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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)
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Trust Raina 20W Subwoofer Speaker Set, Black - Frustration-Free Packaging
Trust Raina 20W Subwoofer Speaker Set, Black - Frustration-Free Packaging
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good performance for the price, 30 Aug 2014
On the plus side, this is a very low price to pay for a sub and two speakers. It's simple plug and go technology and is USB driven, so doesn't require a separate power socket. Whilst it's never going to rattle your windows, the bass is surprisingly deep and overall volume is adequate for gaming or music.

On the down side, the speaker cables, at a mere 1metre, are ridiculously short. I like to position a sub down at foot level, but was hoping to position the left and right speakers up near ear-level. As they plug into the rear of the sub and need to be spread maybe 6 feet apart for decent channel separation, this is utterly impossible without splicing some more speaker cable into the system. One further slight irritation is that the on/off and volume controls are located at the rear of the sub, which is far less convenient than the usual front-facing controls.

No big deal though. If your budget is tight, this Trust Raina 2.1 system will give you a huge audio improvement over your average desktop or laptop's internal speaker and the value for money is exceptional.


Sunlounger Weather Cover
Sunlounger Weather Cover
Offered by GoodsWholesaleUK
Price: £7.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value and quick delivery, 30 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a generous-sized and perfectly-shaped waterproof cover, which should fit pretty well any sun-lounger. The eyelets and ties are a nice idea so you can secure it too.

At (currently) the cheapest such item I could find here on Amazon, it's hard to fault this!


Hamilton Beach HBF500-UK Commercial Food Blender with Chop/ Pulse and Variable Speed, 1.4 Litre, 600 Watt, Grey
Hamilton Beach HBF500-UK Commercial Food Blender with Chop/ Pulse and Variable Speed, 1.4 Litre, 600 Watt, Grey
Price: £483.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mother of all food blenders!, 27 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This device is described as a commercial food blender and the hefty price tag certainly reinforces its industrial catering heritage.

Everything about the HBF500 simply exudes robustness and quality. It is quite a heavy unit at almost 9 lbs and, when fully assembled with jug and dosing cup, stands a whopping 20 inches tall. It sits very securely on its four thick rubber feet and the toggle switches and rotary control are well-designed with a nicely positive action and are intuitive to use. It purées vegetables into perfect consistency soup in just a couple of seconds but, given the massive 1HP power behind those blades, it is not particularly noisy in operation. The blades should cope with pretty well anything you throw at them from whole nuts to ice cubes. The jug/container is graduated in both imperial and metric measures and contains a generous 2½ pints or 1.4 litres.

No extras of any description in the box - just the base unit, jug, lid, dosing cup and a very minimal instruction manual. But I'm thinking in domestic terms once again - I suppose no self-respecting chef would have much use for a suggestions booklet or collection of recipe cards.

So, while it may be difficult to justify the HBF500's eye-watering purchase price for average domestic purposes, it is reassuring to know that this is probably as good a blender as money can buy and it certainly looks like it will last a lifetime.

Arrived very securely packaged, just two days after placing the order.

I am delighted with it!


Melissa & Doug Create-A-Craft Car and Train Bundle
Melissa & Doug Create-A-Craft Car and Train Bundle
Price: £7.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive model kits - simple but satisfying, 25 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I agree with the other reviewer that these kits would probably be beyond the capabilities of a 4 year-old. For my 6 year-old nephew however, they proved ideal. He just needed a little supervision and reassurance ("are you sure that's right?") to produce very satisfactory results. In terms of achieving a very pleasing finished product from a fairly minimal construction effort, I think the Create-A-Craft designers and manufacturers have got it just about right.

Clearly, the finished models are not suitable for rough playing, so I hope my nephew will look after them and, in the years to come, they just might pique his interest to start building more complex construction kits.

Delivery was commendably quick - just two days, and the kits were very securely packaged.

Overall, a nice little product at a reasonable price.


Vax Dual Power Total Home Carpet Cleaner
Vax Dual Power Total Home Carpet Cleaner
Price: £99.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very impressive cleaning power, but slightly awkward maintenance., 23 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really threw my Vax Dual Power Total Home Carpet Cleaner in at the deep end by trying it on a well-used carpet which had seen years of cats pussyfooting all over it. The transformation was remarkable! There was a very noticeable difference in the before and after sections. The dirty water tank was soon transformed into a sludge as black as Guinness, as years of accumulated grit and grime were removed and what had been a rather shabby and stained carpet looked bright and fresh again.
The extension hose is ideal for stairs and the generous 8 metre power cable means you don't have to keep unplugging as you go from room to room.

So far so good and my initial impressions were that this device would easily ace a 5-star review.

After a few minutes though, I noticed a change in tone and observed that all the shampoo mixture in the upper clean water tank had already been used. This device certainly does slurp the shampoo through at a very rapid rate and an average living room carpet will need multiple refills to complete. I estimate that a 1.5l bottle of the Vax Ultra carpet shampoo (costing around £15 here) should suffice for maybe 4 or 5 average living room carpets. Next, both the upper (clean) and lower (dirty) water tanks are very tight fits. This is understandable to prevent any spillage during operation, but it does make it a bit fiddly to add fresh shampoo mixture or empty the dirty water. I found I had to pull up on the lip of the upper body shell to pry it apart slightly before the upper tank would slot into place.

Finally, cleaning the base unit containing the rotating brushes, is not at all easy. Even if you vacuum thoroughly first, lots of damp fluff will accumulate around the brushes and on the upper inside part of the base unit. The only way to remove this seems to be to (unplug first!) reach your fingers in and pick the fluff out bit by bit. A shame that the designers didn't incorporate a flip-up lid to facilitate cleaning.

No big deal though. The minor inconvenience of frequently de-fluffing the cleaner is more than compensated for by its truly remarkable ability to rejuvenate old carpets.

In terms of weight, this is comparable to a typical upright vacuum cleaner, which makes it far more portable and manageable than the significantly heavier and bulkier Rug Doctor carpet cleaner we hired once.

Overall, I am very pleased with the Vax Dual Power carpet cleaner and I have no hesitation in recommending it.


The Art of Conversation: Change Your Life with Confident Communication
The Art of Conversation: Change Your Life with Confident Communication
by Judy Apps
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative self-help guide, 23 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although I found this book initially a little wordy and slow to get into the really useful stuff, by the time I'd reached chapter 2, I discovered a plethora of genuinely insightful material, that certainly made me analyse my conversational skills (or lack thereof *).

The book itself is written in quite a conversational style, echoing the fundamental message that a conversation depends on give and take. There are plenty of exercises to try, some examples from real life - some quite amusing, others striking me as a bit far-fetched, and plenty of pit-falls to avoid - marked with a large exclamation mark.

The great thing is that you can work on your conversational skills from the very start. Sections on body language, listening, staying aware, being flexible etc. allow you to hone those skills yet further. Each chapter is headed by an inspirational quotation - my favourite being Churchill's "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

Overall, this is an undeniably useful guide to self-analysis but, be aware, that you may be a little shocked at what you discover!

* Yes indeed. I found, to my dismay that I was verging on the "ego-bore" character. I will put Ms App's methods into practice to attempt to remedy that!


Oral-B Trizone 2000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Trizone 2000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Price: £49.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another highly efficient and dependable Braun product, 21 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is now my 4th Oral-B and I've always been impressed with their performance.

As with most things, the more you pay, the more bells and whistles you get and this Trizone 2000 model has two definitely worthwhile features - the 30 second 'stutter' to help you time your brushing routine and the pressure sensor to warn when you're pressing too hard. Whether this is sufficient to justify doubling the price of the basic Oral-B model is debatable I suppose, but I've come to appreciate these features.

Whilst I'm always suspicious of any claim including the words "up to..." (as any figure prefixed by "up to" must also encompass the value zero!), I have no doubt that use of a decent power toothbrush such as this will provide far better cleaning and remove more plaque than manual brushing.

Just used it this morning and my teeth really do feel dentist-clean. I would have perhaps liked a slightly larger and more stable base/charging unit, but that's only a minor quibble. You only get one brush-head with this unit too which, given their rather steep price, is a slight disappointment, but I guess, like every business, Braun has to make their profit somehow!

Overall definitely recommended - this is money well spent to invest in your oral health.


FRUIT OF THE LOOM LONG SLEEVE T SHIRT (S-XXL) (XL - 44/46", BLACK)
FRUIT OF THE LOOM LONG SLEEVE T SHIRT (S-XXL) (XL - 44/46", BLACK)
Offered by COOZO
Price: £3.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as advertised and excellent value for money, 21 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Can't fault this product. Arrived in just a couple of days in secure packaging. The size (I always go for XL) was exactly as expected - unlike some clothing from the Far East advertised on Amazon, where XL turns out to be a S/M, and the quality is as good as always from Fruit of the Loom. At well below shop prices, this was a genuine bargain and don't long-sleeved T shirts just look so cool?


Ultranatura Palma Series Rattan Wheeled Sun Lounger
Ultranatura Palma Series Rattan Wheeled Sun Lounger
Price: £113.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stylish appearance let down by poor design., 21 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First impressions were quite favourable - the Palma sun lounger came securely packed within two days. The rattan seat bed and back is attractive and the use of eucalyptus wood for the arms even has a pleasantly evocative smell to it! The wheels were fitted easily enough and both spin freely.

The big problem came when trying to lock the seat back into position; the lugs simply would not align with the plastic clips and no amount of forcing would snap them into position. I note that the other review remarked on the same problem, so this would appear to be a fairly fundamental design fault. I guess, like the other reviewer (and thanks for the tip!), I will have to unscrew the clips, attach them to the lugs and then try to screw them back into position. Having to do this before every use of the sun lounger, will be a very irritating chore!

Next disappointment is that the design allows only very limited movement/positioning of the back. This is probably the only lounger I have ever tried which will not permit you to lounge horizontally! Finally, whilst the rattan finish is certainly attractive, it does not strike me as particularly robust and, whilst my lady was fine with it, my 14 stone bulk made the rattan sag until I could feel the lateral reinforcing bars of the frame through the rattan. Probably best if I stick to our far more robust plastic sun lounger.

So, to summarise, the Palma sun lounger certainly looks the part, but its functionality leaves a lot to be desired.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2014 9:11 AM BST


Betty Blue: Deluxe 2 Disc Edition [Blu-Ray]
Betty Blue: Deluxe 2 Disc Edition [Blu-Ray]
Dvd ~ Clémentine Célarié
Offered by moviemail-uk
Price: £16.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiously uplifting tale of love, obsession and madness, 1 Aug 2014
**** slight thematic spoilers ****

Pouty, sexy Béatrice Dalle and Adrian Brody lookalike Jean-Hugues Anglade are excellent in this tale of an intensely passionate but stormy and ultimately tragic love affair. Amidst the beautiful love scenes, warning signs are already present that something terrible will happen. When tragedy strikes, after some three hours in this extended version, it is almost heartbreaking, as the viewer feels such empathy with Betty and Zorg. Indeed, one of my criticisms is that the other players in this fable are relegated to rather shallow, cartoon-like caricatures in their campy and grotesque excess. At times quite surreal, at others, laugh-out-loud hilarious, but ultimately, gut-wrenchingly poignant, director Jean-Jacques Beineix has given us a courageous insight into life's great comedy.

Image quality is excellent throughout and the soundtrack is truly memorable.

Perhaps not quite the masterpiece that some claim and, almost certainly a little too bloated in this extended version, Betty Blue (or 37.2°C in the morning, which I prefer) is still an unforgettable experience, which should touch the heart of everyone who has ever loved.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 5:20 AM BST


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