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Bellroyd

Bellroyd
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Member since: 25.10.2010

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      02.09.2011 20:22
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      I'd buy it again - but only on offer

      We have a great shower in our house - loads of pressure, fully adjustable - it can be a really invigorating experience and, even with one of those water saving devices that I have recently fitted, it is much better than a bath in my view to wake you up first thing in the morning.

      Early last week, I bought some new shower products, tempted by the offer in Sainsbury's where this and other products in the range are reduced to just £1.01 from the normal £2.03. It isn't something I would normally buy because Radox tends to be quite expensive. However, I normally have to use up girlie products which my wife buys then goes off so it was time to buy something supposedly just for me!

      I like the bold straightforward branding, clearly stating what the product is and prominently featuring the well-known Radox brand. You get only 250 ml of bright blue thick shower gel in the otherwise quite cheap and boring transparent container - one that sits nicely on a flat surface and dispenses from the bottom.

      Compared to many cheaper runnier shower products, you don't need much of this squeezed into your hand to generate a decent lather which does smell fresh and which does linger nicely in the bathroom after use.
      With this being sold as a shower scrub, I was expecting it to have lots of scratchy bits in it like handcleaner, but it was a bit too smooth for my liking and couldn't honestly say that I felt it did a better job at exfoliating my skin than many others I have used. The water mint and sea minerals bit doesn't really matter much to me. If I needed sea minerals, I would be living in the sea and surely even if these things are good for you, you just apply the product and rinse it off so how can any of this good stuff effect an entry into your system?

      I am also rather sceptical about the deep clean claim as well. I would like to think it cleaned my skin, but did it really penetrate it and get down to cleaning up those bits of flesh underneath? I don't think so. However, it did make me feel good and I'm giving it a good mark, so I shouldn't really be too picky.

      Although I won't buy it again unless on offer, I have found that after having used it half a dozen times now, I'm still only about a third of the way down the bottle, so in terms of cost per shower, it's pretty good.

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      • Colron Danish Oil / Homeware / 37 Readings / 36 Ratings
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        01.09.2011 21:17
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        Moisturiser for your wood

        A lot of people are now stripping down old furniture to give it a new lease of life and I've done a fair bit of this myself - experimenting with various finish options.

        I normally use a waxed finish but wax does not really penetrate the surface to any meaningful extent; a friend recommended this product, which is a blend of natural oils and resins, and showed me a coffee table he had done himself. Suitably impressed, I bought some the next time I was in my local Homebase and have since tried it out on a table of my own.

        The product comes in a 500ml metal container with a safety cap and can be obtained in a number of different shades. It is for indoor use only and must be used in a well-ventilated area. At first, the detailed instructions on the back of the tine look a little daunting and the natural inclination is to take short cuts. However, I would urge all users to ensure they have the right materials and to follow the instructions to the letter and you will be rewarded with a finish that will last for ages and look really good.

        If I were to try to describe what this product does for the wood, it's a bit like a freshly scrubbed face. Once it is clean, it tends to dry up and many people have seen the benefit of daily moisturising. This oil is really moisturiser for the wood. Especially after sanding, wood can look really nice and it is tempting to leave the finish as is. However, leaving it unprotected will leave it open to water stains and it will gradually lose its initial appeal.

        By applying this product in accordance with the instructions, applying several layers, you will add a deep rich lustre to your surface and provided you apply the layers as directed, it will build up into a waterproof protective finish.

        It does seem a bit odd at first when you are asked to brush it on, and then wipe it off, but the secret to success in using this is using the right amount of product - don't be too stingy and don't splosh too much around - and wipe off any excess, allowing time between each coat.

        If you are embarking on a project to oil your wood, I would set aside a week to complete the task. By rushing the job and taking shortcuts, you can only be disappointed with the outcome.

        It's quite expensive stuff, but as with many things in life you get what you pay for.

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          30.08.2011 00:41
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          Practising sound common sense will go a long way to maintaining your household security

          There are a number of products available, designed to help you secure your home. They all have their uses, but the most important things to remember are the common sense cost free steps you should take to help keep your home secure.

          Of these, the 10 main areas in my experience in which people fail to adequately protect themselves are as follows:

          * Leaving the front or back door open - many of us operate under the misapprehension that if we are in the house we will hear anyone coming in. Not so - it only takes a minute to nip in unnoticed, steal whatever is handy and make good your escape

          * Nipping out for a couple of minutes and leaving the door unlocked - opportunity breeds temptation. Whether opportunist or experienced criminal, they'll be in and out in no time

          * Leaving windows open, especially downstairs. Sometimes we fail to properly check that all doors and windows are closed and secured. It's just lazy and asking for trouble.

          * Keeping valuables in full view or choosing obvious hiding places. You can get a decent quality digital safe these days for about thirty pounds but the mistake many make is to leave them loose in the bottom of a wardrobe. You should secure them to the wall or floor and make it really difficult to remove them. If a thief knows it will take him time or require undue noise, he will often try somewhere else.

          * Leaving a door key in an obvious place such as under the mat or a nearby flowerpot. It might be convenient for you but also very convenient for those intent on getting into your property.

          * Insecure sheds/outhouses/garages. Given the number and value of items typically stored in these places, we often don't give these the same attention when it comes to security.

          * Leaving bikes/outdoor toys outside in full view of passers-by. If lack of space requires these to be stored outside, it's generally quite easy to secure these when not in use using a chain.

          * Leaving a note on the door telling people you are out and the time you will be back. Silly or what?

          * Similarly, leaving a message on your answerphone to the effect that you are on holiday. This is an open invitation to thieves. Most systems these days allow you to dial in to your own answerphone to retrieve messages so there's no need to let the world know you're away.

          * Loose talk on a social networking site. Think before you post things - you are at risk of giving away lots of information that will be very useful to thieves.

          There you go - 10 things you can do that will cost you nothing. If you take no other steps, take these and minimise the risk that you will fall victim to crime.

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          • Tupperware / Household Product / 43 Readings / 42 Ratings
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            29.08.2011 14:11
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            Earl Tupper, the founder, died in 1983 and has left a lasting legacy

            I suspect there are few of us oldies who haven't got at least some original Tupperware items in their house.
            Tupperware heralded a whole stream of products which were initially sold at 'parties' organised by agents up and down the country.

            We all remember the recent revelation that The Queen keeps her cereals in Tupperware containers. I wonder which agent phoned her up to ask her to host a Tupperware party?

            These days there are so many alternatives to good old fashioned Tupperware, that sales are not what they were. Most of our plastic containers are old curry trays that are now in common use by takeaway outlets. Also, slightly less robust are the plastic sweetie tubs that are found so frequently.

            In our house, we still have two Tupperware containers in regular use. They are both cereal containers - one now used for wild bird seed and one for fish food for our outdoor pond.

            What differentiates Tupperware from other similar products is its thickness and durability. Many dooyooers have raved about their Pyrex ware which last and lasts. Tupperware is to plastic storage what Pyrex is to toughened glass. I have never known an item of Tupperware to wear out. This is testament to the quality of materials used. After all the years, the plastic has become a bit discoloured and there are a few scratches, yet it is still perfectly fit for purpose.

            You can stlll find old Tupperware around at boot fairs and the like. Even if you can no longer find a Tupperware agent in your area to host your own party, this second hand Tupperware will prove to be a good investment. You should have a sniff first to make sure it hasn't been contaminated by having had strongly smelling product stored in it.

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            • Toastabags Original / Kitchenware / 36 Readings / 34 Ratings
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              27.08.2011 23:48
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              A quid well spent

              We have been using toastabags for over a year now and have been impressed with this means of toasting sandwiches - far less messy than cleaning the toastie-maker which has remained somewhere at the back of the cupboard.

              For the last two months, however, we have noticed that the wax like surface of our bags, now well-used had not only become much blacker, but a small hole had also developed in one of them. I think we got our money's worth, though.

              It was time to invest in a replacement pack of two. Whilst visiting my father-in law this week, we spoke to him about this means of toasting sandwiches because we know that, living by himself he tends to get by on snacks rather than proper meals.

              And so it was that we bought two packs and educated him in the ease with which these can be used to toast a sandwich. At this stage, although we know that these can be used to reheat other foods, we decided to stick with sarnies - on health and safety grounds.

              As was the case with me when I first tried these, he found it hard to comprehend that it was safe to have melted cheese inside a toaster. However, seeing was believing and he was impressed with the end result too.

              These bags were a different brand to what we had previously used but they were constructed of the same material and designed to work in the same way.

              The big issue with these, which remains a slight concern is that, depending on the size of your toaster slots and the thickness of your sandwich, you have to really squash it for it to fit in. If you have to really squash it in, it can get stuck and the normal release mechanism which turns the toaster off does not always work. It is best therefore to either use a toaster with extra wide slots or to supervise the toasting process until complete so that you can manually intervene if it starts to burn.

              Provided such common sense steps are taken, it is perfectly safe to use these bags and I have been duly converted. They are easy to clean in the normal washing up - I generally just turn them inside out and wash as normal, standing them up on the drainer to drip dry.

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              23.08.2011 11:18
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              A good middle of the range product that combines Quality with Value

              Everyone remembers the seamen's ejaculation from Titanic and from that point on, we all knew the ship was doomed. The film could have been made for a lot less if they had just missed it.

              Imagery plays such an important role in describing things and at this stage you have in your mind an image of a huge towering iceberg and perhaps a more mischievous image involving sailors!

              In this case, the iceberg was a foam one. I often jump into my wife's bathwater for a quick rub a dub dub to make use of water that is never dirty and to wash away the cares of the day. She always uses far too much bath foam and justifies this by the fact that this Creamy Bath Soak is only 55p in Tesco for a decent 1 litre sized bottle.

              I don't complain too much because I like a bit of foam action myself. It helps me to re-create credible film scenes in the bath. Titanic is one of my favourites and I can confirm that this bath cream does make for decent sized foam icebergs. When you first drop a few globules of this unfortunate looking concentrated product into the bath, it sinks slowly to the bottom and looks decidedly dodgy, shall we say. However, after a little brisk agitation, you can create lovely big foam icebergs which hold their shape well for a decent period.

              I'm sure we have all used inferior products that are too thin and watery and provide for a less satisfying bath-time experience, so Tesco's have done well with this one. There are a few variants in the range, but we almost always use this Magnolia and Silk one, with added natural extracts. The purple coloured one makes my skin itch for some reason.

              We read on the transparent label on the reverse of the bottle that this product has been specially created to cleanse and hydrate your skin as you bathe, helping to leave it feeling soft and smooth. In my opinion, this does make a difference and in softening the water, it always makes cleaning the bath that much easier. You don't see as much scum around in the world thesedays, do you?

              Of course, I get a bit fed up playing Titanic in the tub, so I have other screen favourites which I re-enact.

              I like playing the submarine commander in Das Boot. He is often heard to give the order "Up Periscope!"and I duly oblige.......... until I hear my wife coming along the landing.....then it's............."Dive!, Dive!, Dive!"

              "Free Willy" is another good one, as is "Monster from the Deep" - although my wife feels I didn't warrant being cast in the lead role. My current favourite is a fantasy re-enactment of "20,000 Leagues under the Sea", in which Arsenal finally find their level and Arsene Wenger wins a trophy at last.

              Back to the product - I like it -and even if my wife is the one that chooses this, if it were me, I'd buy it too. It only has a slight perfume to it, so OK for blokes as well as girlies and for a very reasonable 55p, you'd probably get a good dozen baths out of it. It bridges the gap nicely between the Value option which doesn't reach the quality threshold and the branded options which require us to fund their extravagant advertising budgets by paying through the neck.

              Now - stop thinking about other inappropriate film titles for bath time and get on with another review!

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                22.08.2011 17:53
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                A good find for me - will certainly buy it again

                I have been fairly late in jumping onto the pesto bandwagon, but now that I'm on board, I'm using it rather a lot. Initially I tried it as a base to liven up some meat based sandwich fillings and I enjoyed it, so the first little jar I bought which was this Filippo Berio Green Classic Pesto Sauce is now empty.

                Before consigning it to the Useful Little Jars section in the garage (just next to where I keep Sticks That Might Be Useful For Stirring Paint) from which it will likely be jettisoned about two years from now, it's a good time to gather my thoughts on the product and document them here.

                For those Pesto virgins out there, this is primarily a Basil and Olive Oil concoction with a bit of cheese and a few pine cones thrown in and it is traditionally associated with Italy. In the jar it looks a bit like a light coloured mint sauce;it has a condensed 'slime from your fish-tank' look about it. Having little in the way of visual appeal, therefore, I really had to rely on taste.

                Like so much that is Mediterranean, it has a good strong complementary flavour to it. Not too strong such as to risk spoiling or compromising other flavours in your dish but definitely adding to the taste experience with a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. Actually, I do know 'quoi' because it's all listed on the green bottle label.

                I found that it greatly enhanced the flavour of ham and chicken in a sandwich whether plain or toasted and most of the bottle has been used up in this way. Using less or more product on your sandwich will allow you to get the flavour just right for you. You could even just spread this on its own and enjoy it. It does have garlic in it, so don't go overboard if you are planning any post prandial seduction.

                On the label, we are encouraged to stir some into pasta or rice and there a number of other ideas on the Filippo Berio website.

                You only get 190g in a jar and it doesn't last long - once opened, you should eat it within 2 weeks - but I would certainly recommend it. I don't know how it compares to other brands, but have bought a different brand this week to try as well as a red pesto.

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                  21.08.2011 08:52
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                  For those who are happy to trade quality for value

                  Last night we had an Indian - it was actually leftovers from Friday night when we were defeated by quantity. Now lager is generally the drink of choice amongst blokes when they are eating a curry, but I tend to not drink during a meal - I like to eat, savour, digest and then have a drink.

                  So it was with full belly but fiery mouth that I considered what options were available to me. I had bought some Crabbies Ginger Beer for the first time earlier that day, but it seemed to me that might lead to taste bud war - too much of a conflict with The Jalfrezi Warriors, so ignoring two other choices - Grolsch and Pear Cider, I found a sorry looking orange and white can - the one remaining from a 4 pack of Basics Bitter at the back of my beer cupboard.

                  Wanting merely to slake my thirst (I had not, nor have ever had, anything else requiring to be slaked) rather than have a deep meaningful experience with my beer, I elected to give it a go. If nothing else it would then release that lovely piece of retaining plastic which holds the cans together and for which I have yet to find an alternative legitimate use.

                  I had bought this pack several weeks ago, along with a similar pack of Basics lager (previously reviewed) and had actually enjoyed it a bit more than the lager. Both had been on summer offer in Sainsbury's at £1.00 for 4 cans. They are now both priced at £1.20.

                  So, I grabbed the can, opened it up and began to drink.

                  It wasn't very cold, but never mind. The can is extremely thin and doesn't spell quality (It spells can). I drank this one from the can, but on the earlier cans which I had poured into a glass, I remember that any head was thin and short-lived.

                  It isn't very fizzy and it doesn't have a strong taste at all - not at all hoppy or malty or in any way interesting.............but it did taste like beer and in any blind taste test, I might not have guessed it was from a value range.

                  The strap-line on the Basics familiar orange and white tin tells me that this is a lot less bitter and indeed, that is a very good way to describe it. It's rather like when, as a lad, you have your first taste of beer - which as a spotty youth tastes absolutely foul but you're supposed to like it so you pretend that it tastes great.

                  It is rather thin and lacking body and after the initial refreshing feeling, it didn't score any further points against The Jalfrezi Warriors who went on to win every swallowing round until the can was finished.

                  That said, it did contribute in providing me with that nice satiated feeling when, with distended stomach, you lie prostrate on the couch and fall asleep in front of Who Wants to Be a Celebrity Millionaire, wondering why Michelle Collins chose to wear that silly backless dress and whether, given the chance..... would you? ....could you?.

                  Any regulars in the Rovers Return would reject this drink on first taste and it's no match for Newton and Ridley, I'm sure. That said, it does have two redeeming features:

                  * It's very cheap
                  * It has only 2.1% alcohol by volume

                  We don't always drink beer to get drunk and it doesn't make a lot of sense to drink really expensive beer whose subtlety of taste will be lost in the curry mix. At least after one can, you don't feel inclined to open another so that's probably a good thing.

                  I can't say this was a hugely exciting beer to drink, but I would buy it again just for those times when you need a good long thirst-quenching drink .

                  At 30p or less for a 440ml can, it's a lot less expensive than most cans of pop, so I will generously and unashamedly award 3 dooyoo stars.

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                  19.08.2011 22:08
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                  Nice for a change

                  Pray, what are we going to do with all these Dandelion and Burdock roots, my liege?

                  Forsooth, we shall ferment them to create a tasty, naturally fizzy concoction which we can then market to the great unwashed as a natural remedy to cure their ills. We'll clean up and make our fortune!

                  ..........Well, maybe it didn't happen quite like that, but the combination of dandelion and burdock has been used for centuries and the fizzy pop we buy today still has that unique flavour which many of us love.

                  For oldies like me, it brings back memories of my childhood days - of the Corona man coming to the door every week and Mum buying half a dozen bottles of fizzy pop; I always remember this flavour as being one of my favourites.

                  Today, this is just an occasional purchase as it was for me earlier this week, when , having embarked on a longish journey without my usual made-up bottles of squash, I called in at an out of town Morrisons store to get a drink to have in the car.

                  I ended up buying three 500 ml bottles of this Dandelion and Burdock for only a pound, so quite a bargain, I thought. It had been quite a while since I had tasted Dandelion and Burdock. It looked dark and inviting and had that familiar sweet smell as I twisted off the cap and let the fizz escape.

                  From the first mouthful, I remembered and indeed savoured the taste. I recalled those long hot hazy days on the football field with my mate, Philip. We each used to buy a bottle of pop and some sweets if we could afford them and spend hours on the field pretending to be our football heroes and guzzling our monster bottles of pop.

                  Now as then, this drink remains very fizzy and very sweet. That said, I had picked up the standard rather than the Diet option in which there are a hefty 102 calories for a 500ml bottle. This drink is 23% sugar - enough to dissolve the enamel on your teeth if you let it.

                  Of course, there isn't any dandelion and burdock in this drink although there are fruit and vegetable extracts. It claims to be fine for all you Veggie Burgers out there. Everything these days seems to be about artificially creating flavours and for the natural stuff, we all pay a premium!

                  I enjoyed my Dandelion and Burdock experience - by the end of the day, the part-consumed bottle contents were warm and flat, but the next day after a night in the fridge, a freshly opened bottle tasted much nicer. I even gave my wife one! ................... She enjoyed it as much as I did.

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                  • Baking / Recipe / 40 Readings / 36 Ratings
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                    18.08.2011 21:49
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                    Great to make if you're short of time.

                    I like to bake a cake from time to time, but tend to go for the easy and quick recipes - especially ones that don't create much washing up as I get in trouble for making a mess.

                    Here's a nice easy quick recipe that has never failed to impress my victims. It's also pretty hard to get wrong so you don't need any special skills and you won't get your hands dirty.

                    You will need:

                    1 cup of self-raising flour
                    1 cup of desiccated coconut
                    I/2 cup of caster sugar
                    ¾ cup of milk

                    I actually use a mug rather than a cup because you get more cake - it doesn't matter because all the ingredients will remain in proportion.

                    Measure out all your ingredients and toss them into a mixing bowl. Mix them all together. It will be quite wet and have a consistency and look not unlike porridge when it is done. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin or similar. I use a square silicon sandwich tin because being shallower it cooks a bit quicker - less money on lecky - and you can serve it in nice dainty slices without it crumbling.

                    Pop it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes. It only takes 20 minutes or so in a sandwich (shallow) tin so check it half way through and keep your eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

                    After you take it out of the oven, let it cool for 20 minutes or so and either eat some if you can't wait - or to make it even yummier, drizzle on some lemon topping and let it crystallise on the top. To make an easy lemon drizzle sauce, just mix icing or even castor sugar with lemon juice in a little milk jug and drizzle it slowly onto the still warm but not too warm surface of the cake.

                    This cake tastes and stays lovely and moist and will keep in a cake tin for as long as it takes you to eat it all. It has never lasted more than 2 days in our house! Scrumptious!

                    Nice with a jug of custard, too!

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                    • Flavia Selection Tea / Tea / 26 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                      17.08.2011 22:45
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                      Not for me, this tea - I'll stick to the Flavia Coffee range where the taste is much more authentic

                      In a previous Earl Grey review, I made mention of the bargain Flavia machine I bought on eBay which came with a large supply of coffee and tea sachets. Tea options included Earl Grey, Darjeeling, English Breakfast and the one under review, rather enigmatically called "Selection".

                      I think by 'Selection' they mean floor sweepings because unless you like your tea like dishwater, this is rather an apology for a brew. I believe it to be the weakest of the available tea options and it's a good job that there were fewer of these sachets than the others because I am struggling to finish them up. I am now down to my last strip of 20, but I am not particularly enjoying the cup of Selection tea that I have made to drink whilst writing this review.

                      If there are any boffins at Flavia and they have probably got their fair share, then I personally think they are facing quite a struggle to make decent teas using the Flavia methodology. Because the water spends so little time in contact with the tea, the brew doesn't get the chance to infuse properly - that is my rather unscientific theory.

                      Once you have inserted your tea sachet into the machine, water which has been heated in the built in reservoir is forced through a valve in the top of each sachet and drains through the bag, dripping out your tea at the bottom. You then remove and dispose of the spent sachet and do your best to swallow the resultant brew.

                      Because of the inflexibility in the methodology, the consumer doesn't get the chance to brew a cup to his/her liking and that's quite a big disadvantage.

                      I wouldn't buy these Selection sachets again and I'm struggling to drink the free ones that came with the machine. All in all, I believe the Flavia machine is much better suited to coffees.

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                      16.08.2011 17:08
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                      Preparation is the key for all filling jobs

                      I find myself making quite extensive use of fillers during the course of my DIY activities. There are a huge number available and they come in a variety of formats:

                      Powder - which you mix yourself
                      Paste - which comes ready mixed in a tub
                      Tube - you just squeeze out what you want
                      Aerosol - aim and fire!

                      They each have their merits and I have used them all.

                      Powder is undoubtedly the most economic to use, but it is a bit of a faff and unless you take particular care with your mixing, you can end up with the wrong consistency or leftover powder which has not been properly mixed in. It's also a bit messy.

                      Paste - there is no doubt that this is very convenient, but it can also dry out if you aren't very careful. It's best to buy only what you need for the task in hand. It can be a false economy to buy the biggest tub which appears to offer the best value only to find it has dried up the next time you go to use it. Always remember to cover the ready-made product within the tub before you put the lid securely back on the tub.

                      Tube - this can be very handy in that you don't get the drying out problem and the product comes out in a convenient ready-mixed gap sized flow so that it can be applied direct to the area requiring filling and then smoothed in with a wet finger.

                      Foam - these are not suitable for most filling jobs but are especially useful to allow you to access large inaccessible gaps. Much loved by cowboy builders, they are often used to botch jobs because they are so quick and easy. That is not to say they don't have their place and I have used them myself with some success in some masonry applications.

                      There's room for all these fillers in your armoury. If I had to choose which one format to go for, it would be the tube based ones I would use most often - primarily due to the lack of waste.

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                        15.08.2011 09:36
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                        As choppers go, you'd like this one!

                        I love my hatchet!

                        Many folk will tell you it's very therapeutic to chop wood and I'm no different. I have a chainsaw, a bow saw, several handsaws, a log splitter/maul and this handy little hatchet which I use to make kindling.

                        This particular steel one is relatively new and it is much better than the wood handled one I had before which had to be retired on Health and Safety grounds after the shaft became loose and stubbornly resisted my repair attempts. I took a bit of a risk buying this on-line as I would normally like to handle this kind of tool prior to purchase to test for quality and feel.

                        I like the fact that it has a nice rubberised grip. This helps to ensure that there are no slips which could cause accidents or lost digits. It feels good to hold. I get a couple of loads of logs every winter to use in our wood-burner and select several knot free ones to set aside for chopping. This is important. No hatchets like knots and your fire doesn't light as well with knotty kindling. Lots of sparks.

                        The weight is just right - any lighter and it wouldn't be man enough for the job - any heavier and it might have been a difficult or a bit tiring to wield repeatedly when chopping sticks. The distribution of the weight is also good. Can't imagine all these factors haven't been designed in to make this an effective and comfortable tool to use.

                        I like the little leather-look cover for the business end, which I always use to put my hatchet away for the next time. This has been something of a novelty for me as my last tool enjoyed no such luxurious accoutrement.

                        This hatchet has never been sharpened and because I only use it for kindling it hasn't suffered any knocks or scrapes to damage the blade. Although it has only seen one season's chopping, it works very well and I would have no issue recommending it.

                        I find it eminently fit for purpose and it makes short work of chopping kindling. Always remember, however, that using a hatchet is very dangerous. They are not very forgiving if, in an absent minded moment, you leave your steadying finger in the way. Do take care! Keep your fingers well away from the business end. You need a good hand/eye coordination for this task.

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                        14.08.2011 08:18
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                        I can't get too excited at this

                        My wife bought one of these packets from Tesco the week before last - she wanted me to 'do the iron' which she thought was blocked. I normally use vinegar to clear limescale from the kettle and just make sure that it is well rinsed before using. I had read somewhere that it isn't always a good idea to use descaler in irons and that some manufacturers don't recommend it. However, I didn't see any reason not to use it, provided I closely followed the instructions. I certainly didn't fancy using vinegar in an iron.

                        In the end, always trying to get full value, I descaled the kettle first with one of the sachets - it only takes 10 minutes -, then I re-boiled the water until it was just below boiling point and then used some of this water in the iron. I don't think it can have been much of a blockage because although I was using spent solution, after I held the steam button down for a couple of minutes everything was running clear and there were a few clumps of limescale which I was able to wipe off which had clogged 2 or 3 of the steam holes in the baseplate of the iron.

                        Our water isn't too bad, so the descaling task isn't one that happens very often in our house. If it was down to me, I would never buy this stuff. It's not that it doesn't work - it's just that there are cheaper methods.
                        I've got some nice strong concentrated descaler which I incorporate in my periodic toilet deep cleans and I also use this on the taps where, if left, we do get a deposit build-up.

                        This product is, I think, quite expensive for what it is and if I had bought such a product, I would have bought the liquid version which allows you to have a bit more flexibility as to how much you use. With the 3 individual sachets you get in this box, the likelihood is that you will only get 3 items descaled for your money, whereas with a liquid descaler you can use as much or as little as will get the job done and then retain the remainder for future descaling.

                        As it is, we have two sachets left for next time; the next job is likely to be the big old fashioned metal shower head which is affected by scale more than the plastic heads for some reason.

                        I don't think this product is worth more than a run of the mill 3 dooyoo stars and for what it is, it's quite expensive, I think - it's £1.51 for a pack of three sachets from Tesco.

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                          13.08.2011 08:29
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                          Won't be buying any more

                          There are too many Vanish products out there. How can consumers be expected to know which to buy from the serried ranks of pretty pink containers? - and now this white container as well, but with the familiar pink Vanish logo on the front.

                          These people take us for suckers, which we largely are, otherwise their strategy wouldn't work. Are we all so much dirtier than we used to be? Do we really need this stuff? My Mum just used to soak a stained item of clothing in the sink overnight, perhaps in a mild bleach solution - or just give it a bit of a rub with some washing powder if anything got stained. Thesedays however we have been persuaded that that isn't good enough. Oh No! We have to spend a fortune on products that we really don't need!

                          Do you sense I am a bit negative about this product?

                          Well, Yes I am and lots more besides. If it was down to me, I wouldn't buy the stuff. My sucker wife is to blame and yet...... even she recognises that she is a victim.... but still bought this!

                          This product was bought originally for my white work shirts and it is true that the inside of collars in particular are prone to marking. This problem was evident on some of my collars on favoured shirts that were probably past their best before dates and to be honest, they probably needed flinging. However, my wife wears a lot of white and there always seems to be a full white wash every week, even though there are just the two of us. It didn't make my collars any whiter than with ordinary washing powder.

                          The product comes in a nice screw-top plastic wide-brimmed container - the sort that's useful to hang onto for storing bits and occasionally bobs - knicks and sometimes knacks - this and from time to time that etc etc.

                          It's a white powder that looks just like washing powder ( now there's a surprise!) It's just that it's hideously more expensive. You're supposed to use it as a pre-soak or just in the normal wash. It reputedly has special whitening agents and Microcrystals no less. It has a Double Whitening Action into the bargain. Wow!

                          No, I'm not taken in by all this twaddle. It's all a con. To me, it hasn't made a bit of difference to our whites. I don't get grass or lipstick stains on my clothes anymore (more's the pity) so this has really only been tested on normally soiled white clothes.

                          At the end of the day, this is just washing powder, folks - don't be taken in by all the hype.

                          As washing powder, I guess it's OK. For whitening your whites, I'm not convinced - just another means of getting another Vanish product in the cupboard under the sink.

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