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Reviews Written by
Daniel Dalton
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HoMedics Revitalising Facial Sauna
HoMedics Revitalising Facial Sauna
Offered by Funky Moose
Price: £19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars not badly executed, but largely unnecessary, 16 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There's nothing wrong with this gadget, but it is largely unnecessary for anyone to have one, achieving little more than will also derive from a hot shower, but taking 15 minutes or so to warm up, requiring a period of mild discomfort, and taking up storage space. Being HoMedics, it is reasonably well made, but this doesn't mitigate the fact that there is a very good chance that most people will buy this, use it once, and leave it gathering dust.


STABILO EASYgraph Handwriting Pencil Right Handed - Pack of 2
STABILO EASYgraph Handwriting Pencil Right Handed - Pack of 2
Price: £2.25

5.0 out of 5 stars a great piece of design, 9 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These really do help my 3 year old to grip the pencil properly; a really simple, but well thought out design.


A History Of The First World War In 100 Objects: In Association With The Imperial War Museum
A History Of The First World War In 100 Objects: In Association With The Imperial War Museum
by John Hughes-Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book, shoehorned into a slightly gimmicky structure, 8 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Following the theme of the British Museum's excellent "history of the world in 100 objects" the Imperial War Museum has attempted the same for WW1. In my eyes, not quite with the same success, although still producing a fabulous book in some ways. For example, where the original 100m objects anchored major human developments in the unlikely facets of items, whose position in context was truly significant, here the links are more tenuous. For example, a soldier's helmet is associated with the battle of the Somme, and leads to an in depth analysis of the machinations in political corridors leading to the decision to launch the offensive, but could have been associated with any other aspect of the war. There is also, to my eye, a slightly patriotic slant to the writings. I don't wholly ascribe to the "lions led by donkeys" slur levelled at the leaders, but do think there is room for greater circumspection about the merits and morals of the fight than perhaps this book manages. On the plus side, the writing is snappy, digestible, and in depth, and the images and objects chosen are highly emotive and significant contextual anchors for the piece as a whole. Definitely worth owning.


Rapesco Fold Back/Binder Clip - Emoji's, 19 mm Yellow [Pack of 20]
Rapesco Fold Back/Binder Clip - Emoji's, 19 mm Yellow [Pack of 20]
Offered by AntomDirect
Price: £5.45

4.0 out of 5 stars a little filip to an otherwise grey task, 8 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Solidly made office staples with a little humour added. These won't set your world alight, but can add some subtle subversion to mundane drudgery, and at a decent price, if not quite the very cheapest on Amazon.


Panasonic Bluetooth Waterproof Sport Headphone - Black
Panasonic Bluetooth Waterproof Sport Headphone - Black
Price: £69.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but for the price, pretty good, 3 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First up, the sound quality is great for the price. Even if these were corded phones it would be good to get this balance of sweet but gentle treble and deep but unobtrusive bass. There are pieces of music where the bass gets almost overwhelming, however, so not as tight as you'd get for twice the money, but still pretty good, aided further by the noise blocking effects of the in-ear fit, meaning minimal intrusion both in and out. (For me, this would make me wary of using for on-road sporting purposes, which I sense is one of the prime intended purposes).

Set up is simple, charging fast, and the very short USB cable included is a great thought because it means that the whole kit fits neatly into the included small, but solid, pouch.

The fit is less easy. The earbuds aren't the issue, with 3 included sets which should make for a snug fit for all. However, the added weight of the transmitter and battery means that the phones jiggle and move a little when in place, meaning the flexible earpiece does need to be mounded fairly tightly around the pinna. Once bent into shape, however, they really don't shift out, even with high impact activity, so are good for running etc in this sense. This fitting does however mean that comfort is less than for corded in-ear phones, and fatigue sets in after an hour or so of use. Still, this is much better than some over ear headphones.

There is a cord connecting the phones, with a small controller for on/off and shuffle purposes. This is hard to reach when the phones are on, and given the slight faff setting up the phones to fit, gets less use than might be the case if the buttons were slightly prouder and more definite in use. There's also some noise transmission up the cable, but again, less so that for corded phones, and the flat cable means no snags or tangles in storage.

Other features include a microphone, and blue lighting. The former works well for phone calls, but is unnerving because of the deadening effect of the sound insulation, so may not be to everyone's taste, and the latter is such a fiddle to operate that I don't bother with it. As a safety feature (eg if running in the dark) it is a little redundant. If someone driving along can't see you in their headlights, I don't reckon a spec of blue will make that much difference.

Still really nice headphones, which will be great for exercisers and low-bulk travellers.


Bay City Electrical 4.2 AMP USB Port Wall Power Socket with Single 3 Pin UK Plug Socket Compatible with iOS/Android Smartphones and Tablets  - White
Bay City Electrical 4.2 AMP USB Port Wall Power Socket with Single 3 Pin UK Plug Socket Compatible with iOS/Android Smartphones and Tablets - White
Offered by Technomobiles
Price: £34.82

2.0 out of 5 stars Aesthetic flaws and a buzzing noise fail to inspire, 3 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like the concept, theoretically leading to a reduction in clutter, and adding a "modern" twist to a normal socket, however, as a primarily aesthetic consideration (it is not as if chargers nowadays are bulky or hard to come by) this socket falls short by failing to conform to conventional design cues. For instance, the shape of the casing doesn't sit quite as flush with the wall as the faceplate it replaced, the switches are oddly small, so jar with neighbouring sockets, and the plastics are softer and feel less robust than the socket replaced. Also slightly odd, the USB cables are "upside-down" when inserted. I appreciate this is a matter of minor importance, given that it is easy to turn the cable over, but instinct is to plug in with the USB symbol uppermost, which means a little extra fiddle. On the plus side, it is easy to wire up, contains all of the fixtures needed for an easy job, and does have a degree of cool inherent in the idea. I knock another star off because (after about 4 weeks' use) the right-hand socket has started to make a feint fuzzing noise when connected, which suggests some slackness in the connections somewhere. I expect I will replace my original socket in due course.


Mr Todiwala's Spice Box: 120 recipes with just 10 spices
Mr Todiwala's Spice Box: 120 recipes with just 10 spices
by Cyrus Todiwala
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to spicing, but also a lovely and well informed book to boot, 9 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's is a little disingenuous to say that all of the recipes only require 10 spices, as a number of other things that might be loosely considered spices are included but fall outside of that description (garlic, ginger, fresh chillies, curry leaves etc all fall out with the core kit. But this conceit is forgiven in the context of such a great collection of recipes, photographs, and historical context. Whereas the preamble in many cookbooks is just a self-indulgent nostalgia fest ("my granny cooked this rustic classic using only a basket woven from twigs, on an open fire, whilst we all sat at her knee and sang cockernee folk tunes to hurry her along" (c) J Oliver, 1998 to present), this book however has a short, but genuinely insightful intro to each recipe giving some cultural and historical context, and some pointers as to how to make or vary the recipe in the event of ingredient non-availability or preference. The recipes themselves are a mixture of (apparently) "traditional," and some which are integrations of orthodox western and Asian cooking traditions. However, this isn't fusion for the sake of it, but has context in each case in the various colonial, migrant, and invasive influences on the cuisines concerned. Admittedly, a couple of the recipes are also to be found in other places ("the incredible spice men" for example), but this is forgivable in the context of the otherwise excellent book.


Circulon Infinite Hard Anodised 24/30 cm Frying Pan  - Black
Circulon Infinite Hard Anodised 24/30 cm Frying Pan - Black
Price: £64.94

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing pans, amazing price, heavy, 9 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are heavy, so prepare for a forearm workout, however, the non stick is incredible, the weight means really easily controlled cooking, and the heavy base means these are induction, gas, electric, whatever, compatible. The flared lip and gentle curve of the pan profile is perfect for frying, tossing and sautéing, and the price is incredible. My last set of Anolon pans lasted about 15 years with perfect non-stick before someone (thanks mum) put them in the dishwasher and their non stick faded. So, I don't believe the claims that these are dishwasher compatible and strongly suggest washing by hand to preserve the coating, but then there is really no need to use a dishwasher with these pans, the non stick is so effective, that everything just glides off with water and a cloth. For what it's worth, in between my last set of Anolon pans, and these, I had some Scanpan pans, feted by Delia and others for being super non stick and dishwasher safe, and found them massively inferior to these pans, more expensive, and definitely (thanks again, mum) not dishwasher safe, either.


Raqpak Tent Stakes Aluminum Pegs 10 Pack with Pouch (Red, 7.5 Inches)
Raqpak Tent Stakes Aluminum Pegs 10 Pack with Pouch (Red, 7.5 Inches)
Offered by Grabbits
Price: £15.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect spares, 9 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Light, strong, red, stable and come in their own high quality bag too. Perhaps not as compact as might be needed for wild camping, but for a campsite or family tent these can't be heated. Excellent


Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convert, Men Hiking Sandals, Multicolor (Grey), 8 UK (42 EU)
Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convert, Men Hiking Sandals, Multicolor (Grey), 8 UK (42 EU)
Price: £75.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday footwear, 9 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Merrell sandals are consistently comfortable, always have a high quality sole and great support, and tend to be durable in extremist. Generally, however, mine end up reeking after a summer of ownership, whilst still clearly in good shape otherwise. These appear not to absorb whatever secreted horrors my feet emit, meaning still smelling daisy fresh, and are comfy when wet in addition. The support is as good as I would need for anything other than the most precarious climbing, and are reasonably appealing took at also.


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