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ryanando

ryanando

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Haven't been around for a long time now. Who knows if I'll ever return.

Reviews written

since 22/09/2005

344

Tesco Finest Lemon Grass and Ginger Tea 03/12/2014

Soulless Ginger

Tesco Finest Lemon Grass and Ginger Tea Trying Times It’s been freezing at work recently and I don’t have long till I reach the light at the end of that particular tunnel as I’ll be leaving for pastures new next week. In the meantime I have not really been doing much at work because, quite frankly, they have been nothing but a complete set of arse-badgers for the best part of 8 years. One thing I have been doing a lot of since I handed my notice in, (other than ciao) is drinking a lot of tea. I found a lovely pear and vanilla tea in Tesco and I loved it that much that when that ran low I decided I would give another flavour in the range a go. The flavour I decided to try was Lemongrass and Ginger. No Tea in sight So, they call this tea, but really it’s just an herbal infusion as there is absolutely no tea in there, be it green, black, red or gold. That being the case, this infusion is caffeine free which, if you are me, is a good thing since my stomach and caffeine fell out a few years back after a few months of binging on energy drinks to get through the day. Boy was that a fun few months… Ingredients Being that you’ll put the run off of this into your mouth (and hopefully nowhere else) you might want to double check the list of ingredients to make sure you aren’t going to turn purple and shoot white gunk all over the walls if you go near this. Luckily for you, I’m about to give you the shortest list of ingredients I’ve ever given so don’t you dare skip it! Ginger (52%), Lemon Grass (35%), Liquorice Root, ...

Tesco Finest Green Rooibos Pear and Vanilla Tea 02/12/2014

What a lovely Pear

Tesco Finest Green Rooibos Pear and Vanilla Tea Drinking on the job Unlike some in my office, the hardest drink I touch at work is tea. Being that my body dislikes me, it decided years ago that caffeine will give me a bit of an upset stomach and the jitters no matter what size the dose. As such, I try and aim for tea that is a little less caffeinated. I love redbush (or rooibos) and had ran out of the stuff so one lunchtime I went for a jaunt to the nearest store (the evil Tesco) and was drawn in by this interesting sounding tea! Red and green Green redbush tea sounds like a bit of a contradiction. In fact it’s all from the same plant as normal redbush, it’s just processed slightly differently. The Redbush gets more of a bashing about whereas the stuff sold as Green Redbush gets sealed and treated gently meaning it’s not got a flavour quite as powerful as normal Redbush. It is, however, usually a bit sweeter than the bashed stuff. Ingredients As with anything you eat, check first to make sure you aren’t going to wheeze yourself to death thanks to an allergy. To help you do so, here’s the very short and absolutely delightful sounding list of ingredients: Rooibos (88%), Flavouring, Dried Pear Purée (1%), Vanilla Powder (1%), Dried Cornflower Flowers (0.5%), Dried Marigold Flowers (0.5%) I feel like a right hippie drinking this now! Good stuff! Not counting the sugar you chose to add, you’ll also be interested to know that this stuff has absolutely no nutritional value what-so-ever coming in at 0g for fat, saturates, ...

Dentanurse First Aid Kit for Teeth 01/12/2014

Temporary Tooth Fairy

Dentanurse First Aid Kit for Teeth Serendipity Recently I bagged myself a new job (cue cartwheels in my mind, pretty sure my body would laugh at me if I actually attempted one in the physical world) and since I found out I’ve been stressing over superficial crap mostly because I’m covered in tattoos and piercings and my new employer doesn’t have a clue about this. As well as those visual concerns I have also pondered a new hair style and seeing the dentist about a little stain on my front tooth. I once fell face first in the playground and snapped my adult tooth in half leaving me with an ugly-ass snuggle tooth. Obviously the dentist fixed it but occasionally near the edge of the repair a stain builds up over the years before I inevitably chew on something in the wrong manner and it falls out. The universe and/or the tooth fairy obviously have been eavesdropping little bitches and in a bout of serendipity, the repair fell out yesterday at time of writing, taking the stain with it! Huzzah. But wait, now I have an uncomfortable snaggletooth again and the dentist cannot repair me until Monday meaning I have to go the whole weekend, including my “I’ve escaped, let’s get drunk” do tomorrow with horrid snaggletooth. Screw that. NURSE!! In a bout of panic thinking about all those photographs that will undoubtedly be taken with me looking like some sort of hillbilly-man-beast I started looking for something that could do as an emergency, temporary repair. Superglue and chewing gum crossed my mind but then a ...

Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk 28/11/2014

Hardly Haunting

Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk Wish to be Haunted I always enjoy a bit of a scare and when I found out that a rather twisted short story that had circulated the interwebs was actually part of a larger book, I popped it right on my wishlist. Credit card rewards mean that I get the occasional amazon voucher and recently I decided to get some books that had been on my list for a long time. That’s how I ended up with Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. Dropping names You may have already heard the guy’s name since he was the writer of the book that the hit film “Fight Club” was based on. You may be like myself and had never heard his name until you heard about this book. That’s ok. If it helps, I haven’t even seen Fight Club. All I know about it is that what happens there, stays there and generally people who quote it are a bit up themselves. The guy doesn’t look terrible for a 52 year old (I say as a 27 year old) and lives between his two homes in Oregon and Washington. He’s won a few awards for fight club and has been nominated for a Bram Stoker award for Haunted, but didn’t get it. Everyone say Aww. It’ll be easier than trying to figure out how to say his surname. Price This book is available both on kindle (£3.95) and paperback (£7.19 new) but you can also pick it up second hand for just a penny plus postage which will work out the cheapest for ya and you’ll get a book in your hand. Can’t really gripe about that! Who is it for? Most definitely this is for adults. If you are easily offended then you probably ...

Sure Men Xtra Cool Antipersperant 27/11/2014

Not so Sure

Sure Men Xtra Cool Antipersperant Man Bag I hate wearing deodorant and anti-perspirant but being that I’m a smelly, hairy man I don’t have much choice. As I’m also quite unorganised at times, I’ve had to make a lunch-time dash to Tesco to pick up an anti-perspirant after forgetting to pop one in my bag in the morning. At home I use what is effectively a roll on but at work, a spray is much quicker and easier to use. I now have two sprays in my bag. Joy. Who? Sure is a well-known brand in the UK that goes by the names Rexona and Degree elsewhere. At the top of the tree, they are owned by the multinational giant Unilever who have more than 400 brands to their name covering food, drink and toiletries. They do have a foundation set up to help with clean water and such things but more importantly, they make more ice-cream than any other company in the world. They are a little shifty at times, having been fined for price fixing and blamed for deforestation but they are apparently trying to get that fixed too now. If you want to get in touch with them their details are as follows: Address: consumer care, Unilever, UK Freepost Admail 1000 London SW1A 2XX Phone: 08000852639 The Can This can is a large 250ml beast. As I’m a man, my bag is always large so it doesn’t cause any problems for me but you won’t fit this in a pocket if this is your preferred method of carrying. I chose it because I’d just had a mishap with spray paint accidentally being pushed while in my bag and this can comes with a lock on it! Up at ...

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera/Willow Mud Mask 25/11/2014

Mud on me Mug

Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera/Willow Mud Mask Save me After a recent pamper-party I was left with more than a few face masks to try out. I’ve also been applying for new jobs and decided for the first time in forever to have a proper shave with a razor just before an interview. Usually I just use the electric shaver that gets my facial hair neat and short but leaves a slight shadow behind. I normally avoid razors as the skin on my face is ridiculously sensitive and it hurts like hell at the best of times. As much as it hurts, it never usually leaves a mark. This time, however, the razor managed to leave me with what looked like a goatee of swollen red skin. I looked like I’d been scalded and all of this no less than an hour before an interview. Frantically I looked for something to soothe my face and came across an anti-blemish mud mask (a variant of the word masque generally used interchangeably). Who makes it? The mask was made by Montagne Jeunesse which is what I decided to buy at the time as their range of masks is huge and they all come in quite cheap at around £1.50 (plus or minus 50p). This company is based in the UK and has been going for 28 years. It started with Gregory Butcher (the owner) mixing things in his kitchen and has grown to a company that now sells its products all over the world. Fab! They have been recognised with a couple of awards and accreditations for their green practices and are against animal testing according to their site. Huzzah. They are incredibly eco-friendly with their headquarters ...

Castle Hill, Dundee 24/11/2014

King of the Castle Hill

Castle Hill, Dundee Family Birthday! My partner’s birthday is in October. As well as Allan’s celebration, his cousin Sloan has a birthday exactly one week afterwards. That generally means a week or two of celebrating and doing fun things in October which I am totally ok with. This year we decided that we’d try out a restaurant that we’ve been saving for a special occasion on the weekend that fell between their birthdays. That restaurant was Castlehill. Knowing your stuff Castlehill caught our attention a while back after a friend gave them some raving reviews. We later found out that she was related to someone in there which explained why she was so vocal about the place! That being said, it wasn’t just our friend who went crazy for the place. It’s the first and only independent restaurant in Dundee to have won two AA rosettes and the chef Adam Newth has won Young Scottish Chef and Young Scottish Seafood Chef of the Year awards previously. All sounding like it should be worth a look then! The name is explained by the menu and one of the windows when you get there; it gives you a bit of history about the area that even I didn’t know about and I’ve lived in the city my entire life. It would seem there used to be a castle where this restaurant now stands and that what you see now is built upon the remains of flooded streets from 1755. This little bit of a history lesson made the place that little bit more interesting (for me anyway) from the off which is always a good note to start on. Getting ...

Unemployed After 50 21/11/2014

As old as you make yourself feel

Unemployed After 50 Die Trying So you’re over fifty? Might as well pack it in now then I guess eh? Take Boxer to the glue factory and be done with it. Being that I’m in my late twenties, I shall happily condemn you all to a lifetime of jobless misery from the point you reach fifty onwards. At least if I was a complete idiot I would, but I’m not. It would only be a fool who would cast such a wide net on everyone of a certain age. Doomed? I think not. Get over it Having recently felt completely doomed due to a bout of severe depression and having been (I felt) trapped by a well-paid job that still wasn’t worth the mental torment it supplied, I know how it feels to think you'll never see the cliche at the end of the innuendo. Thankfully I have some brilliant people around me and slowly but surely I got through it and pushed myself out of that glorious other side. Something that became frightfully clear, however, was how little people realise about how much they can do. It took me sitting down and rewriting my CV about five times before I managed to properly convey the range of skills I have (and believe them myself). It took my partner to remind me of all the accomplishments I’d had and all the great stuff I’ve done both inside and outside of work. Now that I have a new job I can relax a bit on the self glorification, but I now see a lot of my friends feeling like they can’t do anything and among the older ones the first go to excuse is age. And that’s exactly what it is; an excuse. Your age is ...

Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel 14/11/2014

Luke Warm Toddy

Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel Mistletoe and wine Christmas is almost upon us (I know, I’m sorry) so this is the time of year where all my Christmas Shopping is usually finished with. As it stands I have a few sweet things left to get and I’m done, get in! While I was in lush stocking up on some goodies for people, I noticed a shower gel I hadn’t seen before and decided to give it a go. Where? Lush are a store that specialse in lotions and potions for your body. It was set up by two people who defected from the Body Shop and has been thriving ever since, making mostly hand-made, eco- friendly and natural products with a strong stance against animal testing. You’ll most likely be able to find a shop in your area, alternatively, you can buy their stuff online at www.lush.co.uk. What? The gel I spotted on this occasion was Hot Toddy. Hot Toddy, (sometimes hot totty) is a hot drink made with whiskey and spices. It’s supposed to be very good for a sore throat though I’ve never had one (a Hot Toddy) so I can’t vouch for that. As I know quite a few whiskey fiends I thought this could be an ideal present for some of them! Obviously, though, I had to try it first! It’s a Christmas shower gel so you might not be able to get it the rest of the year round (like some of the other Lush Christmas Range). It comes in three different sizes and is packaged in the bottles that Lush usually use to put their shower gel range in (see pictures). That does mean that it’s a bit of a nightmare getting the last dregs out of the ...

Happy Shopper Citrus Burst Shower Gel 13/11/2014

Bursting with value (and/or citrus)

Happy Shopper Citrus Burst Shower Gel Recently a friend took us to a Cash and Carry warehouse for a bit of a shop around. What’s better than cheap? Bulk buying cheap. Most of the products that made it into the trolley were pretty obviously good value and quality. When we came to the toiletries aisle, however, we didn’t recognise most of the brands they had in so couldn’t really be sure if they were worth it. We decided to get a pack of Happy Shopper shower gels to see if they actually worked. Who? Happy shopper wasn’t familiar to either of us but I’ve since found out that they are an own brand product for Premier stores which were previously called “happy shopper” and are all owned by the cash and carry company Bookers (guess where we were?). They are apparently much bigger in England which may be why the brand wasn’t immediately obvious to us. You can generally find Happy Shopper products in independent convenience stores. Booker themselves were the founder and main sponsors of the Booker Prize though that changed in 2002 when the Man Group took over funding the prize, hence why it’s known now as the Man Booker Prize. That explains that then! The Price This, let’s face it, was the main reason this product jumped into our trolley. For a pack of six 400ml bottles we paid about £4 which works out at 66pence each for a bottle which is almost twice the size of our normal 250ml shower gels. As it doesn’t really go off, as long as you’ve got somewhere to store it until you use it, it could be well worth the ...

Lush Snow Fairy 12/11/2014

Fairy in a bottle

Lush Snow Fairy Snow-way It’s November so obviously the shops have now packed out with Christmas junk and promotions with enough glitter to make your eyes bleed from the glare. More accurately, these shenanigans began about mid-way through October with only the more sensible companies like starbucks waiting till it was slightly more socially acceptable to go Christmas crazy. Is that why I still enjoy all the Christmas coffee’s from starbucks? Who knows? Some companies start even earlier! Lush is one of them! Who, I ask? Lush make all sorts of cosmetics and pride themselves on their products being “handmade”, animal friendly and as natural as possible. The last claim is usually quite a dubious one when you see the ingredients in a few of their products. Lush began many moons ago when people from the Body Shop splintered off to make their own little business. Great stuff. Do you come here often? Snow Fairy, as you may have realised, is a Lush shower gel released especially for the most merry time of year. You’ll only be able to buy it online and in stores from the end of September (Very Merry) to the end of December (Post-merry hangover) so if you like the stuff it’s wise to grab a bottle or two. It comes with a use by date of just over a year so you won’t end up having to throw any out before you can use it. Price This stuff can be quite pricey. You can get it in three sizes and the price will jump up accordingly. The small size (100g) will set you back £3.75, the medium (250g) will ...

Pontypool (DVD) 10/11/2014

Putting the Zzzz in Zombie

Pontypool (DVD) This is a film only review Tell me what to watch? Halloween this year had been a bit of a bust with the first film we decided to try and scare ourselves with falling flat on its backside. My lovely partner Allan decided to ask a friend for a suggestion and this is how we ended up watching Pontypool. Pontypandy This film was released in 2009 and I had always assumed it was a spoof horror film and therefore avoided it completely. Upon finding out that it was actually a “serious” zombie film (oxy-moron if ever I’ve seen one) we decided to give it a shot. It’s rated 15, runs for 96 minutes and is based on a book called “Pontypool changes everything”. So what if I can’t hear the name without thinking of Fireman Sam? I found out after watching that the film went straight to DVD in the UK. What plot, good sire? The film begins quite atmospherically with a rambling radio report making not a lot of sense fading to Mr Grant Mazzy (played by Stephen McHattie)driving through the night in a terrible snow storm while talking on his mobile. Mazzy is a radio show host and therefore he has a voice that is sleazy as hell and an attitude to go with it. Currently he is quitting his old post at a hit radio station and heading towards Pontypool to take a go on local radio. He is stopped in the storm and approached by a rather vacant looking woman who is whispering gibberish and soon disappears into the storm. This is the first indication that something weird is going on in Pontypool. After ...

Blackfriars, Edinburgh 05/11/2014

Once you go Black, you'll want to go back!

Blackfriars, Edinburgh Merry October My partner (Allan) has a birthday in October. Mostly he prefers to get away from everyone he knows so as not to experience the disappointment of a grown-up birthday party. Being the loving partner that I am, I tend to arrange some sort of trip/distraction for his birthday. This year he had asked to go to Edinburgh for the day so I decided I’d have a trawl of the interweb and see if I couldn’t find a nice restaurant to take him to for a treat. After reading a few reviews I settled on Blackfriars. Getting there Blackfriars is a bit of a pain to find if you don’t know Edinburgh well. Walking from the train station and using Google maps while on the move, we had a little difficulty getting there but that was probably more due to reading the map incorrectly. It’s just off the royal mile at the opposite end from St Giles cathedral. If you are brave enough to drive (I am not, Edinburgh is a nightmare to drive in) there are a couple of pay and display parking spots nearby on the Cowgate and if you’re lucky you might even be able to nab a free spot at the Radisson Blue Hotel car park. Huzzah. As it’s in the Old Town section of Edinburgh it’s not incredibly disability friendly simply due to the way the buildings are all built on big sloping streets. There is a small step up to it, another step inside and all the toilet facilities are down a flight of stairs so that’s something to keep in mind if you have trouble with stairs. Once you get to Blackfriars street you’ll ...

Italian Grill, Dundee 04/11/2014

All up in the Grill

Italian Grill, Dundee Stap my Puss Dundee has been flourishing over the past couple of years especially when it comes to restaurants. Tonnes of new and interesting places have opened and I’ve been trying my best to stap (stuff) my puss (face) in all of them. One such new place that opened up is the Italian Grill. After walking past a few times, eventually myself, my partner and his cousin decided to pop in for a wee Saturday lunch. Hip to be Square The Italian grill is situated in the City Square nestled right between the Caird hall and a lovely little coffee shop, Henry’s. It takes up the space that used to be the old council tax offices. The building itself is quite plain looking on the ground level, but if you look up you can spot some interesting stonework depictions of Viking ships (albeit hidden behind protective mesh). The place still manages to look a bit like an empty lot from outside (even when they put their outside seating area out) which is a real shame. As it’s in the city centre there are a tonne of parking options nearby at either the Overgate Shopping centre, the large multi-storey car park on Gellatley Street or the Wellgate Shopping centre (which is the cheapest of the three). Each of these options will charge you, and they are all around a five minute walk away from the City Square. Busses and taxis can be found a bit closer, being situated directly to the left of the City Square as you are leaving with all other main bus routes being within a five minute walk away. There is ...

The Babadook (DVD) 01/11/2014

Don't let Mr Babadook in.

The Babadook (DVD) Ba-ba black sheep Halloween comes but once a year but that doesn’t usually stop me from enjoying horror films all year round. I absolutely adore horror movies, especially if they are smart and different. Having read a list of this years top ten horrors, both myself and my partner liked the sound of an Australian film called The Babadook so we decided to watch it on all hallows eve! This is a film only review and may contain mild (like, really mild) spoilers. Release The Babadook was released this year (2014) on 24th of October in the UK and has had rave reviews from the sundance film festival. It has a rating of 7.4 on IMDB.com and the small budget was raised online as a kickstarter. The film is a 15 and does include some naughty words, one scene of a sexual nature and some violence. Dook-dook-dook This film grabbed my interest at the very start with a scene of a woman in a slow motion car crash which soon becomes apparent is a bad dream. The woman is Amelia who is reliving the night her only child was born and her husband was killed. Once she wakes up from this dream the film slowly reels us into her day to day life in a massive, gloomy house with her son Samuel. Sam has nightmares and Amelia has to check his room for monsters all the time. One night when putting Sam to bed, she pulls a book from his shelf she has never seen before called Mr Babadook. At first the book seems like a slightly eerie children’s pop-up book but quickly both Amelia and Sam realise there is ...
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