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H Scholl

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Octonauts Gup I Playset
Octonauts Gup I Playset
Offered by Importtoys-UK
Price: £20.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointment, 20 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Octonauts Gup I Playset (Toy)
This is a great concept of a toy and an eagerly awaited addition to the Octonauts collection. My boys (3 and 6) love playing with this... at least they did for the first day they had it. After a few hours of play the "head" of the gup stopped staying upright. My six-year old is sanguine enough to sigh and brush this off but it has resulted in screaming frustration from my three-year old who simply doesn't understand why the beloved toy will not work as it used to. I would love to give this toy more stars but this is a glaring fault that has been picked up by other reviewers and I don't understand how it got passed quality control.

Fisher-Price Little People Builders Stack 'N Learn Alphabet Blocks
Fisher-Price Little People Builders Stack 'N Learn Alphabet Blocks

1.0 out of 5 stars Poor design for a building block, 25 Nov. 2015
My son has these and another set of Little People blocks that his grandmother bought him. They are terrible toys. He wants to play with them and can be happy for about one minute but, because they connect to each other so loosely, everything he builds falls apart as soon as it's touched. The screams! The constant screams! These will be discretely removed from the toyroom and replaced with Duplo or Lego as soon as possible.

Seven Seas Pirates Single Duvet and Pillowcase Set
Seven Seas Pirates Single Duvet and Pillowcase Set
Offered by Price-Right-Home
Price: £12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Horrible material, 24 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I very begrudingly give this three stars because the pattern is really lovely, my son loves it and it was cheap. However, I hate the quality of the material and I have bought cheap bed clothes before that are much softer and better made.

William Armes Rug Stop, 130 x 60 cm
William Armes Rug Stop, 130 x 60 cm
Price: £9.48

2.0 out of 5 stars My gamble didn't pay off with a rubber-backed mat, 24 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I knew I was taking a risk trying out this product because it has received mixed reviews. But then, so has every other product for stopping rugs creeping over floors. Sadly, my gamble didn't pay off. I think this might work with a canvas-backed rug but the mat I was wanting to keep in place had a rubber backing and the Rug Stop just can't stick to it sufficiently.

I can't help feeling this was an unnecessary waste of money for me - the manufacturers must know their product can't work on rubber-backed mats and they could have mentioned this in their description.

VTech Baby Crazy Legs Learning Bug
VTech Baby Crazy Legs Learning Bug
Price: £22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the most part, a good buy, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this toy for my 18-month old's second Christmas and he really likes it. He has played with it consistently since Christmas and its novelty doesn't seem to be wearing off. He loves walking around the house, pulling it behind him and he loves making the shapes pop out by pressing on the baby bug on the top. I am sure that this toy will continue to be played with for a long time to come, as he is yet to learn the skills necessary to enjoy the "Can you find the triangle?" stage of play.

There is no volume control but I don't find the music that loud and it certainly is better than some electronic toys around.

My one problem with it is that it is quite difficult to get the shapes to stay in their places and sometimes they just drop off the Learning Bug. If I find it difficult to get them to stay put, you may imagine how frustrated a toddler can get. Perhaps if the holes had to have been designed deeper, the problem would not have arisen. It may seem a petty reason to give 4 stars out of 5 but there you have it!

I would still recommend this toy to any and every parent out there. It has been so satisfying to see a toy being played with over and over again.

Drop The Dead Donkey Box Set Series 1-3†† [DVD]
Drop The Dead Donkey Box Set Series 1-3†† [DVD]
Dvd ~ Susannah Doyle

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good to have this on DVD, 26 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoyed Drop the Dead Donkey when it was being aired in the 90s but I was very wary about buying this boxset. I thought that the programme would have aged too much and I would no longer find the humour relevant. It was only because this set was so affordable and I really wanted to show the series to some foreign friends, as an example of good British TV, that I decided to risk it.

I am so glad I did!

This show is still as good as ever. I think I probably appreciate it more now, in fact. There are little reminders at the beginning of each programme to tell the viewer what was happening in the news at the time of airing and these give you enough information to enjoy all the jokes. I still had to do some quick revision on the political figures of the day but that says more about my bad memory than the programme itself. It has also become a huge hit with my foreign friends and we are racing through the boxset at break-neck speed. It's a good thing I ordered Series 4-6 at the same time!

Thank heaven someone had the great idea to put this all on DVD!

Better Off Without 'em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession
Better Off Without 'em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession
by Chuck Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.26

2.0 out of 5 stars A foreigner’s manifesto for a more nuanced analysis, 26 Feb. 2014
As a foreigner from outside the Anglo sphere who likes America and is not unsympathetic to the author’s premise, I still don’t quite know what to make of this book.

Mr. Thompson is clearly serious about his thesis that the American South is unlike any other part of the country and that, indeed, the rest of the country would be better off without it – no one who bothers to spend two grueling years in what were clearly some of the grimmest single-traffic-light mud holes in the Union, collecting statistics with such commendable tenacity, can fail to be serious. Yet the book drowns in its own irony, and detracts from the appropriate gravity of the matter examined: the book reads much less like a serious work of journalism in the mould of Fast Food Nation (which it clearly strives quite hard to be) than a partisan pamphlet in the tradition of Michael Moore or his equally cussed conservative counterparts. Dripping from every page with foul-mouthed sarcasm and dyspeptic vitriol, despite the occasional faux humility and all the statistics, Better Off Without ’Em comes across like an unapologetic and needlessly insulting diatribe against all things Southern. Granted, Mr. Thompson by his own admission is preaching to the converted, but the important question he asks requires a more serious answer for a wider American audience. So I am left wondering what exactly he intended with this book: to produce an earnest examination of the North/South divide? Simply give vent to his anti-Southern frustrations? Or poke fun in Stephen Colbert style at the admittedly immoderate, Southern-fried invective so often hurled against “liberals” in cable-friendly, post-Fairness Doctrine America? The book is too painstakingly researched for a mere piss-take, and yet much too crammed with partisan flippancy to be taken seriously. The tonal confusion that permeates the book makes Mr. Thompson’s motives impossible to pin this down, and undermines the integrity of his inquiry.

Mr. Thompson also fails to convince me that the South is unique, partly because he dedicates so very little in his book to an examination of America’s other regional peculiarities – of course, that would have made for a truly gargantuan piece of work, but without it there is simply too little justification for singling out the South as the paramount American cultural anomaly. There can be little doubt that the South does constitute a cohesive cultural block, but many others in America might be equally justified in seeing New England as the place apart, for example, with it being considered by so many Americans as basically a hermetic European exclave on US territory.

In that same vein, virtually all the cultural features Mr. Thompson denounces about the South, from the religious fanaticism to the more or less transparent racism and the anti-intellectualism to the kneejerk abhorrence of “socialism”, are visible in many other states in the Union, especially west of the Appalachians. Mr. Thompson does acknowledge this in passing, but gives it such short shrift that it falls very short of proper scrutiny. He says there is a difference between the South and what he calls “heartlands conservatism” and claims to have no problem with the latter, but then fails to explain what that difference is. Yet many if not most of the key political figures and opinion formers in America who are so applauded in the South today are from these selfsame conservative heartlands, or even the mostly liberal East: Sarah Palin is from Alaska, Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania, Ann Coulter from Connecticut, Glenn Beck from Washington, Sean Hannity from New York… the list goes on, and hardly points specifically to the South. Also, it was the Kansas Board of Education that insisted on staging its own remake of the Scopes Monkey Trial as recently as the last decade, and Arizona that adopted such a controversially defensive immigration law, neither of which state falls into Mr. Thompson’s definition of southern. With so many outliers, Mr. Thompson’s theory of the "exception sudiste" wobbles alarmingly. He dismisses this point in the book in one typically short and declamatory sentence: “Sarah Palin wouldn’t exist without the South.” But why is that, exactly, especially in the case of such a notoriously parochial figure whose husband was even a member of the Alaskan Independence Party? How is this magical contamination from the South to the polar circle possible? No answer is forthcoming.

In the absence of this wider examination, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the secession war Mr. Thompson is really fighting is not so much North against South, but the good old clichéd war of liberals against conservatives – or more accurately, modern conservatives against everyone else, including the Reaganite paleo-conservatives which Mr. Thompson seems to hail from. And indeed, how much easier it is to dismiss modern American conservatism as a mere regional quirk worthy of simple geographical excision rather than deal with the far more complex reality: that of an undercurrent of American culture, which permeates the psyche of an entire nation and not just its 11 southeastern states.

It is a sign of how unconvinced I remained even after more than 250 pages of Mr. Thompson’s thesis of Southern exceptionalism that the one passage in the book I found myself nodding enthusiastically at came not from Mr. Thompson’s first-person narration, but from the mouth of a Southerner who disagrees with him: “You’d have to look at yourself in the mirror and you might not like it,” rebuts a distinguished Southern academic. “My point isn’t that the South doesn’t deserve a hellacious amount of criticism. It does – even more sometimes than it gets. My objection to what you’re doing is using the South to wink at all the stuff in the rest of the country that needs addressing.”

Precisely. The South – and America at large – deserve better.

Vestalife Ladybug II Colourful Speaker Dock for iPod and iPhone - Red
Vestalife Ladybug II Colourful Speaker Dock for iPod and iPhone - Red

5.0 out of 5 stars So good I'm buying two, 9 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this docking station for myself and have been really pleased with it. It is excellent value for this price, with good sound quality and good overall quality. But what I really love about this is its design. It is practical, fun and beautiful. My 3-year old son loves folding the ladybird's wings away when we are finished using it and I love the fact that it can be so compact but without compromising on the quality of sound.

I'm now back to Amazon buying another one as a birthday present, and I'm confident it will be well received.

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