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since 28/03/2014


Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre, Buckfastleigh 20/04/2017

Penny is doing Well.

Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre, Buckfastleigh Pennywell Farm is a working farm come tourist attraction that is situated in south Devon, and has over the last twenty years or so been developing to become what it is today. Having a wide range of children of all ages in the family, this is a centre that we have visited on a number of occasions over the years - in fact even for me at the grand old age of 34 now, I can remember visiting here as a much smaller boy too! Being found a few miles away from the town of Buckfastleigh, it is signposted from the main A38 dual carriageway that runs between Plymouth and Exeter. However owing to its remote location up many winding country roads, buses do not run there - and so therefore, having your own car is a must (or a taxi if you can afford it!). The current prices for a day pass in 2017 are as follows: Adult - £14.95 Senior - £13.95 Child (3 - 16 years) - £10.95 They only appear to sell family tickets as a part of their season ticket price, which in 2017 is as follows: Family (2 adult + 2 child) - £195.00 Adult - £65.00 Child (3 - 16 years) - £55.00 And of course it has to be said that in all cases, children who are aged under the age of three are admitted to the park for free. But as already pointed out, they do not really appear to sell a family ticket as a part of their normal daily entrance fee - however, it may well be worth contacting them before you get there in case a deal can be made (contact details below). From the 11th of February until the 29th of ...

The Newmarket, Plymouth 19/04/2017

A horse race to leave!

The Newmarket, Plymouth When family were visiting recently and they wanted to find a pub somewhere in town to watch some sport and have a drink or two, someone had mentioned that they had heard of the Newmarket Tavern - well, any self respecting person in Plymouth who has heard of it would keep well away. Being well known as having more visits from the local police in a month than most other pubs would have in a decade, I was very reluctant to pay this particular pub a visit - I had been in there a few times before on occasions, but would never rush to go back there. But as those visiting wanted to go in there for a slightly different experience (if you could call it that!), it is about average in terms of price - and you know that they will have any number of sporting games and so on being shown, you can be guaranteed that you will of course have an experience! Being open from seven o'clock in the morning seven days a week until eleven o'clock during the week; midnight on a Saturday and half past ten on a Sunday, we went in there late morning and boy was it busy (it was a Saturday). OK so there were a few people who had already been in there by the looks of it since opening and were already three sheets gone, but we found a table in the corner and were served fairly quickly at the bar. A round of four alcoholic drinks and three soft drinks came to about £19, which is what I would roughly expect to pay in most other pubs also. Although we were there pretty much over the lunchtime period we ...

Noahs Ark, Plymouth 17/04/2017

The only flood is when the beer is flowing.

Noahs Ark, Plymouth The Noah's Ark is one of those pubs in Plymouth that most people have heard about, and not for all the right or good reasons - even though it is a part of the same pub chain that owns other pubs in the area, that are on the whole a lot better than this particular one. Owned by Stonegate Pubs, this particular public house is found in the main city centre shopping area in Plymouth - it is found towards the lower end of town towards the more independent quarter, and is found on a smaller side road between two major roads that lead from WHSmith to the Theatre Royal. Opening between the hours of ten o'clock in the morning until eleven o'clock at night Monday to Saturday (with food being served from open until eight o'clock) and twelve o'clock midday until seven o'clock on a Sunday (with food from open until five o'clock or thereabouts), this pub is quite well known locally for showing a lot of sports on the television - thus, as I am quite sure you will then realise a lot of trouble can occur. It seems that the police can sometimes be called, but with it being a pub that is situated in the city centre quite often the staff can contain it inside with no real problems outside. However with this said it is a pub that is more expensive than others in the area, although the drinks they serve boast almost as much of a selection as others - including for the ale drinkers amongst us all, up to about four or five ales from different breweries at any one time. And along with this, there ...

The Original Factory Shop (Department Stores) 13/04/2017

Not quite so original.

The Original Factory Shop (Department Stores) Having been formed all of the way back in 1969, The Original Factory Shop is a discount department store - very similar to Poundland or Home Bargains, and selling very similar items to these also. Although the majority of these stores are found in smaller town high streets or in out of town shopping centres (as opposed to from what I have seen larger towns or city centre shopping areas), there are still some 200 or so across the country with plans for more to be opened. To me they are not really a department store as one would traditionally think of one, in terms of Debenhams; House of Fraser, and suchlike. These are to me more of a 'general store' in terms of the fact that they seem to sell more of a generally wider range of goods, from food and drink; through seasonal and party goods, to clothes and household items - including in some stores items of furniture, although a lot of it is more the sort of stuff that larger named shops would reject for whatever reason. This I guess would be where the factory part of its name would come from, as a lot of the goods as already pointed out could in fact across as being perhaps rejected more by the better known stores - and are sold directly from the factories or suchlike to shops such as this, and sold at various prices. However it has to be said that although the quality is not as good as many other shops (and in this I include many lines in Primark; Poundland; The Range as well as other shops such as supermarkets and local ...

Penzance, Cornwall 11/04/2017

The end of the (railway) line.

Penzance, Cornwall Found almost as far down in to Cornwall as Land's End, Penzance is indeed the most south westerly town on the whole of mainland England. It is about 75 miles west of Plymouth and 300 miles from London, and the main railway line in to the area runs from Penzance; through Plymouth, and up to Paddington - and yes for those with a love of the English language, there is a very severe case of alliteration there (not that any pun was originally intended I believe). To get to Penzance by road, the quickest route is to get to Exeter by whatever means from the rest of the country north of here; get on to the A30 that heads west, and follow this until you eventually get to Penzance. The majority of this road is dual carriageway bar the odd section, and so therefore is by no means the most quickest. If however you want a slightly more scenic route to the area, then travel south from Exeter on the A38 to Plymouth (which is all dualled) - then follow the A38 to Bodmin (some of which is dualled), where you will then pick up the A30 again that you left at Exeter. There are many more minor roads to take all of which will take you along the coastal routes, but these will take you far too long. If travelling by train then as already noted, Penzance is at the end of the mainline railway track from Paddington that takes you through Plymouth from Exeter and beyond. But however if you are travelling by train from elsewhere in the country, then it is suggested that you travel as far as Plymouth ...

My 300th Review 08/04/2017

300 down, how many more to go!?

My 300th Review I would just like to open up my review by extending my most heartfelt thanks to all of those people who have read my offerings so far - for the helpful comments, and more importantly for rating them! And for the milestone that is my 300th review, I am of course going to be doing a Q&A - thank you for those helpful questions that have been left for me to answer, but there have been one or two slightly random ones left in my guestbook. If you have left me a question and it has not been answered here, then rest assured you can find yourself in this category... But anyway, onwards and upwards as they say! 1. You don't strike me as a particularly angry or ranting reviewer, quite the opposite in fact, why did you choose "ravingreviewer" as your Ciao name? With thanks to RICHADA for this particular question, and what an extremely good question to be starting off with. And no of course not, I would also not really class myself either being a particularly angry or ranting reviewer - and so why did I decide to use this as my username? I chose to put the 'raving' part of the start of my username, because I hope that I 'rave' about whatever it is that I am writing about - I am raving about it because I am bigging it up, or in some cases not. I am not really making any sense am I, really!? To me when someone raves about something, they can do nothing but go on about it - and not necessarily in an angry or ranting type way and this is how I feel when I am writing a review on ...

The Darling Buds Of May - The Complete Series (DVD) 07/04/2017


The Darling Buds Of May - The Complete Series (DVD) This review is the DVD only version, and no apologies are going to be made for any spoilers that may occur during the writing and reading of this review. The Darling Buds of May is a television series set in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s or thereabouts, and is based on a book of the same name by HE Bates. It follows the lives and times of the Larkin family, who live on a farm somewhere in Kent (although in today’s standards it could almost be classed more as a smallholding as opposed to a farm). The series in itself actually ran for three series across three days short of two years, and every episode lasted for about an hour or thereabouts - but a storyline generally spanned across two episodes, and so therefore for about two hours in total. Originally showing across the mainstream ITV network, it then became a firm stay on other ITV channels across cable and other non-terrestrial services as well as being transferred to a complete DVD box set. Coming in a six DVD box set, this of course means therefore that there is one complete series spread across two DVDs - there are twenty episodes all told across the three series. And this leads to a slight change of what has been said already about how the storylines are spread out, as you may have already noted that one storyline would normally be spread across two episodes - this is of course still the case in all three series, but series one and two both have an extra episode at the end of it. This would mean that the first ...

Radiancy No!No! Pro Hair Removal Device 05/04/2017

No? Yes! No? Yes!

Radiancy No!No! Pro Hair Removal Device Not being a typical gay man and wanting to look totally my best at all hours of the day or night, I do still like to present an image or two whenever I go out in terms of as I am sure all men at least looking just like they have made an attempt to shave and not look like their chest hair is rising up and trying to throttle their throats. In other words I do like to feel like I have had a close shave in the mornings, but I use an electric shaver as opposed to doing a wet shave - otherwise, it would look just like I have had a fight with a lawnmower on my face! But I have to say that although I do shave every day, there are perhaps some days when I don’t get quite so close as I would like to (if only to give that slightly ‘sexy look’ as it were) and so therefore there may well be the odd time that I like to ‘top up’ without using up battery power on the old electric razor. It being a product that works best I have found on hair or similar that is closer to your skin than a few days worth of stubble (although I have to say that it has also worked better on finer hair that is longer as I tried it on my upper arm to try it out further for more effect), I bought it in Argos just after Christmas. It costs £198.99 in store, although I had racked up a number of gift cards and Nectar points over the course of nearly two and a half years - and so therefore, it only cost me about £35. Which in hindsight is not a bad price seeing as what it does, but I would not pay more than twice ...

Poundworld Magnetic Fishing Set 31/03/2017

There's something fishy going on here.

Poundworld Magnetic Fishing Set Wanting to buy a couple of little extras to help to go towards children's games such as Pass The Parcel at the family New Year Party and wanting something that would just be a bit of fun for a minute or two, I came across this particular game in my local Poundworld (which is not to be confused with Poundland!). With it only coming in at the grand total of one pound, I decided to buy two of them to make the present in the game seem a little bit more padded out. Being manufactured so we are told for people who are aged three or over, it is in fact one of those games that can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys being just a little bit daft every once in a while - or for about half an hour, as we found out during the course of the evening once the fun and games got underway. The game comes with one yellow coloured fishing rod, and four coloured plastic fish (blue; red; green; yellow) - with the magnetic piece being on the end of the fishing rod, and on the mouth part of the fish. It is easily recognisable by being in a packet where the front of the packet is see through plastic, and the cardboard backing is multi-coloured. And the purpose of the game (if you could call it that) is to get all four fish hooked out of a pot or similar, but of course with there only being one rod you can either take it in turns with one other person or do what I did and buy two sets to put together. However it is not the sort of game to play if you are heavy handed or have a dog or two about, as we ...

Timpson Shops 25/03/2017

Key cutting and shoe repairs.

Timpson Shops Timpson to me are the be all and end all when it comes to things in relation to key cutting; shoe repairs, or anything else in between - if not a little on the expensive side, but you do get what you pay for. They are the sort of shop that will pop up anywhere because their outlets tend to be on the smaller side, and I have seen them in supermarkets (Tesco/ Sainsbury) as well as stand alone shops on the high street or in smaller suburban shopping centres. I have of course just touched on the fact that they do appear to be a little bit more on the expensive side, but this is only really in terms of those more smaller and independent shops that Plymouth seems to have over perhaps more well known names (if there are any!). However for the purposes of this review I shall only be taking in to account the key cutting side of things as this is all that I have made use of, although I shall in proxy be talking slightly on the shoe repair side of things because I have a great uncle that I do some things for - but he is insistent on getting his own shoes fixed, and at 85 is a self confessed stubborn old man! I would use another phrase that is similar to one that he does of course to describe himself, but this is not really the sort of place in which to use such a phrase as I am told that there are a number of ladies about… I am the sort of person who is forever mislaying his keys, and so I need to always getting one cut - you would think by now that I would have learnt to have ...

Telesales 19/03/2017

Can you sell snow to the eskimos?

Telesales I have in the past done a number of jobs that have either directly or indirectly involved me having to carry out some work that is generally termed 'Telesales', and I would just like to write a review based on my own experiences of this particular area of work - most of which are pretty negative, I can tell you! As the name would suggest if you were to break it down in to smaller parts a job that means you are on the telephone, and you are trying to make sales - or generate business whichever way you look at it, but they both ultimately lead generally to the same place. Being based in a call centre or other such similar set up, most jobs within telesales are classed as 'outbound' - meaning that the person who is sat at the desk is making calls out of the centre to people, in order to try and get someone to sign up for a particular service or similar (such as gas or supporting a charity). This is in comparison to an 'inbound' call centre, where you sit by a telephone waiting for someone to call you to get support. For example you may have an issue with your mobile telephone or something has gone wrong with your water supply, and so you ring up the customer service department of the organisation and get help that way. However for the purpose of this review, I shall be looking more at the former of the two - that being outbound call centres. One area that I worked in was what is about to phased out (or so I believe if the adverts on the television are anything to go by), ...

What are the main changes do you plan to do for Spring? 17/03/2017

With a spring in my step...

What are the main changes do you plan to do for Spring? Spring is that time of year that I love the most (maybe perhaps with the exception of summer in some ways but that is neither here nor there!), because of all of the new and exciting things that happen at this time of year - the days are getting longer; trees plants and flowers start to bloom or burst out again, and baby animals are born on the farms. OK so living in the middle of Plymouth I do not really get to see much of the latter one, but there are enough farms in the country surrounding it that I get to see when I go a little further afield. But anyway, on to the matter at hand - those changes that I plan on making for spring. And if you forgive me in making comparisons, my plans for spring are just like the new things that appear that I have already mentioned. For me, the current season of spring that we are entering is an ideal opportunity for me to take stock and to look to the future for new things to happen in my life. At the moment I am currently unemployed through no fault or wrong doing on my part, and so the change on this part is for me to actively find work. This will lead on to me buying a car again, sadly as my last one was a complete MOT failure about a month or so ago. Another change that I am intent on making this spring is to get more fit again, ready for the summer months that if the rest of the year so far is anything to go by will be upon us before we even know it. I will do this by swimming on a regular basis; starting to run as well, and ...

Old Guys - Series 1 (DVD) 15/03/2017

Old Guys Rule!

Old Guys - Series 1 (DVD) My dad will shoot me for saying this, but living with an old guy such as him for so long it was rather interesting when I saw a television series about such a subject! The show is about two older guys called Tom and Roy who live together as friends, with Tom moving in with Roy when Roy's wife left him. And although they are friends, they both try and get better acquainted with a rather attractive lady called Sally - who is their neighbour, and whose son Steve is actually dating Tom's daughter Amber... The episode listing is as follows on this particular DVD: 1. Sally's Party - the very first ever episode, where we get introduced to the different characters. The two men hope to get invited to the party, and everyone seems to try and announce their intentions to those they like (see introduction above). 2. The Therapist - with fantasies and desires running amok over Sally, Roy goes to see a therapist about it. Only for him to introduce the therapist to Sally, where feelings become mutual... 3. Marriage - when money is involved and it becomes apparent when more can be made when he is married, Tom tries proposing to Sally to see if this will work in getting him more money from his pension. 4. The Old Flame - Sally becomes involved with an old boyfriend which causes some distress to the old guys, although one of them becomes good friends with him. 5. The Croft - at the suggestion of Sally, Roy and Tom take a week's break in Scotland and find themselves thoroughly ...

Atlantic Village 14/03/2017

When is a village not a village?

Atlantic Village The Atlantic Village is one of these large out of town shopping outlet that is situated very close to Bideford in North Devon, and is not all that dissimilar to other such places as the Clarks Village that is found in Somerset - it is not your average out of town shopping centre that you would associate with something like Cribbs Causeway as such or a large out of town retail park, but this is one that is slightly different as we shall soon see. The centre is found just off the main A39 Atlantic Highway that runs from the M5; through Minehead and northern Somerset; across north Devon, and right down in to Cornwall. However as the A39 between the M5 and pretty much Barnstaple is single carriageway for most of the way through moorland and towns, the majority of traffic from this direction is advised on leaving the M5 at J27 (which is signposted Barnstaple) which then follows the A361 - although a lot of this road is still single carriageway, it is better developed and in some places is partly dualled on one side of the road to allow for proper overtaking. Once traffic gets to Barnstaple, cars are encouraged to then follow the signs for Bideford with signs for the Atlantic Village being shown the closer you get. If however you are staying in the area then there are regular buses that run past the site, with some buses actually entering the site and dropping people off at the bus stop which is situated almost outside the main shopping area. There is also a train station at ...

Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff 11/03/2017

Llandaff Cathedral.

Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff Having visited Cardiff and the surrounding areas a number of times over the last two or three years or so, most things that the family and I would want to see have been seen. But one place that we had not visited is known as 'a city within a city', that being Llandaff - a city of sorts in its own right because of the cathedral that is based there (which is of course the basis of this review), but has since 1922 been a part of 'Greater Cardiff' following the boundaries of Cardiff being extended. With the original building being built in the 12th century (parts of which are still standing), parts of it have had to have been rebuilt or refurbished over the years owing to storms; the 1400 rebellion, and the Second World War. It is an Anglican cathedral (so a part of the Church of England as opposed to it being a Roman Catholic church), with a cathedral school and other church related buildings in its immediate vicinity. Being situated about two and a half miles from the centre of Cardiff and only taking about ten minutes at the most by car, on arrival at LLandaff you would never think that you were still in the midst of a major city (albeit in one of the suburbs). There is parking close by, and access is available for those who cannot manage the steps that are at the front of the cathedral. As well as there being good car access, there are also regular buses that run up to about every ten minutes a day peak times - and as well as this, there is also a train station at ...
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