ARRAY(0xad2bbc6c)
 
Profile for AnnPan > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by AnnPan
Top Reviewer Ranking: 14,999
Helpful Votes: 217

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
AnnPan (London United Kingdom)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
Numatic HVR200A Henry A1 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner plus Kit A1, Red/Black
Numatic HVR200A Henry A1 Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner plus Kit A1, Red/Black
Price: 94.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't imagine life without Henry, 18 May 2008
I retired my first Henry after nearly 20 years of service (overdid the builders' rubble which would finish off most vacuum cleaners straight away, but he struggled on in spite of it). My new Henry (which is three years old and so the older slower model) has the handle rewind for the cord (which the old one didn't) but is otherwise identical. I love him dearly. When I got my first Henry I kept being caught out by his power - small items and ornaments will be sucked up in a trice if you don't pay attention, along with curtain bottoms, spiders and all. He's easy to trundle around, easy to change his bag, doesn't take up much cupboard space and light enough that you can even climb a ladder holding him to get to high shelves, cupboard tops, curtain pelmets, etc. Nice long cord gives him a great reach (good for stairs) and well designed attachments. This is a great brand - well made and high performing. I've never met another vacuum cleaner that even comes close. Best money I ever spent on an electrical household product!


Magimix Nespresso M100 Coffee Maker & Aeroccino (Metal Grey)
Magimix Nespresso M100 Coffee Maker & Aeroccino (Metal Grey)

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little machine - no mess, great coffee, 30 April 2008
I once shared a flat with a friend who brought her traditional espresso machine to live with us. She was messy, and her machine was even messier. Hot milk spluttered everywhere and coffee grounds sat in drifts around my kitchen - it put me right off such machines. Now, many years later, my heart has been quite won over by this machine. It's tiny, wee, sits right next to my kettle and the whole time I'm out walking the dog each morning I think longingly about the coffee I'll have when I get home. Only trouble is I'm starting to have two coffees a day, sometimes even three.... and they are delicious.

You just switch the power button on and it heats up in a minute or two, ready to go. Then you pop in a pod of ready-ground coffee, slip a cup under the spout and press go. With a little practice you'll know which of the many Nespresso coffees you prefer, how much water, whether you want milk and so on. Yes the pod system is a little pretentious - you join the Nespresso Club and order pods 50 at a time which are delivered to your home (so you have to have somewhere to store the boxes). But it does taste really fresh and it's hugely cheaper than a Starbucks habit. No mess, the aeroccino makes great latte or capuccino when you're in the mood, and it's hot but not too hot to drink straight away.

I use the water from my water filter which (a) makes delicious coffee (London water is too hard to make really nice coffee) and (b) means I don't have to descale my machine. It's incredibly easy to refill the water supply and clean out the old coffee pods - I just wish I could find an easy way to recycle them.

I spent a couple of months deciding whether or not to buy it and then got it in January. Four months later I'm even more pleased with it than when I first bought it. A great product.


Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking
by Delia Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.40

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're home late! What will I feed the family?- thanks Delia!, 3 April 2008
Come on, it's not that bad! In fact it's the first Delia book I've wanted to buy in a long time - and it's half price at the moment! There are some great ideas in here, and Delia has taken great care to find out how long to cook things from frozen. How many times have you taken something out of the freezer about 15 mins before you want to eat it, never mind cook it and it says 'thoroughly defrost before cooking'. Aaaaghhh!!! Here Delia tells you how to cook things safely from frozen and she has checked with the food hygiene experts to be sure she has her facts right.

I love to cook and I'm known in my family and among my friends as being a good and adventurous cook who likes to use high quality ingredients. But I'm not elitist, I'm a pragmatist, and I am a busy mum with young children. I have enough experience now to 'cheat' on even Delia's recipes - I never could stand the precision and bossiness of her recipes for years because they made me so nervous. But these are pretty simple, a novice could follow them, and an experienced cook can take the ideas and recipes and adulterate them to suit the ingredients they have to hand.

I had no idea just how many great frozen fish and veg were now available because I never really looked, and this has given me some new products to try out because, as ever, I know that Delia has done her research thoroughly. I don't agree with all her suggestions, but then it's a cook book, not the law of the land, and there are alternative bottled sauces and spice blends, for example, that you might prefer - just experiment.

I'm of the last generation to be given cookery lessons at school and I had a mother who cooked, but there are lots of people out there who didn't have those advantages but would like to learn to cook. I think this is a great book for getting people started. And if they like these recipes, who knows, they might even start making things from scratch like good mince, or mashed potato. In the meantime all the products Delia has listed that I have looked at in the supermarkets so far have remarkably few additives and chemicals added, and a very high standard of ingredients. So don't be prejudiced by what you read from some of the more negative reviewers until you've given it a fair chance yourself. Check out the latest shows on BBC iPlayer, too - they're pretty good! I've only given the book 4 stars because it's a fairly limited range of recipes and it would have been nice to see a few tables for cooking times for say different thicknesses of frozen fish, for example, broadening the book's usefulness. But I still think it's good and I've cooked several recipes from it since I bought the book last week (all of which worked, and were declared delicious by those who ate them).


Into The Wild [HD DVD]
Into The Wild [HD DVD]
Dvd ~ Emile Hirsch

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stays with you, 9 Mar 2008
This review is from: Into The Wild [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
We watched this last night and loved it. A real insight into a young man's need to get away from modern society and consumerism without realising that he might be leaving something else behind that he can't do without. Beautifully filmed, gently paced, thought provoking and haunting, it's the kind of movie that stays on in your mind long after the credits have run their course. We'll definitely want to see it again.


Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate OEM/OEI DSP - 32-bit Edition (PC DVD)
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate OEM/OEI DSP - 32-bit Edition (PC DVD)

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware, 29 Nov 2007
I bought my OEM version of Vista Ultimate from my pc builder so it was preloaded, but the disk I got with my system was this one. Vista looks great but you should proceed with caution. The OS is very new - lots of new programming rather than just a rebuild of XP - and it has lots of problems. In effect it is more like a beta than a fully-fledged new OS.

Many of the problems seem to be caused by drivers, even ones which say they are for Vista, and there are many reports on the internet of conflicts with software especially virus detectors.

Everything I ordered for my new PC I checked in advance would work with Vista but I found that my virus software, my sound card software (especially the automatic updater) both conflicted. I also gaily used the wonderful easy transfer program to bring over all my files and settings from my old PC and I wonder now if that was a mistake.

In the event my beautiful all-singing, all-dancing new PC looked wonderful for about five minutes and then began to go wrong. I saw so many blue screens that it was like running Windows 98 all over again. I saw black screens, I saw endless hangs of OS programs like Windows Mail, and every few minutes one of the OS features like Superfetch or Search would crash and Vista would ask if it could look for a solution online. I couldn't even play the Spider Solitaire that comes with the OS.

I hunted the internet for advice and solutions and came across other people having the same problems as me - lots of them. My PC builder reported that at a rough guess about 80% of their new Vista customers were happy, and nearly 20% were having problems like me. In the end I gave up and tried to reformat my disk to reload my faithful old XP.

But Vista doesn't let you reformat your hard drive - unless you are pretty techie you won't be able to get into your master boot drive to boot from the XP disk - you get a slave boot screen instead which Vista then overrides. After weeks of increasing frustration I had to send my desktop back to the manufacturer who are kindly sorting it out and loading XP for me.

So do be warned - Vista looks gorgeous and has some wonderful features such as the built-in anti-phishing controls in Windows Mail. But it could cause you a great deal of grief. I ignored the advice of people who knew better than me to wait at least for service pack I - now they are welcome to say 'I told you so!' for they were right.

Oh, and the OEM version appears to be slightly different to the full retail version - for example Vista has drivers for my portable hard drive pre-loaded, but sometimes it can find them and sometimes it can't. When I asked the hard drive manufacturer for help they asked if I was running the OEM version of Vista - all the problems they had had calls about were from people running OEM. Coincidence? I don't think so. So yes, it's a lot cheaper, but unless you're a system builder you're not meant to buy this version, and if you have an experience like mine you'll wish you'd never wasted your money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2008 10:07 PM BST


Nikon Coolpix P5000 Digital Camera - Black (10 MP, 3x Optical Zoom) 2.5 inch LCD
Nikon Coolpix P5000 Digital Camera - Black (10 MP, 3x Optical Zoom) 2.5 inch LCD

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, 14 Nov 2007
Im pretty pleased with this camera after six months of owning it. I'm very much a happy snapper - I like to take decent shots but without much fuss or thinking about clever set-ups. I've stuck with Nikon just because all my previous digital cameras have been Nikon and I'm used to the software. But this is just so much better than its predecessors in all sorts of ways. I've bought a lens for it and a flash gun - it's just like a 'grown up camera' with all the benefits of a neat little digital compact. It takes great photos - really good quality pictures - and has such a sensible selection of presets that I never really need the manual settings. Only two things I wish I could change - one, the viewfinder is sufficiently out of line with the lens that you have to do a good deal of guesswork to compensate when using it to take close-ups, and the frame cuts out a lot of the actual picture - but at least it has a viewfinder. Two, it's slower than some of its top competitors - catching the kids or the dog in action can be a bit hit or miss. I knew that before I bought it and decided that I could live with it. Some of you may find that off-putting I know, but there are lots of compensations like the menus, the physical design - a good weight and shape making it easy to hold - the excellent picture quality, and so on. I think it easily lives up to all the good reviews I've read about it all over the web - not just on Amazon - and glad I decided to buy it.


Nokia 760mah Replacement Li-ion Battery
Nokia 760mah Replacement Li-ion Battery
Offered by CHOICE+
Price: 3.89

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a great life, 17 Jan 2007
This battery drains pretty fast with heavy use in my two--year old Nokia - eg if I'm inputting names and numbers, changing settings, etc. (So I'm not even web-browsing or taking photos.) It has a pretty good standby life, but the actual life of the battery overall is relatively short, especially if you leave it to charge overnight. My husband's battery (same model) died after six months of fairly modest use, which the retailer said was probably due to overnight charging, and mine has just died while the old battery in my 4 year old Nokia is still going strong.


Body Clutter
Body Clutter
by Marla Cilley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.59

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it how it is, 6 Jan 2007
This review is from: Body Clutter (Paperback)
Anyone who knows Marla Cilley knows the FlyLady, and also knows that you can trust what she writes to be honest, helpful and on the mark. I bought this book from her website a year ago, before it was published on a wider basis, and I found it extremely helpful. The FlyLady helps you to get rid of clutter in your home, and this book addresses the 'clutter' i.e. extra weight, so many of us carry on our bodies. Marla and her coauthor Leanne help you to dig deep to find the reasons why you are overweight, unhappy with your body, and resistant to actually losing that weight. Well worth the purchase price and the delivery wait - this is no quick fix diet book but a re-evaluation of your life and how you approach food and exercise.


The Change Before The Change: Everything you need to know to stay healthy in the decade before menopause
The Change Before The Change: Everything you need to know to stay healthy in the decade before menopause
by Laura E. Corio
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is meant to have five stars but Amazon won't let me change it!, 21 Aug 2006
At the beginning of this wonderfully reassuring, useful and informative book is a checklist of symptoms of the perimenopause (the hormonal run-up period to the menopause). I ticked 20 out of 25 and realised that these diverse symptoms (such as forgetfulness, insomnia, palpitations and headaches) were all related and normal for women like me going through the perimenopause. I borrowed this book from the library but now I'm going to buy my own copy because I know I'm going to be referring to it (and telling my friends about it) for some years to come.


Wealding the Willow: A Portrait of English Village Grounds in the Cradle of Cricket (100 Greats S.)
Wealding the Willow: A Portrait of English Village Grounds in the Cradle of Cricket (100 Greats S.)
by Robin Whitcomb
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessentially English and an absolute delight, 17 July 2005
A delightful book that will appeal to anyone with an interest in cricket. Filled with masses of lovely photographs of beautiful cricket grounds in the Weald area of the South East of England, this book is a fascinating anthology detailing both the history and the current situation in the cradle of cricket. Would make a great birthday or Christmas present.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6