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Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex)

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Webbox Working Dog Chicken, 12Kg
Webbox Working Dog Chicken, 12Kg
Price: £12.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough dog food - and lots of it!, 15 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our two dogs, one a Labrador, the other a Lab-Collie cross, had mixed feelings about this food. The Labrador (who really isn't at all fussy) ate it like it was going to be his last meal ever (mind you, he does that with most things you give him), whereas our Collie cross wasn't quite as sure and much prefers it mixed in with wet food. With this sized bag, you certainly get a lot of dog food for your dollar, but storage is an issue and I've had to divide it into smaller bags, otherwise my wife would have had problems lifting a bag that size from our conservatory (the only place we have room to store it) into the kitchen where they're fed. It seems decent enough food, judging by the dogs' reactions and digestive systems and despite there being 11.5% ash content and only a small amount of actual chicken, but hasn't convinced me enough to switch to Webbox from their regular food, which they both seem to enjoy a whole lot more.

Sony HT-CT80 2.1 Channel Surround Soundbar and Subwoofer with Bluetooth/NFC Function
Sony HT-CT80 2.1 Channel Surround Soundbar and Subwoofer with Bluetooth/NFC Function
Offered by Crampton And Moore
Price: £129.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Soundbar with multiple inputs and good functionality at a great price!, 15 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We're absolutely pleased as punch with our Sony HT-CT80 Soundbar. It was extremely easy to set up with our flat-screen television (simply using the supplied optical cable), has vastly enriched the sound we enjoy with music DVDs, films and other television programmes where the sound is a key factor and solved the only issue we had with our Samsung TV, that the sound was a bit underwhelming. The treble is sharp, the bass rich and the controls sensitive enough to find the perfect volume. It is also extremely simple to connect to with a device (such as a phone, tablet or laptop) via Bluetooth, so you can play your digital music collection through the Soundbar or use it as additional speakers if you're watching content on your device. There is also a USB input to play music this way, although I haven't used this function as yet. Although the RRP is £149, at the time of writing, Amazon's price is just over £120. Honestly, this is an absolute bargain for such a good piece of kit and, frankly, the RRP wouldn't be too much to ask for it, either. It's an absolute pleasure to own such a quality, easy-to-use speaker system and really quite refreshing as to how trouble free it has been so far. The only minor criticism I'd have is it's “surround sound” function, which doesn't really cut the mustard, sonically, so I seldom tend to use it. Other than that, highly recommended for the price.

Duke of Delhi Bombay Mix Chocolate Bars Gift Pack 480 g
Duke of Delhi Bombay Mix Chocolate Bars Gift Pack 480 g
Price: £17.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice enough, but underwhelming and, well, a little weird., 15 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As my wife is the resident chocolate expert (although she's more of a Cadbury's lover than a connoisseur of finer confectionary), I thought it would be nice to sit down and taste these Duke of Delhi Bombay Mix-infused bars of chocolate, impressively presented in a wooden box, together. She approved of the idea, so here are our tasting notes from each of the six bars we tried.

Milk Chocolate & Indian Cinnamon:

Andy: It has a lovely, warm cinnamon flavour, but the chocolate/cocoa notes are underwhelming.
Corinne: It's quite nice and has a delicious, strong cinnamon flavour, but it does drown out the chocolate a little. All-in-all, it's probably my favourite flavour of the whole collection.

Dark Chocolate & Lime:

Andy: Very pleasant. The citrus flavoured chocolates seem to be the ones that work the best.
Corinne: I quite like that one. I don't think I would actually buy it, though.

Milk Chocolate, Cardamom & Vanilla:

Andy: It's odd. Not something I would buy. A bit bland, if anything. The chocolate itself is disappointing.
Corinne: I agree, it's odd. Nothing particularly stands out.

Dark Chocolate:

Andy: It's not bad... I just don't think the whole chocolate and Bombay Mix idea works very well! The hint of spice is nice, but the crunch... I'm not sold.
Corinne: The dark chocolate after taste is quite pleasant with the hint of spice, but the rich chocolate flavour doesn't seem to come through for quite a while.

Milk Chocolate & Orange:

Andy: Probably my favourite of the whole collection, although it's still not exactly spectacular. The orange flavour is tangy, pleasant (but not overwhelming) and complements the sweet chocolate nicely.
Corinne: The taste works, it's nice, but the chocolate flavour doesn't come through as much as it should. It's weird having Bombay Mix bits in everything!

Dark Chocolate & Toasted Coconut:

Andy: Yes, I think this one works. A nice balance of flavour, the coconut flavour is present but not overwhelming and the sweetness take the slightly bitter edge away from the dark chocolate.
Corinne: Yes, it's quite nice; nothing amazing, but it does work reasonably well.


Well, it comes in a nice, wooden presentation box and that's about the best thing about the whole collection. None of it is particularly horrible, but much of it is distinctly underwhelming and, sadly, the chocolate itself lacks a certain "wow" factor that you'd get from, for example, Hotel Chocolat or Montezuma products, two of my favourite chocolate makers. It has to be said, the Bombay Mix running through it is just a bit odd and I think the idea may have been better executed by simply using the spices and peanuts, rather than that ground-up Indian snack base. We're definitely not convinced by the whole concept, but it's always nice to sit around, tasting chocolate... there are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon! Would we buy this range? Sadly, no, this isn't something either of us would heartily recommend.

XLS Medical Max Strength Diet Pills for Weight Loss - Pack of 120
XLS Medical Max Strength Diet Pills for Weight Loss - Pack of 120
Price: £66.76

78 of 94 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems to be working..., 7 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not entirely sure whether these tablets do exactly everything they claim to, as far as reducing calories, but they certainly work as an appetite suppressant and, as such, have made a slight difference to my waistline during the time I have been taking them. Because I've not been feeling very hungry, my portion sizes have been naturally smaller and the urge to snack (even though I'm not usually a big snacker anyway) is virtually non-existent.

As it is, I'm currently pondering whether to buy some more in order to continue taking them for the recommended twelve weeks. I haven't had any side effects, as such, apart from a minor bloated feeling after relatively small meals... but that is this product doing it's job, I imagine.

Whilst I've been taking them, I've also been thinking more about what else I can do to reduce my calorie intake and to get the best possible results, so the very act of taking them acts as a reminder that I'm trying to do something about my weight. Fingers crossed that this may be a turning point in getting my weight down to something I'm a lot happier with.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2015 11:18 PM BST

Field Punishment No.1 [DVD]
Field Punishment No.1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Fraser Brown
Price: £6.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good film about men of principle, 12 April 2015
This review is from: Field Punishment No.1 [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I very much enjoyed Field Punishment No. 1. The film handled the subject matter of conscientious objectors in World War One with the sympathy they deserved and showed that, very far from cowards, these people were principled and prepared to endure terrible punishment for holding such heartfelt beliefs. It was based on a true story and, as such, gave the film a little more gravitas than something made purely to support a cause, but the only thing stopping me from awarding it full marks is the sound. The dialogue was sometimes muffled, sometimes distorted and, occasionally, the music is overwhelming. As such, it gives the film a disappointingly "low budget" feel which does the actors, as well as the director and scriptwriter, a disservice, because it is, otherwise, very good indeed.

Field Punishment No. 1 sometimes had the feel of "soap box" preaching for the cause which was all well and good for someone like myself, a pacifist, who agreed with the main characters' views, but others who may not be as convinced that being a conscientious objector was a particularly noble stance may find the dialogue a little pious and irritating. Still, anybody who knows anything about history will understand that World War One was a particularly unjust fight for those who actually did the fighting, where working class people were sent to spill blood for what was primarily the cause of the ruling elite. One thing at the end of the film that bothered me (spoiler alert): we were informed that one of the main characters' sons was a conscientious objector in World War Two. This was announced during the summary before the credits and, to be frank, I'm not sure how I feel about this fact, as the two World Wars were undoubtedly fought for very different reasons. Personally, I believe that fighting the despicable values of the Nazis was a more noble cause than the one promoting non-violence against your fellow human being. Some things you have to stand against, no matter how you feel about warfare. Again, this is my own view, but that little bombshell was one of the last pieces of information imparted on me just before I finished watching the film, and it both played on my mind as well as undermining some of the sympathy I felt for the blanket cause of being a conscientious objector.

That minor technical criticism and the ethical dilemma aside, this is a very worthy film and certainly cannot be accused of not making the viewer think about the issues raised. Even by today's desensitised standards, many of the scenes are genuinely harrowing and you feel yourself stirred by the principles of these New Zealanders, even going so far to view these supposed cowards as heroes. Man's inhumanity towards his and her fellow man has been well documented in film over the last half century and, whilst Field Punishment No. 1 falls short of being a classic, it is a film that anyone who watches it will remember. It's not an easy film to watch, but I would definitely recommend it to people who appreciate a film about war that doesn't tell the same cliched stories.

Oral-B Vitality Plus White and Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral-B Vitality Plus White and Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb electric toothbrush... I'm all smiles!, 12 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm probably WAY behind the times here, but this is the very first electric toothbrush I've ever owned. I don't know why, specifically, only that they've always seemed a bit expensive and I've been using a good old fashioned toothbrush my whole life and have managed to keep my teeth pretty well. However, Amazon vine offered me this electric toothbrush to try and review, so I thought, "Well, why not". I have to admit, I wish I'd made the switch before because going from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush is like going from a child's scooter to a motorbike. They are worlds apart and the lovely clean feeling I've got in my mouth after a few minutes with this Oral B Vitality Plus toothbrush lasts for much, much longer than the old fashioned toothbrush which relied upon elbow power.

It comes with a recharging station which plugs into a two-pronged shaving port (important to know, as not everyone has them in their bathroom), which keeps your toothbrush ready for action at all times. It also comes with two toothbrush heads, so that when you've worn the first one out, you have another ready while you order/buy replacements. There is a built in timer (two minutes) which lets you know when you've brushed your teeth for the recommended minimum time, but - if you're anything like me - you will still want to keep going a bit longer anyway.

Apologies for those prior electric toothbrush owners who want a review to contrast and compare models; this review is more about the revelation of going from manual to electric than the fineries of electric toothbrush ownership. I would, however, urge anyone considering a switch from the old fashioned way to an electric model to take the leap. The difference is amazing.

Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extra Attachments
Braun Silk Epil 7 7-561 Wet & Dry Cordless Epilator with 6 Extra Attachments
Price: £84.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A very good epilator, with only one or two reservations, 2 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a male who is quite happy to be hairy, I didn't get this product for myself; it was for my wife, who has kindly reviewed it:

"The Braun Silk-Epil 7 is a nice looking device in white with a glittery detail, with a clear, simple dial to switch it on/turn it up. It is comfortable and easy to hold and use, if a little heavy.The built in light is very helpful for seeing the hairs more clearly.

As somebody who is new to epilating, this may not have seemed an obvious first choice, but it comes with several different attachments and heads so this is actually ideal for covering everything you could want in an epilator and also an electric razor and trimmer .

It's common knowledge that epilating is rather uncomfortable and this is no exception but the massage head definitely helps with the discomfort and is ideal for use on legs. There are two narrower heads for using on more delicate areas such as the bikini line and the face.

I found the facial attachment very easy to use but it was certainly rather uncomfortable and as a result I decided not to try anywhere more delicate than that!

The razor and trimmer works as you would expect & is great for a quick once over if the hair is a bit to long to epilate.

This epilator can be used wet or dry which is really convenient all round. It's easy to clean - you can pop the cap off to rinse it while wet or use the little cleaning brush when it's dry.

It comes with a handy little carry pouch which fits all the attachments and the charging lead comfortably in it. It would easily fit in a regular handbag or wash bag.

My only gripe is that it didn't come with a regular plug adaptor, just an electric razor type two prong attachment."

Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Bakers Dentacrunch Chicken and Country Vegetables Dry Dog Food 1 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: £8.80

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two happy canines heartily recommend it!, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As far as enjoyment goes, I can't fault this dry dog food at all, as my two dogs (a labrador and a lab/collie cross) absolutely love it and, judging my the noise they make when eating, it's certainly very crunchy. Their stomachs reacted well (hardly reacted, in fact) when changing from their regular wet food and mixer to this dry kibble and they eagerly polish off every little last piece in their bowls at every meal time. OK, it's not exactly top quality food, with only a small amount of actual meat used and there are the animal derivatives (you can only imagine what they are), but unless you have the kind of budget to spend a small fortune feeding your four-legged friends (most people don't), this Bakers Dentacrunch is pretty good value and quality for the money you spend. Also, I don't think it is just my imagination, but their breath has seemed to be a little bit better since switching to Bakers Dentacrunch but, I have to admit, pretty much anything smells better than their favourite Butchers' tripe!

Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Price: £245.93

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating and, at the moment, completely useless, 23 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
OK, I have given up. I've downloaded the full manual, followed the instructions to the letter, downloaded the app for my iPhone, checked the WiFi signal and the stupid thing won't play. "Cannot play a song" is the message that is repeated over and over again (but the song plays over my iPhone speakers, so it's not the song itself). I was already slightly peeved that this speaker doesn't have Bluetooth capabilities, plus it doesn't support the streaming service I actually use on my iPhone (Amazon Music), but all of that is purely academic, seeing as the damned thing just won't work. There doesn't seem to be any way to connect your PC to it, either, as the app to control it is only available for iOS or Android devices. I have wasted three hours trying to get this thing to work and, let's face it, there's something really terribly wrong with that. Technology is supposed to make things easier, not more difficult and frustrating. I didn't exactly expect to be able to "plug and play", but the ease of set-up, in my experience, is diabolical and I'm usually reasonably good with technology. I've admitted defeat: it's going back in the box until I have a little more time and patience, because it has pretty much ruined my afternoon.

If all else fails, I guess I can invest in a jack to plug my iPod into it directly, but what a terrible waste of technology.

Update: 26th March, 2015: We have managed to get it working using the android app from my Stepson's smartphone. The speaker still refuses to speak to my iPhone, but seems to like the android app better. Seeing as he will be able to get more use out of it, it has been gifted to him. The sound, when it's working, is really quite good, however, because of the very negative experience and the limitations, I still can't bring myself to award this anything other than the lowest rating.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2015 10:15 PM GMT

Igenix IG2807 Manual Microwave 700 W - 20 L, Silver
Igenix IG2807 Manual Microwave 700 W - 20 L, Silver
Price: £59.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, basic, easy-to-use microwave oven., 6 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As my microwave was getting a little old, I was looking for a smart, basic model to replace it. The Igenix IG2807 fits this description perfectly. It really is a no-frills, get the job done model, with a dial for the time, five heat settings and an oven space which can fit a reasonably large plate inside. At 700w, it is relatively low powered compared to a lot of other ovens, but the additional cooking time is only marginal compared with my old 800w model, so it's not that much of a problem. I've only had a few meals from it so far, but it heats things as well as a good microwave can be expected to.

If you use a microwave oven often and rely upon it heavily, perhaps this isn't the model for you. There are some really good ovens out there with built in grills, lots of pre-sets for different types of food, etc., which make this model look extremely limited, by comparison. However, as I don't really use it very often at all, as I much prefer cooking using the hob and conventional oven (but, in all honesty, wouldn't be without a microwave for occasional reheating of leftovers), a very basic model is perfectly fine for our household. It may also be ideal for people who shy away from technology and for whom lots of buttons and options are a hindrance, rather than a help. As for as ease of use goes, they don't come any easier than this microwave and there's even a good, old-fashioned satisfying "ding" to let you know it has finished cooking.

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