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Content by Doha
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Reviews Written by
Doha (London, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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3M SandBlaster 025180UK Fine P180 115mm x 2.5m Between Coats Sandpaper Roll
3M SandBlaster 025180UK Fine P180 115mm x 2.5m Between Coats Sandpaper Roll
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality for fine finish, 22 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a slightly superior sandpaper to the unbranded type I've previously used. I just cut it off in pieces and sand by hand. It gives a smooth finish on wood and the caked dust drops off with some strong flicking on the back. The listing *does* give the dimensions, but it is still a bit surprising what a small roll this is. Maybe it evens out in terms of how much more use you get out of it


Post-it Index Flags - Dual Pack 25mm - Yellow (50 Flags x 2)
Post-it Index Flags - Dual Pack 25mm - Yellow (50 Flags x 2)
Price: £3.65

3.0 out of 5 stars Not the item advertised, 7 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The post-its I received don't quite resemble the pack advertised - in a plastic foldover, there are 5 rows of post-it index flags of different colours: blue, yellow, pink, purple and green, 20 of each colour and 100 in total. They are also smaller at 12 x 43 mm. I honestly don't understand why I have received this when other reviewers appear to have received the item advertised.

I do love these little stickies, I use them for marking my books. They're plastic, so you can't write on them with an ink pen, it has to be pencil or biro. They're in a z-dispensing pattern, so you have to peel them back against themselves to take one off. It's handy and convenient, although it would probably be just as well in an ordinary pattern.

However, since they are not what I ordered, I'm writing a review for a different item, it seems. On the basis of what I received, I'd've given it 5 stars, but it is a totally different item! Very confusing.


AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set), Sky Blue
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set), Sky Blue
Price: £17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality as always from Amazon Basics, 19 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These handy packing cubes are an attractive sky blue colour, . Each bag has a mesh window panel at the front which has a double function of keeping its contents both breathable and visible. The two large ones fit securely into a standard carry-on suitcase, and each of the medium are half the size of the large, so you can effectively stack the them on top of each other. The nylon material is lightweight and durable, and I'm really happy with the stitch quality and finishing. Smooth zips, every bag has a handle -- it's all-round perfect to keep your case organised and get travel-ready quickly. Note that these cubes are soft (i.e. not hard/reinforced), so clothes still get a little smooshed, but, eh, I have a habit of folding things carefully anyway, so to me, it's wearable creasing, since I don't iron if I can avoid it, but something to keep in mind if it's important to you.

For now, these have found a home in my wardrobe as a drawer organiser, and the medium one even just about fits my laptop. I'm really please by how versatile they are.


Polti Vaporetto Classic 55 Steam Cleaner, 3.5 Bar
Polti Vaporetto Classic 55 Steam Cleaner, 3.5 Bar
Price: £159.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful compact steam cleaner, 11 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Vaporetto is a steam cleaner suitable for a variety of surfaces from carpets and other flooring, to upholstery and soft furnishings, and non-fabric surfaces.

The assembly: the instructions are mostly straightforward but I had a hard time initially getting it to switch on. There aren't any useful markings on the body itself, and I had to constantly refer to the manual. In the end, I got it working through sheer random fiddling, which I don't recommend (hot steam! dangerous!) -- the key was having the steam-lock (under the handle) in the correct position, although it's hard to tell which position that is (it's pushed UP).

Parts: It comes with a large head (for floors), a medium one, and a very small one for special spots, as well as extenders. There are also two flannel 'caps' for the heads, one large floor cloth, and one smaller elasticated one for the medium head. There's also a small funnel to pour the water into the tank. The build quality feels a bit too light over the barrel, but the rest of it is sturdy and feels safe. It has a long cord, but I kept wishing it wound into its body (like a Henry). Instead, I had to coil it up again and secure it with the wire tie it came with -- not sure if it's a design flaw, or a deliberate safety feature due to the boiler tank.

Surfaces: a manky office chair came into my possession, with its seat horribly stained with god knows what. The recommended heat setting is 2 or 3, and after clipping the flannel cover over the medium head, I set to. The steam stream was powerful, and evaporated from the surface almost immediately. However, those stains were super stubborn, and although it recommends not covering a spot too many times, I WANTED those stains to be GONE so I went over that area multiple times, hoping to loosen it. Alas, the stainings remain, but I'll cautiously believe that it's at least been sterilised.

I next tried it on a heavy curtain, but I forgot to turn the heat down -- don't use it on high on curtains! I burnt it with steam. Sad. Luckily, it's one that's about to be scrapped. It did better at setting 1, but even so, made some light burns. I wouldn't use it on curtains I cared about -- perhaps they're too light. It's no good for mirrored surfaces, since the steam collects as condensation. I also tried it on some light panelling, which was more satisfactory. I do suspect its primary use is really meant as a floor cleaner, which is one way I haven't tried yet, but I mean to give it a go over tiles once I've cleared enough floor space. I'm not convinced that it really loosens dirt, though, so the jury's still out. This is from my first few uses. I'll update as I use it more. But if a steam cleaner is what you're after, this is definitely very good, and handles heavy duty.


Parker Sonnet Chiselled Silver Gold Plated Trim Ball Pen Medium Nib - Gift Boxed
Parker Sonnet Chiselled Silver Gold Plated Trim Ball Pen Medium Nib - Gift Boxed
Price: £205.00

5.0 out of 5 stars To love and to cherish (...to have and to hold), 9 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been in love with my stainless steel Parker ballpens for years -- they're lovely to hold and are the absolute definition of smooth, both on the paper and in your hand, and I've ruefully considered it an extravagance. The Sonnet is the deluxe, creme-de-la-creme of the Parker experience, with its comforting weight and understated design. It's solid rather than heavy, full-figured rather than chunky. The gold detailing around the nib, barrel and clip give an elegant finish and add a touch of shine to the otherwise subtle colour of the patterned body. It comes in a lovely gift box, if you can bear to give it away (if you can afford it in the first place!). I admit I could never have *bought* this pen, but I love it fiercely and will pay it the best homage by using it whenever and wherever possible. I give it ALL the stars.


Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)
Am I Normal Yet? (The Normal Series)
by Holly Bourne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revealing and uncomfortable look into an OC mind, 1 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've mixed feelings about this book, so let me sort them out.

1) The OCD aspect was spot-on. It's clear that the author put in the research, and she made Evie's condition real and immediate in a striking way. To be honest, it was maybe a little too real for me, as someone who struggles with some OCD tendencies, and there were many times I simply had to stop reading, take a break and get out of Evie's head. I don't know if people need a trigger warning for this (the joy of relating vs the pain of getting sucked in?), but just to note that. I think it's an important contribution to the body of YA literature that looks at neuro-atypicality from a really personal, insider perspective. And yes, you are not OCD because you washed your hands a couple of times.

2) However. I felt that the feminism stuff was shoehorned in awkwardly and unnaturally. Characters felt like they were spouting the author's words and it was needlessly didactic. I don't know how good this is for informing people about, say, logical fallacies in the sexism narrative and so on, but its execution was jarring. I'm familiar with the issues, definitions and arguments, and I'd be the first proponent for increasing awareness of women's rights and everyday sexism, but it still has to work in the narrative and context of the story. Instead, it felt like a story about a girl with OCD trying to make friends became a workshop on gender politics at random intervals. At the beginning, I found it enjoyable -- it's an important issue that is very much essential for everyone to have some understanding of -- but as it went on, the tonal difference stuck out more each time, and it never became better integrated. Characters were exposition puppets, reeling off textbook speeches, and it just didn't *work* for me. In a way, it undermined the better parts of the book. I wish it had been more organic (and less about greasy Guy). Sigh.

NEVERTHELESS. I think I enjoyed most of all Holly Bourne's author interview at the end, which was very sweet and makes me want to support her (ignore above paragraph, Holly! Or better, please take it with love), because it's evident that she believes very strongly in everything championed in her books, and also, she puts her money where her mouth is, and actively works with at-risk young people to help them. I have to say, I read her interview in Sarah's voice -- Evie's therapist, who is a grounded, friend-like figure in the book. I think she's a real-life Sarah, and that's awesome. Power to her, I hope she writes more like this, and continues to improve as a writer.


AmazonBasics Poly Cotton Duvet Set with 1 Pillowcase, Single - Red Stripes
AmazonBasics Poly Cotton Duvet Set with 1 Pillowcase, Single - Red Stripes
Price: £7.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and attractive bed set, 1 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The AmazonBasics range always offers really nice quality for a reasonable price, and this duvet set is just that. The polycotton blend is warm and cool at the same time, and gentle on my skin. I like the bright bold stripes pattern, and my only complaint is that it's not a reversible design -- the inner side is plain white on both duvet cover and pillow case. It's a design that is neutral enough for either sex (I don't believe in that stuff, although obviously other people do) -- I don't see a boy complaining about the colour. It washes well and dries fast. The pillow case is a slip-case, and the duvet cover fastens with hidden buttons (as in, with actual button holes) which makes it more secure than snap-buttons, although it takes a moment longer to fix.

Overall: I am a fan.


L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lip Liner Magique
L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lip Liner Magique
Offered by TheCosmeticsShop
Price: £2.47

3.0 out of 5 stars Liner good, design bad, 8 Feb. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lip-liner that doubles as a primer. It's light and pleasant on the lips, and it's transparent colour makes it easy to match with any lip-colour. As a primer, I think it gives a really nice evening base and the colour sits well on top of it. I don't find it really necessary for lipstick, I think it actually makes it stick less -- it's much more important for lip tints (the more liquid, paint-like lip colour). It's a good outliner for the tint, which can be tricky to keep 'within the lines' if your hands are a bit less steady, and it keeps it from bleeding.

The design, on the other hand, seems like they haven't thought through it very well. The body of the pencil seems to be plastic, in which case you might expect a twisting mechanical function, but it seems you have to sharpen it to get more...and this really isn't designed to be put through an ordinary pencil sharpener. That's a disappointing and annoying design flaw.


Go Stationery Cerise Trees A6 Notebook
Go Stationery Cerise Trees A6 Notebook
Offered by Notebook Love UK
Price: £5.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely design and excellent quality, 11 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This little number is really gorgeous AND excellent quality. A chunky little A6 notebook, it's made with lovely thick cream paper, and has a well-secured spine to keep it from falling apart with use. Its page number is generous, and it has an elastic to hold it closed. But it's the cover that makes it such a thing of beauty at first sight (and touch), with its cerise-on-cerise tree design and the little shiny embossings that just add a little extra class to it. Lovely as a gift or to keep, although if you're like me, you might just stroke the cover and never use it. Use it! Notebooks are meant to be used! (I keep telling myself...)


Go Stationery Coral Bloom A4 Large Flower Notebook - Lime
Go Stationery Coral Bloom A4 Large Flower Notebook - Lime
Price: £6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite lime, but still excellent, 11 Jan. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This A4 notebook is truly excellent quality. It's made with lovely thick paper (white, though, not cream as the description says), and the spiral binding is well-fitted and turns clearly all the way without snagging. Its page number is generous, and it has a matte card cover. Lovely as a gift or to keep, suitable both for everyday use and the more special things. The only thing I would disagree with is the colour description - to my eye, this much less lime and much more a golden ochre. It's a nice colour, just not lime!


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