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hfffoman (Kent)
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Bosch AQT 33-11 High Pressure Washer
Bosch AQT 33-11 High Pressure Washer
Price: £64.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and convenient with reasonable performance, 31 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Bosch AQT 33-11 is a small pressure washer with an electrical power input of 1300 watts and a quoted pressure of 74 bar. It is also light in weight , only 4.5 kg. It came with one accessory, a detergent bottle, useful for instance when cleaning a car. The quality of the construction appears to be sound and gave me a feeling of confidence when using it and that there would be no danger in handling the high pressure.

I found it easy to assemble from new using the multilingual instruction book and its word-free diagrams apart from one (trivial?) problem. The handbook gives a list of what it says are important symbols together with their meanings; amongst them were “Lo”, meaning Low Pressure, and “Hi” meaning High Pressure. But having completed assembly and read the instructions from start to finish I could find no subsequent reference to these symbols anywhere in the instructions. This caused me some anxiety and some wasted time until I decided to ignore the matter. The booklet
also gives a page of pictures of available accessories but without explanation of what they are.

I tested the washer on a soiled patio of Indian sandstone which has some fungus covering it and compared its performance with an old washer of 1.65 watts and pressure 130 bar. There was a barely perceptible, and certainly insignificant, difference in cleaning performance. Neither of them
managed to remove one particular type of small black spot fungus scattered about on the slabs. The Bosch, however, suffered in comparison from its lack of a range of jet shapes which means it is not as easy to adapt the spread of jet to the strength of the dirt. On the other hand it does have the convenience of a detergent dispenser which my old one does not.

A pleasing feature of the design of the Bosch is the convenient arrangement for stacking it away. The hose, the cable and the various bits all fit neatly into appropriate slots making it very easy to carry and stow away in a limited space, eliminating the usual tangle of cable and tube. This is
enhanced by its light weight.

I would not hesitate to recommend this machine unless you have a particular requirement for higher pressures.


Fern Verrow: Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
Fern Verrow: Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
by Harry Astley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive and easy, would make a good gift, 31 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a large, heavy, book with a present-like
feel.

The story and recipes are written by a couple who moved to a farm in
Heredfordshire and cultivated their land.The book follows a year of
growing and cooking. It is divided into four elements/seasons,
according to the principles of feng-shui - Earth, Water, Air, Fire -
representing four seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. All of
the recipes are seasonal vegetables and dishes - stews in winter,
salads in spring and summer. They have meat and fish recipes too, and
cakes and non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks which you can make at
home. The book also has beautiful pictures of the local nature,
the fields, the animals, and the visually appealing food of the recipes.

In contrast to many modern recipe books the recipes here are non-fussy, and easy to make. It reminded me a bit of a Jamie Oliver's
cook book I have - home cooked food, but this one is more a work of
art, that you can keep, look at and get inspired to cook by.

It also has a very nice section on Christmas food and (for those who care about that kind of thing) an endorsement from celebrity chef Nigel Slater.


Philips HX8372/51 Sonicare Air Floss Pro Rechargeable Power Flosser with 250 ml Listerine
Philips HX8372/51 Sonicare Air Floss Pro Rechargeable Power Flosser with 250 ml Listerine
Price: £93.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Won't work miracles but useful for some people, 22 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I will start with the summary. I recommend this for people who:

a) find flossing the old fashioned way too much trouble but are prepared to try an easier alternative; OR

b) are concerned about their teeth enough to use this as well as flossing.
I also recommend using alcohol free mouthwash with fluoride regularly (ideally every time you eat or drink anything sweet)

Now the detail. On the positive side, it is easy to assemble, and easy to use, does make your teeth cleaner and is generally more pleasant to use than dental floss. On the negative side, there are a few minor niggles: you have to replace the nozzles after 6 months; it is inconveniently large for travel; you have to be careful to avoid getting mouthwash all over the place. Also there are two nozzles but they look identical. I don’t know why they didn’t make them different colours so that two people could use one each.

There are different opinions on how it performs compared with flossing. I don’t believe you can get rid of as much physical matter using a jet as you can with the old fashioned method. On the other hand it may have some advantages as the action is so different. As I have reached the stage where years of abuse have caught up with my teeth making me keen to look after them, I think it’s worth using this as well as flossing.

I agree with the reviewer who said the mouthwash is a gimmick. The aim is to remove material from between your teeth. Mouthwash won’t help that. Of course mouthwash is good for your teeth but you can use it separately just as effectively, which is what I do after flossing anyway.


Philips HC9450/13 Series 9000 Hair Clipper with Motorised Adjustable Comb
Philips HC9450/13 Series 9000 Hair Clipper with Motorised Adjustable Comb
Price: £75.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality clippers without a pouch, 14 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A good set of clippers. They are light, easy to use and attractively designed. The cut is good and titanium blades are good quality and should stay sharp for a long time.

You adjust the length electronically with a virtual dial that remembers your settings. Some people will like this while others may consider it a gimmick. The length can be set accurately to 0.1mm which in my view is way superior to settings for "number two", "number three" etc but if you do want those settings you will have to look up the conversion elsewhere.

You can use them with or without a cord. The battery charges quickly and lasts long enough. you can use them with a cord if you forget to charge and are in a hurry but cordless is much easier.

It comes with three different comb attachments which they inexplicably fail to provide a carry pouch for. If you are as organised as me you will probably lose them before long. This is not quite enough to deduct a star so I still give them 5 for the all round high quality. Please note, I am reviewing the product itself, not giving an opinion on the price.


Tefal IS3361 Instant Steam Garment Steamer
Tefal IS3361 Instant Steam Garment Steamer
Price: £99.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good quick alternative to ironing, 13 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's not a replacement for a normal iron as it doesn't give that neat flat look but it is quick and easy to use and does get rid of creases and it has the bonus that it freshens up fabrics. It's also relatively good value - cheaper than my iron.

The frame is well designed and made. It is easy to assemble, lightweight and has a good quality locking mechanism that lets you adjust the height and quickly fix the sliding tubes into place. The plastic parts at the top feel a bit flimsy to me. I could imagine them breaking.

The main advantage of it is speed. That means, as another reviewer said, you aren't going to put it away every time you use it, and that means it is going to fill up a corner of your house. For me, that is the main question mark over it: do you want another floor standing item cluttering your house? However, that isn't Tefal's fault so it wouldn't be fair to take off a star for it.

One note of caution: it's not dangerous if you are careful but I think it would be easy to scald yourself if you don't watch what you are doing.


Oral-B Ultra Floss 25m x 6 Packs
Oral-B Ultra Floss 25m x 6 Packs
Offered by Dental Direct UK
Price: £9.85

2.0 out of 5 stars A failed experiment, 13 July 2015
I would never have thought of writing a review of such a trivial thing as dental floss if I had not been so irritated by this one. I have been flossing every day for years and Oral B is my favourite type. This one seems to be a failed experiment in product development.

It has a spongy texture which is claimed to expand once between your teeth and absorb more dirt. This seems to be a gimmick that cannot work because the floss stretches and loses all its sponginess when you pull it.

The floss alternates between plain sections and sections coated in a blue material. You are supposed to hold the white parts and use the blue bit for contact with your teeth. But the blue part comprises only 12% of the total length. That means you are wasting at least 88%. I normally get much more efficiency than that from floss.

On top of that it is weak and often snaps.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2015 1:50 PM BST


Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills
Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills
by George Siedel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Best with the online course, 8 July 2015
This book explains complex issues of limitation, mediation, and conflict resolution in an easy to digest, simplified form. The emphasis is on international negotiation. It is designed to accompany the author's video course which is available free on Coursera and the two work well in conjunction. I wouldn't have bought it if I hadn't been doing the course.

If you just want to read a book, I would recommend the YES book in preference as this one is quite dry and boring in comparison. Alternatively, Getting to Yes is an excellent short introduction to negotiation.


Panasonic RPHXS200EA On Ear Street Headphones - Blue
Panasonic RPHXS200EA On Ear Street Headphones - Blue
Price: £19.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality for the price, 7 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am impressed with the quality of these given the price. The 10-25k frequency response gives a clear accurate sound good enough to listen to classical music. A lot of reviewers were unhappy with the sound, mostly because there isn't enough bass.
The difference in opinion must be due to what we listen to. I listen to classical music and audio books. These require accurate, but not powerful bass.

At first I thought the arm was flimsy and would break. However, it has three hinges, one on the top and one at the join between each speaker and the arm. These give a lot of protection and allow them to fold smaller for carrying around. The size is adjustable and the ear pads swivel in all directions to fit your ear better. They also look nice.

To see how they compare with truly high quality phones I tested them side by side against my Grado Labs SR-80 with piano, orchestral music, opera and audiobook, The Grado produced a warmer sound as well as more volume but it's hardly surprising given they cost 10 times as muchhave a heavy cable compared with the Panasonic's ribbon cable (better than typical 3.5mm cord but not heavy duty).

As other reviewers have noted, the sound proofing isn't very good. They do cut out quite a lot however. The Grado I am used to offer no sound proofing at all and the first thing that struck me when I put on the Panasonic was how much they shut off the outside world. It must depend on what you are used to.

One word of caution - they cling quite tightly to your ears and I found it a bit uncomfortable after a while.


Ibico Basics A4 Medium Laminating Pouch (Pack of 100)
Ibico Basics A4 Medium Laminating Pouch (Pack of 100)
Price: £10.77

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These are relatively good value laminating pouches. They are on the thin side but they work fine if you don't need a rigid or tough finish.


Rexel JOY 25 mm 2D Ring Binder - Pretty Pink
Rexel JOY 25 mm 2D Ring Binder - Pretty Pink
Price: £5.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well made ring binder with sturdy sides nicely finished. It is worth looking around on Amazon for other binders. I bought some made by Esprit which are really nice and also some Herlitz which are adequate quality and a lot cheaper


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