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Hamstead (UK)
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Igenix 5-Speed Hand Mixer, 125 Watt, White
Igenix 5-Speed Hand Mixer, 125 Watt, White
Price: £14.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a brilliant piece of kit. I admit I wasn't sure at the outset, but I've now made two Victoria sandwiches, some brownies and a rhubarb sponge, and all have turned out wonderfully - in fact far better than using my industrial Kenwood Chef or Magimix. However, even with 5 stars there are pros and cons.
Pro: It's fast and beats plenty of air into whatever you are making.
It's solidly made and the two year guarantee means the manufacturers have faith in it too.
It's small - fits in my kitchen drawer.
Perfect for someone starting out or who hasn't got a lot of kitchen space but enjoys baking.
Good value for money.

Neutral comments. If you have stiff or not very strong fingers, you do need to be positive about pushing the speed button. I have RSI and had to use the thumb of my other hand at times to push the button forward. But it's good in that it's a solid build. Same with the beater detach button. You need to be positive.
There isn't much of a difference between speed 1 and speed 5, but speed 1 is pretty fast anyway.
If making cake you will need to soften your butter in the microwave first. It won't blitz it from cold like say a Magimix blender will. You need to help it along, but once it gets moving it does a great, fast job.

Negatives? It starts getting warm after around a minute and you will need to watch how much time you use it for. It is, however, very fast so you should just about be able to mix a cake in the time. Haven't tried egg whites yet though.
The flex is stingily short. I can just about manage but would have liked a bit more - although I guess for health and safety in the kitchen they can't make it too long.

Overall impressions is good and baking results so far have definitely put it into the 5 star category for me!


Jabra Evolve 65 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset for PC, laptop, smartphone, softphone and tablet
Jabra Evolve 65 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset for PC, laptop, smartphone, softphone and tablet
Offered by Aurora-tech
Price: £92.36

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me., 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a comfortable set of headphones geared to the work market rather than the leisure one. Like the reviewer who gave this product one star, I had difficulty with the set up, but that is down to me being a 'plug and play' sort of person too and blue-tooth is very hit and miss with my technology. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't, and this was one of those occasions where hassle happened. I don't have sufficient free 'dongle' plug ins for my PC either, which already has the slots in use for keyboard, mouse and sundry other gadgets. No room for an earphone one too. I am going to have another go, and see if I can get the product to work with my tablet, but I suspect it's not for me.


Finish Quantum Original 2 x Pack of 30 (60 Dishwasher Tablets)
Finish Quantum Original 2 x Pack of 30 (60 Dishwasher Tablets)
Price: £12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good job - a bit of spillage in bag though., 23 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wasn't quite sure when I saw all the little granules trapped inside their little see-through 'suit-cases' and indeed, some of the granules had escaped from one and had made a powdery residue in the bottom of the bag. That's the reason for the dropped star. I couldn't see a damaged one, so I can only assume a one off bad package at the factory or micro leakage from the tablets themselves. Performance wise these were great. They worked well on our usual auto wash and everything was clean and sparkling at the end of the cycle and no sign of damage on the glassware - we're not daft enough to put expensive glassware in the dishwasher, but the everyday stuff came out sparkly and pristine.


Russell Hobbs 21540 Slip Stream Iron, 2400 Watt, Blue
Russell Hobbs 21540 Slip Stream Iron, 2400 Watt, Blue
Price: £29.04

3.0 out of 5 stars Does the job but some design faults., 16 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a mid-range iron in terms of price. It's lightweight and has a decent length of flex that makes reaching from the socket easy. It also makes a good job of the ironing. So, the pros for the stars are a decent price, versatile flex, smooth ironing. The two missing stars? The temperature control could be a lot better. It doesn't tell you the fabrics and you just have to make a best guess. I suppose you'd get used to it. It is cumbersome in the hand and not especially comfortable. The steamer button is poorly position and involves having to twist the thumb to one side to reach it. Contrast this to our Tefal iron which has the steam trigger on the underside of the handle and is so easy to use. We did wonder if someone who doesn't iron had actually designed some of the features on this one. It's okay for the money - good average, but there are better products on the market for just a slightly higher price - same ballpark.


Revlon Highlighting Palette - 7.5 g, Bronze
Revlon Highlighting Palette - 7.5 g, Bronze
Price: £7.38

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more like a blusher, 13 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The item that arrived is not the one shown in the photo. Rather than being a variety of shades one can sculpt and blend, it's just a self colour with quite a strong terracotta shade to it, more like a blusher. It's economical, you don't need a lot of it, and it blends in well and does a good job of adding a touch of colour to the cheeks. It comes with an application brush but I prefer to use a bigger, professional brush. Using the provided brush you could end up looking up as if you're wearing warpaint because it's blending capacities aren't that good. The mirror, however, is handy.


Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)
Finish All in One Max Original Dishwasher Tablets (Pack of 74)
Price: £20.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Really liked., 8 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Have tried these out for a week now on assorted dishwashing jobs. They work really well - much better than our usual supermarket brand. Yes they're more expensive, but we'd be tempted to switch to them because they get anything that's thrown at them sparkly clean. Just make sure you add them to your dispenser with dry hands!


Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner - 5 g, N1 Black
Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner - 5 g, N1 Black
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent makeup bag staple, 8 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a good basic product. It's a bit harsh unless you use the smudger, but works well with the latter as an every day eyeliner. It stays on well - lasted for around 12 hours once applied. It is difficult to get off with just plain soap and water and eye makeup remover lotion is probably needed.


Philips Sonicare AirFloss HX8222/02 Rechargeable Power Flosser Pink
Philips Sonicare AirFloss HX8222/02 Rechargeable Power Flosser Pink
Price: £79.00

5.0 out of 5 stars ... at that time the stem wasn't detachable and very easy snapped. I mended it with superglue but it ..., 1 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have had one of these before but at that time the stem wasn't detachable and very easy snapped. I mended it with superglue but it was never quite the same after that. This is much better with the detachable head. It's charged with a two pin plug which is a bit of a faff, so make sure you have an adaptor or a two pin socket in the house. So far it works very well, although you have to be careful how you position it. The trigger is light and the blasts are pretty strong. You can catch soft tissue by accent and it can be really painful. Still, that's a learning curve. I do like the way this cleans between teeth and I do use it on a daily basis. I always find flossing string gets stuck, so personally I find this better. I can't comment on durability as yet because it's still a recent purchase.


Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £8.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a success., 30 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an okay product but nothing to shout home about. It doesn't clean as well as our usual surface cleaner. The Dettol bottle is heavy to hold and the blue edge above the hand grip presses down on the back of your thumb and is uncomfortable to hold and almost painful. It doesn't clean surfaces as well as our usual cleaner which is also in a more user friendly bottle. The ingredients and instruction on the back are written in teeny weeny dark green lettering on a pale green background and just about impossible to read. The ingredients aren't listed either (they are, clearly, on our usual cleaner).
Bottom line - we won't be buying this.


King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant
King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant
by Stephen Church
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good addition to the Ouevre, 20 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
King John has been somewhat neglected by historians. There are a few biographies lurking about, most of them older and W.L. Warren's is still the gold standard. Stephen Church has written about King John before in his excellent work on this king's household knights. Now, however, with the year of Magna Carta lurking on the horizon, the reader is spoiled for choice.
This new biography is an excellent addition to the subject. Stephen Church is even handed in his treatment of John and although the title sensationalises slightly by using the word 'Tyrant' King John in this case is not entirely villified. There are mitigating circumstances and the press of his day get some of the blame. Then again, Church doesn't make him out to be a saint or even a thoroughly decent but misunderstood bloke. He was bad, make no mistake, but bad with nuances, and grey areas.
There's a great bibliography and although there aren't any footnotes, the end notes are well noted and adequate.
My main caveat on reading this largely excellent work was the occasional needless historical error. William Marshal is cited as being in Messina and returning with Walter of Coutances when in fact he never left England's shores during the 3rd crusade. Henry II's burial at Fontevraud is portrayed as something Henry wanted for himself, but we know he actually wanted to be buried at Grandmont. There are one or two other moments that don't hold water either in my view, especially his assessment of the murder of Arthur. John just wasn;t the kind of man to take consultation on such a matter. But of course that's a matter of opinion and an interesting argument. The Messina and Fontevraud moments are matters of solid fact though.
I'd recommend it to anyone wanting an up to date assessment of King John, although personally I am very much looking forward to what Marc Morris has to to say in his new biography of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine's most troubled son.


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