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Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.)

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

1 of 1 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:

Bosch AQT 33-11 High Pressure Washer
Bosch AQT 33-11 High Pressure Washer
Price: £64.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile, effective and very satisfying to use device, 1 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first pressure washer I've owned and, after a happy hour spent with it in my garden, I now wonder how I managed without one!

First things first, set-up is nice and easy, as illustrated by 7 simple illustrations in the user manual (the manual covers 31 different languages and the text is more concerned with safety than instructions for use). The business end looks rather rifle-like, which makes it quite fun to use and you can pretend you're hunting Walter Palmers as you're blasting all the crud away.

Plug your hose in, connect the unit to the mains and you're ready to rock. It did a great job of cleaning all the birds' mess off my decking, blasting the moss off my conservatory roof, clearing some blocked guttering, giving my windows a quick spring clean, restoring the grimy alloys on my car back to a pristine shine and shifting months of accumulated crud from my mountain bike. Next time my wheelie bin is empty, I'll use this to freshen up its interior too. By tomorrow I'm sure I'll have thought of more uses for this very versatile device.

So why not the full 5 stars? Well firstly, it is very noisy in operation - when I first switched on, I got almost as much of a shock as my cat who had been curiously watching me set the thing up (hope she'll be back later). The manual even suggests you wear ear-protection, which is probably a bit OTT, but be prepared for something far noisier than a vacuum cleaner. Next, the cable length of 5 metres sounds a lot, but will not be sufficient for many tasks. Therefore an extension lead will be required and, due to the large amount of water this throws out, it is recommended you use special rubber-shrouded extension cables. I didn't have such equipment, so had to exercise great caution when using this. Finally, you will find that, even when switched off, some water will drip out, so I'm on the look-out for some sort of waterproof zip-case to keep the device in. Would have been nice if one was provided, but I guess that would bump the price up a fair bit. For now a bin liner will do.

All in all, minor criticisms aside, I am very pleased with this device, which I am sure to get a great deal of use from. With money saved from car washes, window cleaners, bin cleaning etc. this should pay for itself within a year. Recommended.

Under Ground
Under Ground
by S. L. Grey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable EOTWAWKI Whodunnit, 28 July 2015
This review is from: Under Ground (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been a fan of post-apocalyptic/end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it yarns ever since, as a youngster, watching Terry Nation's superb 'Survivors' series back in the 70's (not the pointless and lightweight 2008 remake). This novel even threw in a few hat-tips to Survivors (most notably the cheeky speculation that some Chinese guy started the plague by dropping a test-tube), but then takes its own path, by throwing our protagonists together in the claustrophobic environment of a "Preppers'" Sanctum.

The story unfolds from the viewpoint of a different character each chapter, which I initially found a bit irritating but, by the end, had to acknowledge was an appropriate and rather clever technique, as it provides enough opinions, views and clues to set the reader speculating as to who could be behind the bloody deeds that ensue.

There are a few twists along the way, which the astute reader may predict, but one major one totally blind-sided me and didn't feel entirely convincing.

Only criticism would be that some of the characters tread perilously close to becoming clichés at times (most notably the Guthries) but, I guess, characters like that really do exist in the USA?

Overall, a decently-written murder-mystery with an apocalyptic bent, which rattles along at a very good pace and which certainly held my interest until the quite disturbing but genuinely satisfying conclusion. Certainly not classic literature, but well worth a read!

Vie Magnesium Salt Flakes - 400g Jar
Vie Magnesium Salt Flakes - 400g Jar
Offered by Healthcare Europe
Price: £5.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Softens the water effectively but very expensive for what you get, 27 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Given that the instructions state you should use 2 – 3 cups in a bath and that this only contains a modest 400g, your money only buys enough for about a bath and a half!

Instead, I tried a smaller amount to soak my aching feet after a hard day's cricket. Well the water certainly felt nice and soft, but I cannot honestly say it felt miraculous or indeed any better than any standard bath salts/gel. My wife then tried the remainder of the product in a bath and said it felt "OK but nothing special".

Unless you have a specific skin disorder where this may help, it's hard to recommend a product which has only a modest effect and which each use works out so expensive.

Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014]
Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014]
Dvd ~ Joel Kinnaman
Price: £6.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable but lightweight and ultimately pointless reboot, 26 July 2015
This review is from: Robocop [Blu-ray] [2014] (Blu-ray)
On the plus side, this reboot of Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic sci-fi/horror looks spectacular; the ED209s move smoothly and convincingly, Murphy's few remaining organic parts are impressively on display and there is some nicely updated technology - like the transparent iPad devices. In geopolitical terms, there are elements of contemporary news, echoing people's concerns over the proliferation of drones and, of course, islamic suicide bombers. Surround sound is used to very good effect and the rocking soundtrack was great - loved Hocus Pocus during one of the most spectacular shoot-outs.


It seems to have totally missed the biting satire, black humour and jaw-droppingly sadistic but comic-book style über-violence that made the original film so iconic. Diluting the hard-hitting violence down to a 12 reduces the impact of the film by orders of magnitude and makes it feel, ultimately, rather irrelevant. Unlike the original, I suspect this will be forgotten in a few years time.

So, if two hours of impressive but lightweight eye (and ear-)-candy is enough to entertain you, then go for it by all means but, for my money, this has joined the ranks of other pointless sci-fi remakes such as Rollerball, The Time Machine, Total Recall, War of the Worlds and I am Legend, all of which fell way short of the original and felt like they were merely cynically milking the franchise.

If it weren't for Hocus Pocus, it would have been 2 stars!

niceeshop(TM) Electric Double Layer Milk Coffee Cappuccino Creamer Frother Maker Whisk(Random color)
niceeshop(TM) Electric Double Layer Milk Coffee Cappuccino Creamer Frother Maker Whisk(Random color)
Offered by niceEshop
Price: £2.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly cheap but fun to use and does the job well, 23 July 2015
Having recently invested in a Nespresso machine, naturally I wanted to try it with some frothy milk. Obviously you can buy a professional milk frother for £30+ but, for a tiny fraction of that, I thought I would try one of these devices first. Initial impressions weren't that great as, on opening the device, I saw that the rear battery plate had come loose. It simply slotted back in place though and, after installing two AA batteries I was ready to froth. One button switches on/off and I'm happy to report that it does a very good job. Around 45 seconds of whisking a small jug of milk turns it into a beautifully mousse-like consistency, which will top-off your coffee admirably. There is something quite sensual about sipping delicious quality coffee through a cool and frothy topping. With your frothed milk you can even be artistic - plopping approximations of concentric circles, smiley faces or flower designs on top of your coffee - check out some of the video tips on YouTube!

Only criticism is that, if you keep this device in your cutlery drawer along with other utensils, the steel prong business end can get bent rather easily and is very difficult to get perfectly straight again. This means it vibrates a bit in operation, but still works very well. No big deal though, at this bargain price - less than the cost of one quality coffee from your local barista, it's cheap enough to replace (and store the replacement unit a bit more carefully).

A very inexpensive way to produce professional-looking and tasting coffee.

SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
Price: £7.77

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sexy little mood light. Nice product, 18 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When this Amazon package arrived, I was initially concerned that the bottle light was missing. Ripping open the folds of cardboard finally revealed this tiny and extremely light device. It really is the size of a cork. Pulling the cork part away reveals the USB plug. This fits any standard USB socket (it's just been retrieved from my iPad charger) and one hour's charge is supposed to provide at least 3 hours' lighting.

I tried it in a green wine bottle first and was a little underwhelmed by the amount of light produced. I then remembered an attractive frosted plain glass bottle we had picked up in France recently (originally containing a rather cheeky little rosé) and which was being used as a vase. Well the flowers got unceremoniously dumped to one side and the bottle light was inserted. Very nice results! Have a look at my photo of the light on my garden table, taken at 22:00 tonight without using flash. The light would be just about sufficient for a couple to enjoy a romantic al fresco bite to eat, but it's all about mood really isn't it? A few of these would really set quite an enchanting mood for an evening BBQ (are they sold in multi-packs?).

What better excuse do you need to keep drinking wine until you find the perfect bottle?

Nice product!
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SODIAL(R) Adjustable Angles USB Electric Air Conditioning Mini Fan Air Cooler Blue
SODIAL(R) Adjustable Angles USB Electric Air Conditioning Mini Fan Air Cooler Blue
Offered by A Brilliant Planet
Price: £6.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly effective and great value for money, 17 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wasn't expecting much at this very low purchase price, but I am sitting here now, tapping out this review on my iPad, in a mini heat-wave, with some deliciously cool air being blown at me thanks to this little device.

It runs off a standard USB socket and the lead (provided) will fit most mobile phone or iPad chargers. Put a little water and maybe an ice cube in the tray and switch on. That's all there is to it! Obviously it won't chill a whole room but, to keep a couple of people cool while watching TV in the British summer, this is very effective.

Only criticism? Well it does vibrate a bit, so mine is stood on a cork coaster, which makes it smooth and quiet in operation.

Overall well worth buying. Came securely packed after 12 days.

PS. The 1-star reviews here seem to be describing a totally different device. Sort it out please Amazon!

Brabantia FlatBack+ Pedal Bin, 30 L - White
Brabantia FlatBack+ Pedal Bin, 30 L - White
Price: £126.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but beautifully designed bin, 15 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Brabantia designers seem to have thought of everything when it came to this, possibly the ultimate pedal bin,

The flat-back design saves you a little kitchen floor-space, as it will stand flush against a wall. The D-shaped base gives it a smaller footprint than conventional round bins, but it still feels totally stable in use. The pedal mechanism is wonderfully smooth and positive - like gently pressing the accelerator on a prestige car. The lid stops just short of a 90 degree opening angle, so it will not bash against your wall and the closing function has a quality damping mechanism so it shuts slowly and smoothly.

Hard to fault this bin, but if pushed to make some criticism, it would be that the slightly odd size means the bespoke Brabantia bin bags will fit it best - and they are a bit costlier than most (a starter pack of 3 is supplied with the bin) and, of course, the initial purchase price of this bin is verging on the eye-watering, hence one star deducted.

Still, if you don't mind paying for quality, this is almost certainly the best pedal bin you will ever buy and the 10 year warranty gives you good long-term peace of mind.

Igenix Liteway LW4251 Small Bayonet Cap Energy Saving LED Golfball Lamp 5 W - Clear
Igenix Liteway LW4251 Small Bayonet Cap Energy Saving LED Golfball Lamp 5 W - Clear
Offered by BestBuyUk
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Future's Bright, 13 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This cute little golf ball style light bulb comes on instantly and produces a pleasing, steady light.
You can also bask in that warm rosy feeling that it's using much less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs and it shouldn't need replacing for years.

What's not to like? (Apart from the admittedly rather high purchase price that is!)

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