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Many thanks to everyone who has read, rated, and commented on my reviews, and apologies for neglecting Ciao... I'm only on here a few times every year at the moment....

Reviews written

since 08/08/2005


Onetel OT 2500 17/12/2006

One tel- One step forward and two steps back?

Onetel OT 2500 This is going to be one of my shorter reviews. A few months ago, I got bored with the basic cordless phone in my house. There wasn't anything wrong with it really, but it was just very basic, and so, I looked for an upgraded phone. In the end, I bought this phone, the Onetel OT2500. In general, It has been good so far. It did come with one or two teething problems though. *The figures after each heading, are the marks out of ten which I gave the phone.* This phone does have DECT (it says so on the box), which means Digitially Enhanced Cordless Technology, not an analogue sound signal. This apparantly gives a better sound quality, compared to analogue. All phones have to have batteries inserted into the back of the handset, to work. They all also have a small LCD screen, telling you the callers ID, but only if your phone company features this service. Thanks Nar for your explanation of what DECT means. *THE COST* 8/10 The phone cost £34.99, and was bought from The Link. 3 year product support was also puchased alongside the phone for an extra £9.99, which I think is pretty good. (but i could be wrong value wise) *THE PACKAGING* 9/10 The cordless phone, and additional handsets/ chargers etc come in a pretty small, and compact box. The box itself just had a clear picture of one of the handsets, charging in the base model. There's also a list of the main features on the box. *THE HANDSETS* 7/10 The handset is good. The menu ...

Arriva Transpennine Express 17/12/2006

First- Transforming Travel?

Arriva Transpennine Express Original title (but too long for Ciao) - How many people can you fit in the cab vestibule of a class 175? *A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT THE COMPANY, AND THE ROUTES RUN BY IT.* First Transpennine express was formed when the long-distance routes run by First North Western, and Arriva Trains Northern were removed, and merged into a single franchise/company in February 2004. This quite new franchise, has been granted for 8 years, and is jointly operated by First Group, and Keolis. This new franchise is split into three routes: North Trans Pennine- These trains run from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne , Middlesbrough, Scarborough, and Hull via Leeds and Huddersfield, to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, and Liverpool Lime Street. South Trans Pennine- Trains from Cleethorpes and Grimsby, via Scunthorpe, Doncaster, and Sheffield, to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport. North West- Trains from Windermere, Kendal, Barrow-In-Furness, and Blackpool North , all via Preston, to Manchester Airport. As you can see, the Manchester area is a main hub for First Trans Pennine Express services. At Manchester Piccadilly, services from the Huddersfield direction which are travelling to Manchester Airport are routed into one of the bay platforms. Here, they reverse the direction of travel, and proceed towards the Airport. Services To/From Liverpool, and destinations on the North West section all use one of two through platforms. *THE ROLLING STOCK* First Trans Pennine ...

Dominos Pizza, Manchester 22/09/2006

Dominos Delicious Delivery

Dominos Pizza, Manchester This review is exactlly the same as my previous Dominos review, it's just been moved to the newly made, correct section. Domino's is a great company that does Pizzas, Side orders, desserts & drinks, for collection, or delivery. You can either phone-up, and ask them to make a pizza for collection, or delivery. Alternatively, you can order on their website. Their pizza's I've had have allways been very good, and you can tell that they've been freshly made, instead of just being fried for the base etc. This is because Domino's ALLWAYS uses fresh dough-balls, in order to make the pizza, instead of frozen dough. I would recomend their pizza's to anyone, as you can customize any set pizza, or create your own. You can allways phone your store, and place an order for collection, or delivery, the former being cheaper, unless you have the early bird delivery special as well (Monday to Wednesday). *Ordering over the Internet* Simply go on to Domino's website,, and type your postcode in. Even if you don't know it, you can simply click the small hyperlink: I don't know it, and it will bring you to a map of the U.K. Simply click on your part of the map, and it will list the stores in your region. Select the nearest store, and it will tell you it's contact details. If you do know your postcode, when you've entered it in, the nearest store will come up on your screen. If your near enough to it, it will deliver to you. The menu will be displayed of ...

Subway 19/08/2006

Sweet, Sour, or Subway's Sandwiches?

Subway I apologise for the title, I just wanted to get a little alliteration into it. *HISTORY/BACKGROUND* 8/10. Subway was founded in a town in the USA, called Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965, by Fred De Luca. Fred at the time, was a 17 year old high school graduate, who was trying to find a way to create enough money for university tuition. Dr Peter Buck, a familty freind, once suggested to Fred, to open a submarine sandwich shop, because a similar one in the area had recently become a big success. I think this sounds nice, because it nearly gives the USA born company a family-run feel in my opinion, but seeing Subway has many stores worldwide, I somehow doubt other customers feel the same way! (I know I don't when i walk into one!) *HOW MANY STORES DOES SUBWAY HAVE?* 8/10 As you should now know, the restaurant chain was created in the USA. The Subway website says it has 26,171 stores world wide, but how many of these are actually in the UK? Well the answer is.... Sorry I don't know. What i do know however, is that it's smaller than 2010, because Subway aim to have 2010 stores open for business in the UK, by the year 2010. I have to say however, that I'm used to going to one in Manchester, but there's suddenly been 2 created near Clitheroe/ Blackburn/Darwen. Subway seem to be opening a lovely fresh new store quite frequently. *ARE THE STORES CLEAN AND WHATS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE INSIDE?* 10/10 One word answer about the cleanliness - Yes! ...

Virgin Pendolino 11/08/2006

Pacey Pendos via Preston, for Plebs& Posh people

Virgin Pendolino I first apologise for the length of this review, and hope you don't find it to long. THE TYPE OF TRAIN I'M REVIEWING 9/10 The Virgin Pendolinos are Italian electric trains, which are formed of nine coaches. Five of these are cattle class (i mean standard class), and four of them are First Class. First Class is almost always at the London end, with Standard Class at the country end. North End ............... .. South End. ...... Coach... A B C D F G H J K The name "Pendolino" is Italian, and is named after electric tilting trains which operated in many other places around the world, apart from the United Kingdom, including Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, and Finland. THE ROUTES WHICH THESE PENDOLINOS CAN BE FOUND ON: 10/10 The Virgin Pendolinos can be found on almost all (99%) Virgin West Coast services. I say "Virgin West Coast", because they shouldn't be mixed up with Virgin Cross-Country, who operates Virgin's Voyager trains. (See my other review, about Voyagers for details) Virgin West Coast operates nearly every single service to/from London Euston, and stations through to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and Preston. Please note that Voyagers, and Pendolinos jointly operate the Virgin Trains service between London & Holyhead. Services operated by Pendolinos are (just on the Holyhead route): 05.32 Holyhead - London Euston 09:00 London Euston - Holyhead 14.14 Holyhead- London Euston 17:21 London Euston - ...

Zanussi ZWD1270 26/11/2005

Zanussi, the appliance of science.

Zanussi ZWD1270 On Last Wednesday 28th September, my kitchen was changed. The 7-year-old Hotpoint washer dryer has now been replaced by a fantastically modern, mid-range Zanussi ZWD1270W washer dryer. Even though the machine was around £350, what I have received is a machine that is worth every single penny we paid for it. EXTERIOR: When looking at the machine, you can see the drawer in the top left-hand corner. This is split up into three sections- The pre-wash section is the furthest to the left, the Main Wash section is in the middle, and the conditioner part situated at the very right of the drawer. One thing I have noticed, which is great, is that the drawer has several water holes at the top, more visible when the actual container has been taken out. If you need to take the drawer out for cleaning, you simply press a button, on the top left hand corner of the pre-wash section when the drawer has been pulled open, marked PUSH and presto. Simply pull the drawer out. The reason why having several water holes is good, is because the water "showers" the detergent (in our case Bold 2-in-1 tablets), and doesn't leave any inside the main wash section after filling up with water. PROGRAMMES & FEATURES/OPTIONS (BIG SECTION) - Next to the drawer is the control panel. In order to select a programme, you have to 1st turn the on/off button in, and make your selection via the handful of buttons & LED lights next to the displayed fabric type, spin speed and any in-wash options ...

Hotpoint Aquarius WD61 01/10/2005

Helpful but now replaced Hotpoint *Updated*

Hotpoint Aquarius WD61 For at least the last 6-7 years, our Hotpoint WD61 washer dryer has been a great, ordianary, mid-range washer dryer. I have finally thought of writing a review on it, so here it goes.. Looking at It from the outside: The machine looks good in it's "polar" (really just ordinary white) colour. On the top left corner you have the dispenser drawer, which has all the programmes on, split up into three catagories. I will mention the programmes in the next section. Running along the top section, in the top right corner, you have two dials. The one on the left is a smaller one, which controls the drying time. Next to it, on the right, is a bigger dial which controls the wash programmes. Slightly above the programme dial, in the top right corner is the on/off button. Features: On this model, you can add any of these two options if you like: 1. Economy- For when your washing a smaller load, even though I'm sure this machine can tell how full it is. 2. Super Rinse- The final two rinses on your programme are completed with more water. This is especially good If, unlike myself, you have sensitive skin, or are washing towels etc. You can also select an automatic wash and dry programme, simply by selecting your required drying time. Please note you can not do this with the wool programme. The Programmes: Cotton Programmes- A) Prewash B) White Cotton & Prewash- a long programme for heavily soiled clothes, which starts with a prewash. The main ...

Virgin Voyager 01/10/2005

The Return Of The Train *Edited with links & pics*

Virgin Voyager Now I am a train spotter, and really like the Voyager's, but I will TRY to make this review un-biased. Please also note that this is my first review. ROUTES/ FRANCHISES Virgin Trains (VT) is split up into two franchises. Virgin Cross Country, which runs trains between Glasgow/Edinburgh, Carlisle/Newcastle, Preston/York, Crewe/Derby, Birmingham to destinations such as Bristol, Reading, Bournemouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance. Virgin Cross Country also runs trains to/from Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh to destinations above. THE TYPE OF TRAIN WHICH I'M REVIEWING- Virgin Cross Country uses class 220 Voyager trains (non tilting) and class 221 Super Voyager trains (can tilt). To the everyday traveller, I'm sure a train's just a train. The difference between the two, apart from having either 4-cars (class 220) or 5-cars (class 221's, except from 4 of them, which are 4-car, like the 220's) are whether or not your train your on has the ability to tilt. If you are on a class 221, you may well tilt on a certain section of your next journey with Virgin Cross Country. This means the train leans into a curve, meaning it can go even faster round curve's than the older trains which are no longer in service with Virgin. INSIDE, STANDARD CLASS Inside, in Standard Class, the seats are mainly in "airline" configuration, meaning you get 2 seats together, without a table. There are still a small amount of table seats, aranged with 4 seats around a table. FIRST ...
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