Michael Pook's battle to walk again after microlight crash

Michael Pook’s battle to walk again after microlight crash

Michael Pook sits up for the first time after his accident in 2005. The pain was so intense, he pas…
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You have to keep a sense of humour… – Review of Monica Isabel Beach Club, Albufeira

I know as a seasoned traveller that when you book a budget holiday it can go either way, on arriving at the complex we were filled with foreboding, the reception looked like Gods waiting room, nobody looked remotely happy, sitting in silence watching MTV. It got worse when my request for a upper floor room with a sea view turned out to nbe a dingy basement room that stunk of bleach, the porter flung open the shutters and fled the room. I returnrd to reception to voice our disapproval, was told that I had to speak to the reception next morning. I returned next morning to find a rather harassed lady behind reception I thought that there wasnt much chance of changing rooms but lo and behold she found us a room on C block (right on the perimeter of the complex..a goood thing) great room/balcony fabulous views over the beach and sea, sudden out break of happiness!!! The complex seems to run on a skeleton staff all of whom remain remarkably cheerful…we tried the restaurant once and wasn’t impressed. We had opted for a self catering deal, but had to fight to get any pans and kettle, one cup one mug no plates, you get the picture…still overall the veiw and the room was fine, you just had to keep a sense of humour. Stayed here me and my partner for a week don’t know what people are moaning about you are right in the beach good was ok not always to our taste but always something to eat rooms were kept clean little dated but ok staff all very friendly you can walk on beach to the old town which is lovely with shops and bars the only problem I had with hotel was the entertainment was good but maybe cause out of season for you want five star then you have to pay for it we had an apartment and it was clean and comfortable.the people were very friendley and helpful.we were very close to the sea and we actualley saw dolphins and that was a beautiful sight to see.the food was very good and there was a good selection to choose from .the weather was brilliant as we went late November,we recomend this hotel and apartments as we really enjoyed our stay there and are hoping to go back for my 60th birthday.we also recomend the central planet bar and grill in the old town go and visit Steve and the staff as they were very friendly and it was a nice place to sit and relax the food was good and it wasn’nt dear. On arrival with 4 children age 3 – 11, Thursday 3rd, the room was dirty. Sheets stained, hair on the floor, mirrors marked. The room was freezing. . Much warmer outside. My girls and I slept in one bed wrapped up. My 3 year old woke screaming as something was crawling on her. To my horror it was a big fat cockroach. As I got out of bed, I heard a sound under my bear foot, it was another one. OMG they were everywhere. The reception were useless. They will look in the morning Friday nice bright day. Breakfast wasn’t much choice. So cereals it was. No freash fruit. Let’s explore the hotel. Oops let’s not, every thing is closed due to the season. THIS WAS NOT MENTIONED IN THEIR ON LINE SITE. OK GIRLS WE SHALL GO SITE SEEING. BACK FOR LUNCH.. THE FOOD IS SWIMMING IN GREASE. My girls and I like to try new and different foods but this food is disgusting. My three of my girls have survived on bake beans. I have address the issue with staff but the lack of empathy was apparent. I am trying to changing hotel or return to Englang. I WOULD SEND CRIMALS THEIR FOR PENANCE ONLY!!!!!! Stayed on a B&B basis which is best as the food isn’t great. Most staff we’re polite and friendly, although one male member of staff was very harassing with female guest’s. Location is great, room was basic and clean although room service was generally lazy, stayed for 1 week and the beds we’re not changed once and was lucky if she swept the floor. Wifi is a bit slow but overall enjoyed my trip. Stayed at this place on an all-inclusive basis – we were not prepared for just how terrible this place was… THE ROOMS: Cockroaches in bathroom. The cleaning lady did not wash room or bathroom floors – we know this because we stomped the roaches in the bathroom and watched the floors to see if she mopped the roach-juice away. Eventually I had to actually dirty-up the floors with mucky shoe marks before she washed them properly. We kept our room at this place to see the progress over our stay and actually had to move ourselves to a hotel down the road. We met some people staying in 4* section and saw their rooms and the 4* area – nicer than ours but not even close to being 4* level – peeling paint by the elevator doors and hallways. THE FOOD: Food was appalling – oily, bad quality and just yukky! We are not snobs and we know that all-in doesn’t mean luxury-central but flaming heck this place is absolutely by no means even remotely close to 3* & 4* hotel-resort standards… CUSTOMER SERVICE/STAFF: Front of house staff were amazingly rude and seemed like they really didn’t give a monkeys about anything – the old guy was rude to incoming customers. When asked questions (either in English or Portuguese) he looked anywhere but at the customers and gave short abrupt responses. Jessica, the young Portuguese girl on the front of house a few of the nights, was just plain rude to everyone except her friends that were obviously there to help her through her evening on reception. We asked her were there snacks still available and we got a rude teenager-type stare (no offense teenagers) of “…why are you asking me?” followed by her ACTUALLY saying “No, of course not!”. Amazed by her reply we asked her “So is there somewhere we can get a bite to eat of any kind or do we need to wait until tomorrow to eat something?” she replies quite seriously “Yes of course you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” I mean the girl didn’t even say something along the lines of “Sorry. However, there is a vending machine just over there you can buy snacks from” Nope! Back to her phone and chatting with her mates… Just… Wow!!!! The bar staff and restaurant staff were the only ones who actually seemed to have any notion of what customer service or a friendly smile was. They were, for the most part, warm, friendly and entertaining the guests. Sorry but this place is by far THE worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in ANYWHERE in the world… Firstly the check in ! Not until 15-00 is very poor after travelling for over 6 hours waiting another 3 hours to get into your room without even being offered a drink makes you feel unwelcome. Marks out of 10 for services Restaurant staff 9 Maids and clean room 10 Reception 8 Room 2 Breakfast 2 as always cold Value 10 Beds 10 Kitchen 1(room 214) only 1 cooking ring Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
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Meet the brave dad battling cancer with laughter – and forging a stand-up career out of it

A brave dad fighting a potentially-lethal brain tumour has managed to see the funny side of his illness… and turn it into a career. Matt McCarthy’s sense of humour is what is helping him and other patient’s through their treatment at The Christie, in Manchester. He has now honed a stand up career which has nurses and fellow cancer roaring with laughter. Doctors discovered the large cancerous growth inside the 30-year-old’s brain in June 2014, after he collapsed following excruciating headaches. The dad-of-three from Stockport was immediately operated on and underwent weeks of intense radiotherapy. Fighter: Matt shows off his scars – which he hasn’t let get him down But was told last year that the tumour had advanced to a more serious Grade 3, reports the MEN. Read more: Cancer patient told she was unlikely to survive weekend gets married in hospital and is led up ‘aisle’ in bed Rather than sink into a depression, Matt has started to make jokes about his situation and found that his deadpan observations immediately lightened the mood for staff and other patients at Withington hospital. Since then Matt has even taken his own brand of humour to the Frog and Bucket Comedy Club in Manchester and has even tried out for Britain’s Got Talent during their recent auditions in Manchester, although sadly did not make it through to the show. Matt, who has a seven-year-old daughter, said: “It’s about taking the mickey out of cancer. “Diagnosis and treatment can get you very down, which is why I try to raise people’s spirits. Laughter: The stand up found his deadpan observations immediately lightened the mood “In the waiting room, you could see how down people were and telling jokes lightened the mood and atmosphere for everyone.” The brave dad is now undergoing chemotherapy at the hospital’s Clinical Trials Unit and will find out when the course finishes in April whether it is working. Matt added: “What I’ve been through in the last year and a bit has been hell and for someone else to go through that isn’t worth thinking about but it does happen. “I get severe headaches because the tumour is level with my eyes and it’s horrible. Smiling through: The brave dad is now undergoing chemotherapy “I go for treatment every few weeks and I tell my jokes. It’s a dark dry humour but it’s all done in good taste. “You get some people out and about who hear me and say “you can’t say that”, but the thing is I can, I have cancer.” Speaking about his try out with the ITV talent show, Matt, who Tweets some of his jokes under the hashtag #Tumourontour, says he’ll be back and wanted to raise cash for the hospital. He said: “I may go for it again next year, the producers were so poker face, but everyone else was in stitches. Battle: Matt says it’s about taking the mickey out of cancer “I even had other contestants coming and asking for photos with me because they thought I was going to make it.” Howard Newhall from The Christie charity said: “We are really grateful to Matt for choosing to fundraise for The Christie in this unique way. “Hopefully he will raise not only laughs but money too. “As a patient he sees first hand the impact of charitable donations.”
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