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Insider "JohnD" (Haverfordwest, UK)

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The 10 Best Bread Recipes: The most popular breads, with the easiest recipes, including Sourdough, French, Brioche and Focaccia,
The 10 Best Bread Recipes: The most popular breads, with the easiest recipes, including Sourdough, French, Brioche and Focaccia,
Price: 1.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the dough, 31 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Am sure I downloaded this for free but is not priced at 99p. The subtitle is "The most popular breads With (sic) the easiest recipes" but cannot see how this can be justified.

The first thing to point out is that it uses US measurements (cups for quantities and Fahrenheit for temperature), which is not in itself a criticism as even Americans need to eat bread, but not helpful for a UK breadmaker.

There is no introduction, well there is but this was written by a twelve year old apparently and is used to head up the first recipe - each recipe gets a chapter to itself by the way,

OK, I don't like to style but now to the factual problem: the first recipe asks for 8 1/2 cups of general purpose flour but the method only uses 3 of these cups. May be a great recipe but such a basic error is inexcusable . Method also contains the instruction "Knead with the rhythmic 1-2-3 motion of push-turn-fold," If you weren't a breadmaker this would mean nothing, an if you are I would suggest you probably don't need this book.

I didn't bother reading further.

The Living Wake
The Living Wake
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Poetic, 24 Mar 2014
Stumbled across this little film which tells the story of the final hours of generally disliked, eccentric, self absorbed author of such books as "It Could have been me" a compendium of his losing lottery numbers. Dressed in classic three piece tweed suit he takes invitations to his living wake and visits those important to him bar-keeper, prostitute, mother and has visions of his dead father, who he believed had abandoned him. He tries to donate his books to the local library where the Librarian explains she cannot accept them because any donations have to be read and approved by the Library Committee which can take months. "Months, but I only have three hours left".

But it is the refreshing way the story is simply and surreally told. Small cast, simple and clear direction and an almost perfect performance by Mike O'Connell as K. Roth Binew and Jesse Eisenberg as “Mills Joaquin” his faithful biographer and rickshaw driver.

A refreshing sherbet of a film made in a time when film-making is dominated by CGI special effects and the inclusion of stars who are there for no reason than to attract an audience to the box office, I'm talking about you "Gravity"!

Great British Bakeware with GlideX 2 lb Traditional Loaf Tin
Great British Bakeware with GlideX 2 lb Traditional Loaf Tin

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy and Stickless - but 2 lb?, 4 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Making a loaf with 750 g of flour, sorry I only work in metric, I expected that this loaf tin would be ideal with 2 lb being close to 900 g. But the dough when risen came well over the topsides of the this loaf tin. Compare the size of the tin with a shop bought 800 g loaf and you'll understand the problem. Perhaps there is something I don't understand about loaf tins and their sizings.

But this is worth a five star rating as the loaf, with its expanded top, came out perfectly and the tin is well constructed and should last for a long time. Will get a lot of use but suggest 500 g of flour would be perfect.

If this company made a 3 lb size tin it would be perfect for a loaf made with 750 g of flour.

Go figure.

Krinner Vario Christmas Tree Stand
Krinner Vario Christmas Tree Stand
Offered by WebBasket
Price: 34.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy expensive buy once, 23 Jan 2014
This review is from: Krinner Vario Christmas Tree Stand
Forget other christmas tree stands this one will outperform them all. Our 8 foot tree with its 4 inch diameter trunk presented no challenge to it. Heavy stable base even before 2 kg of water added. Tree not quite upright first time? No problem, just adjust before tightening.

And it cost less than the tree itself.

This one is destined to become a family heirloom it feels that strong.

Braun Oral-B Professional Care 1000 One-Mode Rechargeable Toothbrush (Packaging Varies)
Braun Oral-B Professional Care 1000 One-Mode Rechargeable Toothbrush (Packaging Varies)
Price: 29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Brush - Bad Oral-B Registration, 17 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At my most recent check up my dentist commented on the plaque on my teeth - and then cleaned it off for a fee. Decided to pay more attention to my teeth and to upgrade my toothbrush. Having read a number of reviews on this and other sites decided to buy this brush. It seems spending four times as much doesn't get a better clean. Compared to my existing (previous but cannot bear to get rid of it) Phillips brush which has given excellent service but has a simpler and larger head this brush is easy to ensure that the whole brush area is in contact with the teeth. My teeth do feel smoother after using it and flossing hasn't come up with any plaque after use. It only has a single speed but then I only ever used the higher speed of my Phillips two speed brush so that isn't a problem.

But Oral-B need to get their website in order! The product information leaflet suggests that the purchaser register the product online and get an additional 1 year warranty for free making three years in total. Following the link to [...] register starts well with the choice of country (UK in my case) - then it goes pear shaped. The next page is effectively a sales page no sign of how to register the product. A search simply reveals the the same page.

As for the 'care' they put into the website how about the quote 'Removes up to 100% more plaque vs. an oridinary (sic) toothbrush' - apart from the typo which they repeat (ain't copy and paste wonderful) what is wrong with 'than an ordinary toothbrush - and these days what is ordinary? Perhaps 'than a manual toothbrush' would be better still.

OK, I feel better having got this off my chest, AND I have clean teeth!

TP-Link TL-WN823N 300Mbps Mini Wireless N USB Adapter
TP-Link TL-WN823N 300Mbps Mini Wireless N USB Adapter
Price: 10.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Beware the software..., 30 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As some other users have reported this USB Adapter was dropping the connection to the router (3MobileWiFi) often once a minute. Would not reconnect automatically and when reconnecting manually it required the password to be reinput. A second problem was that even when the connection was stable Windows 7 would lose focus on the program I was using - so for example typing an email in Outlook or a document in Word I would find that my typing was ignored and I had to click the program bar to re-establish focus.

So why a four star review?

Well, after a few frustrating weeks I decided this morning to uninstall the TP-Link management software. The drivers are of course still installed. Since doing this the connection has been totally stable and the lost focus problem has not reoccurred.

I now have a reliable connection to the internet at 4.5 Mb/s.

So if you are having problems I recommend you try this. Turns something you want to throw in the bin to something you want to treasure.

Texet A3 Laminator
Texet A3 Laminator
Price: 23.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Worked well - for a while, 7 April 2013
Have owned this laminator for some some years but only use it rarely and must have laminated less than 100 A4 sheets. Up until last week would have given it 5* as it worked perfectly. But, now the autofeed only works intermittently - it sounds as if a clutch is dragging inside - and I have to assist the pouches to get them to complete the process.

Would have expected it to last longer.

The Last Station
The Last Station
by Ph.D. Jay Parini
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.45

2.0 out of 5 stars Did not involve me, 4 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Last Station (Paperback)
I seem to be in the minority here but the book did not draw me into the characters or the progression through Tolstoy's final year. The first person narratives based where possible, according to the author, on diaries and letters, lack differentiation between the characters. One 'voice' seemed very much like another. Even the final death scene did not move me as I had not become attached to Tolstoy as I would have expected. Some of the writing seems, to me, clumsy and lays itself open to ridicule - this exposition for example from the first chapter where Sofya Andreyevna is the first person "That was in 1860. I remember because it was the year our blessed tsar, Alexander, was saved by the hand of God. A miracle. He had been taking his daily walk in the Winter Garden when a deranged youth (from a well-known family, alas)fired at him with a pistol. The quick hand of a muzhik saved the tsar, dashing the gun to one side". Do we care? A muzhik by the way is a Russian peasant.

Jay Parini even includes his own poems as chapters - why? Like another reviewer I skipped over these.

Incidentally, I have not see the film but I wonder if Helen Mirren as Sofya was made up to be overweight. Bulgakov describes Sofya in the book when on her way to attempt suicide by drowning as running "faster than I could believe possible for a woman of her age and size" - just found some pictures of Sofya Andreyevna and confirmed that she was built for comfort not speed. But I guess as Peggy Mount is dead they had to find someone else to play the role.

Price: 8.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Serious Mission told with Love and Humour, 12 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This novel defies easy classification - too say too much about the plot would prevent the reader discovering it for her or himself.

From a simple start leading the reader to think this is just another romantic novel, albeit written by a man, the story unfolds with many twists and surprises. James finds himself taken out of what has become a routine job and a cosy life. This story takes him out of his comfort zone as his new companion gradually unfolds her story. This takes the story out of the ordinary as James finds a new purpose to his life. There is a serious mission to be undertaken and many dangers along the way and although not forgetting his past James learns how he can influence the future and grasps the opportunity.

Charles Smith clearly loves the countryside he describes and where I suspect he walks his own canine companion as James does and he describes a natural and companion-animal world worth preserving and which can be all too easily lost.

Mirror, Mirror (DVD)
Mirror, Mirror (DVD)
Dvd ~ Julia Roberts
Price: 3.00

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh fairy tale air, 18 Aug 2012
This review is from: Mirror, Mirror (DVD) (DVD)
Just finished watching this on DVD and wanted to share my pleasure in the film.

OK, this may not be a retelling of the classic fairy tale but this, in my opinion, is to its credit. The plot line approaches the original story and then veers off in a close but different direction. There is plenty of subtle humour for adults and children to enjoy and some that the children may not understand - 'And then a grasshopper took advantage of me' is a line from the queen's aide who comes back to human form after being cursed to become a cockroach. The photography is excellent and well lit reflecting that this is not real life. Incidentally why do so many films these days spend money on make up and scenery and then light it so poorly that nothing can be seen?

The actors play as if they 'know' they are acting out larger than life roles which works well. An intelligent pantomime if you will. Some of the cruelty of the original story is there but presented in a way that will not scare the children. The final scene (which I will not 'spoil') is perhaps an exception although even there it is suggested and for me somewhat chilling but not graphic. The small actors who play the dwarves revel in their roles and their names are original (Wikipedia tells me that it was not until a 1912 film version of Snow White that names were given to the dwarves).

I do not know other work by the director Tarsem Singh but see that another reviewer, perhaps more than one, are not impressed by him. Not sure why this would be. This film does not take itself too seriously and Tarsem uses his Indian upbringing and experience of directing music videos to good effect in this film - even to the closing titles with its Bollywood dance ending.

It's not high art but it is also not pretentious. Watch and enjoy. Perhaps like me you will have a smile on your face.

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