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hfffoman (Kent)
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Braun Silk Epil 9 9-549 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 4 Extras
Braun Silk Epil 9 9-549 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 4 Extras
Price: £104.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Painful but effective, 29 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a well designed epilator that does what is says on the box. if someone tells you it is less painful to epilate than to wax, don't believe them. It is just as excruciating, especially the first time.
I tried epilating on dry skin, in the shower and on damp skin just after the shower. For me, epilating just after the shower, and after scrubbing, was the least painful option. Having said that I still can't bear the pain of epilating underarms, it is just too painful. On legs the pain felt a bit less intense each time I used it, perhaps because I knew what to expect and mentally prepared for it.

The two different heads work very well. The massaging one is most efficient if you have more hairs, while the smooth one is great if you want to remove a few. Always scrub in the shower, otherwise you will end
up with a few ingrown hairs.

The effect lasts for about 10 days. In that time it feels absolutely hair free, and smooth.

Although it isn't cheap, it is cost-effectiveIf. I have never tried waxing at home, always in
a salon for which the cost will quickly exceed the cost of the epilator. Plus, the epilator gives you the convenience of getting hair-free legs at any time, in the comfort of your home, or while you are on holiday.

The parts are detachable, making it easy to clean.

The face brush is a little bonus. I wouldn't have bought it separately, but together they make a nice kit, neatly
stored in a white bag.

(From Ms Hfffoman)


Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Lime and Mint Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Dettol Antibacterial Surface Cleanser Lime and Mint Spray 750 ml (Pack of 3)
Price: £8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A good product but it's not a cleaner, 28 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is easy to mistake this for a household cleaner but it is not. It is a disinfectant. Its purpose is to kill germs which often contaminate clean surfaces. It will clean to some extent (so will warm water) but it does not clean as well as typical cleaners which come in similar bottles (the one I compared it with was Sainsburys household cleaner). Unlike cleaners it does not require rinsing.

Ideally you should spray this on clean surfaces without using a cloth. If you use a cloth that has already been used for cleaning it will almost certainly add germs, defeating the purpose.

I give this 5 stars because the 99.9% claim is a standardised test under controlled conditions. You can trust it. Achieving that level of disinfectant on a surface you can then prepare food on is an achievement.

There is some debate about whether you should go around trying to eradicate all germs. Evidence has recently been gathering for the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that the absence of germs for the immune system to work on is responsible for the rise in hayfever, allergies, asthma and various joint problems.


Gillette Fusion ProGlide Manual Razor Starter Kit with Flexball Technology--Pack of 1
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Manual Razor Starter Kit with Flexball Technology--Pack of 1
Price: £15.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Perspective of a cheap blade user, 19 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I usually use cheap plastic disposable blades and tried this review sample as an experiment.

It is well made and the way it cuts is noticeably superior to cheap razors. It's also better than one or two more expensive ones I have tried. When it gets clogged up, tapping it against the sink unclogs them. That doesn't work with the cheap blades I normally use. I also noticed that cheap double and triple blades, one blade does all the cutting, making the extra blades pointless. With this one, you can see that all the blades are working.

The head is much bigger than simple disposables and more difficult to guide around the mouth. With practice it became easier. I am not convinced that the double swivel action is helpful. With a fixed blade it isn't difficult to follow the contours of your skin. However, it does seem to be quicker to shave.

There is one thing that will make more difference to your shaving than any razor. Bristle softens if it is soaked in water for 5 minutes. Shave after showering or washing your hair, taking care not to let your face dry and a cheap blade will do as well as an expensive one. This works much better than shaving cream so will save you a lot of time. Since it works so well, I will save myself the money and go back to cheap blades. However I am impressed with this product.


5 Star Highlighters Chisel Tip 1-4mm Line Assorted [Wallet 6]
5 Star Highlighters Chisel Tip 1-4mm Line Assorted [Wallet 6]
Offered by Office Nerd
Price: £3.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money but not as bright, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I compared this side by side with Stabilo Boss. I was surprised that the Stabilo Boss colour was a lot brighter and more attractive. I am not sure if it will show in the photo but the Stabilo, the top one, really is much better.

For all that, for highlighting the colour doesn't matter that much and these are excellent value for money
Comment Comment | Permalink


5 Star Premier Envelope Wallet Polypropylene A4 Translucent Assorted (Pack of 25)
5 Star Premier Envelope Wallet Polypropylene A4 Translucent Assorted (Pack of 25)
Price: £7.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Generally good, with pros and cons, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am generally pleased with these. They folders are very attractive in bright translucent colours which you can see through to identify the contents. They offer one huge advantage over cardboard folders in that you can stuff them into a bag and they will protect the papers they contain while bending enough to avoid getting damaged.

They have a couple of disadvantages over the carboard type. They are very slippery making them hard to handle in any number. If you stack them together, they start to slide before the stack gets very big. If you like to label your files you will need to stick a label on them which will spoil that nice translucent look.

There seems to be disagreement among reviewers over their durability. I think the plastic is quite thin and not very durable. I will be surprised if they last anywhere near as long as cardboard folders.


Europa Document Wallet Half Flap 300 Micron Capacity 32mm Foolscap Assortment A - Ref 4790 (Pack 25)
Europa Document Wallet Half Flap 300 Micron Capacity 32mm Foolscap Assortment A - Ref 4790 (Pack 25)
Price: £14.31

4.0 out of 5 stars A safe buy, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have accumulated about ten different brands of folders like these. A couple were flimsy and led me to avoid buying cheap ones. A couple stood out as superior to the others. This set is with all the rest in the middle. They are good enough though not the best. For appearance they are in the top two or three. The bright glossy colours are very attractive.

They are larger than A4. The extra size is necessary in order to let them fit a thick wad of A4 papers.


The Tea Makers of London Organic Dragon Well Longjing (Lung Ching) Green Tea 100 g Caddy
The Tea Makers of London Organic Dragon Well Longjing (Lung Ching) Green Tea 100 g Caddy
Offered by The Tea Makers of London
Price: £12.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dragonwell is my favourite type of tea. I find it has more flavour than other green teas and no bitterness. I was disappointed with this one. The flavour is weaker than the others I have tried and has a slight edge. You can see by looking at the leaves that they are grubby and look like the dregs of a box or perhaps the picking or processing was substandard. You can just about see it in the photo - this one is on the left and a more typical one on the right. In real life, there is a very large difference between the two.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Narcissus and Goldmund (Peter Owen Modern Classics)
Narcissus and Goldmund (Peter Owen Modern Classics)
by Hermann Hesse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite writers but this one didn't work for me, 16 Mar. 2015
If you don't know Hesse's work, please look at the last two paragraphs of this review. His writing is unusual and, regardless of whether you agree with my view of this particular book, it is worth knowing what to expect.

You could call me a fan of Hesse. I read The Prodigy, Journey to the East and Siddhartha as a young adult and put them high up my list of favourite books. I recently read his fairy tales and found them delightful. But I didn't enjoy Narcissus and Goldmund. I am delighted that other reviewers enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed other books by Hesse, and I won't say their glowing reviews are mistaken - but, although Narcissus and Goldmund is clever and well written, I found its message uninspiring and tediously laboured. I only finished it out of sense of loyalty.

Hesse's early novel, The Prodigy, is grounded in reality. The later Journey to the East and Siddhartha are elevated right out of reality into allegory and spirituality. It felt to me that Narcissus and Goldmund sits uncomfortably in between. It describes many events with realistic detail but it also makes enormous assumptions that are obviously not intended to be remotely realistic. I have no problem with that in principle but the mix of realism and unrealism didn't work for me and I think that is why I found it impossible to empathise with Goldmund as I had, for example, with Siddhartha and the eponymous Prodigy.

For those who don't know Hesse, please be aware that the book contains many sections devoid of dialogue or narrative events. It often feels like a summary or essay and even the narrative sections are more reflective than vivid, as though Hesse found them an interruption before returning to the real business of describing states of mind. He deals largely with spiritual themes, particularly the search for meaning in life, rejection of conventional material life and, in this novel, the fragility of life.

If you are interested in Hesse you may like The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham, which approaches similar themes in a modern setting and a more prosaic style.


Schubert: Goethe Lieder (DG The Originals)
Schubert: Goethe Lieder (DG The Originals)
Price: £7.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond words, 8 Mar. 2015
I was privileged to hear him sing these in the Barbican years ago. He was late by the best part of an hour, sang for what seemed like a shorter period than the wait, and left. It was one of the most remarkable musical experiences I have ever enjoyed. It sounds silly to say this but compared with another version I had been listening to, Fischer Dieskau was noticeably superior literally in every note. Not only was the quality of his voice amazing but the phrasing, the feeling, the expression the subtlety, was the work of a genius.

For more detailed comment, read David Bryson's review. It is as good as he says.


Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Altered Carbon (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Richard K. Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First rate science fiction crammed into an airport thriller, 7 Mar. 2015
I will be happy if half the readers of this review recognise the book is not for them while the other half read it and love it. I won't give away anything about the story.

The book explores what might happen to mankind with supremely advanced AI and neuroscience. It is full of intelligent, interesting ideas about the practical consequences of the technology as well as the moral implications. I felt the ideas sat uncomfortably in a novel packed with extreme graphic violence and grossly crude graphic sex which make it feel like an airport thriller if not explicitly directed at teenagers.

On the other hand, the plot is extremely clever. Nearly every passing detail turns into a jigsaw piece or the hinge around which some twist is wound. If you love that kind of cleverness, you may love it. If you want to relax and enjoy reading it, the number of twists and puzzles may wear you down. To me, it felt too clever. I was constantly noticing possible inconsistencies and worrying that some of the explanations didn't seem to work. Many of these turned out to be resolved but I was left uncertain about some.

The story is set in the 25th century and the changes in technology, law, morality, and lifestyle could have taken half the book to explain. The writer has chosen a first person narrator who assumes familiarity with the world so there is no explanation. This is perfectly natural and gives a realistic feel. If you wrote an autobiography you wouldn't pitch it at an Elizabethan reader. You gradually pick up what is going on with technology and society, though many of the cultural and historical references remain obscure. But I found the combination of piecing together the world as well as the jigsaw puzzle of a story made it all a bit of a mental exercise.

Don't take this as a negative review. First, I listened to the audible version (which is superbly read) and it might be more suitable for reading in one sitting on a long flight. Second, I did get quite absorbed in it and I am even tempted to read the sequel.


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