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Easterchick (Warwickshire)
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The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1)
The Iron King (The Accursed Kings, Book 1)
by Maurice Druon
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but it's no GoT, 9 Feb. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I chose this because of the quote from George Martin on the front cover that it was 'the original Game of Thrones' - let's be honest, many of us will choose books because they appear to recommended by people we have read and enjoyed - which is why publishers go to the trouble of getting these quotes. Although this is also a tale of maleficent royalty, the similarities pretty much end there. Where Martin will spend 1,000 words simply setting a scene, Druon simply gets on with the story. But to me, it's the scene setting that helps paint a visual picture and pulls you in. The characters in places are more humourous than villainous, and unlike GoT where your sympathies might swing depending on whose side Martin is promoting at the time, here there is a clear underdog and therefore it is more of a straightfoward good vs evil than the complex fantasy of GoT.

Whilst I can see that technically this will appeal to the same people that read GoT, and it was certainly in places quite entertaining, I wasn't hooked enough to want to read on and find out what happens next. Hence I have awarded 3 stars - the mark of an 'average' book in my house.


Leifheit Tower Clothes Airer
Leifheit Tower Clothes Airer
Price: £44.53

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still haven't managed to get it open, 4 Jan. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you're reading this, then probably, like me, you were curious as to how a drying rack of all things could warrant a price tag of this magnitude. Seemed too good an opportunity to miss, as I was draping the 5th load of washing that weekend over the radiators.

This arrived in an extremely large box, and it is probably about as tall as me (5' 4'') when folded flat so might not fit in a cupboard easily (and in fact doesn't in our house). We managed to get the bottom most flap in place, but we are STILL scratching our heads trying to work out how to do the rest of it. Three Masters degrees between the two of us and we can't work out how to open a drying rack. Something is not right in this picture.

It comes with a picture of how to open it but we still couldn't work it out from this! So first and foremost I think the instructions need to have words alongside them.

It is sturdy, but no more so than any other drying rack I've ever had....I'd love to be able to tell you how much washing I could fit on it but sadly since we still haven't managed to get it open, I can't. Would I buy one, when I could buy two or three cheaper ones for the same price? Probably not I'm afraid.


Think Dog: An Owner's Guide to Canine Psychology
Think Dog: An Owner's Guide to Canine Psychology
by John Fisher
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Supernanny for dogs?, 27 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Most dog owners will tell you that their dog is part of the family, and whilst there are loads of books out there on parenting a child, there aren't quite as many on how to successfully parent a dog!

Like many of us, you may be looking for advice because your dog is demonstrating some undesirable behaviour - whether it's seperation anxiety, biting or barking, ripping up your sofa etc etc..... and you don't know what to do to 'fix' it. Fisher appears to know his stuff and his advice is down to earth and easy to follow. Not only that though, it is actually an extremely interesting read and has brought a new understanding to my relationship with dogs.

The step by step approaches in the book give the dog plenty of time to adjust to the new regime, and there is a trouble shooting section towards the end if things aren't working quite as planned.

All in all I think this is a down to earth, sensible read - and I can recommend it. Would also probably make a really good present for a dog lover for Christmas.


The Fairy Doll and other Tales from the Doll's House: The Best of Rumer Godden
The Fairy Doll and other Tales from the Doll's House: The Best of Rumer Godden
by Rumer Godden
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was lovely!, 27 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I never read the 'original' edition of this story so unlike most of the other people who have reviewed it, I've nothing to compare it to apart from itself - and I thought it was lovely. I loved the beautiful colour illustration of a fairy doll on the front and this promised a feast of beautiful girliness inside.

I wasn't disappointed - this series of stories, which are beautifully (if somewhat sparsely) illustrated, and it gave us a great opportunity for some quality time with our 6 year old daughter. I think this would be suitable for a competent reader aged 6+ to read independently, although we did find that our 6 year old's attention wandered because of the lack of illustrations....so in reality I think you're probably looking at 8 years plus.

This is still a very nice book, so I think it's a little bit of a shame that there are so many reviews comparing this to the books of their own childhood. Most of us tend to look back at the toys and books of a childhood with a certain fondness, and because of this modern versions of things rarely match up as favourably. Take this at face value, and you won't be disappointed!


Breville VTP105 Black 4.5 L Slow Cooker
Breville VTP105 Black 4.5 L Slow Cooker
Offered by Electrical Emporium
Price: £27.25

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good slow cooker at a good price, 27 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am an enormous slow cooker fan, as they make it much easier for working parents like me to make sure everyone comes home to a home-cooked meal instead of a microwaved one without me having to spend a lot of time and effort on it! I have a huge slow cooker which I use for batch cooking, but was actively looking for a smaller one because I wanted a crock pot which could fit in my fridge. I would say this size is ideal for the average sized family, easily serving up to 4 adults.

I prepared my ingredients the night before, put them in the crock pot with the glass lid on and and refrigerated so I didn't have to chop onions before I headed out to work the next day! This slow cooker has a black finish, which is quite good as my aluminium one shows up finger marks very easily. This slow cooker has the usual settings of low, high and auto. I tend to use 'low' if I want something to start cooking when I leave for work and not be ready until 6 ish - otherwise if I'm in and out of the house I will use 'auto' - and likewise if I have a joint of meat to cook I'll use 'auto' as it gives a high heat first to help kill any bacteria in the meat.

I tried this out using one of my tried-and-tested recipes, Green Thai Chicken Curry, on the 'auto' setting. I would agree with other reviews that it cooks marginally too quickly; I had to add a bit of extra liquid towards the end which I wouldn't normally have to do. This isn't too much of a big deal though as once you know how it performs you can always adjust cook times using a timer switch or by setting it to low from the outset.

The crock pot was easy to clean afterwards; simply leave it to soak in some hot soapy water.

Really pleased with this - considered it a great buy, and ended up buying another for a Christmas present :)


The Girl You Left Behind
The Girl You Left Behind
by Jojo Moyes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 20 Dec. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a story about a girl, and a painting - and was reminiscent in some ways of 'The Girl With A Pearl Earring' (so if you enjoyed that you'll like this too). I was expecting a bit of a romantic drama, but what I got was an unputdownable rollercoaster ride of emotions which drew you into the story to the extent where you felt part of it.

There are one or two twists to the tale, which spans past and present. I found the 'present' section a bit less engaging (and plausible) than the 'past' theme, which suprised me.

I've read a few books this year, but this is probably the only one that has actually had me rushing up to bed every night so I could read a bit more of this - it was mesmerising, thrilling, frightening, sad, with a few twists, crossed wires, and misunderstandings.

Superb - you'll love it, I promise!


Belkin EaseFit Armband for iPhone 5 and 5s - Black
Belkin EaseFit Armband for iPhone 5 and 5s - Black

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 24 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had the Belkin Armband for my iPhone 4 also, and there is no getting away from the fact that this really isn't the ideal phone to wear on your arm in the first place, being wider and longer than many of its competitors. If you're a petite woman it can feel a little bit like wearing a dinner plate on your arm!

Anyway, I digress....It is very much a restyled model of the earlier version, in the sense that when they've designed it, it appears to be have been modelled on the dimensions of the iPhone 4, as the iPhone 5 sticks out of the top. This isn't particularly impressive, since I was worried that my phone was going to fall out (and so ran holding onto it) and also has the potential to get wet. There was nowhere to store excess headphone cords and so I caught my hand in the cable a few times, pulling the lead out.

Disappointed in all honesty - we all like a gadget for our phone, but I think I will just get a hoodie with a zip up pocket instead.


Belkin Cover Shield Case for iPhone 5 - White
Belkin Cover Shield Case for iPhone 5 - White

2.0 out of 5 stars Very basic and not worth the price tag, 24 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Will admit to being a little disappointed with this - it's just a 'back cover', one single piece of white plastic - and just makes my white iPhone look bulky. It doesn't protect the front of the phone at all and so you'd need to buy a screen protector in addition to this.

It doesn't really look particularly stylish, although it does fit on very easily. Not sure what more I could say about this to be honest!


BLACK+DECKER FSM1600 Steam Mop
BLACK+DECKER FSM1600 Steam Mop

5.0 out of 5 stars This is well worth having!, 20 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'll admit I was a little sceptical about steam mops in general, ranking them up there with ice cream makers - you use them once and then they just take up cupboard space after that. However I was really impressed by this despite myself.

Firstly, it is very easy to assemble and set up for the first use. In order for it to start producing steam, you pull the handle backwards towards you - otherwise you can stand it upright, which is really helpful if you're needing to stop it steaming so you can unplug it to move to a different part of the room. The electric cord is a good long length, so you won't need to unplug it too often - and it reached to the plug socket outside the bathroom and still managed to get over to the far corner!

There are 3 different settings depending on what type of floor you want to clean - this varies how much steam it throws out and therefore makes it safe to use on a laminate or wooden floor. It comes with a little water jug which attatches to the stem of the handle, so you've always got it with you. Simple, but genius!

We have just finished building work in our house so I really gave this a thorough workout. Firstly, my wooden floors; I had to move the mop quite slowly across the floor, but even my husband thought the floor looked cleaner (although it didn't look 'shiny'). It brought my tiled floors up very nicely, even managing to remove a blob of white emulsion paint in the process.

But what you really want to know is, is it any BETTER than a normal mop and bucket? I really do think it is. The floors were as clean as if I'd used a normal mop and bucket. Overall, it took slightly longer to mop with this than it did a normal mop, and you will find that you'll need to hoover first as, unlike a 'normal' mop, this doesn't pick up dust - it just pushes it around the floor. However, my floors were left almost dry, particularly the wooden floors - so I didn't have to wait for an hour with all the windows open - so I think it balances out. Where I think you'll really notice the difference is with convenience. It's just there, all self contained - no slopping buckets around, with wet floors for hours. This is the bit that usually puts me off mopping to be honest. Today, I just grabbed it and did the floor, without hesitating. Normally, I'd hestitate, for probably a fortnight or so ;-)

A really good buy, I'd recommend it.


Enchanted Palace: Book 1 (Secret Kingdom)
Enchanted Palace: Book 1 (Secret Kingdom)
by Rosie Banks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For Rainbow Magic fans everywhere, 15 Nov. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If the young lady in your life enjoys the Rainbow Magic books, I can promise you that she'll love this. A relatively easy read for a relatively confident reader aged 6+, this book has got everything in it which girls of this age seem to like. It's pink, the characters have a 'magical' adventure, it has a happy ending, and the characters are good role models.

Illustrated with black and white drawings, there are probably slightly fewer of these than in a Rainbow Magic book, but still just as engaging :)


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