it isn't long before an opportunity arises for the out of luck professor to make a not-so-quick buck. Of course his original vocation would no doubt have made him rather interested in helping out, even if the monetary offering wasn't much of a lure. His mission, you see, is to recover Isaac Newton's lost papers; scrawls, scribbles, notes and theses that (apparently) lie at the centre of a much darker mystery. Needless to say, we soon find ourselves being thrust into this unknown as Adams takes through the cutthroat world of knowledge, and its perceived power. A chance finding in an attic opens the route map to the dangerous destination, or rather several, as Luke explores connections between Oxford, London, and the Old City of Jerusalem whilst on his hunt. Which is a good thing, affording the book a great scope in terms of where its plot could go. Covering miles and millions of mathematical equations the pace is notably breathless considering the relatively staid nature of logic and the like, spurred on by the fact a fundamentalist madman must be stopped before it's all a little too late. Quite how such extremist characters fit in with the experiments and calculations of Newton is the centre of this shrubbery maze, and so to divulge would be tantamount to ruining the plot. Deftly penned, and possessing enough intelligence to ensure readers won't feel like this is just another one of those internationally-set, investigator in search of historical relic type tales (mentioning no names), if you want a page turner then look no further this month.
WALKING IMPROVES GENERAL HEALTH & WELL BEING The importance of regular exercise and a good diet is well-known and both are documented as aides to a long and healthy life. While most of us can manage the diet side of things perfectly well and fit our nutritional needs around our lifestyle, when it comes to doing the same with exercise many of us are sadly lacking. Contrary to popular belief, exercise does not have to be regimented or expensive, requiring us to sign up for numerous classes or hours at the gym; one of the simplest, best and cheapest forms of regular exercise is walking, something most of us do every day without even thinking about it. Walking can easily be fitted into a daily routine by most, whether you're a stay-at-home Mum, a busy professional or a retiree. It can be done with others, alone, or even with your dog, and doesn't require a personal trainer. It improves lung and heart function and strengthens the muscles in the lower body, and because walking is a load-bearing activity it can help with poor bone density, making it particularly beneficial for older people. In short, we can all benefit from walking. There are many opportunities in the day to take a walk and it doesn't have to be chore. Starting a walking programme is as easy as walking to the local shops and walking the children to school rather than driving or taking a bus. Begin by taking a walk in your lunch break and see the increase in your mental performance at work during the afternoon, or walk in the evening and experience a much better quality of sleep. Walking in open countryside or the local park adds another pleasant dimension to your exercise. But while you take in the beauty of the local flora and fauna along your chosen route, focusing on the quality and distance of your walking can dramatically benefit your wellbeing and increase fitness. After a few weeks of easing your self into the habit, try to walk more briskly and add some uphill stretches into your route for extra benefit. This will help burn off calories and increase cardiovascular fitness, and once a good level has been reached, try power walking at as fast a pace as you can manage during the middle section of your walk. Enjoy striding out, getting fresh air in your lungs and appreciating your surroundings as you go along. You will soon find that you start to look forward to your daily walk, and you will certainly notice the difference in your general health. At this point you may consider joining a rambling club to enjoy your new found exercise with others. Ramblers meet for regular walks in stunning surroundings, and tackle walks for all levels of fitness. You may even find you make some new friends to share your new exercise regime with.
Having beautiful hands is big business. They are the first part of the body to show your age and image-conscious women spend millions of pounds every year on products which promise to keep their hands looking young and wrinkle-free. As well as smooth skin, nail art is the new must-have, with many women desiring mini works of art at their fingertips and happily spending hours and money! - in nail bars having their talons primped, primed and painted with all the latest fashionable designs. Our hands are at the mercy of all sorts of everyday aggressors, from the weather to household detergents. We wear gloves for gardening so that we are not stung by nettles and scratched by brambles and we don't think twice about pulling on our woolly mitts outdoors in winter to keep our hands safe from the cold and ravages of the harsh climate.
But many of us neglect our hands when we are indoors. It's not only cleaning agents that can be extremely harsh on both nails and hands; simply exposing them to water makes your nails swell and then shrink back as they dry, contributing to brittle nails. As well as beauty we need to be aware of hand hygiene, considered to be one of the biggest areas in the field of infection control, notably in hospitals, restaurants and care homes.
Sanitized gel is widely used to combat germs. But making sure you have a regular supply of rubber gloves of various varieties means all you need to do is just slip on a pair to give yourself peace of mind that you are doing your best to keep those bacteria at bay and ensure your hands and nails stay looking lovely.
There are many types of gloves available in the marketplace, from heavy duty to lightweight and even close-clinging disposables which allow greater sensitivity and are ideal when preparing food, hand-washing delicate items of clothing or maybe dusting precious ornaments. Use the tougher gloves for heavy-duty cleaning: keep a pair in the bathroom and at least a couple of pairs in the kitchen for different tasks. As well as keeping your hands hygienic, another major bonus of using rubber gloves is that you never have to take off your precious rings to do your housework. We all know that washing up and other tasks can scratch and chip precious stones, loosen them from their settings or even result in them falling out and so many of us take our rings off beforehand. But one of the easiest ways to lose a ring is to remove it to do the chores and then forget where you have left it only to have it vanish forever. Investing in some rubber gloves not only saves your hands - it saves your jewellery too! Here are a few more simple tips to help keep your hands looking their best: Moisturise often with hand cream - keep bottles of it handy in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. Use sunscreen lotion on hands to guard against ageing sun damage. Pat your hands dry frequently to avoid fungal infections. Use special treatments such as a warm oil bath and herbal therapies to keep your hands soft. Don't use acetone polish removers as they dry out nails. Dip your fingertips in lukewarm olive oil for stronger nails. Do not remove cuticles they are there to protect your nails from infection. Wear gloves at all times while doing gardening, washing dishes or any grubby chores to protect your hands from dust, pollution and chemical reactions.
The tide is definitely turning against the use of very young, very skinny models as Brits cast aside unrealistic aspirations and open their minds to the natural look. There is strong public consensus with 80% of Brits saying fashion designers should not be allowed to use under 16s on the catwalk, and an equal number wanting to see an end to size zero models on the runway, according to the latest YouGov poll. Interestingly, almost eight out of 10 people feel that designers would actually help, rather than hinder, their business by using more average-sized women in fashion shows. Debates surrounding the size and ages of models appearing on the global catwalks are as frequent as the shows themselves, with proposals to ban models aged under 16 and those below a certain Body Mass Index (BMI) regularly suggested as a way to legislate the controversial industry. At this year's New York Fashion Week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America tried to limit models to those aged over 16, while in Madrid Fashion Week organisers controversially banned models from the catwalk if their BMI dropped below 18 - the lowest normal limit. But while models under 16 were officially banned in the capital in 2007, London has still to make any moves towards setting a weight or size limit for catwalk models, with many designers adding fuel to the debate by still reportedly refusing to showcase their clothes on models even slightly closer to the UK average size 16.
A report published last year also suggested that too-large women on the catwalk wouldn't necessarily promote a healthier body image than continuing to use their too-slim colleagues. The YouGov survey, conducted in the run-up to Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, echoes the findings of ITV morning show Lorraine 's search for the UK's most naturally beautiful people, known as the 'Lorraine: Naked' competition. Kate Middleton - the Duchess of Cambridge - was named the most naturally beautiful female British female celebrity, gaining 33% of votes from the 1,752 viewers who took part and coming out streets ahead of her closest rivals, This Morning host Holly Willoughby, Harry Potter star Emma Watson and her own sister Pippa, who drew 17, 16 and 15% of the votes respectively. Also polling 15% were actress Kate Winslet, singer and former X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole, and singer, TV presenter and model Myleene Klass. A total of 14% voted for curvy model Kelly Brook and actress Helen Mirren. Famously sensual TV chef and food writer Nigella Lawson follows on 13% while pop sensation Adele tied with Strictly Come Dancing's Alesha Dixon and fellow Strictly star and EastEnders actress Kara Tointon with seven per cent of the votes. Supermodel Kate Moss received just four per cent of the votes, along with singer Charlotte Church, and R'n'B star and former X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.
Young children are spending more time playing online, but do parents really know what they're up to - or even understand the benefits and the risks? According to new research, over half of UK parents of primary school children don't know the difference between safe chat - a pre-selected list of messages or monitored chat - and free chat, where kids are able to express themselves unrestricted. Interestingly, the research found that dads were more clued up than mums about what the two forms of online chat were, with 58% of dads knowing the difference compared with only 42% of mums. Parents from the East Midlands fared worst in the country when it came to understanding how safe and free chat differs, with 67% of mums and dads confessing to not knowing the difference, while parents in the South West and London - both on 57% - followed closely behind. East Anglian and Welsh parents were revealed as the most knowledgeable when it came to appreciating the different online 'chat' options, at 65% and 63% respectively.
The research commissioned by Petra's Planet, a new safe virtual world for children to explore and learn about different cultures around the world, socialise and have fun online, interviewed 500 parents of primary school children from around the country. Tomi Heinonen, CEO of Dramaforum, the company behind Petra's Planet was surprised by the findings. He says: "It is a concern that over 50% of parents with children aged 6-11 don't understand the difference between safe and free chat. If children are on a virtual world that allows free chat they could be communicating freely with people they don't know and who might not always be who they purport to be. Children are so savvy with their computer skills that they often find a way around the monitored chat. "It's crucial that parents understand this fundamental difference and can guide their children accordingly. Petra's Planet is aimed at 6-11 year olds and in order to guarantee children's safety, the virtual world only has safe chat in the form of 'chat trees' which uses a pre-defined list of greetings, questions, expressions and statements. "This makes it 100% safe and also complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The safety of young children is of paramount importance to us and therefore we only use chat trees for the time being. This lets children explore freely in a safe, fun environment." Petra's Planet was created by Dramaforum Oy, a Finnish media company specialising in children's products and was inspired by Eevamaria Halttunen's book series about the adventures of seven-year-old Petra who finds a way to travel around the globe. The virtual world continues the theme of curiosity, safety and adventure and the team are passionate about valuing childhood, partnering with UNICEF in Finland, and keeping Petra's Planet as commercially free as possible. The NSPCC recommends parents talk to their children about the dangers posed by the internet and make sure they know what to do if they become worried or concerned about something online. The charity advises that you should explain that anything shared online or by mobile phone could end up being seen by anyone and understand what your child is doing online and which websites they visit. Parents are also advised to put the computer in the kitchen or living room where the whole family can see it, not out of sight in a bedroom, and use filtering software to block inappropriate sites.
Forget breathtaking views, Jacuzzis and en-suite bathrooms - what most house-hunters really want is fast and reliable broadband. A good broadband service now beats off-street parking and access to local amenities as one of the vital deciding factors for people buying a new house. The findings are the result of a nationwide study of 1,500 homebuyers and the first trial by independent estate agents to test the impact of broadband on potential buyers by including internet speeds in their adverts. Knowing that a property has good broadband speeds was routinely ranked as more important than traditional selling points such as off street parking, and access to amenities like shops and a local pub. One in five questioned had actively checked broadband speeds when evaluating a house - even before doing a recce of the local area. And one in 10 house-hunters admitted they had walked away from properties with a poor internet connection. Proving how important buyers consider good broadband, one in five new movers revealed they arranged an internet provider before connecting their gas or TV service. In fact, setting up a broadband connection was second only to finding a new electricity supplier in the priorities pecking order. As well as making a property more appealing, the study also revealed that broadband could help add to house values. One in five prospective buyers said they would be happy to pay more for a property, with a third willing to pay between two and five per cent extra, to have a high speed broadband connection - that's an extra ÂŁ15,000 on a ÂŁ300,000 home. The study carried out by broadbandchoices.co.uk and property expert Henry Pryor was supplemented by a trial with independent estate agents, Delaney's, in which broadband speeds were included in online house adverts. This discovered that adverts in which broadband details were included along with price, room sizes and kitchen descriptions attracted twice as many viewing requests as those without.
Rob Delaney, managing director of the Essex company, comments: "As with south-facing gardens and good schools, people are now on the hunt for homes with fast broadband - it's a sign of the times." â€œBut we were still really surprised with the results of this trial. We're now displaying broadband speeds on all our property details going forward, as it's clear that's what customers are looking for."
The changing economic climate has also played a part in this shift in priorities as people don't just rely on a good internet connection for browsing the web and TV but also for working from home. Dominic Baliszewski, of broadbandchoices.co.uk, adds: "Broadband has become something that people are not prepared to live without, so it's little wonder it's now such a major factor for homebuyers - much like running water or a central heating system." â€œIt's very easy to check broadband speeds in a specific area so we'd urge potential home buyers to do this rather than be left disappointed." The research findings have prompted broadbandchoices.co.uk to include all fibre optic package details on its Ofcom-accredited postcode search tool, which lets homebuyers check the broadband deals by price and speed available at their prospective new home. The site also offers a broadband speed testers for users to check their existing connection speed from anywhere in the UK - useful for those selling their homes. Both services are available at www.broadbandchoices.co.uk
Is there confusion again over Spain's banks? If so its not really new. On one hand, the Bank of Spain said in mid-January that non-performing loans were on the increase and that more than one in nine would probably not be repaid. On the other, the central bank said at the same time that Spanish banks were less dependent on emergency funding from the European Central Bank. In December they borrowed â‚Ź357bn, appreciably less than the â‚Ź411bn they took last August. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is relaxed. He is "absolutely convinced that Spanish financial institutions will not require any more funds than they were given already" because they have been subject to a "complete striptease" laying bare their financial circumstances. The prime minister's optimism is shared, though perhaps with more caution, by investors. Since the beginning of the year they have been buying bank shares, lifting the value of Bankinter by a third and Banco Popular Espanol by a quarter. Investors are also much readier to hold Spanish bonds. Six months ago they were demanding a return of over 7% on their five-year loans to the government. Today they are content with less than 4%. The change is symptomatic of a warmer attitude among investors towards the euro. A month ago it looked as if 2013 would turn out to be a better year for the single currency and halfway through January that is proving to be true. Since the turn of the year the euro has strengthened by about five and a half cents against the pound and by about four cents against the US dollar. It has done so mostly as a result of improved sentiment. Strange to think it was about twelve months ago when most of the world were questioning the very survival of the single currency with a full complement of member states. Today it feels reasonable to expect that singleness to continue, as a result of the determination of EU leaders and central bankers to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. Okay so what else is happening? Interestingly instead, it is the pound that must face the tough questions. Even though the UK economy appears to be in better shape than Euroland, investors are not satisfied. They fear a third dip into recession. They fear the downgrade of Britain's AAA credit rating that might follow that dip. They fear the antiEurope rhetoric in Westminster and the media. And because of those fears their appetite for sterling has faded. Add to this the fear of further job losses in the Financial Services sector and the high street disappearing unemployment may still have a further negative impact upon the UK's timetable for recovery. So half the euros performance against sterling this year is down to improved demand for the single currency; the other half is the result of investors' disenchantment with the pound. Both attitudes could change. It would be unusual if there were not some new panic in Euroland before too many months have gone by. The UK economy might pick up speed once the cold weather has passed and people are allowed to go back to work and school.
Stateside the new holiday destination of " The Fiscal Cliff" seems to have disappeared and the republicans have provided Mr Obama a little bit longer to sort out the economy and the debt ceiling which is standing around $17trillion. Not sure how many zeros a in a trillion but it’s a lot. What the bet it could hit £20 trillion. In fairness however housing, manufacturing and employment opportunities are all moving in the right way for the citizens of the USA. The big decision if you are transferring money is timing so if you want to make more of your money and take expert guidance talk to our preferred currency specialist Moneycorp. They helped clients move over £11billion last year. They have been helping clients with their overseas money transfers for over 33 years and making pensions and living expenses stretch that little bit further.
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Young people have a thing or two to teach their elders about being financially savvy. Whether it's the impact of the economic climate or seeing their parents struggle to make ends meet, the younger generation is getting the message about overspending and the necessity of saving rather than borrowing. Out of 1,000 parents and children who participated in a savings survey, 81 per cent of youngsters say they have their own bank accounts and have deposited money over the last year. By comparison the average adult consumer has borrowed ÂŁ4,221, not counting their mortgage. Even children who are too young to get summer jobs are finding ways to save, with 78 per cent saying they save some or all of their pocket money, according to the research by savings website MyFamilyClub. Scottish kids are revealed as the best at squirreling something away for a rainy day - 89 per cent of them say they have stashed cash in the last year. Children in the South West are most likely to have their own bank account with 84 per cent in charge of their banking arrangements compared with just 65 per cent of children in the Midlands. Of course, not all children are able to save because of their family's financial situation although many schemes require less than ÂŁ10 per month in contributions. But 15 per cent of them don't receive any pocket money at all while a concerning 16 per cent say they are worried about money. The findings are backed by research from Mintel which shows that young consumers are investing in their savings more than the population as a whole. While one in five Brits are increasing the amount they save, this rises to more than one in three of 18 to 24-year-olds.
The appetite for saving has increased as we try to control our craving for credit as seven in 10 UK consumers say they are trying to borrow or use credit facilities less during the downturn. Four in ten have actively taken steps to reduce their exposure to credit - rising to half of those aged between 35 and 44. In addition, seven out of 10 Brits say they are keeping a closer eye on their budgets in a bid to be prudent and financially savvy. But while Brits are taking a more cautious approach to debt, credit ownership remains widespread. Seven in ten of the online population owe money on at least one form of credit, more than three in five have unsecured debt on credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans and three in 10 have some form of secured credit such as a mortgage. Indeed some parents are so strapped for cash that they are being forced to plunder their children's savings. Around 10 per cent of parents have used their children's savings to avoid credit card debt or bank charges and one in eight borrow an average of Ă‚ÂŁ50.26 at least once a week. More than a quarter said they used the money to pay household bills, 17 per cent put petrol in the car and 16 per cent used it to put food on the table. Despite money problems over half of those asked intended to pay the money back, with 19 per cent adding interest to repayments. Such regular borrowing for essential living expenses may point to a debt problem, although 15 per cent said it was easier to borrow from their children than go to a bank or other lender. Kevin Mountford, of Moneysupermarket which conducted the research, says: It's a sign of the times when parents feeling the economic pinch have no resort but to dip into their children's savings or piggy bank.
Does the thought of slipping into your bikini or swim shorts fill you with dread? If those few pesky pounds that just won't budge are making you feel less than confident about your summer holiday, then why not kill two birds with one stone and combine a fitness programme with a holiday? The main challenges with losing weight are self-discipline, motivation and time. You need to get the right mindset, understand your eating habits and find the right balance between cardio and resistance training. The key to successful weight loss is to find a destination that will assist you with your weight loss goals to keep you focused and motivated, according to online travel agents Health and Fitness Travel. Getting in the right mind-set is crucial for losing weight says Steve Halsall, a celebrity personal trainer and spokesperson for Health and Fitness Travel, and this is where a holiday location can help. Without doubt the best and only way to lose weight and look fantastic is to get into a positive mindset. Creating goals is obvious and important; however it is not where you are in three weeks but where you are in three years that counts, he says. So if you're battling the bulge and want to try a weight-loss and fitness holiday, here are the top five destinations as recommended by Health and Fitness Travel. 1. Malaysia : The Chateau Body Sculpt Slimming The Chateau Spa and Organic Wellness Resort is the world's first organic wellness resort nestled serenely in the 150 year old tropical rainforest. Their specialised slimming plan is dedicated to improving your body contour, while toning muscles, building strength and endurance and cleansing out toxins, making you feel energized and revived. You can reach your ideal body weight and learn to control what you eat. Health and Fitness Travel offers seven nights at The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort from ÂŁ3,910pp including the body sculpt slimming programme, return flights and transfers.
2. Portugal: Longevity Essential Weight Management Located in the stunning Monchique Mountains, this luxurious wellness resort is set in a protected natural reserve with breath-taking views over the Algarve coastline. Longevity's Essential Weight Management programme is designed to guide you towards achieving and maintaining your ideal weight by identifying areas of physical imbalance and associated emotional or mental patterns. Longevity will give you the tools and help to aid the removal of excess fat, helping you to relax, rebalance, revitalize and rejuvenate. Health and Fitness Travel offers seven nights at Longevity Wellness Resort from ÂŁ1,995pp including the essential weight management programme, return flights and transfers. 3. Thailand: Absolute Sanctuary Weight Management Located on a hill in the beautiful island of Koh Samui, this health and fitness retreat makes every guest feel rejuvenated. The concept behind this programme is that effective weight management stems from a constant sense of awareness and self-control. With a combination of personalised fitness sessions, group fitness and yoga classes, cleansing therapies, nutritional supplements, crafted balanced meals, hands on cooking lessons and slimming treatments, you will be assisted in reaching your ideal weight. Health and Fitness Travel offers seven nights at Absolute Sanctuary from ÂŁ2,220pp including the weight management programme, return flights and transfers.
4. St Lucia: The Body Holiday Weight Loss With an extensive range of activities, treatments and fitness classes makes this the ideal place to achieve your weight loss goals. The options are almost limitless, from personal training to BodyStat analysis, nutritional consultations and hiking to body wraps. This tailored weight loss programme is designed to ensure you return home in the best shape possible. You will become fitter, stronger, and more physically able, as well as providing a renewed motivation. Health and Fitness Travel offers 7 nights at The Body Holiday from ÂŁ2,760pp including the weight loss programme, return flights and transfers
5. India: Ananda Weight Management Secluded in the tranquil and splendour of the Himalayas, Ananda offers a new fitness challenge, by addressing weight loss issues through gradual exercise, and personalised health and diet plans. One will engage in such activities as Yoga, detox massages and meditation. With the right guidance for physical and emotional patterns you will be able to maintain your optimal size and reach your beach body goals. Health and Fitness Travel offers 14 nights at Ananda from ÂŁ5,320pp including the weight loss programme, return flights and transfers
Underwear Dust One evening a husband, thinking he was being funny, said to his wife, 'Perhaps we should start washing your clothes in 'Slim Fast'. Maybe it would take a few inches off of your butt!' His wife was not amused, and decided that she simply couldn't let such a comment go unrewarded. The next morning the husband took a pair of his underwear out of his drawer.. 'What the heck is this?' he said to himself as a little 'dust' cloud appeared when he shook them out. 'Cathy', he hollered into the bathroom, 'Why did you put talcum powder in my underwear?' She replied with a snicker. 'It's not talcum powder; it's 'Miracle Grow'!
'Viagra' is now available in powder form for your tea. It doesn't enhance your sexual performance but it does stop your biscuit going soft.
The Importance of Walking Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at â‚Ź7000 per month. I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. again. I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.. Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate. I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them. The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good doesn't she.' If you are going to try crosscross-country skiing, start with a small country. I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,...... just getting over the hill. We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
AND Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour and by the time I leave, I look just fine.
Irishman wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test. Here is your first question, the foreman said. "Without using numbers, represent the number 9." "Without numbers?" The Irishman says? "Dat's easy." And proceeds to draw three trees. "What's this?" the boss asks. "Have you ain't got no brain? Tree and tree plus tree makes 9" says the Irishman. "Fair enough," says the boss. "Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99." The Irishman stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree... "Ere you go." The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99?" "Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, plus dirty tree. Dat makes 99." The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Irishman, so he says, "All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100." The Irishman stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, "Ere you go. One hundred." The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!" The Irishman leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and whispers, "A little dog come along and pooped by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which makes ONE HUNDRED!" A
This clever Irishman is now head of RYANAIR..!!
FEBRUARY CELEB SHAKIRA - FEBRUARY 2ND 1977 Shakira was born in Colombia and began performing in school. With her worldwide success of her first English single Whenever, Wherever, she broke through into the English speaking world. Her best selling song of the 2000s was Hips Don’t Lie. Her song Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) was chosen as the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Shakira has won 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 2 Grammy’s & 8 Latin Grammy’s.
LAURA LINNEY - FEBRUARY 5TH 1964 Linney is most known for her performances in films such as The Truman Show, Mystic River, Kinsey & Love Actually. In the television series The Big C Linney stars as a suburban wife & mother who explores the emotional ups & downs of suffering cancer. She won a Golden Globe award for her performance in January 2011. Throughout her career she has received 3 Emmy Awards, 2 Golden Globes & a Screen Actors Guild Award.
ASHTON KUTCHER - FEBRUARY 7TH 1978 In 1998 Kutcher signed with Next modelling agency in New York and appeared in ads for Calvin Klein. He played Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That 70s Show. He created, produced & hosted Punk’d and played lead roles in Hollywood films Dude, Where’s My Car, Just Married, The Butterfly Effect & What Happens In Vegas. He currently co-stars in the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Kutcher was married to actress Demi Moore for six years.
JOHN TRAVOLTA - FEBRUARY 18TH 1954 Travolta became known in the 1970s after starring in box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease. His acting career declined through the 1980s but enjoyed resurgence in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction. He went on to star in Face Off, Ladder 49, Look Who’s Talking, Get Shorty, A Civil Action, Primary Colours & The Generals Daughter. Travolta played Mrs. Edna Turnblad in the remake of Hairspray, his first musical since Grease. Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. He is a certified private pilot and owns five aircraft.
BRITY BIRTHDAYS RIHANNA - FEBRUARY 20TH 1988 Born in Barbados, Rihannas career began when she met record producer Evan Roger in 2003. At age 16, she moved to the United States to pursue a recording career. She has had several hit singles including SOS, Umbrella, Don’t Stop The Music, Rude Boy, Only Girl (In The World) and S&M. She has achieved a total of 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the youngest solo artist to achieve the feat. In 2012 Forbes ranked her as the fourth most powerful celebrity of 2012 with earnings of $53 million.
ALAN RICKMAN - FEBRUARY 21ST 1946 The English actor is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Rickman is best known for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series and as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He has been named one of the best actors to have never received an Academy Award nomination in 2010. Rickman was chosen as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history in 1995, 2009 & 2010. In 1965, at the age of 19, Rickman met his girlfriend Rima Horton. They began living together in 1977.
BILLY ZANE - FEBRUARY 24TH 1966 In 1990 Zane co-starred in the film Memphis Belle. Zane played Hughie in Dead Calm along side Nicole Kidman. He played the classic comic book hero in the big budget action film The Phantom but is probably best known for playing the millionaire Caledon Hockley in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. His role as Kate Winslet’s fiancée earned him an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Villain.
KRISTEN DAVIS – FEBRUARY 24TH 1965 The American actress first rose to prominence for playing Brooke Armstrong on Melrose Place but went on to greater success as Charlotte York Goldenblatt on HBOs Sex & the City. She received an Emmy nomination for her role as Charlotte in the final season. Davis also appeared in the Sex and the City feature films. Davis has had roles in other television series including Friends, Will and Grace and Seinfeld. In 2011, Davis adopted a daughter, Gemma Rose. They live in Los Angeles, California.
AQUARIUS This will be a fabulous month for you with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and New Moon in your sign. Take this time to start new projects and seize opportunities. You'll feel powerful and be able to attract love, money, and friendship. However, you might feel scattered and unable to focus on one thing for too long. Saturn in Scorpio will bring slow progress in your career, but you'll eventually realize your ambitions. Don't be afraid to take some risks and experiment over the coming weeks. You'll have many new ideas and be motivated to take action. Jupiter in Gemini will help to expand your love life
PISCES Jupiter will be in Gemini this month and exert a strong influence on your home and family life. Experiences will be oriented toward growth. You'll take the high road if there are any misunderstandings. Saturn in Scorpio will bring a serious outlook, and you may make plans to travel or further your education. You'll take your budget and circumstances into consideration, however. Several planets moving through Aquarius will heighten your interest in technology and science as well as things like metaphysics and astrology. Your intuition will be strong, and you may dream about the future.
ARIES A lot of planetary activity in the sign of Aquarius this month will stimulate your intuition and an interest in technology. You'll sense future trends and want to own all the latest gadgets. Connecting with others will be important, and you could get involved in humanitarian projects and causes. You'll inspire your friends and acquaintances with your experiences. Your mind will be sharp and you'll have the ability to hold the attention of others. Pluto in Capricorn will be in square to your sign. This combination could bring tension and stress over career matters
TAURUS You might feel frustrated, irritable, or tense this month with several planets moving through the sign of Aquarius. This grouping will be in square to your sign and so life might seem full of setbacks and difficult situations. The area of your life that will be most affected is career and reputation. You may have a lot of goals and plans, but you may fail to see how you can reach them. You'll feel unfocused and pulled in too many directions to be effective. This energy will bring the need to have an open mind and recognize possibilities.
GEMINI Jupiter in your sign for the next few months will help you expand your world and seize opportunities. Many new people will come into your life, and you could gain a new perspective. You might gain weight or take on too many activities under this influence. Several planets in Aquarius this month will bring out your curiosity about other countries and cultures and enhance your ability to communicate. You'll have several projects and goals, but you may have to narrow your focus if you want to get things done. You might travel with friends or loved ones.
CANCER Saturn in Scorpio will keep you grounded, especially with regard to love and romance. It might be hard to trust your love interest under this influence. Uranus in Aries will be square to your sign, and this planet will motivate you to make career changes. A group of planets moving through Aquarius will bring a strong interest in subjects like metaphysics, astrology, and life after death. You might read all you can about these ideas and debate them with others. This will be a great time to research alternative cultures and lifestyles. Take a chance and experiment.
LEO Dealing with others will make you tense and put you on edge this month. Several planets will be transiting in Aquarius and opposite your sign. You'll need to be objective and try not to let others get to you. Step back and take the time to think before you react. At the same time, you'll do everything you can to help someone in need or support a cause. Uranus in Aries will make you restless and bring the urge to travel and make changes. Saturn in Scorpio will ensure that you face challenges and learn from your experiences.
VIRGO Venus and Pluto in Capricorn will intensify romantic encounters. You might begin the month with a huge attraction to someone, only to question it as the weeks go by. A Full Moon in Virgo on February 25 will bring a tendency to be self-critical, and you could experience a lot of frustration. There will be consequences if you're too hard on others. Try not to find fault with the world around you. Recognize your own l imitations. Several planets in Aquarius will unsettle life at work. There will be many conflicting deadlines and priorities.
LIBRA Your love life will heat up this month. There will be plenty of developments, but you might feel unsettled. Try to experience as much as you can, but don't expect a serious commitment at this time. You might meet someone new, experiment with your partner, or explore your options with potential lovers. Uranus in Aries will continue to make relationships unstable. Pluto in Capricorn will bring intensity on the home front or with family members. You might need to set boundaries or make some changes. A Full Moon in Virgo on February 25 will bring on self-analysis, and you could battle self-esteem issues.
SCORPIO This will be a difficult and tense month, with strained relations with your family or someone you share your space with. Try not to focus on the little things or they could escalate into full-blown arguments. Saturn in your sign will give you a serious approach to life, and you might feel limited and restricted. This transit will be in effect for a couple of years. You could learn to become more grounded and responsible thanks to some hard lessons. A Full Moon in Virgo on February 25 could lead you to question some of the people around you.
SAGITTARIUS You may get involved in a community project or cause this month. Take the lead and organize others to help. This may be in the form of a humanitarian effort or support to a local charity. There will be many things to do, but you'll have a lot of help. Jupiter in Gemini all month will help you communicate to your partner or the public. There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss issues and find solutions to problems. Take time to listen, however, and don't do all the talking yourself. The Full Moon in Virgo on February 25 could be problematic in relation to your career or reputation.
CAPRICORN Uranus in Aries will stir up change in your home or family life. You may feel restless and want to move or rearrange your space. Pluto in your sign will contribute to this feeling. There will be tension and stress over your decisions. The Full Moon in Virgo on February 25 could bring setbacks in relation to some of your goals and plans. You might need to rethink your current direction and take a serious approach to the future. Saturn in Scorpio will help you feel committed to friends and any organization with which you're associated.
Mobile phones are now such a part of our lives that for most of us they're the last thing we see at night and the first thing we look at in the morning. Our addictive relationship with the gadget has grown in proportion to the apps we rely on to direct our daily lives - not all of which are to our benefit. The dangers of using a mobile while driving are well documented and do attract a ÂŁ60 fine, three penalty points and higher insurance premiums. Yet new research reveals that despite the practice being illegal since 2003, three quarters of British drivers see others using mobile phones on some or most journeys, while a quarter spot drivers using their mobile on every trip. And it's not just talking that's the problem - some drivers are texting, emailing, Tweeting, updating their social networks or taking photographs on the move. The AA/Populus poll of nearly 21,000 drivers found 42 per cent say they used a hand-held phone in the car even though nearly two thirds admitted it distracted them from driving. Some 20 per cent confessed to texting behind the steering wheel, four per cent admit to checking emails and two per cent have sent emails or read Twitter or Facebook updates on the move. Another worrying and morbid development is the advent of "digital rubber neckers" - drivers who feel the need to use their phones to film or photograph serious crashes on the motorway, says the motoring organisation. In one incident on the M1 in Northamptonshire, police recorded 80 drivers using their phones or cameras to photograph emergency services carry out a four and a half hour rescue of a woman trapped in her crashed truck. The seriously injured driver was eventually flown by air ambulance to hospital and survived the crash. The police have contacted most of the drivers to warn them about their illegal and irresponsible behaviour but have not brought any prosecutions. Edmund King, AA president, says: "Drivers need to concentrate on driving rather than be distracted by their digital technology. Our research shows that some drivers are now using their smart phones for more than talking on the move. It is really not smart to talk, text or tweet on the move.
"Digital rubber neckers who photograph crashes really are morbid voyeurs who should be concentrating on the road not the victims of crashes. It beggars belief that these macabre motorists should put their lives and others at risk through their lust for twisted metal. "We would like to see the police target more mobile phone abusers so that the message gets out that it is not worth hanging on the telephone while driving. However, we have seen a 29% reduction in traffic police in the last decade so their resources are stretched. "Road safety charity Brake's campaign urging drivers to put their phones out of sight and out of mind while driving warns that using a phone behind the wheel can lengthen reaction times to a similar extent to drink driving, significantly increasing the risk of crashing. The charity says unlike other types of deadly risk-taking, men and women - young and old - are almost equally guilty of using their phone behind the wheel, showing widespread misunderstanding of the dangers. Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: "Use a phone while driving and you are taking a horrendous risk with your own life and the lives of others. Many drivers who wouldn't dream of drink-driving are using phones while driving, oblivious that the effect on your reaction times can be similar. "We're urging people to drive smart, recognising that phone use at the wheel can and does destroy lives, and no call or text is ever that important. If you need to use your phone urgently, pull over somewhere safe first: it's as simple as that. We are also calling on the government to do more to tackle phone use at the wheel, including banning hands-free phones and bringing in far stiffer penalties."
While celebrity chefs across Britain have spent years on a mission to make cooking more accessible, it appears youngsters still have a way to go when it comes to the basics. Indeed, according to latest research from Mintel, nearly a quarter of 16-24 year olds confess to having problems cooking pasta correctly. And more than one in five adults, rising to two fifths of young cooks, admit making rice gives them the noodle. Some 34% of men agree that fresh pasta is easier to prepare than dry pasta - rising to 39% of 16-24s. By contrast, women, are more confident cooking dry pasta with only 28% agreeing fresh is easier to prepare. Regionally it's Londoners who have the most problems with 18% failing to capture that al dente texture, compared with just eight per cent in the north east and Scotland. However, when it comes to rice it's all change - as 35% in the east and west Midlands have difficulty with the dish, falling to 20% in London and 17% in the south east and east Anglia. Alex Beckett, Mintel's senior food analyst, says: It appears that the efforts of some of Britain's best loved chefs to make cooking easier and more accessible have gone rather off the boil. Indeed, it seems that this lack of confidence in being able to cook has resulted in an added cost being passed on, as consumers stump up for pricier chilled pasta as an easier option. That one in four rice users find it difficult to prepare rice properly is a likely barrier to more frequent usage of cheaper, dry rice. Knowing the basics of cooking from scratch rather than tearing open a pre-prepared packet could help young people improve their health as well as their bank balance." The lack of culinary skills among younger shoppers contrasts sharply with the know-how of Britain's older generation.
Just nine per cent of over-65s admit they find it hard to cook rice compared with 37% of 16-24s. And over-55s are the least likely age group to admit pasta is difficult to cook, with just four per cent of fans falling at the culinary hurdle as opposed to 22% of 16-24s. Alex adds: Britain's more mature generations appear to be the most confident in the kitchen, suggesting our growing reliance on quick-fix foods is to the detriment of basic cooking skills. Television networks are crammed with cookery shows but their main aim is to entertain rather than educate. Pasta's place as a staple of the nation is reflected in the fact that nearly a third of Brits eat it two or three times a week - rising to 38% of 16-24 year olds. But while instant packet pasta may be perceived to be the domain of younger consumers, researchers found that of the 26% who pig out eat on packet pasta - this rises to 33% of 25-44 year olds, compared to just 28% of 16-24s. The pasta and rice markets have benefited since recession as being an affordable meal solution - with 49% sales growth recorded for pasta and 26% in 2006-11. Despite some price rises, a massive 86% of those polled agree pasta is still a cheap meal solution, rising to 89% of 16-24 and 45-54 year olds. Meanwhile, rice is deemed a healthy and nutritious meal by eight in 10 people, but only 30% are convinced it's healthier than pasta and potatoes. Reflecting Britain's curry culture, Basmati tops the list of favourites with 69% tucking into the tasty accompaniment while 63% prefer long grain, 40% opt for microwavable, 28% select savoury and 27% enjoy wholegrain or brown. Thai or Jasmine at 13% and Arborio or risotto 17% are lower down the shopping list. Finally the fail safe companion of the lazy cook - instant noodles - have certainly been capitalising on demand with a 10% increase in sales last year.
WATERMELON PRAWNS A deliciously light starter, the subtle watermelon flavour really complements the delicate prawns without overpowering them. Serves two.
INGREDIENTS: 225g watermelon flesh, deseeded and cubed One tbsp vegetable oil One to two red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped One garlic clove, crushed Two tsp freshly grated ginger One tbsp finely chopped Lemongrass or one tsp Lemongrass paste 50g sugar 225g raw prawns, deveined
METHOD: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Puree watermelon in a food processor. Heat oil in a small saucepan and add chilli, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and sautĂŠ for two minutes, stirring often. Add sugar, cook for a minute until dissolved and remove from heat. Add watermelon puree and stir until blended. Transfer half mixture to a large bowl, add prawns and mix well. Cover and marinate for two hours. Cover and chill remaining sauce. Preheat grill to hot, thread prawns onto skewers and grill for four minutes each side, basting with marinade from bowl. Serve prawns with plain boiled rice with the remaining watermelon sauce on the side.
TANDOORI CHICKEN STARTER A popular and tasty dish, this succulent starter is a great way to jazz up a mid-week dinner. Serves 4.
INGREDIENTS: Eight chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into chunks
Marinade 1: Pinch of salt Half tsp garlic puree and ginger puree Squeeze of lime juice
Marinade2: Three tbsp Greek natural yoghurt Two green chillies, finely chopped One inch cube of ginger, peeled and finely chopped One handful chopped coriander One teaspoon black pepper and two of garam masala One tablespoon ground cumin and two of tandoori masala spice Half tsp ground fennel seeds, crushed Pinch white pepper 25ml mustard oil
METHOD: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8.
Mix Marinade 1 ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken pieces and rub in marinade. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Combine yoghurt with Marinade 2 ingredients. Remove chicken from Marinade 1 and add to Marinade 2. Cover bowl with cling film and leave to marinade overnight or refrigerate for six hours. 6. Remove chicken from fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Cook on BBQ on skewers for 20 minutes or pan-fry in a little hot vegetable oil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Serve with crisp green salad.
VIETNAMESE PRAWN SALAD
This is a fresh and lively salad which is perfect for a light lunch or a starter. Serves two as main, four as starter.
INGREDIENTS Dressing: One garlic clove, finely chopped One red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped One tbsp fish sauce and one of caster sugar juice of two limes 375g packet thin rice noodles, pre-cooked 180g pack cooked & peeled tiger prawns, cut in half lengthways Half a cucumber, deseeded and cut into matchsticks One carrot, cut into matchsticks Garnish: Three spring onions, finely chopped Handful of coriander, chopped Two tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed
METHOD: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Make the dressing by mashing garlic, chilli and sugar in a pestle and mortar. Add fish sauce and lime juice and mix. In a separate bowl, mix noodles and vegetables. Pour dressing over and mix well. Top with garnish ingredients and serve.
Bad breath in dogs is the butt of many a joke but in reality it's no laughing matter. Dental disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three and - just like humans - there can be serious health consequences. The sooner you start looking after your dog's teeth the better. Dogs start life with 28 baby teeth which fall out by the age of six months and are replaced by 42 permanent ones. If these baby teeth don't fall out and the permanent teeth start to grow underneath them, this can lead to problems like increased tartar, bite difficulties and gum irritation. One of the first signs of dental disease is often bad breath. Dogs with dental problems can also be reluctant to eat or play with toys, be lethargic, and have bleeding gums and eroded teeth. But the problems aren't just confined to the mouth. The heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected as mouth infections produce bacteria which can attack other parts of the body.
A vet with leading pet food manufacturer Butcher's describes proper dental care as the foundation of dog health and wellbeing. He advises owners to watch out for unpleasant mouth odour, varying appetite, bleeding gums, swelling under the eyes and general apathy as these are signs of a major oral inflammatory illness. He says: "During a visit to a veterinary surgery, the vet would also detect large quantities of teeth tartar, partial or whole tooth decay, inflamed gums, and in some instances just a gentle touch to the gum area could cause heavy bleeding between the teeth caused by food debris. In this condition teeth may well be removed. "Dental treatment in dogs unfortunately requires a general anaesthetic and the procedure would include cleaning all the teeth, checking the condition of the teeth and, if necessary, removing a tooth." Neglected teeth and gums is a place for bacteria, which then attack other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal tract, weakening the immune system and potentially leading to inflammation of the heart muscle or even an infection in the joints and bones."We all know how painful toothache can be and so it's really important to look after your dog's teeth!" The best way to avoid such conditions is prevention. From the early months of life, a puppy should, initially in the form of fun, get used to having their teeth brushed. This can be done with a special dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. For best results, as with humans, clean the teeth every day. Dog toothpaste is fluoride-free so there is no harm done if your pet eats or swallows the paste and as it is meat or fish flavoured, you can understand the temptation! Another method of prevention advised is to use special fluids that can be added to drinking water, which contain safe and appropriate disinfectants to help clean the teeth without the need for brushing. Similar formulations are also available in gel form which can be applied to the gums. Dog food can also play a big part in the prevention programme. A small amount of plaque, on the top of the crown particularly, can be mechanically removed by feeding dry food. The vet adds: "Matching the size of the dog food with the appropriate kibble size will ensure that your dog bites the kibble, and will therefore have some effect. Administering chews or bones will also help to clean teeth." Regular visits to your vet are also an important element of prevention to ensure your pet pooch has a happy and healthy life.
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PROPERTY FOR SALE
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