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since 03/09/2002


Nescafe Gold Blend Coffee 10/01/2012

Nice coffee shame about the jar lid

Nescafe Gold Blend Coffee So no handsome man comes to my house to borrow my coffee, but I have loads of friends visiting me to drink it. Do they come just for my coffee? I like to think not. When I visit anywhere I usually have a small jar in my handbag as I really do not like any other coffee apart from Nescafe Gold Blend or coffee freshly brewed from fresh beans. This coffee can be a bit pricey compared to many other brands but I get round this by stocking up when I see it on offer in the supermarket. My local Co op was selling 200g jars at £5 recently. I also found an outlet on Ebay that was selling 1kg tins at £20 including postage. Why do I like it? The taste. Rich smooth flavour that goes really well with Coffee Mate which I prefer to fresh milk. The aroma especially when the jar is freshly opened. The ease of making a quick cup of coffee when I don't feel like brewing a pot of coffee . The disadvantages Only 2 as far as I am concerned. The first one being the price although there are a lot of offers in my local supermarkets. When I have been unable to find my favourite brand at a reasonable price I have tried cheaper brands and been disappointed with the taste and generally ended up giving most of the jar away. The second disadvantage is the redesigned jar shape on my favourite size (200g) I find that the lid does not always close easily and on a couple of occasions I have picked the jar up by the lid only to have it come off in my hand and coffee spill all over my work surfaces making a ... 02/08/2011

Just try to get your money back!!! I rented a car for use in Italy through Holiday Autos to be picked up from Europcar at Lamezia Airport on 11.05.2011. The car was duly collected and my credit card details were left with Europcar. The car was returned in perfect working order on 18.05.2011. The service recieved at the desk on collection and on return was faultless. The car itself, a little Fiat, drove well and was just right for our needs. On arrival home I recieved an invoice from Europcar saying I didn't owe them anything, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that Europcar had taken nearly £300 from my credit card. I immediately contacted Holiday Autos to find out what was going on. The initial phone call cost me 10p a minute. It was a long call too. My email sent recieved a reply on 26th June saying that they would look into my complaint and that a member of their customer relations team would get in touch with me within 21 days - I'm still waiting. I sent all relevent documentation to them by post,recorded delivery,I recieved no acknowledgement that it had been recieved. This morning I recieved a second invoice from Europcar entirely in Italian asking for 327.35 euros, from my very sketchy italian I gather that it was for damage to brakes??? We drove the car over 100 miles on the return to the airport with no problems at all and we most certainly would have noticed if there was anything wrong. I have just had another expensive phone call to holiday autos although on this occasion they were good ...

Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry in spring 2011. What are your thoughts on the happy couple and their future together? 20/12/2010

Future King and Queen? - but what about the concubines?

Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry in spring 2011. What are your thoughts on the happy couple and their future together? Oh yawn, yawn - Does this affect me? Not in the slightest. I don't buy newspapers or magazines,I can turn over t.he television - I have the remote, I can turn off the radio and avoid the whole hooha almost completely. I am quite sure an invitation with a royal crest won't be winging through my letterbox either. London is also off the list of places I must visit next Spring. I suppose it will be a boost to the economy with the souvenirs and tourism etc etc. so that must be a good thing. Before I even think about this latest Royal bunfight it might be an opportune moment to consider the track record of Prince William's ancestors and the history of their marriages. One generation back and there is the marriage histories of his paternal relatives. 6 marriages and 4 divorces in the preceding generation and some rather juicy scandals (Wanting to be someone's tampax springs to mind). Then look at the maternal side - Here I expect a lynch mob to arrive - Mum and uncle did not exactly display fidelity to their respective spouses. Go back a generation more - Abdication -Wallis Simpson -Various other scandals concerning the man who should have been our king. The Spencer family were not setting a wonderful example of marital fidelity either. I think probably George V was too busy being a bully in the home to worry about anything else but then who knows? Then we have Edward VII who was notorious for his liking of showgirls - Lily Langtree among others. Keep going back ...

Tesco Value Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 27/10/2010

beanz meanz or mean beans?

Tesco Value Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce I must confess before I start this review I am not a Tesco shopper. In fact I have a grave aversion to Tesco . I came by this tin of beans whilst on a short break when a friend brought them with her for use with our breakfast. They remained unused and were in the box I brought home. I am therefore unable to comment on the price of these beans. I can however comment on the contents of the tin as wanting something quick to eat I decided on beans on toast, I am usually pretty fussy about what I eat so the first thing I did was look at the contents of the tin. Nutritional Information is as follows: Half a can contains - Calories: 105 - 5% (of your daily guideline amount) Sugar: 8.6 - 10% Fat: 0.6g - 1% Saturates: 0.2g - 1% Salt: 1.3g - 21% Ingredients are as follows: Haricot beans (44%), Tomato paste (26%), Water, Sugar, Glucose-Fructose syrup, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Onion powder, Paprika, Flavourings Rather a lot of salt and sugar more than I usually find acceptable. On opening the tin I noticed that there was a bit more liquid than in my usual brand and there seeemed to be less beans. On tipping into the saucepan I noticed that the liquid was a lot more runny than I expected and I decided that I really no longer fancied beans on toast and had Marmite instead. Not liking to waste food (even that tthat I have come by for free) I decided to use them in a stew. This was erfectly acceptable. Not a product I would recommend for use on toast or on a plate with breakfast ...

Kaktus Albir, Alfaz del Pi 27/10/2010

Oh my God. We aren't going to Benidorm are we June?

Kaktus Albir, Alfaz del Pi Once I retired I vowed to travel the world, but unfortunately due to circumstances I cannot be away for more than a week and have to be somewhere where I can get home quickly if I need to do so. So when my friend suggested that we had a short 5 day break in Spain I said, "yes please" and left her to book up something for us (A bit risky after Pricessa Dacil in March but that is for another review) I can't comment on the booking process but I believe it was through Direct Holidays and was relatively pain free. The day of our holiday dawned and we headed off to Birmingham for the short flight to Alicante. Even fairly early in the year (May) the weather was beautifully warm when we landed and the wait for the transfer bus although longer than ideal was not too unpleasant. The transfer itself was very long taking in numerous stops in Benidorm. My heart was sinking more and more at each stop as the towering hotels obliterated the sun. I stopped speaking to June at this point! We were the last people on the coach when we finally arrived in Albir. I was so amazed by the contrast with Benidorm. Pleasant airy and green and the hotel was beautiful on the outside. Checking in Helpful friendly staff a very quick and painless experience but we had a little wait for our room to be made ready as we had arrived quite early in the morning. There was an exhibition of paintings by local artists in the spacious foyer which could be purchased although they weren't very cheap or in my opinion ...

Felix Mixed Selection in Jelly 03/10/2010

The cats love it - but not as much as Whiskas

Felix Mixed Selection in Jelly Having aquired more cats than are good for me I am constantly on the look out for bargain buys and urchased this when it was on offer at my local pet store. I paid £2.50 a box of 12 sachets which was the cheapest I could find at the time. Whats in it? The usual collection of doubtful items including meat and fish derivatives - no mention of the rats mice and birds that my cats much love to catch, but only partially eat.. It doesn't seen to matter what variety it is the composition seems to be much the same with minor variations. Packaging All contained in a fairly easy to open cardboard box which I can recycle. The pouches themselves claim to be able to be recycled but my local council do not collect them. Opening the pouches. There is an indentation near the top of the pouch which shows you where to tear and they can be easily ripped open or the top cut off with scissors. The contents come out easily with nothing being left in the pouches. There is often a small amount of liquid in the pouches which hels the contents to slip out easily. The downside of this is the need to be careful when oening and utting in the cat's bowls otherwise this splashes over cupboards or work surfaces. The cat's reaction They like it..but I wouldn't say they love it they tend to lick the jelly off before eating the chunks, fortunately I have one cat that is a terrible greedy creature and will eat everything that is left on all the other's plates. My thoughts Cheap and cheerful, easy to ...

Boots Advantage Card 27/05/2010

Another 10% off? That will do nicely.

Boots Advantage Card I have always loved my Boots Advantage card, but since turning 60 I have loved it even more. Easy to get, easy to use, easy to redeem rewards, extra bonus points regularly through the post, what more could anyone ask for? How do you get one? When you are shopping in Boots pick up a leaflet fill in your details and hey presto you can start collecting Advantage Points. How do you use it? Remember to take it with you when you go shopping and present it at the till when you pay for your goods. Dont panic if you forget it, take it with you next time you are shopping in or near Boots along with your till receipt and they will add the points for you. If you are shopping at Boots on line dont forget to enter your advantage card number at the checkout you can then take your card into your nearest store, pop your card into a machine and it will load on your points from your online purchases How do you redeem your points? You can pay for your shopping in Boots with your advantage points. I save up mine to buy Christmas presents, but you can use them anytime. The other perks Whne you start shopping in Boots there is generally a machine near the entrance to the store where you can pop in your card. This not only tells you how much you have to spend but also shows special offers that often earn extra advantage points . I regularly get coupons from Boots in the post which allow me to get extra advantage points on my Boots purchases in store. How much do you get? You get 4 points ...

Focus DIY - Discounts & Voucher Codes 24/05/2010

10%, 15% or no discount privilege card

Focus DIY - Discounts & Voucher Codes On turning 60 I was delighted that I could claim a 10% discount card from Focus and even more delighted by the frequent mailings I get sending me 15% dicounts valid for a short period. I have made use of them regularly over the past few years and saved a lot of money on items I would have bought at the regular price. When I needed to replacemy lawnmower naturally this was oneof the first places I went to. Whilst it told me on the back of my latest 15% discount card that I could not get a discount on lawnmowers no such statement was included on my regular 10% card. Imagine my embarrasment when I arrived at the checkout to be told that my discount could not be used against the price of the lawnmower. Perhaps if the young man who was serving me had been more friendly I wouldn't have stalked out of the shop leaving him to replace the lawnmower that I had carried to the checkout and vowing never to shop at Focus again. The actual get out wording on the backof the card says,"This card cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount card or money off voucher or major discount promotion as specified. " I don't know where it specifies when it can and cannot be used 19/11/2008

Feathering my nest When a company provides excellent service from start to finish I have no hesitation in recommending it. From the time of order to delivery was less than a week. I received a promotional email for this company from ipoints. Usually I just go to the web site to get my 10 points but this time I was interested as I have been looking for a light oak nest of tables for months. I was impressed by their on line catalogue and found just what I had been looking for at a really good price. I would have liked to enlarge the pictures but they were clear, and in he case of my tables, accurate. The ordering process was easy and quick I used my credit card to pay and he only delay was the security process with my card provider. My order was acknowledged quickly by email. I was notified of dispatch in good time. Again a minor grumble. The delivery company does not allow pre booked delivery times so if I was sill working this could have been a problem. My tables arrived today. They were just as pictured, well made and fit in perfectly with my other furniture. If you are looking for well made furniture, hassle free ordering, great communication and rapid delivery give this company a look. You won't regret it! ...

The Summons - John Grisham 18/02/2008

The summons didn't call me

The Summons - John Grisham I avoided reading John Grisham's books like the plague as my daughter in law and my son kept insisting that I should read them. Knowing my son's taste in reading material from his late teens centred around gory, badly written war stories which seemed to involve a lot of blood and gore and visits to brothels I assumed that Grisham's books would be of the same ilk. I was very much mistaken. I have now just finished reading my fourth Grisham novel, The Summons, Had I read this first I don't think I would have bothered with the other three. The story ,like the other novels I have read, features aspects of the American legal system and cleverly weaves a fairly intricate plot around them. However the plot failed to grip in quite the same way as those in the other books I had read with fewer twists and turns and an almost wholly predictable ending. THE MAIN CHARACTERS Ray Atlee - He works as a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He is in his early forties, newly divorced his wife having traded him in for an older and much richer model. Having escaped working in his fathers law firm in Clanton Mississippi, he has settled into a comfortable lifestyle and indulges in his passion for flying on a regular basis. There is no romantic interest in his life although he has a passing flirtation with one of his students. This is not explored in any great depth. Seems really a passing mention and did nothing to add depth to characterisation Forrest Atlee - Ray's ...

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (DVD) 12/02/2008

Perfume? I'll stick to Pure Poison

Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer (DVD) It is a strange coincidence, that not having watched a DVD since 'He who used to do the ironing' left carrying several black plastic sacks containing his worldly goods, I did battle with the intricacies of the DVD player and managed for the first time to get it to work and watch a DVD, the very DVD that I watched, Perfume - The story of a Murderer, should appear as this week's product of the week. It must have been a sign! But was it worth all the effort and stress? The film is an adaptation of a novel by Patrick Suskind. I had not read the book so I had no preconceived opinions of how this film would be, obviously from the title I concluded that it would be about murders and perfume. The film won several awards in rather obscure award ceremonies, The Germans and Austrians seemed to have a fairly high opinion of its direction,production design,its cinematographer and costume design, however they didn't seem to rate its acting very highly. Only Karoline Herfurth won anything taking the trophy for the Best Young supporting actress in the Undine Awards in Austria. With Alan Rickman and Dustin Hoffman appearing in the film I expected some good acting despite the lack of recognition by the film industry. The film is set in 18th Century France and captures the filthy squalor suffered by the poor admirably. This was contrasted with the lives led by the more affluent with scenes of carriages, sumptuous homes and splendid horses ridden by beautiful young ladies with ...

Nestle Coffee-mate Original 08/02/2008

Smoother and Silkier

Nestle Coffee-mate Original The demise of the milkman regularly leaving my regular pint on my doorstep before I arose in the morning led to all manner of difficulties. The most aggravating of these was going to the fridge for milk for my early morning cup of coffee only to find that one of my sons had completely drained the bottle and generally put the empty bottle back in the fridge to further irritate me. I am not a lover of black coffee and being reduced to consuming my favourite brew in this condition put me in a thoroughly black mood for the whole day. I tried buying bigger cartons and long life milk but to no avail. At least 3 days a week left me with milkless coffee and extremely irritable. I was extremely wary of dried milk having had awful experiences with unmarvellous Marvel so it was with great reluctance and increasing desperation I decided to try a small tin of Coffee Mate. A spoonful of coffee, a spoonful of sugar,a spoonful of Coffee mate and a mug full of hot water a quick stir and I was ready to put it to the test. Now my memory has to stretch back several years for my first impressions. A spoonful of Coffee Mate left my coffee a pleasant dark brown, 2 in my son's made a slightly milkier looking brew. This is the amount recommended on the tin. The powder dissolved completely leaving no residue floating on the surface.. A good start. It didn't taste too much like coffee with milk..but it was not an unpleasant taste..In fact I liked it..and so did the rest of my family. ... 07/02/2008

Old knickers and petticoats going for a song For those of you that have been living on another planet for the past 10 years Ebay is an international auction / sales site, where businesses and private sellers compete to sell their wares at the best possible price and countless millions more vie to get the best possible bargains. If you have read any of my earlier reviews you may have realised that I like a bargain, enjoy making a few extra £s and I am passionate about recycling. Ebay provides me with the perfect opportunity to satisfy my needs in all three of these BARGAINS It took me quite a while to get around to using Ebay I first signed up in 2001 It seemed like a good idea to sign up for pay pal at the same time so I did this too and that was the limit of my involvement for years. I had a couple of emails from Ebay and racking my brains to remember my username and password I logged on and discovered a veritable treasure trove in the comfort of my own living room. Many sellers start their auctions at 99p to avoid paying high listing fees (more about these later). Quite often there are no bids. Looking at auctions ending within a few minutes it is often possible to pick up items that would otherwise have cost many times this price by placing late bids. I have managed to accumulate a box full of beautiful silver jewellery by this method. I have seen items that I paid 99p for selling in shops for £30 or more. Unfortunately my favourite seller went out of business (at least on Ebay) and I haven't been ...

Top 10 Foods 02/02/2008

Eat and be merry for tomorrow........

Top 10 Foods To eat or not to eat that is the question..... When it comes to favourite foods it is very dependent on the time of year, where I am and who I am with.. Those of you who watched Cranford recently on the TV may remember the ladies retiring to their room to eat their oranges as they could not be eaten 'politely' and therefore their consumption needed to be a solitary occupation.. well some of my favourite foods can only be consumed in the company of very trusted friends and family for this very reason. Other foods, tasting wonderful consumed in the warmth of a Mediterranean evening with waves lapping nearby, lose their appeal on a wintery day in Walsall. On with the list which will be in no particular order. 1. Fresh fish .. This is something I enjoy no matter where I am or who I am with.. I am not too fussed about how it is cooked so long as it is not buried in greasy batter so the only taste I notice is rancid chip fat. There is nothing better (or cheaper) than grilled sardines with a fresh salad on a Mediterranean holiday despite the bones. At home I frequently use my George Foreman grill to cook my salmon and tuna steaks. No added fat needed but I often coat the tuna with butter and freshly crushed garlic before cooking. With other fish I generally bake in the oven with the addition of fresh herbs and butter.. dill goes well with most fish. Mackerel whilst tasty when smoked is also very pleasant when baked in the oven wrapped in foil. The added bonus of ...

Sunkist 28/01/2008

Pass the wood rosin + fruit flavours

Sunkist --------------- -----From Talking Retail Website: --------------- -- "All Sunkist formulations contain real fruit juice squeezed from sun-ripened fruits. Following the reformulation of Sunkist Tropical, the entire Sunkist range is now free from artificial colours and flavours." Well that is reassuring no funny E numbers to send me racing around the room in ever decreasing circles. Added bonus there is real fruit juice in it too..but how much?? Lets have a look at the can.. Carbonated water High fructose corn syrup or sugar Citric acid Sodium benzoate (preservative) Food starch - modified Natural flavours Caffeine Glycerol ester of wood rosin Ascorbic acid (preservative) Yellow 6 Red 40 The nutritional values given show that it contains 45mg sodium and 52mg sugars and 190 calories. So there goes the illusion of someone lovingly squeezing oranges into a can for me to drink. Pass the piece of wood for me to chew. I think I'll stick to coffee for my caffeine fix and my juicer for my fresh fruit juice thank you very much. --------------- --------------From Talking Retail Website: --------------- ----- "The Sunkist brand ethos is founded upon the image of drinking and having fun whilst enjoying the sun and this is communicated in the colourful packaging and distinct citrus flavour." This is echoed in the blurb on the Sunkist website which is clearly aimed at a far younger audience than myself and includes phrases like "chilling with the crew", ...
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