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All reads / rates much appreciated and returned, feel free to message me if I miss you, also many thanks to those who return rates on my older reviews, John.

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since 19/12/2005


Silver Spoon Half Spoon Granulated Sugar 30/12/2010

Only Half The Sugar, Silver Spoon Half Spoon Sugar

Silver Spoon Half Spoon Granulated Sugar Silver Spoon Half Spoon Granulated Sugar Since giving up smoking almost three years ago I have been putting on weight at the rate of a stone a year, obviously this can't go on for ever as I will not be able to move so I have been trying to cut certain things out of my diet recently in an attempt to lose a little weight without actually going on a diet. I have tried many sweeteners in my hot drinks over the years but never found one that I could really use as an alternative to sugar without ruining the enjoyment of my drink. Recently though, I have discovered is Silver Spoon Half Spoon Granulated Sugar, I drink a lot of tea and take two sugars every time so my daily sugar intake is very high, the idea of halving my intake without losing any of the taste really appealed to me so I thought I would give it a try. Information Half Spoon sugar costs roughly twice the price of normal sugar, but since you only use half as much, I suppose you could say it costs the same price as normal. There are 8kcal of energy per serving and 2g of carbohydrates, both these figures are only slightly less than ordinary sugar, but when you consider you will be using only half the amount you normally do it is a lot less. Half Spoon sugar is a combination of normal sugar and sweeteners to make it taste the same as normal sugar when using only half the amount. It can be used in baking and for normal everyday uses such as in your tea/coffee or on your cereal. The packaging is fairly similar to ...

Best Western Castle Green Hotel, Kendal 21/11/2010

An Excellent Hotel, The Castle Green, Kendal

Best Western Castle Green Hotel, Kendal The Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, South Lakes Tesco recently decided to change their clubcard voucher payment policy on their many deals available, instead of giving you four times the value when transferring them to hotel, etc. deals they decided to change it to three times the amount. This coupled with the fact we had a few vouchers that were approaching their expiry date, prompted us to book something with some of the many vouchers we have been saving up over the last couple of years or so. We love the lake district, especially the south lakes as, for one, it is only about an hours drive for us and as we have visited most of the towns and villages in the south lakes we know our way around and, more importantly, know where to get a decent meal and drink. With this in mind we decided to cash some of our vouchers in for Best Western hotel vouchers and stay at one of the many Best Western hotels in the lake district. When we actually came to booking though, we found that there are only two Best Western hotels in the lake district that allow you to pay for your stay with Tesco clubcard vouchers, The Castle Green Hotel, Kendal and one in Carlisle which didn't look up to much on the internet. Luckily The Castle Green Hotel looked lovely on the internet so we booked two nights, mid-week, at a cost of £87.00 per night, we used £42.50 worth of vouchers which is multiplied by four still for deals so makes £170.00 and put £4.00 cash towards it to make up the total. I think there are ...

Canon PIXMA iP5200 08/11/2010

Still A Great Printer With Very Cheap Ink

Canon PIXMA iP5200 Canon Pixma ip5200 I purchased this printer about three years ago now and it was not one of the latest models then. I was looking for a new printer as my all in one HP was costing a fortune in ink and I was just starting up an ebay business so I needed to be able to print invoices etc. cheaply and fairly quickly. I looked at Canon's mainly as they are one of the best known brands for doing cheaper inks. I had looked at a few different models when I came across the Pixma ip5200 in Comet whilst shopping for something else, where it was on offer for half the original price at just short of £35 with a full set of inks, replacing the inks in my HP with originals would cost more than this so I snapped it up there and then. Looks The Canon Pixma ip5200 is a pretty stylish looking printer, even now, the design is quite sleek and rounded and the two colours black and silver compiment each other very well in my opinion. When not in use the front closes up and leaves you with a nicely rounded rectangular object which is very easy on the eye, even when compared to the much more modern printers available today and would not look out of place on any modern desk, it certainly looks good on mine even next to a much more modern monitor and scanner. In Use / Features The printer is incredibly easy to get started with being a plug and play and has been installed on four computers now over the last three years including a laptop, installation has never taken longer than five minutes ...

Tesco Value Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce 28/10/2010

Beans, Beans Good For Your Heart.............

Tesco Value Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce Tesco Value Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce I like baked beans, I always have, especially with a full English which I enjoy now and again. Unfortunately my wife can't stand them so as a result we did not eat them very often until Heinz recently started selling them in mini plastic tubs, I bought a pack of four of these and she can now pop one in the microwave when we have a full English and there is just enough for one person. I occasionally like beans on toast for my lunch but have always had Heinz until yesterday, I must have mentioned to Karen, my wife, that the product of the week was Tesco value beans so she had picked a tin up specially, oh so sad! Packaging The Tesco value packaging has come on a bit in recent years, what was once a very dull and bland red, white and blue label is now, well, red, white and blue predominantly however there is at least a picture of some beans in the background now. The front of the tin has the Tesco value logo at the top, the name of the tin contents, in this case baked beans in tomato sauce, across the middle and the main nutritional information across the bottom, which I think is a very good idea and should maybe be adopted by a few other food makers. This information is all on a background of baked beans as mentioned previously. There are also a couple of graphics at the top of the tin stating great taste (a matter of opinion) and new recipe. It also states the weight of the contents (420g) and then further around the tin are the ...

Casio MS 8 TV 19/10/2010

Fairly Good Desk Calculator

Casio MS 8 TV Casio MS-8TV Desk Calculator For the last year or so I have worked full time selling on ebay, I started this up as a sideline initially but with the recession hitting my flooring business pretty badly, I found myself spending more and more time on ebay until it eventually became my full time job. I do all my own accounts for the business and keep a daily ledger so I know exactly where I am up to so a desk calculator is a must for me. I actually picked this up at a car boot sale a couple of years ago for 50p so it owes me absolutely nothing but I have seen it on ebay for £6.99 plus postage. Features This calculator is a pretty standard one really, it has all the usual features you would expect on a standard calculator, such as plus, minus, divide, equals etc., the plus button is larger than the other ones (about twice the size), there are also memory plus and minus buttons as well as the memory recall, although I don't tend to use these very often but they are present if required. Other keys include an 'on' button (fairly obviously), AC and C (also pretty standard) and a plus/minus button so you can work with negative numbers. The calculator is solar and battery powered and measures approximately 6" x 4" with the last 2" in length being angled upwards and housing the screen and solar panel. Mine is dark grey, but I have also seen it in silver, and the base has four 'popped out' feet, two of which are rubber non-slip ones. There are also three tax buttons which come in ...

Old El Paso Smokey Bbq Fajita Dinner Kit 14/10/2010

A Taste Of Mexico, Apparently!

Old El Paso Smokey Bbq Fajita Dinner Kit Old El Paso Original Smoky BBQ Fajitas Fajitas are one of our favourite meals and we probably have them about once a week on average. If you use one of the many fajita kits that are out there they are incredibly easy and quick to make too. The Old El Paso kits are our favourites and they are available in a few different flavours but the original smoky BBQ has to be the best in my opinion. Packaging And What is In The Box The fajita kit comes in a card box about 9" square and the background is the striking yellow used on most Old El Paso packaging. The top of the box has a Spanish style tile roof across it with the 'Old El Paso' logo below it. Under this lot there are some fajitas bursting with fillings, it is quite good as packaging goes, in my opinion, it does make me want to pick it up off the shelf and see what it is. Its also tells you what is included and what you need to add to make the dish, however I normally add to this. On the rear of the box there is more yellow and the instructions which are really easy to follow, as well as telling you a veggie and a beef alternative. On the bottom of the box are the ingredients and nutritional information. On opening the box you will find eight flour tortillas in a clear packet, a foil type bag with some salsa in it and the mixture of spices that you add when cooking to give the flavour to your ingredients, also in a foil type bag. Ingredients and Nutritional Information Ingredients; Flour Tortillas (326g): Wheat ...

Royal Sun, Sunny Beach 09/10/2010

Royal Sun Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Royal Sun, Sunny Beach Royal Sun Apartment Complex, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria Three years ago we (my wife and I) visited the resort of Sunny Beach on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria, known as the Bulgarian Riviera. It was our first visit there so we would, initially, see what we thought of the place but if we liked it we intended looking for a holiday home there. It had been something we had talked about for a while and we wanted to buy in a place where your spending money goes further than it tends to in Spain, etc. these days. We both fell in love with the place straight away and in our first week we started looking around the many estate agents that were in Sunny Beach then (most have shut down in the last couple of years due to the 'credit crunch'). Property was cheap then if you bought 'off-plan' and as it was pre-credit crunch we had equity in our UK home and had decided to release some of it for this purpose. Towards the end of our first week we came across a very friendly, English run, estate agent who offered to take us on a property viewing trip in a couple of days time, which we accepted. Fearing the hard sell, I was a little apprehensive at first and it is true to say that when the day arrived I wasn't really looking forward to it. I was expecting a couple of blokes to turn up in suits that I was going to have to spend most of the day fending off sales pitches from, however the English owners turned out to be two ladies, one of which turned up to take us on the viewing trip with a ...

Jacobs Tuc Original Snack Crackers 02/10/2010

A Cracker Indeed!!

Jacobs Tuc Original Snack Crackers Jacobs Tuc Original Snack Crackers Tuc crackers are made by Jacob Fruitfield Food Group (Jacob’s) and were named, apparently, after the Trade Union Congress. According to the company that makes them, they were launching the biscuits in the UK and didn’t have a name for them. They saw a billboard advertising the Trade Union Congress where it was shortened to TUC and at the last minute decided to name their new snack after this. In early American advertising they were referred to as ‘The Uncommon Cracker’. They are available in eight different varieties including a mini version as well as a couple of hot and spicy versions and a paprika variety, but this review is about the original and, in my opinion, still the best version of these crackers. Ingredients / Nutritional Information Ingredients; wheat flour, vegetable oil, glucose syrup, barley malt extract, liquid whole egg, salt, raising agents (ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate), flour treatment agent (sodium sulphite) Nutritional Information (per cracker (5g)); Calories: 24, Protein: 0.3, Carbohydrate: 2.8, Fat: 1.3, Fibre: 0.1 Packaging Tuc crackers come in a stack of approximately thirty crackers wrapped in plastic as do most crackers to be honest. The plastic is mainly yellow in colour and has a blue ‘Tuc shape’ on top of about ten Tuc crackers fanned out like a deck of cards, on top of this is the Tuc name. Just below this it tells you the flavour, in this case ‘original’ and to the other end of the ...

Wizz Air 01/10/2010

Low Cost Flying As It Should Be With Wizz Air

Wizz Air Wizz Air As you may know if you have read my reviews before, we bought an apartment in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria three years ago with the hope that when we had a family, the first of which has just recently come along, we could holiday quite often and for longer without it costing the earth. We have to get to a fairly small airport in Bulgaria called Bourgas which has proved to be a little expensive initially using Thomas Cook and Balkan Air from Manchester, and with Easy Jet only flying to Sofia, the capital, which is too far by road to be viable, we were a bit fed up at first. However we have recently discovered the budget airline Wizz Air which flies from Luton to Bourgas for a fraction of the cost we have paid in the past and with the journey to Luton only taking a couple of hours longer than Manchester it has been a life saver to us. Having flown with them four times now I decided it was time to review them. The Company Wizz Air was only conceived in June 2003 when six people with a wide range of airline expertise got together with József Váradi, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. Just three months later they were a registered company and ready to fly. The first flight took off on 19th May 2004 from Katowice. Today Wizz Air has 12 operating bases in the region: Gdansk, Poznan, Katowice, Warsaw and Wroclaw, in Poland, Budapest in Hungary, Sofia in Bulgaria, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara in Romania, Kyiv in Ukraine and Prague in Czech Republic, offering ...

The Royal Hotel Luton, Luton 30/09/2010

Not Sure Where They Got The 'Royal' From

The Royal Hotel Luton, Luton The Royal Hotel, Luton Three years ago we bought an apartment in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. The idea behind this was to enable us to holiday for longer and more often once we had a family, with the apartment bought and paid for we would only have to find our flights. Unfortunately flights from our nearest airport with the available flights, Manchester, to the small airport in bourgas (our local airport in Bulgaria) are quite expensive which did put a bit of a dampener on our idea at first. Fortunately, last year, we discovered Wizz Air (who I will review at a later date), a budget airline who fly to our local airport in Bulgaria at a fraction of the cost of other carriers but only from Luton airport. The drive to Luton takes a couple of hours longer than to Manchester but the financial savings and the fact I hate Manchester airport, plus slightly less time in the air make it a viable alternative for us. The flight normally takes off around lunch time so this would mean setting off very early to make sure we arrived in time allowing for early morning motorway traffic, so the alternative we have taken the last two times has been to stay in Luton the night before making for a more leisurely departure in the morning. The savings we make by travelling to Luton more than allow for this and it also gives us the added bonus of an extra night away which is always a plus. We tried a travel lodge at a service station on the M1 last time and were very disappointed with it, so we had to ...

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers (Single) 27/09/2010

On A Train Bound For Nowhere

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers (Single) The Gambler, Kenny Rogers, Single Kenneth Donald Rogers, born in August 1938, is a well known American country singer song writer who has won 100's of awards for his music. The Gambler is the title track to his 1978 album of the same name which won him the Grammy award for best male country vocal performance in 1980. Bobby Bare had recorded the song earlier that same year but it was written by Don Schlitz who had also recorded it and had reached number 65 on the country charts with it. It was one of five consecutive songs by Kenny Rogers to make number one on the Billboard country music charts. In 1979 the song made number 16 in the pop charts. It was also used as the theme tune to a long running television show (also called The Gambler) which starred Rogers as a professional poker player. The Song The track is about a meeting on a train between 'the gambler' and Kenny Rogers who narrates the tale of their meeting as the song. It is 'a warm summers evening' and the pair are on 'a train bound for nowhere' they are both bored and tired 'too tired to sleep'! And end up staring out into the night through the train window. Eventually the boredom gets too much for the gambler and he starts to talk to Kenny. He offers him some advice 'for a taste of his whisky' which Kenny hands him only to watch him finish it of! Next he 'bums a cigarette' off Kenny and then also needs a light for it which we assume he hands over. He then sets the scene of the night turning 'deathly quiet' ...

Indesit IDS105S 12/09/2010

Indesit 10 Place Slimline Dishwasher

Indesit IDS105S Indesit 10 Place Slimline Dishwasher We took delivery of this dishwasher almost a month ago now, and we are very pleased with it overall so I have decided to make it my come back review as I have not written one for some time. We ordered it from Laskys as when we did a search for this particular model (we had been to a couple of electrical shops previously to select the exact model we wanted but then ordered it online as I find you can normally save quite a bit this way) Laskys came up cheapest and included free delivery. I also found a voucher code APPLIANCE3 for a further £6.15 discount and I had already logged in through a cashback site and saved a further 3.5%, so all in all I think I got a pretty good deal. Technical Details The main reason for selecting this model originally was the width of the appliance. The dimensions are (in mm): 850 x 450 x 600, with 450 being the width, our utility area has a space 460mm wide next to the washing machine and tumble dryer so this model fits in perfectly. Another factor was the energy rating, I always buy A rated appliances now when replacing old ones, as I can’t see the point in buying anything else and wasting electricity, this model is A rated for energy consumption and for wash performance and drying efficiency also, so this had us interested straight away. Other technical details include the average water consumption per load, which at 10 litres is not bad at all and the noise level is 53 dB, which is not bad at all if you ... 25/02/2009 Great Pizza, Great Site I have used this site many times as a big fan of takeaway pizza, well, any pizza really! Many years ago I worked for Pizzaland for a couple of years and ate pizza nearly every day without ever tiring of it. Not long after I left, Pizzaland, or Bright Reasons Resturaunts, were bought out by the group that own Pizza Hut and they did away with Pizzaland changing many of them in to Bella Pasta's at the time. I also worked at a Pizza Express for about nine months a good few years ago. I quite often order a pizza for delivery and often use Pizza Hut as well as Dominoes as the two pizza places are both roughly the same distance from my home. The Site When you first log on to the Pizza Hut site you are met with a very red, but in my opinion, an amazing looking home page. The Pizza Hut logo is at the top of the site to the left, below this are six tabs with things like menu, nutrition, deals and locations, under these tabs is a, sort of, television with special offers and new menu additions etc.. To the right of this is an advertisement for the express checkout, the real ingredients they use and more deals these three sub sections are tabbed above. Below all this and almost the full width of the page is a tombola of offers and competitions etc. which you can scroll through, all in all it is a very eye catching front page, however this is really the American site and to the top right of this page you can select your country. Selecting the UK brings up a much whiter page where you ...

Monopoly (Wii) 16/02/2009

Monopoly For The Wii

Monopoly (Wii) This was a christmas present from myself to my wife, we finally got around to opening and playing it last night (15th February!!). We both enjoy the board game version of Monopoly, and we wanted some new games for the Wii, so this seemed like a great idea for a present, we both enjoyed playing it and so I decided to write a review on it. The Game In General I am not going to describe exactly how the game of Monopoly works, as most people reading this review will have played some version of it at some time in their life. Suffice it to say, you hve to move around the board, buy as much property as you can afford, and then collect rent from other players as they land on your properties. When you have bought a matching set of properties, you may then go on to build houses and then hotels on these properties, thus increasing the amount of rent you can charge. The game continues until only one player is left in, all the other players having gone bankrupt!! This usually causes bitterness and family arguments so be warned!! The Classic Game The Wii version of this great game has the classic version of the game as described above, as you would expect, this can be played on a variety of different playing boards, as well as the classic board. You also get to select your playing piece from the classic versions such as the top hat, dog or iron, but there are also newer pieces available on different game boards, such as a mobile phone, on the here and now version and a doughnut on the ... 06/02/2009

The King Of Gaming! I joined about two years ago. I was previously a member of the itbox site which was similar but no where near as good and was closed down. When it closed down I had to look for a new a new site of this type and found very high up in Google results by typing something like 'skill games for money'. What Is is, as mentioned above, a website offering a range of skill games which can be played for money. Basically you choose from the very extensive list of games and then choose a stake and you then play that game and your score is compared to someone else's, the higher score of the two wins the cash prize. You don't have to play for money, all the games can also be played just for fun and then you will just earn jewels if you win, I will explain jewels later. As they offer true skill games, it really is down to how good you are at a game that decides the outcome. Unlike casino websites where the casino normally wins, you are actually playing against another human being, so if you beat them at your chosen game, you win the money. Obviously take their cut out of the prize pot for hosting the website and games, however this means the outcome of the games does not matter to them as they make their money whatever the outcome. is used all over the world so you could be playing your chosen game against anyone in the world! The Website When you first arrive at are met with a very colourful and neatly laid out ...
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