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Mr. D. N. Sumption (Sheffield, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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AEG 5 Series EWA5300-U Cordless Kettle 2400 W - Stainless Steel/Black
AEG 5 Series EWA5300-U Cordless Kettle 2400 W - Stainless Steel/Black
Offered by Dynamic Sounds Ltd.
Price: £34.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and practical, 29 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very beautiful and practical mid-sized kettle. While not quite as large or as fast to boil as our existing kettle (a 1.7L 3kW De'Longhi Icona) it is a LOT better looking, with a much easier to read cup/capacity indicator (a rarity on kettles), and it costs about half the price. You can get similar performance a little cheaper than this model, but its looks make it stand out.


SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
SUCK UK Cork Shaped Rechargeable Bottle Light
Price: £7.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a novelty, 25 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fun idea - a cork that lights up a wine bottle. It's not very bright though - about a candle's worth, if that - and rather than lighting up the whole bottle, as the product photo indicates, by far the brightest part is the LED in the neck - there is a faint ambient glow from the rest of the bottle and the base, but this is overwhelmed by the light in the neck (I suppose you could minimise this if there is still the remnants of the cap around the neck, or if you put tape around it). I would imagine this would be far more effective if you had several of them, but although they're not particularly pricey, it would soon begin to get expensive if you were to buy enough to make this worthwhile.


Russell Hobbs 21530 Extreme Glide Iron, 2400 W
Russell Hobbs 21530 Extreme Glide Iron, 2400 W
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars scratch-free plate with smooth glide - plus one or two which are a little newer to me like auto-clean (not really needed in my s, 25 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a decent mid-range iron, with all of the features that seem to be standard nowadays - water reservoir with steam & spray settings, scratch-free plate with smooth glide - plus one or two which are a little newer to me like auto-clean (not really needed in my soft water area, but I can see that this would be handy) and auto-switch off. It's a bit lighter than other irons I've tested recently, but does the job nicely, quickly and smoothly.


Chinese Unchopped
Chinese Unchopped
by Jeremy Pang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented and simple to use, 18 July 2015
This review is from: Chinese Unchopped (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a beautifully presented book of Chinese recipes, ordered according to cooking techniques (stir-fry, steamed, deep-fry etc). Right from the beginning I found it very readable and even taught me, a fairly experienced cook, a thing or two about cooking equipment and techniques which are far more broadly applicable than to just Chinese food.

The recipes themselves are really nicely laid out, with separate sections on preparation and cooking, plus cooking tips, alternative ingredients, and the invaluable "wok clock" aid for laying out your ingredients prior to cooking. A great many of the dishes are accompanied by really nice photos. Even the more complicated recipes are made fairly easy due to the detailed instructions.

My only criticism of the book is that the section on deep-frying tells you to use a wok half-full of oil, and although it does give some safety tips it doesn't even mention the possibility of using a deep-fat fryer. Knowing how many house fires are started by pans of oil, I am extremely nervous of the advice given here, and will be sticking with the electric deep-fat fryer myself.


Igenix Oil Filled Radiator with 24 HR Timer, 2.5 kW, 2500 W, White
Igenix Oil Filled Radiator with 24 HR Timer, 2.5 kW, 2500 W, White

5.0 out of 5 stars and I love it. There are no appreciable differences between this ..., 18 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been using a similar DeLonghi oil-filler radiator as a back-up heater for some 10 years now, and I love it. There are no appreciable differences between this and the DeLonghi - similar controls, including thermostat control and adjustable 24-hour on/off timer. The heat it produces is so much more pleasant and less harsh than an electric fan heater, really on a par with regular central heating.


Braun VitalScan 1 BBP2000 Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Positioning Guide on Device
Braun VitalScan 1 BBP2000 Automatic Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor with Positioning Guide on Device
Price: £29.51

1.0 out of 5 stars Fiddly and inaccurate, 18 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have been measuring my blood pressure for some time using the Omron M2, which mounts on the upper arm. I thought I would give this a try as, not needing to bare the arm, it should be a little less hassle. However, it is a lot trickier to get the Braun monitor fitted onto my wrist correctly, the bulk of the main unit makes it uncomfortable and hard to seat properly, and the stiffened velcro strap doesn't really help matters much. Once positioned, the reading seems to take a little longer than with the upper-arm mounted device, and is a lot more uncomfortable - it makes the fingers of the hand contract and draw in as it pumps up, and really doesn't feel very nice. Plus you have to hold your wrist up to heart-level, which again is a little awkward, and very hard to get the position right - and even small changes in position seem to affect the result.

But, the real value of a blood pressure monitor is... to monitor your blood pressure. Well, I didn't find it very good at all at doing this. I did many side-by-side comparisons with the upper-arm monitor, and they showed a lot more variation, and were always quite a bit higher on the Braun monitor. All-in-all this seems like a bit of a useless toy.


Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
Getting a Big Data Job For Dummies
by Jason Williamson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great primer and an engaging read, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've never before come across a 'Dummies' book that was specifically about how to get a job in a particular field - it's a new one on me, and certainly provides a different perspective from which to approach a subject, rather than simply assuming the reader is learning for learning's sake. I suspect this particular book is driven by the very real skills gap in the field of Big Data, and an accessibly written primer like this might go a small way towards attracting more people into the field. The biggest hurdle to overcome though, given some of the undergraduate application figures I've seen in the UK recently, is making the field desirable in the first place.

The book itself is an engaging read, and Jason Williamson shows great enthusiasm for the topic. It's written in a very accessible style, and often conveys the sense that there is a deeper well of knowledge and experience behind the words. It is also well structured, and, as with the rest of the Dummies series, is excellently designed to encourage use as an on-demand dip-in reference.

It is necessarily a bit narrow in some respects - there are other ways into the big data world than just via programming, business analysis or mathematics for instance - but the book is intended to be an introduction to the world of possibilities, after all, and on the whole it does a good job of that.

Ultimately the proof of the book's utility lies in whether the committed reader manages to land their dream job, but whether they do or not, they will leave the book enriched and knowledgeable of the subject, even if they decide it's really not for them. Whether anyone will see it on a shelf and experience a spontaneous rush of desire to become a data analyst I'll just leave open...


V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
V is for Vegan: The ultimate vegan cookbook packed full of amazing recipes
by Kerstin Rodgers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring range of dishes and certainly not just for vegans., 10 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a long-since lapsed vegan who, despite spending over 20 years living on vegetarian and vegan diets, now eats just about anything and everything. But I still have all of my old vegan cookbooks, and they veer between the po-faced - full of stews, curries and pasta and other stereotypical vegan dishes - and the aspirational but impractical (such as the wonderful but rarely-used Millennium cookbook). Ms Marmite Lover's book falls into neither of these camps. The recipes are exciting, delicious and, for the most part, relatively easy to cook and source. Of course there are ingredients you will only get from a health-food shop, as well as quite a few edible flowers which make the dishes look beautiful but I guess, in most cases, you could leave out. But what's really wonderful is the range of recipes, the fact that so many are new to me, and are dishes which, as an avowed omnivore, I love the look of and can't wait to try. The only thing letting the book down slightly is the format - I do appreciate the wonderful photos, but a great many recipes appear without pictures, often in a four-per-page boxed-in format which makes them appear a little cluttered. All in all though, a great addition to my collection of recipe books, and one which I'm already greatly enjoying cooking from.


Cetaphil 295 ml Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash
Cetaphil 295 ml Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash
Price: £12.97

2.0 out of 5 stars It goes on easily, and leaves no greasy residue when washed off, 10 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This comes as a fairly small (especially for the price!) bottle of thinnish white liquid (about the consistency of a low-factor sunscreen). It goes on easily, and leaves no greasy residue when washed off. I used it for a couple of weeks and certainly found my eczema improving a little, but it did not seem as effective as the Diprobase which I usually use. Given that and the fact that it's about three times as expensive as Diprobase, I won't be buying it in future.


Tefal FV4040 Ultraglide Steam Iron, 2400 W
Tefal FV4040 Ultraglide Steam Iron, 2400 W
Price: £39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality steam iron, 7 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Tefal FV4040 offers all the features you would expect of a steam iron - an ultra-smooth durable bottom plate, with controllable heat and steam, plus spray and "turbo" steam modes - plus one or two you might not - self-cleaning, automatic switch-off, and a vertical-steam function for getting the creases out of suits. All of these worked well for me (although I can't speak for the self-cleaning, as I live in a soft water area and limescale has never been an issue). My only small complaint was that the iron did not feel quite so nice to use as some of the Philips models I have reviewed recently - it's a bit lighter weight (filling it with water offsets this, although obviously the water moves around a little inside, so it's not quite as stable), and the handle did not feel quite so comfortable in my hand over long periods of ironing. Still a great iron though.


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