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Reviews Written by
R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK)
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Parker Jotter Royal Blue CT Ballpoint Pen
Parker Jotter Royal Blue CT Ballpoint Pen
Price: £11.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable ball-pen from Parker, as usual, 20 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This slim Parker pen in the classic T-Ball Jotter profile, supplied with the Medium, 1mm tip permanent-blue ball-point cartridge, has all the positive attributes and negative failings of the original. The pen is slim and durable with the reliable click-click in-out action on the button at the top, and will accept the widely available replacement cartridges in different tip sizes and ink colours and types.

Once dried, the ink in this pen does not smear or smudge even when rubbed with a wet finger. I find that the ball tip is much better to write with than the gel type cartridges. Of course neither is as good as a proper fountain pen with nib, but the T-Ball jotter comes close, and is so much better than a Bic type.

Unfortunately the sleek lines also mean the pen has the major failing of being too slippery to grip in a relaxed way; which is why I always wrap some very thin rubber bands around the barrels on my existing stainless Parker jotters and propelling pencils. Improving the ease of grip has greatly reduced the frequency of both spasm attacks and RSI in the back of my hand and wrist.

This pen has a durable blue lacquer on the lower barrel, and a corresponding colour blue ink cartridge, but is otherwise very similar in appearance and dimensions to our pair of forty-year-old plain stainless brushed-finish jotters (free from Shredded Wheat), which still work perfectly and I've lost count of how many black and red refill cartridges they have used. In all those years I can only remember one cartridge leaking. This new French-made model is a few grams lighter thanks to modern construction methods, and has a softer feel with the more rounded button and arrow clip, but it also has a coarser and less secure thread holding the two halves together.

Curiously the packaging for the pen still bears two Royal Warrants even though the pen is now made in France.


STV International STV415 Defenders Jet-Spray Fox Repeller
STV International STV415 Defenders Jet-Spray Fox Repeller
Price: £26.83

4.0 out of 5 stars A harmless but effective deterrent., 15 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This spray is actually rather good; the principle is sound, with the water and noise of operation being a significant inconvenience and yet not harmful to either people or the animals it is intended to deter.

However the execution is more problematic for a couple of reasons; the first that the device is somewhat flimsy plastic, and the second is that it takes some careful thought and skill to correctly locate and aim it for the desired effect without 'collateral damage' or wasted water.

On my sample the limit stops were wrongly placed so that the adjustment for movement was very restricted, but by carefully removing and replacing the two collar-stops correctly I was able to achieve a much wider sweep for the spray.

There are two other adjustments for the spray not mentioned in the instructions; the one on top is a black dial that with my water pressure angled down most of the spray to vary the reach approximately between 2 metres and 8 metres if the spike is vertical, and the other is a small green set screw that adjusts the speed of travel of the spray and this speed is also partly dependent on the pressure. I've added a picture annotated to show the reach dial, the set screw and the two limit stops correctly adjusted for a spray angle of about a hundred degrees.

Aiming the sensor and setting the sensitivity with the knob on the back are both important; false triggering is a waste of water and battery life.

The PIR (Passive Infra Red) sensor has quite a wide angle of detection, and this is likely to produce false triggering from movement outside of the target area, be it by animals or sun-warmed plants in the wind. Some black tape stuck down the sides has proved to be effective at narrowing the field of view.

It requires two AA cells, but these are not included. I found that rechargeable cells worked well enough for this sort of intermittent use. The battery housing has a rubber seal on the cover, and this is then also protected from the spray by the black shield.

When we read the instructions they were all very sensible to begin with; making sure the water was off and stressing the importance of setting the PIR correctly, and listening for the click of the water switch to know when it was right. But the last sentence made us laugh, because it said to turn on the water and walk in front of the spray to check the coverage was correct! I would have instead suggested choosing a warm sunny day and volunteering an energetic small child to test it.

One advantage of this system is that it can be used simply as a garden spray by not fitting the PIR module in between the ground spike and the spray head, which is how I initially tested the coverage. But now the flimsiness of the plastic becomes more significant because I doubt that it would stand up to sustained use, perhaps for watering the lawn, as well as would one of the old-fashioned brass type.

On the spike there is a blanking plug covering a second hose connector which allows daisy-chaining several of these units. Another tap connector would be needed to be able to use this feature.

My application is limited to covering the fish pond to keep both the neighbour's cat and the heron at bay. Careful aiming has meant that we do not become soaked when feeding the fish if having forgotten to turn off the tap. I'm using brass fittings on the hose because they are so much more durable than the usual plastic types from the likes of Hozelock etc.

My main worry is about leaving the thing connected to the tap overnight and the foxes having their revenge by chewing through the hose! That could waste a lot of water.

Addendum 12th July 2016
It has been left on for a few days while we have been in to keep a check on it, and I've heard it going on a couple of occasions but not yet been fast enough to reach the window to see what might have triggered it. Except today, when a pair of young lads brought their big machine to remove a stump and I forgot to stop them having a closer look at the fish before I could turn off the tap. Fortunately they both saw the funny side and for once the sun happened to be shining. And they dried off quite quickly with the aid of a towel and a hot cup of tea each.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Featherweight Moisturiser SPF15, 50 ml
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Ageing Featherweight Moisturiser SPF15, 50 ml
Price: £6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth and light to apply, soaks in quickly, leaves an excellent feel to the skin., 14 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-ageing Featherweight Moisturiser with SPF15 seems to be living up to its claims.

It is very light and easy to apply, a little goes a long way, and the skin then feels soft and smooth. After a couple of weeks of regular use it continues to soak in quickly without any greasy residue and there are no signs of pores clogging nor any adverse reactions.

Make-up can be applied only a couple of minutes later and the SPF15 is almost an essential feature these days for those of us with older thinner skin.

No further wrinkles have appeared in the last fortnight, and it is too soon to estimate if there has been any beneficial effect on ageing. I guess more than this mere 50ml will be required and over a longer time before one might notice any changes.

Be aware that some people might react to the parabens listed in the ingredients.


Casablanca -- Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1942]
Casablanca -- Two Disc Special Edition [DVD] [1942]
Dvd ~ Humphrey Bogart
Offered by afternoon-matinee
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bogart film in an excellently re-mastered edition, 14 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My two DVD 2003 Special Edition has a remastered print that is beautifully steady and clean, a superb rendition of the classic film we all know and are happy to watch time and again. The subtle interaction between all the cast coupled with the excellent direction and attention to detail in the sets make this an outstanding flm, especially when compared with the more frantic modern films. One would never realise that the film was shot almost on an ad-hoc basis with the cast often not knowing what they would be doing from one day to the next.
Of course it is only 4:3 B&W and has mono sound, and the Az blurb is to the point.

Disc one has two commentaries, one by film critic Roger Ebert, the other by film historian Rudy Behlmer, plus an introduction to the film by Lauren Bacall. It is split into 32 scenes which can be accessed from the menus.

The normal menus on Disc 2 give us some scenes that had been cut from the film, various bits of production data, a collection of musical out-takes by Dooley Wilson, and two more features; the brilliant spoof by Bugs Bunny and his usual cronies 'Carrotblanca', and the 21 scene feature 'Bacall on Bogart'. Disc two also has enhanced content that can be used with a PC.


The Maltese Falcon [1941] [DVD]
The Maltese Falcon [1941] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Humphrey Bogart
Price: £4.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bogart at his best, 14 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is one of the great classics of tense who-dun-it, with Bogart breaking into the big time as Sam Spade. My fifteen-year-old DVD is still a pleasure to watch, and this damp afternoon it was so very much better viewing than the wet tennis, and it took our minds off the grass visibly growing taller on what once used to be a lawn.

We all know the film, and the Amazon blurb is to the point. But after not having seen it for a few years, when compared with modern high-octane, all-action, shouting TV and films, it was so good to be able to enjoy the intimate interaction amongst all the cast and the subtle direction and excellent editing.

My DVD (bought in 2005) is Mono sound and has a good stable Black and White picture. It also has subtitles in several languages and an interesting 'Featurette' discussing how the film trailers through Bogart's career helped bring him to stardom, as well as the trailer for this film and the ability to select the various scenes.

This film is an essential part of any enthusiast's collection.


Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Manuka Doctor Manuka Honey 12+ Total Active 250 g
Price: £19.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most pleasant way to ease a sore throat, 13 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Manuka Honey 12 plus is claimed to have antibacterial benefits both when ingested and applied topically. It is also extremely expensive.

When it tastes as good as this it seems to be a bit of a waste to apply it topically, and that does leave one very sticky when perhaps just a wash with a normal antiseptic would be just as effective.

Fortunately one can also use it as a relief for sore throats and colds when taken as a drink in a glass of warm water, perhaps with some real lemon juice added, or perhaps a little slurp of medicinal alcohol; and now it becomes a vast sensory improvement over a normal mouthwash or gargle. And one can easily be convinced that it is just as effective.


Victor Ultrasonic Pest Repeller, Heavy Duty
Victor Ultrasonic Pest Repeller, Heavy Duty
Price: £14.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A headache proves that it seems to work, one can only hope the rodents also object to it, 11 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Solidly built, extremely well packaged in a very posh box, the Victor M792 promises much. So I read the instructions, all common sense and good practice, and switched it on. There is no immediate sign of it doing anything other than the faint red light from the indicator, and some power being taken from the mains.

Naturally my aged ears could not hear it, but after about five minutes in the same room I began to develop a mild headache, which is always a good sign that the ultrasonics are working well, as the outdoor cat repellents and other indoor rodent repellents have also had this effect on me. I would hope that any invading rodents, with their excellent hearing, will develop more than a headache and rapidly depart.

It does need an unobstructed field of view for broadcasting the ultrasonics from the pair of transducers. So for example, if one's kitchen cabinets were on feet then it could lurk at the back in a corner underneath one and scatter the sound across the floor around our feet, and our ears being much higher up should not be picking up enough for any headaches. Alas my kitchen is not like that, but the garden shed could be a good place, and when storing the bulbs over winter this could be ideal.

It uses between one and one and a quarter watts from the mains, pulsing slowly with the variation in frequency; so one can expect to spend somewhat more than a pound a year on running it. More of a problem is to find a suitable location with a wide enough field of effect that will not induce a headache.

The lead is only two metres long, and with this level of power it could not be battery operated, and it is also not suitable for outdoor use.


Garnier Ambre Solaire Light & Silky Protection Lotion SPF20 200ml
Garnier Ambre Solaire Light & Silky Protection Lotion SPF20 200ml
Offered by Discount Superstores (VAT Registered)
Price: £6.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Good daily moisturiser, with the benefit of SPF20, 31 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF20 Light and Silky lotion in the 200ml bottle is a delight to use because it lives up to the description in being light and silky to apply to the skin leaving it feeling soft and smooth with all traces of any greasiness dissipated on only a minute or so. A little goes a long way so it is also economical in use.

It does not colour the skin nor conceal blemishes nor make it too shiny. The moisturising effect lasts well, but a second application might be needed near the end of a busy day.

SPF20 is enough for normal daily use which involves occasional trips outdoors, but not enough for prolonged exposure. Remember that this factor is a measure of for how long it remains effective, as almost all sun screens have a similar level of beneficial screening effect to begin with, but not so many can sustain the protection.

The smaller flip lid on the top is secure and very unlikely to open by accident, much better than the leak-prone 50ml size of Garnier tubes.


Bonlux 4-Packs 5W GX53 LED Under Cabinet Lighting Warm White 3000K High Brightness 5730 SMD LED GX53 CFL Bulb Replacement
Bonlux 4-Packs 5W GX53 LED Under Cabinet Lighting Warm White 3000K High Brightness 5730 SMD LED GX53 CFL Bulb Replacement
Offered by BonluxEU
Price: £14.66

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neither a spotlight nor diffused, uneven colour, Safety Issues., 25 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The lamp fits each type of our GX53 sockets, it runs at about 35°C above ambient, uses about 4.8 Watts, and produces a reasonable amount of light. BUT, it would be a LOT better without the lens system in the too-easily-removed cover.

The individual lens above each LED forces the circle of useful light into a cone of only about 45 degrees across, the brightness then drops off rapidly further out and there is not much remaining near the 120 degrees claimed on the Az info above.

This also makes the light uneven with a pronounced blue hot-spot in the centre and a yellow ringed border; it is neither a spotlight nor a diffused light. The picture I have attached shows the illumination on a field 140cms by 140cms at a distance of 165cms from the light.

A plain cover would give much, much more even and widespread illumination worthy of five stars, as I proved by removing the lensed cover (simple bayonet catch). Alas, removal is NOT a good idea because it now means the LEDs can be touched.

There is a significant Safety Issue in that the cover can be removed simply by twisting it off, no tools required (and this might easily happen if the light becomes stuck in the socket) thereby exposing to unwary fingers the LEDs possibly sitting at mains potential.

This lens cover makes it by far the worst example of the eight different styles of GX53 I have bought over recent years, and in future I will be avoiding anything with this kind of lensed cover.

With hindsight it was a mistake to order these as I will never find a satisfactory use for them as supplied, but it is not worth my time or effort to try to return them to China for a refund. Instead I might try to glue on a plain safety cover rescued from an old defunct GX53.

Addendum 26th May 2016.

The suppliers have asked me to remove my factually correct review.
No, it stays.
This review is to protect other customers from the possibility of a unexpected electric shock.

I have added a photo of the lamp modified with a glued-on plain cover which is now perfectly satisfactory. If I had been supplied with something safe that worked as well as this then it would have received four or five stars (depending on manufacturing quality and light level).
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2016 4:52 PM BST


Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion SPF50 200ml
Garnier Ambre Solaire Protection Lotion SPF50 200ml
Price: £8.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent SPF50 sun protection, 23 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF50 200ml Lotion is effective and easy to apply as a little goes a long way. It soaks in cleanly without any greasy residue after only a few minutes, and leaves the skin feeling soft. It claims protection against UVA and UVB, and after trying it I can believe the claims.

We spent most of yesterday and today outside (wearing hats of course) with thin shirts and bare arms for only the fifth time this year, enjoying the unbroken sunshine with a bit of a cooling breeze to dry out the skin. So we were pale and weedy, but with the lotion protecting both of us there was no burn showing, even at bedtime on the second day, and the moisturising seemed to work well also.

One thorough application at the beginning of each day was sufficient for our aged fair skin showing that the SPF50 was working. Remember that this factor is a measure of for how long it remains effective, as almost all sun screens have a similar level of beneficial screening effect to begin with, but not so many can sustain the protection.

The smaller flip lid on the top is secure and very unlikely to open by accident, much better than the leak-prone 50ml size of Garnier tubes.


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