Share this page on

red Status red (Level 5/10)



No member profile available. The person you are looking for is no longer a Ciao member.

Reviews written

since 29/05/2004


Cillit Bang Power Cleaner 28/10/2007

For a Bang it lacks a little whizz

Cillit Bang Power Cleaner I have problems keeping the flat clean, any suggestions are welcome. I saw the advertisements for Cillit Bang, have you seen them, promising to clean almost anything. So I kept an eye open at the supermarkets I shop in. Finally I saw the product on the shelves of my local Waitrose. It stayed there for 2/3 weeks whilst I plucked up enough courage to purchase. The bottle at £2.99 was not cheap for this type of cleaner. Most I have used are in the £1.99 region. One reason for this could be Cillit bottle hold 750 ml, most cheaper products are around 500 ml. THE PRODUCT The Liquid comes in a spray form. The top of the distinctly mauve bottle is an orange spray mechanism with grip sections for the rest of the hand. Not unlike many products of a similar nature. The extra weight makes it a bit more cumbersome to use than rivals. I found the spray rather unrefined tending to splurge large amounts of liquid onto the chosen surface. The rear of the container is full of info and advice briefly : Grime and lime buster is perfect for : wash basins and bath tubs, toilets and showers, taps, chrome, stainless steel and ceramic sinks, ceramic wall and floor tiles, PVC floor covering. The bottle mentions its power cleaning on Grim, soap scum and limescale. GRIME I found it ideal on the grease splashed by my cooker on the surrounding, this had dried onto the tiles and the top and side of the surfaces. Most of grim whipped away after 1 minute of soaking. LIMESCALE The ...

Sainsbury's basics low fat yoghurts 13/03/2007

Back to basics (Sainsbury's)

Sainsbury's basics low fat yoghurts Whilst shopping in Sainsbury's I've increasingly been drawn to their basics range. My latest try is the 4 low fat yogurts for 29p (4 x 125g or 500g in total). Like most of the products in the basics range this is quite a bargain. I bought mine on the 6 March the use by date is almost 22 March. THE PRODUCT The four pots are come joined together at the top with one label covering all four. The label design is the same for all of the basics range a broad orange strip covers the product. There is plenty of information. NUTRITIONAL CONTENT per 100g: Energy 337 kj , protein 2.3g , carbohydrates 16 g of which sugar 14 g, little fat (0.7g) or fibre. Each of the 4 pots contains a different flavour mine, strawberry, peach melba, black cherry, raspberry. This makes the product even more appealing. FOR YOUR ATTENTION: ALLERGY ADVICE - contains cows milk and because of method of preparation not suitable for nut allergy sufferers. Do Not Freeze. THE TASTE EXPERIENCE I tried the black cherry first; the silver foil cover came off easily if a bit messily. I use plain yogurt normally so the flavour came as a pleasant surprise. I guess it was similar to cherry flavour, it has been sometime since I have tried cherry. It would go well with muesli and that is how I intend to try the following pots. MY OPINION For under 15p per pot I think this is good value, you can eat it alone or add it to diced fruit of the same time, great for breakfast or lunchtime breaks, ...

Sainsbury's Quiche Lorraine 11/03/2007

Egg & Bacon custard

Sainsbury's Quiche Lorraine I recently checked out my NECTAR points and found that I had accumulated quite a lot, so I took myself off to Sainsbury's and bought one of their quiche lorraine. I bought mine from the chilled counter and at £1.58 for 400 grams it was a little on the expensive side, still I decided to purchase it. THE PRODUCT The quiche came in a box covered on the front with a picture of the product and some product info (see later). Today is the 7th of March, the sell by date 13th March plenty of time to consume, I decided on 1/3 portion with my evening meal. The rear of the box was covered with lots of other information. I had a little trouble opening the box at its end, eventually I tore it open and pulled out a silver tray in which the quiche sat. The tray proved useful when cooking in my oven. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION - on the back of the package you are advised to think about salt & fat intake along with the calorie content. 1/3 of the product contains 342 calories, 23.4g fat of which 9.2 is saturated, 1g of salt, 2.9g sugars. Ingredientss : cheese and smoked bacon egg custard filling (71%), cows milk, cheddar cheese (19%) egg smoked bacon (15%) also contains wheat. COOKING : can be eaten cold or cooked for 1/2 hour gas mark 5 oe electric 190 c. THE EXPERIENCE I tried a few slices once opened and at room temperature, it was creamy with a strong savory flavour and a salty edge, this was followed by the flavour of bacon. Finally the pastry which tasted a ...

Sainsbury's Peanut Butter, Smooth 07/03/2007

A better peanut butter

Sainsbury's Peanut Butter, Smooth BACKGROUND I had a bunch of NECTAR points to cash in so I decided to check out my nearest Sainsbury's supermarket (not my local supermarket). A little research on the Internet brought up Sainsbury's Peanut Butter as a Ciao item. It took about 5 minutes to find the Peanut Butter section and I quickly noticed plenty of choice. I choose smooth over crunchy because I wanted to reduce the chance of bits getting stuck in my teeth. THE PRODUCT Within the smooth range I noticed 3 sizes I bought the middle size retailing at 67p for 340 grams. Sainsbury's also had small jars in their BASIC's range, I was not expecting to visit Sainsbury's again for a while so I choose a larger size. The butter comes in a glass jar with a blue top and matching labelling. Its early March 2007 the sell by date is Feb 2008, plenty of time for storage (I think it could be more clearly labelled). NUTRITIONAL INFO CONTENT (remarkably few ingredients) Roasted Peanuts (90%), Brown Cane Sugar, Peanut Oil, Sea Salt. TYPICAL VALUES per 10g (teaspoonful) Energy 254 Kg, Protein 2.3g, Carbs 1.2g, FATS 5.3g of which Saturates 1.1g. Approximately 61 Calories. THE EXPERIENCE Once home I toasted two pieces of brown bread to spread the butter on. The lid screwed off easily to expose a silver paper seal which was cut away easily with a knife. The butter spread easily over the margarine I put on before (was this necessary) it. It tasted good. THE TASTE EXPERIENCE The butter has a ...

Waitrose (Shop) 05/01/2007


Waitrose (Shop) Our shopping mall used to house a Safeway's (remember them). They decided to renovate the whole mall. It took over 2 years during which time I was forced to shop elsewhere (including Sainsbury's and Tesco). Whilst waiting all we knew was that the space was going to a Supermarket...Safeway got taken over by Morrison's. And then Somerfields...finally as the mall reached completion this summer Waitrose took over and filled the space. This came as a surprise; I'd never shopped at a Waitrose before. WHATS' ON OFFER? Like most major Supermarkets they have a selection of own brands, so far I have tried their chocolate, washing up liquid, cereals, these are all cheaper than brand names of a similar nature. Our Waitrose does not have the selection of own brands that other stores I have used have....this could be because being new to the area and due to the building works closure of the mall meant people started to shop elsewhere...they probably need the brand names to attract custom back. They do have a wide selection of foods like most supermarkets of their size; similarly each category of produce is given a section of the supermarket space. Our store has plenty of alcohol (I've yet to try any but prices are reasonable). The other side of the store houses meat and vegetables both self service and ready wrapped. They also have counter service offering a butcher to cut meats to your specification, like wise a fishmonger and a delicatessen offering cooked meats and cheeses. ...

Nectar Card 02/01/2007


Nectar Card I was introduced to Nectar Card loyalty scheme/rewards whilst shopping at Sainsbury's in town. A young female offered to sign me up and I fell for it; I completed a few forms and was on my way. That must have been a year or 2 ago (I'm not to sure). Very quickly I noticed that the size of my shopping bill did not add much in the way of rewards. That's when I decided to introduce the scheme to my mum, her shopping bill now adds rewards to my account (more later). WHAT IS IT ? The company is owned and operated by loyalty Management Group. The operation I would describe as a reward scheme for shoppers. Basically depending on where you shop you are rewarded points dependent upon the amount you spend. These points mount up in your account. When you have sufficient amount you can trade them in for various rewards. Initially I accessed the scheme via the post box and shop till. Shortly after joining I went online with them and now access them via their site at WHERE CAN YOU EARN POINTS ? The website gives most of the information; I'm not a broadband user and yet still find the site easy to download. Examples of some of the big companies involved are Sainsbury's (2 points for every £ spent), Debenhams (the same), bp (1 point for every litre of fuel), Adams (2 points for every £), Ford (the same), EDF the energy suppliers have an even better offer at 3,200 nectar points for the 1st year and then 300 reward points for every 1/4 bill. They add to the list ...

Death Of A Salesman (DVD) 26/12/2006

To Death Us To Part

Death Of A Salesman (DVD) My freebie of the film The Death of a Salesman came as a DVD from the Daily Telegraph. The film is an adaptation based upon a play by the now famous Arthur Miller (modern US author). The film is PG parental guidance (some scenes might be unsuitable for young children). The New York Times describe it as " A powerful and magnificent classic". The story has a few players whose characteristics will be discussed below. THE PLOT Willy Loman (Dustin Hoffman) has spent most of his life working as a struggling travelling salesman, he is delusional about his families ability to succeed (his family are rather the same). In order to cope with failure Willy lives in the past and begins to loose touch with reality. It gets worse Willy is sacked from his long - term job. He is forced to live off handouts from his old friend Charlie (Charles Durning). His depression worsens as he comes to terms with life around him - his eldest sun Biff (John Kalkovich) is an unemployed kleptomaniac and younger son Happy (Stephen Lang) is a cynical womaniser. Willy feels particularly guilty about an affair that has distanced him from Biff. A broken man, Willy contemplates suicide rather than face the reality of that his life has been a failure (many thanks to the Telegraph for ideas about the film for the above paragraph). THE CHARACTERS WILLY LOMAN : played by Dustin Hoffman, Willy is an elderly salesman lost in false hopes and illusions. He works on straight commission and cannot pay his ...

Flora Pro.activ Minidrink 24/12/2006

A drink to make you healthier

Flora Pro.activ Minidrink I normally use Flora margarine and was surprised to find they produce a line in yoghurts. My mother keeps a six-pack in her fridge. The yoghurts came with a special ingredient said to reduce blood cholesterol. Because they are Flora you came buy them at most respectable supermarkets (or at least the larger ones). The use by date was just under a month from purchase (store in refrigerator). It is suitable for vegetarians. Not for children under 5 years. THE PRODUCT THE PACKAGING The six small containers (600g) are held in place with a cardboard wrap covered in useful information. It was difficult to remove the single unit drinks from the wrapper without tearing it. Once torn the information is less easy to read. The small plastic pots that contain the yoghurt are like the milk bottles of the 1960's & 1970's smaller at the top. Mine had a red foil top that once removed was impossible to replace. The plastic bottle contained a picture of the fruit (flavour) in my case strawberry and the normal flora branding along with the words pro - activ. WHAT IS IN IT? Apart from flavoured yoghurt it contains a magic ingredient of plant sterols ,2 - 3g a recommended daily amount (about 2%). Also included: Yoghurt (74%), Sugar, plant sterol esters (3.4%), strawberries (2.2%) (with preservative potassium sorbate) Antioxidant: tocopherol rich extract, Bifidobacterium Lactis Bb12. In terms of nutrition the steros do not contribute to the energy value: per 100 g the drink ...

The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (DVD) 19/12/2006

The Hills are Alive

The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (DVD) My free copy of the The Snows of Killimanjaro came free with a copy of the Times to celebrate the british Film Industries (BFI) 5th London film festival. The film came as a DVD. It features Gregory Peck as the star of the movie and is based around a Safari experience in Africa. This copy lasts approximately 117 minutes with a copyright - dated 2006. It also stars Susan Haywood as the wife of Harry Street (Peck). The film is PG rated by the censors this means it is fit for general viewing but that some scenes maybe unsuitable for young children. The DVD contained some additional features including examples of stuff being presented at the 50th BFI. THE PLOT Based on a story by Ernest Hemmingway. The plot centres on the memories of a writer (Harry Street) who is taking a Safari in African. Based in a campsite at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, he is wounded during a hunting accident and develops gangerene. this causes him to fever and the ensuing reflection on his failures at love and writing. He realises that although he has seen and experienced many wonderful and astoninshing things during his life. For example, writing, women, big game hunting. He has travelled the globe in pursuit of those from bohemiem Paris, to the battlefields of Spain and the plains of Africa. He had never made a record of the events; his status as a writer is a contradiction by his reluctance to actually write. He recalls his once true love Cynthia Green (Ava Gardener), though she is dead she ...

In The Mood For Love (DVD) 12/12/2006

Getting in the mood

In The Mood For Love (DVD) My copy of the film In The Mood for love came as a freebie DVD presented by the Times. This a film by Wonng Kar - Wai has a censor PG (Parental Guidance) for children under 12 years old. The film is approx 94 minutes long. The film is presented by Jet Tone Films productions. My version came in its original language of Cantonese with English sub titles. The film was well received at the Cannes film festival in 2000. ***THE PLOT*** Set in Hong Kong, 1962, Chow Mo-Wan (Tony Leung - Happy Together, Hard Boiled Egg) is a junior newspaper editor with an elusive wife they move into a new building. Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung - Days of Being Wild, Irma Vep), a beautiful secretary and her executive husband are recently arrived neighbours. The husband spends much of his time away on business trips. When their spouses often away, Chow and Li-zhen spend most of their time together as friends. As there friendship develops they make a discovery that changes their lives forever. They are shocked to discover that their spouses are having an affair......... ***THE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE*** CAST : The 2 major actors have been mentioned above. AWARDS : The film was awarded best actor & technical achievement best cinematography and editing at the Cannes festival in 2000. This film is a sumptuous exploration of desire, internationally acclaimed director Wong Kar-Wai (2046, As tears Go By) creates a world of sensuality and longing. The subtitles make the acting stand out as more ...

Belleville Rendez-Vous (DVD) 29/11/2006

The Triplettes of Belleville

Belleville Rendez-Vous (DVD) My copy of Belleville Rendez - vous came free with a copy of the Times on Saturday. The cover of the DVD gave away the cartoon style that was about to follow. Written & directed by Sylvian Chomet for predominantly French audiences, it is also known by the name 'The Triplets of Bellville' for English speaking audiences. The film came in DVD format, rated PG parental guidance for children under 12 years old due probably to mild nudity & moderate violence as mentioned. It lasts approximately 80 minutes including advertising for the Times and a trailer for the next free DVD. ***THE PLOT*** Champion is orphaned at a young age and kept by his grandmother Madame Souza. Noticing his unhappiness she buys him a bicycle. Champion becomes obsessed with cycling and it dominates their lives until Championis becomes worthy of his name. Now he is ready to enter the world's most famous race, The Tour de France. Soon after the race has begun he and other competitors are kidnapped. It is up to Madame Souza & her faithful dog, Bruno, to rescue them from the crooks. Soon after their quest takes them across the Atlantic to a seaport called Belleville HQ of the French mafia. Lost in the metropolis they encounter 3 eccentric female music sisters (The Belleville Triplettes) battle with the evil French Mafia. Can they recapture Champion.....? ***CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE*** CAST Beatrice Bonilassi............... .............Triplette (voice) Lina Boudreau............... ............... ..... ...

Mrs Dalloway (DVD) 25/11/2006

Mr Dalloway - a period drama

Mrs Dalloway (DVD) Mrs Dalloway, another adaptation of a Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel. Brought to life by the Oscar winning director Marleen Gorris. Released in 1997 this English language film in colour lasts for 93 minutes or at least the free DVD I got from the Daily Mail did. The film if PG (parental guidance) and considered fit for viewing by under 12 year old's under parental guidance. The film is set in 1923. ***THE STORY*** The story starts with a scene of war in Italy (1918). It switches to London 1923, Clarrissa Dallaway (Venessa Regrave) an MP's wife sets out on a beautiful morning; she's shopping for flowers for her party that evening. On her walk through London she thinks about her past (flashbacks) and her time with friend Sally. Her life is thrown into crisis when a lover she rejected 30 years ago makes an unexpected appearance at her party in her elegant London home. This prompts bittersweet memories (flashbacks). These include scenes of rural England with her friends and her decision to marry one (who made her an MP's wife) and not the other. Some action also includes Septimus Warren Smith a war victim (WW1) with shell shock. He decides to kill himself. After this the party starts and ends successfully. ***CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE*** CAST includes Marleen Gorris............... .Oscar wiinning director produced this motion picture. Vanesssa Redgrave......Klarissa Dalloway Natashcha McBane........Solaris Rupert Graves The period scenes in England both rural and ...

Orlando (DVD) 18/11/2006


Orlando (DVD) My copy of the film adaptation by Sally Potter of the classic novel of the immortal Orlando by Virginia Woolf came free as a DVD video with the Sunday Telegraph. The DVD comes with little else than the film. The film was produced by a number of organisations with the participation of the British Screen and supported by The European Script Fund. Music was composed by David Motion & Sally Porter (The soundtrack is available on Varese Sarabande Compact Discs. This English language film in colour has a run time of 90 minutes. Released about 1997. The film has a PG rating (Parental Guidance advised). ***CAST*** Tilda Swinton............... ..Orlando Quentin crisp............... ...Queen E1izabeth 1 Jimmy Somerville..........Falsetto/Angel ***THE STORY*** "Orlando" is a curiously ravishing series of essays built around the title character's travel through four centuries and two genders. Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The epic quest for love and freedom in the court of Elizabeth 1 as a man, and completes the search 400 years later as a women experiencing a variety of lives and relationship along the way, even changing sex. This journey takes Orlando across the frozen river Thames in pursuit of a Russian princess, into Central Asia for an ambassadorship (where he changes sex). Continuing his experience for the true meaning of life into the Victorian era for the experience of romantic love ... 01/09/2006

In for a penny The Facts Further to my review of digital freeview channels price-drop tv (which dropped the dot from its name on 21 Jan 2005) is a shopping channel owned by Sit-upLtd and is focused on falling prices, using a form of uniform-price known as a Dutch Auction. Some of the following information is taken from the Wikipedia website. It began broadcasting on 11 June 2003 with broadcasting hours of 4 pm - midnight, Wednesday to Saturday. This was later extended to 8am-1am 7 days a week. It is available to more than 12 million homes in the UK, and is achieving weekly revenue of over £3 million. AVAILABILITY It began broadcasting on 11 June 2003 with broadcasting hours of 4 pm - midnight, Wednesday to Saturday. This was later extended to 8am-1am 7 days a week. It is available to more than 12 million homes in the UK, and is achieving weekly revenue of over £3 million. Its place on Freeview was once insecure, as Channel 4 hoped to launch a new channel in its place. Terrestrial: Freeview C24. Satellite: Sky Digital C634. Cable: NTL C 856, Telewest C875. HOW IT WORKS ! Prior to December 2004, each 'price drop' started at the guide price - however, with the removal of guide prices, it is no longer possible to judge how closely the starting prices reflect the true value of products. The price continues to drop, and buyers can 'drop in' either by phone or on the web and secure their place in the sale. The price continues to drop until all products have been ...

Arniston Bay Dual Varietals Shiraz Merlot 25/08/2006

A red for everyone

Arniston Bay Dual Varietals Shiraz Merlot On my last visit to my parents they gave me an inexpensive bottle of Arniston Bay red 2004 to try. This a new breed of wine from South African grown Shiraz Merlot grapes. It normally retails for under £5.00. PRODUCT The wine comes in a 75cl dark bottle (see picture), and for exercise and duty reasons claims to be 14.0% proof by vol. It is imported by Omnia wines UK. Labaling for a change is kept minimal, the front strip gives date , place, wine & name with a small picture of a lighthouse. The back information on the area of production (South African Western Cape) including its scenery an attraction for tourists. And a map. The stopper is plastic. The wine contains sulphites. More about the company on their website at THE EXPERIENCE On opening the wine has a strong aroma, a little acidic in flavour. As mentioned on the label, it is a full bodied wine with subtle black current, pepper, coffee, chocolate, soft and round quite strong. THE TASTE The wine has a strong full bodied flavour a little acidic for the first taste, this improves to a fuller bodied flavour a bit later. By the second glass the wine begins to taste a lot sweeter and less acidic. Some of the flavours on the back of the bottle become evident. By the 3rd glass I noted just how strong the wine is at 14%. I definately noticed the chocolate and black current flavour. The second glass I had with a light ham salad, the peppery flavours became more evident with the meat. I ...
See more reviews Back to top