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since 19/05/2007


HP DesignJet 130 13/08/2007

Size is sometimes very important

HP DesignJet 130 In the past when we have needed large format prints e.g. for health promotion campaign posters we have either done them by hand or outsourced them. Doing them by hand might sound like the cheapest option and its okay for one-offs but anything more than that has real costs in terms of ‘man’ hours. Outsourcing also has expensive costs and is only worth doing when you want a lot as this brings the cost per sheet down. Due to budget restraints we have had to think much more carefully about how we spend our money and how we can also generate more income. This is the main reason we started to cost oversized printers. These have always tended to be expensive as they were aimed mainly at the commercial market but are now much more reasonable. We decided to buy the HP DesignJet 130, A1 Inkjet Printer mainly due to its price but also because we were allowed to have a demonstration. It costs £820.12 excluding VAT (as we are a registered charity for fundraising purposes we don’t pay VAT) adding VAT to the price will raise it to £963.64. It does appear to be a large amount of money, but many other departments in the NHS and social services are in the same boat so we will be able to share with them. We charge reasonable rates; enough to cover the price of inks, wear and tear plus a few pence profit per sheet but we expect them to supply paper- if they don’t we charge over the market price for the inconvenience. We charge more for A1 prints as these have to be fed in individually ...

Boucheron Jaipur 11/08/2007

A pair of deliciously different perfumes

Boucheron Jaipur Jaipur perfume is by the Boucheron design house and is a fruity floral. Jaipur Saphir is also by Boucheron and is a white floral. Oddly enough Ciao have the name of one yet the image is of the other. As I have both of these perfumes I will review the two of them. Each one is attractive although they are quite different. Boucheron ~~~~~~~~~~ Founded in 1858, Boucheron are well established and distinguished French jewellers: particularly well known for Art Nouveau nature inspired pieces, they are also thought to be the first to create the wristwatch and the first to create white jewellery (diamonds set-in platinum). Boucheron have always managed to keep up with the times never becoming staid or old fashioned. Boucheron has created perfumes since 1988 Jaipur ~~~~~~~~~ Jaipur perfume for women (there is a strain for men too) was launched by the Boucheron in 1994 and is their second woman’s perfume, the first being simply named Boucheron. This one is named after the Indian city Jaipur is classified as a sharp, flowery fragrance which falls into the oriental and spicy floral families Jaipur is described a blend of fruity florals, It is recommended for daytime casual use and it is suggested for wear by mature and sophisticated women. Boucheron goes further to explain it is a perfume meant for women with an alert imagination, who have a passion for today's world and voyages. Jaipur; the fragrance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~ Jaipur’s opening notes are fruity ...

Dualit 968 09/08/2007

Requiem for a bean

Dualit 968 Something rather sad happened in my kitchen tonight (although to keep it in proportion to other world events it wasn’t that terrible) but my coffee machine choked on a very tasty and delicious grinding of Blue Sumatra beans. It’s been like a pet in my kitchen gurgling and hissing away for the last five years or so but now it’s gurgled its last. I stood by sadly as my man attempted resuscitation with a selection of tools but it wasn’t to be. It’s a great shame really as it was excellent at its job of preparing both espresso and cappuccino The Dualit Espresso 968 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ It was a very good looking, compact and speedy machine taking only a few minutes to brew. Its squat black and chrome exterior covered a heart full of steam and it sat on my work surface taking up about the same room as my cat (31 x 32 x 37 cm) although at about 4 kgs quite a bit heavier! It would hold up to 1.5 litres of water, had a 15 bar pressure system and would happily chortle through the production of 2 mugs worth of coffee. It would keep producing coffee as long as you would keep refilling the coffee and water It was classed as a semi-automatic machine as it had a hand pump to build up the pressure but it had an excellent swivelling hot water and steam wand and perfect frothing attachment. There was a neat tamping crank where the handle revolved a cover which levelled and compressed the coffee to the ideal state so the water would pick up the right amount of coffee to give a ...

Dualit 88405 Black HAND Mixer / SOFT Touch 07/08/2007

A handy bouncing hand mixer

Dualit 88405 Black HAND Mixer / SOFT Touch I’ve owned this Dualit hand mixer for quite a bit. It may not be the most expensive or have the most attachments but it does what I need and has a couple of neat tricks. I have this neat black one but Dualit offer several other colours including chrome, ice blue, cream and red For those who don’t know much about Dualit they are a British company who make catering products for both the domestic and commercial markets. There products aren’t cheap but neither are they expensive, falling midway between the two extremes. They generally tend to be well made and reliable but I suspect every manufacturer has the rogue products made with a Monday morning hangover or in the Friday afternoon rush. Dualit Hand Mixer- Soft Touch- Black ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ The Dualit 88405 is a very good looking machine in my opinion, this model is finished in a rubberised matt black and has Dualit embossed on the front and sides. The handle is well designed so is extremely comfortable to hold. The soft touch matt finish feels lovely and doesn’t encourage sweating of the palms so your grip remains good no matter how long you are using it. The rubberised finish means it bounces if dropped ,it also does no damage to what it was dropped on (I don’t know if that was the intended purpose of this finish but if it was it does work!) The finish doesn’t make it hard to clean as splashes just wipe off it. Its dimensions are 30 cm x 20 cm x 9.5 cm (11.8" x 7.9" x 3.7") and it weighs 2.87 ...

Matoussia Eau de Toilette for Her 05/08/2007

Perfect winter party perfume

Matoussia Eau de Toilette for Her Maroussia is a perfume I don’t know much about other than it was launched by the Russian design house of Slava Zaitsev in 1992 and given to me as a duty free gift following my husbands return from St. Petersburg. Even though I can’t tell you much about this perfume or design houses origins it is actually worth reviewing as it is such an unusual and pleasant perfume. Maroussia is classified as a perfume best worn during the evening and for romantic wear. It falls between the oriental and the floral families and has components of both. Oriental fragrances are typically a heady exotic mix of spices, amber and resins giving the impression of warmth and sensuality whereas florals are created mainly from flowers and are blended together to produce a unique floral bouquet. A combination of the two families results in the floral-oriental blend which is much deeper and exotic than a floral would be alone and sweeter, lighter and more delicate than a mainly oriental. The whole effect is very voluptuous and rich and creates a perfect winter perfume. It is a very sophisticated perfume which suits any woman with some maturity and is the kind of perfume that would go with rich fabrics and glamorous make up. Maroussia; the Fragrance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~ Maroussia’s initial opening notes are strangely enough sharp and mainly reminiscent of citrus and this is derived from bergamot but it deepens very quickly indeed with florals becoming dominant. These notes derive mainly from ...

Kenzo Flower Eau de Parfum Spray 04/08/2007

A Flower perfect for the city

Kenzo Flower Eau de Parfum Spray Kenzo Flower is a modern floral perfume for which Kenzo took his inspiration from flowers blossoming in city environments and links the city with nature. It was introduced in early 2000 and since then has sold incredibly well apparently doubling the turnover for Kenzo. Consequently it’s not a perfume for someone who wants a rare and more unique fragrance as many women will immediately recognise Flower but regardless of its frequent occurrence it is still a very lovely perfume. It is classified as a fresh, soft white floral and is a very feminine fragrance and is suggested as suitable for casual daytime and romantic evening wear but really is suitable for everyday wear when ever you feel comfortable about wearing it. It is delicate and subtle enough for work yet evocative and delicate enough to wear for a romantic tête-à-tête Flower; the fragrance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ Flower opens with floral notes and initially the aroma is quite sweet and powdery. The opening notes are may blossom and cassis (blackcurrant flower) after a few minutes these settle down and the mid notes develop and these are a harmonious blending of Parma violet, Bulgarian rose, almond, Ylang Ylang, jasmine and Orange blossom. The base notes consist mainly of. wild Hawthorne, white musk, amber, almond and a touch of French vanilla, merge into this floral blend with out replacing it but do deepen it and add to the overall richness and intensity. This is a rich and elegant floral perfume with a ...

Kenzo Parfum D'Ete Eau de Parfum 03/08/2007

Cool refreshing fragrance perfect for hot weather

Kenzo Parfum D'Ete Eau de Parfum This perfume was created by fashion designer Kenzo Takada in 1993 and re-released in 2002 when Kenzo returned from retirement and once again became active in the fashion world. Kenzo’s design statement suggests he has always worked towards a multicultural world of colours and beauty, with nature as a vibrant, inexhaustible source of inspiration; both his men’s and women’s fragrances are described as based on values of life, energy, and equilibrium. D'ete is classified as an intense fresh floral and mainly falls into the green family. Green fragrances are typically fresh and alive aromas, with a hint of sharpness and in this case are blended with an array of deep floral notes to create a lovely light evocative perfume D'ete actually means “of summer”. The fragrance is reminiscent of and supposedly designed to be a tribute to summer. It is suggested as suitable for casual daytime and evening wear and is particularly suitable for hot days (when we are lucky enough to get any) due to its fresh, clean and refreshing fragrance D’ete; the fragrance ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ D'ete opens with an initial citrus provided by lemon grass and moment by moment this perfume expands into an intense floral bouquet and the top notes responsible for this are Hyacinth, Jasmine, Peony, freesia and peach blossom. Even then D'ete continues to develop with floral mid notes provided by lily of the valley, rose and carnation. This expansion is gradual and the process continues with the development ...

Lolita Lempicka Women´s Eau de Parfum 31/07/2007

an enchanting range with a unique fragrance

Lolita Lempicka Women´s Eau de Parfum In 1983 fashion designer Josiane Pividal and her husband Joseph Pividal, an interior designer, created their label, "Lolita Lempicka", named in homage to Russian writer Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov whose novel Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as his most important work, and to the polish painter Tamara de Lempicka who was a famous painter during the art deco period. Labels are usually named after the founder i.e. Versace, Armani etc but here we have the reverse; founders who changed their names to that of their label becoming Lolita and Joseph-Marie Lempicka once the label took off. They launched their first fragrance "Lolita Lempicka" in1997 and it has won several awards including Best Women’s Fragrance awarded jointly by the Fragrance Foundation and the American FIFI award in 1998. Its an odd little perfume and one I wear infrequently but have not got rid of completely for 2 reasons; firstly the bottles are incredibly beautiful and secondly because occasionally my mood, the season, my activity and the location combine to make this perfume the perfect choice. Lolita Lempicka : The packaging ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈ The box of this perfume isn’t special being a kind of mustard colour which I don’t find particularly attractive, and the text is mainly written in a darker shade. Lolita Lempicka : The ...

Revlon 9414 29/07/2007

keep your claws in trim

Revlon 9414 I rarely wear nail varnish on my fingernails but I do like my nails to look good and I have found the Revlon 9414 professional nail care system to be extremely valuable assisting me in this . It contains more or less everything that is useful for a manicure or pedicure. Revlon do market very well made products and this is no exception; every part is nicely finished and serves a purpose… it isn’t bulked out by cheap, less useful parts and is a very practical package. Revlon 9414 Professional Nail Care System ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈• It is a recharchable unit which can also be used attached to the mains via its 230v adaptor/charger which is very handy if the charge runs out before you have finished The kit comes in a very nice aluminium storage case which is matt silver rather than shiny so doesn’t get covered with finger prints. Inside the case you have the 9414 main component which is very comfortable to hold; fitting well into the hand, light and has well placed switches. It has 2 speed settings although not every attachment is at its best on both of them. It includes 6 attachments for the main unit (in detail below) and 4 stand alone accessories which are; nail scissors, fingernail clippers, toe nail clippers and a cuticle pusher. The set of attachments consist of; 1) A detail file which is perfect for putting the ...

Giani ND33OUV 28/07/2007

Nippy nails

Giani ND33OUV I rarely wear anything other than clear nail varnish on my finger nails and I will admit to disliking the relaxation in the uniform policy of many hospitals which allows nurses to wear coloured nail varnish; personally I like to look at the cleanliness of peoples hands and in particular their nails As I don’t paint my fingernails often I make extra effort in keeping their appearance as neat and tidy in other ways. I only wear nail polish on my finger nails when im going out somewhere special, but on the other had I always paint my toe nails and at the moment they are blue. I haven’t got a lot of patience waiting for nail varnish to dry as it seems to take forever and I frequently under estimate this and end up smudging or wrecking it. I scrounged this dryer some time ago off my sister who now has one of those all singing, dancing acetate nail kits which came with its own dryer and I hoped it would cut down on the amount of times I’ve had to remove the varnish because I wrecked it or got dog hairs stuck to it as I forgot and stroked her. Giani UV Nail Light ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈ This Giani ultra-violet nail light and dryer does look fairly stylish; it has a very smooth design with no angles anywhere. Its rounded case is silver plastic and its trim and button is lilac. Its very light weight and portable- it runs on 4 AA batteries so can be used any where. It isn't that ...

Russell Hobbs 9209 26/07/2007

My brave little toaster

Russell Hobbs 9209 One of my favourite comfort foods has always been hot buttered toast with Chiver’s golden shred marmalade, even when I don’t need comforting I still love toast. When I’m feeling trendy and adventurous it might be brown granary bread with Roses lime marmalade; it doesn’t even have to be bread, I love muffins, teacakes, crumpets… if you can toast it I will eat it. The only thing that limits my intake is the calories and the carbohydrates. I’ve been diabetic for a few years now and sadly toast doesn’t do anything positive for maintaining my blood sugar. Toast has now become a treat that I relish. Consequently I began a hunt for the perfect toaster and I had a list of abilities that were completely necessary and a few that I would prefer but could live without .The prerequisites had to be a variable width slot ability to take from thin to very thick slices of home made bread (the ultimate but very rare treat ) and crumpets and teacakes; a wide range of toasting finishes from the very pale, barely tanned to the brown that’s one step away from burning; an ability to cope with frozen bread 4 slots preferably controlled independently or at least in pairs: lift facility so I don’t have to poke about inside with a fork trying to spear little toasted things an ability to toast the whole slice of bread as those pale untoasted ends are aesthetically and gastronomically repulsive..… Doesn’t sound too difficult does it really- well it was a nightmare. I got to know ...

Delonghi 0190CHROME 25/07/2007

Delightful De'longhi tabletop cooker

Delonghi 0190CHROME The De'Longhi 0190 is a fan assisted combination oven and grill. I have owned this little gem for nearly 3 years and I picked it up off eBay for £30. The oven exterior is chrome and black with a glass drop down door. The door has a convenient, well placed handle which keeps finger marks off the glass. On each side of the oven are odd rounded protuberances and I am unsure of their purpose; they could be part of its retro styling or they could conceal some of the cookers innards. It comes with 2 grey enamel cooking trays which are very easy to keep clean as not a lot sticks to them and the stuff that does is easily released with a quick soak. There are 2 shelves and it is possible to raise or lower the position of these. There is one grid insert included to use when grilling foods such as bacon where the fat needs to run off. It is very easy to operate. On the front are 3 dials. The top dial is for the temperature and is graduated from 60.c to 120.c. the middle dial selects the time and is graduated from 5 minutes to 120. The bottom dial is the oven setting, and there are 4 choices; Defrost Fan Oven Grill. It isn’t possible to combine settings but it isn’t actually necessary. To operate it you plug it in, set the temperature dial and the oven setting then when you select the time the oven begins cooking. When the set time is reached the cooker has an audible alarm to alert you and it turns itself off. The oven is a perfect size for cooking small portions or ...

Moschino Oh! Eau de Toilette for Her 23/07/2007

Oh! what a lovely smell

Moschino Oh! Eau de Toilette for Her I have several Moschino perfumes as they tend to be very enjoyable. Franco Moschino worked as an illustrator for Gianni Versace until 1983 when he launched his own label. This is possibly why his perfumes are unpretentious and bottles often tongue in cheek and humorous. He started off with casual clothing prior to developing perfumes and Oh! was launched in 1996. Moschino Oh! ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈ Moschino Oh! is often classed as a marine floral, the marine relating to the water flowers used in the blend I think . It is mainly suitable for daywear and in particular office wear. As it is aimed at the working woman it is suitable for a wide age range and isn’t particularly suggestive of any type of woman. Moschino Oh! ; The fragrance. ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈ This perfume fits best into the family of floral perfumes and has oriental and spicy undertones. It is a very gentle and refreshing fragrance. Its opening notes have the zest of citrus and this is very evident in the shower gel which I use in the morning before work and wakes me up nicely. In the perfume though these opening notes, described by Moschino as deriving from tangerine peel, quickly ...

Creed Love In White Millesime Eau de Parfum for Her 22/07/2007

A well kept secret- untill now!

Creed Love In White Millesime Eau de Parfum for Her Creed “Love in white” is a relatively new fragrance from an old, long established perfume house. The house of Creed was established in 1760 and was established first in London. Queen Victoria appointed Creed as an official supplier to the Royal household at that time. Creed is one of a few remaining family owned Perfume Houses left in the world. They make several of my favourite perfumes including Love in white which was introduced in 2005 and as well as supplying me they also supply members of the royal family and celebrities although I would imagine they buy much more than I do. They maintain a private catalogue which includes fragrances from years throughout their history and the also supply private recipes for personal perfumes and I wouldn’t even hazard a guess how much they cost. Creed is now based in Paris and they describe themselves as a discreet family-owned perfume house dedicated to the creation of highly original fragrances of extravagant quality. The Creed family has produced over two hundred perfumes, all original and hand-made, often creating fragrances for the exclusive use of their wealthiest customers which I an unlikely ever to get a sniff of. They use natural essences instead of the synthetic ones used by large perfume companies which enable Creed to preserve the originality and superior quality of their fragrances. All processes are done by hand. They do not test on animals Love in white ...

Dyson DC 16 Handheld Root 6 21/07/2007

Digging for dirt right down by the root

Dyson DC 16 Handheld Root 6 I treated myself to this snazzy futuristic hand held Dyson vacuum cleaner last week. Like all new Dyson’s it looks rather odd as instead of the sleek design of most hand held machines it looks rather more like a big bulky drill. I’ve been curious about this machine since I first saw it advertised but as I haven’t been going out shopping much in the last couple of months I hadn’t actually seen one in the ‘flesh’. I must admit to being surprised how light it actually as; at least twice as much as I had expected from its appearance and in general I am very impressed I purchased mine from Dyson's web shop; I bought my main vacuum cleaner from there too. I find their prices are mainly very competitive and you usually get some kind of freebie with your purchase. With this hand held the incentive was a free dusting brush and an extendable hose. This offer is good until the end of the month so you had best be quick if you are interested. I paid £99 which includes delivery and the free accessories are worth £22. Dyson dispatch their orders via Amtrak delivery and claim the delivery is aimed at being within 3 days; mine was delivered within 2. Included in the box; ≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈•≈ Dyson DC 16 Handheld Root 6 21.6 volts lithium ion battery which recharges up to 3x faster than others. Charging unit with screws and wall plugs included for fixing Tool ...
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