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This is a Blu Ray Player which I've had for quite a while now. I primarily chose to buy this model because it was the same brand as the television I was going to be using it with and I felt this may improve the overall performance. This model is now not currently being manufactured as new models have moved in but it may still be available on sites such as Amazon or the auction site Ebay.
This is a good looking, small and slimline machine. It's comprised of a black covering which means it's fairly inconspicuous and will blend in with other home decor. It has a USB port on the right hand side of the model with the disc tray being on the left. An LED display is also to the right hand side on the model. The model comes with a remote control.
The player has a short start up time and is fully controllable in less than ten seconds. I would say the usability is excellent and it's a great model for those just beginning with Blu Ray and newer technology. One thing that bothered me when I purchased this was that it didn't have an HDMI cable. It was necessary to purchase one to be able to use the player at all! It's also slightly noisy during use although with time you get used to it and tend to block the faint whirring noises out.
The USB port allows you to view content from flash drives or from external hard drives. The machine can also be used to view online video content although it is not Wi-fi compatible and you have to use an ethernet cable to connect.
Picture and sound quality is great with a definite upgrade in quality in most new content. If you have DVD content to compare you can really see the difference!
I think I paid around £50 when I bought this and the overall design and quality of the model has pleased me. I would not recommend this particular model nowadays but I would definitely say check out similar new models from the same brand.
On 25 September 2013 I visited Helsinki, which was the first stop of my long travel journey. From the terminal 2 I took a bus to arrive the central railway station.
Brief information about Helsinki:
Helsinki is the capital and the largest city of Finland. It's located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is also called the Daughter of Baltic Sea. It was selected World Design Capital for 2012.
Things to see and do in Helsinki:
(1) Helsinki Central Railway Station
The railway station is a widely recognised landmark of Helsinki and is a most visited building in Finland due the number of uses by passengers. No matter where you are you can get the station by public transport.
(2) Parliament House
The Parliament House is about 10 minute walk from the railway station. It's the seat of the Parliament of Finland. Since 1931 it has been the scene of many key moments in the nation's political life.
(3) The National Museum of Finland
The National Museum of Finland is about 5 minute walk from the Parliament House. It presents finish history from the Stone Age to the present day. Finlandia Hall is the most famous building designed by architect Alvar Aalto.
(4) Temppeliaukio Church
Temppeliaukio Church is also known as Rock Church. It's quarried out of the natural bedrock and the church was designed by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. It's opened in 1969 and is one of Helsinki's most popular tourist attractions.
(5) Helsinki Cathedral
Helsinki Cathedral is an Iconic landmark of Helsinki. It's located in the Senate Square, 10 minute walk from the Central Railway Station. It was built in 1852 during the Russian rule as a tribute to Czar Nicholas. It's open from 9am and free.
(6) Sibelius Park
Sibelius Park is in the north of the Rock Church. It's free to enter. There is an impressive stainless steel monument dedicated to the world famous composer Jean Sibelius.
Suomenlinna is a sea fortress built on six islands in Helsinki. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built on the demand of the Swedish King to defend against Russian expansion in 1748. In 1808 the fortress surrendered to Russia. As a picturesque picnic site It's now a popular site with tourists and locals.
When you on a travel journey you have plenty of time to read. Currently I have read a book named the Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden during my long journey.
Brief Information about Conn Iggulden and the Gates of Rome:
Conn Iggulden is a British author who was born in 1971. His works are mainly historical fiction. He has written an emperor series books. The Gates of Rome is the first one out of the series.
The Gates of Rome was written in 2003. It is Iggulden's début book, which is about the early life of Julius Caesar and his friend Macus Brutus.
I like historical books, but the Gates of Rome is the first one I have read in English. At beginning I worried if I can finish it. However it's a really interesting story, which helped me finish the task.
The story started from a fight of two boys with three boys. It was like an ordinary fight between country boys. However with the writing you can have a very active image of the boys and make a clear picture of the boys characters. The author's writing style made the reading very enjoyable, even for such historical fiction book.
The book was not seriously focused on the real history as the author mentioned on the end of the book. However through the writing I would like believe the history was really like that.
The book is mainly about the early life of Julius Caesar. Beside it you can also know some life stories of his childhood friend Macus, his beloved father, his trainer and his uncle, etc. Every others lives are also very interesting.
In the book you can read some descriptions of wars and politics. However the main themes of the book are about love, loyalty, braveness and friendship.
The Gates to Rome is a paperback edition. It has 35 chapters about 600 pages. It also has the first chapter of the author's next book the Death of the Kings and his other books promotion. You can get the book on Amazon website or from your local library.
The Gates to Rome is an interesting historical book. I like it and would like to read more books written by the author. If you are interested in the Roman history I would recommend the book.
On 10th September 2013 I visited a historical town named Rye in south eastern of England. The highlight of the visit was St Mary's Church.
Brief information about Rye and St Mary's Church:
Rye is an ancient town in East Sussex, England. In medieval times Rye was a very important settlement. Its historical roots made it a popular tourist destination. St Mary's Church is one you must see when you visit Rye.
St Mary's Church has an over 900 year history and is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. Dominating the hill on which the old town of Rye locates, St Mary's Church has been the most recognisable sight of Rye.
What to see in St Mary's Church:
For tourist the visit of the building starts from the North Transept.
(1) The Clare Chapel
Entering the entrance and turning to the left through the 14th century carved screen you walk in the Clare Chapel. There are two original Quarter Boys in golden colour standing in the first window. The grave of Allen Grebell can be seen in the Clare Chapel. Inside there is a doorway into the Chancel.
(2) The Chancel
The Chancel has two Norman Aumbries behind the High Altar. They are some of the oldest parts of the church. There is a 1901 Organ nearby too.
(3) The Crossing
In the Crossing you can see an 18ft long pendulum of the clock which dates from 1810. The clock itself dates from 1561-2 and is one of the oldest working church tower clocks in UK.
(4) The Nave
The Nave has two beautiful windows in the west and south. They were donated by E.F Benson in memory of his parents and brother. In the south end of the Nave you can see some of the stonework were damaged by the fire in 1377, when the French raided Rye and set fire to the town and the Church.
Opening times and prices:
St Mary's Church is open daily from 9am-6pm (4pm in winter) for sightseeing. The tower is also open daily and can be climbed, for a charge, to see the clock mechanism, the bells and a wonderful view of Rye and the surrounding countryside. St Mary's Church has regular services too.
I really enjoyed my visit of St Mary's Church. It helped me know more history about the old town of Rye. I also felt the peace of Christian religion fulfilled in the church.
For more tourist sites please visit my blog: http://blossom-iwanttoseetheworld.blogspot.co.uk/
I have many film DVD collections, but most of them just are watched once or twice. However the DVD of War Horse is an exceptional.
War Horse is a film directed by Steven Spielberg in 2011. The film was nominated for several awards including two Golden Globes and five BAFTAs in 2012. The film was an adaptation of a children's novel of same name by a British author Michael Morpurgo.
The story started in 1912 in Devon, England. A country boy named Albert watched a young horse with its mother. One day at an auction Albert's father Ted bought the horse for his farm. However the horse was not suitable enough to be a plough horse. Albert's mother Rose was very angry with the buy. To keep the horse in the family became the priority of Albert's life, and he gave the horse a name as Joey. After a few times training Joey seemed master the skills to plough field. However the World War I suddenly happened. Joey and Albert faced separation. What will happen after it? Will they see each other again? You will find the answer after watching the film.
Albert Narracott was played by Jeremy Irvine, who is an English stage and screen actor. It was his first film playing as a leading character.
Rose Narracott was played by Emily Watson, who is an English actress and has won a number awards for acting throughout her career. In the film of War Horse her role was Albert's mother.
Ted Narracott was played by Peter Mullan, who is a Scottish actor and a filmmaker. He has played in Harry Potter series. In the film of War Horse his role was Albert's father.
The DVD of War Horse lasts about 140 minutes. The language is English. It has five languages( Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic) for subtitles. The bonus features is about the real war horse in the history. Currently it is sold on Amazon website for just £5 with free delivery. It's also available on other retailers and the prices are similar.
The film of War Horse is one of the best films I have seen. It has a good story and good acting. It tells a story during a cruel world war I, but it shows you how beautiful the love between human beings and animals. Also you can feel the deep love and friendship. No matter which background you are from you can always find one to inspire you. It's a such touching film. Every time when I watch it I feel touched. It's a real masterpiece and I highly recommend it.
On January 2011 I had a Thomson all inclusive holiday in Dominican Republic. It was a great experience for my birthday. This year on 2013 for my birthday I decided to try a Thomson cruise holiday around the Canarian islands including Agadir in Morroco.
Brief information about Thomson and Thomson Majesty:
Thomson UK is a UK based travel operator selling holidays around the world. It's headquartered in Luton, England and is now taking more of its business to the web but still hold a big stake in the high street. Thomson Holidays was originally named Thomson Tour Operations and founded as part of the Thomson Travel Group in 1965. In 1997 it renamed as the current name.
Thomson Majesty is a cruise ship owned by Louis Cruise and is operated by Thomson Cruises. The ship made her maiden voyage in 1992. It only has 9 decks accessible to passengers and can accomodate about 1500 people.
Thomson Majesty Canarian Flavours itinerary:
My Thomson Majesty Canarian Flavours holiday started from London Gatwick airport. After 4 and half hour flying I arrived Tenerife, Spain. The cruise itinerary was Santa Cruz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz De La Palma, Funchal, ship at sea, Agadir, Arrecife, and Santa Cruz.
The flight times was not long. I think 4 and half hour flight is reasonable for a 7 nights holiday.
Travel to and boarding the Ship didn't take too long. From Tenerife South airport, the coach took about 1 hour to arrive the harbour, where Thomson Majesty was waiting there. After face photo taking I shortly finished the check in.
My cabin was a deck six inside cabin. It was a fairly small room and could have slept two. There is a good sized dressing table with a mirror. There was no window. However the mirror made you feel the room bigger.
The entertainment on the ships varied.There were two shows every night. You can also dance and sing songs on a small show lounge. During my holiday I had participated in a dance class. It was a very enjoyable experience. There were two very small swimming pool on the deck 10. I thought I can swim during my holiday, but the pools were two small. It's a kind of joke.
Before I started my curise jouney I had booked my excursions for every ports we stoped. There were two or three choices for every port. Every excursion lasted about 4 or 5 hours.Generally speaking I was satisfied with the arragement. I have seen 4 different volcanoes, which have very fantastic views. However I didn't like the last excursion, which was an ancient market in Morroco. The journey on the road was too long. The ship stoped in the port of Agadir, Morroco, but the market was very far from there. The walking around in the market was too boring. There were many fake branded products to sell. Anyway it was a part of real life of the country.
Last but not least, it's about the food on the board. There were several bars and three restraunts. You were free to choose where to eat. Breakfast and lunch were buffet. Dinner was buffet in the bars and a la carte in the restrauts. I chose the a la carte dinner twice, but I was very upset. The food was not nice and the service was too slow. There were choices in the bars. However I didn't think they were tasty. I felt the food was bought from some low cost supermarket or just made from a frozen ready meal. To me the food was so bad, I had to buy some snacks from my excursions journey or ate more apples when I was on the board.
All in all I was not satisfied with my Thomson Majesty Canarian Flavours cruise holiday. I don't think I will choose Thomson cruise products anymore.
For more pictures please visit my blog:
As the capital of the United Kingdom London is a wonderful place to visit. On my recent visit to the city, 27 May 2013, I went to the National Gallery.
Brief information about National Gallery:
The National Gallery displays one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Western European painting from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its first collections were originally from a rich private collector John Julius Angerstein. In 1831 Parliament agreed to construct a building for the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square and in 1838 the building finally opened.
National Gallery is located at Trafalgar Square, at the centre of London. It's easy to get there by bus or underground. It's not very convinent by car as there is a very limit parking area nearby.
What to see at National Gallery:
The collections of National Gallery are displayed according the times. The rooms have different colours to represent different times.
1. Paintings in 1250-1500
Paintings in 1250-1500 are in the rooms of Sainsbury Wing. The highlight paintings of this period include The Holy Family with Angels by Florentine (Italian) and The Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca (Italian), etc. I found most of the paintings in this period were connecting with religions.
2. Paintings in 1500-1600
Paintings in 1500-1600 are in the rooms of level 2 and coloured in pink. The highlight paintings of this period include The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger (German) and Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli (Italian), etc. I found from this period some paintings started to focus on the political and social issues. I think painters changed slowly from religious topic to political topic.
3. Paintings in 1600-1700
Paintings in 1600-1700 are in the rooms of level 2 and coloured in orange. The highlight paintings of this period include A Young Woman Standing at a Birginal by Johannes Vemeer (Dutch) and Self Portrait at the Age of 34 by Rembrandt (Dutch), etc. I think the paintings in this period started to focus on ordinary people's life including painters themselves.
4. Paintings in 1700-1900
Paintings in 1700-1900 are in the rooms of level 2 and coloured in green. The highlight paintings of this period include The Fighting Temeralre by William Turner (British) and Whistlejacket by George Stubbs (British), etc. I found the paintings started to express wider topics in this period. It is not until this period that I was able to see some paintings by famous British artists.
Opening times and prices:
National Gallery is open between 10am and 6pm except Friday (10am to 9pm). It's on show 361 days a year (closed in New Year Day and and 24-26 December). It's free of charge for visit but you need pay for the video guide. There are a tea room and shops on the level 0. I didn't try their food as I went to China Town for my lunch.
Due the time limit I haven't seen all paintings National Gallery can provide. It's really a pity. However it does give me an excuse to visit it again.
National Gallery is a great place for a day out. I highly recommend it. However before you go I suggest you to visit National Gallery website to learn something if you are like me, who doesn't know much about western paintings.
If you are in London you can also visit Tower of London, which is described as the heart and soul of England, and St Paul's Cathedral, which has been a landmark of London for centuries.
For more information please visit my article:
The Tower of London: a must-see attraction in England
St Paul's Cathedral------ A Must See In London
On 20th June 2013 I went to London for visiting St Paul's Cathedral with my friends.
Brief information about St Paul's Cathedral:
St Paul's Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. It was founded in AD604 and was destroyed many times. The present church was built in the late 17th century and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It has been one of the most famous and most recognisable sights of London.
What to see in St Paul's Cathedral:
St Paul's Cathedral is a building of English Baroque style. For tourist the visit of the building includes three parts.
(1) The Cathedral Floor
Following the multimedia guide the visit starts from the Baptismal Front, which is located at the main entrance of St Paul's Cathedral. Next is the Nave. Like the great Medieval cathedral of York, St Paul's Cathedral nave is long and wide. There were many historic moments happened here. Walking along the nave you will see the beautiful dome, which is the most visible and most notable features in London. The dome has mosaic paintings with religious stories. It's the finest dome I have seen in my life. There was a group students around the centre of the dome to practice songs. At the end of the Quire is the High altar, there is a Jesus Statue. At the end of the North Transept there is a painting, The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt. It is a really great painting. I was touched when I saw it.
(2) The Crypt
The Crypt is underground. It's the memorial place of many British great people and militaries soldiers. First you will see Winston Churchill memorial gate, from which you can enter to the memorial area. Wllington's tomb and Nelson's tomb are very noticeable you can't miss them. You can also see William Blake's memorial and Christopher Wren's tomb. I was surprised to pass Florence Nightingale's memorial wall. Outside the Crypt there is an Oculus, where you can see St Paul's views film. You can also have a lunch at the restraunt nearby. By the way the toilets are also in this level.
(3) The Galleries
The Galleries visit includes there parts. The first is the Whispering Gallery, which is 30 meters from Cathedral floor and 257 steps up. The second is the Stone Gallery, which is 53 meters from Cathedral floor and 376 steps up. The third is the Golden Gallery, which is 85 meters from Cathedral floor and 528 steps up. The East view from the Golden Gallery include the Barbican, Tower 42, Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast, etc. The Southe to West View include the Shard, Tate Modern, London Eye and Watierloo Bridge, etc. The views were fantastic and really worthy the effort. However bear in mind the steps are very narrow and you can only stay on the top of the cathedral for a couple of minutes.
St Paul's Cathedral is located in the city of London. You can take bus, tube or train to get it. The coronation station is the nearest spot to walk to the cathedral.
Opening times and prices:
St Paul's Cathedral is open for sightseeing from Monday to Saturday between 8.30am - 4pm. Currently the admissions are £16 for adult and £8 for child. If you book earlier on line you can get some discount.
St Paul's Cathedral is a fantastical and impressive church of England, which has a significant influnce in british history. It's a great place for a day out.
I have lived in the United Kingdom for 5 years. During this time I have travelled to a few places around England and have seen a few castles. Hever Castle was one of them.
Brief information about Hever Castle:
Hever Castle is an important historic castle on the English landscape. Different from many traditional castles, Hever Castle has no keep. Historically the castle was the home of different owners' family. Back to 1270 it was built as a country house. From 1462 to 1539 it was the property of Boleyn family. Anne Boleyn, the intriguing second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, spent her early youth there and became the most famous resident of the house. After her death the castle became into the possession of King Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Now it's a tourist attraction and open to the public.
Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever, near Edenbridge, Kent, England. You can drive your car to get Hever Castle. There are two parking areas, the bigger one of which is nearby the main entrance.
What to see at Hever Castle:
As a tourist attraction Hever Castle has an impressive building which has links to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. There is a wooden bridge over the moat. Entering the house and following the guide signs you can see a drawing room, which has a tudor decoration and furniture. However most of them were not original. In the living room you can see the portraits, furniture and tapestries. At the second floor there was a room, which was said to be the bedroom of Anne Boleyn. It's a very small room. To be honest I was surprised to see she stayed in a such small room as the daugher of the house owner. Next her bedroom you can see some displays, two of which were her prayer boos, both signed and inscribed by Anne Boleyn. You can also see the original letters between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. From these letters I would like to belive there was a real love between them, not only for the interests of politics. Continuously walking I visited the Long Galley in which you can see the Henry VIII and his six wives portraits. Just at this moment I knew the relationship between Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth First. ( Shame on me). In the thirteenth century gatehouse there was a collection of historic swords, armour, instruments of execution, torture and discipline. You can also see the history of the house at the next room, particularly about the last owner William Waldorf Astor. There were pictures of some famous visitors including the queen Elizabeth Second and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. My last see at the house was the fashion exhibition of Tudor ages. You can see the dress Anne Boleyn had when she married to Henry VIII.
Hever Castle Garden is a beautifully designed garden.It was laid out between 1904 and 1908 by Joseph Cheal & Son. To me the most magnificent areas of the gardens was the Italian Garden, which was designed to display William Waldorf Astor's collection of Italian sculpture. I was very impressed with the water features around the gardens too. Last but not least walking along Anne Boleyn's Walk amid enjoying the views was very enjoyable too.
Opening times and prices:
Hever Castle is open daily between 1 April and 31 October. The garden is open from 10:30am to 6pm and the Castle is open from 12 noon to 6pm. Currently the admissions are £15 for adult and £8.50 for child.
Hever Castle is a beautiful and impressive Tudor building, which has a strong connection of Anne Bolyen and Henry VIII. It's a great place for a day out.
Nearby Hever Castle you can also visit Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill and Knole, the Childhood Home of Vita Sackville-West.
As I work from home I need to use a printer regularly. On November 2011 I came across a good offer of Canon MG5250 on Amazon website. After reading a few reviews and comparing the price I decided to give it a go.
Canon is a commonly known Japanese multinational corporation, which is specialised in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment. It was founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1937. Today it is one of the largest electronics companies in the world. The one I'm writing about is one of Canon printer products, given the full name, Canon PIXMA MG5250.
Packaging and Features:
My Canon MG5250 comes in a well designed recycled box with the weight of 11 Kg. It contains a printer, a Mains Cable, a setup CD, printed instruction manual in four languages including English.
The printer machine is approximately 45.5cm wide, 16cm high and 36.8cm deep. Its weight is 8kg with 5 original Canon starter cartridges. The machine is in a black colour. At the top centre of the set there is a logo of PIXMA and the operating area is on the top left. The brand name of Canon is in the front on middle; the model name is on the left side; the power on/off button is on the front left top side and on the bottom you can see a USB connection and a WIFI sign too. In the middle there is a Disc tray.
The machine is really easy to getting started. First you should remove all orange tape and protective materials from the inside and outside the printer. Second you need to plug the machine into a power source and install the provided cartridges in the print head. Third you need to insert the CD into your computer and follow the instructions. You can choose insert the USB cable or Wireless network; you can also choose the Basic Guide or Advanced Guide to install.
After setting up you can use your Canon MG5250 to do print, copy and scan as you want.
Price and Availability:
In the UK you can buy Canon MG5250 in many retailers store and websites. You will find the prices vary. As a guide, it's currently sold on Amazon UK website for £66.99 and the RRP was £149.00.
My personal experience:
My first impression was very good. It looked like a heavy black box, but stylish. When I put the printer in my living room I was happy with its appearance. It really matched with my Philips DVP3880 and my Humax Foxsat HDR box.
After more than one year use I would like to say I'm satisfied with my choice. The performance of the machines is excellent. It's easy to use and the machine is always quickly responsive to my order. I mainly use the printer for high quantity black and colour printing. I think the speed is fast, the noise is low and the quality is high. I even use it for printing photos, and I think these come out very well; especially considering my Sony Camera is just a very basic digital camera.
My only downside is the cost of replacing cartridges. I paid £89.99 for the machine, but during the one year use I have paid over £100 for the original Canon cartridges. I've found if I have not used the machine for some time, it needs to do print test when I send a document for printing. It's really annoying and a waste of ink and paper.
In conclusion I'm very pleased with the performance of my Canon PIXMA MG5250. It's a reasonable priced All-In-One Colour Printer for home use. I would highly recommend this printer if you are thinking of buying one. It's a great value for money.
As the capital of the United Kingdom London is a wonderful place to visit. On my recent visit to the city I went to the London Zoo, or to give it official name, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) London Zoo.
Brief information about London Zoo:
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) was founded in 1826 as an international scientific, conservation and educational charity. Opened in 1828, the London Zoo was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study of ZSL. In 1847 it was eventually opened to the public. Today it is the world's oldest scientific zoo as well as one of the most popular tourist site in London.
London Zoo is located in Camden, North West London. It has a 15 - 20 minute walking distance from Camden Town or Regent's Park stations. You can also take a bus or walk about 30 minutes from Baker Street station. You can drive your car to get London Zoo. There is an extensive parking area which has 5 minute walking distance to the main entrance. By the way it's outside of the congestion charge.
What to see at London Zoo:
My main motivation for visiting London Zoo was that seeing the gorilla, as I had never seen a real gorilla in my life. So I would like to start from Gorilla Kingdom.
1. Gorilla Kingdom
There were 3 gorillas in the kingdom. You can see them through glasses or in their open field. Basically they did not do much and just relaxed in their own home, as the day was very hot. I was lucky to see one very clearly when she was sitting near the glass and looking at visitors. There were other displays about the creature. There was a weight scale you can weigh your weight and height. You can see the difference between you and gorilla. I found it was interesting.
2. Big Cats
You just can see lions and tigers through glasses, as they are caged inside. I had seen both before, but still felt very excited when the lions were moving towards the glasses. Everyday at 3pm there is a show in which you can see the lions using the hop, bound and jump technique to attack their prey.
Before I saw penguins, which live in the South Pole. The penguins in London Zoo were from a hot tropical area. There was a small pool. The water was very clean, so you can see penguins diving at the bottom of the pool. There was a morning show at 11.30am, which was very educational to me. That explained some knowledge about penguins, particularly the difference between their two creatures of penguins. There were two afternoon shows at 1pm and 4pm, which mainly were about feeding these penguins.
The Bug house is just around the big cats space. There is a range of different bugs and creatures displayed in glasses. There was a model at the entrance to the house. You can see how the leaf ant carrying the leaf to their colony. To me it was very interesting. Reading the description about these bugs, I felt their world really amazing.
The Aquarium is the home of sea creature. Here you can see different fish, crabs, sea horse, anemones and corals, etc. It was not big, but a most colourful place in the zoo. Compared to other aquarium I have seen before it was not very impressive.
The reptile house was once filmed in a Harry Potter movie. Although I don't like snakes I still went into, just wanted to find the place where the film had been taken. In here you can see a range of snakes, lizards, komodo dragons and frogs etc. Generally the snakes were sleeping and hiding. You need to be very patient to find where they are and to see if they are moving.
7. Butterfly Paradise
The Butterfly Paradise is just nearby the Penguins. To see the beautiful butterflies and moths from around the globe you need walk through a giant caterpillar, which is very hot and humid. You can also see plans and trees, which are homes for these butterflies and moths. Before I had visited a Butterfly valley in Sanya, China, but I still felt interesting when I saw these butterflies flying freely around visitors. There is also a pupae holding room where visitors can see a vast array of beautiful pupae develop and butterflies eventually emerge.
Opening times and prices:
London Zoo is open from 10am every day of the year (except Christmas Day) with seasonal closing times. Currently the admissions are £20 for adult and £15.50 for children. If you booked online for family visit you can get 10% off.
Compared to Beijing Zoo, it's smaller but you have more to see. Due the time limit I haven't seen all creatures London Zoo can provide. It's really a pity. However it does give me an excuse to visit it again.
London Zoo is a great place for a day out, not only for children, but also for adults. In my humble opinion it's a must go place when you visit London. I highly recommend it.
For more tourist sites please visit my blog: http://blossom-iwanttoseetheworld.blogspot.co.uk/
Olay is an American skin care line. It is one of Procter & Gamble's multi-billion dollar brands and the market leader in many countries including USA, UK, and China. As a top skin care retail brand in the world, Olay has a large range of products. The one I'm writing is one of Olay face washes, given the full name, Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash.
Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash package looks like an oversized toothpaste container, just wider and shorter. On the front of the package you can see P&G and Olympic logos on the top. The product name is displayed in the middle. At the bottom it is described as 'refreshing face wash' appropriate for normal/dry/combo type skins.
On the back of the package you can see the ingredients of the face wash. Mainly it contains aqua, sodium lauroamphoacetate(an amphoacetate used in moisturizers and other skin care products), sorbitol, glycerine, sodium trideceth, sodium surfate, citric acid and aloe barbadensis, etc.
How to use:
To get a good use from this face wash you should gently massage onto wet face and neck. After a couple of minutes you rinse off thoroughly with warm water and gently pat dry. You can use it every morning and/or evening.
Price and Availability:
In the UK you can buy Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash from many retailers including Amazon, Boots, Sainsbury's, just to name a few. You will find prices vary considerably. As a guide the current price is £3.05 with free delivery at Amazon UK website.
I bought my Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash at my local Sainsbury's and I paid £2.19. Now I have been using the face wash for very long and it is my first Olay face wash product. I'm very satisfied with the performance of the face wash.
First I like its fresh and pleasant smell. Second it cleans my skin but not dry it out. The formulation is a bit thick and sticky, however when I massage it onto my wet face it quickly becomes soft and smooth as it contains extracts of aloe and cucumber. After using it I can feel my face clean, soft and refresh. My skin is a combo type. I'm glad it doesn't make me feeling too dry.
Last but not least I would like to say I like its price. I have used other Olay make up products. In my mind it was a posh and a pricy brand. I was surprised to get it so cheap at supermarket.
All in all I'm very satisfied with Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash. I think it is good value for money and I recommend it.
Kenwood is a well-known kitchen appliances brand, which was founded by Kenneth Wood in 1947. Its products include kitchen machines, food processors, blenders, kettles, toasters and coffee makers, etc. The one I'm writing about is a food processor made by Kenwood, given the full name, Kenwood FP731 Multi Pro Food Processor.
To avoid any damages in delivery Kenwood FP731 Multi Pro Food Processor is double packed in big recycled boxes. It's not easy to open. There is a picture of the food processor on the front box. Inside the box there are a food processor set, attachments, a product list and a cooking guide written by Becky Johnson.
There are two kinds of attachments inside the box. One is the basic attachments, which come as standard with all Kenwood food processors. They are a knife blade and a thick disc. The knife blade can be used for mixing, chopping, mincing, pureeing and rubbing in; the thick disc is a reversible disc with slicing on one side and shredding on the other. It can be used for slicing vegetables and shredding and grating a wide range of foods. The optional attachments are explained below.
Dough doll is used to mix and knead yeasted recipes; Twin beater geared whisk is used to whisk egg whites, whip cream and whisk eggs and sugar for fatless sponges; Maxi-blend canopy is used in conjunction with the knife blade to blend soups; Thin slicing shredding disc is used for slicing vegetables finely and grating crisp fruit, vegetables and cheese; Standard chipper disc is used for making continental-style chips from potatoes or other root vegetables; Fine chipper disc is used for super-slim French fries or fine strips of root or other crisp vegetables; Extra-coarse shredding disc is used for grating vegetables and fruit really coarsely for salads, you can also use it for grating cheese; Liquidiser is for blending soups and sauces, making smoothes, milkshakes, cocktails and purees; Multi-mill is used for making baby or small quantities of purees, grinding coffee beans and spices, and chopping herbs and nuts; Mini-processor bowl is used for making baby food, sauces or small quantities of purees and chopping herbs and nuts.
Price and Availability:
In the UK you can buy Kenwood FP731 Multi Pro Food Processor from many retailers including Amazon, PC World, Currys, just to name a few. You will find prices vary considerably. As a guide the current price is £69.04 at Amazon UK website.
I bought my Kenwood FP731 Multi Pro Food Processor on February 2012 on Amazon UK website and I paid £64.99. Now I have been using the food processor for over six months and it is my first Kenwood product. I'm very satisfied with the performance of my food processor.
My first impression of this machine is that it is well made. It looks quite attractive with the white processor set and light grey container. The bowl and the attachments are plastic but not fragile for careful use. Before I bought the machines I had read some reviews on Amazon websites, from which I learnt how to assemble them. So it took me little time to get started. Bear in mind you must be sure that the bowl is turned completely to the right. You can hear a click when it's locking into place.
I want to say the food processor can do many kitchen works. It made my cooking more creative and more enjoyable. My expectation was to use the machine for Chinese dumplings because I don't want to spend time to chop the ingredients. However I did worry if the western tool can do eastern meal. Surprisingly it did a perfect job for my dumplings, maybe I should say, even better than I can do. I even used the machine for mixing a heavy cake for the first time in my life, which I never thought I can do. Now I have used it regularly for dumplings, cakes, drinks and breads, and I have found it superb for every task.
Last but not least I would like to say it's easy to use and even better, easy to clean. Although I have to say it does create some clean tasks after using it. However compared to the time saving the clean time doesn't count. The only downside to me is where to put them afterwards. It does take some spaces in the cupboard.
All in all I'm very satisfied with my Kenwood food processor and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a high quality food processor at a reasonable price.
I have been a member of National Trust for four years. During the period I have visited many national trust properties. Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank was one of them.
Brief information about Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank:
Wakehurst Place was the National Trust's most visited property for 2008-2009 fiscal year. It comprises a late 16th century country house and a mainly 20th century garden. As the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wakehurst Place features natural woodland and lakes, formal gardens, and the 21st-century architecture of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank.
The Millennium Seed Bank is launched in 2000 and located in Wakehurst Place. Its purpose is to provide an "insurance policy" against the extinction of plants in the wild by storing seeds for future use.
Wakehurst Place is located near Ardingly, West Sussex, England. You can drive your car to get Wakehurst. There is a big parking area which is near the entrance. It's also accessible by train or by bus.
What to see at Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank:
First is the Millennium Seed Bank. It was the first seed bank I have visited in my life and I really like it. The bank has collected the seeds from over 24000 species of plants, representing 10% of the world's dry land flora. By the way it has collected seeds from all the UK's native flora. I was pleased to see some seeds from China.
You can see some unusual seeds displayed in the glasses. You can also see how they deal with the seeds in the bank. When the seeds arrive first they need to be cleaned and their identification confirmed. Then they would be dried and stored in sub-zero conditions.
The second place to see is an Elizabethan house, which has five unfurnished rooms. In 1590 Edward Culpepper completed the present building. It originally formed a square courtyard, but now just one compete side remains. The building is a Grade 1 listed building. There is a room named the Blue Room, in which you can see the wall covering is a silk fabric. There are a few pieces of furniture. I was impressed by a Chien Lung Chinese leather four-fold screen, which is painted and gilded with figures on terraces, etc.
Last but not least you can see the garden. My first impression was it's an exquisite garden. However when I followed the tourist guide to walk around the ground I felt it's a big park too. You can see plants from different countries around the world. Most of them have signs, which tell you what they are. I was pleased to see some tress originally from China. However my most favourite one was a big chestnut tree, which was very much like a wedding cake. Bear in mind the journey through changing landscapes of garden, wetland and woodland is about 40 minute walking. It starts in the front of the house and ends there too.
Opening times and price:
Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Last admission to Seed Bank and house 90 minutes before closing.
Wakehurst Place hosts many weddings and events and may be closed to the public. Better to check National Trust or Kew websites before going.
Currently the admissions are £12 for adult and free for children under 17 years old (must be accompanied by an adult). As it is a National Trust property, it's free for National Trust members.
Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank is a great place for garden lovers. To ordinary tourists it's an enjoyable place to explore too.
Nearby Wakehurst Place and the Millennium Seed Bank you can also visit Standen, Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors; and Bateman's, home of Rudyard Kipling.
For more tourist sites please visit my blog: http://blossom-iwanttoseetheworld.blogspot.co.uk/
Sainsbury's is the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. It was founded in London in 1869. Not only does it provide food, but also many domestic appliances. This review is about one of Sainsbury's cook appliances, given the full name, Sainsbury's Kettle Barbecue.
Sainsbury's Kettle Barbecue is packed in a big recycled box and easy to open. There is a picture of the appliance on the front box. Inside the box there are parts of the BBQ, fixings and an assembly instruction leaflet.
My Sainsbury's Kettle Barbecue is in a black colour. The parts include: Lid handle, Lid air vent, Lid and Lid hook, Cooking grill and Charcoal grill, Fire bowl and Ash pan, Wheel leg and long leg, etc; The fixings include: Bolts, Washers, Nuts and Plastic spacer, etc.
Before you can use the appliance you need to assembly the parts. You need a screwdriver and a spanner too. Following the instruction leaflet step by step, it's easy to do the job.
First fit the cup onto the top of the long leg, align the hole in the leg with the hole in the base of the fire bowl and loosely secure the leg to the fire bowl by fitting the washer and bolt. After assembling all legs align the holes of the air vent and fire bowl; fit the bolt shown into the small central hole; fit the washer and secure inside the fire bowl.
Next fit the shelf between the barbecue legs; Place the ash pan on the shelf. Move the ash pan up towards the legs until the legs fit into the slots and the pan into position.
Third align the holes in the handles with the ones in the fire bowl and secure they are in correct position.
Fourth align the holes of the air vent and lid; Fit the lid bowl and the washer to make lid is ready.
Last to fit the charcoal and the cooking grills into the fire bowl. After that you can start to do your barbecue.
The appliance is really easy to use. However there are some things you should know. For example, this barbecue will become very hot, do not move it during operation; do not use indoors; Use only firelighters to lighting the barbecue; Max fill level for charcoal is 2kg, etc.
Price and Availability:
In the UK you can buy Sainsbury's Kettle Barbecue in many their stores and website. The original price was £30, but now you can get it for £4.50.
I bought my barbecue in last Christmas and I paid £9. It was a good bargain to me. Now I have used it for four times and I feel satisfied with it. First it's easy to put together. Second it looks very smart and it suits my small garden. Third it's very easy to move on the wheels; the handles are well designed to carry. Last but not least the BBQ does the job very well. I have nothing to complain.
All in all I think it's a very good value product. I hope I can use it more if we don't have so much rain in summer. For the current £4.50 price I would highly recommend it.