Profile for Emile Zola reader > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Emile Zola reader
Top Reviewer Ranking: 862
Helpful Votes: 1060

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Emile Zola reader "Gervaise" (Hants, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Rexel Dox 1 A4 Lever Arch Files - Blue (Pack of 6)
Rexel Dox 1 A4 Lever Arch Files - Blue (Pack of 6)
Price: £30.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality storage., 24 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite our electronic systems, most of us still need storage for paper documents and these are ideal. Rexel is a good brand and these are quality box files, each of the six sliding smoothly into its own robust storage case. They look very professional and neat when stacked alongside each other to form a compact filing system that sits securely on a desk or shelf. My old files would never stand up, so I had to store them horizontally, which was a complete nuisance.
There is a plastic pull-tab set into the spine of each box file near the base to remove the file from its box. This saves having to upend and shake the file out – a clever little idea. The pull-out appears to be strong enough to withstand repeated and vigorous removal of weighty files.

A metal reinforcement lies along the bottom of each file and prevents the rigid fabric from creasing and bending with frequent use over time. The lever handle operates smoothly and firmly, without the vicious snapping noise of an over-tight spring - like some other box files I have used.
This is a well-designed, good-looking set of files that performs well and should, with normal usage, last for many years.


Cootree Winnersun -Extendable Selfie Stick / self shooting monopod with built-in Bluetooth Remote Shutter for iPhone 6, 6 plus, 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, SAMSUNG Note4, Note3, 2, Note Galasy S5, S4, S3, LG, BlackBerry etc. IOS/Most android smartphones, Smart android stick (Black & Black)
Cootree Winnersun -Extendable Selfie Stick / self shooting monopod with built-in Bluetooth Remote Shutter for iPhone 6, 6 plus, 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, SAMSUNG Note4, Note3, 2, Note Galasy S5, S4, S3, LG, BlackBerry etc. IOS/Most android smartphones, Smart android stick (Black & Black)
Offered by Kumu-UK
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A well-made quality product with potential for lots of fun!, 20 May 2015
This selfie stick was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

The selfie stick comes in quality packaging together with a USB cable for recharging and clear operating instructions in both written and picture format.
The telescopic stick is light, yet robust and the metal has a smooth non-slip coating - a good feature - as you don't want any accidents with your expensive phone. The stick expands smoothly to a total length of 71cm (28") - though you can adjust this to four shorter lengths should you wish. Even with the phone attached, it is light enough to hold firmly without strain or any wobble.
Following the instructions, it took just seconds to pair my iPhone with the stick using Bluetooth. The phone holder at the end of the stick expands to accommodate different sized phones and holds it firmly and securely. In fact, it would be very difficult to dislodge the phone accidentally once it had been placed within the holder. There is a screw joint just below the phone holder to adjust the angle of your camera. This also allows for the holder to fold forward over the stick for sleek storage. In this mode, the total length of the selfie stick is 18.5cm (7.5") - much smaller than the average handbag. The stick also has an adjustable draw cord handle for easy carrying.

I'd heard of a selfie stick before, but if anyone had told me I'd actually own one I'd have howled with laughter! However, the mystery of how friends managed to take photos of themselves in front of the pyramids has been solved! Despite being way past the age for posting vacant-looking shots of myself on social media, I've had a lot of fun with this. I can't compare it with another selfie stick, but I can vouch for the quality build and reliability and would recommend it without hesitation.


LE LED Night Light, Battery Powered , Wireless Motion Sensor Light, Stick-Anywhere Nightlight, Daylight White, Security Light for Bedroom, Hallway,Pack of 3 Units
LE LED Night Light, Battery Powered , Wireless Motion Sensor Light, Stick-Anywhere Nightlight, Daylight White, Security Light for Bedroom, Hallway,Pack of 3 Units
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £39.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable and a good quality product., 19 May 2015
These lights were sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.
These white plastic lights are 80 x 90x 30mm, yet are compact and unobtrusive. They use four AA batteries arranged vertically, hence the slightly larger size than similar lights. The battery compartment cover fits neatly into the back of the unit, and needs a tiny crosshead screwdriver to install/remove the batteries. A little fiddly, but this adds to the sturdiness and - as the batteries are claimed to “last for months” - hardly a frequent exercise. These lights are quite bright -18 lumens - and contain three LEDs, unlike some other lights that have only one. The light shines downwards and illuminates a 2-3 metre arc – not too brightly, but sufficiently - and remains lit for about 10 seconds after movement has been detected.

In the vast majority of situations, this extra illumination is a bonus, as it will not flood a bedroom with unwanted glare if positioned correctly. This is especially important if using the light in a nursery to make checks on a baby or little ones. It would be better in this case to position the light some distance away. These little lights are flat-bottomed and sit firmly upright, so they can be placed on a table or window ledge and moved about as you wish.

Should you wish to install them more permanently, there is an extra advantage here. Each light has a separate plastic mounting strip, which can either be screwed to a wall or secured with double-sided tape (both come supplied). The unit is then hung onto the strip and is easily removed when changing the batteries – so no ripped wallpaper or damaged plaster.
With only intermittent use and A+ energy class and a very reasonable purchase price, the overall cost is extremely low. I am very pleased with this product and - if the batteries last anywhere nearly as long as claimed - feel that it fully deserves a 5 star rating.


Philips GC4520/30 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 190g Steam Boost, 2600 Watt
Philips GC4520/30 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 190g Steam Boost, 2600 Watt
Price: £62.30

4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the perfect iron., 19 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
After decades of happily ironing tons of laundry using a variety of irons, I’ve preferred Philips for a long time now. In my experience, their irons are the best on the market. However - and unusually for me – I was just a little less thrilled with this particular model.

Features I liked:
- The rubber covering on the water spray button and the rim of the temperature control dial made for good handling.
- Retro style fabric-covered cord instead of a plastic lead – it’s attached to a swivel ball at the iron, so it won’t tangle or loop.
- Beautifully crafted point on the soleplate to get in between button plackets and tiny pleats/frills.
- Quality soleplate ensures an easy glide, with no snagging on fabrics.
- Side opening slot for filling the water tank – an excellent idea and good for steadying the water jug as you fill. People with a tremor or weakness in the wrist may find this particularly useful.
- The iron automatically shuts off if left unattended for 8 minutes on its heel, or in 30 seconds if left downwards on the soleplate.
- It has a ‘quick calc button and tray’ for those – like me – who live in a hard water area and suffer from scaled-up appliances.
- The trigger for the blast of steam is positioned underneath the handle – this makes perfect sense and is easy to activate. Why on earth they used to position it on the front of an iron is beyond me.
- The iron heats up in no time and the blasts of steam run through dried-out creases easily.
- It’s a good-looking iron that reflects its quality build.
- Instructions, as with all Philips products, are simple in both written and picture format.
- It doesn’t come with a plastic water container. Yes, for me this is an eco-friendly point because I never use them and I’ve lost count of the number I’ve binned for re-cycling. I always fill a two-litre jug of water before I start ironing to save time on re-filling the reservoir.

Not so perfect features:
- I’m not keen on the position of the slider button that selects steam/eco/non steam options. Perhaps it’s my fault, but when ironing I found myself resting my thumb on it and accidentally switching from steam to non-steam mode. This was probably the reason I had occasional drips of water from the soleplate. Personally, I’d have put this switch a little further out of reach of fingers and thumbs.
- The dark purple colour gives the iron a classy look but it also makes it more difficult to see the water level in the reservoir.

Conclusion: this is good Philips iron despite the little drawbacks I listed. It performs very well and is easy to use. However, if you are put off buying this particular iron by any comments in reviews, have a look at other Philips models because honestly - in my humble opinion but extensive experience - they do make the best irons.


LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Daylight White
LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Daylight White
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £24.50

4.0 out of 5 stars After an initial glitch, now proving to be a good light., 17 May 2015
This light was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

The light is easily installed in a few minutes. Just drill a hole in the brickwork and use the supplied plastic anchor and screw - leave about 3mm of thread protruding. Simply hang the light (pulling it downwards slightly to secure the back of the unit to the screw-head). The instructions that are supplied are clear - in both graphic and text format - should these be required.
I have previously used the "warm white" version of this light, so was able to make a comparison. Externally the units are identical, made of light plastic and appear deceptively fragile, but are actually quite sturdy. The light is shock and vibration-resistant, with a recessed switch on the back - this needs to be moved to AUTO before it will work properly. The unit is practical and stylish. The front face is "arc" shaped, with the solar cell uppermost, while the LED produces 40 lumens from the lower section. It has a classification of IPX4, giving protection against airborne particles down to 1mm (so not dustproof) and from dripping water - or splashing from any direction.
There are three modes. During daylight, the solar cell charges, taking about 8 hours for peak efficiency (the sunnier the better), then - as night falls - the cell activates automatically to its "dimmer" mode. This "daylight white" LED produces a brighter light than the "warm white" version - sufficient for faint illumination of around a two metre radius. This remains constant, but switches to a brighter light when the motion sensor detects movement within 2-3 metres and a 90 degree angle. The extra brightness lasts for about 30 seconds after any motion has ceased, before dimming again.
Unfortunately, there was a temporary glitch. At first, the brighter mode did not activate, despite athletic attempts directly in front of it. This now appears to have sorted itself out and it is working normally, so possibly just a reluctant internal connection (?). However, with no energy costs, reasonable price, simple installation and just the occasional wipe-over for maintenance I am still pleased with this product - as long as the initial fault does not recur. I have had other lights from this manufacturer and have never had a problem with them. In fact, I've been really happy with them. I have therefore awarded it 4 stars, rather than 5 and will update the review should there be any further problems.


Skipping Rope - Includes FREE Skip Circuit Full Body Workout - Black Long 9ft Speed Jump Rope for Fitness - Boxing, MMA, Crossfit Workout, WOD's - Best Professional Rope - Great for Exercise - For Men & Women - Improve Strength & Stamina - Lifetime Guarantee
Skipping Rope - Includes FREE Skip Circuit Full Body Workout - Black Long 9ft Speed Jump Rope for Fitness - Boxing, MMA, Crossfit Workout, WOD's - Best Professional Rope - Great for Exercise - For Men & Women - Improve Strength & Stamina - Lifetime Guarantee
Offered by Roboshop Limited
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Have fun, get fit with a quality skipping rope., 17 May 2015
This skipping rope was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.

The skipping rope comes with its own fabric drawstring bag and first impressions are that it is a quality and professional product. The handles are lightweight, yet robust, and are comfortable to grip. Clear instructions are included on how to adjust the rope to your particular height and within minutes I was ready to re-live my bygone schooldays! The cable-like-rope is of a plastic-type material and - although it isn’t heavy - it performs like the good ropes we used years ago that vanished off the market i.e. it rises into a perfect arc and hits the ground with enough weight/balance not to tangle and trip you up.

I’ve wanted to get fitter and lose some weight for a while, but a gym and street running is not my thing. I remembered years ago someone telling me that skipping and swimming were two of the finest things you can do for exercise and circulation. Well, it’s been many decades since I last skipped and after just a few minutes I was puffed out. I have no health problems, but it was a revelation of just how unfit I was! I was determined to stick with the skipping and on the fifth day, after nine little sessions, I found that I had doubled my time and wasn’t heaving for breath! My respect for boxers – who I associate most with effortless skipping – has soared.

Recently we had a gathering for four generations of our family and I brought out the skipping rope – ostensibly to keep the children amused. It also proved to be a big hit with the young mums and dads trying to out-do each other with skipping skills. The older Nanas were teaching the little ones skipping rhymes – “I call in my very best friend…. etc” and it nearly ended in a crying match when the parents were deemed to be hogging the rope! Who’d have thought a skipping rope could provide so much amusement?

If you wish to follow a skipping fitness programme, We Are Training offer a free online circuit workout and you have a choice of 5, 10 or 15 minute sessions.
If you haven’t skipped in years, but you want to get a little fitter at your own pace, burn off some calories (and perhaps show-off to the younger generation), this is a smashing skipping rope to do it with.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2015 8:01 AM BST


LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Warm White
LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden, Warm White
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £24.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and simple to install outdoor light, 14 May 2015
This light was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest review.

The light was very easy to install - particularly in my case, because I just fitted the single screw to the woodwork above the door to my shed-type workshop, rather than fixing it to a brick wall. This took, literally, a minute or so, but there are clearly explained instructions - in both graphic and text format – to clarify things if required.
There is a recessed switch on the back of the unit, so simply move this to AUTO, hang it on the screw and leave the solar cell to charge. This takes around 8 hours for maximum efficiency – obviously, the sunnier the better. As night falls, the cell activates in a constant “dim” mode. This, switches to a brighter light when the motion sensor detects movement within 2-3 metres and a 90-degree angle. The extra brightness lasts for about 30 seconds after any motion has ceased, before dimming again. This was fine for my purposes, with sufficient dim light to see where I was going before being able to unlock the door with ease in the brighter mode. I purposely placed it at the apex to capture the most sunlight. This also minimised the bright mode being activated by lower-level nocturnal meandering badgers, foxes, etc.

The light looks flimsy at first glance, weighing only 5 grams, but this is deceptive. It is relatively sturdily, and is shock & vibration resistant. The front face is “arc” shaped, with the solar cell uppermost, while the LED produces 35 lumens from the lower section. It has a classification of IPX4, giving protection against solid objects down to 1mm - so not dust, but larger airborne particles. It also protects against dripping water - or splashing from any direction.
I am very pleased with this stylish light – with no energy costs, simple installation and just the occasional wipe-over for maintenance, it is worthy of the 5 stars I have given it.


Rexel Advance 240x190mm Subject Notebooks - Black (Pack of 5)
Rexel Advance 240x190mm Subject Notebooks - Black (Pack of 5)
Price: £26.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality notebooks that are functional and attractive., 14 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As soon as you see and feel these notebooks you can tell that they are a quality product. The ring binders are covered with a firm fabric and elasticated penholders are attached – there’s always someone at a meeting who has lost or forgotten their pen! The ring binders are large enough to open the notebooks out fully, so that they lie completely flat on a surface. The first page of the notebook - the blue section - has a full sized plastic holder with two inserts on one side and one on the other. This is perfect for keeping CDs, business cards, notes etc safe. In the middle of each notebook – the red divide – there is another plastic wallet. There are 100 lined pages in each book and the quality feels good enough for fountain pen use.

These notebooks are ideal for business and college lectures. They are also useful for hobbies and domestic use such as gardening notes, cooking/recipe collecting, books read/to be read lists, etc. Anyone with a ‘thing’ for stationary and notebooks will really like these; they are attractive, functional and a very nice set to have.


LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Bright 16 LED Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden
LE Solar Powered LED Motion Sensor Light, Wireless Night Light, Bright 16 LED Wall Light, Security Light for Door, Entrance, Pathways, Patios, Garden
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £25.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault this very handy, money-saving light - I love it!, 12 May 2015
This light was sent to me free of charge in return for an honest and unbiased review.
The light arrived securely packed, complete with screws and plastic fixing anchors. It was very simple to install - with clear instructions in both graphic and text format – and took just five minutes to fit it firmly to brickwork. The lamp protrudes horizontally, with the solar cell pointing upwards to maximise daylight charging, but this also increases its exposure to rain. However, it is described as waterproof to IP65 standard, which means it is dust-tight and also protected from water squirted from a nozzle under pressure (such as a hosepipe), rather than just dripping or splashing water. Presumably, this is the reason for the on/off switch being located internally, because this can only be activated by inserting the supplied “loop pin” into the tiny hole on the underside. This is a good feature - and if the loop pin were accidentally lost, a bent paper clip would do the job just as well during the 6-monthy cleaning maintenance recommended by the manufacturer.

During the day the solar cell charges the set of 16 LEDs, then automatically activates to a dim light as night falls. This remains constant overnight, only switching to a brighter mode when the motion sensor detects movement within 2-3 metres. The extra brightness lasts for about 30 seconds after any motion has ceased, before dimming again.
We have a fairly narrow passageway where the bins are kept and I was fed up groping my way in the dark trying to guess which was a particular bin. This clever little light solved the problem, providing ample brightness at 100lm - with no energy costs. I’m really pleased with it. Within a couple of days of fitting it, we had several heavy downpours with hail and thunder, but any doubts about it being waterproof were dispelled. It was not affected at all and I feel that it is very worthy of a 5 star rating.


Our Souls at Night
Our Souls at Night
by Kent Haruf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I were reading this again - for the first time., 10 May 2015
This review is from: Our Souls at Night (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Every once in a while I read a book that is so good and leaves such a big impression that I find myself thinking of it long afterwards. This is one such book. There is no dramatic storyline, no dynamic dialogue and no in-depth descriptions. Dialogue is kept to a minimum and the two main characters are given only the briefest of physical detail. So what makes this book so special and so memorable?

In just a few pages, Kent Haruf describes the time and place of Holt County, Colorado so well that I could picture it in my mind’s eye. It takes a very gifted author to convey depths of emotion in so few words, whilst depicting life in a sleepy backwater town. This is a wonderful tale of two people in their 70s and a six-year-old boy; it is also a bittersweet story of disappointment, resignation, kindness and love. It is a gentle tale that has its moments of heartache and one that will both gladden and sadden you as the tale unfolds. It is not a predictable story.

I feel that whatever I write will not do this book justice; for all its lack of dramatic content, it kept me up reading till the very small hours and I really loved it. It is one of the best of the many good books I have read and I wish I were reading it again for the first time.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20