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Reviews Written by
A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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Polti Vaporetto Go Steam Cleaner, 3.5 Bar
Polti Vaporetto Go Steam Cleaner, 3.5 Bar
Price: £99.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully designed and efficient compact steam cleaner, 23 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My last steam cleaner was kept in the cupboard under the stairs, and even getting it out of there was a tear-inducing nightmare, like having a fight with an octopus. By the tme you'd hunted out all the attachments, travelled back and forth from the kitchen with jugs of water, and dragged it over to the middle of the room, You were too knackered to do any cleaning, especially as putting it back again was an even more dispiriting task. I threw it out after using it twice, as I was convinced it was getting larger and spontaneously growing extra tubes. Eventually, it would have colonised the whole house.

However, now that I have a toddler, I'm getting uptight about hygiene, so it's time for another go. I'm glad to report, then that steam cleaning technology has come on a bit.

Styled along the lines of an Italian scooter, this is very easy to handle and can be carried over the shoulder with the attached strap. It comes with extension pipes, attachments for cleaning floors, curtains,windows, grouting, a high pressure nozzle,and what the booklet calls a brass brush but which I think is more for doing oven hobs, and all the other gubbins you could desire. It takes about ten minutes to heat up and is extremely powerful and efficient, making an obvious difference to every surface I've used it on. Best of all, it packs away neatly, taking up a small footprint in the cupboard. Thoroughly recommended.


The Knowledge Red Wine
The Knowledge Red Wine
by Peter Grogan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars It's good for what it is, but what is it for, exactly?, 23 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Knowledge Red Wine (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The latest in Quadrilles' slightly rum series of pocket sized hardbacks introducing the reader to the basics of this, that, and the other, 'Red Wine' is a breezy, readable guide to the subject, covering terminology, grape varietals and terroire, and some good recommendations on widely-available bottles. Me being the kind of peasant who gets his wine in a box and mainly* judges whether to buy it on it's cost/alcohol content ratio, I did glean quite a lot of interesting information from it and if I'm ever invited to a dinner party again (unlikely, after what happened last time) I'll be able to show up with a decent bottle and slur something knowledgeable about it before falling asleep in the trifle. So it's good for what it is, but I'm a bit baffled as to it's target market. In an age of smartphones and kindles, who could possibly need or wish to carry around a hardback book introducing this, or indeed any, subject? But if you are that person, this can be recommended unreservedly.

*Entirely.


Purina PRO PLAN Dog Small and Mini Adult 9+ with Optiage Rich in Chicken Dry Food - 3 kg
Purina PRO PLAN Dog Small and Mini Adult 9+ with Optiage Rich in Chicken Dry Food - 3 kg
Price: £18.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's dogfood, but more expensive., 23 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Inspection of the ingredients of this 6 quid a kilo 'chicken rich' kibble reveals it to comprise 14% chicken. That doesn't compare well with, for instance, chicken, which of course is 100% chicken and in fact costs slightly less than 6 quid a kilo. The rest of the ingredients are the usual slightly depressing list of slaughterhouse runoff, cheap cereals, vegetable filler and trace amounts of various vitamins and minerals to justify the highly arguable concept that dogs need specialised diets.

So why is this kibble 1200% more expensive than my dog's usual food? I mean she liked it, but seemingly no more or less than her usual cheap and cheerful brand. However, she does really enjoy a chicken breast pan fried in a little garlic and a splash of marsala, finished with mushrooms and onions, which is of course a slightly more economical way of feeding her than this product is.


Bosch PHD5987GB Brilliant Care Keratin Advance Hair Dryer - White
Bosch PHD5987GB Brilliant Care Keratin Advance Hair Dryer - White
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced spec. hairdryer at a good price., 23 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's a load of hairdryers on the market, all seeming to offer much the same features but at prices which range from under a tenner to over a hundred quid, so it's extremely difficult to choose one to buy.

Happily, this one can be thoroughly recommended by this reviewer, for the following reasons:

i) It's by the very reputable Bosch company. Granted, their reputation lies in the manufacture of electric drills and other power tools, but there's no reason not to expect them not to bring their high quality engineering to bear on beauty products.
ii) Nice, understated design in white and silver. Has all the usual contemporary features - a cool shot for setting your style, a turbo boost for quick drying, diffuser and concentrator heads.
iii) It has the innovation of having the heating and speed controls separate, so one can choose, for instance, to dry one's hair at a high speed but a low temperature. The reasoning behind this being is that hair - especially hair thats been coloured - is prone to heat damage,
so it's better to dry it at lower temperature if you can. I dropped out of trichology school, but that seems reasonably convincing.
iv) At its current 30 quid on Amazon, it seems pretty fairly priced.

I notice from other reviews this dryer has had unanimous 5-star reviews, which seems right. There's really nothing negative to be said about it.


Hangerworld 43 cm (17") Quality Padded Satin Top Coat Clothes Hangers with Buttons, Pack of 10, Black
Hangerworld 43 cm (17") Quality Padded Satin Top Coat Clothes Hangers with Buttons, Pack of 10, Black
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Boutique glam on a bargain basement budget!, 23 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are really well made and designed padded hangers, with a covered button on each arm to hang strapped dresses from, and a ribbon bow at the neck of the hook. They're primarily designed for use in upmarket boutiques, but if you're going for a glam/girly look in your boudoir, at this price you might as well buy enough for your entire wardrobe. A real bargain.


Hard to Be a God [DVD]
Hard to Be a God [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gali Abaydulov
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but uncompromising, art film., 14 Aug. 2015
This review is from: Hard to Be a God [DVD] (DVD)
'Hard To Be A God is an astonishing film, a proper balls-out art movie, unashamedly challenging to watch both intellectually and visually.

Based on the Strugatsky brothers critique of Russian history, the film is set on the planet of Arkanar, an analogue of our world in the dark ages. It's a degraded society drenched in filth, poverty and cruelty, unable to develop because the countries rulers ruthlessly stamp out any signs of intellectual progress in the name of religion. Two observers from a Utopian future earth, Anton and Pashka, are charged with merely recording, rather than interfering, with the planet's society, but as the oppression worsens they feel bound to interfere, smuggling intellectuals out of danger.

However, the film makes no concessions to simplifying a complex book for the screen, , instead luxuriating in an uncompromisingly difficult plot through beautifully ugly visuals. Arkana city is a ruinous, ramshackle slum, the streets knee deep in filth, fish drying from strings above the street. The residents defecate from garderobes above the streets, and it's considered a top joke amongst the diseased halfwits who populate the place when someone cops a faceful. Mud, squalor, unending thoughtless cruelty.

So it's not a everyone. The nearest I film to it I can think of is Herzog's 'Aguirre, Wrath Of God' , like that it's a beautiful visual journey that rewards repeated viewings. Highly recommended/


Murad Age Reform Time Release Retinol Concentrate 15 ml
Murad Age Reform Time Release Retinol Concentrate 15 ml
Price: £65.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Area-specific wrinkle reducer., 13 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I recently started using a retinol spray which has been very effective in making my skin look younger and healthier, so have obtained this, Which I'm using on the deeper wrinkles I'm acquiring on my forehead and around the eyes..It's obviously quite expensive, but the applicator design ensures that you use a small amount at a time and I'd say it'll last about 3 months. It absorbs quickly and is scentless, and is applied once a day before moisturising. Altogether a well thought out package: I'll update this review in a month to let you know how it's working.


Becky Mantin Nappy Grab Bag All-in-One Disposable Changing Bag--Size 1, Pack of 10
Becky Mantin Nappy Grab Bag All-in-One Disposable Changing Bag--Size 1, Pack of 10
Price: £18.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever design, genuinely useful., 13 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well designed and ingenious. An envelope containing all the stuff you need for a nappy change doubles as a changing mat, and then triples as a disposing wrap for the soiled nappy and used wipes. They would obviously be very expensive to use on a daily basis, but if your in a rush to get out of the house and don't want to gather and carry all the gubbins about in a bag, it's very handy just to stick a couple of these in the stroller pocket. To summarise, a clever and genuinely useful product at rather too high a price point.


Piccadilly 180 g Lime Shaving Cream Bowl
Piccadilly 180 g Lime Shaving Cream Bowl
Price: £12.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic lime scented shaving cream., 5 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You can't beat an old-fashioned shave, not least because it gives you the excuse to use classy products such as this one. Smells strongly of lime when you open the (plastic) bowl, then a fingerend's worth whips up in the shaving bowl to a rich lather, leaves the skin feeling refreshed, taut, and moisturised. Really nice. I use several of old-school aftershaves which have a citrus base, So it goes with those too.


The Knowledge: Jazz
The Knowledge: Jazz
by John Fordham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Short introduction to jazz music., 5 Aug. 2015
This review is from: The Knowledge: Jazz (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This isn't a a reference book as I'd assumed, but a series of brisk articles introducing aspects of jazz, so it's rather like an adult version of those single-subject non-fiction books you used to to get out of the school library when you were 10. It took only an hour or two to read, so I guess that if you needed to sound knowledgeable about the subject in an afternoon it might be useful, but there's nothing here that you couldn't get from the relevant Wikipedia page, and as the book is unillustrated and contains little in the way of reference material, (a guide to musical vocabulary and a short list of listening suggestions) I can't quite see the value in putting it in hard covers. It's well written and nicely presented, but feels like a pointless thing to keep on the bookshelf. Perhaps it's actually targeted at school libraries? That would make more sense.


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