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Philips E14 Small Edison Screw 4 Watt 230 V 2 LED Non-Dimmable Bulb with Frosted Lustre, Warm White
Philips E14 Small Edison Screw 4 Watt 230 V 2 LED Non-Dimmable Bulb with Frosted Lustre, Warm White
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technically very bright...choose your bulbs wisely!, 19 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First up - the items I received are 3W and not 4W, but read on and you'll realise that Wattage is fairly irrelevant. But, hopefully the product info will be corrected at some point.

This is a pack of two SES (small screw) candle shaped bulbs which typically fit wall lights or "living room" lighting. They are screw in type and smaller than the standard, if you can even say there is a standard these days. This bulb size is a particular favourite used by a certain large swedish furniture store, and until recently low energy bulbs of this size were near impossible to get hold of for a reasonable price, so it's finally good to see the prices of these bulbs going down - and the brightness going up!

Brightness - this used to be measured in Watts, which is why everyone still holds on to this as a measure. However it's more useless with LED bulbs than megapixels with smartphone cameras. The light output is only related to the wattage AND the efficiency. This is measured in lumens per watt. So - a 1 watt bulb with an efficiency of 100 lumens per watt will give 100 lumens. A 4 watt bulb with an efficiency of 20 lumens per watt will be in fact dimmer. And believe me, there is a VAST difference between bulbs in efficiency.

So why does this matter - well the higher the lumens per watt a bulb has - the more efficient it is. According to Wikipedia, the old (now banned!) incandescent bulbs were about 13-15lm/W. Which isn't as bad as I'd have imagined. The LED bulbs I was using from said furniture store which are now pretty old have 35lm/W stamped handily on the side. That's pretty poor! No wonder they were dim.

So - you're obviously wondering what the value is for these bulbs. Well according to the side of the bulb, 3W and 250lm, which by a simple calculation gives you about 83lm/W. Which is actually very high for a consumer bulb. So for the same wattage I'm getting more than double the light output. Mad.

Unsurprisingly therefore - the bulb is a lot brighter than the old one I replaced it with.

So - would I recommend this bulb - yes I would. Even just replacing one of four bulbs in the room it's made a massive difference to the light levels.

Expect more of this in the future too - the efficiency of LED bulbs is still way off the theoretical limit, so a few years down the line we'll expect to see bulbs ten times brighter for the same power consumption I would imagine.

I also look forward to a time when bulbs are sold by lumen rating, like battery powered torches seem to more often be.


Case Logic Surefit Classic Universal Folio for 10 inch Tablets - Black
Case Logic Surefit Classic Universal Folio for 10 inch Tablets - Black
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Just about fits Asus Transformer, 11 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A good "book" style case.

Fitting the tablet in is a simple matter of insertion into two "claws" at the bottom and then pulling two elastic "corners" at the top.

There are multiple slots for resting the tablet "upright" giving you a choice of angles, so watching videos or playing games with a bluetooth controller are going to work well with this.

My asus transformer (201) is a very square edged tablet and the edges of this case are more circular (rounded) so unfortunately there is some overhang. However as mentioned below this doesn't make much difference in terms of drop protection.

The case material is very "hard" and I think while it will offer brilliant scratch protection to tablets along with good structural protection if stored in a rucksack or briefcase, but when it comes to foam padding, there really isn't any.
I also note that the case won't stand much damage itself. It will, over time, weaken and crease due to its construction (hardback notepad style thick card coated in material).

I should mention too that it won't offer much drop protection because even if the corners don't overhang the case which often they do, the elastic holding the corners can allow the top edge to eject enough from the case so that the corners stick out further than the edge. If the tablet flies out of your hand then the momentum can push the tablet far enough out to cause damage to corners. Or to put it simply - if it flies out of your hand and onto a concrete floor, don't expect it to end well.

Having just done the toddler test on it, I'm afraid it didn't fare well. Toddler dropped it, and it actually flew open allowing the tablet to land face down. On carpet thankfully.

Summary - Nice stylish case for travelling or business with good stand functionality so great for movies too, but if you want protection from drops or children, go for something more padded.


Gardening Myths and Misconceptions (Wise Words)
Gardening Myths and Misconceptions (Wise Words)
by Charles Dowding
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like QI for gardening..., 10 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First impressions - what a nicely presented small book. With the medieval (I presume!) styling and the ribbon bookmark, it's definitely something you'll miss out on with the digital version!

Though a short book, just shy of 100 pages, lacking colour photos that are normally seen in gardening books these days, it was a worthwhile read and the main reason I liked it wasn't for its myth-busting abilities so much as its encouragement to stop doing things based on superstitions. A few examples include the origins of the practice of washing plant pots, which is not what you might think, and a fair bit about feeding and rotating crops.

Particular interest to me was pragmatic and laid back approach to pest and disease control. I'm probably the world's biggest fan of non-chemical pest and disease control, so it was refreshing to read that this is not only possible to achieve but can be beneficial. Modern thinking is definitely moving toward "natural" pest control (as opposed to organic which is not always as natural as you might think!)

On to the gripes - I did note that the author on many occasions cited anecdotal evidence to support his articles which were (or felt liek they were) presented as fact. Now this is something that annoys me, but after sitting back and thinking about it, well, I'm not going to "down rate" the book based on this, I'd imagine a book that dotted every i and cited every fact based on research papers would take a large team of people to write and research if it needed to be the book I'd like it to be. A single author probably couldn't achieve this. And a lot of the research might not even exist - just because it hasn't been proven doesn't mean it isn't true. In short - read the book with the view that it's a mix of anecdotal findings, opinion, and fact.

Some points I disagreed with too. I don't think much of the idea of lunar activity affecting plant growth. I do like the idea that removing leaves stresses a plant and hurries along ripening. So I don't agree with everything in the book - but so what. On the flip side, there's plenty of things that I do agree with and acting on them will save me a lot of time next year.

Bottom line - I read the book cover to cover over a couple of hours and enjoyed it, and do feel wiser for the experience. Will probably also refer to it again when I'm gardening next spring. What more can you want?


LeapFrog Learning Friends Play and Discover School Set
LeapFrog Learning Friends Play and Discover School Set
Price: £24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely constructed toy, 29 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a nice looking toy aimed at pre-school children and as my little one was starting nursery soon, it seemed like a good idea to introduce a little one to the concept of going to school. It is a very well constructed toy and very easy to set up - but it does need three AA batteries which are not included and you will need a Phillips screwdriver to access the battery compartment. The school set and plays a number of interactive messages and songs and stories, depending on which character you put on a keyed in circle. My little one enjoyed playing with it a few times, but unfortunately it soon found itself consigned to the back of the toy box and only to be played with when encouraged to do so with a parent present.


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared [DVD]
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Gustafsson
Price: £10.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, fun to watch film adaptation of the book, 23 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I loved the book that this film is based on so looked forward to seeing a movie adaptation. The film is very quirky, just like the book and the premise of the book is that of an old man, Allan Karlsson who, upon turning 100, climbs out of the window of his nursing home as they prepare for his birthday party and sets off for an adventure. It is a story of one thing leading to another and the situations get more and more absurd as the likeable Allan gathers friends (and enemies) along the way on his merry adventure. Interspersed in sections of the film are flash backs of Allan's younger life, which includes his involvement in several major events of the 20th century.

It you have read the book, then as expected, in order to make the film into a reasonable length, some scenes and chapters from Allan's life have been cut out and some of situations adjusted to make the film narrative fit in the time allowed for a film and the ending in the film is a bit different to the ending in the book. The book was one of best books I have read recently, and rated five stars, however this film seemed like an abridged version of the book it lacked some of the back story of the book, Nevertheless, this is still a highly enjoyable funny and quirky movie. the movie is mainly in Swedish with subtitles, but Allan's voice over as he narrates his the events in his past life are in English. A really nice movie to watch and something a bit different.


Sparkup The Magical Book Reader
Sparkup The Magical Book Reader
Offered by eZee Trade
Price: £29.09

5.0 out of 5 stars What it does - it does very well. Good implementation of an unusual idea., 19 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Admittedly many parents will likely be hesitant to praise a device that essentially automates the task of reading a book to a child. However, this device has some very valid uses, although perhaps niche for most people. But, it's not unlikely that one parent may need to be away for various reasons, anything from the armed forces to a business trip.

I'm reviewing the toy for it's ability to perform, and it performs surprisingly well.
Setup is guided by voice and is very simple, Insert a book, point the camera down at the book, read a page, press a button, read another, so on until the end.
Pages are recorded and then recognised easily if there's sufficient light. Sound quality for a "toy" is excellent too.
Also noted is the ability to seamlessly re-record a page if you mess it up.

Admittedly the book it comes with is a little on the cheesy side but it would appear to be intended as a demo, not a story, as it too contains instructions.

The PC USB interface is pretty decent too - you can (and are recommended to) back up files to the PC by drag and drop in the same way as a USB stick, and although the file names are relative gobbledygook (the device can't know the text name of a book can it?) the ingenious idea of having the device read the book name out to you as a cross reference helps a lot! You can also copy files back to the device meaning you can build a library much larger than the device although organising this will probably be a monumental task.

Do I recommend it? Well yes - it does everything with a simplicity that can't be beaten, and accurately too, so no frustrated children.


Woolly and Tig Read along with Woolly 22cm Soft Toy
Woolly and Tig Read along with Woolly 22cm Soft Toy
Price: £13.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Really nice toy but the "read along" is overrated sadly, 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really high quality toy and our toddler really likes it. Each foot (and there are eight!) plays a different sound sample, one of them being the show's theme and the rest being random phrases which correspond to "sounds" in the book.

Which brings me on to the "book". Well, I would have expected an actual book, this feels more like a leaflet and you can't buy a bigger book - this is all you get. Also, the spider doesn't read, it's just sounds or phrases that are pressed at certain times in the book.

But, aside from that - if your toddler is into the programme, which is likely since it seems to be on the TV all the time, then they will like this. And they probably won't care that there's not much reading material. They will probably do the same as ours did, cast the book aside and start walking the spider around the furniture.

I must also add that I am impressed with the material and construction quality of the toy too.


Cairo Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes from the Middle East Inspired by the Street Foods of Cairo
Cairo Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes from the Middle East Inspired by the Street Foods of Cairo
by Suzanne Zeidy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Looking Travel / Food Coffee Table Book, 12 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautifully presented hard backed food book with loads of recipes from the Middle East, a region of cuisine that I am not so familiar with so there were a lot of ingredients in the book that could be a bit of a struggle to get hold of unless you visited a speciality shop. The book is split into several sections, starting with breakfast, then mezza, soups, greens beans and grains, street food, family style meals, pickles etc, desserts and then finally drinks. In between there are also articles about certain foods/dishes and their historical and cultural importance / interest. There are lots of photographs of the food (though quite often, they are not on the same page or adjacent page to the written recipe. And some dishes do not have photographs. There are also quite a lot of scenic photos to give the reader a sense of the 'streets of Cairo', making it more like a travel book. Overall, its a nice book to have one the shelf or coffee table.


Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set
Melissa & Doug Pots and Pans Set
Price: £19.10

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really good quality, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These pans are heavy like real ones, have a metal rack like real ones, sound like real ones, feel like real ones, in fact they feel better quality than some of the actual pans you can buy in a supermarket.

They are food safe and dishwasher safe so you can actually use them, but...tempting as it is, I think you might be wise not to actually put them on a hob as the handles might get hot by the looks of it. Be afraid though, cold baked beans and swiss roll could be served for breakfast. Do you remember that advert?

But seriously - all the Melissa & Doug products we've used so far have been of the absolute best quality and have surprised us, and this is no exception. Don't bother with the smaller plastic pan sets, these are so much better. Would recommend!


Philips Disney Planes Children's Ceiling Pendant Lightshade
Philips Disney Planes Children's Ceiling Pendant Lightshade
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good large lampshade and doesn't restrict the light output much, 11 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As mentioned by others this shade does require assembly but this is because it's quite a large around 30cm diameter "fragile" plastic shade which they have rolled tighter in the packaging to allow it to be shipped without getting dented or broken. So, assembly is a simple matter of opening it out, matching four tabs to four holes, inserting three rods and screwing them in. If you have a UK standard ceiling rose you also will need to put the adapter in but that's simple enough too. The process took me less than five minutes and didn't require me to read the manual, it's that straightforward.

The quality is very good, as you'd expect from Philips, the printing quality is excellent and the shade is light in both meanings of the word - it doesn't weigh much, and it also is very transparent so compared to our old one, lets a lot more light into the room.

It's also a very deep (tall) shade so even though we have an LED nightlight attachment and a lengthy "energy saving" bulb, it doesn't poke out of the bottom.

It was an instant hit with our toddler who spent the next ten minutes talking non stop about the "plane light". And then demanded it be turned round so he could see the helicopters on the other side.

Would recommend.


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