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I have admitted before in previous reviews to my embarrassment, that I have made late night impulse buys while watching infomercials . That is how this Kettler ab roller came into my life.
"Buy it now the operators are waiting for your call. Order within the next five minutes and we'll through in the kitchen sink."
Hopeful that this simple machine could make a difference to my life. Make me healthier, both internally and externally. This ab roller cost me 120Euro that's around £102 in today's money as this was years ago. That was an amount I was more than willing to pay for the "promised results". The small print on both the infomercial and the box when it arrived said "results may vary and will only be achieved if the Kettler ab roller is used regularly in conjunction with a healthy diet." That's okay, that's what I expected I'd have to do.
So it arrives in its enormous box all poles and screws, but it was surprisingly simple to assemble. I have my work cut out trying to describe how it looked as there are no pictures available for this item and it's quite an unusual shape (hopefully you've seen one of these before)
THE AB ROLER
The main structure is made of hollow steel tubing This when put together creates a U like shape that in turn creates a "rocker". This rocker structure allows you to lie on the ground and rest your head and neck onto it's padded neck rest in front of you there is a long horizontal bar that is attached to the same bar as your resting on. This bar is joined to it to complete the rounded U-like shape.
HOW IT WORKS
In order to start your exercise you must pull on the bar in front of you using your outstretched arms. When you pull on this bar you must keep your head pressed against the comfortable padded headrest. This is easier said than done, as your natural instinct is to raise your head like when doing a normal sit-up. The Ab Roller then rocks by your pulling motion, bringing you head up to do a perfect sit up without the added neck strain you would experience when trying to do the standard version of this painful exercise. The first pull is the headrest. After that the rocking motion makes everything much easier. But don't get me wrong it's not comfortable you really feel it in your abs.
The one you're going to do the most is the one described above. Though there are more you can do.
First of all bend your knees, then lie them to the lift so they are flat to the ground. Then begin the rocking motion as above. This will work your internal obliques these are a pair of ab muscles, residing on each side of the torso. They affect body posture tremendously but are not visible to the eye. This exercise will also work the
external obliques these are another pair of ab muscles that are located on either side of the torso and ARE visible to the naked eye. This rocking motion will work your "side abs" eventually shrinking your waistline and defining your hips. Of course this works for the other side by simply changing to the right.
Instead of having your hands over the bar, turn your hands around and grip the bar from below so that your palms are facing the ceiling. This is one of the harder exercises as when you pull and start to rock. You are not only working your abs but now you are also working your triceps. Suck in your stomach and OUCH! It works works wonders on "The Rectus abdominis" this is a long muscle that extends along the front of the abdomen. This is the 'six-pack' part of the abs that becomes visible with reduced body fat. This is what every guy and girl wants.
Again doing the rocking motion, how can I say this? Pull in your bottom cheeks as tight as you can. Again this will hurt, but results come quicker the more of these exercises you do rather than just the standard rock. This exercise in particular is good for your pelvic floor.
What is your pelvic floor?
This is literally what supports (along with the deep abdominal muscles) your entire upper body. The pelvic floor needs to be strong, because as we breathe out, the pelvic floor muscles need to lift the internal organs back up. Exercising your pelvic floor means a stronger core. This provides the foundation for you to have perfect posture and that much desired flat abdominal look.
The Kettler ab roller has a padded head support that takes the strain off the neck and helps address the abdominal muscles effectively.
The padded non-slip grips help give extra stability and comfort during your workout.
The Kettler ab roller's integrated computer. The word computer is going a bit far. It's more like a pedometer it uses a magnetic strip to count how many pivots the roller makes during your workout and in turn calculates how many calories were burnt and the duration of your session.
DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?
The simple answer is yes.
You have to stick to it. You can exercise with this machine for as little as ten minutes a day, five days a week.
Or if you can't find the time for this, exercise when you can. Just make sure you do.
DON'T GO ON A CRASH DIET.
In order to have the strength to exercise you need to eat, and eat well.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated (if you are fully hydrated you will exercise for longer, be under hydrated and the burn comes faster and harder)
Do this like I did and yes you will see results and see them fast.
Within two weeks of training I noticed more definition and lost inches off my waist. And within two months I had the stomach I had always wanted. Sounds far fetched I know but it can be done.
MY FINAL OPINION
Ab rolling machines like these have been around since the 90s. They seam old fashioned when compared to the more high tech equipment available today. But it has a simple design because it works. There is no need for bells and whistles when it comes to this piece of kit. These can be bought for next to nothing nowadays, if you stick to it (I know that's the hardest part I have given up so many times with different exercise regimes) it does work.
If you want a better stomach or just a stronger core, or even just to do a bit more exercise for your overall good health. Please give one of these machines a try.
I'm glad I did.
price I paid 80Euro. That's around £63 good value, but Amazon have it at only £28.99 at the moment
The summers well and truly over. In fact I don't think I noticed it at all. And with the end of summer, most people put away, or cover up their barbecue until the sunny months return.
That's where the George Foreman family grill comes in.
This wonderful invention by the world famous boxer is a way of having that BBQ experience all year round. Even the grill itself looks and feels like those big American hinged top BBQ's. But the best thing about this grill is how healthy the food is. Because of it's ridged cooking surface the meat or vegetables sit on top of these ridges giving them those wonderfully appetising scorch lines. But the ridges are not just for appearance sake they allow the fat to drip between them and away from your food. This is so much better then shallow frying or even congenital grilling because the meat doesn't dry out like it can under the strong heat of a conventional grill. The sloped grill design means the food is cooked at a slight downward slant furthermore encouraging the fat to leave your food. This slanted design also makes the fat run off the grill and into the juice reservoir that's provided with the grill. This is a long troff-like dish that sits at the front just under the edge and collects all the drippings. Most of the time these are not needed and will be discarded but some times the juices are of great use when making an accompanying sauce or gravy.
This heavy steel machine feels good and strong, no flimsy parts here.
The grilling surfaces themselves are high quality cast iron. The difference between the George Foreman grills (although lots of copied the design) is that it features a double sided cooking surface. This cuts the cooking time in half. And the chance of your food drying out is almost non existent. This ensures complete, fast, even, cooking.There are two matching grilling plates one on top and one on the bottom (think of a sandwich toaster but much bigger). The "floating hinge" design enables larger pieces of food to be cooked. These special hinges adjust to the thickness of the food, whereas if the hinges where fixed cooking larger items would be impossible.
This paticlaur model is one of the largest and can cook five portions at a time it has a 516 (cm2) grilling surface. This means you can cook six quarter pounder at once or five larger sized chicken fillets. The long thick handle is very comfortable and easy to use, as you may have cooking implements in one hand you can use the other to open and close the grill. It looks like it would be heavy to lift the handle but because of the floating hinge design it opens with the least amount of effort. The handle is also extendable so you can adjust it according to your Height.
This grill should be a permanent feature in your kitchen. It shouldn't be one of those appliances that only come out for novelty reasons. It's product dimensions are : HLW 134 X 338 X 320 (mm) meaning it's not too big for the average counter-top. It's silver outer covering with the George Foreman logo makes it easy on the eye.
Power consumption is always something to look out for as gas and electricity bills seem to always be going up and never down. This grill use 1370 - 1630 watts of power. This may sound a lot, but just compare it to having your oven running for hours on end compared to just minutes with this grill.
Cleaning this couldn't be easer. All you have to do is give the grill plates a wipe with a damp cloth.
Tip : clean them when they are still warm ( not hot ) as they wipe clean so much easier this way then when it's completely cooled. Again compare this to cleaning an oven or dirty grill.
Any time I use it, it seams to become an occasion. Everyone gathers in the kitchen to have some drinks as the food sizzles away in the grill. The smell of the juicy meat and vegetables really gets your taste buds going.
The best thing about this grill is how good the food can taste if cooked for the correct amount of time.
It's full of flavour, not at all dry, the complete opposite in fact it couldn't be juicer. The instant contact of the grill-plates seal in all the juices. The cooking process itself is appetising and the appearance of the grill marks add to the overall BBQ look.
So although the summers over, with this George Foreman five portion grill, the party's don't have to end.
Price I paid : 163Euro that's around £140
Kodak good for cameras and pictures, right?
So it makes perfect sense that they would be able to make a good printer.
Well there are lots of companies that excel in one field and fail in another. Just because you're great at one thing doesn't mean you'll be great at everything.
This is a very nice looking, heavy,sturdy printer. The main body of the machine is in an off White colour (also available in black). While the control panel and scanner screen are a nice gun metal grey. The instantly recognisable Kodak yellow is only present in a strip along the rim of the lid for the photocopier / scanner. The Kodak logo is century located on this lid and directly Above the printing tray along the grey border. This printer doest look or feel cheap. Its a robust machine large in size and surprisingly heavy. As far as design and manufacturing goes it would seem Kodak have done a good.
The Kodak EasyShare 5300 All-in-One features a large 76mm LCD display up on the very top of the machine, right above the main controls on the right hand side. The screen is easily readable and displays a high Resolution, colourful picture. Directly below this screen there are seventeen raised buttons. The buttons are sized in relation to how often they are likely to be used. For example the start button is large while the setting button is smaller. The main function buttons also illuminate when pressed, these are the copy, photo and scan buttons.
On the front of the machine, above the print tray, to the right hand side there are two memory card slots and below them are USB sockets. This makes it very quick and easy to get prints from a mobile phone or iPad via the USB cable, or via the memory card slots.
There is software supplied with the printer to help you achieve the best prints and photos you can. These are EasyShare and AiO Home Centre. The two of them work to provide photo housekeeping and simple functions for printing and scanning. The EasyShare software can be used for basic photo editing and can also be used to add simple effects.
The EasyShare 5300 is also quite loud. It's without a doubt the noisiest printer I have ever owned. When in the process of printing something it makes winding, spinning and pumping- like sounds. This is one of it's only drawbacks.
The paper tray can take one hundred sheets of standard plain printing paper. It also has a separate tray that you must push in to activate, for a further 20 sheets of 15 x 10cm photo paper.
The main selling point of these Kodak printers, is the amassing value of their ink cartridges. Lots of manufactures will sell the printer itself for what you may consider a bargain. Then to your horror you find out the ink cartridges, especially the colour ones are extortionately priced. Not such a good deal after all.
Kodak have the printer reasonably priced for the quality of product that you are getting. But the best thing about it is their black cartridges 10B only cost £6.99 Inc VAT.
While a black ink cartridge 10XL only costs £11.99 Inc VAT.
The news gets even better when it comes to the colour cartridges.
A Colour ink cartridge 10C costs only £12.99 Inc VAT.
The ink combo pack 10B + 10C costs £19.98 Inc VAT.
And finely the photo value pack costs £ 17.99 Inc VAT.
These prices are in stark contrast to what other names are charging for the same product.
The photo colour cartridge contains five inks. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black and the fifth is a transparent coating, given to all photos, to protect them from fading.
Printing works quite fast when printing photographs. A 15 x 10cm print takes around 40 to 45 seconds when using either a memory card or PictBridge camera.
And takes around 70 when printing from a PC. Standard black prints of text print much faster on all formats.
This printer does excel when it comes to printing photos. The resulting prints are sharply detailed, with perfect colour graduation, deep blacks where needed and good shadow detail. The colours look natural, not overly vibrant and never washed out. You can expect nothing less than perfection when it comes to the Market leader in photos.
Borderless sizes supported
3½ × 5 in. 4 × 6 in. 4 × 8 in. 4 × 12 in. 5 × 7 in. 6 × 9 in. 8 × 10 in.
A & A4.
plain paper, coated paper, photo paper, iron-on, transparency film, label media, greeting cards,17 to 24 lb plain paper.
Auto detect media : KODAK Photo Papers with custom back print.
Image enhancement : KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Technology.
Print functions : 100%, fit-to-page, fill-page, mirror, poster
Display : 2.4 in. color graphics LCD
Two-sided printing : duplex printing accessory included
Copy quantity : black & color, 1-99 copies
Copy enlargement/reduction : 10-500% at 1% increments
Devices supported : USB PC/MACs, USB mass storage devices, PictBridge enabled digital still cameras, EKPTP cameras via camera dock or printer dock, and BLUETOOTH Technology enabled imaging devices.
USB ports : 2 host ports, 1 device port
Power : US: 110-120 V AC, 60 Hz at ~2 A
WW: 110-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz
output: 36 V AC at 3 A (120 watt)
[W × D × H]: 18.8 × 16.4 (with duplexer) × 11.3 in.
Weight : 26.7 lbs
Whats in the box ?
Of course there is the KODAK EASYSHARE 5300 All-in-One Printer
One Black Ink Cartridge
One Color Ink Cartridge
One Paper Sample Pack
KODAK EASYSHARE Software
WINDOWS : WINDOWS XP (all versions), WINDOWS VISTA (all versions)
CELERON 1.2 GHz (minimum); PENTIUM 4, 3 GHz (recommended)
MACINTOSH : MACINTOSH OS 10.4.8 or higher
PowerPC G3 800 MHz (minimum); PowerPC G5 2 GHz or INTEL Processor (recommended)
Hardware : 128 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
200 MB hard drive disk space available
Available USB port (USB 2.0 recommended)
my final opinion
This is a very good printer, especially if you print a lot of photos. Printing IS an expensive process.
But with this printer from kodak it doesn't have to be AS expensive. That would be the main reason to get one these. The value of the cartridges alone are a reason to buy this printer over others. That was the main reason I got this as I travel so much. Being able to print high quality photographs of my treasured memories at the touch of a button is wonderful. To now have photos of my little nice that's no longer with us is priceless. After all you can't put a price on memories.
The price I paid : 350Euro around £300
Sennheiser, that's the name I think of when someone happens to mention headphones. Synonymous with quality of production but most importantly quality of sound. These are an older pair of headphones I have these around Four years now. They are without a doubt the best pair of headphones I have ever owned and they should be for the price. But as I've said before what you pay for something isn't always a grantee of quality. In this case it was.
These are nice big, DJ style, total ear covering headphones. They are not the little "earbud" type that you would use with your iPod for example. The feel of pure quality is undeniable. The black leather covered box that they are housed in has a magnetised locking flap and inside the box is lined in soft grey felt. The ear-cups are hinged so they can lye flat into the box, this makes storing your expensive headphones a doodle. I use these for listening to music at home, the quality of the sound is second to none. In fact the sound is better through these headphones than the speakers on my hifi system. The base is nice and meaty while not dominating the overall sound spectrum. You can clearly hear every instrument and vocal just as the producer and engineer intended. The ear-cups are very well padded and are covered in very soft leather. The headband and hinges are robust to say the least. They are made of chunky hard wearing aluminium and steel. I know this sounds like having a construction site sitting on your head, but the way all of this is balanced through the design makes them very comfortable to wear.
The cable is good and thick. Some high end headphones can have the thinnest of little wires hanging pathetically from them. And if you happen to accidentally stand on the wire while wearing them, well you might as well through them in the bin. The cable on these is strong enough to take such abuse. But if you do damage it, it's fully replaceable
I travel to New York quite regularly for business and always take these with me. They are actually described as travel headphones and come with an aeroplane adapter. The main reason I take these with me so often is their superior noise cancelling facility. This reduces the annoying rumble and hum of a flying aircraft and it's air conditioning. The active noise cancelling technology is called NoiseGard 2.0. This is said to cancel out 90% of exterior sound and works by monitoring that exterior sound with microphones and counteracting it with 'anti-sound', or phase-inverted sound. They also have a "talk through" feature, this is of great use as you don't have to remove your headphones every time someone speaks to you or the pilot makes an announcement. All you have to do is simply push a button located on the exterior of the right ear-cup and you can hear everything clearly. These headphones can also be used with or without "Noise guard" turned on, this will of course help preserve the battery power.
The volume can be adjusted directly on the headphones. The audio transmission is "guarantied" to always work, even in passive mode and without the batteries.
The ear pads and cable are fully detachable and replaceable for long service life
*** accessories ***
2 audio adaptors (in-flight entertainment and 6.3 mm)
1 AAA battery
*** Technical data ***
Headphone design - Headband set
Ear coupling - circumaural
Transducer principle - dynamic
Weight w/o cable - 240g
Frequency response (headphones) - 8 - 28000 Hz
Attenuation (passive) - up to 32dB
Noise guard noise compensation - up to 23dB (NG 2.0)
Impedance - 150/750 Ω
THD, total harmonic distortion - < 0,1%
Sound pressure level (SPL) - 108 dB
Battery Specification - one AAA battery
Operating time - >21h
Cable length - 1,4 m single-sided, replaceable
Connector 3,5mm right-angled
These are top quality headphones with a price to match.
They are great for at home and wonderful for air travel.
The sound quality is what makes these worth buying. But there may be other headphones out there for far less money with just as good a sound.
So remember always shop around.
The price I paid 52Euro. That's around £45
I love my electronics TVs, iPads, iPhones, and high end appliances. But when it comes to things like irons I am not that picky. Maybe that's because I don't know that much about them, or that I don't use them as much as the other things I listed. So this review will be more about the practical side of using an iron than the technology involved, because I'm not going to preach about something I know little about.
Firstly the name of this iron caught my attention. When I am looking for an appliance of any kind i always look for the best energy rating available. The name EnergyCare drew my attention to it immediately. It was described on the box as using 20% less energy than conventional models.
It was nicely packed in a White and light blue box, with no styrofoam just a light clear plastic bag around the iron it's self. The look of this iron is quit attractive with it's dusty blue handle, silvery grey water receptacle _and shiny ceramic bottom plate. At the base of the Handel leading onto the main body of the iron a delicate floral, cascading petal design adds a nice touch to an appliance that is normally overlooked when it comes to little design features like that.
SteamGlide as mentioned in it's title refers to the sole-plate. This is the part of the iron that comes into contact with your clothes. It's been specifically designed to glide effortlessly over your garments with the greatest of ease. I have never had an iron that I struggled to use, but this one does seem to float over the material.
It has an integrated anti-scale system prolonging the life of the iron in hard water areas. This EnergyCare Steam Iron boasts 2400 - Watt power for a total steam output of 35 g / min. Features such as a three metre long cord and an extra-large water inlet make it easier to use than my last iron that had an irritatingly short cord. You don't realise how important this actually is, imagine trying to vacuum stairs for example with a short corded vacuum. Impossible! The same applies here, cord length is important to look out for. This iron is lightweight with and without water this is also worth adding as some can feel like pushing a van around once the water is in them. The lightweight design compensates for the extra weight nicely. The iron produces a good amount of steam but make sure to adjust the variable temperature and steam settings to ensure you use the correct temperature for delicate items such as silk. The iron also has an in-built water spray button as well as a steam boost button.
Power (Watt) - 2400 Watts
Steam flow rate (g/mn) - Up to 35 g / min
Type of sole-plate - SteamGlide Ceramic
Anti-drip system - Yes
Vertical Steaming - No
Pressing function (g/min) - 35 g/mn
Adjustable thermostat - Yes
Anti-scale cartridge - Yes
Anti-scale system - Yes
Extra-large water inlet
Colour - Blue and white
The extra - large water inlet is removable and can be easily filed at the tap and clicks into place with a light push.
I find ironing with this model to be a supreme pleasure. Only kidding, but it does make a mundane chore. Somewhat bearable. There is no need to press on the clothes to get rid of the creases they just melt away with the steam and the gliding motion of the sole-plate.
If it even cuts a few minutes off the time it would take you to iron something, that's money well spent in my book.
This is the wrong quick rate panel for this item. Please only pay attention to :
Ease of use
Thank you : )
The price I paid : I can't remember it was too long ago more than five years now.
Amazon.co.uk are selling it for £194.37
I have mentioned this juicer in a previous review about novelty purchases that eventually make their way into the back of a cupboard only to be taken out once a year or when you go on a health buzz (which for me is every Summer)
I also mentioned how I ended up owing one of these. At the time they where only available through infomercials on late night TV. You can buy them anywhere now, but at the time that was the only way to get one of them by phone or by their web site.
I ordered one by phone at five in the morning. Then by the following day I was planing my new healthier live, the new healthy me.
When it arrived well packed with it's picture on the front and "as seen on TV" plastered all over it, I was looking forward to juicing absolutely everything.
***In the box you get***
Of course one Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Classic. But it comes in lots of pieces, these are..
1 / Lid with built-in Pulp Guard - this is for very top of the juicer the lid as they call it is the chute into which you push the fruit (rhyming not intentional) And the pulp guard is exactly that a lid-like covering that covers the top of the pulp collection bin and stops the room from being sprayed with fruit and vegetable bits.
2 / The Receptacle - this is the centre or the juicer on to which the lid is placed. It's in the receptacle that the fruit and vegetables come into contact with the blade and the pulp and juice are separated, the pulp is flung out the back by the power of the spinning blade while the juice paces through the fine filter then settles at the bottom of the receptacle and pours out the spout.
3 / the Blade - this is like something out of James Bond it's a circular surgical stainless steel blade with a three hundred and sixty degree serrated edge. Handel with extreme care as it's unbelievably sharp.
4 / The Crescent Tool - thankfully they supply you with this tool to handle and tighten the blade with. It's bright orange plastic with a screw on each end of it's crescent moon-like shape. This makes lifting, attaching and tightening the blade much easier.
5 / The Filter - this is a very fine stainless steel, sieve-like cone shaped filter this effectively separates the pulp from the juice, leaving a clear end product.
6 / The Pulp Collector - this is a large blue bin that sits onto the back of the juicer just under the pulp guard to collect all the pulp from the fruit.
7 / The Pusher - this is a long clear plastic plunger. That you use to push the fruit down the chute towards the blade ( never push the fruit down with your finger. I know it sounds obvious not to do that,but I have seen people doing it with my own eyes just because they have misplaced the pusher. If you don't have the pusher, don't make juice )
8 / Base with motor - this is the heavy brains of the juicer. This is the base on to which the blade is placed, then the receptacle is placed and finally the lid is placed.
9 / instruction booklet and guarantee
10 / and finally a handy recipe book.
When you first get one of these you go bit juice crazy. By this I mean all you seem to do is juice and all you think about is juicing. I must have spent hundreds on fruit the first summer I had this, admittedly I didn't by special deals or bulk, I payed full price for organic this and organic that. But there was a reason why I bought so much. The juice is lovely. It tastes so much nicer than the store bought stuff even better than the "not from concentrate" kind. It makes sense because they have been siting on a boat or plain or in the back of a truck then finally in a fridge while the jack la an juicer produces lots of fresh juice right there and then with No Preservatives, No Added Sugar, No Artificial Colouring and No Artificial Flavours.
I have noticed that the juice doesn't keep at all well, that's the only problem. It starts to separate and discolour very quickly in the refrigerator. So it's best to juice and drink . Pour over ice if you want it chilled or refrigerate the fruit itself before hand.
I found this a great way to have more fruit and veg in my diet, I was more of a one a day kinda guy instead of getting my five a day as they recommend. This would be wonderful for kids that refuse to eat anything that's good for them. Just make it a fun experience they can chose what brightly coloured fruit and vegetables they want to have juiced. They they can hand it to you and hear and see the juicer go to work. Then of course give their drink lots of praise and they will be as proud as punch as they drink every drop and offer everybody in the house some of their amazingly tasty juice ( this trick worked on my little niece and two years later my little nephew) one thing to add about giving children juice is that yes it's full of goodness but it's also full of fructose (naturally scouring sugar) and certain kinds of fruit can be quit acidic so one glass is plenty. One final thing, the juicing process removes all the beneficial finer found in fruits and vegetables so you may want to replace that fiber in the form of a snack or their morning cereal.
This juicer is advertised as "whisper quiet".
When it's not being used to juice and the blade is just turning inside it's not loud. Maybe that's what they mean. But once you try and juice an apple or a carrot anything that has a bit of substance to it. It makes a hell of a racket. Whisper quiet? You must be crazy.
Cleaning is simple enough if you have a dishwasher. As all parts apart from the base are dishwasher safe. If you don't have a dish washer it's very easy to clean by hand. Just simply wash all parts in warm soapy water.
And wipe the base with a damp cloth if needed.
The pulp of such fruits as carrots and apples can be used in baking. The recipe book has tips on how to use these in Carrot cake for example.
But if you don't want to use it for baking it can always be used for compost.
*** General information and Specifications ***
Surgical-Quality Stainless Steel Blade
Special Patented Extraction Technology - delivers up to 30% more juice than other juicers.
High Performance 3,600 RPM Induction Motor with a lifetime warranty
Extra-Large Round Chute accommodates most fruits and vegetables
Super-Sized Detachable Pulp Collector
Power - 500 Watt
Capacity - 1000 ML
This is an older model that's why it's called Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer Classic. When I first got it the word "classic" was nowhere to be seen. There are newer models out now in stainless steel and with a hinged spout to stop spills.
As I said at the beginning, yes this juicer is put away every year and is taken out only once in a very blue moon. But when it is taken out, it still works great and most importantly the juice tastes amazing.
Price I paid 209Euro around £180
How much? Are you crazy? For a toothbrush? These are just some of the lovely questions people have asked me when they see this toothbrush in my bathroom. Yes it is expensive when you can buy a traditional manual toothbrush for little to nothing. So why buy this one? Firstly it's Oral-B, at least its a well know name that you can trust to know what they're doing.
This Professional Care 5000A Triumph Electric Toothbrush with Smart Guide promises to offer the most advanced cleaning technology for unbelievable plaque removal.
This toothbrush has superior features such as five brushing modes and a large selection of toothbrush refills. The "smart guide" is a remote wireless display that tells you when or if you are brushing too heard (this is something that a lot of us do thinking that we will get a better clean, when in reality we may be doing more harm than good) It also tells you when to switch sides and how long to brush for (again something we do thinking we will get a better clean, over brushing can cause gum erosion and enamel depletion) An audible beep sounds every 30 seconds to let you know how long you have been brushing, with a final alert at two minutes. The sound also changes to give you a warning signal, letting you know if you are brushing with too much pressure in order to protect your gums. I like the fact that the screen flashes an image plus an alarm sounds this way people with sight or hearing disabilities can use the advanced features as well.
This smart guide is clinically proven to help improve your brushing habits within 30 days. It did for me. It's worth noting that this toothbrush is the only brand to be platinum approved by the British Dental Health Foundation.
These electric toothbrushes claim to give you naturally whiter teeth and healthier gums in just twenty one days. I have had it far longer than this and yes it does make your teeth gleam and feel silky smooth.
There is a handy "Replace Brush Head Indicator" they say that you should change your brush head every 3 months, when brushing twice a day for two minutes. I found this to be a little too often as the brush head was still in good condition after this time, but if you brush too heard I guess you would need to change it more often. The Smart Guide memorises your complete brushing time, and tells you when you should replace it, to ensure that you are brushing with a brush head that performs at its best.
With the push of a button you can customise your brushing experience with five different brushing modes to find the one that's most comfortable for you.
This toothbrush is very tactile, with it's curved handle it sits comfortable into your hand with a good grip.
The digital display is easy to read while the audio queues would be a welcomed addition for any one with sight problems.
I was very surprised to see that base station is dishwasher-safe. This has no electrical parts yet provides storage for up to four attachments and would be easy to clean by hand but it's a nice bonus that you don't have to. It comes with a sky-blue travel case to store your brush when you're on the go, which I am a lot.
They say that Braun Oral-B rechargeable toothbrushes can use any Braun Oral-B brush head. This isn't completely true as it doesn't accept pulsonic or their sonic range heads, this makes sense as it's not a sonic toothbrush.
***Here's what comes in the box***
1 x Braun Oral-B Triumph 5000A rechargeable toothbrush
1 x Smart Guide brushing aid
1 x Charging stand
1 x Floss Action brush head
1 x 3D White brush head
1 x Sensitive brush head
1 x Travel case
1 x Smart plug
1 x instruction manual.
This is anything but cheap, especially for a toothbrush. But seeing you can brush and floss with the same machine saves you time and money. The fact that it alerts you to brushing for too long, or the mode I found most useful - using too much pressure means it will save you money on dentist bills as well.
Most shockingly I read in a medical journal recently that poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular disease and increases your risk of a heart attack significantly.
So good oral health actually means over all good health. Whether you use this toothbrush or not.
Price I paid : It was a gift. It costs £119.99 at Amazon.co.uk/kitchen.
If you are at all like me and love the foods that are labeled as bad for you. Or don't even appear in that dreaded food pyramid. You may frequent the odd fast food restaurant. Or they may come knocking on your door once or twice a month baring delicious greasy gifts. Or as it used to be the case for me, twice or three times a week.
Being single I'm not the most domesticated of people and therefore I didn't always make the best choices when it came to meal time. More times than not I would take the easy option and order in.
I got this as a gift from a kind family member. Unlike most of these novelty appliances i started using it straight away mostly out of curiosity as to how good the food would taste. At first glance you wouldn't think it's as heavy as it is 7kg is a sup rising weight for a product of it's kind.
Is this a sign of quality?
It was securely packed within the large box, cocooned with in a thick wall of Styrofoam and a see through plastic bag along with the accessories, instructions and a recipe booklet.
The fryer it's self is more like a baby bottle warmer in appearance than a deep fat fryer.
This is quite funky looking, it has an almost nineteen sixties space age style to it.
With its night black edgeless design it's definitely one of the strangest looking appliances i own. Its fitting that it looks space age as what it claims to do is quit out of this world. It claims that it can fry your foods with hot air. Sounds far fetched to me. Yes it may well cook them but will they taste bland and dry. For this to be worth buying the food has to taste good. After all you can put a lot of food in the microwave and it WILL cook it, but it tastes anything but good.
This airfryer comes with a handy little recipe book / booklet. It has 30 simple recipes perfectly suited for the appliance. These include the predictable such as chips down to the surprisingly strange such as chocolate brownies (definitely not something I expected to see)
The fryer basket can be accessed by pulling the long centrally located Handel towards you the Handel blends seamlessly in to the time and temperature dial above. This design is quite unusual for a fryer and looks more suited to a safe than a kitchen appliance, i like it as its not your bog standard design. Both the drawer and food basket are removable and dishwasher safe, I was happy when I first read that as cleaning contraptions by hand is never enjoyable.
As you'd expect you simply place the food in to the basket close the drawer turn the dial to the allotted time and off it goes. It's very quiet as it does it's job then a gentle ding alerts you to get your taste-buds ready.
A handy food separator is provided so you can cook two or more different foods with out the flavours mixing.
Now to the taste it's self. I cooked the obvious thing that 90% of people will use this for.
Wait for it.
I made a small single batch, just enough for me and they turned out great. They didn't necessarily taste fried but the did taste good. Crispy, dry not greasy. Golden brown not burned at all perfect little French Fri style chips. I should add that these were frozen French fries that have an added coating to help them cook. They took around twenty minutes at 200c.
When cooking chips made from scratch using fresh potatoes you need to add a tiny amount of oil. They recommend half a tablespoon of oil for five hundred grams of potatoes. That's tiny compared to totally submerging them into a vat of oil. Plus you can always use olive oil that is actually beneficial to your health as it's a good fat.
The full cooking capacity is eight hundred grams, that's plenty of room for me, more than enough. but for a medium sized family you'll find yourself having to cook a few batches to guarantee everyone gets their fill.
Another thing I noticed about the airfryer is that as foods cook there is very little odour coming from it. That's because of the integrated air filter, this successfully reduces offensive food vapours and odours, preventing them from filling your home with the smell of food, appetising while you're cooking, revolting once you've eaten.
***Key features include***
Patented Rapid Air Technology - combines hot air with grill component to 'fry' food
In-built timer - pre-set cook times of up to 30 minutes
Adjustable temperature control
Food separator accessory.
Integrated air filter.
The recipe book includes chicken and potato dishes. Simple pigs in blankets, Quiche and American style meatloaf. There are lots of party finger food recipes perfect for Christmas, these include Prawns wrapped in ham, ricotta balls with basil, salmon croquettes, Thai fish cakes, empanadas with chorizo, Mediterranean chicken nuggets, garlic mushrooms and more.
Integrated on/off switch
***Weight and dimensions**
Weight of the appliance: 7.0 kg
Product dimensions (W x H x D): 287 x 315 x 384 mm
Power: 1425 W
Voltage: 230 V
Frequency: 50/60 Hz
Cord length: 1 m
Capacity: 800 g
Capacity: 2.2 l
The food I have made in this special little fryer is great. As I said it didn't taste fried but that's a good thing it tastes healthy and full of flavour.
It's quiet, it holds in food smells and is easy to clean.
It's a great alternative to a deep fat fryer. But if you don't need a deep fat fryer you don't really need one of these.
I'm not going to make out that this Philips airfryer has changed my life and that I never even look at a takeout menu anymore. But it has definitely reduced the number of times i order in significantly. And instead of cooking deep fat I now cook low fat.
And because of that my health will benefit in the long run.
Price I paid 7.000Euro that's around £6.012 (please bare in mind that this was four years ago)
When I first got this Sony KDL 52 X 3500 it was a top of the range tv. It was one of the first FULL HD, 24P, LCD TVs on the Market. And the X in it's title told you the buyer, that this was the best TV Sony had to sell. They still use this method today, the further into the alphabet the letter in the TVs code goes the higher the spec of the tv will be, and with each letter the tv becomes more expensive.
At the time X was as high as it went.
I no longer use this as my main tv anymore it has been moved / downgraded to a bedroom tv.
But let me tell you about what makes this worth buying or not.
This model is the 132cm / 52 inch version. It feels bigger than this because of it's designer frame. This is one of it's nicest features. A lot of TVs today are trying to minimise the front of the tv to only have the screen visible in front and the speakers in the back (these look great, don't get me wrong, it's just this ones a little different) This one has a brushed gun metal bezel with the full length speakers in the front on each side. It's then incased within a clear "floating glass design" frame edged with a stainless steel trim.
Not many TVs have had so much effort put into making them look this good and when it's wall mounted like I have it this tv really comes into it's own.
The X 3500 was also avalible in a fantasticly big 70 inch version. I would have loved it but it would have been too big for the house I was in at the time.
The features of the 52 inch version where great for the time. But you will notice some stand out discrepancies when it comes to comparing it to todays large screen LCD, LED and Plasma TVs. Most notably the app like features, built in wifi compatibility, for video streaming and so forth.
These my well be missing, but if you can get this tv for a great price, don't let the lack of these features put you off. With the HDMI connections you can link up blue ray players and games consoles that have these "Internet on TV" features built in. So you're not loosing out on anything.
The picture on this four year old tv is better than my new 2011 TV. That says a lot when it comes to the quality of the picture and colour
Maybe it's something to do with Sony's BRAVIA Engine Pro. This promises greater picture definition and it delivers.
Its Live Colour Creation and x.v.Colour technology produce vibrant colours the way nature intended them to be viewed. No overly saturated or pale washed out colours on this TV.
The "Built-in S-Force Front Surround speaker setting" produces stunning full surround sound effects from only 2 front speakers.
The "Voice Zoom feature" is great for altering the volume of voices without changing background volume. This is really good when watching football and you don't want the commentary to be so loud, but still want to experience the atmosphere of a live match. This also works great when you are struggling to here voices, turn it up and the problem is solved.
The "BRAVIA Theatre Sync" enables you to operate your TV and entire home cinema system by pushing one button ( as long as everything is a Sony )
Motionflow +100Hz shows fast-moving sequencies with precision and smoothness. This is ideal for sports and can be turned on and off as needed. This setting compensates by adding extra pictures to the fast moving image, you don't see these extra images it just results in a strangely 3D effect. There is a depth to the picture when motion flow is set to max. I love this setting ( however if the tv signal isn't of the highest quality the picture can start to jitter )
The 24p True Cinema setting automatically switches on when viewing a high definition blue ray disc or game. This means it's being shown as the director intended, with twenty four frames per second right in your home cinema setting.
The "Photo TV HD technology" is great for viewing high-resolution digital still photographs in optimal quality.
Or you can always use the "USB Photo Viewer" to easily display your digital photos on a big TV screen.
It's full HD 1080p compatible to display High Definition signals in the highest quality, i.e. Playstation 3, Blu-ray Disc, etc. It also supports all signals up to that.
The supported video signals are
576i - This is the standard resolution (analogue tv, VHS)
1080i - this is HD. The "i" stands for interlaced. This is two steps down from Full HD. Sky HD uses this resolution.
720p - this is HD. The "p" stands for progressive. This is only one step down from Full HD. Sky HD also uses this resolution.
1080p - this is full HD. 1920 by 1080p. Sky HD does NOT support this resolution.
It comes with some accessories too.
*In the box*
1 AC Cable.
1 Coax Cable.
1 Operating Instructions.
1 matching gun metal Table-Top stand.
*Wall mounting details*
VESA mounting holes.
Wall-Mount Bracket SU-WL500 (optional)
3 HDMI Inputs
1 PC Input (15pin D-Sub) + Audio In
2 Component Inputs
4 Pin (Y/C) In (S Video)
MiniJack (Head/Earphone) (3.5 mm)
1 PCMCIA Card Slot
1 RCA Audio Out
1 RCA AV Input
1 RF In
2 Scart Inputs (RGB)
With table top stand (W x H x D, cm) 141.5 x 89.0 x 38.4
Without Table Stand (W x H x D, cm) 141.5 x 82.7 x 12.5
*Weight Including Stand*
*Weight Without Stand*
One of the nicest little touches found on this TV is that the Sony Logo Illuminates at the bottom centre of the screen, appearing from nowhere in electric blue. It magically appears on the clear glass frame when turned on, this function can be found in the "Tools menu" and vanishes when turned off.
The Dynamic Contrast ratio Is 18000:1 this is the rating from the blackest black to the whitest White. This makes all the difference, always look out for this when shopping for a new TV.
*Picture Modes *
Vivid, standard, and custom. Try and always use the custom setting for the best picture as all setting are then adjustable.
16:9 Mode (this is the wide screen setting)
4:3 Mode (this is best suited for viewing movies or programs that where made before wide screen,otherwise the picture will be starched. This puts wide black bars at the sides of the screen mimicking the old square screen shape and size)
Picture In Picture? (yes)
Picture & Picture? (yes)
Analogue Terrestrial Tuner - watch all of your analogue tv channels (while they're still available)
Digital Terrestrial Tuner (MPEG-2) watch all of your favourite digital free view channels with it's built in free view box. Seven day EPG (electronic program guide)
Digital TV Cable Tuner (with supported operators)
One last thing to mention is the remote control.
It's a good size and feels comfortable in your hand.
It matches the TV perfectly with it's colouring and design.
It has a handy illumination button to illuminate the keypad for ten seconds. This is the same electric blue as the illuminated Sony Logo on the glass frame this is a nice touch.
I loved this TV when it was pride of place in my Home. And I still love it now.
As I said earlier, if you can get this TV for a good price (seeing it's an older model)
You won't regret it.
Price I paid 81Euro Thats around £70
Firstly, what is DAB?
DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. It has been described as the most fundamental advance in radio technology since the introduction of FM stereo radio. The main reason for this, is that it basically is the same as the difference between analog and satellite TV. The difference IS noticeable.
The aesthetics of this radio are one of it's main selling points the "old style" design will appeal to people like myself that remember radios like this, and to the very young that don't, but will like it's retro style.
Sometimes morning tv can be one or both of two things. Overly cheerful and loud. Or downright depressing.
Sometimes a radio playing in the background is just right, as you try and become human, first thing in the morning.
This little beauty from Bush, does the job perfectly.
It's nice and compact. You don't need a huge sound system with woofers and the like in your kitchen. You don't even need a CD player a simple little radio like this does the job well, perfectly well.
One of the good things about it's compact size (H12.6, W24.6, D8.6cm) is that it can go anywhere. You can have it on the breakfast bar, countertop, windowsill it will fit anywhere and won't draw your attention to it unnecessarily.But if it does happen to catch your eye it's a pleasure to look at.
With it's pale wooden cabinet and silver facade it looks "cute" (not my words)
The electric blue LCD display is easily readable from a distance. Some of these little screens are impossible to read from less than a few inches away.
This is a Digital DAB/FM radio, this means you can listen to both the FM radio stations you have always known and loved. Plus the almost endless list of digital stations available at the push of a button or the twist of a dial.
There are 10 FM preset stations. This cuts down the time it would take you to tune in your favourite channel. Instead it's as simple as pushing a button.
There are 10 DAB preset stations, again this is so handy, especially with the DAB stations as there can be so many of them.
The stereo speakers (2 x 2 watts RMS) throw out a surprisingly good sound, small speakers can more times than not have a "tin can" sound. These have full base and good treble.
The Auto time update function means you will never have to set the time manually again. As long as there is a signal, you will always have the right time.
The expected but always welcome, headphone socket, means when you want to bring the radio somewhere quiet maybe somewhere to have a lie down, you can use the headphone socket (no headphones provided) to listen to some relaxing music or talk radio, without disturbing others.
This is made all the more easy as it can run off either mains power or battery power (4 x AA batteries not included)
One thing about this raido is that it's designe will not be to everybody's taste and unless you know someone perticulary well this might not be the best choose of gifts. Because youneither love it or hate it.
I happen to love it
This little radio is both stylish and functional. It doesn't cost the earth, has good sound. And most importantly it enables you listen to radio channels you otherwise wouldn't be able to.
I'm glad I bought it.
The price I paid 100Euro around £86
Breville, well known for their small quality kitchen appliances.
Brita, well known for their quality water purifying expertise.
Put these two world leaders in their field together and what do you get?
A cheap, shoddy, plastic kettle.
I must point out something first. When I use the word cheap I mean the quality of the product. Not the price, this is anything but cheep for the resulting tat that you get for your hard earned money.
This is a strongly worded review, I realise that. But I don't want anybody to be as foolish as I was and buy one of these things, only to be disappointed.
As I have said many times before in previous reviews. I can be led astray by a recognisable brand.
And I rearly buy cheap. This is snobbery on my part, I admit it. And this kettle with its double-barrel well know names shows me up for the fool that I am (at times)
This kettle was described as a modern fusion of kitchen excellence with water purification brilliance. Sounds good doesn't it?
At first glance you'd think this would work, and to be honest the problem didn't lie with Brita. After all, all that Brita had to do with this kettle was the fact that you put one of their filter cartridges into it and change it when the time comes.
If they had a hand in the design and quality control, then I put some more of the blame on them, but I don't know if they did.
I bought this from Argos admittedly not the best place to buy it from, as you don't get to see it in the flesh to feel the quality and so on.
So I get it home and unpack it. First and foremost it was empty of course, and that's exactly how it felt. Empty. By this I mean it was terribly light in your hand, light,cheap plastic. When they made it, they of course would have realised this and could have at least put very small weights in the bottom or something to add a little substance to it. I understand when it's full of water you don't want it to be uncomfortably heavy. But I hope you understand what I mean, when I say it just felt cheap.
Within the main cavity of the kettle is the removable milky coloured plastic Brita reservoir. This takes up about two thirds of the interior of the kettle and it's down into this that you push one of their Maxtra cartridges. Then you have to do the same routine as you would with any Brita product. This is a necessary procedure to insure the filter is flushed out first. You simply fill the kettle to max and empty out the water (no need to boil) Then repeat this two more times and you're good to go.
A nice feature from Breville is that the kettle illuminates blue when not in use and once you press the button down, it turns red to boil. With a 3kW rapid boil Concealed element, it had a reasonably fast boil but the kettle I have now is much faster. Plus the Breville would rumble like it was about to take off ,as it came towards boiling point. Then the colour would change back to blue once the switch clicked to tell you it had boiled.
Admittedly you can both see and taste the difference with the Brita filter. I don't live in a hard water area, but I still like to filter the tap water. You can see the difference on tea or coffee when drank black, or before you add the milk.
You can try this even if you don't own a water filtration system.
Make your tea or coffee as normal. And before you add the milk just take a look at the surface of the beverage. If there is a petrol-like appearance to the top, that is a sign of water contaminants such as excessive levels of chlorine in your drinking water. Any Brita product will remove that and leave your hot beverages looking and tasting better. And if you do live in a heard water area, it will help reduce lime scale in your kettle significantly.
I should add that there is a Brita Maxtra cartridge included with the kettle.
At the top, on the hinged door there is a "Filter life indicator" this is a little screen that you must press when you change your cartridge or start using it for the first time. It tells you when it needs changing by increasing the number of bars on it's display from zero to three as time passes.
The kettle has a 1.25 litre capacity, smaller than some, but this is because of the large Brita cartridge takeing up a lot of the water room.
There is a keep warm function. This is a simple switch, that can be found at the bottom of the handle and means when your water boils it will stop it from cooling and keep it at a drinkable temperature.
There is a safety locking lid. Good I guess, better than nothing. But not a reason to leave your kettle in reach of children or pets.
360 degree base
Non slip feet
And cord storage. All sounds pretty good right?
But it was the last two features that not only attracted me to the product. But where the two that caused me the most trouble.
Boil dry protection.
And Automatic switch off.
Both of these features are precautionary safety measures for your own peace of mind.
They worked well for about six or seven months. They I started to notice that the kettle was boiling for a lot longer than normal, and I would manually have to switch it off.
Then one day I filled the kettle to Max and put it on to boil just to see how long it would take to eventually turn itself off.
It never did.
It just kept boiling until the kitchen looked like a steam bath. And it started to hiss as every drop of water boiled out of it and the element started to burn.
Where was the "boil dry protection feature?"
Where was the "automatic turn off feature?"
This was a health hazard.
I understand that occasionally products can be faulty, and that's what guarantees are for.
But there's a difference between being faulty and being down right dangerous.
But the icing on the cake that really sealed the deal for me was when my brother just happened to mention, that he had bought one of "my kettles" and that the very same problem had happened to him. But this time it was in the space of only two months, plus the lid had started jamming.
And most importantly it had been bought At a totally different retailer.
Maybe it was a faulty batch, that amazingly both of us happened to get one of, months apart from each other. Maybe.
But I wouldn't take the chance.
I have noticed though that their are lots of five star ratings for similar Brevill Brita kettles on this site.
I take it they would have been taken off the market if this problem had continued. Both my brother and I reported the fault to the manufacture and the kettle is still on sale today.
Just be careful with them, that's all I saying.
I think this is the wrong quick rate panel for this product. Please only pay attention to the first four. Thank you
The price I paid : 121Euro around £106
Like most people I love to travel, it's one of the best things in life.
But do you know what's one of the worst thing in life?
Hidden charges being one of my absolute pet peeves. There is nothing worse than thinking you got a reasonable deal on your flight (I use the word reasonable, because I travel mostly to the United States and it's never cheap) then only to discover at cheek in that your bag is too big to use as a carry on and must be checked in.
Then as it's sat up on to the scales like an embarrassed weight watcher member who has to be weighed in front of everyone, only to have their weight gain read out (because you know the people behind you in line are watching)
You stare at the little screen as the weight fluctuates up down left and right. Until it settles on an absurd number. Of course it's going to be heavy, there are no charges for carry on luggage. So like most people I pack the heaviest items in to my bag.
Then for the bad news:" Now sir, that will be... She looks at her screen. Your right kidney please."
That might as well be what they ask for, the charges can be ludicrous.
So it's vitally important to check on the airline website whether or not they have size restrictions on carry on luggage, and some even have weight restrictions (but not normally to the US)
That was the problem I had with this bag, not the weight but the size.
It's a lovely bag, perfect to have as your main luggage. It's Timberland, a very recognisable name in the clothing business. But not so well known for their travel bags. They should be.
This is a quality piece of kit. It feels strong and comfortable to carry and sturdy when used on it wheels.
Its material is weatherproof polyester, not the thin stuff this is nice and thick.
The bags capacity is : 83 litres. This is lots of room, it's one of those what I call "Mary Poppins bags". Where you can't believe how much you can fit into it.
This is the thing to take note of when travelling, the overall Dimensions : 76 x 41 x 35cm
The weight of the bag when empty is : 2.6 Kg
And the colour is called : burnt olive
It comes with a choice of handles and straps to use :
There are two permanent sewn in straps, one on each side if you want to carry it like a standard duffel bag.
There is an optional long strap if you wish to carry it over your shoulder.
Then there's the strong plastic handles :
One at the top of the bag to carry like a briefcase (i found this to be the most awkward way to carry it)
And finally the expandable telescopic handle at the top (this is of course used when wheeling the bag behind you)
The wheels are good and strong and feel like they will last as long as the bag itself.
The thing I like about this bag, is that it has a casual feel about it. It's neither young nor old looking, any age group could use it.
It has a expander zip if you need even more room. Yes this can be found on nearly every pice of luggage on the market, but it's always nice to have.
This is indeed a quality product, maybe a little expensive, you could buy a full luggage set in Argos for this price. But I do think it's worth the money.
Price I paid : it was a gift.
Amazon have it for £11.39
Jump back in time with this happy light-hearted musical.
When I call this a musical, don't think Mamma Mia.
This is a documentary style movie, with 90% of it being made of of concert footage of ABBAs 1977 tour of Australia. With a little side storyline intertwined between the live performances played by actors.
The story is about a young disk jokey called Ashely. He is quite highly strung at the best if times, but when his eccentric boss gives him the daunting mission of getting an unauthorised interview with ABBA before they leave the country, he almost has a nervous breakdown. Get an interview sounds simple enough, but when you see footage of news casts from their visit, you'll see that getting an interview with Elvis after he died would have been easier.
ABBAs popularity in Australia was incredible, think the Beatles meets Michael Jackson. The opening scene alone with the fans camped outside the air port is crazy. "WE WANT ABBA, WE WANT ABBA!" they chanted over and over again until all hell breaks loose when the four Swedes make their appearance in matching White summer jackets with their respective letter on the back. (the name ABBA was an acronym of the four members names Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-frid)
From that moment on Ashely is running around like a headless chicken trying desperately to get the interview as the days and hours tick down to ABBA leaving Australia .
What makes the movie more believable than it sounds, is the fact that neither ABBA nor their security team knew about this strange man that had no press pass and was stalking them day and night trying to push his way towards them. You can see many time how puzzled they are as he begs from a distance for an interview. Pluse he gets man handled more than once by their overzealous bodyguards.
This was the brainchild of the director of the movie Lasse Halstrom who directed all of their famous music videos, and has gone on to be nominated for an academy award for his movie Chocolat staring Johnny Depp.
This idea of them not being aware makes for a believable challenge. I won't spoil the end.
Now for the important stuff, the music.
All of their hits up until 1977 are here. There are no voulez Vous, and no super troupers here as they weren't even written at the time of the tour. However SOS, Waterloo, Mamma Mia, The name of the game, Money money money, Dancing Queen and many many more are performed. Everybody knows ABBA for their songs and maybe for their outlandish costumes, but they were wonderful live performers, with great energy and spectacular voices.
Aganetha Faltskog (the blond one) looks stunning throughout the movie. And is visibly embarrassed by the attention her backside attracts. At a Sydney press conference an Australian reporter asked "is it true, that you are the proud owner of an award that declares you the lady with the worlds most sexiest bottom?" this actually was true she was one of the first, if not THE first to be awarded rear of the year. An award that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
In another comical Scene Bjorn (her husband at the time) reads a tabloid front page headline to her.
"Agnatha's bottom tops show!"
"Oh my God," she says."Don't they have bottoms in Australia man?"
This is most suited to ABBA fans, as most people just want their greatest hits. If your looking for that may I recommend ABBA Gold on DVD or CD.
But for me this is the best of both worlds, you get to hear the music and see the act live.
Plus go on a little jury with the actors.
This is my favourite music DVD, because it's a little different, but in a good way
The second disc is full of extras from original movie trailers to interviews. To worldwide advertising and merchandise galleries.
You don't have to love ABBA to love this.
You just have to love music.
The price I paid 364Euro around £320 (can be found for much cheaper now. Amazon for example are selling it for only £220.99 so shop around!)
Being asthmatic a vacuum cleaner is one of the most important purchases I had to make, so I don't take it as lightly as I have some of the other products I've reviewed.
I have cats, and when anyone hears that, they are completely puzzled. "Why would you choose cats over other pets?" I don't find cat hair or dander a problem so they don't irritate my asthma. I'm not here to review cats ( their great by the way) so I'll get on with it.
Dyson is of course a very well know and respect brand on the vacuum cleaner market. And for good reason if this DC23 pets and allergy, is anything to go by.
It looks like most of the other Dyson cyclone cylinder models, quite futuristic in it's design. A design that Dyson created and so may have copied. Don't get this confused with the more recognisable Dyson vacuums. These are called their upright range. Those are the tall waist Hight models that don't suit every size of home. The DC23 Is far more compact and looks more suited to being a car vacuum than for home use. But don't let the size fool you. This is more than capable of cleaning the dirtiest of houses with as many pets as you like. This is actually the vacuum that was used on Noah's Ark, don't you know.
Bag-less canister vacuums are nothing new, but they where when Dyson introduced them to the general public.
For powerful pet hair removal this does a great job. It features Dyson's most efficient cyclone technology for capturing microscopic dust. That's why this is a must for asthmatics.
The Mini turbine head removes dirt and pet hair from carpets, upholstery and tight spaces, whit the greatest of ease.
Always use the turbine-head brush bar, for carpets.
My whole house was carpeted when I first got this. Now all the rooms bar my bedroom have wooden floors. And a clever little extra on this model is that the turbine head switches off for hard floors.
The HEPA filter is guaranteed "Lifetime washable." It traps microscopic allergens. This makes all the difference to the quality of air after using a vacuum. Have you ever noticed how dusty the air can smell and feel after using your old vacuum.
Here's a handy little tip to see if your vacuum cleaner is throwing out more dust into the air than it's actually keeping.
First of all look on your model for the exhaust vent and take note of where the power switch is. Then grab yourself a flashlight or your mobile phone. Turn off the light and turn on your vacuum. After a few seconds shine the torch towards the vent and if it's performing badly, it will be clear to see, the dust flys up into the air. This can be very enlightening, as lots of people think they are doing a good thing vacuuming regularly. Then wonder why their children still cough and wheeze straight after.
Its easy to clean stairs aswell with this Dyson. As you know a lot of small models aren't nesserly easier to use on the stairs. This one is.
It has a long cord length (a must to look out for) And is specially designed to sit comfortably on each stair as you go.
The New "articulating hard floor tool" manoeuvres easily and cleans narrow gaps, with the minimal amount of effort.
Patented cyclone technology for no loss of suction. This means there are no dusty bags to change, at the touch of a button the dust can be emptied quickly and easily.
Level 3 Root CycloneTM technology
Air Watts (constant) 220 AW
The movement type is "fixed wheel". This means that it won't be rolling around like an out of control shopping trolly. It will go where you want it to when you want it to.
The HEPA filter expels cleaner exhaust air, and has a" Lifetime" filter.
The clear bin capacity is 0.44 gallons.
There are a good collection of tolls and accessories listed below.
*What's included in the box*
Quick start guide
5 year warranty
Plus the following accessories...
A Dyson-designed tool for removing dust and dirt from stairs and stair carpets.
Articulating hard floor tool
Maneuvers easily and cleans narrow gaps.
Long bristles to remove cobwebs and for delicate cleaning.
The air driven brush bar is ideal for cleaning medium and short pile carpets and can be turned off for hard floors.
Mini turbine head
Removes pet hair and dirt from confined spaces such as upholstery, stairs, and the car. Quickly attaches to the hose or wand.
High velocity airflow crevice tool ideal for cleaning base boards.
Height x depth x width. 13.9 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches
Weight- 19.5 lbs
Max. reach- 36.2 ft
Cord length- 21.6 ft
This is a wonderful vacuum cleaner, it has great suction with low noise, which is hard to find.
Seeing this is marketed an an animal/allergy model.
It does everything you expect from it, and does it well.
Price I paid 638Euro around £560
Let me start off by saying that I wouldn't be the best in the kitchen. I am definitely no expert. But in the last year or so I have started to dabble a bit and I'm starting to quite like it. But as you well know, that doesn't mean I'm any good.
In order to start thinking you're one of those celebrity chefs off the telly you need the right equipment (thats what I do by the way. Totally embarrassing I know, but at least I'm being honest. And I bet I'm not the only one. At least I hope I'm not).
The right equipment fully depends on your individual needs and tastes. In my case, as I've said before in nearly every review that I've written, I went for brand name and appearance. I have lots of Fisher and paykel products in my kitchen. So it was kind of predictable that that would be the name on my hobs too.
Electric or gas? I didn't know that there was much of a difference. Did you? People that cook electric tend to say that's it's much cleaner. I guess that makes sense.
While the gas brigade tend to say: "Oh no there's nothing like cooking with gas." What does that even mean? But I went gas in the end. Admittedly it was because the burners looked better than the flat sheet of glass versions when not in use.
As I said at the start I've only recently started cooking so I expected it to be in the off position for most of it's life. The unique selling feature of this for me was the "Gas on Glass" design.
The entire bottom surface is black, toughened, scratch resistant glass. On which five trivet burners sit in an unusual two, one, two design. By this I mean there are two Small burners at the back left and right. Two medium burners at the front left and right. And a large burner smack bang in the middle.
The Trivets themselves are made of durable black cast iron. The control panel is situated along the front edge of the unit, all controls will be at waist level and very easy to reach. One of my favourite things is that there is a stainless steel border that only runs along the front as a platform for the controls. The reason I like this is that it's made of the very same material as all of the other Fisher and Paykel appliances that I own and this compliments them perfectly.
All graphics have been laser etched, so there is no chance of them fading over time.
It is of course natural gas compatible.
The glass is described as an "Easy clean ceramic glass surface"
There is a handy and very quick electronic ignition.
And a flame failure protection program.
There is a wok burner, which is a triple ring burner with a uniform flame that evenly distributes heat across the bottom of a wok or large pots and pans.
An Auxiliary burner, which is a small, less powerful flame, ideal where low temperatures are needed.
You'll need to know the CUTOUT DIMENSIONS before you buy.
Overall depth of cutout (front to back) 480 cm
Overall width of cutout (side to side) 680 cm
PRODUCT DIMENSIONS are :
Overall depth of product (front to back). 510 cm
Overall height of chassis (below bench-top) 54 cm
Overall width of product (side to side). 750 cm
This is a stunning looking hob, whether it's in use of not.
But when it is, it works great.