Health and Beauty tips – 1

 After cleansing, rinse the face with cool water to help firm up the skin.

Apply moisturiser using a gentle upward and outward movement, avoiding the eye area as most moisturisers are too heavy for the skin here

When applying foundation, use smooth downward movements, this helps lessen the look of large pores and gives a more even coverage


A Tale of Two Bridges (with apologies to Charles Dickens)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times………………”

Earlier in the year, it was announced that the toll on the Humber Bridge was going to be increased. The people of Grimsby and surrounding area, reacted to this news by starting a petition against the increase and getting it signed by 10,000 people!  In the face of this huge opposition, the Minister of Transport refused to increase the tolls.

 In October it was announced that the Government was giving a grant of £6m to the Humber Bridge Company, so that they can freeze the tolls until 2011, the grant will be used for necessary maintenance.  In announcing this, the Minister for Transport, Sadiq Khan, said that “the Government is committed to doing everything it can to protect communities and businesses from economic downturn and to help the country recover”

 The news of the grant was met with an angry response by transport and haulage companies on both side of the Severn Estuary. Many companies who operate across this Welsh-Anglo border, rack up tens of thousands of pounds each year in tolls just to cross the river and though the Government’s commitment to reducing costs is very welcome, it should be applied across the board. The Freight Transport Association responded to the Minister’s comments by issuing a press release calling for the same commitment to be given to Wales and the South-West.

 However, it is not just transport companies who are affected, although the tolls they pay are the highest in the UK. Paying the toll has a knock-on effect for every company who use the Severn crossings in the course of their business. It is seen as huge a disadvantage by many large companies when looking at this part of Wales as a possible business venue.

 Both bridges are owned and operated by Severn Crossing plc, but the ownership of the bridges should not be a reason to do nothing. There is a solution to every problem if you try hard enough to find it.

 The Government, in its’ wisdom, decided to add VAT to the tolls back in 2003. The tolls were not increased, so this slipped relatively easily under the radar and they just agreed with the company to extend their term of ownership.  This has meant that the bridges will not revert back to public ownership now until some time around 2016 and we just go on paying………….

So, although age has curbed my former redheaded temper, I just felt that I couldn’t sit on the sidelines on this one.  I feel that the people and businesses of Wales have enough on their plate at the moment; times are tough out there and we need all the help we can get!  After the initial rise in blood pressure, I decided that I too would start a petition, to ask the Government for help for the Welsh economy too. And, in this highly computerised world we now live in, I chose an e-Petition.

If you feel as strongly as I do about the inequality of this gesture by the Government, then please will you follow the link and sign the petition. I am told that if we get more than 500 signatures the Government has to respond.

Thank you!

Shopping is fun – if you are thin!

Had a very busy day in the office today, catching up on work that piled up while I was away yesterday. Grabbing a sandwich for lunch, I had a look through a newpaper that someone had left on a nearby table.

The headline that caught my eye was about having more fun shopping if you are thin. This brought back memories of those large communal changing rooms that were all the rage a few years ago and the fact that I hated using them.  They always seemed populated by tall slender women, who wandered about in various stages of undress, trying on the smallest of clothes without a care in the world; whereas I would try to hide in the farthest, dimmest corner with my back to everyone.

Most women do like shopping and use the trips for inspiration and ideas as well as buying clothes.  The problem that I have is in the sizing of the clothes. One store’s size 12 will be another’s size 10 and, if you are not having a particularly good day, struggling into a dress that you think should fit you, only to find when you look in the mirror, that you look like a sack of potatoes does nothing for your self esteem and your memories of shopping will be mainly negative.

Nowadays, most shops have thankfully realised that their customers are much happier and more relaxed about clothes shopping, if they provide well lit, good sized, individual changing rooms. And, if those shops also offer a good choice of clothes, in sizes that fit us, we can all have fun shopping.

Heavy goods vehicles get the blame

Spent all day at a conference on London, where we discussed the problems faced by the road transport industry in the current economic climate.  These are due mainly to the increase in fuel tax duty imposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a time when haulage operators were praying for a reduction!

Everyone it seems complains about the heavy goods vehicles on our roads, the drivers have no time to unload at shops in major cities before they are hit with a penalty charge.  Where do the people who make some of these rules and regulations buy their food. clothing, makeup, toiletries and the rest? They must go shopping sometime and how do they think the goods they want got onto the shelves – magic? 

There should be a lot more discussion between government, the environmental lobby and the vehicle operators to find a way forward that is fair and not just blame everything, from road congestion to emmissions, on the truck drivers.  After all, the commercial vehicles account for a small minority of the traffic on the roads today, there are far more cars ( usually with just one occupant) and vans than there are heavy vehicles.