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Quiverbow (Kent, England)
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Philips HD9340/90 Glass Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Philips HD9340/90 Glass Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Price: £45.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boiling point (2), 30 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the most important pieces of equipment you can have is something many might not appreciate, as it's, well, it's 'just there'. It sits in the same place day in day out without complaint and without so much as a thank you from those who take advantage of its generosity. Yes, it's the humble kettle. Ranging in price from an eye watering £2,000 to a more affordable £9.99, there are literally hundreds to choose from, so how do you decide? Reading this review might help.

The two here are at the lower end of that price scale and though they may be 'just a kettle', there are differences to consider.

Aesthetics:
This dearer HD9340 is rounded glass whilst the Philips HD9305/26 Brushed Metal Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre is brushed silver steel. Keeping with the lower price, the lid of the HD9305 has to be manually lifted, as opposed to using a button for the former. And these things could make a difference to some. The on/off switch on the higher priced HD9340 glows red when on but the other kettle is just black.

Capacity:
Both have a maximum of 1.5 litres and both have a scale with 'cups'. The scale on this kettle is on the side but it's an unfortunate product of it being metal that the scale of the HD9305 is behind the handle.

Boiling:
I filled both to their maximum of 1.5l and timed each to when the automatic cut-off came into play. This glass model switched off after 4:11.33 but the brushed steel model was quicker to boil at 3:32.36. Does it matter? To me, no, but it's for you to decide whether it's important.

Cleaning:
The filter here simply slides in and out to clean but for those with larger hands, the anti-calc filter can be a bit fiddly to remove and replace in the cheaper model, though the lid can be fully removed simply by pulling it off.

Verdict:
Both do what they're supposed to in a way you would expect, so it all comes down to which fits in with the rest of your kitchen (or wherever you may use a kettle). The glass HD9340 looks more expensive and it is, but though the HD9305 is slightly more than half the price, it looks the same as a multitude of other kettles. The decision is yours.


Philips HD9305/26 Brushed Metal Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Philips HD9305/26 Brushed Metal Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Price: £25.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boiling point (1), 30 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the most important pieces of equipment you can have is something many might not appreciate, as it's, well, it's 'just there'. It sits in the same place day in day out without complaint and without so much as a thank you from those who take advantage of its generosity. Yes, it's the humble kettle. Ranging in price from an eye watering £2,000 to a more affordable £9.99, there are literally hundreds to choose from, so how do you decide? Reading this review might help.

The two here are at the lower end of that price scale and though they may be 'just a kettle', there are differences to consider.

Aesthetics:
This cheaper HD9305 is brushed stainless steel whilst the Philips HD9340/90 Glass Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre is rounded glass. Keeping with the lower price, the lid of the this has to be manually lifted, as opposed to using a button for the latter. And these things could make a difference to some. The on/off switch on the higher priced HD9340 glows red when on but here it's just black.

Capacity:
Both have a maximum of 1.5 litres and both have a scale with 'cups'. Alas, it's an unfortunate product of it being metal that the scale of the HD9305 is behind the handle whereas the HD9340 has its scale on the side.

Boiling:
I filled both to their maximum of 1.5l and timed each to when the automatic cut-off came into play. The brushed steel switched off after 3:32.36 and the glass carried on until 4:11.33. Does it matter? To me, no, but it's for you to decide whether it's important.

Cleaning:
For those with larger hands, the anti-calc filter can be a bit fiddly to remove and replace in the cheaper model, though the lid can be fully removed simply by pulling it off. The filter on the dearer model simply slides in and out.

Verdict:
Both do what they're supposed to in a way you would expect, so it all comes down to which fits in with the rest of your kitchen (or wherever you may use a kettle). The glass HD9340 looks more expensive and it is, but though this model is slightly more than half the price, it looks the same as a multitude of other kettles. The decision is yours.


Wonderwall Music
Wonderwall Music
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner, 26 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Wonderwall Music (Audio CD)
A fusion of Indian and Western music. Though it might not sound appealing, and it probably works better in conjunction with the film, there are some decent tunes here. Recorded in two separate sessions in India and London, Harrison does play on this, alongside the Remo 4, Eric Clapton, Ringo and others, including Monkee Peter Tork. This is it's second release on CD, though the first issue back in 1992 was met with universal indifference, not that many knew it was out. The fear was probably that though those in the industry were now looking elsewhere for inspiration, the buying public might not have been ready for such deviation and imagined it to be nothing more than a collection of Indian instruments, but it isn't.

Diverse it might be but it's not as bad as you might think. Phasing guitars, honky-tonk piano and banjos all mix with sitars, tablas, tamburas, etc. to produce some country, psychedelic, Harry Palmer style spy music in 'Red Lady Too', and some heavy (for the time) stuff, too. Tracks such as 'Wonderwall To Be Here' has a piano melody enhanced by airy strings and guitar, whilst 'Dream Scene' mixes male and female voices with a vamping piano, flutes and white noise, backward tapes, trumpets and a harmonica. The whole showed Harrison to be ahead of the game and this could have been the blueprint for 'Revolution #9'.

Of the three bonus tracks, the most interesting, in title at least, is 'The Inner Light'. It's an alternate instrumental take, though not wildly different, with some preceding studio chatter but you can hear every note. The song 'In The First Place', from old Liverpool buddies Remo 4 and sounding not unlike The Beatles, is pretty good. 'Almost Shankara' is an Indian raga and it's head scratching why these three were discarded at the time, though the Remo 4 song did find a place on in the film when reissued in 1998. (Maybe 'The Inner Light' was never intended for inclusion anyway but is here because it was recorded at the same sessions as the other Indian tracks.)

I've reappraised this and like it more now. Maybe because it sounds much better. I do think this may surprise a lot of people. The accompanying booklet is informative and has some nice photos. A slow burner, as they say.


Electronic Sound
Electronic Sound
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Avant garde a clue, 26 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Electronic Sound (Audio CD)
When you part own your own record label, there are certain liberties you can take. Apple once had a subsidiary called Zapple, a berth for experimental music that never got past two instalments. This was the second of those releases.

Whereas Lennon's self indulgence spanned three albums, at least George got it out of his system and realised one was enough for anybody. This is him taking Gyorgy Ligeti and Stockhausen a bit too far. Experimental yes, but The Beatles were always experimental in sound. Maybe the listening public wasn't ready for something like this from a Beatle, or maybe it was that Harrison had yet to get to grips with this new fangled machine; the Moog synthesiser. (It confused America to such an extent they managed to mess up the track listing - and there were only two!)

Though the whole thing consists of random 'noise' with no discernible music, it might appear to be someone merely twiddling some knobs but there does seem to be some cohesion with this, which some might consider dark and creepy, and also way ahead of its time in that it made others think that if he can do it, so can we. Surprisingly, this was issued on CD back in 1996 and passed by virtually everyone other than me and a few die-hards. Now it's been remastered, reissued and given a fair bit of publicity, it might be considered as classical avant- garde (if you like that sort of thing).

Unfortunately, the near 44 minute playing time is probably a bit too long; by a mere 43 minutes! Worth listening to once just to hear why you'll never play this again, track one starts with something similar to the opening note of 'I Feel Fine', whilst track two is an amalgamation of static, Bleep and Booster, Forbidden Planet, and the Klangers. Students of early synthesiser use might appreciate George's delve into weirdness and others may consider this to be genius and the dawn of a new era for the likes of Kraftwerk but it isn't; it's up there with the worst records of all time.

The accompanying booklet is informative and has some nice photos. Just be thankful there are no bonus tracks.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2015 8:31 AM BST


Sony SRSX55 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black
Sony SRSX55 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black
Offered by Zeto UK
Price: £131.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds abound, 25 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There was a time when speakers had thin wires connecting them to the source of the sound and in lots of instances, they were very fiddly to attach, sometimes unknowingly becoming detached. (Yes, I'm well aware that many speakers still have a wired connection, so don't write in.) Sometimes, advances in technology aren't always for the best but in this case it is. Oh the joy of having speakers that don't need wires trailing everywhere.

This SonySRS-X55 sits in the middle of their range and is the first Bluetooth speaker I've used. I'm impressed. Not everyone is abreast on current technology but this was easy-peasy to set up, though you will have to charge it for a few hours before use. When done, just turn it on, ensure what you want to pair it with is also on, then press the pairing button. A white light flashes until it's successful. Away you go!

There is a volume control atop the unit and it does get quite loud, though there is no readout. Alongside this is a 'Sound' button. The manual doesn't actually mention this anywhere but there are two settings; a 'ClearAudio+', which is the default setting, or, by pressing the button, a 'surround' mode but to be honest, I couldn't really hear any difference. I guess it depends on what type of music you listen to. That said, there's plenty of power inside to give decent bass that isn't overpowering.

If you pair your mobile with this (and it does have NFC), you can receive or make calls whilst listening to whatever it is that assaults your ears. I haven't tried this as yet simply because that option holds no appeal to me. Though not supplied, there is the option of using an outside device with an appropriate lead. The rear of the speaker incorporates a DC out socket, so you can charge a USB device but it will deplete the internal charge. I don't know about the range but it certainly works in another room from the source that has a few walls in between.

This is very aesthetically pleasing too. It's unobtrusive and the four rubber 'feet' stop it moving about. The sound belies its size and the only thing I don't like is that it's very prone to leaving fingerprints all over the top where the controls are situated. That's a minor complaint. You can also get a carry case for this.


Pillboxes and Tank Traps (Shire Library)
Pillboxes and Tank Traps (Shire Library)
by Bernard Lowry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Defence of the Realm, 18 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wander around the south east (though not exclusively), and particularly Kent and Sussex, and you occasionally come across strange concrete structures. Seemingly indiscriminately positioned, it might make you wonder what they are and why they're there. In fear of a German invasion in 1940, the country built vast numbers of pillboxes and tank traps across the land. About 28,000 were constructed of which around 7,000 remain.

Part of Shire Publications canon, 'Pillboxes and Tank Traps' delves into why, where and how these defences were organised. What I found surprising was that there were a number of different designs depending on where they were and who built them. Some were simple squares whilst others were elborate 'mushroom' shaped. Others were made to look like bus shelters, garages and sheds. The tank traps are strange in that they were either concrete cubes or moveable steel rails embedded into the road. The author, Bernard Lowry, quotes part of a 1940 book dealing with flame weapons, "create a furnace that will render the vehicle unbearable to its crew" and calls it 'alarming' and 'horrific'. Seeing as it was their country under threat, I doubt the inhabitants of the UK considered it such.

Liberally illustrated with both contemporary and 40s photos, reading this, it does make you wonder whether any of the defences would have managed to stop an invading army and when you see that some were no more than waist high sewer pipes that happened to be big enough to accommodate a man and a machine gun, whether that army could even be held up for any length of time. Fortunately, Hitler turned his attention elsewhere. Many are situated in easily accessible places, though many others are on private property. (The one in Wateringbury is now part of someone's wall.) What you have to remember is that the landscape was different 75 years ago and any surrounding buildings probably weren't there at the time.

Though many of them are available to visit, whilst it gives various websites and other material to peruse, what's missing here is a map of those defences still in situ. Lose a star for that.


1 Pack Latest 10LED 180Lumen Solar Motion Lights; Super Bright Waterproof Wireless Solar Wall Lights Garden lights Motion Lights Outside Lights Security Lights for Garden, Patio, Shed, Courtyard
1 Pack Latest 10LED 180Lumen Solar Motion Lights; Super Bright Waterproof Wireless Solar Wall Lights Garden lights Motion Lights Outside Lights Security Lights for Garden, Patio, Shed, Courtyard
Offered by GRDESUPPLY
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Let there be light!, 16 Aug. 2015
I have an outside light on the wall of the kitchen that is switched on from inside. It's not a security light as such as it isn't susceptible to movement but it does what it's supposed to at that end of the garden in that it lets you see what you're doing. The far end of the not so long garden had nothing until I got my hands on this.

Screwed to a fence panel, this solar powered light detects movement within ten feet or so. It's not really a security light, as there's no blinding light that floods the whole garden; it's more of an aid for you to see in the dark. Before anything works, you have to use the enclosed pin to stick in the relevant hole to activate it. The ten small LEDs (two rows of five) give off a blue tinged light for around 60 seconds. Underneath these lights is a +/- buttons that, I assume, is supposed to increase the brightness but so far I haven't managed to get these to work. Maybe they don't actually do anything anyway.

It's unobtrusive, doesn't cost anything to run and as assistance to giving you night vision, it works so on that score, it can only be a good thing.

This was sent to me by the manufacturer for review purposes.


Milk Frother BATTERIES INCLUDED, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE !! The Best Automatic Electric Handheld Milk Frother in Black with a Soft touch handle, Stainless steel whisk, Perfect for making Coffee, Hot Drinks, Shakes, Egg Beater/Mixer, Cappuccino, Vinaigrette, Latte, Hot chocolate
Milk Frother BATTERIES INCLUDED, MONEY BACK GUARANTEE !! The Best Automatic Electric Handheld Milk Frother in Black with a Soft touch handle, Stainless steel whisk, Perfect for making Coffee, Hot Drinks, Shakes, Egg Beater/Mixer, Cappuccino, Vinaigrette, Latte, Hot chocolate
Offered by jb online
Price: £15.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frothy break, 16 Aug. 2015
Two (supplied) AA batteries are slotted into the end, the cap part slid back on, the button on the end pressed and the whirly bit at the other end spins round and froths your milk (or whatever else you choose). It's easy to hold and use - your thumb presses on the button, as it's ergonomically tooled for one-handed usage.

It works but it is a tad expensive for what it does.

I was sent this by the manufacturer for review purposes.


Garnier Vitamin Enriched Cleansing Wipes - Pack of 25
Garnier Vitamin Enriched Cleansing Wipes - Pack of 25
Price: £2.91

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Face off, 15 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I don't wear make-up, well not that I'm going to admit doing so on here, so I used these as simple facial wipes. They aren't scented, not that I can detect anyway, but that doesn't really matter. Though they're actually quite expensive at 12p per wipe (you can save 15p a pack by ordering regularly), they are suitable for wiping away a variety of detritus from your 'boat race'.

They might be billed as facial wipes but you can use them on your hands or any other part of your body that might need 'refreshing'. Small enough to keep in your handbag or even a jacket pocket (for men), the pack is resealable to keep moist. They aren't something I love or hate, so it's a middle rating from me.


Nails Inc Electronic Foot File Kit - Powered by MICRO Pedi
Nails Inc Electronic Foot File Kit - Powered by MICRO Pedi
Offered by Beauty Bargain Store
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Get a little sand between your toes, 14 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you have nice legs, you'd want equally nice feet to compliment those pins. Everyone (not just girls) should take care of their feet but a visit to a pedicurist, if that's the correct term, can be too expensive, so what better way to have two fine 'plates of meat' than having your own foot file kit.

This kit comes with what you need to make your feet attractive; a roller, a cleaning brush and two jars of nail varnish (pink, called Porchester Square and dark plum, called Victoria). The roller feels something akin to soft sandpaper and can be easily replaced at the press of a button. It works and without sounding a bit strange, it's actually quite pleasant to use.

It needs 2xAA batteries but, when everything else battery operated comes with such things, scandalously, these are not included. Shame on Nails Inc. Lose a star for that.

By the way, 'er indoors reviewed this.


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