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Reviews Written by
Shady Tree (Herts, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Puccini: La Bohème [highlights]
Puccini: La Bohème [highlights]
Price: £7.96

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant - so moving., 12 Jan. 2010
I'm biased towards this particular recording of my favourite opera, because my Father had this version on vinyl so I grew up listening to it. It's always a bonus if you know the story of La Boheme but to be honest, the music is so sublime that you can simply listen to it without wondering what is going on.

Story in a nutshell though: Rodolfo (impoverished poet) lives in an attic in 1830s Paris with his equally impoverished friends (a violinist, a philosopher and a painter). After burning some of their work to keep warm, they are treated to an unexpected feast by the violinist who managed to secure some paid work.

The friends go out to celebrate, leaving Rodolfo (Pavarotti) to finish some work. He is interrupted by a pretty female visitor who lives in the same building, whose candle has gone out. The lighting of the candle also creates a spark between Rodolfo and his visitor, so he tells her about himself and asks her about herself. Lucia - who everybody calls Mimi - is a poor but contented seamstress who embroiders flowers onto silk.

Needless to say Mimi and Rodolfo fall in love. Marcello, the artist, is in an on-and-off relationship with the flirtatious Musetta. The opera follows the foursome and their relationships but with a terrible tragedy in store. I won't reveal anything else.....

Pavarotti's voice in this recording is pretty much perfect; completely effortless and this wonderful music just pours from his mouth, as it does from Mirella Freni's. This recording gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Just fantastic.


Tuscany Silver Sterling Silver White Crystal Dolphin Pendant on Curb Chain of 46cm/18"
Tuscany Silver Sterling Silver White Crystal Dolphin Pendant on Curb Chain of 46cm/18"
Price: £20.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely necklace and great value, 24 Nov. 2009
This is a really pretty little necklace, nicely presented in a box. It was bought as an 11th birthday present and the recipient was delighted with it. Excellent value for money too.


Circulon Bakeware Steel 12 Cup Non- Stick Muffin Tray  - Grey
Circulon Bakeware Steel 12 Cup Non- Stick Muffin Tray - Grey
Price: £11.70

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 24 Nov. 2009
This is my second Circulon tin (the first being the round cake tin) and again, I'm just delighted with it. I actually bought it to make individual Yorkshire puddings in, as well as muffins, and it had its first outing on Sunday. I gave it a quick wash in warm soapy water, dried it, then just popped a teaspoon or so of oil in the bottom of each cup, heated it in the oven for 10 minutes and poured the batter in.

Half an hour later, I had the most amazing, beautifully risen yorkshires which lifted straight out of the tin with no bother at all.

Circulon bakeware is really solidly made; doesn't buckle in the heat, is absolutely properly non-stick but without flimsy coating, and I'm in the process of replacing all my bakeware with Circulon bakeware.

It is dishwasher safe but I never need to dishwash my tins; just wipe them out and put away. A fabulous piece of kitchen kit.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 31, 2010 3:43 PM GMT


Amazing and Extraordinary London Underground Facts
Amazing and Extraordinary London Underground Facts
by Stephen Halliday
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to my collection of Underground books, 24 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This neat little book is a worthy addition to my collection of books about the London Underground, which I've become fascinated by in recent years (much to my husband's disgust). It does indeed contain some amazing facts (my favourite was slightly unrelated to the Underground and explained the reason why taxis were banned from Hyde Park) and some bizarre snippets of trivia which I hadn't come across before.

It'a a neat little book and one that you can dip in and out of. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as a chronologically-ordered fount of knowledge about the Underground but as a companion to other books on the subject it's interesting and entertaining.

If I had any criticism it's that it's a very "bitty" book which jumps around somewhat, and I found the various "amazing fact!" boxes a lot easier to read than some of the paragraphs. It does repeat itself sometimes with information about the same subject (Charles Yerkes, The Watkin Tower etc.) repeated in a fragmented fashion at several places.

It certainly improved and became more interesting towards the second half of the book. I particularly liked the chapter on the use of the Underground during the first and second World Wars.

So not perfect but if you're interested in the Underground and want to quote a few interesting facts to your unsuspecting friends and relatives then this would be a handy little book to have in your collection.


No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth feet!, 19 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This would be a lovely present; I love Crabtree & Evelyn products anyway but am usually disappointed with foot care products because although they usually promise miracles (and I have particularly hobbity feet), my feet don't often look or feel much different afterwards.

This set was lovely though, beautiful packaging and a lovely smell. You scrub your feet first, then rinse them, then apply the cream. Even my feet felt smoother and lovely and soft afterwards, so I'd definitely buy this again.


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good brush heads, 1 Oct. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although my family shares the same toothbrush motor/body, we use two different types of brush heads. My husband and I use the slightly snazzier polishing heads with the yellow cup but for our daughter we felt that these were slightly too hard on the gums, so she uses these floss action heads.

They're just perfect for her; soft so she doesn't overbrush, small enough to get around her mouth easily, and clean so much better than a manual toothbrush. The floss action comes in the form of longer free moving soft plastic bristles which are supposed to get between your teeth and imitate a flossing action.

My daughter's teeth have been looking much cleaner since she started using these brushheads so for us they're well worth the money.


Labtec optical glow mini mouse
Labtec optical glow mini mouse

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great little mouse - for just over two months!, 18 Sept. 2009
I bought this in July, and it seemed great to start off with - nifty little mouse, we liked the glowing coloured lights in it, and once my hand got used to using a mini mouse (I had a full-sized wireless previously), everything seemed fine. The nifty cable hub and retractable length of cable worked well too.

However, today - after a little over 2 months - it's decided to stop working, and now only works intermittently. If you lift it off the desk and then put it back down, it sulks and won't work at all.

When sitting still, it's clearly fine and getting power but as soon as you start to move it, it cuts out, which leads me to believe that there is a loose connection between the mouse and the USB port.

The cable does seem flimsy so this seems a likely explanation. I can't get hold of Labetc so will have to keep my fingers crossed that Amazon will let me return it to them.

So to sum up - great - as long as you're not expecting it to work after about 10 weeks use :-(


Braun Oral-B EB18-2 ProBright Replacement Rechargeable Toothbrush Heads 2 Pack
Braun Oral-B EB18-2 ProBright Replacement Rechargeable Toothbrush Heads 2 Pack

4.0 out of 5 stars Whiter? Not sure. Cleaner? Definitely!, 22 Aug. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I tried these as an alternative to the standard heads that had come with my Braun Oral-B Triumph toothbrush. I'd been quite happy with the standard heads but these undoubtedly give a better clean.

These heads look like the standard heads but with the addition of a yellow rubber "cup" in the middle, which is textured and the claim is that this cup surrounds each tooth and gives all the surfaces of the tooth a thorough clean, removing stains.

I can't comment on the stain removal ability because I don't smoke or drink so I wasn't worried about stained teeth. I did have a couple of hard to reach teeth which never felt completely clean before and was really impressed to find that these Probright heads reached all the surfaces of my teeth so now all of them feel "dentist clean".

My only slight criticism is that these do feel slightly less soft in your mouth so go gently if you have sore gums or very sensitive teeth.

Most impressed with these and I'd definitely buy them again. A big improvement on the standard heads.


The Mapmaker's Monsters 1: Beware the Buffalogre!: Beware the Buffalogre! No. 1
The Mapmaker's Monsters 1: Beware the Buffalogre!: Beware the Buffalogre! No. 1
by Rob Stevens
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 11 Aug. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really liked this book because it was very exciting, and it left you with a cliffhanger at the end. Now I want to read the next book in the series!

It's a really exciting story and one night I stayed up until 10 o clock so I could carry on reading it (!). It's not the sort of book that I'd usually read because mostly I read "girly" stories about ballet and fairies, but since I've read this I've realised that I want to read adventure stories as well, because it was such a good book.

I'm going to save up for the next book now. I'd probably recommend this book to people of 8+ since it could scare little children because of the Buffalogres. It's just a really really good book.

(reviewed by Shady Tree's 10 year old daughter)


Something Secret
Something Secret
by Gwyneth Rees
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good story, 11 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Something Secret (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I chose this book because I've read most of the Gwyneth Rees "Fairy" books and really enjoy them. This is more grown up though so I'd recommend it for children of 10 and over because of the subject matter. It's a really good story with a twist which is quite shocking, but luckily there's a happy ending where things aren't as awful as I first thought.

This book makes you want to read on to find out what's going to happen next. It's more grown up than the other Gwyneth Rees stories I've read; more like Jacqueline Wilson's more serious stories, but I liked it all the same.

(Reviewed by Shady Tree's 10 year old daughter)


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