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Pete (United Kingdom)

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When the World Had Four Corners
When the World Had Four Corners
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars What a find!, 26 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a superb album with several very strong tracks rather than the token one or two that is all-too-often par for the course these days. After several listens I'm very impressed. Here's hoping for further releases.

Vaude Power Lizard Tent
Vaude Power Lizard Tent
Price: £217.74 - £385.00

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not tough enough., 13 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Vaude Power Lizard Tent (Sports)
When I first put the tent up in the garden I was a bit apprehensive because it looked so flimsy compared to my previous Vaude Light Wing tent, which admittedly was more than twice the weight.

Initial thoughts:
+ Nice and light.
+ Packs up very small. You can easily fit it horizontally inside a large backpack rather than having to strap it outside.
+ Very spacious for it's low weight. Plenty of room for one person plus kit without feeling cramped.
+ It didn't let in any water during a heavy downpour.
- The pegs are as flimsy as hairpins. They are utterly ridiculous and need replacing.
- Vaude have not included a pole repair kit on this model, presumably so they can publish a lower weight (hence the daft pegs).
- The thin base of the tent does not inspire confidence. The place I bought it supplied a free footprint (400g extra). I figured I needed it - somewhat defeating the object of a lightweight tent.

Anyway, I packed it up and headed off on my two month hiking trip Iceland and Greenland. Here's what I found.

+ Waterproofness was excellent. Not a drop the whole trip.
+ I did not experience any problems with condensation.
- The zip is absurd. It's hard to zip up and the sil-nylon flap keeps catching in it. The problem is alleviated by slackening the tension on the whole tent but this reduces stability.
- The fly does not reach all of the way to the ground. This means that cold wind comes under and into the tent. Need to factor windchill into your selection of sleeping bag. I hadn't.
- The tent is very flappy, even when correctly tensioned. Not a big problem but it sounds like it's blowing a gale outside even in a moderate breeze.
- On my first night of strong wind, a fixing that seats one of the small poles tore from the main tent. This meant that one end of the tent, whilst being held in place by the guy rope was only help up by gravity. Every few nights from then on I would wake up to find one end of the tent collapsed.
- The same windy night bent the main pole. I don't know the windspeed that night. In fairness it was strong but not so strong that you had to lean into it.

On my return I obtained a full refund from the manufacturer (which was decent of them) and I put the money towards the tried and tested Hilleberg Akto. The Akto weighs 600g more but has proper zips, pegs, repair kits and heavier duty base (no footprint required). It looks and feels stronger too.

In summary, I would say that the Power Lizard would be a decent tent for the user whose looking to save weight and is just going away for a couple of nights when the weather forecast is good and stable. I would not recommend it to anyone going on longer trips or to alpine environments.

When I bought this tent my priority was to carry less weight. After my trip I decided that I'd be happy to carry a little more for a lot more quality. For my purposes, a tent needs to inspire confidence so that when I'm woken by the wind and rain outside I can just roll over and go back to sleep. My previous Vaude tent gave me that confidence as does my Hilleberg. The Vaude Power Lizard did not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2013 8:24 PM BST

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker
Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker
Offered by Design 55 online
Price: £22.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real coffee in seconds!, 16 Feb. 2012
Since buying the Aeropress I've ditched the instant. This is so quick and so simple to use that for the sake of 30-60 seconds why wouldn't you make a mug of fresh real coffee?

I'm no connoisseur but this makes a very nice, clear coffee without the body that you get when using a french press. Other reviewers have pointed out the lack of crema but for me this is not important.

Be aware that it's only really good for one mug/two small cups at a time.

In summary, I use it every morning which makes it a bargain at the price, it makes great coffee quickly and takes seconds to clean. Highly recommended.

Ruark Audio R2i DAB/FM Stereo with iPod Dock: Walnut
Ruark Audio R2i DAB/FM Stereo with iPod Dock: Walnut

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top marks in every category, 9 April 2011
I knew that this looked great but I was blown away by how good it sounds. To think that I very nearly opted for something cheaper - so glad I didn't. The DAB radio is superb but the quality of a good (320kbps) tune via my ipod nano is even more impressive. I honestly can't think of a better purchase that I've ever made.

If anything causes me to change my mind I'll update this review but right now I'm extremely chuffed.

T&G Tuscany Vertical Paper Towel Holder in Acacia Wood.
T&G Tuscany Vertical Paper Towel Holder in Acacia Wood.
Price: £11.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good product., 19 Mar. 2011
Not much to say really. We can take for granted that it holds kitchen roll - all I can add is that it looks good doing it!

All for less than the price of a CD too. Recommended.

Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer - Aluminium
Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer - Aluminium

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb machine!, 19 Mar. 2011
I ummed and ahhhed for quite some time before getting this juicer yet from the moment it arrived its become the most used appliance in the house.

I always wondered how people were supposed to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. I tried to, but very long working days made it difficult to consistently achieve. Since owning this juicer I have (the juice of) 5 to 10 portions guaranteed and also have more variety that normal by introducing beetroot, avocado and spinach - things I'd not normally consume. After a month of juicing I feel great - my skin has improved and people have commented that I look great. If you haven't already - start juicing.

Anyway, this review should be about the machine. I must have used it 50 times without a hiccup. In fact, looking at the simplicity of its design it'd hard to see what could go wrong so long as the motor holds up. The pulp is usually dry to the touch, indicating good extraction levels and the parts are a breeze to clean. Good tip - always clean it before consuming the juice - it'll take two minutes to rinse the parts under the tap - much longer if the fruit juice dries on.

All in all this is a great product full stop but particularly for its price. It looks good enough to leave out on the counter making it more likely that you'll use it. Full marks all round!

A final point - you'll get more out of this machine if you also have a blender/processor - that way you can make great lassis and smoothies too.

Episodes - Series 1 [DVD]
Episodes - Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Matt LeBlanc
Price: £5.16

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comedy-drama rather than sit-com, 22 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Episodes - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
It seems that this show really does polarise opinion.

The show highlights the cultural differences between the two sides of the Atlantic aswell as the fakery that is Hollywood. It was, however, hard to see how these recurring jokes could possibly sustain an entire series. They don't. Thankfully the first few epidoses, amusing as they are, really just build the characters and storyline to the point that the writers and actors have developed something to work with in the second half of the series and they don't let us down. Stephen Mangam and Tamsin Grieg, as the struggling Brits, are both very good indeed and Matt LeBlanc steals the show as a 'so unlikeable he's likeable' version of himself.

A cautionary note: These are not stand-alone half-hour shows with an ongoing thread of a storyline. This felt more like one story split into half hour segments and I not sure that you'd get much out of it if you just dipped in mid-way.

In summary, it's a good drama and it's a funny comedy. It's clever and it's silly. It'd not side-splittingly funny throughout but when I consider the whole series as one, it has been one of the more enjoyable shows that I've seen for a while. I hope it's a spring-board for a 5-star second series.

Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book: 57 and a Half Recipes From Our Kitchen to Yours
Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book: 57 and a Half Recipes From Our Kitchen to Yours
by Louise Haines
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny but requires equipment, 16 Feb. 2011
This is a good book, with interesting recipies, plenty of pictures and is actually an amusing read.

One drawback is that most of the recipies require an electric juicer for extracting the juice from carrots, apples, kiwis etc and a blender. I think most people have a blender/food processer but perhaps not a juicer. Maybe I was naive to think that a smoothie was just blended fruit.

I've still given it four stars, as its inspired me to purchase a juicer. If you're not prepared to splash out then this book will be little more than a fun read.

The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010]
The Killing - Series 1 [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Sofie Gråbøl
Price: £14.70

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate drama. Addictive., 16 Feb. 2011
I'm not a huge watcher of TV drama but this is seriously addictive.

The last series I watched was the Swedish Wallander and this is right up there. It has (so far - six episodes in) a great storyline, that is delivered at an enjoyable pace by a great cast.

If you're going to commit such an amount of time to a drama series then you'll want it to be of the higest quality; you're on safe ground with this. Superb!

Garmin nuvi 12xx 13xx Carrying Case
Garmin nuvi 12xx 13xx Carrying Case
Offered by ShaniTech
Price: £2.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too small for 4.3 inch Nuvi, 11 Feb. 2011
The previous reviewer cautioned against it being too small - I should have listened to them.

This product will hold a 4.3 inch Garmin Nuvi 1390 but only just. It looks like it was designed for a 3.5 inch sat nav and just because it you can squeeze a 4.3 inch model into it does not mean that it is appropriate to market it as being suitable for 4.3 inch devices.

Look carefully at the picture (as I should have). You can see a kink in the underside which is where the leather is designed to fold from. If you put in a 4.3 inch sat nav like the one pictured then you can see that the flap will need to fold where it wasn't designed to and the only way that the whole thing will close is to stretch the elastic clasp about 4 inches.

Shame on you Garmin for saying that this is suitable for a Nuvi 13-series. It certainly is not. It looks ridiculous. It wasn't cheap. I'll be sending it back.

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