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Finally wrote my first review in just over three years!

Reviews written

since 26/06/2001


Philips HF3330 20/02/2011

Philips GoLite Blu...Not so SAD anymore!

Philips HF3330 For many years I have experienced feelings of low mood during the winter months. This has been characterised by feelings of lethargy, trouble getting out of bed and a general apathy that leaves me feeling like doing very little activity during the darker months of the year. I have self-medicated St. Johns Wort for many years now which has eased these symptoms, but not fully. I have researched and considered buying a lamp like a Philips GoLite Blu on a number of occasions but have been reluctant to pay the initial outlay without any guarantee of success. I was therefore pleased when I was invited to take part in a bzzagent campaign to try this product and share my opinions of it with others. (Bzzagent is a word of mouth advertising company that I am a member of and from whom I get occasional invites to try out products and share honest opinions about them with others. When the Philips GoLite Blu arrived I was very excited. The packaging was excellent and very informative and a nice size box. On unpacking and viewing the product for the first time I was very impressed by its small size. I was also impressed with the high quality black case/cover it comes with which enables me to store the product discreetly and if needed provide excellent protection while travelling. The magnetic stand was very nifty and quite a surprise as it added to the products overall compact size. The instructions were incredibly wordy and took quite a while to read and digest for an ...

Philips GC 7220 05/12/2008

Philips GC7220 - A Steam Dream Machine?

Philips GC 7220 As a member of I get the opportunity to try out new products and then 'bzz' people about the products I have tried and give them honest information about the product I have tried. This review is therefore part of my 'buzz' and will provide accurate product description and purchasing information as well as my own personal experiences with the product. Do you know that on average we can spend nearly 3 hours a week ironing!!! Well the Philips GC7220 Pressurised Steam Generator iron claims to reduce this time by half. A bold claim indeed. How does it do this? Well, as a pressurised steam generator, it claims to do far more than your average iron. Its not just about the steam though, apparently the steam pressure penetrates deeply into those creases and can remove even the most stubborn ones. Bold claims indeed. Apparently it also has 3.5 bars of powerful pressure (I have no idea what that means, but it might excite someone!!) FEATURES * Releases up to 80g of steam per second * 3.5g bar pressure * Extra large water filling funnel and large reservoir tank * Ready to use in 2 mins * Light iron as water is stored in separate tank not in the iron * Extra Long hose and power cord * Unique steam tip * Vertical Steam * Easy to clean and descale PRICE Retail Price £100 PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I have to say I was very excited about this product. I had purchased the product for the rock bottom price ...

Krups KP 2000 18/03/2008

Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine - An Acquired Taste

Krups KP 2000 The post man arrives with my new, much coveted Dolce Gusto Nescafe Coffee machine. I ignore the freshly brewed tea on the bench and begin ripping the box open desperate to see what all the fuss is about. My excitement is three fold because I have been lucky enough to receive this coffee machine FREE as part of my role as a Bzzagent whereby I receive free products to use and share with friends and provide feedback. The machine is extremely well packaged, perhaps a little too much in this age of 'reduce, reuse, recycle'. However, within less than five minutes I have unpacked the machine speed read the instructions and assembled the machine. Assembly involved plugging it in and attaching a drip tray to the front of the machine. Before using the machine you have to use a rinse tool to clean it. This is very handily already in place so I add some water, press a button and its cleaning. This is just such an easy machine to use and my excitement is growing by the second. After the rinse cycle is complete I remove the rinse tool and insert my first pod inside the pod holder. It takes less than 30 seconds to heat the water up as it only heats what you need rather than a whole canister of water. I have opted to try a Cappuccino and the aroma of the coffee is lovely. To make the Cappuccino You use two pods, one for milk and then one for coffee. The instruction manual gives clear guidelines on how to prepare every single drink. The appearance of the Cappuccino is very ...

Everything that starts with C ... 22/07/2007

Cyber Lovin' : My Story Of Love Found On The WWW

Everything that starts with C ... My tale of true love found on the Internet… It seems far fetched to some… Ludicrous to others… But it does & can happen… I remember clearly my next door neighbour telling me about her daughter falling in love with a guy over the Internet. He was from Canada, she was from England. They eventually met after many months and fell head over heels in love. I remember listening to the story and appearing interested and then I went inside and fell over myself to tell my then partner about this story. I even remember saying 'god how sad is that!?!' Oh the sweet irony of it now… Just like most people I thought it insane, mad, barmy and unbelievable that anyone could fall in love with someone that firstly they had never met and secondly through the Internet of all places!!! That is until it happened to me. HOW IT ALL STARTED I didn't go looking for love, in fact I was in a fairly happy relationship with someone else. We had been together for nine years and had discussed marriage. Life was fine. No real problems. Just plodding along. Happy. We both had an avid interest in computer games particularly role playing games & one day we went shopping and bought a game called 'Ultima Online'. (For more info on this game feel free to read my review on it!!). In short it is a game which you play online, you create a character which you play in a virtual world. Lots of other people from all over the world can play the same game at the same time and you can interact with ...

Stories with a twist in the tail 15/03/2007

Promises & Betrayal

Stories with a twist in the tail The streetlights had gone out hours ago and the sound of children's happy voices drifted up to the second floor bedroom of the run down council house. Charlotte's nose was pressed firmly up against the glass as she stood there with her eyes closed, motionless, listening to the joy that she never truly felt a part of. Her eyes opened and she stared wistfully at the happy faces and the childhood games taking place below. The best part of the morning had gone and she was still not dressed. It was like this every morning. At first Charlotte had ventured out in to the garden in the morning, sometimes it had been so early that she could feel the wet dew on the grass as she walked bare foot to her swing. She would find herself listening to the silence as she swung backwards and forwards her only company the sound of the dawn chorus and her feet brushing against the ground. It had all ended when one morning Charlotte had forgotten to prop the door open as usual and locked herself out. A neighbour had found her crying on the doorstep and had looked after until her mother had awoken around noon and began searching for her. The room was still dark. With the curtains pulled to and with the light out it felt almost like dusk, the time between times when Charlotte thought that anything was possible. Anything except unlocking the bolt to her door that would give her freedom. It was not that she found her parents unkind or uncaring it was just that they lived separate lives to her. ...

Everything from 10-20 18/12/2004

More Work Than A Game Of Boggle

Everything from 10-20 This review forms my entry into thingywhatsit's Christmas Challenge. The idea is for you to ask ten different members on Ciao for a random word to be incorporated into a review on any topic. If you want the full rules or want to participate see thingywhatsits review. The following are the members I asked and the words they 'kindly' supplied me with. Read anything you want into the words that were given!!??!  White - Clara - Egregious  Green - Catflap27 - Freedom  Blue - SimonCowell - Scry  Violet - FlameDruid - Electrical  Red - rdobbie - Ironing  Orange - NURSEBETTY - General  Bronze - a-true-ben - Ambulate  Silver - thingywhatsit - Encumbrance  Wildcard - heidhi - Mattress  Wildcard - k8lloyd - Crimplene My Review It had been a long day and Charis was more than pleased to see the back of it. The day had started like any other. Charis had got washed and dressed and caught her regular bus to work and was ready to AMBULATE her way through another typically boring day at the office. Charis was sitting at her desk enjoying the second cup of coffee that morning in her usual work avoidance manner. Her head rested comfortably on her left hand as if it were a MATTRESS while taking the occasional sip from her cup. The ringing of the phone brought her sharply to her senses. The call ended abruptly, Charis held the receiver unable to accept the information she had just been ...

Everything that starts with A ... 01/12/2004

I'd Like To Wander Through The Alphabet With You!

Everything that starts with A ... Another dose of honesty from the ‘pen’ of Charis18uk…. A If you'd been born a girl instead of a boy or vice-versa, do you know what name(s) your parents would have given you? Well apparently I was going to be called Darrell!?! Whenever I think about that name all I can picture is some sad, spotty, wideboy wannabe or a porn star! I think I had a lucky escape! B. Do you share a birthday with anyone famous? Oh My GOD!!!! I really didn’t have a clue so I did a quick Internet search (I know I’m sad) and I share a birthday with Mr T from the A Team. That’s just hilarious!!! Oh NO! It gets worse, I kept searching and ended up back here on Ciao reading a review. I’m going to stop now cause its beginning to get freaky. C. Marmite, do you love it or hate it? Hmm, I think I remember answering this question on a previous review. Basically I love the stuff if its after lunch but if you stick this stuff under my nose pre-lunch your likely to see my breakfast in Technicolor. D. What book are you currently reading, or have you finished recently? Well I have a bit of a selection going on at the moment. Just about to start my nurse training and therefore reading a couple of text books. I recently read a cracking book called ‘Born Under Punches’. It is based in Newcastle my home town so it was like a trip down memory lane. E. Have you ever had your name in the newspaper (other than hatch, match and ...

Channel 4 - Big Brother 09/11/2004

Through The Looking Glass

Channel 4 - Big Brother Big Brother just gets curiouser & curiouser… For nine weeks now, the ‘nation’ (well 4 million of us anyway), has been transfixed by the goings on of 11 ‘ordinary’ members of the public. Each weekday evening we have watched this ‘fly on the wall’ gameshow, with ever increasing anticipation. But what exactly is it that we have been waiting to see & what exactly is it that Channel 4 hoped would happen to get the nation gripped to this strange but addictive phenomena. Just about everywhere you look, you see the press & others pillorying what has after all been Channel 4’s most watched programme. It disturbs some, it enthrals others. Some are so addicted they live, eat & breath the programme through the Internet, live E4 broadcasts, nightly updates & even SMS text messaging! The discussions surrounding the programme are almost, if not sometimes more interesting than the programme itself. Why would anyone put themselves through such an ordeal. Why imprison yourself in an environment you cannot escape from with your every move under constant scrutiny? Big Brother is a phenomena, it appeared as a ground breaking programme, a never seen before tele-visual experiment that gained instant popularity with the general public across the world. The idea that we as individuals could ‘snoop’ into the lives of others whenever we wished was just too tempting. Big Brother appealed to the voyeur in all of us. The bit of us that has us stopping in our tracks & breaking our necks to ...

Everything that starts with G ... 31/10/2004

Getting To Know Me! Getting To Know All About Me!

Everything that starts with G ... I have decided to write this review as a prelude to completing the ‘All About Me’ review. I wanted to give you some insight into who I am and to give you a chance to get to know a little bit about me and my world. 1). How do you take your tea or coffee? Strong? Weak? Sugar? Milk? Tea I like ‘medium’ with a fair amount of milk. I like to have ONE sugar. That ONE sugar should have enough sugar on the spoon to constitute the same as TWO sugars. However, it must be only ONE because then I feel good about myself for limiting the amount of sugar I have in my tea without it really affecting the flavour. The tea bag MUST be in the cup before you pour the water in followed swiftly by the addition of milk and then sugar. For coffee the same applies as for tea except the milk should be added to the cup first, followed by the sugar then coffee then the water. That’s just the way I like it! Most importantly and totally key to the overall taste of the drink in question is that the tea/coffee MUST NOT BE PREPARED BY ME. I make one rank cup of tea it has to be said! 2). How old are you, for example 1-20 little boppers. 21 – 40 still young. 41 –50 (wise but old- ish) 51 –70 full of wisdom. 71+ (I’m amazed you can type and use a PC) now that’s an achievement. I have no qualms about revealing my age. I find it strange that people would feel the need to hide their ages. If you are old then be proud of the years and the ...

Killarney (Ireland) 27/10/2004

KILLARNEY - A Town Reviewed

Killarney (Ireland) ***UPDATED*** Breathtaking scenery... Unspoilt countryside... A pace of life to be envied!! An overview of one of the largest towns in Southern Ireland. All information was gathered on my trip to the Emerald Isle in July 2000. Killarney Town Killarney is a busy market town and the oldest and most popular tourist destination. That said it is not as busy or as much of a tourist trap as you think it is going to be. With ‘Killarney National Park’ and the ‘Ring of Kerry’ a short drive away you can easily escape into the beautiful unspoilt countryside of Southern Ireland The town itself offers an extensive range of restaurants, entertainment and traditional Irish pubs. I would highly recommend 'Wilde Oscars' a bohemian, welcoming and stylish restaurant located in the centre of the town. A meal for two will cost about 60 Euros (£45) for a three course meal & wine. The shops in Killarney are mainly of the tourist variety, where you can get the usual Guinness branded merchandise, Leprechauns of all shapes and guises as well as good quality knit wear and clothing. The Tourist Information Office is situated near ‘New Street’ next to the major car park & supermarket (Tesco). Most of the banks are also situated on New Street. For withdrawing money from these you will require an international debit card or a Visa/Mastercard THINGS TO SEE & DO IN KILLARNEY Killarney National Park Situated within walking distance of ...

Everything that starts with L ... 23/10/2004

Labour & Birth - Your Bags Packed For You!!!

Everything that starts with L ... Having recently given birth I thought I would pass on a little bit of advice for all you mum's (& dad's) to be. Regarding the planning and preparation of your labour bag. Firstly, I have to tell you that I am one of those people who just has to have everything planned in advance. I started writing a list of what I wanted to take with me to hospital for my labour and for after the birth. I say 'list' in fact it turned into 'lists' and FOUR of them in total!! I had lists for the following different bags: * Labour Bag * Babies Bag * Maternity Ward Bag * Partners Bag I think it had a little bit to do with the boredom that had set in towards the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy. I just didn't have anything better to do than write lists and keep packing and unpacking my 'little' (more like huge) bags of things I just knew I couldn't live without. Maybe I should have just spent more time on Ciao. There I was all well prepared, everything packed except the last few items that I used every day such as toothbrush, toothpaste etc. I even had a list for all the things I still hadn't packed!!! That makes FIVE lists then!!! Just in case! So there I was, 2am in the morning and it was starting to dawn on me that the twinges that I had been feeling for the last 18 hours might actually mean I was finally in labour. To be honest I wasn’t at all convinced as was feeling quite laid back at this stage. I phoned the hospital and finally me and my partner were on ...

Olan Mills 16/10/2004

Clench Your Buttocks, Smile & Say Cheesy!

Olan Mills From the moment you find out you are pregnant one of the first things that prospective parents think about is the scan and the first picture of their unborn child. While packing, unpacking and re-packing our labour bags one of the first items to have pride of place is the camera. As early parents we should have shares in Boots for the amount of photographs we take of our little darlings in the first year. We feel the need to document every first with a photo (or ten). This has not escaped the notice of many a businessman. Before you have even left hospital you will probably have already purchased your first ever collection of ‘professional’ portraits of your little one. However it does not stop there. Oh no, that is only the beginning. As many mums will be aware we, as new parents, are gently pressured from the beginning of our child’s life to pay for our memories immortalised in print. The first step that is often utilised by Olan Mills and other similar companies is to target us with freebies in the famous ‘Bounty Pack’. Now for those of you who may not have had children this is a pack of samples, vouchers and not to be missed offers that are handed out to all new mums while in hospital. It usually contains things like nappies, wipes etc. Somewhere in this pack you quite often find a voucher for a free sitting at places like Olan Mills with a complimentary portrait thrown in. Excellent!! That sounds so cool! Well it is and it ...

Biore Pore Perfect Nose Strips 16/10/2004

Takes STRIPPING To A New Level

Biore Pore Perfect Nose Strips (This is one of my earliest reviews, I thought I would pop it to the top to show that I like many other new members can write short, fairly helpful reviews that do little to excite the reader¬) Blackheads, open pores and all thinks icky. We all get it, we all hate it!! Well Biore are there to rescue us and having us look as fresh as a daisy... Thats if you believe the hype!!! Well, I did, Ms. Gullible. Being the mad freebie hunter that I am, I managed to get my hands on about 200 free samples. Don't ask me how it's a long story. Of 200 free samples 199 went in the bin. You may wonder why I am so against these. Well because they embarrased the hell out of me. I got all excited about them, no more black heads!! Yippee!!! There I sat like a prize plum with this sticky plaster like thing stuck to my nose while I had a gentle soak in the bath. Left it on for the required time & went to peel... Except, it wouln't, it was stuck!!! I'm not overly keen on plasters at the best of time but having one stuck firmly across my face was not my idea of fun. I tried all ways to get it off, in the end I had to soak it off with water and scrape the sticky stuff off with my fingernails. Oh I lost some blackheads alright!!! I also lost a couple of layers of skin from my nose too. Picture it the next day though... I go to college looking like I've been sitting in the sun for too long and its the middle of winter. Also if I kind of went cross-eyed and looked down I ...

Moral Dilemmas II 11/10/2004

Morals Of A Gutter Snipe

Moral Dilemmas II I am what I am and there’s no changing it. I’m going to be honest and frank with my answers. I think that sometimes people know that they would behave in a certain manner in a given situation but are too ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. I’m not I’m afraid. Lets see if you still like me when you have finished reading. It’s all for fun any way. Isn’t it!?!! **D1** It is your mother's birthday, and you would like to get her some flowers, especially roses because they are her favourite. However, you do not have any money, but your neighbours have some prize-winning roses growing in their garden, what do you do? **A1** Okay, here goes with the honesty. In our family we don’t exchange gifts. I don’t get Christmas presents from my parents or other relatives. We have a very spoken rule that the gifts are bought for the kid’s only, full stop. This used to hack me off to high heaven cause for many years I didn’t have any kids. Now I do I am a little bit happier. This applies to my side of the family only. My husband’s family give and receive gifts. I know it sounds terribly miserly however I remember one year I bought gifts for everyone as I could afford it that year. I was met with lots of embarrassed faces. People could not afford to return the gesture and therefore felt uncomfortable. It’s something I have got used to over the years and just live with. If I had to answer this dilemma however I would say that I would not pick the flowers. Flowers are more ...

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 items would you take? 25/09/2004

Heffalumps & Woozles!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 items would you take? Hmm. Now where to start I ask myself. I suppose I shall start sitting on my little island sunning myself while thinking about what I should have packed rather than what I did pack. The chocolate has gone (first day). God only knows why I brought the condoms! I mean there’s only me here! My make-up bag, I mean I really need to look great for that handsome palm tree over there. I’d give anything to read War & Peace right now, but oh no, I have to go and bring ‘Take a Break’ I mean can the puzzles get any easier. My walkman sits idly beside me after all how many times could you listen to the Steps album? So, what should I have brought with me I wonder to myself? Well if I wanted to increase my chances of rescue I should have brought:  A mirror  A flare  A torch  A whistle  A MASSIVE box of matches All these wonderful items would have aided my escape from this god forbidden place. All the above items would have helped with signalling and attracting attention to me and my island. Do you think I should give it a name? My island. Do you think it needs a name? I’ll think on that a while and see what the old grey matter comes up with. If I wanted to survive a short stay I would have considered some of the following:  Plastic sheeting  A container for water (preferably full of water when I arrive)  A thick warm blanket  A supersized bag of any dried food ...
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