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This bosche freezer is sadly not as good as the other one I own (I have a review on this). This freezer unit isn't a stand up unit, and is instead a sort of tub like the ones you have in shops. This makes it very roomy, and large, as well as "cheap" for the size of the unit you get. however I have noticed a few problems that I would like to share with you.
First of all it is very difficult to sort all your different foods in these units. It all just gets piled on so stuff at the bottom is sort of hidden from view. As a result you never really know what is in the freezer... which can be really annoying when you think you have say a whole chicken only to find out you don;t.
Another problem is that all that weight of the lid is being supported by 2 hinges. I just want to point out this unit is very well made, but after around 10 years of use, one of the hinges has broken on my freezer. We have managed to "botch" it for now, but soon it will either need replacing or we will just have to make do with less freezer space.
On the plus side it is crazy spacious, and if you freeze things that are in "boxes" a lot (e.g. pizzas etc) then you should be able to make good use of all the space. My guesstimate is that you could easily hold 40, maybe 50 pizza boxes (regular size) in this thing if you really tried. However I have never tried this so don't hold me to my word
However this unit is very large, and very good if you want to hold lots of "similar" items (say all you have and 2 or 3 different things that you ever freeze, but you freeze a lot of them, then this is the freezer for you). However I just think because it is so difficult to keep track of what is going on in there, you are better off just getting a normal stand up freezer. Overall then I give this 2/5. Its very well made, put together and large, but its just too much of an un-organised mess in there. Sure if all you buy are boxes of pizza and ice cream etc, then you can stack it all nicely, but thinks like frozen chicken don't stack easily.
This bosche freezer is a really well made and nicely designed freeze. IT DOESN'T CONTAIN A FRIDGE UNIT AS WELL, which is what we wanted, but some people may want both in one unit.
Anyway, its a really large free standing unit with loads of draws and storage spaces. I find this super useful, because you can segregate what you want, and this also makes knowing how much you actually have in your freezer much easier. So for example, you can have the middle draw for frozen pizzas, the top draw for frozen food for reheating, the bottom draw for meats and so on.
On top of this there is the general quality feel of the product. Everything feels like its going to last for some time to come. You also get a beep when the door is open for more than a minute or so to let you know you need to close the door. Honestly there are times when this gets annoying as you haven't finished getting everything out, but I would rather have it than not have it (it also helps if you think you have closed the door but it is actually still open).
All of this is in a freezer that is rated as A+. which is supposed to relate to how little electricity it uses. Again a good thing. Bare in mind that this is a very large freezer unit, I would say at a guess it can take around 200l if you pack it all correctly (never actually tried measuring it though).
Bad points? Well it was a bit pricey compared to competitors of the same dimension/size, but I guess its a get what you pay for thing. This was the most efficient and the only brand name I actually recognised. After going with a zanussi fridge (I have a review on this), I was a bit dissappointed with the overall build quality so wanted something a little better. This fit the bill.
The only other bad thing I can think of is that it doesn't have one of those cool ice cube dispenser things. Man I want one of those so bad!!!
Overall then I give this 4/5
The sankey water butt is a 100l plastic "tub" that connects easily to a drain pipe. First you need to connect it, by sawing a draw pipe in 2, removing a small section from the join, and joining the "valve" from the water butt kit into the drain pipe, and reassembling it all together again. Then you place a pipe from the valve, which enters the water but. In this way, if the water butt is full, the excess water can still drain off down the water pipe and not clog up/flood the main pipe... kinda neat. It also means that the tub will fill up depending on how much it rains and how large the area of your roof it that drains into that respective drain pipe.
Anyway, once inside, you can release the water from a tap built into the tub. The top of the tub comes off for cleaning (not that I have done this, I only use the water for watering plants), and for inspecting how much water you have left.
One thing that is annoying is that when you need the water the most (on hot dry summer days), you quite often run out of water. This will depend on how big your garden is, but I tend to find that after about a 4 days to a week on conservative watering in the garden, if it hasn't rained, the tub will be empty. In the winter, or when it is raining, the rain itself will water the plants so there is no real need for this. Because of this I rate this at 4/5 stars. However if maybe you have a greenhouse, and need to water it regardless of the weather, then this is a great idea for you.
Overall then, well price, well made, and easy to install and use. Very good, just use is a bit limited.
The marcy kettlebell is a pretty impressive bit of kit... although it is a bit basic and I am convinced it is overprice.
Basically what you get for £20 of your hard earned cash is a ?cast? piece of iron in the shape of a kettle, but without the "stout". This weights roughly 8kg, and is used for various kettlebell exercises (there are loads of examples of kettlebell exercises on youtube and the like, basically kettlebells are designed to help train you core, whereas dumbells are more focused on just training up your arms).
This kettlebell is then covered in a nice glossy black paint all over (I imagine if you peel it away it won't look as nice).
Overall it is well made, and doesn't feel like it will shatter if you drop it. If anything it feels like it would probably leave a nice kettlebell shaped hole in your floor with people in the room below having to dodge falling metalwork. The handle is nice and thick, which is what you want on a kettlebell, and although I haven't actually weighed it, it feels about right.
My only complaint really is that I don't use it as much as I should really... and at £20 its a bit expensive (you only get the 1 kettlebell, and in 1 weight... really you kinda need a set). Maybe you are better off just joining a gym? If you are serious about being fit, then you probably want a heavier version anyway as you probably hit the gym daily and just want something for when you are at home.
Overall then, I give this 3/5. Its very well made, and if you want a decent kettlebell, look no further. But I just feel that this sort of thing isn't brilliant for home use, as you genuinely worry that if you drop this, you might have a costly repair bill.
This zanussi fridge is a large fridge we use for a family of 5. It is overall very well designed, and what we needed was something that didn't include a freezer as well, we just wanted a big fridge.
It features a special tray at the bottom for vegetable, a milk and drinks tray in the door, another smaller tray in the door for things like butter and jam, an egg holder (basically these plastic circles where you can place eggs), another tray above this in the door which has a "flip open" lid, we use this for cheeses.
On top of this you have 5 levels of normal fridge use, each level supported by a glass tray that holds everything together.
Overall I have no complaints about how all this operates. There is tons of room for multiple pots of food, and with all the little door add-ons, you can space things out into zones, like we have all drinks in the door and on the bottom tray, meals above this, and ingredients in the top zone (usually).
Also it is rated in terms of economy as A++ (or at least that is what I was told). Although I have never measured it (how would I?), I imagine it doesn't use up a lot of energy.
However my complaint is with the door mechanism. Although you can't see it here the door opens by pulling on a level, which swivels to open the door. It is made out of cheap crumby plastic. Maybe this works fine on a smaller fridge with a lighter door, but with us it just broke, the entire handle was rendered useless. What we have done, as we couldn't afford to fix it "properly" is remove the old handle, and place a simple metal cupboard handle in its place. This has yet to break, and has been in place for many years... the original handle broke within two... Only problem is that because it doesn't "disengage" the seal, we have to pull a bit harder on the handle...
Overall it is such a dissapointment that they couldn't make a handle that wasn't made out of the plastic you expect on the bottom of a cadbury milk tray. What were they thinking? For that it gets knock down from 5 stars to 3 stars. They probably did it to save costs, but honestly if you are spending that amount of money on something, you just feel a bit cheated that you have to replace the handle... making it look a bit odd at the very least. I don't know how much a metal handle instead of a plastic handle costs, but I am assuming they are saving somewhere between 20p-£1.50 per unit, and ruining it as a result.
Disappointing zanussi, very disappointing.
The mechanic is a film starring Jason Stratham. There is a clue in here. If you ever see a film with Jason Stratham (death race, expendables, War, Crank, Crank 2, the transporter), you are not going to get a very complicated plot, or lots of really emotional scenes. There will be explosions, poor acting and people getting beat up. That's it really.
The mechanic is not about an actual mechanic. Its about someone who "fixes" things (aka murders people).
This is about a "mechanic" who kills his old mentor who apparently has been leaking secrets. Once he kills him, he takes on his mentors son as his "apprentice" out of guilt. Soon though, they realise that they were "framed" and the agency just wanted to silence the mentor as he was getting old, and now they are out for revenge. But with the apprentice find out what happened, and will he be forgiving?)
Overall, this is an ok film. Its certainly not a must see film, not like avatar, avengers, any marvel film etc. Its more a film to wait to watch on TV rather than go out and get the DVD, once you watch it once it doesn't have much in the way of replay value.
Overall then I am going to give this 3.5/5 (rounding it up to 4). Overall its not bad, certain watchable, but more the sort of film you watch on a "lazy day" where you can't be bothered to keep up with the plot. This film is a bit lacking in that department, but is more about gun fights. Unfortunately its not brilliant at those either, but does adequately enough to be passed off as entertainment. Its certain not as epic as those adverts have you believe.
After most of my friends had nagged me into watching Breaking bad, with comments like its the best tv program ever (which in my honest opinion is either top gear or House), I felt I should give this series a go. So away I went and watched the first series... and wow what a let down.
I dunno I just got the feeling that this program hadn't decided what it was going to be. Was it going to be a comedy? Or a series bring up moral questions? Or some pseudo-action film. Granted it is a little different, and it kinda shows the drug underworld in a new light, but wow this series is TERRIBLE! I was so dissappointed. My friends have now said that it just takes time to get into the series, so I have given it another go by watching in series 2, but I am only a few episodes in so far.
This series is about Walter White, a chemistry teacher who is overly qualified for his job. After finding out he has lung cancer, he wants to earn as much money as he can to look after his pregnant wife and son with cerebral palsy. He decides to try his hand at cooking meth, via one of his past students Jesse. He can produce the most highest quality meth ever seen, and this is basically following him as he tries to make it in the cruel underworld.
SPOILER ALERT OVER
I dunno about this series I really don't. Its a nice concept, but its just... I dunno, I get the feeling that they want it to be everything, and as a result it just isn't as funny as other series, isn't as moral-raising (in the uk we have the NHS anyway), and it just isn't as action packed. And the way he is portrayed to be some genius by explaining basic science that you get taught at school... I dunno it just feels like they didn't ask an actual scientist about various things.
Overall I felt very underwhelmed, and am going to give this 2/5. Sure it had its good moments, but at only 5 episodes long, it didn't really leave a lasting impact, and had it not been for my friends telling me series 2 gets better, I would have stopped watching right here.
The other guys is a comedy/action film about police. In new york, there are the top 2 policemen, who are all guns blazing action heroes, and then there are the other guys, the paper monkeys, the people who sit there and clean up.
PLOT SPOILERS:After a freak accident results in the lead partners being killed, will the other guys be up for the job? Terry Hoitz and Allen Gamble are an unlikely pair of policemen. One has a mysterious past (I wont ruin it for you, its hilarious), and likes his day to day job as a policemen accountant, where he doesn't want any excitement, whereas the other is a hotshot, who blew his chance at being what he sees as a proper police officer after he shot someone by mistake. Together, can they work out what is going on behind the mysterious events that seems to be occuring around the city? Is this a pattern, or are these just random events?
Honestly this is a funny film, but it just isn't funny enough, or at least I didnt think so. Sure it has some hilarious parts, but most of the funny parts are... how do I put this...if Allen Gamble was played by Steven Caraell instead of William Ferral, then I think this would be a much better film somehow, there is something amiss, but I am struggling to put my finger on it exactly.
Overall, I get the sense this was meant to be a comedy about how two underdogs become the champions of a police force, despite there quirks. I just found this to be the most dissapointing film staring William Ferral (which means that this is still a good film, Anchorman and Tellagda nights are two of my favorite films), but overall I can only give this 3.5/5. Its good just not as good as what it could have been.
As I am not a massive music fan, I just needed some speakers that let me watch my movies and programs on my laptop slightly louder than what the laptop could handle. So I wasn't really after any high performance £50 speakers, just something basic, that does the job, and was cheap.
I got these logitech speakers, and honestly have not regretted it.
They are nice and small, and they come as a pair. The jack itself is well made, and it doesn't feel like it wants to drop out of the laptop port the entire time.
These also go pretty loud. Not "cinema style in a large room" loud, but loud for "one or two people watching something on a laptop" loud. However I should note this does partly depend on what it is you are watching.
As for reliability, sometimes these take a bit of tinkering to get them working properly. I am not entirely sure why, but I think that it might be something to do with the way I plug them in, if you have the jack going in at the wrong angle then you have to give it a little twiddle. Its not a big thing, but I am just stating it to be complete.
The sound quality if fair-good. Its not the best by any means, but its fine for my purposes, and I would not be looking to upgrade just to increase the sound quality.
Overall, they are just a simple speaker thats not expensive, feels well made, compact, and functions well, and as it has a built in amplifier and a dial that can be spun to increase and decrease the sound, so it works very well.
I give this 4/5, they are very good, but people who are more "in touch" with their musical side may benefit from something more expensive.
I got my toshiba satellite from argos, and I have to say it has been a little disappointing. Firstly it is not very portable as a laptop. I used it everyday taking it to university to take notes in lectures, and couldn't help but find it was a little too heavy, and bulky. Couple this with the fact it had a battery life of nearly 2 hours, I had to carry the charger everywhere I went, and had to always sit near a plug in the wall to charge it as I went.
No matter though, most laptops that are powerful and have big screens and really nice speakers use a lot of battery power....
But thats the problem. This laptop doesn't have amazing processing, or a super hi tech screen, and isn't even cheap enough to justify not having it really. The reason I went for this laptop is I thought as its Toshiba, its probably quite reliable, and I would rather have something simple, but doesn't just fall to bits on me....
Sadly I was wrong about this too... 2 months after my 2 year warranty expired, the hard drive just exploded. After taking it to a repair shop, they said that a screw that held the needle into the harddrive bit was missing, and asked me if I had taken it as they couldn't repair the hardrive without it... Considering I had never even opened the laptop up, the only remaining explanations are either A: someone took my laptop, opened it up, and robbed the screw, then replaced it all together... unlikely, B: the shop made a mistake when trying to fix it, or C: the quality control at toshiba isn't brilliant. I am sort of inclined to think the latter, as all the laptop problems started suddenly one day when it just started whirring and grinding weirdly.
Anyway, I still have the laptop, and am writing this review on it know, but honestly its probably not even worth £20 anymore, its battery life is nearly 20 minutes now, and now its graphic card has become dodgey, it no longer can deal with anything 3d.
Overall then, I think this is something best avoided. Its an expensive laptop with all the qualities of a cheap laptop. Its not portable, powerful, or reliable, and I really regret getting this over a samsung. My brother went for a samsung, and it has better battery life, is lighter, and has had nothing go wrong with it. Overall then, I have to give this 1/5. I found Toshiba very dissappointing, and after having bought a samsung netbook (I have a review on this) which did also break eventually when I fell in the snow, and a ASUS E PC, considering both those netbook were cheaper than this, more robust, and not really noticable worse in performance, I don't see a point in this laptop. Literally the only thing this does better is have a bigger screen...
I have another review on a set of umbro studded shoes, and after being impressed with those, I got myself I pair of these trainers, again for around £15-20. As far as I could tell, they were the exact same shoe except they didn't have big spikes coming out the bottom, and the shoe wasn't as "rigid" as a football shoe.
Anyway, the shoes were cheap, and as I am not a serious sportsperson, I wasn't excessively bothered by looks, or performance or anything like that, I just wanted something that would get me through P.E. lessons at school.
These trainers seemed to last me an awful long time as well. My brother seemed to get through his Nike trainers relatively quickly, but these trainers lasted me I think it was 2 years before I simply grew out of them, and handed them down to my brother (he is smaller than me).
Overall they are reasonably comfortable, and because they are cheap, you don't really mind if you get them dirty and scratched up and all of that. They are meant to be astro-turf trainers, but honestly I just used them as everyday playground/tarmac/cross country/ athletics/ gym trainers, and they never really felt out of place, or that they were a problem.
I have to admit I am terrible at sports, in particular football, so maybe getting Nike Air (which everyone seemed to have) may help you run faster? Or kick harder? I don't know, but these were just simply well made basic trainers, can't really see why you would need to waste money on something more expensive unless you are just trying to look flash. I personally don't buy the fact that all these air pockets and rubber spring things make a difference... but having never tried one I can't properly comment, if you have used them please comment and let me know, I would be interested to find out. Overall though I have to give these 5/5, they were well made, cheap, and worked perfectly (even the laces didn't get ripped, I am notorious for doing this as I never can be bothered to tie my laces up properly)
Back in my school days, I had to have a pair of trainers as well as a pair of studded shoes for football, rugby, and other field sports. Being the amazing sporting person I am, I figured that it really won't make a difference for me whether or not I go for the top brand or the cheapest boots I could find.
I got a set of these umbro boots for £15 if I remember correctly from sportsdirect, and honestly... they are still hanging around my house somewhere.
They are very rugged, and comfortable, and they are quite grippy. I know some people go crazy for a new set of trainers or sneakers, but honestly I have rarely bought another trainer than umbro, and considering that these boots lasted me for over 3 years with very little care or attention, and the only reason why I had to ditch them was because my feet grew, it kinda makes me wonder what on earth is going on with the Nike boots which were so popular with the other classmates, when they were falling apart left right and centre... one of my friends go through 3 boots in one year! Admittedly he played a lot more sports than I did... but even so...
Overall then, these boots are simple and have no "frills". They don't have a massive advertising campaign, and noone with think you look sleek in your boots. However I didn't notice any real difference in performance, and they took a beating and didn't really have a problem. Overall then, I was very pleased with my purchase, 5/5. However as I do not know a massive deal about football boots I am unsure if a more expensive pair will actually offer any benefits over these... my gut feelings say no, it won't make the foggiest bit of difference, but I am just putting this here encase there is one.
I have a karrimore rucksack, a 80l version, with a steel frame backing, and a deployable waterproof covering. I got this for my duke of Edinburgh bronze award, and I still have it for the odd camping trip (although admittedly it as been a while since I last used it).
I got the backpack for around £30 from millets in a special offer (I also got 10% off for doing duke of Edinburgh award), and it has the following features:
4x pockets, one main pocket, one water camelback area, one pocket for the waterproof screen and a front pocket that can be further divided into 4 pockets for snacks
A rigid steel back support, to ensure all the weight of the back is on your shoulders, making the bag more comfortable for heavy loads and long distances
A relatively waterproof covering as well as a deployable super-waterproof covering that can go around the whole bag to keep all of your things nice and dry.
Attachment ?lanyards? I think is the right word? Anyway bits of attachment rope to secure the various parts inside you bag (particularly heavy parts so they don't move around as your are walking).
A belt with foam covering, to help attach the bag to you without it slipping and sliding. Also on the belt are net shaped holders to hold water and a first aid kit.
Overall I have really thought that this bag has been very useful. It never let me down during my camping expeditions, and my brother also uses/used it for his Duke of Edinburgh gold award, again he has no issues. I generally cannot think of a single thing wrong with this bag other than the fact that it might not be big enough for bigger expeditions... literally thats the only thing, and when you consider the fact that they do a bigger version, it kinda counteracts that problem really. Also this bag is a bit big for everyday use... but then they also do a smaller version.... do you get where I am going here?
Overall, I think this is a cracking piece of kit, and the only reason I haven't used it more is because I don't really camp anymore, its rugged, well made, and for £30 is cheaper than many of these poncey bags that can bearly hold a netbook.
Overall, a brilliant buy if you are into camping. 5/5
This review is around the easy camp picnic table. This is a table we have had in our family since I was maybe 6 years old, and its still going.
Basically the table comes in a suitcase shaped box. Once you open it, the "outside" of the suitcase will become the table top, and inside you have the folding mechanism that holds the seats, chairs and legs. Its very easy to assemble, you just pull out the seats, which sort of unfold as they come out, and slide a piece of plastic down over the joint to "lock" the seats into place. Then you pull on the legs, which are on the underside of the seats, and they pop down. Once again, you lock them into place, and then you have to turn the table "the right way" up, and thats it. This can be done in under 2 minutes by one person, I even remember doing it by myself when I was younger whilst my parents would try to start a BBQ or finish unloading the car or whatever.
However, all this portability does come at a cost. It isn't the worlds most stable table, there is a little flex in all those little plastic locks, and the legs, and all the supporting parts. This results in a general wobbly sensation when using the table. Its fine for simple stuff, but if you have 4 people, plus a load of food on this table... well lets say it isn't fun. To be honest, having 4 adult on the table is pushing it a bit in terms of space as well as structural support.
For this reason, we have always used this table as a sort of "food preparation" table, and generally try to find a wooden bench, or something much more stable as a eating area (either that, or just roll out some matts if there are loads of people.... which there usually is at these impromtu bbq's in the middle of nowhere).
Overall though, this has been a very nifty piece of kit, and is brought along with us to every trip we go on. Not only that, but one of our friends even went out an bought his own after seeing ours, and ok it might not be as sturdy, or comfortable as a proper bench, but you can't put a proper bench in the back of your car at the end of the day.
It has never broken, and still works just fine, and it has had some pretty heavy dishes, plates and people sitting/perched on top of it. Although saying that, it does feel that if you were to jump on it or anything like that it would snap straight away.
And the unstability thing... although it has never collapsed, or toppled over or anything like that, trust me when I say this, it doesn't feel "at rest" if you have 4 big people moving about slightly in their seats. I can't really explain it, but its that feeling you get in your stomach that says.... maybe we are pushing our luck a bit here. That said, nothing has gone wrong, but we haven't exactly tested it to destruction.
Overall then 4/5. Its super portable, reasonably priced, and gets a lot of use. The cons are that it doesn't function as well as a normal bench just due to that flexing and stablity. Overall, I think we must have used ours over 100 times now, and we still do.
The halfords cycle carrier is a weird contraption consisting of metal bars, straps and hooks, with plastic inserts. Its aim, to attach to the back of a car, and carry two bikes safely.
I have to say I have never had a problem per se with this device, it works well, has never fallen off or dropped a bike or anything like that. however I have to be totally honest and admit, it is a massive handful to put together (which has resulted in me not really using it), and you always have this worrying feeling that at any second, the whol thing is going to come apart.
Basically this unit comes as one piece, a sort of V shapes metal bar, with foam parts that are in contact with the car to stop it scratching up your car, or smashing the glass or anything like that as it is vibrating around. On the bike side, there are 2 sets (4 in total) of plastic inserts, that have little hooks on, that are designed to hold onto the bikes. Around these plastic inserts are nylon straps that you tighten to ensure that the bikes do not fall off the carrier.
The awkward part of this whole contraption is how you get the thing to attack to the car. There are a series of nylon straps, each with these "hooks" made in metal, that are designed to go around various parts of the car, such as underneath the car, around the boot (sort of in the hinge between the car body and the boot), and around the sides. Really these parts are a bit of a faff to put together, at least on the car we did it on (peugeot 406, and 407), as once you have put one set of straps in place, its tricky to do the next batch as the thing is now on the boot, so you have to move both the boot and the straps at the same time.... its easier to do with a friend but it does feel like there must be a better way of doing this.
Overall, I give it 3/5
Although it has always worked perfectly, and really there is no reason I can specifically say do not get this... it works well, is relatively cheap, and feels robust, but its just a bit fidley, and to be honest, we haven't used it in over 5 years now, for 2 main reasons, firstly we don't ride bikes as much as we used to, and secondly, it is way to fideley to make taking a bike with you worth it, if we need bikes, we tend to find it cheaper, safer, and easier just to rent them once we arrive at the destination in question.