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Hampton Caught (Cambridge, UK)

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PowerBee ® Endurance Deluxe Solar Fairy Lights 120 WHITE Quality Superbright LED's Multi Function Indoor / Outdoor Garden, Party, Tree Lights for ALL YEAR round use including winter (White, 1 strand of 11.9 meters)
PowerBee ® Endurance Deluxe Solar Fairy Lights 120 WHITE Quality Superbright LED's Multi Function Indoor / Outdoor Garden, Party, Tree Lights for ALL YEAR round use including winter (White, 1 strand of 11.9 meters)
Offered by PowerBee Ltd

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, so very good, 10 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Since a garage conversion in the house, it's been very difficult to run an electric cable from the house to the tree outside, which I used to light up at Christmas. So when I saw these lights and noticed that they were suitable for outdoor use, I thought these could be the answer. I've always been slightly sceptical about solar products, but the positive reviews on Amazon, persuaded me to give it a go.

As the instructions suggest, I started by giving the batteries an 8 hour charge. This simply means switching the unit on and putting it somewhere bright where it can soak up the natural daylight. Saturday was a clear day, so I placed it on top of the conservatory roof, where I knew it would get maximum light all day.

On the Sunday afternoon, I put the lights onto the tree, securing the solar panel to a high branch with garden flexi-tie (you could just as easily use cable ties), making sure it was pointing upwards and roughly at the point where the sun would be at midday. The product comes with a plastic tube that fits onto the panel for pushing into the soil, so I attached this and wound the tie around the tube, making sure that there a was a clear path between the panel and the open sky. It all worked perfectly.

I switched the unit on at 5.00pm and put it on the auto setting, where it runs through a cycle of flashes, waves and twinkles. Being LEDs, the lights are a very nice bright white and I was amazed at the strength of the output - I usually associate solar lighting with garden lights that always seem to look weak and barely visible. Maybe it's just a case of the technology moving on.

So, switched on at 5.00pm, how long would they stay lit? I reckoned in 2 or 3 hours, they'd either have stopped working altogether, or be emitting as much energy as a glow worm. I went to bed at 11.30pm and they were still as bright as they had been at 5.00pm and still running through the auto cycle of effects. Imagine my surprise, when I woke just before 5.00am and out of curiosity got up to take a look out of the front window. Still flashing away and still at the same brightness. 12 hours of continuous use!

Now it's mid-morning on Monday and I have a smug look on my face as I look out at clear blue skies and lovely wintery sun and think of my little solar panel sitting in my tree at home, soaking it all up. When I return home tonight, it will be dark and the lights will automatically have started their show.

The beauty of this product is that it's straight 'out of the box' - apart from the initial charge, there is nothing to do other than place the lights wherever you want them. There's a plastic spike if you want to site the panel into the grass or soil and a wall bracket (complete with plugs and screws) for attaching to a vertical surface.

Early days for me, obviously, so I can't comment on the longevity of this product, but I have to say that so far, it has exceeded my expectations. If it continues to perform as it did last night, then I have an exceptional little product that has changed my opinions on solar-powered lighting. Highly recommended.

ACase Superleggera PRO Dual Layer Protection for Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) - Black
ACase Superleggera PRO Dual Layer Protection for Samsung Galaxy S2 (i9100) - Black

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific value for money, 10 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's always difficult choosing what you think might be the best case for your new phone or iPod, so when I started a new contract with a Samsung Galaxy S II, I began trawling Amazon immediately to give it the protection it deserves. I have to say, I am hugely impressed with the Acase and feel totally vindicated in my choice. As other reviewers have pointed out, the case comes in two separate parts. Firstly, you slip the phone into the inner, gel case, that fits very snugly and offers a level of protection if the phone is dropped. Secondly, you insert the phone and inner case into the outer case, which is a semi-rigid, matt black, rubber-like compound. This outer case completely hides the inner case and overlaps the phone on all four sides leaving the front face of the phone with a 4mm rubber 'edge'. The four overlapping edges also sit proud of the face of the phone, so if you placed the phone face down onto a flat surface, the glass screen would not come into contact with the surface. The case fits like a glove and feels very solid and I don't consider it to be bulky at all. All the controls (power on/off, volume up/down) work perfectly and holes cut in the case for charging, headphones etc., and for the camera, are position-perfect.

I tried to fit the screen protectors, but have to say this was a disaster for me. I've applied these before (I have one on my iPod Touch) without any issues, but these were just a mass of air bubbles that I could not remove. I did these as carefully as I could but eventually gave up and both protectors ended up in the bin. As the Galaxy S II has a Gorilla Glass screen, I'm guessing that it will take something incredibly hard and sharp to scratch it, so I'm taking my chances. I don't feel it's fair to mark the case down because of the protectors, as it's possible it was my failing and anyway, I really bought this product for the case and not the protectors.

I'm really pleased with the case. It looks great, is clearly very well made and also has a really nice feel in the hand. It does add slightly to the size of the phone, but not enough to worry me. Protection is far more important and my feeling is that this will protect my Samsung S II brilliantly. I like the idea of the two layers of protection - it feels more robust and secure than other cases I've had and I also think it represents great value for money. On the basis that the phone would cost just shy of £400 to replace, what's to think about when spending around £7 to protect it? Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2012 2:12 AM BST

Ornami B91/MSE-015 Ladies' Silver with Amethyst Heart Earrings
Ornami B91/MSE-015 Ladies' Silver with Amethyst Heart Earrings
Price: £14.79

5.0 out of 5 stars She loves them!, 23 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First off, I should state that I'm a man. A man who is in touch with his feminine side but who, at the same time, is notoriously hopeless at buying jewellery for women. Something that looks nice to me, can easily be viewed by a female as a fashion disaster. Consequently, I steer well clear of the whole business of buying jewellery, particularly earrings which I have even less understanding of than necklaces and bracelets.

However, when looking for a present, I came across these. I thought they looked nice and was greatly encouraged by the reviews, which were overwhelmingly positive. So I went for it. Within two days they had arrived, well packaged in a small jewellery box.

So now, the acid test. "I can always send them back", I thought. "Amazon's returns service is excellent, after all". I needn't have worried. She loves them and I suspect thinks they cost a lot more than they actually did.

I now have a new-found confidence when it comes to buying women's jewellery, all thanks to these lovely little earrings. My stock is high and for that reason, I can only recommend these very highly.

4G Touch Luxury Black Genuine Leather Case Cover & Screen Protector for New Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation - 8GB 32GB 64GB
4G Touch Luxury Black Genuine Leather Case Cover & Screen Protector for New Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation - 8GB 32GB 64GB

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I wanted (got there at last!), 22 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I previously had a 'leather' case for my 4th generation iPod Touch, however, it was of a different design to this one, whereby the Touch was held in place by a plastic inner case. Once in place, the product looked great and the black plastic holder was barely visible. The problem was the quality of the plastic that held the Touch. It was a hard, brittle material and the first one cracked within a couple of weeks (replaced by the seller concerned) and its replacement lasted just a few months before disintegrating.

When I travel, I always take my Touch so wanted a case that would offer a level of protection as well as something that looked good. Having lost faith in anything with a plastic inner, I decided to look for a 'one piece' case with gutters at the base and sides that would hold the Touch in place without the need for any other securing mechanism.

The case was received within two days of ordering and was perfectly well packaged.

The first thing that struck me when I opened this case was the smell. This is real leather and no mistake. I slipped my Touch into it and knew right away that I'd made the right decision. The iPod was held firmly and securely and all the holes were in the right places meaning that I can insert my headphones, use the camera or charge the Touch without removing the case. The 'flip' cover, which is also lightly padded for extra protection, fastens by means of a hidden magnet and closes with a satisfying 'snap'. The loop on the back that means the Touch can be attached to a belt, also functions as a stand for the iPod (both vertically or horizontally), meaning no more propping the Touch up against cups or bunches of keys when watching a film on a flight or a long train journey.

Sure, there are cheaper cases available, but I've always believed you get what you pay for and this looks and feels like a quality product. My previous case was sold as a leather item, but the quality of the leather simply did not compare to this. In short, this is exactly the sort of case I was looking for - it just took me a while to find it. Now we're going to be best friends. Highly recommended.

iGadgitz Black Silicone Skin Case Cover with Tyre Tread Design for iPod Touch 4th Generation 4G 8GB, 32GB & 64GB + Screen Protector
iGadgitz Black Silicone Skin Case Cover with Tyre Tread Design for iPod Touch 4th Generation 4G 8GB, 32GB & 64GB + Screen Protector
Offered by iGadgitz
Price: £3.29

5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?, 22 Jan. 2012
Firstly, let me start by mentioning the service I received from the seller. When I initially received the case, I was a bit surprised that it didn't seem to fit my 4th generation Touch very well. There was just too much play and I felt that I'd bought a duff item. Then I read the order, checked my open order on Amazon's website and realised why the case wasn't as snug as I'd hoped; I'd stupidly ordered the wrong item. The case I'd ordered was for a 2nd or 3rd generation Touch, not a 4th generation. I e-mailed the seller as instructed and they replied very quickly with clear instructions on how to make the return. This was Thursday lunchtime and by Saturday morning, I had the correct case in my hands. That has to be great service in anyone's book.

I have a leather case for traveling which would certainly offer more protection if I dropped the Touch, but wanted something to keep the iPod in around the house, that was a bit less formal and that I could drop onto my speaker dock without removing the case (which I would have to do with the leather one).

Now the product. It's terrific. Fits my Touch like a glove, feels very solid and substantial, yet adds no real weight to the iPod. Once the screen protector is applied, the whole thing is covered and protected from scratches and spills. The holes are all in the right places, meaning that I can charge the Touch, insert the headphones, use the camera, drop it onto my speaker dock or even adjust the volume controls, without removing the case. Apart from the practicalities, the case just looks great. Turn it over and the tyre tread becomes evident and is sure to be a talking point. In short, it just looks cool. For less than a fiver. Highly recommended.

TeckNet iPod Touch 4G Leather Case Pack - Black Leather Case + 2 x Screen Protectors for New Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation - 8GB 32GB 64GB
TeckNet iPod Touch 4G Leather Case Pack - Black Leather Case + 2 x Screen Protectors for New Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation - 8GB 32GB 64GB

2.0 out of 5 stars I can only echo what others have already said..., 6 Jan. 2012
I ordered my first one of these cases about a year ago but had to send it back within a few weeks as the plastic casing that the iPod clips into had cracked and started to crumble away, which left it totally unable to support the iPod. The company were very good and sent me a replacement, which has lasted longer, but just less than a year on, the plastic has again cracked and although it's holding the Touch at the moment, it's clearly not going to be long before it gives up the ghost.

I have to say that this is a real shame, because the case is excellent in every other respect. The quality of the leather cover is great, the holes are all in exactly the right positions meaning that I can leave the Touch in its case for charging, taking photographs or listening to music etc., and the closure slots into place with a very satisfying 'click'.

If someone looked at the case for the first time with the Touch in place, they could be forgiven for thinking that it had cost three times as much as it did. It looks and works fabulously, but is completely let down by the use of a cheap, brittle plastic for the enclosure.

Maybe I'm expecting too much - it's lasted nearly a year and it cost only a few quid, but with a little more care in manufacture, it would truly be a five star product.

I can't comment on other cases because I haven't used any, but you may be better off looking for a case that doesn't have a plastic enclosure - i.e. where the leather outer has a gutter at the sides and the bottom that hold the iPod Touch in position. It may not be as neat, but I suspect it will save a lot of hassle further down the line.

Eko-Mania Paper Log Maker - Green
Eko-Mania Paper Log Maker - Green

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Life (but where's Felicity Kendal?), 8 Aug. 2011
Having an open fire in a house is a real pleasure in the winter, but making up a fire takes a bit of time and effort. This isn't a problem at the weekends, but during the week, coming in from work on a cold night, my wife (who is in from work a couple of hours before me) doesn't particularly want to be going out to the shed in the dark to bring in coal and wood and then spend the next 15 minutes trying to light the thing.

So, when I saw the Eko-Mania Paper Log Maker, I thought that this might solve the problem. As winter is yet to arrive, I haven't burnt any logs yet, but I have been busy making them and thought I'd share the experience. Firstly, the product appears to be very well made and is also very easy to use. What you will need in order to make this a pleasing experience, is some room. I'm not sure I'd want to attempt this in a small flat, as the process is messy and also a bit smelly. I'm lucky in that I not only have a garden, but also a conservatory, and am using both to good effect.

So, firstly, I have a large bucket. I fill this almost to the top with paper - not only newspaper, but any items of junk mail and even some glossy magazine pages (taking care to remove any staples along the way). Shredded paper is absolutely perfect, so if you have access to this from work, or nearby businesses, then so much the better. I think a mix of materials probably works best. If it's not already shredded, all of the material needs to be torn into strips in order to help it 'break down' and to be honest, this is where the bulk of the work lies. The nice thing is that it's the first item on the agenda, so from here on in, it only gets easier. Next I fill the bucket with hot water (I guess you could use cold and I accept that using water that has been heated by my boiler is probably not the best use of energy, but I thought it might help to break the paper down a bit quicker - and I think it probably does), so that all of the paper is just covered. My second 'tool' is a piece of wood. This is my stirrer and having added the water to the bucket, I give it a good stir to make sure that all the paper is soaked. The bucket then sits in the conservatory for 2/3 days, where i stir the mixture a couple of times a day. This is where the smell comes in - there is a distinct odour of newsprint from the conservatory and I wouldn't really fancy keeping the bucket in the house. It would probably be fine outside, but I would keep it loosely covered - to let the air in, but keep the insects/leaves out.

Now, this is the point at which things can get messy. You should now have a bucket full of sodden paper and you need to remove as much of the water as possible. In my shed, I happened to find a plastic garden sieve (about the same diameter as a washing up bowl) which is proving perfect for draining the water from the bucket. I put the sieve in the sink and pour the contents of the bucket into it, which leaves me with a mass of wet paper. I now move to the garden, but you could probably just as easily do this in the kitchen sink. I put the Eko-Mania log maker into a washing up bowl and then fill it with the paper, pressing it down into the container, making sure all the corners are filled. Then it's simply a case of crossing the handles of the log maker and bringing your weight down onto the product to squeeze the excess water from the paper. This creates quite a lot of waste water and bear in mind that it's dirty (with newsprint) and slightly smelly, so for me, doing it in the garden is the best option. Release the handles, remove the 'press' and then extract the container from the log maker (I find tipping the log maker onto its side and then pushing the inner container up from the bottom with both hands brings it out fairly easily). You then just slide the paper brick out and hey presto, you've made your first log! The logs are about the exact same size as a house brick and from the number I've made so far, I'd recommend not filling the log maker too high with paper. Having been through the log maker, the paper is very compacted and there doesn't appear to be any danger of the log breaking up or starting to come apart.

All you need now, is somewhere to store your logs for drying. Mine go back into the conservatory where they seem to need about 3 weeks to dry fully - obviously dependent on the weather. Because of the drying, I'm viewing this very much as a summer job, aiming to build up as many logs as I can for the winter. The idea now is that there will be a pile of paper logs in the conservatory all winter, that my wife can lob into the grate with a firelighter if it's a particularly cold evening.

I've been very impressed with the Eko-Mania Paper Log Maker so far - it's well made and does exactly what it promises - churns out free fuel, with a minimum of fuss and effort. From the point at which I empty the bucket into the sieve, to the point at which I put my finished logs away for drying, is probably about 10 minutes. I guess the novelty may wear off, but for the moment, there is an amount of satisfaction at my new 'cottage industry'. You'll definitely need a large bucket or watertight container, and I'd recommend the stick for stirring and the plastic sieve, but that's all you'll need apart from the water and of course, as much paper as you can collect. With just a little effort, you're all set for those long January nights! Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2011 10:22 PM BST

XMI X-Mini II 2nd Generation Capsule Speaker with 3.5mm Jack Compatible with iPhone/iPad/iPod/Smartphones/Tablets/MP3 Player/Laptop - Black
XMI X-Mini II 2nd Generation Capsule Speaker with 3.5mm Jack Compatible with iPhone/iPad/iPod/Smartphones/Tablets/MP3 Player/Laptop - Black
Offered by Gadget_Juice
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My new best friend, 24 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the X-Mini II largely on the strength of the reviews on Amazon. I had wanted a portable speaker for a while and the sheer size of this product really appealed.

If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting too much in terms of sound quality - I mean the thing is only slightly larger than a squash ball for goodness sake! I was amazed - you could actually use it in a small room and it would do a job. However, I didn't buy it to use in a small room - I bought it to travel with, go camping with and even use in the garden, and for these purposes, it's just brilliant. How they manage to capture the bass without distortion in a device so small is beyond me.

If you want music from your iPod, phone, PSP or laptop as a permanent fixture in a room, or want to use it for a party, then the X-Mini II is probably not for you. Apart from anything else, the volume will probably not be loud enough. However, if you want something you can chuck into your suitcase for holidays/weekend breaks/camping trips/festivals, then at under 14 quid from Amazon, this product is a no-brainer. Just a cracking little piece of kit that does exactly what it says on the tin. Brilliant.

Garmin Nuvi 265W Widescreen Satellite Navigation System with Full EU Mapping and Bluetooth
Garmin Nuvi 265W Widescreen Satellite Navigation System with Full EU Mapping and Bluetooth

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent sat nav, decent price, 7 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I opted for Garmin because I had read that they were highly compatible with Macs and knew I would need to download map updates onto my computer. So, to start with, the free map upgrades. You get 30 days in which to update your maps for free. This was a painless process (apart from a power cut 10 minutes from the end of the initial download but I can't blame Garmin for that). The only annoyance has already been mentioned by previous reviewers - you can't select the complete European map download, because there is not enough memory on the 265W. This seems to be a pretty stupid oversight and if Garmin wanted to irritate new customers, then they will almost certainly succeed because of this limitation. I therefore selected 'Western Europe', which includes the UK, R.O.I., France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal etc. I doubt I'll ever take my car any further than this, so for me personally, it is not a huge problem, but something people should be aware of. The download worked really well, but took around 4-5 hours due to the size of the map data.

The first time I used the product, I was picking my daughter up from a rowing club at midnight. I had no idea where the club was and did not know the area it was located in, so I inserted the post code into the 265W and set off. The map detail is very clear (I think the widescreen really helps in this respect) and the voice instructions are clear and given in plenty of time in case you need to adjust your road position. Knowing I was very close to the rowing club, I approached a roundabout and was given a voice instruction to take the fourth exit. The directional arrow on the screen confirmed that this meant I was being asked to go back the way I had just come. I followed the instructions which were then asking me to take a left turn off the dual carriageway I was on. There was no left turn. I proceeded to the next roundabout and retraced my steps, this time taking the third exit at the roundabout rather than the fourth. Sure enough, shortly afterwards I arrived at the rowing club.

This was obviously a glitch in the mapping but it was slightly unnerving to encounter an error the first time I used the product. However, having seen similar issues with friends' sat navs (from various manufacturers), I think this is just a typical sat nav anomaly - they are simply not perfect and you should always use them with this in mind.

I haven't marked the Garmin 265W down too much, because as I say, the mapping and voice commands are very good and the menu is incredibly easy to use and highly intuitive. I'm guessing I was just slightly unlucky in that the location I wanted was off the beaten track. The service and price from Amazon was excellent (as always) and the window mount works well. That said, I have subsequently ordered the Garmin Universal Friction Mount (also available from Amazon) to avoid the tell-tale windscreen marks that appear to act as such a magnet to petty thieves.

I haven't, as yet, used the Bluetooth hands-free system, so cannot comment on this function.

Despite my initial issue on my first trip, I would recommend the Garmin Nuvi 265W. At under £100 from Amazon, it's probably as good a deal as you'll find if you're looking for a good quality sat nav for your car.

The Seldom Seen Kid (Deluxe Edition)
The Seldom Seen Kid (Deluxe Edition)
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £14.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of the class, 26 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Master: "You boy, describe Elbow's new album in one word."

Me: "Majestic, magnificent, uplifting, beautiful, sublime, consummate, supreme, stunning, exquisite."

Master: "Stupid boy! I said one word - I counted nine!"

Me: "But they all apply equally Sir - just pick the one you like best."
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2008 9:51 PM BST

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