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

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Go MINI Twin Turbo Raceway
Go MINI Twin Turbo Raceway

4.0 out of 5 stars Slotcars for the teenies., 11 Oct 2014
This review is from: Go MINI Twin Turbo Raceway (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great toy, a scalextric - style slotcar racetrack redesigned for younger punters, with bright graphics and grinning mini cars, with an additional feature for the young 'uns where you can ensure the cars won't leave the track.

It's an almighty faff to set up, of course, as these things have been since time immemorial, but you could have taken that as read. However, it has a small footprint compared to a standard race set, so could be set up semi-permanently on the floor or table. One definite star off though, for the fact that no 12v adapter is included and you have to run it off 8 AA batteries, which aren't even included with the toy, so one would have to either spend another tenner on an adaptor or be prepared to spend a lot of time buying and changing batteries.


Karin Herzog Eye Cream 15 ml
Karin Herzog Eye Cream 15 ml
Price: £42.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to review fairly - I'll update in a month or so., 11 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As my Grandma used to say, you never really know whether moisturisers work or not, because you don't know what you'd have looked like if you'd never used them. Plus, skincares certainly much more about prevention than cure: You can't really start using products like this in middle age and expect them to miraculously undo decades of lifestyle damage. So this is a difficult product to review for Vine, hence the ambivalent 3 stars. All I can really say at the moment is it's easily absorbed, and might have been slightly more nicely packaged given the price.

I've substituted it for my usual eyecare serum - a high street chemists' own brand that costs 2/3rds of the price of this one - and I'll report back when there's an identifiable difference Excitement mounts to fever pitch, eh?

One criticism


Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
by Trine Hahnemann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Nordic treats for fairly serious bakers., 11 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firtst of all, a beautifully presented and photographed book, with all recipes illustrated clearly explained. I acquired this to learn how to make all those hearty Nordic breads and interesting crispbreads I'm so fond of, and the book offers a section on these and sections on cakes, pastries, savoury buns and side dishes(such as bacon and beetroot muffins and grain-based salads) , and Christmas cookery.

There's a clear focus here on regional ingredients - rye and spelt flours, unusual whole grains, foraged preserves, autumn fruit and winter spices, together with an unashamed embracing of comfort eating - lots of cream and choux pastry. It's all pretty mouthwatering, and as a collection of recipes is wholly recommended: There's a lot of interesting ideas here.

However, do bear in mind before investing that it's aimed at fairly committed cooks. It assumes quite a level of prior knowledge and technical ability and a lot of the ingredients are unlikely to show up in the baking aisle at Tesco, though health food stores often stock unusual flours and dried fruits.


Starred Up [DVD]
Starred Up [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack O'Connell
Price: £7.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Porridge' on steroids., 22 Sep 2014
This review is from: Starred Up [DVD] (DVD)
Just because something's 'gritty' it doesn't necessarily mean it's realistic, and 'Starred Up' is a case in point. A fairly simplistic, if harrowing, tale of prison life, it's saved by the lead actor's remarkably intense performance: However, the writer seems to have gotten his idea of what prisons are like from watching 'Porridge' and 70s B-movies. So we see that the prison has it's Grouty-like kingpin (who we can tell is an intellectual type of villain because he has a chess set in his cell), the weak and biddable Mr. Barraclough stylee- warden, and going back to those 70s prison films, the naive social worker and the corrupt prison governer (This last particularly confusing, as the guv' seems to have taken on the role of drugs mule in his own prison, at great risk to, but of no evident benefit to himself. But at least it establishes that he's a bad'un)

However, as I've said, Jack O'Connell is excellent in the lead role, and this makes it worth a watch.


H2D iR Ionic and Infrared Professional Hair Dryer
H2D iR Ionic and Infrared Professional Hair Dryer
Price: £78.09

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pro quality dryer., 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't owned a hairdryer since my goth days in the early 80s, but have long hair again now as the most visible evidence of an ongoing midlife crisis, so was on the market for anything to make my thinning barnet look a bit more frou-frou.

After years of exposure to the beauty industry's fondness for misleading pseudoscientific gibberish, one is naturally rather suspicious of terms like Infrared and Ionic. However, I've done some research and those are real things that exist, and they do help to dry your hair quickly and make it shinier, so that's that out of the way.

Simply put then, this is a very high quality hairdryer designed for professional use, high powered and with various speed and heat levels, plus something called a 'cold shot' - a blast of cold air to set the final look. It comes with a diffuser, concentrator nozzle and brush, and it's worth mentioning the sleek packaging, which would make makes this very suitable as a gift. It dries my hair in about 60-90 seconds.

As with other reviewers, I thought this was quite pricey, but a bit more research shows that a ton plus is about the market rate for this sort of caper, so it could be seen as a bit of a bargain at the price Amazon's currently charging


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

5.0 out of 5 stars A healthy, accessible cuisine., 15 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I think Middle Eastern food might be about to have its fashion moment, it being healthy, exotic and suitable for the more casual dining experience people are beginning to prefer. I enjoy cooking it as it's a simple, quick cuisine that's hard to get wrong, so ideal if your knocking stuff up to go with drinking.

However, as British restaurants selling Turkish and Lebanese food tend to stick to a limited menu of kebabs, bread and dips, the variety of Persian food is something of an unknown to many Britons, myself included. This very substantial coffee table hardback remedies that, and then some. Comprehensively covering all aspects of the cuisine, from often grain or pulse based breakfasts to main meals, desserts, it's pretty much all here, beautifully photographed with methods clearly explained.

, Middle Eastern cuisine is very suitable for the beginner or less experienced cook, simple and generally forgiving of mistakes. You will need a few exotic ingredients*, but these can now be found fairly easily in most British cities, I imagine. Recommended.

*Kitchen cupboard Starter kit: Freekeh (green wheat), tahini (sesame paste),sumac, pine nuts, pomegranate molasses, preserved lemons, couscous, rosewater, zatar.


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes Mr Tumble Soft Toy 38cm
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes Mr Tumble Soft Toy 38cm
Price: £22.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough bang for your buck., 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
On the plus side, this is a very well-madesoft toy, attractive in a sort of retro, Enid Blyton way, and it got a big grin from my one-year old when it was presented to him, though he's not familiar with the TV show. It would make an impressive birthday or Christmas gift.

The minus points are really all to do with the electronic interactivity. If one presses the titular head, shoulders knees and toes in sequence, one is rewarded with a (slightly dalek-y) rendition of the song and Mr. Tumbles bow tie lighting up. However, the sequence is recorded by buttons under the plush, rather than by just touching the area, and they actually need quite a firm press, Certainly, this is a motor and skill beyond the average toddler, and I can't really see this toy being engaging for the amount of time such a task would take to learn. Which brings up the other issue, the price. You could buy quite a lot more play value for 30 quid than this toy offers.


BISSELL Vac & Steam Cleaner, 1500 Watt, Red
BISSELL Vac & Steam Cleaner, 1500 Watt, Red
Price: £129.00

5.0 out of 5 stars First steam cleaner I've owned that actually works., 8 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The USP on this device is that its a combination vacuum and steam cleaner, in which both functions can operate together or independently. So one can simultaneously vacuum and the kitchen floor, then continue into a carpeted area with just the vac, though it can steam carpets too.*

What's impressive about this cleaner is it's comparative ease of use: We quickly gave up on our last two steam cleaners, the former a five gallon drum of water and system of tubes, the operating of which was akin to putting socks on a grumpy octopus, the latter a fifty quid job which was about as effective as a damp teatowel. This one, however, works well and is simple to operate, with a bare minimum of changeable parts. Two jugfuls of water and your away. Highly recommended.

*Short pile carpets and rugs only. It's really a hard floor cleaner, though.


Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Roaring Dino Run
Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Roaring Dino Run
Price: £25.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a well-thought out toy, lots of play value for the size, 5 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A tie in with the current TTTE movie, this is quite a cool toy. Within a footprint of about 60cm x 30cm, it manages to fit in quite a few boyish preoccupations - It's a (small) train set wherein Thomas can transport bones from a quarry, dinosaurs, electronic interactivity, and some top hand-eye coordination action where one fits the dinosaurs bones into the spaces in the quarry wall. It folds up into a flat carry case and is quickly reassembled, and I believe you can connect it to other sets in the range to make a more respectably sized layout. Pretty good.


BETA Adult Terriers with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
BETA Adult Terriers with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £23.36

5.0 out of 5 stars A more convenient alternative to tinned dogfood., 5 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We have always used dry food with our cats: It's can be bought in bulk, is better value in the long term and has less of a pronounced smell about it than wet food. I imagine it's probably healthier, too, though that's a supposition. So when we inherited Mollie, an elderly Yorkie, we wanted to train her away from wet food, and though she didn't go cock-a-hoop or anything, by gradually mixing in more of this product every day with her usual food until she fully on dry food took 3 days, and she seems to have no complaints. Just remember to offer more water.


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