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Reviews Written by
hfffoman (Kent)
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FluidRower Neptune Challenge Fluid Rower (Adjustable Resistance)
FluidRower Neptune Challenge Fluid Rower (Adjustable Resistance)
Offered by Fitness Superstore
Price: £628.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly made, 3 July 2015
As reported by the other reviewer, the resistance is a little light. To get decent exercise I pulled hard on it and it didn't take long before the machine failed. I took it apart and managed to mend it but in the process I found that a key part was hopelessly under-engineered and had completely worn down. Eventually I replaced it with a more expensive fluid rower which is better made but has even lighter resistance.


Kettler Premium Magnetic Rower
Kettler Premium Magnetic Rower
Price: £349.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, good rowing experience, 3 July 2015
I spent many hours on my Kettler and found it an ideal workout: comfortable to sit, decent adjustable feetstraps, an excellent rowing action and a good range of tensions. I also used the more expensive and highly rated Concept 2 in my gym and found the Kettler a much better exercise.

Please note mine was an earlier version. However, it looked the same and this enables me to report that I gave it heavy use and it kept going for many years. When I finally came to replace it I got a water rower which I was less happy with.


Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 - Black
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower with PM5 - Black
Price: £860.00

3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't like it, 3 July 2015
I used this in the gym and I had two different machines of my own at home. Everyone I knew who used rowing machines raves about the Concept 2 but I found the action on my belt driven Kettler much nicer, it was easier to get myself worn out and the seat was more comfortable.
I eventually changed my home machine to a Water Rower which I also preferred to the Concept 2.

I know that I am in the minority but I recommend trying the Concept2 before you buy it in case, like me, you find it's a case of the Emperor's New Clothes.


Tunturi Go Run 50 Motorised Folding Treadmill - Grey/Green
Tunturi Go Run 50 Motorised Folding Treadmill - Grey/Green
Price: £1,000.07

3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but with faults, 3 July 2015
The running experience is generally good and more comfortable than most treadmills I have used in gyms and hotels. It has a good specification and a good guarantee which suggests quality. However, I noticed several things which suggest the engineering is not high quality.

1. Although I had it professionally installed, I was forever fiddling inside it tightening screws and occasionally changing parts.

2. It rattled and banged when I ran on it. I had it replaced and the new one did the same. Neither I nor the engineer ever solved this. Inspecting the inside I traced it to the incline mechanism which was poorly designed. I would recommend getting a model without incline unless you really find it important.

3. The measurement is very inaccurate. To run 5km I had to run until the display registered 5.2km.

Please note that mine is a slightly earlier version of this model. It is possible that they have improved the design. However, if you want to buy a Tunturi machine I would choose one without incline.


Tomy Thomas & Friends Big Loader
Tomy Thomas & Friends Big Loader

5.0 out of 5 stars The most brilliantly designed toy I encountered in 20 years of parenting, 2 July 2015
This is a little train set for very young children. If you are looking for a train set you can play with creatively, this is something different. There is only one way to fit the pieces together and the trains repeat the same endless cycle. But once you realize how clever it is, it takes your breath away. The little pieces of coal follow a complicated cycle of being scooped up , transferred between trains,lifted onto the hopper, collected from the hopper and placed on the ground for collection, and the only control mechanism is a little switch underneath the trains which flips when they pass over a lever. It really is a work of genius and I sincerely hope the person who designed it was given a medal or a promotion.


Cetaphil 473 ml Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil 473 ml Gentle Skin Cleanser
Offered by Medideals
Price: £10.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Feels nice, though not a very nice ingredient list, 2 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Most hand cleansers make my hands horribly dry. This doesn’t. It actually feels better than using soap followed by a moisturiser.

It is quite a strong cleanser and I wouldn’t put it on my face (but then I never put any cleanser on my face - I have been using water for 20 years and…well, I won’t post a photo but I like to think the results back up my method).

It contains parabens and SLS which some people are concerned about. If you are one of those, don’t get it. I spent an hour studying the evidence. There is no definitive answer but this much seems fairly certain:

If there is any risk that it will harm you, the most likely effect will be irritation. It didn’t irritate me but everyone is different. If it does irritate you, then at least you will know and you can stop using it.

Mainstream scientific opinion believes the chemicals in Cetaphil are not a cancer risk. Of course mainstream scientific opinion told us BSE couldn't affect humans. Personally I worry more about what I eat as I believe bad foods are much more dangerous than products like Cetaphil but everyone has to form their own view.

There are other potential risks but most of these are present in many many things we expose ourselves to including most shampoos, toothpastes, perfumes and cosmetics. If you are concerned about these risks the best thing you can do is to put less stuff on your skin. A study showed that phthalates and parabens in pregnant women’s urine was correlated with number of different products they used.

If you are interested in reading more, these articles are good:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/are-parabens-and-phthalates-harmful-in-makeup-and-lotions/2014/08/29/aa7f9d34-2c6f-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/how-dangerous-are-paraben_b_3932609.html


Bosch IXO Cordless Lithium-Ion Screwdriver with 3.6 V Battery, 1.5 Ah
Bosch IXO Cordless Lithium-Ion Screwdriver with 3.6 V Battery, 1.5 Ah
Price: £39.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good screwdriver so long as access isn't awkward, 1 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very nice screwdriver for small jobs around the house where access is not an issue. The motor is powerful and seems to remain strong for a good while once charged. 10 interchangeable bits are included of various sizes not exceeding 5mm: 5 phillips, 1 flat head, 2 star and 2 allen key.

For working with restricted access, longer screwdriver heads would be useful as the ones provided are short and the handle stubby. Having said that, the handle is comfortable to use and it works very well. I give it four stars because it would have been easy to provide longer bits.


Girl In Red
Girl In Red
by Gaye Hicyilmaz
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Social realism at its very best, 30 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Girl In Red (Paperback)
This little gem deserves to be much better known - for some reason it didn't even come up when I typed the title into Amazon.

The publisher's description doesn't do it justice. The story is at the same time deeply sensitive and hauntingly beautiful and starkly realistic. The author gets right into the troubled mind of the lead character. The style reminds me very much of Ruth Thomas (The Runaways, The Secret, Guilty - all of which I recommend equally highly).

Suitable for older children or young teens


The Luck of Troy (Puffin Classics)
The Luck of Troy (Puffin Classics)
by Roger Lancelyn Green
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves the highst possible praise, 30 Jun. 2015
It is disappointing that this minor work of genius is so little known. Roger Lancelyn Green succeeds in writing a story as rich in political intrigue, multilayered motives and deception as Game of Thrones and he does it in a way that is both comprehensible and interesting to an 8 year old. His prose style is a shining example to all children's writers.

It also offers the educational bonus of being faithful to the classic on which it is based.


Heroes of the Valley
Heroes of the Valley
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good but nowhere near Bartimaeus, 29 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read this because I found the Bartimaeus books utterly brilliant. I don't disagree with the comments made by the other reviewers. The descriptions are evocative, the story is deceptively subtle. The idea of a hero with antihero elements works very well and fits nicely with the element of parody.

But don't be mistaken. This does not have the wit, the cleverness, or the sparkling prose of Bartimaeus. I still remember reading the first page of the Amulet of Samarkand and thinking, "Wow, this just grabs me, I don't want to stop". It didn't happen here.


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