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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)
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Watermark [Blu-ray + DVD Double Play]
Watermark [Blu-ray + DVD Double Play]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Baichwal
Price: £16.25

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real Poseidon adventure?, 24 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With its impressive cinematography occasionally approaching the stunning beauty of the Planet Earth: Complete BBC Series [Blu-ray] and its contemplative and respectful tone ringing faint echoes of Koyaanisqatsi+Powaqqatsi [Blu-ray], Watermark is a profound and informative documentary exploring humankind's relationship with water.

Directors Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky take us on a aquatically-themed tour around the globe, often employing stark contrasts to add to the dramatic effect. The mighty flow from a vast dam morphs into a parched desert valley whilst the beauty of a pristine lake and of curiously symmetrical irrigation features is contrasted with foul effluent flowing into a river in Bangladesh. One comparison which struck me as slightly cheap was the footage of pilgrims taking their devotional Kumbh Mela dip in the Ganges suddenly then cutting to a Californian surfing contest.

Extensive use is made of aerial filming, sometimes skimming along just above the water, then zooming out to extreme distance. It's not just visually gorgeous though. Surround sound is used to very good effect too and, if you have a quality HD TV coupled to decent home cinema audio, you are in for a treat.

But is the undoubted eye and ear candy enough to merit repeated viewings? Maybe not, particularly given that the commentary can come over as slightly preachy and dull at times. I thoroughly enjoyed Watermark once though and may have it playing in the background occasionally purely for its ambient therapeutic value. Should look terrific on an upscaling 4K TV!

Overall, 3.5 stars feels about right.

Poseidon himself would be proud of the scenes depicting water's thundering power and majesty.


Airfix Quick Build Challenger Tank Model Kit
Airfix Quick Build Challenger Tank Model Kit
Price: £9.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so challenging construction but very pleasing results, 22 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I loved the traditional Airfix 1:76 scale tank kits when I were a lad. I built every one of the WW2 series kits for wargaming and dioramas and they could be fairly challenging to get good results - especially those Tigers and Panthers with all their interlocking wheels. This is quite a different proposition. Instead of 100+ fiddly little pieces requiring glue, this Challenger tank kit comprises just 35 pieces, which snap together in Lego manner. Complete construction time, including applying the self-adhesive decals, should take no more than 20 minutes. No scale is give on the box or instruction sheet, but it looks to be around 1:48.

The finished result is certainly attractive though and is a satisfactory representation of a Challenger 2 tank (I just compared it with the stock photo on the Wikipedia page). The turret swivels, the gun elevates and the wheels turn freely so you can push it along on its tracks (something which always proved problematical with the old kits).

As the Challenger 2 served in Iraq during the Gulf war (and with its famous Chobham armour proved pretty well invincible against Saddam Hussein's armour) this model is finished in sandy coloured plastic. It says no paint required, but a little mottling with khaki paint, adding some aerials and perhaps some camouflage netting would certainly add to the realism.

I do recall that the old kits were packaged with attractive cover art and the instruction sheet gave you some interesting facts about the vehicles and their operational history. Sadly, AIrfix no longer give you anything like that and all you get is a photo of the model and a simple diagrammatical instruction sheet. I guess the Internet is only a few clicks away though if you are interested in learning more about the Challenger 2.

Overall, this is an attractive little model that should appeal to tank fans young and old alike.


Spandex Chair Cover Premium (Ivory)
Spandex Chair Cover Premium (Ivory)
Offered by ChanceryChairCover
Price: £3.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and excellent value for money, 20 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived securely packed after just two days, I cannot fault these covers. Exactly as described, they fitted our four dining chairs perfectly and gave the whole dining area in our conservatory a stylish new look that belies their low purchase price. The stretchiness of the spandex means they should fit pretty well any fairly standard dining chair. At this very reasonable price, I have no hesitation in recommending these covers. Will probably buy a second set in an alternative colour.


Coachies Cat Treats 65g (Tuna)
Coachies Cat Treats 65g (Tuna)
Offered by Mighty Oak Trading
Price: £3.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pricey but well received and healthy treats, 20 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our domestic long-haired Puss is quite a fussy eater, turning her nose up at standard Whiskers cat food and even at Morisson's own brand cat treats. I therefore awaited her verdict on Coachies with interest.

On first opening the pack, I immediately noticed that these have quite a strong aroma - unlike Dreamies for example. Well, I dropped a few into her bowl and she sniffed them a bit suspiciously at first before tucking in quite happily and finishing them all.
Perhaps not quite the obvious relish with which she devours Dreamies or Temptations, but she still clearly enjoyed her first taste of Coachies.

As for the claims regarding improvements to joints, skin and coat, I cannot comment on that after just one pack, but these do seem to be healthier overall than some rival treats.

On the negative side, they are rather expensive, costing significantly more than rival brands of cat treats. Would I buy them again? Yes probably, but to make a regular customer out of me, Coachies would need to drop their price a little bit!


Alien: Isolation - Nostromo Edition (Xbox 360)
Alien: Isolation - Nostromo Edition (Xbox 360)
Price: £32.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and probably the most claustrophobic game ever., 20 Oct 2014
There have been plenty of Alien games in the past, but none that truly captured the gothic horror of Giger's nightmarish creation. Alien Isolation comes pretty damn close to succeeding though and in providing a near-perfect survival/horror game.

Even on an ageing games platform such as the Xbox 360, this game looks absolutely superb. They did an excellent job of recreating the look and feel of the original (and best) Alien movie, with plenty of dark shadowy corners, forbidding tunnels and some gloriously retro-looking hardware. Not to mention the eerie sound effects, many of which have been sampled from the movie.

I'm now perhaps 40% of the way through the game and I feel the difficulty level is just about right - if you play at the default ("easy") level that is. For Easy, read pretty damn challenging. For Medium read, not a hope in hell and for Hard read You are having a laugh! On easy, I found that each session allows you to progress a little bit further and, on completing some particularly difficult scenarios, you will feel a genuine sense of achievement.

The AI of the other characters and, of course, of everyone's favourite xenomorph, is quite impressive. There was a particularly tense session near the end of mission 3 where you have to sneak from one side of a large lobby to the other without being seen and shot. Crouching behind furniture, peeking out occasionally and then timing your run to get to the exit before being blasted was truly nerve-wracking and gave a very strong feeling of "being there". The other characters don't just follow you blindly, but will react to noise and try to head you off, so plan your escape routes carefully. There are plenty of save points dotted around, so you are unlikely to encounter the frustration of having to backtrack and replay hours of the game, although some scenarios (such as the lobby mentioned above) will probably take you several attempts to complete.

It took well over 2 hours of playing before I even got my first sight of the Alien, but it was worth the wait! It is beautifully (or should that be hideously?) rendered here. In fact, you will hear it before you see it and the scampering noises and distant squeals build up your anticipation for the first encounter.

Whilst the overall plot is fairly linear, you have a considerable degree of freedom as to how to complete each mission. You can sneak your way through some levels, use technology to ace a level, or be downright aggressive - in melee mode you can do a fair bit of damage by swinging a hefty wrench!

I can't wait to get back on the Xbox and play again!

Given my progress so far, I reckon the main game should provide some 30 hours of gameplay but, with the "Survival Mode" and "Crew Expendable" extras supplied with this Nostromo Edition, that maybe doubles the longevity of this excellent game.

From what I've seen so far, in terms of profanity and gore, the 18 rating may be a bit over the top, but I wouldn't recommend this game if you are of a nervous disposition or at all claustrophobic! If being scared and tense for hours on end doesn't bother you though, then don't miss out on possibly the best survival/horror game ever!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2014 5:02 PM BST


Zyliss Digital Multi Timer
Zyliss Digital Multi Timer
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive and practical timer, 16 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Easily set up and with a big, clear LCD display, this is quite a cute little timer which shouldn't look out of place in any kitchen. The clever hinge at the rear means you can use it free-standing, clipped onto something or magnetically attached to a suitable surface. The 4 individual timers can be programmed to count down or up and it nags at you with a continual beep every second when the time is up. The CR 2032 lithium battery is included and should last a year. Dimensions are approx 3" x 2.5" x 1".

Only criticism is that the buttons are a bit soft and squishy and maybe a more positive click action would have improved the functionality. No big deal though. This works exactly as expected and is reasonably priced.


Vax Air3 Max Eco Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Vax Air3 Max Eco Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £249.81

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of both worlds - very impressed!, 15 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've never owned an upright vacuum cleaner before, always favouring the lighter weight and portability of compact cylinder cleaners. So my first pleasant surprise was that the Vax Air3 Eco Upright is surprisingly light, weighing in at just 8kg - comparable to our old Vax compact.

Assembly out of the box was very easy - simply slot in the adjustable handle and clip the hose into place. The user manual, like most these days, has very few words, but plenty of nice simple two-tone diagrams for you to follow. Just a couple of attachments are supplied - a crevice tool and an oval-headed tool for upholstery, curtains or indeed any flat surface when at a distance from the main body of the cleaner. This leads onto the amazing extending hose trick! Even with the extension tube fitted, I was sceptical of the illustration showing the hose stretching to the top of the stairs, but it does (just about!).

There are two principal settings - for hard or soft flooring. I tried it first on our living room carpet, which had been cleaned just the day before (using our admittedly geriatric and slightly wheezy old Vax compact) and the amount of dust, grit and cat hairs that I could see swirling around in the dirt container after just a few seconds, was extremely impressive. Boy does this vacuum cleaner suck (in the nicest sense)!

In terms of manoeuvrability, once the upper section is unlocked from the base, the handle pivots both up and down and left and right to give you great control for swerving around furniture or scooting under coffee tables etc.

It's attractively finished in grey, silver and orange too and the whopping great 6 year warranty provides some much needed peace of mind (and having had to use a Vax warranty in the past, I can confirm that they are very responsive and prompt in replacing faulty units).

All in all, the Vax Air3 Max Eco Upright combines the convenience and portability of a compact cylinder cleaner with the sheer raw power of a top quality upright and is certainly the best vacuum cleaner I've ever owned.

Highly recommended!


EMERGEN-C Zingy Lemon Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - Pack of 16
EMERGEN-C Zingy Lemon Energy Release and Immunity Support Food Supplement - Pack of 16
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unpalatable and not suitable for vegetarians, 14 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
EMERGEN-C is full of vitamins but not particularly palatable. Whilst it is not quite as sickly as Lem-Sip, dissolving a sachet in a glass of water results in a slightly effervescent and rather cloying lemony flavour. I noticed that this will repeat on you rather unpleasantly. More disturbingly, having now read the full list of ingredients itemised in a minuscule font, it contains bovine-derived gelatine and is therefore utterly unsuitable for vegetarians. The last thing I would expect in a health food/vitamin supplement was boiled up cow tendons! There's also a host of E-numbers and a hefty dollop of cane sugar. I certainly won't use this product again, preferring to take vegetarian-friendly multi-vitamins and minerals, which also work out far cheaper than EMERGEN-C.


Philips E14 Small Edison Screw 4 Watt 230 V 2 LED Non-Dimmable Bulb with Frosted Lustre, Warm White
Philips E14 Small Edison Screw 4 Watt 230 V 2 LED Non-Dimmable Bulb with Frosted Lustre, Warm White
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The future's bright..., 12 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not a lot really to say about these light bulbs, except that these cutting edge technology LED bulbs fire up pretty well instantly and give a pleasing steady, diffuse warm light.

Not particularly cheap but at 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, you may save a bit of money over the years and you'll have that nice rosy feeling that you're doing your tiny bit towards saving the planet from global warming apocalypse.

If they last ten years, I'll update my review to five stars!


Philips LED A60 9.5 W B22 Bayonet Cap Warm White Light Bulb (60 W Equivalent, 15,000 Hours)
Philips LED A60 9.5 W B22 Bayonet Cap Warm White Light Bulb (60 W Equivalent, 15,000 Hours)
Offered by DDL-Direct UK
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The future's bright ..., 12 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not a lot really to say about a light bulb, except that these cutting edge technology LED bulbs are quite attractive with their two-tone finish when off, fire up pretty well instantly and give a pleasing steady warm light.

Not particularly cheap but at 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, you may save a bit of money over the years and you'll have that nice rosy feeling that you're doing your tiny bit towards saving the planet from global warming apocalypse.

Noticeably heavier than the old style bulbs though, so bear that in mind if you wanted to fit this in an anglepoise lamp or similar.

If it lasts ten years, I'll update my review to five stars!


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