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I was shocked to see such bad reviews for Carpet Right from a number of your reviewers, and very sorry that they received such poor service because my experience has been so very different. Carpet Right in the Parc Tawe branch in Swansea has been amazing. I popped into three Carpet Right stores in Swansea before beginning extensive house renovations. However, the Parc Tawe branch is the nearest to my home, and not only do they have a wide selection at a range of prices, but the service from Ian, the manager, and Chris is outstanding. Initially, when starting to look for carpet, I was rather at a loss because of having to purchase flooring for the whole house on a limited budget. I found other carpet companies lost interest in talking to me when this was known but these staff at Carpet Right in Parc Tawe were willing to spend time with me, and provided extremely thorough and helpful advice - and I am delighted with the result. However, Carpet Right staff have gone 'over and above' what should normally be expected for good customer service. My house renovation took rather a lot longer than anticipated, and the vinyl that I had selected had become discontinued. The manager said he would try to find stock in other stores. Whilst I was there, he phoned all the Swansea and Swansea outskirts branches, but as it was quite late in the day, he couldn't ring Head Office. After a lot of effort, it was tracked to another part of the country. Once it got to Cardiff, terrific teamwork was then shown between the South Wales branch managers in order to get the vinyl to me quickly, and with Ian's coordination the vinyl has been transported via approximately four South Wales branches. Talk about team work - an absolutely outstanding service! I cannot speak highly enough of the friendliness, helpfulness and overall service I have received from Carpet Right and particularly the Parc Tawe branch, and hope that other people will be as lucky as me in the future.
I bought the Men's Seiko 5 Automatic Watch SNXS79 for my father's 80th birthday and he is absolutely delighted with it. The Seiko 5 range comes with a selection of face colours, including blue, white and black. (I believe I also saw a green or gold face, but please check this on the websites if you intent to purchase, as I was rather 'watched out' after surfing so many watches prior to purchase!) I deliberated between the white and black, eventually choosing the black which seemed easier for older eyes to read the hands. When it arrived, I was delighted with the actual colour - which instead of being a dense black, was a very tasteful charcoal grey/black and very slightly pearlised which against the stainless steel bracelet looked very classy. I also chose an automatic - this requires no battery or winding up, as it is charged by movement. Power is stored in a spring in the movement of the watch and will easily last overnight if taken off. I had been warned that an automatic doesn't keep quite as good time as other operating systems, but this has kept perfect time so far (and my father's previous Seiko automatic also kept good time). The movement can be seen through the clear panel in the back - which my father found fascinating. The watch came beautifully presented on a black velvet cushion in a black velvet interior, in a box within a box. (Usually, I am totally against unnecessary packaging, but on this occasion I didn't mind because it was special present.) The case width is 37mm and case depth 12mm - which seems to be a medium thickness - although it looks lovely and slim on my father's wrist. The strap is stainless steel and the online company I bought it from (watchshop.com) will alter the strap size free of charge if required. (My father altered it himself.) It is water resistant to 30 metres. Whilst it is not supposed to be submerged, from my own experience and from research I did online, it seems that a quick recreational swim is fine. Be warned, however, if you do decide to chance it, this is not covered in the two year manufacturer guarantee. Would I buy another Seiko? Definitely!
Sawadee Ka! (Hello) After working in Bangkok for a number of years, I thought I'd offer some local knowledge to the bar scene in Bangkok. These are places that are a bit out of the norm so tourists (or locals) may not find without insider info, but are very enjoyable and well worth a visit. Cheap Charlie's is my first offering. This is an extremely eccentric bar like nothing you will have ever experienced before. The small, outside bar is quite literally set in the street, with a few rickety stools (one sturdy one in the shape of an extremely large 'lingam' and rather more interesting to sit on!!) plus a wobbly little wooden table. The bar looks like an old garden shed hung with an eclectic mix of things - including a cage with a bat and owl (not sure if they are still there- I haven't visited for a while.) The drinks are exceptionally cheap compared to all the other bars (used to be about .50p but now probably about £1.00 due to the poor exchange rate for British sterling) and hotels in the surrounding area so we used to start our evenings there before moving on to the usual partying haunts. Sometimes we've even ended up spending whole evenings there because it was so much fun. So, if you don't mind the heat of Bangkok, and the shoving into each other when you have to get out of the way because a car decides to drive down the street (a good excuse to get close to someone you fancy though...) give it a try - it is popular with 'farangs' (foreigners) and always crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. You will find it up Sukhumvit Soi 11 - either get a taxi there or walk from Nana skytrain station. It is not far up the road, but off on the left down a side soi. Just keep a look out and you will be able to see it from Soi 11. My next recommendation is a bar called Saxophone - A very large, dark atmospheric bar with a area downstairs for the live bands to play, and with an upper floor which also has views down onto the band. This is an extremely popular bar with farangs and Thais alike, with live music played every night of the week. You will find it entertaining although it is best going a bit later as it tends to liven up later in the evening. There are usually two bands playing each night. A lot of the music is rock or blues and rock ballads are particularly popular with the Thais. Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' is a classic there, as is The Eagles' 'Hotel California'. Yes, some of the music is rather dated, but the atmosphere lends itself to the type of music being played and you forget time. Usually, the standard of the bands are really good with talented players. (Don't go there is you want clubbing - there are plenty of places to go dancing - which I may be able to review at another time.) Drinks aren't cheap at Saxophone (about £3.00 - £4.00 for a beer or gin and tonic), but it is in the middle of a large city and prices are comparable to all the other bars. We found the most economical way to drink there is to buy and share a bottle of spirits (about £30.00), purchasing additional mixers and ice when required during the evening. (You may want to try the Thai whisky - Maekong or Songthep which is cheaper than imported spirits such as gin or vodka and quite pleasant mixed with coke and/or soda.) Basic bar snacks and Thai food are also sold there if you get peckish. You will find it at Victory Monument - cheaper by by taxi if there are more than two of you, or take the Skytrain to Victory Monument station and just ask someone when you get there. It is well known by the locals. This is my first review of bars, so I hope you find it useful or entertaining. I also hope if you go to Bangkok, you will visit these places and enjoy them as much as we have! Chok Dee! (Good Luck!)
Did you know that you can make money from completing online surveys? I didn't, but when perusing Martin's Money Tips on the online MoneySavingExpert, GlobalTestMarket was one of the recommended survey sites; consequently, it was one of three that I joined. I joined because I enjoy completing surveys and I thought I would be able to make some pocket-money at the same time. However, although I have received at least one survey, (often two) daily over the past month, I have only earned just over 100 points so far. (1000 points are needed for a cash reward of the equivalent of $50 US dollars. You apply once reaching the required minimum, and they send you a cheque which their website states can take up to 6 - 8 weeks to arrive.) When you first register with GlobalTestMarket, you complete lengthy personal profiles which they use to select you for up-coming surveys - so I would prefer that they don't send me a survey unless they think I am eligible because on many occasions I am 'screened out' after a few minutes due to not meeting their profile requirements. I do understand that this is very important for the retailers, but it does not always come up quickly enough and I find that I waste quite a lot of time because of this procedure. If this happens, you get entered into their 'draw', but today I looked at the list of winners, and they were almost all in the US. Again, this may reflect the number of people who participate, but it was more than a little disappointing to see. The email message you receive about a new survey from GlobalTestMarket gives an indication of how long it will take to complete - often up to 30 minutes. You can choose to take it or not, but are warned that if you don't answer quickly you are less likely to be chosen for further surveys. When I am accepted for a survey, I conscientiously complete it to the best of my ability, but on many occasions I find that I have spent far longer on it than their suggestion. I wonder if I am being too meticulous or if other people are just ticking boxes without reading and being completely honest in their answers. It has taken me hours so far to build my points totalling just over 100 - is it really worth the effort? I am rapidly becoming disillusioned with this site, and although to-date I am still completing the surveys (where not screened-out) I feel I could be making more money other ways. I would not recommend this to my friends and family, and would suggest that only someone who spends a lot of time on the computer and who has a lot of time to spare applies to join, because in my opinion, you will not get rich doing this.
When I read a book like this, I just wonder at how a writer can even imagine such a thing. At first, it sounds like a ridiculous concept - but keep reading and you are drawn into the fantasy and it blurs with reality. You know it can't be true, but you start believing it can be. This is essentially a love story overcoming time and all odds between two main protagonists - Henry and Clare, and the author shows that love can survive anything. Henry is a time-traveller due to a genetic disorder. Starting as a child, he has no control over when he travels - which makes life difficult in the extreme - although he does seem to be drawn to, and appear, in places that are emotionally relevant for him. The uncertainty of not knowing when he will next travel makes managing his life as he grows older (including going to University, getting a job and falling in love) precarious to say the least. It is due to the strength of the writing that his character in the book is well-developed and believable, and you want him to succeed. Clare first meets Henry when he is an adult of 36 and she is a child of 6. A child has a more open attitude about the extraordinary, and the reader experiencing Henry's visitations through time, and through Clare's eyes, finds these bizarre events more acceptable. I must admit, this is the only part that jarred with me, because in my view, she shows an unusual reaction when first encountering Henry - I'm sure if I encountered a naked man when a child (or now!) I'd be very scared and my reaction would be to run! Clare shows great determination and tenacity to cling to love - despite the comings and goings of her partner. It is, however, a terribly sad and lonely way to live your life. I started out thinking I wouldn't enjoy this book and absolutely loved it. I couldn't wait to pass it on to my friends and family. When I knew there was a film coming out, I wondered how on earth they could portray such a multifaceted story. But, as always (in my opinion) the book is better. The story is complex in its imagery and content, and Ms Niffenneger is a talented writer. She has the greatest gift a writer can bring to a reader - the ability to make the unreal real. Wonderful - you must read it!
The Indesit SAN400 is a good fridge for the money. Bought as part of a pair with the Indesit UFAN400NF Freezer, we were delighted with the modern, clean look in our kitchen. We needed to change our tall (new!) fridge freezer, because my mother's osteoarthritis made her shrink from an already 'vertically challenged' 5ft, to under 4ft 9ins - and she couldn't reach anything in the top fridge. The SAN400 is called a tall fridge, but for us littlies, it is still very easy to reach, organise and find everything on the shelves. There are 5 deep shelves and they can be adjusted a little to different heights, so that most litre bottles can be fitted upright on the fridge shelf as well as in the door shelves. An additional shelf would be useful - but is not essential if you don't mind stacking. The wider shelves do allow you to see the things inside quite clearly. There is also a deep salad /vegetable drawer at the bottom. There are 5 door shelves of differing heights which all sized jars, bottles and cartons can fit in. The super cool feature is very efficient - but you must remember to switch it back off again; we forgot, and managed to freeze our salads! (No doubt where the people who named the 'iceberg' lettuce got the idea..!) Other than that, the controls are effective and things are kept at a regular temperature. Having two white units side by side makes the kitchen look larger - and must look quite trendy because it impressed the teenage grandchildren. Overall, we are very pleased with it - and my mother loves it! After struggling for a while, she is delighted that she can now actually see and find the food in the fridge !! (I'm sure I catch her stroking it when I go into the kitchen sometimes...)
The Indesit UFAN400NF is an impressive freezer for the money. Bought as part of a pair with the Indesit SAN400 Fridge, we were delighted with the modern, clean look in our kitchen. We needed to change our tall (new!) fridge freezer, because my mother's osteoarthritis made her shrink from an already 'vertically challenged' 5ft, to under 4ft 9ins - and she couldn't reach anything in the top fridge. The UFAN400 is called a tall freezer, but for us littlies, it is still easy to reach, organise and find everything in the drawers. It has a warning beep if the door is left open, and the fast freeze seems efficient. There are 7 clear drawers - which make it easy to see what is in them from the front. The drawers consist of 3 x extra deep, 1 x deep, 1 x medium, a half drawer (medium) at the bottom, plus an ice- drawer/tray at the top, which is the whole width of the freezer. This slopes at the back to incorporate the workings of the freezer and I must admit, that was rather a surprise when we first tried to push the ice cube bag in! We now tip the bag directly into the tray and it works well unless you pull it out too fast and end up showering yourself with ice cubes! We are very pleased with it, and having two white units side by side makes the kitchen look larger - and must look quite trendy because it impressed the teenage grandchildren.
I have recently joined DooYoo as a reviewer, and was more than a little surprised to read such bad reviews about Barclays Bank. I was really sorry to hear the problems that other people have faced. Maybe I have just been lucky, but I have been a customer since about 1980 and have had no major incidents. There have only been a few small hiccups that I can remember. There does seem to be a bit of confusion regarding the accounts - over the past few years, I've been advised to open various ones to 'link current and savings' and to allow easy access and transfer, and the interest rates are dreadful - not really worth keeping much money in apart from what is needed on a daily basis. I seemed to be opening and closing and grouping them more often than was really necessary. I don't think constantly bringing in new accounts is really helping - I would have thought that just revising and improving the current ones would be better. Apart from that, my local branch in Mumbles (Swansea) is wonderful - the staff could not be more helpful and I have only praise for them. Everyone has to base their opinion on what they have experienced, so I felt it was only fair for me to write up my review as well.