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I have visited the Barmouth area many times and a must for a holiday here is a visit to Harlech Castle. Just a few miles away and well signed posted. Although the Castle sits on top of a hill and clearly visable as you approach. This adds to the excitement of the visit. I try to pick a day when it is not raining and clear, this improves the experience when arrive as everything is open.
Being a member of English Heritage.. with more than one year membership my visit was "free". Was is a bonus. Costs opening/closing times and events may be found on the website http://www.harlech.com/
I showed my pass in the shop on the town side.
There is small and tight parking near to the castle, which can fill up quickly but there is another car park and with toilets about 5 minutes walk away through the town - which is worth visting anyway. On the sea side there is another car park - but the walk up to the castle is very steep this way. In fact an exhausting walk.
There are many, many steps to go up and down.. so if visiting suitable footwear should be worn. Also being a ruin any rain and wind gets through so a coat or jumper may be needed on all but the hottest of days.
Harlech Castle, giving all the steps is not in many respects suitable for disabled or those not steady on their feet, there are just loads of steps to walk up and down. As for the Castle it's self. It is a ruin so there are many places to explore. The notice boards are well sighted and very interesting. Giving the full history of the castle and surrounding area. It was good to read the history and the fact that the sea once came right up to the edge of the castle cliff. Great pictures and drawing of just how the sea came up to the castle. Easy to see this from right at the top level looking down. The views from all round are just amazing. For those with a camera there are some great views to capture of the castle and mountains, Snowdon is visable on a clear day as is the railway line and when I was there pleased to say a steam train passed by to much excitment. It is also possible to view the sea passed a leisure centre and camp site.
There are toilets to be found near the shop, up and down even more stairs. These were clean and tidy.
The shop on the way out is fairly small and has the normal things, pens, books, postcards guide books, general history books etc. Not that exciting as shops go. Although the prices were lower than I had expected. Staff very friendly and pleased to answer a few questions that my Dad had.
Overall I have always enjoyed a visit to this Castle and the town it's self is worth looking round, nice shops and friendly people. I look forward to visiting again in a year or two.
Having tried the more expensive brands of Tomato Soup last week I decided to see for myself what the Everyday Value Tesco''s Soup was like. The first thing I was pleased with was the price! 25p as compared with 80p plus for named brands. The Packaging: Tesco''s soup is packed in a metal can with a light white/cream coloured labelled can. The can size is 400g. There is a chart showing contents etc. Yes the label looks basic - but all the things someone buying the can needs to know are on the label. The food contents, calories etc are all clearly marked. There is a picture of the can content as well. I liked the large size of the calories label. The buyer can quickly see what they are getting. Actual Soup: On openning the can - I saw the actual soup The colour is a really bright orange so bright that at first it seemed a little off putting. There is a good sweet smell of tomatoes which was nice. The liquid is much tinner than a named brand - and that was even more evident when heating the soup up on a gas hob. Taste: The best part! After warming up I really enjoyed the taste of this soup, yes it is thinner, which is really noticeable, than so called better brands but the taste is just as good. There is not so much of a cream back ground to the taste compared to a more expensive brand but for me at least that is ok. As the soup warmed up the great small of Tomatoes came more and more. Heat up time on gas hob was about 4 minutes - I do like my soup hot. Did also try to heat up a can in Mircowave...Not sure the taste was as good Microwaved but others may have a different experience here. With some bread this is a good mid day meal, at a low price too. This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
In years gone by I have had some poor experiences with Foil Electric Shavers. Mainly due to the sideways cutting action which seems to rip my beard rather than cut it. This was some years ago so I thought it was time to try another foil shaver.
This Braun shaver comes in a box with a clear front so can see what is inside.
On first impressions I have been really pleased. Out of the box this shavers feel heavy, suspect due to the weight of the rechargeable battery and feels well made, it comes with the sideburn trimmer as well, which is a good addition.
After charging, the information says that the battery when charge will last a week, so far it has lasted for 4 days and the charge is still going strong. So after charging for first time I tried the shaver both under dry and wet conditions. The shaver cut by beard well. Maybe not as well as the rotary electric shaver which normally use and certainly not as close as a blade wet shave.
Over all with the cut was pleased. If in a rush and so no time for a blade wet shave this foil shaver is a good 2nd choice.
The shaver comes with twin foils and an included middle trimmer.
For me the easiest part is the cleaning. All I needed to do was remove the top and place under a running water tap. This washed away any excess.
This Braun Shaver comes with a two-year warranty.
The slight down side for me is that this model doesn''t come with a travel case. Just a head protector, this stops the shaver switching on when carrying around.
These MegaRed Krill Oil capsules come in a easy to open sealed bottle. The bottle is in a cardboard box. There are use instructions also included. Which are well written. The actual capsules are a black red colour and very hard. They are a bit smaller than the other brand of fish oils I have been using and so are easier to take with water. There is a very vague smell with these tablets, not off putting at all perhaps a bit like vanilla ice cream! Over the last twenty plus years I have been a regular user of fish oil capsule. The capsules I use now do have that "fishy" aftertaste, which at times can be really unpleasant. These MegaRed Krill Oil capsules claim not to have this aftertaste. Which I am pleased to say is true.
There is no nasty aftertaste and as the oil apparently dissolves in the stomach contents while other oils tend to float on top according to the information supplied.
I have been advised to take fish oil for a number of reasons, heart health, joint health and so on. Cod liver oil tablets have been getting a bad press lately what with various toxins and heavy metals contaminating the waters and in turn the fish, but these tablets are made from krill oil from the cleaner Antarctic waters seems to be a better idea for the users heath.
I am pleased recommend this producr if you''re looking for fish oil/omega 3 capsules
These capsules are:-
Very easy to take with water
Have no fishy aftertaste
I have been taking these now for 20 days and there have been no side effects. No fish taste.
As I am on a bit of an economy drive I decided to try out the Tesco Everyday Value Washing up Liquid. After all at about 35p for a really big 500ml plastic bottle that looked full, I thought for this price cannot go wrong.
But I was wrong.
I normally give Tesco Everyday Value products a high score but not this time.
The package is plain as would expect with this brand. The bottle is clear and allows the buyer to see the green coloured washing up liquid inside. The plus point is that the small is nice, the washing up liquid smells as it should, pleased with this.
Then I squeezed some liquid out into by washing up bowl, the washing liquid is very thin when compared with a better brand. If I was at work (paint industry) would say that the Tesco Everyday Value liquid has a low viscosity compared with a named brand. I needed to use at least four times as much of this value brand as compared to my Fairy Liquid which normally use ? even then I struggled to remove grease from my dishes. In the end had to soak the dishes for a hour or so to remove the grease.
Having said this the value washing up liquid did work fairly well with just slightly dirty dishes which had been used for a salad meal and a cup of tea.
For my next washing up I went back to Fairy Liquid. For much less washing up liquid the Fairy Brand cleaned some greasy dishes no problem at all. Being much better than the Tesco Everyday Value Brand. In the end get what you pay for ?..35p for 500ml might seem a bargain at first. But in actual use have to use so much more than a named brand that this value cleaner is just not worth it.
I did finish off the bottle of Tesco?s Everyday Value Washing Up Liquid it worked ok on only slightly dirty dishes.
I obtained a Swingball set for a young person's club. We use it both indoors (in a fairly large hall, swingball would not be suitable for use inside a home) and out doors.
The Swingball is a game played by two people. The idea is to hit a ball attached to a string and swinging it around the pole to try get the spiral counter to the top or bottom of the spiral pole depending on the direction each person is aiming for.
Swingball is simple to play and great fun.
Our particular swingball set comes with a free-standing base ..This means we do not have to push the pole into the ground, grass and the game can be played indoors. The stand can be filled with water or sand. Or just about anything small that is heavy and keeps the pole up right. We started with water but that was very heavy and after loads of use sprung a small leak. So emptied out the water. Covered over the tiny hole with tape and filled base with sand. The base works just as well - on going if brought another of these swingball sets would use sand rather than water in the base.
We have found that this game that both young people and adults cab play, even together which is rare. Although the adult needs to take care how hard they hit the ball back if playing with someone small or under say 10 years old age. There are loads of swing ball sets on the market - the one we have cost £22. It has lasted over a year now.
Our Swingball comes with two blue plastic rackets, very much like lawn tennis rackets with maybe shorter handles. Care needs to be taken when hitting the ball that the racket does not fly out of the hand.
Swingball is a great game for families and youth groups. All day play together inside or out.
These Jaffa Cakes are from the Tesco Everyday Value range. As such they come in the usual everyday value package and so are easy to spot on the shelf.
I normally buy the Mcvities brand but after an expensive week decided to treat myself to a cheaper variety. I have to say over the last few weeks tried out many of the Tesco Everday Value range and have been pleased with each one.
These Tesco Everday Value Jaffa Cakes come in a box of 24, two packs of 12. They are much cheaper than Mcvities Jaffa Cakes. On first look the Tesco Jaffa Cakes do "look" cheaper, the cakes are less finished with an uneven layer of "chocolate" topping.
The chocolate taste is similar to Mcvities if a little sweeter - which I found to be a nice taste. The chocolate spread is as I have said eneven and with some cakes less than that of a Mcvities Jaffa cake.
The sponge layer is good, spongey like Mcvities. The sponge layer does seem to break up more than I remember which a more expensive jaffa cake. The layer of orange has been for me the best part - it is a good orange colour and tastes just great - again maybe a little sweeter.
Overall I am really pleased with the Tesco Everday Value Jaffa Cakes. They are a great and much cheaper alternative to a Brand product.
I purchased this Dettol multi Action Cleaner Apple from a local "value" store for under £2 for a 500ml container. At such a price I have been very pleased with this cleaner.
This particular cleaner is "apple". I did see other different fragrences but tried apple.
The cleaner comes in a 500ml bottle with a pump action spray. The bottle has a green tint. The label gives use instructions which are clear and easy to undersand.
The Product Description on the label states:-
Removes, that this is an anti bacterial mulit purpose clearner..that removes
tough stains 1st time, living a fresh fragrance
3 times cleaning power on kitchen grease, burnt food and bathroom dirt
Kills 99.9% of bacteria eg E.coli and Influenza virus
The label says that this cleaner removes stains 1st time. Which is a bold thing to say.
So I tested -
Tea stain - removed first time
Souce stain - removed first time
Gravy stain - removed first time
Overspill from vegetable cooking - removed first time
But burnt food (again vegetable) took a few attemps but in the end did clean away.
As a general cleaning around the home this Dettol cleaner works well. The areas used do look clean, the apple smell is fresh, if a touch strong maybe, it is also good to know that this cleaner does remove 99.9% of bacteria. This leaves my kitchen with a clean and fresh look/smell.
The pump action bottle is easy to use also - giving a fine spray of cleaner.
The 500ml seems to have lasted a long time - although suspect that depends on how many times the home is cleaned.
When I went shopping the normal country vegetable soup I buy was not in stock so I decided to try out the Heinz Weight Watchers version.
I have enjoyed Heinz Weight Watches Soup in different flavours before.
This soup comes in a 295g can. With a purple colour label that is in line with the normal weight watchers brand from Heinz, the picture of the soup on the label is actually very similar to what the product looks like. Soup with loads of country vegetable's in. The label says that the vegetable content is 26%.
Per 295g tin:
The label says the soup needs 2 minutes 30 seconds in a 850W microwave. I followed the instructons closely heat soup in microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds, stir and then another minute heating in microwave. At which point the liquid was bubbling, I thought that the soup was very hot - and needed to allow it to cool before trying it.
The soup can also be heated on a hob in a saucepan until hot enough.
Once cooled a bit... I really enjoyed the taste of this soup. There is truly a lot of vegetables such as peas carrots, peas, sweetcorn, potatoes, celery, green beans, leeks and beans. The liquid is a bit on the thin side which at first put me off a little. Perhaps not the most filling of soups but it is a Weight Watchers brand.
This is a Weight Watchers soup - so it is thin - the calorie count is low. For 60P expensive but I enjoyed it. Care should be taken when heating not to make the soup too hot.
My HP all in one printer stopped working after 10 years a few weeks ago. So I decided to look for a good quality replacement that for Scan, Fax, Copy, Print etc. After loads of looking I decided to purchase this Epson WorkForce WF-3520DWF printer.
On first impressions have been very pleased. Although the set up took hours - rather than the few minutes that the instructions enclosed with the printer suggested. On going if you purchase this printer please read through the instructions carefully - it will help the set up a lot and make things so much easier.
On arrival the printer comes well packed. Not too much waste either.
Note: There is on USB Cable included - so will either need to buy one or use old one from last printer (which I did- works fine).
So far, this has proved to be a good choice, even though the set up I found to be very hard. Although I suspect someone more into computers would find it easier.
The good things are:-
A.- Great scanner, printer, with fax & copying , Black and white Plus colour printing settings, easy to use automatic document feeder (30 sheets), big (250 sheets) paper tray, double sided printing and copy which I have found really useful. Print speed is good and the machine is not too loud when in use. The touch screen is easy to follow and works well. The scan speed is faster than my old all in one printer and gives a good clear copy. The OCR word programme works better than I am used to - making changable copies of word documents a pleasure. Fax is also a pleasure to use. Nice clear copies that fax well - worked first time - great.
B. The scan to PC I have found to be the easiest way of getting a scan to the PC rather than use the WIFI or save on a memory card. The transfer via the USB cable is fast - much faster than my old HP printer - this will save me a load of time.
C. Very pleased with the running costs. The Epson orginal inks as about £7 per set - great value reconditioned even cheaper. A good selling point.
Not so good.
The actual set up... took hours and still not right for WIFI. The machine comes with 2 discs - one with the Drivers and one with the printer page set up. These loaded fairly fast. The USB connection to one printer is good. Note if setting up for first time Do Not Connect the USB cable to PC until asked to. If run the set up disc with the USB connected the set up will fail. Took me an hour to sort that - althought to be fair it is written clearly on the instructions!
Thev WIFI keeps dropping out - so have tended to use the UBS connection.
Overall very pleased a good a cost-effective printer for home and small office.
I normally buy an much more expensive mouth wash, but all that was on my Tesco shelf this month was this Tesco Daily Use Coolmint Mouth Wash. For under 60p I thought it was worth a try.
As for the cost please note that the actual amount charged by Tesco seems to vary from shop to shop.
This mouth wash comes in a plastic bottle with a child proof cap. This is a nice touch for such a cost effective product. The actual mouth wash is a blue colour. It is possible to see through the bottle and check how much mouth wash is left. The label gives details of how to use and the ingredients.
To use the instructions suggest
Remove and fill the cap with mouth wash (the cap is the measure for how much mouth wash to use in one go).
Swill around mouth for 30 seconds.
Then spit out.
The mouth wash does have a cool mint flavor. With a bit of a tingle. It is a mild taste which I like as my more expensive mouth wash gives a much stronger taste, at times almost feels like it is burning which can be rather unpleasant so this, milder taste, was a nice surprise..
The wash made my mouth feel clean and fresh - just like a more expensive brand. Dids notice that the fesh feel did not last 12 hours and I needed to wash my mouth after lunch. Which was not a bad thing really as it keeps mouth clean.
I, anyway tend to use a mouth wash after meals to clean out my mouth.
This wash may not be as strong as a named brand - but so far in two weeks I have not noticed that much difference, apart from as I said the fresh feel did not last all day.
Overall this is a good mouth wash for anyone on a budget. Although is have a medical condition that needs an anti septic mouth wash this is not strong enough.
But for everyday use seems fine.
A Graze box is a fairly nice occasional treat - but overall I found them to be very expensive for what they are.
I started off with a free code, that gives a free Graze box for the 1st and 5th box of an order. The website to check out is Graze.com
The usual price (2014) is £3.89 per box with free postage - there are 4 snacks in a box - that comes out at 97p a snack. Which seems expensive, just go into a super market and look at the cost of the value fruit snakes. For that is what generally a Graze box is.
Anyway - the website is easy to log onto. To obtain the free box you have to enter card payment details and when you want to boxes to arrive, weekly, every two weeks etc. Then "bin" any snacks not wanted -for me anything with nuts. This took about an hour in total. Note that almost all of the snacks are vegetarian.
A few days later the Graze box arrived. It is a box with the 4 snacks sealed in a plastic container, there is also a paper hand wipe and if needed a tiny spoon. The snacks are nice, I had fruit, bread and the smallest bit of lemon cake with one lemon tea bag. This for 97p each as I said above was expensive, but tasted ok.
Calories were a bit high too per snack.
And the waste! Box, plastic etc.
As I had said two weeks per box - and was keen to see the next box. I paid for box 2. This duly arrived.
Different snacks, fruit again, a tiny bit of chocolate cake, bread. Ok but as I had paid for this at £3.89 it seemed SO expensive.
After some thought decided to cancel.. now this takes a bit of doing. In end had to e mail the customer services. But in the end stopped the Graze box.
To sum up.
The Snacks do taste ok.
Loads of waste (box etc).
Hard to cancel.
One other thing not too keen on was all the false - friendly - writing on the box and information supplied.
Not that impressed.
May be good for someone who is very busy with spare cash for a fruit treat!
I spotted these, or something similar in a pound shop, but felt that for a pound they would not be any good. So purchased this - for just under £5. A mistake!
Lets first look at the good points.
This small vacuum cleaning comes with a USB cable attached so plugs right into a computer USB connection and works right away - it is easy to install - no batteries needed. Great.
Very much "plug and play". The pack has very simple instructions which are good enough to get going.
There is a small attachment to suck up between the keys and a tiny brush to do the same. They fit well. There is also a small back for what ever is sucked up to go into.
This vacuum has an on and off push button which works well. The main problem is the level of suction. Nothing seems to be brought into the bag when in use. I have tried on my computer keyboard and other places - not much happens. To be fair some dust on the floor could be picked up but nothing from the keyboard.
The brush actually works well on it's own and is a good fit to get in between the keyboard keys.
This small vacuum is very durable, I have pulled and pushed it around trying to get the suction to work, the case has not been marked in all this pulling. It even fell down stairs, by accident, and no damage could be seen.
Overall I am disappointed.
I was looking for a portable handheld digital radio to use when watching by team play football. I like to see down the "match", watch and listen to the local radio station as they describe the game. My team is often on digital now.
Firstly this radio comes a a good price under £50.
It is handheld, feels light and works well.
The earphones act as the ariel. I have uses a higher quality set of ear phones as find they sit in my ear much better than the pair that were supplied. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the earphone cable if picking up the digital waves... these can be lost is say on a train and I go through a tunnel.
The radio comes with a small - but well sorted instruction booklet which explains how the radio woulds.
There is scan and save buttons as I would have expected.
I can pick up loads of stations, local, national BB world service and more - so really pleased with that.
The batteries are AAA size and the radio uses 2. I was surprised how quick the batteries ran out - about 5 to 6 hours playing time. At this rate would get through loads of batteries as was also looking to use this radio when traveling to work once a week on the train/bus. So tried re chargeable and they have been find lasting also about 5 to 6 hours. So in the long run using rechargeable batteries will save loads of money.
The radio does not have a cover. So the front seemed to get marked a little - I found a suitable very old mobile phone cover to protect the surface which has done the job well.
Overall a great radio.
That does use loads of power so rechargeable batteries are the way to go.
Right at the end of last year the keyboard on my PC broke.. just stopped working. As it was alarge and thick keyboard - I decided to try out a small, slim one and at a cost of less than £15. So I tried this keyboard.
When opened out of the box found the size measuring around 40cm x 16cm x 1.6cm, to be smaller than the broken one. Which I was pleased with. Setting up and getting going is really easy. Right out of the box, it came well packed - just plug into the computer via a USB Cable. I have used this keyboard with an old PC that uses Windows XP and a newer one that users Windows 7 and for both the use and set up was fast.
The actual keys are well spaced apart and the numbers/letters are very clear. I like the feel when typing - the actual noise of each click is louder that my other keyboards - but I have not found this to be any problem.
In the 10 weeks of use so far there have been no issues at all. Being smaller and slimmer this keyboard takes up much less space on my desk so I am pleased with it.
Overall this is a great budget keyboard, looks good, works well with easy set up.
The gloss plastic parts will mark more than matt.