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Adventures In Dementia - A Micro Opera
Adventures In Dementia - A Micro Opera
Price: £10.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, but much too short..., 7 Feb. 2015
An E.P. - have to admit I hoped for a little more than this. Fourteen minutes and forty-four seconds is really a lot less than you expect these days, particularly when the CD is priced the same as a full album. Add to that the fact that (at least) two of the tracks are throwaway novelties, and you really do begin to question this product.

Apart from the obvious clues in the narrative, Luke is obviously paying homage to The Fall's style here, and there's nothing wrong with that. The first track is just "Container Drivers", written for caravanners instead of HGV drivers; the third track is called "Cats that Look Like M.E.S." (a truly horrifying concept), and there is a kazoo driven rendition of "Jerusalem". Add to these a little bit of whimsy and a couple of decent pop songs (anyone else remember Bill Pritchard?), and that's it.

It's perfectly pleasant; a sanitised tribute to The Fall and M.E.S., but I think you'd be entitled to expect a little more for your money.


Adonit Jot Pro Fine Point Stylus - Black
Adonit Jot Pro Fine Point Stylus - Black
Offered by Premium Lifestyle
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It does work, but needs to be cheaper., 1 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This appears to be a very well-made piece of equipment. To be honest, I hadn't really considered using a stylus before I was offered this, as I just accepted the limitations of using fingers on my phone and my tablet.

However, this thing really works! It is similar in size and weight to a decent ball-point pen, and can be used in much the same way. The tip of the stylus has a small clear circular disc attached, which avoids your target becoming obscured, as can occur with some of the wider-tipped styli on the market. However, as you will tend to hold this as you would hold a pen, you may find that your hand obscures your target, and I quickly found myself needing to check every tap for accuracy, which was not really any quicker than my previous one-fingered typing had been. However, with practice, this is becoming less of an issue, and I can now "type" quite accurately using the stylus.

It has several plus points; the quality of the build is excellent, as mentioned above; the lid neatly screws onto the top of the stylus while in use, so shouldn't get itself lost too quickly; and, with practice, it does actually produce pretty good results. However, on a more practical note, it's just something else to carry around with you, and it will be just as easy to lose as a pen is. Already, I have begun leaving it at home - I still use it on my tablet when I'm at home, but I make do with my fingers on my phone, when I'm away from home.

I do like it, although it is maybe a bit of a gimmick, or a novelty. If it was around a tenner, I would urge you to give it a go, otherwise, maybe not.


Igenix Upright/ Flat Fan Heater, 2000 Watt, White
Igenix Upright/ Flat Fan Heater, 2000 Watt, White
Price: £19.27

2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe just too "cheap and nasty", 1 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a cheap heater, and should be ideal for quickly warming up a room. Heaters like this are not particularly economical to run, especially on the higher 2000W setting, and you do really need to use that setting, as the lower setting doesn't give off enough heat to take the chill off a room quickly.

It's a rather anonymous, generic model; there are many similar heaters available, both here on Amazon, and at many high street discount stores. Some of these are considerably cheaper, and many appear sturdier, and better quality.

In its favour, it is simple to use, and it is specifically designed to sit either upright or flat, which means it should fit into most spaces. Overall though, I couldn't get away from the "cheap and nasty" impression I had when I first opened the box, and I wouldn't recommend this model to anyone.


Cole & Mason Wood and Glass Croft Wooden 12 Jar Herb and Spice Rack
Cole & Mason Wood and Glass Croft Wooden 12 Jar Herb and Spice Rack
Price: £63.06

4.0 out of 5 stars An ideal gift, possibly more expensive than you would want for personal use., 18 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very well made, heavy wooden rack, which would look good in any kitchen. Some reviewers have remarked that spices should be kept away from direct light, and that is a fair point, but from my own (limited) experience, it doesn't really make that much difference - most spices have a pretty long shelf-life, and you would dispose of any which had lost their flavour; those included here would not be particularly expensive to replace.

The selection of spices incluided here are the basics - the ones you are likely to use most often, and the pre-labelled jars themselves are both attractive and practical, and can be easily refilled.

Overall, this is a perfectly good spice rack with a good selection of spices. Its price may be a little prohibitive. I wouldn't spend that much myself, and I can imagine that most purchases will be for wedding gifts, rather than personal use.


Sony HDR-AZ1VR Action Cam Mini Camcorder with Wi-Fi and Live View Remote Wrist Strap - White
Sony HDR-AZ1VR Action Cam Mini Camcorder with Wi-Fi and Live View Remote Wrist Strap - White
Price: £254.53

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really handy and good-looking. Battery life disappointing., 23 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely little gadget, very pleasing on the eye, although you may doubt the wisdom of having it finished in white. Some Sony models are available in black or silver finishes - I don't know if this one is, but if it is, I would recommend either of these over the white.

It performs really well. To date, I have only used it on a few test-runs around the house, and on one half-hour bike ride, and I didn't have it securely fixed to my bike (as I plan to get a new one soon). The results were much better than I expected; there was a little shakiness, but I think that would have been improved if I had attached the camera to a proper mount, rather than holding it in place with a couple of cable ties, as I did. The sound quality was also very clear and undistorted. The wrist worn Live-View Remote is a handy addition; although obviously not suitable for use on bike rides, I can see this being handy for recording activities such as family gatherings, when the camera itself can be simply set up and ignored.

Battery life is a possible issue; the literature suggests a battery life of 80 minutes on a full charge, but I found I only got around 65 minutes, not really long enough for many of the camera's potential uses.

The only other drawback is that here is no memory card included in the package on offer here. It's not expensive to buy one, but it is a little disappointing to find you can't use your new "toy" straight out of the box. Perhaps Sony could have provided a low capacity card, say 8Gb or so.

November probably wasn't the best time to get this, but I've seen enough to make me look forward to using it more fully, once (if) the better weather comes back in the springtime. The camera is apparently splashproof, and there is a hard plastic case included, which allows the camera to be placed, and to record, underwater. The wrist worn remote is also waterproof, so can also be operated in water.

Overall I'm very happy with the camera, and I will get plenty of use from it. I only hope the battery performance doesn't degrade too much, as that would really adversely affect its usefullness.


Lenovo YOGA 2 8 inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4)
Lenovo YOGA 2 8 inch Tablet (Silver) - (Intel Atom Z3745 1.33GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Android 4.4)
Price: £181.34

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly adequate tablet, despite "ugly duckling" looks, 6 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have taken my time before submitting this review, as I wanted to see if it "grew on me", with repeated use.

Although the display is exceptionally clear and bright, the refresh rate seems rather sluggish, to the extent that sometimes it's not clear whether your keystrokes have been recognised, so you end up double-clicking and retracing your steps. Because of that, I wouldn't say the tablet is particularly suitable for activities which require much input from users; for example, it is excellent for watching movies, but not so good for entering text into websites etc.

The built-in stand is a nice touch, and has a hole in it so the tablet can be hung up, possibly useful for kitchen use, for example when following recipes. However, the stand is only of use when the display is in landscape view (which, admittedly, is how it will be, most of the time).

The other obvious talking point about this tablet is the design. Rather than being a flat tablet, this design incorporates a one-inch diameter cylinder along the bottom of the tablet (when held in landscape view). This allows for greater battery capacity, and therefore longer battery life, and may therefore be a welcome addition to many users. However, it gives the tablet an "ugly duckling" look; it is the Citroen 2CV of tablets - many will simply find it ugly, but it will have its fans. One other drawback with this shape is that it will not fit neatly into most generic covers, so if you want to properly protect your tablet, you will need to go for one of the more expensive bespoke covers available from the manufacturer.

Overall, it's an odd little beast; it's no better or worse than others in its class, but the two points I raised above would lead me to choose one of the alternatives.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2014 8:08 AM GMT


The Art of McCartney (Amazon Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
The Art of McCartney (Amazon Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just about OK. Lacklustre and uninspiring, 29 Nov. 2014
One look at the track listing should be enough to convince any fan of McCartney to part with their cash and buy this.

For the most part, it's money well spent, and almost everything on the first CD gets pass marks. Nothing is really anything out of the ordinary, and one or two of the artists, in particular Billy Joel, seem to be struggling with the material.

The second disc, however, contains the highlights and the lowlights of this collection. Dr John's "Let 'Em In" and Toots Hibbert's "Come and Get It" are the obvious highlights. Unfortunately, Smokey Robinson's take on "So Bad" lives up to the song title, Dion really struggles with "Drive My Car", and Chrissie Hynde's "Let It Be" is simply abysmal with some very odd phrasing completely ruining her delivery - I can't fathom how that got past the producer. If you buy from Amazon, you'll get two extra tracks, a decent "C Moon" from Robert Smith, and a pretty pointless "Put It There" from Peter, Bjorn and John.

Overall, it's not bad, but it's also not good. Nobody stretches themselves, and it really sounds like most contributors were simply going through the motions. This should have been so much better.


SanDisk Ultra SDHC 32 GB UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card 40 MB/s (SDSDUN-032G-G46)
SanDisk Ultra SDHC 32 GB UHS-I Class 10 Memory Card 40 MB/s (SDSDUN-032G-G46)
Price: £13.11

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal, probably just what you need., 18 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As I have mentioned in other reviews of memory cards and USB pen-drives, it really is quite amazing how the capacity of these has increased, and the price decreased, over the past decade or so.

This particular card has already seen use in my Nikon One camera (I had wondered whether it would be too high-capacity, but it works fine), and to transfer files from one PC to another. In both tasks it performed just as well as one would expect - fast, accurate, and hassle-free transfer of data.

There really isn't much more to say about a memory card. I have had many, over the years, and I have to say the few problems I have had have not involved SanDisk products (although I have had several SanDisk cards), so I would recommend this without hesitation.


Mitre Intelligent Compression Tungsten Shin Pads
Mitre Intelligent Compression Tungsten Shin Pads
Offered by integralsportsltd
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Give good protection, and stay in place well., 18 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Being a little past the age of playing competitively now, these have been worn by my teenaged son in two school matches in the last week. According to him, they are very comfortable, and stay in place well (even from my own time, I can remember this being a problem).

We both particularly like the added ankle protection provided in these pads; it is amazing how often one's ankles come into contact with an opponents studs in a competitive match! During the second match, my son's left shin was the victim of a particularly vicious assault, but the guard held up well, and there was no lasting damage, to either shin or guard. After a quick wipe after the game the guards still look as good as new.

Overall, my son and I are both very impressed and would not hesitate to recommend this product.


Tacwise 1038 Hobby 53EL Kit
Tacwise 1038 Hobby 53EL Kit
Price: £29.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for certain jobs - but might not get used very often., 6 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great little powered staple gun. It feels comofrtable in the hand, and effortlessly fires staples into various materials. I have used it on two outstanding DIY projects, stapling some underfelt to floorboards, and re-atataching a cushioned back to a chair. Both jobs seem to have held well. It is also quite a verstaile piece of kit, capable of using five different sizes of staples, as well as one useful size of nails.

You may not use it particularly often, but it is certainly handy to have. The only slight disadvantage is that it is mains powered, so you may need to use an extension cable, or continually change sockets, if you are undertaking a larger project, such as installing underlay in a larger room. In cases such as that, a battery-powered unit may be preferable.


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