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The Five Sisters (Manchester, UK)
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3.0 out of 5 stars So-so, 5 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been using this iron for a couple of weeks. It looks and feels big and bulky, but is actually surprisingly close to the size and weight of my normal iron when I compared them side by side. It doesn't come with a beaker to fill the water compartment, which is an issue because it's almost impossible to see how much water you've put in and is therefore very easy to overfill. It's the first time I've ever had to look at the instructions for an iron - because I couldn't work out how to change the amount of steam produced. It turned out that the iron does it automatically, although you can turn overall steam production on and off.

In normal use the iron heats up rapidly. While you are ironing it vibrates - which I presume is the active steam generation bit. It certainly produces lots of steam - you might want to use it in a well-ventilated room! There is a promise to halt drips, but it does still drip, although not in disastrous amounts. I tried the vertical steam generation, and it does work (a bit), but there's a reason why people don't just puff steam all over their clothes rather than ironing them!

Despite my various half-hearted comments above, the reason it gets 3 stars is because it's actually a perfectly decent iron. It's just that it's expensive, and I don't think the steam generation makes that much difference. If I had to iron loads of cotton shirts every day (and I had a well-ventilated room), then I think this is definitely worth considering; otherwise, save your money and get something simpler and cheaper.


Bose ® SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black
Bose ® SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones - Black
Price: £149.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very comfortable and lovely sound, but expensive, 5 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These headphones (I have the all black around-ear ones) are really great, but not perfect.

Pros:
Incredibly comfortable
Beautiful sound (I've tried it with classical, choral, folk and rock music)
No sound leakage
Extremely light
Folds into a neat case
Works on a wide range of products (not just Apple)

Cons:
Pricey
Limited blocking out of external noise
Sounds great, but much cheaper headphones sound nearly as good
In-line sound controls only work on Apple products

I've compared these headphones to my JVC on-ear noise-cancelling ones (cost around £80) and my old Sony earbuds (cost about £25). There is no doubt that the Bose headphones are more comfortable and have wonderful sound quality, but the difference in sound quality is relatively minor given the price differential. If I was travelling I would still take the earbuds (for their tiny size and sound blocking) or the JVC (for the active noise-cancelling).

If you want high-quality headphones that you can wear for hours, then go for this pair, with the proviso I would not choose them for travelling, and I am sure there are nearly as good around-ear sets at half the price.


Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
Price: £5.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful essays on the problems of practising medicine, 18 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a brilliant selection of essays on the problems and pitfalls of practising medicine. I read these as a working doctor and very clearly recognised the dilemmas he describes; but this is also an incredibly approachable book for non-medics - I fully intend to pester my non-medical family into reading this to give them insight into some of the ethical issues faced by doctors on a regular basis.


Pinkalicious
Pinkalicious
by Victoria Kann
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too much pink can sometimes be bad for you!, 18 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pinkalicious (Paperback)
This is a really fun book about a little girl who is obsessed with pink (aren't they all!). She eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink and then, horror of horrors, red. She gets better by eating lots of green healthy foods. A charming book for 2-4yr olds, marked down to 4 stars only because it has some Americanisms (e.g "Mommy"). I've given it as a gift several times now, and it has always been a big success.


AMOS 2 Pcs 2-Pin / 3-Pin Prong India Indian / Pakistan / Srilanka Universal Universelle Worldwide Tourist Visitor Visiter Travel Adaptor Adapter Convertor Converter Plug from UK, EU Europe, Switzerland, USA America, Canada, Zambia, France, Germany, Italy, China, England, Great Britain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Dubai, UAE to India Indian / Pakistan 2-Pin & 3-Pin Prong Plug Round Travel Adaptor Adapter / Convertor Converter Plug (White)
AMOS 2 Pcs 2-Pin / 3-Pin Prong India Indian / Pakistan / Srilanka Universal Universelle Worldwide Tourist Visitor Visiter Travel Adaptor Adapter Convertor Converter Plug from UK, EU Europe, Switzerland, USA America, Canada, Zambia, France, Germany, Italy, China, England, Great Britain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Dubai, UAE to India Indian / Pakistan 2-Pin & 3-Pin Prong Plug Round Travel Adaptor Adapter / Convertor Converter Plug (White)
Offered by CostMad-UK
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars They just worked, 18 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Two chargers at a great price. Incredibly useful if you're travelling in India or Sri Lanka. Both chargers were put to good use on a recent holiday to India, and I was very pleased with them.


Jabra Solemate Max Bluetooth and NFC Wireless Speaker System - Black/Grey
Jabra Solemate Max Bluetooth and NFC Wireless Speaker System - Black/Grey
Price: £182.22

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, but expensive, 18 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
External impressions: This portable speaker arrived impressively neatly packaged (I wouldn't like to try and get it all back inside the same box again!). It's a smart unit - much smarter than it looks in the photos - dark grey with pale grey speaker casings. I thought I might be bothered by the yellow lining to the carry handle or the ridged bottom, but in fact these just add interesting detail. The whole thing feels reassuringly solid and sturdy.

Getting started: I was up and running in under a couple of minutes. A couple of button presses and my iPod was connected by Bluetooth. A wave of my NFC enabled phone, and I was magically connected by NFC (I've never used the NFC before, but it was incredibly easy). There's a dial on the top for volume and to skip tracks, but I needed to use my iPod/phone to fast forward over just part of a track. There's a separate button on the top to answer the phone (I haven't used this) and the same button also acts as a battery indicator - you press it and a mystery voice intones "battery full" (more on this later).

In use: It sounds wonderful for its size! There's plenty of volume and it sounds at least as good as my Pure One, probably better in fact. I've listened to a range of classical, choral and rock music so it's been put through its paces. Of course it's not as good as dedicated stereo speakers, but it's intended to be compact and portable, which it is. I took it outside with me and it felt very secure carrying it by its handle, and the ridged rubbery bottom meant it felt safe to dump it on the ground. Battery life was excellent - it played for at least 10 hours, spent 2-3 days on standby and at the same time fully recharged my iPod 1.5 times before the battery ran out (USB charging of phones/iPods is a very handy bonus).

Issues: Two minor things, both relating to the battery indicator button. Firstly, it didn't work! It kept telling me the battery was full, until suddenly there was no power at all. Secondly, each time I pressed it, it caused small glitches in music playback for a minute or so afterwards.

Overall impression: I absolutely love this speaker, far more than I thought I was going to. It is going to get plenty of use (plugged in and permanently keeping my iPod charged). You might, therefore, be wondering why I've only given it 4 stars, and the answer is just that it's pretty expensive. The crunch question is whether I would buy it if I hadn't received it on the Amazon Vine programme. I think the answer is probably yes, but I would perhaps wait and see if I could get it below £200. If I wasn't considering price, I would give it 5 stars.


Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation - 75 Golden
Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation - 75 Golden
Price: £9.31

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice texture, but still a lot of shine., 22 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This foundation comes in a neat little pot and the whipped crème bit is certainly very appealing - it comes to a lovely soft peak, rather like whipped egg whites! The colour wasn't particularly good for me (I am fair skinned with dark hair) as I felt it made me look a bit sallow, but these things are a bit hit and miss when you're choosing stuff online, so I don't hold it against the product. My main gripe was that it didn't seem to be very good at getting rid of shine. If you plan on using it in conjunction with a finishing powder, I would say give it a go, but not to use by itself.


AURAGLOW 5w COB LED GU10 Light Bulb, Warm White, 50w EQV - RETROFIT
AURAGLOW 5w COB LED GU10 Light Bulb, Warm White, 50w EQV - RETROFIT
Offered by Safield Dist. Ltd
Price: £27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to swap from halogen bulbs., 24 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a number of 50W spotlights sunk in the ceiling of my kitchen and bathroom. They are currently all halogen 50W bulbs, so it seemed a good energy efficient move to try out this 5W LED variety instead. I also tried this other brand of LED spotlight Philips 5W (50W) GU10 Warm White LED Spot Light Bulb and compared all three together.

Both of the LED spotlights fitted nicely into the ceiling fittings. With the lights off, the Auraglow looked most different to the regular halogen bulbs as it has a marked white surround. With the lights on, the Auraglow white surround was much less obvious, but the Philips stood out more as the area emitting the light was smaller than the other bulbs (you can see it by looking at the picture).

Assuming that you're not being slightly weird (like me) and spending all your time looking at ceiling spotlights, then both LED lights gave off a good light with a nice warm quality, and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference without peering at the ceiling.

I would definitely recommend these as an investment for their energy saving potential. If you think you are going to be bothered by minor differences in appearance between your old halogen bulbs and the new LED ones, you will just have to plan on changing all your bulbs in one go!


Philips MASTER LED 5.5W GU10 Spot Light Bulb, Very Warm White, Dimmable (50W Halogen Replacement)
Philips MASTER LED 5.5W GU10 Spot Light Bulb, Very Warm White, Dimmable (50W Halogen Replacement)
Price: £14.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to swap from halogen bulbs., 24 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a number of 50W spotlights sunk in the ceiling of my kitchen and bathroom. They are currently all halogen 50W bulbs, so it seemed a good energy efficient move to try out this 5W LED variety instead. I also tried this other brand of LED spotlight AURAGLOW 5w COB LED GU10 Light Bulb, Warm White, 50w EQV - RETROFIT and compared all three together.

Both of the LED spotlights fitted nicely into the ceiling fittings. With the lights off, the Auraglow looked most different to the regular halogen bulbs as it has a marked white surround. With the lights on, the Auraglow white surround was much less obvious, but the Philips stood out more as the area emitting the light was smaller than the other bulbs (you can see it by looking at the picture).

Assuming that you're not being slightly weird (like me) and spending all your time looking at ceiling spotlights, then both LED lights gave off a good light with a nice warm quality, and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference without peering at the ceiling.

I would definitely recommend these as an investment for their energy saving potential. If you think you are going to be bothered by minor differences in appearance between your old halogen bulbs and the new LED ones, you will just have to plan on changing all your bulbs in one go!


Jellybird
Jellybird
by Lezanne Clannachan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bursts of brilliance, but some not so great bits, too, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Jellybird (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this book very patchy. The first few chapters were quite hard going, with unlikable characters and annoying writing in the present tense (use the "Look Inside" option to see if it is something that will annoy you too). I also found some of her overly-literary descriptions very jarring. Things then picked up considerably, and there was an excellent run in the middle of the book when I was really gripped and couldn't put it down. Unfortunately, things then petered out again, and I didn't really care what happened to everyone at the end.

I also lent the book to my mother (two reviews for the price of one!) who had similar complaints to me about the writing style, but was more forgiving about the overall impression. I have only given it three stars (mainly for the thrilling middle section), but she would have given it four.


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