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So, British social realism and urban grit anyone? This winner at the London Film Festival says there is more to come. First time director Tinge Krishan certainly thinks you need some more. We don’t but why not. Middle-class directors love to write and depict East London how they see it and they rarely get it right, even when they come from those streets. Junkhearts tries it best but more of the same, only Eddie Marsan’s lead performance its savior. Actors like Marsan have to give 100% to these projects as they are no leading men and so this type of movie that puts the food on the table.
Ex soldier Frank (Marsan) is haunted by a violent past in Northern Ireland. He lives alone in his East London council flat, only PTSD for company, drowning his nightmares with booze and daytime TV. His successful and attractive single mom daughter Christine (Romola Garai) has disowned him and currently trying to care for her daughter and dyeing mom amongst her chaotic lifestyle of parties, guys and social drugs.
Marsan stumbles into the equally chaotic world of Lynette (Candese Reid), a pretty black girl who is everything his daughter isn’t, a young rough sleeper in Soho. Despite Franks misgivings, he offers her a place to stay, which she soon exploits by inviting her Irish boyfriend Danny (Tom Sturridge) around, who is low level drug dealer and hangs with a like wise chavy crowd. He is soon threatening an already vulnerable Frank as the flat becomes a drug den and Lynette starts using again. Frank knows this will only end one way and sets about making that happen, not wanting to lose another sweet girl at heart looking for a father to protect her.
It’s not bad but only really watchable for Marsan’s performance, excellent at these types of unbalanced roles. It is a character study and no more. Marsan is not going to be in a romcom any day soon. Let alone a leading man. He was good in Tyrannosaurus with Olivia Colman and Pete Mullen and very funny in Worlds End. But he generally plays serious roles and a haunted moon face made for pathos and loneliness on film, his performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed his best so far. Young Candese Reid is good alongside and enjoyed sending up the ‘Sarf’ London accent.
It’s violent at times but the gritty stuff more cartoon than reality. We have seen it all before. It’s a bit of a muddle at times and somewhat ambitious in its attempt to pull so many strings together. We get that he is a soldier suffering post traumatic stress disorder but not quite sure why his daughter and mother would disown him at his time of need. I mean The Troubles was a good thirty years ago and so unlikely he would be still so unstable. I wonder if the Asian British writer and director got too timid and shied away from it being an atrocity in the Iraq War at the last. Saying that it’s plausible and worth a crack at a script on an illness that is believed to hit one-in-four returning troops. In America the military are so ashamed of the high numbers of PTSD that they try to hide it by denying veterans the right treatment. What soldiers hate most of all on the battlefield is seeing crippled and damaged soldiers allowed to return to the combat arena, a reminder what awaits them if they sign up for another tour or two.
I bought these green tea with lemon tea bags a while ago during one of my many health binges. Green tea is good for you as it contains antioxidants which are good for your body. Clipper promise that their tea is natural, uses un bleached bags and is a fair trade product. These sell currently for around 1.29. They come in a green box and there are 25 tea bags in a box. Inside the box is a foil insert to keep the bags fresh. To use you place the bag in a cup then add boiling water and allow it to infuse for around one to three minutes. I usually leave mine nearer the three minutes, as I think this gives a better taste. This produces quite a nice lemon tea, it is slightly sweet but also slightly tangy if that makes sense. I enjoy drinking this tea as I find it quite refreshing. I also quite like the sweet tangy taste. I also like the fact that the green tea is better for me than black tea. I think this tea has a nicer flavour and better quality than the shops own brand green tea bags that you can buy, I base this on the fact I have tried both types and I prefer the taste of these clipper tea bags. There is not a lot in it, if I am honest just a personal preference for these bags, and a feeling they taste better. In conclusion if you are looking to become healthier I would definitely recommend these bags.
I have had this nail polish remover for a while now, but have just started using it more as I have been wearing more nail polish. This comes in quite a solid plastic bottle with a screw top lid, and is available to buy from most discount stores for around 80 pence. It has conditioner in to help care for your nails. As you have probably seen in the picture the liquid is purple. The instructions tell you to wet cotton wool with it and then to gently rub across your nails to remove the polish. This has that strong horrible chemical smell which all nail varnish removers do. I have used this on lots if different nail varnishes, from Lycra to magnetic, and the one I have on at the moment a glitter one, as well as the more regular polishes. To use I hold the cotton wool over the open bottle, tip it up and then tip it back before removing the lid. I then rub over my nail, how hard I have to rub usually depends on the nail polish. It usually takes me maybe five to ten minutes of rubbing to remove my polish, although this does depend on the polish. I have to say I am quite impressed with this nail polish remover, it is cheap to buy and does the job of removing my polish quickly and fairly easily. Despite using this around once a week lately I have also had no problems with drying of my nails, fingers or skin, so there must be something in their conditioning claim. One I recommend.
Film only review. My latest rental was The Lone Ranger, I chose it as I was aware of the original and I thought it would be a fun film to watch. The Lone Ranger''s (Armie Hammer) story is told by Tonto (played by Jonny Depp) who tells the story of how John Reid first became the Lone Ranger. I found this meant the story was very much from Tonto''s point of view, and to me it almost seemed as if it was the Lone Ranger who was the side kick. For those of you who don''t know the traditional story is that The Lone Ranger is the hero and Tonto helps him! This felt like it was a long film as it is very slow paced, we seemed to wait ages for anything to happen. The best part of the film was the last quarter when the action speeded up, and it became quite funny, but unfortunately it was too little to late. The acting was ok, although the film does not show Jonny Depp at his best, he still played an ok part. The only noticeable music in the film was in the last quarter when they played the Lone Ranger theme tune which did add to the sense of action. The plot was generally ok, there were bad guys and good guys, but for me it was nothing special, and it felt too dragged out. In conclusion as you can probably tell I am not a fan of this film, it is just too slow, I think I should have stuck to the original.
This squash was actually bought for my husband at the same time as I bought the orange squash for myself from Asda. He chose it as he loves strong tangy flavours, as his taste buds are not great due to his nasal polyps. Having just finished my orange squash I wanted a refreshing drink in the hot weather and thought that as my husband had barely touched this I would give it a try. To be honest I did not really expect to like it, as I thought it would be too sour for me. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find I really like it. It has quite a sweet lemony taste, more like a still lemonade. I only put maybe about a cm of this squash in my glass before adding water, and I find this to be pretty much perfect for me. In appearance this is clear with a slightly cloudy look. It has a sweet lemony smell as you might expect. This is a double concentrated juice and if I am honest I am not sure I am making it to the right strength, but it is perfect to me. I would recommend this squash to anyone who likes slightly sweet lemon flavours, strangely I just asked my husband what he does not like about it, and he said it is too bitter. I got him to try some of mine and he said mine was much weaker, so I guess it can be as strong as you like. I think this is a great cheap squash.
Laundry products are something that I tend to stock up on when I find them being sold cheap, they are one of the few products where I prefer to go for a known brand so I like to get a bargain. I do not actually remember buying these 3 in 1 pods, but I am guessing that they came from the shop I work in, and were most probably some kind of clearance deal. I am guessing this as I prefer using powder as I feel it normally is better value for money. These pods come in a nice plastic tub, with a flip lid which clicks back in place. They are 3 in 1 in that they clean (always good in a laundry product), lift stains (isn''t that part of cleaning) and brighten. These go straight into the drum of the machine, and you use one per wash or two if your washing is heavily soiled. There are various picture warnings on the box saying not to eat these or put them in your eye, as I was not planning to do either all is good. Using these I take one out and put it in the machine, then add fabric conditioner in the drawer and put the machine on. I usually wash at 40. So what do I think? Well I am not much of a fan to be honest. To start with I hate the feel of them, they are slightly soapy and I really do no not like touching them. Then there is the smell, it is really strong and soapy, and I am not at all keen on it. As for their ability to wash , well they are ok, stains seem to come out and clothes look clean, although if I am honest I do not feel their cleaning power is any better or worse than any other laundry product I have used. A look online suggests these retail at seven pound, which sounds very expensive, and I would only recommend these if you bought them on offer.
To try to save some pennies, and stop me drinking so much fizzy cherryade, which is clearly bad for me I decided to buy some squash. I had also recently purchased a water filter jug to try to drink more water, and I thought some squash would encourage me. I chose this when I was in Asda as at only 42 pence I thought it was worth a try. Mine is double strength concentrated squash. The instructions on the side of the bottle tell me to shake well before use and to dilute squash with nine parts water. Now I have no real idea how you judge that, but when I make my drink up I usually put about a centermeters worth into my glass and then add water from my trusty water jug. I find this to be about the right flavour for me, but then I do not like my squash too weak or strong I prefer it refreshing. My squash has a pleasant sweet orange taste, which is not too weak but I can still tell that there is water in it. If you are the kind of person who prefers a stronger taste then I am sure this can be achieved by adding more squash. My drink has a slight tangy, rather then orangey smell and an orange cloudy appearance. In fact it looks like squash. So would I recommend this? Yes I think it is a great product, it is cheap enough that you can add as much as you want to suit your taste, and has a nice orangey taste.
I have a large collection of herbal and fruit teas from various health kicks I have done in the past. One of them is this Asda''s Chosen by you lemon infusion tea. These come in a small cardboard box, similar to most herbal teas, and indeed most teas. A look at the ingredients on the box shows that these only contain one percent of lemon peel, the rest of the ingredients is made up of apple pomace, orange peel, natural flavourings, citric acid, apples, rose hips and sweet blackberry leaves. I can not help feeling they have bulked out the tea with cheaper ingredients, and as such they are not as good for me as the name "lemon infusion" suggests. The instructions on the box tell you to leave the tea bag in the hot water for three minutes, or five minutes for a stronger taste. Once brewed the taste of these lemon tea bags is surprisingly strong, with a lemony taste. It is quite a sharp taste which wasn''t entirely pleasant, but it is ok. The tea also has quite a strong lemony smell, but I am guessing that this is from the natural flavourings rather than the one percent lemon peel. So would I recommend these? Well at only around 79 pence for twenty tea bags these are quite cheap for lemon tea bags, but I can not help feeling that this is because the quality just is not there, so I do not think I will be buying these again, although they are ok for a cheap lemon tea.
When looking through my pile of books to read, I chose this book as it follows "The other Boleyn girl", which I read (and reviewed) a couple of months ago. I had originally bought it as I like historical novels, and Philippa Gregory is one of my favourite authors in this genre.
This novel follows the story of Henry the eighth's fourth and fifth wives, the court has become a more dangerous place since the death of Anne Boleyn, and King Henry has become something of a tyrant. At the start of the book Jane Seymour has recently died after giving birth to Prince Edward, and for reasons of state and the need for another son Henry is once again looking for a wife. For political reasons he marries Anne of Cleves, but soon he changes his mind and falls for her young maid in waiting Katherine Howard.
This book is slightly different to "The Other Boleyn" in that it is told from the point of view of three women, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Jane Boleyn (Anne Boleyne's sister in law). The book starts with the three of them in their respective homes, and then follows their progress to the king's court, and what happens during and after their time there.
I liked this book, although if I'm honest I found it more interesting than enjoyable. Whilst I knew the basic facts of the two queens, I hadn't really thought about how brief their marriages were, I also had never realised how young Kathryn Howard was, just 15 when she went to the court as the new Queen Anne's maid in waiting. The book shows how both women are pawns of their families, and the king's will. The third character Jane Boleyn also appears in "The Other Boleyn Girl", as she gave evidence against her husband and Anne Boleyn. In this book I found her quite a machiavellian character, who has befriended each of Henry's queens so that she can spy on them and help further the powerful Howard families' interests.
I found the novel interesting as Philippa Gregory managed to portray each of the women, in a way that showed they had little choice in what they did, and were just doing the best they could in the circumstances. The main parts of the novel are based on fact, although the way the women thought about what they did, and the friendship between Anne and Katherine is of course fiction. I think that like all historical fiction, there is a mixture of the truth with fiction, and I found this to be enjoyable. I didn't find this novel as enjoyable as some of the others written by Philippa Gregory, as whilst even the character of Jane Boleyn is sympathetically done, I found the subject matter quite uncomfortable as Philippa Gregory portrayed them living on egg shells for much of the time.
At the end of the novel there is a useful list of Philippa Gregory's sources, with a description of why she chose some of the plot twists that she did.
In conclusion four stars for a book that's good, but isn't one I'd rush to read again.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Northumbria that was ruled by King Aethelfrith, when he married to strengthen his kingdom, he renamed his fortress after his new wife Bebba (Bebbanburgh later became pronounce Bamburgh)*. At the time Bamburgh castle and it's king was the most powerful force in northern England, and Bamburgh castle would be one of the most powerful castles in England for hundreds of years until the vikings attacked around the 10th century. Bamburgh's prominence was such that it had links with early christianity through St Aidan who was bought to neighbouring Holy Island by King Oswald, who also became a saint following his death.
Th castle that stands today, has been rebuilt and renovated over the years, due to being attacked and neglected. For much of it's history this has been a royal castle, and was built and maintained by them as an important defensive fortress. Some of the main keep dates from around 1163 when the castle, had the great tower started for the sum of £4*, now that sounds a bargain although I'm guessing it was worth a bit more then :)
Today the castle is in owned by the Armstrong family, who bought it in 1894*, at the time Lord Armstrong of Cragside (see earlier review), saw it for sale in the Times and decided to buy it for £60,000*. He did quite a bit of renovation to the castle, as it was in need of it when he bought it. It's funny my first thought when I realised he owned both Cragside and Bamburgh castle, was why would you buy Cragside if you owned Bamburgh castle, but I now see it was the other way around :)
Bamburgh castle is probably the castle most recognised, outside Northumberland, unless you were watching Harry Potter (that's Alnwick castle), as it is the one on most advertising, due to it's magnificent appearance.
I visited on a windy day in February, the timing being because I had bought a Groupon deal for £12 for 2 people and it ran out at the end of February (I bought it in December, not realising the castle was only open on a weekend up to February). I visited with my dad one Friday, as that's the day we go out together :) Normal price is £9.95 for adults, £9 for senior citizens, £4.50 for children or £25 for a family (2 adults 3 children), so we saved £6.95 (my dad is a senior, not me :) )
The day we visited was initially windy but dry, and we really hit on as, as we were leaving a storm hit and it started to rain heavily. Bamburgh is on the Northumberland coast about 42 miles north of Newcastle, it's about 30 miles from us and took us about an hour to get there going up the A1 and then following the route across to the coast. On the way back we came the coastal route which took maybe 15 minutes longer, and this is considering we were taking it steady due to the weather.
Bamburgh castle is high up above Bamburgh village, overlooking the sea (150 feet above), and sand dunes. It affords great views of the neighbouring Farne islands, and Holy island, as well as the sea and beach. We parked in the council car park at the bottom, paying £1.80 for 2 hours, we chose here as we had visited the castle years before and remembered the parking above being limited. Walking up to the castle is quite steep, and at the top we discovered the parking has now been extended and there is a reasonable sized car park with all day parking for £2 :) Still I needed the exercise :)
The entrance to the castle is further up hill through a large gatehouse, with the ticket office being in the constable tower further up. From here you are outside the main section of the castle in the outer ward, the path is quite steep, and you can either follow it up, or walk along the battery (outer defensive wall) as we did. We chose this way so that we could admire the view of the sea, and the nearby islands, although it was quite overcast so we didn't get the best view. There are also lots of cannons along here :)
**The Outer Ward**
The battery, and path both lead to the outer ward. There are a lot of buildings here, although the castle grounds themselves are reasonably compact. The ground here is hilly, with the ground sloping rapidly down to the west ward. In the outer ward, is the old stables, which now house the toilets, and a cafe on the left hand side. There is also some stocks on the green, and a replica of the King's of Northumbria's royal stone seat (which I had a seat in). At the bottom of the slope is another gateway which leads into the west ward.
In the west ward there is a picnic area, 2 sites where they are doing an archeological dig (in summer you can watch them), the armstrong aviation museum, and an old mill. The museum is quite small, but we both found it really interesting with huge engines, and old cameras that had been used on planes. There was also a model of a spitfire, and a large gun.
The walls on this side of the castle give a great view of the village of Bamburgh.
**The Inner Ward**
Uphill is the inner ward of the castle, this has an inner curtain wall, from which you again get a great view of the sea. There are also the remains of the chapel, with a large bell. The entrance to the state rooms, and keep is here. There is one entrance, that is open as you actually go through the state rooms to get to the keep.
**The castle, and state rooms**
While you can't explore all the rooms, as there are private apartments above, the parts you can see are interesting. My favourite was the King's Hall, which is a beautiful room with a lovely wooden beamed ceiling which you can admire with mirrors that are provided. In here there was a lovely guide, who we had a nice chat with. This room has a minstrel's gallery at one end, and a lovely seating area (roped off) raised up at the other, the room is actually from the victorian times as it was renovated and designed by Lord Armstrong. In total I think there are about ten rooms that you can look around, including the rooms in the keep itself. Other highlights for me were the secret stairway in the keep's wall, the model of the castle, the well (dug through over 40 feet of solid whetstone), and the victorian hoover (I like my old gadgets :) ). There were a further two guides in other rooms, both of which were friendly and knowledgeable.
The keep leads to the shop, and from here you can visit the dungeon. This has several figures showing old torture methods, and was pretty interesting. Next to the shop there is also the archeological museum, which houses various finds from the castle's grounds. The exit opens back out onto the outer ward. From here we took some more photos before hurrying away as by this time we were over our parking time (not that we expected a ticket as Bamburgh is pretty deserted in winter), and it was bucketing down and windy.
**The cafe and shop**
We visited the cafe for a warming cup of tea during our visit. This is a nice room and the prices were reasonable, about £5 for a sandwich. The drinks were slightly more expensive, at around £4 for a pot of tea for two.
The shop has the usual range of gifts, as well as some local wine and foods. There is also a small art gallery, with some lovely pictures you can buy in the shop.
**So what did I think?**
We both really enjoyed our visit, the only downside was the weather as the views weren't as clear as we might have liked, and quite a lot of it is outside. However, as they say "every cloud has a silver lining", and the weather and time of year meant that there were only a few other visits so we could get some great photos without lots of people in them, and we had plenty of time to see what we wanted to see, as well as to talk to the guides.
The grounds and buildings are really well looked after, and there are plenty of signposts telling you where you are and what things are, which we found really useful. It is also possible to buy a guidebook or hire an audio tour, although we didn't bother preferring to discover things ourselves. As said inside there are also several guides, who are knowledgeable and friendly.
Bamburgh castle surprised me as when I visited it in the past I didn't really enjoy it, and my memory was just of lots of plates. I was left feeling that the best thing about it was the outside, but now I have been again I have completely changed my mind, as there is so much to see. From their web site I can see that they have won several awards, including one from trip adviser, and I can see why. Everything feels really well thought out, informative and welcoming, I can imagine that if I visit again in summer, while it would be more crowded you would still enjoy yourself, and it would be pleasant to enjoy a picnic overlooking the sea.
We spent about 2 and a half hours there in total, including getting a cup of tea in the cafe before going into the castle proper. We took advantage of the walk back down to the car park, to take some more photos of the castle, although by then we were pretty wet.
The castle has pretty good disabled access, including a separate cafe room, as the cafe entrance is upstairs. By it's nature parts of the castle are not wheelchair accessible, but a surprising amount is, and again this shows how much thought has been put into it, including tarmac paths which while steep provide a good surface.
The castle is also available for weddings, and wedding receptions, and if I wasn't already happily married I'd be tempted as it would be a great location :)
The castle is open everyday until the 2nd of November, 10 am until 5pm
For more information there website is http://www.bamburghcastle.com/index.php
*Bamburgh castle website
I bought this as I needed conditioner, and this matched the shampoo I was buying at the time. When it comes to conditioner I am not particularly brand loyal and one of the reasons I chose this was that it was on offer at £1. The version I chose was the red berry colour protect one.
This comes in a red bottle with a flip top lid, which it stands on. This makes it very easy to get out of the bottle, and easy to store. This is about normal consistency for a conditioner, thick but not too thick. This conditioner is for coloured hair and comes with a uv filter (handy in a uk winter :) ), and promises to give 3 times more combability (their word not mine).
**Conditioning my hair**
The conditioner rubs into my hair easily and leaves it feeling nourished and soft, even if I only use a small amount. The conditioner is more subtle smelling than the shampoo, and is more of a sweet slightly fruity smell, which I quite like. After use my hair is left feeling soft and I think it is slightly easier to brush once it has dried. Once my hair has dried I can't really detect any lingering scent.
I like this conditioner, and will certainly buy it again. It has lasted quite a while as I didn't use it a lot with the matching shampoo, as the two together were a bit too rich for my hair on a daily basis, but since I have changed my shampoo I have used this quite a bit. I feel that it has really made a difference to keeping my hair soft and in good condition.
I would recommend this if you have dry or coloured hair, as I think it's great for this, especially if you can find it for a £1.
**Film only review**
Vehicle 19 was my latest choice from Lovefilm, I chose it as it's a 2013 film and both my husband and I like action films.
The story follows an ex convict (Paul Walker) who whilst visiting his girlfriend in south africa accidently picks up the wrong rental car. The film progresses to his discovery of a silenced gun and hostage in the car. It then follows what happens after.
This film promised to be a fast paced action film when I ordered it on Lovefilm, unfortunately it didn't live up to it. The main character Michael Woods (Paul Walker) was really the only character you saw, as even his hostage Rachel Shabangu (played by Naima McLean) only makes a brief appearance, and much of his interaction with the bad guys and his girlfriend is on the phone. Unfortunately for me and my husband this didn't work well as we both found his actions really annoying, with us both constantly saying "why did he do that?", it really is one of those films were the main character just comes across as dumb, and not in a funny way. The film is also slow paced, to the point where by the end of it we had both lost interest and were doing things on the internet while the film was on in the background. The ending was predictable and equally showed how dumb Michael Woods was. This really wasn't one of Paul Walker's best films, his acting in it was good but the slow plot and action let him down.
As you can probably tell for once me and my husband were in agreement on a film, as neither of us enjoyed it, or cared what happened by the end. If you are a action fan it's one to miss.
**Film only review**
I watched this recently on Lovefilm instants with my husband, it was his choice and he picked it because he likes war films. At the time I somehow thought this film was a few years old, maybe because it was already available to watch online, a quick look online reveals though that this is a 2013 film. This must have been quite a low budget film as the only actor I recognised was Vinnie Jones and he's not the main character. It is based on a video game of the same name, which I've not played or heard of before this review:)
The story follows a group of American soldiers in World War 2 who become cut off behind enemy lines. Their immediate thought is obviously to rejoin their base, but on the way they discover a secret super bomb that Hitler has in development, and this leads them to the scientist who is building it and is looking to defect.
The main characters are Nate Burrows, the youngest soldier, played by Chad Michael Collins, and a cook played by Tom Sizemore. Vinnie Jones plays the token brit, in the form of an escaped british airmen, and there is also an escaped russian played by Dimitri Diatchenko. The scientist has the much needed beautiful assistant Kestral, played by Melia Kreiling.
War films are not really something I normally enjoy watching, I've seen a few and most are very good, but not for me.
So how did this one stack up? Well actually I found this film really good, the acting was very good and I thought the interaction between the soldiers made the film quite touching in places. This being a war film there is a lot of death, but it's not gratuitous I just got the feeling they were there to do a job to the best of their abilities, and to make the most out of each day they had. The picture quality was good, and I thought the pace of the film was good. The film felt more character based then action, and I think this is why I enjoyed it so much. The characters had a real feeling of comradeship, and I felt they were heroes. I've a feeling this maybe wouldn't be as well received by war film fans as my husband just though it was ok, so for him it didn't stack up next to his beloved classics.
So in summary 4 stars for a war film I really liked for once.
I've owned this dehumidifier for about a year and a half now, it was originally purchased as the flat I live in is prone to damp in winter from condensation. This is caused by a combination of life itself, and not opening the windows enough as we live in a downstairs flat so I don't like to leave them open :) We bought this from Argos (obviously), with some vouchers we had been given as a present, when we bought it, it was on offer as it was during the summer.
This is a value range dehumidifier, but I imagine it works similar to most dehumidifiers, but isn't as pretty, although I wouldn't call it ugly either. Dehumidifiers work by sucking in moisture in the air, and pushing the air back out without the moisture (I'm sure it's more technical then that, but you get the idea. To use this you plug it in and switch it on, this has a cut out so that when it's full of water it will switch off. This has two lights on the top a green one to let you know this is on, and a orange/red one to let you know it is full. This holds 10 litres of water and to empty you simply pull out the section and empty it. This does come with a warning that once switched off you should leave it for a minute before switching it back on.
I use this pretty much most days over the winter, unless the weather gets really cold in which case I leave it switched off, as I seem to think dehumidifiers don't work below a certain temperature. I have always found this does a great job, and rooms do feel drier when this has been switched on. It's amazing how much water this can collect over just a few days, which in itself is testament to what a good job this is doing. The only minor niggle I have with this is it is quite loud, but you do get used to the noise, or at least I have :)
I have found that this has really made a difference to the damp levels in my flat, and really do recommend it. As for the electric use, well I have to confess I'm not sure, but I've not noticed a big increase in my bills when using this. To be honest I think it's well worth what little bit of electric it uses.
This currently retails for £99, which I do think is a good price when compared to other prettier dehumidifiers.
So in conclusion I can't recommend this enough, and wouldn't be without it.
I have just finished reading The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, before I start this I should say I don't normally read ghost stories, but this one had come recommended by my dad, and was lent to me by him. I haven't yet seen the film. So what did I think?
The story is told by the main character, Arthur Kipps, who following some christmas eve ghost stories with his family is reminded of some long suppressed memories. Having never recovered properly from the events Kipps decides to write down his memories of what happened. The memories surround a visit he had to make to a deceased clients house to settle her affairs when he was a young solicitor, the house in good ghost story tradition is set on it's own between a marsh and an estuary, and is only accessible at low tide across a causeway. To add to Kipps woes is a village full of nervous superstitious people, and the mysterious woman in black of the title, so what will happen to Kipp?, well if you don't want to read the book to find out there's always the film :).
So how did I find this story, within a story? Well to be honest at first I found it pretty hard going, the style of writing in the book is pretty old fashioned, it actually reminded me of the style of "Wuthering Heights", although this being a more modern book published in 1983 I assume the style was deliberate, but for me I just felt it made it harder to get into the book. This is quite a short book, only 200 pages, but it felt like it was taking forever to read, and I would say it was only the last four chapters that I actually managed at any kind of pace. The first half of the book I was only reading a couple of pages a day before getting bored and putting it down, it was only the fact it was recommended and I'd decided to write a review about it that made me persevere.
That said for me this was a book of two halves, and the second half (or last third) was quite creepy. The story as a whole is good, I can see what has made it a successful film, and tv programme, as well as a stage play, although for me Kipp as a character didn't draw me into the story enough to make me care what had happened to him. It's kind of hard to explain as the book is well written with a good story, it was I think just the style that put me off.
After finishing the book I did feel I had enjoyed the book, and I can see that the slow start is part of the build up to make the story creepier, but for me I think it's only 3 stars, it was ok but I wouldn't read it again, that said I think I might watch the film.