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since 01/05/2012


Woodworm Golf Tour Towel 18/09/2013

Dry your balls in style

Woodworm Golf Tour Towel Woodworm Golf Tour Towel I've played golf on and off for a few years now, but only recently have I begun to take it a little more seriously. Not so seriously that I've started donning silly hats and 'Rupert the Bear' trousers, but serious enough to start frittering my money away on accessories I never thought I'd need, and some that I probably don't. One of my more useful acquisitions was this Woodworm golf tour towel for £6.99. Why do you need a golf towel? There are several reasons why you would need a golf towel handy during a round. A towel is essential for cleaning/drying your clubs, cleaning your golf ball and wiping your hands. Dirty clubs not only result in a dirty golf bag, but they can also reduce the accuracy and control of your shots if there is any mud or grass stuck on the clubhead; a dirty or wet golf ball will alter the way it travels or rolls, again reducing accuracy; and wet hands might result in you taking out a fellow golfer if you lose your grip on the club mid-swing (which, as I understand, is bad etiquette). I had previously been using a plain navy blue hand towel which I had seized from the kitchen. This worked okay but wasn't the most stylish solution and when I saw the woodworm towel on Amazon I decided it was time to upgrade. Woodworm? Woodworm is a sporting brand perhaps most associated with making cricket bats. They once supplied the bats used by England cricketers Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen. More recently though, they have ...

Panasonic ER-GN 30-K503 09/09/2013

Plucking Hell

Panasonic ER-GN 30-K503 Panasonic ER-GN30 Nose Hair Trimmer Shaving is one of the perpetual nuisances in my life. I am generally a lazy person but there are some things that just need to be done with regular monotony. Some people suit a beard. I don't. Therefore I maintain a clean-shaven appearance 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But the tedium doesn't end there. For there is also the nose. Whilst facial hair may be an acceptable look for some, nasal hair is not. Nobody suits nasal hair. If you think you do, then you've been lied to. Probably by yourself. So, to keep myself on the correct side of social decorum I use a nasal hair trimmer to keep such hairs at bay. I used to just use a pair of tweezers and pluck such hairs from existence, but this method is both tedious and eye-wateringly painful, not to mention time-consuming. It would also raise serious questions concerning my activities in the bathroom, from where intermittent cries of pain and bad language could be heard. When my previous trimmer finally conked out after years of trusty service I saw the Panasonic trimmer on amazon and thought that it would be a good replacement. My only requirement was that the device cuts hairs without pulling them, so with this exact claim mentioned in the product description and backed up by dozens of approving customers, I was happy to put forward ten pounds of my money. Set-Up and Design In the box you get the trimmer; an AA battery (so no need to pilfer one from the TV remote); a protective ...

Golf Locker Racer Golf Trolley 23/08/2013

You're Breaking My Ball Holders

Golf Locker Racer Golf Trolley Golf Locker Racer Golf Trolley Mark Twain once said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled". However, what he in fact meant to say was, "Golf is a good walk spoiled by having to carry your own clubs over your shoulder and continually having to put them down and pick them up again between every shot." He was just cut off mid-sentence.* If only he had come across the affordable and back-saving Golf Locker Lightweight Racer Golf Trolley pictured above, then he might have enjoyed his strolls around the golf course a great deal more. When I took up golf I initially carried my clubs over my shoulder as I zigzagged my way around the golf course. Although this was the cheap option it certainly wasn't the friendliest on my back. By the time I'd finished a round it was evidently clear to me that a bag containing several metal clubs and a copious amount of spare golf balls (to start with, anyway) amounted to something that is quite heavy. So after my initial reluctance I consequently decided upon this golf trolley to make my excursions a little less painful. Features > Lightweight stainless steel frame > Adjustable straps to fit all sizes of golf bags > Compact foldable design > Detachable all-weather wheels > Scorecard holder with accompanying tee and ball holders > Dimensions (when erected): Height: 102cm, Width: 68cm, Diagonal length: 144cm > Folded Dimensions: Height: 87cm, Width: 47cm, Depth: 36cm > Price: £28 delivered Set-up Straight from the box the trolley is ...

Braun Oral-B ProfessionalCare 1000 09/08/2013

Good Vibrations

Braun Oral-B ProfessionalCare 1000 I bought my very first electric toothbrush many years ago after experiencing and succumbing to all the hype affirming the many benefits and general superiority they have over a manual brush. I never really got the hang of it though. I was constantly forgetting to keep it charged up and found replacing the brush head a frequently expensive chore. So, naturally I packed it in and went back to the good old-fashioned manual brush; tried and tested and unlikely to refuse to work at 8.30 in the morning. Wind forward a few years and I'm back where I started; considering an electric model to replace my manual brush and improve what I suspect to be an inferior brushing routine. The 'electric hype', interestingly, hasn't gone away. Maybe it is all true? So why the U-turn? It was a simple matter of oral health. In my quest for clean teeth I've always had a somewhat over-thorough and heavy-handed brushing technique which comes at a cost to my sensitive gums. I regularly suffered from sore and bleeding gums and in turn had my fair share of mouth ulcers, which my dentist collectively attributed to my tendency to brush too hard. That seemed to make sense so after trying a soft bristled toothbrush for a while without improvement I decided to look again at my stance regarding an electric toothbrush. Such devices are proven to help eliminate human error during brushing and therefore reduce the chance of developing gum problems. In short, I no longer trusted myself to brush my own teeth. ...

Thirst Extinguisher Water Bottle 29/07/2013

This Fire Extinguisher Sucks.

Thirst Extinguisher Water Bottle I've never been one to shy away from a novelty purchase or two. One day I was browsing the novelty range on amazon (as I often do) when I came across this water bottle imitating a fire extinguisher. Now usually when I see something I really like I try to justify to myself why I should buy it, regardless of how weak such justifications usually end up being, but on this occasion I already had a very good reason - I don't drink enough water. I've known this for some time but I've always been too lazy to do anything about it. My main source of water in the average day is from cups of tea and whilst that still counts I know I should be drinking more water in its purest from. So I thought a water bottle - situated on my desk at work and within arm's reach when I'm at home - would encourage me to drink more often. My justification finalised, I clicked purchase. Design The cylindrical bottle is made from stainless steel and comes in a bright red colour with white print designed to imitate a fire extinguisher (albeit a small one). Phrases such as 'Thirst Extinguisher' and 'Hydro Relief' are printed on the bottle as well as a tongue-in-cheek set of visual directions for use. There's also a somewhat needless reminder, perhaps to those in possession of an under-hydrated brain, that this is in fact NOT a real fire extinguisher. I really like the design. It's quirky and fun and will certainly stand out on a desk. As such, it has attracted a fair bit of attention and intrigue ...

Exspect PS3 Charging Dock 25/06/2013

What's up, Dock?

Exspect PS3 Charging Dock Exspect PS3 Charging Dock When I first got my PlayStation 3 (PS3) a few years ago I quickly realised that I would need a few accessories to go with it. One of the first things I bought was a secondary PS3 controller which was the start of a long run of 'Loser-makes-the-drinks' multiplayer gaming. As well as solo gaming this offline gaming is all great fun (providing I win) but the fun soon stops when one of the controllers starts blinking its dreaded 'low battery' warning. For those not familiar, the PS3 controllers are wireless meaning that you are not limited by a wire when choosing where to sit. Very handy indeed, except the lack of a power source means that they are vulnerable to losing power at the most inopportune moments. Once the ticking time bomb of 'battery dying' rears its ugly head, I often lose concentration on the game and the next thing I know I've either crashed, been shot in the back, fallen from a great height or pressed the 'throw grenade' button instead of crouching. The solution is to either pause the game and then plug in your controller to the console, using the ridiculously short power cable included (and then resume playing from the floor because the sofa is too far away) or you can ensure that the situation never arises in the first place by keeping both controllers fully charged at all times. I prefer the latter option and to achieve this I came across this charging dock on amazon and thought it would be a great way to keep both my ...

Oust All Purpose Descaler Superfast Action 29/05/2013

Hasta la Vista, Limescale!

Oust All Purpose Descaler Superfast Action Oust All Purpose Descaler When it comes to descaling the kettle, I think it has to go down as one of life's lesser forms of entertainment. Unfortunately though, it's a necessary chore which needs doing from time to time especially if, like me, you live in one of the infamous hard water areas of the UK. Where I live the water is so hard it makes The Terminator stop and think, so it doesn't take long for my kettle innards to become coated in a film of unpleasant brownish scum - known to its friends as limescale. Fortunately though, Oust descaler makes the banality of such a task as quick and easy as possible allowing you to get on with the rest of your life...and get back to using the kettle for what it's meant to be used for. In each box of Oust you get three separate 25ml liquid sachets formulated to remove limescale deposits from kettles, steam irons, coffee makers and shower heads (I have only used Oust on my kettle and will be reviewing its effectiveness in this area alone). Each sachet is filled with a light blue liquid with a watery consistency and there's no denying that the stuff does smell quite strong - a very potent vinegary odour, which I find quite unpleasant. I first came across Oust Descaler at work where I noticed a box in the kitchen cupboard. I thought this was just the stuff I needed for my kettle so naturally I helped myself to a sachet and took it home to try out (Shh!) Why use Oust All Purpose Descaler? Oust Descaler does pretty much what it ...

Racing Grannies 10/04/2013

Place Your Bets...

Racing Grannies No birthday or Christmas is complete without a novelty racing game of some description and on the latter occasion I was lucky enough to receive this set of 'Racing Grannies' (as a stocking filler, you understand). I have to say, the initial humour of the concept was well received; I do love a novelty and the idea of racing pensioners was new to me at the time. Unfortunately though, the visual promise of good times and laughter was soon replaced by the reality of disappointment and frustration once they were tested out. Out of the Box In the box you get two Racing Grannies and nothing more (so you will need to fashion your own start and finish lines and print out your own betting slips...) Both grannies have a wizened look of determination and focus etched onto their faces with their hair tied back neatly, obviously for streamlining purposes. Embarrassingly though, both are wearing identical outfits consisting of a figure hugging purple dress and bright yellow blazer/jacket. Showing their racing dedication both have ditched the sparkly high heels for a pair of white sporty trainers of indeterminate brand. Overall, it's quite a bold look but they just about manage to pull it off. To aid their stability and racing endeavours, each granny is equipped with a walking/zimmer frame complete with a small brown basket on the bottom. The frames also have tiny wheels at the base of each of the four legs which, in theory, help the grannies glide more easily across surfaces. On ...

SimpleHuman Compact Dishrack 19/03/2013

A Draining Experience

SimpleHuman Compact Dishrack SimpleHuman Compact Dishrack We don't have a dishwasher in our house so we have to do the washing-up the old fashioned way; by hand. Not only is this more tiresome, as I keep being told by dishwasher owners, but it also requires a separate draining area, usually in the form of a draining rack. Before any confusion arises let me say that I have always referred to such a product simply as a 'drainer' or sometimes, when feeling suitably sophisticated, a 'draining rack'. The word dishrack just doesn't sit right with me so I will be using the word 'drainer' for the purposes of this review. Drainer is also easier to type. (Try it) I got this drainer from Lakeland to replace our old and less swanky-looking draining board (there's another name). This drainer appealed as the ideal replacement because it looked like it would hold more items and also bring a modicum of order and neatness to an area that is usually just an unsightly mess of unorganised crockery. For the price of around £20 at the time it also came with a Lakeland lifetime guarantee. Design Dimensions: 17 x 37 x 33 cm (H/W/D) *Height is measured from the worktop to the top of the drainer, which includes a 5cm gap underneath. Interior drainage space (at the base): 9.5 x 31 x 27 cm (the sides taper outwards slightly at the top) As is visible from the photos below, the drainer is predominantly white with silver metal legs and a removable silver metal rack inside. These are the only metal parts (stainless ...

Thumbs Up ThumbsUp! Ear Shaped Cable Tidy 07/03/2013

A Novelty to Wax Lyrical About

Thumbs Up ThumbsUp! Ear Shaped Cable Tidy ThumbsUp! Ear Shaped Cable Tidy ...(so good, Ciao has named it twice) When I saw this item on amazon not only did it strike me as a fantastic novelty idea but it also appeared to be a very useful solution to a very serious problem. That serious problem is tangled earphones. Earphone cables have an innate and sneaky tendency to tangle themselves up whenever the opportunity arises. No matter how much time and effort I take to carefully and neatly place my earphones on my desk, in a drawer or in my pocket, the next time I come to use them the cable will have manifested itself into an impossibly complicated network of knots. By the time I've finally managed to untangle the chaos (which I seem pretty unskilled at) I have either lost the will to live or forgotten why I needed them in the first place. I have a spectacularly short fuse when it comes to technology so although tangled cables may be a trivial matter for some, such instances are customarily met with irate gestures and liberal cursing from myself (neither seem to help but it makes me feel better). You can then imagine my delight when I saw this cable tidy on, promising a future of tangle free cables. Despite the fairly high price tag of £7.99 I decided that life was simply too short not to buy it and immediately found myself imagining a life without knotted cables. Reverie over, I also realised I had some amazon vouchers remaining so felt even less guilty about buying what is essentially a pair of ...

Gripmaster Light Tension Hand & Finger Exerciser 28/11/2012

Fingering made easier

Gripmaster Light Tension Hand & Finger Exerciser GripMaster Finger Exerciser - Light Tension (5lb) When I started learning to play the piano/keyboard about a year and a half ago I initially had difficulty with my dexterity and getting my fingers to do what I wanted them to do and when. My lack of finger flexibility meant that I would sometimes hit the wrong key by mistake or often hit several at the same time. My ring finger and my little finger were next to useless and couldn't be trusted to join in with the rest of the more competent fingers when playing, so my early musical exploits were somewhat limited. There's only so many times one can play 'Chopsticks' though so I knew I had to find a solution to my cack-handedness. After all, good piano fingering is one of the most important facets of learning to play the piano. A few days later, I happened to stumble across the GripMaster Finger Exerciser on amazon and thought it looked ideal for my keyboard/dexterity problem. The product description and reviews told me what I wanted to hear - "Ideal for any musician wanting to develop hand strength". Perfect! I could now develop strength and agility in my fingers and what's more, I could do it from the comfort of my own sofa. Weight for it After discovering the GripMaster range of finger exercisers I spent some time studying the various reviews on before deciding which weight version was the right one for me. Thankfully, there were some helpful comments which stated that the light version (5lb) would be ...

Powerball 250Hz 16/11/2012

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Powerball 250Hz Powerball Neon Pro Blue Never one to shy away from parting with my money on something that I don't really need, I bought myself the Powerball Neon Pro a few years ago on the sole basis that it looked 'cool'. At the time I didn't fully understand the capabilities of the Powerball or why it would appeal to the non-insane members of the population but all became clear soon after and I have now found some 'proper' uses for it to justify my purchase.. What is the Powerball? Firstly, the Powerball is not to be confused with the US multi-state lottery, nor it is a retro Japanese video game. It can instead loosely be described as an exercise aid but is also a very fun recreational gadget to pass away a few spare moments. It's a little difficult to describe concisely so please bear with the following attempted explanation. The Powerball is just a bit larger than a tennis ball and weighs around 260 grams - about the weight of two regular sized apples (don't worry, I did the weighing). I find it fits very nicely in the palm of my hand and is comfortable to hold because of the soft silicone band around the ball. It is important that the Powerball fits comfortably in your hand (as you will soon see) and I think that the product succeeds on this point. Inside the plastic outer casing is the main feature - the gyroscope; in this case, a green one. This also peeks out of the back of the Powerball so that you can manually wind it up (and I don't mean annoy it). You hold the ...

Bluw Maggie Nutcracker 08/11/2012

A Tough Nut to Crack

Bluw Maggie Nutcracker Maggie Nutcracker As someone who loves a novelty I usually end up receiving my fair share of quirky gifts at Christmas/Birthdays - some better than others. One thing I never expected to get given was a nutcracker - any nutcracker for that matter, let alone one shaped like a former British Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher comes in a purpose-built cardboard box [23 x 13 x 5.5cm (H/W/D)] which has a picture of the door to 10 Downing Street on the front. The first thing I saw when I unwrapped the present was her slightly malevolent glare peeking over the top of said door through a small cut-out window. It's fair to say I was more than a little perturbed by this and wondered what exactly I had been given. The letterbox to number 10 set my mind at ease (slightly) with the words 'Maggie Nut Cracker'. Okay, so it's a nutcracker in the shape of Margaret Thatcher. Just what I've always wanted! I already had a pretty good idea of how the nut cracking would be done here before opening the cardboard door to the diminutive Iron Lady. When removed, little inspection of the product is needed to discover how exactly it works but for those not too quick on the uptake an explanation is printed on the reverse of the box: "Simply place your nuts between her legs and squeeze!" Delightful! A dominant figure From head to toe Maggie stands at 21cm tall and is therefore much bigger than your average nutcracker. There are very few people who can look imposing on such a small scale ...

Guinness Brown Leather Wallet 29/10/2012

Anyone for Guinness?

Guinness Brown Leather Wallet Guinness Brown Leather Wallet I put off buying a new wallet for quite some time because it was never really a priority for me but more so because I couldn't really find a new wallet that was better than the one I was using at the time. My trusty old wallet which I had had for the best part of 10 years was definitely showing its age but it was still incredibly functional and had everything I needed and nothing more. Why then did I decide to 'upgrade'? Whilst browsing through my local Debenhams store for a couple of new work ties my eyes caught sight of the nearby 'Guinness stand' and my attention drifted. On this stand alongside some very unusual but brilliant Guinness-themed items was the wallet in question - a brown leather affair with a decorative Guinness logo debossed on the front. From the moment I picked it up I loved the look and feel of the wallet and after inspecting the inside carefully for several minutes deciding if it was right for me (as you do) I eventually made my way to the till and bought it (I was back a few days later when I remembered I didn't actually buy those ties I went in for). Price/Availability The Guinness wallet can be bought from Debenhams either online or in-store for the price of £20. I would usually begrudge paying such a price for a wallet - after all, I want something to keep in the wallet after purchase! - but once I saw the quality of this particular one in store I knew it was worth it. The wallet also comes in a black gift ...

HeelzSoHigh Killer Whale Comfort Slippers 22/10/2012

Watch Your Step!

HeelzSoHigh Killer Whale Comfort Slippers Killer Whale Slippers With summer a distant (and largely unsatisfactory) memory and the nights closing in fast, the prospect of the long cold months ahead is all too apparent. In other words, it's time to fetch a pair of slippers - this for me involves my annual forage through the loft to try and find the ones I threw up there in the spring. I generally only wear slippers in the autumn and winter and allow them to gather dust in the solitude of the loft for the remaining months of the year. Some of them are found again and are again worn with affection, others are lost forever in the chaos of the loft (a scene akin to a jumble sale after an earthquake). This year though I managed to reunite myself with my far-from-subtle 3D Killer Whale slippers - quite possibly my favourite pair. Thankfully, slippers are not resentful items and they soon forget the neglect you have shown them for half of the year. Although I already owned several pairs at the time, I bought these slippers a couple of years ago because I loved the tongue-in-cheek design. Despite this questionable basis for purchase they have turned out to be a very good pair of slippers - however they have clearly been designed by someone who values warmth much more than they do stable footing. Appearances are everything The slippers are designed to look like a couple of killer whales emerging from the ocean, head pointing upwards and jaw wide open. Each whale is mostly black and white in colour but the inside of ...
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