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

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Girl Tech Password Journal 8
Girl Tech Password Journal 8
Price: £14.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Ours wasn't fit for purpose, 13 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Girl Tech Password Journal 8 (Toy)
I am very cross with this. My eight year old grand daughter chose the journal and was really excited to receive it. However, it has proved truly annoying; the first thing to say is that the password recognition hardly ever works, a digital voice keeps repeating the irritating message that it does not match.

An hour later it wouldn't open whatever we did. I am so glad this wasn't her big present on Christmas Day as it would have been a flop. Ours is on its way back to the supplier for a refund.

The journal runs on three AA batteries, not provided, and is no use at all without them. The plastic case and thin construction means it would certainly break if dropped.

I am going to spend the repayment on an old fashioned leather journal with a key.


Minecraft Recipes For Dummies
Minecraft Recipes For Dummies
by Jesse Stay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get ahead of the game with a bit of old fashioned help, from a book!, 13 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
All is could criticise about this book is its name, which of course it's stuck with, being part of the now household brand of ... for Dummies. No one who can play Minecraft is a Dummy by a million miles.

I needed to understand more to communicate with two older grandchildren who really love to settle down on my desktop and ipad more or less on arrival. Politenesses exchanged, the whispered request is can we... they don't need to say what, now.

To be able to show some expertise without having come by it the hard way, i.e. hours days or weeks immersion, can only be a good thing. So I chose this as a helper, crammer, go to reference. Today's young are not so used to applying to paper copy for info but I can still follow a pattern, read a recipe and look up in an index. Hurray I have some help at last.

I asked my grandson what he felt Minecraft was teaching him and I felt reassured by the answers. Engineering, mathematics, spatial awareness, architecture, farming, mining, navigation, cookery, the list went on. So now it's not a case of just one more and then I'll come for a walk, and me grinding my teeth, I can see the attraction, offer hints and wrinkles, maybe even be regarded as a little... cool!


Philips SW750M/05 Multiroom Speaker with Spotify Connect
Philips SW750M/05 Multiroom Speaker with Spotify Connect
Price: £118.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What it does, it does very well, 9 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a speaker system that requires a Spotify Premium account in order to operate. It is important to get that fact clear at the beginning of a review of this product. It is not a Bluetooth speaker, it is not an Apple Airplay speaker, it is not a radio, and it is not any other kind of speaker. This fact will of course limit the number of people interested in buying such a speaker system. If you do not have an active Spotify Premium account, please do not buy this product. If you do, please read the rest of this review for my thoughts on this product.

Out of the box, you are presented with a smart, compact speaker system with a wall plug and cable. There are five discreet buttons on the top of the speaker for controlling playback, and a Philips logo on the front of the otherwise black speaker front. To be completely fair to the manufacturer, the packaging makes it clear at various stages that this is a product designed specifically to work with a Spotify Premium account, if the purchaser has not already established that fact at an earlier stage in the purchasing process.

The setup instructions are clear, and effective. I had the system up and running over my home wifi network in about ten minutes, with the help of the free Philips ‘SpeakerSet’ iPhone app. My own Spotify Premium account instantly recognised the arrival of a suitable speaker in the home, and began streaming music to the speaker instantly.

So, it’s a niche product, with a smart design, that’s easy to set up. What about the thing that actually matters: the quality of the playback? I am not a true audiophile but I am a keen listener to many genres of music and have owned and tested many stereo systems over the years, from record players and early CD hifi systems, through to higher end systems, portable stereos and other solutions from the major household names in stereos. I have been thoroughly impressed by the ability of this Philips system to fill a good size room with clear, crisp music without an over-emphasis on bass.

Your experience, and your taste in sound reproduction, may vary, but in simple terms it more than holds it own against similar sized products from the likes of Bose and Sony with which I am familiar. The Philips system gives what I would describe as unfussy, and room-filling, but balanced sound. I tested this system for many hours, taking advantage of the Spotify Premium account to try out ‘old favourites’ which I have listened to on many systems and on all formats from vinyl onwards, and other musical genres which would test the range of the speaker further.

One of the best ways I have found to use this speaker is to set a long playlist – either of your own making or created by Spotify – in motion, and just let it play. You can control playback from your various wifi enabled devices, but can also pause, play, and skip tracks from the buttons on the device itself, as well as controlling the volume.

In a perfect world, this product would offer other ways to connect to music, such as Bluetooth and Airplay, and operate as a radio at the same time. However, it does one thing, and does it very well. Overall, this is a very welcome addition to my home and an excellent companion for anyone who has a Spotify Premium account and would like to play music from their account in the home with a minimum of fuss. If this sounds like you, I’m happy to give this product a strong recommendation.


The Children Act
The Children Act
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Judgement of Solomon, 9 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Children Act (Kindle Edition)
An elegant, well researched, contemporary novel from a writer who credits his readers with intelligence and curiosity; in this case with the workings of the judiciary and the moral dilemmas faced daily by conscientious Judge Fiona.

Think what you may about her teetering marriage arrangements with Jack the university lecturer, who seems a little spoilt and petulant, but Fiona always does her best and is especially hard on herself.

What would be right for young Adam Henry, who is suffering from leukaemia and facing a crisis of faith, as a Jehovah's Witness who fears transfusion, is the centre of the tale.

I loved the repartee, the beautiful musical themes that is interwoven through the passages, the comings and goings of Jack and the cogitations over Fiona's childlessness, all add up to a thoroughly enjoyable read that kept me enthralled for two evenings.

This was a Book Club choice which will surely give us plenty to discuss, it was selected particularly for its brevity, with the season being busy with Christmas preparations. It would make a splendid gift for a keen reader, Ian McEwan doesn't disappoint.


Leather Conditioner & Restorer - The Ultimate Leather Protector by Leather Nova
Leather Conditioner & Restorer - The Ultimate Leather Protector by Leather Nova
Offered by InstaNatural UK
Price: £29.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bottled Elbow Grease, 9 Dec 2014
I chose to try this thinking mainly of my leather armchairs. Soon I realised that it will be helpful for all sorts of household purposes.

The conditioner/restorer product is clear, viscous, not runny, almost fragrance free. It is easy to squeeze out from the plastic container, with the clever push down dispenser lid; onto the accompanying soft, practically shaped, applicator sponge.

I did as I was told and washed the chairs first then dried and applied the product. I couldn't believe that it would dry without stickiness but yes, it did, a quick buff up with a soft brush revealing a brilliant shine, the chairs looked like new again.

Then I moved on to my winter boots. These had stayed in the cupboard since an impulse sale purchase, until now, as they were hard and a bit uncomfortable. I set to and applied the leather conditioner/restorer, rubbing especially firmly around the foot area. This had the desired effect of softening the leather and rendering the boots a better fit. A great result. I have just been to town and back in them without any of the previous chafing. They glow like a guardsman's too!

Shining up belts, handbags, shoes, furniture, will all be grateful for a lick and a polish from Leather Nova.

I received this for a fair review. I am really pleased to have been introduced to such a useful product.


Mr. Goodlad Worker Complete, 15 Kg
Mr. Goodlad Worker Complete, 15 Kg
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Goes down a treat, 9 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having a 15kg sack standing ready in the store is a very efficient way of feeding your dogs. Having it delivered is even better.

My two large Springers were happy to oblige with a taste test. The food is all of one colour, dark brown, coin sized drops, with plenty of crunch to keep their teeth occupied.

The smell is pleasant, the promise of a complete diet important, and the attraction is clear; both chaps immediately went head down into the bowl. One was keener than his brother, but he eats bunny droppings so isn't a discerning gourmet.

I would be happy to use this for my busy boys, it is for the more outdoor active breeds. Mr. Goodlad offers a great product at a reasonable price. Walkies anyone?


Carte Noire Mixed  Coffee Capsules 53g (Pack of 4)
Carte Noire Mixed Coffee Capsules 53g (Pack of 4)
Price: £11.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Sensible choice if price is competitive, 7 Dec 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We are sampling new brands of Expresso coffee capsules as they become available as the original brand designed to fit Nespresso machines makes wonderful tasty coffees but each cup is a treat due to the price.

Firstly we found these Carte Noire capsules overly packaged, no need for the box and the individual foil wraps, (although there is a nice aroma of coffee as you tear into them) The packaging also means you cannot store them in the dedicated steel mini tower unit we have beside our Nespresso machine. However the capsules fit into the machine perfectly and they are soft enough for the machine to perforate them easily (unlike another brand we tried, that was so chunky, we were concerned we would break out machine as we struggling to clamp them down)  The flavour range is good and the coffee compares very well with the original brand. Due to the competitive price we will continue to use these even though our storage unit is redundant!

Take one star off because of the packaging.


[Apple MFi Certified] Aukey 8 Pin Lightning to USB Cable (3.3ft / 1m) for iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air / mini / mini2, iPad 4th generation, iPod 5th generation, and iPod nano 7th generation
[Apple MFi Certified] Aukey 8 Pin Lightning to USB Cable (3.3ft / 1m) for iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air / mini / mini2, iPad 4th generation, iPod 5th generation, and iPod nano 7th generation
Offered by duola beauty
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch iDevice cable, 30 Nov 2014
The Aukey USB to Lightning is a welcome addition to my home, which is starting to feel like a power station for a growing collection of devices which require charging.

The cable is one metre (3.3 feet) in length, which I find to be the right length to reach a wall charger without becoming cumbersome and tangled. The packaging is smart, minimal and easy to open - not a big deal, but the first sign that you have purchased an authentic product which has been designed and manufactured with care from start to finish. A warranty card is also included in the box.

I tested the cable's sync and charging capabilities with several devices, and am pleased to report that everything worked the way it should, and the way you would expect from a product carrying the official Apple 'Made for iPhone' certification.

If anything, this cable feels more substantial than the standard Apple USB to Lightning cable. The Aukey version has a thicker plastic section below the Lightning end of the cable, which makes it easier to grip.

All in all, an excellent cable for for use with iPhones, iPads and iPods with the Lightning connector.


Epson Runsense SF-510F GPS Sports Monitor Smart Watch with Stride Sensor function
Epson Runsense SF-510F GPS Sports Monitor Smart Watch with Stride Sensor function
Offered by Box Limited
Price: £178.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Utilitarian exercise watch - and Mac Users Beware, 30 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was excited to receive a review unit of the Epson SF510 GPS watch. I am a regular middle distance runner but have never felt the need to integrate technology into my running discipline. Some serious runners don't even wear shoes, while others arrive at races tooled up like RoboCop. Until now, I've made do with a stop watch and a map to work out running distances and my speed. For this reason, the focus of this review is on setting up the watch for basic use, rather than a detailed investigation of the watch's more advanced functions.

Setting up the watch:

The packaging provides the first clue that this watch is all about utility, and not about appearances or user experience. The see through packaging was the kind that doesn't give up its contents easily, and seems to attack your fingers as you attempt to prize the watch free.

You are then presented with a smart, if unexciting grey and black watch with a rubber strap, charging contact points, four buttons, an Epson logo and a basic monotone LCD display of the kind seen on basic calculators. The watch needs charging for a few hours before setup can begin in earnest. Charging takes place in a simple cradle attached to a USB cable, both of which are provided. This can either be connected to a computer or a wall charger.

Using the watch:

After charging, it is necessary to study the quick start guide properly. It's not the kind of watch you just pick up and start fiddling with. Two things you learn from the quick start guide are: firstly, that the watch needs to be left alone outside for several minutes to establish its first connection with a GPS satellite and set the correct time; secondly, the four buttons have two different functions each across the four main display types, so you need to learn over thirty different combinations of button, type of press, and display type, to get full access to the watch's functions.

Finally, I was able to take the watch out for a run, having got through the above setup process. I have tested the watch over ten days, including various runs of different distances and elevations, and just wearing the watch all day to test the battery. So far, the battery indicator has not moved from the 'full' position after ten days of frequent use, which if accurate, is impressive.

Handling exercise data:

Having collected plenty of exercise data, I was keen to do something with it. I soon discovered that there is no Mac version of the Epson software which accompanies the watch, so my next resort was to try the iOS app on my iPhone. The phone pairs with the watch over Bluetooth, and all of this worked easily enough, uploading the running data onto the phone. However, the iOS app seems to be very limited, and I wasn't able to get the app to do anything else than list the key running data - mileage covered etc. The app crashed on several occasions, and in terms of software development, is rather unloved: the design is very basic and feels like a reluctant addition to the real software (which I couldn't use on a Mac) rather than a fully fledged watch accompaniment in its own right.

In summary:

This watch might just be a well equipped exercise companion, for a Windows user, who isn't too concerned with a the watch's plain appearance, low quality screen and makeshift iOS app. However, for the reasons outlined above, and my own technology setup, I can't give this watch a high recommendation. The setup process, complex controls and limited software have not persuaded me that this particular watch adds value, in a convenient and elegant way, to my exercise programme.


Elegant Womens 6 Pairs Assorted Fashion Argyle Cotton Rich Socks
Elegant Womens 6 Pairs Assorted Fashion Argyle Cotton Rich Socks

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight warmth with fancy topping, 29 Nov 2014
These are the finest knit socks, perfect for slipping on when wearing loafers, flats, fashion boots. No bulk to over fill the shoes, just warmth, comfort and style to enjoy.

I am size 5-6 and they are just right. I like the way that the pattern starts above the calf, this means that when wearing trousers your socks don't stand out too boldly, like some all over patterned ones do. The Argyle pattern above a plain foot is easy on the eye.

The soft ribbed top is strong enough to stay up without restricting blood flow. I like them very much.

I was lucky enough to receive the socks for review from the manufacturers and I more than pleased to recommend them. I am wearing them now in some winter shoes and they feel great.


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