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I recently went through the very painful process of using Jessops reserve and collect facility on their website. Originally it was my intention to purchase my new Canon Powershot A650is from my local store in Southampton but to my surprise this camera was over £50 cheaper online and as I didn't want to pay for postage I used Jessops reserve and collect facility online. By using this facility Jessops website located my nearest store and the stock availability. Great I thought two in stock at Jessops Southampton store in Hedge End. After reserving online Jessops then sent me an e-mail an hour later to say my camera was ready for collection. I arrived at my local store about two hours after reserving the camera online and handed over my order number to the shop assistant. To my absolute disgust the shop assistant produced a camera in a box with no seals and an elastic band holding it together. My first question after looking at the camera was if this model was ex display, the fact that the display cabinet was empty where the camera should have been kind of gave it away! Once questioned the shop assistant did admit that the camera she had given me was ex display but at no point before this did she inform me of this minor problem! I felt that this was extremely dishonest and obviously did not purchase the camera.
I sent Jessops an e-mail complaining of their customer service but to date I have still not received a reply to my complaint.
Tunnock's caramel bar is a delicious milk or dark chocolate coated caramel wafer available to buy in packs of 4 or 8 . They are reasonably priced at 51p per 4 pack or 99p for 8 at my local Sainsburys.
I have enjoyed these regularly as an afternoon treat for years and I never tire of them. Apparently, the Tunnock's caramel wafer made its first appearance in 1890 and the original baker's shop that Thomas Tunnock opened in Uddingston High Street, near Glasgow still stands today. The factory which now churns out a whopping 4 million caramel wafers per week is located only 100 yards away from the original shop.
As for the biscuit itself, it is difficult to explain what is so delicious about it, but I believe it is more to do with the texture. I love the fact that the wafer is so crispy, and that there are multiple fine layers of caramel and wafer which make the bar so moist and chewy. I also love the old-fashioned gold and red style wrapper and packaging which is so distinctive and makes me think of Charlie and the Chocolate factory and the golden tickets!
As for nutritional info, each caramel wafer contains 134 calories of which 5.2g is fat. They are suitable for vegetarians and a dark chocolate version is available which is equally yummy!
I recently picked up a packet of these for 99p while doing my weekly shop in Iceland and are always on offer at most of the big supermarkets so its worth keeping an eye on their price. These biscuit bars take me right back to my childhood and the anticipation of school break time when I would open my lunchbox to reveal one of these little bars nestled under my soggy sandwiches. These biscuits also remind me of other family favourites such as Blue Riband, Tunocks Caramel, Jacobs Club and so on.
For anyone who hasn't tried one of these little treats, Breakaway are basically small, individually wrapped, milk chocolate covered wholemeal digestive biscuits. They contain 107 cals per bar and 5.5g of fat.
In my opinion they have quite a unique flavour. The ingredients of coconut flour, and malt barley flour give Breakaway a really moreish flavour and crispy bite to the biscuit. If you like chocolate digestive biscuits then you are sure to like these even if the biscuit part is slightly more crunchy than that of a digestive, I find them hard to put down once you have started munching on them! They also have a generous covering of chocolate, very similar to Jacob's Club, if you like your chocolate biscuits well covered as I do! In comparisson to other similar choc bars on the market I would go for these everytime as they don't have that 'synthetic' taste that other well known snack bars taste of. The chocolate tastes seems to be of a better quality than some other snack bars such as Penguins which I find are a bit synthetic tasting and not upto the same quality of a Breakaway. Breakway's were first introduced to the market in 1970 and were originally produced by Rowntree until Nestle purchased Rowntree back in 1988, they are still one of Nestle's big selling snack bars so they must be worth a try!
Overall they are a great snack and ideal lunchbox filler too! I really can't see a downside to these great bars apart from eating to many could make you sick!
After years of using Windowlene I spotted Sainsbury's Window cleaner on the shelf when we were doing our weekly shop. At 99p for a 500ml self spray plastic bottle I thought it was well worth a try. I must say I have been really impressed with this product. The product description on the side of the bottle describes this cleaner as being smear free and it also contains an anti mist formula.
Usually I wash the external windows first with a mild detergent, wipe them dry and then use Window cleaner to create a really good shine. But this time I decided to spray the window cleaner straight onto the windows and remove the waste dirt with a cloth followed by some kitchen roll. This product managed to remove bird droppings and road grime without much elbow grease and added to this was a smear free finish. The only downside for me is the strong smell of vinegar while cleaning but some sort of smell can be expected with all cleaning products. I think I clean our windows about once a week and the bottle stretched to two months use. Overall I thoroughly recommend this product and I have continued to use this instead of my old method of using Windowlene.
This product is currently on offer at Sainsburys, it usually sells for £3.48 but has been reduced to £2.48 so I thought I would give it a try. As an asthmatic I find it very difficult to find cleaning products that do not trigger an asthma attack but this stuff is actually relatively 'fume free' as it states on the packaging.
It comes in a 500ml trigger spray for easy application and claims that it removes even the toughest grease and burnt on food. I applied this lemony spray and left it for around 45mins however, you can leave it to work for anything between 15 and 60mins, depending on the amount of dirt and grease on your oven.
I must say it was not as effective as I had hoped for. It removed most of the grease and top layer of blackened food, but it did not remove everything, try as I might to scrub it off. One good point however is the smell which soon disappears if you leave the oven switched on for a while. I often find other oven cleaners so overwhelming in smell that it leaves food almost tasting of the stuff!
Overall this product is pretty good for superficial grease and grime but I think I might have to resort to professional oven cleaning services!
I have suffered with hay fever since I was a child and even though I was told my symptoms would improve as I got older this has definitely not been the case at all! So much so I find it necessary to use an antihistamine tablet, eye drops and a nasal spray during the worst months of the year. The nasal spray that I have been using for a couple of years now is the Beconase nasal spray. This stuff is absolutely brilliant, it is the only medication that stops my hay fever completely. During the days with the highest pollen levels I use my Beconase twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night before bed. The only negative for me is that I have to stop using it for a couple of days at a time due to the fact that the nasal spray gives me nose bleeds. My Doctor informed me that it is the steroids within the spray that cause the nose bleeds and when this happens it is best to stop using the spray for a couple of days.
Using the spray couldn't be easier , you simply place the nozzle of the nasal spray up one of your nostrils while blocking off the other nostril with one of your fingers and pull down on the spray pump dispenser. You must not take more than two sprays per nostril, sometimes I find it better to use just one spray per nostril and see how it goes. There is a slight after taste as the leftover medication from your nose passes down your throat but this does not last for long. Overall I thoroughly recommend this nasal spray, it stops hay fever symptoms fast...
I purchased the Babyliss Chrome Clipper Kit from Boots for £25.00, I believe it was reduced from £29.99. Within the kit you receive a mains operated Chrome Clipper which has an adjustable taper control allowing for fine cut adjustment, eight comb guides ranging in size from 3mm - 25mm, scissors, barbers comb and a cleaning brush.
Considering what you actually get within the pack it is reasonably good value for money. Ok the scissors are extremely cheap and the comb is made from thin plastic but the actual Clipper is made from tough plastic and the diamond sharpened blades look as though they will last a long time.
When using the clippers for the first time I found them not to heavy to hold but they did vibrate a lot even after making adjustment to them with the power screw located on the side of the clippers next to the on/off switch. Perhaps this is the difference between an expensive set and the cheaper sets. When using the clippers to trim around facial hair etc they were very good leaving a neat and straight line but they seemed to struggle when it came to cutting hair with one of the guides fitted. I found they worked better if a higher grade of guide was used first and then reduce the guides down get to the required length of hair.
Overall I am happy with my purchase but I wouldn't recommend these clippers for heavy use as the vibration when cutting would be enough to make your hand/wrist ache after a short amount of time.
We have always used Persil to wash our clothes (apart from a brief spell of using Ariel) and two years ago after a problem of finding white deposits of powder on our clothes we decided to switch from Persil powder to Persil Biological Liquigel.
Generally this product is very good, at high temperatures it removes nearly all stains and the most heavy ones can be removed by adding some liquigel to the stain before the item of clothing is put into the washing machine. At lower temperatures the results are not so good and some stains are not washed out. Ariel seemed to clean much better at lower temperatures, unfortunately we were unable to continue using Ariel because it really irritated my wife's eczema which meant switching back to Persil.
Another good thing about liquigel is that you do not add the liquid to the washing machines draw but simply add it to the wash by filling up a plastic ball and then placing this on top of the dirty washing inside the machine. Therefore your machine draw never needs cleaning of all the wasted powder that just sits building up. The liquigel has quite a nice fresh smell to it but can be slightly over powering when washing at high temperatures. The price at present is a little steep at £3.99 for a 1.5L bottle, Ariel Biological Liquid Bottle 1.5L is £3.48 which is a lot cheaper.
Overall a good all round washing detergent but a little pricey.
Marwell Zoo is a 100 acre zoological park set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, just 6 miles from Winchester, 5 from Eastleigh and 12 from Southampton. It is within reasonably easy reach of two main motorways. From the M3 it is junction 11 northbound and junction 11 southbound. From the M27 it is junction 10 westbound and junction 5 eastbound. Marwell is situated just off the B2177 (between Colden Common and Bishops Waltham).
Marwell zoo is only 5 miles from where I live, and as a result I have visited it on numerous occasions with family, friends, school trips etc. I must say it is quite unique in that it has a very different feel to any other zoo I have visited. I think this is due to the feeling of space that you get upon entering the zoo. It is very lush and leafy with lots of trees and lvast areas of open fields. It definitely feels more like a parkland, with each of the attractions being very well spaced, sometimes too well spaced. There are parts of the zoo where there is quite a bit of walking to do before you reach the next enclosure/attraction. This would be fine if it were not for the fact that is slightly uphill all the way to the top of the zoo and then thankfully downhill on the way back to the exit.
For me, the main attractions are the giraffe house which has recently undergone complete renovation. There is a 30 metre walkway which extends out overlooking the giraffe paddock. It gives a brilliant view across the park. The tigers are also breathtaking, as are the snow leopards and rhinos. There are also some great features for kids such as the Australian bushwalk, where you can walk amongst wallaby's, and the newly re-developed Encounter Village, which contains mostly domestic animals including goats, guinea pigs and sheep. It also houses a reptile barn, a Golden lion tamarin walk through and a black rat exhibit. At various times throughout the day children can chat to the keepers and get up close to the animals. There is also a free road train to carry you around the zoo should you get tired!
For me, there are several downsides to Marwell, one is the price. At £14.50 per adult and £10.50 per child I feel it is a bit pricey when compared with other zoos. Bristol zoo is £10.88 per adult, Paignton £10.80 and Chester zoo £13.59 per adult. In my experience each zoo has it's specific attributes and attractions, however, I still believe it is a little over priced. Secondly, since the closure of Marwell's former Treetops restaurant there is a distinct lack of indoor eating options. This is disastrous given the British weather! The zoo is full of outdoor snack kiosks and picnic areas, however, a new restaurant is currently under construction and due to be completed this Autumn.
Overall, Marwell zoo is definitely worth a visit.
I recently flew with Easyjet departing from Gatwick and arriving at Marseille. Overall the whole experience was great. Everyone at Easyjet was helpful and friendly and nothing was too much trouble, the fact that they market themselves as a budget airline does them no favours apart from the obvious low cost fares because the service that they provided was not budget.
Basically Easyjet offer cheaper flights in some cases very cheap flights and no thrills, this means no in-flight meals or drinks as part of your ticket. However there was a selection of drinks and food available on my flight such as sandwiches etc. To achieve the cheapest fares you will need to book as early as you can, the closer the booking date is to your flight the more the cost of your ticket will be the level of demand for that particular flight school holidays and destination will obviously put the price of your fare up. There are some very good check in services offered by Easyjet, it is possible to check in to your flight online up to 60 days before your departure date and two hours before your flight is due to depart on the day. Your boarding pass can be printed online which means you just take yourself and hand luggage only to your flights boarding gate instead of queuing up to check in. Another great service which is currently only operated at Gatwick airport is check in after 8.00pm for any morning flights before 6.30am, which means you can leave your luggage at the airport be issued with a boarding pass and go to your hotel to get some sleep before arriving straight at security and then your departure gate 25 minutes before your flight is due to depart. Because I checked in early for my flight I was at the front of the boarding gate which meant as the seats are on a first come first serve basis I managed to get the pick of the seats! There is a special service run by Easyjet called Speedy Boarding/Speedy Boarding Plus which means it is possible to board the plane before everyone else and therefore have the pick of the best seats. Of course there is an extra charge for this privilege. Overall the whole experience of flying with Easyjet was a good one and I would definitely recommend this airline.
It has been five years since we sold our first house and we are now in the process of trying to sell up and move on to something new. I can't believe the difference between the experience of selling and buying five years ago and now. Five years ago the property market was obviously still on a steep rise and the estate agents at the time couldn't be more upbeat, there wasn't much that they couldn't sell! In fact we sold our last house in three days so that was about £1400 for the estate agent for three days work. Basically depending on the agreed agents fee this could be anything from 0.75% upto 4.5% the estate agent receives the same amount whether they sell your property within three days or 6 months or for however long it takes. Our most recent experiences of estate agents at a moment are a lot different, they seem quite happy for you to take any offer just to get a sale. If your agents fees are only 1.5% then £10,000 off of the asking price of your house is only worth £150 to them. However I do appreciate that in the current market estate agents have to work a lot harder to secure a sale which could also take them a lot longer to achieve. Perhaps they are now earning the correct rate for the amount of work put in? I have always been advised to get a number of agents to value your property and never take the highest valuation as the agent to market your house. Also be aware of long sole agency agreements, this means that if the agent marketing your property is not achieving any interest within a time scale that you are happy with then you will not be able to market your house with another agent until the sole agent agreement with your current estate agent runs out. Our current agent seems quite good apart from some pressure to take a low offer they are marketing our property well and we are also receiving some good viewings from people that are interested in our type of house and not just people dragged in by the estate agents to achieve viewings. Overall its not such a bad experience dealing with estate agents you just need to pick carefully who you want to market your house.
We have been using Sainsburys lemon Grove washing up liquid for a couple of years now after switching from Fairy washing up liquid. For a 500ml bottle of Sainsburys washing up liquid the price is 75p, the equivalent Fairy Lemon Twister is slightly more at 91p for a 500ml bottle. The fairy adverts always say that Fairy lasts much longer but I have always found the Sainsburys washing up liquid to last just as long. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we dont usually have really heavy soiled dishes, this might be where the Fairy washing up liquid comes into its own. The Sainsburys lemon Grove liquid has quite a nice but not to strong lemon aroma and always cleans dishes pots and pans etc with no trouble. However there is one thing to be aware of that this product like most other cleaning products contains limonene. Through my own experience (because I suffer from asthma) when run under hot water the vapour given off by the washing up liquid has effected my breathing slightly, there is also a warning on the back of the bottle which states that limonene could cause an alergic reaction. I find that I never have a problem as long as I don't stick my head over the washing up bowel when it is being filled with hot water!
Overall I think this is a good product that doesn't need much in the way of liquid to achieve good results..well worth a try.
Within a five mile radius of where we live we have four Blockbuster stores, but when you want to rent one of the recently released 'Blockbuster' films I still can't get hold of one on a Friday or Saturday night! We have been using Blockbuster for years now but we very rarely rent anything nowadays due to the high cost of renting 1 DVD for 1 night. I believe it is £3.95 for a top title, which is a lot of money and you have to make sure you watch it that evening or possibly the next day before your local store closes. Added to the high rental costs we have had quite a few DVD's recently that have been unwatchable due to jumping scenes etc. Unfortunately when the DVD is returned the general reaction is a bog standard response of we are very sorry about that and would you like to rent another film for free. I just find it fustrating that the DVD's are not checked for scratches etc before they are rented out. Because of this we rarely rent films from Blockbuster and now use a privately run DVD rental store which is in our local town. I treally can't see us using Blockbuster very often in the future unless the competition is to much for our small local DVD store and it has to shut.
Southampton Airport is Situated only 1 mile from Eastleigh town centre, and adjacent to both junction 5 of the M27 and Southampton Parkway rail station. This is a great little Airport and after flying out of Southampton on a number of occasions I would thoroughly recommended this relaxing start to your journey. Check in and security checks take no longer than five minutes and because it is such a small airport it is only a short walk to the departure lounge. Before the security and check in area there are a couple of places to eat and shop, Aura where you can purchase Starbucks coffee, Delice de France pastries, 'Grab n Go' sandwiches, baguettes and panini. As well as also having a licensed bar with snacks. WHSmith is also available as well as a shop called Lagenza who sell items such as jewellery and soft toys. After the security and check in areas there is another Aura restaurant, a WHSmith and importantly a duty free shop. There is a small clothes shop called T-Box who sell items of clothing which are then uniquely packaged into small parcels for your journey. Once into the departure area there a small number of departure gates each with their own small lounge areas where you can wait for your flight. There are no night flights at Southampton airport but there were still 1.96 million passengers in 2007 with flights to over 43 destinations and 15 airline and tour operators. Overall Southampton is a great little airport situated with good links for both car and rail and with plenty of car parking space (at a cost) it really was for us a good way to start our holiday.
I can understand anyone who might think that Molton Brown hand wash is an extravagance too far, and I thought the same until I was purchased a bottle of Molton Brown Thai Vert hand wash and hand lotion a couple of years ago. Since then I have become hooked on all things Molton Brown and I have tried various fragrances within the hand wash range including Naran ji, Rose Granati, Thai Vert and most recently White Mulberry. I must say this is by far my favourite. It has a fragrance infused with oils of Provencal mimosa, elemi and green tea which leave the skin with a luxuriously crisp, fresh aroma. It also contains white mulberry tree root extracts which contains anti-ageing properties for your skin. . The essential oils leave your hands feeling clean yet moisturized and soft. Molton Brown is quite unlike other regular hand wash products in that it is mild, PH balanced and does not contain soap so it is mild and gentle on your skin. I love the natural ingredients in these products which definitely leave your skin feeling invigorated. In terms of fragrance, this product has a very light, uplifting, springtime aroma.
Molton Brown hand wash comes in a 300ml pump dispenser for easy application. The stylish bottle looks great in the kitchen or bathroom and can be co-ordinated with matching hand lotion. Although £14 for a bottle of hand wash may appear an extortionate price to pay, a little of this product goes a long way. My last bottle of thai vert lasted about 4 months, which isn't too bad. If you have the money to splash out on luxury accessories for the kitchen or bathroom, then it must be a bottle of Molton Brown hand wash, it's worth every penny!