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L. Ivory "bozzy" (France)

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Italian Riviera Travel Guide (Quick Trips Series): Sights, Culture, Food, Shopping & Fun
Italian Riviera Travel Guide (Quick Trips Series): Sights, Culture, Food, Shopping & Fun
Price: £2.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Content-free. Use your phone instead., 22 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book has a glossy cover, but only contains 76 pages of double or 2.5-spaced type with 8 words to a line. Most of the content seems to have been lifted from the internet or is generic, e.g; "Italians drive on the right hand side of the road." There are no pictures. It lists 5 hotels and 5 restaurants. There is no biographical information about the author, but based on the content I'd say this had been written for a school project.

Linens Limited Luxor 100% Egyptian Cotton 600gsm 10 Piece Towel Bale, Red
Linens Limited Luxor 100% Egyptian Cotton 600gsm 10 Piece Towel Bale, Red

4.0 out of 5 stars Happy with my purchase, 10 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good quality towels and they wash well (separately from everything else, of course!)

TomTom GO 6000 6-inch Sat Nav with European Maps and Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates
TomTom GO 6000 6-inch Sat Nav with European Maps and Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates
Offered by LCD & Plasma Service GmbH
Price: £249.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice device, good maps, shame about their servers., 10 Sept. 2015
I've had one of these for about a year and have used it on a couple of long trips, as well as to get me to and from unfamiliar addresses locally. It is a very good device, but the one major bugbear I have with it is the updates. You have to have a PC or laptop that runs under Windows to run their update software. They don't do a version for Linux. I have a diary note to update once a month, and sometimes I do it more frequently. Today's update took nearly 4 hours, and my connection speed is 6.34Mbps, which isn't lightning fast but is still fairly respectable. A few of the geek sites say they think that TomTom's servers are just too old and creaky, but TomTom don't want to spend any money updating them.

Seb 810004 Prepline Metal Coffee Grinder
Seb 810004 Prepline Metal Coffee Grinder

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor design and built-in obsolescence, 13 Jan. 2015
The fat, curved shape of this grinder makes it difficult to remove the lid, especially if your fingers are a bit greasy. There is nothing to grip. The same applies when picking it up off the worktop. I'd think this would also be a problem for anyone with arthritis in their hands.

The cutting blade is removable, but is fixed in by two very small plastic lugs, which wear out after a very short time, meaning it will not stay put in use. I have already bought 2 replacement blades.

It is almost impossible to get hold of the blades because SEB erects a very effective Chinese wall to stop you getting spare parts, and none of the online spares stockists for the SEB/Tefal/Moulinex brands advertise them either. I have just spent 15 minutes in a phone queue to their Customer Services, only to be given a different phone number to call! Not that it will help you much, but the part number you need is SS-989152.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2015 10:10 AM BST

Owl Cm119 Wireless Electricity Monitor
Owl Cm119 Wireless Electricity Monitor

3.0 out of 5 stars Lasted 18 months, 28 Jan. 2014
I bought one of these in July 2012 and found it pretty useful for working out what was using the most power in the house. It was also handy for letting me know that I'd left the oven on, and things like that! My only beef with it is that it only had Windows software for analysing the data in detail. Unfortunately at Xmas this year the transmitter part stopped working. I changed the batteries and pressed all the reset buttons but it was clear it was broken. I emailed the Owl company twice to ask if there was any repair available but they didn't reply, so I suspect they might have gone out of business.

Logitech H800 Wireless Headset for PC and Mac
Logitech H800 Wireless Headset for PC and Mac
Price: £74.44

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problems with the battery and with the charging socket, 5 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've had these headphones almost exactly 4 months. I found them reasonably comfortable to wear and the sound quality is good. I don't run a Windoze OS, so some of the advanced features aren't available to me, but that didn't bother me.

The main problem is that after only 4 months the battery seems to have died. It won't recharge any more via the USB cable supplied. It is a LIon power pack, so you would have to buy a replacement from Logitech. I have emailed to ask them about the warranty etc. (It's not easy to get their contact details for support queries!) but they haven't replied yet. Until I can get a new battery the headset is useless to me. Somewhat disappointed.

UPDATE APRIL 2016 - Amazon replaced the broken headset with a new one and that has been working OK until last week, when the charging socket broke again. I have seen several reviews of this headset and it features quite a lot in the Help forums. A broken charging socket seems to be a common complaint. This time I've had just under 3 years' worth of use out of it, which makes its running cost just over £20 a year. It hasn't had particularly heavy use either - perhaps 2 or 3 Skype calls per week, and the cable and socket haven't had any rough treatment.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2013 10:02 AM GMT

BRITA Marella Water Filter Jug, 2.4 L - White
BRITA Marella Water Filter Jug, 2.4 L - White
Price: £14.58

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plus ça change..., 31 May 2013
We have now owned at least four different designs of Brita filter jug. We currently have 3 on the go, all of which use the Maxtra cartridge.

I really DO wish Brita would stop using its customers as its beta testing team. I say this because they keep tweaking the design. One has a lift-off lid (bad idea) then they go for the flip-top (better), then they go for the auto-close (not so good).

The lid is push-fit. Once it has even a small amount of lime scale on it, it stops being push fit. It then becomes 'thump really hard' fit. Then the spout lid flies off like a bullet from a gun.

The main problem with these jugs (from my point of view) is the stupid little flip-top lid on the pouring spout, which doesn't actually flip. The result is that the water you wanted to pour into your kettle ends up on the worktop surface. After a certain time, the pegs on the spout lid get gummed up with calcium deposits etc. and stick, or they simply wear out or get broken off as you keep having to put them back on every time they fall off, which is virtually every time you fill it. They keep redesigning the lids, but the spout thingy stays the same. Is this perhaps deliberate policy to make you keep buying new jugs?

The auto-close design on the latest Elemaris seems good in principle, but when you put it in the sink and fill it from the tap it closes by itself and you have to leave it in the sink until all the surplus water has run down the sides or seeped through the top. The previous Marella version (flip up) was better, and probably more hygienic too, as the dust and bacteria from the air doesn't get swilled into the water as you fill it. Avoid at all costs the Aluna model where you have to take the whole lid off to refill.

As for the timer, I set my Google calendar to remind me when to replace the cartridges and I buy much more economical compatible cartridges which last 2 months, so the timer device is completely irrelevant to me.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2016 1:23 PM BST

Fiskars Weed Puller
Fiskars Weed Puller
Offered by san direct
Price: £32.41

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It came, it weeded, it went away again, 26 April 2013
Mine broke today. I bought it last year. It is probably just out of warranty, and in any case they'd say it had been incorrectly used (if my previous experience of 'lifetime guarantee' stainless steel garden forks is anything to go by). In this tool's 'lifetime' it has extracted (I'd guess) about 15 white poly-prop rubble sacks full of dandelions from the field we laughingly call 'lawn', so maybe these days that's 'your money's worth'. I'll let you be the judge.

It worked extremely well for a short while, then the jaws started to stick, so you had to give it a knock to get them to release the weed. Eventually the shaft of the metal jaws came loose from the plastic handle and had to be re-seated every 20 or so weeds. Later, the housing around the blades developed a small crack, and finally the pin(s) holding the blades in place came out, rendering the tool useless, and irreparable.

Its price is just about on the pain threshold to make me ask if I would really pay £25 per annum or more to save the effort of bending down to extract a dandelion. It doesn't always remove the whole root, but it is quite satisfying when it does. Perhaps I will, after all.

Andrew James Vacuum Food Sealer Rolls 22cm X 10 Metre Roll
Andrew James Vacuum Food Sealer Rolls 22cm X 10 Metre Roll
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: £8.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job we bought it for, 11 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We wanted a vacuum sealer so that we could freeze meat and fish in convenient portions and in a way which would reduce the risk of freezer burn. The machine seems to work well, although they could do with getting the instruction booklet re-written by somebody with English as their first language! The booklet also seems to miss out the step where you seal the bottom of the bag, which is kind-of important!

The bag rolls are expensive. We experimented with using ordinary plastic bags, but the heating element seals the bag before the air has been fully extracted, so that's no good. They also say you can wash and reuse the bags. I tried putting a used one in the dishwasher. It doesn't melt, but getting it to stay open so it will be thoroughly cleaned is nigh-on impossible. You could probably wash it by hand, but I doubt many people would bother.

If we're freezing cooked food or stock we will stick to our Lakeland square plastic boxes, but for uncooked chicken legs, pork chops etc. this will do the job nicely. On the down side, it's quite a big machine and I haven't yet found a convenient place to store it.

We believe you can also use this to cook using the 'sous-vide' method, but we haven't tried that yet, as it seems to be on the borders of what would be practical in a domestic kitchen. The low cooking temperatures mean you need to be super-careful with hygiene to avoid the risk of botulinum poisoning. (Another reason why you'd probably not want to re-use the bags!) You also need to study how to use aromatics, garlic etc. with this method so they don't spoil the dish.

iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I like it, but..., 16 Aug. 2012
We have 2 dogs who seem to be constantly shedding. This cleaner will keep the open-plan tiled kitchen/lounge/diner reasonably free of dust and hair. The dust bin is quite small so in our case although the floor area is not very big it probably needs emptying 2 or 3 times before the area is done. It will also clean under the bed, but it doesn't do corners or stairs. Budget for a Dyson for those.

The algorithm for the cleaning pattern sometimes seems a little baffling, as it can decide it has finished having only cleaned a small area, and it is probably only my imagination but if I set it going whilst I am still in the room it seems to make a beeline for my ankles! Perhaps it has a PIR sensor? :D

This machine does have one flaw though. I had only had it six months when the front castor wheel started dropping out. This is because they have made it with a spindle which is a push-fit into 2 plastic lugs. When you clean and maintain the machine you need to remove the wheel and pull out any fluff and pet hair which has got tangled around the spindle. This obviously means you have to pull out the spindle, and this obviously means the plastic lugs which hold it are going to get worn. This has been a known issue since the 500 series but they haven't addressed it. "Computer says no."

All of that would be a small problem, were it not for iRobot's Customer Service (NOT). I contacted their English-speaking people and having got to the 'send us your postal address' stage for a replacement part I was then told that because my address was in France I would have to start again, in French, with their French office. I did so, and literally had to start again, from the very beginning. I was NOT impressed. No apology. They also tried to charge me for the part, until I reminded them it was still under guarantee. They insisted on a copy of my purchase receipt. The order confirmation from Amazon's eCommerce website wasn't adequate.

Also, if you have pets or babies, beware. We have an old dog who can be incontinent. He managed to get into the room when the cleaner was going. The result was NOT pretty. That wasn't the machine's fault, but if you have a situation where it has been exposed to something messy or sticky (baby porridge, poo, forgotten Chinese takeaway dish under sofa) it is an absolute nightmare to clean. You have to disassemble it, and even then the wheels etc. have motor units built into them, so they are absolutely NOT washable. I spent the best part of 2 hours with a screwdriver, 2 small paintbrushes and a bowl of disinfectant restoring my robot back to something close to factory condition. That's not really the way I like to spend my summer evenings.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2013 11:00 AM GMT

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