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JK "J. K." (UK)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

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Nips Eco Line 32 x 24.5 x 18cm A4 Silva Drawer Box - Black/ White
Nips Eco Line 32 x 24.5 x 18cm A4 Silva Drawer Box - Black/ White
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cardboard storage box - not for heavy use., 19 April 2015
Pretty box, fine for storing lightweight bits and pieces. I bought one for the daughter of a friend to use as a jewellery box. She's only 11 years and has a lot of large plastic pieces so the box is an ideal size at 32 x 24.5 x 18cm (A4 size). If you wanted to use the box for storing papers/letters there's plenty of room in the three drawers.

The box is made from thick card and arrives flat packed so requires self assembly. Took minutes and was easy to do. Once assembled the box looks good and the flowery design attractive.

Word of advice; the box doesn't stand up to a huge amount of wear and tear and the lightweight construction means it slides around each time you pull a drawer open. Don't be tempted to place anything even slightly heavy on the top of the box to anchor it down. The cardboard will sag and you'll never get the drawers open again if that happens.

Attractive, functional and decent quality for the price but an item more suited to careful use rather than frequent or heavy use.


Secrets of the Singer Girls
Secrets of the Singer Girls
by Kate Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Women and the war effort - drama, tears and romance., 18 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Set in the East End of London during the Second World War 'Secrets of the Singer Girls' is the story of a group of women who work in 'Trout's' clothing factory as part of the war effort. These are a determined and mixed bunch of women who sing while they work at their Singer sewing machines stitching garments and bandages for the troops. In such a diverse group thrown, together in extraordinary circumstances, friendships take their time to develop which leads to some colourful scenes. The key characters develop nicely as individuals with their own likes, dislikes and personal history. Sixteen year old Poppy Percival for instance, is escaping the dark shadows from her past while other of the women look for romance or fret over the health and welfare of family sent away due to the war. It's a good mix and it works. This is a tried and trusted formula, Call the Midwife etc., and the poverty and grime of the London East End coupled together with the threat of war makes for some decent atmosphere.

'Secrets of the Singer Girls' is light drama and romance with a feel good factor. Would make an excellent TV programme for Sunday evenings.

A book that's easy to read, well written and hard to put down once you start it. Negatives?. I would have preferred a little more reality in the dialogue and a deeper look at the poverty and working conditions of the time. Just a personal opinion. Happy to recommend.


Gardman 30 cm Diameter Topiary Ball Leaf Effect
Gardman 30 cm Diameter Topiary Ball Leaf Effect
Offered by Price Attack Ltd
Price: £12.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Plain green topiary ball, medium sized, nice splash of colour., 16 April 2015
Before you order the topiary ball; you're only buying the ball and not the planter it's resting on in the photo.

The topiary ball measures approx. 30 cms and comes complete with a detachable, galvanized chain for hanging. No-one will be fooled into thinking this is a real plant and I doubt you'd expect them to but; if all you're after is a splash of colour to cheer up your garden then I'm happy to recommend. They do look pretty especially if you group a few of them together.

I have several purple and plain green topiary balls hanging from brackets along the fence at the bottom of the garden. They make a nice feature against an otherwise plain, wooden fence that caches full sun almost all day and is impossible for hanging baskets which just shrivel and die.

The colour hasn't faded, the plastic hasn't broken or shredded and the metal chain is showing no signs of rust.

Happy to recommend.


Gardman 02810 30 cm Diameter Topiary Ball Purple Flower Effect
Gardman 02810 30 cm Diameter Topiary Ball Purple Flower Effect
Offered by Garden Selections
Price: £12.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Plastic topiary ball - nice splash of colour., 16 April 2015
Before you order the topiary ball; you're only buying the ball and not the planter it's resting on in the photo.

The topiary ball measures approx. 30 cms and comes complete with a galvanized chain for hanging. Looks and feels completely artificial. No-one will be fooled into thinking this is a real plant and I doubt you'd expect them to but; if all you're after is a splash of colour to cheer up your garden then I'm happy to recommend. They do look pretty especially if you group a few of them together.

I have several purple and plain green topiary balls hanging from brackets along the fence at the bottom of the garden. They make a nice feature against an otherwise plain, wooden fence that caches full sun almost all day and is impossible for hanging baskets which just shrivel and die.

The colour hasn't faded, the plastic hasn't broken or shredded and the metal chain is showing no signs of rust.

Happy to recommend.


The Chosen Queen (Queens of the Conquest 1)
The Chosen Queen (Queens of the Conquest 1)
by Joanna Courtney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Historical throne quest set in the 11th Century., 16 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The book begins in England prior to 1066 and the time of the Norman Conquest. There's been no Royal heir, son, for King Edward and both King and Country languish under a cloud of uncertainty while Edyth, granddaughter of Lady Godiva, dreams of little more than marrying for love rather than duty. Edyth has little idea that she will soon find herself in exile and making her way to an uncertain future in the Welsh Court where true love and real honour will demand a very high price for many years to come.

The novel is something of a throne quest and revolves mostly around the quest to be Queen along with a quest for true love and becomes very romantic in parts.

The road to Edyth's destiny is littered with royal and political intrigue and what I most enjoyed was the Welsh scene setting and the contrasts between the English and Welsh courts. What I least enjoyed, just being honest, was how characters from the 11th century see the world and react to the world in the way we would today. Modern historical fiction seems to be heading more and more in that direction. It's just a personal opinion but I'd prefer more authenticity.

The novel is the first in what promises to be a series and sets the scene for events in the future. There are a huge cast of characters and a great many events but the novel isn't bogged down by any serious history lesson. There's plenty of raunch to add some excitement and the book isn't without entertainment value. Easy and quick to read.


Maclaren Gentle Moisturising Hair Conditioner
Maclaren Gentle Moisturising Hair Conditioner
Price: £8.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Gentle, natural, organic ingredients and pleasant to use., 15 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Beginning' gentle moisturising hair conditioner is one of a range of products by Maclaren claiming 'purity, nurturing and connection from the beginning'. I read that as 'for babies' but there's no reason adults and young children can't use the product. The conditioner comes with a 'safe and natural' pedigree and so I'd better tell you something about that first.

The moisturiser is branded as cruelty free, suitable for vegans and has been pediatrician and dermatologist tested on sensitive skin. It contains no synthetic perfumes, artificial colours, petroleum derivatives, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens, TEA, DEA, animal ingredients.

Although there are organic ingredients, organic lavender and mandarin essential oils, the product isn't wearing an organic label just 'pure and natural'.

The conditioner has a white, creamy formula which is so light it rinses out of the hair quickly and cleanly leaving no greasy residue behind. Leaves hair soft and bouncy because the formula is almost weightless. Smells very strongly of lavender to begin with and certainly reminds me of a product you'd use to calm down a baby just before bed. The perfume practically disappears once the hair is rinsed.

This is an all natural, cruelty free product with a 'Maclaren' name tag and priced accordingly. Quite an investment especially if you buy the co-ordinating shampoo!.


Medieval Rome: Stability and Crisis of a City, 900-1150 (Oxford Studies In Medieval European History)
Medieval Rome: Stability and Crisis of a City, 900-1150 (Oxford Studies In Medieval European History)
by Chris Wickham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Academic research for the serious historian., 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What I know mostly about the history of Rome is based upon my own travels and the huge array of available books, tv programmes and film most of which seem to concentrate on the life and times of 'The Caesars' and the birth of Christianity.

It's safe to say I knew little, or nothing, about the period of 'The old Aristocracy 900-1046 through to 'The Crisis' 1050 to 1150' and having looked around there seems a definite gap in the market for this particular research. The power of the Catholic Church through this period and it's spread into the rest of Europe was remarkable however; remarkable though it was this is a book for a serious historian and much less for people like myself who prefer to be entertained by their history lesson. 'Medieval Rome is a magnificent research project but it's dry and not written for those of us not studying history at a serious level.

I can only sit back and wonder at the work that went into putting this book together. It isn't a book for me.

Wonderful volume for the 'dusty' shelves in the library of a serious academic. Not so great if you expect to be entertained as much as educated.


AmazonBasics DisplayPort to VGA Adapter
AmazonBasics DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

4.0 out of 5 stars Practical gadget, good quality, gold coating., 14 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I ordered the adapter to stream content from a small laptop onto a large monitor. No problems so far. The adapter is well constructed and has a gold coating over the metal to prevent rusting and other corrosion. Cable is very short. Unless you have a suitable extension you will need to keep the two devices very close together. Practical little gadget that will prove handy.


Playfair Cricket Annual 2015
Playfair Cricket Annual 2015
by Ian Marshall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, no nonsense, pocket sized guide., 12 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I buy a paperback version of the Playfair Cricket Annual every year in time for the County season. They're pocket sized books and easy to carry around but; that means small pages and extremely small print. You might want to consider the Kindle version, rather than the paperback, if you need larger sized print because that way you can adjust the size of the text. The paperback runs to approx. 336 pages and includes a review of the 2014 season, including County Championship and T20 competition, plus a player and umpire roundup. Women's cricket is featured and new for the 2015 edition is the new player's register for England women internationals.

A simple, no nonsense guide that's ideal to dig out during those endless breaks for rain!.

Recommended and good value.


Osco Faux Leather Drawer Organiser - Brown
Osco Faux Leather Drawer Organiser - Brown
Offered by A2B Stationery Ltd
Price: £8.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good looking, versatile and hard wearing product., 12 April 2015
I have the small size Osco 3 drawer desk organiser and have found it to be a good quality and hard wearing product. My husband wanted a desk tidy but in a traditional, open tray design so I bought him this one. Large enough, width 295 x depth 162 x height 37 mm, to hold all of his pens, pencils, USB cables and other bits and pieces. The faux leather covering is wipe clean and comes in a chocolate brown shade with contrasting stitch detail and a soft lining.

Osco products look sophisticated and compliment one another when displayed on a desk.

The one thing they're not is heavy. Unless you place them against a wall, hard surface where they can't slide around you need to be a little bit gentle not to push them too hard.

Would certainly buy more from this range and I'm happy to recommend. I'll also add that the three drawer units make great jewellery boxes or work boxes for cottons, needles etc.


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