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jsm999 (Bedfordshire, UK)

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Ultranatura Aluminium Table, Korfu Series - Basic
Ultranatura Aluminium Table, Korfu Series - Basic
Price: £66.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive glass-topped table, 14 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The table was easy to assemble by one person, no additional tools required. The instructions were pretty vague but it was fairly obvious what to do. The glass top is heavy, but the rest of the frame is lightweight, so the table can be moved by one person. The glass fixes to the frame with small plastic suction cups. It will be interesting to see whether these deteriorate when the table has been outside in the weather for a while. There weren't enough plastic cups to fill all the holes which looked like they should have them, but it feels pretty secure at the moment. The glass came with a couple of sticky labels which didn't come off easily and had to be soaked and scraped.
Once assembled, the table feels sturdy and strong. The dark-tinted glass top is beautiful, and I love the way it reflects the clouds and surrounding trees. The table looks really good in the garden, simple and attractive, and fits in with most other garden furniture. It is a useful size, large enough for four people to eat comfortably but easy to tuck out of the way against a wall. The table doesn't fold up so can't easily be stored away for the winter or to protect it against garden accidents, so I'd probably not recommend this for younger families.
So far, I'm very happy with this table - time will tell how it stands up to English weather, and I will update my review when I can.


Pritt HK78363 8.4mm x 8.5m Compact Permanent Roller [Pack of 10]
Pritt HK78363 8.4mm x 8.5m Compact Permanent Roller [Pack of 10]
Offered by Office Monster
Price: £20.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Clean, instant, and easy to use (but not cheap), 12 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been using these rollers - both the permanent and the re-stickable version - for many years now, and find them very useful for sticking paper or card. They are very easy to use, and stick instantly. The glue does not wet or distort the paper, you don't need to wait for it to dry, and there are no fumes or odours. The glue is a very very pale pink, so that you can see where you've applied it, and I haven't had problems with it showing through the paper. The glue does not seem to deteriorate if the rollers are stored for a long time. The permanent glue sticks strongly to paper and card, and will hold quite thick card together - it sticks almost instantly, so you don't need to pin things in place while you wait for it to set. It's not quite as strong as good quality double-sided tape, but easier to apply. I have not tried sticking paper/card to other surfaces.
There are some disadvantages:
Expensive - one roller doesn't last me very long. This pack of 10 is worth getting if you use the rollers regularly, and shop around for the best price.
Tricky to apply to very small areas or odd-shaped corners as you have to roll it along.
You can't slide surfaces together to align them like you can with wet glues. Once stuck, you have literally only a few seconds to peel apart and reposition, and no chance if you're working with thin or delicate materials. (There is a re-stickable version but the glue is not strong, more like a post-it note. I have used them together - positioning first, then sticking permanently).
If you run the roller beyond the edge of the paper, the glue can collect in a little pink blob - this is not difficult to remove as long as you notice.
I would recommend these disposable rollers rather than the refillable ones. There isn't much difference in price, and I've found the refillable version is prone to problems with the tape tangling or tearing, and glue collecting at the edge of the roller - this occasionally happens with the disposable version but not often, especially once you've got used to how hard to press (not very) and how quickly to roll.
I have made some quite sturdy card and paper models for work using these rollers, and they hold together well and some have lasted for years. The strong, instant bond, lack of fumes, and ease of use make these indispensable in my work.


Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4521/87 Azur Performer Steam Iron - 200g Steam Boost, Safety Auto Off, 2600 Watt, Black
Price: £49.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice powerful iron but not for dry cotton shirts, 3 Sept. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The iron arrived covered in stickers which left some residue on the plastic - not difficult to clean off, but best to remove before switching on. It was easy to fill with water, and the transparent tank makes it easy to see how much water is left. I wasn't sure how to read the 'max' marker, as you'd have to hold the iron at a very odd angle to line it up, so I just made sure I didn't fill it completely. Even with the water tank full, the iron is quite lightweight. It heats up quickly, about 2 minutes. The soleplate is smooth, but I still prefer the polished stainless steel soleplate of my old iron. It seems to heat right up to the tip, which is good for ironing between buttons and up to seams.

For most items, this iron is fine - it doesn't cope with a dry cotton shirt, even with an extra shot of steam, but I haven't found a normal iron that will. Otherwise, the generous supply of steam helps with most items. I wouldn't use it on the eco steam setting as this doesn't seem to do much. In normal steam mode, it's supposed to adjust the amount of steam for the temperatures - I haven't had any problems with water dribbling as long as I don't overfill the water tank. There is a steam boost button, which doesn't do an awful lot, and a water spray for wetting creased items.

Our local tap water is extremely hard, and wrecks irons, kettles, pipes etc. so I only use bottled or filtered water. The descaling function is easy to use, and there is a plug in the end of the iron which can be removed to empty the last dribbles from the tank.

The iron switches itself off if left unused, and is easy to store with the cord wound around the base. One potential problem is that the cord is quite short compared to most irons. It does come with a little clip thing to attach to the ironing board and stop it catching, but you might need an extension lead or to reposition your ironing board if you're not right next to the socket.


Lonely Planet Caribbean Islands (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Caribbean Islands (Travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of date and lacking practical detail, 4 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When we visited the Caribbean many years ago, we made good use of the Lonely Planet guide to the Eastern Caribbean, which was really useful and reliable. Unfortunately, you can only get a hardcopy LP guide to the whole Caribbean now - but I invested in a copy remembering how useful the old book was.

Sadly, this guide was almost useless. Although it said it had been updated in 2011, much of the information inside hadn't been revised since 2009 or earlier, and with plenty of recent development on the islands we visited, this meant it was pretty useless. Restaurants had closed or moved, new ones had opened, and even the maps - which turned out to be the most useful part - were out of date with new or changed roads. The background about the islands, which is usually interesting and worth reading, was also out of date, and we learnt more about current affairs from our taxi driver from the airport.

Even the practical information in the guide was misleading - for example, many/most of the hotels on St Kitts now use US voltage (110V), but the guide still just says 220V. A lot of information we would have found useful just wasn't there - locations of petrol stations and supermarkets out of the capital, restaurants with children's menus, not being able to take a rental car from St Kitts to Nevis, etc.

I don't know whether the information on the other islands is equally patchy and out-dated, but reading through the rest of the book, a lot of the guide seemed aimed at people on cruises with a day at each of various islands, short on detail and practicalities. In places, the guide seemed to be written for a US audience (e.g. 'visit the US Virgin Islands without worrying about border crossings or passports…').

I'm not sure who Lonely Planet's target market is these days - on the one hand, trying a bit too hard to be cool 'liming with the locals', but there's not much practical information for younger independent travellers e.g. where to buy food without spending a fortune eating out. There's also very little information aimed at families (child friendly restaurants, toilets, etc.) So I'm guessing, middle aged Americans on cruise ships who want to feel like they're seeing the 'real' Caribbean (whatever that is)?

Considering the price, I wish I hadn't bothered buying this. We got better information from TripAdvisor, Wikipedia, the complementary magazine in the our hotel room, and our taxi driver.


Logitech Turnaround for iPad Mini/Mini Retina - Intense Black
Logitech Turnaround for iPad Mini/Mini Retina - Intense Black
Price: £44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful iPad mini case and stand, but a bit pricy, 4 Aug. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This fitted easily to an iPad mini. It is lightweight, smart and unobtrusive. It took a few attempts to figure out how to fold it so the iPad would stand up (it did come with instructions which we should have looked at first!) but having figured it out, it is simple enough. The case doesn't block any of the sockets or camera, or cover any of the screen. Using this as a stand, it holds the screen at a good angle for viewing, especially watching video etc. and the iPad can easily be rotated to landscape or portrait orientation. The cover is reasonably robust and provides some protection for the iPad. It does add a little bulk, but it can be removed easily - it fits snugly and the iPad doesn't fall out but is easy enough to remove when required. I haven't found any problems with it coming loose or unfolding in use.
This case is quite expensive for what it is, but is a useful and smart accessory, especially if you watch a lot of video or read a lot on screen.


The Sun Mousse SPF 20 Sun Protection Lotion 150 ml
The Sun Mousse SPF 20 Sun Protection Lotion 150 ml
Offered by sun-togs & rain-togs
Price: £16.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Effective, long lasting and skin friendly, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Sun Mousse (previously called Proderm/Bergaderm) is the best sun protection I've ever found.
It doesn't rub or wash off easily - so doesn't need re-applying as frequently.
In our experience, it provides much better protection than other 'water resistant' creams with the same theoretical SPF, as other creams are so easily rubbed off just lying on a towel, and by swimming costume straps and seams etc. whereas the mousse is absorbed into the skin and stays effective for longer.
It is good for sensitive skin - I know 2 people with eczema who swear by it.
And it is not sticky or greasy, not fragranced, and pleasant to apply.
There are some disadvantages:
It is expensive - but lasts well so it's better value than it looks.
It isn't easy to get hold of - Amazon is the easiest place at the time of writing.
And if you go back to 'normal' suncreams, you risk getting burnt if you assume they will stay on like this mousse!

The formulation has changed recently (2014), and this new one is a slightly lighter mousse, but seems to be just as effective and skin friendly.
If you're spending a lot of time in strong sun, and/or have skin that burns very easily, I would strongly recommend this product, especially for young children.


Philips MASTER PL-S 2P, 11 Watt - 11W / G23 / 840
Philips MASTER PL-S 2P, 11 Watt - 11W / G23 / 840
Offered by The Lightbulb Company
Price: £2.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace the tube in an outdoor light nearly a year ago. It's been in daily use since then, and is exactly what was needed. The light isn't bright (as you'd expect for 11W), but for lighting the path/drive outside, it's just right.


Kitchen Craft Vegetable Cleaning Brush
Kitchen Craft Vegetable Cleaning Brush
Price: £4.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this brush to replace an identical-looking one I've had for several years, which is looking rather worse for wear. Unfortunately the new one has longer, much softer bristles, and is no good for scrubbing jacket and new potatoes, which is what I mostly use it for. These softer bristles don't remove dirt effectively and I've ended up going back to the old brush. If you're only going to use it on broccoli and sweetcorn, this might be the brush for you, but if you've got potatoes with earth stuck to them, you might as well just stroke them with a wet rag for all the good it does.


Polychromos Colour Pencils Tin Of 12
Polychromos Colour Pencils Tin Of 12
Price: £14.86

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these pencils for my daughter who was studying design for GCSE, which involved a lot of sketching and shading of drawings. I could see the difference when she started using these for shading - the colours are strong and clean, and they colour smoothly and evenly - and she said they were so much nicer to use than cheap pencils, and made it much easier to produce neat, evenly coloured designs. I don't know if this would make a difference to her grade in itself, but it did mean she was happier to spend time working on her designs, better motivated, and she felt more satisfied with the finished sketches.

The pencils colour smoothly, can be blended but don't smudge as long as you're careful, and the leads can be sharpened easily without breaking too often. The tin is attractive and practical for school, protecting the pencils without taking up too much space. These pencils are expensive, but for an artist or older child who will look after them, well worth the extra money.


HP 364XL - Black Ink Cartridge 550 pages (CN684EE)
HP 364XL - Black Ink Cartridge 550 pages (CN684EE)
Price: £12.75

1.0 out of 5 stars 550 pages? That's a joke, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perhaps they print 550 pages with one word on each page?
The last one of these lasted us just 2 months, and we definitely didn't use 550 pages or anything like - there wasn't that much paper in the box to start with and there's plenty left. And no, I haven't been printing lots of heavy graphics. These cartridges are so expensive, but seem to 'run out' randomly. Either they're badly made to maximise their profits or deliberately designed to fail so we have to spend huge amounts of money to buy more...


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