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Reviews Written by
H. Ashford "hashford" (Sheffield, UK)
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D'Addario NYXL1046 Regular Light 10-46 Electric Guitar Strings
D'Addario NYXL1046 Regular Light 10-46 Electric Guitar Strings
Price: £11.86

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality strings, 2 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I love d’Addario strings and I always use them on my guitar. I think they are the best on the market in their price range.

Why do I like them? Well they have a nice bright sound, and a sound that is consistent in timbre from string to string. They are easy to put on and, once they have stretched, stay in tune well (no slipping). And they’re robust, ie they don’t break too easily (especially when “bending” the note).

So the killer question – are these worth 3 times as much as d’Addario’s regular electric guitar strings? They certainly look, feel and sound high quality – whether they last longer remains to be seen.


2 Pairs Of Adult Silicone Swimming Push In Ear Plugs & Safety Cord
2 Pairs Of Adult Silicone Swimming Push In Ear Plugs & Safety Cord
Offered by The Chemical Hut
Price: £3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars OK for recreational use, but ..., 21 Jun 2014
... came out of my ears the first time I swam "properly", and sank to the bottom of the pool!

Luckily, a kind fellow swimmer dived down and got them for me (I couldn't do it, the pool was 3 meters deep). As it happens, the connecting plastic cord is long enough for me to take a twist around my swimsuit strap (though I don't know what male swimmers could do!), so this won't happen again.

Also, I pushed them in a bit further - but they're rather large, and I do think there's a bit of a knack to finding out just how far you can push them into your ears without hurting yourself. I don't like the way they stick out of the ear, and I think that was the problem - that my arm is brushing against the earplug, or possibly the cord, as I swim, thereby loosening them.

However, I do like the fact that there is a cord. I have smaller, Speedo, earplugs that are more comfortable to wear and more discreet in appearance, but they also come out occasionally - and they float, which strikes me as positively dangerous (I worry about someone breathing them in and choking).

So overall, I don't find these earplugs particularly comfortable to use, and I don't like the way they look, but with a bit of practice I do think they do the job I bought them for. Also, as you get two pairs, they are incredibly good value. Hence 3*s.


Essie Repstyle Magnetic Nail Polish - 234A Repstyle (15ml)
Essie Repstyle Magnetic Nail Polish - 234A Repstyle (15ml)
Offered by Sally's Cosmetics
Price: £5.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!, 16 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This nail varnish is brilliant!

It is pretty simple to apply – just put one coat on each nail. Then when this is dry apply a second coat, quite thick and wet, and hold the magnet in the lid close to the nail. You have to hold the lid very close (and sometimes we accidentally touched the nail, but it didn’t seem to matter too much), and you have to be quick to do it before the varnish starts to dry. But once you get the knack it is easy enough.

I have been getting complimentary comments all day.


Timeline: Diversity
Timeline: Diversity
Price: £11.18

4.0 out of 5 stars good fun for children and adults, 16 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Timeline: Diversity (Toy)
This is an entertaining little game for a rainy afternoon. You can make it as long or as short as you like by varying the number of cards dealt out initially.

Our only complaint is that after playing the game 2 or 3 times, my partner and I found we were getting to know a lot of the answers ... so I will just have to buy some more titles in the series to get different cards!


AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches A4 Pack of 100
AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches A4 Pack of 100
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars effective and easy to use, 16 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I requested these to go with the AmazonBasics thermal laminator.

My experience with them is that both the laminator and the pouches are easy to use. They run through the machine without sticking, and they come out wrinkle free and don’t seem to bend as they cool.

I have tried different thicknesses, from a single thin sheet to two heavy sheets placed back to back to give a more rigid end result, without any problems (though I didn’t try going over the recommended max of 3mm).

Although I only have A4 pouches, they are easily cut down to fit smaller items.

Overall, I can recommend these pouches (and the laminator too).


Ultrasport Men's T-Shirt V-Neck  - Black, Large
Ultrasport Men's T-Shirt V-Neck - Black, Large
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars very nice t-shirt, 5 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good quality t-shirt; it’s well made, the material has a nice feel to it, it’s a little bit stretchy which is comfortable.

I was only offered a large one. Now I’m a size 14 (female), so the top is loose on me but not excessively so, which is how I like my running tops anyway.


Ultrasport 2.4 GHz chest strap for NavBike 400/NavRun 600
Ultrasport 2.4 GHz chest strap for NavBike 400/NavRun 600
Price: £25.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Useless on its own, 5 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ok, so I’m an idiot. The description does clearly state that this is an accessory for the Nav Run Ultrasport collection (this is where I need an “embarrassed” smiley!).

I should explain that I requested this chest belt and monitor because my current Polar heart rate monitor, which is very old, has become erratic – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, or it gives ridiculous readings – and I want to replace it. The aforementioned Polar monitor, despite coming with a watch unit, is also picked up by the c/v machines in the gym – and so I had hoped that this Nav Run chest belt would behave similarly. But it doesn’t.
(I might also mention that my Polar watch sometimes picks up other people’s monitors – I can see that this might be a nuisance if you regularly exercise alongside other people).

So what can I tell you about this monitor. Well it claims to have an easy to put on strap, but I have to say it is nothing like as easy as the Polar one (not that this is a big issue).

More importantly, the instructions are gobbledegook. For instance, step 2 says “wet both electrodes”. What electrodes??? All you have is a sealed unit which has two poppers to fix it to the strap. And in the Help section (under what to do if it doesn’t work), it says “apply water or electrode gel to the electrode of the HR belt” Now that’s odd, because if you wear it as illustrated on the Amazon page then the monitor unit faces outwards and the belt is against your chest – ie the monitor doesn’t touch your skin at all (unlike my Polar monitor which is integral to the belt). So that left me confused about the correct way to wear it.

I apologise for posting a rubbish review. Unfortunately the watch unit (sorry, wrist computer) is expensive so I will have to shop around for a cheap, or second hand, one. When I get one, I will come back and post a better review.


Memory of Water
Memory of Water
by Emmi Itäranta
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and stylised, 15 May 2014
This review is from: Memory of Water (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Emmi Itaranta uses beautiful language to paint a stark picture. A world where water is precious and the government fearsome. We see fragments of our own world as anchors in the new world, where memories of us are all but gone. This world is both rich and believable, and I love the way it is portrayed.

Noria in her role as teenage tea master struggles to hide a secret spring of drinking water with increasing difficulty, forcing her to make some brave choices. The plot unfolds gently but unrelentingly, and the ending is somewhat open, leaving us to imagine for ourselves what is to come.


The Bees
The Bees
by Laline Paull
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 9 May 2014
This review is from: The Bees (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Flora 717 is a freak of nature, condemned to death at birth if it wasn't for a priestess's curiosity. Because of this she able to take multiple roles in the hive, giving the reader a chance to explore the hive and see how it fits together.

Many reviewers have commented on Flora as a too perfect character, and it is true that physically she has almost no limits, but mentally she struggles with self confidence, decision making, and balancing her loyalty with individuality, a fact I loved.

I loved the bee's society and its complexity and its quirks, its mythology and its general structure. Lots of people complain that the book anthropomorphises the bees too much, but this isn't really a book about bees, it just happens to be set in a hive, using bees as inspiration. If I wanted a book about bees I'm sure there are plenty of non fiction books I could chose to read.

My only complaint is that while the book asked a lot of questions about the duty of society to the individual and vice versa it did little to answer those questions


Attila: The Scourge of God
Attila: The Scourge of God
Price: £3.98

1.0 out of 5 stars history text masquerading as a novel!, 5 May 2014
The Amazon blurb says
“Ross Laidlaw’s masterful portrayal of these two figures [Aetius and Attilia] is based on his extensive knowledge of the period and is written in a narrative style that vividly evokes the brutality, decadence and desperation of this fascinating time in European history”.

I can’t argue with that. Laidlaw clearly has researched the period extensively and yes there are passages of vivid description which give much needed colour to the book.

However, as a novel, this book utterly fails. There are huge chunks of background history, which could be made interesting and relevant, but are not – because they are not attached to the needs of a character. And the descriptive passages, which are good, merely serve to distract the reader from the already weak story arc.

What this book needs is a strong story line supported by 3 dimensional characters – and THEN Laidlaw could hang his history and rich descriptions on these to create a convincing and memorable novel.


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