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Sanmex Fly & Wasp Killer Spray 28/04/2012


Sanmex Fly & Wasp Killer Spray Why I Bought itWe recently had a spell of very fine weather (yes I know, its hard to believe with all this rain) and I like to have my shop door open all the time as it presents a welcoming front to potential customers, and it works! One of the downsides to this are flying pests, last summer we had an epidemic of flying ants in the town, all traders here had to keep the doors shut but still some of the little blighters found their way in. This year I have been plagued by wasps, at the moment they are very dopey, mainly due to the change in weather, but I am terrified of them. I have never been stung and really don't want to experience it either. So I decided I had to get some wasp/fly killer and solve the problem. In my local Wilkinson's I was presented with 2 options, either Raid at a princely sum of £2.99 or this one, Sanmex, on offer for 98p both were 300ml cans. The descriptive blurb told me it was 'fast acting, for a quick knockdown", I was sold.The BlurbThis is a fairly innocuous looking can, with a bright red lid and a 'bolt of lightning' across the front with an appropriate dead fly underneath, giving the impression that it will kill with lightning speed. Hmm we shall see.It states that it can be used as a household insecticide it's fast killing action works on flies, mosquitos, wasps, midges and other flying pests. Simply shake well before use and, for a quick knock down, spray directly at the offending insect from an approximate distance of 3 to 5 feet. It can also ...

Oust odour eliminater 25/04/2012


Oust odour eliminater Why I Bought it.I run a small retail business, small being the operative word, my shop is in the heart of a bustling town and in finer weather a trick to draw the customers is to have the door open, welcoming people in. A busy road outside and a curry house and fish and chips shops nearby mean exhaust fumes and cooking smells can sometimes linger, not to mention the odd, rather smelly customer and sometimes those that linger outside finishing their cigarettes before coming in, allowing the cigarette fumes to blow in the doorway. I always have air freshener at the ready, but these simply mask the smell and tend to wear off rather quickly, so I was looking for a more efficient solution. Browsing in our local 99p shop, I noticed the Oust aerosols, having heard good things about them I decided to purchase one. They are available in several different scents, I bought the 'Outdoor scent', at just 99p for the 300ml can it was definitely worth a shot!Does it Work?In short Yes! Unlike normal air fresheners which simply mask smells, this one claims to eliminate odours on contact and it really does. You simply shake and aim the canister towards the centre of the well ventilated room, press the simple trigger mechanism in the cap and 'hey presto', a fine mist permeates the odours and eliminates them in seconds. The mist quickly disperses leaving behind a light, woody, fresh and clean scent, however, this scent fades within about 15 minutes, so do not expect a lingering fragrance ...

Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate 11/03/2012

Peculiar? Pretty ordinary actually!

Marmite Very Peculiar Milk Chocolate Why I bought this.I love marmite, on toast, mixed with baked beans, in cheese sandwiches even mixed in with mashed potato. My other half thinks I am weird, and he does have a valid point there, but I am always on the look out for unusual flavour mixes so, when I saw this whilst browsing a 'novelty' gifts site (one I saw reviewed on Ciao as it happens) I had to try it. I have tried many different flavoured chocolate bars from Spicy Chilli to seriously salty Bacon - yes really! Deciding I had to buy this was the easy part, finding it at a sensible price was a tad more challenging.Price and availabilityOn investigation I saw that this is supposed to be stocked in Robert Dyas and Debenhams, well our local Robert Dyas had just closed and there isn't a Debenhams within a sensible distance and, finding no other supermarkets that stocked this I had to resort to an online hunt. stock it at £6.99 for 2 bars but that is expensive if you find you don't like it. Further hunting found it on various gift sites from £3.00 a bar but then you had to pay postage on top so as a last resort I tried Amazon and Ebay. Amazon had varying prices, but again totalled over £4.00 for a single bar so Ebay was my last resort. I found it on Auction starting at 99p with £1.20 postage and placed a maximum bid for £1.70, I simply was not prepared to pay over £3 to try this. To my surprise I won it for £1.50 in the end, I say I was surprised as there were several bars listed and not one had gone for ...

Jacobs Tuc Original Snack Crackers 27/07/2011


Jacobs Tuc Original Snack Crackers FOR STARTERS I always remember my Mother buying Jacobs cream crackers and also their Tuc biscuits when I was a small child and they have remained favourites of mine. Jacobs started making their savoury biscuits when they opened their first bakery in 1881 in Ireland and, despite one or two upheavals within the company, have gone from strength to strength, their biscuits are as popular as ever. Of the Jacob's range Tuc are my favourites, there are variations on these such as the Tuc sandwich, black pepper Tuc and a few others, but plain Tuc are the best in my opinion and a staple in our food cupboards. PRICE, AVAILABILITY Available from most supermarkets, corner shops etc these delicious delicacies come with a premium price tag. I bought my latest pack in our local Tesco for a princely £1.10, but do often find them on offer, most often in Wilkinsons. When you compare this to other savoury biscuits they do come in at a high price. But are they worth it? TASTE, APPEARANCE You can see from the stock picture here that the packaging is quite striking, the bright yellow does stand out on the shelf and you will normally find them alonsgside another famous Jacobs product.....the cream cracker. The packaging is, I am glad to say, very easy to open, simply pull the seam apart (you can do this from either end). For some bizarre reason they do label it 'pull here'. There are about 30 octagonal biscuits inside the pack (rectangular but with the corners cut off and rounded), a ...

SeaWorld - Florida 10/07/2011

The Magic Of SHAMU !

SeaWorld - Florida We have just spent the most amazing Christmas and New Year ever in Florida and I want to tell you about my favourite theme park of all....Seaworld ! Seaworld is situated on the intersection of Interstate 4 and FL528 (The Bee Line Expressway),just off International Drive, it is approximately 15-20 minutes from Orlando International Airport and just 10 minutes from downtown Orlando or Disney World. Do not confuse this theme park with Disney, as it is owned by the Busch entertainment corp. (a division of the famous brewers Anheuser Busch). It is set in an impressive 200 acres of land and is home to some of the most fascinating sea life I have ever seen. Entry to Seaworld is not simple. Depending on which type of ticket you have purchased, you may be asked to show photo ID, it is recommended to take your passport with you if you are not sure. Your bags will be checked by security before you enter. Personally I did not really find this much of a hindrance, in fact, with the state of the world as it is these days, I found it very reassuring. You may also encounter sniffer dogs..all part of the enhanced security measures in the wake of 9-11.Once through the main gates you will need to pick up a map, this will also give details of restaurants and times of various shows. Take a few moments to study this so you can plan your route.Right, now you are ready to enjoy the here we go : ****ATTRACTIONS**** Come and stroke the Stingrays and admire the intelligence of the ...

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 07/07/2011

A magical, Chocolatey,Journey !!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl Do you like chocolate ? I'm sure there's not many who don't, but could you imagine only being able to buy one tiny bar of chocolate a year and then making it last as long as you could ? Of course not, in fact I'm not sure if I could make one giant bar last longer than 5 minutes, gannet that I am !!!! Well the hero of Roald Dahl's best childrens fantasy (as far as I'm concerned) had to do just that !! Charlie Bucket lives with his two, elderly, frail, sets of grandparents and his Mum and Dad in a tiny, wooden shack on the outskirts of a large town. They are extremely poor, they live on mainly boiled potatoes and probably pens and inks a little in there !! Charlie longs for chocolate every day, this is made worse for him as he lives very close to an enormous chocolate factory. This must be torture for the little boy as he can smell chocolate every day, all day.....would be torture for me too, as would be living next to a 'Chinese takeaway ( I love peking Duck) ! You immediately warm to the Bucket family, as they struggle to make ends meet, they don't complain but are full of love for little Charlie and you know that, if they could, they would give him anything he wanted. Roald Dahl's descriptions of each family member is fabulous, and you can picture each and every one of them in your minds as real people, in particular the frail, bony, skeletal grandparents ! Grandpa Joe thrills Charlie with his wonderful stories, and in turn, Grandpa is thrilled to see ...

How to rate and comment 07/07/2011

How to win friends and influence people !!

How to rate and comment So how many of you have read the ratings guidelines on Ciao ?? Everyone ?? Well you could have fooled me!! Recent events have compelled me to write this review and I sincerely hope that you will all read to the very bitter end, by read I mean READ and not SKIM. Then I would welcome any constructive comments to accompany your sensible and fair rates, for that is what this is all about ...Reading and Rating fairly and in accordance with the guidelines. To those of you who have already checked out the guidelines I apologise, to those of you who haven't then that is my first piece of advice. You can find the guidelines under the Member section of Ciao and I offer to you my own personal version as detailed below : 1) READ DON'T SKIM Please, please read the whole review. Sadly too many people skim through without actually reading the review in it's entirety. If you are doing this how can you possibly give a fair rating. 2) RATE ACCORDING TO HOW YOU REALLY FEEL AND NOT HOW OTHERS DO! Fairly straight forward you would think. Sadly there are many on here who do not read through the whole reviews, they will take more note of the ratings already awarded and follow suit...we call this sheep rating. As far as I am concerned this is cowardly, if a review already has a ream of Very Helpful or Exceptional ratings and you only consider the review to be Helpful in your opinion, then do not be afraid to rate as such. Remember your rating is helping the consumer to make an informed ...

Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort and Spa 01/07/2011

A Desert Oasis

Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort and Spa We rarely spend Christmas at home and prefer to get away from the miserable English weather to somewhere hot, but our choices are normally limited. This Christmas just gone we decided to go to Egypt where we knew we would be guaranteed the sun. We stayed at the Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort and Spa from 21st December 08 until 2nd January 09. The hotel is situated just outside Ne'ama Bay at Sharm El Sheikh, just a 15 minute drive from Sharm airport. Situated in the Sinai Peninsular and overlooking the Beautiful Red Sea. I should mention this is classed as a 5* hotel and is all inclusive. (643 rooms on two floors) First Impressions On arrival we found ourselves travelling along a very grand, tree lined driveway, the trees were dripping with fairy lights, it was like entering Santa's grotto, very, very magical. At the end of the drive was the main gate, guarded by several security guards. One of these guards then joined us in the cab and we carried on along another driveway, more trees, more lights, yet more magic, the anticipation was building and it was all beginning to feel very Christmassy ! We alighted at the impressive main Reception area, where our bags were immediately taken from us, we were advised they would be brought to our rooms shortly. (and they were, arrived 10 minutes in our room after we did) On entering through the enormous revolving doors, the lobby was beautiful, a huge Christmas tree was the main focal point in the middle of a large water feature, ...

Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam 23/02/2011


Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam Everyone who knows me will agree that I am a terrible cook. Luckily my other half is a fantastic cook, he enjoys cooking and prepares most meals in the household, however, on Wednesdays, my day off, I normally have a go at something culinary, more often than not it ends in disaster. This week my son has put in a special request for jam tarts knowing full well that, surely, even I can't go wrong with such a simple recipe! I won't bore you with the details but, basically, it went wrong, my pastry was inedible so went in the bin and out came the ready rolled shop bought pastry and, the essential, Hartleys Best Strawberry Jam, then in the oven they went! HARTLEY'S AND US Hartley's were a grocers founded in 1871 by Sir William Pickles Hartley, one day a consignment of jam they were waiting for failed to turn up, with orders to fill they had no choice but to make their own, thus Hartley's Jam was born. With such a long pedigree it is hardly a surprise to find that it is a top quality product, in fact their Jam is so successful that each year they sell enough jam to spread over 300 million pieces of toast We always have some of this in the house, it is a favourite and I love its versatility. It is nostalgic for me, I remember my Mother using Hartley's and it tastes as good now as it did then. There are many varieties but this Strawberry one is our favourite.I like it best spread on hot crusty toast but my son is rather partial to crumpets with his, Mmm, delicious! SO IS IT ...

Le Whif Chocolate Inhaler with Mint Flavour 09/09/2010


Le Whif Chocolate Inhaler with Mint Flavour As a woman of a 'certain age' I find that my weight is getting more difficult to control and, whilst I am not horrendously overweight, I do feel the pounds creeping up on me, even more so now I have given up the dreaded weed. I think we all long for that wonderful day when those super intelligent professors and scientists invent the calorie free bar of chocolate - I am not holding my breath though. I recently decided to take up exercise (well, if you can call hula hooping on the Wii fit exercise) but I have found this makes me rather hungry and I start craving sweet things. I had a whizz around on the internet in the vain hope that those scientists might actually have come up with the unthinkable, that was when I chanced upon 'Le Whif'. SO WHAT IS LE WHIF? Le Whif (manufactured in France, hence the name) is a, supposedly, genius invention by David Edwards, a Harvard Professor. He claims that "It only takes a touch of chocolate to satisfy our tastebuds." Le Whif comes in the form of a lipstick shaped tube that is filled with tiny dark chocolate particles, you simply pull the tube out until it clicks and take a sharp breath, the chocolate particles are released into your mouth dissolving immediately and coating the tastebuds then, 'hey presto' your cravings are satisfied - or are they? MY EXPERIENCE I bought a pack of 3 of these from Prezzybox at a costly £4.95 and had to pay another £3.95 postage (I did have a £5 voucher to use against these though). My pack ...

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (Single) 08/09/2010


Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (Single) For those that don't know, Canadian born singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is famous for his melancholic ballads about sex, spirituality, religion, power etc., some say they are songs to 'slit your wrists' to but whichever way you may wish to interpret them they are all songs of pure genius in my opinion. Cohen started his professional career as a poet and novelist, only turning his hand to songwriting in his late thirties becoming one of the most influential songwriters of our time. Hallelujah was five years in the making for Cohen, he filled two notebooks with 80 different verses and whilst holed up in the Royalton Hotel once said in utter frustration, whilst banging his head on the floor "I can't finish this song...". But finish it he did and then went on to record two versions, the most famous of these being the one in question. Recorded in 1984 this song has become iconic and has been covered by various different artists in differing styles but as far as I am concerned none of those have captured the very essence of the song itself as Cohen's 'genius' has. Hallelujah is pretty much open to interpretation,but to me it tells of the hypocrisy of religion and sex, it is full of anger yet full of joy and Cohen has a deep, gravelly voice that somehow lends itself to the overall melancholy that gives me chills whenever I hear it. Have I said I love this song? It is a true masterpiece with a very wide appeal, dispassionate, sorrowful, sexual and sincere. Sung in a waltzy ...

Montezumas Organic Dark Chocolate & Chilli 28/08/2010


Montezumas Organic Dark Chocolate & Chilli WHO WAS MONTEZUMA ? Montezuma was a famous Aztec Ruler (1466-1520) whose empire was eventually invaded by the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés. During his reign cocoa beans were used as a form of currency and also consumed, this was by way of a cocoa based drink they called chocolatl. Montezuma himself was said to have drunk no less than 50 cups of this per day. When Cortes invaded, Montezuma took it into his head that he was a God of some sort and presented Cortes with his 'chocolatl'. Subsequently this was taken back to Spain and the consumption of chocolate in Europe began. Sadly for Montezuma, his people soon came to realise that Cortes was certainly not the God that had been presented to them, and they stoned poor Monty to death...nice! SO WHO ARE MONTEZUMAS ? Husband and wife, Helen and Simon are ex lawyers who founded Montezumas in 2000 in Brighton. Bored with London and their careers they took off, on a whim, to South America and, after touring several countries, became fascinated with the whole 'chocolate' idea.Having investigated all the complex procedures involved with the cultivation of cocoa, whilst overseas, the couple headed back to the UK full of inspiration and wonderful ideas. They experimented with different types of chocolate, incurring a few failures en route and have been very successful. Montezumas now have several shops across the country and several major retailers stock their products. They have specialised in some very unusual flavours ...

Greenalls Gin & Diet Tonic 18/07/2010

A Refreshing Pick me Up

Greenalls Gin & Diet Tonic I first discovered Greenalls gin and diet tonic on a particularly stressful day last month. I had overslept, hit a pigeon in my car, argued with the postman and argued with the car washers at my local supermarket and then to cap it all I had to contend with the plethora of shoppers who had no idea how to 'drive' a shopping trolley! Needless to say when I hit the alcohol section in my local Waitrose I lingered for far longer than I normally do. I am a white wine drinker normally, however I have been known to diversify and once I spotted these little green cans I decided that today was a day for diversification (if that is even a word, if not I really don't care). So I bought myself four cans, surprisingly there wasn't an offer for a bulk purchase so they were £1.49 for each 250ml can, not particularly expensive in my opinion. Armed with my afternoon treats I headed out with a screech of tyres and narrowly missing one of the car washers, I left for home with an evil but satisfied grin on my face. It was a rare day off for me so I decided to sample my wares whilst sunning myself in the garden. After chilling one of the cans in the freezer for a while I poured the clear liquid into a glass and added ice and a slice of lime. It would go equally as well with lemon but my preferred choice is lime. Mmm, I savoured the very slightly bitter taste, the main flavour here is of the tonic, it is a diet tonic and it does actually leave a slightly bitter aftertaste but I think that may be ... 27/01/2009

A "Quacking" good site ! When my 12 yr old son asked me for rubber ducks for Christmas I was somewhat surprised, after all in this era of modern technology kids of his age are normally more interested in computer games etc. Nevertheless I made the promise that he would get some. Now, I firmly believe that if you make a reasonable promise to your children you should stick by it so , when he opened his Christmas presents and found there were no ducks in there I was made to feel very guilty (and quite rightly so)...I had completely forgotten about his ducks. I then made another promise that I would get them for him after Christmas. I thought it would be a simple task of nipping up the town and finding some, not so. There were plenty of cheapy plastic yellow ducks but I didn't want to wast my money on these so I decided to hunt around on the net, that's when I discovered this little gem of a "JustDucks is the UK's leading website which specialises in Deluxe and Luxury Rubber Ducks by Bud©, Pamper Packs, Rubba™ Ducks, Royal Ducks, Devil Ducks, Aroma™ Ducks, Lanco™ Ducks, Quackers Ducks, I-Ducks and many, many more ducks and anything else which has to do with rubber ducks. We now also stock Soft Toy Fluffy Ducks by Ty™, Gund™ and Aroma Home™ and many more." (quoted from their website) SITE LAYOUT AND CONTENT The site is very colourful and professional looking with the name JustDucks emblazoned in bright colours at the head of the page and a couple of bright and cheery ...

Disney World (Florida) 24/03/2008

"A Wonderful world of Magic"

Disney World (Florida) We have just returned from a 2 and a half week adventure in Florida and, whilst there is lots to see and do there, no trip to Florida would be complete without visiting the No.1 vacation destination in the world……'DisneyWorld'. DisneyWorld covers an awesome 47 square miles and they are expanding all the time. There are 4 Theme Parks, 3 Water Parks, numerous Golf courses, 3 main Shopping, dining and entertainment areas, the relatively new World of Sports complex (which hosts a variety of sporting events throughout the year) and a total of 18 Disney and non Disney hotels and resorts. I am going to give you a brief overview of the magic that is ….'Disney' MAGIC KINGDOM This was the first built and possibly the most famous of Disney's attractions and is home to most of Disney's famous characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and friends and , if you are very lucky, you will come face to face with them as you wander around, even getting the chance to have your photo taken and an opportunity to obtain their autographs,..Personally I gave this a miss! There are seven 'lands', the first of which, as you enter, is main street USA, this is where you will need to gather to catch the Disney Characters as they parade in all their glory in their specially built cars and floats. Then as you continue on to 'Adventureland' you will be able to visit the Swiss Family Treehouse where the famous Swiss Family Robnson were shipwrecked, take a magic carpet ride with Aladdin and take a ...
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