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Ms. R. L. A. Amelan "Rachel" (Wilmslow, Cheshire)

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10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days!
10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 10 Days!
by J.J. Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I laughed until I cried, 29 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When I first opened this little volume and flicked through its contents, I was rendered speechless for I personally have rarely read so much dubious “science” crammed between two book covers. Frankly, I was bewildered how one author could believe such much material of uncertain veracity with so little good evidence. Surely she learned something during her training as a nutritionist and subsequent admission to the “Institute of Holistic Healing”.

Anyway, I shall set this aside for the present. If you leaf through to the end of the volume, pages 110 to 167 inclusive have some pleasant smoothie recipes and you should be safe with these. (I do note that you can add protein powder to these…)

Now let us return to the preceding 109 pages. Roughly a quarter of these are devoted to eulogies from happy followers and their success stories, and I am sure that they did indeed lose some weight on this “detox” diet. It just does not seem particularly balanced and I would have liked to have seen some follow up studies a year later.

Prior to this, the author, J J Smith, treats the reader to her own philosophies. Fortunately, the book starts with a sensible disclaimer but from there on there is much to be enjoyed in the way of dodgy beliefs on anatomy, physiology and metabolism. Indeed, as a nurse, I thought it sensible to share some of this with doctor colleagues who were unanimous in their dismissal. A particular favourite of mine is advocacy of colonic irrigation which one medic met with cheery references to garden hoses! Others were far less polite.

Apparently, the author came to detox etc when she was laid up with mercury poisoning due to dental fillings. The orthodox research on this suggests that this would be unlikely but there you go… There was a nice little questionnaire on whether you would need to detox and, having read the questions, the answer for 100% of people I know would be “yes”. The ingredients in the smoothies seem innocuous enough, although I doubt some of the claims but the paragraphs on the “protein myth” stunned me totally. It was these that led to me having a conversation with a Registered Dietician. She explained that protein in green vegetables was not particularly accessible and the fact that it is easier to digest than that found in meat was inaccurate.

There are areas in the book where the benefits of saunas, liver cleansing, body brushing and examining your poo are also explored. I read these both to myself and others to resounding laughter.

So, would I buy the book? The answer must be no. If you love smoothies, however, I may say “yes”. There is a proviso to this, however. On receipt of the volume, I recommend that you take it straight to your kitchen and get out a nice, sharp vegetable knife. Open the book and insert the tip along the spine just before Page110 and remove everything preceding this (you could rip out a couple of pages from the end too for good measure). Dump the removed pages in your recycling (shred them first). After this, I give you permission to start making those “healthy drinks”!
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Lost & Found
Lost & Found
by Brooke Davis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Sharply observed but not a jolly story!, 21 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Lost & Found (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered this book for review based on my great enjoyment of “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”. This was by another author but the Amazon description indicated that readers who liked this book would warm to “Lost and Found”.

Sadly, this was not entirely the case, and this could be, in part, due to my personal taste. The first thing we encounter is the book is a dead dog and the chapters do tend, in the first instance to dwell on dead things and Millie, our heroine, records these in a personal record.

Unfortunately, she is abandoned in a department store by her mother and is assisted by Agatha Pantha and Karl in trying to find her again. These are elderly people and we watch whilst they develop a relationship. This was something that I did personally enjoy reading as a life can be fulfilled at any age. It was also lovely to view life from Millie’s point of view.

The writing is clear and the characters are well observed. The book does in part remind me of Muriel Spark’s treatment of similar themes in her “Memento Mori” but the latter is a classic and much better written in my view.

I shall not tell you how the story ends but, for me, this was the least satisfying bit of the whole experience. I yearned for a really happy ending but, instead, there was a strong dose of realism.

In summary, this is a book that may appeal to some. It is interesting and with some black humour but a little too bleak for my taste.

Esselte Pendaflex A4 Vertical Suspension Files - Assorted (Pack of 10)
Esselte Pendaflex A4 Vertical Suspension Files - Assorted (Pack of 10)
Price: £12.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Order at last, 1 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Paper abounds in my home. It can be found in every corner and I fight the mountains by attempting to classify it into something sensible within my two filing cabinets. I am thus always keen to look at all manner of filing systems.

My problem with my current suspension files is that the hangers tend to warp, come off the cabinet rails and end up in the bottom of the drawers, which I find very annoying. These files, however, are made of generally sterner stuff and look as if they are likely to stand the course. I tested the ten that I received by sorting out my financial papers in preparation for undertaking my tax return. I now have various components in neat little folders sitting within these files and the effect is generally very pleasing indeed.

I love the colours and the paper is very good quality. I am less thrilled with the tabs system, which I found flimsy and cannot understand why the makers did not go for some proper Crystal tabs that stand a chance of longevity. This is a minor gripe though.

I am pleased to say that the net effect is excellent. I would certainly buy these folders and, in addition, I can now look forward to a smoother ride when wrestling with the demands of my online Inland Revenue form as everything is now in apple pie order.

Philips 5W (50W) GU10 Master LED Value Spot Light, 2700K Warm White, Dimmable
Philips 5W (50W) GU10 Master LED Value Spot Light, 2700K Warm White, Dimmable
Price: £11.82

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 25000 hours of life - brilliant, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have quite a number of these fittings in my garage area. When I first decided that it could double as a cat room/living space, I chose these spots as my preferred form of lighting and then rather swiftly regretted it.

You see, they do seem to fail at regular intervals and can be quite fiddly to replace. I thus have a real reason to use bulbs that will last a fair amount of time and will be reasonably cheap to run. Long lasting spotlights fulfill these criteria, albeit at a price.

The bulb is a small and energy efficient device designed to last 25,000 hours and this sounds excellent to me. Fitting it was no more fiddly than the usual lights and perhaps a little easier and the light was commensurate in quality at least. In fact, the "mini spots" make it better. Sadly, I cannot test the longevity - for obvious reasons - but I can attest to the fact that all is well so far.

In summary, this is a reasonable buy and I can recommend the bulb without hesitation to potential users.

Beaphar Spray Away Plus, 400ml
Beaphar Spray Away Plus, 400ml
Price: £5.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for urine but not necessarily all-purpose, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a connoisseur of cat urine removal methods, I greeted this “stain off” preparation with some reservations. I have five cats and they have never been accurate when it comes to urination so I have plenty of experience in removing stains and smells.

It did not take long for a suitable target to arrive, courtesy of Rupert, the Ragdoll, and I duly sprayed on the proffered remedy. So far so good, there was no odour when I had finished and, the following day, all was well. I therefore marked the preparation as “adequate”. Rupert has yet to return to re-water his mark so this is also a good sign.

The manufacturers make other claims, however, and it was at this point that the product fell down. You see, they indicate that this would be a suitable remedy for common household stains, so when I dropped some cosmetic foundation on a new cream carpet I tried it out – and it failed to remove the stain. What worked was biological laundry detergent. The latter is nice and thick and, with some rubbing, my carpet was saved from ruin and I was much relieved.

I would observe that biological washing detergent also works for cat urine stains (or at least it does for mine). This is, of course, because it is ideally designed for dissolving them. I think it depends on which kind of cleaner you prefer but, as I like my stain removing agents to be multi-use, I shall continue with my usual methods.

One Day the Shadow Passed (Visions)
One Day the Shadow Passed (Visions)
by Jonathan Reggio
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.35

5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle and beautiful book with an important message, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a truly charming book that is atmospheric, absorbing and uplifting. Its pages are imbued with a spirit of hopefulness and it gives the reader reason to belief that there is another way, and that swimming against the tide of progress can sometimes be the most innovative thing you can do and does not necessarily lead to drowning and ridicule.

It is based on the author’s real life experience and concerns his visit to Japan. He goes there on a pilgrimage of sorts seeking “wisdom” as he feels that modern life does not necessarily offer the best way. In doing so, he encounters a farmer who is prepared to risk all (livelihood and love) rather than give up his belief that the simplest agricultural methods are the best. The farmer comes over as an educated, gentle and kindly man with the strongest of principles who has an almost unshakeable belief in himself. His cultivation methods in the eyes of the author at one point appear doomed to failure and yet…

Well, I think you can guess from the title of the book that the ending is of the happiest but, in getting there, Jonathan Reggio evokes a fascinating and beautifully described world that sweeps the reader along and offers endless refreshment. There is a beauty and simplicity in the farmer’s ways and this is assisted by a charming and evocative writing style punctuated with occasional anecdotes and simple direct story telling.

This is a lovely piece of writing and I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a potential purchase.

Philips GC4522/00 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 200 g Steam Boost and Safety Auto Off, 300 ml, 2600 Watt, Black
Philips GC4522/00 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 200 g Steam Boost and Safety Auto Off, 300 ml, 2600 Watt, Black
Price: £67.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Dashing away with the smoothing iron, 15 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This excellent and serviceable iron will see you through many a ponderous pile of newly washed and horribly creased family clothes and, if you are like me, sheets as well.

Ever a sucker for punishment, I judge the quality of an iron against how beautifully it can press my bed linen and this one does it supremely well. Boasting a “best gliding sole plate”, it effortlessly smooths the creases with a generous helping of steam. I also tend to go for knicker ironing and I can assure you that the iron’s nose ensures that you will be without “vpl” (visible panty line). You will also be the talk of the Accident and Emergency Department should you be run over – they will be amazed at your perfect undies. Please, if they should remark, do be sure to tell them about the iron!

The iron itself is easy to fill and heats up quickly. It sits securely on its end and this facility would be further enhanced if your ironing board has a special well for it. If you have chalky water you will be pleased to hear that it has facilities for collecting calcium build up and the mechanism is really easy to use.

There is one design flaw and this concerns the sliding switch to choose between steam and non steam. This is poorly indicated with the tiniest of writing and poor colour choice. You will need your magnifying glass.

In summary, I can recommend this iron as a good purchase that will give you many years of trouble free service.

And as I generally say….an iron a day will keep your wrinkles away….

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Protective Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Offered by Ballicom International
Price: £91.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My tablet has been brought to life!, 29 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Logitech keyboard and case has brought my Samsung tablet to life. Finally, I can make it do what I want!

Now, I know that many people love their touch screens and when I first bought my Samsung I thought that it would be brilliant. I soon, however, tired of it as, much to my mortification, I simply did not find it particularly quick to use. It was pleasant for surfing the Web but not much more.

You see, I am a really fast typist who can rattle the keys at 60 wpm plus and this simply is not possible on a touch screen. My frustration was thus considerable and I soon retired to my rather heavier laptop where I can get through my emails at top speed.

What I needed was a good keyboard for my tablet and the Logitech gives me just that. It is also nestled in a rather fine case that gives protection to the tablet itself, although I do think that the magnetic closure device is not always strong enough to keep the case closed and I would have preferred something elasticated for extra security.

The case itself has a plastic housing for the tablet which is reasonably good. There is a magnetic “desk” so that you can prop the tablet at an angle to the keyboard and this is fairly secure. The keyboard itself is reasonably sturdy and easy to use. It also has a good battery life. You can use it on your knee but I actually find that resting the case on a table is better because working is quicker.

I would point out that there are virtually no instructions for setting up the keyboard and this meant that I had to work things out for myself for the most part. There is a USB cable for charging it and this is, in my opinion, far too short for my liking. Pairing it with the tablet via Bluetooth was simplicity itself.

In summary, this case and attendant keyboard has made my tablet into a neat and very portable “mini laptop” and I am well satisfied. It is both well designed and durable and certainly an excellent buy.

AmazonBasics Micro Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black
AmazonBasics Micro Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black
Price: £18.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic and servicable, 29 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are times when the built in speaker in your mobile phone or pad simply does not do what you wish. This is when you need a good device that will "mike up" your sound.

This Bluetooth speaker proved really simple to pair with both my phone and Samsung pad. It is easy to operate and has a responsive volume control on the side. The sound quality is really good. I actually used it to reproduce an accompaniment for a song that I needed to learn and found it extremely adequate. It also has a good range.

It is not high end quality but, as a workhorse, it is perfectly acceptable and should serve me well for a little while.

My only qualm is that Amazon really needs to supply a little protective bag to go with the speaker. This is the kind of device that I might put in my handbag and something of this nature needs protection from scratches and other mishaps. It would certainly make for a longer life.

PRO PLAN Cat Wet NutriSavour Delicate with Ocean Fish in Gravy 850g (Pack of 4, Total 40 Pouches)
PRO PLAN Cat Wet NutriSavour Delicate with Ocean Fish in Gravy 850g (Pack of 4, Total 40 Pouches)
Price: £29.96

4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant change from the usual feline fare, 14 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"This is delicious," indicated three of my five cats as they licked their bowls clean for the upteeth time.

Yes, this food goes down really well with the majority of my feline population. Buffy, the Maine Coon, and Rupert and Angel, the Ragdolls, really love it and cannot get enough. Of the remainder, Willow only eats dried food and Giles has colitis and very few wet foods suit him. Naturally, Giles thinks this food is delicious but each successful attempt to steal it was followed by diarrhoea. This is worth noting because this food is supposed to be for delicate constitutions.

It consists of meat in gravy and I must confess that I do prefer the jelly varieties in the local shops in different makes. I would also add that my cats have an equal passion for another well-known gourmet brand and this is cheaper than Purina. This means that, following this gastronomic experience, we shall be reverting to buying the usual item from the local supermarket shelves. The smell is not unpleasant but, then again, it is not over tempting to me as a human. Never mind, it is the cats' taste that counts!

In summary, a pleasant alternative to the kitty diet and I might buy it again as a change. In the meantime, it is back to the usual fare.

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