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Meet Christopher Boone, a 15 year old boy living in Swindon with Asperger's syndrome. One day he discovers the neighbour's dog Wellington has been murdered with a garden fork and he makes it his mission to discover the murderer.
Described as a murder mystery novel with a difference Christopher opens a can of worms that will transform his life, and affect all of those around him. An award winning novel by Mark Haddon that is a real pleasure to read.
Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*
I showed this book to my dad and he thought it was written by a 10 year old. A bit of a weird sentence to open with but it's true. I can only compare the style of this book to an Adrian Mole book. Christopher Boone is an exceptionally bright boy. He deals well with numbers, patterns and equations and frequently uses them throughout the book. He doesn't like people, being touched, the colours brown and yellow or his food touching. Even though he is a fictional character he seems incredibly real, nothing seems exaggerated and you genuinely empathise with him.
As I mentioned in the quick review the main basis of this book is finding out who murdered his neighbours dog Wellington. He does this against the wishes of his father who he lives with in Swindon, along with his pet rat Toby. We are led to believe that Chris's mother died some time earlier from a heart attack. The hunt for the murderer takes an unexpected turn when Christopher accidentally stumbles across a massive secret that has been kept hidden from him.
I did find myself at times getting frustrated with Christopher, he does not deal well with people, not understanding emotions and so he quite often screams, kicks and hits and I did find myself feeling a bit disturbed by it at times. I found a lot of the book funny, but underlying the comedy is a very serious message about understanding people with such issues and that became more and more prominent as the book progressed.
You will be pleased to know there is a happy ending, all ends well with Christopher Boone and I can understand how this book made it to the middle of the top 100 books. It is a very unique style of book. It isn't just a journal of one boy's thoughts, a lot of time and effort has gone into making this book feel like it has been written by a 15 year old boy suffering from Asperger's syndrome. I don't know much about Mark Haddon's background so I am not sure if this is a personal issue but it is very cleverly written.
So you will guess correctly that I recommend this book to you all. It is a very easy to read book, even with all the maths! Christopher Boone is a very likeable character that is almost sad to remember he isn't a real boy.
Get A Car, Travel across America from West To East. Piece of Cake eh? Only one slight snag, you need to do all of this without spending a single penny in a chain store, chain gas station or chain hotel. This is Dave Gorman's quest, and he chooses to accept it.
This book follows his journey across the good old US of A and we learn about the good times, the quirky B&B's the friendly people of Kansas and then there are the bad times, the director hurting her back, being held at gun point and some of the scummiest motels in the world.
Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*
I don't know much about Dave Gorman, except the GoogleWhack tour but a friend recommended the book, and the husband seemed keen to read it, so I put it to the top of my list. I fancied a bit of light reading and this seemed to fit the bill. A diary style book recounting Dave's journey across the USA sounded brilliant.
Cutting out the first couple of chapters Dave sets out to LA to find a car, an old car and ends up with a Ford Torino, its shiny, there are photo's in the middle of the book.
So armed with the car and his director/camera lady Stef they embark on their journey east.
I won't outline every bit or it will ruin the story for you. But I will say that the story contains some laugh out loud moments, some very sad moments, some Ewwww moments and some frustrating moments. I was amazed by the kindness of a lot of Americans, and astounded by the rudeness of a lot of others. Somehow Dave manages to end up in a lot of weird places, the hippie central Tree House at Halloween, a B&B in the shape of a beagle, yes that's the dog and that's just the start.
It's a great book this one. I really did enjoy listening to the tales and I am sure there were many more that didn't make the book, it does link to a website with more pictures, there are some in the middle of the book, and it was great to actually see what he was writing about.
I was surprised by how moving this book was, yes I did laugh out loud, a lot, and this does form the main mood of the book, but there are some genuinely sad times. When Dave does have to admit defeat to "The Man" (the chain stores) at one point, you genuinely feel as bad as he does in the book; you genuinely want him to succeed.
The book is very easy to read, its written in the same way as I am writing this now, very relaxed, chatty and informal and that makes it very easy to follow and makes Dave incredibly likeable. Knowing that it is a true tale also makes it more enjoyable you know that the people he meets exist out there in America, the places he visits, and the beautiful scenery he sees is all there for us to enjoy.
I thoroughly recommend this book to you. Dave Gorman has a very charming style of writing that encourages you to read on, the challenge is a very interesting one and its nice to here the stories of the independent gas station owners and the independent diner owners, especially the Fountain in Independence, one of 4 towns of that name.
I don't think I will read it again, there is no storyline as such, now I know how it ends I doubt I will want to go back there, but the journey was worth it.
Wow, is all I can say. What an absolutely amazing book. A beautifully written exceptionally heart warming book.
I genuinely could not put this book down. Sat up til very late reading this book, I just had to finish it.
It follows the story of Eddie, an 83 year old man who dies in a freak accident trying to save a little girls life. (This isn't a spoiler I promise you, you find this out on the first page!) After awaking in the afterlife he learns that his earthly life will be explained to him by five people who were in it, loved ones or strangers, each of them changing his life forever.
Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*
This is a truly remarkable book, amazingly welly written and incredibly thought provoking, heart warming and provocative.
It is a pretty short read at 208 pages but within those pages is a beautiful tale of life, its lessons and values.
Eddie works as a maintenance engineer at a pier fairground, he feels lonely, undervalued and worthless and goes about his day to day tasks quietly. His tragic death comes when he tries to rescue a little girl who is seconds away from being crushed by a malfunctioning fairground ride. After waking in the afterlife confused and unaware of his surroundings he is met by his five people who are there to open his eyes to the world and his place in it. I won't go into the five people as this would ruin the book for you but they range from strangers to lovers and random encounters. Its amazing how Albom manages to take Eddie's life and intertwine them with these five people. Its brilliantly written.
I thoroughly recommend this book. It really opens your eyes to the world around you and the people you meet and how something so insignificant to you can mean so much more to someone else. It was beautiful.
I know this review is really short, I am not sure what else to write about it, apart from the fact it was a wonderful, wonderful book. Very deserving of its number 88 in the top 100 books status.
A beautifully poignant Romantic Comedy from Ben Elton. This novel is written in an "Adrian Mole Diary" style and follows Sam and Lucy in their desperate quest for a child. This is full of laugh out loud gags, no really, I found myself chuckling out loud on quite a few occasions but it's not without a few tear-jerking moments, failed IVF treatments, betrayal, jealousy. Its a very easy read and a very enjoyable one too!
Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*
Inconceivable follows the lives of Sam and Lucy a couple desperate for their first child. The books alternates between the couples diaries recording their day-to-day lives. This forms the basis for the entire book and although the only insight we get into their lives is through the diaries it is more than enough and works really well. Sam works at the BBC as a producer and Lucy works at a talent management agency.
The diaries showcase the different methods and approaches they take in their quest for conception; romping on hills, the every day method, etc, etc. It also gives us an insight into their lives and their colleagues which is extremely important given the diary approach to the book. Obviously the books leads up to the inevitable will they, won't they have a baby, but I am not spoiling that here :)
Even though the topic of the book is extremely senstive to many readers it is very well written. The comedic aspect is very tastefully done and you genuinely feel for the main characters. As i said i found myself laughing out loud and also wiping back the tears throughout.
So inclusion I thoroughly recommend this book, it is quite a lengthy read at 367 pages but also very easy to read.
Very clever novel by Kevin Brockmeier, this slightly comforting story is split into two parts. We follow the inhabitants of 'the city' a place people go when they die and also the story of a young traveller named Laura Byrd we quickly see these two woven together as we discover just how much Laura is impacting on the city and its inhabitants. Its a good novel but the conclusion leaves you wanting more.........
Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*
When I first started reading this book i felt warmly humbled at the thought of a city where the departed live on in the memories of the living. But this soon changes when the inhabitants start disappearing, fading away until only a few remain. Its when the chapters are woven in with the story of Laura Byrd that you fully understand how her existance is keeping the town alive.
Brockmeier has a very good writing style you are kept very engrossed in the book even though the only main character is Laura, and she only accounts for half the book. Brockmeier manages to make a lot of minor characters interesting and you feel you know a lot about them when really you know very little.
The major frustration with this book was various plotlines which seemed to dwindle out, the book was relatively short, under 300 pages. It could have been a lot longer, there was plenty of opportunity to develop the story more but it felt somewhat rushed, you almost wanted to say "no,no stop I want to know more about this lady and her past" and so I somewhat felt unsatisfied at the end. It wasn't really a cliffhanger as such but it didn't bring a proper close to the book.
On the whole I recommed reading this book, being relatively short it doesn't take too long to read. As I said earlier there is something very comforting surrounding the idea of 'the city' a place where the dead are kept alive on memories.
I don't normally like books which flick between storylines, The Enchantress of Florence springs to mind here, but it is very cleverly done in this book. Brockmeier makes the story flow very easily, it helps that Laura's story reflects so much on the story of the people in the city.
As I have had to return it to the library my review can't be much longer I am afraid! Sorry about that!
I say give it a go, it is well worth the read. It lacks a little in substance but is a fairly enjoyable read!
A Matter of Death and Life is a Russian novel by Andrey Kurkov more famous for his novel Death and the Penguin (incidentally I am on the hunt for a copy of this). I think what really attracted me to this book was the blurb, or lack of it.
"Marital troubles? Sick of Life? Suicide the answer? Why not get yourself a contract killer?"
What could be more enticing than that!
The story is loosely told in a diary style and Tolya is our narrator. Stuck in Kiev with no hopes and no dreams he has no job, no money and a wife openly having an affair. Desperate to end his so called life suicide not being an option, what could be better than being taken out by a contract killer, for only people of importance are hunted by contract killers, think of the legacy in years to come of the mysterious man killed by a contract killer.
Fate playing its part Tolya bumps into an old school friend and once the vodka starts flowing he manages to get the contact details of a contract killer, his prayers are answered! Pretending he wants to end the life of his wife's lover he sends a photograph of himself and a location of a café nearby and starts counting down the days to his death. As the hours tick down Tolya prepares to go and makes his way to the "meeting" point. Things take an unexpected turn when he meets Lena, a local prostitute; death no longer seems like such a good idea.... Now if only there was some way to get rid of a contract killer?
I loved this book with its dark humour and original storyline although being a very short novel, a mere 122 pages it didn't lack in any department, the characters were clearly defined, the plot simplistic but not boring. Tolya reminded me ever so slightly of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, confused and alone looking for a way out of a hopeless situation.
Kurkov writes in a way that makes you sympathise with Tolya even though some of his choices are less than conventional. As I have said before I am a big fan of first person style novels so this book appealed greatly to me but it was also so addictive because the story was so unusual almost comical. I highly recommend this book as being so short it doesn't take long to read (I managed it in an evening and I am not a fast reader) and it is makes a very enjoyable, easy read.
After thoroughly enjoying Nobody True by James Herbert I couldn't wait to get my teeth into another one! Haunted is totally different to Nobody True but equally as brilliant. Just to summarise a little about the story before I go into my thoughts and feelings on this one.
David Ash is a psychic investigator believing that most "paranormal" activity can be explained away by faults in the house and other non-ghostly things. He is personally requested to investigate a supposed haunting in a house in Surrey, England called Edbrook. The owner Miss Webb and her strangely eccentric extended family Christina, Robert and Simon Mariell report to David about the haunting in the form of the vision of a girl in and around the old, worn house.
Over the next three days and nights David will discover that Edbrook and its occupants are more than meets the eye and will be subjected to horrors and games that dredge up the nightmarish memories of his childhood. But can he so easily explain away the unexpected goings on with Edbrook or is there more going on with this one?
I couldn't put this book down, eager to find out what really was going on with Edbrook House. Herbert manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seat wondering what the ending may hold for David. Having pretty much figured out how it was going to unfold Herbert didn't fail to impress with the explosive ending to the book leaving me, feeling haunted.
Herbert's style of writing is incredibly chilling; the opening chapter alone delivers a disturbingly haunting punch with every aspect of the scene described in meticulous detail making you feel part of the scene. This eerie setting is not lightened throughout the rest of the story, all of the twisted strands tightening together to create a gripping read.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a traditional ghost story, Haunted is chilling, it's gruesome, and it's gory and full of suspense. Herbert's descriptive style of writing paints a graphic scene of Edbrook House, the frail features of the owner Miss Webb and the twisted and highly eccentric features and personalities of the extended Mariell family. Having recently discovered that this was made into a film in 1995 I look forward to watching this too, after reading some reviews it comes highly recommended as a great adaptation to the book.
Northern Lights is the first of 3 books in a trilogy by Philip Pullman. I would say the style is similar to Harry Potter, not plot wise, but in whom it's written for. Although found in the Teenage section this book is by no means childish.
The book is a fantasy set in a world strikingly similar yet parallel to ours. Young orphaned Lyra begins a quest to the North after her friend Roger is taken by so called 'gobblers'. Throughout her journey she meets many colourful, likeable allies along with some truly horrifying enemies. Lyra's quest takes on a new role as she discovers more about her past and her family throughout her trip. The scene is well and truly set for the second book and I most certainly look forward to continuing the trilogy.
I am not surprised at all that this book has won two awards and that it is so high up on the top 100 book lists. It is incredibly easy to read and certainly for me, kept me enticed along the way. I got carried away in Lyra's world wanting to find out what would happen. The storyline is pretty fixed, she goes on a quest to find her friend, things happen along the way but the storyline doesn't drift off which is a definite positive for me.
Lyra is instantly loveable an innocent child hell-bent on rescuing her friend, you can't help but be inspired by her courage and heroism along the way. Other characters introduced throughout are imaginatively created by Pullman, most notable to me is the warrior bear and of course Lyra's closest companion her Daemon Pantalaimon, a shape shifting animal that each and every human has. The "baddies" are also well created and you genuinely feel for Lyra as she is betrayed and hunted by her enemies.
To summarise, I really enjoyed this book. I was not surprised because hearing it was similar to Harry Potter, and being a fan of those I was quite eager to get a copy. I wouldn't recommend this to people who like to be challenged by a book as it is like reading a glorified fairy tale but for me it was perfect, a really easily readable book that not only entertained me but kept me hooked along the way. Highly recommended!
I must admit when I saw this shiny new book on the shelf at the library I dropped everything else to make sure I read it. I have never read any of Salman Rushdie's books before and was very eager to start. I have read in the news about the controversy surrounding his works such as The Satanic Verses (Which is also on my shelf to read).
The basic plot of this book is as follows; A man arrives at the gate of the Emperor Akbar claiming to be an ambassador from England. The next thing we know, trying to keep himself alive he claims to be a member of the Emperors family after the lid on his ambassador story is blown!
The rest of the book is a combination of our Ambassadors, now Niccolo Vespucci, stories of his mother and her upbringing and some reflection from the emperor.
So my thoughts, quite frankly I was disappointed. I enjoyed the stories of Qara Koz (Niccolo Vespucci's mother) and her upbringing and I would have given the book a much higher rating if that was all it contained. But the book just had too many lose threads all over the place and a lot of these didn't seem to get tied up at the end. The stories seem to fade in and out and there are still some bits from early on that were neither necessary nor important to the main story.
One of my main niggles was with the constant renaming of characters, our Mogor Dell'Amore has at least 3 different names throughout the book. His mother Qara Koz has a couple as do the 3 men in the main part of the ambassador's story. Maybe my memory isn't as good as some other readers out there but I did get a bit confused at times by who was doing what and with whom?
I felt mostly disappointed because I had hyped it up to be some literacy work of art, and depending on what you want to get out of a book it could be seen as that. I wont deny that Rushdie has a very beautiful way of telling a story, I was totally captivated by the story of Qara Koz and conjured up a beautiful world in my mind. As previously mentioned it was the rest of it which left me feeling slightly deflated.
I wouldn't give it a definite thumbs up, it is a big book to read and I do suggest that if you do read it to make sure you do it in one or two sittings, I took a few days break early on and got totally lost when I picked it up, that was mostly due to forgetting who most of the characters were. I do think this is one of those books that needs to be read about 4-5 times to finally digest it all. I don't feel at all inclined to re-read it even though I am sure it will clear some things up for me.
Olbas Oil - Inhalant Decongestant
** What is it? **
Olbas oil is a blend of essential pure plant oils that when inhaled gives almost immediate relief from blocked noses, catarrh, colds and sinuses. It can also be used externally as a massage oil to relieve minor aches and pains (Don't use on broken skin though)
** How do you use it? **
There are many uses for Olbas oil
- Most common is to place a few drops on a tissue and inhale deeply. You instantly feel the warm vapour throughout your nasal passages, for me it is a wonderful sensation, similar to breathing in deeply on a clean crisp morning.
- You can add a few drops to a bowl of boiling water and place your head over it with a towel over the top. This gives a less intense smell but with the addition of the steam works very well to clear blocked noses. One word of warning though, make sure you close your eyes as the vapour can sting your eyes.
- Personally I like to place some on the neck of my T-shirt when I go to the gym/for a run as it helps to keep my nose and throat clear. I tend to suffer from a blocked nose quite often and it helps my breathing stay clear and steady when working out.
- You can also place it neatly onto a pillow (or on a tissue and place inside a pillowcase) I find the smell very relaxing so it helps me drift of to sleep with a clear nose.
- You can use it directly onto skin, or slightly diluted if you have sensitive skin, it does tend to tingle a bit. (My husband hates the stuff anywhere near him, so please test before using it neat) Just massage gently into the sore area and it gives a warm tingling sensation which helps relieve minor aches and pains.
- As a big fan of Olbas oil I love to place some diluted in water in an oil burner and just let it infuse throughout the house. It gives such a wonderful warm smell that is incredibly comforting.
** The bottle and buying it**
The normal size bottle of Olbas Oil is 28ml which retails for around £3.50. There are also 10ml bottles which retail for around £2. From experience Olbas Oil is available from most supermarkets (Normally in the medicine section) Superdrug, Boots and also Wilkinson's.
A 28ml bottle lasts a very long time as you only ever need a few drops. I have had the bottle I am using now for over a year and it still has a third of the contents left. (I am a heavy user of it too)
The bottle is made of glass. Based on the 28ml bottle I have at the moment it is around 8cm tall and about 3.5cm wide. The tip of the bottle has a dropper style applicator which means you can't accidentally pour the whole thing out in one go. The lid does not have a safety opening (similar to medicine bottles etc) so keep it out of reach of children.
** The Ingredients **
Olbas oil contains essential plant oils. As taken from the manufacturers website these are::
Cajuput Oil BPC 18.50%, Clove Oil EP 0.10%, Eucalyptus Oil EP 35.45%, Juniperberry Oil BPC 2.70%, Levomenthol EP 4.10%, Dementholised Mint Oil BP 35.45%, Wintergreen Oil BPC (1949) 3.70%.
** Personal Opinion **
In case you hadn't guessed already I am a huge fan of Olbas oil. We always have at least one bottle in my household at all times. I find that it always successfully clears my blocked nose without being overpowering as some of the other menthol vapour's can be. It does still tingle if you have it in close contact with skin. My husband can't stand the stuff because he has sensitive skin so as I said earlier make sure you test your own sensitivity before rubbing it into your skin. But it always does exactly what it says on the bottle! "Immediate Relief for Catarrh, Colds and Sinuses"
Please make sure you always keep it away from eyes (it really does sting) don't ingest it or drop it directly into your nose. It will tingle on contact with skin, but should not cause any pain or major discomfort.
George is the in-store clothes brand for supermarket chain Asda. This review is based on my local store Canterbury.
** The Range **
George has a very wide range of clothing available, the largest section being for teenagers (G21) and women and recently a new plus size range which is very good. It also has a large lingerie section, a very well stocked baby and children section and a well proportioned section for Men/Boys.
I haven't used the G21 (teenager) range or the baby and child section but from what I have heard they are very popular and very well priced.
The general women's range is very well priced and goes from size 6 up to a size 22 in most styles. An average top costs between £3 and £6 and the more fancier/dressier styles been not much more than £10. My store has a large section for everyday tops, large jeans and trouser section, dresses, "going out" tops and formal (office) wear. I have purchased a pair of jeans for £3 but again the average price will give you change for £10.
The plus size range goes up to size 28 and again is very competitively priced although a smaller range then the general women's clothing. My local store has around 2 rails dedicated to this, although it is still relatively new so depending on how well it takes off it may or may not expand in the future. The prices are incredibly good when you compare it to the likes of Evans (around £20 for a top!!) for example a cardigan cost me £6 a smock top cost me £6.50 with everything else around this price.
Petite Range is a regular in my store with a small section similar to that of the plus size range. It tends to have more formal wear then casual wear but is again very well priced with most items costing less than £10.
Lingerie - I have purchased both Bras and underwear from this range. I think the bra cost me around £6 and it was incredibly comfortable and lasted a long time. The underwear cost me around £2.50 for a pack of 5 and didn't last very long at all, fairly disappointing compared to the rest of the clothing line at George.
Men's range. My husband is 6ft7 so we normally have difficulty finding clothing for him. We haven't yet been able to find trousers to suit his leg length but there is always a wide selection of tops and formal shirts that fit him. Our store does sizes from Small right through to XXL. T-shirts vary in price between £3 and £6 and shirts tend to be between £6 and £12. I haven't purchased trousers/jackets from this range so am unable to comment on these.
** Quality **
Considering the very affordable price of the clothing from George the quality is outstanding. I have tops and trousers I purchased well over a year ago which are still in fantastic condition. Every item of clothing I have brought (cardigans, t-shirts, shirts, trousers, jeans, dresses, bras and underwear) are machine washable and wash up very well.
Motifs and patterns printed on T-shirts have not faded or worn off with washing and embroidery and buttons have not been lost after numerous washes.
Good afternoon madam.
Fonejacker is the hilarious prank call TV Show aired on E4. All calls featured are real and performed by one man...... The fonejacker AKA Kayvan Novak.
The concept is really simple and probably inspired by something I am sure many have done in their lifetimes, prank phone calls.
The show normally starts with Kayvan walking into a phone box armed with a balaclava hat with a bobble top and a pair of sunglasses and then he dials....
Kayvan voices all of the characters in the show and there are many!
** The Characters **
GEORGE AGDGDGWNGO - Calls from your bank asking for your bank account details and sort-code in order to sort out problems with your account, for example to access your account to get rid of a chicken! In season 2 he called on behalf of ITV1 and Britain has very much talent offering the victim tickets to see the show in return for their passports and bank account details.
TERRY TIBBS - The rude crude businessman. Tibbs is the wheeler dealer Delboy of the fonejacker show. He normally rings people in response to advertisements in the paper.
INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDINGS - The fellow in an Indian call centre trying to sell you internet/cable television/dating agency at a ridiculous monthly price that is better than your current dealings.
A MOUSE IN NEED - A desperate mouse always in a pickle asking for help on getting rid of cats and obtaining cheese! Give him Wensleydale
CHARLIE WONG - Trying to flog off bootleg DVDs, Buy illegal T-shirts and Caps to make a quick bit of money
DOOOVDE - A gentleman who phones Directory enquiry to get the number for various places which he pronounces totally wrong and ends up irritating the poor worker at the other end!
And many, many, many, many more!!
** The Show **
The show wouldn't be what it is without the hilarious illustrations usually using still images to depict the characters on the screen. Kayvan himself cameos in a few of these. It's difficult to describe them in detail think Monty Python opening titles and you are on the right lines.
Kayvan quite often phones a store/business/person whilst hiding around the nearest wall. These phonecalls cover a wide range of subjects such as trying to book a table and beat-boxing his reservation details or putting a deposit down on a Jaguar car but having signal problems which keeps cutting out the connection.
Each episode is around 30 minutes long with one advertisement break In the middle.
** Personal Opinions **
A lot of what Kayvan does is harmless fun which makes me laugh out loud through pure childishness and past memories. Recently in series 2 he made a few phone calls which in my mind crossed the line. (I.e. a man phoning for life insurance on his death bed and flat lining on the phone)
Overall it is a really simple concept with very funny results and some very memorable catchphrases!
You can buy the Series 1 DVD box set online for £12.99 and series one and 2 for £17.99 (prices taken from Play.com)
The air wick Freshmatic automatic spray is a time release air freshener which runs on batteries rather than the popular plug in type which means you can place it pretty much anywhere!
** The Price **
The Unit and one can of spray (250ml) usually retails for around £10 - 12 however a little while ago I managed to find a pack with 2 cans of spray and the unit for £7.99 (Aldi) so definitely shop around! (www.moneysupermarket.co.uk is useful for this)
** Where From **
I have found these in the common supermarkets (Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrison's, and Tesco) as well as Aldi and Wilkinson's.
** The Product **
The unit itself is larger than the plug-in air fresheners you can get. But is not unsightly! It is a white unit with a small green LED light in the top left hand corner which is the battery indicator (it stops flashing when the battery dies).
There is a large (5cmish) blue push button on the front which is a boost button. I find this so useful. If we have guests coming over I tend to dart around the room using the boost button to get a few extra sprays.
There is also a very small hole in which the nozzle of the spray cans points out of.
To open the unit there is a small push button on the top which opens the front. This section is where you place the batteries and insert the spray can. (The unit comes with full instructions)
There are 3 spray intervals to choose from 9, 18 and 36 minutes. I have all of mine set to 36 minutes and find this more than adequate.
According to the manufacturers website (www.airwick.co.uk) The 9 minute setting will last up to 15 days, the 18 minute setting up to 30 days and the 36 minute setting up to 60 days.
I am now on the 2nd refill and have not yet had to replace any of the batteries.
** The Contents of the box **
In the starter kit you get the unit itself a can of air freshener, 2 AA batteries and a wall mount (which I have never used).
** Refills **
You can buy refills for the unit from most supermarkets and Wilkinson's they tend to retail for around the £3 mark although they are quite often on offer.
Ones I have used include Lavender, Jasmine and the Dettol Neutra Air. All have a pleasant smell which is not in the slightest bit overwhelming like some air fresheners tend to be.
** Personal Opinion **
The Freshmatic spray comes highly recommended by me and my family. Having used the plug in variety for a long time I found that they never made much difference as my plugs were normally low to the ground and obscured by other objects.
The benefit of the Freshmatic sprays is being able to place them anywhere as you are not limited by where your nearest plug is. I would recommend placing them high up we had one on our fireplace and if anyone sat near it they would get an ear/eye full of the spray!
Each and every spray creates a pleasant smell throughout the house. My normally fussy husband hasn't complained that it is too strong and with 3 pets in the house I am no longer worried about any smells lingering. (The dettol neutra air comes in handy here as it eliminates odour)
The Waterboy a 1998 film directed by Frank Coraci stars Adam Sandler at his best in the role of Bobby Boucher!
** The Story **
The general plot of the film is based around Bobby Boucher a stuttering, teased waterboy who is pushed around by coach Beaulieu and the entire Cougar football (American) team.
Bobby's change of luck comes when he takes a job becoming the new waterboy for the losing down and out Mud Dog Team run by Coach Klein. Immediately teased by the team; Coach Klein senses his inability to release his anger something that we learn was instilled in him by the Cougar's Coach. After some gentle encouragement, and a lot of visualisation Bobby "opens a can of whoop Ass" on the players teasing him and is promptly recruited on to the team.....
Throughout the film Bobby is keeping his new life both on and off the pitch from his very protective mother who believes everything except her word is a work of the devil!
In the end Bobby proves himself a successful player; winning the Bourbon cup and defeating his demons (The Cougars), a successful lover winning the heart, quite of early on of Vicki Vallencourt and of course a successful mama's boy.
** In Summary **
Laughs and gags a plenty The Waterboy is one of my favourite films. Following the tried and tested storyline of the underdog becoming the hero it's a recipe for success with a star-studded cast who work together to create a laugh out loud comedy success!
** The Cast **
Adam Sandler plays the leading role of Bobby Boucher. Kathy Bates is the over protective yet lovable mama. Henry Winkler is Mad-dog coach Klein and Fairuza Balk plays the role of love interest Vicki Vallencourt. Rob Schneider also cameo's throughout the film.
The Wasp Factory is Iain Banks debut novel. The story opens pretty graphically with Frank topping up his sacrifice poles, these contain the bodies and skulls of animals he has previous killed. These sacrifice poles are used to protect the territory that Frank and his father live on; a small island.
We hear early on about Frank's older brother Eric who has escaped from a mental home and is on his way home, much to his father's disapproval. Throughout the book Frank receives regular phone calls from Eric informing him of his whereabouts, he tries to pretend that he is talking to someone else on the phone to keep the news away from his father. Frank and his brother are pretty widely feared in his village, the family tend to stay on their island apart from a few drunken evenings in the pub.
Most of Frank's violence is inflicted on animals; a section early on in the book graphically describes his hunting down and torturing of rabbits. However we later learn that in his short life he has killed 3 members of his family which he goes on to explain in further detail throughout the book.
So by now you are probably thinking what on earth is the point in reading this book full of gratuitous violence and brutality... well ... its actually a very good read. Banks cleverly keeps the reader engrossed by including the background story of Frank's Brother Eric returning at any moment. Although the book contains a lot of violence and gore you want to keep reading more to find out what exactly the Wasp Factory is (I wont spoil it here), what exactly turned Frank's brother insane and what will happen when he finally reaches home.
The end of the book is pretty disappointing after reading the pretty horrific accounts of Frank's 3 victims and the gratuitous violence throughout the eventual arrival of his brother is neither satisfying nor entertaining it was a big let down for me. The very end of the book contains a twist based on a re-occurring story which is mentioned throughout the book; personally I didn't think that the final twist was necessary and not at all relevant to the rest of the book.
So to summarise I would recommend reading this book it is certainly controversial, Banks goes so far as to publish both positive and negative reviews in the book. If your stomach is easily churned then stay clear there are graphic accounts of violence towards animals and humans. Although I myself am not a horror fan it is an amazing work of fiction I have never read anything quite like it.