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Key Posts | Anorak - Part 51

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How to say goodbye when you’re dying

Iain Banks British Book Awards

RIP Robert Ebert. He knew the end was coming. The film critic wrote in September 2011:

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

How do you approach the end? Iain Banks, the writer, is unwell. He took to his blog:

I am officially Very Poorly.

After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that – it turns out – is the least of my problems.

I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I’d started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn’t gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

As a result, I’ve withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we’ll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.

There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we’re balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
Lastly, I’d like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved – and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed – has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We’re all just sorry the outcome hasn’t been more cheerful.

A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready.

Iain Banks

– ENDS –

How do you face the end? 

Posted: 5th, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


In epic photos: One World Trade Center rises from Ground Zero New York

NEW YORK City’s One World Trade Center is up. It occupies part of the Ground Zero site when the Twin Towers once stood. When completed, the tower will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – 1776ft high. Visitors will be able to stand on the observation deck – floors 100 to 102 – and look out at the great city.  After 11 years that wonderful view is back. We’ll never forget 9/11. But – you know what – up yours Al Qaeda. In your face. We win:

Trade Center Bombing

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Posted: 3rd, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


1972: School’s out in London for Steve ‘Ginger’ Finch and the Schools’ Action Union strike

Protests - Schools Action Union Protest at County Hall

Photo: A boy is held around the neck by a helmetless policeman during scuffles outside County Hall, Lambeth, where schoolchildren were demonstrating in support of the demands put forward by the Schools Action Union, which had called a one day strike of London pupils. 17/05/1972.

ON the 4th May 1972 about 200 boys aged between 11 and 16, put down their pencils and rulers at Quinton Kynaston School in the Finchley Road near St John’s Wood in North London, in a protest over unpleasant school dinners, caning, and the conformity of school uniforms. They swarmed over the school wall and not knowing really what to do next, decided to all go home, writes Rob Baker.

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Posted: 3rd, April 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United’s ‘hurt’ Rio Ferdinand loses to Chelsea’s honest broker John Terry

Soccer - FA Cup - Quarter Final - Replay - Chelsea v Manchester United - Stamford Bridge

MANCHESTER United’s Rio Ferdinand is a terrific player whose decision not to play for England was an elegant revenge for once being overlooked in favour of Chelsea’s John Terry. Ferdinand only got the call because the obnoxious Terry has retired from international football. Ferdinand could have used the moment of his selection to tell everyone at the FA what he thought of them in words of one syllable. But he chose not to rake over old ground and mention the row between his brother Anton Ferdinand and Terry. He just said he’d like to play for England, got picked, then explained that his treatment schedule wouldn’t allow him to play, before heading to Qatar for a spot of media work. Mindful of Ferdinand’s grace under fire, we wondered what it would be like when United played Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Terry never got on the pitch, acting as an unused substitute. The monocular Chelsea fans, predictably, jeered Ferdinand’s every touch. Just as they did when the teams’ last played at Stamford Bridge.

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Posted: 2nd, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mick and Mairead Philpott did kill his six children before they went dogging

House fire in Allenton

MICK Philpott, 56, set a fire to his home at 8 Victory Road in Derby. The May 11 2012 fire killed six of his children. He is guilty of manslaughter. He never meant to kill. He meant to frame his former mistress, Lisa Willis. She lived with Philpott and Mairead Philpott, his wife, 32. He would sleep with the women on alternate nights.

Then in the February before the fire, Lisa left. Philpott wanted revenge.

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Posted: 2nd, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


David Miliband used Paolo Di Canio and left Sunderland with the better man

miliband di canio

PAOLO Di Canio has caused “outrage” at Sunderland. The Sun says “thousands of furious” Mackems are turning on the club. A Rob Johnson says he is “sickened and ashamed” that Di Canio is the club’s new manager. John Hall, a 92-year-old World War 2 veteran says he would “fight the fascists all over again”. 

The Sun’s lead headline, “WAR VETS BOYCOTT ‘FASCIST’ DI CANIO”, is somewhat undone when Mr Hall’s quote is seen in full:

“I’m too old to go to matches but I’d pack it in if I was still going.”

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Posted: 2nd, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Sports | Comments (13) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The 19 greatest Christian gifts

YESTERDAY’S news of religious Easter eggs piqued our appetite for further Christian gifts with which to enhance our enjoyment of the holiday.

Here are just some of the myriad delights we discovered.

‘Inspired by scripture’

Gift1

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Posted: 1st, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The best April Fools jokes of 2013

THE best April Fools Day pranks of 2013:

* YOUTUBE deletes every video , leaving only the winners behind:

I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight.” –Antoine Dodson

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Posted: 1st, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The best of the Passing Show: Bolshevism, Ireland, Japanese empire and German hurt satirised

THE Passing Show was a British magazine published in the early 1920s. One section was particularly adventurous. Called Culled From The World’s Press, Culled From Sources, Through Foreign Spectacles, Through American Spectacles or Other People’s News, the feature was a look at news-based cartoons in other organs. A round-up of the satire and the funny was an exercise in editorialised news aggregation.

passing show 312

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Posted: 28th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Modern Britain described in 10 photos

IF you had to describe the state of Britain today in 10 words, what would you say? In 2007, citizens entered a contest to describe the country in five words or fewer? The pick of the bunch was ‘Dipso fatso bingo asbo Tesco’. How would that be illustrated? What ten pictures would show the world what GB is like to live in? These are our Top Ten – a guide to live in Blighty:

Spotter

Posted: 27th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Monty Panesar’s Flying Circus, and the other greatest sporting endings

MONTY Panesar’s Flying Circus, and the other greatest sporting endings

Cricket - Third Test - New Zealand v England - Day Five - Eden Park
As Monty Panesar dived comically to slide his bat over the popping crease and set up England’s great escape against New Zealand in Auckland, he and his teammates provided a finale worthy of the ten greatest sporting climaxes of all time. And competition for places is nothing if not fierce…

Cricket first, and in 2009 Monty was of course involved at the business end of the first test match to be played at Cardiff, when England clung on to save the game, and set up their second successive home Ashes series victory. Better still, though, was…

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Posted: 27th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘Hypocrite’ Piers Morgan and his ‘buddy’ Snoop Dogg prove the gun nuts right

snoop dogg piers morgan

PIERS Morgan wants tighter gun control in the US of A. The CNN host can be seen posing with Snoop Dogg on his Twitter profile. This makes him a hypocrite, right?

@JeromeEHudson thinks so. He tweets (via):

I’m not sure if the Sandy Hook families will approve of your “buddy” relationship with a rapper who glorifies shooting people. @piersmorgan

@BenHowe thinks so. He tweets:

I had no idea that @piersmorgan‘s twitter cover was him posing with a guy that made his fortune rapping about shooting ppl (and may have).

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Posted: 24th, March 2013 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


22 cats that look like pin-ups

WE at Anorak love pin-ups. We are, however, less certain of cats. Can pin-ups save the feline terrors?

cat pin up girls 21

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Posted: 22nd, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The decline of English centre backs is a myth

SOCCER

IN “Dying breed: The decline of the English centre back is bad news for Hodgson” Martin Keown laments the state of English-born defenders. He illustrates the decline with some examples. He writes in the Daily Mail:

Look at the Under 21 squad of 20 years ago and the likes of Darren Anderton, Andy Cole, Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Ugo Ehiogu and Lee Clark were all playing regularly for their clubs.

Aside from the former Aston Villa player Ugo Ehiogu, none of the others Keown cites operated in central defence.

That England Under 21 team on 7/9/1993 was (see above): UGO EHIOGU, IAN WALKER, MATT JACKSON, CHRIS SUTTON, GARRY FLITCROFT, NEIL COX, BRYAN SMALL, ANDY COLE, STEVE MCMANAMAN, JAMIE REDKNAPP, DARREN ANDERTON.

The central defenders were:

Ugo Ehiogu played 4 times for Villa in the 1992-1993 season.

Neil Cox: played 14 times for Aston Villa in the 1992-1993 season.

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Posted: 21st, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


On This Site: photos of Iraq then and 10 years after the invasion

ON This Site is a photo essay of what life was like after the 21-days war that was Operation Iraqi Freedom and what it looks like now. Between 19 March 2003 to 1 May 2003, the Iraq War raged. Against a backdrop of duplicitous Western leaders (Tony Blair being the most craven) and Saddam Hussein’s brutality, the US led forces from the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland into Baghdad:

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Wednesday, March 13, 2013 photo, Iraqi policeman Ahmed Naji stands on the grounds of the Iraqi National Museum at the site of an Associated Press photograph of U.S. soldiers on guard outside the museum taken by Anja Niedringhaus on Nov. 11, 2003. Tens of thousands of artifacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos which followed the the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Despite international efforts to track items down, fewer than half of the artifacts have so far been retrieved. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Mideast Iraq On This Site

This Tuesday, March 12, 2013 photo shows a general view of Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad, Iraq, at the site of a photograph of Iraqi orphan Fady al-Sadik waking on the street, taken by photographer Maya Alleruzzo in April, 2003. The park that runs along Abu Nawas Street, named for an Arabic poet, is now a popular destination for families who are drawn by the manicured gardens, playgrounds and restaurants famous for a fish called mazgouf. Ten years ago, the park was home to a tribe of children orphaned by the war and was rife with crime.

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Wednesday, March 13, 2013 photo, Iraqi policeman Ahmed Naji stands on the grounds of the Iraqi National Museum at the site of an Associated Press photograph by Murad Sezer showing a U.S. Army tank parked outside the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad on Tuesday, May 6, 2003. Tens of thousands of artifacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos which followed the the US-led invasion in 2003. Despite international efforts to track items down, fewer than half of the artifacts have so far been retrieved.

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Thursday, March 14, 2013 photo, Hussein, 3, poses in Firdous Square in Baghdad with a photograph taken at the site by Jerome Delay of the Associated Press showing the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down by U.S. forces and Iraqis on April 9, 2003. Ten years ago on live television, U.S. Marines memorably hauled down a Soviet-style statue of Saddam, symbolically ending his rule. Today, that pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides.

 

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Saturday, March 16, 2013 photo, street photographer Raad Mohammed poses with a photograph taken by photographer Khalid Mohammed in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square showing an Iraqi soldier manning a checkpoint on Friday, June 9, 2006, after the Iraqi capital was subjected to a vehicle ban in an effort to prevent reprisal attacks from suicide car bombs after the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Today, the square is the site of anti-government protests and a place for candidates in the upcoming election to display their campaign posters.

 

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Saturday, March 16, 2013 photo, motorists fill the main street in Baghdad’s busy shopping district of Karrada, at the same site of an Associated Press photo taken by Hadi Mizban on Friday, Friday, March 7, 2008 after a bombing that killed 53 people and wounded 130. Bloody attacks launched by terrorists who thrived in the post-invasion chaos are painfully still frequent, albeit less so than a few years back, and sectarian and ethnic rivalries are again tearing at the fabric of national unity.

Mideast Iraq On This Site

This Tuesday, March 12, 2013 photo shows a general view of Abu Nawas park in Baghdad, at the site of a photograph taken by Maya Alleruzzo showing Iraqi orphans playing soccer with a U.S. soldier from the Third Infantry Division in April, 2003. The park that runs along Abu Nawas Street, named after an Arabic poet, is now a popular destination for families who are drawn by the manicured gardens, playgrounds and restaurants famous for a fish called mazgouf. Ten years ago, the park was home to a tribe of children orphaned by the war and was rife with crime.

Mideast Iraq On This Site

In this Friday, March 15, 2013 photo, a woman and her child look at a camel at the Baghdad Zoo, as Abdullah, 8, poses with a photograph taken on July 20, 2003 at the same site by Niko Price of the Associated Press, showing a U.S. soldier visiting the newly-opened zoo. The zoo was decimated during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, when the staff fled and looters gutted the zoo and the park surrounding it. Only a handful of animals survived, and later the grounds were used as a holding facility for looters detained by U.S. soldiers. The zoo reopened in July 2003, after being rehabilitated under the care of U.S. Army Capt. William Sumner and a South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony. Today, it houses over 1,000 animals and is a popular destination for families.

Mideast Iraq On This Site

 

This Thursday, March 14, 2013 photo shows a general view of the crossed swords monument at the site of an Associated Press photograph taken by Karim Kadim of U.S. soldiers taken on Nov. 16, 2008. The crossed-sword archways Saddam Hussein commissioned during Iraq’s nearly eight-year war with Iran stand defiantly on a little-used parade ground inside the Green Zone, the fortified district that houses the sprawling U.S. Embassy and several government offices. Iraqi officials began tearing down the archways in 2007 but quickly halted those plans and then started restoring the monument two years ago.

Posted: 18th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The 25 most bizarre and adventurous aircraft ever invented

THE 25 most bizarrer and adventurous aircraft ever invented.

mr carron 1

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Posted: 16th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


1948 test: How Masculine or Feminine Are You?

IN 1948, the sexually confused could take Psychoquiz to determine how masculine or feminine they were. Is your favourite movie star a guy or a girl? Do your enjoy reading The Winning Of The War in Europe & The Pacific or a still more romantic tome? Crabbing or dancing? Do you make slip covers or repair chairs? Flowers or vegetables? Plaid or flowery patterns? Do you take quizzes in magazine to check on your hormones?

HOw masculine feminine 9

HOw masculine feminine 10

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Posted: 16th, March 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Artist gives Queen Elizabeth a make-over on Australian five dollar note

WHEN her Majesty The Queen puts down her copy of Majesty‘The Quality Royal Magazine’ – (an ITV documentary reveals that Liz subscribes to the organ that records her own life. Whenever Phil asks her how her day went she can just toss the mag over to him and say,’There. Take a look’) she can look at her face on coins and bank notes. (Her Majesty is thought to favour the 10pence piece because it has no crow’s feet.) It’s all pretty samey – unless she see what this artist has down to her likeness on the Australian five dollar note.

 Queen aussie 24

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Posted: 15th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


I was Pope Francis’s 12-year-old lover (says Vera Duckworth look-alike)

Pope Francis wife

POPE Francis fancied 12-year-old Amalia Damonte.

No, no! Well, before he became Pope at a sprightly 76 years young, the 120 year-old Master Jorge had a thing for Damonte, 76. No! She’s wasn’t 76 , then. She’s 76 now.

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Posted: 15th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


10 incredible facts about Pope Francis

Vatican Pope

TEN things you never knew about Pope Francis, as reported on every media outlet in the world:

He’s never been arrested for drink driving in Essex

He’s Catholic

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Posted: 13th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How the BBC turned the killing of 11-month-old Omar into Hamas propaganda

Mideast Israel Palestinians UN

WHEN a child dies there are no winners. So, when an 11-month-old child died in Gaza during another battle between Iran-backed Hamas and Israel, the news can be only grim. The mood must be regretful. But it’s important to know the truth.

The child killed was the very young son of Jihad Misharawi. He was called Omar. Jihad has worked as a journalist for the BBC’s Arabic division.

Mr Misharawi’s brother and his sister-in-law also died from the explosion that killed the child.

The image of the dead child in his father’s arms was spread by media. It was heart-wrenching. It was also politically charged. The Palestinians have used dead children to paint the Israelis black before. (The BBC has bought into alleged fakery.) It would be wise not to rush to judgement.

But many did.

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Posted: 12th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (9) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The 49 most inexplainable pictures on Google

ON Google, and elsewhere, from time to time an image crops up that makes you wonder. And then it makes you stop and stare. And if you’re like us, you save the picture and show it other people, and gauge their reactions. Do any one of them say, “Oh, yeah, I remember this” or “Dad!” or “Did you find that on the crashed space ship? The Moolanians, right? I told them. They never believed me. But I told THEM!” Take a look through the gallery. If you recognise anyone, let the correct authorities know:

explain the image 1

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Posted: 12th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The troubling case of Chris Wilson – convicted for not telling his sexual partner he was transgender

IN Scotland, freedom is being challenged. Chris Wilson has been at Edinburgh High Court. He entered a guilty plea for “obtaining sexual intimacy by fraud” and “deceiving” two sexual partners. Wilson’s crime was to tell/show his lovers that he was a man. But, according to his birth certificate, he’s a female.

Chris Wilson had sexual relations with two young women. One was aged 15. It went no further than a kiss. The other was 15 but told him she was 16. She and Wilson did have sex. Wilson told them both he was 17. He was 21 at the time. He’s now 25.

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Posted: 12th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Sun says it saved Paul Gascoigne’s life – what utter bollocks

Gazza rehab

IT’S day 2 of the Sun’s look at Paul Gascoigne, the alcoholic former England footballer whose life was saved by medics in America. Today, the Sun leads with news that Gazza was saved by a plea from Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager for whom the footballer never played.

Ferguson added his thoughts and good wishes on a DVD sent to Gascoigne. Others on the video include: Lord Alan Sugar, Paul Merson, David Moyes, David Ginola, Walter Smith, Bill Kenwright, Chris Evans, Wayne Rooney and Roy Hodgson, the current England manager. Oh, and Gascoigne’s mother, who “sobbed as she begged him to survive”, his dad, his sisters and his nephews. Says Gazza: “That DVD helped save my life.”

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Posted: 11th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Terrible adverts: the world’s greatest one-bedroom apartment (with cracking photos)

ON Craigslist, you can rent a 1 bdrm apartment

Perfect for college student!

Quiet building, close to parks and public transportation

Private secure entrance
Exposed brick
Fireplace
Spacious furnished bedroom
Overhead lighting
Stainless steel appliances
Plenty of closet space

Month to month
No pets
Non-smoker preferred

craigslist flat

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Posted: 10th, March 2013 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0