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Reviews Written by
Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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Keep Quiet
Keep Quiet
by Lisa Scottoline
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Driving you round the bend, 16 April 2015
This review is from: Keep Quiet (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Once opened you are locked in for the ride, this is a dilemma you have to see resolved. Who knows what one would do in the same situation. I'd like to think I would behave appropriately, in fact I'd stake my life on that, as if I didn't, my life wouldn't be worth living. However these characters are a different breed. Mother Pam, who is an ambitious rising Judge is a holy terror, a tiger mother of the first water. She is incredible. Absolutely ghastly. Lectures in therapy-ese, micro manages her unfortunate son Ryan's daily movements, even logging into something appalling called The Parent Portal, an online watchdog website set up by the school to alert parents to any misdemeanours, no shows, recent grades... She even justifies being unfaithful by blaming her neutered husband Jake, who is so squashed by her and his career ups and downs he daren't say boo to a goose. Or dial 911 when he so clearly should. A nightmare.

I did feel empowered by the dawning realisation that I'd worked out the end halfway through which does add a warm feeling of satisfaction. However this book is Jodie Picoult's recipe right down to the endearing dog who endlessly rattles its toe nails on the wooden floors. Too much repetition of phrases, the one about feeding the car gas being the most frequent, really annoyed but maybe that was my proof version.

I read it in a few hours and did get totally involved, although until I was properly into it I could have thrown it down in frustration. I felt so cross that an adult was behaving so ridiculously. Reading this is certain to raise your blood pressure and make you want to shout out at the ridiculous 'parenting' mess up two apparently clever adults were busy facilitating, I was sorriest for Ryan and even the ending made me long for him to be allowed to grow up and leave home!


OCTAVE® Ladies Fitness Yoga T-Shirt / Short Sleeve Top - Perfect For Workouts [Size Large, Colour Pink]
OCTAVE® Ladies Fitness Yoga T-Shirt / Short Sleeve Top - Perfect For Workouts [Size Large, Colour Pink]
Offered by Octave Collection
Price: £9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for wriggling around in!, 16 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was hopeful that this would be just the thing for Pilates sessions, but it's gone straight back to the seller. The material is too shiny, the fit odd, very tight around the middle, despite the generous looking ruched effect, and it is gapingly loose around the top with a very very low V, a baggy neckline, that would be no good for exercising in.

The material is unnatural in feel, it could get sweaty and unpleasant. Sorry to be so negative as it looks really attractive in the photos, the colour stood out, but on arrival it was slippery and overly neon bright.

Perhaps if you manage to get the perfect fit you would like it, A large size was, for me still far too small around the trunk but wide open at the neck, which is unnecessarily huge . A tricky decision to make as to sizing. The length is good, as it needs to be with training leggings or yoga pants.

A fitness top should allow you to bend and twist without displaying your whole chest.


GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
GRDE® Smart Sound Control Lamp, Lucky Bedside Table Lamp with Sound Activated Function, Energy Saving LED Night Light, Great Gift for Children (Upgrade Version, UK Plug)
Offered by UK tree
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, friendly, features send fears flying, 15 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This lamp is an amusing shape, and when you read the writing on the box, you will be charmed by all the sweet sentiments expressed. Made in China, it does its level best to come over as a useful, reassuring product that will fit into your home immediately.

I think children will love this, babies be soothed by it and adults who sleep alone kept safe by the light coming on when required. The sound activated switch is a great idea and works well. The light is quite bright, although softened by the shade, you couldn't read by it but certainly find your way around the room safely.

It doesn't weigh much and can be easily knocked over, or pulled by the lead. However landing on the floor doesn't seem to do any harm and it won't be a fire hazard with such a low energy light bulb.

Being in the dark at night can be scary for little ones, so the obedient light coming on at a cry could be a comfort and help.

I was sent this to review and am pleased to have it for my grandchildren when they come to stay. For adults, motion activated lights are more likely to be acceptable. Clapping your hands to get alight to come on might wake a sleeping partner!


Philips HR2162/91 Viva Collection Blender, 600 Watt, 2 Litre
Philips HR2162/91 Viva Collection Blender, 600 Watt, 2 Litre
Price: £43.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Sit! and Stay! It will obey... is very obedient and behaves well.,, 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Really you need to analyse whether you need such a machine as this, with stick blenders being so useful and taking up very little room in the kitchen. I have received this to try and would usually find it too big an item to house, as it takes up a fair bit of space standing around on the worktop or in the cupboard. However if you are looking at this blender with an idea it would suit your needs, then I can highly recommend it.

The machine is light, utterly easy to assemble and use, perfectly intuitive and no trouble to unscrew and rinse out after use. The noise it makes is fairly loud at top speed, and that grindy sound that the neighbours will definitely also hear. The blades are sharp and well made although as with all blenders you do have to stop and scrape the mixture down towards them. The suction pads on the base are extraordinarily good, they stick like glue to the work top, no danger of this wandering off.

For Smoothies yes this is just the job, for soups and other mixes maybe not as you have to pour the recipe in and then out again, as I say stick blenders have gone a long way to replace such large items in the modern kitchen.


This Boy
This Boy
by Alan Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Social history made personal, 14 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: This Boy (Paperback)
It seems appropriate that as we near another General Election, our Book club should chose this early memoir of a man who grew into a politician of stature and good repute.

As I am an exact contemporary of A A Johnson, being born only months later than him in 1950, this is a reminder rather than an education. I also lived in London then, I too played on bomb sites covered in Rose Bay Willow Herb which were littered with debris. I was not shocked by the squalor or basic living conditions as others may be, or as surprised as some by the hardships this tiny family endured. What he calls a urine bucket we called a potty, paraffin heaters were quite usual and central heating unheard of. Lino and rugs did cover floor and wall to wall carpet an unimaginable luxury. Books shut and locked away in glass cases were also de rigeur, and public libraries our spiritual homes. Schools were not concerned with domestic situations, they did not assume the role of social workers.

However it was the anguish of living with a mother who was dreadfully ill, abandoned by a feckless husband, always living on tick and trying to make ends meet, all the while hoping for rehousing and their 'own front door'. Luckily sister Linda, to whom this book is dedicated and to whom it is truly a hymn of praise, saved the day by fighting like a tiger mother for her brother, keeping them together whatever. It should be noted that sixteen years olds then were not considered children, they had to work, further education was rare and open to only a few. a large proportion left home voluntarily at sixteen, never to return.

Points I would like to make - for a boy who frequently dined on Oxo 'soup' with stale bread floating in it and had to go days with only one meal - school dinner - he looks to be a remarkably chubby, happy and well grown five year old in the photos. Also there is nothing to be ashamed of having the name Arthur, it is a fine name, not one to hide away. Plus he passed the ElevenPlus as I did, a defining success that gave him every chance he could hope for, yet he stayed away from school for long periods faking illness or slow recovery from it. Lugging coals around in a old pram, picking up horse manure, delivering paraffin and milk, he worked hard as a little man, as we all did, paper rounds for twelve years olds etc were quite usual. Different times and standards were not the same, parents let go more freely and children brought themselves up amongst hunger, deprivation, bullying from teachers and classmates alike. The strongest steel is forged in the hottest furnace.

The book closes as Alan is married, and a father not even twenty, and setting out on what looks to be a life long career in the Post Office. This generation had never heard of portfolio careers and skipping about from job to job was seen as irresponsible, disloyal and insecure. Yes, different times indeed. The next book will surely reveal the route he takes to become Home Secretary.

Light relief is provided by Alan's visions of his future as a pop star or a writer, one which ambitions is certainly come true with this prize winning read.


Belledorm 200 Count Easy Care Polycotton Percale Box Pleat Platform Valance, Navy, King Size
Belledorm 200 Count Easy Care Polycotton Percale Box Pleat Platform Valance, Navy, King Size
Offered by elinens
Price: £19.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Completing the smart look of your bed., 14 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fairly thin material, but as it is not a sheet, just a valance this is fine. The corners are tidy, permanently pressed. If your mattress is heavy you may need help placing this over the divan base and pulling it into shape all around.

The darker colour is more practical, especially if you have dogs in the house who for some reason like rubbing along the sides of beds... You can choose any colour to go with your bedding, curtains, carpet of course.


Rexel Superfine Cut Flush Folders A4 Clear (100)
Rexel Superfine Cut Flush Folders A4 Clear (100)
Price: £22.48

4.0 out of 5 stars For preserving and caring for paperwork you want to keep to hand., 13 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Reassuringly thick plastic folders that will keep letters, notes, receipts and other office stationery tidy and easy to find. Knitting patterns, sewing instructions, sheet music, photographs, magazine cut outs, recipes too will benefit from being kept clean and separate. Postcards, leaflets, product details, guarantees, maps, tourist info and menus will stay clean and new looking through heavy use.

The open sides make it simple to extract the documents, yet they do cling on slightly, with some static, making the inserts less likely to slip out.

The slightly cloudy, shiny but matt, finish means that you can photocopy, scan and photograph through the cover if required. I agree with other reviewers who are annoyed by the logo on every folder that would print up on the copy when you do this.

If you like to be organised and keep things safe then these A4 folders will be a welcome addition to your stationery cupboard.


Konig Stylish Retro Table Radio - Baby Blue
Konig Stylish Retro Table Radio - Baby Blue
Price: £29.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Music while you work?, 9 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Konig has been channeling Cath Kidston and Emma Bridgewater, I think, with this delightful summer sky blue retro radio. It is just so classic 50's/60's in looks I feel I should be rocking and rolling, bopping and twisting, swirling around in a big skirt to the music. One for every room? This would suit a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen...

The dear old dial with 'St. Petersburg', 'Gothenburg' and other worldwide stations, the Third Programme and The Light Programme flagged up, well that's for decoration; the numbers are the indicators you'll use, and the AM and FM bands are on offer. Turn it on and off and up or down with the left hand knob. Simples...

The tone button does work well, changing from bass to sharp, as you turn it you will find that optimum, nirvana, listening choice. To make this truly portable you can buy 6 LR14 batteries to pack into the back. Mine came without. Otherwise simply plug it into a nearby socket. A standard UK plug and lead is supplied, also a 2 pin lead.

A wipe clean exterior, mainly that pretty pale blue plastic with a side panel of white leather texture plastic, shiny silver decals, a carrying handle and telescopic aerial with a place at the back to keep it safe when moving about, what more could you need? Well, despite the lady on the box with big headphones on I can't see a hole for a lead. Never mind, choose a different model if that is a priority.


Konig Stylish Retro Table Radio - Brown
Konig Stylish Retro Table Radio - Brown
Price: £29.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Workers Playtime, Listen with Mother and Housewives Choice must be in here somewhere!,, 9 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly this is not a poster paint, pillar box red. It could be best described as a grained effect, dark cherry colour, almost brown. Looking as if it is made from 'Bakerlite'; this vintage style 1950's radio receiver, has a sturdy presence that feels comforting and reliable. Seeing the dear old station names on the cream coloured dial reinforces that impression.

So, to find your favourite radio stations, you will need to learn their transmission numbers, Radio 4 being 94.10 FM... There is a choice between AM/FM two push down switches, two button dials for on/off/volume and tone. I couldn't see a socket for headphones despite a jolly picture of s girl wearing them on the box.

I find the sound perfectly clear and crisp, locking on to the station with no problem. Six LR14 rechargeable batteries are required with the set. A standard UK plug and lead together with and a two pin plug and lead are supplied. The carrying handle is helpful, and the telescopic aerial can be clipped back behind the set for transporting it around.

If my grandmother could see this she would be quite at home with it. All I need now is a leather folder for the Radio Times, some knitting and a cat!


Polti Vaporetto Pocket 2.0
Polti Vaporetto Pocket 2.0
Price: £64.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoulder bag steaming, 8 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been happy with the idea of steam cleaning in the home for a long time and this is the first small, portable machine I have tried. Unpacking all 14 parts and viewing the extensive instruction manual was a little daunting. Be careful not to overlook item 14 ( I left it in the packaging) it is a tiny plastic bag holding two miniature orange washers, apparently needed for on going care of the steam nozzle connection.

I found the machine easy to set up and started in our shower room to give it a really good spring clean, trying the different types of nozzles. I found I liked having the machine hanging over my shoulder with the strap as it meant I could nip about and enter the walk in shower enclosure with it. The best tool was the rubber scraper, I glided it over the glass and it removed all the built up soapy residue leaving the enclosure crystal clear.

I cleaned the tiled floor with the large brush with the cloth cover fitted over and the full length handle, this made an effective steam mop and cleaned the floor well. The cloth was satisfyingly grimy after use and looks robust enough to survive a good few washing machine cycles. I would agree with other reviewers that if you mainly wish to use a steamer for cleaning floors then a steam mop may be a better tool for you. However as I wouldn't want to steam my antique parquet floors, I prefer this multi purpose light weight machine.

I left the shower room sparkling clean and felt very satisfied that it had received a really hygienic deep clean and best of all with no chemicals!

Other reviewers have commented that the machine only provides about 20 minutes of steaming in one session, this is quite enough for me. I am looking forward to tackling the kitchen tiles etc another day.

Overall very pleased with this little machine.


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