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D. Jones (Warwickshire)

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John Adams 6 Ft Ocean Play Snapset Pool
John Adams 6 Ft Ocean Play Snapset Pool
Offered by The Magic Toy Shop
Price: £12.95

16 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pain to put up but great once filled, 29 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this pool last year to give my water loving dog a place to play and cool down in the hot weather. I chose this particular pool because it has rigid sides which don't need to be inflated as do most traditional paddling pools - inflatable sides and dog claws don't tend to have a good outcome.

After reading some of the other reviews I was aware that it isn't very stable until filled - that is a slight understatement! As soon as you put water in it, the water comes straight back out - especially if you aren't on a perfectly level surface. It is next to impossible to fill this from the outset on your own, you need someone else to hold the edges with you until there is enough water inside to finally hold the edges more rigid. I initially tried many objects to try to hold the edges in place, including some spare bricks but nothing would keep them upright enough to contain the water. You have to reach a critical mass of water before the sides suddenly start to hold themselves up on their own and you can continue to fill it up without help.

Once it is full the pool is sturdy and the sides hold up well but if you lean on them with any amount of pressure then they do bend and water will come out of the pool.

The pool holds a huge amount of water - far more than many of the inflatable paddling pools.

My dog spent last summer jumping in and out of this and racing round in circles when inside. It held up well and neither the base nor the sides punctured from her claws.

It looks bright and fun in the garden; the colours and pattern around the outer edge of the pool are vibrant although they have faded a little from being left out in the sun for a whole season.

At the end of the season it folds away fairly easily but the rigid edges mean that it takes up a bit more storage space than an inflatable pool would need.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 19, 2013 10:05 AM GMT

Kitchen Craft Big Digit Easy Read 100 Minute Timer
Kitchen Craft Big Digit Easy Read 100 Minute Timer

9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Large display and easy to operate, 29 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This kitchen timer is larger in size than many others currently available on the market. This does however allow for a large numerical display which is easy to see from across the kitchen - with my previous timer, it might have been smaller but I had to keep going up to it to see the display.

It can be attached magnetically to a surface; I tend to put mine on the cooker hood so that it is around eye level and it won't be knocked onto the floor.

The timer is easy to operate; use the two buttons on the left-hand side to set the minutes and seconds and then the larger button on the right to set the timer working. The timer then counts down from the time you have set. It cannot be used to count up, only count down. To reset the timer just press the two left-hand buttons at the same time.

The beep is plenty loud enough to hear from another room but not so bad that it makes you jump when it goes off.

The negative points for this timer are:
- The outer casing feels cheap and not particularly sturdy and I'm not sure if it would withstand many knocks or bumps.

- It doesn't come supplied with a battery so you will need to provide your own before you can use it.

- I'm not overly keen on the amount of space given over on the top third of the casing to the 'Big Digit' text - if this had been removed then the whole timer could have been made smaller and more aesthetically pleasing, whilst still keeping the large display. However, this section does house the battery and so I guess it is an integral part of the design.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2014 12:03 PM BST

Shortbread Baking stone - 8" mould with thistle pattern
Shortbread Baking stone - 8" mould with thistle pattern
Offered by WOWOOO
Price: £16.86

22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea but the final result was a bit hit and miss, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I make a lot of shortbread and thought that this baking stone might make my finished efforts look a little bit more attractive.

The baking stone arrived in a lovely box. Normally packaging shouldn't be discussed as part of a review but this item is the type of thing that you might consider giving as a gift to someone and when it is is packed into an attractive looking box it increases the overall appeal of the gift.

The baking stone itself is made of one moulded piece of stone-like material. I was surprised at how heavy it was, much more than I had anticipated from looking at the photograph on Amazon.

Please be aware that the stone is incredibly hot when it is removed from the oven and it stays hot for a very long time afterwards. Even after most baking trays would be cold this is still extremely hot. Consequently, it can continue to bake your shortbread long after removing it from the oven and you can easily end up with a hard, overbaked shortbread which isn't very pleasant.

The stone when warm is porous and if you place it on a surface that has even just a small amount of grease it will absorb it leaving an ugly greasy mark which can't be removed. This doesn't affect its baking ability but it never looks quite as nice again afterwards.

The base of the stone has eight sections which are supposed to mark out the individual pieces on the shortbread and within each of these sections is an indented thistle pattern.

The main base of the mould is fairly deep with two small steps around the edges. I mention these because I had trouble getting two of my three batches out of the mould and these edges stopped me from getting a knife under the cooked shortbread and levering it out.

The first two batches of shortbread I made in this mould, using my standard recipe, would not come out of it without literally gouging them into small pieces with a knife. This may have been partly my fault as I did press them down very firmly into the mould as I wanted to ensure they got a clear imprint of the thistle pattern. I did follow the instructions on the mould prior to placing the shortbread mixture into it, i.e. dusting it liberally one time with caster sugar - that didn't work. The second time I dusted it with flour - again that didn't work and I couldn't get the shortbread out.

The third batch was a little more successful. However I think this was because I didn't press it down, I simply rolled it to a similar size and only applied very gentle pressure into the mould. The shortbread came out in one peice but because I hadn't pressed it down towards the bottom it didn't have any noticable imprint of the thistles or the portion markings.

In conculsion, this looks lovely and feels very well made. However I was disappointed with the results and I have returned to my old faithful metal baking tray which always works first time.

OXO Good Grips Pitter - Cherry/Olive
OXO Good Grips Pitter - Cherry/Olive
Price: £7.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A specialist tool that does a brilliant job, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of those tools that do a very specific job and do it brilliantly.

My family adore cherry pies but I hated getting the stones out so much that I often resorted to buying ready made pie filling. However, after coming across this tool I now wonder how I ever managed without it.

Like all tools from Oxo good grips this is well made, feeling sturdy but at the same time lightweight. It is well balanaced and easy to hold in one and use with one hand.

It couldn't be simpler to use; all you do is pop a cherry (or olive) into the section as shown in the photograph and use your hand to depress the arm. This action causes the metal spike to go through the cherry and forces the stone out of the base. The stone falls out of the bottom of the tool and you are left with an intact cherry with just a small hole where the stone came out.

The splatterguard does help stop most of the mess although there can be a few splatters still just under the area where you are working - it is a good idea to have a container or plate below just to catch the few drips that do escape.

It is easy to clean, just give it a quick swill in hot soapy water. It takes up very little storage space in a kitchen drawer.

If you find yourself having to prepare cherries or olives this is a tool well worth the investment.

Casual Dining Essentials Oblong Tablecloth, Black, 70 x 90 inch
Casual Dining Essentials Oblong Tablecloth, Black, 70 x 90 inch
Offered by 4YH Textiles®
Price: £12.00

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good quality tablecloth, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
On opening the packet I was surprised at just how creased the cloth was; there was no way I could put it straight onto the table. However it only required a quick iron and the creases easily disappeared.

The cloth looks great on our dining table. The fabric is heavier duty than I expected and this means that it drapes nicely on the areas where it overhangs the table surface.

The colour is a very deep black and this has not lightened even after numerous washes; it still looks great when the table is laid up with cutlery, mats and glasses. The cloth washes well and does not appear to have shrunk at all.

The finishing on the cloth is high quality; all of the hems are neatly and evenly turned and the stitching is even. There are no loose threads anywhere.

Overall, I have been pleased with the look, quality and finish of this tablecloth.

Traditional and stylish kitchen Net Peaked Hat White - One Size - Great for increasing hygiene levels in your kitchen
Traditional and stylish kitchen Net Peaked Hat White - One Size - Great for increasing hygiene levels in your kitchen
Offered by Revelation At Home
Price: £3.90

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No more stray hairs in food, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased one of these hats solely to use when I'm cooking for guests - I have fairly long hair and despite tying it back whilst cooking I worry that someone might end up with a hair in their food that doesn't belong to them.

The hat is comfortable to wear and one size fits all, I have made my husband try it just to stop him smirking at me when I wear it. My hair easily tucks inside the back elasticated part of the hat and doesn't come loose, even when worn for a couple of hours.

The hat is well made; all of the seams are neatly finished off and there are no loose threads.

It is easy to keep clean, I have just popped mine in the washing machine with the rest of my white wash and it comes out looking as good as new.

It might be a bit overkill for most people in their home kitchen but if you are worried about hygiene or you want to ensure that your hair doesn't get in the way when cooking then this is a good solution.

Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Owners (Smaller, lighter, more power-efficient, with a Mini motorised tool designed to remove pet hair and ground-in dirt from carpets and upholstery, 2 year Guarantee)
Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Owners (Smaller, lighter, more power-efficient, with a Mini motorised tool designed to remove pet hair and ground-in dirt from carpets and upholstery, 2 year Guarantee)

61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've never cleaned my house so much!, 27 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been using the Dyson DC32 Animal Full-size Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner Engineered for Removing Pet Hair for removing the never ending layer of hair that my dog drops. It does do a fantastic job of cleaning my carpets but sometimes I just feel either too lazy to get it out of the cupboard or I get annoyed at how often I bang it into furniture and doors.

For ages I've been thinking how nice it would be to just get a hand held Dyson out of the cupboard that had a full length pole attached meaning that I wouldn't have to bend down to clean the floor. As soon as I spotted this one for sale on Amazon I knew it was exactly what I have been looking for.

This cleaner is easy to assemble straight from the box. The main body of the cleaner is ready assembled and all you need to do is to attach the pole and cleaning head. The battery comes with a small charge so you can give it a quick test run before charging it up fully.

The main body of the cleaner is exactly the same size and weight as the older hand held Dyson DC34 Animal Handheld Vacuum with Longer Run Time for Pet Owners. The main difference between the two is that this one comes with an attachable pole and a cleaning head, similar to those you get on standard cleaners.

The cleaning head is smaller than that of standard vacuum cleaners but that does mean you can get into all the corners and right up against skirting boards easily.

Once assembled the cleaner is relatively lightweight to hold and feels well balanced in your hand. The handle is comfortable to hold.

The pole is attached to the cleaning head via a small roller ball so you have the ease of movement that comes with the standard Dyson ball cleaners. I would go so far as to say you have more flexibility of movement because it is pivoting on a much smaller ball and so you can easily get around corners and under furniture that the larger version would struggle with.

The dust holding capacity on this cleaner is fairly small, it does need emptying practically every time you use it, especially if you have pets. It is extremely easy to empty, you don't even need to remove the pole, just hold the base of the main section over a bin, pull the red lever down and the dust falls into the bin.

I find that this cleaner does a good job at picking up dog hair and dirt, especially off wooden and tiled floors. On carpets I have noticed that it often needs going over a couple of times; I'm not sure if it is less powerful than a standard cleaner or whether it is because the cleaning head is smaller. However, because this cleaner is so easy to use it isn't a problem running it back and forward twice.

It takes 3 hours to fully charge the cleaner and it then lasts for approximately 15 minutes. Although this might not sound like a long time I have been surprised at how much cleaning I can get through in that time. I can easily clean my lounge, dining room, kitchen, utility room and sometimes the stairs and it still has a bit of charge left.

My only complaint about this cleaner is that you have to constantly hold the on button, there doesn't seem to be a way of switching it on and keeping it going like you have with a standard cleaner. I expect this might be because it is aimed primarily at doing small jobs rather that a whole floor like I have been doing. I find having to hold the button down does make my hand feel tired and I regularly let the button go without realising and it instantly switches off. However for all the other benefits of this cleaner that is a small niggle.

Overall, I find this to be a real godsend, especially with a black haired dog that moults constantly. I just get this out the cupboard, often a couple of times a day and just whip round the floor. I used to struggle to get the motivation up to get my full sized cleaner out every couple of days.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2014 12:22 PM BST

De'Longhi HS20/2 Convector Heater, 2kW
De'Longhi HS20/2 Convector Heater, 2kW
Offered by Hardware-Best
Price: £27.36

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for quickly heating up a cold spot, 15 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 3:07 Mins

At night our central heating switches off mid evening and although the downstairs rooms stay warm until we go to bed I find that the bedrooms often feel chilly, especially during the recent cold spells we have had over winter. I didn't want to keep the heating on for longer just to warm up the main bedroom so I thought I would try this convector heater to give it a quick heat up before I go to bed.

I'm really pleased to report that this heater works brilliantly. I switch it on literally just 15 minutes before I want to go to bed. I can feel the heat come out of the top grill area almost immediately and within a few minutes it is pouring out heat. 15 minutes later my bedroom has been warm and toasty and I just switch it off as I don't want the room hot all night.

I have also used this to heat the lounge when we had a problem with our boiler a month ago and had to switch the central heating system off while the plumber fixed things. It had no problems keeping a 20 foot by 12 foot room very warm.

When it arrives you can take it straight out of the box, plug it in and begin to use it; there is nothing to assemble. There is a dial on the side where you can regulate the temperature. The heat comes out of the grill at top / front area.

It is well made; the main body is made from metal and is lightweight - probably aluminium. I haven't knocked anything against mine but it does feel like it would dent if given a hefty bash.

There are two carry handles, one on either side. These remain cool even when the heater is in use which means it is easy to pick up and move.

The whole unit is not too large - much smaller in size than a standard radiator and not a great deal thicker so it can easily be stored almost flush against a wall (not quite flush as the two legs protrude slightly out in front and behind)

When you plug this heater in there is a very slight buzzing noise - I was surprised how quiet it was as the only convector heaters I have used in the past have been those fan heaters you place on the floor.

The heat starts to come out instantly but you do need to be careful as the metal, especially around the grill area becomes very hot to the touch - not enough to cause a bad burn but enough to make you jump. I certainly wouldn't want to let a child too close to it.

If you are looking for a supplementary heating source over and above your central heating then this is ideal. I have been pleased that I purchased it and have used it on many nights over the winter period.

Kensington SoleRest Adjustable Footrest - Black
Kensington SoleRest Adjustable Footrest - Black
Price: £15.48

95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good quality budget footrest for home use, 15 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Length:: 4:49 Mins

Most of my comments about this foot rest are contained in the accompanying video review, however I have briefly summarised them below.

* It is easy to assemble. The main body is one moulded piece of plastic and the four foot pieces are quick to assemble

* There are rubber pads on the feet which help to stop it slipping

* The moulded grooves on the upper side of the foot rest stop your shoes slipping and give your feet a mini massage if you are just wearing socks

* You can put this into a number of different positions, the rear foot rests have five different height levels and the front ones can either be included or left out giving two different positions

* It is fairly lightweight compared to more expensive foot rests and it does feel quite plasticy

* Although there are a number of different height positions and angles that you can put this into you don't have an infinite choice as to the final position

* If you take one foot off it tends to tip over towards the remaining foot

* Over time when used on a laminate flooring it does tend to slip away from you. It is find on carpet or a lino floor

For home or light use this is ideal. It is fairly sturdy, easy to assemble and can be positioned at two different heights and five different angles.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2016 7:10 PM BST


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining game to play with friends and family, 13 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: BezzerWizzer (Toy)
Length:: 6:33 Mins

We have enjoyed playing Trivial Pursuits as a family for many years so when I decided to buy a new game I knew that I was looking for something in a similar genre.

This game really appealed to me because it is based on answering general knowledge questions over a wide range of categories. I also liked the idea of the added twists which meant that it wasn't just the answer a question and move round the board type; with this game there is also an element of strategy involved. Even better when that strategy means you can scupper someone else's chances to improve your own.

The rules of the game need reading through a couple of times in order to familiarise yourself with how to play it. They are straightforward and easy to follow but it is definitely worth having a practice run with new people so that they get the hang of what to do with the bezzerwizzer and zwap tiles.

There are two complete packs of question cards with 20 different categories on each card. You only ask one question per card so they last a long time - we have rarely had questions repeated even though we have played this game many times.

Some of the questions can be a little tough - but it is like anything, if you know the answer then they are simple. A large majority of the questions are answerable if you have a reasonable level of general knowledge. The hardest ones often give you three choices of answers so at least you have a chance of getting the answer right. I have found that for most questions, even if I don't know the answer, someone else round the table does. I like that not all the questions are so easy that everyone can answer them. I think that many of the questions would be a little tough for younger children. They are probably better suited for older teens and adults.

You can play the game as individuals or as teams, both work equally well, and it means that you can play with as little as two people up to 16 people - 4 teams of 4.

Overall, this is a great game to play with family and friends and it is the kind of game that you can bring out regularly without anyone saying 'Oh no, not that again'
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2013 6:47 PM GMT

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