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Big headphones are back!
Though to be honest, I never could wear those little in-your-ear, ear phones....they hurt too much.
Everywhere I go these days it seems more and more people are using the full cover-your-ear, ear phones when out and about. And there is a reason, latest fashion aside; in fact there are several reasons:
The sound quality is often better
They keep background noise out
The sound is kept in (no more angry looks from fellow commuters)
They are more comfortable
They keep your ears warm
And they last a lot longer than their flimsy counterparts.
These particular headphones by Sennheiser are amazingly good.
A German based company, with production sites throughout the world, Sennheiser are renowned for their top quality products in electrocoustics.....anything to do with the recording, transmission and reproduction of sound. They work closely with musicians and sound engineers and use their input to help them create their high performance and world renowned microphones and headphones.
Sennheiser HD 202 II headphones
The manufacturer describes these headphones as the ideal partner for DJs.
Well, the closed-back design means that they fit very snugly on the ear and block out ambient noise well.
The ear cups can be removed from the head band so that you can listen one sided.
They come with a 3 metre cable.
But I 'aint no DJ, so why did I buy them?
Because you don't have to be a DJ to appreciate a good set of earphones that provide superb sound quality....they were also on offer at the time. But, in all truth, they are a bargain at the current price of 25 quid. I'm very happy with my purchase! I honestly didn't know what I was missing out on till I got them.
The earphones are black with a very flexible, and partly cushioned, head band. The ear cups are cushioned in the same soft material which I assume is leatherette-covered foam. They fit snugly completely over the ears, though anyone with particularly large ears may find them a little uncomfortable as the cups aren't overly large. For average ears they are very comfortable and easy to wear for long periods at a time without any problem.
As I mentioned before, the cable is a very long 3 metres and it comes in handy. When at the computer, I have no need for that length of cord, but it can also be plugged into the TV while you lay back and relax without worrying that you're going to pull or damage the cable.
The headphones come with a cable winder which you can use to house the excess cable if you're listening to music during your commute or just generally on the move. This clips to your belt, though I tend to just put mine in my pocket.
Music comes through crisp and clear and every note and instrument is audible. Even when the volume is turned up to an almost deafening level, the sound does not distort. When the music is up full blast, people around you are able to hear it, but if it is at a reasonable normal level, those around you barely detect it....a huge bonus for travellers. It will also block out outside noise....you really are in your own little world when you have these on.
'Neodymium magnets give the powerful bass-driven sound reproduction'...or so it says on the packet....I don't know much about magnets, but whatever they are, they work well....this sound really is of a quality you would expect from much more expensive equipment.
The cable is highly conductive OFC copper cable, also ensuring an outstanding sound quality delivery.
Extra brownie points
The headphone comes with a 3.5mm straight plug and there is also a 6.3mm adapter plug included in the package which means these beauties can be used not only with your iPod, MP3 player and iPhone, but also with your PC and TV - very useful.
The ear pads and the cable are replaceable.
They are guaranteed for two years.
* Transducer principal dynamic, Closed-Aire
* Ear coupling semi-circumaural, leatherette
* Frequency response 18 - 18,000 Hz
* Sound pressure level (1 kHz, 1 Vrms) 115 dB
* THD < 0.5 %
* Nominal impedance 32 Ohms
* Connector 3.5 mm mini-stereo with 1/4" adapter
* Cable 3 m OFC copper cable
* Weight (without cable) approx. 130 g
* Supplied accessories Cable wind-up clip
So, if you're looking to upgrade your earphones, think seriously about getting a set of Sennheiser's - true quality and value for money.
Get them from Amazon at 25.44.
"Every mile is two in winter."
I hate being cold.
Once upon a time I was used to it, but since living in warmer climbs, I find my immunity against it has lessened and when the winter weather comes, the chill gets into my bones and leaves me benumbed and shivering.
I sound like a right geriatric, which I'm not; what I am is a complete wimp when it comes to frosty conditions...
Anyhoo, I find this lovely gadget warms the cockles of my heart as well as my frozen fingers and keeps me warm and toasty.
"Here's to the pilot that weathers the storm."
The hand warmer.
Now there are a few kinds of hand warmers on the market. There are those gel-filled pouch ones which are activated by means of clicking a metal disc within - they work pretty well, aren't expensive and are reusable, as long as you don't overdo the necessary 'reset' in the microwave and end up blowing it up! They don't last much more than 45 minutes though.
There are also the zippo-lighter style warmers which use lighter fuel and work well, but are a lot more expensive; and there are other instant warmers that are not re-usable and, though they last a good 6 hours or more, they end up being expensive.
This charcoal hand warmer is an old friend for soldiers, fishermen and outdoor sportsmen.
It's a case, similar to that of a glasses case that measures approximately 11cm by 7cm. The case itself is covered in velvet making it soft and cosy to the touch. The one in the picture is red, but mine arrived green....goes much better with my eyes! It opens much like a glasses case would, by pressing a small button located under the felt and it snaps shut easily and securely.
Inside the case is a metal surround on both the top and bottom part of the lids and the hollow within the metal surrounds is insulated with fibreglass. There is a slight indentation in the soft fibreglass material which is what houses the charcoal stick, keeps it in place and maximises the heat.
"Knowing how things work is the basis for appreciation"
This particular case comes with 12 spare charcoal rods.
Each rod is around 8cm long and 1.5cm wide.
To get going, just take a match, or preferably light a candle to give you more burning time, and hold it at one end of the stick. It will not flame but will begin to glow. Make sure that the entire end of the stick is lit and blow gently on the stick until the glowing embers extend about half an inch along the rod. Then place it in the case and snap it shut. Be sure the stick is well lit before you put it in the case or you run the risk of it going out.
It's best to light these a good 20 minutes before you need the real benefit of the heat they give off as it takes a little while to get warmed up. The case also comes with a soft pouch in matching green velvet and with a drawstring top. For added security, it's best to put the case inside the pouch...although it would be hard to imagine it coming open in your pocket, it is possible....you want to be warm, not a third-degree burns patient! There is a thick elastic band with the kit which for added security I put around the case before putting it in the bag....I like to be safe, not sorry!
"Endurance is nobler than strength"
The rods that come with the pack are said to last up to 6 hours...I find they last a maximum of 4 if burned at only one end.
You can burn the rod at both ends, which gives off more heat, but doing this reduces the heat time to about 2 or 3 hours.
Other sticks are available which burn longer...see below.
Turn up the heat!
The pocket warmer starts of pleasantly warm and the heat grows to become almost hot - never uncomfortably so, but enough that you may want to move it to another pocket for a while.
"Science... never solves a problem without creating ten more."
Yes, there are some minor complaints: the charcoal rods that are supplied with the kit can spark quite a bit when they are being lit so be careful where you are when you light them....you wouldn't want to scorch your wife's best rug!
These rods are of inferior quality to other rods which can be purchased as refills. One such superior quality refill is by 'Relag' - their charcoal is covered in a silver-coloured coating. I have no idea what this coating is, but they do not spray sparks about when being lit, they last a good hour or 2 longer and they don't smell as strongly.
Yes, unfortunately the charcoal gives off a bit of a pong which smells a little like smouldering tobacco leaves and wet coal...while some may find this odour pleasing, it 'aint exactly Channel No. 5.
However, odour a la 'bonfire' is not really a problem when outdoors, and is barely noticeable really...but probably not something you would want to use for prolonged periods in a closed space.
Still, as I say, the Relag sticks are much less odorous. They come in packs of 12 or 24 and cost around 5 pounds for the box of 24.
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now"
Anyone who feels the cold, suffers from arthritis, chills, rheumatism and so on should have one of these gadgets. They're great for outdoor activities...a huge plus whilst on a particularly long ski-lift in blizzard conditions at Aviemore! Good too for fishermen, golfers and archers who need their hands to NOT be frozen stiff, as well as for walkers and climbers in cold parts or camping enthusiasts who insist on actually sleeping in a tent ....strange people...
Keep the warmer in your breast pocket and it's like having a little water bottle strapped to you at all times - very warm and comforting, or keep it in a your jacket or trouser pocket and take it out periodically to warm cold fingers. Just be careful no one else sees or they'll want to wheedle it off you.
"One timely cry of warning can save nine of surprise."
- Don't give this to kids. It's a cool toy and a little box of fire - something a kid would love to get his hands on but probably shouldn't ....certainly not without supervision-playing with it is way too tempting.
- Keep it flat when you open it to avoid fall out.
- Watch out which way the wind is blowing if you have to open it outdoors...you don't want hot ash or dust blowing in anyone's eyes.
- Dispose of the ash when you are sure it is completely cold.
- Tap out the old ash well before lighting another and periodically hoover the inside to keep it as dust free as possible, therefore providing more space for air to help your charcoal burn and not go out.
Buy from Amazon for around 8 pounds or from many outdoor sports or fishing shop.
Thanks for reading!
*****"The Lady Million woman embodies the ideal woman. No man can resist her and the best wont ever be enough for her!" *****
What a load of, pardon my French, bollocks! You have to laugh at adverts intent on portraying women as money-grabbing biatches oozing wealth, decadence and dominatrix tendencies.... well, it's either that or they're swooning delicate flowers waiting for their lover to sweep them away on a train, saucy minxes (steady now boys) or total psychos a la Nicole Kidman "I'm a dancer, I love to dance!"........ holy bejesus....
The perfume follows its male counterpart, 1 Million, made to look like a gold bar (oh dear), and took 19 months to create.
As you may have guessed, I'm not overly fond of the advertising for this perfume, but to be honest most either leave me cold, make me cringe or give me a case of the giggles.
Let's start with the packaging shall we?
Square gold box...nothing special but acceptable.
What's inside is another story....
A multi-faceted clear-glass bottle I assume is meant to look diamond-like..?? Nothing especially offensive I suppose, but the lid reduces it to a new low in perfume bottle bling. The top is of a gold that looks very cheap and nasty, the kind of gold that looks like it'll chip and tarnish, and, were it jewellery, would leave your neck with a nasty, gangrenous green line around it.....tackiness at its very best.
The bottle has a pointed base and is designed to lie at an angle so that the lid with 'Lady Million' etched across it, faces towards, or away from you. A large square panel in the centre of the lid is what you press to spray out the scent...works ok.
So much for the bottle.
"Perfume : any smell that is used to drown a worse one"
I like this perfume.
I tested it out some weeks ago and despite the saying that no woman should buy her own perfume, and despite the fact that I hate the bottle and the advertising....... I bought it.
I did ask them if they could decant it into another container, but the teenage shop assistant looked at me in total confusion and I thought any further insistence might reduce her to tears.
This perfume is actually quite delicious.
It's not an overpowering scent, but it is a complex one filled with subtle nuances as well as more pronounced notes.
The top notes and the ones first perceived after that first spray are neroli, bitter orange and raspberry....apparently.
For me personally, I was hit with a smell more akin to pink grapefruit and chocolate...sweet, citrousy and pronounced.
The initial scent gives way to the body and middle notes of the perfume with orange flower absolute and Arabian jasmine absolute...I get the orange and a sweetness which I must be getting from the jasmine. The middle note lasts well as does the sweet chocolaty aroma and is still noticeable after a good 4 hours.
Base notes are honey and patchouli....I remember using patchouli as a teenager and I honestly can't smell much in the way of that particular scent, though it is perhaps what gives longevity to the fragrance though it really is hard to pinpoint.
Overall this is a sweet, floral perfume with a certain zestiness and freshness combined with darker, earthier undertones. If seduction is what you're after, then this is probably pretty close to achieving that via the olfactory nerves....heady, volatile and attention grabbing, this is one scent that will get noticed.....now I'm beginning to sound like one of those adverts...eek!
Moving swiftly on
This is available everywhere you can buy perfume, I imagine, including my beloved Amazon where it retails for:
30ml EDP...... 35 smackeroonies (pounds)
50ml EDP...... 41 "
100ml EDP.... 56 "
The accessories include shower gel, deodorant spray and body lotion.
Lovely perfume, just hide the bottle....or paint it..... knit a cover for it....anything would be an improvement.
Thanks for giving this a read.
This review is for the restaurant LA PLAÇA, Gariguella, Spain.
Right off the bat, I have to admit to never staying in this hotel but I have eaten many times in the restaurant and know the building and the area well.
I've lived the last 18 years a ten minute drive from the restaurant/hotel and know many who have visited it and eaten there, but after advice from the dooyoo team, please concider this as a review for the restaurant only and that the information about the hotel is just a bonus!
To begin with let me tell you about Gariguella
Gariguella is a small Catalan village located at the foothills of the Pyrenees in northern Spain, about 30 minutes drive from France, an hour and a half from Barcelona, 45 minutes from Gerona airport and 20 minutes from Figueres, home of the Salvador Dali museum.
This sleepy little village is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves is a very picturesque setting indeed and ideal for a peaceful holiday whatever the season.
Getting there is simple enough. Take Ryan air to Gerona airport and then it's a mere 45 minute drive. There is a lot to see and do in this area...beach, mountains, castle and villages, so I would say a car is practically a must if you want to get out and about. There are fantastic sights to see within a relatively small area, but there is little in the way of bus services, taxis are expensive and the train is quite a walk away.
The hotel is located in a small square and is directly opposite the 11th century church. The building itself blends in beautifully with the traditional buildings surrounding it and has a very unassuming stone-clad exterior.
There are nine rooms and 2 apartments, each of which is named after a region, landscape or decorative theme. One such room is the Vineyard room, which has its own terrace overlooking the mountains and vineyards surrounding the area. The rooms is beautifully and simply furnished with traditional tiled floors and a combination of wood-clad, stone and painted walls. The colours are warm and inviting as is the fabric used on its king sized bed. Impeccably clean, soft lighting, ample bathroom and the large hot-tub on the balcony, make this room a particularly romantic one where you can imagine sipping champagne in a bubbling Jacuzzi a gazing at the spectacular sunsets, or into your partners eyes, if you're that way inclined....
The two apartments will house up to four people and are ideal for self-catering families and longer stays.
The rooms are air-conditioned and heated and have wifi connection and an LCD tv.
Prices for rooms vary depending on the room itself and the season but can range from 105 euros per double room to 485 in high season...the later does include breakfast and dinner for two as well as champagne and a fruit basket for the room.
The apartments range from 420 euros for two nights to 1020 for seven.
This area is full of tiny villages dotted along the winding roads....they all have little restaurants ranging from rustic 'back rooms' for traditional fare, to the more sophisticated haute cuisine. Not far from here is the restaurant 'El Bulli' renowned world-wide as the best restaurant in the world in 2009....the region has no shortage of places for foodies, no matter what their taste.
Of course, El Bulli has a waiting list a mile long and a family meal there is the price of a small car! Not so in this restaurant.
The food here is created by Sebastian Lobel....a very talented chef who has trained in many renowned European Michelin star restaurants. The dishes he puts together are imaginative and delicious and made with local, seasonal ingredients. Although this is what you would call fine dining, with the little amuse bouche to begin your experience, the portions are of a very decent size and you do not leave the place hungry as you may in other such places. I always remember my folks telling me of another haute cuisine place they'd visited some years back, and ended up having fish and chips after because of the meagre designer portions!
You can choose to eat from the menu or can plum for one of the set menus which are available. Whenever I eat there, I usually go for the set option - it's great value and well balanced.
Menú 'Petit Plaisir' 25.00 euros
Green salad with marinated salmon
Pumpkin cream with coco milk and Parmesan cheese
Fillet of Roast bass roasted on its skin
Grilled heart of rumsteck with red wine sauce
Oven-baked apple and vanilla ice-cream
White lady ice cream
(vanilla ice cream, meringue, cream and chocolate sauce)
l'Aiguille Rouge Menu
Warm goat cheese salad with apples,
Onion soup with grilled cheese croutons
Cheese crust and greens
Savoyard cheese fondue
Tartiflette and greens (Baked sliced potatoes
dish, cubed bacon, onions and Reblochon cheese)
Honey-roasted ham, mountain-style
Tarte myrtilles et son sorbet
Nougat glacé maison au miel des montagnes
The food is always beautifully presented and is as much a joy to look at and discuss as it is to taste.
The staff here is always pleasant and attentive and nothing is too much trouble.
The Dining Rooms
There are two main areas for dining as well as a terraced area by a small lit pool. I have eaten in all three areas and have to say it's difficult to tell which is best! The first area is a more classic room...round tables, subtle lighting, beautiful ornaments and chic tableware. The next room, which is visible from the first, is slightly more rustic and reminiscent of a sophisticated Swiss chalet with rectangular tables and light wooden furniture. The terrace is perfect on a warm summer's evening and eating semi al fresco is always lovely.
You can phone for a restaurant or hotel reservation....staff speaks English.
Reservations can also be made online:
Plaça de l'Església, 2
Alt Empordà (Girona) Spain
T + 34 972 53 18 07
F + 34 972 53 09 41
To sum up
This area is truly and great one for a vacation throughout the year and if your looking for an intimate hotel in a quiet hotel with fabulous food, then you could do worse than La Placa!
HAVE A LOOK AT THE WEBSITE: http://www.hotelgarriguella.com/
Thanks for reading!
'You must be my lucky star'
Radiant highlighter is a pale, pearly-pink liquid cream containing light reflecting properties. It comes in a 25ml transparent tube with a screw-top lid.
When applied to the skin, it hides minor imperfections and fine lines and gives a very natural shine.
It contains soothing aloe-Vera, panthenal and Vitamin E which soothe and condition the skin, although this will only be used in small amounts in specific areas and does not replace a moisturiser. It also contains the anti-oxidant, white tea extract, but to be honest, though this is nice to know, it's not a reason for buying the stuff.
'Cos you shine on me wherever you are'
I use the highlighter over a liquid foundation and under a little light powder. I find it needs a liquid foundation base to help it blend well...on top of powder, it is much harder to apply to a natural finish and tends to cake and flake and look streaky.
During the day, a little worked in with a tinted moisturiser gives an overall sheen to the skin which is particularly nice if you have a bit of a tan, giving a little lift to an otherwise dull (at least in my case) looking complexion.
For the evening I would use it mainly on my cheeks to highlight the 'apple' part and give a more youthful (hopefully!) appearance. Use it under the brow, at the inner corner of the eye and over lipstick if you want a shimmer rather than the glossy look achieved with...well, gloss...
'I just think of you and I start to glow'
This illuminator can be used on all skin types and all colours, though I would imagine darker-toned skin would benefit more from a darker tinted highlighter. I know when I use it in summer; it can make my cheeks look a tad pale if I apply too much or don't blend it in well. Key point being, test it out in the store first and use in conjunction with a moisturiser or a liquid foundation.
All in all it's fairly subtle and natural looking.....I don't want glitter or sparkle on my skin but prefer to look healthy and glowing, day or night.
'...and I need your light and baby you know'
Available from the Body Shop, naturally, and can be bought online via Amazon for 11 pounds. It's not cheap, but Body Shop products never are these days. I remember when it was a very economical place to shop - but I guess you pay for the name as well as a decent product.
This is a nice product, but if anyone knows of a similar and cheaper one, please let me know!
Thanks for reading!
Ingredients for those interested ....
Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Aloe Barbadensis Gel (Skin Conditioning Agent), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate (Emollient), Mica (Opacifier), Cyclomethicone (Emollient), Glycerin (Humectant), Pentylene Glycol (Solvent), Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer (Film Former), Cyclohexasiloxane (Chelating Agent), Silica (Absorbent), Steareth-2 (Emulsifier), Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (Opacifier), Steareth-20 (Emulsifier), Isohexadecane (Emollient/Solvent), Boron Nitride (Bulking Agent), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Panthenol (Skin/Hair Conditioning Agent), Camelia Sinensis Extract (Natural Additive), Ceteareth-20 (Emulsifier), Propylene Glycol (Humectant), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Phenyl Methicone (Skin-Conditioning Agent/Emollient), Polysorbate 80 (Surfactant), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Viscosity Modifier), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Sorbitan Oleate (Emulsifier), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Sodium Hyaluronate (Humectant), CI 77891 (Colour), CI 77491 (Colour).
Back to Nature
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more."
Today, many natural remedies and cures are well-known, recognised and even prescribed by doctors. A large number of us turn to homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathy, herbalism and nutritional based therapies before resorting, if all else fails, to orthodox medicine.
Oils extracted from plants are also widely used for their medicinal properties and health-boosting constituents.
Tea Tree is one such oil.
Tea Tree oil, what's that?
Tea Tree Oil is distilled from the leaves of the 'Melaleuca alternifolia' . It has proven anti-bacterial anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and is a very effective remedy for skin ailments.
What sort of ailments?
Well, most people who use it, myself included, find it very effective in clearing up spots.
I get the odd spot now and then on my forehead or chin usually, and a dab of this stops the spot in its tracks...one dab at night and the following morning barely a blemish in sight!
Use it for cuts and scrapes as well as insect bites and burns. I have Tiger Balm which I use regularly, which is also very effective on insect bites and spots, but, unlike tea tree oil, cannot be used on broken skin. The oil penetrates the skin to the deeper layers and is therefore more effective at calming and soothing the skin as well as promoting healing, reducing swelling and disinfecting.
Tea tree oil is used as an effective treatment for fungal-nail conditions, athletes foot and ringworm.
Added to shampoo, it's a very effective cure for dandruff....I get the odd itchy scalp and my daughter gets dandruff occasionally...simply add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to a bottle of mild shampoo and the problem is solved. This method will also provide protection against head-lice and can also cure any infestations of lice, so I'm told....
There is some very limited research showing that tea tree can also be effective in treating the herpes virus, shingles and chicken pox. I've used Zovirax for my cold-sore treatment ever since I first discovered it, but after reading about the benefit that tea tree oil may have in clearing them up, I may well give it a try on them....watch this space!
How do I use it?
Dab on blemishes, cuts, spots, scrapes etc. with a clean finger or cotton wool pad.
Add a few drops to mild shampoo for use on hair.
Put a few drops in the bath to help soothe skin as well as relax the body.
Put a few drops in a bowl of hot water and steam the skin by holding your face over
the bowl and draping a towel over your head.
Can be added to body lotion or applied directly to the skin for massaging.
Use as a mouthwash diluted in water to prevent plaque and gum disease.
Dab on stings....nettle, bee, wasp etc.
Add to the wash for your towels, pillows and dog's bedding.
Use in a spray with water on any mouldy or mildew-prone areas in the bathroom or kitchen.
Use spray to disinfect surfaces such as telephones and keyboards.
Although tea tree oil is a natural product, this doesn't mean that it is completely harmless.
As with most products it is wise to do a skin test for possible reactions first.
Keep this away from children.
DO NOT INGEST - you can use it to gargle when diluted, but it should never be swallowed as it is toxic.
Don't use it on your pets.
So why Body Shop Tea Tree Oil?
Body Shop tea tree oil is actually a blend of three oils...tea tree oil, lemon tea tree oil and tamanu oil.
A far as I can see, lemon tea tree oil is pretty well undocumented as to it's properties, apart from being used as an insect repellent and having a pleasant fresh, citronella-type smell. The Body Shop website claim it has the same beneficial qualities as ordinary tea tree oil in that it clears and prevents blemishes.
Tamanu oil contains powerful healing properties similar to that of tea tree, but more so. I had never heard of this oil before, but it appears to be particularly potent and has been used successfully on more severe skin problems including burns and even gangrenous ulcers!
The body Shop get their oil from Kenya where the certified-organic tea tree grows at the foothills on Mount Kenya in mineral-rich soil and are irrigated with glacial waters. The 270 farmers there are given a means to provide for their families in a country torn apart by AIDS.
What does it come in?
The Body Shop tea tree oil comes in a little, green, 10ml dropper-bottle with a child-proof screw-top lid.
It retails at 5 pounds.
They also carry several other products in the tea tree range, including washes. Lotions, wipes and gels.
I've used tea tree oil for years, on and off....I always have a bottle handy in the bathroom. A 10ml bottle lasts me over a year...a little goes a long, long way!.
For in the true nature of things,
if we rightly consider,
every green tree is far more glorious
than if it were made of gold and silver. ~
~ Martin Luther King ~
Thanks for reading.
'Don't sweat it dude.....it 'aint the 'medicinal' stuff, it's the material cultivated from it, fashioned into a cool cover for your Kindle 3, man!'
'Oh, thank goodness for that!'
So yes, this is a cover for the Kindle 3 made from hemp, the soft, yet durable fibre obtained from the 'Cannibus Genus' plant.
HEMP IS FROM THE CANNABIS PLANT?
Yes, hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is a versatile crop that can be eaten; made into tea, milk, used in salads, made into cereal and used in baking - it's highly nutricious, in fact.
It can also be used as fuel, made into jewellery, used in construction, as a natural pesticide and many other things including being made into paper and fabric.
WHAT'S IT LIKE AS A FABRIC?
Hemp is strong and depending on the process used to extract the fibre from the plant, it can vary in colour. It can be white, brown, grey and even black.
Pure hemp has a similar texture to linen.
SO THEY'VE USED IT TO MAKE A KINDLE COVER?
Yes, and it looks great! It's a very natural brown colour....slightly darker than it appears in the picture above. I always thought of hemp as being similar in texture to hessian and was a bit concerned that it might feel a bit rough, but it is pleasantly soft to the touch.
The front of the cover is embroidered with a lovely authentic pattern that appears hand-made. Once your kindle is in this cover, it has the feel of opening a real book or treasured diary of sorts.
Technology meets nature; modern, yet pleasingly natural....
The kindle fits perfectly inside the cover leaving all its keys and buttons easily accessible.
Once inside, the rather flimsy looking (in my mind) kindle becomes instantly more robust looking as it nestles safely within its protective confines and locks in securely.
The outer cover has a strong, magnetic clasp that poses no danger of coming open in your bag or during transport.
On the inside left of the cover there is a very handy storage area for papers, cards and notes as well as a pen loop. This, as well as the part which surrounds the kindle keys is of dark brown leather.
WHAT ABOUT THE AMAZON COVER?
The cover Amazon sell is a very nice one....all leather and in a variety of colours. I purchased an Amazon cover and then I saw this one......
I promptly returned the Amazon cover (unused, naturally) and purchased this cover, also from Amazon.
There is a world of difference.
First of all the Eco-nique hemp cover is eight pounds cheaper.
It holds papers, cards and a pen which the Amazon cover does not.
It has a natural look and feels more 'book-like'. The Amazon cover looks more like a diary or agenda.
Of course, the Amazon cover is lovely quality and perhaps more proffessional looking, but the Eco-Nique cover is infinitely more striking.
SO I SHOULD GO FOR THE ECO-NIQUE, YOU SAY?
It all a question of taste......and money...... and practicality...!
As I've mentioned, it is cheaper, has more storage space and looks great!
And very importantly it is environmentally friendly.
Hemp is an easy to grow crop that requires few pesticides and no herbicides. It's a more natural option and and a much greener one.
If you're going to increase your ecological footprint by buying an e-book, offset it a bit with a more natural option for its cover! :)
COST: just under 23 pounds.
Thats all folks!
Thanks for reading.
If you have any interest at all in buying a journal/photo album/scrap book, please look first at this recycled leather journal by Romano.
It was my daughter's 21st birthday last July and I needed something special. But what to get? Some electronic gadget? Clothes? Perfume? I was stuck for ideas.
And then I was struck by an idea of genius proportions! (even though I do say so myself..) I would get her a scrap book, a nice one....a journal a la 'YaYa sisterhood' in which she could keep her treasured letters and drawings, pressed flowers, photos, tickets to that unforgettable concert and so on....
The idea was to start off the album for her with letters and birthday wishes from her family and closest friends. I contacted everyone she knows and loves....family members, friends and even a primary teacher to whom she was very close as a little girl.
The wishes and memories began flooding in.
So now all I needed was the album to house these e-mails, letters, photos and memorabilia.
Naturally I turned to Amazon and after hours of searching and researching I found the Romano journal.
Made from recycled leather by Italian artisans, this journal stood out from the rest.
The leather is a rich, polished brown and is embossed along both the top and bottom edge in a very dark brown. The pattern along these edges is that of a vine-like pattern reminiscent of ancient scrolls and travels completely around the front and back of the book.
The journal boasts an extended flap on the back which wraps over the front of the album when closed and ensures protection of all those voluble keepsakes inside as well a being an aesthetically pleasing detail.
To secure the flap there is a long thin leather strap which wraps twice around the entire book and can be secured by threading it through a leather stitch of the same material on the front and middle of the flap.
The album has a distinct 'oldie-worldie' feel about it and exudes the quality and style only skilled craftsmen could attain. The smell alone is so evocative....the first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the expensive aroma of new leather.
There are 50 pages in the journal or 100 sides, depending how you look at it.
The classic style pages are creamy white and unlined. They are interspaced with thin transparent paper, typical of that of a photo album.
They measure 23cm by 30 cm.
WHAT TO USE IT FOR
Once I received this album, I began to paste in the cards and letters I'd received along with some old baby photos, first birthday cards and other childhood memorabilia. I used both back and front of the pages and used the first 10 or so...leaving plenty of room for her to add her own memories as and when.
This would make a perfect wedding photo album....a bit different from the usual white, but all the more special for it. And of course, it could be used for any photos you treasure.
For anyone who sketches, it would be a great place to keep your pictures safe and beautifully preserved.
There is also no reason for it not to be a journal....perhaps for a special family holiday - just keep a diary and transfer it along with your photos, tickets and even maps to the journal and you have a reminder of your holiday to keep forever.
If used as a photo album the capacity would be as follows:
Photo Capacity: 300:4x6, 200:5x7, 100:8x6, 100:8x10
WHERE TO BUY
I purchased mine from Amazon for 58 pounds.
No, it's not cheap, but it will last a lifetime and more.
Unfortunately I see it is currently unavailable on the UK site, though Amazon.com are carrying. Have a look at the pictures there.
What did my daughter think when she got it? She cried.....but in a good way :)
Thanks for reading.
10 years ago I bought my first Eastpak product. It was a back pack.
I had always thought their bags to be somewhat over-priced and could always find a version of similar size and colour for a quarter of the price.
But, with East pack you really do get what you pay for. The quality of these bags is second to none. That back pack I bought is still going strong and has been tested beyond any limit imaginable....stuffed full with heavy books it has stood the test of daily abuse. The material has not frayed or broken and the zip, despite beind stretched to its limit, is still intact.
Naturally, after withstanding many arduous years, I find myself turning to Eastpak for all my baggage needs.
I have bought other smaller backpacks, computer bags and suitcases...this suitcase being one of them.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS ONE?
It's VERY big!
ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY EIGHT LITRES of big! Now, for a soft suitcase, which it is, that is one ample clothes carrier!
But, apart from its size, its strength is what sets it apart.
The company originally began making duffel bags and knapsacks for the armed forces but after noticing that students were beginning to use army day bags as school back packs, they began to manufacture for the consumer as well.
Their bags have continued to be famed for their durability as well as their functionality and aesthetic appeal.
Easkpak were the first to use 'Cordura', an extrememly hard-wearing fabric that is resistant to tearing, fraying and scuffs. This material is not only tough, but it retains colour well and is light-weight.
WHAT DOES THE BAG LOOK LIKE?
It's a soft bag with a flat, structured hard bottom and rounded sides. A 'no-nonsense' bag that is perfect in its simplicity. It has a large side zippered side pocket. The supports are metal and the telescopic handle pulls out and locks easily and is just as easily put away.
The bag, despite it's size glides along on its wheels very smoothly...even when filled to capacity. Because of it's length it is possibly even easier to wheel along and there is no bending down neccessary and no bashing into the backs of your legs! I can't vouch for other people legs, mind you....though most are wise enough to get out of the way when they see this coming!
There are two handle, one at either end of the bag as well as the two usual handles which meet in the middle and can be fastened together with the soft velcro that wraps around them. There is also a shoulder strap, though, depending how full could be difficult to use.
The zips on this bag are big, thick and strong and give peace of mind.....these are not gonna bust easily!
My bag is 'Shed Brown'. Dark enough not to show the dirt too much yet a colour not often seen in luggage, at least not that I've noticed. (Easily distinguishable from other luggage on a conveyor belt.)I believe it is also available in navy, black and grey and possibly other colours depending where you buy it from.
WHO WOULD USE THE BAG?
I bought this for a two month trip to Norway and it held enough stuff to last the entire time...including thick jumpers, boots and other warm clothing. There was even room left for the inevitable shopping whilst there and the pressies to take home. It could also be great for a couple going away for a week or two and even a family weekend trip in which you would prefer to take only one bag.
Naturally it would not be cabin friendly and if you were to fly with it, weight could be a concern.
MEASUREMENTS AND WEIGHT?
The bag weighs 3.9 kilos, which is surprisingly light for its size.
The bag measures 84 x 44 x 38 cm.
Lies flat so it can easily be stored under a bed or on top of a wardrobe.
Only niggle for me is that the zips do not lock together. The zip is unlikely to come open of its own accord, but I would buy small luggage locks to fit the zips and prevent it opening and also make it more difficult to prise open! Not that bad a niggle to remove a star.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
THe RRP is 85 pounds, but I bought mine from Amazon for 62. It is now available for 57...
Keep a look out for it on eBay too....there are a few that look very similar but vary in size...make sure you get the 138 litre one if you want the biggest, or a smaller one if you don't require the big option.
The Big C leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms casually behind his head and with a nonchalance possessed by a rare few, placed one foot on his highly polished mahogany desk, and followed it with the other...
His eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly as he appraised the woman sitting opposite him. A small, wry smile played around his lips as he unhurriedly ran his eyes over her.
Herja shifted uncomfortably in her seat, passing a hand self-consciously through her hair, knowing she was being scrutinised, knowing she must stand up to that scrutiny and the inevitable 'little chat' that was to follow...
She had had little sleep the night before and despite getting up at the crack of dawn had only just made into the office for the 9 o'clock meeting....the snow had made it impossible for her taxi to take her all the way to her destination and she had had to walk the remaining mile or so herself. Slipping in her high heels her head down against the biting gale force winds, she had made it to the Dooyoo offices bedraggled, rosy cheeked and dripping wet. She had quickly dried her hair as best she could with the hand dryers in the ladies room, removed what make-up was left on her mascara-stained face and headed for the interview room.....The Big C, known to his friends as 'Colin' didn't like to be kept waiting....
Her shoes had squelched uncomfortably loudly as she made her way to the chair The Big C indicated. And there she sat....his eyes running over her thick, frizzy hair, her blood shot eyes and her rosy cheeks.
'Christ', he thought, 'doesn't this woman read any of our reviews? She'd look a darn sight more presentable if she used a decent hair mousse. The face is alright, but those blemishes would be a great deal less visible with a little 'Touch Éclat'.....(he made a mental note to ask Little Nat to have a quiet word with her).....and yet she had something, this girl....something he couldn't quite place....
The Big C looked distastefully at her muddy heels and sighed..... 'Do you know why you're here, Herja', he enquired?
'I.... I'm not sure sir', she replied hesitantly....is it about my reviews?'
'It is', stated Big C. 'You've been with us over a month now and frankly, we've been expecting more form you....'
Herja swallowed, and shifted yet again...
'It's not that we are completely dissatisfied, you understand, your reviews have been of a decent standard....they have been...what's the word?......OK.
Herja flushed further at the slight and opened her mouth to speak but The Big C beat her to it. 'It's all very well writing little reviews on posters and cook books and knife sharpeners, but we are looking for greatness, Herja; a review that shines out from the darkness, a review that has purity and sincerity and above all brilliance! What you need to do is challenge yourself....take photography, for instance: do you think it's simple, do you think those reviews come easily to me?? They don't. But every time I start one I make a promise to myself. Do you know what that promise is Herja?'
'No sir, I don't' she replied meekly.
'I promise myself that each review I begin will be better than the last one.
Only in doing that can I stay true to the product, true to myself....'
'I see', said Herja, but inspiration is so hard to find....each day it gets harder' she admitted dismally.
'Write about what you know Herja; be the voice for millions......let the truth burn like a torch in the darkness for all to see!!'
As he spoke, he leaned forward to give his words more impact and as he did he caught her scent on the air....a scent he knew from long ago...a perfume of yester-year when the world was younger and so was he....Instantly he was transported back to 1992 and the time when he had first perceived that gentle freshness....that luminous scent, so light and fresh, yet so warm and sensuous at the same time....he was amazed at how that sweet scent evoked such feeling.
He had known nothing like it before or since...
That complex interaction of flowers, musk and woody tones.... a beautiful garden of white lilies, carnations and freesias....a Cedar tree, warm and woody, where he had once carved her name....a pond; clean and cool and serene yet vibrant and sparkling in the sunlight.
A bedroom: curtains billowing in a summer breeze, a dressing table strewn with her things...a vase of roses...old-fashioned pink ones, she loved so.... their velvety petals falling softly from an open flower....a bottle, her perfume, tall and sleek and elegant, like the view of the moon behind the Eiffel Tower from that quaint little Paris apartment.
He had tried to forget that scent, put it to the back of his mind all these years....and now that it hit him full force via this scruffy urchin in front of him, he knew that he had never really forgotten, and that he never would......
Abruptly he pushed back his chair and stood up.
'Well', he mumbled...'I hope this little chat has been of help to you Herja. Best get writing straight away!'
'Errr, yes, of course, thank you for the erm advice, it has been most helpful...I promise to take on board everything you've said' she replied as she was hastily led to the door.
'Good, good', said the Big C as he gently but firmly guided out and pushed her hastily into the corridor.
'Goodbye sir!', she managed, just before the door closed in her face.....
Colin wanted to be alone now, alone with his thoughts...alone so he could drift back to 1992.....he sat back down on his chair, gazed out of the window and looked down at the snow covered roof tops...but it wasn't a winter's scene he was seeing, but a garden and a lake and a hazy summer's day when the world was young....
L'eau Dissey was created by fashion designer, and survivor of the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima, Issay Miyake - this aquatic floral was his first fragrance.
Top Note: Lotus, Freesia, Cyclamen, Melon
Middle Note: Peony, Carnation, Lily, Lily Of The Valley, Rose water
Base Note: Cedar, Musk, Amber, Sandal
Complex, fresh, floral, woody and sparkling
Fairly long lasting.
Prices: 19 pounds for a 10ml EDT
39 pounds for 50ml EDT
52 pounds for 100ml EDT
Sold by Amazon amongst others.
Thanks for reading!
And even bigger thanks to BIG C for playing his role so well :)
******Scene 1 - Christmas dinner finished - family gather in living room, bloated and sleepy and reluctant to move much other than the effort needed to reach for the remote control.....********
Granny : The Sound of Music, how lovely...*begins to sing along.....* "The hiiills are aliiiiive with the sound of muuusiiiiic...!"
Dad: *groans inwardly itching to grab the remote and turn to Sky Sports*
Brother: *Hopefully pitches in with...* 'How about watching one of these new DVD's I got for Chrimbo...'Saw 7' looks like an entertaining watch!'
12 year old: 'Yeah that's a great idea Uncle Pete!'
Me: 'How about playing a board game? I could get Balderdash out?'
Great Uncle (visiting from Newcastle): 'What keind of game is tha ? '
Me: 'Well, basically each round has a question to which each player writes their answer. The answer is a made up one which has to sound as believable as possible. The answers are all passed to the reader (Dasher) for that round, who reads all the answers anonymously along with the REAL answer in a random order. Then everyone guesses which the correct answer is. You get points for: guessing the correct answer and conning others into believing YOUR answer is correct. You then advance around the board and the first to the end wins! It's very simple really...
Great Uncle from Newcastle: 'Ah divvent knaa tha Ah can move tha much...I'm reet comfortable weor Ahm...'
Me: Don't worry, you can stay exactly where you are....all you need is a pencil and one of these little pads of paper included in the game. I'll give you a book to lean on and we can use this little table here by the sofa to put the board with the spinner on (depending where you land you get the chance to spin this little arrow and possibly gain (or lose) more points.
G.U. : 'So hoo dee Ah play the game exactly?'
PLAYING THE GAME
Me: 'Ok, so we choose the first person to be the 'Dasher'. That person takes a card from the box and chooses a category. He tells everyone what the category is and reads the question. The rest of us write the answer down on our little paper (Bluffing Sheet) without anyone seeing what we are writing of course! The answer can be as ridiculous or as serious as you like....quite often the real answer is even wackier than the imagined ones! The Dasher looks at the true answer on the back of the card and writes that down on the one of the sheets. He collects all the players answers and shuffles them before reading them out impartially.
There are 5 categories:
WORDS: The word category basically asks for a definition of a certain word. Let me see if I have any old papers here....ah yes, for example 'KAMALAYKA' ....someone suggested it was 'a waterproof shirt made from walrus intestines' and another said 'a Himalayan woodwind instrument used at birthing rituals...means 'blessed-one''......well, I can't remember if either of those is the right answer, but they sound both ridiculous and plausible at the same time!
G.U. 'Aye, they dee!'
Me: PEOPLE: This category gives you a name of a real person and you have to write down what they are famous for.....
INITIALS: 'You're given a set of initials and you have to write what they stand for...for example, S.F.C - does it mean 'Social Fun Club', 'Society For Chips', 'Shoe Fighting Club', Shoe Fan Club' or 'Scottish Football Club'?
I can actually reveal that the real answer is 'Shoe Fan Club'. Anyway, you get the idea....
MOVIES: 'This is a great one; you are given the title of a movie and you have to write the basic plot....hilarious!
LAWS: 'In this category you have to complete the law...for example, 'In London, England, you are not allowed to drive an....'
The answer to that one is '.......automobile without sitting in the front seat.' See how even the real answer sounds daft!?'
G.U.: 'It sounds leik a funn game....how many points dee Ah get if Ah git it reet?
Me: ' If you guess the correct answer, you get one point. You also get one point for every vote that your answer gets. If your answer is very close to the real answer you get two points, and the Dasher gets two points if none of the players chose the correct Balderdash answer. You move your playing piece along and if you land on a place with an arrow, you get to spin the arrow in the centre of the board which can give you extra points, take them away, or leave your score as it was.
When we've all moved our pieces the person to the left of the Dasher becomes the new Dasher and reads out the next card. The category this time is determined by which segment of the board the winning player is on.
G.U.: 'So hoo many of weh can play?'
Me: 'Oh we can all play ...the game is for 2 to 8 players and for ages 12 and up!' There are different variations for 3 to 4 players as well as a 2 player option which is great.
G.U.: 'Sounds leik a canny good game lass...might see aboot getting mesel one te tyek hyem wi me'
WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH TO PAY
Me: 'It's great for a laugh! I know you're gonna love it! I bought mine on Amazon for about 23 pounds but I'm sure you could get it from any decent toy shop or even on eBay.
G.U.: 'Well let's play shall we...I'm looking forward te beating yee aal!'
**looks around room....kids have gone upstairs and everyone else is asleep...gran is snoring loudly....***
'looks leik we'll be using those two player options hinny...'
Me: 'Oh well......they do say the biggest cause of all arguments over Christmas are board games .... might be a blessing in disguise...:)
Thanks for reading! And a Happy New Year to all that did!
I do love a mojito.
Granted, it's a bit of a summer drink best enjoyed on a hot day basking by the pool or on a balmy evening languising on a terrace. But really, as a cocktail it is hard to beat whatever the weather.
I learned how to make mojitos when I worked summers in a local cafe/bar. During the day I perfected my cappuccinos and smoothies and at night my Gin Fizzes, Daiquiris and Mojitos.
There are many ways to get the 'perfect' mojito....this is how we did it....
INGREDIENTS (per glass)
FRESH MINT - 5 or 6 leaves...an absolute must for any good Mojito.
1 FRESH LIME - lime juice alone won't work, you need the kick of the zest.
RUM - this one is down to personal preference...we used Havana Club 3 but you could use Bacardi or any other white or golden rum.
SUGAR- 1 tsp of demerera sugar
SUGAR SYRUP - 2 tablespoons or so....we bought it by the bottle, but you could make your own by dissolving sugar in equal parts of water.
SODA WATER - we used sparkling water too...just a splash is enough.
1) Get yourself a tumbler - preferably a sturdy one with straight sides.
2) Chop up the lime into smallish cubes...maybe 12 or so from one lime.
3) Put the lime in the glass along with 5 - 8 roughly torn mint leaves, the demerera and 1 tablespoon of syrup.
4) Using a wooden or plastic pestle, squash the limes and mint, extracting as much juice and flavour as possible.
5) Add the rest of the sugar syrup and mix again.
6) Add crushed ice to fill the glass...you can wrap ice cubes in a clean tea-towel and bash them with a rolling pin if you don't have a machine for the job - the rough shards produced are actually better than the machine ice which doesn't last as long.
7) Now you add the rum....just keep going till you get to a couple of cm from the top of the glass...then add the soda to fill. Of course, if you want it weaker, just add less rum and more soda...and conversely, if you want a stronger taste, add less soda or leave it out completely.
The use of brown sugar in this drink adds a depth of flavour which really compliments the drink with its 'maltiness' but if you want a result that looks less 'muddy' then leave it out....it's still pretty good!
All that minty, limeiness makes for a dangerously easy to drink cocktail that goes down all too well.
Oh, and serve with a straw.
GB Eye is the UK market leader in posters.
In this review I wanted to write about their 3D posters in general, but seem to be stuck with the 'Paris' poster.... so this is a review mainly about that particular poster which, for those interested in a gander, will show that it's actually a pretty good one...
***Queue Scotsman browsing posters at Asda***
Jock Mactavish : ' Ah jist dinnae ken whit tae gie mah niece fur 'er 17th birthday thes week.....Ah reckon she'd loove a poster, but it's nae exactlay excitin'!
Me : 'Forgive me for evesdropping sir, but I couldn't help but overhear your quandry and thought perhaps I could help' :)
J.M. : 'Wa that's affa kind ay ye lass...what dae ye hink ay these posters?'
Me: 'Well, they're very nice but, you're right, not that exciting....have a look at these 3D ones over here....I bought my daughters two of them last month and they absolutely love them!
If your niece is interested in travel then perhaps one of these city pictures would be right up her street.'
J.M. : 'She's aye on aboot travellin' an' loo'd 'er skale trip tae Paris lest year.'
Me: ' Well then, this one here of the Eiffel Tower should be perfect for her! It's a beautiful shot taken on a typically cloudy day in Paris, looking up a cobbled street to the VW car in the foreground and the Eiffel tower in the background. As you can see, there's a couple standing on the back seat of the car and coming out through the open top roof, having a little kiss and cuddle....I love that's it's all in black and white except for the pale blue car.....it's very romantic and quite artistic don't you think?
J.M. : 'Aye, it's a bonnie photo at tha'! Whit's it say there at tha top lassie?'
Me : 'Ah yes, it says, "Paris, Ville De L'Amour"
J.M. : 'Fits aht mean quine?'
Me : "Paris, City of Love" *sigh*
J.M. 'It's nae like a normal poster...looks like it's comin oot tha' page at ye!'
Me : 'Yes, that's the 3D effect - the high-resolution artwork creates the illusion of depth so that it does indeed appear to be coming out of the wall at you! It's certainly a whole new concept in posters and one that a lot of people, not only teens would love. As you can see there are many different images available: cites such as London with a big red bus, New York and a yellow taxi cab, as well as Hello Kitty, bands, animals and football clubs! There's something for everyone.'
J.M.: 'Weel ah hink thes paris poster is perfect fur mah niece...not tay big either...
Me : 'No, most of their 3D posters are 47 by 67 cm - not too big, but not too small either...makes an impression in a room, that's for sure! It's the first thing you notice when you walk into my daughter's bedroom....though it doesn't quite manage to distract completely from the un-made bed, clothes on the floor or empty crisp packets strewn about....but hey ho!'
J.M. : ' Hoo much is it hen?'
Me: 'It's just under 13 pounds....but *whispers* you can get it on Amazon for 11! It's a bit more expensive than an ordinary poster, but being made of vinyl as it is, it makes it almost impossible to tear and should last many years and being transferred from wall to wall and house to house... Just stick it on the wall with a bit of blue tack and you're good to go...no messing about with hammer and nails.
J.M. : 'That's greet! *grabs poster* Weel, thanks agin lassie....cheerio the nou!'
Me: 'Bye, and Happy New Year....' *thinks* 'darn, I should have told him that the GB Eye website (http://www.gbeye.com/newsite/artists/) are looking for ideas and images for future posters- pay for them too....being a Scotman, he might have appreciated that.....ach weel'
Thanks for reading....and again, appologies for my crude (Scottish) accent - no offence meant, honest!
I have suffered from cold sores since I was 5.
They have caused me a lot of pain and distress over the years, most especially when I was a teenager when they seemed particularly painful and unsightly.
SO WHAT ARE COLD SORES?
Cold sores are small blisters filled with a clear fluid that appear on the lips and around the mouth and nose. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus which is passed from person to person via saliva or infected bodily fluids (eewwwww!) It is therefore important that those who have a cold sore practice good hygiene when they have a sore...wash hands, and refrain from kissing for example! Those with sores should avoid touching them as much as possible and be very careful not to touch their eyes after first touching the cold sore.
Nearly 80% of people actually carry the virus, though a mere 25% of those actually get cold sores - guess I'm one of the unlucky ones!
Being a virus, the herpes simplex can infect a cell and lie in wait for weeks, months or even years before being triggered into manifesting itself as an active infection. This infection lasts a few days while the body cures it and it becomes latent again until the next flare-up. Cold sores tend to diminish in intensity as you get older.
WHAT CAUSES A FLARE-UP?
Flare-ups vary from person to person. They are often brought on by stress or being run down, though they have nothing to do with actually having a cold, they often appear when defences are low. They can also come along if the lips are hurt in some way or if they are very dry and chapped. In my case, as with many people, cold sores come along after exposure to a lot of sunlight. In the summer I have to wear a total block lip-balm when out in the sun and this works perfectly well to stop me getting a sore. I remember going on a skiing holiday at 16 and forgetting to take my lip-salve with me to the slopes. I knew I'd get a cold sore and sure enough I did....my entire lip, both top and bottom were infected and swollen. It was particularly painful and lasted a good 3 weeks before disappearing. Not nice, especially as a self conscious teenager!
SIGNS, SYMPTOMS AND LIFESPAN
If you don't treat a cold sore it generally lasts about two weeks: the first sign is a faint tingling sensation on the lip, after a day or so it begins to blister, the blister bursts after 4 or 5 days and it is especially contagious at this stage, after it bursts a scab forms and the healing process begins - this can take a long while since you obviously move your lips a lot and the wound can easily break open and bleed. This stage is probably the least painful stage however, though probably the most unsightly.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
I've tried every remedy in the book....lemon juice, ice-cubes, and every over the counter lotion and potion on offer but absolutely NONE of them did any good. The only effective treatment for cold sores is Zovirax.
The minute you feel that familiar tingling sensation is the time to immediately start applying the cream. Wait a day and you will still help reduce the life-span but will not prevent a flare-up however small.
Zovirax is not a cure, but if applied quickly and often it will usually stop the cold sore in its tracks. If applied later it will help speed up the process and reduce swelling.
If I get a cold sore, I keep the tube in my pocket and apply as often as possible...every hour or two the first day and a great blob at night before I go to sleep. The next day, if I've caught it soon enough, I may have to apply it 3 or 4 times that day and problem fixed.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Zovirax contains acyclovir - this active anti-viral ingredient is what makes Zovirax work. It goes straight to the affected cells and basically stops the virus copying itself. So, whatever stage you catch your cold sore at, you can be sure that it will help shorten the outbreak and reduce the pain.
WHAT DOES IT COME IN?
Zovirax comes in a tube or pump. The tube I have found better simply because it's easier to dispense the amount you want.
There are two sizes : 2ml and 5 ml. I have never found the need to get anything other than the 2ml tube which is more than enough for at least a couple of outbreaks.
They say the cream lasts, but in my personal experience, I have found that opened tubes do not have the same potency after a couple of months and I always buy a new one, once my cold sore has healed, ready for the next one!
WHERE DO I GET IT?
I buy mine from the chemist but you can also get it online.
A 2ml tube costs just under 3 pounds.
Zovirax also comes in tablet form - I believe this is used for treating chicken pox, shingles and genital herpes.
Hope this review helps.
Thanks for reading.
Lip-Gloss is lip-Gloss....I mean, you could just as easily rub a bit of Vaseline on your lips or eat a greasy bag of fish n' chips and get the same result couldn't you?
Q: Would it have a fruity flavour?
Q: Would it have a hint of colour?
Q: Would it make your lips as kissable?
A: Probably not... but then there's no accounting for taste.
Anyway, moving on I would just like to....Oh, hello sir! You have some pressing questions about the Lancôme Juicy Tubes lip gloss I see....how may I assist?
******(QUEUE COCKNEY GENT WITH INTREST IN LIPGLOSS)******
Cockney Gent: "Yes luv, oi was just wanderin' wot's the packaging loike?"
Me: "Well, it comes in a dinky little 15ml transparent, plastic tube. Being transparent, you can immediately see what shade it is you're buying.
The screw-top lid fits tightly and securely onto the tube so there is no danger of it inadvertently coming off in your make-up bag, purse or pocket and leaking out all over the shop. Also, the applicator part of the tube is slanted making a perfect 'tube to lip' contact and hence an easy to apply system."
Cockney Gent: "Roit...."
COLOUR AND FLAVOUR
C.G.: "Wot calars and flavas duz it cam in, me darlin'?"
Me: "Oh, you can get it in allsorts of colours - each colour has its own matching flavour....for example, this delicious pinky red one tastes like strawberries and this peachy coloured one here tastes like....well, like peaches! You can smell the scent as soon as you begin to squeeze the tube...see?"
C.G.: "Well oi never..."
Me: Oh yes, and there are many other shades too....from neutrals and browns to pinks and corals, red and plums....raspberry's one of my faves, and there's even a toffee one too" , I said excitedly.
HOW DOES IT FEEL ON
C.G. : "Wot's it loike ta wear then?"
Me : " Well, it goes on easily...a little goes a very long way. It's a gel, and a thick one....it goes on feeling a little as though you're spreading honey on your lips and if you press your lips together they feel very sticky....now it not the time for a cuppa and a digestive! But, it does dry somewhat and settles down to a comfortable tackiness that is not unpleasant. It lasts a fair while too, though I have to admit I can never keep lipstick or gloss on for more than a couple of hours at a time and have to re-apply if I can be bothered, which I invariably can't...."
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON
C.G.: "So, wot's it look loike when you've got it on loike?"
Me: "Oh, it's ever so pretty....let me put some on and show you....(quickly applies ultra-shiny gloss).
Can you see the hint of colour coming through and enhancing the colour of my own lips? You can? Good.
See how very shiny it is and what a high gloss look it achieves without being glittery? Here, of course, I have put it on to my bare lips....but you could easily use it over your lipstick to add a little more depth of colour as well as shimmer. It's also ever so easy to apply.... did you notice I didn't even need a mirror to check...I know it looks fab!"
C.G. " It does that me dear"
WHERE TO BUY
C.G.: So where cun oi get sum o that lippie, for me woife loike?"
Me : Ah yes, well you can buy it at most reputable make-up stores over the counter or you could always get it online from the likes of Amazon. There are loads of shades to choose from and if you're not sure of the exact one your wife will like, you could always surprise her with a little gift pack of 4 and give her shades for evening and day wear."
C.G. : "That's a gud oidea, I moight just do tha' for 'er Crimbo pressie..."
C.G. : "an wot koind of price are these 'ere tubes then...cuple 'o quid?
Me: "Errrrr no.....they're around 15 pounds per tube.....But a tube can last you months and months...honest!"
C.G. " Bloimey!! That's one quid each ml!!! She'll 'av ta make do wiv' a bit 'o that imitaishun channel numba foive...I aint forkin' out that much....I'm orff ta see a man abaat a dog .....ta'ra luv!"
Me: *sigh* "Bye then......."
Apologies to any Cockneys who may be reading....I admit to my limited knowledge of the style and the lingo.....was just using a bit of poetic license - that's my excuse anyway!