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Its been a while :D.........Some new reviews are coming :)

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since 05/11/2005


reveals yourself in 100 questions... 03/10/2012

Feel like i was on trial

reveals yourself in 100 questions... Got bored and decided to have ago :) 1 - First Names: Paul 2. - Pseudo(s)? The enlightened one…. I use to sell Tibetan and Buddhist items on eBay 3 - girl or boy? Boy 4 - Towns? (Birthplace and living town) Was born and brought up in Burnley now living in Southport 5 - Size? I'm a 5ft 10 last time I looked 13 stone 6 - Age? 44 :( 7 - colour of hair? Was blond when I was a kid….then got to about 26 and started to go grey now have a Red mochican :D 8 - colour of the eyes? Blue 9 - Employment / current occupation? Assistant Manager YMCA 10- astrological and Chinese sign: Taurus 11 - I like/love? I love my girlfriend Faye and my Family, I like lots of things…collecting Buddha figures (if I have to choose). 12 - I don't like? Queuing up !!..and what is it with the mobile phones people talking so loud so everyone can here them!. 13 - If you can met one person of your choice, dead or alive, known or not, who would this be? His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama 14 - What do you like to do, generally, during the weekend? As i have got older i just like to chill out and take the camera out and take pictures 15 - The town/country that you want to visit or even live in? Would love to go to Tibet. 16 - The first thing you do when you come back from school or work Take the shoes off, my feet will have been killing me 17 - Style of music or radio that you prefer? My music is so varied it's untrue, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Green Day, Foo Fighters, A lot of 80's ...

Viola Herb 29/01/2008

Help racing pigeons to fly faster?

Viola Herb It's the time of year to start sowing seeds and getting the garden ready for the spring and summer. The reviews I have done about herbs went down really well and a lot of feedback of people was great. Seems people where printing them out and saving them for future reference. It nice to know I can help and I also enjoy knowing people like reading my reviews about herbs. Viola - viola VIOLACEAE ***The Plant*** I know your thinking Viola is it an herb? I was surprised I have been growing it in my front garden for the last 7 years as I love its lovely colours, it's a great looking flower that seems to last for ages. Did you know these small wild pansies always turn to face the sun? Violas where made famous by Shakespeare in Midsummer Night's Dream, and there are lots of references in romantic poetry as they where used as a love potion. (See Picture) ***Species*** Viola tricolor is a hardy perennial which is grown as a annual, this is because it produces its best flowers in its first year, It can grown to a height of 15 inches and spread about the same. The flowers are like a small pansy which varies in colour with blue, yellow, white, purple and black petals. The viola flowers throughout the summer until we hit the first frosts. ***Cultivation*** Sow seeds in autumn in seed trays or pots and cover with a thin layer of perlite or sieved soil, and place in a cold frame for the winter. Germination will occur by the following spring and when ...

Vicks Soothing Vapobath 16/01/2008

Vicks Soothing VapoBath

Vicks Soothing Vapobath I can't believe it's been nearly a year since my last review, 2007 went so quick! I started work in April 2007 and just haven't had time to get into Ciao I am afraid, But all being well I am back. It was the week before Christmas and I started with the Man flu as my wife calls it, you know sneezing, coughing and running nose. My throat was really sore and had the temperature to match. I went to my local pharmacy to get something that would help and I was told this product was very good. I picked up a bottle of Vicks Soothing VapoBath on the label it says "it uses the power of nature to relax and comfort you in the cold winter months". The ingredients for the Vapobath sounded great just what I wanted. It has Eucalyptus, Menthol and Lavender essential oils, just like the Vicks Vaporub you can buy but in a bubble bath form. Vicks Soothing VapoBath is pretty expensive it cost me £4 for a 250ml bottle, I have looked in different places and it sells for about the same everywhere. Well what's it suppose to do I hear you ask? According to the terrible label on the back you're meant to "Lie back in you hot bath and let the blend of steam and vapours comfort you naturally." So I presume I run it under the water? It would have been nice to tell us how much do we poor, do you poor 1 or 2 capful's! So I poured the green liquid just like a bubble bath, well success there was bubbles. The smell from the bottle isn't strong like Vaporub it's like a weak version of it. ...

The Allotment Book - A.M. Clevely 05/03/2007

A great book for people new to growing vegetables

The Allotment Book - A.M. Clevely After the comments and ratings given on my review of "Grow Your Own Veg" ( went down so well I decided to tell you about another book I got about 8 months ago called "The Allotment Book". It's written by Andi Clevely and this review is about the hardback version. The books front covers shows someone sat down, looking at there allotment, and probably having a good think of what they are going to do next year to maybe improve things. The allotment people like myself are always looking on how to improve this the next year, Even today I have been down my allotment and planted a few fruit tress, and Sunday the Blueberry are being planted, a busy time for us allotment breed this time of year. The book itself is very easy on the eyes; full of very useful information, along with great photo's to go along with the sections. It covers a range of things you need to know and will no doubt give you, as it does me something to go back to check on. Again as I did with the "Grow Your Own Veg" review, I will split the book into sections and ill give it a small write up, as I think it's easier to read as well as easier. ;) **The perfect allotment In this section the book covers "Making a start" and asks why have an allotment? The answer is of course to grow fresh, good quality food that hopefully is chemical free and help to improve a healthy lifestyle. The part of the book also gives you advice on "Finding an ...

Grow Your Own Veg - Carol Klein 02/03/2007

The best £10 i have spent this year!

Grow Your Own Veg - Carol Klein Imagine real tomatoes from your garden that have not been made to artificially turn red by pumping a gas in the glasshouse, and not been grown in water only to have the nitrates it need to be added by a machine :( This review is of the Hardback book "Grow Your Own Veg". Grow Your Own Veg was shown on BBC 2, and is part of the Gardener's World Series. The series follows Carol Klein on her mission to start growing vegetables in her garden, the series had some wonderful moments including Carol actually hand feeding a robin that has been nesting in her garden for some years. The series showed Carol right from the beginning, planning her vegetable garden, making the soil right for growing and of course the main part of the show actually producing your own vegetables. Hopefully that covers the series, let get on with the review. The book is of course is just one of many books from the BBC and the Royal Horticultural Society, the covers its self shows Carol with a wheelbarrow and in the background shows her wonderful garden. The book its self is very easy on the eye, full of wonderful pictures. There is nothing better than growing your own vegetables, its far more rewarding to do your own compared to the tasteless rubbish in the supermarket. I assure you once you start to grow your own, you will hopefully never go to the supermarket for vegetables ever again. The book is a 224 page masterpiece in my eyes. There is a small introduction from Carol telling you the ...

Angelica 02/03/2007

Helps to flavour Benedictine

Angelica This review is about the herb Angelica, It's an important flavouring in liqueurs such as Benedictine, and is gown commercially for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Wild angelica can be confused with water hemlock, which is poisonous so beware. There are also serious side effects which I have made a note of at the bottom. Angelica - Angelica archangelica ***The Plant*** Angelica is also known as Garden angelica and the Root of the Holy Ghost. Angelica is a native to Europe, Asia and North America, but is cultivated worldwide as a garden plant. The wild angelica can be found growing in moist fields and hedgerows all over Europe, the American species of angelica is found in the same conditions in Canada and in Northern and Central states in America. Angelica comes from the Greek word "angelos" which is meant to mean "messenger". Legend has it that an angel revealed to a monk in a dream that the herb was a cure for the plague, and angelica was considered a safeguard against evil, witchcraft in particular. ***Species*** Biennial and short lived perennial (lives 4 years). Angelica can grow between 3 and 8 foot and can spread 3 foot. In the second year the dramatic flower heads appear in the summer to the autumn with a sweet smelling scent. The leaves are a bright green and the root can range from a yellow to a reddish brown. The wild Angelica can grow can grow between 4 and 58 foot and can spread 2 foot, which produce a white flower tinged with a ...

Arnica 02/03/2007

A herb you can smoke

Arnica Arnica has been used for a long time in herbal medicine to help relief bruises, and muscle aches. The plant has anti-inflammatory properties, and the herb can be found in most herbal stores as a gel or a cream to rub on the effected area, do not rub on broken skin. The Arnica belongs to the sunflower family. Arnica - Arnica montana ***The Plant*** The plant Arnica is also known as Mountain Tobacco, Leopards bane, Mountain Arnica, Wolfsbane and Mountain Daisy. It is native to mountainous area of Canada, North America and found growing in Europe, where it is a protected species. The bees absolutely love this plant and are also a good plant to grow where you need to encourage the bees to help pollinate other plants. The name Arnica is said to derive from the word "ptarmikos" Greek for sneezing, as one sniff of the flower makes you sneeze. According to European folk medicine Arnica was used as a pain reliever. ***Species*** Arnica is a hardy perennial that can grow between 1 and 2 foot in height, and can spread 6 inches. It produces single yellow flowers, all through the summer months and the leaves are a hairy oval shape. ***Cultivation*** The Arnica is a protected flower and you must not pick it, you can get seeds from ( as well as many other herb seeds. Sow the seeds in spring or late summer in pots or seed trays, and cover with perlite and place in a cold frame as heat slows down germination. The seeds can be ...

Borage 01/03/2007

Good in Pimms

Borage I grow this quite a lot not just for its medicinal use, but it's a very useful plant in the garden. Borage is a very good companion plant, and the bees love the star shaped flowers. The flowers don't have a strong smell, but they do taste of cucumber. Borage is very good at self seeding if allowed to, I don't mind to be honest because I have it growing down the allotment. If you don't want it to self seed, behead the dead flowers. If you look at the flowers I have attached to the review you can see that it's a very pretty plant. Borage - Borago officinalis ***The Plant*** Borage is from the Mediterranean countries, but has been naturalised all over Europe and in North America. The origin of the name is not clear, the French word "bourrache" is said to come from an old world meaning "rough" or "hairy", this is probably down to the leaves. The king Louis XIV was so charmed by the herb he ordered it to be planted all over Versailles. The Greeks and Romans regarded borage to help with courage, and was given to the Crusaders for the same purpose. The American settlers thought so much of borage they took it on there long adventures, records of it were found in seed orders of an American in 1631, where it was called burradge. ***Species*** Borage is a hardy annual (but very occasionally biennial), Can grow up to 2 foot in height, with bristly branches. The flowers are star shaped and are purplish in colours and flowers early summer to mid autumn. The leaves ...

Monkshood 28/02/2007

Stunning plant that can kill!

Monkshood Seems to be a few poisons herb out there, started to read up about some of these herb and some are not such a good plant to grow, don't get me wrong this herb is stunningly beautiful to look at. The review is going to be about Monkshood, for obvious reasons you must not eat this plant it will inflict a lot of pain and eventually could kill you. Please be careful when deciding to grow this plant, it has been known to kill humans and animals. I have attached 2 pictures of the plant; you can see how stunning the colours are. Monkshood - Aconitum napellus ***The Plant*** The herb Monkshood maybe recognised by it other names, Friar's cap, Old woman's night cap, Chariots drawn by doves, Blue rocket and Wolf's bane. There are various species of Monkshood that can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, from woodlands to mountain regions and all the species are poisonous. The generic name "Aconitum" comes from the Greek word "akoniton" meaning dart. The Greeks used to dip there arrowheads in the juice they had collected from the plant, it was also used by the Arabs and the Chinese for the same reason. The Greek botanist Theophrastus in also noted this plant as very poisonous 300 years BC. In the 16th century the botanist Gerard noted "Fair and good blue flowers in shape like helmet which are so beautiful that man would think were of some excellent virtue, Appearance should not be trusted". I read about a man who in 1993 who was hospitalized after ...

Foxglove 28/02/2007

I didn't know Foxgloves are poisonous

Foxglove The foxglove looks lovely and the flowers are very nice to look at, but behind the elegant looking herb lay a real danger. Foxgloves are poisonous and should never be eaten or used domestically, even touching foxgloves can cause rashes and headaches. Do not use without medical direction. It's classed as an herb because of it medicinal use, it's been used for over 200 years as a treatment for heart failure. Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea ***The Plant*** Foxgloves goes by many names that include, Deadman's Bells, Dogs fingers, Fairy fingers, Witch's glove and Bloody fingers to name but a few. A review about a herb we can't eat, what's the point of that? Well it's not unusual to be honest; there are other herbs out there we don't use for eating but only for medicinal purposes. I have only recently found out about Foxgloves being an herb, I have been growing them for quite a while in the garden for the insects and butterflies. I have to admit I touch these with my finger I have even smelled the flowers, but as mentioned above you should handle the plant using gloves. Foxglove grows in Europe and in North America and is a common wild flower in many parts of the world. The Anglo-Saxon named is "Foxglue" or "Foxmusic" after the trumpet like flowers, also in old English folklore, the plant is also known as a plant for Fairy's and Goblins hence its name Fairy fingers & Fairy cap. In 1542 Fuchs called it "Digitalis" after the finger like shape of it flowers, ...

Liquorice 27/02/2007

Good for for colds, sore throats and Guinness

Liquorice Back again with another Herb review. This time it's about the Liquorice plant, a very pretty looking plant when in bloom. Not really used in cooking here in England but the plant is used in a lot of Asian cooking. Liquorice - (Glycyrrhiza glaba) is also known as Sweetwood, Licorice, and Sweet Licorice ***The Plant*** This plant is native to the Mediterranean and is thought to be grown commercially in Russia, Spain and India on a huge scale. The liquorice plant has been used for over 3000 years and was recorded on Egyptian papyri and Assyrian tablets. The Latin name Glycyrrhiza comes from "glykys" meaning sweet root. It was introduced to England in the 16th century by Dominican monks and became an important crop. Liquorice extract is produced by boiling the liquorice root and letting the water evaporate, and left is syrup. Be warned the sweetener in liquorice is more then "50 TIMES" as sweet as sucrose, hence why their side effects are pretty strong, liquorice extract can lead to serious kidney problems and Hypokalemia (a potentially fatal condition in which the body fails to retain sufficient potassium to maintain health) Most famous in England is probably the Liquorice allsorts and in herbal tea, it's also used in the medicinal world to hide unpleasant flavours. The castle in Pontefract was famous for the growing of liquorice to produce Pontefract cakes, but I find it sad that even today the liquorice used in Pontefract cakes is imported from ...

Garlic 24/02/2007

Hmm Roasted Garlic

Garlic Back again with probably one of the most used herbs in the cooking world - Garlic The amount of time I hear people say I hate Garlic and won't cook with it, or I don't like the smell of it. They are so ignorant they don't even know it's used in most everyday things ranging from peri-peri sauce to ready meals and in lots of tinned food like soups etc. How can you not love the smell of roasted garlic :) As you may be able to tell I love garlic and I must go through a clump a week, its great with a massive amount of different foods, just don't use to much of it. This is where people probably make the mistake; too much Garlic can taint the food and kill the flavour of the meat. Quite a bit of information about the Garlic coming up so hear goes. Garlic - Allium sativum ***The Plant*** Garlic also goes by the names of Clove garlic and originates from India and Central Asia and is one of the oldest valued plants. In Greek legend, Odysseus used Moly (wild garlic) as a charm to keep the sorceress (Circe) from turning into a pig. The Egyptians used it for its medicinal properties and also fed the slave's that where building the pyramids daily to sustain there strength, the Romans are believed to have introduced it to Britain. The common name is said to have been taken from the Anglo-Saxon name of "leac" which means pot herb, and "gar" a lance, after the shape of the stem. During the First World War, spaghnum moss use to be soaked in garlic juice and used as ...

St. Johns Wort (Herbal Remedy for Depression) 24/02/2007

You get to ride on magical horses in heaven

St. Johns Wort (Herbal Remedy for Depression) Back again I am afraid with yet another herb review, this is a bit different as this herb from what I have read doesn't have any culinary uses and If it was used it cooking I cant find anything. St John's Wort been in the news on and of for a few years, and its seen as a bit of a controversial herb. St John's Wort in the Herbal world is seen as a treatment for mild or moderate depression, but the research done on St John's Wort has recorded little knowledge compared to the research on antidepressants. I have had a look on the internet and it seems there hasn't been enough testing on long term subjects to decide if it is as good as the herbalist say. Also here in the UK, St John's Wort isn't sold as a medicine; it's sold as a food supplement. This means it hasn't been tested for safety in the same way as a medicine. Most GP's won't advise you to take it as a treatment for depression as it's not nationally recommended as a treatment for depression, but of course they are quite happy to give you some Prozac. There is a few side effects ranging from dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth, and even a lack of sex drive :( Well enough of that…let's get to the review St John's Wort - Hypericum perforatum ***The Plant*** St John's Wort is also known as Warriors wound, Amber, Touch and Heal, Grace of God and Herb of St John. There is a bit of a magical story behind the herb, whoever treads on St John's Wort after sunset will be swept up on the back of a magical horse ...

Fennel 21/02/2007

Fennel helps to keep hunger at bay

Fennel This review is about the herb Fennel, a very useful herb not only in the kitchen but also for medicinal purposes. Ill keep on doing the herb as it seems a lot of people are printing them out and saving them for future reference. I am just glad to help and I also enjoy knowing people like reading my reviews. Fennel - Foeniculum vulgare ***The Plant*** The herb Fennel is also known as Sweet fennel, large fennel and wild fennel. It grows well in Europe where the weather is warm and is also found in western USA. The ancient Greeks thought very highly of fennel and were used as a slimming aid and to treat other illnesses. The Romans where thought to have spread the herb whilst on there travels across Europe, they used the fennel leafs and the roots in salads, and used the seeds in baking bread. The Anglo-Saxon used it on fasting days because it stills pangs of hunger, whilst in the Middle Ages fennel was used in stews and also to mask not very fresh food. Fennel is thought to aid better eyesight and to help from poisoning from snake bites, and is some cases it is used near dog kennels as fleas are not to keen on the herb. It is also a good for companion planting as it attracts hoverflies which will help keep the whitefly at bay. Fennel was an important component in wreath's which where made and hung above the door on Midsummer Day to keep the witches quiet. (See Pictures) ***Species*** Fennel - hardy perennial that can grow 4-7 ft in height, and will ...

Dandelion 20/02/2007

A very useful herb, yes its a herb!

Dandelion Back again with another Herb review. There a lot of people will think we are crazy for actually growing Dandelion's, But it is a herb! There are quite a lot of uses for the Dandelion ranging from making a wine and its medicinal properties. Dandelion - Taraxacum officinale ***The Plant*** Dandelion when I was younger was known as a plant that made you pee in the bed if you touched it, it goes by many different names including Lions teeth, Fairy clock, Farmers clock, wetted, Cankerwort, Priests crown, Swinesnout and also put nicely Pee in the bed. The Dandelion is one of Mother Nature's great medicines, to some it's a weed but as Alan Titchmarsh says "A weed is only a plant growing in the wrong place". The Dandelion can be found all over the world and loves rich nitrogen soil and believe it or not it can be found at 6500ft above sea level. There is no reason why it's called Dandelion but its other name Lion tooth may have got its name from the root of the Dandelion as it's supposed to resemble a lions tooth? The Arabs first knew of its uses back in 11th century and within a few 100 years it was established as an official drug. ***Species*** Dandelions are a perennial and grow between 6-9 inches in height and produce a yellow flower. The flower head as it turn's to seed turns into a fluffy ball (Dandelion clock). The Russian Dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz rodin) can grow up to 12 inches in height and during the second world war it was actually ...
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