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Reviews Written by
not_a_real_folkie "not_a_real_folkie" (Farnham, Surrey, UK)
(VINE VOICE)   

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Kaffe Fassett Essential Achillea Kit
Kaffe Fassett Essential Achillea Kit
Price: £24.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful scent + hand-cream + lip balm in a premium quality tin, 26 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Test-driven by my wife, who reported that the hand cream and lip balm were good, but the eau-de-toilette was "exceptionally lovely" - and I'm inclined to agree; a very nice scent and definitely one to save for a special occasion.

The quality, embossed tin makes this an ideal gift (for you or for someone else). Extracting the contents from the plastic packaging inside the tin was a bit of a fiddle - they need to be pushed through from the other side - but it looks good and, as noted above, the products themselves are excellent.


Igenix HL3730 Small Edison Screw (SES) Round Lamp, 45 mm, 40 W - Clear, Pack of 10
Igenix HL3730 Small Edison Screw (SES) Round Lamp, 45 mm, 40 W - Clear, Pack of 10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old school incandescent bulbs for small screw fitting (SES) lamps, 14 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First of all - they do what it says on the tin (or on the back of the cardboard pack). These bulbs fit the fiddly little SES (Small Edison Screw) sockets so popular with table lamp manufacturers. They are 'old skool' incandescent lamps - not halogen or low energy - so give a lovely warm light.

The interesting thing is, perhaps, that Igenix was set up as a brand for small, independent retailers, like the guy in the High Street with the plastic buckets and garden ornaments piled up outside his one-off shop. The fact that the small, independent retailer Amazon is selling them seems a little weird.

Anyway, they work, they're CE marked (so no under-the-counter business here) and the packaging is simple and unfussy.


Rexel Joy A4 5 Subject Notebook - Blissful Blue
Rexel Joy A4 5 Subject Notebook - Blissful Blue
Price: £8.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Means Business, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Stylish but practical notebook. The front cover has 5 holes showing through to the 1st page, upon which you can write the topic headings contained in the notebook.

Each section is separated by a colourful plastic divider, with a pocket to put loose papers etc. The paper is reasonable quality - typical loose leaf pad - but bound with a spiral wire binding. The corners of the pages can be torn off for indexing (they're not numbered) and individual sheets can be torn out along perforations close to the binding, so the whole thing is very flexible.

They've incorporated a pen-holder on the plastic front cover which may or may not work for you - it's a nice idea.

Overall a pleasing combination of the practical and the colourful.


Toni & Guy Casual Radiating Tropical Elixir - 50 ml
Toni & Guy Casual Radiating Tropical Elixir - 50 ml
Price: £6.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tame that frizz - but not for very fine hair, 24 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Test-driven by my wife - she says that the fragrance is lovely and it gives hair extra body, but if you've got *very* fine hair it can make it a bit uncontrollable.


A Stack of Steeleye Span: Their Finest Folk Recordings 1973-1975
A Stack of Steeleye Span: Their Finest Folk Recordings 1973-1975

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb music - misleading CD cover, 14 April 2015
Excellent electric folk recordings - just be aware that the cover is misleading: these are taken from the band's output of 1970 and 1971, when they had Maddy Prior, Tim Hart, Peter Knight, Martin Carthy, Ashley Hutchings and (for a while) Gay & Terry Woods in the line-up. The 1973 - 1975 tag-line and picture on the front refer to the "All Around My Hat" band, which were a slightly different proposition and don't feature here.


Einhell TE-OS 18 Li Solo Power X-Change 18 V Lithium Cordless Multi Sander with Filter Box
Einhell TE-OS 18 Li Solo Power X-Change 18 V Lithium Cordless Multi Sander with Filter Box
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Achtung! Sander with Velcro sanding sheet attachment - it works!, 2 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Einhell TE-OS 18 Li is an 18 volt cordless sander for detail sanding. It does the job very nicely without too much noise and vibration. The tool can be used in stand-alone mode using its own dust collection box, although I found that the battery surface nearest the dust box got covered in dust pretty quickly. The vacuum cleaner hose attachment is a much better idea for getting rid of the dust - with the trade-off, of course, that you lose some of the portability of a cordless tool when you're lugging a Hoover around after you.

What is good is that there's hardly any dust at all from the actual sanding surface. The sanding sheets are an Einhell bespoke spare part (to fit the dust-extraction holes, but also because they're fastened on by Velcro rather than a clamp) - seemed to be between £3.50 and £7 when I checked the Einhell website, depending on how many you buy in a pack. B&Q don't stock them at the time of writing.

The Velcro attachment of the sanding sheets works amazingly well... I must admit I was expecting the sheet to fall off,, but it sticks like a limpet to the tool.

Boring-but-true department: the tool is badged as German but, like a lot of things, is made in China. As the description says, you have to buy the battery and charger separately and these clock in at around twice the price of the tool itself, again at the time of writing. I would buy a large capacity battery, or have a spare, to avoid having to stop and put the battery on charge in mid-job.


Aussie Mega Watt Body Wash Shower Gel 250 ml
Aussie Mega Watt Body Wash Shower Gel 250 ml
Offered by The Magazine Rack
Price: £5.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Premium shower gel from tongue-in-cheek 'Aussie' brand, 15 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd previously come across the Aussie brand via their hair products, which are excellent. This shower gel has the same 'premium' feel - i.e. you don't need half a gallon of it to get you clean. The fragrance is OK, as well, and a step up from the sort of things you'd get from the pound shop.

Resolutely un-Australian in origin (the stuff is made in France by Procter and Gamble, of that famous BBQ capital - Weybridge, Surrey) the branding and humorous write-up on the back are nonetheless quite cool ("There's more to life than skin, but it's a good place to start") and give the impression that the writer is in on the Aussie/Surrey joke. Just be aware that these are 250ml bottles, and the Aussie shampoos etc. are slightly larger at 300ml - they looked a bit on the small side when I opened the packaging.


Harry Roy & His Band
Harry Roy & His Band
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly it's 1931 again!, 5 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This collection of Harry Roy sides is transcribed from 78s released in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It was previously available as a "Music for Pleasure" album from EMI (called "Hotcha-ma-cha-cha"!).

Roy is an accomplished band leader and clarinettist. The short pieces showcase superb musicianship, particularly from Ivor Moreton & Dave Kaye who played two grand pianos in attention-grabbing style - but the band arrangements are all imaginative and the ensemble tight. Some songs have vocals, almost all of which are sung in tongue-in-cheek style (for example, the chap complaining that "Somebody Stole My Gal" indulges in some OTT emoting, clearly played for laughs) and all evoke wind-up 78rpm record players, bob haircuts, Fedoras and stylish London cafes.

Since these are 78rpm recordings, the quality is subject to the limitations of that format. I'd say it strikes a good balance between filtering out too much to get rid of the scratches, and leaving too much in so that everything gets drowned in background noise... it sounds clean but not muffled.

Incidentally, "Twelfth Street Rag" is unusual for the period in having a fade-out ending (most dance band records finished with a flourish on the cymbals to indicate the end of the dance), but I've checked the original 78 and the fade was present there too. It actually quite effective, giving the impression that the pianists were going to just play on forever...

The choice of songs in this collection is, in my view, superior to that being currently offered as a "burn to order" CD-R on Amazon, but clearly that's a matter of personal taste.


Finish All in One Max Dishwasher Tablets Lemon, 74 Tablets
Finish All in One Max Dishwasher Tablets Lemon, 74 Tablets
Offered by AsianSuperMart
Price: £22.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Competent cleaning with no streaks or left-overs, 4 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very pleased with the results obtained with these - on an "Eco" dishwasher cycle (50C on our Bosch machine) plates and glasses come up sparkling with no streaks or left-on food. There is a fresh but not overpowering smell when the cycle is finished... I've whinged before about over-perfumed dishwasher tablets; these are not. Overall recommended if you can get them for a good price.


Different Tracks: Music and Politics in 1970
Different Tracks: Music and Politics in 1970
by Steve Millward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only one year... but a lot of music and history to cram in, 26 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Steve Millward stakes out his territory well for the scope of this book - unlike Rob Young's "Electric Eden", this book is to consider all forms of popular music. Also, unlike Dominic Sandbrook's series that set wider musical and cultural changes within the context of contemporary British (and only British) politics, Millward aims to address worldwide political and historical events... but limits himself to one 'milestone' year, 1970.

The sheer amount of information contained in this book is impressive, but I found Millward's writing style slightly drier than either of the other authors mentioned above. On a factual level, much of the material is really interesting, but there are some awkward juxtapositions, such as a discussion of the tragic events in southern Asia lurching suddenly into a description of a guitarist's "incisive use of the wah-wah pedal" that (inadvertently) makes the output of that guitarist seem completely irrelevant.

This book is to be praised for its breadth, but readers may want to take it in small doses to avoid indigestion.


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