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3 Pairs, Black - fits extra small to small ears - "Squish Fit" memory foam earphone cushions by Earphones Plus - Fits most earbud style earphones (see compatibility details and other available sizes in details below)
3 Pairs, Black - fits extra small to small ears - "Squish Fit" memory foam earphone cushions by Earphones Plus - Fits most earbud style earphones (see compatibility details and other available sizes in details below)
Offered by Earphones Plus
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - but check sizing...., 29 Aug. 2013
I saw the previous review and understand the frustration - use too small a size of these and you'll get no seal, therefore no bass.

I usually need the small ear-tips, but for these I need to go up to medium. There is a multi-pack available with two pairs each large and small, and if you're not sure I would STRONGLY advise buying these and testing them. Even the large ones fit comfortably in my ears and provide a perfect seal, ensuring clean, tight bass right through to clear top range with my B&W in-ear phones. No silicon tips provide this range, and they are incredibly comfortable even for long periods. The good seal also ensures they don't fall out, so they're great for walking, running etc.

They last a good long time too, much longer than even the most expensive silicon buds. They are extremely cheap compared to others in the market and, as long as you get the right size, work comparably well.

If you are not sure about sizing, it's worth contacting them (they may be willing to send testers but I don't know) but as a VERY rough guide I'd suggest going one larger than your usual size in silicon buds. Their customer service is excellent; a set went missing in the post and they replaced them with no quibbles within two hours of me sending the mail.

I'm really happy with them. I walk everywhere so use my iTouch a great deal and have none of the usual irritants of silicon buds - uncomfortable, fall out, won't stay in at all if your ears sweat etc etc. Get the right size and you'll find a sonic range you didn't even know existed in your earphones. Really, a great product at a great price from a helpful company. And no, I don't work for them or have any affiliation, I'm just a genuine very happy customer!

15 Litre Builders Garden Bucket with Measuring Scale and Metal Handle
15 Litre Builders Garden Bucket with Measuring Scale and Metal Handle
Offered by Bargain Warehouse
Price: £4.48

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a bucket, 28 Aug. 2013
15 litres of bucketty goodness. As the manufacturer so helpfully points out, it can be used to carry water, sand, dirt, the cat, children (do not try this with teenagers). Digging a grave under the patio to tip your accidentally stabbed (oops) hubby into? Look no further, this bucket will assist, tho bear in mind you will need some other tool. Amazon suggest spade/shovel/teaspoon/navvy.

I attempted to test the 15 litres by drinking a large quantity of vodka. I am still attached to a machine doing the work of my liver but the paramedics told it passed the ultimate bucket test with flying colours. However, it loses a star for a) not anticipating where it would be needed (can these things not be made with sensors?) and b) tipping over when I fell out of bed on to it. Apparently the carpet is doubling nicely as a mushroom incubator, so a new career as a mushroom-farmer is an added bonus. A self-emptying facility would be nice, but this is, after all, a bargain bucket. You need the deluxe version for that, or a long-suffering spouse (currently unavailable on Amazon. Huh.)

It's a bucket. You try and write twenty words on a bucket. Would be improved by a yellow smiley-face - I do like a friendly bucket.

Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley)
Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley)
by Elizabeth George
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nooooooo mooooore... aaaaaarghhh, 21 Jun. 2013
On and on and on and on because "literature" is wordy so I have to use every word ever and on and on and on and oooh, I'll throw in a load of Cornish names so everyone is thrilled by my intensive research and on and quaint olde worlde touches so I can swank about understanding Britain and on and on and on and is "Pastie" a name? Wonder if I can use it and on and on and on brooding man staring over sea thinking about death of vapid wife and on and on and bit of social commentary; need a ridiculous cliche character with a REALLY stupid name and on and high-flying woman cop...hmm, of course she can't be a normal balanced person and on and on and....
Oh god. Please, just kill me now. Enough. How the hell do you pronounce "Daidre" anyway?

The Child's Child
The Child's Child
by Barbara Vine
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure it's even worth 2 stars..., 18 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Child's Child (Hardcover)
I've always loved the BV books and have read them over and over, but I'm bemused by this.

Her last offering, "The Birthday Present" left me cold, having borrowed it from the library I've never bought or re-read it but fair enough, I just assumed it just wasn't my thing. However, this sadly seems to confirm a general down-slide - its almost as if it's an outline, the bare bones if a story with the characterisations and settings to be deepened and the plot loose ends to be tied.

But this never happens, and the loose ends aren't of the intriguing deliberate kind. We don't know why the victim is murdered, he just is. Arguably true to life inasmuch as many murders "just happen", but that doesn't fit the context.,We certainly don't know how the perpetrator is caught, we just suddenly get told he's caught, tried and ready to hang - one minute the murder hasn't even been detected, the next it's all done and dusted.

As usual with Vine stories there is a then and a now, but they seem to have little or no connection. Even as a social commentary it's terribly thin and cliched; I doubt anything in it would come as a surprise. And there is none of the wonderful characterisation of all her previous books; whatever criticism can be thrown at previous books has always paled into the background compared to the personalisation. And those characters that are fleshed out don't seem to be the right ones; we are told virtually nothing about the killer, for instance.

A really odd and disappointing book, I'm not sure I haven't given it two stars on the strength of her previous offerings. I gave up reading the Wexfords a while back because they are so out-of-time and the books published under her own name have always required full suspension of belief, but the Vine books have been consistently good.

If you want a couple of disconnected storylines with no mystery, no drama, no explanation between events and no reasoning behind any of it, then you'll like this. As an outline it has massive potential but that potential is never realised. Very sad.

It does bring an interesting question to mind, though. Do some authors become so big that the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome sets in? If this had been seen by a literary editor or publisher's reader without the BV name, would it have been published?

Script Lettering for Artists (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography)
Script Lettering for Artists (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography)
by Tommy Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous little book, 2 Jun. 2013
This is a great little book for anyone wanting to understand the script hands, primarily versions of copperplate using a flex nib but there are many interesting little alphabets and exemplars throughout.

I personally don't feel this is a beginners' book, it's not really a tutorial despite taking you through the steps of the script hand - flex pens are probably the most difficult to use anyway and I think a beginner might be overwhelmed; there are plenty of tutorial books out there that make learning calligraphy fun and accessible but start here and it could be a bit disheartening!

IMHO it's an excellent resource for the next stages, with a vast range of alphabets from basic script to hugely ornamented bling hands. Copperplate and it's brethren are also the hands which seem to be the most divisive and the huge range shown here reminds us that it's not and never has been a "fixed" hand, no matter how insistent a proponent of a particular style is that his is "the" right one. There ISN'T a right one, and anyone getting bogged down in the intricacies of learning a script hand may find that a salutary reminder. This gives the bare bones of an alphabet then, once you have the basics, set your inner drag queen free and throw ornamentation at it to your heart's consent.

A small, useful and clever little book, better than many at ten times the size and price. Love it.

Beauty in Decay II: Urbex
Beauty in Decay II: Urbex
by RomanyWG
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.95

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best HD, no fiddles., 12 Nov. 2012
I've reviewed a couple of RWG's books and have been awaiting this one with baited breath because it's all his own work not a collective as the previous BiD was.

I ordered my copy direct for speed, and it's breathtaking. Even if you have followed his work on Flickr, FB etc nothing quite prepares you for the impact on paper. The blurb promises "the smallest flash of beauty in an otherwise banal setting" and this is what makes his work stand out because he does always seem to find just that.

The overall impression is of great delicacy and lightness, rather than the bleak and somewhat depressing aura of many books in this genre. I'm no photographic expert so cannot presume to compare the technical aspects with similar works; all I can comment on is the impressions and feelings evoked. And this is where I think this book is unique because individual sections carry entirely separate feelings, from the dying magnificence of an old palace to a contemplative family farmhouse suspended as it was left sixty years ago to the crazed "Eraserhead" tangle of monolithic pipes in an abandoned industrial site.

The book is held together thematically, giving a "snapshot" view of predominantly the last hundred years in history and it makes you realise just how much not only technology but attitudes have changed. Here at last all are equal, the rich landowners alongside the artisans, the workers and the pauper dispossessed.

There are a million ongoing arguments throughout the urbex "community" and no book is going to please them all. But if you want pure, untouched images seen from a unique viewpoint this is the book for you. A truthful, poignant and stunning book that will stay with you long after you put it down.

(One image that has DEFINITELY stayed with me is the overhead baskets in the German mines. Because, if I read it right, that means 3,000 naked German miners running about. Sometimes imagination is a terrible thing!)

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Price: £6.48

25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars aren't enough...., 3 July 2012
This brush is INCREDIBLE! Beyond all expectations, and even if you've absolutely given up on foundation brushes I'd be willing to bet you'd love it.

I've tried everything for foundation, a hundred different types of brush, sponges, fingers, the cat and some are just horrible and others you can get a nice finish but you really have to work at it. But not this. You don't need any special technique, you slap on the goo and somehow, by some voodoo, it pulls out whatever consistency of foundation you are using to a sheer, even finish. No fiddling, no having to go over with a small brush to fill in craters and best of all no caked-up feeling on your face.

This is not an expensive brush; I have several at three, four times the price that don't do the job as well. But you will save on foundation; it makes a little go a long, long way - I'm used to putting a certain size blob on my hand and I no longer need as much.

Fantastic. Really. And if the rest of the range are this good, MAC, Stila et al need to start worrying. I use a combination of brushes based on a Coastal Scents set that has doubled in size as I've added "better" ones over the years (often not better, just different) but I am DEFINITELY going to check out the rest of these.

Coastal Scents Brush Set - 22 Piece
Coastal Scents Brush Set - 22 Piece
Offered by BEAUTY B
Price: £33.00

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably better than MAC...., 21 Jun. 2012
....although I'll probably get struck down by lightning for even daring to compare. So if this review ends "fwwwzzztttt zap BANG" you know the god of makeup brushes is displeased...
These are NOT cheap brushes - they are exceptionally good value but there is nothing cheap about them. I've been using mine awhile now and they've been both used and washed - and washing is where cheap brushes often come unstuck - literally!
A brief run down of the brushes:-
Fan brush - very light, dusts immaculately without disturbing layers
Powder brush - much more densely packed than a normal face brush. This means it places powder well, and lightly used smooths away excess
Flat-head brush - very soft, very densely packed. Makes a great foundation brush, buffs it well into the skin
Angled face brush - can be used for contour or blush. Denser and softer than the equivalent MAC168; a REALLY nice brush
Small "setting" brush - lovely consistency, could also be used for blusher
Flat foundation brush - bit small, but good density; lovely even coverage
Concealer brush - great for cream concealers, but one of the soft eye brushes is better for liquids.
Eye brushes - a good selection of lay-down brushes, all-over shaders and blending brushes. Includes a round angled "doe foot". All do exactly what they should, and there are a couple of unusual brushes which I love - a pointed blender and a tiny flat lay-down. I'd pay this much money and consider it well spent just for the eye-brushes - no repetitions and everything you could think of.
Liner/brow brushes - three angled brushes for both liners and brows. Good sharp lines and differing textures.
Lip brush - good size; sharp and precise without being so small it takes forever!

The brushes come in a faux-leather roll and the pockets are roomy enough to take extra brushes if you have favourites, as well as a zip pocket big enough to carry bits and pieces such as false lashes, disposable spoolies etc.

All in all, this product is fantastic value for money. My only tiny quibble is that I'd like a fine eyeliner brush, but so many people prefer the easier angled liner brush this really is splitting hairs; CS do a vast array of brushes and you can get any extras easily enough. I've used all sorts of brushes in the past, gradually replacing the cheap ones with MAC, Stila, BE et al and as far as I am concerned these can hold their own against these more expensive brands.

You can pay £20 and get a set of poor brushes. Or you can spend a little more and buy these. Ultimately, it will save you a lot of money, because the cheap ones can only ever be stop-gaps, whereas these really do stand up against some very well-known, expensive brands.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2012 3:02 PM GMT

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones  B&W - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)
Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones  B&W - Black (discontinued by manufacturer)

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, 28 April 2012
Any review seems a little redundant after that first splendid analysis, but this is my penn'orth...

I've noticed three negatives keep coming up in the reviews; comfort, overblown bass and cable "noise", so I'll do the bad stuff first.

Comfort - you really need to try before you buy. I have small ears that buds WILL not fit and will not stay, yet once I'd fiddled around and got the right buds and got them seated properly I found them incredibly comfortable and they do not budge. You do need to get used to the loop, but you find it uncomfortable just unloop it, they'll still stay solidly in your ears due to the clever weighting system.

Overblown bass - this is a matter of taste as much as anything, but certainly once you get them set up right the bass will make your brain rattle. It can sound overblown indoors but these are made for on the move. All the reviewers that I've seen complain of the bass are sitting in their armchairs, but go outside and it equalises perfectly. Otherwise, change the settings on your device.

Cable noise - I haven't noticed it. Whether some models were faulty, I don't know, but I simply haven't heard it at all, and I've tested it all ways.

So, in summary I find them fantastic - beautiful sound, far exceeding any in-ears I have ever heard before, very comfortable, look the business. You do need to fiddle, they have to be seated perfectly but once you get there, they're fabulous.

My only tiny quibbles are that at this price I'd expect a better jack, preferably L-shaped and not covered in shiny plastic (means you end up pulling on the cable to remove the jack; not good). And the iDevice switch is very small and fiddly, even worse than the Apple one. But in all the important things, these have everything right.

Urban Decay Good Karma Wonder Brush
Urban Decay Good Karma Wonder Brush

5.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous indeed..., 3 April 2012
This is an unusual brush that seems to do the job of about half-a-dozen others whilst costing half the price!

It's difficult to describe, the nearest I can think of is a small eyeshadow lay-down brush, and it can be used for this. But it's precise enough to use like a pencil brush as an eyeliner or smudger; it really packs the colour on. But lighten your touch and it turns into a precise shader brush.

Could also be used for concealer, as a lip brush, as a brow brush - really, I have no idea how but there is something in the way it's constructed; denser at the base then thinning out to a sharp flat line. I love it. Between this and Urban Decay's "Crease Brush" (another one that seems to be multipurpose) you could get away with not having any other eye brushes at all. And it's animal-friendly, doesn't break the bank - what more could you ask?

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