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

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HALTI OptiFit
HALTI OptiFit
Price: £16.60

4.0 out of 5 stars -
Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!"
 And trotted along behind.

 (R. Kipling), 20 Oct 2014
This review is from: HALTI OptiFit (Misc.)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Here we have a product that is designed to be discarded. Using it promises that it eventually allow you to go back to what you may have begun with, a straightforward collar and lead. I am a good candidate for trying it out as I have two large, strong, young English Show Springer Spaniels who mostly take me for a walk rather than the other way around.

Thirty years of continuous improvement have lead Dr. Roger Mugford to the present day Halti Optifit. There are only three sizes to choose from because the collar itself is flexible and adjustable to a larger degree than you might expect. Comfortable, strong nylon, padded, with a reflective strip; the light and easy construction of the head collar gives a feel of friendship rather than punishment. A double ended leash would be helpful to go with the collar.

A well made, self explanatory and watchable dvd is enclosed with the new Halti, which I found really helpful. Dr. Mugford, an eminently sensible chap who has a winning way with dogs, works through the programme with several different sized four legged students. I wish he would come to stay with us and take over!

It may take weeks rather than days to get your dog trained well enough to dispense with the Halti. In the meantime, we are advised to keep `treating' your dog, while dressing him in the new head collar, and training him to walk beside your knee rather than out in front straining at the leash. This may be tricky if he is forever trying to get the thing off his face.

My experience with it is recent and introductory. Rather a case of 'can you teach old dogs new tricks'? Much chewing and padding at the collar even with treats being paid out through it. This head collar is not a magic answer, it will take a deal of commitment and time to work. It's up to the owner to use this as an aid not an answer. We shall persevere and I will send reports from the front line.


KEEDOX® 2013 New 16MP Waterproof Digital Camera 10m waterproof
KEEDOX® 2013 New 16MP Waterproof Digital Camera 10m waterproof
Offered by Hossen
Price: £52.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Tough, sparkly little camera, 19 Oct 2014
This camera is perfect as an extra spare in your rucksack, on your kayak or even in a wild swimming bag for those photo opportunities you might otherwise miss. You get what you pay for in terms of quality but it looks the part and if you look after it (which you will need to a bit) it is up for the job of hanging around near water and occasionally getting briefly dunked. It's not really a dive camera and I wouldn't trust it on a prolonged snorkel as the covers on the useful microphone plug in and around the battery and micro sd card are not as butch as they could be. You have to make very sure you click them into place which is not easy with cold wet hands, so do that before you go out. When you get it back to dry land, rinse off any salt or dirt and dry it thoroughly before you open it to charge it or take out the card.

For "normal" dry use, it's great in that it's light and pocket sized and with its shock and water resistance you might pull it out in situations where you'd rather not use your smartphone camera (although you'd get better quality pics on most phones). One issue I found is that there is quite a delay on pressing the shutter button so if you're trying to capture any action, you need to press it before you'd expect to. This is probably OK once you get used to it.

It was pretty easy to set up straight out of the box. It says it's plug and play for Mac and you need to load the enclosed software for the PC, but I didn't load it, just used a micro SD card I already had and plugged the SD card into my laptop and it took the pictures off easily.

It has a lot of features you wouldn't expect in such a low priced camera - different white balance options for indoors, cloudy, sunny (but unfortunately not underwater), time and date stamping (easy to turn off) and you can adjust the resolution of the picture. I tried the image stabiliser option and it did not seem to do much and the different white balance modes did not seem to do a great deal either - but with the number of cheap apps available to sort that out once the images are on your computer that's not so much of an issue these days. It has an input for a microphone (seemed a bit unnecessary really in this type of camera as the quality is nothing like as good as a GoPro or similar so you'd be unlikely to use it for serious film making. It also has a screw in point for a tripod which I guess you might use as it has a self timer with various options.

If you do buy this you will need a micro SD card immediately, it has no memory without it and you'll most likely want a longer USB-mini USB lead as the one that comes with it is unbelievably short.

All in all, for the price, it makes a great spare camera for when you don't want to use your phone, it could be fun to use with kids, pets and hobbies. If you're looking for serious underwater photos or capturing sports action, it's a bit slow and low quality but then again if you were doing that you'd probably already have something more high-end.

I was sent this to review by Keedox and am pleased to have had the opportunity to try it.


Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Cole & Mason 190 mm Dark Wood and Stainless Steel Oldbury Gourmet Precision Pepper Mill, Brown
Price: £34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A new best friend in the kitchen, 18 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a solidly made, apparently reliable, 'hand-draulic' pepper grinder. The traditional construction is comfortable and tactile in use. It would make a great gift for a wedding. My original wedding present one, looking rather like this version, lasted until our silver anniversary.

I have become exasperated with battery operated ones which always seem to let you down eventually by spilling their guts over the dinner table. They are of necessity heavier and more awkward, despite the electrical mechanisation of the process. It is great to have a grown up, self sufficient grinder with six 'gourmet precision' levels of fine, medium fine, medium and coarse available to use.

Simple to fill with fresh peppercorns by opening the top. Some good advice is given, which is to ensure you always buy good quality pepper corns, they are not all equal.

The video above, made by the manufacturers Cole and Mason, is really helpful, it is all you need to help you use the machine to best advantage, demonstrating the operation of the pepper grinder quite clearly.


Cobra Attack Game
Cobra Attack Game
Price: £24.16

5.0 out of 5 stars A real success for a wide age range, 18 Oct 2014
This review is from: Cobra Attack Game (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Today we had a party and there were six children here between 4 and 11 who absolutely loved this game. They fanned out around the basket, and defied the sensor. to steal the emerald from the cobra. The laughter was loud and their excitement really obvious.

Take a moment to acclimatise yourselves with the setting up operations, squash the cobra down until he clicks in place, set the difficulty levels, the children soon sorted that out, then push the lever down to engage the spring. The flashing eyes and glowing jewel are pretty impressive as is the laughter and screaming, from the basket! It is really exciting when the cobra strikes.

I put the 4 AA batteries in easily and screwed the battery box tight down, placed it in the room and left them to it. Very good value.


Globalebuy® 46 Bright LED Wireless Solar Powered Lamp Outdoor Garden Wall Mounted Security Lighting, PIR Motion, Waterproof (Silvery)
Globalebuy® 46 Bright LED Wireless Solar Powered Lamp Outdoor Garden Wall Mounted Security Lighting, PIR Motion, Waterproof (Silvery)
Offered by GLOBALEBUY-UK
Price: £25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Just the thing for a dark corner, 16 Oct 2014
There is nothing wrong with this light, it works really well. We have ours installed above an outside loo which is used from time to time, in the dark, during the winter.

Positioned high enough to avoid clipping anyone on the head, which is essential as it sticks out proud, like a small shelf, from the wall, this senses human activity, and gives out a bright clear light that goes off when people leave the area.

Once purchased, and the bracket screwed in to the wall, the lamp can left to its own devices. It will be a maintenance and cost free light. I am pleased to have it.

I just wish they would give someone like me a job rewriting the instruction sheet and info on the box. Computer generated translations give a poor impression of a perfectly good idea for outside lighting. As for the young couple on the box, pictured sharing a tender moment outside some impressive gates, well, they probably would rather not be illuminated!

Globalebuy kindly sent me this to review and I am finding it extremely useful.


Light Blue/Turquoise Pilot FriXion Clicker Rollerball Retractable Erasable 0.7 Tip (Box of 12)
Light Blue/Turquoise Pilot FriXion Clicker Rollerball Retractable Erasable 0.7 Tip (Box of 12)
Price: £16.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Brighten up your paperwork, 12 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once you work out that the pen is made usable by clicking the clip down, you are off. My husband puzzled away at the new pen, declaring it didn't work, until I politely pointed out the required action.

Being erasable is a new asset, especially for those occasions when you miswrite a greetings card that cost good money. We are so used to clearing text created by keyboard that hand written missives tend to flummox when something is done incorrectly.

I am a great fan of turquoise/light blue ink so this is a great favourite and something of a trademark with me. Smooth and clean this pen has the happy gift of making one's writing look more attractive. Mine has become more decorative than legible these days, so any help is gratefully received.

Pilot is a trusty brand, maker of many fine pens, of which this is a fine example.


Loonysocks, 3 Pair of Cotton Rich Women/ Ladies & Girls Grey Mix Polka Dots Socks (UK 3-6 (35-38 EU))
Loonysocks, 3 Pair of Cotton Rich Women/ Ladies & Girls Grey Mix Polka Dots Socks (UK 3-6 (35-38 EU))
Offered by Artborn
Price: £10.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Super soft socks snuggle seasonably, 12 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Now is the time to abandon those sandals and flip flops, toes need cosying up, so these new socks will fit the bill.

Knocking spots off your old ones, a set of three different coloured pairs will cheer you up each day as you pull them on.

Just right with walking trainers, loafers and boots, buying two or more sets will make it easier to make up a pair!


Charles Wilson Zip Neck Cotton Jumper
Charles Wilson Zip Neck Cotton Jumper
Offered by Charles Wilson Clothing
Price: £17.95 - £26.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good looking knitwear, 11 Oct 2014
More street smart than rural this black cotton zip neck jumper will lift your casual outfits to a new level.

The attractive grey lining to the neck is a nice touch. The zip is good quality, can be left open or pulled up tight in the colder weather. The easy care 100% cotton gives it a soft and superior weighty feel, altogether a good natured garment that will carry you through many a long day.

Haul it over your head, pull up the sleeves and feel the cares of the work day recede. Off to visit friends and family, take the children to the park, shop in the market, check out the stores, Charles Wilson knitwear can accompany you anywhere.


Charles Wilson Full Zip Cotton Jumper
Charles Wilson Full Zip Cotton Jumper
Offered by Charles Wilson Clothing
Price: £17.95 - £27.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An open and shut case, 11 Oct 2014
More of a jacket than a 'cardigan' this full zip jumper has a smart neckline with an interior contrast colour. Blue in the case of the grey version. It's an easy style to wear, in 100 % cotton. Soft and relaxed, yet able to keep out the cold when fully zipped up. Useful to pull on when settling down after sports, walking the dog, out working on the veg patch or off for a swift half.

The manly brand of Charles Wilson has an axe and tree stump as its logo. The knitwear sold under this trademark is tremendously good value, and really well made. Ideal for spoiling your chaps at Christmas and on other happy days, they will appreciate the superior standard of craft shown in these garments.

Cotton means easy care, a 40 degree wash at most and a quick lick of the iron to restore new condition. Expect this jumper to become a close companion, a very useful addition to the chest of drawers. I was lucky enough to be sent one to review and it is already out and about on its new owner!


Charles Wilson Men's Button Neck Classic Wool Blend Jumper (X-Large, Burgundy Marl)
Charles Wilson Men's Button Neck Classic Wool Blend Jumper (X-Large, Burgundy Marl)
Offered by Charles Wilson Clothing
Price: £24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and comforting like a good red wine, 11 Oct 2014
The burgundy marl is a deep brick colour, not scarlet or pillar box; the colour is complexion flattering, soft yet substantial. This three button neck man's jumper will be very popular as the leaves fall and the colder winds blow. Just right for a trip to the pub, a walk with the dogs, an day outside gardening.

Charles Wilson is a top quality brand who are offering knitwear for men at more than reasonable prices. The Classic Wool Blend jumper is reassuringly weighty in the hand but light to wear. The stylish ribbing along the tops of the sleeves and down the sides of the garment adds a touch of individuality and some extra warmth.

Well put together and attractively designed, this could become a new best friend for the colder season. I was fortunate enough to be sent this to review and my man is more than grateful for his new knitwear. A great idea for Christmas and other gift occasions, surely guaranteed to be acceptable and appreciated.


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