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since 01/09/2016


Garland Self Watering Plant Tray 30/03/2017

No more dried out plants with these handy trays

Garland Self Watering Plant Tray Garland Large Self Watering Plant Tray The Product Basically, this Garland Self Watering Plant Tray is a 1 ½ “deep mini capillary tray which will keep potted plants or seedlings watered for up to 14 days, perfect for people going away on holiday. It consists of a dark green base tray that made from recycled polypropylene plastic base tray that is actually a reservoir that holds 8 litres of water, and an inner support platform, also manufactured from recycled polystyrene plastic. It works by guaranteeing that compost exposed at the bottom of plant pots is in contact with the capillary matting, and then the plants will water themselves! The size of the unit also makes it particularly useful for use in greenhouses, as it is perfect for watering cuttings and seedlings, as plants can take exactly the water they need – so no under or over watering. The tray measures 56cm (22") long, 40cm (16") wide and is 4cm (1.5") high and it will keep your plants fresh for up to 14 days. These trays are available from all online gardening sites and good garden centres; the price varies from around £21 - £ 15, it is currently (29/3/17) available from £13.95 on Amazon but you will pay over £20 on E Bay. Do be careful when looking, as there is a narrower windowsill tray which will coat £8 - £14 but is much narrower and holds half the amount of water in the reservoir, so do check the size before ordering. This is product code: G70. You cannot buy replacement mats from Garland, however, good ...

What are the main changes do you plan to do for Spring? 23/03/2017

Springing into action for house and garden

What are the main changes do you plan to do for Spring? What are the main changes do you plan to do for Spring? This year in the UK Spring officially started on Monday, 20 March and will end on Wednesday, 21 June – when we welcome the summer (hopefully). In a lot of ways, it feels like spring, the lambs are all frolicking in the fields, the cows are back out grazing in the pastures and the roundabouts and road verges are yellow with daffodils. My snowdrops have finished flowering, my daffs are in full bloom and there are signs of life on all the trees and bushes. But is it just me? Or was it only Christmas a few weeks ago? And that wind is what my mum would have called a “lazy wind” – i.e. one that goes through you and not round you!! Brings out the Percy Thrower in me (younger readers – think Alan Titchmarsh!!) Spring is traditionally the season we try to get things in order, such as spring cleaning; but for me it means looking to the great outdoors – or at least my garden! As I have got older, my approach to the seasons have changed – and I now realise that I have begun to use the generally long, wet and cold winters to organise myself ready for the exciting but massive spring gardening frenzy. The older and more mature I get – so does my garden and the more the idea of altering areas in the garden or trying a new procedure captivates me. Whether this is due to my increasing age or my garden’s, I can’t really tell!! Over the winter, I have made my gardening decisions for the spring - I have decided to build a homemade ...

Gillette Conditioning Aftershave Balm 16/03/2017

Would be perfect if I wore make up!

Gillette Conditioning Aftershave Balm Gillette Conditioning Aftershave Balm I much prefer a wet shave to an electric one; in fact, I’m quite old fashioned in that I use a shaving brush and Palmolive Shaving Cream!! As reviewed here At Christmas I received a Gillette gift set containing a razor, foam and some aftershave balm. I usually just dab on a little aftershave after shaving but thought that I would give this balm, which was very new to me, a try. This product comes in a white plastic bottle with a navy-blue flip top plastic cap, and measures is about 4 ½ inches tall; the bottle is designed to stand on its lid and it has a plain, classic look navy blue label on the front and a list of ingredients and how to use on the back label. There is 75ml of the balm in the bottle. It seems that a balm is designed to use it if a regular aftershave is too harsh on your skin, and unlike traditional aftershaves, there is no burning sensation once applied. The balm has a very slight scent, but nothing that would interfere with your cologne or aftershave, and what little fragrance there is disappears after around 15 minutes anyway! I wasn’t really too sure if this was my sort of thing, but I gave it a try – I’m more used to the old ‘Splash it all over’ technique – and actually quite like that bit of a sting when I apply my aftershave!! You put a little on your hand and rub it into your skin after shaving. At first I found my skin felt didn’t leave a greasy film ...

Safety 1st Oven Front Lock 08/03/2017

Peace of mind for a few pounds!

Safety 1st Oven Front Lock ~~~ Safety 1st Oven Front Lock~~~ When my daughter and her family came to stay with us 6 months ago, as they waited for their new house to be fitted, we were reminded of what it was like to have a toddler in the house. My grandson was around 18 months when they came and into everything, we decided to try and baby proof the house as much as possible to keep him safe and protect some of our possessions!! Naturally it was his protection that was the key point, and as he had a penchant for pulling open our oven door, the first thing we bought was a lock for the oven door – we went off to Toys R Us and came back with a Safety 1st Oven Front Lock. ~~~ About the Product ~~~ The Safety 1st Oven Front Lock is one of several products from the company; it comes on a card measuring around 3 ½ “x 7 ½ “and sealed in a plastic cover. Inside is one oven door lock and on instruction leaflet. It is a universal design that will fit most oven doors (gas or electric) and is specially designed to be durable and heat-resistant. The lock installs with adhesive only, there are no screws required. The lock is white and grey and made of metal and plastic. Manufacturer’s Details • Tested for safety and durability • Made the use of top quality materials • Essentially the most innovative designs and manufacturing processes • Durable • Heat-resistant • Adhesive that mounts it to the front of a stove ~~~ Fitting the Product ~~~ All you need to fit the lock is the lock itself and a tape measure, ...

The Knot (DVD) 02/03/2017

The Knot is not to be recommended

The Knot (DVD) The Knot (DVD) This is not really my sort of viewing, but it was a Birthday present my wife received and I sat down to watch it with her a few nights ago. So, I shall give my opinion – as a humble man – of what I thought!! The Knot is a 2012 British ‘comedy’ film about a wedding – and the shenanigans leading up to the wedding, that stars Matthew McNulty, and Talulah Riley as the happy couple. Alexandra and Jeremy are getting married; the film starts with the morning of the wedding as both hens and stags are getting over their respective parties. The viewer then has to endure, I mean watch, the events of the big day, from them falling out of bed up to their wedding ceremony – hopefully. To get to the end of the film and find out if the couple do actually tie the knot, we have to witness various rather forced mishaps including torn suits, lost ring, tummy troubles and a missing bridesmaid. As you would guess from this synopsis, the story-line of ‘The Knot’ has nothing new, it all sounds like something we’ve seen before – and to be honest – it is. The only saving grace for me was that at least the accents coming out of the mixture of young actors/actresses was British and not American! For me this film was just too clichéd; the men (including producer and co-writer Noel Clarke as the best man Peter) spend the whole time either making objectionable sexist jokes or acting in ways that fall far below the necessities of basic human decency. I WAS young once, and I did have a ...

Roberts Expression 27/02/2017

Express yourself and your friends with this classy little number

Roberts Expression Roberts Expression Radio I just love the radio, I am not happy if there isn’t music playing in the background, be it in my greenhouse, in the shed or any room in the house. Over the years we have owned many radios – from the old ‘wireless’ (Which ironically plugged into the electricity socket with a wire!!), to the tacky ‘transistor’ radio of the 1960’s. Five years ago when I retired I was very lucky to be bought a brand spanking, all singing and dancing Roberts Expression DAB/FM RDS Portable Radio by my works colleagues – I think they must have been glad to see me go and dug deep into their pockets!! I have been listening to that radio now for five years every day, and it is still going strong, and so I think that it deserves a review. About Roberts Roberts Radios seem to be THE radio of choice and they certainly do produce some belting radios. This year, the Roberts Radio Company celebrates 85 years, after it was founded in 1932 by two friends Harry Roberts and Leslie Bidmead. The couple began making portable radios from a small shop in London in 1932’ initially producing just three radios a week. Roberts is now a subsidiary of the privately-owned Glen Dimplex Group, and despite the radical changes in audio technology over those 85 years, Roberts remains the UK market leader in portable radios. In 1999, Roberts set an industry ‘first’ when they launched the first portable DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) digital radio. What is Digital Radio? You can listen to ...

Fascinations Iconx Taj Mahal 3D Model Kit 23/02/2017

Making the Taj Mahal is not child's play!"!

Fascinations Iconx Taj Mahal 3D Model Kit Fascinations Iconx Taj Mahal 3D Model Kit I was bought this kit for Christmas, for several weeks it sat on my dressing table saying “Come on big boy, if you think you can handle me!!” the problem was – I didn’t think I could!! Last week, as I was lamenting the miserable weather that was stopping me pottering in the garden and the lack of anything half decent to watch on the TV, my wife brought out the model kit and – rather unceremoniously I may add – chucked it on the couch and said “Make this then!!” And I know better than to ignore THAT look so got out the specs sat at the table and opened the box!! What was in that box then? For a kick off the box is very small – more like a DVD cover! It measures about 4 ½ x 6 1/12 inches and is virtually flat – how can I make the “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage" out of thin air? Inside this slip of a box there are just 2 metal sheet, measuring 8.3" x 4.3" and a sheet of illustrated instructions. These two sheets of metal contain more than 50 cut outs that you just push out of the sheet. Manufacturer’s Description • Metal Earth 3D model kit • Using two steel sheets you can create a museum quality 3D model • Simply pop out the pieces and connect them using the tabs and holes • Use the easy to follow illustrated instructions • No glue or solder required So, with precious little on the table - just 2 sheets of metal, my specs, an instruction sheet, a ...

Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece Bit Set In Pouch 19/02/2017

Wear a compact Wera Kompakt with pride!!

Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece Bit Set In Pouch Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece Bit Set In Pouch I have electric screw drivers and drills but my favourite go to tool when a spot of DIY is needed is my handy little pouch holding a drive handle and 10 drill bits; this is the Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece Bit Set. The Product The little black pouch is designed to fit on your belt, it measures just 14cm long, 9 ½ cm wide and is 4cm high at its fattest part. There is a picture of the green drive handle embroidered on the front as well as the name ‘Wera’ embroidered in white. The canvas pouch is an envelope design in three sections, and has elastic holding in the 10 x 9cm long bits and the green and black 12cm long chunky drive handle. The drive handle is in the distinct Kraftform shape; the design of which is based around the contours of the hand during screwdriver use, and consists of combination of ergonomic soft zones and smooth, hard zones with a non-roll handle and has a ‘Rapidaptor’ quick-release chuck. The pouch contains the following hard wearing bits: 4 x Torx Bits TX15, TX20, TX25 and TX30. 3 x Pozidriv Bits PZ1, PZ2 and PZ3. 3 x Phillips Bits PH1, PH2 and PH3. PRODUCT DETAILS • In practical folding bag with 89 mm long bits. • Bit output hard but elastic • For hard screw driving e.g. in metal and metal content: 1 bit hand holder Kraftform with quick-change chuck Rapidaptor per 1 bit for Phillips screws My Opinion I have owned my Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece Bit Set for around five years now, Wera Kompakt 41 11 Piece ...

Parker Profile Fountain Pen Barrel Ink 13/02/2017

A trusty name and a trusty pen.

Parker Profile Fountain Pen Barrel Ink Parker Profile Fountain Pen Barrel Ink I suppose that I am a bit of a dinosaur with my preference to writing with a fountain pen; but ever since I started grammar school -many, many years ago, the fountain pen has been my writing implement of choice. I was actually bought a rather expensive Waterman pen when I passed my 11+ - a pen which has well gone now! However, the fountain pen that I use daily now was a far cheaper pen – one that cost me around £10 – but one that I have been using now for almost 10 years. That pen is a royal blue Parker Profile, and despite its age - the chrome plated trim and plastic tube and lid have only a few light marks and scratches and it still works wonderfully. The pen was first released in 2006, so would have been fairly new when I bought it; it says something about the quality of the pen that it is still available today. Appearance of Pen I seem to remember that my pen came in a plastic box – but this has long since gone. This pen has a very simple and understated design: measuring around 6” long, it is manufactured from royal blue plastic, and has a sliver brushed steel cap/clip and barrel end and there is a plastic ‘gem stone’ on the top of the cap. The clip design is bold and in the traditional Parker design, it is lever sprung and pulls out and returns to place well. After ten years of being pulled out for putting on my jacket pocket it is still very solid. I can remember that when I first started using the pen the lid was a little ...

Red Dingo Reflective Lead 07/02/2017

A glowing review for a glowing lead

Red Dingo Reflective Lead Red Dingo Reflective Dog Lead 15 mm x 1.2 m, Small Turquoise Sprouts is the boss in our house! He is a one year old black Brussels Griffon, a rescue dog we acquired 8 months ago. He is a very affectionate little thing – only around 8” tall and weighing about 12 lbs and he is a very spoilt pooch. Because Sprouts had a shaky start to life, being dumped after a few weeks by the original owner, my wife decided he needed very special attention – and boy does he get it!! This Christmas there seemed to be more presents in Sprouts stocking than there were in mine!! (Jealous? Moi? !!!!) One of those presents was a new lead for him – but, I was assured, bought with me in mind; this was a Red Dingo reflective dog lead, he received this and the matching reflective harness and collar– seemingly for when I take him for walks in the dark!! See – she does think about me! The Product Sprout’s leash (and other Red Dingo paraphernalia) is in a turquoise colour – not a very masculine colour, but it could have been worse she could have bought him the hot pink!! The leads come in three sizes - small ½ ″ width and fits a 8-13″ size neck, medium ¾ “width and fits a 12-18″ size neck and large fits a 1″ width and fits a 16-24″ size neck. It also comes in 7 colours – turquoise, pink, hot pink, purple, black, blue and red. The entire length of the high quality, durable nylon lead features a white reflective bone pattern, and a slider on the lead adjusts from 3.6 ft. up to 6 ft. ...

This Is Where I Leave You (DVD) 01/02/2017

I thought I'd be leaving but no - I stayed!!

This Is Where I Leave You (DVD) This Is Where I Leave You DVD Review Introduction I was told by ‘the boss’ that I was watching the DVD ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ as she had bought it after reading the book of the same name and loving it. I wasn’t so sure that this was the film for me, but being a good boy, I sat down to watch it – anything for a quiet life! About the Film “It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.” 'This Is Where I Leave You' is an American drama comedy film, based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Tropper, it was released on September 19, 2014. Director: Shawn Levy Producers: Shawn Levy, Paula Weinstein and Jeffrey Levine Screenplay: Jonathan Tropper Music: Michael Giacchino Running time: 103 minutes Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk and Jane Fonda Music by Michael Giacchino Classified: 15 The Story The film opens with radio producer, Judd Altman (played by Bateman) leaving work holding a birthday cake that is intended for his wife Quinn (played by Abigail Spencer). However, when he arrives home he finds Quinn in bed with radio-host, whose show he produces - Wade Beaufort (played by Dax Shepard) It seems that the affair has been going on for a year and the said affair spoils his career, a friendship and his marriage. In a state of depression and with a beard appearing on his chin, Judd ...

Foxmind Oops! Brainteaser Puzzle 27/01/2017

Oops look what I found in the loft!! Oops a great brainteaser!

Foxmind Oops! Brainteaser Puzzle Foxmind Oops! Brainteaser Puzzle Introduction When we took the Christmas decorations down and I put them up in the loft, I had a bit of a sort out up there. I didn’t discover any old Rembrandt masterpieces but I did find a box of games that we had forgotten about. One of these was one I had forgotten all about - Foxmind Oops! Brainteaser Puzzle; as my niece and 7-year-old daughter were coming to stay for a couple of days I put it to one side away from the items in the charity shop and bin piles, to try it again after many years non -use. We did – and so now comes my review on Foxmind Oops! The Game The game comes in a 11” X 9” X 3” cardboard box which contains one plastic Magical Game Box that holds the game pieces and flips to be used as the playing area, one booklet that contains 50 puzzles (along with THE solutions), nine Magician pieces comprising of seven coloured pieces, one head and one hat and a small bag to put all the pieces in. All the puzzles pieces and Magical Game Box are made of solid plastic and the puzzle book is easy to read and to follow. This is a quality one player game that is both durable and easy to play. MANUFACTURER’S PRODUCT DETAILS • Simon the magician has been caught by one of his own tricks! • Following simple movement rules, players have to find a way to gather the pieces together so they all end up in the hat with the head of Simon on top. • initial puzzles are easy to solve but as the players progress they will find the puzzles ...

Flower and Diamond Stickers 72pack 23/01/2017

Flowers and diamonds for just one Pound!!

Flower and Diamond Stickers 72pack Poundland Sparkly Flower and Heart Stickers 72pack The Stickers These stickers are an item that are frequently dropped into our basket when shopping at Poundland. My wife uses these and many more design stickers in the range from Poundland as she makes a lot of handmade cards to sell for our church and always has a stall at summer and Christmas fetes. Naturally, being for a charity, she tries to make them using as inexpensive products she can find without taking away from the quality. Poundland always have a good variety of stickers ranging from decorative ones like these flowers to animals, vehicles, numbers, letters etc. as well as seasonal ones like Christmas, Easter, Valentine and Halloween. She always used to make a 20-mile journey to a Hobby Craft shop to purchase her stickers before she found these – these are cheaper and also save her time and money in getting them. The Sparkly Flower Stickers come in a pack of 72pack pretty pink and at the centre of each one of those flowers is a pretty ink plastic ‘diamond’, the flowers are all the same vibrant colour of pink but they come in a variety of 5 sizes. The stick flowers very easy to peel off the backing sheet and then re-stick very easily to paper or card. The shingle sheet of stickers comes in a sealed cellophane packet with a small piece of cardboard sealing the top, so there is not a lot of waste in packaging. As my wife does buy several different packs of these stickers she stores them in a plastic box with ...

Fraction Action Snap 20/01/2017

Learning in a fun way - economically too

Fraction Action Snap Fraction Action Snap Brainbox My niece and her 7 year old daughter came to stay with us last weekend due to a family illness; Charlotte is a bright little thing and loves maths and numbers and brought with her a simple card game called ‘Fraction Action Snap’. Her mum told me that although she loves maths and numbers, she had been struggling with fractions and her teacher had recommended this card set – she had bought it from E Bay for just under £3. I was very impressed with the card game and thought it worthy of a review! About the Game The game comes in a normal playing card size and shaped blue box that measures around 3” x 2 ½ “; the box has quite a modern, cartoon like appearance and looks especially aimed at children, Inside the box there is a sealed pack of 52 colourful playing cards and three rules card. The cards have symbols, percentages, graphs and decimals on and all are printed in large colourful designs.. You can play either Snap or Doubles (or Pairs) with these cards; but by doing so you are helping your children understand maths concepts through play. The cards are aimed at 7 – 12 years old children and can be played with 1 to four players. MANUFACTURER’S DETAILS “The smarter way to play snap and pairs. • Suitable for ages 7+ • For 1+ Players • 52 x Full-colour playing cards • 3 x Rules Card • Self-checking guide Playing the Games Although these are not your usual pack of playing cards you can still play two traditional family favourite games - ...

Beko WX742430S 15/12/2016

Excellent washer , great value for the money

Beko WX742430S Beko Washing Machine Model WX742430S Unless you live on Albert Square most people own a washing machine, but it is something that I just take for granted, that silver appliance in the corner. However, when it goes wrong it is chaos – I mean to say poor Dot Cotton can’t take on any more service washes can she!! I am not professing to be the person in our household who uses the washing machine the most – BUT I CAN use it and have used it, and will use it again. Many years ago, when we had a houseful of kids we seemed to get through washing machines like mad – in fact at one time we actually rented one for a few years. We’ve been down the route of paying maintenance insurance – but found that this cost as much as the washing machine. I do hope that I’m not tempting fate but our current Beko washing machine is over two years old and going strong - no break downs and the washing actually comes out clean and smelling good! I’m sure that you’ve all had that sickening thudding feeling when your washing machine finally dies and goes to that big land fill in the sky! When our last washer popped its clogs it did so at a time when finances were a little tight (well, that could be anytime!!) so I looked round for one that didn’t cost too much – and managed to pick our latest machine up from Curry’s for less than £280. The Product This is a basic, free standing washing machine of slimline sizing (about 24” wide) that comes in silver and black (we have the silver model). It is ...
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