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I bought the spray plaster because I have a habit of picking up minor scratches etc and it's useful to have a bit of handy waterproof anti bacterial protection.
The can is small and easy to keep in sports bag- especially handy for swimming.
The spray is easy to apply and fairly quick drying. It is advisable to have a tissue or similar to quickly wipe off overspill (although leaving it where it is probably wouldn't do any harm). Also be aware that it is a bit sticky before drying.
It does sting slightly when applied to broken skin. It passes very quickly but do be aware especially if applying on a child.
Once in place the plaster is clear and almost invisible. It does shine a little bit.
The spray is not a substitute plaster for a deeper cut as it will not stem bleeding or absorb blood.
The plaster does not need to be removed like a traditional one. It gradually comes away her a few days due to washing etc. It can be a bit messy if scratched off so discourage this.
All in all I would recommend it for minor cuts, scratches and abrasions.
In the 14 years that I have lived in Worcestershire I have travelled on the Severn Valley Line a few times and visited Kidderminster to admire the station and trains on several occasions.
Mine and hubby's most recent trip on the line was the fish and chip train which runs on Saturday evenings during the summer. My review will focus on this trip.
Food is ordered on the outward journey and served at Bridgnorth station. We had to wait a short while at Bridgnorth for the food but it was worth it and at £5 each (on top of the rail fare) good value. There was also a bar on the train so we were not short of something to wash the chips down with. Staff on the station and train were friendly and helpful.
For me the best thing about the Severn valley railway is the historic and nostalgic locomotives and rolling stock. The second best thing is the view from the train window with the railway passing next to West Midlands safari park, beautiful countryside and of course the river Severn. The stations along the line are generally pretty and well kept.
All in all our evening out was, like all our previous trips on the SVR, a pleasant experience. The only downside was the wait at the mainline station in Kidderminster afterwards for our train home (and this wasn't too bad thanks to the SVR station bar).
Unlike most services on the line the fish and chip train is not steam hauled but run by an early style diesel multiple unit. Serious steam enthusiasts should bear this in mind although I found that there was plenty of opportunity to admire steam trains in the stations at either end of the line and my fascination with railway history meant that I found the vehicle rather interesting.
I added this to my Amazon wish list as I enjoy puzzles and liked the look of the game. All in all I have been happy with it.
There are two modes (Challenge and Quick play) the latter being OK if you want a quick puzzle fix but I don't really use it and there are only a small number of puzzles to play.
In challenge mode there are 560 puzzles of eight different types each represented by different colours on the challenge mode menu.
Fitword: 105 (also known as criss-cross)
Spot the Difference: 35
Link-a-Pix: 70 (also known as mosaic)
It's great for someone who enjoys wordsearches, fitwords and sudokus. I was a little disappointed that there weren't more link-a-pix and codewords which are my favourites.
All puzzles are numbered but it is not necessary to work through them in order. Solving each puzzle unlocks a bonus puzzle which can in turn be solved and correct answers earn hint tokens which can be used should you get stuck.
You can also redo a puzzle that has been previously solved and whilst you are likely to do it more quickly second time around (which I don't consider cheating unless the first attempt is fresh in my mind) you will not earn more reward tokens. Also you can return to a bonus puzzle in the same way.
When you first start to play the game you will need to set up your profile with a picture or piece of text and specify which hand you write with (fairly quick to do) but be prepared to have to teach the system to recognise your handwriting. Puzzles can be paused to allow this and it soon got the hang of recognising my letters.
The instruction booklet that comes with the game is useful and comprehensive but it is important to read it carefully.
All in all I am pleased with it but might have thought twice about adding it to my wish list had I known that there were fewer of my favourite puzzles.
I first encountered Rummikub about twenty years ago as a teenager when playing it with a group of friends. Despite the advance of electronic and online gaming since then Rummikub seems to have stood the test of time (although there is an online version of it).
Rummikub is loosely based on the age old card game of rummy although it is played with numbered and coloured tiles rather than playing cards. The object of the game is to be the first to get rid of all your tiles by creating groups (3 or more tiles of the same value but different colours) and runs (3 or more tiles of the same colour and consecutive values).
A certain amount of luck does come into the game but strategy, mental agility and quick thinking are at least as important. The game involves not only creating runs from tiles you hold yourself but manipulating those already on the table and some pretty fancy moves can be made once you've got the hang of it.
The game is intended for between two and four players although I have played it with six. The luck of the draw means that no two games are the same and I find that the mental agility side keeps me really interested and enjoying the game.
I read the book many years ago and have since seen it as a feature length cartoon and a TV series. I'm not sure if it's been shown as a film before. Although I am familiar with the story I thought that the film would be enjoyable to watch and was not disappointed.
The story is about four children who find their way into a land called Narnia through a magical wardrobe having been evacuated from London during the second world war. It is one of several books written by CS Lewis and collectively known as 'The Chronicles of Narnia'.
Whilst the storyline is close to that of the book there are a couple of additional scenes at the start of the film of the children at home and then being seen onto the train by their mother. The eldest also promises to look after his siblings and although this theme comes up a few times during the film and I do not recall it from the book it was nice to see a bit of creativity from the director. I was disappointed to see that conversations between the children and the professor with whom they are staying are also cut short and miss out bits which are not essential to the film's entertainment value but are relevant to the stories of Narnia as a whole.
All in all the film was entertaining and can be enjoyed by all ages but would probably appeal in particular to children. It is no substitute for reading the book though along with 'The Magician's Nephew' by the same author.
I purchased this clock about ten years ago shortly after my hubby and I got onto the property ladder. I wanted a clock for the lounge and fancied this one as I like birds and wanted something a bit different. It has been in pride of place above our mantelpiece ever since.
The clock plays a different bird song every hour which has sometimes surprised visitors a bit but once we explain what it is they are generally quite interested. The audible birdsongs not only sound good but can help to prevent us from losing track of time. A light sensor prevents the birds from chirping in the dark although guests sleeping in the lounge have sometimes had to cover the clock during the summer months. It is possible to shut up the birds by removing their battery without affecting the running of the clock (and I think they may even have an off button) but we've never actually done this.
Turning the clock back in the autumn can put the birds out of sync so I tend to wind it 11 hours forward and give each bird time to chirp before winding the clock onto the next hour. There is also a button that can be pressed though to get the birds back into sync if you know which is which - the 12 o'clock tawny owl and 2 o'clock cuckoo are unmistakeable.
When we thought that the clock was about to pack up recently I was keen to find another one like it. Luckily the sickly sounding birds were cured by a new battery.
I recently came across this platter when a colleague brought one to work. I was suitably impressed and purchased one for my am-dram group to enjoy between performances. At £5 the pack was very good value and it went down well both at work and at the local theatre.
8 mini cream rolls
8 mini black forest rolls
12 mini chocolate coated profiteroles
16 mini doughnuts
16 mini vanilla slices
Please note that 'mini' is the operative word and allow a few cakes per person.
The cakes come frozen in four separate boxes/bags within a larger pack. I removed them from the main box and they were thoroughly thawed after two hours at room temperature (it says on the packaging that one hour at room temperature should suffice).
Now the bit you're waiting for - the taste! I found them to be delicious especially the mini rolls which I had to stop myself from scoffing in one go. I was also very pleased with the taste of the doughnuts and vanilla slices. I did not get to sample the profiteroles but they must have been equally yummy as they disappeared very quickly. Despite the relatively low price the cakes did not taste cheap and were of good quality.
My one disappointment was that the vanilla slices had been tipped up on the way from Iceland to the theatre and the icing stuck to their box. There is a note to say that they must be kept upright but it is necessary to remove the outer packaging in order to see it
I first stumbled across this product a year or two ago when I popped into Boots for some shampoo cum conditioner to keep in my sports bag. It looked handy and tailor made for use after swimming so I decided to give it a try.
Since then I have washed my hair with it after almost every visit to the pool. It does a good job of getting rid of the chlorine and my hair seems to be healthy and pretty much undamaged given the frequency of my swimming sessions and compared to before I discovered 3in1. I observed similar results when I took it on a beach holiday. The product is not actually advertised as containing conditioner but I find that I do not need to use this as well as the 3in1 leaves my hair sufficiently soft and manageable.
I do not wash my hair exclusively with 3in1 as I use other shampoos and conditioners at home. Also the 3in1 is advertised as a body wash but I do not use it for this purpose and so cannot comment on it.
All in all I would recommend this product as it not only works well but is a handy size for keeping in sports bags.
The main characters are two sets of identical twins who are mixed up as babies when their mothers both give birth in the same hospital at the same time and their paths cross years later when the business of one set of mismatched twins is due to close the factory and destroy the home of the other. I suspected that a plot involving mixed up twins would be rather funny and include a good deal of confusion and mistaken identity. I was not disappointed!
The two families are like chalk and cheese. One are working class employees of the Jupiter Hollow factory in the small community of the same name. The others are wealthy business people who are passing through when the mother goes into labour and, as the local hospital is for factory employees only, her husband promptly buys the business. Whilst most of the action takes place years later this introduction pretty much sums up the two families. One thing they do have in common though is that they both named their twin daughters Rose and Sadie!
Most of the action takes place in New York in the 1980s as one set of twins (chalk and cheese like their birth families) are attempting to close the business deal and the other set appear on the scene to try and stop them. Confusion arises as colleagues, friends and even each other find themselves speaking to the wrong Rose or Sadie.
I thought that the ending itself was fairly predictable but with one or two unexpected twists. What really kept me entertained was the mix ups, wondering what was going to result from them as well as when and how all was going to be revealed.
I wouldn't call this film a blockbuster but found it to be an enjoyable piece of light entertainment and not too long either.
I have a sweet tooth and am trying to lose weight so was pleased to spot this in the supermarket. It is advertised as 'a lighter way to enjoy popcorn' and having less than 3% fat and only 130 calories per 50g bag. The packaging is similar to the regular popcorn but unsurprisingly lighter in colour and looks just as attractive.
The popcorn itself is also lighter in colour than the regular product possibly due to less burnt sugar on the kernels but it still looks very appetising and I find it just as enjoyable to eat although it is slightly less sweet. It prefer it to the stuff usually served in cinemas as there isn't the problem of sugar not coating some of the pieces properly.
Another good thing about the popcorn is that it comes in multiple pieces making it an ideal snack for someone like me who enjoys nibbling. Also each piece takes a bit of chewing so I actually feel like I've had a snack rather than simply scoffing a chocolate bar and promptly wanting something else to eat.
I will definitely be buying this product again as it is tasty and satisfying without too many calories.
Burger King is a typical American fast food restaurant and I have always found the service to be good and the food tasty. It can be found in most city centres and motorway service stations as well as operating drive thru restaurants.
Our local BK closed a few years ago and I do rather miss it so will not pass up the opportunity to visit an outlet if out and about. My favourite sandwich is the bacon double cheese burger which unlike most fast food burgers is not smothered in relish. However I get the impression that they will prepare food according to customer preference and often see the slogan 'have it your way'.
The burgers are flame grilled rather than fried and I reckon that they taste more meaty than those made by the key competitor (McDonalds). I found the fries to be a little tasteless compared to McDonalds but suspect that this is due to BK not smothering them in salt which you can always add yourself if you wish or have your fries with a dip. I haven't sampled the other savoury foods such as breakfasts and chicken so cannot comment on them.
BK also serve a limited range of fast food style deserts such as ice cream and mini pancakes. I haven't sampled these quite so often as I have the burgers but have always found them to be tasty and good value for money. Oh and I may be stating the obvious but they do a range of typical fast food outlet drinks too (soft drinks, shakes and tea/coffee).
I think that the prices are reasonable for what you get and I have always found restaurants to be fairly clean, staff polite and helpful etc. They have recently started accepting credit/debit cards so no need to carry large amounts of cash around.
All in all I would choose our local one over McDonalds had it not closed down.
I first became a member of the valued opinions site about two years ago due to the gloomy economic times. I have made about £50 over the two years but I haven't always been able to do surveys to which I am invited due to other commitments in my busy life.
How It Works
The system works by emailing members normally inviting them to complete an online survey. Sometimes they may ask something slightly different eg texting when seeing a certain piece of advertising and I think these may pay better but I've never actually done one of this type.
Valued Opinions collect and store information about members in order to assess which surveys may be suitable for individuals. They assure me that this information is kept confidential and I am inclined to believe this as I have not seen any evidence of my details being passed around.
I have a couple of grievances with the system. Firstly some of the survey questions are rather tricky, for example being asked to imagine that a product came to life as a person and think how well I would get on with it. Secondly I am often asked several questions before being told that I am not suitable for the survey which is annoying but does result in entries into the valued opinions prize draw.
Fees or 'rewards' are credited to the member's account within 28 days of the survey and may be exchanged for vouchers in multiples of £10. There are various voucher options available including supermarkets, hotels, high street stores, charities etc but my favourite is the Amazon e-voucher which can be used straightaway. I have recently ordered my first high street voucher to be delivered through the post and as it may not arrive for another three weeks this review is something of a leap of faith!
Rewards are by voucher only, not cash or paypal. This does not bother me as I can always find a use for them on Amazon.
I recently spent two nights in this hotel with my parents as we had family business in the area. I chose the accommodation based on the very reasonable rates especially for single occupancy rooms. I booked through booking.com.
The Urr Vally was once a private country residence and became a hotel in the 1940s but retains its original character and we found it to be something interesting and different to the likes of modern purpose built accommodation.
The hotel is located up a track but we found it quite easily as there is a signpost by the main road. There is a Tesco supermarket about half a mile away and the town centre is about a mile from the hotel so we found these to be convenient. Castle Douglas is not a large town but it was easy to find what we needed. The hotel rightly boasts some lovely views of the surrounding countryside and the grounds have retained much of their original charm.
The bedrooms have been fitted with modern comforts without losing their character and are all en suite. My room had a double bed although I had booked a single room and I reckon that my parents were put in the honeymoon suite! I found the room to be warm and fairly comfortable with a freeview TV, complimentary tea and coffee etc as well as the big bed. My bathroom did not have a bath and the shower took a little time to warm up but that didn't bother me. There were two chairs in my room but they were not ideal for supporting my back.
The bedrooms and public areas are up and down a few stairs due to the nature of the building but the hotel is fairly small so no part of it is a long way from another part.
Free WI-FI is available by reception but it is only in a small area and you need to bring your own laptop.
My uncle and his partner who had been staying in a caravan a few miles away came to visit us at the hotel and actually ended up booking in themselves (this was late October and the weather stormy).
Full Scottish breakfast was included in the price along with tea, coffee, cereal, toast, juice and a limited selection of fruit. We found the food to be of good quality but I would have liked some bread rolls as I am not a fan of cooked breakfast.
The hotel's restaurant is open to non residents for lunch and evening meal. It looked reasonable but I cannot comment further as we did not sample it.
There is also a bar which we found to be reasonably priced (as hotel bars go) with original décor and a decent choice.
We found staff to have a helpful and friendly attitude. The size of the establishment means that there is more multi tasking going on than in a larger hotel (eg the manageress having to dash over from serving breakfast to check us out). Also the reception is not 24hr although some of the staff live on site may be contacted in an emergency.
We found checking in and out were smooth and efficient.
This is a true story and portrays life in the Magdalene laundries or asylums which housed 'fallen' women across Ireland before the final one closed in 1996. The theory behind the institutions was that through hard work and punishment the women could save themselves as Mary Magdalene had done. The nuns justified their harsh treatment of the inmates by seeing it as a ticket to salvation and the laundering which took place was symbolic of the sinners cleansing themselves. Women could be incarcerated for a minor or even no misdemeanour as happens in the film.
The action takes place in the 1960s and is shown from the point of view of four young women who were incarcerated in one such institution and formed friendships. Three of the girls arrive on the same day and the film begins with the background to how they were placed in the institution. Not so much is known about the background of the fourth but we learn snippets during the film.
The girls' friendships remain strong (in general) despite their harsh and cruel treatment at the hands of the nuns and a perverted priest. One of them is eventually rescued by her brother who has stuck by her and two manage to escape and live normal lives. The outcome for the fourth is not so positive.
What I especially liked about the film is that these are real people with real human interest stories. The film ends with updates about the women and what has gone on to happen in their lives since as well as a few facts about the Magdalene asylums.
The film was made in 2003 and is well directed, filmed and performed.
The slimfast plan involves replacing 2 meals per day with shakes as well as 3 snacks and one balanced meal. I've been on and off it for four years now. OK I know how this may sound but it works when you stick at it!
The shakes are balanced to give you the nutrients you need without the calories and come either as powder or ready to drink and in a variety of flavours
To make up the shake mix two scoops of the powder with 250ml of skimmed milk and it's easy to end up with a lumpy lunch. I've found that the trick is to add the milk slowly ensuring that all powder is mixed in and give it a good whisk with a fork before drinking. If you've got access to a blender or electric mixer then great but our work kitchen does not have anything fancy. I wouldn't go so far as to describe the chocolate flavour as heavenly but it isn't bad and I reckon that it tastes better through a straw.
A 450g tub costs about £6 and contains 12 servings so even with the milk factored in it is considerably cheaper than the ready to drink variety which will set you back about £1.60 per serving. I personally think that the ready to drink shakes taste better but I like to get value for money.
It takes more than a chocolate shake twice a day to lose weight and unfortunately willpower isn't one of the ingredients. I'd recommend the slimfast site and forums to be used alongside this product.