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Reviews Written by
Richard Allen (Wellington, Somerset)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

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Rocwood Loggers Safety Saw Horse
Rocwood Loggers Safety Saw Horse
Offered by yategm
Price: £48.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Limited Use Options, 25 April 2015
As others have said, the instructions are shockingly bad. The pictures on the box are a better guide. It took me about an hour to assemble. Once complete, though, it's fine. It's well enough constructed, and if you're at all wary of using a chainsaw, the operation is very safe. However, it only works well if you have a very sharp chain. Once you've lost the edge on the chain, you simply don't have any flexibility of adjusting your cutting position in relation to the log. And due to the design, you can't use the horse without the saw holder. I think that's a weakness, as I'm sure it could have been designed differently, and I'd like to have the flexibility to choose whether to use that feature or not. As a result I've had to retain my conventional horse for some tasks.


TONI&GUY  Men Styling Putty 75 ml
TONI&GUY Men Styling Putty 75 ml
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for a Lighter Hold, 24 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sadly I'm a little middle aged and lacking on top to be able to test this product effectively, but the teenagers in the family were more than happy to give it a go. Opinion was a little mixed, as both felt that the hold wasn't particularly strong and didn't allow for the level of styling that they prefer. However the smell and texture were both approved of. Overall, good but not great was the opinion, and they weren't persuaded to change from their normal brand.


This Is England [DVD] [2006]
This Is England [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Thomas Turgoose
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Compelling, 21 April 2015
This review is from: This Is England [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
I knew this was a very good film, but I was a little wary of the subject matter. Can watching a film about skinheads in the early eighties be a worthwhile experience? Having finally decided to give it a go after all these years, I'm very pleased I did. The film-making puts me in mind of Mike Leigh and Bill Forsyth. I'm not sure whether if Shane Meadows used the same improvisational technique of Mike Leigh, but the end result feels much the same. The acting and direction is excellent throughout, and the early eighties period is brilliantly captured. Despite it's subject, many of the characters are quite sympathetic. There is very strong language throughout, but the only explicit violence comes later in the film, and wasn't as difficult a watch as I'd feared. The air of menace that pervades certain characters and situations is very powerful. Of course the highlight of the film is the performance of Thomas Turgoose. It's quite staggering, from someone so young, and is not to be missed.


Roberts Radio Revival Mini DAB/DAB+/FM Digital Radio - Black
Roberts Radio Revival Mini DAB/DAB+/FM Digital Radio - Black
Price: £129.07

5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumph of Form and Function, 21 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have to admire the people in the Roberts' design and marketing departments. Forty years ago, you'd only expect to see a Roberts radio in your grandparents' house. They were the antithesis of cool. If younger generations wanted a radio, they'd buy a Phillips or Sony, something that looked modern from a trendy brand.

But somehow Roberts managed to avoid going the way of so many traditional British brands (Bush, perhaps). They embraced new technology but were able to re-brand their fifties designs as retro and cool. And by focusing on quality and design, they managed to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Very clever.

So what of this radio? First off, it's very well packaged, continuing the fifties theme. The radio looks great, if the retro chic thing is your style. And it looks and feels like it's really well made. Operation is incredibly simple, as with all DAB radios. Sound is excellent for such a small device. They only slight downside is that you have to provide your own rechargeable batteries if you want to use it outside. That seems a little mean at this price.

Overall, I'm hugely impressed, as I expect you can tell, and if the design is right for your environment, you won't be disappointed.


GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
Offered by UK tree
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky Little Lamp (for a couple of purposes), 20 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a quirky little light that could have a number of uses. Compared to the images here, out of the box it is perhaps a little lightweight and plasticy. However it looks quite stylish, and wouldn't be out of place in a bedroom or on a side table. The light quality is muted and not particularly strong, and not sufficient for me as a bedside light to read by. However, as a nightlight or a light for a dark corner of a room, it would be ideal, and as it is LED, the running costs will be negligible. The on/off/sound activation switch is at the back of the light and is quite small, which is another reason why I don't think it's suited as a bedside light. The sound activation works well, and the sound of a door or a soft clap will bring it on for a couple of minutes.

The instructions/description are quite sweet in their translation from Chinese to English, but perfectly sufficient. They suggest that the light would be suitable for a nursery, but I suspect that once you've made sufficient noise to activate it, you've probably woken the baby up, which might defeat the purpose of your visit. All in all though, I think this is a good product for a couple of uses around the home, and if the design appeals to you, then you should be very happy.

Note: I acquired this item at no charge on the basis of providing an objective review.


Science in Sport 60 ml Energy Gel Variety - Pack of 7
Science in Sport 60 ml Energy Gel Variety - Pack of 7
Offered by Pure Source Nutrition
Price: £1.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective and Energising, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I use gels as a part of my cycling nutrition/hydration regime. I find they help on longer duration rides, and I also carry a couple on each ride just in case I get the bonk. Normally I buy High5 gels as they are frequently on BOGOF. As a brand, I've used a number of SIS products and I've always been very satisfied with them. This "taster" box is an interesting concept as it allows you a chance to determine which is most/least palatable. I'll be honest and say that the flavour of these gels isn't hugely important to me. They are simply a source of energy, so once consumed they are washed down with water and the taste is quickly forgotten. However, I can report that none of these are particularly nice or nasty.

The packaging states that these are isotonic and can be taken without a drink. As I'm already using an isotonic drink, and would always wash a gel down to dispense the taste, that's not hugely important to me, though I guess it could be more relevant to a runner than a cyclist. These are though 60ml gels, so less concentrated than the smaller gels, which is my preference. Other than that, they perform exactly as I would expect, sustaining my performance on longer rides. As with other gels, the packing suggests three per hour. On a six hour ride, that could make things very expensive and I don't accept that is necessary, unless perhaps you're a very serious athlete. For me, one an hour in the later stages of longer rides alongside a small quantity of food and water has got me through even the toughest rides.


The Kamikaze Hunters: Fighting for the Pacific, 1945
The Kamikaze Hunters: Fighting for the Pacific, 1945
by Will Iredale
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A Well Researched and Fascinating Account, 10 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm pleased I took the trouble to read the reviews of this book before deciding to try it out. The title suggests a rather gung-ho, boys'-own account of fighter combat, whereas as this is a very well written and researched account of the activities of the Fleet Air Arm in the Pacific in the latter years of the second world war. Drawing on first hand testimony, this is a fascinating and readable account of an aspect of British service history that is not particularly well known. If you have any interest at all in this subject, I can heartily recommend this as an absorbing and illuminating account.


Alan Partridge - Partrimilgrimage: The Specials [DVD]
Alan Partridge - Partrimilgrimage: The Specials [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Coogan
Price: £5.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy, But Not Alan At His Very Best, 9 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having just watched Mid Morning Matters and Alpha Papa (both excellent and five stars), this doesn't quite hit the same heights. Whilst both episodes have their moments, they seem a little limited in scope. Perhaps it's the absence of the regular supporting characters (Lynn, Simon, Michael, etc) that make these seem a little lacking. There are still some great lines, but there's much less humour and more of the tragic side of Alan on display (the meeting with his old school teacher being a good example). Certainly these are a must for fans, but for me these shows weren't quite Alan at his best.


W1A [DVD]
W1A [DVD]
Dvd ~ Hugh Bonneville
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Observed, 8 April 2015
This review is from: W1A [DVD] (DVD)
Anyone who has worked in an office in recent times should enjoy this series. There is just so much of the modern office environment that is deserving of parody and is superbly captured here; hot desking, pointless meetings, management jargon, people promoted to their first rung of incompetence, etc. The cast is spot on in capturing this madness and there is so much here that brings home just how ridiculous is today's workplace.


SUPERIOR HIGH QUALITY BUTYL INNERTUBE 3.50 - 8 WHEELBARROW INNER TUBE / TR13
SUPERIOR HIGH QUALITY BUTYL INNERTUBE 3.50 - 8 WHEELBARROW INNER TUBE / TR13
Offered by ST&K Supplies
Price: £6.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Fine (For Now!), 5 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was disappointed when my Screwfix replacement wheelbarrow wheel went flat after only six months. On examination the inner tube had perished around the valve. Very poor. I was then very surprised to find it so difficult to get a replacement; so many five and one star reviews for the same product. In the end I chose this more expensive version, mainly as it had fewer one star reviews and in the hope that buying quality always make sense. It certainly feels a more substantial item than the tube it replaced. At the moment it is fitted and holding pressure, and I'll try to provide an update in the coming months. If it helps, in order to fit you ideally need a pair of bicycle tyre levers and it helps if you put a little washing up liquid around the tyre rim to help ease it back on.

Update: One week on, and all is still fine. I'm reassured that this is a decent product.


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