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RayG
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Philips HD9340/90 Glass Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Philips HD9340/90 Glass Kettle, 2200 W, 1.5 Litre
Price: £42.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and efficient - and looks cool!, 10 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a really stylish, efficient and comfortable to hold kettle. I really like having the main container made of glass, enabling you to see the water as it boils. It may sound strange, but it's actually really cool to watch a kettle boil when you can see all the thermals moving around and then eventually turning into bubbles. Naturally, I don't do this every time I make a cup of tea, but it's a nice distraction from work every now and then.

The kettle itself boils pretty quickly, and being able to see the water so clearly does really does help you judge the amount of water in it. My only criticism, and it really is a small criticism, is that the lid doesn't open as wide as previous kettles I've owned, so you need to be a bit more careful when filling it up. It's really a compliment to the kettle that this is the only criticism I can think of.

Highly recommended.


BT Wi-Fi Extender 300 Kit (Booster) - White
BT Wi-Fi Extender 300 Kit (Booster) - White
Price: £19.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Decent Signal, 1 Sept. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've used a couple of wi-fi extenders in the past, with mixed results. Generally, I find wifi hotspots to be a much better solution to extended the range of a router, but these usually rely on either a wired mains electricity circuit or a LAN cable in order to work. A simply wifi extender like this is simply for boosting an existing wifi signal, which means you need to be within reach of a decent signal to begin with, otherwise you're just boosting a poor quality signal and will get a very poor connection as a result. The trick is to get the right balance between extending the signal as far as you can and making sure it's still high enough quality.

Previously, I have found wifi extenders to be very lacking, and I've only been able to extend wifi signal over relatively short distances. Fortunately, this BT N300 wifi extender is much better than the others I've used, and I can now comfortably reach my BBQ area with a moderate (and certainly usable) signal quality. I'm using a covered outdoor mains plug to power the extender, and it manages to reach right through the house to the router on the other side in order to pick up the signal, and manages to broadcast it about 8 metres across the lawn without any issues.

In terms of set up, it's very simple, and you just need to connect to it via a computer (or even a smartphone) and enter the login details for your existing wifi. It's not particularly difficult, and the instructions are laid out pretty well, so most people would be able to install this themselves without too much fuss. For anyone familiar with setting up a router, it should be a breeze.


Philips Sonicare AdaptiveClean White Brush Heads - 4 Pack (Recommended for DiamondClean & FlexCare Platinum)
Philips Sonicare AdaptiveClean White Brush Heads - 4 Pack (Recommended for DiamondClean & FlexCare Platinum)
Price: £30.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Set of Toothbrush Heads., 6 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These Sonicare toothbrush heads are designed to fit most (but not all) toothbrushes in the Sonicare range. I'm using one in my Sonicare Platinum, and my wife is using one in her Sonicare Diamond (unlike mine, her toothbrush handle is black but it works just the same despite looking a little strange).

The heads are basically identical to the ones I have with my Sonicare Platinum toothbrush, and if you are already using one of these toothbrushes you'll know exactly what to expect from these replacement heads - excellent cleaning, with hard-wearing bristles that give an excellent, tingly clean every time.


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great salts - but not sure how much to use., 6 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My Personal Trainer had recommended Magnesium baths as a way of recovering from training, so I used these for a soak after I'd been for a run. The bath was very relaxing, and I think I suffered from less muscle fatigue after having a bath straight after training, as well as sleeping really well. The salts also had a nice softening effect on my skin.

I was less impressed with the instructions, I don't know what was meant by a cup - did they mean a US 'cup' measure? A cup from the kitchen? Was there meant to be a specific measuring cup with it? As a result I used up all of my salts over 4 baths, but I have no idea whether I used more than I needed or less. Better instructions and possibly a measuring cup would really improve the product.


Philips Sonicare HX9111/21 FlexCare Platinum Electric toothbrush (UK 2-Pin Bathroom Plug)
Philips Sonicare HX9111/21 FlexCare Platinum Electric toothbrush (UK 2-Pin Bathroom Plug)
Price: £117.93

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality, Well Built Electric Toothbrush, 3 Aug. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an excellent electric toothbrush. Having used standard non-electric toothbrushes for the last few years, I was immediately impressed by how vigorously the Philips Sonicare Platinum toothbrush cleaned my teeth by comparison. In fact, my entire jaw felt like it was tingling for about an hour afterwards!

The toothbrush will automatically turn off after the right amount of time, and uses a handy alert feature that causes the motor to briefly pause when it's time to move on to a different part of your mouth. I actually find it quite enjoyable to clean my teeth with, and I've actually cleaned them twice in a row on a few occasions to give my teeth an extra polish.

The set comes with a neat travel case, but the 'travel charger' statement on the box is a bit misleading. Basically, you only get one charger in the box (or at least I did), which is a slim, 'portable' charging stand. The fact that it's quite small makes it suitable for taking around in a washbag, but it's not a specific 'travel charger', and it works just fine as as the sole charging device. Some of the other models come with a separate USB-powered travel charger, which is really useful if you can't get to a bathroom AC socket when camping or travelling, but alas this model doesn't offer anything of the sort.

Aside from the lack of a USB charger (which may not bother you anyway), this is a very high quality toothbrush with all the features you'd expect from a high end model. The charge lasts for ages, it's very sturdy and well built, and gives a very high quality clean.


The Wars of the Roses: The Key Players in the Struggle for Supremacy
The Wars of the Roses: The Key Players in the Struggle for Supremacy
by Matthew Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, Engaging and Highly Informative, 17 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have read several books on the Wars of the Roses over the years, ranging from dull, academic tomes to exciting, 'historical fiction', but this book is probably the best one I've read so far. It's well written, in an accessible yet highly informative style, and the author clearly knows the subject matter very well. Given the number of Richards, Henrys, Margarets involved, not to mention the number of people who share or inherit titles from their predecessors, it would be easy to allow a book like this to become confusing and muddled. However, I never found that to be the case with this book, and the author manages to deftly weave in the necessary background information and descriptions to keep the narrative clear and focused at all times.

It's a surprisingly engaging read at points, and even though I'm quite familiar with the main events of the Wars of the Roses, I found it hard to put the book down at times. The approachable yet in-depth style lends itself to both newcomers and enthusiasts alike, and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Wars of the Roses.


Chinese Unchopped
Chinese Unchopped
by Jeremy Pang
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic recipes and tutorials, 17 July 2015
This review is from: Chinese Unchopped (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a fan of Chinese cooking already, I wasn't sure how much benefit I'd get from another Chinese cookbook. However, what makes Jeremy Pang's 'Chinese Unchopped' stand out is that it's not simply a collection of recipes, but is a surprisingly detailed cookbook containing a multitude of 'how to' cooking tutorials. These tutorials explain things like how to prepare food, which utensils are most effective and how to use the right ingredients, and are a really useful insight into getting more out of cooking Chinese food.

The recipes themselves are fantastic too. A lot of them contain images, though in order to reduce the page count quite a few don't - it doesn't really matter though, as the descriptions and recipes are very well put together. The instructions are straightforward and intuitive, and most recipes can probably be handled by someone with only limited cooking experience - there are one or two more complex recipes for those who like a challenge however.

This is definitely my new 'go to' cookbook for Chinese cooking (sorry Ching-He Huang, you're now no. 2), and it's given me a new verve for cooking Chinese food.


Ultrasport Speed Rope - Jump Rope with approx. 9 ft (280 cm) Steel Rope - Adjustable Length
Ultrasport Speed Rope - Jump Rope with approx. 9 ft (280 cm) Steel Rope - Adjustable Length
Price: £12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Quality, fast rope, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very fast skipping rope, and despite its relative light weight, it seems to be very sturdy and well put together. Using a coiled metal wire as the 'rope' gives it a very comfortable swing at full pace. It's not too hard to adjust the length, but bear in mind that you'll need a relatively small Allen key to do this, and if you're shortening it by more than about 15cm you'll need to cut through the wire itself. You can actually feed the wire further into the handles to shorten it, so if in doubt, cut it slightly longer than you'll ideally need then you can make smaller adjustments as necessary.

The only real downside is that being a metal rope, it's very hard to store this thing without the wire flailing out everywhere. I'm used to soft leather skipping ropes, that you can simply wrap around the handle for storage. You can't easily do that with this - it is OK in a bag pouch or pocket, but not so good if you want to keep it on a shelf or just on the floor.


King of Flash iPhone 6 Black 4.7" 2014 Premium Quality Sports Armband for Jogging, Running, Gym, Cycling with Key Pocket - Universal Size
King of Flash iPhone 6 Black 4.7" 2014 Premium Quality Sports Armband for Jogging, Running, Gym, Cycling with Key Pocket - Universal Size
Offered by KING OF FLASH
Price: £4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very lightweight, good support, 7 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having previously kept my phone in my pocket when running, I was eager to move to an armband holder instead, so I thought I'd give this King of Flash armband a go.

Firstly, this is very lightweight and easy to fit to your arm. It has two broad size settings, and can easily be adjusted to fit. My iPhone 6 fitted in perfectly, and is easy to get out/put back in. There are holes at the top and bottom for a headphone jack, and a small pouch for a key (or money I guess if you're running to the pub!).

The screen is covered by a thin, transparent plastic cover, which will keep dirt/moisture of your phone, while still allowing you to operate a touchscreen device without too much interference. It's not as responsive as just using your finger directly on the screen, but it's probably best to have some kind of cover for protection anyway. My only problem is that after a run it can be a little bit tricky to pause/end the workout, but I'm starting to get used to it.

Although the iPhone 6 is a relatively light phone, when it's strapped to your arm it is still quite bulky and I found it slipped down a little bit once I started running. However, this is kind of inherent in the design of the phone, so it's understandable that it's not completely fixed in place.

Overall, this is a definite improvement on having my phone in my pocket. My only real problem is that when finishing a run it's noticeably tricker to pause/end the workout, but for me it's a worthwhile tradeoff.


Kensington Pro Fit Bluetooth Wireless Mouse for Windows and Mac
Kensington Pro Fit Bluetooth Wireless Mouse for Windows and Mac
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Light and compact, easy to use., 7 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've generally only ever used Microsoft mice and keyboards, but with my old laptop mouse starting to glitch I thought it would be a good time to try an alternative brand, hence this Kensington mouse.

The first thing I noticed when getting it out of the box it is how light it is. This is mostly a good thing as it does make the mouse feel very easy to hold and move. However, it does feel quite hollow, and perhaps cheaply made. I guess this is probably just down to personal preference.

I don't have particularly big hands, but this mouse is definitely on the small side. For a laptop mouse this is perfect, but personally I would prefer something a little bigger for a desktop mouse. It's still quite comfortable either way.

Unlike a lot of older 'wireless' mice, this is actually a Bluetooth mouse. The difference is that this doesn't require its own USB dongle, and will simply connect directly through Bluetooth. Even though all my computers have Bluetooth, I used to find it annoying that I'd still need to take up a free USB slot on each device simply to use a wireless keyboard/mouse. With this Kensington mouse, it has its own built-in Bluetooth transmitter so it will connect directly to your computer, providing you have Bluetooth support (if not you could always buy a Bluetooth dongle I guess). What I found really cool is that I didn't even have to pair it - it just connected right to my laptop (running Windows 8.1) after a few seconds of booting up.

So far, I've been really pleased with this mouse. Aside from it being a little small and light for my taste, the only real improvement I can think of would be to add side buttons - I'm so used to using these that it's a bit of a hindrance not having them. It's not a deal breaker though, and many people don't use them anyway.


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