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I bought the Epson Stylus SX425W printer to replace my Kodak printer that had a broken shelf and that needed the ink changing too frequently. Although the Kodak ink was cheaper to buy I had to replace the cartridges every month or so. A printer is an essential for a student studying at University and running out of ink on the day of your deadline is a nightmare. It was the final year of University when I purchased this printer for just £49.99 from Comet. It was on offer and had the best specifications of the printers in the same price bracket.
We did have to purchase a set of ink cartridges at £29.99 and that had all the four colours that was needed. The ink cartridges are quite a bit more expensive than Kodak cartridges so I hoped that they might last a little bit longer.
The printer did get me through my final year of University and printed to a good quality. However, this printer didn't really save me any money as it isn't much better than the Kodak in that I am constantly having to buy new and more expensive cartridges!! It is possible to buy cheap cartridges on eBay for £5.00 but they do effect the quality of the print and sometimes the printer doesn't recognise them.
One great thing about this printer is that it is a Scanner and Copier as well. I don't get much use out of the Copier but I have used the scanner quite a lot. I mainly use it to scan in photos and to print them on to glossy paper. The photos that are scanned in look really good when they are brought up on picture editing programs (for example I use iphoto on the Mac). Again the quality really depends on the cartridges. When I tried the eBay cartridges the pictures had lines across them which was a little bit disappointing. But then again I didn't expect much from cartridges that are ridiculously cheap. The scanner takes between 2-3 minutes to scan in a photograph but its worth the wait for the quality.
Another positive thing about this printer is that it looks good and its not too big for a small-ish computer desk. I would love a printer that does absolutely everything, the sort you see in a small office but they are just too big. This does similar things but isn't an eyesore that's difficult to find a place for.
Some of the negatives about this printer is that it can be slow and rather noisy. This doesn't bother me personally but i can imagine it could irritate some people.
This is a good little printer, it was easy to set up and does it's job! The only thing that I can really fault with this printer is the expensive ink cartridges that run out quickly.
The weather was cold and dull on the day that me and my partner in crime decided to go to the zoo!! I have really enjoyed going to zoos in the past so I got my wellies on determined that the rubbish weather wasn't going to spoil our day. It was easy enough to find a car parking space and we walked straight up to a counter so there were no long queues to wait in. We were allocated a time to see the pandas 2 1/2 hours after we purchased the tickets. I wasn't sure we would still be there because from the outside the zoo seems rather small. It's a little bit deceptive because it was fairly small at the bottom of the hill. When following the paths it seemed to go up, up and up further right to the very top of the massive hill! This is what filled out the time for us because I am not very fit.
We seemed to be looking into quite a few empty cages that supposedly had animals in. And other cages where there were animals, they looked like their life and souls had been drained out of them. At times I actually felt cruel and sad paying to look at these poor caged animals. In that respect it was very different to the other zoos I have been to. The spaces they were kept in were small and confined with not much for them to do. What shocked me the most was the monkeys. They were so unresponsive and tried to ignore people, turning their backs to passers by or avoiding eye contact. The monkeys didn't even seem playful with each other.
Out of all the animals the pandas seemed quite happy in their environment and the staff had plenty of information to give about the pandas. It's unfortunate that their breeding attempts for this year failed.
After seeing the pandas we went for a warm cup of tea and a chocolate muffin in the Cafe. The muffin was expensive but worth every penny!! The centre was filled with runny soft chocolate. In the cafe was a kids play den, I think it costs £2.00 to get in. For one little boy the temptation was too much, his mum left him at the table whilst she was paying he made a break for the play area. It didn't take her long to figure out where he had disappeared. The Zoo has a few outdoor play areas for kids too so its quite family friendly on a warmer day.
I personally didn't enjoy this experience for the reason that I genuinely don't think that the animals there are happy. It just doesn't seem like much of a life, they are just existing. I doubt they would display some of the behaviours that they did in the wild.
When passing through Glasgow to see the Macbeth play me and my partner decided to book the Etap hotel because it was very cheap at £21.00 a night for a double. I was really surprised to find it as part of the entertainment complex near the quay. So if we hadn't of been going to the tramway theatre we would have been able to go to the cinemas, bowling, casino or bingo. There were several restaurants on the door step of the hotel, we chose one of our favourites, Nandos!!! But there are others like ASK, Chiquitos, A Panda Chinese restaurant and Harvester etc.
Next to the hotel was a big multistory car park which was free to customers and way really easy to find a parking space. There is a lift to the car park so you don't have to pull your luggage up or down many flights of stairs.
The actual hotel starts at Level 6 where the reception and cafe is and moves up to floors 7 & 8 where the hotel rooms are. The only floor you can get to when first getting into the lift is floor 6 because it has a card swiping system to get to the above floors for guests. Although this system makes the hotel more secure it isn't very good. When we first got in it took us 10 attempts to get it to work before we could actually get to our floor. Later when I went to the ironing room on the floor below I was stood in the lift 5 minutes before someone else got in and helped me to try and get my card to swipe.
The first room we checked into was already taken! We were a bit shocked to see a coat hung up, a bag and a watch on the bedside table in our room. It was a very good job that we are honest people! We could have had a lovely free watch from the first room if we were light fingered! I am just glad that the person wasn't in the room as I hate being landed in awkward and embarrassing situations. The explanation at the reception was that it was a new computer system that the cleaners didn't know how to use properly and that the room had been listed as clean not dirty. Which is fair enough but I don't think the other guest would not have been happy to find out that other people were given access to his room and belongings.
The second room was empty so we got settled in! I had a quick peek around expecting to see a kettle and a few tea bags but it just wasn't there. The room was very bare and basic. We had only two small towels for the shower, no hand towels or anything and a bar of soap. I suppose that is okay because we don't really use the hand towels. The layout of the hotel room was slightly unusual in that the shower and the sink was in the main room and the toilet in a separate little room rather than just having a bedroom and bathroom. Again that didn't really matter to us going as a couple. If I had been sharing with a friend I would have been embarrassed about having a shower, then stepping out butt naked into the room as this layout doesn't really give people much privacy.
Everything in the room was just average but then again it only cost £21.00 so I guess you get what you pay for. The mattress was okay, the pillows a bit flat and no extras in the room if you like to double up and have two. It was warm enough, there was a heater that you could set to a temperature at three different speeds. I put it on 25c on number three because the window was open and we couldn't close it.
The cost of breakfast in the morning wasn't too bad. It was cereals and continental all you can eat for £4.25 so its a bit less pricey than some of the hotels that we stopped in.
This hotel is fine for a cheap night away! It's best if you stop there to look at the room realistically for the price and then you wont be too disappointed.
Whilst seeing the beautiful sights, national parks and locks in Scotland was great, both me and my partner agreed that to make it an even better holiday we could see the sea! We did this in two main locations Ayr and St Andrews. Our day in St. Andrews was okay but we could not really enjoy the beach because it was freezing! and windy! (Yes I know Scotland is like that most of the time...) But our day in Ayr was glorious ... the hottest day of the holiday thankfully. We arrived on the seafront, parked up for free which is always a bonus not having to pay out quite a bit or rush back for a certain time. There isn't much along the coastline like some resorts that have arcades and rides etc but there was an adventure playground, public toilets and most importantly Ice-cream Shop/Cafe.
We enjoyed a long stroll down the sandy beach and back and a sit down looking at the sea with an ice-cream. After we had finished we went for a walk around the shops at the centre of Ayr. It was near the end of our holiday so we went looking for some small gifts and souvenirs to take home with us for the family. It was only a 10 minute walk from where we had parked. it took us a little time to find as we ended up in the bus station to begin with. There were quite a few main high street stores as well as smaller businesses. I purchased a lovely necklace for my sister and my partner bought some shortbread. In the same shop we bought the shortbread the shop keeper gave us some rock sweets that we were not sure whether or not buy! Nice guy its not very often you get given sweets in a shop! Most of the people we came across and spoke too were helpful and friendly making it a good afternoon.
We did see some parking officers going around giving tickets in pay and display area between the coastline and the shops which made us a bit nervous encase where we had parked was pay and display. It wasn't! Phew! So if you do drop off into Ayr double check where is free and where isn't. If you're in a pay and display I wouldn't take a chance on not paying its not really worth it.
I would suggest visiting Ayr on a dry or a warm day! If it had been pouring down with rain we wouldn't have really had anywhere to take shelter apart from the shops. We generally head into arcades and things when we go to the seaside and its not very nice. Hope this review is helpful.
The entrance, cafe and shop are at the level of the entrance and is well spread out beneath the dome. The actual project/ museum goes below ground level. When arriving we were directed to the counter and served quickly with our Edinburgh passes. Other customers who pre-booked their tickets online seemed to take a lot longer in the queue. The project is an interactive way of showing visitors how the Earth was millions of years ago to how it has become in the present day. There are staff that guide you through the museum so its not difficult to navigate your way around and they introduce you into some of the main rooms that you enter. The conditions in the rooms change with the theme of the room.
For example, the room that is designed to educate visitors on the earths centre and volcanoes is dark, the floor moves replicating tremors and there is grey smoke when watching a volcano erupt.
One of the best sections of the dynamic earth is the 4d cinema experience of a simulated flight around the world. It combined 3D film with different things that stimulate your senses. Cold blasts of air, Soap suds blown out as snow and a sweet smell when flying over trees. It was fantastic and family friendly - nothing too scary for young children.
Before leaving there was a short film on in the planetarium about some of the different extreme weathers across the solar system. This was done by an allocated time slot given to you with your ticket as you enter. We arrived to the showing half an hour early so we must have walked through the museum more quickly than others take on average. We were still allowed to view the earlier showing so thankfully we didn't have to wait.
The chairs were comfy and leaned quite far back so that it is easy to watch the film on the dome shaped screen above your head. I watched about 50 % of the film partly because I was so comfy in a dark room that I fell asleep. This doesn't reflect on the film in any way, it wasn't extremely boring or anything it was quite good in the bits that I did see. The group of school children that were in at the same time absolutely loved the experience and were all giddy and excited throughout and on the way out.
Before leaving we decided to have refreshments at the cafe. Like in most museums the drinks and food were quite expensive. It didn't put us off but I would of preferred paying less for a drink. The cafe was set out really well with plenty of seats and tables not placed close together - easy to get round with trays, bags, prams etc.
This attraction was well worth visiting to make the most of the Edinburgh passes that we had bought from the tourist information. If you don't have a pass expect to spend £11.50 per adult and £7.50 for a child. The museum probably suits young families with children more so than maybe just two or a group of adults. I enjoyed it as an adult but it's really designed to educate children in a fun and less formal way. I hope this doesn't put couples off going because it is quite good but it is obviously aimed at a younger audience. If you were visiting I would leave 1 1/2 to 2 hours to walk around and check the last visiting times. I think last admission is an hour and a half before closing time. Another bonus is that it is close to the queens gallery (included in Edinburgh pass) and the House of Parliament (free admission).
Me and my partner have recently traveled around Scotland and booked this hotel for three nights at the beginning of our holiday. We tried to get to the Travelodge as early as possible because there was a notice on the website explaining that the parking was limited and it was cheaper than city centre parking. We managed to get a spot just outside the hotel and didn't move it because there were probably 10-15 spaces at the front and a small overflow around the back (nearly always full throughout our stay). There are other Travelodges around Edinburgh but most of them do not have hotel parking and that is why we chose this one. When we researched local 24 hour parking it was on average £18.00 but Travelodge parking was extremely cheap at £3.00. We made a huge saving staying at this hotel.
We booked in advance and took advantage of the £19.00 a room offers that they sometimes have on. The room came up as a double disabled when booking online and when we arrived were moved to a standard double. The first room we were swapped to didn't really meet the standard of cleanliness that I would expect of a hotel room. The bath was dirty and had hairs still in from the previous guests. It was the same with the bed there were what looked like black leg hairs stuck to the underside of the duvet. Naturally we went to complain! The man working in the reception was fine with us wanting a second swap and apologised about the state of the room. Thankfully the second room was clean and tidy!
The rooms are budget rooms so they are pretty basic which I don't mind. You generally get what you pay for when stopping in the £19.00 rooms. We had a kettle and a small tray with teas, coffees, sugars and small milk cartons. There aren't any biscuits or chocolates on the beds like in some of the more expensive hotels we stopped but budget hotels strip back on some of the little luxuries some places offer. Same with the bathroom there is only a bar of soap and two glasses, no shampoo or conditioner sachets or shower gel attached to the wall.
The room was perfectly adequate for our stay, we had clean hand towels and bath towels everyday. There was a small TV to watch late on at night, a place to hang up our clothes and a shelf and dressing table to store our things.
We didn't pay for breakfasts during our stay because it cost nearly £8 each which seemed a little bit expensive for a Full English Breakfast. The dinner and evening meal menu was much more reasonable but we decided to eat out in some of the lovely restaurants and a themed bar in central Edinburgh (Frankenstein's bar - brilliant and 20% off bill with Edinburgh passes).
The Travelodge is around 10-15 minute walk from the shops (depending on how fast you walk or if you mind walking) 30 minutes to the royal mile with quite a few attractions on. There are buses every hour across the road from the hotel £1.70 single but the service finishes earlier on in the evening. We caught a taxi one night to Frankenstein's bar - near where Auld Reekie Tours start and not far from castle. This cost us £8.00 and took about 5 minutes to get there.
There are all the local attraction leaflets on display near the entrance and there is access to computers and the internet at a cost. There is Wi-fi available to customers but again you have to pay for it!
I would definitely stay in this hotel again when visiting Edinburgh, just because the huge savings we made allowed us to spend more money on seeing attractions and eating out.
Whittards has provided me with a high standard of service when I have been in store and when I have made a large order over the internet. I was particularly impressed with the speed of a recent delivery and how well the products were securely wrapped.
The last order been fast and securely wrapped and this was particularly important to me as the products I purchased were for a birthday present and were fragile. I ordered six hand painted mugs, gingerbread syrup, chocolate coated coffeebeans and jelly beans. Even with the offer 3 for 2 on the mugs my purchase allowed me to qualify for free standard delivery. I was hoping the delivery wouldn't take longer than the estimated 3-5 working days to arrive. To my suprise I recieved the items within a couple of working days.
A couple of weeks previous to this online purchase I visited the store and left with a better understanding of how to use some of the products sold. I have been into coffee shops and had coffees with the syrup flavourings in and asked the member of staff on how to make these coffees. The lady took me to these products and explained how to use them in the coffees. Before we left the lady who served us activated us an online discount code and entered us into a competition being ran by the shopping centre. I left the store feeling more confident to ask about other products Whittards have and how to use them.
When looking for different teas to try it makes it helpful when the stores have different testers available to try. This has prompted me in the past to try some of their tea's such as dream time and hot chocolates.
The only disadvantage could be that some of the products may be expensive to buy on a regular basis.
This summer a large group of us travelled with this airline to lanzarote. The check in was fast as we checked in online. I was pleased to find on the boarding card £5 off purchases when spending 25 pounds. This is easy to spend on refreshments when there is such a large group of people.
The aeroplane was very basic compared with other airlines we have flown with previously. However, this is to be expected with a budget airline. The seating was slightly different than I had expected as the chairs were alot thinner and leather. I didn't find this to be too uncomfortable on a short flight and it gave each seat a larger amount of leg room.
The flight was roughly 4 hours and there was no entertainment, for example, films been shown or radio to listen to. Again with the price of the flight this was to be anticipated.
On the flight out the temperature aboard the flight was ok. Although when returning the aeroplane the flight was extremely cold. This made the flight home really uncomfortable for me. With 2 cardigans on I still felt cold. I wasn't the only person on the flight complaining about the temperature. I did fill out the feedback sheet and explained why I only marked it fair.
When really cold I decided to buy too hot drinks to keep me warm. Neither of these drinks had very warm water in them and seemed to go cold very quickly. So the warm drinks didn't really warm me up either.
The airline staff were always polite, directed us too our seats and kept the areoplane clean and tidy both travelling too and from the destination. They kept checking the toilets regularly, which was fortunate as one of the passengers travelling with us had left their designer glasses in the toilet. This made travelling with Jet 2 more pleasant.
The price of the flights outway the negative experience of the temperature on board and I would not hesistate to fly with Jet 2 again.
The Photo frame Clock combination of a decorative display of photo's around a clock. The clock is designed to be hung on the wall. The face of the clock is large so it isn't difficult to tell the time at a distance. If the clock is hung in a large room it may be hard to see the photo's at a distance as they are only small. The Photo's around the clock makes the product unique and individual for the person or people who buy the product and allows people to fill the frames with memories that mean a lot to the individual.
I recently purchased this product as a wedding gift for friends. In each of the sections I placed photographs of different times of importance and of their close family and friends from before the wedding. The latch mechanism on the back of the photo frames made it easy to open and close the frames. It was more difficult to place the right sized photographs into these frames. One of the pictures already in the frames gave the measurements and sizes of photographs the frames held. I cut twelve pictures to the sizes given on this picture. However, these were too small and left a gap in the top of the photo frame. When measuring the previous pictures that I had removed the photographs were larger than the measurements given. After cutting the pictures to the second measures I had taken myself the photographs fit perfectly.
The photo frame clock is lightweight so it is easy to lift and turn when trying to insert the photographs. Also, the clock is designed to hang on a wall so it will be easy to lift when placing it on the wall.
There are 12 different photo frames in the place of the numbers (or lines on some clocks). This may be a problem for people who want to use this product more as a clock than for decoration as it may be difficult to see specific times. However this isn't a problem for the couple who we purchased the product for as they really liked the product and how personal to them the gift was.
The ability to personalise the photo frame clock is the main advantage to this product.
Batiste Boho is a dry shampoo that you spray on your hair, rub through and then brush. This product really needs to be shaken well and held at a distance from the hair. On some occasions I have sprayed the product too close to my hair and has left my hair with a pale white color and as a result needed washing anyway.
Since this occasion I have held the product at a distance and had fewer problems. The product does make the hair look less greasy between washes as it dulls the shine.
The product claims that "Instantly leaves the hair feeling clean". I find that it does make the hair feel cleaner for a short while but I start to feel like my hair still needs washing after a few hours. It also claims that it leaves the hair "smelling beautiful". This I have found to be true and does as it says on the bottle. The sweet fragrance of bastiste boho does last in the hair and is one of the main positives of this product.
Another positive is the instructions on the bottle are clear which makes the product simple to use. To balance my negative experience of the product it does clearly say on the bottle to shake well and not to spray too close. This problem was my own fault not a fault with the product. My only disappointment with this dry shampoo was the length of time in which the refreshing feeling of product lasts between washes.
The product is relatively inexpensive in comparison with other hair products on the market so is an affordable option for people who wish to leave their hair longer between washes. Although the product doesn't refresh the hair for as long as I would hope it does leave the hair smelling nice for the best part of the day.
The Batiste dry shampoo was recommended by a friend. I chose the bastiste dry shampoo: Boho because of the bright and warm colours on the bottle. There are other types and smells but the exterior attracted me to this particular product.
Overall I feel that the product is fair for it's price.
The Sony Ericsson W995:
I purchased the Sony Ericsson W995 on contract several months back. The mobile phone is simple and easy to navigate.
Along the top of the main display when the phone is switched on are the signal bar and the amount of battery life that the handset has left. Other images appear along this top when different features of the phone are active or activated, such as the alarm.
To the left hand side of the main display when the phone is switched on is six different icons. These are short cuts for the main purposes of the phone:
The first of which is an organiser symbol and when clicked down on gives today's time and the option to add an event, set an alarm and to alter the time or date if this is incorrect.
The second symbol is the address book and lists the two options to add a contact or to search a key contact.
The third symbol is a mobile phone that has the recent call history, any missed calls that may be recieved, calls that have been answered and the calls that you have made.
Below this is the fourth icon which is an envelope, this gives the user the option to send a message, look into the inbox and the messages recieved, send an email, use the networks messenger and look at different web feeds.
The fifth icon is the walkman which opens the music files transfered on to the mobile phone. The volume and quality of the sound of the walkman is impressive. The sound is controlled by buttons down the right hand side of the phone. The directional buttons in the centre of the phone and the pause and play button in the middle of these are used to select the different songs and to pause and play them. To come out of the Walkman to the main display the end call button indicated with a symbol on the right hand side of the phone is used. To the left side of the phone is where the speakers can be plugged in.
The final option on the bottom of the display is the phones internet options.
To the right hand side of the main display is the time, date and network.
When the phone slides open it automatically unlocks and locks when it is closed. All of the main options can be found when pressing the play/pause button (centre of the phone) when on the main display.
There are twelve different icons and when moving along these the title of the icon appears at the top and the image becomes larger. The easy to understand images and clear labelling makes the phone straight forward to use.
Another positive to this phone is that it has an 8.1 mega pixel camera which I tested in store before purchasing. This really sold the phone for me as I use the phone for quality photo's as well as making calls and sending messages.
I have accidentally dropped this phone several times and twice outside on hard floor. Yet the phone is in perfect working order and doesn't have any bumps or scratches! It's several months old and still looks brand new. I was even more satisfied with my purchase when a couple of weeks back found an article in a technology magazine that ranked the phone 1st in their top ten. The built in walkman was just an added bonus for me and saves carrying both a music player and a phone. Similarly I don't have to carry a watch with me for the time either being clearly displayed on the phone.
At first I was a little bit anxious about taking out a contract to get this phone as it was not available on pay as you go. However, it's reliability and usefulness has made it worth the money that I have spent and is probably one of the best quality phones that I have purchased to date.
When looking at different phones the size for me is important as I dont like phones that are too long or large. This phone is compact and has the number keys slide out on the bottom. To begin with I expected it to be a touch screen as I could not see the number buttons. I was a little disappointed to find out that it wasn't at first. However, after using friends touch screen phones and music players and pleased that it is not.
The other main attraction was the option to have the phone in a metalic red! which I immediately chose to have.
I highly rate this mobile phone as it has complex technology built into it yet it is still easy to use which makes it practical. There has been no problems with the phone whatsoever and has been very hard wearing.
Hotmail is a free email service that allows people to keep in contact. When signed in it easy to navigate around the site. On the left hand column it has the email address and below it is the following options:
Inbox (In the brackets beside is the number of unread emails)
To read the unread messages the user simply needs to click on the bold font Inbox.
Junk. Junk is where all the spam mail is stored and the user can report the junk so that similar emails from the same organisations will automatically be divided into this category.
Drafts is where the copies of emails you send are saved
Deleted is where emails delete from the inbox are sent to.
Similarly there are different options along the to of the emails. There is even the option to print emails with the printer icon. The email inbox can store a large number of emails so is brilliant for personal use and contacting networks.
Fast and effective
Easy to use and navigate
Icons self explanitory
Large amounts of email storage space
These candles claim to last up to thirty hours. Its difficult to say how long I have the candles burning for because I dont really count. They certainly seem to burn for a long time. This collection of perfumed candles were on sale at my local shops for a £1.00 so I stocked up! Now the offer has ended they seem rather expensive at a whopping £3.00. It is likely that the price will very slightly from shop to shop. Enchanting Night and Chocolate and Honey are very inviting homely aromas that I would recommend candle fans and potential purchasers try. The glass containers are very decorative so look lovely as well as smell good. The candles glasses are deep so seem to be rather safe. Less likely to set the house on fire if you take your eyes off it for two minutes. Obviously the product is dangerous so people should keep it in a safe place and away from thing you value e.g. your children and your curtains if your placing it on your window sill.
The Versace Bright Crystal, Eau de Toilette has a very beautiful feminine bottle. The bottle is representative of the name of the product. This womans fragrance becomes more appealing with time as it soaks into the skin. I was introduced to the fragrance by my younger sibling when she recieved the box set for her birthday. I instantly found my self wanting to use this product again as throughout the day I kept getting wiffs of this really nice frangrance. I have also been complemented by several friends on how lovely I smell. For that reason I would recommend all the ladies reading this sample the product and gentlemen looking for the perfect perfume gift to do the same. The smell is not too strong and overpowering so is likely to be appreciated.
The bottle at 50ml still seems rather small but I will definately be investing in more of this perfume in the future as this one really is a classic. In the shops it is rather expensive so I would suggest shopping around everyone. Is definately value for money.
The soft drink diet coke is okay. It really isnt anything special and cannot really be compared with the sweet taste of ordinary coke. Although it is healthier and better for the teeth it seems to take the fun out of drinking coke. Personally I find drinking diet coke a bit like drinking tonic water with a odd taste.
I appreciate that this is down to the individual palette and everyone has different tastes and expectations of the product. Personally when trying this product I hoped that although it was made to be healthier it would have a very similar taste to coke. This however is not the case.
There is a place for this product on the market and the attractive label is a bonus. The price of Coke in the local shops is not that different from other soft drinks. When compared with the drinks available I would not choose this product over others. Although, the product is not to my personal tastes I am sure that it will appeal to others therefore I will rate this product three stars.