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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)
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Ferplast Raptor Cat Toy, Yellow
Ferplast Raptor Cat Toy, Yellow
Price: £30.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Because (some) cats just don't wanna have fun?, 19 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 0:47 Mins

I was really looking forward to watching Puss playing with the Raptor cat toy. I eagerly assembled the three components, inserted 3 AA batteries and .... well not a great deal of response as you will see!

Oddly, if I disconnect the arm and feather and dangle it above her head, she will stretch and go for it, but when attached to the Raptor base unit and operating in its random manner, Puss showed no interest, other than a slight irritation at the whirring noise. Will maybe try it with my sister's cats next...


Philips Multi-Groom Ultra Precise Beard Styler Series 1000
Philips Multi-Groom Ultra Precise Beard Styler Series 1000
Price: £17.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly efficient and good value for money, 19 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't expecting too much from this compact, lightweight and very inexpensive little unit, but it actually does perform rather well.
It cuts through your stubble pretty effortlessly and the choice of 1mm, 3mm (my preferred length) or 5mm trimming length should suit anyone who likes to keep a short, neat beard. Works well on sideburns and my son even swiped it to trim his full head of hair down to 5mm. OK so the 2cm wide head took several passes to complete the task, but it still did a decent enough job. The rubberised grip gives it a nice no-slip feel and the convenience of using it wet or dry is a nice touch too.

Not sure how long the battery (which is included) will last and I do generally prefer corded or rechargeable trimmers, but this little device does seem to punch above its weight, does a thoroughly satisfactory job and certainly represents very decent value for money.


Smiler's Fair: Book I of The Hollow Gods
Smiler's Fair: Book I of The Hollow Gods
by Rebecca Levene
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable dark, adult fantasy, 17 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been into the fantasy genre since first reading Lord of the Rings in my early teens and I've been seeking something to compare with that seminal work ever since.

Well Rebecca Levine may not be quite up there with Tolkien, but she certainly knows the secret of writing a compelling fantasy novel - making the reader truly want to know what's around the next turn of the road or lurking down the next dark tunnel.

Smiler's Fair is full of epic journeys - each of the main characters are forced, through various events, to leave the cosy world they know and head out into hostile and mysterious badlands, where their paths may well be destined to cross.

The characterisation throughout is pretty strong, with some delightfully nuanced characters - things certainly aren't a simplistic black and white in Smiler's Fair!

Whilst there is plenty of humour herein, don't expect light-hearted folderol throughout - there is brutal gore aplenty and some fairly explicit sex scenes. I was reminded of the style of Joe Abercrombie on several occasions and, if you enjoyed his novels, I'm sure you will love Smiler's Fair.

Having read an uncorrected proof, I do hope the typos and occasional silly mistakes (a donkey changes to a mule and Nethmi manages to dismount it twice without remounting first!) get corrected before the final version goes to print, because this is a highly readable page-turner and I was determined not to let such minor bugs ruin my enjoyment.

I look forward very much to the next instalment of The Hollow Gods.


teKKno® Sony Xperia Z3 [Complete Slim Protection] Stylish Defender Heavy Duty Shock Proof Case Cover with Back Stand Incl. LCD Guard + Cloth (Black)
teKKno® Sony Xperia Z3 [Complete Slim Protection] Stylish Defender Heavy Duty Shock Proof Case Cover with Back Stand Incl. LCD Guard + Cloth (Black)
Offered by teKKno
Price: £3.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive, ruggedised case at a reasonable price, 16 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Arrived after 5 days, securely packed.

This is a simple but nicely designed shell for the Xperia Z3. It has an attractively ruggedised rear, which makes your Xperia look a bit like a mini "Toughbook" military laptop. The fold-out stand props the phone up at 45 degrees, but in landscape mode only. Cut-outs for the charger, earphone, camera lens and strap-hole align perfectly. Tiny rubber caps sit on top of the phone's on/off, volume and camera buttons, necessitating slightly more pressure to operate than normal. Screen protector and cleaning cloth are provided too.

Only minor criticisms are that this shell gives no protection to the phone's front - would have been nice if it had some wrap-around rubber corner flaps, and a two-way stand to prop the phone up in portrait mode would have been a welcome touch.

No big deal though. For this reasonable price you're buying a case with a pleasingly tactile feel and which gives the sides, corners and rear of your treasured Xperia Z3 some much-needed protection.


Around the World  (PC)
Around the World (PC)
Price: £8.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential add-on for FSX, 10 April 2015
This review is from: Around the World (PC) (CD-ROM)
I'm a big fan of FSX and am often on the look-out for expansion material to extend the life of this wonderful product.

Around the World in 80 Flights is an excellent product which should appeal to any flight-sim aficionado. For the very reasonable cost, you get 80 flight plans (not missions), a beautiful recreation of the Lockheed Martin Electra 10, made famous by Amelia Earhart and her mysterious disappearance, a brief printed user manual and a PDF file on the CD with notes on each of the flights.

Sure, as the flights are not missions, there is nothing to stop any FSX user from creating their own around-the-world flight plan, except this would take a significant amount of time and research to ensure your fly-pasts include all the natural and man-made wonders you get to see here. Furthermore the Electra model provided is exceptional, with a choice of liveries and a delightfully cosy and highly detailed cockpit in which pretty well all of the controls are clickable. It's not a particularly easy aircraft to fly; there's a huge frontal blind spot when you're taxiing, so you need to zig-zag (or cheat with the external view of course!) and, when airborne, it tends to creep downwards, especially when the fuel tanks are full, so you need to compensate with frequent pulling back on the joystick or setting the elevator trim up a notch or two. But all this adds to the challenge and, after that first successful landing, you do feel a sense of achievement. Only 79 more flights to go!

Installation was quick and straightforward and the package seems totally compatible with third-party scenery (I use Just Flight's VFR England and Wales) and, living near Farnborough airport, I always get a kick out of flying over my house - especially in a wonderful old aircraft like the Electra!

Highly recommended.


2 4-in-1 Black Stylus Ballpoint Pen Laser Pointer LED Light for Capacitive Touch Screens iPad iPhone by GEARONIC TM
2 4-in-1 Black Stylus Ballpoint Pen Laser Pointer LED Light for Capacitive Touch Screens iPad iPhone by GEARONIC TM
Offered by Gearonic
Price: £3.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad value for money - even with only a 50% success rate!, 30 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My experience of this product echoes that of some other reviewers. I ordered one pair of these devices. One of them worked perfectly, whereas the second one produced a glimmer about half as bright as a dead firefly. In other words, it would appear that half of the units are despatched with dead or almost dead batteries. I can still use the dead one as a biro or stylus though and the working one has a reasonably powerful laser function - just about sufficient for presentations and more than powerful enough to give your cat something to chase!

Overall, despite the battery issue, this is a decent product at a decent price.


Philips GC7635/30 PerfectCare Pure Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature, 240 g Pressurised Steam Boost
Philips GC7635/30 PerfectCare Pure Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature, 240 g Pressurised Steam Boost
Price: £119.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not just any old iron, but is it, just maybe, a slightly over-engineered solution?, 30 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've got through a lot of irons in my time and I cannot recall any doing a better job than this one. Even heavily crumpled material which, previously would have required ironing two or three times, is ironed to perfection in just one pass with this device. The smart chip which supposedly detects the material and adjusts the iron's parameters accordingly, genuinely seems to work and negates the need for any manual adjustment. I haven't risked putting the "never burns" claim to the test, but it is reassuring that such a function is present. With the water tank, this is a fairly hefty unit, albeit not as massive as some steam generator irons, but the iron itself is not overly weighty and the plate is nicely shaped. So far so damn well superb!

On the downside, I find the reservoir and hose assembly a bit awkward in use and the recommended addition of water softening cartridges to prevent lime-scale accumulation will certainly bump up the running costs of this iron. The amount of steam generated doesn't seem any greater overall than in my previous conventional steam iron. Furthermore the provision of all these bells and whistles does bump up the purchase price significantly.

To summarise, the Philips GC7635/30 does an undeniably excellent job, but the reservoir and hose design makes it slightly awkward in operation and whether it is worth 2, 3 or 4 times the purchase price of more traditional steam irons (plus the ongoing cost for the water cartridges) is debatable.


Ethos 28cm Teflon Non Stick Perfect Pancake Pan
Ethos 28cm Teflon Non Stick Perfect Pancake Pan
Offered by Babz Media
Price: £7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Generous size and good value for money, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At a couple of cm wider than my previous crêpe pan, the output from this is generously sized and will almost cover your average dinner plate.

The pan base is not completely flat, but very slightly convex, which some crêpe traditionalists seem to prefer. This does mean though that the hot oil will tend to gather around the periphery of the pan, so you need to tip and swirl it around a bit before adding the batter/mix.

The handle isn't riveted like some very cheap pans, but is held in place with a screw (which is how I prefer it - I've had a few pans acquire wobbly handles and was helpless to remedy it).

Only time will tell how long the Teflon coating will last, but so far so good. Made some very well received French (buckwheat) galettes last night.

If you're happy with a convex pan base. then this is well worth buying.


Hama Vertical Window Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Black
Hama Vertical Window Case for Apple iPhone 5C - Black
Price: £10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Very basic but does the job at a reasonable price, 16 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This isn't a particularly attractive case, but it holds your iPhone securely, the magnetic catch is just the right strength and the shape and cut-outs are all accurate, so no problem with accessing buttons etc. Given the notorious fragility of a dropped iPhone, I would have perhaps liked a bit more padding, but this is way better than no case at all. The artificial leather looks OK - quite businesslike, if not particularly convincing. It's obviously far less expensive than an official Apple case, but there are cheaper options out there for your iPhone which would probably serve just as well.


The Life and Adventures of Poor Puss
The Life and Adventures of Poor Puss
by Gray Lucy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and charming short story, but probably too sad for today's children, 14 Mar. 2015
This 19th century short story tells the rather short life story of a working cat.

It starts with her death and then, in a series of flashbacks, covers her kittenhood, becoming a mouser, finding a mate and quite a few tribulations and narrow escapes along the way.

The language, as you would expect, is slightly archaic ("durst" instead of "dared not") but still very readable. The illustrations are quite charming.

The moral to the story would seem to be that naughtiness will incur punishment and that curiosity really will kill the cat.

I guess the book was aimed at the Victorian child, who lived a far less cosseted life than today's generation. A child today who is fond of their pet cat would probably find this story too sad and upsetting.

There is a certain stoicism about puss though and her indomitable and mischievous spirit will certainly be recognised by many cat lovers.


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