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CallMeRalph

CallMeRalph
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Member since: 29.11.2012

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    • Tesco Sun Cream / Sun Care / 46 Readings / 44 Ratings
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      25.06.2013 13:37
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      Good Value Cream, But Not As Effective As The More Expensive Stuff

      Recently we had a nice batch of warm sunny weather, obviously this came as quite a shock to us here in the North-West. People flocked to the countryside to enjoy the sunshine and naturally we did the same. As we were about to head out though we realised we had no sun cream. As our skin has not seen the sun for many a month we decided this would be a bit risky, so we needed some cream to put on. However, we were all out, no a drip of sun cream in sight, so we headed to Tesco.

      No I must confess I've never really paid much attention to sun cream prices, I always used to pinch my mums when I lived at home, but not I'm all grown up I had to buy my own. The prices were staggering! For the top name brands such as Nivea and other similar ones, you were talking ten pound plus for a tiny little bottle. This is just crazy money and the big companies must really be raking it in. I noticed though that Tesco do their own sun cream and it was less than half the price as the big names ones. This to me seemed like a no brainer.

      I watched a TV programme a while back that was comparing sun creams and I remember that the supermarket ones usually did just as good a job as the big name ones. Plus the reality is that Tesco would not be allowed to sell sun cream if it did not work, so I was not worried about this. So we paid around £3 for a decent size bottle and headed off out for the day.

      So when it came time to cream up, how was it? Well the smell was not to bad, not as nice as some I remember using but it certainly wasn't bad. It soaked into the skin well and you didn't get that horrid white layer that sometimes happens. Overall then first impressions were pretty good.

      So how effective was it. Well we bought factor 15 which is quite strong for me really, but as it's the first sun we've seen for the best part of a year, I thought a strongish factor was sensible. However, even though we were only out for a few hours, I did burn a little bit. Certainly not enough to cause serious concern, but I was surprised that the sun did get through. Although it was a nice day the sun was certainly not that strong, it was only the end of May. So the fact that my skin was a little redder than I expected was a worry.

      We have used this cream again since and it seems you need to apply quite a lot and quite often for it to be very effective. So it seems this could be a reason why the Tesco sun cream is quite a bit cheaper than the others. It smells ok, feels fine but it will not protect you from the sunshine quite as well as some of the more big name brands will.

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        11.06.2013 13:13
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        Good Wipes

        One thing that I buy quite often are wipes. These are so handy for so many things be it removing a little bit of makeup to cleaning your hands when you've just pumped your car tyres up. These are great things to have around the house or in the car and they come in very handy. When it comes to which ones to buy the choices really are endless. For me personally, I tend to buy the ones that I see on offer when I go down to the local supermarket. Recently these ones were on offer so I bought them, they are the Kleenex Cleansing Facial Wipes.

        First of all Kleenex is a name you know you can trust. This is a company that has been round for a long time and they obviously know what they are doing. So I knew when I was buying these that they were going to be of a decent standard. So how do they perform, well they are nice and moist and they do clean dirt away very well. I'm not sure how moisturising they are but they do tend to feel like they are leaving your skin with a healthy shine, so I suppose that is a good sign.

        You get plenty of wipes in the packet and they seemed to last for quite a long time. They come out well, when you pull one out it drags the next one out with it so it's easy to pluck them from the packet. They are a good size, not to big and not to small. The smell is ok, I think there are other ones I prefer, this one is quite a light smell and a little floral, but it's certainly not a bad smell.

        When it comes to what to use them for, I can say there are lots of uses. A while back we went camping and took these with us, very handy when you have been doing a bbq or messing around in the grass. Ideal for using if you have been to the toilet and not been able to wash your hands for any reason. Also good for waking up to in the morning a wiping sleep from your eyes.

        These also come in handy for getting rid of any makeup. I also like to keep some in the car for emergencies. They are handy to have in the bathroom or in the bedroom and they really do come in handy for so many different things. I would not like to be without a packet of these or other similar wipes on hand.

        Overall then these are very good wipes. I think there are other versions I prefer over these, but if I saw these on offer again I would have no problem buying them. So Kleenex Cleansing Facial Wipes get the thumbs up from me.

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          08.06.2013 10:47
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          Lovely Shower Gel

          When it comes to shower gels there are so many different ones I have tried. The reason for this tends to be I buy whatever is on offer down at the local supermarket. One that I keep coming back to and the one that is without a doubt my favourite is Original Source shower gel. The main reason I like this one is the huge variety of different flavours, if that is the right word, that you can choose from. There is so much choice and they seem to bring out new ones on a regular basis.

          My favourite is probably the lime one, this is bursting with flavour and feel so fresh and clean, it almost makes your nose tingle when you use it. The one I am using at the moment is the orange and cinnamon one and this again is very good with a really strong orange smell and subtle cinnamon. The only one I do not like is the mint and tea tree oil, this stings my eyes and I am really not keen on it at all, there is something odd about washing your body with something that is mint flavour.

          Another one is vanilla and strawberry, this one is ok but it's not one of my favourites. It's a nice smell but just now quite for me. The shea butter and honey one is very warming and this is one I like to use in the winter, it's not the freshest smelling but it's a good one. There are a few other different ones to choose from but I have not tried any of the others yet, I probably will at some point, next time they are on offer.

          The reason we all buy shower gel is of course to get clean and Original Source cleans very well. I always feel nice and clean when I have used this and I also find that you don't need to use to much of it for it to do the job. One thing I am not to keen on though with this one is that it does not normally lather up very well, there are better ones on the market for this.

          When it comes to price and value these usually cost around £1.70 although I tend to buy them when they are on offer and I often get 2 for £2 which I think is very good value indeed. As you don't need to use a massive squirt the gel lasts for a good long time which makes it very good value all round. Of all the shower gels that I have used over the years I think this one is the one I come back to using the most often, this one gets a big thumbs up from me.

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            06.06.2013 12:53
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            A Very Nice Shower Gel

            Shower gel is something that the vast majority of us use. I remember back when I lived with my parents we always used to get really boring shower gels that were either called sport or relax. All that changed when I moved out of mum and dads and into my own place, now I tend to buy a new shower gel every time. One of the latest ones I've gone for is this one, the Original Source Orange and Cinnamon shower gel. They were actually on offer at Tesco, two for £2 so I actually ended up buying four different ones. I have had Source shower gels before and always liked them, so I was happy to give these a try.

            So what is this one like? Well it's got a great smell to it, really tangy and fresh. I would not think of putting orange and cinnamon together but it seems to work very well. The orange is the first smell that hits you and it is very powerful whereas the cinnamon is a lot more subtle. When using the shower gel the smell seems to last for a long time after you have wash and dried and got out the shower.

            One thing that I tend to look for in a shower gel is how well it lathers up. To be honest this one is not the best and it does not soap up that much. That said it does feel like it is cleaning well and I do feel like it does what it is designed for, that being getting me clean.

            The packaging for this one is also quite nice, it's a nicely shaped bottle and looks good on the shelf. Some shower gels have a little hook so you can hang them up, this one does not have that although that does not bother me. The lid clicks down fairly securely so there is no real chance of leakage unless you don't put the top down properly.

            The price of this is usually around £1.70 but as I mentioned I got to for £2 which makes them very good value indeed. The bottle seems to last for a fairly long time so this means you get good value for what you have bought. I think there are other source shower gels that I like a little more, but this one is certainly right up there, if this one was on offer again I am pretty sure I would buy it again as it's one I really like. With the weather getting warmer now this really is a perfect shower gel for use in the summer. If you want something that is going to smell great and get you clean, you don't need to look much further than this one.

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            • Masters Golf Putting Cup / Golf / 64 Readings / 64 Ratings
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              20.05.2013 10:31
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              A Decent Device But Nothing Special

              Since I was young I have really enjoyed playing golf. My dad used to take me out on little pitch and putt courses and I also used to love playing crazy golf. This was something that I enjoyed on a regular basis when I was young and as I got older I never really lost the love I have for the game. When I hit my late teens I decided to have a go at real golf. It's a sport I enjoy and am not actually to bad at when I'm having a good day. One of the parts of my game that is always lacking however is putting, I can get to the green fairly well but often those last few feet let me down. So this is where one of these comes in, the masters golf putting cup.

              This device is fairly simple and pretty basic. It's a little metal circle designed to trap your ball as it rolls over it. You can place it just about anywhere and then putt away. I have used this in the living room or on the landing, it's a nice little way of practicing your putting. The device works by allowing your ball to roll over one side by tipping the little metal petals and then as it enters the middle the balls is stuck.

              So how well does it work? Well it's pretty realistic I suppose. If you hit the ball to hard it will bounce out the other side. You have to get it somewhere near the middle for it to stay in there, just like a real hole on a golf course. This helps you get the pace and direction of your putting right. There are a few draw backs I suppose. If you hole a put there is not really enough room for another ball so you have to go and retrieve it every time you hole one. Although this does help and is a good practice aid I did get bored quite quickly.

              This little putting aid cost me around £4 when I bought it and so it's certainly not overly expensive. I have had it for a good few years and it seems to have lasted very well although if I am honest I don't tend to get it out all that often. The reality is you can also just use a cup or mug to putt into, so while this is slightly more realistic it's certainly not an essential piece of practice equipment.

              So overall this is not a bad product but neither is it anything all that special. It's just one of those things I bought on a whim and use every now and again. Most of the time it sits in a drawer and gets forgotten about. So has it improved my putting? Well if I'm honest I not really sure it has, maybe if I spent a bit more time practicing with it then things would improve, but I don't have the patience.

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                15.05.2013 10:57
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                A Great Mouse Trap

                Around two months ago we moved into a lovely new house. One of the best features of our new home is that we have a massive cellar. Down here it's dry, warm and very spacious. There are big plans for some kind of man cave down there with a pool table and goodness knows what else, although at the moment it's more of a dumping ground for all our odds and ends we haven't yet found a new home for.

                When we first got the house and went down into the cellar we checked for any signs of pests. We live next to a field on one side and a park on the other, so the threat of mice or worse is always going to be an issue. After having a quick look we saw no dropping or anything that would set alarm bells ringing so we were happy we were safe.

                Then last week I went for my usual trip down the old cobblers stairs into the cellar to retrieve something. This time it was a multipack of crisps we had left down there to keep out the way. I had made the mistake of leaving them on the floor and to my dismay the corner of the bag had been shredded by something. I opened up the big bag and inside on of the crisp packets had been broken into, oh dear! Then I did a little more exploring and found that a bag of sweets we had left down there had also been chewed on. Amusingly a little fruit salad chew sweet had been carried to the corner of the room and there devoured by something.

                When I lived with my parents we sometimes had mice in the garage and we once had a rat in the attic. So I was aware of what the droppings looked like. So I went to explore hoping to find small hard little black droppings. To my relief that it was I found. There were no rats down here, only mice. To be honest there are so many places they could have come in from that I didn't know where to start trying to look. So we decided the best option was to get a trap.

                Now I'm not really bothered about mice, I realise they are a pest but to me they are cute little furry things that are more of an irritation that a real worry. I'm certainly not a jump on the table and start screaming kind of person. So I was not interested in one of these snap the mouse's head of kind of traps. Instead we went for the humane version. In fact the name itself suggests it's a mouse friendly trap. So we bought a Live Catch Trip Mouse Trap.

                One of these only costs around £5 so it certainly is not overly expensive. The trap is very easy to work and takes no time at all to set. It comes it two parts so it's easy to bate and the clean after if you need to. The trap works with a simple trim mechanism. So the mouse enters the little tunnel in search of the food at the other end, on it's way along the tunnel it stands on a little bar which release the door behind it. Then it is trapped inside the little tunnel until you come and find it.

                So how successful is the trap? Well we have had it four days and caught four mice! However, once to my amazement I went down to check it and the bate had gone but the door was still open. So that gives it's an 80% success rate which is still pretty good.

                So you might now be wondering what you should use as bate. Well most people would assume cheese, but there are better things you can use. The first night I used a small piece of Twix. This worked no problem. For the last three nights I have used half a Jelly Baby and again, it's worked every time! So it's obvious mice are not overly fussy and you can bate the trap with most things you have lying around the kitchen.

                The next dilemma is getting rid of the mice. One thing to be careful of as a friend of mine did this. Don't forget about the trap. He set his trap and then forgot to check back, two weeks later he noticed an awful smell in his garage. The humane mouse trap had turned into a mini torture chamber for some poor mouse who has starved to death! So make sure you check it every day.

                So how did we dispose of our mice? Well we decided to keep them in a large tub filled with hay. Just for a few days until we had a few and we could take them into the countryside to release them together. Up until yesterday the plan was working a charm. We had three happy little mice cuddled up together in the hay. Then a rather naught rabbit, our I should add decided to be mischievous. Our rabbit is actually called Cheeky Bunny and she lives up to her name. The tub was out in the yard where Cheeky Bunny plays and while we weren't looking she decided to hop on top of the tub and knock the lid off.

                By the time we had gone out two of the mice were gone and the other one was shaking in the corner. Cheeky Bunny got a good telling off and we decided to let the other one go in the field round the back. So now the other two are probably on their way back in search of more Jelly Babies.

                We did catch another mouse this morning so we're going to put him outside in the tub again somewhere out of the rabbit's reach. This time we will make sure we get to take them to the countryside where they can enjoy their life somewhere away from our house.

                One thing we have noticed is how much of a mess the mice make. They are probably scared and so they do a lot of nasty toilet business in the trap while they are there. So naturally you have to clean this out. This is easy to do and when you split the trap in half you can easily rinse it out, so it's a practical trap as well as working well.

                I dread to thing how many mice there may be down in our cellar, but while we have this handy little trap at least we know we are slowly getting rid of them. This is a very good value trap and it obvious works very well. This is one I would highly recommend and one that is so much nicer than the old fashioned spring traps. If you think you may have a mouse problem, then get yourself one of these traps.

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                  13.05.2013 21:36
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                  A Great Method Of Exercise

                  A few weeks ago I decided I seriously needed to get myself fit. Recently I have put on weight and lost the fitness I once had. In the past I've tried swimming, dancing and walking to get myself fit and slim. This time though I have opted for a slightly different approach. One of my friends has recently lost loads of weight and toned up big time, she told me the secret to the new her was a little trampoline she recently bought. She now spends 30 minutes a day bouncing up and down and getting herself fit. This sounded like quite good fun and so I decided to splash out and buy myself one of these.

                  I was told not to buy a cheap one of these. You can get them for around £30 but these tend to be poor quality and this means they are going to damage your legs and not last as long. So I decided to buy a Pro Fitness one which cost me around the £80 mark. To be honest that was a little more than I really wanted to pay but if it got me fit I was happy to spend the money.

                  The trampoline comes in a box and is extremely easy to put up, you just basically unfold it. You can fold it back up to store it but I tend to just leave it open as folding it back up is not easy. Once it is up the fun can begin. This is not the kind of trampoline you are going to be using for bouncing super high and doing flips and the like, however, you can still bounce quite high on it. The surface area measures about 40 inches and this is not really that big, but if you concentrate on your bouncing and don't get to silly you should have no problem staying in the middle.

                  I was surprised at just how good a work out this gives you. After just five minutes I was puffing and panting and when I came of the trampoline my legs were all shaking. The bouncing really tones your legs and your bums and strengthens your core muscles. It does not take long for you to really feel the benefits of this exercise. While bouncing you can do a few different moves to make it interesting and more difficult, so you can tuck your legs up, do star jumps, turn around and a few other things. Another option is to jog on the trampoline which feels quite odd but gives you a good work out.

                  I've been using this now for little over a week. I can tell this is a very good trampoline and will last a good long time. Even for indoor use it does not make as much noise as you would expect and it does not vibrate the floor much at all which surprised be somewhat. Although it's still early days I can feel my fitness level start to increase and I'm hoping that I will be able to stick it out on this and really lose some weight and tone up. If you looking for a different way to get yourself into shape then this could well be for you.

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                    10.05.2013 10:53
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                    Good Solid Garden Fork

                    A few days ago I wrote a review of the Wilkinson Sword trowel. I mentioned in my review that we had recently moved home and now had a very small garden. For this garden we decided we would need some basic tools. Hence a visit to our local garden centre to buy some supplies. While there we bought some turf, some plants, some seeds and some compost. Along with all this though we obviously needed tools to be able to help us out. There were not that many options at the garden centre so we went for some Wilkinson Sword hand tools. Along with the little trowel we also got a little fork. We have been using this for a few weeks now hence why I thought it only right that I give it a review.

                    So first of all how does it look and feel. Well as you can see from the picture this is made from a wooden handle with a simple three pronged fork section. The handle is nice and smooth and has a good feel to it. We were not using the tools for all the long but I imagine if you were to use them for an extended period of time they would still remain comfortable in your hand. I also like the way the fork looks, the light wood has a nice finish to it. The fork section is good solid metal and again looks the part.

                    When using the fork we found it had no problem biting into the soil and turning it over. The fork ends are sharp enough to get through tough soil or grass but not so sharp that they are going to take a finger or toe of when you are not concentrating. The metal seems to be fairly hard wearing so these should not bend easily and they should last a long time even with regular use.

                    The fork does not have any unnecessary groves on it which would make it hard to clean. The dry soil just fell away and if you were using this in wet soil you could easily give it a wipe down and get it clean.

                    The price of this fork was quite reasonable, we paid in the region of £5 and after having a look online it looks as though you may even be able to get one of these for closer to £3, so quite good value for a well known name in Wilkinson Sword.

                    Overall then I would have to say this is a very good little fork. I am sure there are better heavy duty ones out there on the market but if you just want a basic one for occasional work then you can't really go far wrong with this one.

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                      08.05.2013 10:39
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                      A Good Tool

                      Recently we moved into a new house and this house had a very small garden and a green house. To be perfectly honest we would happily get rid of the green house to make a little bit more space, but as this is a rented property it's not an option. So a few weeks ago we decided to make use of the green house and also plant some new grass on our small patch of soil that we have. When we were doing this we realised we were going to need a few tools. Not wanting to spend a fortune and realising that we weren't going to be doing any serious gardening, we just bought a few simple cheap ones. This was one of them, the Wilkinson Sword trowel.

                      The trowel is pretty much a basic one with nothing to special about it. As you can see it has a nice wooden handle and then a metal digging part. The handle has a nice feel to it and although I wasn't using for very long, I would say that it fits well into your hand and given extensive use should still feel quite comfortable. The metal section seems pretty solid, it's strong and unlikely to bend if you hit a stray rock or something like that. One thing I quite liked about the metal part of the trowel was that when you put it down on the concrete it makes a ringing ding sound. This is no way really contributes to the performance of the trowel but it always made me smile when it happens.

                      When it comes to price and value this is pretty good. There are probably cheaper ones out there but this one just cost us around £5. As Wilkinson Sword is a pretty well known name I assumed we would be getting a decent quality trowel and as I also liked the look of this one I thought it a decent option.

                      After using the trowel you have of course the option of cleaning it. To be honest I didn't bother as the ground we were digging in was fairly dry so the dirt just brushed of fairly easily. I would say that if you were going to give this a good clean it should not be overly hard and it should clean up nicely.

                      So overall I would have to say this is a very good little trowel. It's perfect for those simple little jobs around the garden, it might not be ideal for heavy work or regular use, but for the average household I can't see any reason why you would not buy this one, unless of course you have no garden. Although we have only had this trowel for a short time, I would imagine it will be one we are using or many years into the future. So all round a very good little trowel.

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                      07.05.2013 22:11
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                      A Classic Album

                      Back in the mid 90's I was just starting to listen to my own music. I had got to an age where listening to my mum play the Carpenters no longer did it for me and so I needed to discover my own sound. Around that very time Oasis and Blur were battling it out at the top of the charts and Brit Pop ruled the world. I fell in love with Oasis when I heard Supersonic and have always been a fan of them ever since. For many years my favourite album was this one, What's The Story (Morning Glory). This album is packed with classic songs that everyone will know and it's still a great listen today.

                      The song starts with Hello, maybe not one of their most well known songs but if you have ever seen Oasis open a live set with this song, you will know just how good it can sound. This song is one of my all time favourite Oasis songs and it kicks the album off in great style.

                      Next up are three simply epic songs. First up the toe tapping Roll With It, so classic Oasis lyrics of how nothing is going to get in there way of world domination. Then of course it's probably the most popular Oasis song ever, Wonderwall Although the chords are extremely simple and the lyrics quite odd, this song just works on so many levels and is pure bliss. Then it's the more commercial 'Don't Look Back In Anger', another song that really put Oasis firmly on the map.

                      Along with these songs there are other classic that are not as well known such as Hey Now, Morning Glory and Cast No Shadow. These all have their own merit and are very listenable. The other big song on the album is Some Might Say which I think I'm right in saying was the bands first number one single and this is still a fantastic song all these years later.

                      Back when Oasis were good, they always liked to end their albums with something special and in this case it was Champagne Supernova, another wonderful song that really has stood the test of time. The lyrics are slightly mad but in reality, this is a song that so many people know and love.

                      Overall this album really is something special. It has a good mix of powerful toe tapping songs and slower chilled out ones. I must have listened to this album around a thousand times and I'm sure I will listen to it again many more times in the future. It really is that good. If you are a fan of a few Oasis songs but have never bought one of their albums, then this is really a very good place to start. What's The Story really is one of the all time classic British albums.

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                        05.05.2013 11:45
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                        Great Earphones From Apple

                        I have been using my iPhone for around three years now. I am actually on my second iPhone and now have the 4. With each of the two iPhone's I have owned I was also given a little set of earphones. These come in very handy and I use them on a regular basis, so I thought I was in a good position to give them a little review.

                        So first of all the look of them. Well as you can see from the picture these come in white, it's pretty obvious they are apple ones as they always seem to be white. They are slick and stylish and look pretty good all round. I remember with the older earphones there were always little pads on the ear pieces which would supposedly make them more comfortable. These ones do not have pads on they are just hard plastic, but they are still comfortable and because there is no ugly looking padding they also look better.

                        Many people would say that the most important thing about earphones is the sound quality. I would actually disagree, for me the most important thing is how well they stay in my ears. These are the best I have ever used. When I go for a jog they stay firmly in place, they do occasionally pop out but it's only if I really tug on them. These are a massive improvement on the headphones I used to own as these would never stay in my ears for longer than a few minutes.

                        The sound quality is very good. I am sure you can buy better versions but as these come free with phones and iPod's then you really can't complain. The sound goes up loud and if you put it up all the way it's almost too loud. There is a little remote control on the lead that is easy to use, you can turn the volume up or down and you can also skip or pause a track you are listening to. This is very handy as you don't have to pull your phone out your pocket to adjust the settings.

                        To buy these you can usually pick up a cheap pair on eBay or something. You should not have to pay more than a few pounds for these. Most people just get them when they get a new phone or iPod though. So for all round value you really can't complain. The set of these I got with my first phone have been going for over a year now and they have shown no signs of breaking or stopping working. There is also a microphone on these so you can use them as hands free although to be honest that's not a feature I often use. Overall then these really are an excellent little set of earphones and I would highly recommend them.

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                        • The Masterplan - Oasis / Music Album / 52 Readings / 51 Ratings
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                          29.04.2013 23:02
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                          A True Masterpiece

                          Back in the 90's I was a huge fan of Oasis. This band influenced me so much growing up and their music helped me through some very tough times. When most people think of classic Oasis albums they think of Definitely Maybe and What's The Story. Many people overlook this album, but for me The Masterplan is almost as good as these other two albums. Interestingly, The Masterplan is actually a collection of B-Sides that were brought out on singles. This you would assume would mean the quality of the music is inferior, this is very wrong indeed.

                          The album kicks off with the up tempo Acquiesce, this is a wonderful song with some belting Lyrics. Liam belts out the vocals and there is some backing vocals from Noel as well. This is really Oasis at their brilliant best, loud, proud and very good indeed.

                          The rest of the album is made up of a real eclectic mix of slow acoustic tracks mixed with fast paced pogo songs that the band love to play live. Some of the highlights of the acoustic tracks include Talk Tonight which has a beautiful melody and some nice chilled out sounds. Going Nowhere is such a simple song but so wonderfully delivered by Noel. One of the real stand out tracks is Half The World Away, this is a track that many people will have heard at some point, which really is saying something when you think it's just a B-Side that appeared on the single Whatever.

                          When it comes to the more upbeat songs my personal favourite is Stay Young. This was released on the B-Side of D'You Know What I Mean. For me Stay Young is the better of the two tracks and the lyrics and sound basically sum up the way Oasis were back in the late 90's, young and invincible. Other great upbeat tracks include Listen Up and It's Good To Be Free.

                          Back in the early days of Oasis the band always liked to end an album on a high. Think of Champagne Supernova or All Around The World, great tracks for closing an album. Well on this album they do exactly the same, they end with the albums title track, The Masterplan. This has always been Noel's favourite song and for me it never really got the exposure it deserved. The lyrics are so beautiful and the simple guitar at the start slowly builds until we hear strings and all sorts thrown in there. This is a stunning piece of music and a wonderful way to end the album.

                          So as you can see, I like this album. It's one I have been listening to for years and it's one that I simply never get bored of. There are tracks on here that are pure gold and it really does take the listener back to the glory days when the Gallagher brothers ruled the music world. If you have ever enjoyed any of Oasis' music then I am sure you would fall in love with album in heartbeat. It really is full of wonderful hidden gems.

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                          28.04.2013 17:10
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                          Wonderful Album

                          Back in 2009 and new band came onto the music scene. They were a modest little band playing simple folk music, they took the world by storm and now they are probably my very favourite band around. The band in question are of course Mumford and Sons and their first album was this one, Sign No More. This is without a doubt of my tip five albums of all time, now that's saying something! So here is a little bit about the album and why I love it so much.

                          The album starts with the title track 'Sigh No More'. This is a magical song that starts of slowly and builds up. The sounds are quite unusual and like very little I have heard before, the music really transports you to another realm. The first track for me is one of the best on the album and really sets the whole piece of music up nicely.

                          Next up is 'The Cave'. This was one of the singles the band released and the opening riff is instantly recognisable. The quick rhythm of the banjo and guitar so majestic on this track and the lyrics are really powerful too. This is a magical song that again is one of the stand out ones on the album.

                          The third track is 'Winter Winds', another classic which the band released as a single. This is probably the first song that I ever really stopped and listened to from Mumford and thought, these guys are something special. I can't think of any other album where the opening three songs are so powerful and majestic and utterly brilliant.

                          Even the forth song is worth a mention, 'Roll Away Your Stone' is yet another one they released as a single and yet again it's one of these magic songs that get stuck in your head.

                          There are plenty of other good songs on the album but for me there are two more that really stand out. Track 7 'Little Lion Man', this was the first single released from the band and really introduced them to a wider audience. This one is more upbeat than most and is really stunning. Along with this track I also love track 10, 'Awake My Soul'. This is another slow builder that ends so powerfully, pure brilliance from the band.

                          There are a few slightly weaker songs on the album but they are all worth a listen. This is not an album that I tend to skip tracks on. Lyrically the band are excellent and the production is wonderful. The way all the instruments combine together is very special indeed and creates wonderfully unique sound that is quite unusual in popular music circles.

                          Sign No More by Mumford and Sons really is a wonderful album and one that I have listened to hundreds of times and will no doubt listen to many more in the future. This really is one of those albums that you keep coming back to time and time again, if you have never heard this album then you really are missing out.

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                        • Babel - Mumford & Sons / Music Album / 40 Readings / 39 Ratings
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                          27.04.2013 20:13
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                          An Excellent Album

                          A few years back I first heard the song 'Little Lion Man' by the band Mumford and Sons. Ever since then I have been addicted to this band. Their first album, Sign No More is one of all my all time favourite albums and I must have listened to it hundreds of time. Mumford & Sons are best described as a modern day folk band. They make upbeat catchy music that is sure to get your feet tapping. Back in 2012 they released their much anticipated second album, Babel. I was very excited to hear this and my only slight concern was that it simply could not be as good as their first offering. So, was it?

                          Well put simply, no, but I think it still comes close. The first single released from this album was 'I will wait' and once again the toe tapping beats get you addicted in no time. This song convinced me that Babel could once again be something special. The opening song and title track is Babel and this is a wonderful start to the album, the classic Mumford sound is in evidence and there are some excellent lyrics as well. Then the second song, Whispers In The Dark builds to magical climax. Then we have the song that I was already aware of, I Will Wait.

                          The rest of the album is simply pure class. There are some slower tracks as there were on the first album and there are some faster ones that would be ideal for a bit of country dancing. Lyrically the songs are very good and the production is near perfect. The only song I am not a huge fan of is 'Broken Crown'. This song is pretty average and there is some strong language in there to which also spoils it somewhat.

                          On the other hands some of the highlights include Lover Of The Light and Hopeless Wanderer. The latter is simply beautiful, it builds up all the way through then reaches a powerful crescendo of sound. This is one of the albums where I am quite happy to listen to the whole thing without skipping ahead on any tracks, this is something quite unusual these days as I find most albums are just full of filler.

                          So overall, I would say Babel rates very highly indeed. I think that it was almost impossible for the band to recreate the magic of Sign No More, but with Babel they have not come far off at all. This is an album that I put on several times during the week and I imagine it's one that I will be listening to for many years to come. Mumford & Sons really are a wonderful band and Babel is a cracking little album with some magical songs on there. If you are a fan of the band then I am sure you will really enjoy this album.

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                          • Ikea Mammut Shelf / Furniture / 47 Readings / 47 Ratings
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                            25.04.2013 15:28
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                            Not The Best Shelf

                            As you may have noticed if you have read some of my recent review, I have bought a lot of Ikea furniture over the years. This includes things such as beds, drawers, cupboards and a few more things. Another thing I have bought from Ikea is shelving. One of the less practical shelves I have bought is this one, the Mammut shelf. As you can see, this is quite a unique style of shelf as it comes in the form of a big tick. So obviously this is meant for storing certain things on, in other words, you won't see many flower vases on this one.

                            The picture on this review shows a blue shelf but there are other colours that these come in. You can also get black, white, cream, red and even a green one if memory serves me correct. I went for the black shelf as this matches some of the other furniture I have bought over the years.

                            One issue I always have with DIY is getting things right when it comes to putting things up or drill holes. In fact only this afternoon I was putting a blind up in the kitchen and instead of drilling four holes like I should have done, I ended up drill ten and making a right mess. The blind is now up though, yay for me. So how about the Mammut shelf? Well it was actually one of the easier things I have had to attach to the wall over the years. The fact that this is designed to slope means you don't have to worry to much about getting it just level. So although it took me a while I did manage to put this one up and I am happy to report that it has stayed up.

                            So what exactly do you use these shelves for. Well I had a few books up there which looked fine, but other than that there are not that many things I imagine that you can put up there. This is the down side of this shelf, it might look very funky and unusual but it's not really overly practical.

                            When it comes to price and value, these shelves are around £30, although it does depend on size as there are a few different sizes you can get. Although I did like this when I first used it I do find I soon got bored of it and as I mentioned it is not really the most practical of things. So because of that I would say that it's not great value as it's the kind of thing that is fun for novelty value and then you can get bored of it and want a more standard style of shelf. If I was in the market for buying some new shelves I don't think I would look to buy this Mammut one again.

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