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blabberwort

blabberwort
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Member since: 17.01.2010

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      14.06.2010 13:52
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      One of the best water bowls I have ever had and i've had loads of differing varietys

      I bought this recently after trying endless bowls for my dogs. I initially bought this as its advertised as being non spill and my dogs playfight a lot so needless to say previous bowls have ended up overturned and my floor covered in water.

      Theres actually other advantages to this bowl however other than it being non spill. Because of the design of the bowl it also only allows dogs to drink water slowly rather than guzzling and dragging half the water in their mouths with them. This was a particular problem with our lab and I have to say that this has greatly reduced the problem. Nothing worse than a dog who brings half the water with them when putting their head in your lap lol.

      The other benefit to this bowl is the shape. My lab (being a pup) has destroyed endless bowls but he hasnt even attempted to destroy this one. I can only assume it is because of the shape with the rubber top stopping him. It doesnt seem to give him anything to grab hold of.

      The bowl itself comes in 3 pieces. There is the main section which is like most other bowls with the exception of the shape. I cant remember the actual word but in descriptive lamens terms it is bigger at the bottom and sort of gets narrower as it moves up the bowl. The second section is a piece that goes inside the bowl a circular section which has perforations in it (this is the non slobber part) which allows small amounts of water through. This section moves down the bowl as the water is drunk. The third part is the top outer piece. This is a rubbery section which attaches to the main part of the bowl. The best way I can describe it is that it looks like a small tyre.

      You can put just over 1 litre of water in the bowl at a time which if like me and you use this bowl at home is ample as long as you regularly check the need to refill.

      There are sticky pads at the bottom which makes the bowl stick to the floor and also spare pads come with it if you want to secure it more so it's completely imovable, however without the extra pads it still sticks very well to my carpet and doesnt move.

      The only downsides to this product for me is that because it's difficult to move and refill I dont bother. I just fill a jug and pour the water straight in. I think this may have slightly damaged it as sometimes the floating part doesnt always work. Again I think this my fault so not necessarily a bad design of the product itself.

      Overall I would highly recommend this product especially if like me you have at least one dog who can be destructive to bowls. I have had this bowl about a month and as yet had no major problems with it. Expensive but worth it.

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      • Argos / Highstreet Shopping / 40 Readings / 40 Ratings
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        12.04.2010 01:22
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        A decent enough shop especially if you dont like shopping but know what you want.

        Argos is a department store with a difference, instead of a shop where everything is on display to purchase it's all featured in a catalogue instead. While they do tend to have a few items on display it's not a shop that you wander around browsing in.


        The store has a number of little stations which contains catalogues and (if no-ones nicked them) pens and order forms. You browse through the catalogue and find what you want to purchase. Once you know what you want you check the details and there is an order number. Fill the order number in on the form along with quantity and take your form to the till.


        The cashier will enter the number into their computer and repeat what the item is showing for that number, once you have confirmed that this is the correct item you want you pay as you would like any other shop. You will then be given a receipt with a collection point on and a queue number.


        Theres usually a screen with the queue numbers and collection points such as number 23 collection point A. Once your number is called you go to your designated collection point to receive your item. Your receipt is stamped to say that you have received your good and your on your merry way.


        There are a number of good points and bad points to this system so lets start with the good points.


        You can browse the catalogue in the comfort of your own home and just make a note of the item number you want making for less time spent than you would if having to go to a normal department store and having to find the right aisle then choosing etc. They have self service pay machines if your not paying with cash. You can reserve items online or by text for (I think it's) 24 hours thus making sure that if it's low in stock you will at least get yours. You can check instore that your items instock before queueing up to pay again saving time.


        The bad points arent to bad but still need considering.


        You cant see any of the items before making a choice, as with a lot of products in any photo form they can be not necessarily misleading but not actually what you expected. They do like to sell you added protection which I find a pain as if I wanted it I would have asked for it. If theres a choice for example of a particular toy but with slight variants you dont always know if the one you want is in stock as they usually have the same item number.


        All in all Argos is worth a look, I have bought many items over the years (though this has declined somewhat since they moved their store from the centre of town to quite some distance away involving another bus ride) and most of the products have been reasonable quality. On the few occasions I have had to return something the staff have always been polite and helpful. I have heard some bad stuff about their customer care instore however I can only speak as I find, and to date I have never had any problems.


        I would recommend Argos but I dont use them as much as I used to simply because of the distance I now have to travel.

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        31.03.2010 13:07
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        A great treat that wont break the bank

        I dont often buy many biscuits because we rarely eat them. Saying that though when we do start a packet theres no point in having a biscuit barrel to put them in as they get eaten in one go.

        I felt like some ginger nuts the other day and saw these when I was doing my online shopping at asda. They were cheap at 34p and a good amount 300g.

        The biscuits seem a little smaller than other makes I have had before but that may just be my imagination as like I said I rarely buy biscuits.

        The packet is the typical asda smart price design. A white background with green writing and a long band of green with a cup on it.

        The biscuits themselves are as you would expect ginger flavour. The taste hits you as soon as you put it in your mouth, a strong flavour of ginger however not overpowering. They are nice and crunchy and actually seem to last well in the opened packet. I found 2 left in the cupboard that my hubby must have put in there. That was several days ago and I was about to give them to my dogs before noticing they were still crunchy when I snapped them in half. I did let the dogs have them, but I debated pigging them myself lol.

        The true test for me with any biscuit is dunkability. These proved very good. I was able to dunk without bits falling off and going in my coffee. They were more soggy than crunchy ( a strange explanation as of course theyre soggy having been a hot liquid, but if your a dunker im sure ou get what I mean) after dunking but not enough to drop off unlike some biscuits I have tried.

        If your after a cheap treat and like ginger I would recommend these, at 34p I think theyre a bargain.

        The shelf life is good too it had a 5 month bestbefore date.

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        • Morphy Richards 43541 / Kettle / 88 Readings / 87 Ratings
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          25.03.2010 11:35
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          An okay kettle but I wouldnt buy it again

          I have this kettle but in black, I purchased it about 6 months ago from Argos. Unfortunately I cant remember how much I paid and it's currently not for sale in Argos. It is currently for sale however on Amazon for £25.00.

          The kettle itself is quite large and once full of water it's heavy. If you have a problem with holding things then this wouldnt be the kettle for you. The base has the availability to curl your lead around so that you dont have to have the cord spread all over your worksurface.

          The lid has a small sliding plastic opening where your able to fill your kettle, it also has a handle on the top to enable you to open the whole lid if required. The switch to turn the kettle on and off is pretty standard where you push it down to switch the kettle on and it clicks back up when it switches off.

          The spout is quite large and not particularly lipped so sometimes water can come out quite fast if your not careful. When the kettle is switched on a blue light appears through the plastic viewing area (this is the area where you can see how much water is in your kettle) and is a nice feature though doesnt add anything to the actual kettles use itself.

          There is enough room for 6 cups and this is indicated on the clear plastic window. The minimum amount is 2 cups and this again is clearly labelled.

          What makes this different to standard kettles? Well this kettle has a compartment inside the kettle similar to what you get in a water filter jug. Inside this you place a brita water filter cartridge. This again works the same as a water filter jug and filters the water as it trickles through the cartridge. The idea is less limescale etc.

          There are in my opinion more downsides to this kettle than good. The downsides are that this kettle is quite big and bulky. Very heavy when filled with water and stains easily. By this I mean that when you fill the kettle (if like me and you live in a very hard water area) the water inevitably ends up around the plastic top where you pour the water in. No matter how often I clean the kettle there is always limescale around the top of this opening. The opening is just simply not big enough.

          Admittedly you can open the entire top of this kettle but then if your going to do this to prevent limescale everywhere what is the point in having the so called easy fill opening. The whole top opening in my opinion is simply built to enable you to replace your cartridges.

          The cartridge itself is designed to last 4 weeks and there is a handy little gadget where when you replace your cartridge you press a button on the handle and it will display 4 bars. These go down every week making it easy to know when it needs changing. I'm not sure exactly how these cartridges work as it appears to be on timeline as opposed to uses, as I probably use my kettle a lot more than an average family so surely if it's on uses then mine wouldnt last 4 weeks?

          Despite my complaints there are some good things about this kettle. One is the fact that it's cordless on can move 360 degrees making it ideal for left or right handed people. The viewing window is large and clearly labelled and the kettle does turn off stopping it boiling dry automatically. The element is also a plus point as it's hiden in the base. It also boils reasonably quickly and quietly.

          Would I buy this again? No I wouldnt despite there being some good points, the main factor in this is that the limescale stains really put me off, and the cartridges are quite expensive. I think next time I will buy a kettle that has one of those filter guards in the spout which removes the worst of the limescale.

          Please ignore the ratings I have given as like a lot of products these ratings bare no relevance to the product itself.

          I have given this 3 stars, it's okay but I wouldnt be buying it again.

          Specifications taken from Morphy Richards website -
          Delivers 1.5 litres of filtered water
          Filters and boils simultaneously
          3.1kw Concealed rapid boil element
          Replace cartridge reminder
          Includes 1 BRITA Maxtra cartridge
          Blue light illuminates when boiling
          Hinged Lid/Sliding Lid Refill
          360 degree cordless base
          Auto shut off when boiled

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          • More +
            24.03.2010 11:49
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            A great product that you wont regret buying

            As the description on dooyoo is about Leighton Denny nail file, im going to assume that this product is in general as long as it matches the brand and description.

            I have a Leighton Denny crystal nail file which I received about 3 years ago. I got it as an xmas present so im unable to give a price range, though I assume it would be expensive for a nail file comapred to bog standard ones.

            Mine is nearly 8 inches in length (including handle) so I only keep this in my bedroom. They do smaller sizes though as my gift package came with a smaller one. Unfortunately it broke in my bag as it didnt come with a carry case. The case it did come in was a presentation case that was large enough to fit the big one in too.

            If you are going to buy one of these nail files I would highly suggest you buy a case if you want to carry it around with you or it will likely break.
            Despite this I will eventually get around to buying a smaller version and a case as this product is fantastic.

            On the card that came with my files it says it's made to last a lifetime. I can very well believe this as I use mine regularly yet it still looks like new.

            To get it back to the new look after using it just wash it under the tap and leave to dry, fantastic.

            Unlike most nail files this one makes easy work of filing your nails. It seems to take hardly any time and leaves your nails without any of those snag bits you can get with cheaper versions.

            My card also says that if for any reason the quality of the nail file diminishes they will replace it free of charge. How many other nail files can offer this guarantee? Obviously it's the quality of the surface they are talking about and not stupidity like me where I snapped mine.

            Made from finest lead crystal this is what brings it into it's own cmared to the glass or metal ones you can buy.

            If your looking for a very good nail file I would highly recommend purchasing a Leighton Denny crystal file. These are far superior in quality and does the job with ease.

            An easy 5 stars from me for this product.

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              23.03.2010 23:18
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              A great shop but it's a shame theres no online ordering available, something they should expand to.

              Poundstretchers is one of those shops that seems to sell a bit of everything, my kind of shop. They sell items for bathrooms through to toys and garden items. I have only been lucky enough to go in one poundstetchers as we dont have one near enough for me as a non driver to go in one regularly.

              The poundstretcher I went in was clean and the staff friendly. I was pleasantly surprised at the array of items available, in fact I went in just to look and came out with a trolley of stuff.

              The prices appear to be very cheap, for example there were large canvas pictures for £7.99 which I have seen similar sell for £14.99 + elsewhere.
              Another bargain (allthough I didnt buy it as I was with a friend and obviously her car can only take so much) was a walk in greenhouse type item. It was obviously a plastic covering but with a metal frame. They were selling this for I think it was £14.99 and I know the same item is sold for £29.99 in other stores.

              I was slightly dissapointed by the size of the shop, while it wasnt small it certainly wasnt very big either. As to wether this is the case for all poundstretchers stores I dont know. If it is then I think it's a big downfall as they could certainly expand into even more items with ease im sure.

              The aisles could perhaps have been a little wider, I found if 2 people were in the same aisle it was difficult to manouver around them. Again this may just be in the store I was in and others may be better positioned.

              I would highly recommend this store if your like me and like a one stop kind of shop for non food items. The only downside for me personally is that these types of shops are a huge temptation and I always spend more money than planned. As was the case here, I went in just to look around and ended up spending £35. I could easily have spent more had my friend had more space in her car, and quite honestly this was the only reason my bill wasnt higher lol.

              I would have given this 5 stars but the size of the aisles were a little offputting along with dissapointment in no online service available

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                22.03.2010 11:16
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                A great bread for anyone who hates crusts

                Why is it that most children dont like crusts? My son and daughter hate them and whenever i've made sandwiches in the past I always get presented with an empty plate aside from the carefully eaten around crusts.

                When my son started school he chose to have sandwiches. While I dont mind making them I do find cutting off the crusts a pain in the neck. You get bread crumbs all over the worksurface and fat dogs lol.

                When I was out shopping a year or so ago I spotted this and figured i'd try it out. I have used nothing but this since for my sons lunch box.

                The bread itself is white and is more square than an average loaf with crusts on. This in itself makes it easier when making and packing sandwhiches in a lunch box. It's nice and soft and lasts me nearly a week when kept in the fridge. I have found with some sliced loafs that keeping them in the fridge gives them a slightly harder consistency but that isnt the case with crusts away. The bread remains soft and fresh tasting.

                While I dont use this bread for the rest of the family often I do ensure that it's always available. Even when it's school holidays I buy it as my son enjoys it all year around and not just for sandwiches.

                This bread probably isnt any better than some other name make brands but the fact I dont have the hassle of cutting the crusts off and wasting them on the dogs is what gives it the edge over other types of sliced loafs. The loaf seems smaller so some people may think it's not good value for money, however when you cut crusts off a normal sliced loaf I think you'd be surprised at the wastage. This for me means that all in all the size isnt an issue.

                The bread while soft is easy to spread with toppings etc, however if your planning on using butter straight from the fridge you will likely break the bread and have holes. I find if I have to use butter instead of a spread then I need to take the butter out of the fridge dor a while first. I have found this the case with most bread though, so overall for everyday soft spreads this bread is a winner and stays intact.

                A great sliced loaf for children and adults alike that hate crusts. I dont know why someone hadnt thought of this when my daughter was at school.

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                • Swan SD5020 / Deep Fryer / 73 Readings / 68 Ratings
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                  02.03.2010 15:55
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                  Overall good for it's price but I would invest more next time on a better product

                  A double fryer for larger familys. I bought this about a year ago and I have to confess to having mixed feelings about this product.


                  I'll start by telling you a little about the products itself.


                  It has seperate fryers which can be used at the same time or seperately. Both fryers have a seperate plug. The baskets are reasonably large and have foldable handles for easy storage. The dials themselves have various settings so that you can heat the oil to the temp required for different foods. The insides of the fryer are removable for easy cleaning. There is a glass window in the top to view while cooking.


                  now i'll go through each of these feaures with any good and negative comments that I have found with this product.


                  Seperate fryers - This is ideal for large familys who need a good size fryer or for smaller familys that want to cook 2 different items at the same time so their food doesnt get cold while waiting for the other to cook. For instance you could cook chips one side and onion rings in the other, and as long as it's timed correctly you can have both items cooked and on your plates at the same time. I would say that dont be fooled by size, the fryers are actually bigger than they look. I bought this as my family are piggys for chips, however I have only ever had to use one side for 4 of us.


                  Seperate plugs - could be an issue for anyone needing to use both fryers at once, as you could find yourself juggling which plugs can be temp moved and which cant. I would have preffered one plug for both personally.


                  Foldable handles for easy storage - A great idea unless your an idiot like me lol. Allthough my fryer is never put away I did put the foldable handles down so that they were inside the fryer itself. Big mistake for a donut like me. When it came to using the fryer (the very first time * I wish there was an embarassed smilie that I could add lol *) I forgot all about the handle and duly put the fryer on to heat the oil. When I went to open the fryer I realised my mistake when I was presented with a basket with no protective covering having been melted in the oil. Needless to say I never used the foldable handles after that. Unfortunately for me if I chose to use this basket again I would have to remember to lift the basket up using a cloth as it is metal.


                  The temperature dials - There are a few settings which include mushrooms and chips, however I only use my fryer for chips which is the highest setting. The temp is printed around the outside of the dials and as such I have found have pretty much worn away through cleaning. Maybe a small raised dot or something would have been better.


                  Removable insides for easier cleaning - This is where it comes into it's own compared to other fryers on a budget price. You literally lift the back which contains the dial etc and element up and remove it. The inside then just lifts off the outer piece which normally holds it in place. You clean this so easily that it's not such a chore anylonger.


                  A few more bits to add - There is a red light that comes on when the fryer is on, this then turns green when the fryer is at the correct temperature. The glass window seems rather pointless as if your cooking chips for example you really cant see whats going on inside. A nice touch but a pointless one I feel. The actual top coverings are okay but they do get greasy very quickly and are slightly more difficilt to clean easily.


                  Overall its nothing special except the cleaning of it is easier which gives it the edge over others. Because theres a lot thats not great about it I would award this just 3 stars.

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                  • More +
                    02.03.2010 13:57
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                    If you have followed Harry throughout his journey then I highly recommend this book

                    This is the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, and as such answers a lot of questions from previous books in the series.


                    I will try not to give to much away but please be aware before reading that there may some unintentional spoilers.


                    As like the previous books Harry is still trying to find a way to remove voldemort. This book is full of action, sadness as well as the odd moments of laughing out loud.


                    Harry has decided not to go back to Hogwarts and instead is going to search for a thing named horcruxes. This is where a very dark spell is used to enable the wizard/witch to break their soul in half and store half in an item for safekeeping making them immortal. In Lord vlodemorts case he has done this 6 times to make his body the seventh horcrux as he believes that the number 7 is the most magical number.


                    We follow Harry who is accompanied by Ron and Hermione in their search. They obviously havent much idea regarding what these horcruxes may be or even where to start.


                    We see most if not all the old characters back, but in this book there are several deaths of some very well known characters. In the first few chapters the first death occurs so the action starts quite quickly.


                    Many questions are answered in this book such as what reason did Dumbledore really have for trusting Proffessor Snape. Is Snape really helping the order or is his loyaltys really with Voldemort as everyone believes. What really happened to Dumbledore?


                    The book brings together the other series of books well. To the point of where things are mentioned in the previous books which may now be vital to the plot whereas in the previous books appeared to be throwaway comments or acts.


                    I dont want to give to much away about the book and spoil it for people who may not have read it yet, but I will say expect deaths, explanations and dissapointment that this is the final book.


                    Theres a particularly good part of the book where Harry has a conversation with Dumbledore, which gives Harry the chance to hear from the man himself about his pre Harry life, and thus enables the reader to understand more about Dumbledore himself.


                    Will Harry, Ron and Hermione get the horcruxes and damage them? Can Harry really survive another fight with Voldemort or has his luck finally run out? Just whos eyes does Harry keep seeing in the mirror that Sirius gave him in a previous book and who is the mystery person helping Harry on his quest?


                    All these things are answered in the final book. I would probably say that this has been my favourite book of the series, simply because it answers so many questions. The only dissapointing thing is that this is the final book. While I know there has to be an end, I feel like I have watched Harry and his friends grow, and it's hard to imagine that we wont be seeoing him again.


                    I hope I have covered a good amount of this book to compel someone to read it who hasnt yet done so. I rarely review books or films as I find it hard to talk about without giving away spoilers while sustaining a decent amount of information to make someone think it's worthwhile reading or watching.

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                      01.03.2010 10:55
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                      A great product with endless uses

                      This is a really great little product that soothes and moisturises. You can buy this in many places and it lasts for ages.

                      I bought this initially for my lips. I have a very bad habit of when im stressed I pick the skin on my lips, inevitably this makes them sore and not look great either. I tend to keep this in my bedroom as for some reason it's at night when im reading in bed that I tend to pick my lips.

                      I literally slather this across my lips so that i get a proper film of it. This isnt actually the way it's meant to be used, as if you use just a very small amount it will sink in and leave your lips feeling well moisturised. However as I said for me this is a preventative item to stop me picking my lips. By covering my lips with a film I find it really difficult to get to any bits of loose skin so over a couple of days my habit stops and my lips are left looking really nice.

                      I also use this when I have the dreaded cold, again at night or when im not going out I put this on my nose. I find it really helps your nose stop becoming dry and peeling when your blowing your nose a lot.

                      The last thing I use this for, though strictly the tin says lip thearapy is when im dyeing my hair. No my hair isnt the gorgeous chestnut colour (or whatever colour it is at the time of my mood when purchasing a hair dye lol). I smear this around my hairline, at the back of my neck and around my ears. I find this helps enormously when dyeing my hair as it prevents the dye staining my skin.

                      I have had my tin for about a 8 months now and would say that while I dont use it daily, I do use it enough that you would expect it to be finished by now, however I still have about 1/4 left.

                      Fantastic value for money and ideal for endless purposes. I would say though that if it's just for your lips that your after, then you would be better with a stick style, as if your not careful you can end up getting this under your fingernails.

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                      • Price-Drop TV / TV Channel / 45 Readings / 43 Ratings
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                        01.03.2010 10:28
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                        A great way to find bargains or just watch for home window shopping

                        Pricedrop is a tv auction shopping channel. You can watch it on the following channels - Sky 645 Virgin TV 741 Freeview 37 Freesat 801

                        There are 2 other channels attached to pricedrop and these are speed auction and bid tv. As I have mentioned pricedrop is an auction channel but one with a difference. When most people hear the word auction they think of highest bidder wins. Not the case with pricedrop (though this is probably obvious from their name) who instead lower the prices as they go not raise them.

                        How does pricedrop work?
                        Theres a presenter and sometimes an assistant, the presenter will talk about the item on sale and on the left hand side of the screen you will see the following information - price, quantity left and on the top of the screen you will see a number (this is different for each item shown) that you dial to place your order.

                        The price will drop usually in large amounts but occasionally it will drop slowly. When it has reached the price you'd be willing to pay you ring the number onscreen and press 1. This is assuming it's not an item with a choice, if it is for instance bedding that has double, kingsize to choose from there will be different numbers to press dependant on the size you want to buy.

                        You dont have to have bought anything from pricedrop before to beable to purchase. Once you have dialled the number and pressed 1 to confirm you wish to purchase you can put the phone down. One of their sales staff will then call you back on the home number you rang from. If you are a previous buyer and have set a 4 digit code, you can stop them ringing you back by entering the code when asked to do so after you have confirmed your purchase.

                        They say it can take up to 7 days to receive your item, though I have never had to wait this long. I think this is just a safetynet so that no-one yells and screams if the item isnt there in a couple of days, after all we all know the joys of posting items.

                        You get 14 days in which to return an item should you not like it and you will receive your money back minus the postage. If for any reason there is a fault with your item them presumably you will get offered a replacement or offered a refund in full.
                        As yet I have never had to return an item so am unable to comment on customer services.

                        I have bought many items from pricedrop and been happy with each purchase. They have always been a bargain and of good quality as well as well packaged when sent.

                        The only downside to pricedrop is the premium charge for the initial call. I think it's around the £1.50 mark but im not 100% sure on this.
                        I tend to purchase online through their website as it's free. However if theres something your desperate for sometimes a phonecall is the best option if you know it will sell quick before getting chance to login on their website.

                        Through my own experiences I would highly recommend pricedrop as it's (normally) very good value and good quality.

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                      • Smoking in General / Discussion / 36 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                        28.02.2010 19:20
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                        Not all smokers are inconsiderate

                        As a smoker especially these days I find I get annoyed by a reputation that we are all killing people, we're ignorant and rude and just dont care.

                        While I cannot justify smoking (yes I am a hypocrite as it's something I wish I had never started) I will stand up for smokers rights. I get angry at the amount of bad press that smoker get over passive smoking. Yes it's bad but wheres all the yelling going on about car fumes which we all have to suffer in everyday life which is just as harmful in my opinion.

                        Again the bad press about nhs costs to treat smoking related illnesses. Hmmmm while I dont have the statistics I do know that what the goverment spends on smoking related illness is by far still in profit from taxes on tobacco. This in my opinion is a mute point and one which people who get on their high horse (usually non smokers) like to forget about.

                        The newest big thing is not being able to smoke in certain places. Now while I agree that smokers shouldnt be shoving their smoke down other peoples lungs I do feel this measure has become rather extreme. For instance I know someone who works in a hospital and is no longer allowed to smoke on the grounds. Fair enough you may think but wrong, this person during their break has to go outside the ground thus making it more difficult for them to be called upon in an emergency.
                        What was wrong with the old days where smokers were set aside a little area within the grounds and could only smoke there? Surely a far better solution than making someone go offsite.

                        Yes the world would be a better place if we all gave up, but by cutting down the amount of places your legally allowed to smoke has not actually benefitted many people at all. It would have been far better to have just made certain areas a smoking area as opposed to stopping it completely in bars for instance. This way it gives people the choice.

                        If the goverment really cared about non smokers and passive smoking they would make smoking completely illegal. They cant afford to do that though as they get a massive income from smokers compared to what they spend on them.

                        I dont condone smoking even though i do it myself, however I will stand up and be counted when it comes to our rights while it's legal. I have always considered myself a courteous smoker, that means I do not light up inside a non smokers house, I do not blow smoke in peoples faces and if asked to stop politely I would stub out my fag. I just dont believe that nonsmokers should have any more rights than smokers when there perfectly acceptable and workable compromises available.

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                        • Bullying in Schools / Discussion / 24 Readings / 22 Ratings
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                          28.02.2010 18:53
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                          Bullying needs sorting out and it needs doing now.

                          Bullying in schools needs to be stopped. It's becoming more and more of an issue and is no longer seen with just older children.

                          We had an issue with bullying when my son was at his old school. We were informed that at least 3 children had pinned my son to the floor in the playground and were kicking and punching him. What had my son done to deserve this? The answer is as far as im aware nothing. However the way it was dealt with we were never given the chance to get a reason from the children involved. My son was 6 at the time.

                          The whole thing was dealt with in my opinion in a ridiculous way in an attempt to make the incident appear less than it was. Seriously? How can 3 children kicking and hitting a defenceless child whom is known by the staff to have learning difficulties not serious?

                          We were given no real information except that it was being dealt with. They would not explain what had started this disgusting behaviour, what the childrens names were or even what punishment was involved for the children involved in this act. The most information I received was from a parent of one of the children who came to apologise to me. They were obviously highly embarassed and appeared not to want to discuss it, however they did mention the parents of all the children had been called in to the head. The punishment of the children? I have no idea to this day.

                          We tried to discuss it with our son, but as he has learning difficulties he didnt really even see it as bullying (this seems to have happened before though on what scale we are unsure) he just knew they were hurting him.

                          Over his time at this school there were further instances with various other children. Now while I may seem like an overprotective parent looking for anything that I can yell bully at this is not the case. Another example was a child hitting my son and calling him the four letter c word. So I defy anyone to think that we looked for things to make an issue about which werent an issue at all.

                          Again I was never told about the childs punishment, it just appeared they wanted it all swept under the carpet. If they dont accept theres bullying they have to do nothing about it and the schools name remains untarnished.

                          Schools seem to like to make a big deal to outsiders about bullying not being acceptable with their posters and campaigns but I feel this is far from the truth.

                          How can we resolve bullying? I genuinely dont have a decent answer, but I do feel that staff should be given proper training in the signs and what to do. If a child is being repeatedly bullied (as was the case of my son who as i mentioned previously has learning difficulties, and as such some children just didnt "get him" ) then the staff should take note of this and make it their business to watch the children more carefully. Also more staff at break times as no-one can realistically expect 2 or 3 people to beable to watch a few hundred children all at once. Also maybe when designing new schools, not allow for areas that can allow children to be hidden from view.

                          You'll never get rid of bullying but im sure there are far more effective ways to deal with it than what are in place at the moment.

                          Thankfully for us we dont have these problems anylonger as our son now goes to a more specialised school for his needs, and bullying is most definently not accepted under any circumstances there. Maybe they are able to prevent it easier because it's a small school with a lot of staff, all I know is that our son is by far happier now than he ever was at his old school.

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                          • Salamanders / Pet / Animal / 66 Readings / 64 Ratings
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                            25.02.2010 01:51
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                            A wonder creature that not enough people know about

                            Although I dont know much about salamanders in general I do own 2 axolotls which are unevolved salamanders so these are what im going to talk about.

                            As I mentioned above axolotls are salamanders which have not evolved. They are purely aquatic creatures unlike salamanders which live most of their time on dry land.

                            I first heard of axolotls on a tv programme called QI and as a family we became fascinated by these beautiful creatures.

                            Originally from a lake in mexico the only domestic ones are born and bred in captivity. As their natural habitat in the wild is literally one lake these are now classed as an edangered species in the wild.

                            Axolotls are fascinating creatures, they grow up to a foot in length and the most common colours are wildtype, golden and white. Their main diet in captivity is worms with the odd treat of things like snails, prawn etc thrown in for a little variety. Worms however are the best food nutritionally for them.

                            They dont have massive appetites and as they reach maturity (usually around 18 months) they will only need feeding every 3 days or so, depending on how much the eat at each feed obviously. You can also feed them up before going on holiday safe in the knowledge that you can leave them a week or slightly longer without food.

                            We got our axolotls last summer and had no end of problems keeping the water cool enough for them, their ideal temp is around 17 degrees, we ended up using the frozen bottle method. I did get fed up of this however and invested in a chiller for them as I like my heating on in winter.

                            As axolotls have no eyelids they dont like bright light so require plenty of hideing places such as caves and plants. There is some debate regarding wether they prefer sand or bare bottom tanks, however I believe this is more a persons conception rather than the axolotls.

                            There are many fascinating facts aout axolotls and I could talk about them for paragraphs and paragraphs but then people would be bored.

                            I will say though that it is worth doing some reading on these creatures as they truly are remarkable creatures. Sadly they are tested on in labs due to the fact they can regenerate limbs etc, but thats a whole different issue altogether and one I prefer not to get into as I can see both sides of an argument on this.

                            One last fascinating fact about axolotls is that if they are ill with something like stress a good remedy is to put them in the fridge, for them it's like having a mini spa. Obviously treat any other issues in the meantime which may be causing stress and if you think their condition is severe then you must take them to a vet.

                            We love our axolots and I would recommend people look these gorgeous creatures up (they also are known as Ambystoma mexicanum) . One thing I would say though before ending this review, if you ever plan on buying one please check that the person your buying from understands axolots needs and can give you the right information on their care. Unfortunately too many times have I read about petshops stocking them with no clue as to their requirements.

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                            • More +
                              23.02.2010 15:45
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                              Overall a good torch but it's not very powerful, good for emergencys though.

                              Trevor Baylis is best known for inventing the wind up radio. A massive invention that is undeniably something to be proud of. Is this torch in the same league? In my opinion probably not.

                              I bought one of these last year as I walk my dogs when it's dark so have gone through endless batteries. I figured this would save me a bit of money. It cost me £6.99 new in packet from a charity shop so a bargain really. Saying that I wouldnt be prepared to pay more for this.

                              While the torch does as it says on the tin so to speak, you wind it up and the torch will light up the same as you'd expect from your average battery torch. The problem for me is that this isnt a torch you can use for any length of time or in a place where you want a good amount of light (e.g in a field while walking a dog).

                              The torch needs winding for a couple of minutes and lasts for a reasonable amount of time, though when I was first using it I was finding I was having to wind it a few times to make it last without losing power of light.

                              It's sturdy in design but small enough for a bag etc. The button is a press design which I find sometimes can get stuck. The torch comes with a wrist strap.

                              While I would recommend this torch for emergencys such as power failure, car breaking down etc I wouldnt buy this if your wanting a torch that the lights going to be powerful.

                              For that reason i'll give this torch 4 stars as it's great for a lot of uses it just wasnt suitable to my needs.

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