Food companies across the EU will have to put key nutritional information such as fat, sugar and salt content on the front of packaging under new legislation. The regulations will simplify the different labeling laws throughout Europe and should, for instance, mark the end of companies putting the sodium content on in miniscule writing on the back of packaging, something which is not of much use to consumers when it comes to working out the salt content unless they are pretty handy when it comes to mental arithmetic. If the regulations are passed by member countries, it will be mandatory for producers to provide nutritional information on all pre-packaged processed foods and the energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars and salt content will have to be displayed in terms of the per 100ml/100 grammes or per portion on the front of packaging in easy to read labels. While this is good news, I wonder where it is going to leave the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) system and the traffic light systems that many British producers introduced last year? EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou said he thought the traffic light labelling system, which is being promoted by the British Food Standards Agency, risked “oversimplification”.
Organic food fight
There is a conference focusing on organic food on in Dublin today and some of the news coming out of it is of interest. A survey from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and Safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board published at the conference found that less than a third of Irish people think organic food is healthier than its non-organic equivalent and less than a fifth found it to be “full of flavour and taste” as advocates routinely claim it is. It also found that more than half of Irish consumers have never purchased organic food with cost being cited as the main reason people had not even tasted it.
Value for money, politicians?
The Dáil is back from its Christmas break this afternoon. “So soon?” I hear you ask. Yes, it’s only been six weeks since those we elected to legislate on our behalf began their holiday. They needn’t worry though because their next long break is just around the corner and within six weeks they’ll be off for Easter. I’ve been listening to policitians arguing the toss about the amount of time TDs spend in the Dail each year with the opposition bleating on about how they should be there more often (although it’s not like they made any effort to make that happen when they were last in power) and Government spokespeople claiming that they’ve actually been hard at work since the beginning of the year, (except, if I heard him correctly, Ned O’Keefe who told Morning Ireland yesterday that he’d spent much of his little holiday horse racing and only went back to work in the middle of the month). We have a poll on ireland.com today which asks if our politicians provide value for money. So far 92 per cent of voters have said no.
Nokia loses power
Is it just me or has anyone else experienced problems with the new(ish) Nokia phone chargers. Yesterday I had to buy my third one in the last 18 months as the previous two just stopped working after less than a year. Replacing the things has now cost me €50, which is €50 more than I have even had to spend on new chargers up to now. And now that I think about it, what was wrong with the old slightly chunky ones that everyone had until recently?
It’s cheap up north
A reader from Dublin who frequently does her grocery shopping across the border rang us after making some notes on the pricing in Tesco in both jurisdictions. In the North she found a 100g Tesco own-brand of organic instant coffee with a price tag of £1.87 (€2.50). In Dublin, she says, the same jar was selling for €4.48. A 150g pack of Tuc crackers which cost €1.99 in Dublin cost 95 cent in the North while Jacob’s crackers were selling for 88 cent up there and €1.60 down here. “That is virtually double,” she says. She cited a range of other examples, including Bisto and Jus-Rol puff pastry, which had similar price discrepancies. “I don’t buy the argument about higher overheads and different VAT rates,” she says. “How is it that other retailers such as Marks & Spencer’s prices north and south of the border tend to be much closer if the overheads and VAT rates are so different? Something should be done about it, I really feel the public is being ripped off.”
A spokesman for Tesco said that, across the full range of around 20,000 products stocked by the store, the price differential between stores in Northern Ireland and the Republic was between 10 and 15 per cent. “Occasionally there will be larger gaps” which, he said, could be explained by certain products being on special in one jurisdiction but not in the other.
Giving with one hand. . .
I got a letter in the post from Tesco this evening. “Save up to €64 with the attached money off coupons”, it said. “Right so,” I said to myself, “I don’t mind if I do” and began carefully detaching the four €16 coupons from the cover letter (they can be used when I spend over €160 in my local Tesco). It was only then that I realised that the first €16 voucher was valid from the 14th to the 20th of January and the second one expired on January 27th, two days ago. So, Tesco’s tardiness in sending me the money off vouchers has cost me up to – to use the phrase so beloved of marketeers everywhere – €32. A cynic might suspect that the vouchers arrived late on purpose thereby saving Tesco a few bob.
Charging over the limit
Talk is rarely cheap but, according to an alarming new study of people’s mobile phone habits, we may be partly to blame for our inflated bills, and if we were just a little cuter we could save a bundle. The online survey, carried out by UK price comparison website moneysupermarket.com and published earlier this month, found that confusion over phone tariffs in the UK could be costing Britain’s 65 million phone users a colossal £8 billion (€10.75bn) a year. It said many phone users were clueless about how many free minutes or free text messages were included in the phone packages they had, or even how long they spent talking and texting each month. Such ignorance was costing customers as much as £130 (€174) each per year. With many of the same mobile operators doing business here, similar confusion could be costing Irish phone users tens of millions of euro annually.
Charging over the limit
Giving with one hand…
Apparently people who sign up for night-saver electricity with the ESB are charged a higher tariff for their day time usage than customers who don’t bother with the “money-saving measure”. Customers using the NightSaver tariff also have to pay higher annual standing charges and €256 for a second meter to measure the night time electricity usage. callers to Pat Kenny yesterday were understandably furious with one pointing out that it would take at least three years before she would recoup her initial investment. Apparently the cost per unit of electricity for “ordinary” customers during the day is 13.24 cent, while for NightSaver customers it is 14.15 cent. The standing charge for a NightSaver customers meanwhile is €126 a year, while the similar charge for ordinary customers is €92.
Opening the paper this morning made for depressing reading. Hardly a page went by without some story or another warning of dramatic price hikes catching my eye. First there was the Ryanair story which I mentioned yesterday. Then there was the news that the price of milk has increased dramatically – by around 12 cent a litre, in fact – over the last couple of weeks as retailers passed on “soaring” costs on to the consumer. “Glanbia carried these costs for many months which have now been passed on to ensure that margins return to sustainable levels,” a Glanbia spokesman said adding that the price rises were a “measured response” to unprecedented cost increases. And then there was the head of the ESB warning that price increases could be expected too. We can look forward to higher electricity bills as part of a new (and probably quite wise) policy of linking domestic prices more closely to the cost of producing electricity. “The big issue is how we get people to reduce their demand by 20 per cent. Overall, bills will not increase if this target is met,” said CEO Padraig McManus.
A bit of charity
As if it wasn’t bad enough spending their days getting knocked back in the freezing cold and driving rain, charity muggers could soon find themselves before the Beak for harassing or intimidating people on the street. I wonder if dancing in a ridiculous fashion in order to catch passer-by’s eyes, phoney mateyness and smiling cheerily when on the inside they’re crying, constitute intimidation and harassment as if it does they’re all screwed. I’m not a big fan of chuggers, but I always feel sorry for them, as I walk by desperately trying not to make eye-contact or mumbling about already having signed up (which nine times out of 10 is a lie, I’m ashamed to admit). It must be a terrible doing a job which everyone hates you for doing. They’re even less popular than journalists for God’s sake. The Government is also examining ways to prohibit the sale of fake Mass cards (I would imagine that the atheists, agnostics and other non-Catholics out there would consider all mass cards fake, but there you go) and fake charity clothing collections.
Ryanair increased its baggage and airport check-in charges today and has issued a warning that it will continue to increase them in an effort to “encourage” its passengers to travel with hand luggage only. Baggage charges have gone up from €6 to €9 per bag while check-in fees have increased from €3 to €4. My old friend Peter Sherrard, who has repeatedly – and wrongly – accused me of publishing “baseless” complaints about Ryanair, says the move will help “encourage” passengers to “avoid” the charges by bring hand luggage only and checking-in online, which is free. He said the airline would keep increasing its charges until it has reaches it target of encouraging at least half of its passengers to travel with hand luggage only. How long do you think it’ll take before Aer Lingus follows suit?
I spent last weekend eating fresh pepperoni pizzas for the glory of Pricewatch. By the end of the weekend I felt, and I fear looked, a bit like Homer Simpson. Most of the ones I tried were surprisingly good although I have to say the semi-DIY option from Dunnes was a bit terrible.
They don’t make ‘em like this anymore
And thank the Lord for that! Here’s a collection of some of the most bizarre ads you’ll ever see. I wasn’t sure which was more ridiculous: the waterskiing smokers, the opera singer who thought Camels had “a mildness that agrees with my throat”, the Salem cigarette which “breathes in fresh air” or Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble promoting Winston during a children’s show. Then I got to the chesterfield ad towards the end which is beyond belief.
“Is there such a thing as a peppermill that doesn’t lose its grinding capacity within a few months? Haven’t met one yet,” asks Breeda Connaughton. Neither have I.
Richard in Naas got in touch with a money-saving tip which has shaved a fair amount off his annual grooming bill. He saved more than €9 on a pack of eight Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razor blades by buying them on eBay. “Tesco, which appears to be the cheapest retailer for them, sells the razors for €19.49,” he writes. “I got them off eBay for about €10, including postage.”
Mary Kettle was browsing the furniture section of the UK-based Marks & Spencer website recently when she found a price discrepancy she thought should be highlighted. “Currently they are having a furniture sale,” she writes, “and I wanted to buy a sideboard which, on the UK website, is priced at £489, or €654 according to the exchange rate that day. I expected it to be a bit more expensive here because of the slightly higher Vat rate; however, I have just come back from M&S in Dundrum, where they informed me that the price here in the sale is €839!”
Driven to distraction
Conor Geraghty applied and paid for his Driver Theory Test over the phone. When he asked if the receipt could be sent to him as he needed to claim the cost from his employer, he was told that the confirmation letter would act as the receipt.
“When I got the confirmation letter, it did not state how much the test had cost, so I rang up again to ask them if they could send me a receipt stating how much I had paid, as it was for work,” Geraghty writes. He was told, however, that the Driver Theory Test folk did not do receipts. “When I asked why, as I had paid money for a service, surely I was entitled to a receipt, the man I was speaking to said I could use my credit-card statement.” Surely, Geraghty adds, “after paying €35.60 for the test and €17.99 for the theory test book, a receipt stating how much one has paid is not too much to ask for?”. It certainly is not.
Pumping up the prices
The remnants of the celebratory champagne had barely gone flat when consumers received their first new-year dose of bad news. On January 3rd the price of a barrel of crude oil finally reached and briefly passed the milestone mark of $100 (€68) on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Global oil prices have been climbing steadily for months – the price of Brent Crude has almost doubled since the beginning of 2007 and increased fourfold over the past four years, so the breach of $100 was as inevitable as it was depressing.
Yay! Tomorrow (or today or maybe yesterday, depending on when you’re reading this) is the most depressing day of the year, according to a crack team of Welsh academics who seem to have had way too much time on their hands if this is the kind of thing they’re talking about. It has been decided that on the third Monday in January, the crap weather, gloominess, skintness, time since last payday, time since last Christmas and the realisation that we have failed to keep any of our new year’s resolutions are all in perfect alignment to make us as miserable as possible. Have a good one, I think I’ll stay in the leaba.
As bad as it gets
We may complain about our health service (and with plenty of justification when you hear of people dying because they can’t get access to the treatments they need fast enough, women in their 90s being forced to spend over 24 hours sitting in chairs in our A&E units waiting for treatment and the 1000 young people with cystic fibrosis (sub required) repeatedly let down by a Government incapable of keeping its promise to them) but a story I read this morning shows how far we have to fall before we reach the levels of inhumanity on display in the US. This is the story, which comes from The Irish TImes, via Reuters.
Anyone else come across this?
Got a post to the blog this morning that went something like (actually exactly like) this: “Hi I went to the movies last night to Movies @ Swords. I bought a bottle of water advertised as €2.50 and some pick and mix for €1.85. The total was €3.60 and then tax added of 0.75. = 21% Total €4.35. Is this correct surely the water should be advertised as €3.02. I’ve never seen this before. Can you let me know if this is correct. Thanks. While adding the tax on to the displayed price is common (and really, really annoying) in the US, I’ve never come across it in Ireland until this week, when two seperate people got in touch – this lady and a listener to the Ray Darcy show who had a similar experience in a restaurant. I will find out more by making a few calls but I was wondering if anyone else had come across this?
UPDATE Cian did the maths and has posted to point out that €2.50 for the water and €1.85 for the sweets comes to €4.35 which is what the poster was asked to pay so the prices on display were actually right and the reciept was simply providing additional info! So, move along, nothing to see here!
I learned with dismay that the rather excellent Facebook application Scrabulous may soon be no more after Hasbro and Mattel, the makers of a somewhat similar board game with a somewhat similar name, wrote to the social networking site’ demanding Scrabulous be pulled from the site due to copyright issues. How am I ever supposed to get good enough to win a single game against anyone if they just shut it down?
A snip at €60m
You’d need to win the lottery not once or twice but around 30 times if you wanted to buy the French ambassador’s house on Ailesbury Road which has just gone on the market with an asking price of €60m. Built on one acre, it’s 11,000 square feet and according to the ambassador, it’ so big, he has to call his wife on her mobile if he wants to talk to her. I don’t know about you, but if I had €60m to spend on a house, I can think of about a million places I’d choose before Ballsbridge.
So there I was on the Seoige & O’Shea Show yesterday (I know, I know, the dizzying heights of meeeja stardom)! I found myself sitting on the couch, sandwiched between Des Kelly, the carpet man and a priest from Connemara arguing about Sunday shopping. Des Kelly announced some weeks ago that he was going to close all his shops on Sundays in honour of the third commandment (pop quiz – what is the third commandment?) and he has been all over the papers and the radio talking about it. Yesterday it was the turn of daytime TV. Now personally speaking, I honestly think God in whatever form he might take, has more things to be worried about than if people go looking for a carpet on a Sunday afternoon, which is pretty much what I said. I can completely understand people wanting to keep Sunday as a day of rest but let’s not link it to religion. To describe shopping as a sin, is I think, wrong. Harassed Irish consumers have enough on their plates without being made to feel guilty for using Sunday afternoon to do their grocery shopping.
Is it that time already?
January has barely started and already Cadbury’s Crème eggs have appeared on the shelves of our shops – they’re selling for 68 cent in Tesco, in case you’re interested. ‘Surely this must be some class of record?’, I thought to myself, as I briefly considered buying one for breakfast this morning. But apparently it’s not. The person working opposite me has assured me that it’s normal for these most seasonal of eggs to appear almost as soon as Santa Claus has dropped off his presents.
Value for money: Cafetiéres
I reviewed cafetiéres this week and got mocked by Ray Darcy and a number of other people for doing so! Apparently, they’re quite posh. . . I didn’t know that. Anyways, there’s a huge difference in price between the cheapest (M&S) and the dearest (Stellar) – over €70, in fact – but it was one of those times when the most expensive option still came out on top.
Walking through Dún Laoghaire, a Dublin reader was stopped by the driver of a car who had pulled up looking for directions to the M50. “I explained to him how he should proceed and he told me that he was a rep for an Italian leather company who was in Dublin with samples. He showed me three leather jackets on the back seat of the car and asked if I would be interested in any of them.”
Clicking on a revolution
Quite how charging a third of the full retail price of the DVD – it is currently for sale on CDwow.ie for €16 – for a single night’s rental can be justified is impossible to say, although it’s hard to escape the notion that we’re being ripped off.
However, the days of having to pay such high prices may be numbered. In recent years, we have seen the growth of online movie rental services which can save movie fans a substantial amount both on the cost of actual rental – packages start from €7.99, although that does limit you to just two DVDs a month – and on the late fees imposed if (or in the case of Pricewatch, when) you don’t bring them back on time.
Not even trying…
I can’t seem to stop winning money. Already this year lottery companies in Spain, Britan and Ireland have emailed me out of the blue telling me of my amazing good fortune. And if I’m not winning the lottery, my name is being plucked randomly from some “register of good persons” in Nigeria or Sierra Leone where I have been listed as a person of “sufficient trustwordiness” (sic) to come to the aid of the widow of an African dictator who’s been left with nothing to call her own but two huge trunks of blood diamonds which she needs to shepherd out of the country. Then there is the American GI under fire in Iraq who has found money in “one of Saddam’s caves” and wants me to have it.
At least most of the scam artists are trying. They come up with a back story (however ridiculous) with which they try and bait me. I got a scam email this morning that really needs work. (more…)
Marmite better than roses
Ahead of St Valentine’s Day, Marmite has released a very special jar of the spread people either love or loathe. The one-off release contains a hint (a very, very small hint) of champagne along with its usual ingredients of yeast and vegetable extracts and salt. Just 600,000 limited edition jars of the ‘Lovers’ Marmite’ are going on sale. The gold-coloured label says “I love you” and “for my lovely Marmite lover”. So, that’s my Valentine’s Day present sorted, then.
What are you calling chicken?
Channel 4 are running an excellent series on food production which this week is shining the spotlight on the darkest corners of the chicken production industry. The intensively farmed chickens spend the 39 days it takes to bring them from egg to slaughter without ever seeing daylight, jammed into tiny spaces – 17 birds to one square metre – wallowing in blood and bird shit and the withered limbs of their fellow chickens who have died along the road. It’s all pretty disgusting. “If consumers knew what it took to produce chickens so cheaply I think they would refuse to eat it,” the host of the series and River Cottage owner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said. I wonder is that true? What is more important: the price you pay or whether the chicken you eat has been ethically raised? And would you be willing to pay an additional 20 or 30 per cent to ensure that the practice of intensive farming died out?
18 per cent!!!!
I got a letter from Quinn Healthcare this morning telling me that my health insurance policy was due for renewal. In honeyed tones it thanked me for my business and assured me in big bold letters that there was No Need to do a thing. “We would like to inform you of a number of changes that may (may!!!) affect your policy,” it said. The first thing was that the cost of the policy was increasing – the letter did not bother telling me by how much – either in percentage or actual terms. Then I was told that “in line with Government recommendations” Quinn Healthcare was introducing “a standard, transparent and uniform price through the removal of discount schemes. ‘Hmm, that sounds a bit worrying,’ I thought. The letter went on to say that if I paid by instalments “a 3 per cent credit charge will now apply”.
“We are committed to keeping prices competitive and compared to other insurers in the market we have kept this increase as low as possible” the letter concluded.
As low as possible!!! They have just increased my premiums by 18 per cent! I’m not sure what bugs me more – the five per cent price hike, the abolition of the discount I got for being a member of a credit union, (something they blame the Goverment for), the 3 per cent credit charge for paying by direct debit (isn’t it weird how NTL penalise people for not paying by direct debit while Quinn penalise them for paying by dd?) or the fact that the correspondence seemed to go out of its way to avoid telling me by how much they were increasing my policy.
I wonder how much Vivas is charging…
Oh, and apologies for losing the run of myself with all the exclamation marks, I’m fuming.
Travellers flying with no-frills airlines are still paying more than the advertised price of the ticket, according to a Holiday Which? report published this morning. Despite changes which have forced airlines to include compulsory taxes and charges in their headline prices, budget airlines are devising new ways in which to levy extra charges on passengers, the report found. Holiday Which found Ryanair to be the worst offender while Monarch Airlines, bmibaby and Easyjet all came in for some criticism. “We’re disappointed to see the major budget airlines are introducing charges for services that were once included in the full cost of the ticket. Ryanair’s charge to use its check-in desk is especially unfair. The only way to avoid this is not to check any luggage into the hold,” Lorna Cowan, Editor, Holiday Which? “Although the airlines view these services as optional, who would go on a week’s holiday without checking a bag into the hold?,” she asked.
Peace at last
I took a wander through town this lunchtime in search of five different cafetieres (it appears that there is only five different brands in the whole fecking world, incidentally, and I can only find four of them) and was amazed by how pleasantly quiet it was. Unlike the last time I was on Grafton St, a couple of days before Christmas, there was no elbowing my way through walls of competing shoppers, no Wizzard songs elbowing their way into my thoughts and no drunk people in Santa hats queuing at the ATM machine. Okay, so, none of us might have any money right now and payday is a long way away, but there’s a lot to be said for January.
Open and shut case
Andrew Dunne had cause to e-mail a complaint over a can opener to Tesco recently and was both amused and disconcerted by the response he received. “Thank you for taking the time to contact Tesco Ireland,” the automated response went. “Your e-mail will be processed as soon as possible. While it is not possible to respond to all e-mails directly, please be assured that your comments will be forwarded to the relevant department within our organisation.” Are Tesco Ireland so inundated with customer complaints that it’s “not possible to respond to all e-mails directly”, he asks.
Dial a movie, pay a song
Laura Egar was “shocked” recently when she learned that the telephone booking system for Movies@Dundrum operated using a premium rate 1520 telephone number. She says she found it hard to believe that the company would be profiting from its booking line and says she also found it hard to find any information about the actual charges associated with these numbers.
Calls to such numbers are 15 cent per minute which does not compare favourably with a normal off-peak local calls which cost about 2 cent per minute and under 5 cent per minute at peak times. Sadly, the use of 1520 booking numbers is growing increasingly common and is by no means unique to this particular cinema chain. Most of the major cinemas operate such systems, particularly in Dublin. While it can take as long as five minutes to make your way through the tortuous automated bookings menu, there is one way to circumvent the charges. Many of the big cinemas now take online bookings – which removes the need to make any call.
Where in the world?
Could you spot the difference between smoked Irish salmon and Irish smoked salmon – or is there any difference? While they certainly look similar, the difference could be thousands of miles. Smoked Irish salmon definitely comes from Ireland, while Irish smoked salmon could have been sourced anywhere from Chile to Clifden, with just the smoke added closer to home, allowing the product to be labelled in a way which has the potential, at the very least, to seriously mislead shoppers about its provenance.
Nothing remotely Pricewatchy about this post, but I was sad to read this morning that George MacDonald Fraser, the creator of the hilariously brilliant Flashman books died on Wednesday. Harry Flashman made his first appearance in print as the bully in Tom Brown’s Schooldays – he was expelled at the end of it for getting plastered – but he really came alive more than 100 years later when he reappeared as the caddish, cowardly, womanising hero of MacDonald Fraser’s books. All 12 books in the series, purported to be the memoirs of Sir Harry discovered and edited by MacDonald Fraser, put Flashman at the centre of some of the major events in world history from the 1860s to the beginning of the 20th century. If you haven’t read them and happen across the first of the books – simply called Flashman – any time soon I’d heartily recommend you buy it.
Oil price hikes bite
Bad news in today’s paper for motorists and for people who like to stay warm:
Motorists and consumers face further increases in the price of petrol and home heating oil in the next few days as the Republic’s major fuel suppliers move to boost wholesale prices.
Petrol will increase across the board by about 2.3 cent a litre plus VAT of 21 per cent, bringing the rise to about 2.8 cent and adding €1 to the cost of filling the average car’s fuel tank.
Home heating oil products are likely to jump by more than one cent a litre, increasing the cost of filling domestic heating fuel tanks by about €100.
Diesel will go up by anything between 0.6 cent a litre in Maxol forecourts and 1.06 cent a litre in Shell and Statoil service stations.
‘Y’all fat, and y’all eat too much’
A story line from the Simpson’s is being played out for real in the US this week after two men were banned from an all-you-can-eat buffet, apparently because they were eating too much. The drama unfolded in Houma, Lousiana where a 265-pound man and his 277 pound cousin called the police after being charged double for their meals. They were subsequently refused access to the buffet where they had started eating at least three times a week. ‘Y’all fat, and y’all eat too much,” one waitress allegedly told the pair while another told the larger cousin that he looked like he had a “baby in the belly.” The restaurant denies the claim. All that’s missing now is an appearance from I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm attorney Lionel Hutz. “Fair and balanced” Fox News has the full story
I got a new iPod from Santa Claus, bless him. It has 160 gigs of memory – enough for every CD I have ever bought to be copied on to it about 50 times (probably). I set to converting all 500 or so of them a couple of days ago but last night the poxy CD drive on my poxy computer gave up and refused to work anymore. I’m now left with a very odd digitised music collection featuring nothing at all from any artist whose name begins with a letter other than A, B, C or D (I had all my CDs alphabetised, sad person that I am). I then turned to iTunes and was alarmed at how easy it is to spend an absolute fortune there. I’m not sure how much the random clicking on links to indie bands I vaguely liked in the 1980s has cost me so far but all day I’ve been getting sporadic emails from iTunes with new receipts and I’m afraid to total them all up. And how am I supposed to get my CD drive fixed before I bankrupt myself?
Hardly Tesco’s finest moment
Shopping in my local enormous Tesco (in Finglas) this evening was a pretty miserable experience. The vegetables on display were withered and horrible looking, most of the shelves that were supposed to have “fresh” stuff on them were barren and three of the fecking things I bought had passed their expiry dates (one by six days), something I only found out as I went to a) feed one them to my baby and b) cook with the other two. How sloppy is that?
Gym’ll fix it, or not
Fair play to Fine Gael’s enterprise spokesman Leo Varadkar for issuing an enterprising press release this morning which pretty much guaranteed him a whole lot of attention. Consumers are, he warned, ” in danger of being ripped off by unfair terms and conditions written into fitness centre contracts”. And of course he is dead right . The new year is the time when most well intentioned people resolve to leave their old unhealthy selves behind and turn into pumped up gym bunnies for the spring. It never works but extracting yourself from gym membership can be even more difficult that going there three times a week.
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