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Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Eau de Toilette 100 ml
Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Eau de Toilette 100 ml

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult perfume to review!, 20 Sept. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Humm. I'll start at the beginning.

The box this comes in is absolutely gorgeous. It's covered in linen and instantly brings to mind peppermint grasses and sitting on a porch watching the sea come in and go out on the shore of a Nantucket beach, while white gauzey curtains flutter just behind you and a breeze lifts your hair from your neck and carries the scent of happiness. Truly beautiful.

When you open the box, out falls a little card with teeeeeny tiny writing... and it serves no purpose other than to make the reader deeply and profoundly envious of India Hicks's life. The card talks about how she and her children walk through their garden down to the beach on their island, surrounded by flowers and sunshine, just across the way from the island where she grew up, in a house designed by her father. In the space of less than a business card, you will be made to ache rather desperately to be there. The back has the same story in French. So they can be jealous, too.

The bottle... the bottle is terrible. It's very square; very reminiscent of 1980s perfume, or a Manly-thighed Aftershave For Men With Thighs. Even the cap is a square (and it falls off easily, as it's not fitted.) I honestly can't for the life of me work out what she was thinking with the design. It's actually fairly misleading as to the scent. And the scent is a strange, and glorious, thing.

When I first tentatively sniffed at it without actually spraying any, it smelled almost caustic. Harsh. I sprayed it onto my wrists, and it's initially quite overpowering and overwhelming. There are so many different parts to it. I can't talk about high notes and low notes... no clue what any of that stuff means. But, at first, all I could think was it was like a posh version of an old discontinued perfume from the 80s and 90s called Tribe. Once perfume is on our wrists, each person's body will affect the smell differently, so no two people will wear the exact same scent, but I'll try to describe how this one smells on my wrist.

It takes a few minutes to settle down... does perfume breathe like wine does? It certainly lightens, like the alcohol on a Christmas pudding dissipating after being lit and how it leaves warmth and only a trace of its initial sharpness. Even as I write, I keep sniffing my wrist, and breathing in deep and closing my eyes, almost like I need another hit. It really does smell like summer in Nantucket - like a beach, with flowers *everywhere*, and the sea, and the sun reflecting on it makes a billion lights dance on the surface and it's so bright you squint when you look at it, and white wicker furniture, and sand that's slightly too warm on your feet, and seagulls and a sense of peace in knowing that no-one will come and tell you you're not supposed to be here.

Really, all of that from a spray of perfume - it's quite extraordinary, and it has has been on my wrist for about an hour now with no signs of fading. Smell is absolutely subjective... smell is also the most powerful and evocative of all our senses, and this one has me in a bit of a tail-spin. Like catnip to a cat. In fact, this may be my new favourite scent and it's very, very odd, as it's just a perfume, but life seems a little more wonderful with this in it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2013 1:35 AM GMT

Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - Black
Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara - Black
Price: £8.48

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fine, 19 Sept. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It seems Amazon was glitchy over the weekend, and I don't particularly want to spend an hour writing up yet another review for mascara (as great as it is), so please excuse a little paucity.

The brush is super-bristly, so it separates your lashes and ensures each is coated, without any lumps or gloopy bits. There aren't even any gloopy bits on the brush. The tube is the perfect width (quite wide) so it rests between your thumb and first finger perfectly. Sounds daft, but it makes applying the actual mascara very comfortable.

Downsides: it's not waterproof. Also, while it applies nicely, it doesn't give a false lash-effect, if that's specifically what you're after. It extends a little, and each lash is coated, but it won't give you the lashes of a camel so, 4 stars. But 4 doe-eyed, happy ones.

Tobar Clockwork Chick
Tobar Clockwork Chick
Offered by SUMLA SALES
Price: £4.98

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jumpy Bouncy Chickchick..., 11 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Tobar Clockwork Chick (Toy)
Length:: 0:54 Mins

3 inches tall, fluffy, unpredictable, grumpy face, cutest hoppy action I've ever seen... have fallen a bit in love. Everyone should have one.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 28, 2010 3:01 PM GMT

Cath Kidston Mix and Match Stationery (Cath Kidston Stationery Collec)
Cath Kidston Mix and Match Stationery (Cath Kidston Stationery Collec)
by Quadrille +
Edition: Stationery

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The least pretty of the sets, 8 Sept. 2009
Hmm. At the moment, along with this one there are 2 other mix'n'match sets available: Blooms and Berries and Cowboys. As with those 2, the paper quality is lovely. There are 16 sheets of paper, and 16 matching envelopes. The paper is lined on the back, so you can't get a lot of text in, but if you're a fan of Kidston, that doesn't matter too much.

The stickers with this set are pretty: you get 3 birds; 3 round spotty ones in green, red and blue; 2 little rectangle red-flowered stencil-lookin' ones; 3 small spray flowers, and 3 roses on blue background. Tis a nice selection. And the envelopes are lovely, too: white spots on red, green, blue or pink background.

The actual pattern for the paper, though, is a little strange. There are 4 sheets of "Chintz" with an egg-shell background which is beautiful, and 4 with large red roses on blue - very striking. But the others are less attractive florals and spots mixed with floral ticking. They look a little cloying... they've sort of bypassed cottagey, and crossed over into little old lady.

So, all in all, if you're a fan, it's worth getting because Kidston at her worst is still better than most other designers... but if you're only getting one stationery set, I would say get one of the other 2 - both of which are gorgeous.

Cath Kidston Mending Kit [With Thread, Needle, Tape Measure, Pins, Seam RipperWith BookletWith Scissors]
Cath Kidston Mending Kit [With Thread, Needle, Tape Measure, Pins, Seam RipperWith BookletWith Scissors]
by Cath Kidston
Edition: Misc. Supplies

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Loveliness, 7 Sept. 2009
Kidston excels at, well, everything. But a wee while ago she started doing sewing type stuff, with lovely pin cushions, and needle wallets, sewing boxes, tins and this mending kit. And it's pretty... in fact, it's almost too pretty to use.

The kit contains an instruction manual (basic sewing lessons in a lovely, vintage-style simply-illustrataed booklet), little scissors (low quality, unfortunately... they don't really cut thread), tape measure, ruler/guage, lovely rainbow selection of pins, rainbow selection of threads (very thin, a few metres of each colour), coupla needles, little zippable plastic sleeve (can be used for threads or buttons, etc) and it all comes in a large fabric wallet, which has a tiny built in pin cushion.

This is a kit for anyone that loves Kidston, but it would be best for novice sewers as it's basic, and the instruction booklet will be terribly useful in finding your feet. Equally, as the threads and scissors aren't great quality, the contents probably won't satisfy experts. But this is a kit for little fixes around the house - no extreme sewing here, madam - and you'll not find anything prettier, so it's absolutely worth a purchase.

A Guide To British Woodland Birds (BBC Audio)
A Guide To British Woodland Birds (BBC Audio)
by Stephen Moss
Edition: Audio CD

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total joy, 5 Sept. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You needn't be a bird watcher/listener to enjoy this, and enjoy it very, very much indeed.

The very first thing you hear is the twittering of birds, and then we are joined by amiable presenters Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss. They take you through each birdsong (isn't that just the most delightful word?) individually, and they invite us to join in on their chatting about the sounds in between.

Even the names of birds are wonderful! There are Nut-hatchers, and Warblers,, Rum-ruffins and Goldcrests, Tree-Creepers and Tits. (Surely there are others that still snicker like a school-boy at the last one. No? Just me? Ah.) They've organised the CD in a fantastic way: when played on my laptop, each birdsong is a separate track, meaning you can skip from song to song if you're searching for a specific one. If you're listening to it all the way through, however, there are no breaks - just one fascinating conversation and a forest full of British birds and wood sounds.

There are sounds from birds you won't have heard before, and then there's the rapid taptaptap of the woodpecker; the iconic, haunting sound of owls hooting away in the distance, there are sparrowhawks and finches, the baby-like "tweet tweet chiff chaff" of the Chiffchaffs... all the way up to the magical-sounding, magically-named Nightingale.

It is a suprememly relaxing CD... almost soporific, in the very best of ways. I listen to this as I'm in bed, falling asleep. It's every bit as relaxing as the nature sound CDs that aid sleep. Equally, if you're a fan of programmes like Ray Mears's Bushcraft, you will love this. The same enthusiasm and passion and quintessential Britishness is there. Plus, if nothing else, when you truly listen to it, birdsong is really beautiful. Birds make wonderful, wonderful sounds that we take for granted, and listening to this will give you a genuine appreciation for what we hear every single every day; for what most people consider background noise.

All in all, I cannae recommend it highly enough.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2009 2:27 PM BST

My Man Jeeves
My Man Jeeves
by P.G. Wodehouse
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.80

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it. Buy it now!, 3 Sept. 2009
This review is from: My Man Jeeves (Paperback)
So in love with them am I, that I find I am simply unable to stop reading. During breakfast (made, lamentably, not by a valet, but my myself) more often than not I am to be found huddled over cereal and toast, nose in the pages; not even walking up and down stairs prevents me from reading. I fancy it now takes rather a long time to traverse them lest I fall flat on my face. I shouldn't mind my face so much as the idea of damaging the book.

Jeeves and Wooster, in a word (or two), are mind-bendingly wonderful. Breath-takingly unique... Absolutely topping. Old Wooster's a rummy sort of chap - has a heart of gold, says Jeeves. Jeeves is a marvel and a miracle and Bertie would be lost without him, old thing.

Modern speech lacks the joy, spirit and beauty of Wodehouse's prose. I toyed with the idea of writing this entire review in Wodehousese, but in no way could I do it justice. However, by the time you're one short story in, you'll find yourself *thinking* in the way they speak, and having to make do with the way we communicate now is a dreadful, dreadful disappointment.

But, even more than that, Wodehouse has created a world that is much, much nicer than ours. My Man Jeeves contains 8 short stories (and I hasten to add, am not generally a fan of short stories... but then Wodehouse isn't your average story-teller) only 4 of which are about Jeeves and Wooster. The other 4 are about Reggie Pepper who was the precursor to Bertie. Jeeves's absence is certainly conspicuous but, as it turns out, it just makes you appreciate the duo all the more.

If you're new to Jeeves and Wooster (oh, if you're new to them, how I envy you!), this is the place to start. And the Bed Book version is absolutely glorious! If you like lying down (aye, well, s'alright) this is best invention since knees that bend. The only difference from normal books being the text is printed sideways. It sounds distinctly underwhelming, like it shouldn't make any difference... but it truly does. And it means you can wile away your witching hour with these spiffing gentlemen, which is surely the blessiest of blessings.

So with all that in mind, there are really only 2 questions: 1) What incentive (and by incentive, I mean shameless bribe) can I offer you to befriend these 2 and join me in starting a language revolution? And, 2) Wodehouse is no longer with us, meaning once all Jeeves and Wooster stories are read, that's it, and the point is - the nub of the thing is - what is to be done about it?
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2015 4:54 PM BST

Wuthering Heights (2009) [DVD]
Wuthering Heights (2009) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Hardy
Price: £6.98

57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the minority, then, 31 Aug. 2009
Tom Hardy as Heathcliff is a wonder - his portrayal of obsession, possession and gradual descension into abject madness is one of the finest pieces of acting I've ever seen; his visceral, guttural wail of grief three quarters of the way through the film is a sound that will honestly haunt me for a long while. However, much of the rest of the production is a disaster. The main issue being the arrogance of ITV (and screen writer Peter Bowker) presuming to rewrite so much of this bonafide classic.

For a while, they essentially keep to the book. Things are moved around, and they (predictably enough) add a handful of fairly graphic sex scenes (it's ITV, after all... keep to the original? Pah. Who's gonna watch that?!) but it pays Bronte's book a good deal of respect... if not the audience. However, three quarters of the way through, they decide to chuck the book away and make it up as they go along, even altering how major characters die. I don't want to seem like a stuffy, fustymusty old snob, but hacking this book to pieces in such a way is a literary crime, and the punishment ought to be tv death.

The last half an hour or so makes no sense; you aren't told who anyone is; none of the new people or relationships are given any flesh or dimension... it's just dreadful. If you haven't read the book, you won't have a clue who is who, who does what, and who does what to who. If you have read the book, you'll simply mourn.

The cast is fairly hit and miss... the always wonderful Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Lancashire are both excellent as Edgar Linton and Nelly Dean respectively. They bring gravitas and authenticity to their roles, and their scenes are a bit of a relief after those with Cathy, played by Charlotte Riley. She's a beautiful girl with the best-shaped eyebrows in television. In other words, she was utterly mis-cast: she has a modern face, modern mannerisms and she wasn't believable as Cathy. She wasn't wild so much as self-involved, and the idea that men would break themselves open over her simply doesn't ring true.

There seemed to be little chemistry between her and Hardy, nor between she and Lincoln, much less a love that would destroy the lives of everyone involved.

The final major aspect of the film was the moors: bleak Yorkshire moors, washed out and wild. It was filmed to perfection. If you've seen Gladiator, you'll know the iconic scene of hand drifting over and through the tops of golden corn. Wuthering Heights uses a similar effect, except it glides through heathers and mosses and along muddy paths. Really quite barren and beautiful.

3 stars can often sound like a damning indictment. In this case, though, I really want to reiterate that some parts of the film are 5-stars. However, some of it is eye-wateringly bad, and their wilfully changing so much of it means it can only get 3. If you want to get to know Cathy and Heathcliff (or if you'll be studying them for school or uni) I should give this the very widest of berths, and read the book which is still the benchmark for obsessional, dysfunctional, two-become-one love.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2015 7:28 PM GMT

Olay Regenerist Moisturiser Daily Regenerating Serum Fragrance Free - 50 ml
Olay Regenerist Moisturiser Daily Regenerating Serum Fragrance Free - 50 ml
Offered by AG TRADE LTD
Price: £21.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really lovely stuff, 27 Aug. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
All of this anti-ageing/regenerating malarky escapes me entirely. I barely tone and moisturise, let alone using an actual *serum* but I chose this in a bid to feel like less of a tomboy. Turns out it's jolly lovely stuff! The bottle is rather small - it's only 50ml, but somehow that sounds like a lot - but you don't need to use bunches of the stuff so it still goes a long way.

It doesn't have a scent... not even one of those "I don't smell of anything except sunshine and minerals, do I? Do I?!" scents that Dove so seem to like. This, though, isn't scented and it definitely makes it feel purer... although, come to think of it, I can't help but wonder whether they actually need to add something to remove the scent of the ingredients.

It's a lovely, silky texture and it doesn't leave any sticky or waxy residue on yer moosh. Nor does it "tighten" and suffocate your skin. It's a difficult thing to describe, really, as most creams leave your face feeling a little icky so it doesn't quite compute that this one wouldn't.

After a week of using it, my skin is definitely softer, and it seems to have shrunk my pores a wee bit which was a pleasant surprise. This will be especially beneficial to ladies that live in cities or, ya know, work down the mines. It rejuvenates you after being assaulted by everyday noxious fumes and smoke... really, using this is doing your skin a solid: "So, you know how you keep my organs in n that? Aye, well, here's something to say thanks..."
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2009 11:48 PM BST

No Title Available

95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 27 Aug. 2009
I juggled with the idea of learning the uke for about 2 years, but it seems like one of those things you think about and never get around to. So I got off my ace and bought the dern ting. I chose green because am somewhat obsessed with it (always have been, always shall be) but if that's not your thing, this particular range of ukes come in a range of bright colours... though not in plain wood.

I was amazed at the size of it in person. I mean, I know they're small, but it really does look like a miniature guitar; a toy for children, almost. Its being such a bold colour probably adds to that slightly, so if you want something that will look authentic instead of kooky, go for plain wood. It measures about 21" from end to end, and it's incredibly light. I was really hoping Mahalo ukes were lovingly handmade in a shack on a beach in Hawaii by a wizened old chap that spends his days surfing and basking in the Hawaiin sun... alas, they're made in China. But don't let that put you off: they feel very sturdy. In fact, while I was getting used to holding it, mine took a bit of a knock from a nearby chest of drawers and it gave a fairly satisfying thwacky sound while sustaining no damage. Nice. Still, probably best not to make a habit of it.

It comes already strung with nylon strings (but no spares), and you'll find you need to re-tune it every few hours or so until it settles in. There's an excellent online tuner, so don't worry too much about spending cash on newfangled chromatic tuner jiggerypokery. The strings are G C E A (speaking of which, this uke is for right-handed bods; if you're left-handed, you'll need to get one specifically for that) and even if you're not pitch-perfect prior to picking your uke up, within a few days, you'll find your ear naturally becomes attuned to what the tone should be... that's a really nifty perk, actually.

It comes with a matching uke bag, which is awesome. The bag has a handle, and is made out of that nylon-type stuff they make kites out of... frankly, it could be made out of ear-buds and it would still be a mighty, mighty bargain. (I've added photos of both the uke and the bag so you can see precisely what it all looks like.)

There's one issue that I've not seen discussed anywhere online and it's worth mentioning... women have the bumpy bits on their front and, depending on, hahh, how bumpy they are, it can make holding the uke slightly unwieldy. It's something to bear in mind, really, as it hadn't occurred to me before buying my one, but it makes finding your uke "position" a little more complicated which, in turn, affects how you hold it which has a knock on effect with both your strumming hand and playing hand.

The ukulele, though, is a wonderful, wonderful instrument. I've owned mine for 5 days and am on my way to being able to play Over the Rainbow which feels like such an achievement. That's the joy of musical instruments, really: as you become a little more proficient (or, a little less shockingawful, depending on what sort of chap you are and how you view your glass) seeing that progress encourages you to carry on. And, it has to be said, the uke is hugely addictive. It's such a happy, cheerful instrument; equally, it's capable of astonishingly beautiful sounds, and if you've been toying with the idea of having a go, I would urge you to jump in feet first, and fill yer boots.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2015 2:54 PM GMT

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