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Saffron "Saf" (Buckinghamshire, UK)

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Aeroccino 3 (Milk frother) NESSPRESSO (Black)
Aeroccino 3 (Milk frother) NESSPRESSO (Black)
Offered by E.U. Xtores
Price: 76.99

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How on earth do you clean it?, 5 Feb 2013
First of all let me say that I love love love my Nespresso machine and my Aeroccino. Great-tasting coffee quickly and easily. Having hot, frothy milk is a luxury and the fact that this one uses fresh milk makes it so much nicer than some other brands that use dried milk in pods.
It is really difficult to clean. The interior has a coating that looks like non-stick, so one would imagine a little hot soapy water would do the trick. Not so. I got my Aeroccino in November and it now has two patches of burnt-on milk that will not shift no matter what. I can get the worst of it off with hot soapy water and a fingernail, but there is still a growing patch of dark residue that just won't come off. I have even tried leaving some water mixed with biological washing powder in it overnight in the hope that the enzymes would digest the burnt milk. Unfortunately all that happened was my morning coffee tasted of Persil.
So, hence the reason for 3 stars. If it was easier to clean I would have given it 5 stars.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2014 1:26 PM GMT

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2.0 out of 5 stars Let's see...., 8 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These look amazing in the photographs. I ordered my usual size 5 using the size converter provided. As they were being shipped from Germany I knew they would take a while to arrive. The day after I placed the order I had a personal email from the vendor thanking me for my purchase and saying he hoped I would like the clogs. Great service. So far so good.

Took delivery of the clogs today and I am gutted. The left clog is brown with a few white flecks. The right clog is white with a few brown flecks. Now, I know that cowhide is a natural material and some irregularities will occur. However, to have a pair of shoes that are almost in negative to each other is ridiculous. They could have at least tried to make sure they were vaguely similar. Despite the size converter (which I have checked and it is accurate) they are also quite big, so it might be worth ordering down half a size.

I'm also sorry to say that the workmanship isn't great. The hide has been crudely stapled to the wooden sole, leaving bits of fur sticking out at odd angles. In some places the staples have missed the hide completely. The trim holding the hide in place is a cheap manmade material, looks very flimsy and is completely at odds with the natural wood and cowhide.

I am so disappointed, I was really looking forward to getting these! Have emailed the seller with photos and will update as soon as I have heard back.

Dark Matter
Dark Matter
by Michelle Paver
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing childhood fears, 6 Jun 2012
This review is from: Dark Matter (Paperback)
Atmospheric and chilling, this novel managed to take me back to my childhood fears of a malevolent anonymous threat intent on doing me harm. To be fair, I am new to the "Ghost Story" genre, so it doesn't take much to unnerve me, but this book had it in spades. The isolation; constant darkness; dogs whimpering and the sort of windows that faces look in at (to coin a phrase from Withnail & I). It summed up my own night terrors of an unseen monster - the kind of fears that kept me frozen to my bed, too afraid to turn on a light in case I saw what I was already convinced was there waiting for me.
Really very good.

Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series)
Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series)
by C. J. Sansom
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and thrilling but...., 6 April 2011
I am captivated by this series of books. The author's obvious knowledge and enthusiasm for Tudor England means that Dark Fire is impeccably researched and feels extremely historically accurate. The novel bounces along at a breathtaking pace, and the sights, sounds (and smells) of Tudor London practically ooze from the pages. Yes, it's gruesome in places, and the "justice" system completely flawed, but that is the way things were in those times. For those readers expecting a sanitised, romantic account of life in the reign of Henry VIII, don't look here! The author vividly describes the brutality of existence for "normal" folk - the grinding poverty, primitive facilites for personal hygeine and let's not forget bear-baiting, hangings, torture, burnings: they are all here is spades.
The plot itself is strong, if a little predictable, although it does have a good twist towards the end. The only thing that stopped me giving this 5 stars is Shardlake himself. There is something about his character that irritates me slightly. He is a "good man" in every sense of the word - honourable, truthful, hard working and kind. However his self-deprecation becomes wearing after a while, and I found myself wanting to give him a good shake to snap him out of it. And for a learned man, he makes a monumental mistake. At one point I was mentally shouting "Don't drink the wine, you idiot!" (I won't say any more than that, hope it doesn't count as a spoiler).

However, this was the most engaging, exciting page-turner I have read for ages. I will certainly be reading more of the series.

A Week in December
A Week in December
by Sebastian Faulks
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3.0 out of 5 stars Clever but a little dull, 24 Feb 2011
This review is from: A Week in December (Paperback)
This is very different to the other Faulks novels I have read. Birdsong or Charlotte Grey it most definitely is not. In fact it reads very much like some of Ben Elton's later works (Chart Throb being the main one). However it is a clever book, and certainly impeccably researched - perhaps too much so.

Initially I was fascinated. The plethora of characters are introduced via Sophie's "party list" with intelligent thumbnail sketches fleshing them out, whilst maintaining an air of mystique and making you want to know more. And initially I was intrigued by the insight we are given into the machinations of the Banking world. However this soon faded to be replaced by boredom. Yes, Faulks has clearly researched this aspect of the novel very thoroughly, but unfortunately I found myself at best skimming and at worst skipping great chunks of these pages.

The book critic and the banker are perhaps the characters I found it most difficult to be engaged by, and I suspect that the reason for this lies in Faulks's personal distaste of these professions. He has written them as thoroughly unlikeable cliches which is a shame because they could have been so much more exciting. No hidden depths, no personal anguish, just deeply unpleasant and money/self obsessed individuals.

The conclusion of the novel was....well, pretty inconclusive. Of course, it is only supposed to give us seven days in these people's lives, but still...I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. The only character that does actually get to any sort of epiphany is the would-be extremist Muslim. (incidentally, I found him to be the most interesting and multi-faceted person in the novel).

On the whole, this is intelligent and well-written but not a book I will want to revisit with any relish.

Then We Came to the End: A Novel
Then We Came to the End: A Novel
by Joshua Ferris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I liked it, 5 Aug 2010
I can perhaps understand why this book has garnered so many critical reviews. It has a very gentle pace, and the first half of the story is told from an intriguing "4th person" viewpoint. The narrator is never identified, which could potentially be frustrating for those who are expecting more of an easy-going relaxed Holiday-Read.

The first half of the book is also a little confusing and disjointed, with events unfolding via various 3rd parties, jumping back and forth in time, and narrated by the 4th party. You have to want to read it, and you have to work at it. However, there are many "smile" moments. Having worked in a large office, forced to associate with people I would never choose to be friends with, I can completely identify with the premise of the book.

The middle and second half of this novel are more cohesive and, for those 1 and 2 star reviewers, easier to understand. The tale of the night before Lynn's surgery is particularly touching, as is almost every story Benny tells. I can easily envisage this being made into a film with Benny as the main protagonist. It is very like "The Office" with the same comedic elements but far, far darker.

On the whole, I really enjoyed it. I have read many modern novels where at best I found it difficult to "like" the main characters, and at worst actually thought I would cross the road to avoid them (Karl Blomkvist of the Dragon Tattoo series springs to mind!) However I found myself warming to pretty much every character in this book. They are introduced via brief but intelligent thumbnail sketches; the characters are cleverly fleshed out via dialogue and narration and then stripped away layer by layer until you see the vulnerability at their core. You can laugh at their foibles and empathise with their compulsions. Or you can laugh at their compulsions and empathise with their foibles. Whichever works for you!

So, in summation...I can understand why those seeking an easy read would not "get" this book, and would think it dull. However, with a bit of effort and thought, you will really enjoy this book. It's not perfect (a good editor would have been able to give it more mainstream appeal) but I really enjoyed it.

The Iron Giant [DVD] [1999]
The Iron Giant [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Jennifer Aniston (Voice)
Price: 3.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 21 July 2010
This review is from: The Iron Giant [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
My son was seven when he first watched this film. It moved him so much that he hugged the television! I had never seen this film before and to be honest, I only bought it because it was in the "sale" bucket, and 2 weeks into the school summer holidays I was at my wit's end when it came to keeping him occupied!
I am soooo glad I did buy it. It is intelligent, beautifully animated, smartly-scripted, brilliantly acted and has a real message. "You are what you choose to be".
It reduced me to tears in the final scenes.
In summation: just beautiful. My 4 year old daughter has just watched it and as soon ass it finished she said (through her tears) "Mummy, please can I watch it again?" It took me a few seconds to answer because I was weeping too. We are now on the third loop.

Kitchen Craft Master Class Cast Heavy Duty Garlic Press
Kitchen Craft Master Class Cast Heavy Duty Garlic Press
Price: 10.18

62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 23 Jun 2010
I bought this after my "old" (ie: about 3 years) garlic press broke. It's rather more expensive than any of the other garlic presses I have bought, but I am so glad I splashed the extra cash.
First and foremost, it's heavy, which gives the impression of quality. The handles are smooth and ergonomically designed to fit snugly in your hand. The "bowl" is large, meaning you can fit two large cloves of garlic in at a time, and it presses literally every last scrap of garlic through. Finally it is SO easy to clean - just fold it back and the little pimples push out any leftovers, which you can then add to whatever it is you are cooking. Then simply rinse and dry. Done!
I can see that this little baby will last me a long time. Definitely worth investing in one.

EyeCatchKnitwear - Lara Long Sleeve Knitted Bolero Shrug One Size
EyeCatchKnitwear - Lara Long Sleeve Knitted Bolero Shrug One Size
Price: 4.95 - 10.86

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very pleased, 9 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a really versatile shrug - can be worn with pretty much anything. I bought it in black and it's a great addition to a short-sleeved dress, over a shirt, vest, etc. Size-wise it fits very well (I am a size 10) and I would imagine it could easily fit up to a 14 - very stretchy.
Product arrived very quickly, and for the price it's a real bargain.

Junior Classical Guitar BLUE
Junior Classical Guitar BLUE
Offered by Gear4music
Price: 34.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 9 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Junior Classical Guitar BLUE
Arrived very quickly and my son was delighted with it. It has a lovely, mellow sound, and the blue finish is eye-catching and funky with beautiful patination. Very pleased. Now all I have to do is persuade him to practice....

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