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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)

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6x8 Plastic Garden Shed ♦ Skylight Storage Sheds ♦ Palram Green Building ♦
6x8 Plastic Garden Shed ♦ Skylight Storage Sheds ♦ Palram Green Building ♦
Offered by Sheds_Start
Price: £417.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flimsy shed and assembly definitely not for the fainthearted, 24 Aug. 2015
I've constructed a similar sized wooden shed and a slightly smaller plastic shed before and neither were as complex and frustrating as the Palram 6 x 8 (in reality it's 5ft 11 x 7ft 6"). You will need to budget an entire day for the construction and two people are essential for several of the steps. Furthermore, be aware that, although it claims that a floor is included, it is just flimsy plastic card, so you will need to supply a rigid floor yourself. The panels are all alarmingly thin, but do acquire slightly more rigidity thanks to the metal frames. I would still not rest anything heavy against the inner walls of this shed though. The roof was particularly challenging to assemble and fit in place and getting holes to align was nigh-on impossible. Thankfully the manual is reasonably clear to follow and the main components are number-coded. The number of screws supplied seems a bit arbitrary and, whilst I had several of the longer screws left over, I had to pop down to B&Q to buy some more of the 12mm ones.

Now it's up, it does look quite good and, the heavy rain over the last two days has proved how waterproof the shed is. Had I realised how flimsy the materials were though, I would have paid a bit more for the more robust Keter equivalent shed. For what you get, this seems a bit pricey.

Review of the Palram 6 x 8 Green Skylight Plastic Shed, purchased through Waltons.

Bosch PHD1151GB Style to Go Hair Dryer - Black
Bosch PHD1151GB Style to Go Hair Dryer - Black
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed, highly portable and impressive performance, 20 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When folded, jack-knife style, this little hair dryer could comfortably slip into a pocket. Its performance though is remarkably good for its minuscule size.
You can even adjust the voltage for those 110 volt countries. It doesn't have a huge amount of features - just on/off, two power settings an an attachable nozzle, but its extreme portability makes the Bosch Style to Go Hair Dryer a travel essential for us.

Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 Plus Premium Noise-Isolating Earphones with In-Line Microphone
Creative Aurvana In-Ear3 Plus Premium Noise-Isolating Earphones with In-Line Microphone
Offered by Stuff-UK
Price: £110.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound and a reasonable alternative to Bose, 20 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the last three years, I've been using Bose SIE2i Sport earphones, which are similarly priced to these Aurvana ones and have provided brilliant service, whether I'm down the gym or listening to DAB radio in bed. The cable has started to split though at several points where it joins the volume control and at the ear buds themselves, so I thought these Aurvana earphones would be a good alternative.

First, the very positive points; the audio quality is excellent - certainly comparable to Bose, with deep rich bass, vibrant mid-tone and treble clear as a bell. The Aurvana cable has a woven covering - like a miniature Fender guitar lead, and certainly looks like it's built to last. It doesn't seem to snag or tangle as badly as vinyl-covered cables too - a big plus for me. Spare earbuds and a cleaning tool is provided, as is a quality pouch with a magnetic closure.

On to the (mild) criticisms. The business end of the earphones is quite chunky and weighty and gravity will pull them from your ears - unless you loop the cable over your ears as the manual suggests. I don't find this as good a solution as Bose's soft rubber frames that fit the outer ear snugly. Next, the volume control is of the analogue slider variety, with only a very small amount of travel between minimum and maximum. Again, the Bose version, being push-button digital, seemed much more precise. Next, the plug end is set at a 90 degree angle, rather than the more popular straight ones these days. Must admit I'm not so keen on that and, as the other reviewer suggests, it may well turn out to be a weak link in the fullness of time. Finally, the gross over-packaging was rather irritating and I'm sure the substantial hard-plastic box has boosted the purchase price of these earphones.

So, to summarise, these high-end earphones are expensive but provide undeniably excellent audio quality, which should satisfy even the most discerning audiophile. For my money, however, I believe the Bose equivalent just about pips them due to some superior design points.

Hercules [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Hercules [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Dwayne Johnson
Price: £8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular and entertaining mini-epic, 19 Aug. 2015
I found this movie to be much better than I expected. Hercules is an adaptation of a graphic novel, which does ring faint echoes of the likes of 300, but is more rooted in realism than fantasy comic-strip action. I particularly liked the way in which mythological creatures are given a plausible explanation here and the Greek gods and Hercules' own legendary demi-god status are kept in the background as the film focuses on the human aspects of ancient warfare and power-politics. The battle scenes are exceptionally well choreographed (although the gore is significantly toned down for a 12-rating) and BD picture quality and use of surround sound are superb throughout. Dwayne Johnson certainly looks the part and is ably supported by an amusingly fatalistic Ian McShane and a power-hungry boo-hiss baddie in John Hurt.

Commentary and a making-of featurette complete the package.

Obviously not Oscar material, but a very enjoyable 90 minutes all the same.

Whiskas Kitten Milky Treats 55 g
Whiskas Kitten Milky Treats 55 g
Offered by Toy and Gift Shop

5.0 out of 5 stars Kittens (and grown up kittens) love these., 16 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK, I'll admit that Puss is well out of her kittenhood, but she absolutely loves these. Purrs while eating them and meows for more.

These are consumed with at least as much gusto as Dreamies and the ingredients look rather healthier.

I doubt if any cat of any age could resist these and I'm sure the high calcium content will be of benefit to older teeth and bones too.

Your cat will love you for buying these.

The Knowledge: Jazz
The Knowledge: Jazz
by John Fordham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but accessible, informative and passionate introduction to Jazz, 10 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Knowledge: Jazz (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
John Fordham clearly loves his Jazz!

The Guardian's critic writes with an elegant but concise style and crams a surprising amount of information into the book's 160 pocket-sized pages. Fordham's enormous enthusiasm for Jazz also comes over strongly and, even before completing the book, I was Googling for local Jazz bars where I could experience live examples of this musical genre for myself.

The book traces the history of Jazz from its African roots through to its influences on many musical genres today. Brief but informative biographies are provided for the most famous and influential Jazz musicians. A comprehensive index adds to the usefulness of this book.

This is quite a little treasure of a book which may not quite tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Jazz, but will certainly provide you with enough knowledge to be able to discuss it without appearing ignorant and, more importantly, is certain to pique your interest to go out and listen to and appreciate the music.

Highly recommended for the Jazz tyro.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 13, 2015 3:48 PM BST

Vie Spray-On Mosquito And Insect Repellent 100ml, Deet Free, Suitable For Children And Babies
Vie Spray-On Mosquito And Insect Repellent 100ml, Deet Free, Suitable For Children And Babies
Offered by Healthcare Europe
Price: £8.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite effective and doesn't smell too bad, 9 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A couple of the grounds where I play cricket seem to lie within southern England's mosquito belt and, after being bitten to shreds and suffering horrible red lumps on my arms for a week afterwards following one match, I invested in some "Jungle Formula" mosquito spray. Well it did a decent job of keeping the mossies away, but smells quite horrible - like a combination of burning plastic and petrol. Even after a quick shower, my cat wouldn't come near me because of the smell.

Tonight, I tried the Vie spray instead. First, I noticed that the smell is far less offensive - a marked but not overpowering citronella. As for its effectiveness, well I noticed a few mossies flying around me, but no bites. My cat seems less perturbed by the smell too!

So, although it's twice the price of Jungle Formula, it seems to be as effective while being nowhere near as odorous.

Overall, seems like a very good product.

Phoenix [DVD]
Phoenix [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nina Hoss
Price: £11.25

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing, unsatisfying and pretentious, 7 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Phoenix [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whilst Phoenix recreates post-war Berlin competently and is undeniably well acted, the premise of a concentration camp survivor not being recognised by her husband after facial reconstructive surgery, required me to suspend my disbelief a step too far.

Had this been a British or American movie, it would probably have sunk without trace, but its continental origins probably guarantee it more success than it deserves.

There's some nicely atmospheric eye-candy along the way, a powerful and quite moving song routine late on and it's well filmed with some inventive camera angles, but the central premise of Phoenix remains utterly unbelievable throughout. Let's face it, skin grafts and re-constructive surgery in the middle of the last century could not produce anything like the aesthetic results on show here. Furthermore, a classic European enigmatic non-ending robs the viewer of any last vestige of satisfaction they were hoping to glean.

Picture quality is reasonable throughout and surround sound is used to occasional good effect. The 'Making of' documentary is worth one viewing too.

Overall though, I found this story spun around an impossible notion, quite disappointing.

Philips Pulse Relief Wireless Electro Pulse Therapy
Philips Pulse Relief Wireless Electro Pulse Therapy
Price: £129.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive pain relief device with very poor instructions, 6 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used a TENS device before - a nice straightforward one with admirably simple push-button controls, which seemed to help my painful knees to a degree. This, much more expensive device, I hoped would be even more effective.

Well, after two rather frustrating hours attempting to configure the device, I am now convinced that less is more and that your average user will struggle to get any use out of this device.

For starters, the supplied user manual is utterly useless, being more concerned with warnings against using the device (presumably to keep Philips on the right side of the law) than helping you set it up. A quick start pamphlet helped me get the application onto my iPad but, unlike the dreadful user manual, the app seemed to have too much information, laid out in a very baffling and unintuitive manner. I discovered that the plastic envelope containing the electrodes had a more useful quick start guide, so I followed that to get the electrodes onto my gammy knee. Back to the IOS app and, initially, I could not find the revolving body selection screen. In fact, the app seemed to have locked up as I could not exit the help screen. A quick restart on my iPad did the trick though and I was then able to select one of the 16 treatment programmes. The differences between the treatments is poorly described, so I found myself simply picking one at random. Felt some tingling, as expected but doesn't seem to have the intensity of previous (and significantly cheaper) TENS devices I've tried. Needed to set the level quite high - around 65, before I felt much.

I will persevere with this device in an attempt to get some use out of it but, overall I have to say that my experience so far has been very disappointing. I hasten to add that I'm no technophobe Luddite - being an IT professional myself, but I found this device exceedingly difficult to use. Philips really must put more effort into their instructions to make them more accessible.

Finally, the fact that you are only recommended to use the 2 electrodes a maximum of 20 times, makes this an extremely expensive solution. With me using this daily on my knee and my wife using it for her back, we would have to purchase a new electrode twin pack (at around £20 thank you very much!) every 20 days! Unless Philips reduce the price significantly, that is not going to happen.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker - Silver
Price: £29.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Innovative and effective device with a couple of issues, 1 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Hamilton Beach have a deserved reputation for innovative and high quality devices and this breakfast sandwich maker is no exception. The metal ring assembly seems well engineered and all the cooking surfaces have a robust non-stick coating.

It takes perhaps a couple of minutes to reach operational temperature, then you can start assembling your ingredients. I plumped for something nice and easy: half a bagel, slice of cheese, then cracked an egg onto the upper sliding plate, topped off by the remaining bagel half. 4 minutes later, you slide the plate out and your sandwich is ready. The bagel was beautifully crispy, the cheese deliciously melted and the egg cooked to perfection. In a word delicious!

So why just the 4 stars? Well first I couldn't help the thought that this feels like a slightly over-engineered solution to a simple enough problem; next, to avoid getting a painful burn you need to exercise caution when extracting your cooked sandwich, it's also slightly fiddly and time- consuming to clean and, irritatingly, the diameter of the rings and plate is slightly too small for standard sized UK bagels. Next time, I will buy mini-bagels but, for trying this out tonight, I found myself laboriously trimming the edges off my bagels. If they'd made the ring/plate half an inch wider I would probably have given this top marks.

So, whilst not 100% perfect, this is still a fun to use device that produces some delicious food with a very pleasing texture.

PS. My device came with just the quick start guide and no recipe booklet, but I found the following helpful ideas on the Hamilton Beach web site:

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