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Reviews Written by
Will Stevens "Will" (Carlisle, England)

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Wacom Bamboo Stylus Alpha - Black
Wacom Bamboo Stylus Alpha - Black
Price: £12.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Have I at last discovered a stylus which I really like?, 5 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've tried four different styluses with my iPad over the last couple of years, and, so far, this seems to be the best. I stress that I've using it for a few days only, so I don't know how long the nib will last - but at least they can be replaced.

Two things which I particularly like about it are that it seems to need only a very light touch, also, when you are drawing a line, the line appears instantly and under the nib of the stylus. This means that, at long last, I think it's practicable for me to use my iPad to make hand-written notes, using the Noteshelf app. (I stress 'for me' because I imagine that different people may fare differently, and may perhaps get on perfectly well with a cheaper stylus.)

So, in sum, it's not exactly a cheap item, but, for me, it seems to be good value.


SanDisk (SDSDU-032G-FFP) 32 GB SDHC UHS-I Class 10 Card - Frustration-Free Packaging (Label May Change)
SanDisk (SDSDU-032G-FFP) 32 GB SDHC UHS-I Class 10 Card - Frustration-Free Packaging (Label May Change)

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 11 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is superb value for money, at the price I paid, which was less than £13.

Only one word of (possible) warning. I bought the card for my Nikon Coolpix L820 camera, and, because the card was inexpensive, I didn't bother to do a proper sizing job before purchase. I now find that I have the capacity to take nearly 4000 high quality photographs before downloading! So I might well have bought a lower capacity, cheaper card.


Monnibox - Euro box Coin holder
Monnibox - Euro box Coin holder
Offered by walletkings
Price: £3.91

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful gadget, 11 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used this gadget on a trip to France, Belgium and Holland, and it worked well -- and it sometimes produced mirth when I took it out of my pocket.

It's certainly an educational toy: it encourages you to give exact money and not to weigh your pockets down with a load of coins. The only minus point is that, no matter how carefully you use it, it doesn't have the capacity to hold all the change that you're likely to acquire, so, unless you buy two, there will still, from time to time be a few coins in your purse or in your pocket.

Nevertheless, I found it helpful and will certainly go on using it.


The Victorian Chaise-Longue
The Victorian Chaise-Longue
Price: £8.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beta plus?, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an interesting period piece; reading it, I could never forget that it was written in the 1950s. It was written at a time when nobody had a good word for the Victorian era ('Victoriana' was the usual derogatory term) and it also seems rather quaint that Melanie, living in the 1950s, should feel guilty about having spent a 'wicked' premarital week's holiday with the man she eventually married.

However, the book is very well written. The basic idea is brilliant, and it is well worked out with convincing and well drawn characters - even if the ambiguous ending is something of a cop-out.

In the end, though, I don't think that this is a neglected masterpiece, and I don't think that Marghanita Laski is a forgotten great author. Nor did I find it frightening (as some readers seem to have done) or particularly gripping. To that extent, I don't go along with the many five star reviews that the book has attracted. Putting it crudely, perhaps it's a good thing that the book is quite short - a long short story, really - and won't take up too much valuable reading time.


Hozelock 2398 60m Hose Cart Only with No Hose Supplied
Hozelock 2398 60m Hose Cart Only with No Hose Supplied
Price: £29.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Good product - but you need good DIY skills to assemble it, 5 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once assembled, this is clearly a good, strong product - but, be warned, assembly isn't easy. There are two issues. Firstly, fitting the two halves of the drum together needs a good deal of force; I used a rubber mallet, when I found that my whole weight wasn't enough to get the parts to mesh together.. Secondly, mounting the drum in the frame and attaching the winding handle to it takes time and patience. I won't attempt to describe the problem in detail, but you're working in the dark - can't see what you're doing. More detailed instructions would have helped; I certainly spent a good deal of time working out the best approach, and I'd advise others to do the same..

But, if that doesn't put you off, I think you'll be satisfied with the end result.


The Woodcutter
The Woodcutter
Price: £4.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller -- but have I made a serious mistake?, 19 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Woodcutter (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book by Reginald Hill that I've ever read; it came up at the reading group I belong to. It's very intelligently written, and full of fascinating ideas and surprises. For example, I loved the idea of 25 pages of first-person narrative turning out to be something which the narrator, a prisoner, has written for the prison psychiatrist - thus making its truthfulness suspect. I thought there was a good, and varied, cast of characters, and much excellent plotting, about which I had only a few, minor, quibbles. I especially liked Hill's splendid solution to the question: which of the female leads does the male lead end up with?

But are all Hill's books as good as this? Or have I done what I've done before: read a writer's best book first, thus making all the other books disappointing?

Be that as it may, I can't recommend this book too strongly to anybody who likes a thinking person's thriller.


Scotts Lawn Builder 400 sq m Lawn Food plus Moss Control Bag
Scotts Lawn Builder 400 sq m Lawn Food plus Moss Control Bag
Price: £27.16

5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to be working very well, 29 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this product simply because I've been well satisfied with other Scotts lawn products in the past, and I thought, as an experiment this year, I'd use a fertiliser with moss killer only, and rely on spot weeding to deal with lawn weeds.

The product clearly contains a good dose of moss killer; the moss is dying off surprisingly fast. The fertiliser, too, seems to have kicked in, and I trust that there will be the same continued slow release which I've had with other Scott products.

Incidentally, I've repeated what I've done in the past and applied a small overdose; the bag is supposed to contain sufficient for 400 sq m, and I'm applying it to 360 sq m.

July 2014 update: It has clearly done a good job - helped by the weather, I suppose. Moss is virtually absent, and the grass is growing strongly. My lawn has never been better.


Clichés: A Dictionary of Received Ideas
Clichés: A Dictionary of Received Ideas
Price: £1.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully individualistic, 10 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As the title says, this book is a collection, presumably amassed over a long period of time, of clichés and received ideas. As far as I'm concerned, these fall into three categories. Firstly, there are those cases where I can smile in a patronising way and say to myself, 'Yes, that's what many people do say and believe - unthinking fools that they are'. Next, there are the, to me, strange cases where the idea is one which I'd never heard of. (I'd never heard that growing pampas grass in your garden means that you're into wife-swapping, or that a single tear drop will sterilise a bucket of water.) Finally there are the uncomfortable cases where I say 'Ooops! Hang on! That's what I myself think!' Which means that the book isn't just entertaining and informative; sometimes it's challenging and thought-provoking as well.

My only disappointment is that the book seems to be available only in an ebook format. For it's precisely the kind of book which you'd like to have lying around, for example, in a guest bedroom.

(To declare an interest: Lucy Fisher and I belong to the same Internet forum, and she quotes me twice. On one occasion, I have to admit that I'm the victim of a received idea, and that what I say is very probably wrong. Well, we live and learn, don't we?)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2014 9:09 AM BST


7.5 inch chimney draught excluder
7.5 inch chimney draught excluder
Offered by Plumbing Supermarket
Price: £16.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfactory, 15 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 7.5 inch chimney draught excluder
In line with the instructions on the manufacturer's web site, I took some trouble to make sure that I was ordering the right item for our chimney, and it's clear that I made the right choice. Incidentally, instead of peering up the chimney, I used a camera (with flash and macro mode set, of course) and this made the job quite easy. The Chimney Sheep (with an extension rod, which I ordered) went up very easily, and fits snugly.

Of course, it's something of a luxury item. I'm sure that you could get equally good draught and noise insulation simply by stuffing, say, some old fabric or bubble wrap up the chimney. On the other hand, if you want to use the fireplace sometimes, as we probably shall, the Chimney Sheep is likely to be more convenient.


D-Link DHP-W311AV/B Mini AV 500 Wireless-N HomePlug Starter Kit
D-Link DHP-W311AV/B Mini AV 500 Wireless-N HomePlug Starter Kit
Price: £44.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Works well for me, 20 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As far as my needs are concerned, this product does what it says on the tin: gives me a wifi signal at the far end of the house which is comparable to the signal I get near the BT home hub. Just how good it is in absolute terms, I couldn't say, simply because broadband speeds are appallingly bad in this part of the country, so the unit isn't really being tested.

I have two quibbles only. The cables provided are only 1 metre in length, which meant that I had to do some rearrangement. Also, as seems to be standard practice in the industry, the printed installation instructions are pretty poor, and, in particular, fail to mention the fact that the remote unit has a (small, very inconspicuous) on-off switch. I found, by trial and error, that it works best when switched on ....

(And after some weeks' use, I have slightly more serious quibble) When I use my iPad in the room in which the D-Link device is installed, I find that it tends to revert to the weaker signal from the BT home hub. If I want to reconnect to the stronger D-Link signal, I have to do this using the iPad's settings app. Which is a nuisance. I think (but I'm not sure) that what's happening is that, if it has not used for a certain period of time, the D-Link device goes into a low power, 'sleep' mode from which is has to be awakened. For I find that, if my wife has been using her iPad, when I start using mine, I connect automatically to D-Link. What would cure the problem, I think, is some way of making the iPad connect to D-Link by default, even when it's in low power mode.

If I'm wrong about this, or if I'm right and there's some simple cure, I hope that somebody more knowledgeable than me will post a comment.


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