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Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 16/06/2017

A gripping story of love, loss and tragedy.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy “Bless thy simplicity, Tess” Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles I have just returned from a week in Menorca; before I went I decided to take a look through the bookshelf for a couple of books to take with me. I had planned on a James Patterson or Lee Childs, however my eyes lingered on some old classics, that have not been read for many a year. When I first encountered Hardy during my English A level era (many moons ago) I can’t say that I was that enthralled with his work; however, reading them again later in life, he became a firm favourite and, I have to say, Tess of the D’Urbervilles has always been my most favourite. So, despite me knowing the story well, I chose that book to sit, read and inwardly digest on my jollies in the sun! “Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?” Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles First published in 1891, and initially called 'A Pure Woman', Tess of the D’Urbervilles was highly controversial and Hardy really aggravated the Victorian society as he courageously tackled ‘no go’ topics such as violence, murder and rape - topics common in modern literature but at that time – unmentionable and considered to be obscene. He received so much adverse criticism about these subjects that when his fifth edition was published he added the following quote to the front cover - "If an offence come out of the truth, better it is that the offence come than the ...

A.Vogel Luffa Nasal Spray 04/06/2017

This is to be sniffed at - then wake up and smell the roses!

A.Vogel Luffa Nasal Spray For some reason, about ten years ago, I suddenly started to get hay fever. For someone who loves gardening and the outdoors, for my body to suddenly react to the pollen released by plants and flowers. The blocked nose, the sneezing, being unable to breathe, a runny nose and itchy eyes all brought on by the pollen initiating my body to release Histamine. There are several ways of dealing with this uncomfortable condition – lock your doors and windows and stay away from the pollen (something that I refuse to do) or taking anti- Histamine tablets. I already take quite a few tablets for other conditions, so was reluctant to do this – also they made me feel rather groggy – even the ‘non-drowsy’ ones. Then several years ago, a friend recommended that I try A.Vogel Luffa Nasal Spray, a nasal spray that does NOT contain steroids, and is a natural product made from herbs – I was immediately converted. The 20ml bottle has become a life saver for me, it costs around £7.50 from Holland and Barrett (although the one I bought this week was on special offer of £6), it can also be bought from pharmacies, other health shops or on line. The bottle comes in a white box with a yellow flower on and is white with a small label on the bottle and a long thin spout with a spray pump built into the top. Just remove the cone shaped cap and with your thumb supporting the bottom and two fingers across the top flat top just below the pointed nozzle then put the pointy part into your nose then push the ...

Nivea Men Silver Protect 48H Anti Perspirant Deodorant Spray 28/05/2017

Don't sweat it? Nivea has it covered!

Nivea Men Silver Protect 48H Anti Perspirant Deodorant Spray Nivea Men Silver Protect 48H Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray I will soon have reviewed most of the contents of my suitcase for my holiday to Menorca; I have so far covered my sun spray and after sun, I am now reviewing another Nivea product that is a favourite of mine, and one that I have purchased for in my suitcase - Nivea Men Silver Protect 48H Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray. At one time, I would just pick up any generic deodorant, and them and whatever Lynx sprays I was bought for birthday and Christmas were my regular deodorants; and then two years ago my brother bought me a Nivea gift set and in it was a can of Nivea Men 48 Hour Silver Protect Antiperspirant. Since then whenever I have run out of the Father’s Day/birthday/Christmas deodorant gifts I always actively seek out this spray. Luckily it is readily available in all supermarkets and pharmacies – I usually pay between 2.00 and £2.50, but my latest holiday purchase was from Superdrug and cost me just £1.64 – Bargain. (I bought two!!!) Specifications • 250ml bottle • Suitable for all skin types • Fights body odour - antibacterial formula with silver ions • 48h effective anti-perspirant protection & NIVEA MEN Care Complex • Skin tolerance dermatologically approved • No alcohol or colourants • Average price: £2.50 • Country of origin: Germany • Package Type: Aerosol can • Recycling Information: Packing – Recyclable if empty • Ingredients: Butane, Isobutane, Propane, Cyclomethicone, Aluminum Chlorohydrate, ...

Nivea Sun Cooling After Sun Spray with Aloe Vera 27/05/2017

Who knew Nivea could be cool!

Nivea Sun Cooling After Sun Spray with Aloe Vera Nivea Sun Cooling After Sun Spray with Aloe Vera As I mentioned in my last review, we are currently getting ready for our holiday to Menorca; two of the items that are going in the case are frequent flyers with us when we go to warmer climes Nivea Sun Immediate Protection Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 and Nivea Moisturising After Sun Spray, this second review follows on from on the Sun Spray SPF30, and is for the Nivea Moisturising After Sun Spray Specifications • 200ml bottle • Suitable for all skin types • Cools and soothes the skin • Good, Skin compatibility dermatologically approved • 24h moisturisation • Light formula enriched with Aloe Vera • Average price: £5 • Country of origin: Spain • Package Type: Bottle/ Dispenser • Recycling Information: Packing – Recyclable • Ingredients: Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Paraffinum Liquidum, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Cera Microcristallina, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Methylpropanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Tetrasodium Iminodisuccinate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylproprional, Limonene, Citral, Geraniol, Parfum This Nivea after sun spray is soothing and refreshing for after spending a few hours in the sun. Nivea Sun Moisturising It has a quickly absorbed light formula which contains Aloe Vera (known for its soothing ...

Nivea Sun Immediate Protection Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 24/05/2017

For when the sun comes (or will it?)

Nivea Sun Immediate Protection Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 Nivea Sun Immediate Protection Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 We are currently getting ready for our holiday to Menorca; two of the items that are going in the case are frequent flyers with us when we go to warmer climes Nivea Sun Immediate Protection Moisturising Sun Spray SPF30 and Nivea Moisturising After Sun Spray, this first review is on the Sun Spray SPF30, the After Sun Spray will follow later!! Specifications • 200ml bottle • Suitable for all skin types • Enhanced UVA/UVB filter system for immediate protection from UV rays • Water resistant • Good, Skin compatibility dermatologically approved • Vitamin E to help combat free radicals and premature skin ageing • Combines immediate protection against sun exposure • Average price: £6 • Country of origin: Spain • Package Type: Bottle • Recycling Information: Packing - Recyclable • Ingredients: Octocrylene 90 mg/g, Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane 45 mg/g, Octyl salicylate 45 mg/g, Bemotrizinol 25 mg/g, Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid 15mg/g, Titanium dioxide 15 mg/g. Contains: Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxybenzoates, Ethanol. This Nivea sun spray offers protection from the sun, in a convenient, quick and easy to apply bottle. As well as offering protection from the sun this sunscreen also moisturises the skin. The cream is water resistant for up to 4 hours. When applied to the full body a 200ml bottle contains 6 full body applications for an average adult, and Nivea say that not using enough will lower the level of ...

Karlsson Square Retro Vintage Glass Clock 21/05/2017

The Red Square in my kitchen

Karlsson Square Retro Vintage Glass Clock + Karlsson Square Retro Vintage Glass Clock + Two years ago, we had a much-needed update on our kitchen; my wife chose a very minimalistic white and black design which she brightened up with red accessories. We looked around at several different clocks for on the pure white wall, and in the end deciding on spending just a little more than most we saw, on a very eye catching clock – a red Karlsson Square Retro Vintage Glass Clock. It certainly looked good on our wall, and still does – and it always gets compliments from any new visitors to our kitchen. So, with two years of experience with the said clock, I shall attempt to review it here! + About the Clock + Specifications • Material: Glass • Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm • Weight: 1.8 Kg • Battery: 1x AA (Not included) • Designer: Box32 Design • Product code: KA4400 The Karlsson Vintage Square Glass Clock Specifications is a very appealing clock; it is classed as ‘retro’ but I think that it is extremely modern looking. It is a fairly big clock, ideal for on a large bare wall, and measures around 14” square and is the perfect square clock for in a kitchen and co-ordinating with red kitchen accessories. It is classically designed with rounded corners and has a minimal but elegant look. The colour of the clock face is a cheery, bright tomato red and, because it is made from toughened glass, it shines up beautifully. The design is beautifully bold - enough to make it a feature but elegant enough to be understated and not ...

Brio Clever Crane Wagon 12/05/2017

The arm on the crane goes up and down!!

Brio Clever Crane Wagon Brio Clever Crane Wagon My four-year-old grandson, Ronnie, had his first ‘real’ birthday party after starting nursery last week; we went along to join in the fun, and I was amazed at some of the presents that Ronnie got off his little friends – things have certainly changed since my daughters were little!! One of the presents which he was particularly pleased with, and that he brought straight to ‘Pops’ to look at was a lovely little wooden crane and truck set from Brio. This was the first time I had come across this brand, but I have to say that I was very impressed, and I’m sure that we shall be buying more of it come December and we are looking for a Christmas gift for Ronnie!! What do you get? The crane and wagon comes on a piece of green cardboard that measures around 17.8 x 3.8 x 7.6 cm, in a clear plastic moulding so that you can see the vehicle clearly. The vehicle consists of a wooden green crane wagon and truck on a brown base; the truck has a shaped top which holds convincing looking grey boulder. The wheel and trims of the vehicle are orange. The cab of the wagon is able to turn 360° so making it really easy to line up the crane with the boulder and to pick it up magnetically. The wagon and truck are also joined with a strong magnet and the arm of the crane raises and lowers easily, using a simple orange wheel mechanism that is situated on the back of the cab. While both the wagon and truck are made from wood, all other parts of the set are made from plastic ...

Landmann Lavasteine 0273 09/05/2017

A volcanic blast for your barbecue

Landmann Lavasteine 0273 Landmann Lavasteine Barbecuing season is here again, and as always, I hear and read the same discussions about just HOW you barbecue. Are you a traditionalist who insists that it is not a barbecue if you are not cooking over an open flame, and if so do you use charcoal or briquettes? Are you a gas barbecuer – and if so do you like to cook over ceramic, bricks, lava rock or just plain grills? Let’s face it, at its most basic a barbecue is just a grill, placed over a heat source, that you use to cooking outdoors. You can even make your own out of any heat-proof container with a heat source in the bottom and metal grill above it - even an old oil drum. However, these days barbecue seem to be getting bigger, fancier and with lots of gadgets on them. I did used to be a firm believer in the old charcoal burner; however, I found charcoal could become increasingly difficult to purchase – especially if you wanted a barbecue outside the main summer months – and I would find myself traipsing around garages, supermarkets, garden centres etc. to find it and lighter fuel. Also, I found it very wasteful if cooking for just two of us. So, I opted for a gas barbecues with lava rocks to help create that smoky barbecue taste. Fat and meat juices dripping onto the hot lava rocks below the grill evaporate, and consequently smoke and that helps to add a chargrilled flavour to food. Landmann are a German company who specialise in barbecues and accessories; it was started in 1966 and now has ...

Central Intelligence (DVD) 02/05/2017

'Twins' meets 'Lethal Weapon'

Central Intelligence (DVD) Central Intelligence DVD Review Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber Produced by Scott Stuber, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Michael Fottrell Screenplay by Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber Story by Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen Starring Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul and Danielle Nicolet Release date June 17, 2016 Running time 108 minutes Classified: 15 About the Film This is a 2016 American film, it is an action/comedy film that received mixed reactions – it seems to be a ‘Marmite’ like film – you either love it or hate it! It is another film from my son, so that immediately made me think I would be the later – but read on to see if I was right or wrong on this matter!! Trailer Plot “Honey, black people don't go to therapy. We go to barbershops.” The film starts in 1996 with a prologue about the graduating class of Central High School - were we see an obese laughingstock Robbie Wheirdicht (intentionally mispronounced “weird-dick”) and, the pride of the school, Kevin "The Golden Jet" Hart. While Joyner is accepting an award from the principle, Robbie gets bullied and thrown naked onto the gym floor; the only person who shows an iota of compassion for him is Kevin. Twenty years later Bob Stone and Kevin Hart (played by Dwayne Johnson - AKA The Rock - and Calvin Joyner) reconnect through Facebook ahead of a high-school reunion. At high ...

Entourage: Movie (DVD) 29/04/2017

'Misogyny on Tour'! Not for me I'm afraid!

Entourage: Movie (DVD) Entourage: Movie DVD Review Directed by Doug Ellin Produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Doug Ellin Screenplay by Doug Ellin Story by Doug Ellin and Rob Weiss Based on Entourage by Doug Ellin Starring Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven Music by Frederic Sans Release date: June 3, 2015 Running time: 104 minutes Classification: 15 About the Film 'Entourage; The Movie' is a 2015 American comedy that starts off where the HBO TV series of the same name finished four years earlier. Sadly, this film did not have the same sort of success as other TV programmes have when made into a movie (like 'Sex in the City', but was basically a huge flop! The DVD I watched was my son's; he had been a huge fan of the TV series (personally I had only seen a couple of episodes and wasn't that keen); but I sat and watched this with him and our wives, at least I thought - it would make for a review!! Trailer Plot "It doesn't matter what a movie costs, only what it makes." The film opens with movie star Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier) inviting his 'bros'- his best friend and manager Eric (played by Kevin Connolly), his driver Turtle (played by Jerry Ferrara), and half-brother, would be actor, Johnny "Drama" (played by Kevin Dillon) to a boat party in Ibiza, to celebrate the end of his 9-day marriage with flowing booze and a host of scantily clad young ...

Bahco Hacksaw 27/04/2017

You won't want to give a Bahco bahco!!

Bahco Hacksaw The Bahco Hacksaw Reading reviews on here, I am always amazed and impressed at just how detailed some members are able to make reviews on really basic items. My review today is on such a basic item – the humble Bahco Hacksaw – but I’m afraid I don’t think that my review will be as detailed and eloquent as so many other on here! For me, I think that the unassuming little hacksaw is one of the most important tools in any, toolbox/shed/workshop. Even if you are one of these people who are lucky enough to own all the latest expensive electrical tool you will still always need a hacksaw at some time in you DIY life! A good old-fashioned basic hacksaw is a simple and effective tool and its performance is mainly dependant on the quality and tension of the blade in it. The standard size for a hacksaw blade is 12 inches and the blades come in various teeth sizes to suit the different materials you may be tackling in your work; .24 teeth per inch is the most normal size blade. Softer material, like copper pipes, needs a coarser blade with less teeth (more like 18 teeth per inch) while hard materials like stainless steel is better cut with a blade with 32 teeth per inch. The last hacksaw I bought, about a year ago (to replace one I ‘loaned’ to a friend) is a no-frills mid-range hacksaw - the Bahco 319 Hacksaw that is suitable for DIY and professional use. The hacksaw cost me £16 – but can be purchased from various places from £15 - £30 - it is currently available from ...

Easter Holidays 2017 14/04/2017

Fill your life with new hope, new goals, new hopes this Easter!

Easter Holidays 2017 Easter Holidays 2017 Are you on vacation or at work? I am in the happy position of being retired, however, while I do not go out to paid work, my wife makes sure that I am kept busy in the house and garden!! But really, all our days are very much like a holiday, we make good use of our garden for recreation – that means sitting and reading (me) and knitting (my wife) and watching the birds, and we have many a day out, either visiting family and friends in the car or using our very handy free bus pass (there are some advantages to getting older you know!!) My wife and I are very involved with our local church and do a lot of work (the unpaid variety naturally) there; consequently, the Easter holidays keeps us very busy with church activities, especially during Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter Sunday. We start our Easter week (or Holy Week) with Palm Sunday (which was April 9th this year), and we help decorate our church with palms and have a procession (with donkey) to mark the moment Jesus entered Jerusalem and hand out palm crosses. Then on Maundy Thursday, even if a church does not hold a specific Maundy Thursday service, the Last Supper is remembered regularly in the majority of Christian churches through the communion service or shared meal. these can be held as often as once a week by some. In our church, we always have a shared meal in the hall on the evening of Maundy Thursday, followed by a communion service to recreate the Last Supper. Good Friday is a ...

Seiko Wooden Wall Clock 03/04/2017

Not a tick but what a chime!!!

Seiko Wooden Wall Clock +Seiko Wooden Wall Clock+ My wife and I were bought our lovely wall clock ten years ago for our silver wedding anniversary by our children. We had previously had an old Grandmother clock that had tick-tocked for the last time and we did miss the regular chimes. We have been extremely pleased with our ‘new’ clock – that at ten years old is still going strong, looking lovely, keeping good time all with just an occasional polish and an annual battery change. When I was listening to the chimes last night, I though “Ah, I shall write a review on our gorgeous clock!” – so here it is!!!! + About the Clock + This is a traditional ‘schoolhouse’ style solid oak cased; the case is a medium brown oak and the clock measures 21 inches tall x 13 inches at the widest part x 4 inches deep – so it sticks out around 4” from the wall. The octagonal shaped clock face is ivory and measures around 9 ½ both horizontally and vertically; the numbers are printed in black (not raised) and there is a gold circle printed on the face that is a nice accent. The hands are black and the words Westminster and Whittington (the two chime types0 and Seiko are written in black on the face. The face is covered in Curved glass and there is a gold design on the pendulum glass, the pendulum is a gold colour and made from aluminium, the pendulum is not real, it is for appearance only but looks really good. The back side of the clock is made from a solid thin wood panel with slots along the edges so that it easily ...

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? 30/03/2017

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 ...
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