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Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain)
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Wright's Baking Parmesan & Sun Dried Tomato Bread Mix 500G
Wright's Baking Parmesan & Sun Dried Tomato Bread Mix 500G
Offered by Leading Brands Worldwide
Price: 2.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy-bake bread, no machine needed, 6 May 2014
This made a brick-sized loaf of brilliant bread in around 90 minutes. Just needed a loaf tin; no yeast and no complications. This is an interesting mix which produced a really tasty loaf -- we added seeds to the mix and to the top of the loaf as well, which increased the flavour.
We used a normal oven but apparently the mix works just as well in a bread-making machine.
You add water, mix, knead for five mins, leave it to rise for half an hour and then bake it for another half an hour.
After several different attempts, we've found the loaf rises better if you give it an extra 10 mins rising, and we get a better crust with an extra 10 mins in the oven.

End product was very tasty; quite dense, but rose really well (more than doubled in size). Nice crust without being ludicrously chewy. Easy to slice (didn't crumble or collapse). And it's a chunky meal on its own -- probably needs eating fairly soon after baking cos it would be quite hard going when old, I suspect. We warmed it through again to finish the loaf on the second day.
We'll definitely be trying some of the other Wright's varieties. Love the idea that you can add your own ingredients (seed, nuts, fruit) to make it a proper home recipe.
Not for people who like very thin, fluffy white bread -- but a good impersonation of an artisan loaf, with the satisfaction of having baked it yourself.
8/10


Fruitbowl Strawberry Peelers Multi-Packs 20 g (Pack of 12, Total 36 Peelers)
Fruitbowl Strawberry Peelers Multi-Packs 20 g (Pack of 12, Total 36 Peelers)
Price: 20.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mega helping of chewy fruit snacks, 6 May 2014
These are utterly delicious. I've been nibbling away on School Bars, made from concentrated fruit by the same people, for a couple of years. But these are WAY NICER. Almost too nice, in fact. Hard to have just one!

The flavours are really intense and actually do taste of fruit, not artificial anything. Each pack contains three separate 'sticks' and each stick peels into six thin strips. The strips are pretty chewy and ridiculously moreish.
The 'sticks' are wrapped individually so are easy to include in a lunch box, or keep a couple in the car or bag without making a hideous sticky mess. They do tend to cling to your teeth a bit, mind.
Each 'stick' is only 70 kcals each which means they're very low impact treat. You could have four of these for the amount of calories in a small bar of chocolate... and I'm starting to think they may be almost as enjoyable.
Plus, Fruit Peelers count as a portion of fruit towards the Five A Day. Which makes them nearly perfect - for me, anyway. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that they may (naturally) contain quite a bit of sugar, so parents might want to make sure kids brush their teeth afterwards -- as with fruit juice and so on.

The strawberry flavour is the least spiky: raspberry has a bit more kick and the blackcurrant type are really tangy (almost sharp, but not quite).
Buying them in big bundles is the efficient way of buying them to save on delivery costs -- they have a long shelf life so you can buy heaps of packs and keep them in a cupboard.

9/10


Samsung Flip Cover for Galaxy S4 Zoom - White
Samsung Flip Cover for Galaxy S4 Zoom - White
Offered by Olympus International Ltd
Price: 17.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick access protective cover, 6 May 2014
The cost of this made me cringe a bit when I bought it, but I'm now pleased that we opted for the official Samsung cover because it functions perfectly with the phone.
This means that when you flip open the cover, the phone activates automatically -- and better, when you close the cover, the phone goes back to sleep. Simple, but brilliant.
Fitting is a bit fiddly as you need to attach the hard plastic lens cover to the wallet, but once you've done it then it stays permanently in place. You remove the lens cover to take a pic, and it dangles on its loop, leaving your hands free. The full-length wallet cover protects the touch screen, and all the function buttons are easily usable through the wallet.
We opted for the black wallet with the white phone, and have to say it looks pretty cute.

UPDATE; so after a few weeks of use, we found that although this cover gives you instant access to the phone if it rings, the case does tend to flop open and activate the screen if it's dropped into a car cubby or similar. We also felt the phone was just a little bit vulnerable. So we've added a second cover -- a slip-on soft neoprene pouch for extra weather and rattle-around protection. If you don't want to spend a fortune, then the neoprene pouch would probably do 90% of the work on its own (it's a Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Case Blue Neoprene Pouch Cover With Caseflex Logo), although it does make getting to the phone a wee bit fiddly.

So we're happy using both together, but would say that the flip case is best suited for people who always carry their phones securely in a pocket, and need quick access to it.
7/10


Alberto Balsam Coconut & Lychee Shampoo 400ML
Alberto Balsam Coconut & Lychee Shampoo 400ML
Offered by Leading Brands Worldwide
Price: 1.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super scent: lovely condition hair, 4 May 2014
For a product at the cheaper end of the hair-care market, this matched shampoo and conditioner set is really effective and very pleasant. Quite a strong but not overpowering scent. Lathers well and rinses out fully. I used it all last summer on long hair which goes in the sea three times a week -- lovely, glossy and easy to comb results.
Ideal with the matching conditioner which is equally good value.
I've tried these back to back with much posher brands which sell for a fiver a bottle, and my hair is just as clean and manageable with the Alberto Balsam products!

You just need to be a bit careful with the bottles if you travel, because the lids have a tendency to work loose. (The caps just push shut; and the whole lid came come off). After one bottle leaked, my luggage smells lovely now but was a gooey mess to sort out!

This brand is frequently discounted at supermarkets and bigger chemists. So worth checking prices locally, too.
8/10


Decompression
Decompression
Price: 7.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suffocation of the self..., 4 May 2014
This review is from: Decompression (Kindle Edition)
This powerful psychodrama combines the serene rapture of the underwater environment with the claustrophobic collapse of identity under pressure. It’s unpredictable, offbeat and edgy; unsettling and almost incidentally erotic...

Zeh introduces a pair of snakes into paradise when a fractious couple come to learn scuba diving at an isolated holiday village in the Canary Islands, where outcasts from society seek refuge from modern life. Self-centred Sven the diving instructor has held himself at a distance from everyone in his adult life. He’s abandoned a career in the law; shuns his homeland, sneers at his countrymen and barely commits the time of day to his long-term relationship with a woman who has loved him since she was a child.
Enter Jola, a physically compelling but emotionally insecure magnetic young actress, whose sexual manipulations and emotional machinations destroy Sven’s defences and leave him frighteningly vulnerable. Jola wields her sexuality and her vulnerability as potent weapons, goading her partner Theo at one moment and seeking his support the next. They are like the couple from hell at a dinner party, constantly sniping at each other, and ensnaring any unwary bystanders in their escalating conflict. The violence threatens to tip from verbal to physical at any moment – and inevitably, blood will be spilled…
Zeh brilliantly sets all this discord against the deep blue background of the churning Atlantic ocean. Chaotic on the surface, it provides moments of tranquil rapture during the dives which adds to the disconcerting and destabilising effect of the narrative. The story is mainly told from Sven’s perspective – but then we’re shown an alternative interpretation of events as they unfold. We’re uncertain of which account represents reality, if indeed either version can be trusted. What is obvious is that not everyone will survive this encounter intact, and there’s bound to be more than emotional wreckage as the competing egos batter against each other.
(More thoughts on the plot and characters at murdermayhem.net)
The writing in Decompression is sharp and precise, and almost every page contains an insightful observation or a turn of phrase to make the reader pause and admire – especially impressive as it’s translated from German. That translation is close to faultless; there’s maybe one or two moments in the entire book where a word feels out of place, but in the main it’s resoundingly consistent in maintaining the tense, troubling atmosphere which threatens to drown the dreams of the core characters.
Intelligent and absorbing, Decompression is easily Juli Zeh’s most accessible novel to date. It’s nothing like as weird as her earlier novel, Dark Matter (which I also adored), but still strays far from the path of the typical action-adventure crime-thriller.

This is deep water: be prepared to submerge yourself in its turbulent mind-set.
9/10


Monarch [DVD]
Monarch [DVD]
Dvd ~ TP McKenna
Price: 9.14

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated, sub-Shakespearian stage play, 1 May 2014
This review is from: Monarch [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Given that I adore theatre, history, RSC and Elizabethan-era productions and so on, this remastered version of a 1990s 'filmed stage play' set in Tudor England should've been right up my alley. Instead, I simply couldn't engage with the extremely outdated presentation.
It was made 20 years ago but honestly feels like it's an escapee from the 1950s. The performances are stilted and shouted, like some of the worst regional theatre productions. What accent are these people talking in? It’s worse than watching Mel Gibson murdering Hamlet.
The opening sequences which might have worked on stage, and show characters sneaking around a manor house, look ridiculous on screen. Bizarrely, the day before we watched 'Rome, Open City' which was filmed in 1948 and which felt far more modern!
I appreciate I’m probably committing some sort of heresy here, but as a confirmed film fan (watch half a dozen most weeks) and theatre-goer, this somehow left me cold. It really demonstrated how far films of this type have come in the last two decades – really doesn’t stand any comparison to something like Coriolanus or Caesar Must Die.
One for dedicated fans of the director, I suspect.
6/10


PROFESSIONAL Long Handled Shoe Horn - Personally Adjustable 16" to 31" - Top Quality, Very Strong, Stainless Steel, Extra-Long Telescopic, Long Metal Shoe Horns, Extendable, Designer-Style - Light-Weight Shoe Spoon Ideal for All Types of Shoes, Boots & Footwear - 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE & LIFETIME WARRANTY
PROFESSIONAL Long Handled Shoe Horn - Personally Adjustable 16" to 31" - Top Quality, Very Strong, Stainless Steel, Extra-Long Telescopic, Long Metal Shoe Horns, Extendable, Designer-Style - Light-Weight Shoe Spoon Ideal for All Types of Shoes, Boots & Footwear - 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE & LIFETIME WARRANTY
Offered by Living Concept
Price: 19.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good!, 1 May 2014
We were initially pretty sceptical about this product. My fella uses a shoe-horn every day as he has both a damaged back and knee, so can’t bend or swivel. For years he has used a rigid plastic moulded shoe-horn with a long handle, and it’s been fine.
When the telescopic one arrived it looked quite flimsy and we weren’t certain that it would be any easier to use. After a month of daily use we have to admit that it’s actually very clever, and really has made his life a lot easier.

Here’s why:
*the bendy-flexibility of the stem helps slide the tang behind his heel without him having to twist his body
*the tang itself is very slim and flexible so ‘forgives’ him when his foot is in slightly the wrong place. It’s much better than a rigid tang at easing the foot into the shoe
*the telescopic function makes the extended device much longer than most shoe horns, so he has to bend less

He did need to think about how to use this new widget to get the best from it – you can use it facing either way but it definitely works best for him in one direction.
We do still have some reservations, about price (you can get rigid long-handled shoe horns for a fiver, after all), and about its durability. No problems as yet, but we do wonder how robust the bendy bits are going to be in the long term. Will update this review if anything untoward occurs…
Truthfully, if this lasts a couple of years then it would probably be worth the current price of around 13 to us, simply because it’s made one of those awkward daily faffing tasks a bit less stressful, and makes my bloke feel somewhat less like a great clumsy oaf who canna do up his own shoes without assistance!

7/10


No More Heroes (The Crossover Series Book 1)
No More Heroes (The Crossover Series Book 1)
Price: 2.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior supernatural sleuthing, 30 April 2014
Mix together murder-mystery, a police procedural and urban fantasy and No More Heroes is what you get: an up-to-date fantasy fable set in an imaginary world of `what if'. It's an attention-grabbing opening episode which establishes a solid central character - one of the few remaining Heroes of the title - whose job is rather more mundane than that name suggests. Part gumshoe detective, part supernatural sleuth, part parole officer, his task is to monitor the Villains who have turned over a new leaf in the city of Asphodel, where fictional characters go when their stories otherwise end. Inevitably, we join the story just as everything goes pear-shaped.
No More Heroes succeeds in establishing a credible and intriguing universe; one which the author doesn't over-explain but where the background is gradually revealed as the plot progresses. And that plot fair scampers along - this is an all-action affair, barely pausing for breath between violent encounters with underworld thugs, the beasts known as Legion and magic-wielding weirdos.

(Further detail on the plot and characters can be found at murdermayhemandmore.net)

Chapman's writing is crisp and accessible. He successfully portrays personalities and original situations with pithy prowess - you'll find plenty of laconic one-liners in here and, no matter how dire the situation, there's always a thread of humour to hand... be it bleak at times.
The editing and presentation on NMH are considerably better than you find on many debut novels from small publishers. The occasional grammatical glitch sneaks through (your and you're being the most wince-worthy examples) but the text is otherwise admirably clean and suitably formatted for easy reading. For a first novel, NMH is an admirable package and it was refreshing to read an introductory episode which satisfactorily concludes an entire adventure - no cliff-hanger here; we get an entire story in this one volume although it's obvious that there's more to come.

So if you're hankering after old-style Harry Dresden (sorry; that comparison was always going to be inevitable), then add No More Heroes to your reading list.

7/10


Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel Book 1)
Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned Prequel Book 1)
Price: 5.31

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill military romp, 22 April 2014
The reviews and blurb promise a lot but I didn't feel that Andromeda's Fall really delivered. The heroine's personal journey from spoiled socialite to bad-ass soldier is pretty much GI Jane in space -- except all of the action is planet-bound so there's precious little 'space opera' in here.

The cyborg fighting machines are interesting, mind, as are the bad-guy synth robots, on a mission to seek out and destroy all those who might possibly oppose the new galactic empress. But none of the characters really developed into multi-faceted people: they just seem to have a role to fulfil to push the plot along from one conflict to the next. And there are plenty of shoot 'em up scenes involving rebels, natives and invading aliens. But why is the military hardware so basic, given that humans have space flight and are struggling against an alien opponent?
The underlying Foreign Legion plot is by the numbers; from boot-camp bullying to an unreasonable number of field promotions with a smattering of military jargon thrown around to make it feel realistic. Myke Cole's Control Point series feel much more credible and have a hard-edged, dry-eyed grit to them. Andromeda sneaks off for a good cry now and then, disobeys orders and develops a crush on a superior officer. She somehow inspires her squad without really demonstrating any leadership qualities, and gets away with making some truly dismal tactical decisions.

Overall, it passed an afternoon on the sofa... but I probably won't bother with the others in this series.
6/10
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2014 12:11 PM BST


The Rupert Ratio Unit Single Manual: Volume 2: Everything but the Engine BSA C15, B40, B25, B44, B50, Triumph TR25W
The Rupert Ratio Unit Single Manual: Volume 2: Everything but the Engine BSA C15, B40, B25, B44, B50, Triumph TR25W
by Rupert Ratio
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expert in-depth reference work, 20 April 2014
Many moons ago, ‘Rupert Ratio’ of the BSA Owners’ Club produced an invaluable manual, an extremely detailed hands-on guide to maintaining, rebuilding and trouble-shooting the Unit Single engine. That extensive and informative book became the must-have accessory for all owners of late Beesa singles and is widely accepted as THE work of reference for all the models, C15, B25, B40, B44, B50 and even their very close relative, the Triumph TR25W.
The first book only covered the unit single engine and none of the cycle of chassis parts, so if you needed any technical advice about anything other than the motor then you had to resort to other, less detailed sources of information.

Now that situation has been remedied with this new publication, another extensive practical handbook which examines the single-cylinder BSAs from tip to tail-light. It’s no surprise that this book took a while to put together – the author must have burned plenty of midnight oil trying to condense his experience as the BSAOC’s long-standing technical officer into 335 densely-packed pages.
The well-illustrated and comprehensive chapters cover everything from correctly identifying your machine, through brakes, hub, wheels, forks, chains, exhausts, filters, electrics and instruments. The author relies heavily on his three decades of experience with these bikes and has avoided simply regurgitating chunks of other manuals and publications – instead you get his personal experience and advice about which methods, components and techniques have proved successful over the years. He’s also included chunks of invaluable technical data from original factory records.
Almost every single page contains a carefully captioned image – and many of the black-and-white photos are of components as they appear now, 40 years old and frequently a bit battered. This is deliberately done to reassure owners that their parts are not the only ones which might be a bit wonky! Images like the ones showing five different types of fork yokes or two alternative kinds of gear lever are incredibly helpful to the restorer, especially if your project arrived as a pile of separate parts and you’re not certain exactly which ones really belong with your bike…

What this book most definitely is NOT is a glossy, colour coffee-table publication. It's not a marque history nor a model guide (although you learn absolutely heaps about the background to the bikes by reading any of the sections). it doesn't discuss the different merits of the various models, but it does provide you with all the info you need to actually get one back on the road and keep it there.
The text is clean, clear, easy to read and comprehensible. It leans towards the technical, as you would expect from a practical manual of this type.
Totally recommended by a BSA B25 owner...

9/10


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